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!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

 
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!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

 
TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , cleanse , diet , food , healthy lifestyle , recipe , weight-loss
The Best 10 Minute Kale Salad

The Best 10-Minute Kale Salad

By Amie Valpone
September 4, 2018

The Best 10 Minute Kale Salad

 

This is one of the best kale salads I’ve ever made and that says a lot because I’ve made hundreds of kale salads. This raw kale salad is not only quick to toss together but it’s simple, can be whipped up in 10 minutes and uses a few basic ingredients. You can serve this vegan kale salad with apples, cranberries or any other fruit you’d like if you can’t find fresh figs.

 

Kale Salad:

  • 1 head dinosaur (flat) kale, finely chopped and stems removed
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, extra-virgin
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 head Swiss chard, finely chopped and stems removed
  • 1 medium purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 large fresh figs, halved
  • 2 tbsp. walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
 

Tahini Dressing:

  • 4 tbsp. tahini, well-stirred
  • 6 tbsp. warm water
  • 1 tsp. chickpea miso paste, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • chili powder, pinch
 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Kale Salad: 

  1. Massage the kale in a large mixing bowl using your hands with the lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt, to taste. Massage for two minutes, or until the kale is very tender and dark green.
  2. Add the Swiss chard, cabbage, figs, walnuts, mint, and lemon zest. Set aside.

Tahini Dressing: 

  1. In a small mixing bowl, mix together all the dressing ingredients until it forms your desired dressing consistency.
  2. Add more water or lemon juice, if needed. Drizzle this dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Discover the missing pieces keeping you from optimal health, weight, and happiness at my upcoming retreat at the Art of Living Retreat Center, The Whole Body Transformation. This retreat is designed for anyone who wants to transform their life beyond medical care. The entire retreat will be a very safe space for women to open up and heal the deeper issues that are going on inside their bodies that medicine does not address.

 

This article is excerpted from TheHealthyApple.com, and is used with permission from the author.

 

Amie Valpone, HHC, AAP is a chef, nutritionist, and the author of the best-selling cookbook Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation & Reset Your Body. She is the founder of TheHealthyApple.com, where she discusses how she healed herself after 10 years of chronic illness from lyme disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism.

 

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

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Amie Valpone , art of living retreat center , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic food , cooking , Detox , diet , food , kale salad , Recipes
Mountain views expand your time at the spiritual retreat center.

Wellness, Naturally: The Magic of Panchakarma

By Kim Rossi
August 23, 2018

The Art of Living Retreat Center’s Panchakarma cleanses are magical, and it’s such an honor to be a part of that process. We heal people from all over the country who are seeking greater health, whether they’re already fit or at the beginning of their journey.

 

Panchakarma: the basics

We haven’t watered down the program to make it more comfortable. It’s much different than the average Westerner’s daily routine. Being out of this comfort zone creates incredible mental, physical, emotional, and energetic growth.

 

Throughout the cleanse, you’re supervised by an Ayurvedic doctor, who helps you determine what’s out of balance in your body. You might already know what’s keeping you unbalanced, or you might be completely surprised.  Either way, these daily check-ins monitor your progress and help us tweak the program to fit you best as the days go by.

 

During the Panchakarma cleanse, we eat an Ayurvedic diet to heal and nourish. There are incredible authentic Ayurveda treatments at the spa: Abhyanga, Shirodhara, Nasya, Marma. We do a very balancing yoga and meditation practice. My favourite part is that every day we hold a knowledge session hosted by an expert. Every day you’re learning practical tools of Ayurveda and how to integrate them into your life. You bring these experiences back into your life, and continue to improve your health and well-being and raise your vitality.

 

The benefits of Panchakarma

It’s so amazing to be with each person when they start this journey, and to see them daily in the process, and watch their results come to life. They always far exceed my wildest expectations of what people can get out of Panchakarma. Physically, they feel lighter and cleaner. They’re eliminating better. Their mind is clear, clean, focused, and balanced. They experience weight loss, pain relief, and more energy.

 

This program not only relieves physical imbalance, but mental imbalance as well. Our emotional health is deeply connected to our physical wellness. When we don’t have ideal digestion, there’s no way the mind can be calm. If we’re experiencing constipation or bloating, it can extend to anxiety, insomnia, and even depression. If we have acid reflux, that disrupts our sleep, and if our physical bodies are not functioning well, we might feel agitated, irritated, frustrated, and overly self-critical. We might feel lethargic, dull, slow.

 

Panchakarma’s emotional connection

Panchakarma helps with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and a lack of connection. During the cleansing process, emotions come up that no longer serve our highest best self.  We give you the support you need to dissolve those emotions and leave them behind. Ayurveda has known for 5,000 years that our digestion is intimately related to our state of mind, and that’s why it’s so important to eat a pacifying diet and cleanse at least once a year.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurveda, schedule a call with one of our Ayurveda ambassadors to talk about what your wellness goals are and how Ayurveda and Panchakarma fit into your journey. We can’t wait to speak with you!

 

We are honored to hold space for you to begin your journey to health, happiness, and balance with Ayurveda. The Art of Living Retreat center offers personalized consultations, retreats, and treatments – check out our catalog or call 800-392-6870 to find the right program for you.

 

Kimberly Rossi, director of Shankara Ayurveda Spa, has been studying, practicing, and teaching Yoga, Meditation, and Ayurveda classes and workshops for seventeen years. Kim is a Kripalu Ayurveda Counselor. A certified yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner, Kim believes these paths assist us in being the very best version of our self.

     

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

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , cleanse , diet , Panchakarma , retreat , spa

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
Cleansing with Ayurveda - the Art of Living Retreat Center

Wellness, Naturally: Cleansing with Ayurveda

By Kim Rossi
July 30, 2018

Cleansing with Ayurveda - the Art of Living Retreat Center

I first dipped my toes into Ayurveda as an extension of my yoga and meditation practice. I was looking for a complete experience of vitality, optimal health and well-being, and lots of energy. My first intention was to go into Ayurveda School for my own personal vitality, but as it turns out, I fell in love with sharing it with others, too.

 

Building a strong container

With Ayurveda, we have this container around us, or as I like to call it, our capacity. Without a strong container, the ways in which we take care of our health–exercise, meditation, yoga, and a healthy diet–just flow in for a bit of a boost and then flow right back out again, without much long-term benefit.

 

Without a strong container, we can do everything right and still find ourselves off-balance. We can rise with the sun, go for a walk, drink our lemon water, scrape our tongues, have a meditation session and perform asanas, but can get in our car and encounter traffic and still become completely disrupted and aggravated.

 

What Ayurveda does is strengthen our container. It extends our capacity, our radiance, and our potential, so that external factors don’t hit us as hard. Of course, we’ll always encounter inconveniences, but in the long run, they won’t throw you off and ruin the rest of your day.

 

Beginning your journey

Ayurveda is incredibly simple, and unlike so many other systems of health, it doesn’t demand perfection from you. You can incorporate Ayurvedic principles and practices four out of seven days of the week. We don’t want to be feverish and do everything every day! That’s not sustainable. Incorporating Ayurveda is as simple as finding a few practices that really resonate with you, and then building upon it as you continue your journey.

 

The basics of Ayurveda

The essential first step of Ayurveda is finding your dosha, or constitution, and beginning to incorporate the recommended diet habits associated with that dosha. Our diet is the foundation of our Prana, or our life force energy, and so much of imbalance, disease, and physical and mental unwellness stems from poor digestion. Start with three meals a day.Fine tune and tweak these meals to be more pacifying to your dosha, and you’re already off to a great start.

 

The second step I’d recommend is looking at your sleep habits. Make your bedroom a sanctuary–no computers, TVs, or cell phones; a comfortable mattress; curtains that close and create a nice dark room. Get a good night’s sleep and rise with the sun, and you’ll have more energy throughout the day. Just by incorporating these two basic things, you’re practicing Ayurveda.

 

Ayurvedic cleanses

Ayurveda recommends a seasonal cleanse every spring and fall, because wisdom dictates that it takes six months for disease to accumulate. During winter, we store toxins in our fat. When it starts to warm up, these toxins are released. That’s why so many people are more vulnerable to sickness in the springtime! A spring cleanse flushes these toxins out and bolsters our health. In the summer, we accumulate heat in the blood, which can also manifest in disease. We dispel that heat when autumn moves in, and a fall cleanse can help support your body in that process.

 

Each cleanse eliminates these toxins in a very gentle, nurturing, and highly effective way. We’re resetting our digestive fire, which is thrown out of balance from stress and a low-quality diet. Cleansing also gives you an opportunity to reset your relationship with food in your habits and behaviours. It’s gentle, nurturing, and nourishing to mind, body, and soul.

 

Ayurveda and weight loss

I do a lot of Ayurvedic consultations with predominantly women, and one of the major focuses for this group seems to be finding and maintaining an ideal weight. The media goes wild promoting the latest weight-loss fads, but many of these fads are counterproductive to our digestive system. Extreme diets actually diminish the digestive system’s capability to support and maintain an ideal weight. While we may lose weight quickly in the present, we’re destroying our body’s ability to maintain a long-term healthy weight.

 

Weight loss is actually pretty simple. We bring our weight into balance by eating the right foods at the right times and in the right quantities, and by doing the right amount of exercise.

 

There are, of course, some constitutions where eating lightly serves you, and other constitutions where a gentle diet of kichiri once a week to reset the digestive system is satisfying and nurturing. But that’s the wonderful thing about Ayurveda–your ideal health is always dependant on your individual needs and constitution.

 

Rewire your relationship to food

Ayurveda resets your relationship with food. Most of us deal with a lot of stress, and we tend to deal with it in two different ways. Either we skip meals and have no interest in eating, or we overeat out of a desire for comfort and groundedness.

 

Both of these cases are detrimental to the digestive fire. Ayurveda helps you learn how to manage stress and your relationship with food, to rewire it so that you perceive food for what it is: nourishment.

 

We are honored to hold space for you to begin your journey to health, happiness, and balance with Ayurveda. The Art of Living Retreat center offers personalized consultations, retreats, and treatments – check out our catalog or call 800-392-6870 to find the right program for you.

 

Kimberly Rossi, director of Shankara Ayurveda Spa, has been studying, practicing, and teaching Yoga, Meditation, and Ayurveda classes and workshops for seventeen years. Kim is a Kripalu Ayurveda Counselor. A certified yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner, Kim believes these paths assist us in being the very best version of our self.

 

 

 


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

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , Cleansing , diet , doshas , mindfulness , organic food , Panchakarma , weight-loss

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.

 

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

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

 

 

 


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

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , cilantro , cooling , diet , Recipes , summer
Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

Satisfying Cilantro Summer Sauce 2

By Diana Bellofatto
July 10, 2018

Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

The hot time of year is upon us once again! Eating seasonally and staying cool will guide us toward lots of greens and veggies. This sauce makes the perfect partner to accompany your culinary creativity.

For the most part, nuts are heating, but almonds that have the skin removed are not. The skin of the almond is a tough substance to digest, and contains some anti-nutrients that are best removed. What remains is a protein-rich, ojas (think immune boosting & strengthening) enhancing, satisfying food.

In the world of Ayurveda, cilantro is known for it’s cooling effects and ability to cloy toxins from the body. It has an affinity for the skin and can even be made into a paste and applied to skin eruptions from rashes due to allergic reactions from poison ivy and the like.

Lime helps to impart the salty taste without creating excess heat, so you won’t have to add much salt to this sauce.

You can whip this sauce up in just a few minutes in a blender or food processor. Enjoy!

Fresh cilantro and almond sauce

If your agni (digestive fire) is up to the task of digesting raw veggies, this sauce can double as a dip for crudités or as salad dressing. Otherwise, it dresses cooked vegetables and grains very nicely.

  • 1/2 cup almonds, soaked over night in a bowl and peeled
  • About 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/4-1/2 cup lime juice
  • About 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt & black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Place soaked and peeled almonds in a blender with ½ c. water, lime juice, olive oil, pepper and salt. Puree.
2. Add cilantro (leaves & stems) and blend well.
3. Add more/less water and/or oil for desired consistency.
Store in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Makes about one cup.

Upcoming Health and Ayurveda 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
Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

Satisfying Cilantro Summer Sauce

By Diana Bellofatto
June 29, 2018

Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

The hot time of year is upon us once again! Eating seasonally and staying cool will guide us toward lots of greens and veggies. This sauce makes the perfect partner to accompany your culinary creativity.

 

For the most part, nuts are heating, but almonds that have the skin removed are not. The skin of the almond is a tough substance to digest, and contains some anti-nutrients that are best removed. What remains is a protein-rich, ojas (think immune boosting & strengthening) enhancing, satisfying food.

 

In the world of Ayurveda, cilantro is known for it’s cooling effects and ability to cloy toxins from the body. It has an affinity for the skin and can even be made into a paste and applied to skin eruptions from rashes due to allergic reactions from poison ivy and the like.

 

Lime helps to impart the salty taste without creating excess heat, so you won’t have to add much salt to this sauce.

You can whip this sauce up in just a few minutes in a blender or food processor. Enjoy!

 

Fresh cilantro and almond sauce

If your agni (digestive fire) is up to the task of digesting raw veggies, this sauce can double as a dip for crudités or as salad dressing. Otherwise, it dresses cooked vegetables and grains very nicely.

 

  • 1/2 cup almonds, soaked over night in a bowl and peeled
  • About 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/4-1/2 cup lime juice
  • About 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt & black pepper to taste

 

Directions

1. Place soaked and peeled almonds in a blender with ½ c. water, lime juice, olive oil, pepper and salt. Puree.
2. Add cilantro (leaves & stems) and blend well.
3. Add more/less water and/or oil for desired consistency.
Store in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Makes about one cup.

 


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

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

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

Learn more about our 2018 retreats and offerings!

Catalogs

Stay in touch