Clean up your act

In every yoga ashram karma yoga or seva is performed. At a prescribed time, each yogi cleans the communal spaces. This is done not for reward or recognition, but it is an act of selfless service. Finding that spirit of serving for the good of all takes you to a place of love. Sadly, there is a large contingent of mankind who fail to understand the idea of keeping communal spaces clean – places like beaches, parks, beauty spots, countryside. Pictures of the beaches in England this weekend utterly sickened me. It makes me ashamed to be a human being. Many people have spent time in lock-down decorating, gardening, de-cluttering.  They’ve had a desire to cleanse and purify their home environment. Why is it impossible to take that desire out into the communal places on our beautiful planet? As a famous t-shirt slogan proclaims, ‘because there is no planet B’.

And who do they expect to clean up after them? Are they still like surly teenagers who expect their mum to clean their rooms? Isn’t it time that they grew up? Where does this sense of entitlement come from? They have no trouble taking the food for their day-trips – please have no trouble taking the litter home again…

Spiritually this crisis has given us an opportunity to re-evaluate what is important. My biggest concern has been that some will return to there version of normal without learning anything at all. We’ve been given the colossal gift of a second chance. A chance to humbly recognise that we share our beautiful home with all people and all creatures. Until we mature, grow and understand that each life is precious, no matter what colour, shape or form it takes, and that we are all here to learn lessons, no progress will be made. Please, please, please, don’t repeat the same endless mistakes, mankind. Please, please, please don’t return to a normal which is selfish, grabbing, irresponsible and downright nasty. We’ve been given the luxury of a second chance – let’s use that to create a beautiful new normal. Let’s respect our home, this planet, let’s take our place as guests not masters, let’s work with selfless service to keep communal spaces clean, let’s act with love and kindness. And if you really need a selfish reason to do the right thing, bear in mind that if we don’t learn we’ll have to go through it all again. It reminds me of school. The whole class would be given a detention because some two or three nincompoops wanted to cause trouble. When will we learn?

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Yoga and Ayurvedic medicine

Traditionally, yoga and ayurvedic medicine go hand in hand. Both originate in India. Ayurveda is the science of life and healing, and practitioners believe that health is a state of dynamic equilibrium.Just as ‘Yoga Prescribed’ is a modern take on yogis story-telling to share information, so this blog is a modern take on recognising that ‘food is medicine’. We each need to find the diet which is rich and colourful, and which brings us in to a state of dynamic balance.

Blackberries are free and organic

Do pick blackberries in the autumn! They ripen at exactly the same time as Bramley apples – perfect for crumbles and pies. They give a boost to the immune system ready for the winter months. Those people who picked their blackberries and put them in the freezer are smug right now! They are such a good source of fibre, were used by the Greeks to treat gout and contain Vit C and E. They protect against cancer, degenerative disease and infections…

Ancient Greeks revered beetroot

Beetroot is offered as a tribute to Apollo in the temple at Delphi. It’s a blood-builder and is most helpful fo those recovering from illness.It stimulates the liver and has been valued for centuries as a digestive aid.Certain carcinogens are bound to the red colouring matter, and in Central Europe beetroot has long been used to combat cancer. Apparently, it increases the cellular uptake of oxygen. Put beetroot on your shopping list this week! (And always buy organic when you can.)

Sattvik energy

The manner of eating matters, too! Sattvik energy is pure and is in balance. If we eat calmly, and indeed prepare food lovingly, it enhances our well-being. Eating on the go, being rajasic, is never going to truly nourish us!