Lorraine Ereira was working as a clinical Sports Therapist when when her husbands cancer diagnosis drew her to study nutritional health. Her quest to help her husband inspired her to write “Love and Wheatgrass” in order to help others going through a similar ordeal, which has been a huge support to many.
Her desire to live a healthy lifestyle compelled her to study further, where she discovered that to really enjoy a healthy life, we must first look within to find out what we are made of and how we fit into the natural world around us.
Lorraine is currently writing her fifth book, “Gaia’s Gift ” – a book that embodies the ancient medical practice of Ayurveda but with a very unique approach which teaches the reader how to train their intuition to know instinctively what is good for them physically, spiritually and mentally.
Lorraine now works as an Ayurvedic Nutrition and Lifestyle consultant with people who struggle with various health issues, or those who want to change their life to become the best they can be.
Lorraine grew up in Surrey in England, where she also brought up her two sons. She holds a bachelors degree in Sports Therapy, and wrote one of her first books in this subject “Sports Pattern Release”
Lorraine and her husband now live in southern Spain, where she continues on her quest to live a life of love, health and happiness.
It should be noted that ghee is made from butter, which of course is an animal fat. Ayurveda is not traditionally a vegan practice, however please use coconut oil if you are a vegan. Ghee is a very special food, and that is highly regarded in Ayurveda, with the ability to promote memory and immunity. It contains the richest source of butyric acid, which is very beneficial to the gut bacteria, making it a powerful probiotic and healing to the intestines. It has the ability to penetrate deep into the tissues of the body, making it a great vehicle to the transport of herbal remedies making it the No 1 choice as a medicinal carrier. Ghee comes from the cow’s ability to churn grass into milk, from which buttermilk, butter, yoghurt and ghee are made. Many conscious people are against consuming milk-based products because of the terrible corruption involved in this industry. The animals, which are kept in confined spaces, and fed hormones and anti-biotics, and have their milk taken away from them when their calves need it most, are stressed and miserable. Not only will you be contributing to the mistreatment of these animals but also you will be ingesting all the harmful substances they have been forced to take, along with their stress hormones. Ayurveda is about living consciously. We must love and respect all animals and if we are to live in harmony with the world around us, we must treat our beloved animals with the honour they deserve. Any milk product should only ever be sourced from an animal that lives a natural life in a field, where she can wander freely, eating natural grasses full of phytonutrients. Any milk taken should only be taken well after delivery of her calf, so that the calf gets the very best of her mother’s milk. When we are conscious about where our milk is sourced not only are we respecting the animal and putting her calf first, but also we are getting milk that is nutritionally much higher. Whole milk from organic, 100% grass-fed cows has more omega-3, higher levels of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), and a better ratio of fatty acids. Ghee is made by gently boiling grass-fed organic butter, which removes the enzymes that encourage bacteria. It doesn’t require refrigeration as the properties that cause butter to go rancid, are removed in the process of making ghee. This process removes the milk solids, which in many people cause lactose intolerance –making it safe to use for everyone. It needs to be stored in an air-tight container away from direct heat or sunlight. It blends well with the nutrients in food, is very stable at high cooking temperatures, and is a totally nourishing food. It is very good for all doshas but especially the pitta (fire) and vata (air/space) types. Ghee is used during panchakarma (Ayurvedic detox), as it attracts fat soluble toxins from the tissues. Most detox protocols only deal with water soluble toxins, making panchakarma one of the most powerful detoxification protocols in the treatment of disease. Ghee is anti-aging as it prevents the drying out of tissues.
Recipe to make Ghee
Ghee is the separation of the parts that make butter.
It is a type of clarified butter, made when water is evaporated by heating and the milk solids separate leaving the liquid fat which is called ghee, which becomes solid at room temperature. Those with lactose intolerance can both tolerate and enjoy the benefits of ghee. This is because the sugar-lactose and protein-casein are removed with the butter’s milk solids
You will need: • Organic grass-fed butter • A heavy based stainless steel saucepan • Spatulas • Clean, dry storage jar with airtight lid • Muslin or very fine sieve
Chop butter into cubes and place in the pan
Melt over a low-medium heat
After a few minutes the butter will begin to form a white foam on the surface. This is the milk solids
Allow the foam to gather. When a thick layer has formed begin to skim off the white milk solids.
Once you have removed as much of the white foam as possible, strain the golden butter through a fine cloth or muslin, the residue at the base of the pan.
Allow to cool. Store away from heat or direct sunlight.
“Brrrrrrrring….” The sound of my old fashioned alarm clock erupted, tearing a gaping hole in the fragile mists of my morning dreams. My arm moves reflexively to shut off its intrusive noise.
Peace again. “Mmmm” I think to myself snuggling further into my duvet, “just a few more moments….”
Half an hour later I jump up, realising I´ve overslept and am now going to be late to start my day. I have a to-do list as long as my arm, and now I’m already behind.
Flying around in a panic I gather up what I think need for the day, wash and dress without any thought, and race out of the door and to the car throwing my things and myself into it, before driving off at a far greater pace than I know I should be going.
By the time I arrive at my first destination I’m already exhausted; I’m hot and flustered, I can hear my pulse racing and I know I am showing huge clues as to just how my day began, in my dishevelled appearance! My day is only just beginning, and I’ve got off on the wrong foot! Why?
I didn’t sleep last nightAND today is a New Moon
I ate dinner around 10pm – a bowl of pasta. A couple of glasses of wine and I was asleep on the sofa in front of some movie id started watching and fallen asleep through.
Around midnight I woke up feeling chilly and found my way to bed.
I went straight back to sleep and slept until about 3am, when I woke up perspiring and restless. I tossed and turned with my to-do list jumping in and out of my head as I fought with it. Finally exhausted I fell back to sleep around 6am
When I woke up with my alarm at 8am I didn’t want to get up. Mainly because I hadn’t slept but also because today was the day of the new moon, and the last thing I needed was a full and busy day.
If I could do this again what would I do differently?
The evening before, I would eat my meal much earlier, by 7pm and include some protein to balance my blood sugar and allow time for my food to digest long before bed-time.
I would avoid the wine and instead choose a calming tea or a herbal warm milk before bed.
I would avoid the TV and any screen time after my meal and ensure that no electrical devices were on in my sleeping area.
The evening can be spend having a warm herbal bath, reading with a soft light, listening to music, spending time with close friends and family, or meditating.
Planning my evening like this means my liver will not be overloaded as I’m trying to sleep and be fully able to cope with its job of detoxifying my body without waking me up!
Sleeping in total darkness, not going to sleep with a heavy meal in your belly, and giving yourself permission to switch off mentally are all vital habits to help you sleep.
If at all possible, the day of the New Moon, I would plan a quiet day, aligning with the new moon’s quiet energy. Even if I must work, I can try to schedule jobs that don’t require social contact, catching up on tasks that allow me to work alone.
I would factor in a late start, quiet-time breaks or an early finish. My phone would be off, on silent or on calls only so I could filter out the barrage of social media interference, that generally only causes over-stimulation in our already information-saturated brains
I would not feel guilty for wanting a lay-in, a duvet day or for just feeling plain anti-social but would instead embrace those feelings. We spend our lives rushing around for everyone else, today is the one day each month I need to nourish my own energy.
Ideally, if I have a chance to have the day to myself, I would spend it in pursuits such as meditation, gardening, reading, gentle walks, writing, drawing, listening to music and generally spending my time quietly, calmly and slowly, paying attention to how and what I feel.
Applying a natural face mask, self-massage with a nourishing warm oil, an epsom salts foot soak or a bath with soothing essential oils are all wonderful ways to provide what we need at this time of the month. Eating a warming casserole, a hearty soup with wholewheat bread or a gently spiced rice dish, will give our bodies the nourishment needed to build strength around this time. Practicing these habits and aligning with the lunar energy, and the cycles of natural daylight and nightfall, will restore healthy sleep patterns and leave you to wake up refreshed, on time and not wanting to fatally crush your poor alarm clock.
I’m going to go out on a limb here, and hopefully not offend all those creative folk who make their own natural products, or those of you who heavily invest in buying all natural, organic delicious products to use on your skin, in your hair, on your face and also around your home.
Don’t worry I’m not about to tell you that all those wonderfully natural ingredients are bad for you, not at all! They work beautifully to nourish, soften, cleanse, tone, smooth, protect etc, but all I’m here to tell you is, that you don’t need them. They can be a delightful treat, to use once in a while, but you really do not need ANY products AT ALL.
Natural products are really lovely but let’s face it, they are not cheap! All those organic, ingredients, carefully treated so as to preserve all their nutrition, and creatively put together, cost a fair bit to make, and then to market, driving prices higher. I know this because years ago I made all my own products. I didn’t sell them as it was time consuming and costly and I didn’t want to go down the official channels making the production costs higher still. I made products for my family or friends who wanted to try them.
In my book Love and Wheatgrass there are chapters on both personal care products and homecare products, with recipes on how to make them.
See the comments below for a hormone balancing perfume recipe you can make at home.
My message here, won’t make me rich, or even buy me a coffee, but it’s the truth. The personal and homecare product industries have been raking it in, making you feel as though you need their products to keep you clean, moisturized, beautiful and your home sparkling.
Not only do you not need them, but the commercial products will also harm you and your family.
The average person uses over 200 chemicals per day – and that’s just in personal care products! From bathing, showering and, rubbing them all over, we inhale them, and inadvertently ingest them too. We are literally drowning ourselves in chemicals. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more common chemicals used in most products, where to find them and what they may do, and then we can look at how we can start to make changes…..
Common Toxins found in Everyday Products.
Effect on the body
Product found in
Neurotoxin – may effect neurodevelopment[i] and cognitive function, decreased thyroid function; immune function
Contaminated with dioxane a carcinogenic by product[ii] – maybe toxic to brain, nervous system, liver and kidneys
All emulsifiers, surfactants, foaming products such as Toothpaste; Shampoo; Shower Gels and soaps agents
Bactericide – may interfere with muscle function and hormone regulation[iii]
Toothpaste, deodorant, shower gels and soaps.
Fragrance – anything with harmful chemicals that do not legally require listing by name..e.g synthetic musks
Contains carcinogenic phthalates which may cause decreased sperm counts, early breast development, birth defects and liver and kidney damage[iv]
Shampoo, shower gels, deodorant and perfumes.
Note: As yet little is known about the effects these toxins have when they are combined in a product, because the majority of clinical trials are done on individual chemicals NOT as interactive ingredients!
This is without considering the cleaning products we use around our homes, in our laundry, on our beloved pets….
We are so focused on what we eat, that we pay little attention to what we take in through our skin and respiratory systems.
Let’s go through some popular products and what you can do as a natural and free or very cheap alternative!
Shampoo and conditioner
This was perhaps my most challenging product to lose. I tried everything from bicarbonate of soda, to using just a shampoo base, but nothing made my hair feel clean, and everything made it need the use of a conditioner too! That’s when I finally realised that shampooing the hair may just be one of the biggest beauty scams out there.
Each time you shampoo, you strip the hair of its natural oils. Its soft and fly-away. So now you need to condition it, to make it manageable and put back the oils you just washed out. Your body thinks your hair has too little natural oil, (because your shampoo stripped it out!), so it produces more oil. You see that as greasy hair and wash it again, and so we go on!
To break this vicious cycle, you need to stop washing your hair, but not stop cleaning it! How do we do this? With a good hairbrush! Our granparents used to tell us they brushed their hair 100 times a day! They knew how incredible and simple it is.
Regular brushing is amazing. It does 3 things.
It removes dust, dirt and particles from the hair
It massages the scalp, stimulating hair growth
It distributes any natural oils through your hair, conditioning it evenly
You can rinse your hair in warm water weekly if you feel you want to or have been perspiring or doing dirty work! Other than that you only need to brush, brush, brush.
Tip: once a month- around a new moon use a raw egg as shampoo. Your hair will feel amazing
Another myth! We do need it, and even my dentist agrees with this! A good brush, used twice a day thoroughly but gently will do the job adequately. To get them extra clean, wrap a clean flannel around your finger and clean all around the gum area.
For an extra clean, you can occasionally put a little white fire ash or bicarbonate of soda on your brush – but don’t do this too often or you will wear the enamel. If you want to have that minty fresh feel, rinse with a water steeped with fresh mint.
You need soap. But only to wash your hands, and if necessary your feet. A good natural soap will work for this and last ages because you do not need it anywhere else! Warm water unless your skin is visibly dirty will clean your skin without altering your ph or interfering with the production oif vit D from sunlight.
A few times a week dry brush your skin before you shower. Working upwards towards the heart stimulates the lymph, and the action will remove dead skin cells and keep your skin soft and clean.
Again, you don’t need it. Eat clean. Do not eat processed food, and you will not suffer with odour. If you require something sweet smelling in your pits, put a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil in filtered water and spritz.
Walking through the departure lounge at any airport will leave your sense of smell overwhelmed with an assault of artificial fragrance. Inhaling these synthetic perfumes can bring on headaches and respiratory tract irritation. The chemicals used to make these perfumes are not only short term irritants but have been shown to cause hormonal imbalances, organ damage, and even cancer.
The cosmetic industry have been able to put toxic ingredients in their products because regulations have made it totally legal to keep their ingredients top secret to “protect” their formulas.
In 1991 the EPA tested conventional, synthetic perfumes and found a long list of toxic chemical ingredients, including acetone, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, ethanol, ethyl acetate, limonene, linalool, methylene chloride as well as phthalates, stearates, and parabens.
The effects of these ingredients have only been tested in isolation but are very worrying. They have been known to cause organ damage, respiratory and skin irritations, reproductive system damage, convulsions and depression. However when used in combination the results are even more powerful, but have not been widely tested.
The good news is that you can very easily make your own beautiful perfumes from natural essential oils, that not only smell amazing, but also will actually support your health and well-being at the same time.
See comments below for a hormone balancing perfume recipe
When we consider the 5 elements from the Ayurvedic perspective we tend to focus on the elements that dominate us and set about bringing them into balance.
However, an important point that is often missed is to bear in mind the individuals state of maturity.
Infancy and Childhood
An infant is predominately water and earth, having most of the Kapha-like qualities. This is very apparent when you observe a baby or toddler with their adorable rolls of “puppy fat”, coupled with that super soft skin on the one hand and the runny noses and endless supply of tears they seem to produce when they cannot express what they are feeling on the other. They are watery little beings, that crawl on sit or lie on the ground (safest place!), close to the earth.
During adolescence the hormones rage, stoking the fire element. Rapid changes take place within the body as the child develops into early adulthood. Fire is dynamic, creating heat in the system. The red angry rashes of acne, the feisty testosterone-fuelled bravado displayed by young men, the fires of passion as young love is experienced often with the sharp pain of heartaches are part all of becoming an adult. Later during this phase of life, we continue to feel the heat of ambition and drive in our developing careers, and the surge in desire to become parents as the hormones again drive our instinct to reproduce and continue our line of existence. For all of these to happen the fire within us needs to be burning brightly. It is the bright light that shines from within us, that potential partners are attracted to. Its heat, draws admirers, like moths to a flame.
As adulthood turns to middle age, the elements can again be observed in the older person. The increase in air element causes a drying of the tissues. This is evident in the wrinkling of the skin; the loss of fluid around the joints, leading to their degeneration; the greying of the hair and the drying out of the eyes resulting in many eyesight conditions. You can see the increase in the space element too most particularly in the mind as the memory fails and the elderly person feels confused or easily overwhelmed.
The elements are visible, tangible in us throughout our lives. Being aware of this in relation to our phase in life, as well as our naturally dominant elements helps us to create a fuller picture of the best way to find balance again.
Through infancy and childhood, the water and earth elements should be supported because this is a naturally healthy state for a young child. The excessive mucous we often witness in little ones is a natural way of cleansing their respiratory systems as they learn to cope with the pathogens in their environment. As they mature and these resistances develop the mucous production slows and only occurs when the respiratory system experiences a pathogen that it needs to clear from the body. e.g. a virus or allergen. The mucous production is a healthy, cleansing process and should never be suppressed with medication.
If the mucous becomes infected, then steps need to be taken to manage the rate of the infection so that the immune system can deal with it, and it doesn’t overwhelm the growing child. The ways to do this are through supporting the immune system with specific nutrients and treating the infection with medicines and/or herbs.
Apart from understanding how the water element is crucial in a child’s early life, we need to ensure their environment, lifestyle and diet all support it, and its earth counterpart. Children need to be outside exploring nature as much as possible. Fingers in the earth, crawling on soft grass, paddling in the shallows of the sea. They need to be eating sweet juicy fruits, whole milky custards, and easy to digest grains such as rice. This is the type of nutrition young children need, as opposed to crispy, dry foods like potato chips, corn crisps or deep fat fried foods or stimulating foods like hot spices, or caffeinated fizzy drinks ( fire and air). Apart from the well-known health risks these type of foods proffer, they also place the child’s elements in a state that is non-conducive to their health.
Through the dynamic phase of young adulthood, our fire element rages with passion, motivation, and drive. We are enthused, as our desire to succeed in our chosen path is at its highest. We feel strong emotions of jealousy, attraction, anger, frustration. We are competitive in all we do from our jobs to our appearances; our outward image being all important as we aim to attract a partner, all a natural part of our survival instinct.
However, being aware of the fire element especially during this phase of life is really important. It can become very easy to let the fire get out of control, and become destructive to the persons health. Emotions of anger, jealousy and resentment are all firey emotions that can have negative effects on our health. An excess of the fire elements causes inflammation in the body. Hot swollen joints, hyperacidity in the digestive system, increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Keeping the fire in check, will help to keep us healthy through this phase of life.
This means watching our intake of heating foods, hot spices, coffee, alcohol, processed foods. It also means although we are going to be attracted to competition in our life from engaging in competitive sport to getting the most “likes” on a social media picture, we need to balance this with non-competitive pursuits and mindsets. Once again taking time in nature just to observe, listening to calming music or taking time to meditate helps us to find calm and coolness within. If we honour these principles the transition into further maturity will be easier and healthier. If we arrive into our later life, already `burnt out´ then the air and space elements have a great basis to grow from. However if we have supported water and earth, keeping fire in check, the air and space elements will not get a head start!
The senior years are naturally dominated by the elements of air and space increasingly during this phase. To support the “drying out” of the tissues its important to increase the water and earth elements. Staying hydrated not only with water, but the right mineral balance to enable good hydration. Watching ones intake of diuretics (substances that draw the water out of our tissues and cause its excretion), such as coffee, tea and alcohol, is really important in managing hydration. Once again fresh sweet fruits are natures little hydration packages, offering us sweet, nourishing fluids packed with vitamin, minerals and enzymes. Along with fresh fruits (water element ) the aging body requires a good supply of fats and whole foods ( earth element). The elements of air and space are light and mobile. The earth element is heavy and grounded.
We can also support this element through our diet by including fats. Some still believe that fats are bad for us and advise the elderly to choose low fat, or skimmed products. But this will only hasten degeneration. The type of fat to avoid are unnatural trans fats. These are the type of fats found mostly in processed foods and commercially baked goods. They are vegetable or nut-based oils which have been hydrogenated (heat-processed) to act like saturated fat. For example margarine, acts like a solid butter, but isn’t naturally. Therefore, inside the body it also tries to mimic the role of saturated fat (such as for cell messaging) but fails to do so properly. Over time these functions breakdown.
They need real butter, ghee, lard. Full fat milk and cream. Beneath the skin we store a layer of fat. Elderly folk have “thin skin” because they lose this fat layer, which begin as wrinkles. The consumption of whole, saturated fats and adequate complete hydration are both vital in the support of an ageing constitution.
Support the balance of the elements within your body, throughout the phases of your life and you will be healthier, happier and enjoy a better quality of life.
Wearing a piece of beautiful jewelry, can attract the attention of many-an-admirer! It can captivate and allure the beholder, its beauty a magnetic source of charm. The iridescent sparkle that catches the light, draws in even the most oblivious amongst us. A precious stone, a precious metal creatively crafted into an attractive design, can not only provide a timeless piece of great beauty, but can also be a good way to invest. With the state of the world economy, and the money markets flailing in the recession, it can be a tough time to know where to put any savings or investments. Precious metals are usually a safe bet, because they are have a tangible value – something that lends this type of investment a greater level of security. It can be stored in safe, or a bank if you feel it’s the safest place, or you can wear it, enjoy it, and know that it is as safe as anything we have about our person, can be, as long as we take good care of it.
But there is yet another incredible gift that wearing a piece of quality jewelry can offer us. It can positively affect us on a physiological level. Wearing gold or silver can influence our mood, help us fight off infections and regulate the circulation!
Top benefits of wearing silver:
Warding off infection – Silver is a powerful anti-microbial. Its positively charged ions bind to negatively charged oxygen receptors found in bacteria and can neutralize it. It is also anti-viral. It reacts and changes colour when it encounters chemical toxins, acting like the canary in the goldmine!
Improves Circulation Silver boosts circulation and helps to regulate the bodies temperature. Silver is both an electric and thermal conductor.
Helps prevent against electro-magnetic radiation The positively charged ions can help to reflect EMR away from your body by creating a conductive field. This naturally improves your mood, circulation and your bodies temperature.
From an ayurvedic perspective, silver is cooling and helps pacify both pitta and vata
Top benefits of wearing gold:
Improves rheumatoid arthritis, via its healing effects on the circulatory system.
Improves the bodies healing ability Wear gold near an area that is infected or sore. It has a relaxing effect on the blood vessels, boosting circulation and healing, as more oxygen can flow freely into the tissues.
It also helps to regulate the body temperature. Can help with both chills and hot flashes.
Gold can strengthen the heart, helping prevent heart attacks and enhancing stamina.
Gold has been known to help control the growth of cancerous cells, and is used in alternative medicine for treating various cancers such as prostrate and ovarian.
Gold is great for the skin, again due to its circulatory effects. Cell regeneration is greatly improved through its use. It can be used to treat fungal infection, rashes and eczema.
Healing with metals is an ancient ayurvedic therapy . Ayurveda has long suggested storing water in copper vessels overnight to consume during the next day, and many medicines use gold or silver ash (bhasm) as part of their ingredients. Not only the Indians but also the Egyptians used gold, silver and copper for their innumerable health benefits.
It is suggested that gold be worn close to the upper body, to generate warmth, and shouldn’t be worn below the navel. Here it has better control of your circulation, and flow of oxygen. It will only bring healing, never harm, particularly when worn around the upper body.
So what are you waiting for? You no longer need an excuse to wear your beautiful precious metals! Get enjoyment and health benefits from wearing your favorite pieces everyday!
When someone you love is suffering from any malaise, especially when it is a long term or challenging disease they are facing, it can be immensely challenging to watch them go through this and not feel totally helpless.
But there is something that you might like to try. It will do no harm to the person you love; it will lift your own spirits and it might just raise theirs too! The little known truth about this is that when someone’s spirits are lifted it puts their bodies in a much better place to heal.
Dr David Hawkins, first published the Map of Human Consciousness in his book Power vs Force in 1995, and is now widely used by university professors, government officials, and health professionals all around the globe.
The Map of Human Consciousness identifies that the more conscious we are the more we contribute to the harmony of the planet. This is both collective and individual.
Each emotion has a frequency e.g. courage – the middle of the map – is 200. The theory is that just one person, who exists at 700-1000 (enlightenment), will counterbalance the negativity of 70, million people below 200.
This illustrates just how powerful positive human emotion really is and its influence over collective consciousness. Lower frequency emotions keep us isolated, in a matrix of stress inducing thought patterns. When we feel this way as our “norm” we are inviting malaise into our being. It seems to be our human default reaction to thinking of a loved one who is sick or suffering in some way, with anxiety, and frustration because we feel helpless. These are both low emotions and do nothing to help them or ourselves. Although it can be difficult when we are fearful for their health, try to think of them laughing, smiling, dancing, singing….whatever it is that makes that person shine. Focus on that picture until you can feel their happiness radiating from the image, enough to make you smile too. Surround yourself in happiness for that person. Positive energy really does have a powerful impact! According to one study*, research carried out by a German university in 1997 showed it is possible to raise visible light around the chest area of a person who was on the receiving end of a Heart Rhythm Meditation. There was a notable increase of sustained light emission (from 20 photons to 100,000 photons per second). This supports the theory that positive energy sent from one being to another via intention, raises the recipient’s frequency to one that is more conducive to their healing. When one is not immersed in stress based emotion, their nervous system switches pathways, from sympathetic ( fight and flight, induced by stress) to parasympathetic (rest and digest, induced by calm, non-stressed based emotion). The parasympathetic pathway is the path to healing.
Try this Heart Rhythm Meditation. Its beautiful to do, and maybe you can change your own feelings of helplessness into a wonderful experience, for you and your loved one. You may like to hold a small item that makes you feel connected to them in your *right palm. It is more beneficial if you can let them know that you are doing it, so that they may be consciously receptive to the intention, but if that isn’t possible for any reason, it is still a very worthwhile exercise.
Posture. Sit with the spine straight and the chest open. Focus on stillness in your body.
Conscious breath Become aware of your natural breath rhythm. Feel its ebb and flow through your body. As you inhale think – renew, rebuild; as you exhale think – discard, detox.
Rhythmic Breath Synchronize your breath to the count of 6-8 on the inbreath, and 6-8 on the exhale. N.B. Choose either 6 or 8 depending which feels more comfortable for you.
Full Breath Expand the breath. Bring in spirit on the inhalation. Spirit is inspiration, increased energy, and vitality. Hold at the top of the inhale just for a moment, while you notice the feeling of expansion in the ribcage and lungs then slowly allow the breath to leave the body, relaxing as it leaves, while you count to either 6 or 8.
Heart Breath Wrap your left hand around your right wrist from underneath so that your index and middle fingers come to rest on the inside of your wrist. Now place your *right hand, palm open (with your item if you are holding one) over your heart area. Locate your pulse by relaxing your hand and your wrist, below your thumb. Also relax your shoulders. The more tense you are the harder it will be to locate the pulse. Count your pulse beats either 6 or 8 (whichever breath cycle you are doing), and inhale as you count. As you begin to exhale count the same again, without a pause.
Swinging Breath Imagine the breath is coming directly from your heart, carrying with it loving healing intent. As you inhale picture a pendulum swinging its way towards you to collect your breath, with your intent (this can be a message, or perhaps you can visualize the healing colour green, also the colour for the heart chakra). As the pendulum swings away send your breath, your energy, your intent with it, to the heart of your recipient. If the photons around your loved one increase, as suggested in the study, then there is a reasonable expectation that your meditation with intention to your loved one can raise their frequency. Lifting their spirits however you can, can only ever do them good!
*Visible Light radiated from the Heart with Heart Rhythm Meditation Bair, P., 2005 Physics. Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine Journal Archives
Smoke cleansing is traditionally used to “cleanse” the energy in a room, or around an object like a crystal for example. This is very different from “smudging” which utilizes a specific sacred herb such as white sage or wood like palo santo and involves the practice of rituals handed down through generations.
Smoke cleansing – how it works and how to do it! For those new to this practice it can seem a little “otherworldly”, as how can waving some nice scented smoke around make a real difference to the space or objects? The best way to explain this is from my own experience. Whenever I walk into a room where a nice incense is burning, I instantly feel good. It invokes emotions in me which make me feel calm, centered and at peace within. It literally brings me into my senses. In-sense. I am aware of my sense of smell, but also my other senses, begin to open as my worries and stresses recede. Incense is used throughout many traditions and religions too. As a child going to Sunday mass, I would always really enjoy the part of the mass where the priest waved the receptacle of incense around the church. Again it made me feel calm and at peace within. So how does it have this effect on our senses? Anything that “lifts” us emotionally, or makes us feel calmer, happier, more centred or less stressed, is literally changing our emotional state from one of a lower frequency to one of a higher frequency or emotion. Once our emotional state has changed we are more receptive to other higher emotions. We may feel joy, or deep tranquility if we explore this frequency and allow our higher emotions to fill us. It really is very simple and not something we must believe in, for it to work for us. Simply enjoying the aroma of the incense, in a room is enough to lift us up emotionally. This is what is meant by raising our vibration – simply allowing ourselves to experience emotions that are uplifting. We can also use music, poetry or beautiful art or objects that captivate us. Being out in a beautiful natural setting will also lift us emotionally and help us to heal from within.
Smoke cleansing can be done with any incense or herb found locally to you. Good ones to use are rosemary, lavender, cedarwood, juniper, pine, mugwort or sandalwood. Try to choose one that you really like and that makes you feel good when you light it. The blend or type matters less than how you respond to it. This is what makes it special.
Take note of your emotional state before you begin. Clear and tidy the area you want to cleanse, and light your incense and breath in slowly and deeply. Notice what you feel upon your first encounter with the aroma. What emotions do you observe arising in yourself? Are they different from what you were feeling before you began? Pass the incense around the room or area that you wish to cleanse, and allow the positive emotions that you observed to expand and infiltrate the space you are in, or want cleansed, with the smoke. Visualise feelings of peace, love, joy, floating in the air, around you, through you, around your room, around the objects. Let them flow with the smoke. Inhale deeply and immerse yourself in the experience. If the smoke becomes overpowering at any time extinguish the incense. It should always be pleasing and never overwhelming. If you use incense as a part of a meditation, it should never distract you from your inner peace, only help you to find it. So next time you feel as though you’d like a little emotional boost, find some incense that appeals to you, choose a quiet space and get “in-sense”.
As humans, we use only a part of our brain. Its capacity to function is in fact much greater than we realise.
What things we could possibly achieve if we could use more of this vital organ?
There are many things no doubt, but one that we can do with a little practice is to to help our bodies heal from within. You do not have to be a swami or a monk to be able to learn self healing. It is an amazing gift that we all have access to.
Of course having a healthy lifestyle is fundamental to being able to bring about any self healing, and the indulgence of eating processed foods or drinking alcohol mindlessly will only serve to hinder this innate ability, that we all have within us.
So here are the simple steps to learning how to self heal from within:
Eat a natural diet. The more home grown, organic, free range, grass fed choices you make in your diet the better.
Whole natural foods are what we thrive on. Whole wheat, whole grain, unrefined, unprocessed, natural food. If you are not vegan then include butter and whole milk from grass fed, ethically raised animals. But avoid any animal produce from mass produced, unethically raised animals. Get to know your local farm and talk to them about their animals. Maybe even go and see how they are raised. This means you are supporting the welfare of the animals, and choosing produce from animals that haven’t been pumped full of pharmaceuticals, and are not producing high levels of stress hormones both of which will contaminate their produce harming both them and you.
Don’t be fooled by products that are labelled “natural”. Its usually a marketing ploy to get you to buy it! How can we tell if something is natural or not? A good rule of thumb here is – If its an ingredient its a good choice, but if it has ingredients its usually not. e.g. oats are an ingredient, as opposed to brand named cereals with fortified nutrients, flavours, E numbers, sugars, starches and corn syrup.
Avoid alcohol Alcohol has a negative effect on the pineal gland in the brain, hindering its function. It is one of many things that can cause calcification or hardening of this gland. Other things include fluoride, and other mineral deposits found in our food and water supplies. The pineal gland works with the pituitary glad to regulate hormones especially those that govern and control our sleep cycles. Ancient sages and mystics believed this tiny organ in the brain to be the space for ascension and enlightenment through the brain/body. It is perceived as a bridge between our inner and outer worlds.
Detox regularly For the reasons explained above a regular detox can help to support healthy brain function.There are many different ways to detox but choose one that helps to remove metals from the body.
Learn about the power of the breath. Deep breathing is a practiced art – when we are not used to it its hard to breathe deeply. However when we do we bring fresh oxygen and nutrients into the lungs which permeate into the blood nourishing our vital organs not least of which is our brain. When we don’t get enough oxygen into our bodies, we simply do not function. We become tired, sluggish, and foggy headed. We cannot digest our food properly, and our bodies will be unable to effectively heal from injury or illness. Self healing requires a good grounding in breath work.
Be disciplined The ability to heal oneself takes time. This means you need to set aside time in your busy life to learn, explore and really give yourself to this. Choose a time when you won’t be disturbed. Turn off your devices. Unplug from the world outside. Find a warm, peaceful space with natural soft light and dedicate time to this exercise.
Align your spine To be able to breath properly it’s important to have the correct spinal alignment. Ideally learn how to sit with the spine aligned correctly so that your muscles don’t ache. When aligned fully, with the right muscles engaged, you should be able to “ switch off” all the big muscles and relax into the pose, without slumping in your spine. If you find this difficult it is better to lie in savasana ( supine with palms facing up), on a mat.
Breathe Spend time with your breath, just focusing on its flow through your body. With each out breath, relax more, letting go of tension in your body.
Practice these 7 steps as part of your daily style.
When you have been practicing the above for sometime, and you begin to feel that letting go of your anxieties and is possible during your practice, try this:
If you have pain in your body, begin with the last 3 steps above (5-7). When you feel your body is relaxed and your mind is empty, allow it to travel to the source of your pain. e.g. a neck ache. Notice exactly where the ache is e.g. at the base of your neck. Firstly make sure the neck is aligned and not compressed. The joints must be free and not restricted by poor posture. Next draw a long slow breath through your nostrils to the area that you feel the ache in. As you breath out ask your mind to allow this place to relax. To let go with the out breath. Do this with every breath. As many times as you can.
Even if it is an external injury that is causing pain, you can train your mind to relax the tissues around that area. This will allow greater blood flow to those tissues, and induce healing.
Nourish by Samantha Jordaan. (Calle Terraza, Estepona, Spain)
The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit which means yoke or union. Traditionally, this refers to the union of the individual self with the Divine, Universal Spirit, or Cosmic Consciousness. It dates back to pre-vedic Indian times (c. 1500 – c. 500 BCE), and has its roots in Hindu philosophy. In the western world it has been taught largely as a series of physical techniques, which is commonly known as Hatha Yoga – Hatha, meaning “force”. These are body postures or “asanas”, which are taught to students of yoga so that they may learn to hold the postures both steadily and comfortably. The main goal of this is to be able to sit for extended periods in half lotus, in order to achieve calmness and stillness of the mind. But yoga is many things to many people, and while some feel nourished by its practice and find it enhances their lives, others are afraid that it opens the doors to dark forces, and is something that should be avoided at all costs.
Christianity frowns upon the practice of yoga, and teaches its community that it draws one away from god and towards paganism. A Catholic church in Kerala, India explains it, like this : “ some of the main traits of yoga are conflicting with Christian beliefs. The experience of yoga is that the practitioner, nature, and God become one, but according to Christianity, nature and God cannot become one,” the report said. But firstly, if one feels strongly this way, then they can still practice only the asanas, and focus on the word of God during their practice. It can be used as a time of quiet prayer, if that’s what the practitioner wishes to do or simply on what one is feeling in their own bodies with relation to their muscles, joints and deeper tissues that make up our physiology. And secondly as much as i’ve read on the subject I fail to comprehend how any regime that offers such a myriad of health benefits can be any thing that God could frown upon. Physical yoga is a cellular exercise increasing blood flow to areas that it would not normally reach. This also includes the brain and hormonal system. It provides fresh oxygen to the blood, brain and organs of the body through deep, focused breathwork. So practicing yoga may give you a natural euphoria or enhance a meditative state.
As a Sports Therapist who has worked with a range of professional athletes, I’ve seen first hand how yoga practice helps athletes perform better, by lengthening tight muscles, strengthening weak ones and also helping them to train their minds to be more focused on their sport. This is just one of many examples of how yoga helps people. But it was while working for the British military that I saw how yoga was truly a gift to us, as humans. A wonderful yoga teacher, who first inspired me to study yoga, held classes for injured personnel. Most of these people had lost limbs or were in some other way badly disabled, both physically and mentally. But when they came to yoga, they shone. You could visibly see the light from them as they experienced relief from pain, greater movement, increased strength and tools to help mentally manage the challenging lives they now led. How could God not support this? Christianity teaches us that to try and clear one’s mind only creates space for evil to potentially enter. However the notion of creating a vacuous space that an entity or energy may enter, is different from clearing ones mind to simply stem the barrage of worries that plague our daily lives and just to experience peace and tranquility, in order to recharge, our batteries. Living in a state of constant stress, with worry and fear as companions leaves us little or no room for love, peace and hope.
Before I found yoga, I lived in a state of low level stress. I ate nutritionally weak food, I drank my fair share of mind numbing alcohol and I gave little thought to others, unless they were in my immediate circle. There was no God in my life. I’d been brought up a catholic but never really understood the institution of the church, so had walked away as a young adult. I didn’t think about God, or anything beyond my own daily grind. But through practicing yoga, I learnt to slow down. I found ways to literally exhale stress out of my body, and inhale peace. I felt my heart expand as kindness made its home there. I felt more love for my fellow humans, more compassion to all living beings and more at peace in myself than id ever felt. My whole outward appearance changed, to a healthier, brighter and younger looking version of myself. This was not because of what I wore, or how I portrayed myself, but because I had become and was still working on becoming a better person. I had found the power of loving kindness; of goodness; of God. One might say that yoga brought me back to God, but this time through my heart instead of the church. God is good. They are one and the same. God is everywhere. Good is everywhere. God is in all of us; good is in all of us ( albeit to very varying degrees). We were made in Gods image; we were made in the image of good. Perhaps to say you don’t believe in God is akin to saying you don’t believe in good. Good exists, and so does his opponent, evil. They co-exist in all of us. However, we get to make the choice, as to which one of these forces will dominate us – do we choose to exist in the light of goodness, or are we tempted by the fruits of evil, and allow our minds to be filled with useless material longings that serve no purpose in enriching the power of good in our lives? Yoga has played such a fundamental role in my path to being a better version of myself. I know in my heart that for me personally, it has delivered me on to a path of light, of good. I have also seen how the light shines from the hearts of my own yoga students as they grow from within themselves in to more beautiful souls. And if when turning to God I find myself asking whether he really would disapprove of yoga, I only have to recall the joy I saw in the eyes of the soldiers who’d lost limbs (and almost their lives) when they practiced yoga to know the answer.