Monthly Archives: January 2017

Yoga mat and germs


Do you have your own yoga mat or you borrow one when you go to the yoga studio? If you have your own yoga mat, how often do you clean it? Did you ever think how many germs can be on the yoga mat?


Yes, today article is about hygiene, your own hygiene , and we will start with the yoga mat. Lately, i am teaching asana class at the yoga institute, sometimes class has more than 70 students, and 99 percent of those students take mat from the yoga institute. I think its never occur to those students that yoga mat is something intimate, like bed sheets for example. We are all unique, we all have germs, and those germs easily travelling on the surfaces that we are sitting on, lying on or standing on.

We all been there, when you running to a yoga studio on your lunch time, or after work, and gosh, its such inconvenient to carry yoga mat , better i rent one from yoga studio. Did you ask how often those mats have been washed and disinfected? Just out of curiosity. Its not like they will tell you the truth))) I was working in many yoga studios, and I will tell you that yoga mats are not washed every time after a person step on it. Sometimes they are not washed at all, and when you do child pose, you are wondering…what is that smell?!

A yoga mat is a perfect incubator for many of our skin infections. The yoga mat is a very fertile source for infection, mainly because people sweat on them and they rarely are cleaned.  In the world of microbiology, a yoga mat is considered to be a “fomite,” which is  defined as “basically, an inanimate object used to spread an infection”. What that means is that if, for example, someone has ringworm or a staph infection, works up a sweat doing sun salutations, and then kicks back in Savasana on a mat, whoever lies on that mat next may contract ringworm, staph, or any of a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, or fungi. That’s definitely something to meditate on while standing in mountain pose or in sitting pose.

yoga mat.jpg

Yoga practitioners are particularly susceptible to spreading and catching infectious microorganisms, because they expose more of their skin to the mat, including the body’s oilier areas that tend to have more organisms on them, like feet, backs, foreheads, and chests.

Yoga. It’s great for strengthening the body, soothing the soul and balancing the mind. It’s just too bad it’s practiced atop one of the filthiest surfaces imaginable.

I dont want to scare you with all the infections that you can get from uncleaned yoga mat, but internet is there, do some research on your free time. Statistic shows, that as yoga getting popular, dermatologists got much more work to do,….good for them)))) but , we as yogis, should be aware of our actions, our health, our surroundings. Its our duty to ourselves and to others to have a clean environment while we are practicing asanas to have a clean surface to be on.

Next time you feel like you dont want to carry your own yoga mat, just think of the germs that you are receiving with the community mat, love yourself.

To end the topic, I would like to share a natural way to clean the mat after every yoga practice you do))

clean yoga mat.jpg

Mix  to clean your mat:

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 to 5 drops of essential oil (optional)

Love and Light!


Benefits of Soaked Almonds


Ayurveda suggests to soak almonds over night and only after eat. Why is that? What is the difference between raw almond and soaked one?


Almonds have a tannin, an enzyme inhibitor in almond skin that protects the nut before germination, actually inhibits nutrient absorption from the flesh as well. Soaking almonds overnight allows easy removal of the bitter skin, facilitating enzymatic digestion by exposing the nutrients to stomach acids. Simple explanation is right there, we will get more nutrients out of the soaked almond and it will be easier digest, absorb in our stomach.

First I would like to share benefits of the soaked almond for Health:

  • Soaked almonds can make your food digestion smoother and faster by facilitating the entire digestive procedure. Soaked almonds also release the lipid-breaking enzyme ‘lipase’, which works on the fat present in the food and aids digestion.
  • These are extremely beneficial for pregnant women. As the moisture increases the availability of the nutrients present in the nuts, they provide the ultimate nourishment and energy to both the mother as well as the fetus. Furthermore, the folic acid content of the almonds makes the delivery of the baby trouble-free and helps the newborn stay away from any sort of birth-defect.
  • Scientists have proved that the intake of 4 to 6 soaked almonds a day can serve the purpose of a brain tonic and boost the functionality of the Central Nervous System (CNS) to a great extent. Being full of essential fats, these can sharpen the memory and improve the intelligence of growing kids significantly.
  • Almonds immersed in water can reduce your cholesterol levels to a great extent. The vitamin E content of the nuts is also helpful in fighting against Low Density Lipoprotein and raising the level of High Density Lipoprotein in the body.
  • By keeping your cholesterol levels under control with soaked almonds, you can maintain the heart health. They are good sources of protein, potassium and magnesium, which are necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system. Apart from these, almonds are full of vitamin E which, being an antioxidant vitamin, combats several fatal heart diseases.
  • Acute hypertension can also be treated by soaked almonds. The low sodium and high potassium content of the nuts can prevent your blood pressure from escalating. In addition, magnesium and folic acid present in the seeds are helpful in lowering the chances of artery congestion.
  • Soaked almonds are a wonderful natural remedy for treating diabetes mellitus. They help to keep your blood sugar level under control.
  • There are very few chemical or organic compounds that can promote weight loss like soaked almonds. Being loaded with monounsaturated fat, they satisfy your craving for food and help you shed additional body weight.
  • Those who suffer from chronic constipation can also benefit by consuming soaked almonds. The nut is full of insoluble fibers, which increase the amount of roughage in your body and help you get rid of the problem.
  • Fight Cancer: Soaked almonds contain Vitamin B17 which is vital for fighting cancer.
  • Flavonoid present in almonds suppresses tumor growth.

Those are just some benefits for your health, however, they are amazing. For sure, we should add in our morning routine soaked almond nuts.

Next benefits of soaked almonds are for skin:

  1. Soaked almonds can be mashed and applied to the skin as a natural moisturizer. If your skin is dry, you can mix some whipped cream with the almonds and use the mask every day. It would nourish your skin and hydrate it sufficiently. As a result, you will get a soft, supple and smooth skin.
  2. If you want to improve your skin tone and regain your lost glow, soaked almonds can help you a lot. It repairs the damaged skin tissues internally and accelerates the formation of new cells. Hence, the tone and texture of your skin are enhanced considerably.
  3. Aging can easily be prevented with soaked almonds. Vitamin E and other antioxidants present in these nuts can eliminate the harmful free radicals from your body. As a result, the aging process gets delayed and you remain younger-looking for a longer period.
  4. The paste of soaked almonds can be used as a natural scrub for the face as well as rest of the body. You can add milk, lemon, or honey to it and prepare different packs. These are very effective in exfoliating your skin and giving you a fresh, new look.
  5. Soaked almond paste can also be used to treat skin inflammation. Be it rashes or chapped skin, the soothing property of the seeds give you relief from itching and irritation quickly.

Benefits for hair:

  • Soak a few almonds in water overnight, mash them the next morning and finally, prepare a hair mask by mixing a fair amount of olive oil with it. Apply it on your scalp and hair every day. It is a wonderful natural conditioner that can give you smooth and healthy hair.
  • As mentioned earlier, almonds are highly nutritive. Therefore, eating soaked almonds or using its paste on the scalp can nourish your hair and make it stronger. It also repairs severe hair damage,  reduces frequent hair fall  and helps in the growth of new hair follicles.
  • Soaked almonds also add shine and luster to your tresses. They work directly on the roots of hair.

After knowing all those benefits , I believe many of you will start to soak almonds before eating them. The taste is yummier and healthier, and we want to be healthy, right?!


Be beautiful! Love and Light!

Bhujangasana pose (the Cobra pose)


Today article will be about the Cobra pose, one of my favorite asanas in Yoga practice. Bhujangasana in Sanskrit means “the Cobra Pose” – the other well known name of this asana.  According to the yoga tradition, the cobra pose along with other asanas was given by the Lord Shiva Himself, which does not deny its resemblance to the serpent’s movement.

I will describe benefits and limitations of the asana, and hopefully it will help in your practice. I also recommend not to come to a full cobra pose from the beginning, because you can injure yourself. Start with the small cobra pose and slowly, when your spine will be more flexible, you can go higher in the pose, without bringing shoulder to your ears)))


Limitations of the pose:

  • menstruation
  • pregnancy
  • hernia
  • ulcer
  • intestinal tuberculosis
  •  any surgeries on the spine, brain or lungs
  • hyperthyroidism

Benefits of the pose:

  • by alternate contraction and relaxation adjusts minor displacements of the vertebra
  • relieves the vertebral foramen of undue pressure
  • exercises and tones the deep muscles supporting the spinal column and the trunk
  • promotes spinal circulation
  • helps to maintain the normal elasticity of the spine
  • the pose increases bodily heat , through the favourable reaction upon heat regulation through stimulation of the nerves
  • prevents disease by aiding elimination through intra – abdominal pressure
  • activates the bionery potential or kundalini, through direct influence upon the various plexuses, nerves and nerve cells
  • relief from flatulence and abdominal adhesion
  • improves and deepens breathing
  • can help to remove backache
  • tones the ovaries and uterus
  • helps in menstrual and gynecological disorder
  • stimulates the appetite
  • alleviates constipation
  • beneficial for the liver, kidneys, pancreas and gall bladder
  • cures acidity, indigestion
  • cures spondylitis, lumbago
  • releases stress and fatigue
  • useful for those suffering from respiratory disorder such as asthma
  • treats hyperkyphosis
  • tones the body muscles
  • efficient way to treat amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea and leukorrhea
  • mainly performed to treat spinal pain
  • increase backbone flexibility
  • balance metabolic functioning of the body
  • elevates mood
  • soothes sciatica
  • alleviates rheumatism (cortisone is a hormone that is secreted by adrenal gland.   This hormone is considered as a leading factor for rheumatism. The pose regulates the secretion of this hormone)


The asana that you should perform after Bhujangasana is Paschimottanasana.

Have a beautiful practice.

Love and Light!

Sugar Detox. Day 4.


As I am writing diary of sugar detox, my yoga articles on the waiting line. So, I decide that I will share my experience on sugar detox once in 3-4 days. It is not much to write actually, life goes on, body adjust to be without any sweet product, I am not craving for them, doing my exercise routine everyday, spending time in reading and observing the nature and myself.

day 4.jpg

What is going on day 4? I notice: I wake up earlier, my day is much longer than usually. I dont feel sleepy or tired in the middle of the day. My day is on tea now and not on coffee. I tried to have one cup of coffee, however, I didnt feel good after drink it. Day 5 will be definitely on tea. Wow, I am turning to a tea lady)) not bad. Looks like the body doing very good cleansing, as I was thinking that I am having 4 cups of coffee everyday and i need to reduce the number of the cups. The nature doing that for me.

Exercise of the day, were abs crunches, two ways, side ways and straight. Plus I repeat the exercise from the day 1))) will see how my calves will feel tomorrow.

abs crunches.jpg

Headache is gone, and I think that because my fluid intake is more than before. So, I will say that intake of sweets in your daily life, reduce your intake of liquids, or you have not the right drinks, simply say, you dont drink enough water!

i dont think that because of the less intake of sugar, my creativity goes up))) or it has connection? I feel that I want to create something beautiful, artistic, something that when you look at it, will give you pleasure….and if we think that sugar gives us a pleasure, and create things also brings us pleasure, maybe some connection is there….am I delusional?!

Definitely I am doing more things at home, and I enjoy doing them. I create my own karma yoga of the day))) I buy 1kg of green peas or leafy fenugreek and while sitting in silence , collecting peas from they cover, or pluck the leaves of the fenugreek… in that moment, I am in the present, doing my work, with the full concentration, however monkey in my head is silent…yoga is the way of life, in our every action, in our every word, in each of our thought….

Be the change! Love and Light!

Sugar Detox. Day 3.


Third day of the sugar detox. Third day out of 14. One important thing while you are doing any challenge…make yourself busy!!! Its much easy to stay away from food that way, any food. So, if you finding yourself, even without challenge, that you are eating constantly, means you have a lot of free time, and out of boredom, you are eating. Change your life!!


Find a hobby, read a book, clean, do yoga or any other activity that you prefer, just make your life more busy, not exhausted busy…colourful busy.

My day went amazingly nice, found myself that I cant have coffee without milk, so I start to have tea!… last time I had tea…let me think…6 months ago, or even more… and I will tell you I love the taste. I had a green tea, I know that I will not have much of it, as it lower blood pressure, and mine is already very low by nature, and I do need stay active! I had a little headache, due to low sugar level, I believe, however  i drunk plenty of water, and got relieved, so maybe it was just water that I need it. Do you know that most of our headaches come just because we dont drink enough of water?! Next time when you have one, just try to have plenty of water and see if headache will go away. Just because I said little bit about low pressure, I want to share my own experience with it. Usually when my blood pressure going even more down, I have no energy and  I have terrible headache. So, I realize that if I take something salty, my headache goes away… i prefer marinated cucumbers))) with my friend that worked as well, so you can try it as well.

I have good level of energy, was very active day for me again, taught 2 classes of Yoga, did my own exercise, walking, cooking…and in the evening I still had the energy…to conclude…you no need to have sugar, just to bring your energy level up, you have enough natural sugar in your vegetables!! just try to be few days without sugar and you will notice that your energy level actually going up, and not down!!! and think how much money you will save))) all those cookies and chocolates everyday))) I am counting and the number is not pretty!!! You will love the way you feel even in a few days, the lightness in you, in your stomach will lift your mood up for sure!!

Exercise of the day was for the core muscles, as we want to make out stomach to look nice))) see the picture bellow, again with every leg you do 10 repetitions without pause trice!! and on the way back, bring your leg to your chest, squeeze those core muscles)))


Love and Light!

Sugar Detox. Day 2.


Last time I did sugar challenge, second day was the worst day in the whole challenge. I was really suffering, I felt like I need a dose of sugar, I had cravings, migraine, no energy…everything was there. So, on my day 2  this time, I was awaiting the same symptoms. Surprisingly, day went not bad))


I had a little headache, with the one you can live, no need for pills to stop it. I had energy, did my morning challenge exercise, and in the evening I taught a yoga class. To conclude, my day was amazing. I did look at piece of chocolate and at cookies, because people around me are eating all of it, and I wish at that moment, that I can have a small bite, but…I didnt)))

I am feeling lighter, like 10 kg, so I went to weight myself, and yep, not 10kg, but 500 grams off the scale. No heaviness in the stomach, clear head. The most difficult part for me today, is walking after yesterday exercise))) I can feel calves, stair steps are killing me, long time I didnt feel them)))

The challenge exercise for today is for the triceps))) yes… yesterday it was for the legs and today arms))) I will not write a description of the exercise, single leg chair dip, you can see the picture below, all you need is a chair or a bed or another surface that is high as chair!! Do without pause , 10 times each leg, 3 times))) Exhale when you go up! Important! You will feel your triceps burning, but its a good feeling!!!


I am not writing about yoga  few article in the row, however what is yoga?! Yoga is the way of life! It is not just an asana class, it the way your day going, your observation, your thoughts, your breathing, your hygiene, it is all what is going on in your life that you do with the right knowledge, you understand or you learn to understand why you are doing it. Observe yourself everyday, learn about yourself, see the changes in you that are coming everyday, its all about your experience, this is Yoga.

Be the change!

Love and Light!


Sugar Detox: Day 1


First challenge in 2017, Sugar Detox for 14 days. Last year I did sugar challenge for 34 days, thinking will be done in 21, and as every media screams out loud, in 21 day you will create a habit. No, you will not! Most of the people are going back to what they were doing. I did no sugar challenge for 34 days, and after I am back to consuming sweet things. Even with all the benefits that I got from that challenge: glowing clean skin, energy, lost some pounds and some inches, however, I am back to normal life, where you meet with friends, and you are having a coffee with milk, and some cake. Life where you dont look that almost every possible thing we eat has sugar in it!!! Life where you eat as many fruits as you want, and not just 2 fruits in a day, and you have a glass of wine with your husband on your anniversary day, because life is real)))


So, the question why again? Firstly, I will put a small diary, experiential one, what is going on, when you become less addicted to sugar. I will describe cravings, mood swings, headache and many other not beautiful things. Maybe this time I am more lucky, and will not have all of those symptoms)) Another why, because I feel luck of energy, and I know that everyday chocolates and cookies are not doing good for my energy, on the opposite, they are making me dull.

One more why))) As my husband said, I love challenges, cant live without them, one finish, comes another.

Forget to say that this challenge become with the physical challenge))) kind of twix))) everyday, for another 14 days,one challenging exercise for the day.

So, today is the first day, and believe me, this one going always easy. No cravings, no headaches, your mind and your body still not realized that they cut off the sweets. Day went smoothly, didnt feel like cookies or chocolate, or milk. Even so, my husband was eating all of it in front of me!!! However, thanks to him, that just make me stronger, no one want to show that they are weak.

Just quick what I cant have for 14 days: anything that contains sugar, no supplements of sugar, no sweet drinks, no alcohol and no milk, no bananas.

What you can have: twice a day chicken, fish, meat, beans, soya, cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir…. twice a day till 5pm you can have buckwheat, bread (no sugar in), macarones, wheat…no more than 2 fruits a day till 4pm…and twice a day you can have vegetables and mushrooms. If you have really bad cravings for sugar, you can have 1 tea spoon of honey.

Very simple, and you can see you can eat many things))) On the first day I measure myself, weight myself and do a selfie of the belly area))) to see in the end what will change in me. The truth, I want just get my energy level up!!!

Exercise of the day 1, almost kill me, but because I am writing the blog, it was almost….but couldnt properly breath for few minutes, and  I am doing yoga almost everyday!!! Thats telling me, that yoga is not enough, need to work on my cardio. Exercise was, go on the chair with the left leg 20 times,you stand with the both legs on the chair, than you go down from the left leg, than with the right leg repeat another 20 times, rest 30 seconds, and repeat two times more. Not easy!!!! If you will do the exercise, exhale when you go up on the chair)))


Thats all for today….yoga class is waiting)))

Love and Light!

Purpose of life, Duty, Dharma


Everyone and everything has a purpose of life, duty, dharma. People, animals, plants and even rocks have purpose in this life. Standing next to the window, I see many different birds, its like a paradise to watch. I see how carefully with so much devotion the birds build they nests, how they feed  offspring, how they fell in love and how they take care of each other. Not many people can do that, we forget what is to do things without any expectations.


In my country, we dont love crows,I cant even explain why….just from the childhood you hear how dirty and not good the crows are. On the opposite side, we adore pigeons…symbol of love on the weddings… and its all just build on the false beliefs. As kids we are blindly believe and never check the facts.Only when we start to observe the nature, we start to see the truth.Did you know that pigeons are one of the dirtiest birds, and they are greedy, they will never share food with other birds… and do you know that crows are so smart, they have a partner, they take care about that partner, and they never over eating, and always make sound when they see food, just that others can come and have some too?!

I read only in news paper how mother dog feeding a kitten with her own milk, however, when you see with your own eyes, its different experience, you start to see the world not from colorful glasses, but the reality of it. And its amazingly beautiful! Its we, human beings trying to differentiate things from reality, trying to label everything and everyone, even that is not true. Sad, but if we stop for a minute and observe, observe things around us with an open eyes, maybe our personality will change, maybe we will find our purpose in this life, as those birds, animals, plants found theirs.

Purpose of life, duty, dharma, I really envy people who find it, find it in this life. It is the most difficult on our path, to find Who am I? I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a yoga teacher, a student, etc. I believe, its just labels, it doesn’t represent who I am..but I know that I am on my path, and my morning mantra  lately, is Who am I?

Its a good question, and we all should for a moment to think about it, because the purpose, the duty, dharma, its something that we do unconditionally, with pure heart, without waiting for appraisal, or award, we just do it…because its our duty, and we do it with the 100% of devotion, without nothing in return.

Be the change))) Love and Light!

Yoga Sutra 1.2: definition and purpose of Yoga


1.2 yogah cittavritti nirodhah


One of the most significant definitions of Yoga: “Yoga is the cessation (fluctuations) of mental modifications of the mind.” this sutra brings us to understand why do we practice Yoga. Three words, without wasting time on long explanations, just in three words you can learn what and why we practice Yoga, why Yoga is a way of life.

So, what are those modifications or fluctuations of the mind?! As my teacher love to say, its a monkey chatter in your head))) that takes your attention away from the present moment! You are living the present in the past or the future , but not in the Present. Remember, when you are in the yoga class, or doing your home practice, your mind swift to the thinking of what you will have for dinner, or the gossip your friend told you about other friend, and chattering continue, and you cant actually practice  any of Yoga, because you are absent in the present. Happened with everyone, I am sure)) To quiet the chatter, the thoughts, and go back to the present, to the Now, can be really challenging, sometimes impossible. Thats why many practitioners give up the meditation part, as it becomes very hard for them, and they just quit, simply quit.

But with practice, over time, quieting these modifications/ fluctuations starts to feel natural, even effortless. Space opens up in our minds as we learn to remain focused on the breath, the body, the moment. Thats where you can gain understanding of this sutra, understand of what is fluctuations, understand that Yoga will give you many tools to quite your mind, to help you to be in the present.

Complete stoppage of all chitta vrittis…samadhi can be attained… What is the chitta? Its the sum total of a personality. Its senses, the mind, the subtler energies, ego sense – 17 components))) About components will write later in one of the articles.

What are the vrittis? Its various activities that have to be controlled ( pramana or right knowledge, viparaya or wrong knowledge, imagination or vikalpa, sleep or nidra, and memory or smriti). Only then can the objective of Yoga be realized.

What is nirodha? Its a complete stoppage of thinking))

We integrate; we don’t banish thoughts or repress memories or emotions. We free ourselves from the turmoil that the vrittis cause by training the mind to observe, discern, and detach through asana, pranayama, meditation, and other yogic practices.

Love and Light!

Poem on Yoga Sutra 1.1


I love poetry, the one that make you think, the one that make you feel, the one that make you realize things…so many unknown, very good poems out there, written by unknown people, people that probably never will be famous, but you can really feel their soul in the words.

I found this poem on the surface of the Internet, and I want to share it with you. The poem bring you more understanding about the Yoga Sutra 1.1…simply written, not many words, but to the point…I love simplicity….


poem by  Maryam Ovissi

1.1 atha yoga anushasanam ~ now let us share the teachings of yoga

Poem 1.1

Are you here?

Have you arrived?

Do you know where you are right now?

Everything in your life has prepared you for his moment

You are about to embark on an amazing journey

that requires discipline and attention

Are you ready?

I will offer you the name of the journey as we begin



Love and Light!