5 Reasons to practice Ashtanga Yoga

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Yoga is a well-known word from our vocabulary. But do we really know what yoga means?

Giving it a try was in my bucket list for years. When I was in India, once my flatmates and I woke up at 5 am to have a yoga class in the rooftop. Chennai, Yoga & Sunrise. Everything was looking pretty. Since I’m as flexible as a stick, I wasn’t convinced.

A few months later, back to Portugal, the family doctor, knowing my entire historical issues, directly asked me: “Did you ever try yoga?”. “This is it!” I thought.

Next week I was having my first class in Casa Vinyasa. It was love at the first practice.

Literally, Ashtanga Yoga means 8 (=Asta) limbs (=Anga), which are:

Yamah (Social codes)
Niyamah (Personal observances)
Asana (Posture)
Pranayama (Breathing exercises)
Pratyahara (Withdrawing of the sences)
Dharana (Concentration)
Dhyana (Meditation)
Samadhi (Self Realization)

Since yoga came into my life  I may say that I became a happier person. Let me tell you why.

  1.  It’s for everyone

    Doesn’t matter if you’re men or woman, young or old, sick or healthy. Or if you have a busy life, not a fan of vegetarian food or if you don’t see yourself as a spiritual being. Ashtanga Yoga is a path to your own truth, a journey that awakes the inner wisdom, not forcefully a lifestyle. It’s never too late to begin to save some time for yourself. The only thing you need is discipline and a burning desire to push yourself forwards.

  2. Clarity of mind

    Choosing between green or blue was never so easy. The answer is always with you because, more than ever, you know what you need, what you want and what you are. You may not know the exactly next step, but the vision about yourself becomes clearer. Also, helps you with concentration and balance.

  3. Discover your deep emotions

    Each asana touches you in a different way. One year after I began my practice, there was a certain asana that was making me cry. Seriously. I thought I was feeling perfectly fine in that period – but then I realized I was NOT. There’s no way to escape from your emotions because yoga, sometimes, shows you what you wish you had forget. Afterwards, it was a cleansing.

  4. Being at your perfect state of body

    After my first ever Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga class, I noticed what, at the time, was quite shocking to me: I couldn’t find pleasure in smoking cigarettes anymore. Moreover, I got aware that I was eating what my body was asking for. It’s not only about getting in shape. It’s about learning to love and respect your body. I’m not forcing myself to eat healthy, it just comes naturally.

  5. Self Realization

    Dedicating 1 hour of your day to Ashtanga Yoga will turn the tables… for the good. The bridge between who you are and who you want to become gets shorter day by day. There’s a boost of energy and well-being which reminds me the childish gut feeling that makes you see a world of abundance and possibilities to embrace. It’s when your Mind, Body and Soul answer as One.

If you’re living in Lisbon, I strongly recommend you to try a class in Casa Vinyasa. It’s amazing how Isa, Liz, Ana and Stefanie can make you feel like home and teach you skills to carry along the way. I see CV as a shala made of beautiful souls freely expressing themselves as human beings. There’s something in the air. Something very special. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

“Ashtanga Yoga is 99% Practice 1% theory.”

Sri K Pattabhi Jois

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Foods with Super-healing Powers

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If you’ve been an active person for most of your life, suddenly finding yourself a patient can be demoralizing. I’ve never imagined to need my mom to wash my hair again. It happens and, somehow, it gives me a warm feeling in my belly.

After surgery, pills, fatigue and complications can make eating unappealing (in my case the story is different: I started to eat like a whale). Though recovery process is different for everyone, good nutrition can speed wound healing, improve immunity and ensure the best outcome.

The type of operation isn’t important, the body always requires extra nutrients to heal. Focusing on nutrition can mean the difference between bouncing back and a lengthy recovery.

According to my research, this is the must list of a diet after surgery.

ProteinRequired to repair tissue, slow muscle catabolism and decrease the inflammatory phase.

  • Gelatin (jelly, agar agar, pectin)
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
  • Nuts & Seeds (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, quinoa, chia seeds)
  • Tofu & Soy Products (soy milk, soy ice cream, soy yogurt, tempeh)
  • Wheat protein (seitan, veggie burgers)

Vitamin A: Stimulates the early inflammatory resonse to healing.

  • Fruits (mango, papaya, tomato)
  • Vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, spinach, pumpkin)
  • Eggs

Vitamin C: Needed to make collagen, it is an antioxidant and thought to strengthen the connective tissue in skin, muscle, and blood vessels.

  • Fruits (orange, kiwi, papaya, guava, strawberry, pineapple)
  • Vegetables (pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprout, pea)

Selenium: Reduces edema (swelling) and inflammation.

  • Nuts (Brazil nuts, cashew, walnut)
  • Fish (tuna, sardines, salmon, halibut)
  • Seafood (oyster, mussels, squid, lobster, shrimp)
  • Grains (wheat germ, barley, brown rice, oats)
  • Seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin)

In the picture above there’s my first homemade jelly. I added one peach and a teaspoon of chia seeds.

Creativity knows no boundaries. Have fun!

Love,
Juma