Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Outreach Yoga Challenge - Day 16 Kundalini Pumpkin head

Kundalini was mega intense today, no Enrique, no raving on the yoga mats. But equally as rewarding. Lots of powerful repetitive movements with breath and focus, including plank pushing back to squat keeping hands in the same position, so just pressing back with bum and bending knees to meet feet, breath into plank, and out to squat, 4 minutes. Move back to plank, lower down to the floor (don’t collapse like me) push back up to plank (you can use your knees if necessary, I do) flowing upto downward dog. Back down to plank, lower down, push back to plank to downdog, 4 minutes. Walk your feet to your hands, keep folded, hold your ankles and then squat down bending the knees looking up, then straighten legs and fold, keeping hold of ankles, repeat over and over, breathing in on the leg straight, out on the squat knee bent, 4 minutes. OK only an hour left of the class to go! J

In Hindu mythology, Kundalini is a serpent goddess who lies asleep at the base of the spine, coiled three and a half times around the first chakra. Her name is Kundalini Shakti, and she represents the unfolding of the divine Shakti energy, the energising potential of life itself, a living goddess who enlivens all things. Under certain circumstances the Kundalini energy awakens and begins to rise through the body, piercing and opening the chakras as she moves in her undulating and snake like fashion. as Kundalini releases stored and blocked energies, her movement can be quite intense, sometimes painful, and often leads to mental states that seem out of this world.

Circumstances that can stimulate Kundalini awakening are many and varied, but are usually triggered by such things as extended periods of meditation, yoga, fasting, stress, trauma, psychedelic drugs and near death experiences. Kundalini is a condensed primal force, similar to the potential energy found in water. When released it creates a vertical connection between the chakras by opening the subtle channels known as nadi, most specifically, the central channel that moves up the spine, called sushumna. If we put water through a small hose at very high pressure the end of the hose will undulate like a snake. Similarly, the intense energy of Kundalini undulates in the body as it rises through the chakras.

Kundalini can also be seen as a result of the chakras connecting to each other. Theoretically, as the chakras enlarge, the spinning of one can enhance the spinning of the one above or below it. It’s a healing force, explore your goddess within! Claire a fellow yogi friend of mine shared this beautiful song, enjoy the vibrations, it’s great for kundalini chanting, but it’s just great for calm and feeling love inside you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYivP3gedCo see if you don’t smile and feel warm and gooey J

Using my organic food swag donated from the Feast of Flavour I spent the rest of the day cooking up some amazing pumpkin soup, carving out my pumpkin for Halloween and singing along to the beat of good vibrations and feeling grateful for the sunshine.
 I also made some chilli kale chips (Kale is a dark leafy green vegetable that tastes amazing after a quick blast in the oven with some olive oil and chilli flakes). Don’t forget to scoop out your pumpkin seeds and bake them up in the same way for a great snack that’s packed with nutrients.

Pumpkin is on the list for the worlds healthiest foods as mentioned in previous blogs, and whilst we've become accustomed to thinking about leafy vegetables as an outstanding source of antioxidants, we've been slower to recognize the outstanding antioxidant benefits provided by other vegetables like winter squash including  pumpkins. But we need to catch up with the times! Recent research has made it clear just how important winter squash is worldwide to antioxidant intake, especially so in the case of carotenoid antioxidants. No single food provides a greater percentage of certain carotenoids than winter squash. The unique carotenoid content of the winter squashes is not their only claim to fame in the antioxidant department, however. There is a very good amount of vitamin C in winter squash (about one-third of the Daily Value in every cup) and a very good amount of the antioxidant mineral manganese as well. Recent research has shown that the cell wall polysaccharides found in winter squash also possess antioxidant properties, as do some of their phenolic phytonutrients. To put it more simply it's the combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in winter squash that have shown this food to have clear potential in the area of cancer prevention and cancer treatment. Prostate cancer is the cancer type that has been of greatest research interest in this regard, followed by colon cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. We have yet to see cancer-related studies that involve everyday amounts of winter squash consumed in food form. Still, given the clear antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of winter squash, we expect to see cancer studies in humans eventually identifying this food as a risk reducer for certain cancer types.

The amazing phytonutrient content of winter squash and their seeds makes us realise that this food is not just a starchy vegetable. Carotenoids found in winter squash include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Pectin-containing cell wall polysaccharides found in winter squash are important anti-inflammatory nutrients provided by this food, as are its cucurbitacins (triterpene molecules). Winter squash is an excellent source of immune-supportive vitamin A (in its "previtamin" carotenoid forms). It is also a very good source of free radical-scavenging vitamin C and manganese and heart-healthy potassium and dietary fiber. In addition, winter squash is a good source of heart-healthy folate, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, and vitamin B6; energy-producing thiamin and vitamin B5; and bone-building copper. This information is all taken from http://www.whfoods.com/.

So get carving out your pumpkins for Halloween but use the meat and seeds inside to make a great nutritious meal that you can freeze up, and snack on those seeds and ditch the Doritos! See if you can spot them again in your poo to check if your digestion system is working properly J Lemme know!!!

There is nothing more important than a mother’s love. This is for all the mums out there, you’re pretty amazing, especially mine.

Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face ‘George Elliot’

Thanks for letting me know I’m loved Fifi.
I love you.

Just a few dollars away from my target if you'd like to throw a few bucks to the charity. More importantly, explore your body through yoga and eat pumpkin!

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