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Sankalpa- The Power of Will

The Power of Will
Sankalpa; Merging the Heart with the Mind & Spirit.
By Mary Grace
December 7, 2015.
move mountains
“when the two become one, when you ask the mountain to move, the mountain will move”.*

It is more commonly found in the King James Bible

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Matthew 17:20

When the two become one, nothing is impossible.
What are these two forces that need to become one?
In our yoga practice and in its teachings, we are seeking to shift gears from our mental faculties to more deeply felt heart energies. It sure sounds nice, but what does this really mean?

According to the Yoga Tradition, there is a state of consciousness called Sankalpa. Sankalpa is the merging of the mind, connecting to the heart, and backing it up with the power of the spirit.
Sankalpa is living life from this union, or connection of these powerful aspects of the self. Sankalpa is a powerful state of consciousness which we are trying to create & connect with in our yoga practice.

Why do so many people want to change circumstances in their lives, yet they cannot commit to their goals?

Is it so simple to say that people just don’t have any will power?

Or is it that they have not found a way to add more power to their will.

Research shows that at least 80% of us do not achieve our New Year resolutions.
This statistic means that 4 out of 5 people who make New Years resolutions will eventually break them.
And add to that, a third won’t even make it until the end if January.
Other studies have shown that the number of people who do achieve their resolutions is a little as 8 percent.

Despite all of the motivational speakers and all of the self-help books filling up libraries and kindles everywhere, as little as ten percent of Americans actually achieve what they set out to achieve.

What is missing is what, according to Ancient Indian Texts, is a state called Sankalpa. This is the driving force behind your motivation. Sankalpa is to bring heart power to your will.

Sankalpa is the intention that will keep you going when life gets tough.

Sankalpa is also translated as a concept or an idea formed in the heart.

Sankalpa in practical terms is a declarative statement, a resolution or an intention in which you vow to commit to fulfill a specific goal.
Sankalpa holds a special & highly esteemed place in the ancient teachings. The concept if Sankalpa appears as early as the Rig Veda known as the most ancient of all Vedic texts. The art & science of applying Sankalpa was considered to be the foundation for achieving or becoming anything of real significance.

Throughout the Vedic and Tantric traditions it is made exceedingly clear that a student cannot make meaningful progress toward any worthy goal without first cultivating this state, what the yogic tradition calls Sankalpa Shakti.

“On this path you must first awaken your Sankalpa shakti, the power of will and determination” said the great Swami Rama.

This ancient concept of Sankalpa is predicated on the principle that your mind has measureless capacity to affect the quality and the content in your life.

In other words, the mind is the ruler of your fate. Practice using your will and empower your own personal power. This is the practice of yoga.

When your mind wanders around to whatever problems you may have, take the time to meditate on your resolve. Think of this state of Sankalpa as the resolve.

To identify and reinforce your Sankalpa, a deeply relaxed state is required. It is important to allow the mind to settle into stillness. A yoga practice followed by meditation will greatly assist one into the state most beneficial to enforce your Sankalpa. This practice is also very beneficial to perform while lying in bed trying to sleep. When you sit or lie down, calm your mind and follow your breath.
After a while of letting your thoughts just pass on by without going after them, the mind begins to settle into silence. In this quiet state, begin to focus on your Sankalpa, your resolve. Breathe into this resolve, whatever it may be. Use each breath to reinforce it with the organic, back up power of your hearts force. Keep breathing and repeating your resolve calmly and allow it to drop deep into your subconscious mind. Once you reprogram your subconscious mind, you will have more ability to stick to the new resolve. This is the reason we repeat the past habits, they are imprints in our subconscious. Take the time to focus your attention on your Sankalpa to give it power. With the help of the Sankalpa Shakti, after some time it will be imprinted in your mind. Imagine the old habits dropping away as leaves from a tree. When they are ready, the time has come and they are no longer receiving nutrition from the tree, the leaves drop. Similarly, when your habits no longer receive attention from your mind, they too will drop away, effortlessly.
Through this practice Sankalpa Shakti, it will give power to your more positive thoughts, and this will greatly assist your thoughts to have more power to move you into the direction YOU choose.

Once you have identified and planted the seed of your sankalpa, you can begin the process of strengthening sankalpa shakti, the energy to take the action required by your resolve. It is well known that every choice you make either supports or undermines your resolve. This is true even for the decisions that don’t seem directly related to your specific intention. “Let’s say you’re aware that sugar disrupts your energy and sleep. But time and time again, you ‘forget’ this awareness and eat sweets anyway. Each time you do this, you reinforce the part of you that says ‘screw it’ to awareness and intention. You’re giving power to the part of you that goes against your consciousness.”

Sound Familiar?
Many of us have great intentions to create change, only to be transformed into our more powerful intentions to undermine our own efforts. This seems a little self destructive, and for many people it is. This is what leads many people into the vicious cycle of weight gain, addiction, and suffering.
Through the practice of yoga, one may assist in strengthening the healthy intentions, and through this positive momentum, and with more & more momentum, the healthy habits begin to stick. One begins to see the results, and the healthy habits get stronger then the weaker ones, and one may achieve their goals.

The Buddha stated several thousand years ago
“What you think you shall become”

If you can learn to get to the point where your desires and your will to accomplish them are no longer two separate things. They become one.

Then nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.

Whatever you perceive you will achieve. It starts first as a dream. It starts like one is faking it. The mind may go back and forth like a child, but through the practice of yoga, one realizes that they may have an inner child that needs some tough love. A good kick in the pants will help one continue to achieve those goals.

When your imagination is combined with your determination, nothing can stop you from your goals.

This is Sankalpa.

For Sankalpa exercises & to read more :
The Four Desires by Rod Stryker

*This is from the Gospel of Thomas. Apparently the Gosphel of Thomas may have been removed from many bible versions as it showed the more “spiritual” stories of Jesus.

The Ethics of Yoga



– from the archives of the Yoga Teacher Training program-
If you are a YTT attendee, this is to be memorized.

This writing below has been taken and translated from the Ancient Yoga Text called the Yoga Sutra and has been written by the Sage Patanjli. Read on, as this has changed countless seekers lives, it may help guide you along as well.

“When a yogin becomes qualified by practicing Yama and Niyama, then the yogin can proceed to asana and the other means.”
– Yoga Bhashya Vivarana (II.29)

patanjali sutras

The Yama’s and Niyama’s are the ethical precepts set forth in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras as the first and second of the eight limbs of yoga.   They are the foundation of our practice without which no spiritual progress along the path of yoga can be made.


YAMA: Precepts of Social Discipline


Ahimsa — Non-violence. Ahimsa is first for we must practice it in all the other observance’s. Being non violent in our words is essential

Satya — Truthfulness. Living, thinking and speaking the truth.

Asteya — Non-stealing.   Not taking that which is not given.

Brahmacarya — Sexual responsibility. The spirit of this precept is conservation of energy for the purpose of spiritual practice.

Aparigraha — Abstention from greed. Not coveting that which is not ours.


NIYAMA: Individual internal Discipline


Sauca – Cleanliness.   Not only external cleanliness of the body, but attending to internal cleanliness such as avoiding the impurities of thought.   Moderation in diet is recommended.

Santosa – Contentment. Acceptance of the external situation we are allotted in this life. Believing all is as its meant to be.

Tapas – Austerity. Having an intense practice with religious fervor. Not giving up. Most commonly observed as taking on pain as a path to self transcendence. Pushing through the obstacles of the mind & body

Svadhyaya – Self-study.   Spiritual self-education.   Contemplation and application of the scriptures or sacred texts.

Isvara pranidhana – Surrender of the self to God. Making everything an offering to the Divine.

read more in our Yoga Teacher Training Manual

Eating for Flexibility

Eating for flexibility

Eating for flexibility. By Mary Grace 8/21/2010

My yoga teacher said in one of my first yoga classes, if you want to bend like a string bean, then eat the string bean.
This got me thinking. Can you eat for flexibility?
You are what you eat is something everyone has heard sometime in their life.
You really are what you eat, do we ever really think about the real importance of the foods we eat and how those very foods become who we truly are?
Every part of your body is created by the food you eat. It makes sense that you can eat for flexibility. We have all eaten too much and felt stuffed. What exactly is happening when you over eat? Your body becomes saturated with the food you eat. Another great example is how you feel when you are fasting. Most people I know who have fasted and continued to practice yoga felt amazingly more flexible the more empty they become. Somehow, by not eating, your body can deeply open up as the body becomes clean and clear. Lets talk about key foods to avoid if you want to feel flexible. The most important thing to avoid is overeating of anything at all. Being full simple congests your body. Lighten up if you want to feel lighter. The next most important thing is to be fully hydrated with purified, mineral rich water. Dehydration can cause the muscles to dry out any your body feels tighter. Simply drinking more water can help your body feel more flexible. There are a lot of foods to avoid if you want to feel more flexible. The main food to avoid is flour products. This includes bread, pasta, cereal, cookies, cakes, muffins, bagels and all types of flour containing products. It seems like most of us eat these foods at almost every meal. The reason flour is such a flexibility challenge is because of its main ingredient, Gluten. They sure named this substance correctly. Gluten acts just like glue. Just imagine making paper mache, mixing white flour and water and making very effective and strong glue. I found this on the internet about glue
How to Make Your Own Glue
Basic Flour Paste
Blend whole wheat flour with cold water to make a liquid paste (about the consistency of pancake batter). Beat until the mixture is free of lumps, and then gently heat until boiling, while constantly stirring. Allow to cool before using. Store in an air-tight container. If the paste hardens, soften by mixing in small amounts of warm water as needed.
Wallpaper / Papier Mache Paste

* 1 1/2 cups white flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 tbsp alum
* 1 cup cold water
* 2 cups boiling water
Combine flour and sugar. Slowly add cold water and beat/mix out any lumps. Put mixture in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the boiling water, and stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. When stiff, remove from heat and add alum. Store in air-tight container. Should keep several weeks. If the paste hardens, soften by mixing in small amounts of warm water as needed.
And some people eat these ingredients at each and every meal. It is no wonder why so many people feel stuck and are in pain. They don’t know that they are eating glue.
Next time you are thinking a flour product will be good to eat, just imagine wallpaper glue being inside of you. You might just decide to eat something else.
Recent research has determined that as many as 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease, and many don’t know it. An expert panel convened by the National Institutes of Health last month estimated that some 3 million Americans may suffer from the illness–10 times as many as doctors once thought. The disease is not just discomforting; gluten from wheat, rye, barley and several other grains triggers an immune response that attacks the lining of the intestines, cutting down on the absorption of calcium, iron and other nutrients. There are many reasons to cut wheat out of your diet, and there are too many alternatives to choose from.
Common symptoms of a wheat allergy include:
* Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
* hives (urticaria)
* Asthma
* “Hay fever” (allergic rhinitis)
* Angioedema (swelling)
* Abdominal cramps
Other wheat allergy symptoms may include:
* Anaphylactic shock
* Arthritis
* Bloated stomach
* Chest pains
* Depression or mood swings
* Diarrhea
* Feeling dizzy or faint
* Headache
* Joint and muscle aches and pains
* Nausea or vomiting
* Palpitations
* Psoriasis
* Rashes
* Sneezing
* Suspected irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or similar effects
* Swollen throat or tongue
* Tiredness and lethargy
* Unexplained cough
* Unexplained runny nose

And don’t forget wheat’s main ingredient. GLUE! You don’t want glue inside of you. Don’t be a dough girl or a dough do.

The next food to drop from your diet if you want to increase your flexibility is Dairy and especially the biggest flexibility thief, cheese. Cheese is glue also. Casein, the main protein in milk is glue.
Let’s investigate the most abundant milk protein, casein. The following paragraphs are from my good friend Robert Cohen in his book, Milk-The deadly poison.

CASEIN is a tenacious glue. Eighty-seven percent of milk is water.
Four percent of the remaining thirteen percent is CASEIN. The furniture
in your home is held together by this powerful glue. So too is the label affixed to a bottle of beer. If you are a beer drinker, try scraping that label off this weekend. That will be no easy task and quite a learning experience!
Food manufacturers have long understood that glue holds foods together
giving them a firmer and more concrete appearance. It is no coincidence
that each of the major tuna fish manufacturers have elected to put
nature’s perfect glue in their little cans. Open that tin and expect to
eat tuna? Got milk? Got glue! Starkist Tuna (Sorry, Charlie), Bumble
Bee Tuna and even Chicken of the Sea all use this tenacious glue. Why
do they put milk in our tuna fish? It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!
Can we ever look at Hostess Twinkies the same way after learning that
CASEIN is used as the binding agent? American’s munchie cravings are
satisfied by Ring Dings and Yankee Doodles…all containing this most
powerful bovine glue. Why do they do that to us? – Thank You Robert!

Between 30 million and 50 million people in the United States suffer from lactose intolerance. That means at least 1 out of every 10 Americans is lactose intolerant. Maybe these allergies to these substances are a warning sign that these products are not healthy for us. Most people think something is wrong with them, and they need medication to get relief. Only to keep eating the product the body is clearly telling them it’s not right for them.
If your body is trying to reject something, don’t eat it. And if you are not feeling any one of these symptoms, this doesn’t mean you can handle it. It could mean that you just got used to it. Think of an allergy as the immune systems defenses working overtime to eject something that does not belong.
Rather then suppress your allergies, thank your body for responding the right way, and telling you to not put the harmful substances back in.
In one of my first yoga classes with the yoga master, Sri Dharma Mittra he said, you bend like the string bean, are you eating string beans? That made me think. You really are what you eat. In another class, Dharma said to the class, “If you eat cooked, dead, fried, toasted foods, you will feel cooked, dead, fried and toasted. If you eat live foods you will feel live”.
This sounds so simple, we have to laugh when we hear it for the first time.
It just makes sense. And if you really pay attention to the relationship between food and your mood, al lot about your dietary effects will be revealed to you. The way you feel is directly caused by your food. You will simply feel better when you eat better. You have the power in your hand to control what you put into your mouth. Most people think they don’t feel good because of something else. They constantly rationalize why they don’t feel good. Some people blame their job, their kids, their age, maybe even their past injuries why they are in pain. And if staying in pain is working for them, then they are defiantly correct in these rationalizations. But this is not true. Once you make real dietary changes, you will feel very different. It is a relief that the power is on your plate. What you eat is something you CAN control. You work every day to earn the money, you go out and buy the food, prepare it, and eat it. Then you have to clean up afterwards and repeat the cycle. These are conscious choices you are making. No one is forcing you unhealthy foods. You are making the choice. If you are making all these choices, then it is easy to make different choices. As you make one healthy choice, it is easier to make the next healthy choice and the next healthy choice, and this new cycle begins to be created. Every little bit helps. Have one day a week that is your healthy day, the day where you omit all dairy, wheat, and try to eat raw, fresh organic foods. One day can turn into two days, and three, and then it becomes second nature. As you give your body what it is really craving, your body will ask for more healthy foods.
Its only natural.
What are the foods to eat that will make your more flexible?
I believe it is the elements in the food that you are eating that makes you feel better, or feel worse. I recommend eating foods with a very high mineral content, as well as a very high water content. Juicy cucumbers, crisp celery, the abundance of greens, kale, salads, sprouts, the elements in these foods will make you feel more flexible. The main element that aids in flexibility in these foods is minerals. Minerals are essential to life. Its what we are made of. You are what minerals you eat, and metabolize.

Specific minerals and what they do
In addition to vitamins your body also needs 15 minerals that help regulate cell function and provide structure for cells. Major minerals, in terms of amount present, include calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. In addition, your body needs smaller amounts of chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, zinc, chloride, potassium and sodium.
Calcium: Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is found in some foods, added to others, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids). Calcium is required for muscle contraction, blood vessel expansion and contraction, secretion of hormones and enzymes, and transmitting impulses throughout the nervous system. The body strives to maintain constant concentrations of calcium in blood, muscle, and intercellular fluids, though less than <1% of total body calcium is needed to support these functions. The remaining 99% of the body’s calcium supply is stored in the bones and teeth where it supports their structure. Bone itself undergoes continuous remodeling, with constant resorption and deposition of calcium into new bone. The balance between bone resorption and deposition changes with age. Bone formation exceeds resorption in growing children, whereas in early and middle adulthood both processes are relatively equal. In aging adults, particularly among postmenopausal women, bone breakdown exceeds formation, resulting in bone loss that increases the risk of osteoporosis over time.
It is common to believe that calcium comes from dairy products, but since dairy products lack magnesium, its calcium can not be absorbed by the body.
Dr. Fuhrman points out that despite its reputation, milk’s calcium-absorption rate is lower than what you might think:
“Many green vegetables have calcium-absorption rates of over 50 percent, compared with about 32 percent for milk. Additionally since animal protein induces calcium excretion in the urine, the calcium retention from vegetables is higher. All green vegetables are high in calcium. It is also noted that the countries with the highest rate of dairy consumption, also have the highest rates of osteoporosis (Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark & the US)
Turnip greens have 100 mg of absorbable calcium with the highest rentention. Go for the greens.
Sources-Kale, bok choy, turnip and mustard greens, tofu, almonds and broccoli.
Chloride: A mineral that regulates body fluid volume, concentration and acid-base balance. Balance intertwined with that of sodium. Chloride: The major anion (negatively charged substance) in the blood and extracellular fluid (the body fluid that lies outside cells). Blood and other body fluids have almost the same concentration of chloride ion as sea water. The balance of chloride ion (Cl-) is closely regulated by the body. Significant increases or decreases in chloride can have deleterious and even fatal consequences:
* Hypochloremia: Abnormally low blood chloride. Chloride is normally lost in the urine, sweat, and stomach secretions. Excessive loss can occur from heavy sweating, vomiting, and adrenal gland and kidney disease. Something we need to make sure we are properly replacing while doing hot yoga.
The normal serum range for chloride is 98 – 108 mmol/L.
Most of the chloride in your body comes from the salt (sodium chloride) you eat. Chloride is absorbed by your intestines when you digest food. Extra chloride leaves your body in your urine.
sources: Sea vegetables are a great source of chloride.
Chromium: A mineral important in regulating blood glucose.
Chromium is known to enhance the action of insulin, a hormone critical to the metabolism and storage of carbohydrate, fat, and protein in the body. In 1957, a compound in brewers’ yeast was found to prevent an age-related decline in the ability of rats to maintain normal levels of sugar (glucose) in their blood. Chromium was identified as the active ingredient in this so-called “glucose tolerance factor” in 1959. Chromium also appears to be directly involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism, but more research is needed to determine the full range of its roles in the body. The challenges to meeting this goal include:
sources: some spices, fruits & vegetables, brewer’s yeast, & whole grains
½ cup of broccoli may have 11 mcg of chromium. 3 oz of turkey breast has only around 2 mcg of chromium, so again, the vegetables are better, and easily absorbed. It is recommended that we get around 35mcg per day.

Copper: Is a mineral that is important for nerve function, bone maintenance, growth, blood formation and utilization of glucose. Copper comes in two forms, copper gluconate and copper sulfate. Copper is a trace element that is found in virtually every cell of the human body. It is a primary element in the production of melanin in the human body. Melanin is responsible for pigmentation in the eyes, hair and skin. Copper is active in many ways in the human body. It is a powerful antioxidant which acts on the body to remove free radicals and help prevent cell structure damage. It is also thought to have anticarcinogenic properties, and unlike the copper bracelets sold as an arthritis cure, copper inside the body can help to alleviate some arthritis pain. In the human body, copper assists the utilization of iron. The copper balance is the body can be upset by extremely high intakes of high fiber diets, iron or vitamin C, all of which interfere with the way the body metabolizes the copper. Prolonged intake of zinc which is at a ratio greater than ten to one of intake of copper can also interfere with absorption and metabolism in the body. You can also get your dietary copper from many forms of nuts such as brazil nuts and hazelnuts. Cocoa also contains copper, as does honey, dried beans and whole wheat products. ratio of zinc.
Recommended intakes of copper vary, but the common agreement among professionals seems to be between 2 to 3 milligrams daily, most of which is obtained from dietary sources. Of course, before starting any form of supplementation you should consult your health care practitioner.
sources: sea foods, nuts and seeds.
Fluoride: Is a mineral that is important to dental and bone health. Greatly improves resistance to cavitites. Fluoride also plays a role in the remineralization process. Remineralization, which is the process of restoring minerals that have been lost due to use or elimination, is especially important to bones. In the case of the bones, fluoride actually helps prevent mineral loss from occurring in the first place. Fluoride actually helps bones hold on to minerals more effectively. It’s believed that this function plays a big role in protecting a person against the onset of osteoporosis. No recommended daily intake has yet been established for fluoride. The general consensus is that 1.5 mg/day for adults and no more than 2.5 mg/day for children is adequate. Any canned or botteled drink has fluoride, including beer & wine, from the water added and the chemicals used (Cryolite) for growing of wine grapes. Teflon cookware puts fluoride in our body. Only cook with cast iron, glass or stainless steel. It really matters!
I am actually shocked at all the placed we are getting fluoride in out food chain, infant formulas, sodas, wines, beers, tea, mechanically de-boned chicken, toothpastes, fluoridated salt, and of course, our tap water.
I am starting to wonder about the fluoride conspiracy.
sources: Everything, Toothpaste, anything containing fluoridated water, any packed, canned or glass liquid, foods cooked in or containing fluoridated water, fish with bones that are eaten, and tea.
Iodine: A mineral essential for the production of thyroid hormones. The way this mineral works is that when the iodine is ingested, seventy-five percent of this mineral makes its way to the thyroid gland. At that point, iodine combines with two important hormones that are produced by the thyroid gland: thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These two hormones are required by every part of the body. Their most important role is supporting the body’s ability to produce energy. It is these hormones that control and regulate basal metabolic rates. In simple terms, they determine how fast and how efficiently the body is able to burn calories. Very importantly, thyroid hormones help control a child’s mental development and their overall growth rate. A major risk for pregnant women is if they develop an iodine deficiency, they increase their risk of their newborn babies developing some degree of mental retardation. Iodine is also a proven and effective antiseptic. In addition to helping clean and heal wounds, it will discolor the skin.
Another role of iodine is for times when secretions build up in the lungs, iodine is used to thin them. Thus, making these secretions much easier to expel.
sources: Seaweeds, iodized salt and foods containing iodized salt.
Source of iodine is seafood and sea plants, such as, kelp and seaweed. Fruits and vegetables grown in coastal regions are other good sources of iodine. Processed foods are not a good source of iodine as they typically are not made with iodized salt (interesting iodine facts #2).
Iron: A mineral that is an essential constituent of blood and muscle and important for the transport of oxygen. Certain groups can be at risk of having low iron levels. These include young children and early teens, women with heavy menses, women with multiple pregnancies, and people with conditions that cause internal bleeding, such as ulcers or intestinal diseases. But for healthy men and postmenopausal women, iron deficiency is rare. In fact, one study suggested that high iron levels may increase risk of heart attack and atherosclerosis, although a link hasn’t been proven. In addition, if you have the uncommon — but not rare — genetic disease hemochromatosis, iron supplements could cause a hazardous iron buildup in your body. sources: legumes, whole or enriched grains and dark green vegetables.
Magnesium: A mineral found mainly inside muscles, soft tissues and bone.It functions in many enzyme processes. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines. Magnesium is excreted through the kidneys.
Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule (which gives green vegetables their color) contains magnesium. Some legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, and whole, unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium. Refined grains are generally low in magnesium. When white flour is refined and processed, the magnesium-rich germ and bran are removed. Bread made from whole grain wheat flour provides more magnesium than bread made from white refined flour. Tap water can be a source of magnesium, but the amount varies according to the water supply. Water that naturally contains more minerals is described as “hard”. “Hard” water contains more magnesium than “soft” water. Eating a wide variety of legumes, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables will help you meet your daily dietary need for magnesium. sources: nuts, legumes, whole grains and green vegetables. ½ cup of spinach has 75 absorbable milligrams of magnesium.
Manganese: A mineral that is important for growth, reproduction, formation of bone, and carbohydrate metabolism. Health benefits of manganese ensure healthy bone structure, bone metabolism, helping in building essential enzymes for building bones. It acts as a coenzyme to assist metabolic progression in the human body. Apart from these, there are other health benefits of manganese actively involved in forming connective tissues, absorption of calcium, proper functioning of thyroid, sex hormones, regulating blood sugar level, and metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
Manganese is a mineral form, found in our human body in very minimal amount. Manganese is an actual component of manganese super oxide dismutase enzyme. It is a powerful antioxidant that searches the free radicals in human body and manages to neutralize these damaging particles and prevent any potential danger they may cause. The body may contain at the most 20 mg of manganese concentrated in our kidneys, pancreas, liver and most importantly in our bones. Manganese is very important for normal functioning of the brain and nerve areas of our body. Important Sources: The most important sources of manganese, rich in this mineral, include names like raspberries, pineapple, garlic, grapes, beetroot, green beans, rice, peppermint, oats, nuts, watercress, mustard greens, strawberries, blackberries, tropical fruits, lettuce, spinach, molasses, cloves, turmeric, leeks, tofu, whole wheat, banana, cucumber, kiwifruit, figs and carrots. The best sources of naturally abundant manganese trace mineral like green veggies, brown rice, coconuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc are excellent absorption helpers.
Molybdenum: A mineral involved in many enzyme processes, nerve function and protein metabolism.
Molybdenum is a component of three different enzymes, which is involved in the metabolism of nucleic acids – DNA and RNA – iron as well as food into energy. These three enzymes are sulfite oxidase, xanthine oxidase and aldehyde oxidase. Molybdenum assists in the breaking down of sulfite toxin build-ups in the body, and may prevent cavities. With these qualities, there might be evidence of antioxidant properties in this nutrient. It assists the body by fighting the nitrosamines, which are associated with cancer, and may help to prevent anemia. It is needed for normal cell function and nitrogen metabolism. Molybdenum deficiencies in older males have also been linked to impotence and may be of value in fighting mouth and gum disorders. Molybdenum is part of sulfite oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down sulfites. Sulfites are found in protein food as well as chemical preservatives in certain foods and drugs. Should your body not be able to break down these sulfites, a toxic build-up results, and your body may react with an allergic reaction.Lima beans, spinach, grain, peas and other dark green leafy vegetables contain molybdenum.
Phosphorus: A mineral essential to bone formation and maintenance, energy metabolism, nerve function and acid balance. Next to calcium, phosphorus is the most abundant mineral in the body. These two important nutrients work closely together to build strong bones and teeth. About 85% of phosphorus in the body can be found in bones and teeth, but it is also present in cells and tissues throughout the body. Phosphorus helps filter out waste in the kidneys and plays an essential role in how the body stores and uses energy. It also helps reduce muscle pain after a hard workout. Phosphorus is needed for the growth, maintenance, and repair of all tissues and cells, and for the production of the genetic building blocks, DNA and RNA. Phosphorus is also needed to help balance and use other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, and zinc.
Sources include green leafy vegetables, whole grains, hard potatoes, dried fruit, garlic cloves, and carbonated beverages.
Potassium: A mineral that is essential for nerve function, muscle contraction and maintenance of normal blood pressure. Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body. It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function, too. Many foods contain potassium, including all meats, some types of fish (such as salmon, cod, and flounder), and many fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Dairy products are also good sources of potassium. Sources: fruits and vegetables.
Selenium: A mineral associated with antioxidant properties and fat metabolism. It has been claimed to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. One recent study did suggest that selenium supplements may decrease cancer risk. However, more research is needed. Taking excessive amounts of selenium may cause hair and nail loss. Selenium is incorporated into proteins to make selenoproteins, which are important antioxidant enzymes. The antioxidant properties of selenoproteins help prevent cellular damage from free radicals. Free radicals are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism that may contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Other selenoproteins help regulate thyroid function and play a role in the immune system. Sources: all plant foods contain selenium.
Sodium: A mineral that regulates body fluid volume, concentration and acid-base. Sodium is an absolutely necessary mineral for the human body. Without it, nerves and muscles would cease to function, the absorption of major nutrients would be impaired, and the body would not be able to maintain adequate water and mineral balance. Sources: table salt (sodium chloride), foods processed with table salt, celery and other watery greens.
Zinc: A mineral involved in wound healing, taste sensation, growth and sexual maturation and part of many enzymes regulating metabolism. Zinc is an essential mineral that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Zinc is also found in many cold lozenges and some over-the-counter drugs sold as cold remedies.
Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism. It is required for the catalytic activity of approximately 100 enzymes and it plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence and is required for proper sense of taste and smell. A daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a steady state because the body has no specialized zinc storage system. Some studies have also shown that taking a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement containing zinc may increase immune response in older people. However, other studies have shown just the opposite — that zinc may weaken the immune status of older people.
Add a little flax oil to your diet, and you can actually lubricate your joints and counteract the toxicity of cooked oils stored in our body. Although the body readily makes most of the fat that it needs from dietary starch or sugar, humans lack the ability to make EFAs and must get them in food. EFAs are found in all foods but are most abundant in certain oils. They come in two distinct families, based upon their chemical structure. The two EFA families are not interchangeable and, in fact, tend to compete with each other in the body’s metabolic pathways. The larger family, called omega-six EFAs, is abundant in many vegetable seed oils, including corn, sunflower, and safflower. Deficiencies of omega six EFAs causes impairment of growth and fertility, hormonal disturbances, and immunologic abnormalities. People living in North America and Europe have relatively high levels of omega-six EFAs in their diets, because of the increasing consumption of vegetable oil during the twentieth century. The smaller family, called omega-three EFAs, is most concentrated in fish oils and in flaxseed (linseed oil). It is also found in green, leafy vegetables and in the flesh of animals that feed on grass and leaves. The human brain is rich in omega-three EFAs; their deficiency causes abnormalities in the development and function of the nervous system, as well as immune defects. Omega-three EFAs formed an important part of the diet of Stone Age humans, who relied heavily on wild game and leafy plants for nourishment. Consumption of fish, flaxseed meal, and soybeans supplied omega-threes for our more recent ancestors. The past century has witnessed a systematic depletion of omega-three EFAs from the Western diet because of changes in food choice and in techniques of animal husbandry and food processing. Most of the fat we eat is simply burned or stored. A special fate awaits dietary EFAs. First, they are incorporated into the membranes that surrounding cells, giving cell membranes the degree of flexibility needed for each cell to respond properly to signals from other cells. Second, EFAs are plucked from the cell membrane and transformed into chemical messengers called Prostaglandins and leukotrienes (as a group, these substances are known as prostanoids). Altered production of prostanoids and abnormal regulation of free intracellular calcium levels are universal companions to sickness of any type, from heart disease to cancer, from diseases of the skin like psoriasis and eczema, to diseases of the mind, like depression and schizophrenia.
Now that you understand the complexity of minerals and how necessary they are, I hope you can realize more now then ever the importance of choosing the right foods for your body. You can eat for flexibility. Simply eating more fresh, organic vegetables will make you more flexible.
Without the correct ratio of these complex minerals, the body becomes fatigued, rigid, and there is an extreme loss of flexibility.
This article is just the tip of the iceberg. I hope this inspires you to look deeper into the complexity of your body, and you can discover even deeper how you are what you eat.
Nutrients and the Vegetables they come from
Calcium- Beet root, cabbage, carrot, celeriac, kale, leek, lettuce, pepper, potato, spinach, tomato, turnip,
apple, pear, currant, corn, wheat
Copper- Cabbage, carrot, celeriac, leek, lentil, lettuce, pepper, potato, spinach, turnip, apple, pear, currant,
barley, brown rice, corn, wheat
Iron- Cabbage, carrot, celeriac, leek, lentil, lettuce, pepper, potato, spinach, tomato, turnip, apple, pear,
currant, barley, brown rice, corn, wheat
Magnesium- Beet root, cabbage, carrot, celeriac, kale, leek, lettuce, pepper, potato, spinach, tomato, turnip,
apple, pear, currant, corn, wheat
Manganese- Cabbage, carrot, celeriac, leek, lettuce, pepper, potato, spinach, turnip, apple, pear, corn, wheat
Phosphorus- Beet root, cabbage, carrot, celeriac, kale, leek, lettuce, pepper, potato, spinach, tomato, turnip,
apple, pear, currant, corn, wheat
Potassium- Beet root, cabbage, carrot, celeriac, kale, leek, lettuce, pepper, potato, spinach, tomato, turnip,
apple, pear, corn, wheat
Sodium- Beet root, cabbage, carrot, kale, leek, lettuce, potato, spinach, tomato, turnip, apple, pear, corn,
Zinc- Cabbage, carrot, celeriac, lentil, lettuce, pepper, potato, spinach, tomato, apple, pear, barley, brown
rice, corn, wheat
b-carotene- Beet leaf, carrot, lettuce, spinach, tomato, corn
Vitamin C- Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrot, celeriac, corn salad, endive, kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, mango, pepper, potato, snap beans, spinach, tomato, turnip, currant
Your nutrient absorption all depends on weather you eat
Modern farming methods have severely depressed our mineral intake, and have also depressed our health. The same foods are grown in the same soil year after year, and with little regard to the quality of the soil. When the plants get weaker due to the lack of minerals, these plants become more susceptible to pests. Then they get dumped with toxic pesticides, and the further degration of the plants mineral content continues. The biggest challenge of non-organic vegetables is the abundance of genetically engineered foods in our food chain. Some foods are grown with pesticides already in the seed before its even grown, This is only a simple example. Please look more into genetically engineered foods.
I surprisingly found a study online that showed the percent more minerals in organic crops as compared to conventional crops. If you don’t eat organic you are being robbed, and poisoned.
Here are the findings.
Boron 40% more minerals
Calcium 30% more minerals
Chromium 86%
Copper 10%
Iodine 498%
Iron 20%
Magnesium 30%
Manganese 50%
Molybdenum 152%
Phosphorus 12%
Potassium 10%
Selenium 372%
Sodium 20%
Vanadium 10%
Zinc 8%
The nutrient content of the vegetable portion of a daily menu was estimated for both
an organic and a conventional diet. It was assumed that both diets met the current recommended dietary intake for vegetables and provided 5 servings of vegetables of the recommended size (U. S. Department of Agri- culture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 1995): 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables and 1/2 cup of other vegetables. It was also assumed that the five most frequently studied vegetables, as listed above, were consumed. U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient composition data (U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service,1999) were used to estimate the nutrient content of vegetables produced with agricultural chemicals because nearly all crops in the United States are produced with these chem-
icals. The amount of each nutrient in each organic vegetable was estimated, using the percent difference numbers calculated for vegetables in this analysis, as follows:tent was statistically significant. In order to produce a coherent visual display, average per-
cent difference was calculated by study for these nutrients, and these results were plotted for each of these frequently studied nutrients. Data were analyzed using SAS (SAS Institute Inc. , Cary, NC) and plots were produced using NCSS (NCSS Inc., Kaysville, UT).
Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains VIRGINIA WORTHINGTON, M.S. , Sc. D. , C.N. S.
Vol ume 7, Number 2, 2001, pp. 161– 173
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


What are Mantras?

If you have been to a yoga class, I’m sure you have heard songs with the words Hare Krishna, Hare Rama. I am sure the thought has crossed your mind. What is all this chanting about?

Mantras are vibrational words brought together with intention for the power of training the mind.

Think of the word Mantra as Mind Train.

Mantras are ways of training the mind to direct the train of thought.

This brings forth new, more desirable, more spiritual, more healthful, actions.
Mantras are used not only by the mere words themselves, but also the vibrations these words instill within the body.

Mantras are usually done three times, and may be done up to 108 times while someone is performing Japa, or the path of yoga in which one uses beads to keep count of the amount of rounds of the mantras. Some yogis may spend their entire waking state performing many rounds of their mantras.

Some mantras are passed from teacher to student, and some are traditional in the culture of yoga.

Mantra for Teaching Yoga

Om Sa-Ha-Na Va-Va-Tu

Sa-Ha-Nau Bhu-Nat-Tu

Sa-Ha Vir-Yam Kara-Wav-a-Hai


Ma Vid-Vish-Ava-Hai

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Let us together be protected

Let us together be nourished by Gods Blessings
Together may we join our mental forces and

our strengths for the benefit of humanity
May we work with great energy and be endowed with a sense of purpose

May our efforts at learning together be
luminous and effective

Let us never be poisoned by the feelings of hatred or dispute with each other

May there be peace and serenity in all of
the three universes

Peace, peace, peace


Why Hot Yoga?



“Give me a chance to create a fever and I will cure any disease,” said the great ancient physician Parmenides. Many modern giants of biological medicine in Europe, such as the Nobel Prize winner, Dr. A. Lwoff, a famous German cancer specialist, Prof. Werner Zabel, and the director of the most successful cancer clinic in the world, the Ringberg-Klinik, Dr. Josef Issels, use artificially induced fever in their battle against cancer. Hyperthermia in general means a body temperature that is higher than normal. High body temperatures are often caused by illness such as fever or heat stroke. But hyperthermia can also refer to heat treatment – the carefully controlled use of heat for medical purposes. Here, we will focus on how heat is used to treat cancer.

How can hyperthermia be used to treat cancer and other disease?
There are 2 main ways in which hyperthermia can be used:

(from the American Cancer Institutes website)

* Very high temperatures can be used to destroy a small area of cells,
such as a tumor. This is commonly referred to as local hyperthermia or thermal ablation.


* The temperature of a part of the body (or even the whole body) can be raised to a higher than normal level. Although it isn’t hot enough to kill the cells directly, it can allow other types of cancer treatments such as radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy to work better. This is known as either regional hyperthermia or whole body hyperthermia.


A few studies take the body temperature higher, around 107° F, for short periods of time. At least one human study suggests that this may cause certain immune cells to become more active for the next few hours. Other studies are testing hyperthermia and chemotherapy along with other treatments that are designed to boost the activity of the person’s immune system.
Hyperthermia (also called thermal therapy or thermotherapy) is a type of cancer treatment in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures (104-113°F). Research has shown that high temperatures can damage and kill cancer cells, usually with minimal injury to normal tissues. By killing cancer cells and damaging proteins and structures within cells, hyperthermia may shrink tumors. Whole-body hyperthermia is used to treat metastatic cancer that has spread throughout the body. This can be accomplished by several techniques that raise the body temperature to 104-108°F, including the use of thermal chambers (similar to large incubators) or hot water blankets. And HOT YOGA.

In Our Hot Yoga classes the room is heated to 95-107’ to ensure the greatest benefits to all who attend.


The use of heat to treat disease goes back to ancient times.

Application of fire to cure a breast tumor is recorded in an ancient Egyptian papyrus, and the therapeutic value of elevated body temperature in the form of fever was appreciated by ancient Greek physicians.
Hippocrates wrote,

‘‘What medicines do not heal, the lance will; what the lance does not heal, fire will,’’


While Parmenides stated,

‘‘Give me a chance to create a fever and I will cure any disease.’’


In the first century AD, Rufus (also written as Refus or Ruphos) of Ephesus advocated fever therapy for a variety of diseases. Hot baths were considered therapeutic in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, and India as they still are in many aboriginal cultures today, along with burying diseased individuals in hot sand or mud. Hot baths and saunas are an integral part of health traditions throughout the Orient, in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, as well as in Eastern European and Scandinavian countries. Following several earlier anecdotal reports, several nineteenth century German physicians observed regression or cure of sarcoma in patients who suffered prolonged, high fevers due to infectious diseases. This led to efforts to induce infectious fevers in cancer patients, for example, by applying soiled bandages or the blood of malaria patients to wounds. At around the same time, treatment of syphilis by placing the patient in a stove-heated room, or a heat box, became commonplace. Successful hyperthermic treatment of other sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, and neurological conditions, such as chorea minor, dementia paralytica, and multiple sclerosis along with arthritis, and asthma were widely reported.
Interestingly, it was noted by Italian physicians that upon completion of the draining of the Pontine Swamps near Rome by Mussolini in the 1930s. Not only was malaria eradicated, but the prevalence of cancer in the area was the same as in the rest of Italy, whereas earlier the whole malaria infected region was noted for its absence of cancer. It was concluded that the frequent fever attacks common in malaria stimulated the immune system to prevent the development of cancers. The science of hyperthermia became grounded in the first few decades of the twentieth century when some of the biological effects of elevated body temperature were elucidated and attempts were made to understand and control the therapeutic application of heat. Numerous devices were developed to produce elevated temperatures of the body, by a variety of physical means. After a shift in focus to local and regional hyperthermia, there is now a resurgence of interest in systemic hyperthermia for treatment of cancer, as well as other systemic diseases. Whole-body hyperthermia treatment is now carried out at several university centers in the United States, and Europe, where controlled clinical trials are being carried out. Sweat every day.