daana - A Revolution in Global Health

New open-source, donation-based initiative is making wellness accessible to all

Montreal, Quebec (July 1, 2015) - Canadians are invited to support the official launch of daana, a non-profit foundation based on making wellness practices available to all. daana will be initiating their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on July 9 2015 to help make this project go global.

By supporting daana, donors contribute to reducing the inequality of access to wellness activities in the world. Hurdles like time, distance, money or any kind of self-perceived limitations can now easily be overcome.

In less than a year since daana’s creation, a total over 20 donation-based yoga classes are happening weekly throughout greater Montreal, and growing ever faster. This inspired team is now mounting a significant campaign to develop the smart-device friendly website and app, with global geo-locator, on-line registration and donation capabilities.

“In over 15 years as a yoga teacher, I have taught yoga to a wide range of people, from the physically challenged to elite athletes. Simple mindful movements, together with breathwork and meditation can be practiced by virtually everyone. Yet, few of us have a regular practice to keep our body and mind in optimum condition. We want this project to go viral, for a cause that is meaningful to us all”, said Bhaskar Goswami, founder of daana.

How does daana yoga work?
● A host offers a space for a couple of hours a week. This could be an empty basement, living room, backyard, company spaces after work hours, community spaces, cultural centers or any suitable space!
● daana assigns a certified teacher to guide the class. Students enjoy the practice and leave a donation after the class.
● daana assigns a ‘champion’ in every city to support the respective hosts, teachers and students.
● Since there is so little overhead to cover, 90% of all donations received from each yoga class are given to teachers.

According to Caroline Goyer, daana director, “Yoga is only the starting point. Built on a foundation of good health, wisdom and compassion, daana intends to develop these local community hubs so that they can be used for many uplifting activities such as dance, art, Tai Chi, cooking, dialogue circles, local projects and many more. This way, communities around the world can benefit from each other through their social capital in a sustainable way.”

1. Health - daana (, is a Montreal-based non-profit organization, designed by the award winning team of BODHI (, to make basic health care practices accessible to all. Time, distance, money and any kind of self-perceived limitations are no longer reasons to not practice.
2. Generosity - The word daana means “cultivating the virtue of generosity by giving”. The hosts are generous by offering their spaces. The teachers are generous by offering their guidance. The participants are generous by donating towards the welfare of future students.
3. Community - Built on a foundation on good health and generosity, these local community hubs can be used for any uplifting activities such as dance, art, cooking, Tai Chi, dialogue circles, social projects and so on. It is an excellent way to build and sustain local communities that benefit from each other. We are starting with yoga and there are already over 20 classes per week, and counting!

In just three months, daana has raised over $500 for each of these causes: young Québec Water Polo athletes, Canada Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lupus Canada and UNICEF relief efforts in Nepal. Also, 20% of all outdoor class donations goes towards the relief efforts in Nepal.

How far today?
My earliest memories are of wanting to be big!! I am the youngest of 6 kids, so naturally, I wanted to be able to do what my older sisters and brothers could do. I reached, stretched, stood on my Tippy-Toes. I got frustrated when I couldn’t get the words “Fingers and Fums” right. I felt like I’d NEVER get it…..

A little further...

But each time I reached, I reached a little further. Each coveted milestone acquired brought satisfaction, and also a view of the next curious-to-achieve victory.

Child-like curiosity and innocence so strong, back then. What my parents and older siblings thought was ‘cute’ was, to me, my attempt at my greatest achievement to date! THIS task, THIS moment is ALL that matters. How far can I go today?? How far can I reach right now?? Just a little more…. a little mooorrrrre…… GOT IT!!!!

Feels soooo good to ‘reach there’. It becomes associated with the feeling of effort to ‘get there’. The stretch itself becomes part of the game. Feeling the stretch became playful… luscious. If I was feeling the stretch, then I KNEW I was on the right track. Moving toward my next reward. The playfulness of the stretch became its own reward. If I’m stretching, I reaching toward something good. Guaranteed. This feeling is never wrong… the Body NEVER lies.

I know this, because, when I was young and full of innocence and curiosity, there were times when reaching the target became more important than the joy of getting there. PAIN!! I’d reach too far and feel pain. In my innocence, I would wince back from the pain. THAT suddenly became more important in the moment. I’d drop the goal like a hot potato (which, if you do hold one, HURTS!!). Sooner or later, I’d feel ready to try again… this time, listening to this Body which never lies…

Hmmmm… I think I just described how I view a typical yoga class…

Then I grew up. Put away, as they say, childish things. Got serious. Learned absolutely everything. KNEW absolutely everything. My parents were IDIOTS!! My, GOD!! How did they ever survive this long without my wisdom??

I remember being 20.

I won some… Felt happy…. Lost some… felt unhappy. Took sharp wounds to the heart with broken “love”. Discovered ego (didn’t know him by the name Monty yet, but sure felt his presence… recorded, anyway, for future labeling). Learned how what I KNEW to be ‘true friendship’ could poke me in the eye with a frozen fish.

Maybe my parents weren’t Idiots after all…

I became painfully aware of how mortal we are. How limited our time is here. Dear friends and family gone forever. Regret over last words. Regret over missed opportunity that will NEVER arrive again.

As my lower 4 (maybe 5) chakras were poked at with a long, sharp (sometimes featherishly tickly) Karma Stick, I became aware that I really don’t know everything!! In fact, I humbly recognized that, in infinite knowingness, I don’t know Jack!!

So, now, a little older and a little less intellectually brilliant, I stand humbled again. Discovering a new episode of “Life’s Painful Expressions of “Ya Don’t Know Jack!!””. Admittedly, that’s a long name for a Reality Show. But Survivor was already taken.

This Episode:

I’m now at that age where people my age (or a bit older… or even quite a bit younger) can vanish in a heartbeat. They always could have… but now I know it. What does my age have to do with this Truth? Ya hang around long enough, trying to awaken, you begin to see some pretty unbelievable things. Some amazingly beautiful, some amazingly terrifying.

I also know that ALL of us have patterns that govern our behavior. Some of us want to see our little self-made prisons, so we can break free. What if Pi didn’t need to stay in the Life Boat? What if he was the ocean?? How freeing would that be?!?!

And some of us remain unaware of these patterns.

When we catch ourselves in the act, and do good work to forge a key like the Tinsmith, we can break free of the pattern in the moment. String enough broken-pattern moments and, well, ya have a new pattern! One of your choosing. One of returning to innocence. Of curiosity.

Innocence and Curiosity
No judgement, just play for the sake of playing. Getting so good at it, with all the tiny lessons learned to date tucked away for safe keeping and referral. Moving toward the outcome while abandoning the outcome. Trust our intuition to guide us. The Subtle ‘Stretch’ that guides.

The trouble is we think we have more time.

Among others, Buddha says so.

If we gather enough wisdom, we spend time with those we love; with those who love us. We forgive those stuck in a pattern, unaware, in so much pain they are unwilling to see; to reach. We recognize in them places we’ve seen in ourselves. We learn to love them as we learn to love ourselves, shadow-stuff included.

I feel myself boldly going toward chakras North of 40 while lovingly tending to the one’s below that can use further development. That can become unbalanced if attention is not given. I feel myself reaching. Reaching to understand whatever I can, grateful of my understanding of it, in the moment. Aware that what I understand just then may be a fractal of the whole picture, which is a fractal of a fractal (theme song from The Thomas Crown Affair blazing unendingly in my mind, at the moment.) Still, I reach. Still I see new vistas. Still an infinite amount to know.

Our lives take us along a Never Ending Journey.

As T.S. Elliot writes:

“We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time.”

Much Gratitude is being sent to you for taking the time to read this. I am humbly aware you didn’t have to. :)

Love Rosanne

Montreal Parks – Donation-based Yoga daana | Open Air Yoga

The expansive sensation of feeling the breeze on your skin and the sensation of the grass between your toes in tadasana, is priceless. And nothing can make you feel more grateful about the generosity of Mother Earth than the smell of the grass and soil while bowing down to honour the earth in utanasana. Hearing the sound of birds chirping, laughter and children playing in the park while in tree pose is an experience that will make your face light up with cheer as you come in union (and communion) with your environment. If that weren’t enough to turn you on, all you have to do is take a look around, and meditate in motion while admiring the beauty of the vista before you. You’ll find yourself immersed in life’s beauty and realise that the same intelligent life you’re admiring is admiring you right back.

We have begun new outdoor donation-based yoga classes in Montreal’s parks. We invite you to immerse yourself with the sensations of nature and practice with us. Find a class on our schedule.
If you are a teacher and would like to guide an open air by-donation class, contact us!

Moksha Shastra – the science of the fundamental liberation Transformational Power of Yoga

Written by our friend Prasad Rangnekar

Looking at the way Yoga has been embraced by the world in the last decade or so, one can safely say that Yoga has arrived. Modern world has definitely realized the benefits of Yoga. Yoga is here and here to stay. But, when we think of Yoga, immediately an image of a bendy person doing some sort of a body contortion comes to our mind. Modern world has been presented the idea of Yoga as physical exercise. Is Yoga only about stretching muscles and moving into seemingly elastic body manipulations? In this article, let us try to understand Yoga as something more than just a “class” and open ourselves to the deeper understanding of the holistic, life transforming benefits of Yoga.

Traditionally, Yoga is understood as “Moksha Shastra” or the science of liberation. Moksha commonly means “liberation”, but one needs to understand Moksha in its deeper sense. Moksha, is not any mundane liberation but is the fundamental liberation from our erroneous perceptions of ourselves. In its original sense, Yoga is the science of total mind-body transformation that releases us from the limiting perception and experience of ourselves and the world. It would not be wrong to call Yoga the philosophy and technique of correcting our own understanding and experience of ourselves.

But, is there a need for such liberation? I mean, ask yourself, how many times have we decided to do something only to be stopped by self-doubt. How many times have we vouched to be calm only to be disturbed by a wave of anger that seemingly comes out of nowhere. How many times have we suffered under bouts of repeated self-denial, guilt, regret and “poor me” syndrome. These issues have an effect on our body, posture, breath, relationships and life in turn. Yoga is a holistic science that includes all aspects of our life. Practicing Yoga in its entirety and not just as postures eases the pressures of the physical-mental (psycho-somatic) ups and downs generating a lasting sense of peace.

The Rishis or the spiritual scientists of ancient India realized that we humans do not really live with total efficiency and effectiveness. Our day to day life is compromised by limiting psycho-somatic tendencies that restrict our thoughts and actions. Once these limiting factors are transformed and eventually over powered we can live as something very profound and peaceful that we all are. This “something very profound” is known as the True Self (Atman/Shiva in philosophical sense). Simply put, the True Self can be understood as our human potential operating in an unrestricted, optimized, peaceful and loving manner. Liberation from limiting psycho-somatic tendencies that restricts our optimum potential is known as Moksha and the set of practices that help us in facilitating the liberation is called Yoga.

Thus, Yoga is much wider than a mere practice of physical contortions (asana). It is a way of living consciously, working on our limitations and allowing life to unfold the optimum potential within us all. Yoga is not just about physical exercise or a class but it is living a life of conscious transformation. Let us look at some ways in which we can consciously practice Yoga in its holistic sense and make Yoga a self-transformation process.

The process of Yoga: The objective of Yoga is to refine the body-mind complex. Since between mind and body the variable of body is grosser, more physical, we start the transformation process with the body. Yoga essentially believes that mind and body are two sides of the same coin. The body is gross of mind and mind is the subtle of the body. Whatever effects the mind will have its effect on the body and vice versa. This is why we start the transformation process via the body as it is more accessible of the two. The physical posture (asana) practice is just one part of the Yoga process.

Why do we do asana in Yoga: Traditional Yoga schools did not look at asana as flexibility training but as a method of generating self-awareness and energy alignment. Deepening of self-awareness is facilitated by making the asana practice more conscious and mindful. Such conscious, inward focus is cultivated by focusing the awareness on body sensations, breath, emotional sensitivity and through visualizations. A mindful asana practice generates self-awareness and mental stillness, bringing the mind and its movements under observation and a fairly conscious grasp. This is when the deeper work of refining the mind and emotions can start. Thus, a gentle, mindful asana practice can, over a period of time, generate increased self-awareness and slow down the restless mind which is usually responsible for stress, exhaustions and a number of mind-body ailments. A life lived with self-awareness makes the practitioner feel more alive, participative and integrated in the process of life.

Breath is the key: According to yoga scriptures, mind and breath are closely linked. It is said that the mind rides on the horse of breath. When the mind is relaxed, the breath is balanced and effortless. When the mind is agitated, the breath is imbalanced and effortful. Modern life, with its stress and speed has resulted in a hyperactive, buzzing mind. This hyperactive mind keeps us in an excitatory state which leads to a fast, shallow and confused respiratory rhythm. Such respiratory rhythm in turn leads to an agitated mind. This is how the cycle goes on, unnoticed for our whole life.

The technique of breath modulation is called Pranayama and is very useful to calm down the mind. Pranayama has not caught up with the modern Yoga enthusiasts as much as asana. Yet, one cannot rule out its importance. In fact a regular practice of Pranayama has shown to generate a sense of wellbeing, cultivate deep relaxation and increase lung capacity. But the most important benefit of Pranayama is that it makes us more aware of ourselves. It literally creates more space between two moments and allows us to consciously exercise the “choice” that we all have and that every moment encloses within itself. Pranayama practice in Yoga is a slow, gentle practice that makes us more conscious of our breathing which is otherwise usually automatic. When a person is conscious of the breath and is able to modulate it in the right time, the automatic, impulsive thoughts can be reined in. In times of conflict, when the mind and speech fires like a machine gun, one, single conscious breath can create space and give us the moment to choose our action carefully. When choice is exercised in such a way, escalation of conflicts and worries can be avoided. Sometimes all you need to create peace in life is conscious awareness and one relaxed breath. Gradually every single breath, taken consciously, calms down the mind and promotes a reflective life rather than a reactive life.

Relaxation: Yoga practices like Shavasana, Pranayama, Yoga Nidra and Meditation can provide innumerable relaxation benefits. Modern society needs to learn to relax. It is with a sense of urgency that we all ought to understand our mind-body system’s vital need for relaxation. Relaxation, not in the sense of getting enough sleep or resting on a sofa, rather, relaxation emerging from a deep knowing that there is no hurry, there is no need to prove anything to anyone and that it will all be fine eventually. Many of us complain of tiredness, exhaustion and mental fatigue compromising our efficiency. Unless we take the time to relax, our lives will continue to be driven by pursuits that lead to nothing but increased nervous exhaustion. One of the best ways of relaxing is a general slowing down of activities through the day. Unless we slow down, we are too caught up in life’s pace to even know where we are going. Slowing down give us the chance to pause, reflect, prioritize and channel our energies towards the desired goals. Involving more relaxation methodologies in the Yoga practice can create lasting peace of mind that can allow us to reflect on our life and take appropriate steps to slow down life’s pace, enjoy the moment and cherish small joys of life.

Faith and Patience: Last but not the least, each one of us who has been preoccupied with the external world has to one day sit up and take notice of the inner voice. This inner voice is nothing but a deeper, innate instinct of self-refinement (transformation). It is that impulse which is programmed to set us free. Listening to the inner voice will drive us safely and clearly towards self-refinement. Self-refinement happens through patiently experimenting with methods of Yoga and experiencing life consciously and totally. Experimenting means exploring new possibilities and to explore new possibilities we need to be fearless, fearless enough to objectively examine our self and to ascertain what to let go off and what to hold on to. One cannot expect the benefits of Yoga if one is not ready to invest in dedicated and diligent Sadhana (self-practice). Process of Yoga is not merely a pursuit of fitness but a process of enlivening a steady state of peace and contentment. This process of self-transformation is gradual and many a times challenging. But with patience, determination and trust we all can reach the peak of peace and true potential that Yoga promises.

You can also find the article on Yogaprasad Institute.

The Infinite Moment

We’ve all had the experience of having unpleasant events occur in our lives. Many of us have become so engrossed in that story line that is so strong, so rich, so juicy, that we can’t seem to shake it. When we speak about it; when we indulge the story with thoughts, the present moment seems to vanish and we relive the event as though it were occurring right now. Perhaps, something as innocuous as describing the heavy traffic situation to someone you were late meeting. Your body experiences the stress of being stuck in traffic each time you recall the story. Perhaps the story line is much more sticky; has more Shenpa (as Pema Chodron calls it). We get so caught up in the story line that, as we recall the event, the present moment seems to ‘disappear’. Our eyes can be wide open, yet we don’t even see the surroundings. Our thoughts take us right back to the event itself and we relive it all… perhaps changing the details of what was said or done to what we could have said or done.I have a rich story of my previous marriage. It started with attraction. It grew into love. It ended in frustration. The story line was one that I lived and relived in my mind. When my ex and I made the conscious decision to end our marriage, we decided to continue our friendship. It was far from easy, as we both knew each other’s buttons and exactly how to push them. We both shared this story line.In time, we were successful at rebuilding our friendship. They say time heals all wounds. I think, working with intention to heal, heals all wounds. Working through our attachment to the story line, time allows us to let go. In the letting go, we heal.

Wayne and I stayed friends. We both learned to let go of the story line and move forward. I introduced him to his next wife. They danced at my next Actor Newmanmarriage to Luc. Being in 2 different cities, we nurtured our friendship through long telephone conversations. Conversations were often birthday greetings, catching up on current events, advice, news. Occasionally, we’d be in the same city at the same time and would have wonderful conversations together, in person.

I received a phone call from Wayne in May 2013. He was calling me to advise that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and didn’t expect to survive this illness. This news rocked my world. I visited them and had many conversations through the following months.

In his final days, Wayne had called me to tell me he wouldn’t be getting out of the hospital this time. I asked him if I could come to see him. His answer had me reeling again. He said he didn’t think I’d make it in time. Raw emotion had me bumping into walls, trying to figure out how move an entire country out of the way. Luc moved mountains for me. I was packed and on an airplane within hours, arriving to see him: skinny, yellow, frail, sleeping. I stood at his bedside and held his warm, waxy hand while he slept. I remember feeling glad that he was sleeping peacefully, not knowing how I’d be able to be strong for him. I’d surely be better at it in the days to follow.

But he opened his eyes, looked at me and was so grateful that I made the journey. He hugged me and asked how long I’d be in town. I said I’d be there as long as I was needed. He didn’t want me to have to watch him deteriorate, and suggested maybe I could come a couple more times and we’d say goodbye each time, as it might be the last (he managed to choke back tears, as did I). He told me that he loves me; that doesn’t just go away. I told him I love him too.

He was scheduled for a procedure that may offer some relief, although nothing known in the medical world could cure him. The next day, I arrived to see him again. As I hurriedly approached his room, I stopped dead in my tracks seeing Wayne, more yellow than the day before, hooked up to IV tubes, machinery beeping and flickering readings to informed staff, several friends seated around the room, Alice (Wayne’s wife) seated at his side, and a doctor standing in front of the two of them, explaining that the procedure had failed to provide the relief they were hoping for.

Alice smiled at me, and waived me in.

The doctor was in the process of explaining that Wayne had 3 – 5 days left; that they’d keep him comfortable with medication. When the meds became too strong, he’d begin to hallucinate. They’d further medicate him to keep him from hallucinating, and that he’d mostly be asleep. And that, his body would eventually give in and he wouldn’t wake up.

At that moment, Wayne looked over at me to see who just walked in. As our eyes met, he smiled at me. I felt my facial expression melting from the look of horror at seeing my dear friend in this story, receiving such terrible news (with as much calm, compassionate detachment as doctors must cultivate for self preservation in such dire circumstances). At that moment when our eyes met, I smiled back at him, hiding my fear, which made him smile more deeply; eyes twinkling a familiar spark. But then, something amazing and beautiful happened. I felt my fears dissolve. In that moment, the room disappeared. The people in the room faded. The doctor, who was still describing the end, receded. The tubes, needles, beeping machinery vanished. The yellow waxy skin evaporated. In that moment, there was no story line at all. In that moment, the Power of Love was all that was. Love filled the room, from Alice, the visitors, the doctor, friends from near and far, strangers, plants, trees, sun, moon, stars, distant galaxies. The infinite moment, when all the story we attach to ceased to exist, and all that truly was… was Love.

I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life.

In the heart of sorrow there is a seed of joy.
~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

Reflection Awe Wonderment

In the ancient epic saga of the Mahabharata, the opening scene in the segment called the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ is worthy of note. The great warrior Arjuna requests his charioteer, the Godhead Krishna, to drive his chariot to the middle of the battlefield before the commencement of the great war of Kurukshetra.

It was a complex situation. Upon looking closely across the battlefield, Arjuna began to recognize some old friends, relatives and even his own beloved teacher. In that instant, the bow slipped off his shoulder, he fell to his knees and whispered meekly, “I cannot fight”.

The Indian mystic Osho posed the question, what happened to this ferocious warrior? A man who could wipe out an entire battalion by himself, became instantly reduced to a state in which he could be knocked down by a child. What happened? Osho went on to make this profound observation:

A divided mind makes the body weak.

Up to that point Arjuna was confident about his role as the righteous warrior. The instant doubt crept in, his body collapsed. To put it another way, if ever there is any sign of malaise or half-heartedness in ones persona, it is typically the symptom of some unexamined or unresolved doubt. For example, this doubt may arise from feeling undervalued and unappreciated at work, or living in an unfulfilling relationship, or caught up in a health dilemma, or just a vague sense of incompleteness. In such a situation, the practice of Reflection, Awe and Wonderment may be of help.
Reflection awe wonderment 2
Take some time to do absolutely nothing. Allow any restlessness of mind to express itself and move on. Entertain nothing, practice nothing. When it feels right, step out of your story, the story of ‘I’. See it as if you were watching your own movie, starring (insert your name here).

Reflect on all that has become. There is no lamenting, elation or depression. It is just like reflecting on a book you that you were reading. Notice any patterns, themes and synchronicity that you may have previously been blind to. Perhaps it is the sum total all the gifts and talents. It may be cravings and aversions to certain sensations that are dictating the story. It could be an emotional pattern that has just keeps on repeating itself.

Awe at all that is becoming. This is not a dwelling on ideas and imagination. Be, here, now and notice how all of that, was for this. The story of ‘I’ with all its nuances and incredible detail is truly worthy of awe.

Wonderment for all that is to become. There is no fear, anxiety or worry. It is not a “what do I need to do?” Rather, it is “what wants to happen next?” Just ask this question and get out of its way. Do not try to influence this in any way with goals and intentions. Just wait.

This is a causal universe, a universe of action and constant change. In stepping out of the ‘I’ story, there is an open invitation for the greater story of life to express itself, to itself. After this practice, make a clear decision, even if it is to decide not to decide. Clarity is power.

In reflection, awe and wonderment,
Bhaskar, Feb 2014


There was a time when you could count on one hand the number of scientists that understood a theorem like Einstein’s E=mc2. Nowadays in less than five minutes you can watch a YouTube video that does a very decent job of explaining how Einstein arrived at this conclusion and its implications, in a way that a layperson can understand.

These are fortunate times indeed. With a few key strokes you can receive a teaching from any notable figure… perhaps a motivational speaker, a mystic, aChildlike curiosity master of a particular trait or subject or a visionary. Not so long ago, one had to travel great distances, and with some good fortune, experience such a teaching. Yet, by-and-large we do not appear to be a particularly well informed society.

It seems like all that is needed is a natural curiosity that extends beyond Call of Duty, Candy Crush and Coronation Street. How did this curiosity that has served humanity so well for so long, get hijacked? When did we lose interest in fundamental questions like why do I behave the way I do, and why is the world the way it is? Can the two be related?

Could it be that there is no problem? The rates of conditions such as insomnia, allergies, diabetes, cancer, depression, back pains, migraines, IBS and environment sensitivity are at an unprecedented high. Many of these are at epidemic levels. Beyond this, there are many local, national and global practices that simply cannot be sustained and are very inefficient at serving the greater good.

Could it be that we are too busy? The average time spent watching television is over five hours per day, the average time on social media is over 3 hours per day and the average time playing computer games is almost two hours per day.

Why do I behave the way I do? Why is the world the way it is? Can the two be related?

It is not about finding the right answer. The magic is in exploring the questions with innocence and curiosity. Answers are dead. Questions are alive.

Stay curious my friend,


Earth Nutrition: Veggie Moroccan Quinoa Tajine

Ingredients and method in one:

Morroccan style quinoa-2 TBSB of olive oil in pot on medium
-1 small red onion, or half a big, one diced
-2 cloves of garlic chopped
-add 1 cup of quinoa
-add 2 3/4 cups of water
do your best for the options of herbs and spices:
-desired salt
-1/2 tbs of turmeric
-1/2 tbs of cumin
-1/2 tbs of dry coriander
-desired black pepper
-options dry mint or cilantro
-add 1/2 lemon or lime juice.
-chop 2 hands full of any fresh bean or any veggie you like.
-1 red bell pepper
-1 large tomato or a big hand full of cherry tomatoes chopped small.
-if you want it a bit more starchy you can add a cubed small potato or squash in the mix
-you may need to add a bit of water, level it so the water does not cover the food, just under then let simmer and reduce heat between medium and low.
-cover and stir every few minutes, keep it simmering adjust the heat
-cook for about 20 to 25 minutes

taste test

when ready: serve and
add fresh chopped parsley or coriander to top off. add more ground pepper options for flavor.

enjoy with a salad

Earth Nutrition: Tomato Veggie Stew

Ingredients ( adjust for desired portion ):
2 cups of tomato
2 or 3 cloves garlic
spices (salt, peper, oregano, basil, your favourites )
favorite veggies ( onion, zuccini, broccoli, potato small dice, squash etc…)
red beans or chick peas caned

Blend tomatoes, garlic and spices until smooth.
Put into a pot and bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Add some olive oil and the veggies. (plus desired options).
Add spice, if you like ie jalapeno peppers
Simmer for about 20mins

Nutrition never tasted so comforting. Yummy!!!!! Enjoy!

Article of the Month: Cultivating Gratitude

It is called a practice, because we get better at things we practice. Piano, chess, painting, yoga, meditation, gratitude. Anything!

When we begin to cultivate a sense of gratitude in the practice of yoga, it is often during savasana… or when gently rocking to massage the spine… or some other pleasurable part of the asanas. And that practice of gratitude can be carried away from the mat into other aspects of our lives.

GratitudeWhen things are smooth, effortless, and easy, and pleasant, it is easy cultivate gratitude. Gratitude on a sunny, warm day even though its already October. Gratitude for the dark blue autumn sky. For the beautiful way the leaves become illuminated as Nature stretches into her slumber. Even gratitude of the memory of the tiny garden snake that was noticed crossing the foot path, anxiously struggling to get to the grassy side where movement wasn’t so frantic. Grateful, in fact, that I didn’t step on this tiny creature whose existence was so easy to miss.

And even this lovely practice of gratitude can carry over into our day to day lives.

When you find a parking spot right out front at the grocery store. When someone at work has just made a fresh pot of coffee. When someone hands you their parking pass when they are done with it. When a stranger makes eye contact and smiles. When you come home from a long day of work to prepare supper for the family and discover delicious smells coming from the kitchen when your oldest daughter decided this is the day she will begin to help out. :)

All of these moments are opportunities to cultivate gratitude. Before we began our practice, we may have let many of these opportunities pass us by in the busy-ness of our doing lives. We can even cultivate gratitude for our ability to have noticed these special moments. Yes, gratitude of gratitude.

But, what about cultivating gratitude when things are not so pleasant?

In the yoga practice, when the asanas point to energy blockage? Or the sensation of effort. The feeling of wondering when, oh when is this posture going to end? The anxiety we feel when retaining the breath, not knowing when the teacher will say to release. The feeling of pain when reaching too far. Or a scattered mind during savasana. What about those times we have to park at the furthest point in the parking lot at the grocery store? Or some jerk had the last cup of coffee and you have to make a fresh pot. When you and a stranger make eye contact, and he glares at you as if to say, “What do YOU want?!”. Or coming home to a house that is as messy as when you had to rush out the door in the morning while your teenagers stand around complaining that there’s nothing ready to eat and they wanna go chill with their friends.

Just like many of us had to relearn by taking a plunge of trust that the joys experienced on the mat were deserved, in fact, our Birth Right… and that we could cultivate gratitude for our ability to feel these things… for our very body. From that relearning, go a shade further to trust that this cultivated sense of gratitude could be brought off the mat to these other Life Joys that, before, went unnoticed. Is it really too far of a leap to trust that there are reasons to be grateful in the not-so pleasant situations that come part and parcel of Life?

Practice makes perfect.

They say,” Fake it ’til you Make it.”. So, maybe we ‘cultivate’ gratitude in the same way.

When we have a busy mind during savasana, maybe we cultivate gratitude that we were able to notice the thought storm instead of getting swept away in it. Perhaps, when we feel tension with understanding the body is showing us our limits… showing us where toxins need to be desolved and evaporated with the powerful breath, we can feel grateful for this feedback so we can focus on doing just that; breathing deeply into the tension, feeling it dissolve.

Or when we feel pain when we move too far in a posture, we feel grateful that we even can feel pain instead of breaking our body by forcing.

Taking it off the mat, when we are stuck in the furthest parking spot, perhaps we could have gratitude that we have legs to walk. That we can get some much needed fresh air.

Maybe, upon finding the empty coffee pot, we could cultivate gratitude that it is this way because we’ve had 3 cups already. Maybe I’ll have an herbal tea that someone has brought in to share.

Perhaps illness arrives. What’s to be grateful for in this? Maybe that you felt it and so could do something about it. Maybe gratitude for moments where there is no pain and discomfort. Maybe we learn to live in the moment, knowing the wanted moments are precious and to be enjoyed as well as the unwanted moments must be endured. If we are lucky enough to heal from the illness, gratitude for feeling better and better.

The list goes on.
Finding ways to cultivate gratitude is a dotted line jump from cultivating gratitude for the wanted stuff to the unwanted.
If we never experienced inclement weather, would we really be able to see the good day?
Beautifully illustrated theme of Gratitude in this video. Take 10 minutes out of your day and watch.