Rich and Creamy Vegan Mayo Recipe

Ultra creamy vegan mayo made in 5 minutes flat! Tastes better than the real thing, with no oil or eggs. Perfect for sandwiches, chickpea tuna, potato salad, coleslaw, burgers or salad dressings. Find the recipe here.

My go-to recipe for vegan mayo that is ultra creamy and thick with the right amount of tang. Perfect anywhere you would typically use mayo. It’s really easy to make, too!

With just 5 ingredients, 5 minutes, and a blender, you will have healthy vegan mayo ready for the week. Let me show you how!


How to Make Vegan Mayo with Cashews

Ingredients

Copy of Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Copy of Instagram Post – Untitled Design (2)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (if you are allergic to cashews, try Tofu Mayo instead)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice | about 1 large lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions

The most important thing you need is a high powered, quality blender, such as a Vitamix. However, you can try to make this mayo in a regular blender or food processor, but most likely it will be a bit grainy instead of smooth.

Copy of Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Copy of Instagram Post – Untitled Design (1)

First, soak your raw cashews (cashew pieces are fine, and often a little cheaper). I place the cashews (1 1/2 cups) in a 2-cup measuring dish, then heat water in my tea kettle and pour it over them once boiling. Let them soak for about 5-10 minutes.

Now, drain the soaked cashews and discard the water. Add them to a blender, along with the 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup water. Blend until very smooth.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It will thicken as it cools, making it better for spreading on sandwiches.

Nutrition Information*

*These values are per 1 serving, but this recipe is for 12 servings

  • Calories: 90kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 100mg
  • Potassium: 110mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Vitamin C: 2mg
  • Calcium: 6mg
  • Iron: 1mg

Check other posts about food and recipes in the Food & Recipes section of my blog

Types of Carrier Oils and Their Uses

Carrier oils are normally used to dilute essential oils before applying them onto the skin while retaining the therapeutic properties of both. There are different types of carrier oils, such as coconut oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, jojoba oil, etc. Learn more about their properties, benefits, and uses here.

What are Carrier Oils?

Carrier oils, also known as base oils or vegetable oils, are used to dilute essential and absolute oils before being applied to the skin in massage and aromatherapy. They are called ‘carrier oils’ because they carry the essential oil to the skin while retaining the therapeutic properties of both.


Benefits and Uses of Different Carrier Oils

Apricot Kernel Oil

New Project

Apricot oil is good for all skin types. It is very rich and nourishing – particularly in Vitamin A. It has very little scent, and it is absorbed by the skin quickly.

Avocado Oil

New Project

Small amounts of avocado oil are typically added to other carrier oils in order to enrich protein and vitamin content.

Coconut Oil

New Project

Coconut oil is used to create a barrier on the skin. It is also the preferred oil for high-quality cold-process soapers.

Grapeseed Oil

New Project

Grapeseed oil is the preferred carrier oil for many massage therapists because of its light, satin-like finish. It also has some astringent qualities and it’s good for oily, acne-prone skin.

Jojoba Oil

New Project

In actuality, jojoba oil is a liquid wax. It closely resembles the sebum of the skin, and it is rich in Vitamin E, which promotes a glowing complexion.

Rose Hip Seed Oil

New Project

Rose Hip Seed Oil is extremely high in essential fatty acids and it is known to help treat dry, irritated, weathered skin. It is also suitable for applying to scars and stretch marks. Not recommended for acne-prone skin.

Safflower Oil

New Project

Safflower Oil is very popular in massage blends, as it is easily absorbed, and can be washed from sheets without heavy staining. Also a popular industry choice for moisturizing cosmetics.

Sesame Oil

New Project

Sesame Oil is rich in Vitamin E and B, and in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It is an excellent emollient. When diluted with other carrier oils, it is popular for massage.

Sweet Almond Oil

New Project (1)

Sweet Almond Oil is an excellent emollient and it is known for its ability to soften and re-condition the skin. It is rich in proteins and Vitamin D, and it is considered extremely nourishing. Can stain sheets.


Check other posts about a healthy lifestyle in the Wellbeing & Lifestyle section of my blog

How to Sprout Mung Beans at Home

Mung Bean Sprouts
Mung beans are highly nutritious, as they contain protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Sprouting mung beans is a great way to optimize its nutritional value and it’s really easy to do. Learn how to sprout them here!

Benefits of Mung Beans

Mung beans are highly nutritious, wholesome and suitable for everyone. As they contain protein, carbohydrates and fiber, it is a complete food source that nourishes the body tissues, yet it is still light in quality, which is rare.

In the West, mung beans are not so widely known or used, and this is a real shame. In the Indian culture, a combination of mung beans and rice is very common and considered both auspicious and complete, due to all the sattvic and medicinal properties that it possesses. In India, mung beans are also the main component of a dish called kitchari. A simple version of kitchari was traditionally given to someone who was sick because it was easy to digest.

Mung beans are the ideal summer food and are considered an alkaline food since they are rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They also have a low glycaemic index, which means they provide a slow release of energy to the bloodstream from their breakdown during digestion.

When mung beans have been skinned and split, it is referred to as mung dahl, and this process makes them easier and quicker to cook. You can use split mung beans for soup, kitchari, or as a sautéed side with vegetables and spices. Split mung beans are quick to prepare, as they don’t need soaking, and rinsing in tepid water is enough.

When whole mung beans are used, they should be steeped in room-temperature water first for several hours or overnight before cooking. The same applies to all legumes.


How to Sprout Mung Beans

Sprouting is a great way to optimize the nutritional value of grains, seeds, and legumes, as the sprouts contain the energy, enzymes, and vitamins needed to transform seeds into strong healthy plants. If we go on the premise that we are what we eat, image the nutritional value!

By the simple method of sprouting,  mung beans, aduki beans, chickpeas, fenugreek, red clover, sunflower seeds, rye berries, alfalfa, and some grains would be considered superfoods. These foods can be eaten as a tasty addition to a cooked salad and stir-fries, and can also be lightly sautéed with ghee and spices as a snack.

Sprouted beans are alkalizing and are a ‘live’ food, with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Packed with all this goodness, sprouted food help fight against toxins and boosts the body’s immune system.


What you need to grow your sproutswhat you need for sprouting

You will need the following:

  • A glass jar (size depends on how much sprouts you plan to have)
  • A mesh cloth or net
  • A rubber band and
  • Mung beans enough to fill about a quarter of your jar

How to sprout mung beans

mung bean sprouts

Growing your own sprouts is easy! Wash and rinse the mung beans thoroughly several times until the water becomes clear. Soak for at least 8-12 hours overnight until they expand a bit and skins start to break – soaking neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors. Rinse them thoroughly and drain them off the next day.

Put them in a glass jar (three parts water and one part beans), cover the top with the mesh cloth and the rubber band, and drain the water through it. Turn the jar upside down and place it on top of the turned jar cover in a tilted position. This is to let excess water run out and allow air in.

They should be kept at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Place them in a dark place like in a cupboard or cabinet under the sink.

Every 12h, run water through the mesh, drain it again and put it back in its place. Do this for at least 3 days (it usually takes 3 to 5 days) and you will see the roots coming out. Most sprouts are edible as soon as you see a tail (the root) emerging from the bean.

Easy Homemade Ghee Recipe

Ghee
Ghee is a type of clarified butter that contains fewer dairy proteins than regular butter. This ingredient can be used in place of regular butter, and it’s considered by many a healthier alternative for cooking. Check out this ghee recipe now!

What is Ghee?

Ghee is a type of clarified butter that originated in ancient India which contains fewer dairy proteins than regular butter. This ingredient can be used in place of regular butter, and it’s considered by many a healthier alternative for cooking.

Ghee is the cooking oil of choice in Ayurveda. I love the nutty popcorn smell of ghee as it bubbles away in preparation. If you choose only the best quality organic butter made from grass-fed cows to make your ghee, you can really create golden magic in a jar!

You can read more about ghee’s history here.


Benefits of Ghee

By clarifying butter, most of the milk proteins are removed, leaving a virtually lactose-free cooking fat, which is free from hydrogenated fats & trans-fatty acids and protects against free radical damage.

Ghee has a high smoking point, as can be seen below, and can be used in cooking in place of butter and oil, and it doesn’t burn easily:

Ghee smoke point

It is extremely versatile, as it is the most heat-stable fat for cooking. It is easy to digest, aids digestion by stimulating stomach acid secretions and aids absorption of nutrients.

The special gift of ghee is its catalytic properties and its ability to carry the medicinal properties of herbs to all the tissues of the body without interfering with the action of the herb. The medicinal properties of ghee increase as it ages. Ghee supports the suppleness of the body and lubricates the connective and nerve tissues, as well as protecting the bone marrow. Ghee plays a role in the promotion of immunity, fertility, intelligence, vision, liver, kidney and brain functions, and enzyme function in the intestines. Ghee is used therapeutically for ear, nose and throat problems and it makes a good base for herbal ointments.


Ghee Recipe

You can, of course, use shop-bought ghee nowadays, but home-made is the best and super-easy to make – you can follow the below recipe. Please note that ghee should be used with caution in case of obesity or high cholesterol.

Copy of Cópia de Copy of Instagram Post – Untitled Design

Ingredients:

  • 1lb unsalted organic butter

Method:

  1. Add the butter to a medium-sized heavy-based saucepan, and bring it to a low boil over a low to medium heat.
  2. Turn the temperature down until the butter is just at a simmer, and gently cook for approximately 25min. It will bubble and splutter, and a white foam will form at the top. This will disappear as the ghee processes.
  3. Whitish sediments will form at the bottom of the pan and will leave off a sweet, popcorn-like smell.
  4. As the ghee forms, it will become a clear golden color – ensure that it does not burn. With a clean spoon, check that the ghee is clear through to the bottom.
  5. When the color is golden and it has stopped spluttering, take the ghee off the heat and allow it to cool.
  6. While the ghee is lukewarm, pour it in a clean, airtight jar. Throw away the sediments that are in the saucepan.
  7. Store the ghee in a dry place – it does not need to be refrigerated.

Check other posts about food and recipes in the Food & Recipes section of my blog

Benefits of Golden Milk and How to Make It

Golden Milk
Golden milk is an old Indian drink that has been gaining popularity lately. This bright yellow beverage with turmeric and other spices is touted for its many health benefits and often used as an alternative remedy to boost immunity. Learn how to prepare it now!

Benefits of Golden Milk

The key ingredient in golden milk is turmeric, a yellow spice popular in Asian cuisine, which gives curry its yellow color. Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to its strong antioxidant properties. Most recipes also include cinnamon and ginger — both of which have impressive antioxidant properties as well, that help protect cells from damage, fight off disease and infections and contribute to your overall health.

Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, the main ingredients in golden milk, also have strong anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce inflammation and joint pain.

This drink may be good for your brain, too. Studies show that curcumin (turmeric) may help your brain to form new connections and promotes the growth of brain cells. Ginger may also boost brain function by improving reaction time and memory. Cinnamon may help preserve memory and reduce the decline in brain function from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.


How to Prepare Golden Milk

Ingredients:

  • 500ml milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • Anise or Cinnamon stick (optional)
Golden Milk Recipe

Method:

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk, then gently heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain and serve warm in cups or heatproof glasses, garnishing with a cinnamon stick or anise, if you like.


You can learn more about golden milk here

Check other posts about food and recipes in the Food & Recipes section of my blog

Tongue Scraping, an Ayurvedic Ritual

Tongue Scraping 2
Older research suggests that using a tongue scraper twice daily can improve your sense of taste. Tongue scraping also improves the appearance of your tongue, removes bacteria, reduces bad breath and improves overall health.

What is Tongue Scraping and Why should you start?

First of all, we should all brush our teeth before we eat breakfast – not only after! Otherwise, you will be eating with a foul mouth. You can start with oil pulling, then brush & floss your teeth, and finish with a tongue scraper.

Yes, using a tongue scraper is a good habit to implement in your morning and night routine to scrape your tongue after brushing your teeth. Bacteria don’t only accumulate on your teeth – what about the rest of your oral cavity? Your gums, tongue and throat, for example, all house bacteria. Cleaning the surface of the tongue is an important part of daily oral hygiene.

Gently scraping the tongue from the back to the front five to ten times, first thing in the morning after brushing the teeth can reduce the accumulation of toxic and bacterial substances that can lead to bad breath and disturbed digestion.

This quick and easy ritual can eliminate the white and sometimes yellowish coating found on the tongue, as well as enhance the function of taste buds, which stimulate the oral enzymes (the key sensory organ in digestion). When the brain and mind accurately perceive ‘taste’, only then does your food digest properly. Scraping the tongue stimulates this process, the digestive tract and your digestive fire.

A healthy tongue should be pink in colour and free from any coating. Your tongue is a map of your digestion, and it can really tell you what is going on in your gut. So, next time you wake up and go to brush your teeth, check out your tongue too. Is there stickiness or a coating? If so, then it’s definitely time to add tongue scraping to your morning routine!


Which type of tongue scraper should you buy?

I would recommend using a stainless steel or copper U-shaped scraper. You buy one online from AliExpress for example.

Tongue scrapers are inexpensive and now widely available, but a good-quality copper one will last a lifetime – copper is a non-toxic metal and has healing properties of its own, including healing mouth ulcers.


Check other posts about a healthy lifestyle in the Wellbeing & Lifestyle section of my blog

Benefits of Using a Neti Pot Daily

Neti Pot
A neti pot is a container designed to rinse mucus from your nasal cavity. You might use it to treat symptoms of nasal allergies, sinus problems or colds. Perform a nasal cleaning every morning with a neti pot and see the difference!

What is a Neti Pot?

According to recent research, the human nose isn’t just able to smell 10,000 scents but has the ability to differentiate between at least a trillion different scents. There are millions of microglands in your nasal passages that have a direct connection to your nervous system. Living in an urban environment means that we can lose our sensory sharpness. So why would we not nurture and protect our nasal senses?

Nasal cleaning with a neti pot is becoming one of my favorite daily rituals. It really feels good! The traditional yogic practice of nasal irrigation using warm sterile saline water and a neti pot is truly amazing. It looks similar to a teapot, flushes out mucus from your nose. You can buy one at your local pharmacy or online.


Benefits of using a Neti Pot

  • It clears the sinuses and helps clear blockages
  • It helps to prevent allergic reactions
  • It relieves cold symptoms (and possibly snoring)
  • It pulls out toxins from inner mucosa

How to use a Neti Pot

Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Copy of Instagram Post – Untitled Design (1)

This practice is best done once a day, in the morning, usually after your oral cleansing practices. Using comfortably warm sterile water, mix with 1/4 tsp powdered rock salt in your neti pot. Tilt your head forward and tilt to one side and, using the pot, allow half of the water to trickle in one nostril and out the other. Take a breath and repeat on the other side. Blow your nose to clear the solution, along with the excess mucus.

Neti pot irrigation can be followed up where appropriate by oil cleansing of the nostrils, known as pratimarsha nasya. You can use a medicated oil such as any thailam, but sesame oil or ghee are just as beneficial. To perform nasya at home, you can take a slightly warm liquid ghee, tilt your head backward and administer 1-2 drops in one nostril, while closing the other. Take a deep inhalation, and repeat on the other side. You will feel the oil in your throat, which you can spit out.

Nasya protects the eyes, nose and throat against diseases. It has also been said to prevent premature greying of the hair and hair loss. It can nourish the facial skin and strengthen the voice, so it is a great practice for vocalists and public speakers.


Check other posts about a healthy lifestyle in the Wellbeing & Lifestyle section of my blog

Reasons to Start the Day with Warm Lemon Water

Lemon Water
Drinking warm lemon water stimulates the digestive system to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste, and it boosts your immune system and helps your skin to glow with Vitamin C, amongst other benefits. Learn more about it here!

Drink Lemon Water Every Morning

Drinking fresh lemon with warm water on an empty stomach after your morning cleansing practices, you can gently cleanse your digestive system on a daily basis.

Although lemons are acidic on the palate, the post-digestive properties turn to alkaline, which allows the body, and especially the liver, to detoxify. The anti-bacterial properties of lemons can also prevent the build-up of toxins and bacteria in the first instance.

Drinking lemon water can also enhance digestion, reduce any sluggish and bloated feelings and aid daily elimination. What’s more, lemons are high in antioxidants, so you can help combat free radicals and give your skin a radiant glow. On top of that, the vitamin C present in lemons helps boost your immune system.

I am a firm believer in learning from first-hand experience – so go on and try it!


Benefits of Drinking Warm Lemon water

lemon water
Improves Digestion

Drinking hot or warm lemon water stimulates the digestive system to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.

Boosts immune system

Vitamin C in lemons is a poweful antioxidant that shortens the duration of the cold and flu.

Helps skin to glow

Vitamin C in lemon boosts collagen production, which prevents wrin and builds healthy skin tissue.

Helps with weight loss

Drinking warm lemon water helps to curb hunger and keeps you feeling fuller longer.

Increases water intake

Increase your water intake by adding a few slices of lemon or squirts of lemon juices.


You can also buy a bottle like this one online and take it with you everywhere you go, so you don’t forget to drink your lemon water!

Check other posts about a healthy lifestyle in the Wellbeing & Lifestyle section of my blog

Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil for Oral Hygiene

Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Cópia de Blog Post Template (1)
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This action helps drawing out toxins in your body, to improve your oral and overall health.

Benefits of Oil Pulling

There are some daily health rituals that you can follow on a day-to-day basis for the benefit of the self-development of both the mind and the body. Oil pulling is one of those simple little things that can help you to bring balance to your life.

Once you get Oil Pulling into your routine, you’ll wonder how you ever started the day without doing it. In the morning, most of the people usually only brush their teeth after they have breakfast, before leaving for work. The problem is that you are eating with a foul mouth, and it just doesn’t feel right! You should take care of your oral hygiene before food, right after you wake up.

Traditionally, in the ancient days, teeth were cleaned with the fingers or with a twig, using herbal powders and oil. I’m not suggesting you go back to chewing sticks, but there are a few subtle adjustments that can still help you improve your oral health. Not only for removing bad smells but to prevent diseases of teeth, mouth, ears, eyes, digestive and respiratory systems, and in some cases even of the heart.

Brushing in the morning before food prevents metabolic toxins accumulated overnight in the mouth from being reingested by your system, which cannot be further broken down by the liver.

Oil Pulling in 5 Easy Steps

oil pulling

Check other posts about a healthy lifestyle in the Wellbeing & Lifestyle section of my blog

Pranayama, the Power of Breathing

pranayama breathing
When we are born, our life starts with a breath, and when we die, our life ends with it – prana (our life force energy). Our breath influences mental faculties and physiological health. If our breath is able to sustain our very existence, why would we choose not to nurture it? Learn some breathing exercises techniques also known as pranayama here.

What is Pranayama?

Pranayama is not only a deep set of breathing exercises but one of the 8 branches of yoga:

pranayama breathing yoga

In today’s sedentary and stressful lifestyle, most of us live on a shallow and quick breath, using only a fraction of our total lung capacity and living on just enough energy supply for the body to function. This way of breathing limits our vitality and our resistance to diseases, and potentially starves our brain of essential oxygen, creating tiredness, irritability, and disturbed sleep.

Prana is the subtle energy form that governs all functions of your body and mind, taking responsibility for the coordination of breathing, the senses, and the mind.  This profound knowledge of careful direction and circulation of prana through pranayama exercises aims to manipulate the respiration rate, deepen and elongate the breath, and therefore sustain life. Try it for yourself – you’ll see that you will feel the calm, peace and physical benefits, even after just a few minutes!

Deep inhalation and exhalation of breath increases the level of oxygen being supplied to the blood and as a result, it improves the quality of your bodily tissues. Many studies highlight the positive effects of pranayama breathing exercises on medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, migraines, obesity, asthma, and high blood pressure, as well as many stress-related conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia.


Preparation for Pranayama

Setting up the right environment will enhance the clarity and focus of your mind during the practice of pranayama and meditation. Set up your space so that it is clean, clutter-free, noise-free, with plenty of ventilation so that fresh air is able to enter the room. Keep some comfort provisions, such as cushions and blankets, nearby in case you need extra support, padding, and warmth.

When you practice pranayama breathing exercises, you should sit in a comfortable position, ideally seated on the floor or on a chair, with the spine erect, chest open and the focus on your breath.

For all breathing exercises listed here, start by sitting comfortably on the floor with legs crossed (siddhasana / padmasana) or sitting on your knees (vajrasana), or on a chair with your back straight and feet firmly flat on the floor. 5-6 minutes each morning is sufficient as a starting point. Ideally breathing exercises should be done on an empty stomach.


Pranayama Breathing Exercises

Bhramari Pranayama (Bumblebee Breath)

Bhramari-1

Benefits

A technique that helps promote restful sleep and helps overcome insomnia. It is great at silencing the mind. The vibration of this breath does not allow any thoughts to enter your mind.

Technique

Take a normal breath in, then let go and relax. Then cover your ears with your thumbs and your eyes with your fingers to block out external disturbances and enable you to go inward. Take a deep inhalation to your natural full lung capacity, then, as you slowly exhale, make a low humming sound in your throat until your breath is complete. Repeat at your own pace for 2-3 minutes. This is a great exercise pre-bedtime.


Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breath)

Alternate_Nostril_Breathing-1

Benefits

This breath is designed to cleanse the channels of the physical and subtle body. Alternate nostril breathing will help you to balance the left and right side of the brain, the sympathetic and parasympathetic activity, helping you to bring your awareness to the breath and stimulating a grounding sensation.

Technique

Using your right hand (reverse, if you prefer left), place your right thumb beside your right nostril and your ring and little finger beside the left nostril. Gently close the right nostril with your thumb and exhale out of your left nostril. Inhale with the left nostril while you count to four. Then close the left nostril and breathe out through the right. Inhale with the right nostril, close the right nostril and exhale from the left. This completes one full circle, but you can continue for 4-5 minutes. Ensure that you take a moment to pause between each inhalation and exhalation – this will help you to keep your breath slow, steady and just slightly deeper than normal.


Ujjaya Pranayama (Victorious Breath)

Benefits

This breath helps remove the heat from the head, as it cools the back of the throat. It is a great way to draw oxygen into the lungs, helping you to expand, deepen and lengthen your breath. It helps remove phlegm in the throat and relieves the symptoms of asthma and other pulmonary diseases. Ujjaya increases resistance to diseases of nerves, dysentery, dyspepsia, enlarged spleen, coughs and fever.

Technique

Sitting comfortably, inhale a slow breath through the nose that travels down the back of the throat and into the lungs, to a full but comfortable lung capacity (sounds like a Darth Vader-like breathing noise), then slowly release it in the same manner as inhalation.


Shitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

Cooling_Breath-1

Benefits

This breath is a cooling breath, so if you are feeling agitated, angry and overheated, this one is for you. It helps quench thirst and appeases hunger. Shitali pranayama cools the physical body, especially the back of the mouth and throat. It reduces the inflammation of chronic diseases, fever, and indigestion.

Technique

Protrude your tongue and make it like a tube/ straw. Draw air in through your tongue to your natural lung capacity with a hissing sound, and exhale slowly through both nostrils – 2-3 minutes is sufficient for this exercise.


Sheetkari Pranayama (Hissing Breath)

unnamed

Benefits

Sheetkari pranayama has similar benefits to shitali pranayama. It is known as the hissing breath.

Technique

Touch the tongue to the roof of the palate and gently clench your teeth. Open your lips widely so the teeth are exposed and breathe in through the mouth to your natural full lung capacity from the abdomen through to the chest, and then slowly release through the nose. Repeat for 2-3 minutes.


Kapala Bhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath)

Benefits

This vigorous, energizing breath helps to stimulate and strengthen your abdominal muscles and diaphragm. It also massages and improves the function of your digestive organs, purifies the channels of the body and clears the lungs, bringing clarity to the mind and warmth to the body.

Technique

Since this is an energizing breath, it is best to do this in the morning only. You can do this when you are cold or when you are feeling sluggish. Start by exhaling your breath and then, in quick motions, take a passive breath in through the lower abdomen, then forcefully exhale the breath while pulling the navel towards the spine. The emphasis is on the exhalation while you contract your abdomen. Take a cycle of 15 breaths and repeat 3-4 times, with a short gap to rest between each cycle.


Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellow Breath)

pranayama breathing

Benefits

Another energizing breath that will increase your prana and purify the subtle channels. This exercise will help stimulate your digestive power, giving you improved appetite and metabolism. The below breath brings clarity to the mind and warmth to the body. The stimulating nature of this breath helps to combat phlegm and reduce diseases of the nose and chest, including asthma.

Technique

Sitting comfortably with your eyes closed and body relaxed, inhale deeply and exhale deeply using the belly. This is similar to kapala bhati, but with an emphasis on both inhalation and exhalation from the abdomen. Go to a steady pace. You can do 3 rounds of 20 breaths, with a short break in between.


After your Practice

Take some time to rest after each breathing exercise to observe the sensations that you are feeling in your mind and body. You are not trying to orchestrate any experience, you are simply allowing the body to be free in the moment. Use this time to let go of your awareness and be present in the body. You might like to direct your attention to different parts of the body. Just observe what you are experiencing in that part of the body for a while. You’ll see your awareness expanding. This is a perfect opportunity to lead into your meditation practice.


Benefits of Pranayama

  • It increases the lungs capacity to energize the body with a fresh supply of oxygen
  • It reduces your breathing rate, which can reduce hypertension
  • It expels toxic waste from the respiratory system
  • It improves the health of your heart
  • It strengthens the respiratory and nervous systems
  • It helps increase metabolic activity and digestion
  • It reduces stress, and calms the mind and nervous activity
  • It increases awareness and concentration
  • It increases energy and vitality by providing stimulation for the internal organs
  • It reduces negative emotions, such as anger, irritability, depression, greed, arrogance, and jealousy

Check other posts about spirituality and self-growth in the Spirituality section of my blog