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Contents of Nalanda Ayurvedic Newsletter 4 - Late Summer 2004

  • Nalanda News
  • How to press your own refresh button
  • Lentil and Coconut Dal
  • The wonderful, strengthening, cooling and soothing properties of  coconut
  • Upcoming activities at Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre 
  • Enhance your life with Ayurveda

Nalanda News

We wish you a year full of wonder for 2004. For those of you who are reading our newsletter for the first time, a big warm welcome. Perhaps some of you feel that you already in need of another holiday and rest. We invite you to treat yourself to a weekend of Ayurvedic Massage - Give & Receive and to read our comments on refreshing yourself.

We would firstly like to say a few words about our team at present:

Although she only joined us towards the end of last year, Xolisile's talents in organisation, cooking and massage are  rapidly coming to light. At the same time, we say thank you and farewell to Tamie who has been with us since well before the start of Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre. Ayanda has also been part of our team for quite some time and we appreciate her commitment.



We had a guest from Holland who took lots of pictures, so that you can see what the Nalanda team looks like. Here we are in the garden. Clockwise from bottom left: Samantha, Xolisile, Margit and Ayanda. 

We saw more people coming for ayurvedic diet and lifestyle advice, in the form of a consultation before their massage or as a session on its own. For some people, individualised yoga before their massage is a very effective combination for stress relief. 

We had several people coming for individual retreats of three or five days, which have been richly rewarding for the client as well as for us. The retreat is a deeply relaxing experience of ayurvedic massage, personalised Yoga and learning aspects of ayurvedic diet and lifestyle with time for solitary contemplation in our beautiful, wild garden. 

Here are some of the comments we received: 

"Thank you all for making it a safe space to be in, to breathe and relax and release, without judgment but with gentle guidance and support. My prayers have been answered - appropriate treatments and healing energy have been my blessings."

Chantal Coetzee

"I would like to say thank you because of the combined heartfelt and committed efforts to detail by everyone. Thank you for bringing clarity and gratitude into my life and a chance of a new beginning with hope."

June Sawyer

How to press your own Refresh button

Lately, I have been thinking how wonderful it would be if we humans had a refresh button like our computers do. Yet we do! How often I have marvelled at the miracle of renewal that has taken place during my sleep or after a good and deep cry. Then I got to thinking about how we all need to refresh ourselves in different ways. Many of us seem to experience an afternoon slump in energy. 

When you are feeling changeable, indecisive, speedy, restless, anxious and/or prone to insomnia, you probably need to pacify Vata (air/ether). At these times, you will benefit from a short nap between 2 to 4 pm followed by a healthy snack and a full dinner around 6pm. If napping is impossible, try to arrange a lighter work schedule in the afternoon. The regularity of an evening routine such as a warm bath, calming yoga postures, deep breathing, oil massage and an early bedtime will ease the anxieties and promote deep sleep, leaving you more energised for the next day.

When you are feeling intense, critical, frustrated, irritable, angry, prone to overwork and/or have a ravenous appetite, you probably need to pacify Pitta (fire). Eat a large and filling meal at midday to satisfy your strong metabolism. Take care not to push yourself too hard, especially when your energy is fuelled by anger. Although you may be naturally athletic, exercising in the heat of the day is not a good idea. Leaving work issues at the workplace when you go home is important to ensure a restful night. Also, after 6 pm you need to calm your passions with meditation or visualisations of soothing images such as cool forest streams or snow-capped mountain peaks if you want to enjoy peaceful sleep.

Balance Kapha (water/earth) when you are feeling lethargic, complacent, dull, depressed, slow moving and/or prone to weight gain and oversleeping. In this situation, your large and healthy lunch is best followed by a brief walk and then an even working pace until the end of the day. Sleeping during the day will increase your tendency to put on weight or develop any other kapha imbalances.  The main meal is most easily digested when taken at midday, and you need to make sure that your evening meal is light and eaten before sunset. Although you may love to sleep late, your day may be off to a better start if you rise before 6 am (during Vata time) and take a shower, do some vigourous physical exercise and eat a light, dry breakfast, if at all.

And remember that wanting to rest is a natural urge. Ayurveda teaches that the habitual suppression of our natural urges (vegas) may eventually cause dis-ease. And the world will continue to spiral without our help for a little while.

"Tiredness is one of our strongest , most noble and instructive feelings. It is an important aspect of our conscience and must be heeded or else we will not survive. When you are tired you must .... rest like the trees and animals do. Yet tiredness has become a matter of shame! This is a dangerous development. Tiredness has become the most suppressed feeling in the world. Everywhere we see people overcoming their exhaustion and pushing on with intensity....and being congratulated for overcoming it and pushing it deep down inside themselves as if it were a virtue to do this."

                                                                         Michael Leunig (cartoonist)

Lentil and Coconut Dal

Here is a nourishing cooling dal for summer. Serve with a slice of lemon or lime to experience all six tastes in one dish. Eliminate the chilli if there is already too much fire or heat in your body or in the environment. Increase the amount of coconut if you are needing to nourish yourself more fully.

3 cups water boil and add
¾ cup green lentils, washed and strained. Add
4 bay leaves ,
½ teaspoon turmeric and
½ teaspoon rock or sea salt. Cover and simmer over a medium heat for 15 min. 
1 tablespoon ghee  (see newsletter 2 on for how to make ghee) 

Heat in a small skillet, add 

½ teaspoon cumin seeds and
½ clove garlic, grated until the seeds turn golden brown. Add to the dal by rinsing the skillet in the dal water. Add
1 fresh green chilli pepper and
¼ cup fresh shredded or dessicated coconut and continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes. 
1 small bunch coriander freshly chopped  Add to the dal. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow dal to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

You can adjust the consistency of the dal from soupy with 4 cups of water to saucy with 2 cups. This dal will go well with the Coriander Chutney from newsletter 3 along with plain basmati rice or a chapatti (flatbread). Enjoy.

The wonderful properties of cooling, strengthening & soothing coconut

The Sanskrit word for coconut is 'auspicious fruit' - it is used in almost every Hindu religious ritual. Every part of the plant is useful to people eg. for thatching, brooms, mats. 

Coconut is a strengthening tonic for building up the body, especially when combined with dates. Because of its sweetness, heaviness and oiliness, coconut increases kapha (water/earth) and is therefore best avoided by those who are overweight or suffering from excess mucous conditions. 

Coconut oil is very nourishing for the hair and skin, the oil and milk can be used to cool and relieve sunburn or burning skin in general. When used in cooking, coconut milk or dessicated coconut will cool and balance the heating properties of the other ingredients, for example, the chilli and bay leaves in the recipe above.

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.

Upcoming activities at Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre

Coming soon :

Workshop: Ayurvedic Massage - Give & Receive, 27-29 February 2004
At this workshop, you will be guided through a practical experience of Ayurvedic massage. You will be shown basic movements for: foot, head, back, leg, and self-massage. You can expect a calmer and clearer mind as well as an increased sense of well-being by the end of this peaceful and self-nurturing weekend.

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.

Create space in your life for:

Rejuvenating Ayurvedic Autumn Retreat - 8-12 April 2004                                Spend five days out of town as part of a small group enjoying a nurturing daily routine of giving and receiving massage, gentle yoga, learning to make simple ayurvedic detox meals, spending quiet time in beautiful natural settings and playing with art materials. Autumn is the ideal time for clearing out the old, stuck ama (physical, emotional and mental toxins) to prepare for a new cycle.

This safe space and sacred time enhances the possibility of heightened clarity, self-awareness and deep relaxation as you learn to balance yourself using ayurvedic wisdom.

Please contact us for more details.

Plan now for:  

Deepak Chopra's Seven Spiritual Laws of Success - April - June 2004             Sheryl Paddock-Saunders, personal empowerment coach, will guide you through an eight week course covering these essential universal laws on Wednesday evenings from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Ayurvedic Massage Retreats, over 1, 3, 5 and 7 days
These retreats can be run on a half or full day basis. During this time, you will experience a variety of different Ayurvedic treatments. You can choose to have Ayurvedic cleansing techniques, to activate your digestive system and help eliminate toxins from the body. An Ayurvedic Massage retreat can be a deeply cleansing, pampering and balancing experience for body mind and soul.
A vegetarian lunch prepared using Ayurvedic principals will be served as well as drinks and snacks. We are happy to arrange your accommodation.

Weekly Yoga classes
Our Yoga classes are on Monday and Thursday evenings 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.

We hope that our suggestions will help you to get to know better what you need in order to enjoy your life more fully. May all beings be happy. May all beings be free from suffering. May all beings be at peace. On behalf of the team at Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre, we wish everybody a healthy summer season.

Margit and Samantha

Enhance your 
life with Ayurveda
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 Ayurveda Practicals
v Rejuvenating Ayurvedic Autumn Retreat
Call us on (021) 790 4200, e-mail us at or visit our website

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