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Sometimes it is good to just sit still and do nothing. Daily life can be so hectic if moments are not taken to simply be and nothing else. Motionless sitting in the easy version of the yoga Lotus pose can bring about a centering of the mind, body and spirit.
This pose can open up a congested heart and free a troubled mind, bringing about an expanded sense of awareness while decompressing the body. Taking time to consciously relax is what we all need, away from the TV, internet, phone and other distractions. When seated in this asana you will find that tensions stored in a compressed, anxious and tight body begin to release immediately. A more positive and trusting outlook is established and maintained by continued practice of advanced Lotus, as well as its beginner variations. A great position from which to pray or meditate, Lotus pose is like a flower whose petals open at dawn revealing more beauty which each expression.
If you are uneasy, stretching into Lotus can bring serenity.
If your mind is racing, easing into Lotus pose can bring peace.
If you have back or hip pain, Lotus can help relieve it.
If you suffer from exhaustion, Lotus pose can increase vitality and bring on more restful sleep.
This simple, easy pose is synonymous with tranquility, peace and joy. Try it and experience these benefits first-hand.
To learn more about Sia, click here
Pop quiz! What is one of the most important tools when doing yoga?
While most of us are always on top of making sure we have our mats, and some of us are making sure that we have on the latest workout get up before hitting the studio, almost all of us are forgetting the item that holds the most value. Our Sankalpa. One should never leave home without it.
Sankalpa is the inner work of the practice; it is the prayer or the good intention that orchestrates the movement. Seeking out and setting the intention is an essential component in anyone’s yoga, without it, one cannot reap the full benefits of their practice. By utilizing the greatness of Sankalpa, we can work to align our spiritual truths with our worldly behavior.
“The essence of your intention is stored in a cosmic database, every dedication that is in line with your destiny will eventually be released into fruition.”
When setting your intention, be mindful of keeping it just that. Try not to turn it into a request for something tangible by setting a goal. With an intention we always start where we belong. The beginning. The other wonderful thing about an intention is that you can set it up so no matter what direction life takes you, you are content and receptive to its many rhythms. An example of an intention could be the ability to express joy no matter what adversities you face.
How to turn a goal into an intention:
“My goal is to open up a cafe because I’m passionate about making people happy with my delicious foods.”
Turn it into an intention by saying:
Through my practice, it is my desire to generate happiness.
Now you try!
~ Sihnuu Hetep
To learn more about Sihnuu, click here
As you ground and grow in your much less wobblier vriksasana, you hear the instructor utter the words you least look forward to.
Feeling confused and alone, you’ve now lost your drishti. Your eyes wander about the class and eventually toward home girl two mats over, who has somehow managed to get her arms into some kind of contortionist style prayer fold.
With your teacher’s presence near, you make a conscious effort to reset your focus. You frantically throw your arms in the air and think to yourself, this will work for sure.
“Lovely yogis,” your teacher replies.
You feel charged as your hands make their way back to anjanayasana. You’ve made it through another class without flaking out in your expression.
When an instructor calls “fullest expression,” what is being asked of the student? Is the teacher looking for the craziest arms in tree pose? Or perhaps the straightest and highest kicked leg in one-legged wheel? It is very easy to get caught up in the aesthetic of a yoga practice when those words are said in class.
I believe that pouring self: heart, mind, and body, entirely into practice is the way to access one’s fullest expression. At times, coming into one’s fullest expression could mean staying in the in the most basic form of the posture, tapping into the sounds of the heart and the deep rhythm of inhales and exhales.
There is no need to do anything overly taxing, be gentle and allow yourself to flow freely so that you may connect with your inner guide. This is a part of the practice cannot be orchestrated and should be full of your authenticity.
Trust in your breath and be.
~ Namaste, Sihnuu
To learn more about Sihnuu, click here
When you are on the healthy living path, it can sometimes seem like everything is against you. At the beginning you may experience resistance from friends and family, feel lost in your social circle, and find it hard to find sustenance when you are traveling. It’s important to stay committed, despite the naysayers, despite the fast food on every corner, and despite the extra inconvenience of finding the freshest whole foods. Why? Because your well-being is worth it. You deserve to be energized enough to follow your purpose, look your best, and live disease-free.
As more of us commit fully, the more the world will have to adapt. When enough people get sick and tired of being sick and tired, through with obesity, or just plain over not having access to the best quality foods, the more you will see improvements in the world as a whole. Why shouldn’t healthy nutritious foods be inexpensive? Why shouldn’t salad joints replace fast food chains on every corner? Why shouldn’t there be veg options at most if not all restaurants?
This week again, I challenge you to be the change you want to see. Without dogma, without making your choices a religion and preaching to anyone, just fully commit to your health and you’ll see how quickly others will be running behind you trying to get your secrets. -XoXo Raw Girl
4-5 Kale Leaves
1/4 Green Melon
Organic Pineapple Juice
(preferable if you run pineapple through the juicer, but you can also use store bought if you like)
Put all ingredients in the blender, blend, serve, enjoy!
-XoXo Raw Girl
Salads can get boring quickly especially if you stick to the romaine and lettuce model, so it’s imperative for a serious veggie lover to try new combinations and pack them full of a variety of textures and flavors that will leave you feeling satiated. I love a good Mediterranean Salad so I made one the other day and experimented with my own raw version of goddess dressing. Goddess dressing is my all time favorite but if I choose to consume a brand from the grocery store I immediately start sneezing because of the preservatives! To avoid the unnecessary toxins and keep it raw, below’s a version of the easy recipe you can whip up that worked really well. I used cilantro, which is a great detoxifier and added a lovely freshness to the salad, but you can also use parsley in it’s place and it will taste equally as good. -XoXo Raw Girl
Ingredients: Green Kale, Arugula, Mixed greens, Kalamata Olives, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Cucumber.
Wash all ingredients, dice up olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and add to salad bowl. For additional flavor-fulness add hummus and/or avocado on the side.
Raw Girl’s Cilantro Goddess Dressing
1/2 cup Raw Tahini or (regular tahini if vegan)
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Filtered Water
2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
6 Tbsp Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
Small Handful of Cilantro
Add all ingredients to your blender. Blend, and pour over salad. Enjoy!
If you are an avid reader of this blog, you know by now how much I love to rave about the health benefits of green algae. Algae and other superfoods can transform your health because they allow you to consume an astounding amount of nutrition in one serving. Spirulina has always been my go-to-green algae because of it’s amazing nutritional profile, protein, ability to boost your energy, maintain a healthy weight, and support high levels of fitness. It’s cousin in the algae world chlorella was always on my list but I never really experimented with taking it regularly unless it was in my smoothie powders. I’ll admit, I kind of compared the two and figured spirulina was giving me the most green bang for my buck. What I have recently discovered is that I have been completely missing out on the wonders of chlorella, and how amazing taking it ALONG with spirulina can be for your body.
Chlorella is a fresh water single cell algae which like spirulina, has a nutritional profile that also catapults it into the category of a superfood. It is high in protein (around 60%), essential fatty acids, 18 amino acids, and more than 20 vitamins and minerals including potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorous, B Vitamins, vitamin C, D,E, and K. The biggest differences between chlorella and spirulina are that chlorella contains some additional nutrients like vitamin K and phosphorous, a whole lot of antioxidants, and one of the highest forms of chlorophyll. Chlorella also works to synergistically balance and normalize body functions, and has strong detoxification properties which aid the body in removing heavy metals, waste, parasites and other toxins. In addition to being a super detoxifier, chlorella has been shown to stop the development of cancerous cells, can rebuild nerves in the brain after serious nerve damage, strengthen the intestinal wall lining, eliminate constipation, and help to build up the amount of good bacteria in the body which aids in treating digestive and colon related diseases.
All that said, I’m sure you see that chlorella’s got it going on just like it’s cousin. If you’ve never tried it, taking chlorella and spirulina together actually is a powerhouse combination because you get the benefits of detoxifying the body, and also continue to build muscle and boost your energy. Chlorella can be taken in pill or powder form; because I already consume spirulina in powder form I decided to go for the pill option. You can also find really awesome grass powders that include both, along with a bunch of other groovy nutrients. Do whatever works for you, but makes sure to get a good dose of chlorophyll by any means necessary. That essential building block for life is essential for cultivating and keeping your raw vegan superpowers strong. -XoXo Raw Girl
Check out this past article which includes more about chlorella and it’s ability to detox heavy metals.
When you are off the beaten path and living la vida raw, it is necessary to find motivation to help you go the distance. I personally have always felt reinvigorated and inspired to continue my journey when I hear the stories of living examples who are reaping the benefits of their lifestyle well into their golden years. If you followed the first season of my radio show Healthy Living in a Toxic World, you may remember my longevity series which focused on interviewing HEROES and SHE-ROES who are on the raw diet, and remaining youthful over seventy. I interviewed two of my anti-aging she-roes Mimi Kirk and Annette Larkins, as well as Bernando LaPallo who was 109 years old at the time of interview. This amazing man turned 111 years old last year. Check out the video below for a sneak peak of how a raw vegan lifestyle has worked for him and if you haven’t listened to my radio interview with him yet, which is full of many nuggets of wisdom, check it out now online: Longevity Series: Bernando LaPallo. -XoXo Raw Girl
We all love to eat food right? Most of us self-respecting veggie lovers not only want to find out ways to eat spectacularly healthy food with spectacular taste, but to also learn some of the ways that Mother Nature has got our back, front, and everything in between. That said, we often take for granted the delicate yet immaculately efficient process which is our digestive system. It’s a long journey from mouth to (ahem) “organic output” and every step of the way is just as important as the next to make sure everything flows perfectly.
The stomach is a very important site of digestion where strong acids and digestive juices such as pepsin and hydrochloric acid continue to break food down into more digestible forms. A stomach (peptic) ulcer is literally a burning of the mucous lining of the stomach which protects the rest of the body from exposure to the powerful acids in the stomach. This causes actual lesions to form in the stomach which can range from ½ inches to ¾ of an inch or in some severe cases even up to 1 to 2 inches. Yea pretty scary. According to John Hopkins Medicine there will be 500,000 new cases of Stomach ulcers each year. At any time over 5 milllion new cases may develop. Symptoms include but are not limited to: burning in the abdomen right underneath the ribs, vomiting, nausea, weight loss, bloating, black tarry stools, irritation to the stomach after consuming spicy foods.
How do these ulcers develop? Well the most common cause of peptic ulcers is a bacteria called helicobacter pylori which is a spiral shaped bacteria that due to its shape is able to penetrate the stomach lining, leaving your body exposed to the powerful acids the stomach secretes. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 20% of people under 40 years old and half of adults over 60 years old in the U.S. are infected, with higher rates in developing countries.
The good news is stomach ulcers can be treated by eating foods that strengthen the stomach and with a few dietary changes (like excluding spicy foods for a while) can alleviate symptoms and give the stomach time to heal itself aided with mother nature’s most powerful medicine. Below are some helpful natural remedies and tips to alleviate symptoms of stomach ulcers and increase your overall health. Look into these natural remedies and don’t forget to move that body! In order to preserve your stomach health and support your body in its natural healthy function. -XoXo Nicola, Signing in for Raw Girl
Cabbage Juice is great for treating stomach ulcer. The amino acid arginine helps boost blood flow to the stomach lining. This strengthens the stomach lining and aids in healing ulcers. You can also mix the cabbage juice with carrot juice for a sweeter taste. Researchers have found that ulcer patients who drink 1 quart of raw cabbage juice a day often heal their ulcers in five days.
Honey isn’t an option for a lot of vegans, but in it’s raw form helps reduce any inflammation in your stomach and also attacks bacteria which keeps complications at bay.
Bananas neutralize the hyperacidity in the stomach that is caused by the gastric juices. Reduces inflammation and strengthens the stomach lining.
Bilberry is used frequently in Russia to treat ulcers by reducing inflammation in the stomach and intestines and protecting mucous membranes.
Produce rich in flavonoids like red bell peppers, strawberries, and citrus fruits can improve your condition. Studies report that they can assist in inhibiting growth of H. pylori.
Palm Tree Yoga Pose is a yoga posture that is great for increasing blood flow to the stomach and increasing overall feelings of wellness. Regular practice of Yoga in general will also be beneficial because of numerous poses that support healthy digestion and overall wellness.
Cue the bells, whistles, and trumpets…spring is finally here! For those of you who follow the Facebook page, you know I mentioned wanting to host a virtual wellness challenge. I only moved forward because a nice amount of you were interested, so I hope some of you will come on board for the journey with me.
It is time for a spring cleaning. In this new season, I myself have been focusing relentlessly on wellness mind, body, and spirit. When you embrace making daily progress in each of those areas daily, amazing things begin to happen. The goal of the challenge is to give you an opportunity to see major changes in your mindset, body, vitality, or just simply inner peace by combining living foods, regular exercise, and mindfulness practice. Focusing on all of these areas really gives you an opportunity to “transform;” and by that I mean not just losing weight or boosting your energy temporarily, but seeing lasting changes and adjustments to unhealthy habits and reprogramming new healthier ones to replace them. There is no way you can lose if you are committed to seeing your end result! I will be your guide through the 21 Days, and the package includes one-on-one coaching sessions with me, a detox plan, and additional raw recipes to help jumpstart your raw journey. All of this for about the same price of a one hour consultation.
Very excited to have the challenge sponsored by GAIAM, who will be giving the winner a 3 month subscription to GAIAM TV and a yoga mat up to 60$ in value. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to jumpstart your wellness. The challenge begins on April 25th. I recommend participants register no later than April 21st to have time to get prepared. The first five participants to register will receive an additional hour of one-on-one coaching. This challenge is something new and a way for me to get to know more of you lovely readers personally. I am ready to be of great service to all involved. If you have any feedback on the program, questions, concerns, or suggestions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! -XoXo Raw Girl
Visit this page on the blog for more info or to register: http://rawgirltoxicworld.com/21-day-wellness-transformation-challenge/