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

Nov 07-11
Family & Relationships Featured Presenters Yoga & Teacher Trainings

Radiant Child Yoga Training

Shakta Khalsa

Sharing Yoga & Mindfulness with Children

Learn More
Feb 15-17
Family & Relationships Featured Presenters

‘Make it Work’ – Couples Retreat

Tony Gaskins Jr.

The science behind a healthy relationship

Learn More
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.

 

Upcoming Family Programs

Nov 07-11
Family & Relationships Featured Presenters Yoga & Teacher Trainings

Radiant Child Yoga Training

Shakta Khalsa

Sharing Yoga & Mindfulness with Children

Learn More
Feb 15-17
Family & Relationships Featured Presenters

‘Make it Work’ – Couples Retreat

Tony Gaskins Jr.

The science behind a healthy relationship

Learn More
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

Sep 28-30
Health & Ayurveda

Raw Food Bonanza

Poornima Sharma

Discover the nourishing power of whole foods

Learn More
Oct 05-07
Health & Ayurveda

Vibrant Health with Ayurveda

Kim Rossi

Discover the ancient healing science of Ayurveda and its practical application

Learn More
Oct 12-14
Health & Ayurveda Self Discovery

The Whole Body Transformation

Amie Valpone

Discover the Missing Pieces Keeping You from Optimal Health, Weight and Happiness

Learn More
Oct 13-21
Health & Ayurveda

Panchakarma Cleanse: October

Panchakarma: the Ancient Wellspring of Modern Wellness

Learn More
Oct 26-28
Health & Ayurveda

Ayurveda Awareness & Spinal Care

Medha Garud

Balance yourself from within with yoga for spinal care and optimal health.

Learn More
Nov 02-04
Health & Ayurveda

Ayurveda Culinary Retreat

Nalini Mehta

Unlocking Health with Ayurvedic Cooking

Learn More
Nov 04-09
Health & Ayurveda Yoga & Teacher Trainings

Living Light Weight Loss Retreat

Ayurveda Spa Team

Be light. Feel light. Shine Bright.

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Nov 10-18
Health & Ayurveda

Panchakarma Cleanse: November

Panchakarma: the Ancient Wellspring of Modern Wellness

Learn More
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
Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

Stay Cool with these Summer Ayurveda Tips

By Diana Bellofatto
June 20, 2018

Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

Like the changing tides of the ocean, the practice of Ayurveda encourages us to go with the ebbs and flows of the seasons. Ayurvedic wisdom has recommendations to help us maintain balance of body, mind, and spirit. These measures can be very simple but have profound results.

 

Reaching an imbalanced state from an over abundance of heat can make manifest a host of uncomfortable side effects. In summer you may feel irritable, judgmental, argumentative, have dry skin or skin eruptions, and experience diarrhea. These discomforts can be ameliorated or avoided altogether with these summer Ayurveda tips!

 

Avoid sun

Avoid being out in the midday sun. If you go outside to exercise, try to do it in the early morning or evening. Bathing by the light of the moon instead of the sun is preferred and wear sunglasses even if you are only going out for a few minutes.

 

Wear the right colors

Colors effect our moods and body temperature. If someone says something that makes us angry we might say, “That made me see red!”. The color red stimulates and can incite, thereby increasing heat so, steer toward cooling colors in your summer wardrobe with whites and pastels.

 

Massage yourself with cooling oil

When overheated, we sweat and can experience dry skin. Massaging the body with coconut oil can cool and moisturize. Coconut oil also has the ability to kill odor causing bacteria. Always choose high quality, unrefined, organic oils. “Keep your cool” by massaging your scalp and feet with bhringaraj oil at bedtime.

 

Know your dosha

Those of us with a predominance of fire element (pitta) in our bodies can tend toward being more intense and driven to succeed. Intensity and drive serve a purpose but when pushed to extremes (such as in a competitive nature while playing a sport in the hot sun) are the same qualities that can burn us out physically, mentally, and emotionally.

 

Ayurveda calls the passionate, energetic, movement oriented qualities of pitta, rajas. Rajasic qualities are necessary in our lives and must be kept in balance. You may notice that people who are predominant in these qualities can also have sharp mental acuity. Out of balance, rajas can damage the myelin sheath that protects the brain.

 

Exercise smart

When you practice yoga, favor a practice with moderate intensity and maintain a diffusive gaze (not sharp and penetrating). Exercise by swimming or walking in shaded areas instead of playing competitive sports.

 

Know your triggers

Avoid “heated” debates and “hot” topics that you know tend to rile you up. Meditating on the bija mantras (seed sounds) Shim (pronounced “sheem”) or Aim (pronounced “I’m”) can cool and clear the mind. A longer mantra is: Lokah Samastah Sukinoh Bhavantu (May all being be happy and free). This mantra promotes kindness and acceptance.

 

May you be happy and free!

 


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 , cooling , doshas , seasonal living , summer
Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet & Kale Salad

By Diana Bellofatto
May 28, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

‘Beet’ the heat and build your blood

Ayurveda tells us that we begin to accumulate heat in the body just prior to the summer, so we want to stay ahead of the game by paying attention to the qualities of foods that can help us maintain balance.

 

Beets are nourishing for the liver. Cooked beets cool and cleanse the blood, strengthen the eyesight, and improve anemia, therefore increasing stamina by bringing more oxygen to the blood cells.

 

Kale is cooling as well. The fiber in kale prompts healthy elimination, while the bitter taste of kale and beets stimulate the flow of bile. This helps keep the gallbladder and liver from becoming congested. As the bile flows, it flushes toxins from the body and encourages healthy lymphatic flow, which detoxifies the body and fortifies immunity.

 

This recipe is proof that eating Ayurvedically does not require time-consuming cooking methods or obscure ingredients. The ease with which this salad can be prepared is very supportive to our modern lifestyles.

 

Beet & kale salad

  • 1/2 cup grated carrots, steamed until soft
  • 1 1/2 cups grated beets, steamed until soft
  • 1 head of kale, chopped, with spines removed and discarded, steamed until soft
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted or raw
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup flax seed oil
  • mineral salt to taste
  • large handful of chopped cilantro

 

Directions

1. Toss all ingredients together, and voilà, you’re done! You can’t ‘beet’ this for a fast, fresh salad that you can enjoy at home or take on a picnic.

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 , beet , healthy diet , healthy eating , kale , organic food , salad , summer
Ayurvedic Recipes - Summer Green Bean Salad

Ayurvedic Recipes: Summer Green Bean Salad

By AOLRC
August 23, 2017

Ayurvedic Recipes - Summer Green Bean Salad

Warm late-summer days are perfect for enjoying the bounty of the season. A fresh summer salad is a great way to take advantage of the wonderful flavor and nutritional value of in-season vegetables,  including an Ayurvedic favourite – green beans.

Regardless of your body type, or dosha, this salad is a delicious delight that will help you balance the effects of the season.

Although most beans are harder for Vata to digest, green beans are one of the exceptions to the rule. This green bean salad, with sauteed squash and red onion, is especially balancing for Vata.

Pitta may be extra aggravated during the summer months, so it’s best to introduce more hydrating and cooling foods. Salads are a summer necessity for Pitta.

Kapha is balanced by cooked, whole foods that are lighter and drier in texture. These foods are ideally served warm or hot. For a summer salad, room temperature or slightly warm cooked whole grains mixed with fresh vegetables are best for Kapha digestion.

 

 

Green Bean Salad

  • 1 cup of green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Optional: 1/4 cup crumbled goat’s milk cheese or chevre 

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard or brown mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 each salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

 

Directions

  1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add green beans and boil for 3 minutes, or until slightly tender. The green beans should still have a light crunch.
  2. While green beans are cooking, fill a mixing bowl with ice water. When the green beans are done cooking, fill a mixing bowl with ice water. When the green beans are done cooking, drain thoroughly and immediately add to the ice water to shop the cooking process. Drain in a colander. Pat dry and set aside.
  3. To make a vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together, adding the olive oil last. Set aside.
  4. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a saute pan on medium heat.
  5. Add red onion and cook until just tender and slightly translucent. Add yellow squash and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Take squash mixture off heat and add to green beans. Stir all the vegetables together and add the vinaigrette.
  7. Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese.

For Pitta: Replace the cooked squash and onions with fresh chopped and seeded cucumber. Replace cilantro with mint for extra cooling

For Kapha: Add 1 cup cooked room temperature couscous. For easy couscous, pour 1/2 cup couscous into 3/4 cup boiling water, stir once with a spoon, cover with a lid, and remove from heat. Wait 10 minutes, and then fluff couscous with a fork. Let cool before mixing into the salad.

 


 

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

Ayurvedic Recipes: Indian Okra

By Diana Bellofatto
August 2, 2017

Summer is here, and you may be experiencing extreme temperatures and the imbalances that accompany the high heat. One of the most effective ways to regulate body temperature and bring one’s self back into balance is through diet.

Pitta is that which is governed, mainly, by the fire element, and responds well to sweet, astringent, and bitter tastes to bring it back into balance when overheated. Therefore, it would stand to reason that the hot summer is pitta season. We want to be careful not to add too much heat to this already fiery time of the year! Choosing the appropriate seasonal foods will help pacify pitta’s predilection for pyrogenic tendencies.

 

 

Indian Okra

  • 2 cups okra
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼  tsp turmeric
  • Salt (to taste)
  • ½ lime
  • Handful chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Directions

When preparing okra use dry cutting board and knife to avoid okra getting wet.  Heat ghee in pan until melted.  Add cumin seeds until they “swim.”  Reduce heat and add fresh ginger.  Add coriander powder and turmeric.  Combine okra with spice mixture and cook on low for 15 minutes or until tender.  Add salt to taste.  Garnish with a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro.

 

 

 

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: art of living , Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , dosha , food , health , healthy lifestyle , natural lifestyle , Recipes , salad , summer , weight-loss
Art of Living Retreat Center - Sail Through Summer

Wellness, Naturally: Sail Through Summer

By Diana Bellofatto
July 31, 2017

Art of Living Retreat Center - Sail Through Summer

 

Summer fun – lots of fresh air, sunshine, outdoor activities, and socializing abound, but unless we maintain balance, we may find our energy sapped and tapped from excesses when we over indulge or work hard out in the heat.

 

In spring and the onset of summer, we see lots of vibrantly colored, hearty plants and flowers. Having endured the heat, by August, we may notice that many of the plants and flowers lose their vibrancy and color and begin to wilt.

 

Mimicking what goes on in nature, we also begin to wilt in August if we have been going at it too hard at work and/or play. For many of us, the summer sun, heat and lack of discipline in daily routine take their toll and we start to notice dry, chalky skin, lack of energy, dehydration, irritability, and a need for a more steady daily routine that puts us in a good “head space” for making better choices.

 

Here are my tips for a sense of elevation, elation, and rejuvenation…

DIET

Continue to eat seasonally and favor sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. Give special consideration to cherries, watermelon, pomegranate, and apples for their ability to activate heat removal, hydration and lymphatic flow in the body. Eating al fresco is great, just avoid being in direct sunlight and very hot temperatures. Minimize meat intake due to its heating and heavy nature and eat in a calm, relaxed environment whenever possible.

 

LIFESTYLE

Summer can be a very social time of year so, you may be fishing for a little down time at this point. Reel it in by not over scheduling yourself and plan some time for relaxing at home. It is said that music soothes the savage beast. You may want to add ocean sounds, whales, birds, and other soothing sounds to your playlist and enjoy those sounds at home, in the car, or at work if permissible.

 

YOGA

Beat the heat! Favor dissipation over perspiration with yoga. A supine, supported, restorative bound angle posture might be just what you need to cool your jets; along with some cooling breath work such as chandra bhedana, shitali or shitkari. Your yoga teacher can provide instruction.

 

SELF LOVE

Becoming overheated can induce irritability, a judgmental nature, an overall negative attitude and feelings of inadequacy. We can be hard on others but even harder on ourselves. Come in for a landing, sit down, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, scan your body to find areas of tension and restriction and give yourself permission to relax and let go. Finding the balance between “doing” and “being” is one of the most important practices we can have. Some of us tend to value doing over being. Remember, we are human beings- practice compassion for yourself and others.

 

HERBS

The wonderful wisdom of herbs can play a vital role in, what Ayurveda calls rasayana, or rejuvenation. One of the top herbs for this time of year is amalaki. Consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for the protocol that is right for you, as it is important for your health history to be taken into consideration when herbs are recommended.

 

The methods of rasayana provided by diet, lifestyle, yoga, herbs and compassion for one’s self and others rejuvenate the cytoplasm and protein of plasma, kindle the digestive fire, maintain tone of the tissues, enhance the life span of cells, cellular memory and cellular intelligence, promote normal, healthy psychological function, a melodious voice, strength and stamina, and bring functional synchronicity to the organs. There are rasayana methods for each of the 7 tissues (plasma, blood, muscle, bone, fat, nervous & reproductive tissue) that can greatly improve quality of life.

 

 

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

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , August , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , Ayurvedic diet , diet , happiness , healthy lifestyle , herbs , lifestyle , rasayana , self love , summer , yoga

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