In practicing Bikram Yoga consistency for over three years, I have unintentionally learned so much about the body. You hear teachers say things like Prahna, Chi, Third eye, and Life force energy. When I first started practicing I was just like, okay, whatever, I’m here to stretch and sweat, but it rubs off on you and it makes sense after a while. Yoga has now become a great diagnostic tool to help me see what hurts and bothers me.
You would see it too if you were in class feeling nauseous and dizzy and all you want to do is run out of the room, and the teacher just tells you to stand there and be still and focus on your breath. This conditioning is teaching you to love to be in your body regardless of what you experience.
Anyway, I can’t talk about yoga enough because it has done so much for me but one of the best things it did was make me want to be in my body. It made me see and feel what improper foods did to my body while I was in class. And because of yoga, I am open to alternative medicine.
I am so passionate about alternative healing because I have been viewing how modern medicine has affected loved ones around me, from a suicidal friend to a heart attack prone father to a grandmother with fibromyalgia. I sat around seeing them in pain regardless of what doctors have prescribed them and it just doesn’t freaking work.
After a while I learned that I can’t push anyone because it’s exhausting. The only one I can push or help is myself first and foremost. Over the past three years I’ve healed myself from chronic cough, weight gain, urinary tract infections, bad knees, resentment, and anger issues, all my being open to alternative healing through food, yoga, and literally cleaning my mind of negative thoughts.
Earlier this year when I heard about Ayurveda, India’s ancient system of natural medicine, I was open to it and didn’t find it to be so hard to believe.
Believing in Ayurveda is just like believing what any modern doctor has to say about health and medicine or taking a pill because they say it will work. It’s an act of faith to believe that you can classify energies in the body. You can’t necessarily see it but you can feel it. I’ve sat in front of doctors who mostly want to get you out of their face by prescribing medicines to help you avoid pain. But our pain is an indicator of the real problem that if ignored, will only grow and grow.
So, there is something to recognizing your pain and accepting it.
In Ayurveda, they talk about something called “ojas” as the essence of life that represents the “core” strength of the body and inherent immunity; the seed of nourishment and creativity and vital energy that is stored deep within the body.
Ojas circulates throughout the bodily tissues and heart, sustaining the physical self, bringing clarity to the mind and balancing the emotions. When the body produces ojas, we feel blissful because both the mind and the body are receiving the nourishment they need.
It is believed that “ojas” is the first thing to be created in the body of all living beings and that each is born with a certain allotment of “ojas.” People can be born with a little bit of “ojas” or a lot and your “ojas” can be weakened over time due to stress, eating bad food, having too much sex, smoking, or drinking alcohol.
These are some of the many factors that can determine your “ojas” constitution, but luckily there are things you can do and eat to strengthen your “ojas,” and one of them is consuming pure foods such as almonds, sesame, honey, rice, and fruits.
One of my favorite books, “Raw Energy” by Stephanie Tourles includes a whole chapter of recipes that strengthen ojas. I thought that was real cool. And basically this post had started out as me wanting to share this great recipe that strengthens ojas and is a great breakfast food or snack.
The recipe I would like to share is the Banana-Honey Granola bars.
They are a good source of complex carbs, protein, Vitamins B and E, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
So, just thought I’d share:
- 1 medium, very ripe banana, peeled
- 2 cups raw oat flakes
- 1 cup raw almond butter or peanut butter
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 TBSP bee pollen
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon coconut oil raw and unrefined
1. Put banana, nut butter, honey, bee pollen, vanilla, and cinnamon in food processor and blend until you have a stiff, cohesive dough ball.
2. Coat a 9-inch square pan with coconut oil and oil your hands as well. Pat the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Cover and place in the freezer for 24 hours so that the flavors can meld; the texture will become quite firm and chewy.
3. Cut into three 3-inch squares in each direction, then cut each square in half as well so that you have a total of 36 squares.
4. Store the squares/balls in a tightly sealed container in the freezer and consume within 2 weeks for the best flavor and texture.
Number of Servings: 36