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Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre Newsletter 2 - Early Spring 2003

We welcome you and thank you for your encouragement after our first newsletter. These days, most of us are overwhelmed with too much information and it is our sincere wish that what we share with you will enable you to deal more effectively with precisely these kinds of stresses.


  • Yoga and Ayurveda
  • Caring for yourself in the summertime
  • How to make Ghee
  • A cooling herb - Mint
  • Mint Chai
  • What's new at Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre
  • Treat yourself

Yoga and Ayurveda

The ancient art of Yoga is one of the most effective ways to relieve and release the many tensions which accumulate daily. Yoga is the sister science to Ayurveda. Traditionally, Yoga is the science of Union with our Divine nature while Ayurveda is the science of Living, of practical daily life.

The best possible reason to practise Yoga is that it feels so good. For it to be as enjoyable as possible, we need to always feel comfortable and easy in our bodies and with our breath. In order to do that, we must be present, otherwise we may not even be aware of the pain or discomfort which is being caused. Being present allows us to experience the Beauty of the moment.

Postures We are born to move. Movement and change is the only certainty in Life. Yoga postures promote the circulation, not only of the physical elements of blood and air in our bodies, but also encourage the release of stagnant energies.

Breathing Sometimes we do not want to breathe Life in too deeply, being afraid it will hurt too much. Yoga shows us to how to let Life flow through us in a safe way, thus opening us up to joy as well as all the other emotions. Moving beyond the play of emotions, we can experience serenity.

Relaxation Everything in Nature has a cycle of activity followed by rest, even our own hard working hearts take a break between every beat. In Yoga, periods of complete relaxation ensure that the practise refreshes and energises us.

Join us for our new Yoga class in Hout Bay to experience these benefits for yourself.

Caring for yourself in the summertime

As the weather starts heating up, so does our internal environment, including our digestive fire (agni). Those of us who don't have such a hot digestion (abdominal discomfort, bloating, constipation, cramps) will feel a bit more comfortable and be able to digest raw foods more easily. And we naturally tend to eat more of these in summer.

If you are experiencing dryness (eg. of skin and joints), add generous amounts of cold-pressed oil as well as seeds, nuts and even raisins or dates to your salad to balance its rough, dry qualities. Alternatively, if you have an excess of water (such as excess weight, water retention, swelling or excess mucous), avoid the oil and favour the bitter and pungent tastes of the various kinds of lettuce, radishes and onions.

Heating up internally might also mean that we find ourselves experiencing more anger, frustration, irritation and on a physical level, hayfever, allergies, headaches, diarrhea or any kind of redness. For these symptoms, cooling down helps, it sounds so obvious but how often do we neglect to do the obvious because 'there isn't time'? We can cool down by jumping into cold water, having a cold drink like iced herb tea with mint, eating an ice-cream and by avoiding hot, spicy foods. We also need to find healthy ways to channel and release anger by using this powerful energy to tackle the changes we may need in our lives.

Ghee is an extremely nourishing and healing food, especially for these heat/fire imbalances as it is sweet and cooling. Nasal massage with ghee is particularly helpful for soothing the nasal passages and sinuses to relieve hayfever. The way to do this is to put a tiny bit of ghee on the end of your little finger (which is clean with a very short nail) and very gently insert it into a nostril moving it upwards in slow circular movements. Repeat this in the other nostril and end by sniffing so that the ghee penetrates even more deeply. Repeat this daily until your nose is clear again.

When used for cooking, ghee can withstand the high temperatures which are needed to heat whole spices so that they release their flavours. It lines the entire digestive tract, soothing irritation and allowing for a smooth flow all the way through. Used externally, ghee is excellent for treating burns and heals many other skin disorders.

How to make Ghee

"Ghee purifies food. By purifying food, the mind is purified."

 v   Slowly melt a block of unsalted (preferably organic) butter in a saucepan on low heat.
 v   As it gently bubbles, milk solids will appear on the surface of the liquid as well as on the bottom of the pot.
 v   It is ready after 15 - 30 minutes and burns easily once it is 'done'. When ready, it is a clear golden colour, smells like caramel, and becomes quieter.
 v   After a few minutes off the heat, pour through cotton muslin into a sterile container, making sure the sediment stays in the pan.

It does not have to be refrigerated, and if properly made, will last indefinitely. In fact, its medicinal properties increase with age.

A cooling herb - Mint

Because of its refreshing and cooling properties, fresh mint can be chopped up and added into any dish, sweet or savoury to balance excess heat in the body. Mint can also alleviate stomach disorders and, used as an infusion with honey, is a good expectorant. Here is a variation of traditional Indian chai which is balancing for anyone in a general state of good health:

Mint Chai

tspn chopped fresh ginger 1 tspn cumin seeds
2 cardamon pods cup fresh mint or 1tbspn dried mint
1 stick cinnamon 3-4 whole cloves
2 pinches ground nutmeg
1 tspn coriander seeds

Boil the spices in three cups of water for a few minutes. Add rooibos or Ceylon tea, milk and sugar according to your taste. Steep for 1 minute. Strain and enjoy. Serves 4.

Because we are all unique individuals, the suggestions we have given may not be suitable for your particular condition. To explore further how you can work with your own imbalances, please contact us.

What's new at Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre?

Weekly Yoga classes
We are happy to announce that we now offer Monday and Thursday evening Yoga classes from 5.45 pm - 7.00 pm. Would you like to give yourself this time for regular nurturing and renewal? We would love to welcome you. Give us a call.

Workshop: Ayurvedic Massage - Give & Receive, Module 1, 12-14 December 2003
This workshop is focused on practical experience with Ayurvedic massage. You will be guided in basic movements for: foot, head, back, leg, and self-massage.

You will feel the effect of the treatments on your own body. Massage cannot be learned on an intellectual level as a technique. The body has to create a memory of receiving and giving touch. No previous knowledge is necessary. A vegetarian lunch prepared using Ayurvedic principals will be served as well as drinks and snacks.

Ayurveda Practicals
We are happy to invite you to our monthly Ayurveda Practical evenings where you will be given ongoing support and encouragement in using Ayurvedic tools. We will focus on a particular topic, such as 'self-care in summer', learning what Ayurveda has to offer. Our first practical evening will take place on Wednesday 5th November from 6 - 9 pm. Together we will prepare a light supper using Ayurvedic principles. Bookings essential.

Study Group
For those who have studied Ayurveda and want to share what they know as well as learn from others, we are hosting a monthly study group for two hours on a Wednesday morning. Our next meeting will be on the 26th November. Let us know if you are interested.

On behalf of the team at Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre, we wish everybody a healthy season.

Margit and Samantha

Treat yourself to
v Indian Ayurvedic Oil Massage
v Medical Ayurvedic Evaluation
v Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Teaching
v Ayurvedic Dietary & Lifestyle Counselling
v Yoga classes
v Ayurvedic Massage Retreats over 1, 3, 5 or 7days
v Ayurveda - Doshas, Diet & Digestion
v Ayurvedic Massage - Give & Receive
v Ayurvedic Massage Practicals
v Ayurveda Practicals
Call us on (021) 790 4200, e-mail us at or visit our website

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