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Carrot & Ginger Vegan Cake 
2019.9.30 | Tsubaki

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!

 

Ingredients

① Ginger Batter

  • 15g ginger
  • 4pieces cardamom
  • 160g soy milk

 

② Carrot Batter

  • 60g carrot
  • 10g goji berry
  • 160g soy milk

 

③ For Both Batters

  • 50g White Sesame Oil  x2
  • 90g Maple Syrup x2
  • 200g Whole Wheat Flour x2
  • 1 Table Spoon Baking Powder 

 

  1. Put all of the ingredients for ① (slice the ginger before pupating it in the mixer) and blend it in a mixer. Take it out in a bowl. 
  2. Put all of the ingredients for ② (grade the carrots before putting it in the mixer)  and blend it in a mixer. Take it out in a different bowl. 
  3. In each bowl respectively, add the white sesame oil, maple syrup, whole wheat flour and baking powder and mix gently. 
  4. In a square baking pan, add 1/3 the ginger mixture, then 1/3 the carrot mixture, and repeat until everything is in the pan. use a toothpick and gently mix so it creates a marble design. 
  5. Bake for 35 minutes in 350F / 180C oven.

 

TADAAA! Finished.

 

After graduating from university, she started her career experiencing various professions in PR, Media, and IT.
As she became passionate about the effect of yoga both on the body and soul, she decided to deepen her understanding through teacher training at UTL. She began to provide her own yoga training as an instructor to help people discover an overall sense of well-being.
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Refreshing healthy summer drinks
2019.7.26 | Gina Anderson

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!

 

Infused water

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.

 

Rooibos Tea

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. 

 

Honeybush Tea

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.

 

Corn tea

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.

 

Soba tea

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.

 

Lemonade

This low-sugar lemonade recipe is easy to make:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (5 to 6 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup (or honey, or maple syrup)
  • 1 quart of water

 

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 😉

Gina discovered yoga in 2011 as a balance to the intensity of her job as a sustainability consultant in Paris. In 2018, she finally took the leap and completed a yoga teacher training. Gina currently teaches yoga and works on freelance writing in Tokyo.
She hopes to provide creative and challenging classes that help students connect with their breath and be present in the moment.
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Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
2019.7.19 | Namita Kurokawa

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.

 

Jala Neti

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.

 

Kapalbhati

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. 

 

Uddiyana Bandha

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!

 

Others

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!

 

INGRIDENTS

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

 

INSTRUCTIONS

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.

Founder and Yoga Instructor at Nami Yoga Studio.
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Betia’s Very Tasty and Very Green Protein Smoothie
2018.8.6 | Betia Pappa

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!

 

Ingredients:

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

 

Directions:

  1. Pour the almond milk first into the blender. Then add all the rest of the ingredients. If you have a very small blender I highly recommend cutting banana into small pieces and add the spinach or kale at the end.
  2. Blend it all together!

 

Enjoy!

Elizabeth (aka Betia) is an avid traveler and lover of life. She considers herself a student of the world and has gained a deep respect and admiration for many people, cultures, and places she has had the privilege to visit. Betia currently teaches yoga and English in Tokyo.
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Betia’s favorite Green Detox Smoothie
2018.6.7 | Betia Pappa

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!

 

Ingredients:

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

 

Directions:

  1. Pour the water first into the blender. Then add all the ingredients. If you have a very small blender I highly recommend cutting all the fruits and veggies into small pieces especially the ginger. You can even peel the ginger.
  2. Blend it all together!
  3. Add a little more water to smooth it out.

 

If you let the drink sit for too long make sure to stir the drink before you continue drinking it.

 

**TIP**

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!

 

Enjoy!

Elizabeth (aka Betia) is an avid traveler and lover of life. She considers herself a student of the world and has gained a deep respect and admiration for many people, cultures, and places she has had the privilege to visit. Betia currently teaches yoga and English in Tokyo.
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Aroma Oils for the Rainy Season
2018.6.4 | Mari Sudo

The rainy season is about to start. Although it is said that rain is a blessing, it may become a burden for some as it gets very humid and sticky. You start to feel woozy and melancholy as well.

 

During times like this, I use aroma therapy to refresh myself. The scent has a huge impact on how our body or feelings react. I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite oils for the rainy season.

 

Essential Oil Recommendations

  1. Rosemary

Rosemary has a very sharp, clean scent. Along with loving the name, it is also one of my favorite essential oils. It heightens concentration and motivation. The wooziness from this season will definitely be eased with this oil.

 

  1. Tea Tree

Tea tree also has a very sharp, clean scent. It is said to have a strong antibacterial effect and can be used for cleaning the kitchen and keeping the bacteria and molds away. We also use it in our studio to clean our yoga mats! When you’re feeling down and low, this oil will help.

 

  1. Lemon

Lemon has a citrusy, fruity scent. It has an antiviral, antibacterial effect as well as purifying the air. This aroma will help ease your mind.

 

How to Use

We have all been acquainted with diffusers and aroma light as they are being sold in a variety of stores these days. By using these items, it will help purify the air in your room and prevent bacteria from spreading. Also, during the rainy season in Japan, we hang-dry our clothes inside the house, welcoming mold to grow. The use of these items and oils will remove the unwanted smell of mold.

 

No worries if you don’t have diffusers or aroma lights. You can also do the following to enjoy the same benefits:

・Pour hot water in a mug and add a few drops of oil

・Add a few drops in you bath

・Add a few drops on a towel or handkerchief and place it next to your pillow before sleeping

 

When using aroma oils for massage, always dilute them with carrier oils. Carrier oils are derived from vegetarian sources and have a neutral scent. The concentration of essential oil in this mixture should be less than 1%. Jojoba oil and grapeseed oil are a popular choice usually sold in aroma stores.

 

Aroma and Yoga

You can also enjoy yoga with aroma. Essential oils are made by extraction of flowers, leaves, resin and peels of these plants. It is a blessing of nature. It’s like a form of perfume that people have been using from long ago.

 

Not only can scents be physically absorbed through the skin or inhaled into your lungs. You can also breathe in and activate the sense of smell stimulating the nervous system and the brain. The body systems such as autonomic nervous system, endocrine system and immune system are affected though the oils and can result in relaxation and balancing of the hormones.

 

Precautions

・Do not use undiluted oils directly on the skin. Always dilute them with carrier oils before applying

・Do not apply directly on skin for pregnant women and small children

・Use up the bottle within one year of opening (or 6 months for citrus oils)

 

Lastly

You can enjoy aroma therapy by choosing the essential oil that suits your needs or constitution. By blending the oils, there are infinite ways of relishing it. Try finding your combination that best suits you!

 

 

Reference:

Japanese Book 『Aroma de Fuchou wo Iyasu Hon』(Author Miho Sonoda)Daiwa Shobo Publishing Company

Mari was born in Tokyo. In her childhood, she learned classical ballet and got interested in the physical training. She started Yoga to compliment her dance practice. After graduating from college she worked for a financial institution in Tokyo. While continuing her busy work, yoga stimulated her. Since 2011 she has been working as a yoga instructor.
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My Cup Of Masala Chai
2018.4.22 | Namita Kurokawa

Childhood Favorite

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

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

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

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!

 

Clove

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

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

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

Ingredients

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

 

Steps

  1. Prepare the spices accordingly.
  2. Put water and spices in a pot and simmer over low-med heat.
  3. Once it comes to boil, add tea leaves.
  4. Add milk and let it boil. Before it overflows, reduce to low heat. Bring it back to high. And repeat 3-4 times.
  5. Add honey as you wish and enjoy!
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