Goan Tropical Fruit Salad

Tropical fruits

Tropical fruits

Hi Yogis!
July is here and it feels like summer. Not like summer back in Canada when you know that you only have a few weeks to make the most of the weather, but summer in Thailand when it feels like sky will always be blue, the breeze always gentle and the smell of Jasmine and Pandan is in the air.
Minh and I spent two seasons in India, working and practicing yoga. One of the best things about living in the far reaches of south Goa, beside the beaches, was the fantastic fruit that was readily available. Most mornings after yoga, we were able to enjoy a refreshing fruit salad for breakfast. This is my take on a Goan Fruit Salad and homage to our friends Urmila and Praveen Desai at the Blue Planet Cafe in Agonda Goa.
It should get your taste-buds tingling.

ทาน อาหาร ให้ อร่อย นะ (enjoy your meal)
Max
goan fruit saladIngredients:
Pineapple – 1, small, peeled, cored, diced
Mango – 1, small, peeled, stoned, cubed
Orange Juice – 1 cup
Lime Juice – 1/4 cup
Oranges – 1, peeled, segmented
Kiwi Fruit – 1, small, peeled, cut into round slices
Passion fruit – 1, halved, flesh scooped out, shell discarded
Banana – 1, ripe, peeled, cut into rounds
Grapes – 1/2 cup, red and green mixed, seedless
Melon – 1/4, small, halved, seeds and skin removed, cut into small pieces
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg Powder – 1/4 tsp
Sherry – 1/4 cup (this is totally optional and can be substituted for other liquor or omitted all together)
Garnish with fresh mint and a little shaved coconut

Method:
1. Combine the pineapple, mango, kiwi fruit, oranges, bananas and grapes in a large bowl.
2. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, lemon juice.
3. Add sugar, wine and nutmeg powder.
4. Stir well until sugar has dissolved.
5. Pour this over the fruit salad.
6. Add the melon and passion fruit pieces to the bowl.
7. Gently mix and garnish.

Sleep Well Little Yogi – A 15 minute bedtime yoga routine for a better sleep

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I have been under quite a bit of personal stress in the last couple of months. It stems for many different areas, first Max was away in India for a whole month (the first time that we had been apart for more than two weeks in 25 years), construction to the studio’s new office space (never have construction done in Thailand), the normal stresses of trying to operate a small business, especially in a foreign country (I could write a manual of what not to do).

Where there is change, there is always upheaval.

I am normally pretty good at weathering a storm, but I have to admit, this time some of the wind has been knocked out of my sails. This has manifested its self in sleeplessness. I roll around for hours or wake up after a few hours of sleep and never seem to be able to get back to sleep.
I’m sharing all of this, because I want you to know that Yoga teachers are regular people and we suffer from all the same human frailties as everyone. I hope that you find this simple routine useful for those nights that you too may have external forces that keep you awake.

The Yogi in these pictures is the beautiful Carolyn Miller. She has been a member of our community since we opened our doors. Carolyn is leaving Bangkok and returning to the USA. She has been wonderful to have in the studio, I love seeing her come up our stairs and having her in my classes. Carolyn your practice has been an inspiration to me…go forth into the world and spread some yoga around, but always know a little piece of you will remain here with us.
xoxoxo Minh-

Begin in:

IMG_9252Balasana (Child’s Pose) for 1 minute (10–15 breaths) This physically simple posture requires patience and the ability to surrender to gravity and a state of non-doing. To come out of the posture, ground your hands, tuck your toes under and push up into Adho Muka Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)

IMG_9255Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose) 1 minute each side (10–15 breaths) From Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), bring your left foot forward between your hands and lower your right knee to the floor. Walk your left foot to the outer edge of your mat and place your elbows on a block or the floor. Repeat the posture on the second side.

SalabhasanaIMG_9256 (Locust Pose) 1 minute (10–15 breaths) Inhale to Plank Pose (Chataranga Dandasana) and lower to your belly. Clasp your hands behind your back. Exhale and root the tops of your feet into the floor. Inhale as you lift your chest and arms. Gaze forward. To come out of the pose, release your hands and exhale, pushing back to Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Muka Svanasana)

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Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) 1 minute (10–15 breaths) From Downward Facing Dog (Adho Muka Svanasana) walk your feet to your hands. With feet hip-width apart and a slight bend in the knees, hold your elbows. Exhale and lengthen down through the crown of your head. To come up, release your arms, root through your feet, and slowly rise.

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Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend) 1 minute (10–15 breaths) Open your legs approximately 3 to 4 feet apart. Inhale and lift your chest. Exhaling and fold forward from the hip creases. Spread your arms wide, coming onto your fingertips, with elbows bent. Place your forehead on a block.

                               

Janu SirsaIMG_9259sana (Head-of-the-Knee Pose) 1 minute each side (10–15 breaths) Sit with extended legs. Place the sole of your left foot against your right inner thigh, right hand by your hip. Lift your left arm, exhale, and fold over the right leg, reaching for your foot or shin. Rest your head on a block. Switch sides.

Supta PadangusthasanIMG_9262a (Reclining Big Toe Pose) 1 minute each side (10–15 breaths) Lie on your back with your big toes together. Inhale and bring your right leg vertical, clasping the back of your thigh. Push your thigh into your hands until you have a tight muscle-to-bone connection. Hold for 10 -1 5 breaths and switch sides. Release the posture and relax on the floor

End the sequence with:

Savasana (CoIMG_9274rpse Pose) 3 minutes Savasana symbolically represents our death to our old ways of thinking and doing. It is the time in our yoga practice to integrate the benefits of all of the postures you have practiced.

Perhaps you would like to add a bit more to this routine?

You can add the following Pranayama (control of prana through the breath) to your, before sleep practice.

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Left Nostril Breathing: practicing this breath gives the practitioner self-endurance, self-effectiveness and self –respect. The left side of your brain is responsible for the human functions of rest and digest.
Description: Left nostril breathing activates the Ida nerve ending in the left nostril, which relates to calmness and relaxation. Left nostril breathing is associated with the moon energy, which is changeable, feminine, yin, giving, and cool. Breathing through the left nostril for three minutes can calm you and lower your blood pressure.

Breath: Sit in an easy cross legged position. Close your right nostril with your right thumb, your other fingers are stretched straight up as antennas. Your left hand is in Gyan Mudra on your left knee. Close your eyes and concentration at the center of your forehead. Begin to breathe long and deep only through your left nostril. Continue for three minutes.

Abandon nothing. Take up nothing. Rest; abide in yourself, just as you are. – Sage Abhinavagupta

sherriSherri (Minh) Lowe is a 200 Hour RYT and co-founder of Yogatique Bangkok. She is a fifty-one year old Canadian transplant living in Bangkok. When she is not on her yoga mat, she enjoys cycling, trying new vegan recipes, a cold beer, lingering in coffee shops and exploring Bangkok. When not pursing these activities, she is writing about them in various on line publications.

Mango Pineapple Salsa

 

pineappleHi Yogis!

Many of you may not know this, but Minh and I have been Vegans for almost 20 years.

You also may not know that I do most of the cooking in our home. It is true that I often put Minh to work as the prep cook, but it is me that does the bulk of the day-to-day cooking ( Minh is better at baked goods than I am ). I like to develop recipes that suit our personal tastes and lifestyle.

We thought that we would start sharing some of the recipes from our kitchen with the community.

Here goes…please let me know what you think.

ทาน อาหาร ให้ อร่อย นะ  (enjoy your meal)

Max

Mango Pineapple Salsa

1 diced mango

1 cup of diced pineapple

2 medium tomatoes diced

1 diced red pepper

2 T fresh lime juice

1 small red onion diced

Handful of minced jalapeno pepper– adjust for your heat preference

a dash of sea salt

fresh cracked pepper to taste

Mix all together and enjoy!

Like your hips in Pigeon Pose ( Eka Pada Rajakapotasana), this only gets better as it sits in its own juices!!!

 

Ashtanga Yoga Workshop – July 4 2015

This workshop is a great opportunity to deepen into your yoga practice and to approach different aspects and branches of yoga.

Each workshop is two hours long
First class runs from 10 am to 12 pm.
Second class runs from 2 pm to 4 pm
Each class is 1200 Baht or book both for 2000 Baht.

The morning on Saturday we will be focusing in the more physical-oriented part which is the asana (posture).
The practice will be based on the Ashtanga Vinyasa method primary and intermediate series. We will go through a fluid and dynamic sequence with some modifications so that we will get to work several arm-balances, back-bending and inversions.
Very recommended for those who want to gain some strength in the upper body and flexibility in the spine. A great opportunity to work out and improve your asana practice.

In the afternoon session, we will explore other branches of the practice of yoga, (as important as the asana!) like meditation (Dhyana) and breath-work (Pranayama). This is a subtle work for the energy body. We will learn some simple, yet very efficient practices that will increase your vitality, health and peace of mind.
There will be also some time for Q&A.
Very recommended to those who want to have a deeper understanding of the practice of yoga.

poster_from_postermywallAbout the teacher Manuel Molina de la Torre:
Manuel is a dedicated yoga practitioner. He started practicing yoga in 2004 and it has become his way of life. He is a certified yoga teacher (RYT 200) since June 2014. He completed his yoga training from Samahita Retreat with Paul Dallaghan, Koh Samui, Thailand. He travelled to India in 2010 and spent two months studying at the KPJAYI and he has practised with some of the most notable names in the ‘Ashtanga world’. He teaches Ashtanga as well as other softer approaches to the practice of yoga-asana. In addition to yoga experience, Manuel have been involved a lot with nutrition, organic food, vegan and vegetarian food. He is a vegetarian cook and he spent the last seven years in yoga retreats involving in healthy cooking.

Finding Your Roots in Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

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This ancient, reliable pose is often the first balance posture you learn in yoga class. It is a relatively simple posture and strengthens your legs and spine, as well as opening your thighs and hips. When you practice balancing poses, you learn some practical lessons in how to be grounded, find your center, stay focused, and steady your mind. Plus, the process—falling and trying again—helps develop patience and persistence, humility, and good humor.

The Mythology behind the Posture

When the demon king Ravana kidnapped Sita, he naturally assumed that she would fall in love with him. He offered Sita one gift after another, but she said no to them all. She refused to spend even one night inside Ravana’s beautiful palace.
“I am your prisoner, not your guest,” she said, “and I will never be your wife. Remember, I am Rama’s wife and he will find me. And when he does, you will wish you had never set eyes on me”.
“I’m a patient man,” replied Ravana. “Every day I will ask you to accept me. You have one year. After that, if you still refuse, I will cook and eat you.”
Outside the palace, stood a forest of Ashoka trees and Sita made this her home, surrounded by Ravana’s guards. Ashoka trees are symbols of love in Indian folk tradition. The guards were ordered not to harm Sita physically, but they could use psychological methods to break her down. They told her that Rama would never find her, and even if he did, he would not want her back after she had been with Ravana. “Forget Rama,” they said. “Think of all that Ravana could do for you.
But Sita sat, with her back against a tree, breathing slowly and waiting. She concentrated her mind on Rama. Every thought, breath and beat of her heart said “Rama…find me.” She sent her love into the trees, imagining their leaves broadcasting Rama’s name to the world
Trees are patient creatures. They live a long time, and they know how to stay strong through all the changes of day, climate and season. Those trees spoke to Sita: “Stay strong, little sister. Be calm and steady, like us. Seasons change and this captivity is not forever. Remember Rama.”
One day, Sita heard a name called softly from above: “Rama, Rama, Rama…” It was Hanuman, the Monkey God, sent by Rama in the form of a tiny monkey, to rescue Sita.

Vrksasana the Pose

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Learning to balance often has more to do with your mental state than your physical abilities. If you’re stressed, or if your mind is scattered, your body is likely to be unsteady. The very practice of trying to balance is stressful. Most of us, as we try to balance, have thoughts like “I can’t do this” or “Everyone’s watching me struggle.”
Take a moment to enjoy the gift of two strong legs and remember like a real tree, your tree is unique and beautiful.
Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), with your feet together or hip-width apart. Spread your toes. Lift your inner arches. Distribute your weight evenly between the right and left sides of your body. Settle your feet into the floor as if they were sending down roots.
Then, shift your weight into your left leg. Press down with the root of your big toe and your outer heel. Externally rotate your right leg and place the sole of your right foot on your inner left leg, above or below (but not on) your knee. Level your hips.
Accentuate the pressure of the outer left foot on the inner right thigh so that the left knee comes more into the same plane as the left hip. This alignment will improve as your hips and groin open. Bring your palms together in front of your heart and isometrically press them together. Mirror this action by pressing the thigh into the foot and the foot into the thigh. The inward movement of your greater trochanters will help you with this. Feel how the tone in your midsection supports your balance.
Take five deep breaths, release the pose and then switch sides.
If you wish to go further with the pose, raise your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Relax your shoulders and tailbone down as you lengthen your spine upward. Breathe smoothly. Keep your eyes soft and pick a spot in front of you to gaze at softly.

Basic Joint Positions

• The standing hip is neutral.
• The standing knee extends.
• The raised-leg hip flexes, abducts, and externally rotates.
• The raised-leg knee flexes.
• The back extends slightly.
• The shoulders abduct and flex overhead.
• The elbows extend.
• The palms flex slightly.

Reflection:

Sita, kidnapped and held captive, draws strength and comfort from nature. Contact with the earth helps her focus on Rama (her goal). Her body may be constrained, but her mind is free. The tree, patient, stable, and deeply rooted, offers shelter to the one who takes refuge beneath its branches.
It takes a lot to shake a tree.

sherriSherri (Minh) Lowe is a 200 Hour RYT and co-founder of Yogatique Bangkok. She is a fifty-one year old Canadian transplant living in Bangkok. When she is not on her yoga mat, she enjoys cycling, trying new vegan recipes, a cold beer, lingering in coffee shops and exploring Bangkok. When not pursing these activities, she is writing about them in various on line publications.

10 Things I Learned from Yogatique’s 30-Day Yoga Challenge – By Casey O’Connell

 It is hard to believe that we have been open for six months!

We have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people over the last six months at the studio, people passing through, yoga teachers, people who live in this great city. It has been a wonderful experience filled with diverse personalities and diverse yoga. To celebrate the New Year, we organized an event that we thought would bring our growing community a little closer and to extol the virtues of establishing a regular yoga practice.

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Casey is a young lady that comes all the way from across town to practice with us. We first noticed her a few months back, her sunny personality and strong practice made her stand out. When she signed up for The New Year – New You 30 Day Yoga Challenge we were excited, as yoga studio owners, she is exactly the kind of yogi that you love having in the studio.

Casey rocked the challenge!

Then she sat down and wrote about her experience.

Casey we appreciate your words, not only the kind things you say about the studio and your experiences in it, but how participating in the challenge effected you and your yoga practice. When we set out to organize the event, we hoped that perhaps one person would walk away feeling like you have.

Maybe, Yogatique rocked the challenge too!

Namaste Yogis Bears!

Do you have a Yoga Challenge experience that you would like to share?

Drop us a note at yogatiquebangkok@gmail.com