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Tantra Yoga

Tantra yoga

Tantra yoga uses breathing techniques and poses – called asanas – to reach a state of deep awareness and enlightenment.  “The aim of Tantra Yoga is to expand awareness in all states of consciousness, whether waking state, dream state or sleep state,” according to the Sanatan Society, an online tantric site. “Tantra Yoga teaches us to identify the various factors that influence our thoughts and feelings and to transcend the obstacles to our evolution arising from ignorance, intolerance, attachment to our animal nature, and selfishness.”  Spirituality aside, as if that were possible, just some of the other benefits of tantra yoga include:

  • Improved muscle tone
  • Weight loss
  • Decrease in back pain and problems
  • Mood elevation
  • Reduced stress

In general, tantra is style of meditation and ritual that seeks to connect its practitioners to every aspect of the world around them and within themselves, as contrasted to styles which seek to block out all extraneous stimulation. It isn’t one codified system, but rather an accumulation of many ideas and practices.

Of course, it’s hard to mention tantra without mentioning sex. In fact, the two are synonymous in many minds. And it’s no wonder.  Whereas many spiritual practices teach asceticism and the deflection of desire, tantra yoga accepts desire, and teaches its students to embrace this desire as a force of creativity and connectedness.

“The real purpose of Tantra is to channel the life force energy to accelerate emotional and spiritual unfoldment,” writes Dr. David Simon,  co-founder of the Chopra Center. “The beauty of Tantra is its lack of dogmatism. Rather than preaching one way to enlightenment, Tantra draws on wisdom from many branches of Eastern spiritual traditions including yoga, Ayurveda and mantra chanting.”

For further information: http://www.sanatansociety.org/yoga_and_meditation/tantra_yoga.htm#.UnhJmbK9KSM http://www.tantrayoga.us http://www.healthcentral.com/diet-exercise/c/299905/158291/spiritual/


Layered Blueberry and Mango Smoothie

Layered Blueberry and Mango Smoothie

For the mango smoothie: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 sixteen ounce bag of frozen mangos
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1-1/2 cups orange juice (don’t pour into blender until ready to blend)

Directions: Blend all ingredients together very well. Only turn blender up to the lowest speed you need to make this happen. Pour into bottom half of glasses.

For the blueberry smoothie:

 Ingredients:

  • 1 sixteen ounce bag of frozen blueberries
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons barleygreen powder (optional but very healthy & you can’t taste it!)
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberry (or another sweet juice, like apple) juice (don’t pour into blender until ready to blend)

Directions: Blend all ingredients together very well. Only turn blender up to the lowest speed you need to make this happen. Gently pour into top half of glasses over the mango goodness.  Garnish with blueberries and a sprig of mint. Layered, slushy, cold and gorgeous. They make everything feel better.

 

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The human mind, at certain moments, transcends not only the limitations of the senses, but also the power of reasoning. It then comes face to face with facts that it could have never sensed, or never reasoned out. ( http://www.vsmpantnagar.org/files/Jnana-Yoga-by-Swami-Vivekananda.pdf )

Throughout my life I’ve had my transcendental moments – moments of tranquility. Flashes of wisdom and knowledge that proved fleeting and felt somewhat accidental. The moments were difficult to recreate, and as often as I purported the knowledge of my limitations, they were flawed. The exploration of my senses (body) and reasoning (mind) was without discipline.

Jnana Yoga (pronounced “jnyaana yoga”), the path of knowledge, one of the three paths to liberation (the other two being the path of action – Karma –  and the path of devotion – Bhakti). It uses the mind as a tool to understand the deeper realities of the Self. To use the mind in this way effectively, it must be a good tool that is able to concentrate and explore an idea with sincerity and clarity. (http://www.yogapsychology.org/y_jnana.html, http://www.hinduwebsite.com/gnana.asp)

This takes discipline and practice, and you should be prepared to engage in an intense philosophical and thoughtful process, systematically analyzing your awareness with your body, mind and ego.

The Four Pillars of Knowledge are the prescribed steps toward achieving liberation in Jnana Yoga. These practices build upon each other and thus should be practiced in sequential order. These include:

1. A deliberate, continuous intellectual effort to distinguish between the real and the unreal

2. Cultivating non-attachment or indifference toward the temporal objects of worldly possessions and the ego

3. Six mental practices to stabilize the mind and emotions

4. An intense and passionate desire for achieving the liberation from suffering

(http://www.yogabasics.com/learn/-jnana-yoga-the-yoga-of-wisdom.html)

Those who follow this path can attain tranquility and liberation, remaining calm even in the face of adversity and a non-dualism realization that leads to an experience of absolute truth.

Peaches ‘n Cream Smoothie

jnana peaches n cream smoothie

Ingredients

1 large cup frozen peach slices (you can use prepackaged, but buying fresh and freezing your own always seem more flavorful to me)

1 frozen small banana (cut into chunks before freezing)

¼ tsp. vanilla extract

½ to 1 cup almond milk*

4-6 drops liquid stevia, to taste

pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and mix until completely smooth. Start with ½ cup of milk and increase until you reach the desired consistency.

Serve and enjoy!

http://almondsandavocados.com/peaches-n-cream-smoothie/

 

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