<![CDATA[Byron Bay and Lennox Head, Yoga White Lotus - Sivananda Tradition - Blog]]>Wed, 01 Nov 2017 14:24:58 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Accessible Yoga with special guest Jivana Heyman]]>Tue, 11 Jul 2017 05:59:48 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/accessible-yoga-with-special-guest-jivana-heyman
Jivana Heyman is the founder of Accessible Yoga, an international advocacy organisation which offers Conferences, an Ambassador program, online Network, and Trainings. Details at www.accessibleyoga.org. Jivana is also co-owner of the Santa Barbara Yoga Centre, and manager of the San Francisco Integral Yoga Institute. Jivana has specialized in teaching yoga to people with disabilities with an emphasis on sharing yoga philosophy. His passion is making Yoga accessible to everyone, and empowering people with the Yoga practices.

Jivana is passionate about making yoga accessible to everybody, during the talk we had a taste of his compassionate yet focused outlook and his dedication to his craft. 
During the talk we had some insightful gems like:

'When we have pain, this is teaching us about the limitations of our mind, if we are willing to look at that lesson, we are able to transform ourselves and move beyond the limiting thinking we are currently in'

This is a video for everybody to watch, so here it is for you.

Enjoy!

Om Shanti

Madhava & Shyamala


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<![CDATA[The Science of Mantra Yoga with Madhava.]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 11:49:35 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/the-science-of-mantra-yoga-with-madhava

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<![CDATA[5 Steps for Breaking Bad Habits.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 03:20:37 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/5-steps-for-breaking-bad-habits
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<![CDATA[Yoga & Mindfulness for Teens with special guest Chandrika.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:59:39 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/yoga-mindfulness-for-teens-with-special-guest-chandrika
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<![CDATA[How to Be a Yogic Hero with special guest Bhima. Part 2.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:54:03 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/how-to-be-a-yogic-hero-with-special-guest-bhima-part-2
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<![CDATA[How to Be a Yogic Hero with special guest Bhima. Part 1.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:51:14 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/how-to-be-a-yogic-hero-with-special-guest-bhima-part-1
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<![CDATA[Yoga Sutras for Modern Yogis Part 2.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:48:56 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/yoga-sutras-for-modern-yogis-part-2
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<![CDATA[Yoga Sutras for Modern Yogis' with special guest Mannu Part 1.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:46:54 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/yoga-sutras-for-modern-yogis-with-special-guest-mannu-part-1
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<![CDATA[The Yoga of Parenting.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:44:23 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/the-yoga-of-parenting
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<![CDATA[Understanding Vibrational Energy.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:41:33 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/understanding-vibrational-energy
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<![CDATA[Yamas & Niyamas with Special Guest Manu.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:38:48 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/yamas-niyamas-with-special-guest-manu
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<![CDATA[Meditation & the Monkey Mind.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:36:01 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/meditation-the-monkey-mind
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<![CDATA[The Yoga of Detachment.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:31:29 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/the-yoga-of-detachment
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<![CDATA[Karma: The Best Life Strategy!]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:28:50 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/karma-the-best-life-strategy
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<![CDATA[5 Strategies for Self-Healing Through Yoga for Sensitive Bodies.]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 01:21:27 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/5-strategies-for-self-healing-through-yoga-for-sensitive-bodies
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<![CDATA[The Origin and Meaning of Yoga]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:40:07 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/the-origin-and-meaning-of-yoga

On 21st of June, the International Yoga Day,  I broadcasted this video, live on Facebook. A short talk on the origin and meaning of yoga. Enjoy it ;)


Thank you.

Om Shnati

Madhava

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<![CDATA[7 Simple Tips for Big Challenges in Meditation.]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 00:35:55 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/7-simple-tips-for-big-challenges-in-meditation
Simple Tips for Big Challenges in Meditation Main Image
This blog isn’t a guide to meditation. This is about giving you real, practical and simple tips, based on our own practice, to overcome the biggest challenges in meditation. 
These days meditation is a trend. Entrepreneurs, successful business men/women, athletes, etc. they all rave about how meditation has allowed them to have the focus and clarity to succeed in their fields. 

​For us, there is no doubt, without meditation we’d be going nuts! :)
If meditation is the most powerful tool to achieving success in any field of life, then why aren’t we all dedicating a tiny fraction of our day to the one thing that can make a huge difference to our lives?

The most frequent answer is that it is difficult to meditate. Why is it so difficult? Simply because to enjoy lasting benefits from meditation, the practice must be regular!

Like anything, to achieve something worthwhile in life, it takes effort and practice.

This blog isn’t a guide to meditation. If you are looking for one you can check our blog 'How to Meditate, 6 Easy Steps'. This is about giving you real, practical and simple tips, based on our own practice, to overcome the biggest challenges in meditation. 

​​​So get ready and let’s get into it:
TIP#1 Reconnect to Your Why
There is only one way to success in meditation, this is regularity. To have regularity the most important thing is to stay inspired. Inspiration comes from the reason why you want to do it in the first place. There is always a reason, you just have to get clarity.

To get clarity simply ask yourself why would you like to have a meditation practice? Write the answers down, hang them on your wall, desk, wherever it's visible. This will help you as a  reminder that you really need to do this. 


TIP#2 ‘Anywhere’ is the Best Place for Meditation
No more excuses, you can meditate anywhere! Yes, it would be nice to have a separate room in our place dedicated to meditation but this is clearly not a possibility for everybody. 

So if you are one of them, just do it wherever you can, on your bed, on the sofa, in the office, on the airplane, and of course don’t forget the best place ever… Nature.


TIP#3 The Best Meditation Pose is ‘Comfortable’
My back hurts, my knees and hips are sensitive, we hear you!  If the body is in pain, meditation is difficult. The most important thing is to be comfortable. 

If you need to sit on a chair, do so, this is not a defeat, rather, this is a smart decision that will help you to start your meditation right now. 

If you like yoga asanas then, with time and practice, you will be able to sit in a cross legged meditative pose comfortably.


TIP#4 No Expectations
Don’t buy the idea that every time a yogi sits for meditation, he or she will get into a blissful state. In fact most of the time we are only trying to calm the ‘monkey mind’.

So keeping this in mind, start your meditation practice with no expectation of result, to meet no disappointment.

TIP#5 Being With Your Thoughts But Not Involved in Your Thoughts
The ‘monkey mind’, or the restless mind, is the biggest challenge in meditation. The best solution is… being with your thoughts but not involved in your thoughts. Be the witness of your mind. 

You are not the mind!


TIP #6 Just Sit There
If tip number 5 doesn’t work, and your mind is all over the place, then just sit there! The most important thing is to do the practice.


TIP #7 Only 10 Minutes
Consider this, there are 1440 minutes in a day. How many do you waste on Facebook, in front of the TV or online? That’s how many minutes you can devote to meditation.

Try to commit to a short but regular period of meditation. Remind yourself: it's just 10 minutes! You can easily set this as a daily goal. Once you start to feel the benefits and the practice becomes habitual, then start to increase the length of meditation little by little.

This blog post was based on a Broadcast of our ‘All Things Yoga Show’ Live Show. Watch the full video:

​So that’s it, just get the best of these simple tips and start your meditation practice now.


We'd love to hear about any tip you might have about meditation. Just leave a comment to share with us.

Madhava

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<![CDATA[How to Make Yogi Granola.]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 03:57:06 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/how-to-make-yogi-granolaYogi Granola 1 Main Banner

What if I told you one bowl will not be enough?
 It's a good thing since breakfast is an important part of the day. Now you are probably wondering, is it really that good?! Take my word for it, it really is that deliciously moorish. It will be difficult to resist having it for lunch, dessert, late evening snack and so on...you get the gist.

Homemade Yogi Granola has been one of our favourite breakfasts for a while now. We have it with rice/coconut milk, yoghurt, banana, chia seeds and the list goes on. It is so tasty you will wonder if you have room for just a little bit more even though one bowl will satisfy you until lunch time.

Let's not delay further, as promised, the Yogi Granola recipe that I have been working and re-working for a while now, so that you may enjoy all of this goodness in your own home. Here it is:
Ingredients
  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 4 cups grain puffs (quinoa, rice, buckwheat)
  • 2−2½ cups of your choice of nuts and seeds*
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ tsp. cardamom (optional)
  • 1 cup oil, such as coconut oil (melted)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ cups dried fruits, chopped (optional)

Note: Nuts that are already roasted should go in at the end after the granola is baked so as not to burn. Makes 1.5kg
Yogi Granola 2
Lets Do it!

For this particular granola we are using: five cups of oats, one and a half cup of quinoa puffs, one and a half cup of brown rice puffs, one cup of buckwheat puffs, half a cup of pumpkin seeds, half a cup of sesame seeds, half a cup of macadamias, half a cup of raw cashews, half a cup of wide-flake, unsweetened coconut (added near the end of baking), one teaspoon of kosher salt, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, one cup of coconut oil, half a cup of maple syrup. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Mix the oats and any untoasted nuts or seeds together in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Mix the oil, salt, sweetener, and vanilla in a separate bowl and then mix through dry ingredients.

Turn the granola out onto a roasting pan (or similar) lined with baking paper and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture is light brown and toasted. Stir every 15 minutes or so for an even colour and to make sure the granola is cooking evenly. (If using coconut, add in the last 10 minutes of baking.)

Roughly chop any dried fruits and roasted nuts being added after baking. Remove from the oven and add the chopped dried fruits and any roasted nuts at this time. Stir to combine.
Let the granola cool completely before enjoying. The granola will continue cooking a little in the cooling process. It will also firm up and dry out, so if it seems a little too wet don't worry. Store in an airtight container and it should stay fresh for seven to ten days. For longer shelf life, store in the refrigerator.
Yogi Granola 3
Tips
  • Do you want clumpy granola? The key to getting chunkier granola is not to mix the granola as it is baking. Pat the wet mixture down into the baking tray with the back of a spatula and don't mix or disturb it while baking. The layer should not be thicker than one and a half centimetres. Then, after cooking, you can remove it from the pan in granola chunks and store as indicated above.

  • Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia and sesame seeds. Fruits: dried cranberries, apricots, raisins and currents are all great choices. Experiment with different combinations to find your favourite!

  • Consider your oats: make sure to use regular, unstabilised oats for your granola, not quick-cooking or stabilised oats. Quick-cooking oats are less substantial and will cook differently resulting in an almost dusty granola texture.

  • You should mix all of your dry ingredients together before adding your wet ingredients so as to avoid the clumping of salts and spices.  Don't fear the salt! Salt enhances the flavour of your granola. 
This Granola is an essential item at our weekend retreats, plus many other delicious yogic meals that will nourish you and keep you radiant and your digestion happy and fulfilled.  Our weekend yoga retreats are a great way to experience the detoxing benefits of eating wholesome, vegetarian, yogic food.

Since it has benefited so many of our retreaters and has been requested for such a long time, we have finally put together The Yogic eCook Book: SERVE LOVE COOK which includes all the recipes we use on retreat plus more so that you can have it at your fingertips for whenever you feel inspired. The book will be available to purchase really soon. Subscribe below if you wish to be notified of the release of SERVE LOVE COOK. 

​Let me know how you went and what you think by commenting below.


Thank you so much.

​Shyamala.

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<![CDATA[Our Top 10 Ayurvedic Spices for Yogic Cooking.]]>Wed, 16 Nov 2016 11:45:07 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/our-top-10-ayurvedic-spices-for-yogic-cooking
Top 10 Aurvedic Spices Image Banner
If you ask me what is the one thing I should learn first and eventually master in yogic/ayurvedic cooking, my answer would be... knowing how to mix the spices!
Spices can bring so much flavour, healing qualities, texture and beauty to your food. The tricky and overwhelming part is that each one of them, has a definite flavour, healing quality, way of cooking and there are a lot of them!!

Well dont' be overwhelmed, because today wer'e going to share the experience of 12 years of everyday ayurvedic cooking and give you the ultimate list of Ayurvedic spices!

Let's go!


Our Top 10 Ayurvedic Spices
For Yogic Cooking!

#1 Turmeric (Powder/Fresh): Ok, this is the king or queen? of the spices. Any way, any where any time! Helps digestion, maintains stomach flora, reduces gas, antibiotic, good for stress and anxiety, cuts, wounds, burns and skin problems. Yummy flavour and colour! Bitter taste.

#2 Coriander (Seeds/Powder/Fresh): Every body knows coriander... It's amazing. The powder is one of my favourite spices. I use it in everything. I personally prefer not to use the seeds when cooking soups, the bits can be annoying. Good for digestion, fever and constipation. Astringent taste (fresh).

#3 Cumin (Powder/Seeds):
Some people love the flavour, some dont'. I think you should find the right balance when you use it. Currently I use half of the amount I used to use. Kindles digestion, mild pain relief, restorative to tissues. Pungent taste.

#4 Black Mustard (Seeds): I love them! They bring so much flavour to the food. The downside is that they can create too much heat. Heals bronchial system, sprains and pains. Pungent taste.

#5 Fenugreek (Seeds/Fresh): It has a strong bitter taste so use just a little bit at a time. It'll give a very distinct and incredibly delicious flavour to your dhals. Try with roasted vegetables and any vegetable subjis with pumpking. Good to reduced cholesterol, control sugar levels, menstrual discomfort and supports breast feeding. Bitter taste.

#6 Ginger (Fresh): It is what we consider in yoga a sattvic spice, meaning a pure and balancing spice. It is really special, it gives the spicy kick in the mouth but it soothes your digestive system. The number one spice particulary if you follow a sattvic diet of no onion or garlic. Helps digestion, assimilation and absorption of food stuff, improves circulation, relieves congestion, breaks down blood clots, good for colds, coughs and breathlessness. Sweet taste.

#7 Fennel (Seeds): Amazing subtle flavour and cooling! Digestive aid, diuretic, helps get rid of worms. Sweet taste.

#8 Parsley (Fresh/Dry): So much goodness in one spice. Great for western mediterranean cooking as you know and the fresh leaves on top of any soup. It contains unique antioxidants and disease preventing properties. Astringent taste.

#9 Black Pepper (Corns): Is flavoursome, gives a kick, full of goodness. Helps digestion, cough, worms and promotes lung/heart health. Pungent taste.

#10 Bay Leaves (Dry):
They complement other spices really well. Promotes sweating, is a digestant. Kindles Agni or digestive fire and can be a diuretic. Pungent taste.

#Cardamom (Pods): Good for coughs, breathlessness, a digestant and improves food flavour. Sweet taste.

#Cinnamon (Bark/Powder): Helps digestion and toxic conditions and improves circulation. Sweet taste.
Top 10 Aurvedic Spices Image 1
Top 10 Aurvedic Spices Image 2
Top 10 Aurvedic Spices Image 3

How to use the Ayurvedic Spices.

 Once you know which spices and you have them, the next step is HOW.

There are different type of spices: Seeds/Bark/Roots/Leaves/Powders. For example you can get coriander seeds, powder and fresh leaves. Or you can get cinnamon bark and powder etc.

In Ayurveda we cook the spices in a sautee most of the time. We heat up the oil or ghee (check our video tutorial on how to make ghee) and once it reaches an appropiate temperature we mix the spices in a particular order or sequence.

Seeds and barks go first. Then follows the dry leaves and fresh ginger. Lastly we add the powders. For example take my favourite dhal recipe - spice sequence: (in this particular order)
Mustard Seeds - Fenugreek seeds - Coriander Seeds - Fennel Seeds - Bay Leaves - Fresh Ginger - Coriander Powder - Tumeric Powder - Black Pepper.

(For a complete recipe of our delicious dhal, take a look at our blog: How To Make Yogi Dahl [recipe])

Also stay tuned to our video tutorial on how to mix the Ayurvedic spices which is coming up very soon. On this video I will be giving exact details on how to mix and cook with the spices.


All in one Spice Mix.

Here I just wanted to share with you an awesome, easy and practical ayurvedic spice, home made recipe that can give you all the goodness of the spices without the hassle! We call it the Ayurvedic Super Food Spice Mix.


Some Guidelines:

  • Most spices are potent, so a little goes a long way. You want the spices to enhance the flavours of foods, not overpower the whole dish.
  • Most spices enhance digestion and metabolism and remove toxins (ama)
  • When blending several spices in a dish, experiment to find combinations you like. Be adventurous!
  • Many spices release their flavours and aromas best when sautéed in Ghee (check our video tutorial on how to make ghee) or oil, some when they are dry-roasted. Be nimble when sautéing or roasting spices, they tend to burn quickly. Remove from heat when aromas are released and continue stirring or shaking to prevent burning.
  • Look for organic, non-irradiated spices.
  • Store spices in airtight containers away from heat and light.

Be adventurous, get some spices and start now!

I would love to hear if you have any of your own tips or if you think of a few spices that should make the list. Also if you have questions,  just leave me a comment.

Thank you for reading this post.

Madhava

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<![CDATA[The Reason Behind the Sivananda Yoga Class Sequence.]]>Wed, 26 Oct 2016 00:02:03 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/the-reason-behind-the-sivananda-yoga-class-sequence
The Sivananda Yoga Class Sequence is the practice of yoga asanas taught by Swami Vishnudevananda. It is well known in the yoga community as a classical yoga practice that goes beyond the physical and mental benefits of yoga.
The sequence is based on 12 postures (refer to our post on '12 Yoga Poses for a Complete Yoga Workout'). It closely resembles the practice of Hatha yoga. You follow the sequence, you hold the postures with awareness, breath control and focus of the mind. The practice is combined with pranayama, relaxation in between the posses and a final yoga nidra.

In this blog we wanted to share the beautiful explanation of the reason behind this sequence. It was given by Swami Swaroopananda, one of the most senior students of Swami Vishnudevananda, as part of a Q&A  at the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in the Bahamas.

The Question?

Please explain the reason behind the Sivananda asana class sequence for example why headstand then shoulder stand. Was this sequence prescribed by Swami Sivananda or Swami and/or Swami Vishnudevanada?

The Answer:

If I answer, let’s hope this will be helpful for everyone because the answer is a little bit…it’s not a physical reason. First of all I really hope that by now most of us understand that Hatha Yoga is one of the highest spiritual disciplines or spiritual methods of yoga that came out from India. Hatha Yoga is not a physical discipline or what people say, that Hatha Yoga is physical exercise. It is not at all like this. Hatha Yoga is a very high science of yoga which is utilizing initially the physical body and the brain to attain the highest state of consciousness or to attain what we call Raja Yoga. And we attain this goal by following different methods, including Hatha yoga. But then yogic practices also have what is called, side benefits. And side benefits can be things like health, peace of mind, physical powers, mental powers, psychic powers, spiritual powers, and so on. So when we speak about asanas, asanas have a lot of therapeutic benefits, a lot of health benefits, and they have a profound effect over the physical body, although their purpose or their goal is not precisely the physical body.

The order of the asanas follow the sequence of creation according to the teachings of yoga. This school of yoga to which the Hatha yoga school belongs is a part of what we call in India the general school of Tantra. Hatha yoga belongs to Tantra and in the Tantras there is a description of the sequence of events within creation.  How creation took place. And creation took place in a very specific order and this order of creation is represented by the seven major chakras within the sushmna, within the center channel.  In fact, like the embryo that develops in a certain sequence, those of you that have studied anatomy and physiology and embryology, know how the baby develops within the womb. There is a certain sequence; what develops first, what develops next and so on.

Similarly in creation there is a certain sequence of development that follows the order of manifestation of the seven major Chakras. In other words, Sahasrara chakra, the crown chakra; and then Ajna chakra, the third eye; Vishudha chakra, the throat chakra and so on. So similarily it is said in the scriptures of tantra and also in the scriptures of Hatha yoga that the yoga asanas originated from Lord Shiva. It is said that Lord Shiva created all the universes by assuming himself all these asanas.  And it is said that Lord Shiva knows eighty-four lacks of asanas, 8,400,000 asanas. But after creating all the universes when it came to human beings, Lord Shiva thought that the eighty-four asanas that he chose would be the most beneficial for human beings.  Out of these eighty-four later on masters of Hatha yoga said that thirty-two asanas are the most important.  And out of these thirty-two asanas later on, masters of Hatha yoga said that fourteen asanas are the most important. Out of the fourteen, the great masters of Hatha yoga said twelve asanas are most important and out of the twelve they said that four asanas are most important and out of the four they said one asana is most important. Which is the one asana which is most important, who knows? Sidhasana the perfect asana among the Hatha yogis this is considered the most important asana.  And the four asanas are the four main meditative postures and so on.  So the sequence of the asanas if you look at it follows the sequence of creation of Lord Siva and the sequence of creation of Lord Siva follows the manifestation of the 7 major chakras starting with the Saharara and going down to the Muladhara or base chakra.
So therefore the yoga asanas that Swami Vishnudevananda taught, specifically swamiji, is a very special sequence. These twelve postures follow exactly the same sequence.

We start with sirshansan, with headstand. Now the headstand affects the crown of the head. The crown of the head in the astral body parallels what we call the Sahasrara Chakra, the crown chakra. And headstand also stimulates all the other chakras which are called the head chakra for example the Ajna chakra is also stimulated by the headstand. Then you do the shoulder stand and the fish. Of course you do shoulder stand, then you do plough, then you do fish. But all these three affect the thyroid gland which parallels the Vishudha Chakra, the throat chakra. So, the headstand affects the Crown Chakra and the third-eye chakra, which are the head chakras. Then when you do the shoulder stand, you affect the thyroid gland which parallels the vishudha, which is the throat chakra. Then, when you do the fish you affect the thymus gland which parallels the anahatha chakra or the heart chakra. Then you come to those asanas like paschimothan asana, the head to knee posture which affects the manipura chakra, which is the navel chakra. Then when you do postures like cobra or like locust and so on, you affect the area of the kidneys the suprarenal glands which sit on the kidneys which parallel the swadhishatana chakra which is the chakra in the area of the sexual organs and, of course specifically for ladies, practices like cobra will affect the area of the sexual organs where the sexual glands are located, and then when we do postures like siddhasana we affect the muladhara chakra which is the root chakra.

Therefore, if we look at the sequence of postures that Swami Vishnudevananda gave, it follows the original sequence of postures that was taught by Lord Siva. This is how Lord Siva originally taught the postures according to the sequence of Creation.

Then we come to the last Asana, which is Shavasana. Shavasana means corpse posture.  Corpse posture will reverse the order, the order is reversed.  There’s the order of Pralaya, the order of dissolution of creation.  Dissolution of creation goes the other direction from the bottom to the top. If you see when you do the Shavasana, when you do the final relaxation you are withdrawing the consciousness of the body starting from the bottom and ending at the top. And this is the sequence of the withdrawal of the pranas for example when a person dies. This is how the pranas withdraw when the person dies; this is also the sequence of dissolution of creation during the maha pralaya, during the great dissolution. This also comes from Lord Siva. So in one sequence of asana you go through a process of creation and dissolution which is a full cycle.

And this is how the yoga asanas taught by Swami Vishnudevananda are designed. This is the original sequence of creation this is also the original way of how the pranas or the life forces flow through the system and how the pranas or the life forces exit the system.  They follow the same sequence.  So on the pranic level also this sequence is the correct sequence. See, on the pranic level this is the correct sequence and on the physical level as a matter of course this is the correct sequence because the physical body follows the sequence of the flow of the pranas or the flow of the life energy or forces.  So this sequence has a profound effect over the physical body.

So Swami Vishnudevananda did not design this asanas in this order haphazardly just by mistake or just because he got some inspiration.  He follows the original tradition of the order of the Hatha yoga system which is Lord Siva himself.  Why? because Swami Vishnudevananda truly belongs to this tradition. He’s an acknowledged master of Hatha yoga which knows the path of Hatha yoga from beginning to end.  What is the meaning of “a Master of Hatha Yoga”? It’s a person who knows that path, from the beginning to its very end. One who knows the path from the beginning not just yoga techniques. It means he realized that path from the beginning to the end, therefore he can guide his disciples from the very beginning of the path to the very end of it. He has been an accomplished master in the path of Hatha yoga and he belongs to this main tradition.  He’s actually within the lineage. He received from the linage itself.  So this is the answer to your particular question. 
And Swamiji told us one thing: “with that energy I got from doing that practice in the Himalaya, with that energy I built this organization”. And it’s a huge organization. He came with nothing and built this organization.

Written By Madhava

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Yoga was love at first sight for me. It started over 10 years ago and I think it will never end. I spent 6 years living in a Yoga ashram deepening my practice and teaching students from all over the world. Currently I live in Yogic Paradise teaching and continuing the tradition of passing on this ancient teachings. I love the ocean and since living in Australia...I love Surfing too!

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<![CDATA[Carrot & Raisin Salad [Recipe]]]>Thu, 21 Jul 2016 11:49:15 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/carrot-raisin-salad-recipe
Picture
I am a big fan of this one, it is delicious, sweet, healthy, Ayurvedic and best of, super quick to prepare!
It is also easier to digest, it looks very pretty on the plate and is a good alternative from the usual green raw salads!

'The sweetness of the carrots and raisins is tempered with spices and lemon juice.'

Ingredients

40 g raisins
2 medium carrots, shredded
2 tablespoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
pinch of ground coriander
½ teaspoon honey
1 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

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Let's Do It!

Soak the raisins in 500ml of hot water (16fl oz) for 10 minutes to make them easier to digest.

Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a small pan and add the cumin and black mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the coriander powder and cook for 1 min stirring constantly.

Place the soaked raisins, cooked seeds, grated carrots, lemon juice, and honey in a bowl with the remaining sesame oil. Mix well, garnish with coriander and sesame seeds, and serve.

Serves 4.

Optional:

If you would like a warm salad, stir in the grated carrots to the hot oil, after the seeds and powder have been stared for a minute.  Stir for about 30 seconds.
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Enjoy!

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Written by Madhava

Profile Photo Madhava
Yoga was love at first sight for me. It started over 10 years ago and I think it will never end. I spent 6 years living in a Yoga ashram deepening my practice and teaching students from all over the world. Currently I live in Yogic Paradise teaching and continuing the tradition of passing on this ancient teachings. I love the ocean and since living in Australia...I love Surfing too!
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<![CDATA[12 Yoga Poses for a Complete Workout [guide]]]>Thu, 30 Jun 2016 11:28:18 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/12-yoga-poses-for-a-complete-workout-guide
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This sequence of 12 postures is a yoga BOOM!
It is the ultimate workout as it balances every part of your physical body, your subtle energy or prana, and mind.
This sequence is also known as Sivananda Yoga Sequence. For those who have practiced Sivananda yoga long enough know what I am talking about. For those who haven't come across it you are just about to experience a wonderful yoga practice.

Let me tell you why:
  1. Where it comes from. This sequence came from the intuitive knowledge of one of the pioneers of Yoga in the west and our direct teacher Swami Vishnudevananda. This knowledge was awakened in him while living at the Sivananda ashram in Rishikesh by a touch on his third eye from his master Swami Sivananda, who was recognised as a realised master and a saint in India.
  2. More than just stretching. With regular practice one can ensure overall physical and mental health and the possible prevention of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and arthritis just to mention a few.
  3. Powerful. The 12 postures open the energy channels or nadis, chakras and psychic centers of the body allowing you to radiate energy and vitality.
  4. Beyond Body and Mind. In time, performing the poses slowly and consciously, becomes a mental exercise in concentration and meditation.
The 12 postures:
We have designed this beautiful chart with the postures in the specific order they should be practiced. The photos in the chart are original images from Swami Vishnudevananda during his time in Rishikesh. We have also created a pdf version in case you would like to print it. Just check the free download at the end of the article.
Sivananda Yoga !2 Postures Chart
Keep in mind that there are other elements that you need to practice to get full benefit of this sequence. A typical Sivananda yoga class includes:
  • Pranayama (breathing exercises)
  • Warm-up,  Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)
  • 12 asanas (postures)
  • Deep relaxation (yoga nidra). 
  • Combined with yogic breathing. Check our blog on yogic breathing.

Check out this beautiful video for a Sivananda Yoga - Complete Guide. Also an ebook on the complete benefits of the 12 postures.

sivananda yoga - a complete guide video
DOWNLOAD THE 12 POSTURES CHART - PDF VERSION
download an e-book on the complete benefits of the 12 Postures
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Written by Madhava

Madhava's Profile Photo
Yoga was love at first sight for me. It started over 10 years ago and I think it will never end. I spent 6 years living in a Yoga ashram deepening my practice and teaching students from all over the world. Currently I live in Yogic Paradise teaching and continuing the tradition of passing on this ancient teachings. I love the ocean and since living in Australia...I love Surfing too!
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<![CDATA[A Simple Breathing Exercise to Let Go [Guide]]]>Thu, 16 Jun 2016 01:38:18 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/a-simple-breathing-exercise-to-let-go-guide
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We have recently come across this great yet simple breathing exercise that stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that allows you to rest and repair). It helps you to let go of mental tension, physical tension and negative emotions!
Tension can cause tremendous drainage of prana or life force from our body and minds. Having tension is like trying to fill a bucket full of holes with water.
In the same way, you can try to reenergise, but as long as there is tension, a portion of that energy will be lost. In other words you can do heaps of asanas, pranayama, exercise etc, but as long as there is tension you won't be able to reap the full benefits. Hence yoga recommends different ways to recharge and also to release tension.

Use this exercise as a preparation for meditation or whenever you feel overwhelmed by negativity and crave an injection of inspiring, positive prana (vital force).
  1. Start by sitting comfortably, preferably with your legs crossed.
  2. Sit with your back straight and gently seal your lips. Start to notice whether you are taking full breaths in and out through your nose using every part of your lungs. Your breath should be smooth and soundless, and there should be no pause between the inhalation and exhalation. Check out our  2 Simple Yogic Breathing Exercises to Breath Properly [guide] to learn how to breath in this exercise.
  3. If you are new to breathing exercises, begin by exhaling for 6 seconds and inhaling for 3 seconds. If you find this too difficult, lessen your exhalation to 4 seconds and inhale for 2 seconds.
  4. To enhance the release of difficult emotions, mentally repeat the word “let” with each inhalation. On each exhalation, silently say the word “go”.
  5. Keep breathing and repeating the words. With each long exhalation visualise stress and anxiety leaving your system along with the stale air in your lungs.
  6. Say goodbye to long-held muscle tension and let go of self-imposed mental boundaries or emotional limitations, releasing whatever is holding you back in life. Continue for 1-3 minutes, then gently stretch before getting up.

Happy Breathing!

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Written by Madhava

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Yoga was love at first sight for me. It started over 10 years ago and I think it will never end. I spent 6 years living in a Yoga ashram deepening my practice and teaching students from all over the world. Currently I live in Yogic Paradise teaching and continuing the tradition of passing on this ancient teachings. I love the ocean and since living in Australia...I love Surfing too!

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<![CDATA[How To Make Yogi Dahl [recipe]]]>Mon, 16 May 2016 05:38:23 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/how-to-make-yogi-dahl-recipe
How to make yogi Dahl Recipe
This is one of the most popular recipes in our Ayurvedic Cooking Workshop. Dahl is an important part of the yogic diet. Not only is it a main source of protein and other important nutrients but because it's super YUMMY!
The following recipe is a combination of ancient ayurvedic knowledge and a little twist of our own. So lets get started shall we?

Ingredients


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In yogic diet we try to use ingredients that are: fresh, organic, locally grown, wholesome and free from preservatives and fertilisers. I know sometimes it is difficult to tick all these boxes but we should try our best ;) Your body, your mind and your heath will thank you for the effort ;)

Please note: One of the common mistakes is to pick the wrong type of lentils. The lentils that we use for this recipe are yellow split MUNG beans, a type of lentil. You might confuse them with those commonly found in supermarkets, yellow split lentil.  These are bigger and harder making it more difficult to cook and digest. Sometimes split mung beans are not available at the big supermarkets but you can surely find them at your local health food store or at any Asian food store.
  • 1 Cup Yellow Split Mung Beans
  • 6 Cups of Water
  • 5cm piece of cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (learn how to make ghee here) or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp fennugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp ginger root (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 5 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tomato coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh coriander (garnish)

Procedure:


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  • Wash  yellow split mung dahl with plenty  of water a few times.
  • In a heavy bottom pot take 6 cups of cold water, add washed yellow split mung dahl into it.
  • On high heat bring this mixture to a boil. Take out any foam coming to the surface.
  • Add cinnamon stick (optional). Simmer for 30 min stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. You may need to add more water.
  • Meanwhile, heat the ghee (learn how to make ghee here) or coconut oil in a small saucepan until medium hot.  Add the mustard first and wait a few seconds until they pop. Then add fenugreek seeds, fennel sedds and cumin seeds. Saute on low heat for half a second until they turn golden brown. 
  • Turn down the heat and then add in the fresh ginger followed by the curry leaves (becareful they pop!) . 
  • Stir in the ground  coriander, turmeric and ground pepper. 
  • Add the chopped tomato and stir for a couple of minutes. It will become almost like a paste or sauce.
  • Add the spices to the cooked dahl while still on heat. Cook for a few more minutes to allow the spices to mix in well with the dahl.
  • Finally add salt , lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves.
  • ENJOY!

Variations:



  • You can also use this recipe for other kind of lentils like Green Mung Beans or Red Lentils.

Happy to hear of any successful and not successful dahl attempts. Also happy to answer any questions.
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Written by Madhava

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Yoga was love at first sight for me. It started over 10 years ago and I think it will never end. I spent 6 years living in a Yoga ashram deepening my practice and teaching students from all over the world. Currently I live in Yogic Paradise teaching and continuing the tradition of passing on this ancient teachings. I love the ocean and since living in Australia...I love Surfing too!

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<![CDATA[The Real Paths of Yoga [article & guide]]]>Wed, 11 May 2016 12:25:25 GMThttp://yogawhitelotus.com/blog/the-real-paths-of-yoga-article-guide
The Real Paths of Yoga Banner
If you dive a little deeper into yoga philosophy you will find that there are four paths of yoga. Why so many? These four paths are the ways of yoga to suit the many temperaments in our human nature.
When you hear the world ‘yoga’ most of us think ‘asanas’ (postures), some might also add  ‘pranayama’ (yogic breathing) whilst even fewer would include ‘meditation’. Well, it’s all of that and a great deal more. If you dive a little deeper into yoga philosophy you will find that there are four paths of yoga. Why so many?

These four paths are ways of practicing yoga to suit the many temperaments in our human nature. Although there are four, the goal of yoga is one; to merge the Individual Consciousness with the Universal Consciousness.

Swami Sivananda, one of the great yoga masters in modern times, encourages us to focus on one Path that we connect to most, but that we must practice a little of each one to benefit fully from the yoga. By practicing a little of all four we develop emotional, intellectual and physical harmony in our lives.

1. Hatha and Raja Yoga 
The Hatha and Raja yoga system, which is well-known and widely practised, is the yoga of body and mind control. This path is best known for its practical aspects asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises).  Raja Yoga is based on the Raja Yoga Sutras which contains the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Also known as the yoga of science, this path uses the body and breath to help control the mind and includes silent meditation. Regular practice will slowly transform physical energy into spiritual energy. This is the path for those who are seeking inner and outer transformation. If not balanced by other practices one can become overly body conscious and egotistic.

2. Karma Yoga
When we do action selflessly, without the desire for reward or expectation we are doing Karma Yoga. If you have a tendency towards being active or are outgoing, this can suit you well. Karma Yoga works to purify the heart and reduce the influence of the ego and can be applied in the form of action in our daily lives. It helps us to let go of the idea of individuality creating a sense of connection to all beings. Karma Yoga purifies the mind and thoughts, preparing you for meditation. 

3. Bakti Yoga

The yoga of devotion, Bakti Yoga works by elevating the mind and heart through focussing on the Supreme aspect or ‘God’ or Divine. This includes Kirtan, Chanting, Prayer, Worship, Rituals. Those who practice Bakti Yoga will experience union with the Supreme Self as the embodiment of Love. Devotional yoga generally appeals to the more emotional temperaments. When devotional yoga is not practiced with other yoga paths it can lead to fanaticism or lack of grounding. 

4. Jnana Yoga
For the intellectual types who enjoy study of scriptures and the philosophy of Vedanta, the yoga of knowledge or wisdom is the one for you.  Through negation of what is true and false one can examine and know the Supreme Self and see it in all beings. Jnana yoga has the element of cultivating arrogance when the ego asserts itself if not practiced with other paths to soften and melt the ego.


It is taught by the realised yoga masters that one cannot know the True Self without practice of all the yoga paths. For example, one who is a Jnana yogi cannot reach the Truth without having practiced devotional yoga to melt the heart and know Divine Love. 

While Hatha and Raja yoga concentrates on the mind, Karma yoga brings focus to our hands, Bakti yoga works with the heart, and Jnana yoga utilises the intellect. Hence you can see clearly why each practice is as important as the next to bring complete balance to our practice.

Now that you have been introduced to the real paths of yoga, think about some instances where these paths and its effects can be seen in your current surroundings. If you have never ventured into any of the paths described, why not step out of your comfort zone and try something new? Who knows, you may find your yoga path wasn’t asanas after all. Which path will you dive into next?
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Written By Shyamala

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Shyamala with her dedicated practice and her loving and nurturing way is a great source of inspiration at Yoga White Lotus :). Her first passion is Sivananda yoga and everything that falls within the yoga practice including good, wholesome and natural food yogic style!

Contact Shyamala at: shyamala@yogawhitelotus.com

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