The fascinating brow chakra

The sixth wheel of energy is often referred to as the third eye. The brow chakra is known as AJNA in Sanskrit, which means to perceive. Its all about your intuition – think about that word for a moment. In…..tuition….(teaching from within.) This wheel of energy puts you in touch with your inner guru, or teacher. It is connected to the element of light, its colour is indigo (royal purple), and its seed sound is OM. Try turning your eyes upwards to the position of the third eye when you meditate.

Foods that might awaken the brow chakra include black grapes, blackcurrants, blackberries and black olives. However, listening to your intuition and working with awareness are the most effective ways to proceed. It’s rather lovely to create a PUJA, which is a ceremony or sacred place. Choose a peaceful corner in your home, and on a table or shelf place items which resonate with you at the time. If you wish to stimulate the brow chakra, have perhaps an indigo candle, some beautiful indigo tulips, a picture or photograph of a place where you have received insights and realisations.

Always source your food organically, and feel gratitude as you eat.

Finding the joy

So, pranayama is the study of gathering, storing and wisely utilising prana or life-force. We gather prana from the air that we breathe, from the sun, the earth and from the food we eat and the water that we drink.

Prana fuels the wheels of energy known as ‘chakras’. We’ve already met the root chakra, Muladhara, so now lets meet the second wheel. This lies two inches above the base of the spine. It is called the sacral chakra, or Swadhistana. This wheel of energy is connected to the element of water. It is about the joy of living in a physical body; and about letting go. This is the chakra which awakens when you’re having real fun with with your yoga asana practice. It’s orange and its seed sound is VAM.

To find more joy in your life, eat orange foods. Try carrots, orange peppers and, of course, oranges! Do buy organic, but remember that eating rainbow foods is not just about the nutrients, it is also feeding you on the energy level!

Tomatoes

Tomatoes were introduced to Europe by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. They are rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids such as betacarotene and lycopene. They contain vitamins C and E, and so protect the heart, the circulatory system and the body against cancer. They are low in sodium and high in potassium, thus are helpful with conditions such as high blood pressure and fluid retention.

Canned tomatoes lose very little of their nutritional value, so always keep some in the larder. The lycopene contained in tomatoes protects men against prostate cancer. Tinned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato ketchup and sun-dried tomatoes are all important nutritionally. They protect men and women against heart disease. I love cherry tomatoes! So much nicer than sweets!

Strawberries

There is an old wives’ tale that strawberries are bad for anyone with joint problems. In actual fact, they have an ability to increase the body’s elimination of uric acid, which aids arthritic joints and inflammation.

Tiny, wild strawberries grow in our garden. Until the early 1600s, these were the only strawberries known in Britain and Europe. 100g of this delicious fruit contains almost twice your daily requirement of vitamin C. They also contain a little iron. They alleviate fatigue and anaemia, and eliminate cholesterol. Strawberries keep the heart and circulation in tip-top condition as they contain antioxidants. They are believed to have antiviral properties, too.

Strawberries are always associated with the tennis championship at Wimbledon. A bowl of delicious strawberries. eaten on a sunny day, is a complete tonic for mind, body and spirit! (Do buy organic…)

Rhubarb

I used to love rhubarb when I was a child. I would eat a stick straight from the earth! Full of prana, life-force.

Rhubarb is a vegetable, not a fruit. It’s full of potassium, and also contains vitamin C and manganese. It’s a mild laxative, but is not recommended for anyone with joint problems, such as arthritis. This is because it contains oxalic acid which can exacerbate joint pain. Interestingly, oxalic acid inhibits calcium and iron absorption, so you wouldn’t want to eat rhubarb on a daily basis. It is absolutely delicious in the occasional crumble, though! Wait till it comes into season and eat local, organic rhubarb. Mmm

The reason for raisins!

Organic raisins are available!

Dried fruits make such an excellent snack. Man has been drying fruits in the sun for the last 5,000 years. Romans used raisins in many of their medicinal remedies, and it’s easy to see why. They are a wonderful source of instant energy, containing both glucose and fructose. Raisins alleviate tiredness, anaemia, chronic fatigue, and are a pick-me-up for insomniacs. They contain fibre, which helps to lower cholesterol and promote healthy bowel function. They contain iron, selenium, and potassium. This latter is important as it stops fluid retention and regulates the blood pressure. Raisins also contain some vitamin C and vitamin B. The B vitamins are great for beating stress.

Now you know the reason to buy raisins!

Perfect pears

We have a pear tree in the back garden. The blossom is just beautiful in the Spring, and the fruit is delicious in the Autumn.The pears are of the Conference variety, which I love. I enjoy the crunch! Many people prefer Sweet Williams because they are softer and more golden. The best way to ensure that you are eating organic food which is packed with prana (life-force) is to pick it from your own garden and consume immediately.

Pears are a good source of the soluble fibre pectin. This helps to regulate bowel function, and increases the amount of cholesterol eliminated by the body. Pears contain vitamins A,C and E. They also contain potassium, which prevents cramp during exercise. Dried pears make an excellent snack which contains significant amounts of iron. Convalescents find pears easy to digest and wonderfully restorative.

Pineapples

Pineapples have been credited with many healing powers through the ages. The juice when gargled can relieve a sore throat, and eating the fruit is said to relieve cataarh, arthritis, bronchitis, and indigestion.

Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain which breaks down proteins. .Bromelain is also an anti-inflammatory. As such it has been used in the treatment of osteo-arthritis and sports injuries.

Pineapples stop ripening the moment that they are picked, and you can tell freshness by how heavy they feel. If they appear to be heavy for their size, they are nice and ripe. Source your fruit organically whenever you can. Pineapples will give you and your immune system a lovely burst of vitamin C!.

Nectarines

The name nectarine comes from the Greek ‘nekter’, which is the drink of the gods in Roman and Greek mythology. Nectarines are sweeter and more nutritious than their cousins, peaches. One fresh nectarine contains almost a daily dose of vitamin C. This vitamin helps the body to absorb iron and maintain a healthy immune system. Interestingly, vitamin C is also vital for the production of collagen, and this is all about your skin. Collagen helps build scar tissue over wounds, which is an essential part of the healing process.

Nectarines, of course, are smaller than peaches and do not have a furry skin. Buy them ripe as they will not ripen after being picked. Always source organic, whenever possible.

Melons are such a favourite

Melons are such a favourite with our grandchildren in the summer! Orange-fleshed cantaloupe are among the most nutritious of the many varieties of melon. A 100g portion supplies more than half the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. and is also a good source of beta carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A.) Both of these are antioxidants which may help to prevent cancer and heart disease. It is thought that the high water content in melons may stimulate the kidneys to work more efficiently.

Melons are low in calories so they are a popular choice for slimmers. Sprinkle some ginger on your melon slice instead of sugar. Delicious!

(Source organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible.)