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Yin to Your Yang

3 Dec

NectarYogaNewsletterHeader_Dec15

YIN TO YOUR YANG

Happy Holiday Season!!

This time of year can be filled with many opposites. Peace and irritability, love and anger, cold and hot, happiness and sadness, abundance and scarcity, love and hatred. If we are honest with ourselves, these are the fluctuations of the human mind on a daily basis. The polarities of life seem to be more evident during this season of tradition and family. Most of us have many mixed emotions about spending extended time with our relatives during the holidays. Whether it’s your unfiltered uncle or your mom who knows how to push your buttons, we all have loved ones in our lives that can test our patience. On top of family commitments, we have social gatherings, gift buying, food consumption, work, kids, and organizing it all brings forward our Yang energy.

We have all heard of and/or know what the Yin/Yang symbol looks like. If you were around in the 80’s and early 90’s it was also a popular fashion symbol on pendants, belts, t-shirts (and more), but did you ever find out what it actually means?

“Neither Yin nor Yang are absolute. Nothing is completely Yin or completely Yang. Each aspect contains the beginning point for the other aspect. For example: day becomes night and then night becomes day…Yin and Yang are interdependent upon each other so that the definition of one requires the definition for the other to be complete.” Personal Tao

This explains why the Yin/Yang symbol, which is actually called the Taijitu, has a black side with a white dot and a white side with a black dot. When two things are balanced, they are equal but still separate. In a relationship of harmony, the two energies blend into one seamless whole, as perfectly embodied by the swirling Yin-Yang symbol.

General Examples of Yin & Yang:

Yin = Darkness, Moon, Feminine, Shade, Rest
Yang = Light, Sun, Masculine, Brightness, Activity

When our Yang energy becomes dominant, we need to create balance by introducing more Yin energy. If we are feeling overwhelmed, hot, tense, agitated, we should sit, relax, slow down, cool down. This is intuitive, but we often continue to add more Yang energy into our already Yang like life.

So, now we know that the holiday season can create an abundance of Yang, and we also know that we need to balance this with Yin. If you feel your blood pressure rising and your breath becoming restricted while you are waiting in a shopping line-up, tune in, cool yourself down, sit down, take a few conscious breaths, go outside, turn on your Yin energy. It will balance you and enable you to have more equanimity with this beautiful season.

I just completed my Yin Yoga training in Vancouver with one of the founders of the tradition, Bernie Clark. I am very excited to introduce this teaching style into my classes. At Nectar Yoga B&B on Bowen Island, we will have regular Yin Yoga classes and at all of my upcoming Exotic Retreats.

Join me in Morocco, Iceland, and Spain (where there will be a specific Yin & Beginner themed retreat). Limited Space still remains for my Morocco andIceland Retreats coming up in February 2016.

Sending you much peace and balanced energy during this special season.

Om Shanti,
Andrea.

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Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Salad

14 Jun

Try this delicious recipe from my retreat partner and chef Mirella Saraswati. Join our upcoming Morocco Yoga Detox Retreat in September for more delicious food inspiration!

“At work I often make couscous salads. I add lots of delicious Moroccan spices, grated carrots, herbs and almonds and people love it. However I never eat it much myself because I try to avoid wheat. In an attempt to healthify my Moroccan couscous salad even more I decided to replace the couscous for quinoa.

Now, for a healthy food enthusiast I seem to eat a ridiculously low amount of quinoa. I must confess I’m just not a huge fan of the texture. There are only a couple of quinoa recipes that I really like and usually they are pretty stuffed with other delicious things so I don’t notice the quinoa too much. This recipe is one of those and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

This salad is full of fresh veggies and herbs, nuts and spices. I used a ready-made spice mix called ‘Ras el Hanout’, which can be seen as the Moroccan variation of Garam Masala. You should be able to get this at an exotic or middle-eastern style supermarket, or you can mix the spices yourself from the recipe I share below.”

Moroccan Spiced Quinoa SaladIngredients:

Salad Fillings (serves 2-3):

–       1 cup quinoa, uncooked

–       2 medium carrots (grated)

–       ¼ cup raisins (soaked for 1 hour)

–       1 spring onion (thinly sliced)

–       1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)

–       handful of mint

–       handful of basil

–       1 avocado (sliced)

–       ½ cup of almonds

Dressing:

–       1/2 cup olive oil

–       1 small garlic clove

–       1 inch piece of ginger

–       3 tsp ras-el-hanout

–       1 tsp salt

–       juice of half a lemon

Ras el Hanout spice mix:

– 1 teaspoon ground cumin

– 1 teaspoon ground ginger

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

– 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

– 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

– 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Cooking proces

Method

Cook the quinoa according to the package’s instructions, drain and let stand to cool.

In a dry frying pan, toast the almonds on medium heat until they start brown a little.

Prep all your veggies by grating the carrot and chopping the bell-pepper, spring onion, avocado and herbs.

In a small food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, garlic, ginger, Ras el Hanout, salt and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Taste and decide if you need more of any of the ingredients to balance the flavour out to your liking.

Add the quinoa to a bowl, mix in the dressing and toss till it’s well coated. Then stir through the carrot, bell-pepper, spring onion, mint, basil and raisins. Serve the quinoa salad topped with the toasted almonds and sliced avocado.

Enjoy!

Spring Cleanse – Chilled Avocado & Fennel Soup Recipe

1 May

Spring is the best time to scrub, cleanse, dust, shake, and get rid of the old cobwebs (inside and out). Here is an amazing detoxifying recipe from our Ibiza Yoga Detox Retreat by chef Mirella.

avocado fennel soup

RECIPE

Chilled Avocado & Fennel Soup

Chuck full of nutrition, this raw-vegan spring soup makes for a well balanced, cleansing meal! It ads fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins, protein and anti-oxidants to your diet in one go! Tastes best chilled and topped with your favorite vegan cheese and/or nuts! I used a home-made almond-cheese and roasted pistachios.

Ingredients for 4 bowls:

•           2 Avocados
•           1 fennel including the leaves
•           1 cucumber
•           Half a garlic clove
•           3 spring onions
•           juice of 1 lemon
•           ½ tsp of black pepper
•           ½ tsp of sea salt or rock salt
•           1 cup of spring water

Blend together until smooth. Add more water if needed to get the desired consistency. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour. Top with crumbled almond cheese and pistachio nuts and garnish with some fennel leaves before serving.

Visit www.nectaryoga.ca to join one of our upcoming Summer and Fall detox retreats.

Raw Lettuce Tacos with Nut Meat & Mango Salsa

30 Mar

Are you interested in detoxifying your body but scared about changing your diet? During one of Nectar Yoga’s Detoxifying Yoga Retreats, Chef Mirella, will have you feeling cleansed and full of new recipe ideas. The food during your yoga retreat is meant to be light, nutritious, uplifting and inspiring. For one week we will refrain from eating any sugar, meat, dairy, wheat or caffeine. Seems difficult? You will be surprised about the variety and quality of the food. Try this delicious Raw Lettuce Taco Recipe by retreat Chef Mirella. 

Join us for a Yoga Detox Retreat in Morocco and Ibiza this fall for more detoxifying inspirations like this! Click HERE for Full Details. 

Raw Tacos with Mango Salsa

Raw Tacos with Mango Salsa

Recipe

Raw Lettuce Tacos with nut meat and mango salsa (serves 2)

Ingredients:

Nut Meat:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 4 sun-dried tomato halves
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon tamari

Mango Salsa:

  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup peeled, diced cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Other:

  • Firm lettuce to use as tacos

Method:

Take a firm type of lettuce and use the leaves as tacos or wraps. I have used baby Romaine or Napa cabbage before.

For the nut meat, mix all the ingredients in a food processor until you have a chunky mixture with the consistency of ground taco meat. Try it and add spices according to your taste.

Put all of the ingredients of the mango salsa in a bowl and toss it around so the flavours mix well. You can make this a little ahead of time to let it marinade and let flavours soak in.

To serve, place a lettuce leave on your plate, top with walnut meat, mango salsa and optional guacamole.

Visit www.nectaryoga.ca for all our Detox Retreat options.

Morocco Yoga Detox Retreat September 2015

23 Mar MoroccoYogaDetoxRetreatRoom

Morocco Yoga Detox Retreat, September 25 – October 1, 2015

Nectar Yoga and Mirella Saraswati team up for a rejuvenating week of yoga, relaxation, delicious cleansing food and exotic Moroccan landscapes this autumn.

MoroccoYogaDetoxRetreatRoom

MoroccoYogaDetoxRetreatRoom

MOROCCO YOGA DETOX RETREAT OVERVIEW
Submerge yourself in a peaceful detoxifying environment, deepen your yoga practice, learn about nutrition & healthy cooking, cleanse and relax in Morocco this coming autumn. After a week at this magical oasis with us you’ll feel renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated, we promise!

A peaceful haven welcomes you in the wonderland of the Moroccan countryside. The view of awesome dessert landscape and olive groves is a perfect setting to start off your day of yoga & well-being. You’ll be led through two daily yoga classes, meditation sessions, group discussions and lectures taught by Andrea from Nectar Yoga. Whether you are new to yoga or deepening your existing practice, you’ll gain a stronger awareness of your mind, body and spirit connection after your Morocco Yoga Detox Retreat.

Mirella Saraswati will have your taste buds watering before every meal. Each day we will enjoy inspirational, delicious, and extremely healthy creations. Informative demonstrations and lessons are included during this week. You’ll go home with a new relationship to food and the desire to eat clean. For some local flavor, Mirella will be working with a Moroccan cook to include some regional inspiration in the menu.

The Moroccan property features a main villa with two suites, surrounded by 5 private detached adobe cottages, which are truly one-of-a-kind. An expansive swimming pool, framed by shady umbrellas and lounge chairs overlooks the beautiful valley of Essaouira. The natural dessert landscape is dotted with olive trees and walking paths. This exclusive yoga retreat is your perfect detox sanctuary. Join us for a yoga detox retreat you’ll always remember.

Visit: http://nectaryoga.ca/morocco-yoga-detox-retreat-september-2015/ for full details and to register!

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