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Avani on Dharma, Motherhood & Costa Rica (An Interview by Nicole Hudson of Wanderfreely)

community interview yoga | Posted Nov 09, 2020

How do you define Dharma?

Dharma for me means “sacred duty”.  What’s confusing sometimes is that our sacred duty is not always rainbows and butterflies.  Oftentimes we have to get into the nitty gritty and really be reminded of our direction through tough lessons.  I love how Stephen Cope sums up the lessons from the Bhagavad Gita on Dharma. He asks the question “How do we discern our dharma?  How do we discover the magnificent inner blueprint?” In his writings The Great Work of Your Life the message is to find out who you are and then “do it on purpose.”  I love that. This is reflective of the constant cycle of adventure, discovery and then application.  We are perpetually students of the Self and (hopefully) learning time and time again how to listen more deeply in order to realign in new ways with our unique sacred duty.  In those moments when everything just “clicks” then...

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Finding Your Purpose

I spent most of my childhood inside my room, while my siblings were outside playing. I was asking myself how electrical components work. I grew up listening to my family saying to me that I will be an amazing engineer or scientific. I remember thinking to pursue a stable good job, have a family and a nice car was the purpose of my life.  

So  I decided to take the safe route and enter Engineer School, it wasn’t until the end of my second year that I gave up Uni. On the process I started reconnecting with myself and explored different areas, I ended up enrolling in a communication career, I travelled and discovered different cultures, different visions, and read, read a lot. And let me tell you; my perspective and aspirations completely changed! For good!  I don’t even remember how many times and now in my latest twenties, I can start to feel what can be the purpose of my life.

I reconnect with myself and explored other areas, I studied...

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Cranberry Hibiscus: A Tropical Treasure in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Uncategorized | Posted Nov 09, 2020

This amazingly beautiful plant is not only attractive to the eyes but also to the taste buds! It is believed to have originated in Africa but is now found in many tropical regions throughout the world as well. 

Both the flowers and leaves are edible. The flower holds a much milder flavour than the leaves but is equally packed full of nutrients. The shrub grows at rapid rates and the more it is pruned, the healthier it grows. Cranberry hibiscus makes a perfect candidate for the garden to table salads. 

The flowers are most commonly used to make Hibiscus Tea. You can brew your tea with dried or fresh flowers. The fresh flowers are said to retain more benefits than if dried but they do not store well so the next best option is to sun dry them or dry them on very low heat in the oven. 

The leaves resemble a magenta-coloured maple leaf. The flavour is remarkably similar to cranberries: acidic yet a hint of sweet, berry flavour. The younger, smaller leaves are great for...

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Yoga for Challenging Times

challenges health lifestyle yoga yoga tips | Posted Nov 09, 2020

We are experiencing one of the most challenging times in the actual human history. The COVID19 pandemic came to us like a wake-up-call and now more than ever we need to go deep into ourselves, practice sacred disciplines and connect with our inner being.

Yoga is one of the magic tools that could help us understand how to walk through life with love and wisdom. Today we can use this ancestral practice to tune in our body energy and switch our emotions, and being aware of and consciously choosing the energy we send out and take in is a step to raising the vibration of the world.

The best way to appreciate that we are healthy is by coming back to our body. Spending more time inside help us to set up routines and develop new habits. That is why Yoga is perfect for us right now.

Now in quarantine, you can take a bit of time to stretch and do some yoga to unwind your day. Set your intentions and choose the practice that better fits you, perhaps you haven´t slept very well and your...

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Cranberry Hibiscus: A Tropical Treasure

Uncategorized | Posted Nov 09, 2020

This amazingly beautiful plant is not only attractive to the eyes but also to the taste buds! It is believed to have originated in Africa but is now found in many tropical regions throughout the world as well. 

Both the flowers and leaves are edible. The flower holds a much milder flavour than the leaves but is equally packed full of nutrients. The shrub grows at rapid rates and the more it is pruned, the healthier it grows. Cranberry hibiscus makes a perfect candidate for the garden to table salads. 

The flowers are most commonly used to make Hibiscus Tea. You can brew your tea with dried or fresh flowers. The fresh flowers are said to retain more benefits than if dried but they do not store well so the next best option is to sun dry them or dry them on very low heat in the oven. 

The leaves resemble a magenta coloured maple leaf. The flavour is remarkably similar to cranberries: acidic yet a hint of sweet, berry flavour. The younger, smaller leaves are great for...

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Human Touch Studies

Uncategorized | Posted Nov 09, 2020

Original Piece by Avani | 2016

We’ve long heard about the pros of human contact, particularly in human development when we consider the differences between babies who are touched often and those who are barely touched at all.  Let’s look at a sample of psychological studies and what scientific research can tell us about the value of human touch. 

1.) The Midas Touch study proved that when waitresses and waiters made contact with their customers (light hand or arm touch) their tips were consistently higher although there was no other change in the quality of their service.

2.) A Tactile Contact study stated that customers reported a higher sense of honesty, confidence and well-informedness, or in other words, a deeper level of trust when there was contact with the person making the sales pitch.  Particularly in the case of same-sex pairings.  

3.) In a study on compliance it was found that when a person is touched twice while you are...

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Basics of Ayurveda: The Science and Knowledge of Life

Uncategorized | Posted Nov 09, 2020

Ayurveda can be defined as “The science of the knowledge of life.” Ayurveda is closely connected to yoga and is an ancient system for living. It’s been around almost as long as yoga and it too originated in India.

Ayurveda is a holistic art and science that seeks to find balance in life. It does this by categorizing people into groups based on their unique habits, personality and behaviours. There are three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The idea is once you see when and where you might be oversaturated in a particular dosha you can analyze how it might serve you to add in a bit of the other two doshas to balance yourself out. It’s really full of common sense.

It’s interesting to read about each dosha and discover which one you lean towards! Let’s look at the 3 unique dosha’s.

The qualities of Vata are cold, light, dry, irregular, rough, moving, quick and changeable. Vata personalities tend to be lively and enthusiastic, slim...

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What is Korean Natural Farming (KNF)?

gardening lifestyle tips | Posted Nov 09, 2020

This sustainable farming system was developed by Cho Han Kyu, AKA Master Cho, from the Janong Natural Farming Institute in South Korea. KNF is a style of farming that focuses on the culturing of Indigenous Microorganisms (IMO) to improve the health of your soil and regenerate healthy soil where it is no longer found. The end goal is to produce fertile soils that yield high output without the use of outsourced fertilizers and/or pesticides. This is also a helpful technique to implement when trying to make the switch from conventional farming to organic farming. 

Indigenous Microorganisms are what make up the micro life forms in your soil. The organisms that primarily makeup IMO are beneficial fungi, bacteria, and yeasts. There is a symbiotic relationship that occurs between plants and beneficial IMOs; the microorganisms convert nutrients into a form that the plant is able to absorb. In turn, the plants provide food to these microorganisms. 

Some of the potential benefits of...

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The Presence of Plants at AmaSer

“The roots of the plants and trees appeared through a dim transparency of the soil; I discerned the inward flow of their sap.” – Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi

It is evident that nature and its processes are inherent in yoga. The most fundamental precept of yoga breath itself or pranayama, would not be possible without plants. Humans and animals take in oxygen and create carbon dioxide as a byproduct and plants do the exact opposite; an elegant symbiosis of balancing opposition, much like the opposing but balancing forces taught in yoga. Our engagement with the world’s flora is an essential phenomenon for life, so it is no surprise that the presence of plants has a profound effect on human health and wellness.

 

Plants as wellness therapy: 

Having constant fresh snack-age from the prolific gardens at OM is always great, but it turns out there’s a world of health benefits that come from simply being around...

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The Multi-Tasking Yoga Teacher

lifestyle tips yoga yoga teacher training | Posted Nov 09, 2020

Original Piece by Avani | 2016

There is a lot of pressure on yoga teachers to be juggling many skills: all star communicators, anatomy and physiology pros, committed practitioners, always kind, compassionate and available, skilled at hands on touch, present with ever breath…you get the picture.  It may seem overwhelming  to consider how you can focus on clear, concise cueing, observe you students, move through the space AND add hands-on touch.  The important skill in all of this is to approach each element with singular focus.  As you begin to feel more and more comfortable getting off your mat, see how it goes to add in just one assist (say, downward facing dog).  See how that goes.  Once that becomes very fluid, add the next piece.  How would you feel to move off your mat, offer a down dog assist AND add in a breath cue?  

What’s most important is that nothing is forced.  Forcing...

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