Greetings, greetings dear readers,
I hope you are all in good health and spirits. Long time since Jeanine and I have posted on the humble little cyber space… like all, we can sometimes get very busy with life, and life, well life, one has to set one’s priorities right.
For me time has been mostly pur into working, don’t get me wrong yet, work isn’t the absolute priority of my life, but sometimes work must get done, which is also learning and growing. Jeanine did just about the same besides lovingly dedicating some of her time to her son and husband, and our meager down time, was enjoyed as real downtime.
I left our gorgeously hot Switzerland just about 3 weeks ago and am grateful it is the summer break. A little more of that rythm and I was going to end up in a total vata dissorder…. A few unpredicted hiccups added up to my dense schedule and it become suddenly a little too much.
But daily practices by the river, facing the stunning Mont Blanc or Jura, with my good mates kept me in check.
The scenery is far different where I am residing presently. Much more tropical and humid…. hot sunny days and tropical storms punctuate my stay. I do hope my camera laziness will fade away soon to share some of the beauty I am in with you.
I am learning heaps again, sharing sweet moments with fellow dedicated students, eatings way too much in the vegan heaven I am. But overall, am feeding my soul.
I hope you are all having an equally wonderful time wherever you are.
Do I need to say any more?
So use it and…. spread the word!
Love, trees and more trees,
I met Alessandro and his lovely family a few years ago in Mysore. I remember him going up the road in a rickshaw, poking his head out of the side gazing at me peddling hard up a steep street on an gearless heavy Indian bicycle. That moment is what started a conversation as we met again in front of the Jois’s Shala after practice, our love for ridding bikes.
Back then Alessandro decided to leave his job to regain a greater sense of freedom and hit the road along with Paula and Leo, his wife and baby. Their first stop a few years ago was India and so far haven’t yet ceased roaming around since. They incarnate wonderfully the modern nomadic family who live on their own terms.
Alessandro assisted by Paula, travels the entire world to shoot Yogis and creates video biographies for many gifted kindred souls, his work is enchanting and what fascinates me the most, is that he really captures the essence of a person through the lens. His style is constant, you definitely can recognise his signature on each piece of his work, yet, the uniqueness of each individual is seized artfully.
“My Dharma” is one of his last documentaries made in collaboration with Dharma Bums Yoga Wear. Alessandro collected the inspiring stories of how yoga metamorphosed dedicated practitioners into a better version of themselves. May this beautiful documentary of contemporary yogis leave you in awe….. and kindle a desire to practice.
“Practice and all is coming” Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Love and more love,
Yep, it’s in the kitchen it all happens. Flavourful and colourful as always. It’s all blending so nicely, we hope to see Friday!
Don’t forget to sign up!…it’s the last one before we hit the road.
In the meantime, get your wellies out, though the summer break is around the corner, spring is still trying… no comment.
Much love from under our hoodies,
And as always food is involved! If we are not cooking we are squatting our friend’s cafe, Ladyjo’s or Jeanine kitchen….
Our workshop is tomorrow night and we are procrastinating big time…… so we decided to share with you some of our serious foolishness.
On April 21st 2016, the artist known as…. has left this world.
Prince is best known for hits like “Purple Rain,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “When Doves Cry.” But his songs were about more than partying. Prince was a long-serving vegan and a strong advocate of the abolition of the abattoirs. His song « Animal Kingdom » from the album « The Truth» is very poignant. Please read Karen Dawn’s beautiful tribute
Prince was an activist and a secret philanthropist. If we may say, Prince was an example of a real karma yogi. Doing good, serving goodness, just for the sake of it.
Few individuals live up to their name, but Prince actually did. He was better at being human than most of us are.
These days I can only listen to his songs in repeat mode. I am so grateful for the soundtrack of my teen years… Not only because indeed « Sometimes it snows in April » but mostly, because Prince’s massive life lesson was you better live now (Excerpt from « let’s go crazy » )
We’re all excited
But we don’t know why
Maybe it’s ’cause
We’re all gonna die
And when we do
What’s it all for?
You better live now
Before the grim reaper come knocking on your doors
On June 7th, 1958, a legend was born. His parents named him Prince Rogers Nelson
We remember the musical genius, the gentle soul and the bigger than life human being.
And now Ancestor. May his homegoing be peaceful and full of music
Have you ever listened to reggae music? Not heard, but really listened to it?….. Reggae music I love, it’s deep, packed with emotions, spiritual, not only revolutionary, evolutionary, daring and unapologetically honest, uplifting and a whole leap more.
Some of the rockers, singers, toasters from the West Indies were true lyrical geniuses and profound spiritual beings, sadly due to a lack of understanding of the roots, rock reggae and rasta movement, it was reduced to enjoyment and the smocking of ganja for many.
Yet, that is only a surface appearance, when one sincerely looks further, one can grasp the real spirit of the music, feel the faith in which it is steeped. Maybe comprehend that these rebels are anarchists of one of a kind, independent thinkers, who managed to escape the rat race that is killing many softly and remain closer to the earth, our planet earth, that is terribly suffering because of our abuse of it and our foolishness.
Many of these believers maintain a vegetarian diet if not purely Ital (natural=plant based). These guys would go into trance swinging to the natural beat of the music and meditate for long hours upon the hills and green valleys. Studied spiritual scriptures and would not comply to unjustly dictated rules of society. They would stay in good company only, with fellows of similar faith or opinions…. the Satsanga.
Freedom is their leitmotiv…… do see where I am getting at? Do you also see the parallels? Not to mention the haircut…..
Peter tosh came up on a playlist tonight I put together a while ago and I just can’t stop being mind blown by one of his verses:
“Everybody want to go to heaven
But nobody want to die, Father of the Jesus
Everybody want to go up to heaven
But none of them, none of them want to die”
Big up Tosh! And food for your thoughts……
Me a gwan to bed, nuff love bredrin and sistrine,
I was getting ready to leave Mysore about two weeks ago, as I told my lovely friend Christina “I can’t wait for a fresh night in my bed under a fluffy duvet”. Mysore was hot!…. and you guys that are there till the end of the season must be boiling by now.
On my way back, I broke the journey and spent a couple of days in Delhi I love. There, it rained! So peculiar for this time of the year, I love the feeling of a storm as you are ready to make a big move, leap over the continents to go elsewhere. It’s been a few years now that every time I have spent a while far away from home and departure is imminent, rain bids me goodbye. Strange… and it keeps on happening!
So here I am happy to be back in cool Switzerland. I am finally in ligne again with my head screwed on. My first week of teaching felt so off, it was like my mind and soul followed only 10 days later. I am so relaxed, grounded and slow……. such a sweet feeling. I walk around the supermarket in a daze wondering what it is that I eat here. It must take me at least an hour to get groceries for 2 days done. I am filled with the goodness that some amazing beings I met on the road shared with me, the outcome of hard ashtanga practices, the teachings of mother India and my beloved teacher. I wish to hold on to this warm sentiment as long as possible.
All is good, spirits are up high but I am so cold! This morning, my first day off since I reached, I got up early but felt like chanting before swinging my usual practice. I lit a few candles and got a little alter together, chanted to the tops of lungs the mantras I affectionate accompanied by the harmonium. Dear next door neighbours, I do apologise for the Sunday racket. I also feel sorry for the nice folks that live below me… I know they party often till the crack of dawn and then I jump around above their heads on old creaky floorboards very early mornings sometimes, for a matless practice…..guys, thanks so much for putting up with me!
Cycling all over the city is a sense freedom I missed, I definitely love this country but I can’t wait for temperatures to rise! Presently, I turn the oven on as I get up because my old single glazing windows don’t retain much heat. Slip on a pair of my numerous wooly socks I collect, that I then show off in class and use to slide from one side of the yoga hall to the other… such a fun activity to be done with no moderation! And this is how I have breakfast, baking the soles of my feet in front of my old cooker with a bowl of nutritious goodness on my lap, slowly chewing to the sound of a mellow record, remembering that crazy happy night with special Mandela, having a party, just the two of us in an empty building of Kovalam with youtube as a DJ, whilst completely omitting that we are getting up at wee hours the next day. See you all next year again?
Soon we will be swinging our practice outside by the river, sun saluting for real, facing a wall of green luxurious nature, YAY! But before that I can’t wait to catch up with my dearest friend Jeanine, I missed the lady, big time. We are meeting up tomorrow and am thrilled to plan our next workshop:
Friday the 8th of April at INSENS
Have a lovely warm Sunday, hopefully beside a chimney and not an old oven….
Guavas are becoming scarce in Mysore “End of season Madam'”, of course said with an Indian accent.
But mangoes are numerous, huge stacks of them throne on fruit stalls. This is the first time I have seen so many before the season….are the locals catering for our ongoing request of having access to all all year round?
I don’t know, however it’s a real pleasure to have the juicy, tasty, buttery and very sticky fruit. Their smell lingers in the air as they sit on our kitchen shelf, inviting you to have one at any time of the day.
So the lad above is highly inspired by the recipe I found on “The Great Uncooking” blog, plenty of mouthwatering ideas ont he lady’s space worth checking out!
The yellow shade of this smoothie doesn’t only come from the tropical fruit but from the turmeric too. Turmeric has a peculiar pungent flavour I really like and blends well with fruit. Before using it for medicinal purposes, it was used as a dye, saffron colour, the shade of the Monks and Holy mens robes of Hindustan. Also, it is used in religious and wedding ceremonies, thus holy.
Yet, it is known in India for its antiseptic properties primarily. I was told once it was put in most dishes because it’s antibacterial qualities, hence the food would be safer if cooked with water originating from a doubtful source.
Turmeric is also known as an anti-inflammatory and is said to help people with arthritis or other ailments related to any kind of swelling or related to the nervous system. I personally start taking it in the spring because it relieves some allergy symptoms related to pollens.
In India one often drinks an “Ojas” enhancing drink made of turmeric…. will get back to you soon to tell about that one……
Not long ago I was telling you how much difficulties I have to “down” bananas, however over the last year, I have been “disguising” them to the best of my culinary abilities in order to absorb their goodness. The following recipe with turmeric did the trick to render bananas nearly anonymous:
- a big mango or 2 depending on size
- some coconut flesh or flakes, 1 table spoon
- coconut milk, 3/4 of a cup
- ground flax seeds, 2 table spoons
- a small handful of alfalfa sprouts
- 1 small banana
- 1 tea spoon of turmeric powder
- some rice syrup or sweetener of you choice if you wish (a drizzle)
- water or coconut water if you desire it runnier
Blend it all together, add ice cubes if you wish it cooler and enjoy the sunny feeling!
Home sweet home for some time in sweet Mysuru. On a quite street of Gokulam, we watch daily life unfold. The fresh herb wallah yells at early times of the morning “Sobah”! Pushing his cart full of green delicacies. The tiny ones mimic the big boys, pretending they play cricket. The old farmer and the elderly cow, both limping on their left leg walk up the street at late hours of the afternoon……
Come on in! Maybe you would like to try some of our cooking? Or have a cup of tea, with freshly made coconut milk?
Post practice, before the sun is too high, we swing and read, sometimes nap because our nights are often very shorts. Not that we go to bed late, we more like rise in the middle of your sleep. And this is how we hang….
The washing! A moment I affectionate, is when my neighbour across the street, a Brahmin more than twice my age smiles at me as we both hang our laundry on a line. Two generations appart, from different side of the earth, yet accomplishing the identical task on an adjacent rooftop.
Ok guys, we got to get out of here…. it’s rubbish day again! Cheerio!
It is Sunday today, the new “day off” for Ashtangis that study with Sharath Jois in Mysore. It used to be Saturdays, yet for understandable family reasons, our teacher switched them over last year. Today was a day I had plenty of time to linger in bed, to read a book before doing anything else, have a never ending brunch with friends…. what a sweet Sunday it has been. It was hard to leave the house and become active though, the heat is becoming hard to bear.
Sharathji told us the other day that summer is starting and I confirm it, except if you are beside a pool, you don’t wish to be under those razor sharp sun rays.
The high temperatures make me sometimes long for the cooler weather of the North at this season. It has been a long time I haven’t been back to Benares I was thinking…. soon I shall return I promised myself. I miss sitting on the Gats, watching life unfold passively over the Ganga, attend Aarti Puja….. Varanasi is probably the holiest city in India as well of one of the oldest inhabited cities of the world. A place of pilgrimage for the dying where one goes with the hope of attaining Moksha.
Out of nostalgia I watched once more the documentary “BEYOND”, featuring photographer Joey L. Set in Varanasi , India. The documentary is by the filmmaker Cale Glendening who follows Joey and his assistant Ryan as they complete their latest photo series – Holy Men.
A short yet authentic interpretation of the fascinating city, about wanderers and holy men who are renouncing the material world for liberation. The images are beautiful, the time Joey and his peers spent amongst the ascetic to further understand the intention of leaving behind any possession or loved ones, has been admirably communicated.
Enjoy and have a sweet Sunday.
Together, these guys rock. All pink and merely sweet, with a little crunch as well as a bit of a chew, because of the lemon guava seeds that are edible….. did you know that guava is a true berry? Till recently had no idea. I read that it is also named “sand-plum” in Central America.
For some reason, I have been noticing the true berry much more this year than the past ones….. Mango was top of my list until lately, but the guava has dethroned the favoured one.
If you love bananas, this information will probably not be as exciting to you as to me, but really not being able to down the monkey’s dearest floury fruit, I was so thrilled to read that a Guava contains nearly as much potassium as a banana! Some of you will appreciate to know that it has a low glycemic index. And it also contains much more vitamin C than an orange. Here are a few more health benefits of the guava according to “The Times of India” , that states that they are dirt cheap…. I guess that is if you live on the sub-continent.
The tropical fragrance of the guava blends perfectly with strawberry and papaya, yet you will still be able to distinguish all three flavours. Guava can be hard to find as a whole fruit depending on where you are, however I am sure that guava juice will work just as well as a replacer.
Toss in the blender!:
- one or two guavas (juice if you can’t find the whole fruit)
- a handful of strawberries
- a big slice of papaya if huge or a half if it could be held in the cupping of your hand
- 2 or 3 pitted dates (less if you are using guava juice)
- the flesh of a semi hard coconut or some dried flakes
- 1 or 2 table spoons of coconut oil
- some liquid (coconut water ideally, plain water or any kind of nut milk)
- 2 table spoons of flaxseeds
- 1 or 2 table spoons of almond butter
Pour into a glass and if you also wish it super crunchy, sprinkle with pomegranate and coconut flakes.
Spoon out with delight.
Love and pink tropics,
Here we go again!
Sweet Mysore, it’s so nice to be back. Connecting with friends, practising with some of the most inspiring ashtangis from all around the world at odd hours of the morning or night.
It’s purely uplifting to be part of this camaraderie. People are so kind and welcoming, though we don’t all speak the same language we seam to communicate more or less easily . We are from all walks of life, all ages, all ethnicities, all sizes with very different physical abilities, yet we have in commun a practice we all do and that is to the extent of our possibilities.
There is something special about sharing this Ashtanga Yoga, wherever you are on the globe, you can just walk into a Shala for a Mysore Style class in New York or Lausanne and it will be just about the same as everywhere. Home wherever you go.
What I love the most about this practice is that it is bonding, that it brakes down the barriers of social classes, ages, styles. I love taking little step back at a breakfast table, observe the different people that have come together here in Mysore for the same love and dedication to Ashtanga. Sometimes I ponder about the curious gathering and if it would happen if there wasn’t the commun denominator, the shared passion….. I can’t help but think that yoga in a broad sens is the most reuniting practice that humankind has ever shared. The quest for freedom and happiness, liberation, has no age, colour or language.
Oh boy….. I am making a mess. And I am loving it!
The little town of Kovalam where I am went out of nice soya milk recently and I felt like “oh no, what am I going to drink before practice for an energy boost?” That’s when my lovely neighbours were just about to leave and told me that I could have there blender. YAY!
This is maybe the kitchen appliance I use the most, over and over again. So here I am, blending profusely, almond milk, smoothies, cashew cream and my new favourite, coconut milk. I just can’t get enough of this rich goodness.
Wanna try some fresh delightful creaminess? Only two ingredients are needed:
- one brown coconut
- some water
The best trick to open the impenetrable nutshell is to throw it on some hard floor (I go the flat concrete roof of our house) and smash it to the ground several times so it isn’t just halved. That makes it easier to extract the coconut’s flesh.
Once the pulp is removed, chop a little and toss into the blender with a little water. Make a past and gradually add water. The more water you add, the lighter the milk.
Sieve and enjoy!
PS, my most relished beverage at the moment is with cacao and some palm sugar, slightly warm morning and evening please. Before practice I add a table spoon of coconut oil for an energy fix…… What’s yours?
Fate this year has sent me to Kovalam and delayed my study time with Sharathji in Mysore… after the initial frustration of not getting what I wished for, for what my heart was truly yearning for (it happened to me last year too)…… I reminded myself that we don’t have control over anything and there must be a good reason for these events to unfold in the way they were. So I browsed the net to figure out where I should go…..
I really wanted to visit Prem and Radha again, however after a few unfortunate events, like spilling a very sweet green juice on my computer that didn’t survive the soak. Three days following the first mishap, the hard drive of my second old portable crashed and simply never turned on again, not to mention the unexpected bills that added to this misfortune…. I had to face the fact that extending my flight tickets to Bali during Xmas time was not reasonable.
Back to Auroville with Monica that I truly liked? Thailand with Petri? I just couldn’t make up my mind. And then came the answer, that one early morning I was practising with my dear friend Giuseppe at Insens. Gius was telling how much he wanted to go to Kovalam to practice Ashtanga Yoga this winter with Lino Miele…. “hey, Lino is teaching in India” I asked?? Though I researched the net in order to figure out which senior ashtanga teacher was on the Sub-Continent, that option didn’t show up for me.
Sometimes frustration can arise when events are not falling into place as one would wish them to, a great amount of patience can be required before one sees the positive outcome and good reasons for life to have taken another course than the one desired. Not being able to attend a course with a teacher can seem a little trivial, however, I do dedicate my work and daily practice to visiting Sharathji in Mysore every winter and it took me some days to accept that my subscription wasn’t accepted for January, thus my time in his presence would be diminished be half at least.
When I look back at some hard times in my short existence, though some were very painful and pretty unpleasant, that what or who was taken away from me felt like a real loss, time has always showed me that it was for the best that life had taken another course. That through hardship I learnt great lessons and that a loss is often not one, but a gift imparted for a certain time, because nothing is permanent.
Meeting whom I am meeting presently on the path I have unexpectedly been set, I can clearly see why I am here in Kovalam. Besides enjoying every bit of the practice with Lino, I am so grateful to be sharing many insightful moments with all the wonderful beings I probably wouldn’t have been acquainted with if not here….and I feel like some of you have already left an imprint in me that has changed me tremendously, again, for the best.
Grateful I am for not having had what I initially wished for, thank you.
Love and more love, always,
“Chillin’ da Indian way” 2014
As I was preparing to leave on a trip recently, a friend sent me a text message in order for me to get in touch with him:
“It’s about something cool to do Jo, call me back!” was just about what the text said.
Of course the enigmatic information peeked my curiosity. Shortly after having received it, I gave him a call to figure out what was the fun topic he had in mind I could be interested in. My friend told me that he was putting together a short movie in which a few well travelled peers would be questioned about one’s motivations, reasons, to hit the road.
“Interesting” I thought, yet at that moment I realised I hadn’t through thorough thought established my own opinion about the sense of my journeys…… my reply to his demand was that I wasn’t adamant that I wanted to partake in the experience. One, because time was very scarce, since shortly heading off to the Indian Sub-continent for a couple of months, but furthermore, because felt uncertain I could significantly contribute to his project.
I put the phone down, in my pocket I mean, and that was it, my mind was going all over the place excited to figure out why I often do this roaming around thing. I know that my heart yearns for the experience of nomadism regularly, yet intellectually I was pretty clueless, except from the feeling of being changed every time I go.
However, two days later following the phone call, I had to decline the invitation because my departure was too imminent. All these tedious tasks one has to do before setting off…… those that make you just wish to be that D day, all packed, sat on the plane, in other words gone.
So why is it that we travel?
To avoid what we think are mundanities of daily life,
To escape societies’ conventions,
To discover other civilisations, unknown lands,
To be on an adventure,
To regain anonymity,
To meet your true self or others,
To regain a sense of freedom,
To run away……
To a certain extent, this can be done staying put…. so why?
“I don’t drive cars, but if I did, I would sit behind this wheel!” SF 2010
Recalling a trip I went on several years ago, leaving with the ambition of going on a world tour solo, which turned out to be more like hop-scotching around the planet in a far form circular itinerary, I suddenly remembered that during that voyage I read a sentence that resonated with me.
At the time I was feeling a little awkward and a somewhat lost, freshly off the boat in this fascinating and exciting, yet unfamiliar to me, city of San Fransisco. To overcome unease, I was trying to establish a routine and discover places that I could enjoy to recreate a sense of home and comfort. Slightly contradictory you could think, or is this just some kind of natural human behaviour in which we could be caught up in as a reaction to a foreign environment?
“Cafe Gratitude” rapidly became one of the places that I appreciated for lunch, their wholesome grain bowls fitted well my meager budget yet fully satisfied my body and soul. Waiting for the comforting dish to be served I would grab one of the books or magasines lying around, that is when I came across this sentence:
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not” Ralph Waldo Emerson
It put a smile on my face and since then, every time I feel challenged, arriving at late hours of the night in a remote land alone or simply facing the unknown in some unfamiliar place, I think of the quote and remember that the perception of the moment is the projection of my awkwardness. I breathe and try to find ease, then all changes. In the darkness I can spot uncanny twinkling lights of a little cafe, feel the coolness and softness of the evening breeze, perceive the enchanting sounds of crickets or of some wild animal instead of letting fear of the unknown over take me…. remembering that what has to be has to be, that we can’t control life as unfolding, helps me also to let go of negative emotional patterns.
“Best passenger seat to me” Africa 2011
Traveling is agreeing with meeting one’s limitations and hopefully to move beyond them. Uncomfort can arise yet transcending the emotion through surrender and acceptance enables us to grow, to be a little freer each time. Though we leave, extract our physical self from what is home, to me travelling is a journey within.
Getting away from daily chores, though reproducing them in another environment, leaving work behind, the support of friends and family or disabling oneself of being in reach of any kind of familiar setting is a way to pinpoint recurrent mental shemas and eventually cease the repetition. Creating space for other thoughts to arise, to step back and witness.
“Some foolishness is mandatory for happiness” Africa 2010
Facing aloness for more or less an extensive time without letting it turn into loneliness is a skill I am still practising presently. So I give myself time to sit and watch that too. I let my mind wonder, my eyes gaze at exotic beauty, enjoy the simplest things and let those sometimes overlooked marvels, like a shadow of a flickering plant in the wind, on an old Indian crumbly wall, will fill my heart with joy.
On the road with plenty of time on my hands, I ponder on personal maters, life and its deeper meanings, relationships in its broad sense, love, attachment and if desires inhibit our freedom… I turn in. I go away, I get out, but look further within. Every journey is a leap of faith into the wild, a step closer to the heart, an attempt to shed pre-conceived ideas who we are, a pathway to finding communion with the soul, grasp that all is one.
“Do I really have to crawl through this dark tunnel to enjoy the view?…” Mexico 2010
There is a metaphor I used recently discussing travelling, specifically about travelling in India, with someone I befriended on the road last year, I compared going to the Sub-continent with going for a spin in a washing machine.
I sometimes feel like a dirty pair of jeans that needs to be freshened up. So I toss myself into the tumbler on the long program. At first I get wet, then soaped up, turned upside down and inside out. A good rinse usually follows and by then, you know that the ringing out phase isn’t far behind, the spinning moment isn’t my favourite, it somehow announces that you are gonna be spat out again, in other words, soon back to base camp.
I am always sad to leave somewhere, yet always happy to arrive… isn’t that daft?
Finally, being hung on the line in the sun to dry is like going home. You are not yet ready to be worn, still humid it is time to digest what you have been through and appreciate the learnt lessons.
“Oooh Yeah!” Mexico 2010
India, turn me upside down, inside out give me a good wash and return me cleaner, lighter, happier, healthier, freer and hopefully little more wiser.
Chalo Pakistan! (Let’s go!) I a common expression amongst travellers here…..
“Don’t forget to take your practice wherever you go”
So long to you all and may this New Year be an auspicious one, may you all grow, be free and healthy, happy.
Joanna and I are beyond grateful to be in satsang – good and virtuous company, a gathering of individuals who inspire, encourage, and reflect your true nature- with you in this lifetime.
Today, January 3rd 2015, as I type these words, my Lady Jo is India. You will soon read from her and the Mysore sunshine will light up your screen.
As we step in the new year, I would love to share words of wisdom from two very inspiring women. The Nobel prize winner, the late Wangari Maathai was a major influence in my teen years. She was know as a protector of the Earth, or as Kenyans affectionately called her Mama Wangari Maathai. She said: « I don’t really know why I care so much. I just have something inside me that tells me that there is a problem, and I have got to do something about it. I think that is what I would call the God in me. All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet. It must be this voice that is telling me to do something, and I am sure it’s the same voice that is speaking to everybody on this planet – at least everybody who seems to be concerned about the fate of the world, the fate of this planet. » – Wangari Maathai
Mama Wangari Maathai planted trees. And you may wonder, what can I do? In his latest book, Mark Bittman was reminding us « Eating fewer animals is the inevitable future. There is not enough land, water, energy, or mineral resources for the earth’s billions to consume animal products at the rate we do, and the knowledge that we as individuals can take such a simple step to affect the fate of the planet is extremely empowering (…) That’s the road we need to be on » It is true. We are that powerful.
As far as books go, Yoga and Vegetarianism: The diet of Enlightenment by Sharon Gannon is the one book that rocked my world. I read it in 2009. Back then, I was an on-and-off unhappy vegetarian. Reading “Yoga and Vegetarianism” was such a relief and a validation from the first words of the book. Sharon Gannon dedicated her book to: « To those who want to be free
To those who do not want to be hurt by others
To those who do not want to be lied to, who want to be listened to
To those who do not want to live in poverty
To those who are sick but want to get well
To those who want to know the purpose of their lives …. »
The teachings in this book have deeply impacted my life and choices; and in the most beautiful way. I am forever grateful to Padmaji, Sharon Gannon – for « yoga and vegetarianism .. » , for her all embracing love and for being a living inspiration.
I hold dear and close to my heart her words: “With great love, everything is possible. Only Love is important, it is the true ground of being”.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Our individual actions (thoughts, words and deeds) matter. May we always remember that.
I wish you Love.
I love Kris Carr (but who doesn’t? ).
If you love green juices and smoothies (as we do), you’ll love her new book! Upon downloading it on my kindle, I’ve immediately tried three recipes.
The cashew chai milk is my son’s new fave, I’m in love with the turmeric milk and the orange dream aka creamsicle was beyond my expectations! Bonus: All the recipes are available online.
Yield: 2 servings
This smoothie pays homage to my favorite ice pop—without the corn syrup and artificial flavors. You’ll be amazed at how well it captures the sweet, refreshing taste we all remember, and unlike the original childhood treat, it’s brimming with vitamin C, potassium, and healthy fats. What’s not to love?
- 1 orange, peeled, pith removed, and cut into quarters
- 1 banana, frozen
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or powder
- 1/8 cup raw cashews
- 1 1/2 cups nondairy milk of choice
1. Wash and prep all ingredients.
2. Blend till smooth and serve.
Yield: 3.5 cups
Turmeric in your milk? Are you cray cray? Yes! Don’t tell the other nut milks, but this recipe is my favorite. Once upon a time, the only thing I knew about turmeric was that it had a brilliant yellow-orange color, which makes it a perfect addition to tofu scrambles. But with the right combination of supporting spices and sweetness, this turmeric twist is out of sight. Plus, it contains incredible anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric milk can be served cold or warmed on the stovetop for an after-dinner treat.
- 3 cups almond milk
- 4 ounces canned coconut milk (full or reduced fat)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder or 1-inch fresh turmeric root, peeled
- 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender till smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Cashew Chai Milk
Yield: 3 3/4 cups
“Get your chai on!” as Oprah would say. This recipe is sweet, spicy, and all-around divine. It’s wonderful blended up with fresh banana and greens, and it also pairs well with tropical fruits. For a creamy evening treat, warm a cup over the stovetop, sprinkle with cinnamon, and sip to your heart’s content.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours, rinsed, and drained
- 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 1/4 cups water
1. In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients till creamy and smooth. Store in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge.
“ There are only three things required to become attractive to the Spirit Guides. First, you must believe in Spirit as an aspect of the Creator. Secondly, you must be able to understand the advice of Spirit. If your Spirit Guide is not a human you may need to be able to understand the touch, smell, gesture, color and sound that other animals communicate with. Finally, you must desire to meet your Spirit Guide very much.” – David Life, Excerpt from the Jivamukti Yoga October Focus of the Month “Spirit guides”
When I first read the October Focus of the Month’s title “Spirit Guides”, I asked myself: How do I even begin talking about these things with the cosmopolitan, western urbanites who attend my weekly classes? In essence, the focus is simple: Spirit Guides can be everything and they are everywhere around us; if sufficiently attentive, we can communicate with them. Still, it is not part of our everyday conversation to discuss sprites, fairies and pixies. So I wondered how I could convey these teachings truthfully, in a way that many people could relate to, and also how this relates to yoga philosophy.
In the Yoga Sutras of Pantajali, Book 3, sutra 17 (PYS 3.17) states: sabdartha pratyayanam itaretaradhyasat sankaras tat pravibhaga samyamat sarva bhuta ruta jnanam
Commentary by Shri Brahmananda Saraswati: In the ordinary state of consciousness, our knowledge comes to us through language, which is a mixture of sound vibration (sabda), meaning vibration (artha) and knowledge, feeling, idea or picture vibration (pratyaya). In our mind, those elements mix with one another. By performing samyama on them separately, comprehension of the sounds made by all living beings arise.
Making sense of sound: sabdartha pratyayanam
Sabdartha is the process of attaching meaning (artha) to a sound (sabda). It is the natural way infants learn language. Before properly talking in a given language, babies talk in sounds. They babble, trying to mimic their parents’ speech. My son was a “late talker”. I spoke to him in French and Kinyarwanda (my mother tongue). He responded in “his language”, which I was the only one to clearly understand for a long time. Sometimes, he spoke really fast, and his father would turn to me, asking “ What did he say?” And I would translate. To me, it was an easy thing to do. I had been responding to my baby’s cues without words for many months. I was trained. This baby talk was only an evolution from the previous stages.
I witnessed something similar in the communication between a dear friend and her dying father. She perfectly understood him and served as his translator. Literally. He was lying in his bed; she would sit really close to him and listen. To us, he was making strange, almost inaudible sounds, only interrupted by silence. My friend would translate those sounds into normal sentences, and when the silence was long enough, she would gently ask “is there anything you want to say?” before kissing his forehead and maintaining casual conversation with guests. Then, all of a sudden, we would see her turn to him; she had this ability to sense when he wanted to talk. Again she would move closer to him. It was beautiful and touching to witness such extraordinary communication and responsiveness. Such quality of communication is a natural consequence of non-verbal attunement between two beings.
Already when a baby emerges from the sea of sounds in the mother’s womb, s/he is attuned to the mother’s voice. Gradually the baby begins to produce sounds and respond to the mother using “meaningful sounds”(sabdartha). When mental images are attached to those meaningful sounds, that’s sabdartha pratyaya, i.e. “mmma” means “mama”, or the person who takes care of me. Within a culture, words have an agreed meaning. Sabdartha pratyaya shapes the way we understand and relate to each other and to the world around us. Most of us can’t believe how much distinction there is between a sound (or a word), its meaning and the image (or feeling) associated to it.
It’s not what you see, but how you see it: Tuning in through samyama
Take for example the word “tree”. The Parc Beaulieu in Geneva is home to two splendid old Lebanon cedar trees. We don’t know their exact age, but a story has it that they were born in England, in their parents’ exile. They arrived as baby seedlings in the City of Geneva in 1735 (when the city was a Republic). In 1800, General Napoleon Bonaparte took up residence in a house next to them. Born refugees, the cedars have changed passports three times over the last three centuries. How many triumphs and tragedies have they witnessed throughout their long life? How much joy and suffering have they seen? How many generations of human beings have those trees seen born, grow up, go about their business, and die? How many people have they sheltered from the fierce summer sun? How many generations of children have played in their cool shade? To how many generations of birds have they provided a home? And how many have alighted on their branches for a rest on their long migratory journeys? If we could understand the language of Lebanon cedars, how much would we be able to learn from them? What stories can these venerable trees tell us about preceding generations who saw them or tended them, so that we are now privileged to contemplate them to this day?
Trees play another equally critical role in the story of our planet’s interconnectedness: they absorb the poisonous carbon dioxide that all living breathing beings exhale, and they turn it back into life-giving oxygen. I am not suggesting that trees exist merely to cater to the needs of human beings and birds. It may well be that they are fulfilling a purpose unknown to me. Just because I can’t communicate with them to find out, that doesn’t mean the possibility doesn’t exist; it means that I failed at it. I say that because of the extraordinary story of the environmentalist Julia Butterfly Hill, who lived for over two years in an ancient redwood tree named Luna. She talked to Luna and Luna spoke to her.
Master Patanjali assures us that it is possible to communicate with any being. Through developing inner hearing, we will be able to clearly perceive the different layers of a sound and receive insight. Samyama is the process of deepening our meditation to the point of complete absorption. It is a continuous stream of mindfulness. In such a state of expanded consciousness, the whole universe becomes like a loving mother with her newborn, or the most caring daughter with her frail father.
Returning to our tree example, our everyday language gives a hint about our current relationship with trees, and through them with Mother Nature. Most of us call a tree “it”. This is actually a question of seeing a tree as a unique being, with a life of its own, rather than reducing it to a mere thing that has value only if we can exploit it for our own benefit.
Apaches say that everything in nature has an equivalent in spirit. In most languages, spirit and breath are synonyms. In sanskrit, there is the word prana, loosely translated as breath, vital spirit or life-force. B.K.S Iyengar defines prana as « the cosmic energy permeating the universe at all levels ». Where there is prana, there is spirit; spirit is everywhere. Around the world, Spirit Guides go by many names: Gods and Goddesses, realized beings (Jesus, Buddha, Krishna), plant masters, trees, the Muses, animal spirits, totems, guardian angels, ancestors, etc. Like Julia Butterfly Hill, we can (re) train our minds to become attuned to our Spirit Guides, to become more receptive and responsive to their messages.
PYS3.17 could transform and invigorate activism. So many places on our planet today are battlefields, crippled by conflicts. Human beings are killing each other for land and resources. Billions of animals are killed for food every year. Trees are chopped down for the expansion of shopping malls. Seeds are patented. People can’t breathe in Shanghai, and they can hardly breathe in Sao Paulo, either. The Holy Ganges is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. In Africa, the drainage systems of big cities like Lagos and Nairobi are clogged by waste and plastic bags, bringing pestilence in their wake. Plastic debris can be found in every ocean and waterway on our planet, even in places uninhabited by humans. Fish eat plastic. Humans eat fish. We are destroying the environment that sustains us, in order to accumulate more and more stuff. In the process, we only make ourselves sicker and more miserable. We are drowning in this increasingly frenetic commodification of life.
We need to see and remember that this same world is a sacred place, one filled with benevolent forces (in the form of an ant, a tree, a bird, a butterfly, a coyote, a wolf, a cow, a whale, the gushing sound of a river, a mountain, an other human being and so on) that can make the most ordinary encounter a magical one. In doing so, we will rekindle a kinship with nature, with other animals and with all the other beings on this small rocky place we call home, with which we perforce must share the same space. Soon, we will realize that we are not alone, that we are boundlessly assisted. As my teacher Sharon Gannon keeps reminding us: « now is the time to become spiritually activated so that we can see what we have known in our hearts all along—that what we do to the world we ultimately do to ourselves » .
A prayer from Ute (a native American tribe) Wisdom
Earth teach me quiet as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility, as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness as dry fields weep with rain.
Recommended additional reading:
- In Geronimo’s Footsteps by Corine Sombrun (if you speak French, check out her TedTalk and other books)
- Kinship with All Life by J. Allen Boone
- The Legacy of Luna by Julia Butterfly Hill
- Natural Grace: Dialogues on Science and Spirituality and The physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm where science and spirit meet by Rupert Fox and Matthew Sheldrake
Jeanine Munyeshuli Barbé
Do you also sometimes get so hungry that you need to have something like really fast to eat?
Maybe you too can get engrossed in some interesting activity and forget to eat altogether. I am pretty good at that and it happened again Sunday afternoon working from home. But hunger hit me so suddenly that food was needed at that precise moment. I wanted it fresh, crunchy yet satisfying and fast!
It happened not quite as quick as a heart beat, but fast enough to hold on without munching on nuts or swallowing a stupid number of rice crackers and it was so good, that I decided to share it. Maybe you have seen many similar to this, very possibly. However, may this inspire some who are in need of a quick healthy fix.
- 2tbl spoons peanut butter
- The juice of a lime
- 4tbl spoons of argan oil
- 1tbl spoon of soy sauce
- 2tbl of maple syrup
- some pepper to taste
- water if a more runny consistency is desired
Start with the peanut butter, add the lime juice and stir in, you can then add all other ingredients as desired but water last.
- a carrot in stripes
- 3-4 leaves of napa cabbage thinly sliced
- 3-4 leaves of romaine lettuce thinly sliced
- as much as desired rice noodles (of the thiner type) cooked and ran under cool water
- smoked tofu sautéed in coconut oil
- half of an avocado in pieces
- A little fresh cilantro
- black and roasted sesame seeds
Combine the carrot, napa cabbage, romaine lettuce, noodles and cilantro. Delicately toss with your hands in a salad bowl. Add on top the tofu, avocado. Pour the dressing over it and sprinkle sesame seads.
My favourite graffiti ever, use to be the one I would see cycling down the river Rhône in Geneva, which read in French:
“Perdre sa vie à la gagner”
It could be translated as:
“Wasting our lives earning it”
I loved the first epilogue of the movie “Human” I just watched, many pertinent truths are spoken and shared, as well as sad stories. You can’t help by being touched by all. Because of how it is put together, simply, plainly, yet in a genius way, can you now see we are all the same, one?
Reading the translation of José Mujica’s words on life and humanity’s enslavement to consumerism, reminded me enjoying to see my favourite graffiti today gone…..
It’s not only our lives we are wasting in the rat race of earning more, it’s also the planet we are destroying slowly, the unprivileged we are currently killing softly.
And maybe you will start thinking how to be a better human being, not so much of a human doing.
I believe life is about becoming a better person, selflessly for the service of all.
Just simply love,
Today July 31st 2015, is a special full moon and Guru Purnima. The Guru stotram, a traditional chant to the guru
Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshvara, Guru Sakshat, Param Brahma, Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha
is one of the many opening prayers in Jivamukti open classes. We all emerged from the darkness of our mother’s womb into the light of life. Yogic teachings honor the mother, as the first guru; guru literally means, dispeller of darkness. As we chant Guru Brahma (the creation principle), we give full appreciation to the fact that because we were born, our birth makes enlightenment possible in this lifetime. We include not only our parents but the shape of our nose, the very bodies they gave us, the place we were born, our culture, all of that made us « suitable candidates for enlightenment ». As we invoke Guru Vishnu (the force of preservation), we acknowledge the entirety of our present situation: who we live with, where we live, our friends, our jobs, our colleagues etc.. At any given moment, enlightenment may unfold. It may be facilitated by the doorman, the lady at the grocery, the beggar at the bus station, our furry friends, any being in fact who is part of what we may be perceiving as an ordinary life. Then we call upon Guru Devo Maheshvara or Shiva (the force of destruction and transformation). It is said that being able to see and fully embrace all the life challenges, illnesses and ultimately our physical death as opportunities for self-realization is a sign of great spiritual maturity. We then invoke the teacher nearby Guru Sakshat (your teacher need not be a saint to provide you with opportunities to become enlightened, pray for the enlightenment of your teacher, strive to never be caught criticizing him or her). Finally we invoke the teacher beyond the beyond, beyond name and form, beyond our limited perception of reality Param Brahma. One by by one, we invoke all the teachers and as my beloved guruma – Sharon Gannon – puts it nicely, we acknowledge that « all of life pulsates with the wisdom teachings of the guru, the enlightenment principle that surrounds and permeates through all of us at all times » and humbly chant: Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha
Tasmai Shri Guruvey Namaha: This means “I offer all my efforts to the teacher.” Without the effort of the student, no teaching can be obtained. I bow; I surrender all of my self to that Self. Not my will, but Thy will be done. We surrender all of our efforts and practice, and the fruits of that practice, at the feet of our Guru. All the gurus named in this chant are teachers always available to awaken you to who you really are—if you’re willing to perceive them as such. This chant asks us to notice the people and situations in our own lives and appreciate them for giving us opportunities for Self-realization. You don’t have to go anywhere or find anyone: it’s all right there in your own life. Appreciating the modern relevance of this ancient Sanskrit chant is what Jivamukti Yoga is all about.
Sharon Gannon and David Life, Excerpted from Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating body and soul
To my mom – who left her body five years ago – and had the lovely habit of writing letters and making impromptu phone calls because « to who else if not to you, darling? » ; To Lady Ruth who first taught me that « God, Guru, Goodness are the same » ;
and to all the great gurus: this world is a beautiful place because of you;
Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha: In infinite gratitude I bow to you.
It is my wish that the auspiciousness, the profound wisdom and the light of today’s celebration – Guru purnima – be with us all everyday. Jeanine * Today is also a blue moon …. be blessed everyone!
Ummm, looks like we kinda disappeared for a few days…….. guess we’re both crazy busy.
I am still fasting, but I do have to confess, I had a couple of times raw zucchini spaghetti with a runny raw sauce. I spent last Sunday afternoon with my friend Delphine going through yummy cook books to help her create menus for a new vegan place that will soon open in town, but shhhh! It’s still a secrete.
Anyway, what was I thinking fasting and creating mouthwatering menus all day… daft! So that resulted in going home and making raw spaghetti to help me deal with the cravings and avoid frustration. But I am ok with it, I didn’t go too far off.
The four weeks are nearly completed and I am ready for other food now. The whole process has been so interesting. I am definitely not hooked on chocolate like I believed, my “English Vegan Milk Tea” I can go without much easily than imagined , though I was apprehending not having it and so on.
Successfully sat at a couple of restaurant tables with friends without dipping my hand into the bread basket or snatching food off their plate whilst their weren’t looking. All that having to deal with the waiter giving me strange looks as I am explaining to him that I am not eating tonight. How to explain… I am experimenting something you do not cater for!
Lately being bored of what I am having, been spooning out peanut butter of jars, almonds nut butter too. As as result, my skin is breaking out. How nice! So I am bored of avocados in my smoothies and OD’eing on home made almond milk, like at least a liter a day. I let you imagine how much time I am spending shelling the nuts…… but Tuesday night I am breaking the fast, YAY!
This pm I opened my fridge to make another runny meal and the guys above got tossed in the blender, after trying the potion I added a few other fellows… please note, no avocado…….:
- 2 handfuls of strawberries
- a big handful of spinach (would have put more in but it’s all I had left)
- a cup of almond milk
- 2 baby bananas
- a date (maybe 2 for more sweetness)
- a big table spoon of almond butter
- a table spoon of coconut oil
- a table spoon of powdered raw sprouted whole grain rice (will tell you about this wonderful lad later)
- ice cubes
Trust me, it is seriously yummy!
Peace, love and no avocados….. no comment either😉
…….on grapes!!!!! Making grape juice is like making syrup, Yummy!!!!
This guys are loaded with antioxidants, Vitamin K, A, C, some B’s, micronutrient minerals like copper, iron and manganese. And it is no effort at all to down it, the juice is so sweet, fruity and refreshing.
My my current daily fix amongst all the other good greenness I am eating goes like this:
- Three cups of grape
- Three big kale leaves
- Plenty of parsley
Toss in your juicer and sip immediately, make plenty of it if you wish to have some through the day, trust me, you will not be able to resist it…..
Sweet, sweet dreams*
Greetings lovely people!
This Tuesday is the beginning of our fourth week of the liquid trip… yes, we are starting to count days. So far it has been fantastic and easier than I imagined, however, after a fortnight of runny food, the desire for eating solids would pop up from time to time. I noticed that I have to keep thirst quenched and avoid real hunger to maintain the mind steady.
Last night I met up with Jeanine to prepare the fall season, YAY! We are excited again for the workshops to come, we miss you guys! But I had to smile, we both started at the almost same time making fattier and fattier mashes to have more to sustain on. We are still practising and teaching yoga daily, pretty demanding tasks…. never less we both feel amazing and are enjoying the experience, so many fruitful observations of our tricky minds…..
I have had plenty of amazing juices or mashes and a couple of not so good tasting bowls (one was pretty awful to be honest)… salad juiced is lovely but blended, turns into a brownish undesirable paste, oh well! I am glad to manage to eat for nutrients and not just pleasure.
These guys above got thrown into the blender the other day for a loveable encounter:
- half of a cucumber
- one zucchini
- a quarter of an avo (or half)
- the juice of a lime
- salt to taste
- plenty of dill
- olive oil
- ice cubes
Wizz up and enjoy!
Stay tuned, for more juicy recipes.
Love, love and more love,
It’s just about as easy as the cooked version! But one has to take the time to soak the chick peas and let them sprout, not too much of a big deal since these guys do it themselves. So I immersed in water for a little more than over a night, one and a half cup of chick peas, that you will then drain, rinse and let them germinate from two to five days.
After that, just though in the bleeder, all together:
- one lemon pealed (or just the juice if you prefer)
- the chick peas
- a red pepper (you can add tomatoes too if you wish)
- 2 tbs of tahina
- as much olive oil as desired
- a little salt
Turn the blender on low and increase the speed, poor in a little water until you attained the desired smoothness.
Love and sprouts!
I hate pesto. Says no one. Ever
Pesto is a staple in my kitchen. Homemade pesto of course ( I’m not bragging on my cooking skills, but that’s one of the many reasons I don’t like dining out ). I have tried dozens of recipes and believe me, the one in Sharon Gannon’s cookbook – Simple recipes for joy – is unbeatable. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s a crowdpleaser.
The problem is that when making nutty creamy things in the vitamix* , it can be a pain in the neck to get everything that is below the blades out the jar… so I just got inspired to pesto-rize my raw green soup.
- Sharon Gannon’s pesto ( don’t lick the blender jar !)
- Raw broccoli (if not frozen, add some ice cubes)
- 1/2 cucumber
- jalapeño, por favor ( for a delicious, hot/cold effect )
Serve this green beauty in a beautiful china cup.
Lightly sprinkle with pink salt and pepper.
Say a food blessing* then enjoy prasad** (blessed food)
Peace, love and everyday prasad
* Don’t be mislead, I love my Vitamix blender … I don’t remember what life looks like before it.
**As I cook and before eating I often silently repeat mantras. And when I am with fellow yogis, we chant out loud to bless the food, joining hands then sprinkling the blessings with our hands. Literally, it is a shower of mantra and the sweetest thing ever.
To concoct a raw sweet soup, in the blender toss:
- a cup of soaked cashew nuts
- half of a cucumber
- one big beetroot
- as much dill as you like
- some olive oil
- a pinch of salt (pepper if you wish)
- water if desired
- plenty of love
- a drizzle of argan oil on top as serving for extra savour
As Jeanine posted previously, beets are special….. but did you know beets contain carbohydrates? Protein and powerful antioxidants? Just to name a few……. not much can beat the beet, though it beets the heat!
Love and beetroots forever,
According to Dr Gabriel Cousens : “Beets are another special food. Not only are they known as a liver and blood detoxifier, but they protect the nervous system and also help to treat anemia. The beet juice is particularly high in a specific anthocyan which is active against cancer and leukemia” – excerpt from “Conscious Eating” I make sure to add beetroot to my salads and when fast juicing one of my morning juices* is this sexy-beety nectar. You will need: beetroot, cucumber, spinach, celery, apple, lime, coriander and LOVE *more greens than fruit (at least 2/3, especially cucumber); add a touch of fresh turmeric or ginger if you need an extra kick . I was flying during my morning practice today ! And by the way, kindness is very beaucoup mucho sexy …. Peace, love & sexy juices y’all
i was cutting a pineapple the other day and no idea what I really wanted… So I asked out loud to my son and his friends “what do you guys want me to do with this pineapple?” and they shouted “ICE CREAM”
Then I improvised this recipe:
- 200gr of frozen berries (mix berries)
- 3 big pineapple slices
- 3 tablespoons of coconut sugar
- 4 basil leaves
One of the boys exclaimed “It’s a kiss” … SO BE IT*
Peace, love and kisses
*Teenagers are incredible muses!
Greetings sweet ones,
I don’t know were you all are, but here it’s a scorcher….. More than 96 degrees in the shade! The highest temperatures since many many years in Switzerland. This liquid and raw diet couldn’t be more welcome, we started fasting the day the heat wave hit us, fortunate we are.
So we are throwing ice cubes in all the mashed food we are making. Just about a week on the fast, I am realising that I am often imagining how to replicate the dishes I like but in a raw liquid manner.
Above is what happened with the thought on my mind, the outcome is already a classic for me.
So simple, yet so delicious. It’s kind of when apple puree meets halva with a twist. Try it!
- One big Idared Apple
- 2 flat peaches
- 1 Nectarine
- 2 big table spoons of tahina
- a couple of ice cubes
- a little water to blend
- optional, raw sugar
Sweet love and more,
Of course ice-cream IS liquid (Mind your karmas if you’re laughing!!!)
And CoConut Hullabaloo* is not the newborn in the Wills-Moore family but just the best organic, soya free, made without refined sugar and vegan ice cream on Earth.
Try her sister “Feisty Rollercoastery Ginger” and
fall rise in love!
jeanine (totally coconutS)
4 ingredients: Water, Agave Syrup, Coconut, Cashew Nuts
Hello beautiful people,
This morning, Joanna and I, bumped into each other at the Farmer’s market in Rive.
At that precise moment, I had a
quintessential question funny question to ask her (but shh…. let’s keep it for another day). She gave the MOST brilliant answer ever (I love my Lady Jo!!)
Back home, this was my lunch…
- mesclun salad
- sun-dried tomatoes
- ice, water
- greener grass (thank you Kate Magic for introducing me to this fabulous superfood)
- salt & pepper (optional)
Not optional : love and fairy dust!
Peace, love and lots of water!
Jivamukti and July highlights of course😉 Beloved yoginis , yogis and friends, My first jivamukti yoga teacher and my adored mentor, the one and only Lady Ruth is back to Switzerland. Her presence and teachings are precious. I would go to the extra mile to sit at her holy feet. Lady Ruth will be teaching many workshops in Bern and Zurich
- Zurich: Friday, July 10th, 18-21H / Saturday, July 11th, 8.30-11H – More details and registration with Angela Croce http://www.yogaforlife.ch/Workshops/ladyruth.php
- Bern: Sunday, July 19th, 10-13H / Monday, July 20th, 18-21H . More details and registration http://dayayoga.ch/workshops/
I will attend the Saturday one in Zurich and the Sunday one in Bern (places are limited in both studios) Together with Céline and Yogeswari, Lady Ruth will co-teach a Jivamukti Yoga Immersion™ and Retreat in Gstaad, from July 11-18. For more details http://yogeswari.org/immersions.html Last but not least, next Wednesday, July 8th, our beloved Yogeswari will teach a basic and a Jivamukti open class at Dayayoga ( yes, yes, she’s on the schedule). I can’t miss that one too. We are truly spoiled.
Can this July be more perfect?
Peace, Love and more Yoga!
Jeanine and I and are going on a trip, a fully liquid one! You got it, for a month, we will be eating only runny stuff, smoothies or juices.
Now why would we do that?
Not long ago, my birthday was around the corner and was listening to the recording of “An Offering of Leaves” of lady Ruth, I was triggered by what she said about birthdays:
“The way you celebrate, sets the tone for the year to come”
Huh! That made me think what I could wish for…… Happiness, Freedom, Health is all I desire. Not much later I watched the funny and amazing journey of Joe Cross, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. I thought,” well, if these guys who feed on junk, a lot, and are pretty big can do it…. I can do it!”. That was enough to give me the will to try something out I have always been procrastinating, a fast.
We are not sick, nowhere near to overweight and we actually eat really well. We sometimes give in to gluten, some sugar and rarely processed food. We’re kicking it ALL out! Both we believe that being on an alkalising diet can only do you good, boost your energy level and immune system, cleanse.
But because we really like to chew….. we decided to add smoothies.
HERE WE GO! Our aim is to experiment with food we love in a liquid form, no particular rules are set, but somehow implicit they are, raw, runny, organic…… anytime, how much we want, thicker or more fluid. Hopefully we will make the time to share with you our journey of “Juices and Smoothies” very regularly from our mutual kitchens!
This guy is who I had as an afternoon snack, very similar to the one I made a lot this winter in India
- Half of an avocado
- 2 dried figues soaked
- 1 tb spoon of chia seeds soaked
- 2 tb spoon dried coconut soaked
- 2 very big handfuls of spinach
- 1 small handful of fresh basil
- 1 small handful of fresh coriander (cilantro for you guys in the other side of the pond)
- plenty of almond milk
To your blenders and juicers!
Whoever said « no coffee, no prana » never tried this
Throw all the ingredients in your blender. You may add ice and more lucuma to make a frappucino. More cacao if you feel like you need more. Or make your almond milk thicker (less water) if you want it creamier. It’s a delicious raw, nutrient dense and very energizing drink! Forget about cappuccino and coffee!
Try it and let me know.
Peace, love and prana !
We are doing BOTH*
Today I received two kilos of fresh organic ginger from our dear friend Delphine ,so I juiced it. If you have an Angel juicer, it will only take you 15 minutes to juice that much ginger (makes for more or less 1.5L). More ginger recipes to come…
Then I had
dinner a green smoothie or a salad to drink : 1 cucumber, 1/avocado, a handful of baby spinach and arugula, lemon juice, a teaspoon on white miso, a pinch of cayenne pepper. Delish!
Peace, love and green everything!
* Bear with us, Joanna will reveal the whole jucing/smoothing story soon…
Summer’s in the blender!
Do you also go bananas for berries? Oh boy, when it’s the season, I have as many strawberries as I can, not to mention cherries….. I remember swiss back yards with cherry trees, loaded with the sweet fruit. We would spend afternoons on ladders just eating them off the branches. Our lips would turn purple in no time and our clothes get tinted the with dark shades from the delicate berry, traces of our summer pastime…. heaven to me.
So this is maybe my favourite smoothie, a cacao twist with red berries as ruling flavour. So easy:
- 4 to 5 handfuls of your favourite berries
- a table spoon of raw cacao
- a table spoon of chia seeds
- 2 to 3 table spoons of coconut flakes
- 3 dates
- half of an avocado
- a cup or more of nut milk (I like rice or almond milk)
- soaking water (to add in the blender)
Soak the coconut, chia seeds, dates (if not medjool), with water for at least 15 minutes. I get up in the morning and let them steep a little longer whilst in the shower. Just toss all ingredients together in the blender whizz up and enjoy!
Love, berries and sunshine to you*
Words fails me to express how I feel…
Davidji once said « If you believe in coincidence, then you aren’t paying attention ». And I could quote him again and again; and of course, that’s not the point. It is not about his words but his very presence, his realness and above everything his immense, loving and tender heart.
A few years ago in New-York, as I went to say my goodbyes, I met his eyes filled with tears. He said « already leaving? how I wished we could stay with all of you forever ». Then he cracked a joke. My heart skipped many beats.
And a week after, the doctor looking at my knee MRI’s said « there must be a mistake … » Miracles that even non-believers can witness. And the year after, as I was saying my goodbyes, Davidji went « Nothing to fix? boooring » we laughed. His eyes were the same. Pure unconditional love. All embracing.
During the Wild Woodstock Ashram summer classes, every day there is one hour dedicated to Q&A. Students can ask the teachers any question, about anything : gardening, cooking, art, asana, music, meditation, astronomy, money, relationships, divorce, war, vegetarianism … anything. These moments are unique, precious and indescribable. I always leave Davidji overwhelmed with gratefulness and praying that we could have many more years in his presence. In sanskrit they say « Guru kripa » . The grace-filled ways of the Master. He cuts right through you. Your intellect is challenged but your resistances melt. You surrender. You experience things that you can’t even imagine even existed. It is beyond intellect and it is not blind-faith. You fall in love again and again…. You awaken to the goodness of your own soul. And you begin to see « it » in others too.
We are very fortunate to have found a spiritual practice and teachers we trust. We are blessed beyond belief to have Davidji – a humble living master- in our lives, to be part of the Jivamukti yoga lineage.
« Our true power is the power of friendliness, the power of kindness, the power of One, the power of Love » – David Life
It is all Divine Grace,
What do you eat for lunch? I like to go home for mine. In this small city of Geneva, I very often had the chance of making it back to my place for my break, what ever the job I had. If ever the distance was too great, I took my packed lunch. I believe home made food is very important for your vitality and overall health.
Teaching 3 to 5 yoga classes a day ( I once tried to do 6 because of a hiccup and was just completely useless the next morning), sustaining only on what I prepare, helps me maintain a good energy level to get through my long days and swing my demanding practice consistently. Lately I cut out dinner, my body is demanding less as my daily practice is becoming more refined. It feels like I am feeding more on energy than on material food. Mmmm, interesting for a constantly hungry thin lady…… I must admit I didn’t see that one coming.
However, I still like my big afternoon fix. It nearly always consists in a large salad summer or winter, I will maybe add a warm soup as the weather gets cooler though. My generous bowl is loaded with an abundance of local seasonal goodness. I enjoy them so much I decided to start sharing a few with you.
This marvellous summer day was enhanced with a Mediterranean flavour:
- Green leafy salad
- a handful of grape tomatoes
- 4-5 asparagus shredded with a mandolin (best to have one with a ceramic blade)
- a big cup of cooked pink lentils
- half of an avocado
- sprouted pumpkin seeds
- plenty of freshly chopped basil leaves
Dressing is also a key to enjoying your greens. To me, a rich one to compensate for eating a lot of raw nutrients, Vata being my predominant dosha, is important.
- plenty of olive oil
- some amazing sunflower oil (the one below is the only one I like so far)
- “balsamic apple vinegar”
- A little kelpamar (an organic liquid version of Cenovis, the Swiss version of Marmite or Vegimite)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Swtizerland does have some fantastic products, I am proud of the fact that we emphasise on quality and not quantity. These two guys here below, are really what make this simple dressing so scrumptious. I have never been big on sunflower oil, that said, the one from the sustainable collective “Affaire TourneRêve” is just THE best! This gem of an oil can be purchased at “Les Mangeurs” in les Pâquis or on the farmer’s market. Ask for it….
And this vinegar, we all know of Balsamic Vinegar, but have you ever tasted Apple Balsamic Vinegar???? It is so perfectly sweet and not too acid. This one is from Germany, but it can be found at Alna, the organic store in the centre. Let me know if you try it!
Love, greens and sweet dreams.
Friday Night, no bar, no booze, just a bummer!
Naturally drunk, high on prana.
Friday 12th of June at 21:30 rue des Bains 61
Meet the cook
Here’s what’s cooking:
A funky green salad
Seasonal vegetables tarted up with chestnut flour
Sweet potatoes falafelled
Asparagus, brocolis as well as miso tofu “dans son bol”
Minted green peas hummus
Whole grain rice under a bed of roasted nuts
With happy, dancing hearts!
When you practice seriously daily, you diet becomes more and more refined with time. And the more the diet is refined, the more sensitive you become to refined food, ha!
The Sugar binge does you no favour, the gluten fix make you feel heavy. The alcohol, well, I let you imagine trying to practice early mornings with that still in your system, meat, no need to even think about that. And dairy, that is no help for me either. Forget all the processed crap too.
Basically, if you wish to keep up your daily sadhana, you will naturally be inclined to adopt a clean diet. Lot of greens, legumes and cereal. Nuts, fruits, cold pressed oils and all as organic as possible.
But occasionally, when you’re craving something, it’s good to give in. Frustrations do not serve either. Of course as long as your cravings don’t rule you! Better to keep away from what you are addicted too, until you can enjoy it for what it is.
Though eating gluten makes me feel foggy and heavy the next day, well I will still have it from time to time.
Sometimes you just need a little pasta!…… Here’s my favourite gluten fix “A la Jo” I wanted to share with you:
Whole wheat italian pasta cooked “al dente”
Steamed asparagus for some greens
For the sauce:
- Home made cashew cream
- A good pinch of Safran pistils
- A drizzle of truffle flavoured olive oil
- The zest of a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Some rice or soya milk to keep it runny
In a pan, slowly warm the cashew cream and first add the safran. Then toss in the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Keep pouring the rice or soya milk in little by little to maintain the moist and last minute add your drizzle of oil. DO NOT BOIL!
Layer all the ingredients on a plate, if you’re an olive oil junkie, add some on top and “Bon appétit“!
Sweet dreams and no dinner!
By samyama on the relationship between body and ether comes lightness like cotton to the body, and the body attains levitation in space.
PYS 3:43 translation by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati
Our experience of the world is a place filled with all kinds of solid bodies bumping into each other, especially if you take public transportation in any large city in the world today! We are absolutely sure that these other bodies are solid and that they are colliding with our solid body. Another thing that we are pretty sure about is that we are heavy and that the weight of the body will pull us down to the Earth. We worry about falling and dying not about floating away. We are crushed by the weight of it all and we worry about the day when our world will come crashing down around us. Serious things are spoken of as “heavy,” while frivolous things are “lightweight.” Since childhood we have been instructed to fight against gravity, first to stand, then to walk, and so on. Gravity has become our enemy, the seeming cause of one solid thing crashing into another. As many of us age various parts of the body give up the fight against gravity and sag earthward. Our spines round forward as the heaviness of life implodes the heart and lungs.
Well, here is the good news: All these solid bodies crashing into each other really are just an idea that we project onto the world around us. We see it happening because we believe that it happens. Our body and the other bodies that we encounter seem to be solid. We think of that solid person as our self, while we view empty space (actually the main component of the body) as not self. We identify ourselves as solid objects with certain characteristics like shape, color and weight. When we identify with the shape, color and weight of our body we become subject to limitations of strength, flexibility and stamina.
To maintain solidity both body and mind can become inflexible, ignorant, and intolerant. We identify with heaviness and solidity, rather than with lightness and subtlety. Actually, if you squeezed all the humans into one solid lump, with no space, that lump would be the size of a sugar cube – we are mostly empty. On a daily practical level we experience solid bodies moving in empty space, but a better description of what is going on is – emptiness within emptiness.
Many of us experience gravity as a mysterious attractant force that reaches out of the Earth and pulls us toward it. Einstein proposed that gravity is actually the curvature in the space/time continuum caused by the presence of a heavy body like the Earth. For him, it was more like sliding down a rabbit hole, than falling through empty space! Some quantum physicists speculate that gravity may be the universal force that moves through all possible various other dimensions of existence. Perhaps, during a yoga practice where we dance various shapes through gravity, we are actually sending messages to other dimensions as ripples of text in the field of gravity.
Do not mistake gravity for electromagnetism – the real key to understanding levitation. It’s all about the electrons. Each atom that makes up the molecules of your body has a shell of electrons that have a negative charge. When the negative electrons encounter other atoms’ electrons they repel each other, just like two negative poles of magnets. This electromagnetic force is strong enough to resist gravitational pull. The electrons of the atoms on the bottoms of your feet repel the atoms of the floor beneath them. You believe that you are walking on the floor, but actually you are floating slightly above the surface! The electron shell can also be missing electrons, and will share electrons with adjacent atoms – that keeps us attached to things, and holds molecules together.
Bodhi rupam bodhi-sattvam, bodhi-gamyam anamayam.
Param-satyam param-shantam, param-brahma parat-param.
It is the form and essence of intelligence and it is experienced through intuition. It is pure simple and transcendental. It is ultimate reality, ultimate truth and ultimate tranquility; which is called Brahman. It is smaller than the nucleus and greater than the greatest. How can something be smaller than the smallest, and larger than the largest – at the same time? The answer is simple – It is empty.
The atoms that comprise all the molecules that form your body are 99.999999999999…% empty. If you enlarge an atom to the size of a large football stadium the nucleus would compare to the size of an orange on the field while the electrons would be distributed throughout the stadium seating. All the rest is empty space – with the lightness of a fluff of cotton.
June 2015 — David Life