Sweet Potato and Brown Rice Patties - Art of Living Retreat Center

Grounding Nourishment: Sweet Potato & Brown Rice Patties

By Diana Bellofatto
January 21, 2019

Sweet Potato and Brown Rice Patties - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

This is the time of year where we dig our heels in and stay grounded, or allow the winter winds and cold air to pull us up, up, and away!

 

If you are ready to dig your heels in, then this is the recipe for you. The warm, moist, heavier qualities of sweet potato, brown rice, nuts, and spices are great for grounding and nourishing us in the midst of the freezing February weather.

 

As their name suggests, sweet potatoes are sweet in nature, with the ability to pacify winter’s vata (cold, light, dry, rough) tendencies. They are a good source of fiber and offer the benefits of beta carotene and vitamin A. As a root vegetable, they are grounding and their sweetness pairs nicely with the toasted nuts, grains, and spices in this recipe.

 

Loaded with protein and fiber, nuts and brown rice are also acidic in nature. Their acidic nature serves to heat the body and keep us warm in winter. In this case, acidity is beneficial!

These unctuous patties are sure to please.

 

Sweet Potato & Brown Rice Patties

  • 1 large sweet potato, baked, peeled, and mashed
  • 1 cup brown rice, soaked overnight in water, drained, and rinsed
  • About 3 tbsp ghee for sautéing vegetables, and then sautéing or baking the patties
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 large or 2 small stalks of celery, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground fennel
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp mineral salt
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped toasted pecans or hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (you may need to add more as you go, depending on how the food cooperates in binding)
 

Directions

1. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the ghee, and add the ginger, carrot, and celery. Sauté until soft.

2. Stir in the cumin, coriander, fennel, cardamom, and mineral salt.

3. Add the vegetable broth, bring it to a boil, and then stir in the rice.

4. Simmer on low to medium heat until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is soft.

5. Remove the rice from the stove, and add the nuts, parsley, turmeric, and arrowroot powder, and stir.

6. Add the sweet potato and combine well. You may need to add water as you go to get the desired consistency to form the patties.

7. Form the patties and bake on a baking pan coated with some ghee, or sauté with ghee in a skillet.

 

Makes about 8 patties.


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , organic food , Recipes , vata , winter
Agni Aid Spice Mix - the Art of Living Retreat Center

Agni Aid Spice Mix for Igniting Your Digestive Fire

By Diana Bellofatto
January 1, 2019

Agni Aid Spice Mix - the Art of Living Retreat Center

The importance of agni

Agni is of paramount importance to maintaining a healthy body, mind, and spirit. When you think of digestion, do you only think of food as being something that is digested? Did you know that we also digest what we see, hear, smell, and touch?

 

Well balanced agni is important so that we can assimilate all of the information that comes in through the tanmatras (the 5 sense perceptions of sight, sound, smell, touch, taste) and have proper discernment. Having proper discernment allows us to have the ability to make healthy choices and decisions in life.

 

Start the new year off with these wise words and an agni supportive spice mix:

 

The agni which digests food (jathara agni) is regarded as the master of all agnis because increase and decrease of other agnis depend on the digestive fire. Hence one should maintain it carefully by taking properly the wholesome food and drinks, because on its maintenance depends the maintenance of lifespan and strength.

CHARAKA SAMHITA

 

But what avail the largest gifts of Heaven,

When drooping health and spirits go amiss?

How tasteless then whatever can be given!

Health is the vital principle of bliss.

JAMES THOMSON

 

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.

HIPPOCRATES

 

Heaven is largely a matter of digestion, and is mostly a matter of mind.

ELBERT HUBBARD, A THOUSAND AND ONE EPIGRAMS

 

Increase of ojas (one’s life sap that is strong when agni is healthy) makes for contentment, nourishment of the body and increase of strength.

ASHTANGA HRIDAYA

 

Agni Aid Spice Mix

  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp ground fennel
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp mineral salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sweetener, such as unbleached cane sugar, date sugar, or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp ground long pepper (pippali) or ground black pepper
 

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and then transfer to a spice jar.

 

You can add Agni Aid into your food as you cook, or sprinkle it over food that has already been cooked. You can even carry it with you to a restaurant, and take a teaspoon of it with warm water before a meal to aid in digestion!


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: agni , Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , diet , digestion , food , organic food , winter
Bala Balls - the Art of Living Retreat Center

Bala Balls: A Source of Raw Energy

By Diana Bellofatto
December 1, 2018

Bala Balls - the Art of Living Retreat Center

Enjoy a dynamic December!

For many of us, December is an extremely busy time of year. Holiday parties, shopping for gifts, decorating, baking, participating in extra activities with children, and meeting year-end deadlines at work are some of things that take up more of our time.

 

While much of what we experience at this time of year is very fulfilling and happy, the holidays can also be a time when some of us experience sadness and depression. When the sentiments of the season cause us to miss loved ones that have passed on or we lament the loss of love in a relationship, feelings of loneliness can come creeping in.

 

Whether it’s stress or eustress, imbalances created during this time of year have the ability to overwhelm us and leave us feeling depleted and anxious. Tendencies to allow our dinacharyas (daily routines) to fall by the wayside as we strive to keep up with activities, are one of the main reasons why we become imbalanced during a time when we need to feel fortified most!

 

Taking the time to stay properly nourished can be difficult but if we remember to honor our highest good and remain present with even the simplest rituals, we can enjoy the benefits of being balanced!

 

Loaded with protein, fiber, digestive spices, and healthy fat, these balls are sure to support your need for nourishment on the go and can also serve as a delicious treat at this festive time of year.

 

Because none of the ingredients in this recipe are cooked, it can be made ahead of time and kept for days in the fridge, while still retaining prana (life force). Enjoy the bala (strength) derived from these balls with a cup of ginger tea, chai, or hot cider.

 

Bala Balls

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats, soaked overnight, rinsed, and then dehydrated in a dehydrator or on a baking sheet in a very low-temperature oven (no higher than 150 degrees), about 4 hours, or until crunchy
  • 2 tbsp chia seed
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 1 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (can be toasted)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pea protein, or another protein powder of your choice (optional)
  • pinch of mineral salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter or a nut butter of your choice
  • 2/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/4-1/2 cup coconut oil
 

Directions

1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. 

2. In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients together.

3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix well, and refrigerate for a few hours.

4. Roll into balls

Serve at room temperature.

 

NOTE: If your mixture is dry and doesn’t ball up, add some room temperature water to improve the binding consistency.


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Ayurvedic Recipes , december , diet , energy balls , energy bites , food , healthy eating , healthy recipes , nutrition , winter
Ayurveda Yam Recipe

Staying Rooted with Comfort Food: Yams Two Ways

By Diana Bellofatto
November 28, 2018

Ayurveda Yam Recipe

Stay warm and grounded

If there’s one thing that can bring us back to a fond memory or comforting feeling, it’s an aroma. Of the five tanmatras (senses-hearing, touch, sight, taste, smell) of Ayurveda, the sense of smell corresponds to the earth element and nose. So it stands to reason that root vegetables, such as yams, are a food that feed our need for feeling comforted, warm, and grounded; not to mention that they smell great when they are being cooked.

 

If ever you are feeling bloated or gassy, nervous, or have anxiety, dry skin, or constipation, these are some signs of vata (space & air) vitiation, meaning that an abundance of space and air have over-accumulated and taken up residence in you. In winter, it’s easy to become vata vitiated because winter is the vata season, with its cold, light, and dry qualities. These qualities provoke an excess of vata in the body and mind.

 

Yams to the rescue! With their warm, sweet, unctuous, soothing juiciness, yams are a vital vegetable for vata balancing. They are easy on digestion, and possess vitamin A, C, potassium, and beta carotene, acting to increase lymphatic circulation. Yams are a warm hug on a cold winter day.

 

Baked yam & Brussels sprouts

  • 1 large yam, cubed
  • 1 cup chiffonade of Brussels sprounds
  • Grind together cumin, coriander, fennel, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and mineral salt
  • Melted Ghee
 

Directions

1. Place cubed yam and Brussels sprouts in an oven-safe baking dish.

2. Drizzle ghee over yam and Brussels sprouts, stir to coat.

3. Sprinkle spice blend over yam and Brussels sprouts, stir again.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until both yam and Brussels sprouts are soft and fork-tender.

Serves 2. 

 

Baked yam with tofu & tahini sauce

  • 1 large yam, cubed
  • 1 cup or more cubed tofu, patted dry*
  • About 1 tablespoon melted ghee
  • 1 tablespoon each fresh chopped ginger and garlic
  • 1/3 cup or more chopped scallion
  • Mineral salt to taste

*Not a fan of tofu? Substitute with a cup of cooked grains of your choice, and stir in after yam is cooked.

 

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or agave syrup

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, and heat until warm. 

 

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in an oven safe baking dish, except ghee.

2. Drizzle ghee over ingredients, stir to coat.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and top with warm tahini sauce.

Serves 2. 

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , diet , food , weight-loss , winter , Yams
Ayurveda Farro Bowl

Farro, Mushroom, & Walnut Bowl

By Diana Bellofatto
October 24, 2018

Ayurveda Farro Bowl

Featuring farro for winter warmth

As we head into winter (Vata season), the elements of air and space become more abundant. Vata’s qualities are cold, light, dry, rough, mobile, and erratic. Applying the opposite qualities offers support for staying in balance throughout the winter season. Therefore, you may find yourself in need of heavier, more warming, and grounding foods.

 

If meat is not on your menu, “old world” or “ancient” grains, such as farro, are a good staple to have in your pantry. Farro is known for its high fiber, zinc, B vitamins, iron, and impressive amount of protein.

 

Soaking grains before cooking them is always important to re-hydrate the grain from its dry state. This reduces gas/bloating and improves the nutritional bio-availability by removing anti-nutrients that inhibit optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

 

In Ayurveda, there are three qualities (Sattva, Rajas, Tamas) known as the gunas. The tamasic quality tends toward inertia, darkness, and heaviness. Mushrooms possess tamasic qualities because they grow in the dark, with an inward and downward flow of energy. Medicinally speaking, mushrooms stimulate immunity, are nervine and grounding to alleviate anxiety and promote sound sleep, as well as bolster bone/joint health. This is a huge bonus at a time of year where many of us may suffer from insomnia, aching bones/joints, and colds or flus. “Boning” up on these foods now will help thwart imbalances later on in the season as we insulate and arm ourselves just prior to the height of winter.

 

The walnut takes credit for being known to build stamina. Shaped like a brain, it is also a tonic for the brain and ojas (think strength, immunity, life sap) enhancer. With a slightly bitter taste and crunchiness, it pairs well with farro and mushrooms for a nicely varied flavor and texture profile.

 

Farro, mushroom, & walnut bowl

  • 1 cup farro, soaked for 8 hours and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups thinly sliced cremini or button mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • Himalayan pink salt & black pepper to taste
  • Ghee for sautéing
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
 

Directions

1. In a medium-sized pot, sauté the onions until translucent.

2. Add the mushrooms and sauté until their water evaporates and they become more firm and slightly brown.

3. Add the farro, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

4. Turn down to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes with the lid on, until the water has evaporated.

5. Remove from heat, transfer to serving bowl, and garnish with walnuts.

Serves 4. 

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , diet , farro , gourmet food , organic food , Recipes , weight-loss
Thyme Ayurveda Bowl

Shallot, Fennel, Thyme & Quinoa Bowl

By Diana Bellofatto
September 26, 2018

Thyme Ayurveda Bowl

“Thyme” for the seasons to shift

Eating seasonally is very important, and there are still plenty of delicious herbs and vegetables coming in fresh at this time of year. Take advantage of the deliciousness before “thyme” runs out, and the selection of herbs and vegetables diminish in winter.

 

A pungent herb, thyme is beneficial to pacify overabundant vata (space & air) and kapha (water & earth) qualities that can result in intestinal distress symptoms such as gas, bloating, or nausea. Thyme can increase pitta (fire) qualities due to its heating nature. So, if it is very warm where you live or you are experiencing a pitta imbalance, use it more sparingly or substitute fresh cilantro for it. Thyme is wonderfully aromatic and infuses this dish with a flavor that pays compliments to its culinary counterparts.

 

The shallot belongs to the allium family. It imparts a more refined, yet onion like flavor. Shallots are grounding, so they balance out the stimulating effect of thyme. Cooking shallots diffuses their heating nature and increases their sweetness.

 

You may know fennel as the vegetable with a mild licorice flavor. Sautéing or braising fennel softens the licorice flavor and brings out its sweetness. Fennel acts an amazing agni (digestive fire) enhancer without increasing heat in the body. It is diaphoretic and diuretic, so it can flush excess heat and fluid from the body. This comes in handy post-summer. Fennel is also known to help increase mental and visual clarity.

 

We tend to lump quinoa in with grains, but it is actually a seed. There are many varieties of quinoa, with the white, red, and black varieties being the most popular. You can often find all three mixed together, which reminds me of the three constitutional types of Ayurveda (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). Quinoa offers a protein punch and is tri-doshic (beneficial for Vata, Pitta, Kapha). If you tend to lean toward vata imbalances, be more generous with the amount of ghee you use in this recipe.

 

Shallot, fennel, thyme, & quinoa bowl

  • 1 cup quinoa, soaked in water overnight and rinsed
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced (reverse the wisp-like dark green fronds for garnish!)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • Ghee for sautéing
  • Pink Himalayan salt & white pepper to taste
  • Generous handful of freshly-chopped cilantro leaves
 

Directions

1. In a medium-sized pot, sauté the shallots in ghee for a few minutes, until clear or slightly browned.

2. Add the fennel and sauté until soft.

3. Add the carrot, quinoa, salt, pepper, and about 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and cover.

4. Cook about 15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.

5. Remove from heat, transfer to serving dish, and garnish with cilantro and fennel fronds.

Serves 4. 

 

Interested in incorporating vibrant, delicious Ayurvedic cooking into your health and wellness goals? Check out the Ayurveda Culinary Retreat, hosted by renowned Ayurvedic chef Nalini Mehta at the Art of Living Retreat Center from November 2-4, 2018!


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , cleanse , diet , food , healthy lifestyle , recipe , weight-loss
Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

Beet Apple Celery Kale (BACK) Salad

By Diana Bellofatto
August 29, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

Wow, some of us have experienced an intensely hot summer this year! The Ayurvedic way tells us to cleanse at the end of summer to rid ourselves of excess heat, and this salad is perfect for doing just that.

 

Excess heat can cause dryness in the body. In turn, the body responds by creating reactive mucous in order to lubricate itself. Mucous breeds bacteria that makes us sick. This response to dryness is one of the classic fall scenarios that lead to sinus infections, intense allergies, and more.

 

Beets contain B vitamins, calcium, iron, and have amazing antioxidants, too. The liver tends to harbor heat, and beets provide super support for the liver in its ability to release heat and function well.

 

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away…” How true it is! Apples have an affinity for scraping the body of ama (toxins) and heat with their pitta (fire) pacifying, astringent, and cooling qualities. Autumn’s apples are an ally for sure!

 

Celery stimulates the sweat glands to release heat, and reminds the lymph to move. It simultaneously scrapes mucous from the digestive tract as it aids in digestion and detoxification.

Another pitta-friendly pal, kale’s bitter quality cools as its fibrous nature aids in maintaining intestinal integrity.

 

This simple salad is a powerful panacea for fending off fall and winter woes and enabling you to take “BACK” your balance.

 

Beet, Apple, Celery, and Kale (BACK) Salad

  • 1 head kale, chopped (if you take this recipe further into fall, you can omit the kale)
  • 2 beets, grated
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped (the sweeter the apple, the more cooling it is. Try Gala, Honeycrisp, or Golden Delicious!)
  • Lemon or lime juice, to taste
  • Flax oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cilantro leaves, or about 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground fennel
  • pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt (go easy on salt, as it tends to be heating!)
 

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Mix well with flax oil and citrus juice.
Eat this salad at midday for optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Serves 4. 

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

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TAGS: apple , autumn , Ayurvedic Recipes , beet , celery , cooling , kale , pitta pacifying

Radiant Child Yoga with Shakta Khalsa Copy

By Shakta Khalsa
August 11, 2018

 

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Shakta Khalsa, founder and director of Radiant Child® Yoga, and dive deeper into how she started her program and what to expect from it. She will be joining us for a retreat November 7- 11 to share her internationally-known training program for teaching yoga to children, and interacting with children consciously. There are currently around 25,000 Yoga Alliance approved Radiant Child Yoga teachers worldwide. Shakta is an ERYT-500 and IKYTA certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and is considered the “godmother” of the children’s yoga movement. She is a leading expert on children and yoga, having worked with both since the mid-1970s.

My journey began more than forty years ago when I got involved in Kundalini Yoga and the Kundalini community. Members lived in spiritual communities, or ashrams, and their children lived and practiced yoga alongside them. I learned quickly that I not only really loved spending time and working with the children, but I also really seemed to have a talent for it. Making up songs and animal yoga poses to share with the young ones came very naturally to me. So, that’s where I got my start teaching yoga to children back in the 70s. I’ve been teaching yoga to adults for over 40 years as well.

I worked individually with children at the start of my career before becoming a Montessori teacher. By the 1980s I had my own school in Baltimore, so I was able to do yoga everyday with the students. The benefits of meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques were apparent. And I’m talking about preschoolers aged three to six. My assistant didn’t practice or study yoga, but she would beg me to do yoga with the kids because she could see what a difference it made for them.

In the 1990s I moved to Virginia and became a mother, so I stopped running the Montessori school. I continued my work by teaching at various schools and daycare centers, and within a short time I was teaching five hundred children a week.

Follow The Child

Simply put, children are impacted by yoga, breath, and meditation in much the same way as adults. They are more relaxed, focused, happier, and feel better about themselves.
Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori schools, based her teachings around the motto “follow the child”. When teaching yoga to children (or teens, because I teach a wide range of ages), we observe them to see how much energy they have on a day to day basis and tailor the practice around that. If their energy is high, we match it to help bring them back to a more calm and focused state . If they seem like they need a lift, then we use the yoga practice to provide that.

The root of the motto “follow the child” is really about honoring their needs. In my program, Radiant Child Yoga, we always honor the children. We see them as big souls in little bodies. We don’t just see them as cutesy little kids; we see who’s really there. But of course, we still make it fun for them. We recognize their playfulness but at the same time we make sure to see them as fellow human beings. Children often aren’t used to adults relating to them from that space. Let’s say I’m visiting a school or after-school program to teach a yoga class. Now, the teachers are doing the best they can, and they are with them all day long, so I don’t want to cast judgement. But sometimes whoever is in charge will say things to me like “Watch out for that one and call me if he doesn’t behave. You can just send him back to me.” Immediately they’ve projected a negative image about this child. I don’t want to have an expectation about this child.

I want to meet them as they are. And I’ll always point out what they’re doing well in order to help them shift their self-perspective to a positive one. If authority figures have a negative image of them, it can show quite easily and lead to low self-esteem. When this happens, they think they have to act out more just to get attention because nobody’s giving them any attention for all the things they are doing well. So I give them that, and it really helps. Spending many years working with children means I really understand them. I know how to help them live to their potential.

Little Masters

I was the direct student of Kundalini master Yogi Bhajan during his lifetime. He would always talk about the beautiful, natural radiance of children. This is where I got the name and the mission for my program. We want to help children to stay radiant, healthy, wise, and in touch with their intuition. I started this program because I saw that children are in touch with their own inner guidance, wisdom, and joy, and I wanted to help them to maintain that. Often something happens in their lives that dulls that bright light, that radiance. I do find that children have an easier time accessing that state of original joy and connection to who they are than adults do. In this way I was so motivated and inspired by children, and I wanted to help them maintain their natural abilities and their natural connections to who they are. That’s really how this program began. To me, they’re little masters, especially the young ones. They’re so amazing, so innocent, so connected to who they are. But as life goes by, as it does for us all, children take on many things that aren’t true to who they are. They can become over-socialized, but yoga keeps them in touch with their inner light.

Diving Deeper into Radiant Child Yoga Teacher Training

When participants leave they have all the basic tools they need to teach children all the way from babies to teenagers. We also make sure to include teaching children with sensory integration issues like ADHD and autism. This is all done in the span of a 30 hour training. Another valuable component is the materials. I’ve written a number of books so there is plenty of information to take home, which also includes a manual, CDs and DVDs, and arts and crafts workbooks. We work with these materials during the program so you lean how to make the most of them..
Our teaching includes how to set up a class for different ages, how to use songs in a class, and how to incorporate yoga games. We introduce techniques which may be out of the ordinary, like games and songs, because they help you capture young imaginations and connect with the children. Before you know it you’re having fun, and you’re learning, too. You’re learning how to get in touch with your playful, spontaneous side. We also cover all the elements of yoga very thoroughly. It’s very balanced between teaching concepts behind yoga and letting the children have fun; for example, we add breathing practices to everything we do because I’ve found that’s one of the best ways to keep centered and avoid losing the students’ focus during transitions. It can also be very calming, which is so helpful in a classroom setting.

Children have so much pure energy. I love to be around it; it’s truly inspiring. It can be a challenge, and you have to be on your toes. But in the Radiant Child training you will learn how to be on your toes and still be relaxed. It’s not about having a lesson plan and just checking off steps. You have to exhibit the inner quality of yoga, and part of the program is showing people how to do that. So, if you remember you are the yoga, your energy will emanate from you quite beautifully. A crucial part of Radiant Child Yoga is our self-awareness as adults. That’s where our own practices of yoga and meditation come in. We start our day with a Kundalini practice for adults so that we all connect with our energy, and then we can go on to learn and teach from that place of connection. By tapping into our own inner guidance, we can teach children to do the same.

Upcoming Family Programs

I'm sorry. There are no programs that match your selection available on these dates. You could select different options and search again or give us a call at (800) 392-6870. We would be happy to help you find a great program.


TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , cilantro , cooling , diet , Recipes , summer

Radiant Child Yoga with Shakta Khalsa

By Shakta Khalsa
July 28, 2018

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Shakta Khalsa, founder and director of Radiant Child® Yoga, and dive deeper into how she started her program and what to expect from it. She will be joining us for a retreat November 7- 11 to share her internationally-known training program for teaching yoga to children, and interacting with children consciously. There are currently around 25,000 Yoga Alliance approved Radiant Child Yoga teachers worldwide. Shakta is an ERYT-500 and IKYTA certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and is considered the “godmother” of the children’s yoga movement. She is a leading expert on children and yoga, having worked with both since the mid-1970s.

 

My journey began more than forty years ago when I got involved in Kundalini Yoga and the Kundalini community. Members lived in spiritual communities, or ashrams, and their children lived and practiced yoga alongside them. I learned quickly that I not only really loved spending time and working with the children, but I also had a talent for it. Making up songs and animal yoga poses to share with the young ones came very naturally to me. That’s where I took my first steps teaching yoga to children back in the 70s, and I’ve been teaching yoga to adults for over 40 years as well.

 

I worked individually with children at the start of my career before becoming a Montessori teacher. By the 1980s I had my own school in Baltimore, so I was able to do yoga every day with the students. The benefits of meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques were apparent. And I’m talking about preschoolers aged three to six. My assistant didn’t practice or study yoga, but she would beg me to do yoga with the kids because she could see what a difference it made for them. 

In the 1990s I moved to Virginia and became a mother – so I stopped running the Montessori school. I continued my work by teaching at various schools and daycare centers, and within a short time I was teaching five hundred children a week.

 

Follow The Child

Simply put, children are impacted by yoga, breath, and meditation in much the same way as adults. They are more relaxed, focused, happier, and feel better about themselves.
Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori schools, based her teachings around the motto “follow the child”. When teaching yoga to children (or teens, because I teach a wide range of ages), we observe them to see how much energy they have on a day to day basis and tailor the practice around that. If their energy is high, we match it to help bring them back to a more calm and focused state . If they seem like they need a lift, then we use the yoga practice to provide that.
The root of the motto “follow the child” is really about honoring their needs. In my program, Radiant Child Yoga, we always honor the children. We see them as big souls in little bodies. We don’t just see them as cutesy little kids; we see who’s really there. But of course, we still make it fun for them. We recognize their playfulness but at the same time we make sure to see them as fellow human beings. Children often aren’t used to adults relating to them from that space.

Let’s say I’m visiting a school or after-school program to teach a yoga class. Now, the teachers are doing the best they can, and they are with them all day long, so I don’t want to cast judgement. But sometimes whoever is in charge will say things to me like “Watch out for that one and call me if he doesn’t behave. You can just send him back to me.” Immediately they’ve projected a negative image about this child. I don’t want to have an expectation about this child. I want to meet them as they are.
And I’ll always point out what they’re doing well in order to help them shift their self-perspective to a positive one. If authority figures have a negative image of them, it can show quite easily and lead to low self-esteem. When this happens, they think they have to act out more just to get attention because nobody’s giving them any attention for all the things they are doing well. So I give them that, and it really helps. Spending many years working with children means I really understand them. I know how to help them live to their potential.

 

 

Little Masters

I was the direct student of Kundalini master Yogi Bhajan during his lifetime. He would always talk about the beautiful, natural radiance of children. This is where I got the name and the mission for my program. We want to help children to stay radiant, healthy, wise, and in touch with their intuition. I started this program because I saw that children are in touch with their own inner guidance, wisdom, and joy, and I wanted to help them to maintain that.
Often something happens in their lives that dulls that bright light, that radiance. I do find that children have an easier time accessing that state of original joy and connection to who they are than adults do. In this way I was so motivated and inspired by children, and I wanted to help them maintain their natural abilities and their natural connections to who they are. That’s really how this program began. To me, they’re little masters, especially the young ones. They’re so amazing, so innocent, so connected to who they are. But as life goes by, as it does for us all, children take on many things that aren’t true to who they are. They can become over-socialized, but yoga keeps them in touch with their inner light.

 

Diving Deeper into Radiant Child Yoga Teacher Training

When participants leave they have all the basic tools they need to teach children all the way from babies to teenagers. We also make sure to include teaching children with sensory integration issues like ADHD and autism. This is all done in the span of a 30 hour training. Another valuable component is the materials. I’ve written a number of books so there is plenty of information to take home, which also includes a manual, CDs and DVDs, and arts and crafts workbooks. We work with these materials during the program so you lean how to make the most of them..

 

Our teaching includes how to set up a class for different ages, how to use songs in a class, and how to incorporate yoga games. We introduce techniques which may be out of the ordinary, like games and songs, because they help you capture young imaginations and connect with the children. Before you know it you’re having fun, and you’re learning, too. You’re learning how to get in touch with your playful, spontaneous side.

 

We also cover all the elements of yoga very thoroughly. It’s very balanced between teaching concepts behind yoga and letting the children have fun; for example, we add breathing practices to everything we do because I’ve found that’s one of the best ways to keep centered and avoid losing the students’ focus during transitions. It can also be very calming, which is so helpful in a classroom setting. 

 

Children have so much pure energy. I love to be around it; it’s truly inspiring. It can be a challenge, and you have to be on your toes. But in the Radiant Child training you will learn how to be on your toes and still be relaxed. It’s not about having a lesson plan and just checking off steps. You have to exhibit the inner quality of yoga, and part of the program is showing people how to do that. So, if you remember you are the yoga, your energy will emanate from you quite beautifully. 

 

A crucial part of Radiant Child Yoga is our self-awareness as adults. That’s where our own practices of yoga and meditation come in. We start our day with a Kundalini practice for adults so that we all connect with our energy, and then we can go on to learn and teach from that place of connection. By tapping into our own inner guidance, we can teach children to do the same.

 

Learn more about Shakta’s upcoming program, Radiant Child Yoga Training.

 

 

 

Shakta Khalsa, ERYT-500 and IKYTA certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, is a leading expert on children and yoga, having worked with both since the mid-1970s. She is a parent, Montessori educator, and a yoga professional recognized by Yoga Journal magazine as one of the top five Kundalini Yoga teachers in the world. Shakta has authored several books: Fly Like a Butterfly: Yoga for Children, The Five Fingered Family, Kundalini Yoga, Keep It Simple Series (KISS) Guide to Yoga, Yoga for Women, and her latest book, The Yoga Way to Radiance: How to Follow your Inner Guidance and Nurture Children to do the Same. She has produced several albums and DVDs, with her Yoga in Motion DVD winning the Mom’s Choice Award.

 

Shakta is the Founder and Director of Radiant Child® Yoga, an internationally-known training program for teaching children yoga and working with/raising children consciously. Radiant Child Yoga offers two Yoga Alliance approved teacher training schools; 95-hour and 200-hour. Through Radiant Child Yoga, Shakta has trained over 10,000 students, and has trained several RCY trainers, bringing the total of trained RCY teachers to around 25,000 worldwide. In the children’s yoga community, Shakta is considered the “godmother” of the children’s yoga movement. She lives in Sterling VA.

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , cilantro , cooling , diet , Recipes , summer

California Creamed Kale and Chickpeas

By Dr. Joel Fuhrman
July 20, 2018

 

Serves: 4

Category: Main Dishes – Vegan
Author: www.drfuhrman.com
For an easy and delicious entrée, combine sautéed kale, onions and chickpeas with a creamy garlic cashew sauce.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup unsweetened soy, almond or hemp milk
1 clove garlic
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added or low sodium chickpeas, drained
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place cashews, non-dairy milk and garlic in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Heat 2-3 tablespoons water in a large skillet or dutch oven and water saute the onion and carrots for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the chickpeas. Gradually add the kale and saute until kale starts to wilt, adding additional water as needed to prevent sticking. Cover and cook until kale is tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in cashew sauce and crushed red pepper. Cook, uncovered for 2-3 minutes until heated through.

 

Calories 335; Protein 16 g; Carbohydrates 46 g; Total Fat 11.6 g; Saturated Fat 1.8 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 70 mg; Fiber 11.2 g; Beta-Carotene 5838 ug; Vitamin C 49 mg; Calcium 203 mg; Iron 5.3 mg; Folate 210 ug; Magnesium 130 mg; Zinc 3.2 mg; Selenium 8 ug

 

 

 


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TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , cilantro , cooling , diet , Recipes , summer

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