29 April 2014

Yogi- a story

                        Silhouette vector of yoga collections in the shape of tree. - stock vector                         


 Yogi left home in a tee-shirt and jeans.
He had practically lived in sportswear the last two years.
That was the normal garb at Svyasa where he had spent two years gaining a Masters in Yoga therapy.
When he came home it was only for a day or two and he hadn't been out with his old pals for ages.

His gang. The Pancha-pandavas everyone called them.
Five in all including him.
They had been together since school days.
Nostalgia washed over him. Their antics made him smile.

Toit was where they were going to meet.
He got there at 8 p.m. and found the rest waiting for him.
"Welcome back bro," said Nitin rising to give him a bear hug.
The rest gave him hi-fives.

Yogi sat watching them fondly.
They were the same, delightful rowdy bunch, full of raucous laughter and bawdy jokes.

"Will you drink or have you given it up Mahatma ji?" laughed Ramesh.
They had ordered their drinks already and were waiting to clink their glasses and say the customary 'Cheers'.

 Yogi asked for a long island iced tea.
"Cocktail ? Great yaar, we thought you would have given up everything after your two year stint.

Yogi smiled and said, "Not a stint man. It is life for me and maybe that is why I was given this name by my grand parents. My destiny. But don't label me, don't put me into a box that says "Yoga therapist'. I am that, no doubt. Apart from that I am a son, a friend and a human creature and will continue to be, with my little likes and dislikes, my little enjoyments and fun, maybe just way more balanced than I was."

There was a lot more labelling coming his way, he knew that, especially once he began to work and also teach private classes from home. He would learn to take it in his stride, he knew he would.

He slowly sipped his drink, at peace with the world.
                          Man meditates in the nature. Vector illustration.  - stock vector
                        
                                                                              ***
Dear reader what do you think of the tendency to label, to put people into little boxes? And do come back for the last two posts in this series of the A to Z blogging challenge :)


The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/





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28 April 2014

Xiphoid process and X-ile

                                  The day for X :)
After some, (more than some actually) wondering, I decided to simply define the 'Xiphoid process' in today's post and then be naughty and write a poem on Exile and change the word conveniently to X-ile in the title :)
  
                        The xiphoid process is a bone at the tip of the sternum or breastbone and attaches itself to the Diaphragm (which is a primary respiratory muscle). Now any thing within the body is intrinsically related to well-being and so my choice of bone to define. That it starts with X has nothing to do at all with my choice obviously. Activity : Look at the diagram below and locate your own Xiphoid process. My entire family had to do the same when I formulated this post :)

                                                             
                                                            
                                                                           
                                                                              X-iled
          

                            explosion - stock photo
                                                                   X-iled in this body
                                                                   Us effulgent beings
                                                              
                                                                   Exiled into the quagmire
                                                                   Of birth and forgetting

                                                                  Exiled from the true self
                                                                  For a while or forever

                                                                  Exiled from inner vistas
                                                                 Twisted around the little finger
                                                                 of the outer world.

                                                                 Exiled by greed and the need
                                                                 To have and to be more than we are

                                                                 Exiled by blindness
                                                                 Momentaries become must-haves

                                                                 Exiled to becoming something
                                                                 Exiled to getting somewhere

                                                                Living out caricatures of life
                                                                Living out what someone else thinks is life.

                                                               


 
The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
                                                       Follow me on twitter @whitefielder
                                                                  


                                                                  
                                                                  

                                                                   

26 April 2014

Wealth

    Wealth or health, wealth or peace, wealth or time, wealth or life.

Material wealth only or wealth of love, wealth of friendship, wealth of time, wealth of good health, wealth of a slow and simple life or all of these.

Just a few groups of words to think about and weigh up.
Symbol of law and justice, law and justice concept. - stock photo



The usual meaning of success is very often linked to wealth creation and mainly material wealth.

I have always found this interesting.

Whatever is lost on the path to immeasurable material gains, is it due to a lack of awareness of the person on this path or is it carelessness or is it a deliberate choice.

How much is enough. It would be a good thing to help our children understand and relate to material possessions and get them to see the proper place of things. Help them work out a way to balance material wealth and well-being.

Maybe then they will see wealth as a necessary energy. See that it is required but that it mustn't override people and life. See that it is not the measure that they must use to give respect to someone. See that prosperity is a lot more than external glitz.See it as it really is.
No more- no less.

What are your thoughts dear reader? And do come back for the last three posts this April for X, Y and Z on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and shower me with the wealth of your readership and comments :)
bags of money on a clear bright sky - stock photo


The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
 Follow me on twitter @whitefielder









                             

25 April 2014

Vinyasa- the flow

forest waterfall and rocks covered with moss    
There are various meanings attributed to Vinyasa

What I have understood is that it is a way of moving through a yoga session fully or partially, in a smooth flowing manner, employing Mudras (gestures to regulate energy-flow) when required, from asana to asana, riding the breath consciously- the key word being 'Flowing'. 

Simply put, it is a continuous sequence of movement.

The Surya-Namaskaar or the Sun-salutations are to me a Vinyasa that most people follow.

Start to the finish, moving into a new posture, staying in that posture and moving out of that posture- all of it needs be in a naturally aligned, smoothly flowing manner, without any sharp-jerky movements, like a proficient dancer flowing through a dance sequence.

Brings to mind the whirling dervishes too, doesn't it?

Finally dear reader, it is akin to a Moving Meditation. 
whirling dervish

I have attempted to give you a small peek into vinyasa, leaving it to you to read/discuss it further if you would like to :)
                                                                                                                                                                
 

The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
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24 April 2014

Unlearn to truly learn

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Unlearn to truly learn is my topic for today, dear Reader.


If we want to fill the pot with nectar, let's say and it is at present full of something else,  we have three options to choose from:

                               1. Pour the nectar into the already full pot.
                  2. Ignore/ throw away the nectar.
                                                       3. Empty out the pot and then fill it with the nectar at hand.

It is up to each of us to choose one of the options. It is up to us to give ourselves the permission to make a choice.

When we are full of 'knowledge' the kind that comes with bits of paper as proof or the kind that we have amassed, our idea of the self, the 'ego' tells us we are scholars. 

The egoic self, made up of our own flow of thoughts, is heavily invested in what the people around us think/say of us. Can we allow ourselves freedom from this?

To be able to discriminate between false knowledge, 'Avidya' and true knowledge, the one that already resides within our deepest recesses has to be possible. Can we allow ourselves the Freedom to 'think' and 'feel' deeply so we can let one drain out, making place for the other? Or actually can we allow the gross matter to fall off, to reveal what is hiding right under it?

Reminds me of the timeless chant- Asato maa sat gamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya, Mrityormaa amritam gamaya.

Full of one thing, there is no place for the other. To get some place else we have to leave the current destination behind.
                                                                             ***

Set my inner bird free 
Free of the fetters 
That I place on my Self

Freedom 
Is the only path that will get me anywhere
Anywhere that is worth getting to
Anywhere within me that is worth Being.

Empty me of all the weight
Weight I have amassed
Thinking rocks were gems
Thinking all that shone was precious.

Free from what/who I think I am
Take me to the learning within.


Shattered dancer.image of female dancer jumping. Shatterd and disolve effect added in Photoshop.  - stock photo

People who are veritable lighthouses, shining from illumination from within and without are usually the most flexible, accepting and childlike. Dr. Abdul Kalaam Aazad and the Dalai Lama spring to mind. There are many others that you will think of dear reader, starting from your parents maybe, a teacher, a Guru, do share.
                                                           
  
The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/



23 April 2014

Transformation and Thaad-phal

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Transformation

What comes to your mind when you see/ think of this? 

Valmiki is the name that jumps out at me.
The robber that turned writer/saint, most of us are aware of that story from mythology. He went on to write the epic- Valmiki Ramayan.

There are many famous names and then many not so well-known. People around us, maybe we ourselves might have undergone a transformation when touched by an experience, a person, a thought, a book, a child- anything from the vast array of the miraculous elements that lie all around us. All we need is an open heart and acceptance.

Eckhart Tolle is another name that comes to mind. 
A child from a broken family and one that had played in Germany in buildings destroyed during the World war two, he had a far from normal childhood.  
A largely self-educated boy, while he pursued a Doctoral degree he was overcome by a soul-crushing depression. He then experienced a life-changing epiphany.
Recounting the experience, Tolle says, " I couldn’t live with myself any longer. And in this a question arose without an answer: who is the ‘I’ that cannot live with the self? What is the self? I felt drawn into a void! I didn’t know at the time that what really happened was the mind-made self, with its heaviness, its problems, that lives between the unsatisfying past and the fearful future, collapsed. It dissolved. The next morning I woke up and everything was so peaceful. The peace was there because there was no self. Just a sense of presence or “beingness,” just observing and watching.

His first book, The Power Of Now is the only one I have read and I will not speak of it. It has to be read. Time and time again I go back to it and open just any page and read.

He also wrote Stillness Speaks and A New Earth and a few other books.

Tolle has said "I feel actually that the work I do is a coming together of the teaching 'stream', if you want to call it that, of Jiddu Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi"

And now my dear Reader I shall take you to another kind of transformation. One which occurs within us, tele-porting us in a lightning-flash into a place of joy. I am talking of eating a fruit called Thaad-phal in Hindi, Munji kai in Telugu and Thaati ningu ( I think) in Kannada. Here are some pics from a cart that sells this divinely succulent fruit very close to the college I lecture at.

The outer shell is removed and the translucent fruit scooped out. Each fruit has nectar right inside and an opaque-pearlescent delightfully chewy cover. If you haven't eaten one, do try :)

Likewise at times our own hard shell-cover/ fake ego-mind needs chopping away to uncover the pearlescent essence inside each one of us.

Do tell me your own take on Transformation and what/who comes to mind as well as if you like this particular fruit :D








                                                                                                        

22 April 2014

S for Shavasana- cultivating Sukha

                                                          Follow me on twitter @whitefielder
Shavasana is that which comes at the end of an asana practice. It is the five-ten minutes or more of bliss where you get to let go of every effort and sink into your mat. The benefits of the entire preceding session gather together in this practice of Sukha.

                                                 I cannot underline the importance of this enough, dear reader and when someone has to leave for someplace and has to miss out the Shavasana it is a pity.
                     
The name itself is Shava+ asana and it has been translated into English as the Corpse pose. Now as translations go sometimes, the essence of the word is lost. That is the case here.

Lack of the Shiva element in the body makes the body a Shava.

Why is this immensely relaxing time on the mat called Shavasana then you may ask.

To my understanding, a Shava lacking in Shiva ( life/breath) loses all control over itself and gives itself up fully to the elements. Pliable and pulled down by gravity, when we see a person's mortal remains, they can seem to be immensely relaxed. The need for effort, frenzy, passions everything has fled.

This is quite close to the state we let ourselves achieve of our own volition, when we lie down in shavasana.

We need to lie down symmetrically for energy to circulate without stops. The legs stretched out, heels sinking into the floor, the toes need to fall outwards loosely. The arms need to be spread slightly away from the body so there is air between the armpits and upper arms and turn your palms upwards.

After this run a mental check down the underside of the body and check that the portions touching the mat are sinking into the mat loosely.

Now get this mental check into the body, starting with the feet. Run your mental glance thorugh every part of the skin, muscle, sinew, ligament, nerve, vein, bone and the marrow within. As you do this allow each bit to get loose and heavy- sinking towards the mat even more fully.

Once you get to the face, let the jaws drop open and enjoy the feeling of each jaw relaxing and getting heavy. The skin of the face and scalp loosing its taut-ness, allow the eyeballs and brain to sink towards the back of the body.

Watch the breath enter and leave for a bit.

Finally let go of every effort and enjoy this state for a while.

When you have to get up, very slowly roll to the side and lay there allowing yourself to sink into the mat side-ways. Come up to sitting very slowly with the help of the elbows and hands. Let the eyes stay closed and allow yourself to come out of shavasana, initially by wiggling finger and toes and then join your palms at your heart centre for 3 Om- chants or anything else that you would like to chant.

Open your palms now dear reader and carress the face, neck and entire body.

Carry this rejuvenation with you through the day :)

                      Shavasana. Young woman doing yoga exercises in the lush tropical garden - stock photo

The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

21 April 2014

Radiating from the inside out in asana practise


                                                    
                                                         Follow me on twitter @whitefielder
The six limbs of the body ( head, tail end of the spine, the two arms, two legs) connect to one another through the core of the body. The initiation of movement through the core to the limbs and from the limbs back to the core is called "navel radiation" - Donna Farhi.

Here we are taken right back to the embryo where as a foetus all the nourishment and elimination happened through the umbilical chord a bit like the starfish which radiates outward with its sensitive extremities extending and feeding back into its central mouth.

                      
                       
                         Starfish on the beach - stock photo


 And now dear reader it is time to be introduced to Navel Radiation as taught by Donna Farhi a well known yoga teacher and writer and other greats, both in yoga and dance.

 It is a pattern of breath, movement and energetic connection starting at the belly centre and radiating outwards to any one or a combination of the six limbs as mentioned before.

It is movement flowing in undulating waves from the centre to the periphery and back again.
As you read this allow your eyes to flutter shut. Drop the awareness to the navel and check if the stomach is clenched or soft. If it is clenched let it go lose/soft.

Now visualize the breath as it begins at the stomach as an inhale and spreads into the six limbs, feel the gentle movement this causes, a sort of inflating of our body shaped balloon. With the exhale find a gentle drawing back motion or deflating. Alongside get aware of the lengthening of the spine with each inhale and a dropping back into place with each exhale. This in a simple manner is navel radiation to my understanding and awakens the dormant energetic connection within the entire body.

Applying this to an Asana, dear reader we would have to use a three step process to guide us into any asana.
1. Checking every now and then that our core is mobile and breathing, as opposed to being held taut.
2. Check that this mobile core area is connected/aligned to the periphery or the six limbs.
3. Allow the breath to gently move the body, as against holding our body stiff. Being aware of the air moving through the whole body and its gentle inflating-deflating movement, like a tide that ebbs and flows.

This is again the tip of the iceberg but I'm sure with some rumination and a little practical application it will all be crystal clear. I bid adieu for today and will resurface tomorrow with the alphabet T-related topic.

                                          3d rendered illustration - human fetus month 7 - stock photo


The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

19 April 2014

Quiet from the inside-Pockets of peace


                                                      
                                                                                                             
                                                  

                                                                       Pockets of Peace
                                                                In the midst of jarring noise
                                                                There are tingling tinkles of
                                                                    Twinkle-toed sound.

                                                            In between the maze of mockery
                                                                   There are faces of mercy.

                                                           In the midst of the pollutants of life
                                                               There are breaths of fresh air.

                                                                     In the daily processes
                                                                       We are kept whole
                                                               By out tiny pockets of peace.
Dear reader,
                  This poem is one of my published ones, written when I was in college. I thought of it as a befitting start to my post on Quiet from the inside

                     Antara-Mouna

One may seem like a gregarious  extrovert from the outside but what do we know of their inner life. This seems to me to tie in nicely with my Yoga/well-being related theme.

Unless we have a place within us which could be the exhale-inhale( one of my places) where would we go when we want some quiet and the outer world is all a myriad noise-making bazaar.

You could have a place outside of yourself which brings you the quiet you need, for eg: a garden, your terrace, a certain quiet temple, a friend who epitomizes quiet anything...anywhere. 

The quiet that you thus draw from outside of you, then to my understanding takes you deep within your own self and into your own pocket of peace.

A friend posted a beautiful saying on Fb today, "God is the space between two thoughts."

This space is the quiet within :)

Your's 
Sunila

Ps. What are your pockets of peace? What do you do when you want to get into a quiet place within you? Do share. 
                                                              




The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/





                                                         

18 April 2014

Pranayam and Pottery

                                                    
                                                        
                                                           
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                                          Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes
                                            If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
                                                            you would be paralyzed.
                              Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding
                                          the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
                                                                    as bird wings.
                                                                          Rumi

Prana + Ayam = Pranayam
Vital life force + Using every dimension = Pranayam
Ayam has been defined to be control/diciplining. Somehow it does not sit well to think that something as strong yet subtle as the Life-force can be controlled. The thought is borderline arrogant.

Like a stringed musical instrument can stay tuned for a long/short while after having its strings adjusted, the rhythm, depth, rate of breathing can be altered for the better, for hours/days after conscious breath-work.

If our breath is likened to a horse then Prana is the horse-rider and Pranayam helps us with deeper, fuller flow of prana to every cell of the being. This tuning process can take hours or it can be just one long exhale.

As we change the way we breathe, the carbon dioxide content of our blood changes, our neurological responses shift, and our endocrine levels undergo radical alteration. The respiratory centres in the lower brain stem respond to these changes by resetting themselves.

It should suffice for us to know that the lengthening/shortening of breaths which usually happens without our awareness alters many things in the body/mind complex.

You may have learnt Pranayam dear reader or may intend to or not.
Either way you may know that there are various techniques for eg: Kapalbhati, Anulom-vilom, Bhramari, Cooling pranayam and many others. I don't think theorizing about them is needed right now since learning them practically is far more beneficial.

I personally find that if I'm running short of time I do just the alternate-nostril breathing or Anulom-vilom and that is enough. Each of you would benefit by exploring for yourself, these techniques and checking how they make you feel.

Since it is summer in India I will outline the Cooling techniques today. These help in cooling and calming us down as a whole and extremely beneficial in warm weather as well as for stress/blood pressure.

Sheetali- the cooling one. Sit in a comfortable manner with the spine erect yet relaxed. Pull the sides of your toungue upwards to form a tube which is open at the top :) This is a bit funny at first and you may want to giggle. So Giggle. After that try to hold the tongue in prescribed shape and inhale through this tongue-tube. When the inhale is complete, relax the tongue, close your mouth and breathe out normally through the nostrils. Do this a few times and then sit and be aware of what is happening in the chest-lung region.
Sheetali This picture is from the ayurveda yogashram site.


Sheetkari-one that causes cooling. Now pull the tip of your tongue up and backwards held back with the upper set of teeth. Breathe in through the tube formed at the sides of the mouth. If a giggle escapes you at first it's okay. Giggle and resume. Exhale through the nostrils with the tongue relaxed and mouth closed normally. A few rounds of this and gain get aware of what is happening within the torso.

 I could not find a suitable pic for this one. Hope the explanation is picturesque enough.



Sadanta- literally means, With the Teeth. Here hold your teeth as they are when your mouth is shut, only bare your gums by separating the lips and flaring them. Don't wonder about how that makes you look. If alone it doesn't matter, if in a group class everyone is in the same boat, so again it doesn't matter. Breathe in. Air will come through the tiny gaps between the teeth. This is great for dental hygiene too. Yet again after even three rounds if you cannot do 5-10 rounds, let yourself get aware of what is happening in the chest-lung region.
Sadanta In the pic the man has managed to look like he is smiling while he is doing the Sadanta.

You will find something subtle and cool spreading in the mid torso area as well as the stomach.

* Let the eyes stay closed all through, once you have learned the right way of keeping the tongue and teeth in the 3 techniques
* If you blood pressure is low do not do more than 5 rounds each on a warm day.
* Various yoga teachers teach variations of above techniques, that is okay, let us not get too stuck with form and shape.
* These as well as all yoga practices except Mindfulness/awareness should ideally be learned in person by a Guru.


  
And now to change topic a little and jump into pottery. I say change a little because all art seems like yoga to me, for yoga is the union of us with ourselves or connecting with ourselves fully and what is art if not that.

With pottery, the act of sinking the hands into clay/mud, cleaning it, making it pliant, shaping, throwing pots on the wheel- all of it connects me to my self as deeply as anything else ever can.

A picture of some of my own pottery 



Thanks for visiting dear reader, do leave me a comment I shall be grateful, come back everyday and I shall love you for it :)
                              
The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/





17 April 2014

O for Om/Aum, vibration of the supreme

                                                    
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Om or Aum is the amalgamation of three sounds. A-U-M
Considered the most basic yet all encompassing symbol of Hinduism it has a corresponding sound, a sound that mystics consider to be the Primeval sound. The vibration of the Supreme. A vibration the energy of which was the beginning of creation.

The Om is venerated by Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism as far as I know.

When I was about ten I read a superb novel by Gurudutt, a hindi writer, Prabhat Bela- a work of fiction based on this belief. This novel and the extra-ordinarily lovely thought behind it left an imprint on my psyche. Somehow I had to share this with you dear reader. Now let's get back to more about the Om or Aum.

The object of profound contemplation and Dhyana, not only the whole Aum but also each of the three sounds, A-U-M is supposed to have the highest spiritual efficacy and chanted in the beginning at the end of most Mantras.

It is the essence, the meaning of everything, a sound which heals, soothes, calms and opens up everything that needs opening within us. It grounds, balances and is a wonderfully simple tool for voice-culture too.

Chanting the Om sound as a long drawn sound, using the entire torso space to make the sound- lengthens the exhale, increases lung capacity, sends massaging-soothing vibrations into the organs and allows the brain to function in a better capacity.

It is supposed to encompass everything and so knowing the Om is knowing everything.

This little post of mine is a tiny glimpse and it is up-to you dear reader to contemplate/delve into this further, if you so wish. Here are various symbols used for the primal sound, if you move your cursor over the symbol you will get to know the associated script.

                                     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddha%E1%B9%83_alphabet



      


                                


       



                              

I leave you today with this representation of the Ik Onkaar, the Om symbol in Sikhism, in the Gurmukhi script.

Thanks for visiting dear reader, do leave me a comment I shall be grateful, come back everyday and I shall love you for it :)
                              
The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

16 April 2014

Nature's path, beauty inexpressible

                                                    
                                                         Follow me on twitter @whitefielderToby Rao photography


 Today's post is not about words.
Words cannot be what the world around us really is.
We can come close and that's it.
So dear reader, today let's not even try.

Let us simply 
Look
Feel
Sink into 
The majesty
Be
The inexpressible beauty that IS



                                Toby Rao photography
This glorious sunrise was witnessed and photographed recently by a friend, Toby Rao. In his words, "The photo is from Tidal basin, Washington DC, featuring Cherry Blossoms. It is a very unique vantage point from where the shot was taken. You can see the Capitol building dome as well as the Jefferson memorial."

Thanks for visiting dear reader, do leave me a comment and I shall be grateful. Come back day after day and I shall love you for it :)

                                             Toby Rao photography

15 April 2014

Moringa Oleifera- the humble yet powerful drumstick tree

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My post is about Moringa oleifera, popularly known as the Drumstick tree in India and how it can contribute to well-being.

By some quirk of fate I landed on this topic after sifting through a few others, a close second on my list being Money and our relationship to it :)
What I read about the tree was astounding.
A regular person should not need any multi-vitamin supplements at all if one uses the tree and its offerings on a regular basis.If your doctor has prescribed them then, oh well!

It is a herbaceous plant grown for its greens, flowers and its mineral-rich pods.
Its health benefits are what we will talk of today :)

Many a sambar has been made more delightful with succulent pieces of drumstick. There are delightfully nourishing recipes for its pods, leaves and flowers which many of you may know of, already. If not there's the google with its impressive omniscience.

I'm certain quite a few of us have at some time eaten these with relish and we have hitherto vaguely known that there were benefits to be had.

Without going into percentages and numbers let's cast a glance at what these benefits actually are.

1. It's leaves are a source of protein and dried leaves contain amino-acids. I cook the leaves like a dry stir fry with loads of garlic and seasoning, sometimes with potatoes or even with a sprinkling of dry-roasted peanut powder (coarse)

2. Fresh pods and seeds are a good source of Oleic acid, a beneficial mono-unsaturated fat. I cook up the pods along with lentils into a sambar or as a gravy with a tomato,onion,ginger,garlic base.

3. Fresh leaves are a rich source of vitamin A. I am at the moment trying to find some sort of a perennial source of tender fresh leaves so I can cook them once or twice a week at least, in the hope of benefiting my little one's eyes which have a minor birth issue.

4. Fresh pods and leaves are a source of Vitamin C. And we are not done yet there's more.

5. Leaves and pods again contain many vital B complex vitamins.

6. Furthermore its leaves are a fabulous source of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium, and magnesium. :)

As I finish this post I find that I am starting to like drumsticks and its leaves/flowers even more than I did. What's not to like with all that impressive goodness.
                                                 The picture is from www.hindu.com. Don't you just love the sheer fecundity of the tree in the pic :)

Thanks for visiting dear reader, do leave me a comment and I shall love you for it :)
                              
The link below will take you to all the other blogs participating in the April blog challenge. There is a huge variety of theme and the bloggers have worked with great interest to bring you well written, interesting posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/