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