Hi this is Tsubaki!
Some of you may already know. We started our Kriya Yoga sessions on a monthly basis starting July, 2019! After performing our cleansing techniques, we enjoy herbal tea and recharge with our homemade energetic breakfast! Our next Kriya Yoga will be on Sat, Oct 26th from 6:30 AM! Please check our Events Page for more details!
Today, I’ll be introducing Carrot and Ginger Vegan Cake recipe, one we enjoyed in our previous Kriya Yoga.
Carrot and Ginger Vegan Cake!
① Ginger Batter
② Carrot Batter
③ For Both Batters
Looking for some refreshment this summer? Mugi cha (barley tea) is a typical choice in Japan, but there are many other healthy caffeine-free options. It’s important to stay hydrated before, during and after yoga, especially during the summer heat. Drinking water-based beverages can help regulate your body temperature, lubricate your joints, protect your spinal cord and help your body eliminate waste. Try one of these easy do-it-yourself options!
You can add herbs, fruits or veggies to your water to infuse it with more flavor. Mint and basil work well. You can also add citrus peels or cucumbers for a fresh taste. It’s best to pick organic herbs, fruits and veggies for infusing, to avoid also leaching pesticides into your water. A great infusion option is lemon or orange peel, cucumber slices and mint.
Made from a brush-like plant from South Africa, rooibos is naturally caffeine free, high in antioxidants and may contribute to managing cholesterol, along with other potential health benefits. Rooibos tea is available in red and green versions. Red rooibos has a mild, slightly sweet taste while green rooibos has a stronger green tea-like taste. Both come from the same plant and are caffeine free. Green rooibos is unfermented, while red rooibos is fermented. Many brands are available at supermarkets. To make iced rooibos tea, one tea bag can be infused in 1 liter of hot water for around 5 minutes and then chilled.
Made from the honeybush plant, also from South Africa, honeybush tea is made from the fermented stems and leaves of the plant. Naturally caffeine free, honeybush reputedly helps with calming coughs and may provide other health benefits. Honeybush tea has a mild taste similar to red rooibos, but is often sweeter. Muji sells honeybush and lemon tea bags. Other brands can be found at stores such as Kaldi or Carnival. To make iced honeybush tea, one tea bag can be infused in 1 liter of hot water for around 5 minutes and then chilled.
Originally from Korea, corn tea is made by infusing roasted corn kernels. It is caffeine free and reportedly can help with digestion, is good for the kidneys and can help in lowering blood pressure. It has a very mild taste; some say it tastes like watered down corn. It is common in Korea to make a mix between barley tea and corn tea, which results in a drink that is a bit more flavorful than corn tea by itself but milder than barley tea. Typical ratios are 1/3 barley tea and 2/3 corn tea. Corn tea isn’t always easy to find in Japan, but Muji and Seijo Ishii does sell some. To make iced corn tea, one tea bag can be infused in 1 liter of hot water for 3 minutes and then chilled.
Generally served at soba noodle shops, soba, or buckwheat tea, can also be made at home. It has high mineral and antioxidant content and may help improve blood sugar control. It has a mild to strong nutty, earthy taste. Soba tea can easily be found in most supermarkets. To make iced soba tea, one tea bag can be infused in 1 liter of hot water for 3 minutes and then chilled.
This low-sugar lemonade recipe is easy to make:
Combine the lemon juice and the agave syrup in a large pitcher first and mix together well. Then add the water and mix once again. Chill in the refrigerator or serve immediately over ice.
It tastes best with freshly squeezed lemon juice, but if you need to use pre-squeezed lemon juice, you may want to use a bit less lemon juice or add more agave syrup, since pre-squeezed lemon juice tends to be more concentrated.
I originally found this recipe on goop, which has a good selection of healthy recipes.
If you’re looking for more ways to hydrate, Muji has a great selection of herbal teas and non-caffeinated drinks, some specifically adapted for cold infusion. In general, for making iced herbal tea, I find that using 1 tea bag suffices for 1 liter of water; you can use the infusion time indicated on the packaging as a guideline.
Happy hydrating 😉
Every Friday during my training in India, we did our yogic cleanses. We called it Kriya Friday.
To pass on the tradition, and for our students to deepen their yogic practice, we decided to incorporate that into our monthly schedule.
Our main focus is cleansing techniques. We are starting it off slowly by doing the classic Jala Neti and Sutra Neti (the two nose cleansing techniques). By clearing up the nasal passage, it helps remove impurities and dirt. It also has a significant role in improving the presence of the mind.
We move onto Kapalbhati. Kapalbhati is both a pranayama (breathing technique) as well as kris (cleansing technique). Kapalbhati is part of the ‘shat kriya’ which refers to the six cleansing techniques. It has the benefit of remove toxins from the body. Kapal means forehead and bhati means to shine. It also has the benefit of clearing the mind.
We also practice Uddiyana Bandha and Nauli, where it massages the internal organs and lower abdomen area, stimulates the digestive fire and removes toxins, indigestion and constipation. Yes, we know, it looks weird, but has so many benefits!
Trataka is also type of cleansing technique of the eyes. In the future, we hope to practice Dhouti (instestine Cleansing) and Vasti (Rectum Cleansing). Stay tuned!
Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
On a different note, we also serve homemade breakfast after this workshop. Due to high demand, we decided to post our recipe on our blog every now and then 🙂 ENJOY!
3 cups rolled oats or old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 cup bananas mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine the oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
3. In a medium bowl combine eggs, honey, mashed bananas, vanilla, milk and coconut oil.
4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until combined, do not overmix.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Scoop batter evenly into prepared muffin tin.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until set and the tops are slightly brown.
8. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove to cool completely.
This green protein smoothie is super easy and great for any time of day. Especially in the morning after your yoga practice or workout. The ingredients might surprise you but blend them together and you get a very very tasty and healthy drink.
I hope you enjoy!
1 cup of Almond milk (depends on how thick you like your smoothies)
1 banana (frozen is nice, but not necessary)
A hand full of spinach or Kale
A tbs spoon of peanut butter
Mid-summer days can get really exciting with all the sun. However, we have to be cautious of intense heat waves and heat strokes!! (Especially in Japan now) these words are making headlines in the daily news. Just hearing these words can make you exhausted. We have a tendency to stay inside under the AC, but this will make your internal organs cold and your whole body to weaken, resulting in summer heat fatigue.
The other day, I heard wind chimes at a café I walked into. The sound of the bells gave a pleasant feeling in this hot weather. It’s very important to use your five senses to truly experience the coolness during the sizzling summer. As a continuance of previous blog post of aroma during the rainy season, I’d like to introduce the aromas for the summer season.
Summer Aroma Recommendations
This exhilarating aroma known to be used in gum and candy gives a sensation of freshness resulting in a cooling effect. It relieves any fever and swelling of the muscles. It works on the central nervous system and stimulates inspiration, concentration and memory. Thus, during this hot season when you’re feeling drowsy with the heat, this is the perfect aroma.
It’s scented like lemon and is used in herbal tea. It’s just the smell that is very similar and the actual lemongrass has nothing to do with the lemon family or citrus family for that matter. It’s part of the grass family known as gramineae. It works to stimulate better blood circulation and digestive system. It’s usually used in my favorite food, Thai food, such as Tom Yam Kung. Bugs dislike this scent, which works perfect for outdoors this season!
A very gentle floral scent. It is said to have over 150 different positive effects. Even when you mix it with other aromas, it doesn’t diminish the effects. We can call it the aroma all-star. It has relaxation effects, regulates the autonomic nervous system, relieves muscle and nerve pain, has antibacterial effects, and is good for your skin. It can help your skin after being damaged from UV rays this summer.
It’s so easy to skip bath and just stick with shower during the summer. I’ve always liked taking a bath so it’s become my ritual throughout the year. Let me add that summer baths are the best and highly recommend it!
You’re always under the AC, drinking cold drinks, eating cool food. Although your outer skin layer may seem heated, the inside is usually chilled. By relaxing in the bath tub, it will not only warm up your body but also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which will help with your sleep.
If hot bath is not your thing, you can lower the temperature or do a half body bath. Another suggestion is to add refreshing aroma. You can mix the 3 aromas mentioned above.
If putting the aroma directly in the tub gives skin irritation, you can either blend it with carry oil (mentioned in the previous blog post), or mix it with your bath salt. You can also put warm water in a container and drop the aroma oils in there to enjoy the scent!
Sweat out your fatigue and enjoy the aroma scent, feeling refreshed this summer!
This green detox smoothie if great for any time of day. Especially in the morning before or after your yoga practice or work. All the ingredients are individually great for your health and combining them all together creates a power drink. I think!
This drink will make you feel good inside and out and will boost your immune system so you’ll stay strong and healthy and avoid getting sick.
I hope you enjoy!
1 Cup of water or a little more (depends on how thick you like your smoothies)
1 or 2 celery sticks
1 cucumber (with skin-give you more fiber)
½ and apple (with skin- more fiber)
1/3 cup o f frozen or fresh pineapple
a small piece of ginger root (depends how much you like ginger) Without the skin
One whole lemon
If you let the drink sit for too long make sure to stir the drink before you continue drinking it.
For the summer!
If you like your smoothies cold, I recommend precutting all the ingredients and freeze them over night. Then when you blend, it comes out nice and cold.
In case you have a small blender, leave the frozen ingredient sitting in the blender for ten minutes for them to soften and avoid breaking the blender.
So you can put ALL the ingredients in the blender, get ready for work or practice, come back blend and drink!
As a child, I’ve always loved chai. My father would drink it every morning and I would have a sip of it. Today, it makes me happy that my kids love it, too. I’m sure there’s the caffeine concern, but I use decaf or smaller amount of tea leaves when I make it for the kids.
Another way to go is to scratch the tea leaves completely and make spice milk. The spices used in chai have many benefits, especially on the digestive system.
Spices and Benefits
Ginger is known to sooth upset stomach and promote the digestive fire. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, lowering swelling and pain that comes from poor diet or even stress. I recommend to keep the skin on while chopping or grading to maximize the nutritious value.
Cinnamon balances blood sugar levels and kills harmful yeast in fungus in the gut, increases energy, improves skin health and supports weight loss. It is said that less than one teaspoon is enough to see these benefits.
Cardamom is known to improves digestive functions and balance stomach acids. Similar to ginger, it reduces swelling and reduces pain and cramps. The spicy flavor you taste when drinking chai mainly comes from Cardamom. Even if you don’t have any other spices, just make sure you have this one!
Cloves have the property to dull pain associated with toothaches, headaches, joint pains and menstrual cramps. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities making it a perfect ingredient to add during colder winters when we tend to get sick more often.
Peppercorn aids digestion and weight loss as it warms up the body. If available, I recommend getting the fresh, green peppercorns from local spice stores since it has natural oil that maximize its benefits in the digestive system.
Anise helps with upset stomach, intestinal gas, and runny nose. It also regulates mensuration, and reduces symptoms of menopause.
Sugar vs Honey
I recommend honey over sugar for the following reasons:
Less amount of honey required for same sweetness
Honey is slowly absorbed in the bloodstream, thus a healthier digestion process
Honey has more nutrients
Masala Chai Recipe
Makes 2-3 cups
3 cardamom pods (smashed)
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 teaspoon black peppercorns (green, fresh ones if possible)
1 piece fresh ginger (graded)
5 whole cloves (ground is ok)
1 piece star anise (optional)
2-3 teaspoons cheap loose black tea leaves
1 cup water
2 cups whole milk
Honey as you wish