The Yoga of Chocolate

As I shared in a recent post (“What Kind of Yoga do You Practice?”), there are many ways to practice yoga beyond just the physical poses. In today’s post I’ll be sharing how to practice the yoga of chocolate!

Do you love chocolate? Or do you know anyone who loves chocolate? I’m guessing you are answering yes to at least one of these questions!

Chocolate is made from cacao beans which grow inside pods on small trees, and besides being high in antioxidants, and helpful to heart health, it can greatly improve your mood. Chocolate creates excitement and sends a signal to your brain that something fun is about to happen!

The word yoga means “union” and so the goal of the yogic practices done by a yogi (male) or yogini (female) is to achieve a state of union with divine consciousness. Depending on your beliefs, you may call that consciousness God, Goddess, Divine Love, Nature, the Universe, or many other names. In the yoga tradition it is believed that your deepest self is connected with that divine consciousness, so when you do yogic practices you feel that union inside yourself.

Eating chocolate in a conscious way can enhance your feelings of union with your deepest self. Some ways to practice the yoga of chocolate include ~

~ Offer the chocolate to the Divine, or to your deepest self. Bless the chocolate with your highest gratitude vibrations.

~ Imagine the tree on which the cacao beans grew… under sunlight by day, and under starlight by night. Cultivate fascination for the miracle that this superfood grows naturally on this sacred Earth.

~ Take small bites, close your eyes, and eat the chocolate as slowly as you possibly can. Savor the taste and be fully aware of all sensations in the present moment. Allow your heart and mind to open to all the love in the universe!

~ If you have time, do some spiritual practices after eating your chocolate. In Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of love and devotion, chanting (singing sacred mantras) is one of the primary practices, and it goes especially well with chocolate. Both singing and chocolate open the mind and heart to deep feelings of love, so combining the two is like giving yourself a superblast of big love energies!

Like coffee (see my post “Coffee Is Good Medicine”), it is important to buy organic, fair-trade chocolate… And, dark chocolate is best for many reasons, including health (dairy nullifies cacao’s benefits), and compassion (the cows suffer greatly when their milk is stolen from them)…

For many years my absolute favorite chocolate bar has been this salted almond 70% dark chocolate bar by Theo, pictured here on top of my Grandma Hazel’s floral tin, in which I store my chocolate stash…

YogaOfChocolate_TheoChocolate_StarFireTeja

I have been enjoying chocolate as medicine for decades, but sometimes I take a break from it, just to make sure that I’m not addicted to it, and to make sure that I still enjoy life without it! So, I did not eat any chocolate for the month of July, and I had so many seriously happy days, which proved that I am not dependent on chocolate… But, some days I do enjoy it as one of my many happy-ing up tools!

I hope you enjoyed this post on the yoga of chocolate… This is day 3 of my Virtual Book Launch Week! You will learn much more about yogic practices beyond the physical poses in my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, available now on Lulu! ~ Thank you so much to Andrea, of The Hummingbird’s Journal, for ordering a copy! 🙂

May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo* of cacao beans by allybally4b on Pixabay.

* If you are viewing this post in an email, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja blog where you can see the photo of cacao beans.

 

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Sauerkraut is the New Yogurt… Or the New Apple

Cabbage is your new best friend! It contains many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help to prevent cancer and other diseases. And once it is fermented into sauerkraut, it becomes the superfood of choice. Packed with probiotics, sauerkraut increases the good bacteria in your gut, boosts your immune system, strengthens your bones, calms your mood, helps your brain and heart to stay healthy, and lowers your cholesterol.

For those who do not eat dairy, due to allergy, intolerance, or compassion for the cows, sauerkraut is far superior to yogurt in terms of probiotics. And for those who do eat dairy, consider that there are many studies showing that dairy products cause the very same diseases which sauerkraut prevents.

A daily dose of sauerkraut is as potent as a daily apple. Remember the old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and begin adding a daily serving of sauerkraut to your diet. If at first you do not like the taste of kraut, fear not. This high vibration superfood is so good for your body, that you will naturally develop a taste for it. There are many different flavors available now, so keep trying new ones until you find the one for you.

When shopping for sauerkraut, look for organic krauts that are made as locally as possible. Here are a few of my favorite brands:

Pickled Planet ~ my favorite of theirs is called I-Boost (Immune Booster).

Krazy Kraut ~ their Kim Chee is super fresh, and I love the one that has juniper berries!

Hidden Pond Farm ~ their KimChi is very spicy.

Farmhouse Culture ~ my current favorite of all sauerkrauts is this brand’s Smoked Jalapeño. It is a great one for those who like it hot!

If you already eat sauerkraut daily, please share your favorites in the comments below, down where it says “Leave a Reply.” And if you are new to sauerkraut, have fun on your new kraut adventures. Let me know how it goes!

Happy Up your body and brain with sauerkraut!

May All Beings Be Happy!

 

 

StarFire Teja’s Three Tips for Brain Health

Can you feel your brain shutting down when your blood sugar drops? Often your tired brain can be revived with a power snack, but not a sugary junk food item. Instead, you might try a healthy snack suggestion, like in the first tip here…

1. Eat healthy snacks ~ Here is a suggestion for a snack that you can easily prepare the night before. In a small bowl, mix a few pecans, a few walnuts, a few fresh strawberries, a spoonful of tahini, and a spoonful of strawberry jam (Organic and sugar-free jam). This tasty treat is great for mid-morning or mid-afternoon when your brain is feeling tired. Packed with Omega-3’s, protein, and antioxidants, it will give those tired brain cells a huge energy boost!

2. Inhale the scent of rosemary ~ Keep a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or a bottle of pure rosemary essential oil nearby, and when your brain is slowing down, breathe in the healing aromatherapy. Rosemary simultaneously energizes and calms the brain.

3. Practice self-love ~ Breathe love into every cell in your brain, and imagine that all of those cells are being energized. All of the cells in your body, including your brain cells, thrive on loving energies.

For more tips for brain health, see my previous blog article “StarFire Teja’s Ten Tips for a Healthy Brain.”

After trying out these tips, please come back here and share your experiences, down where it says “Leave a Reply.”

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Disclaimer for the above list of tips:

Please note that Teja Shankara is not a licensed physician. She is not qualified to prescribe medication, diagnose medical or psychological conditions, or treat mental disorders. Any suggestions here are alternative or complementary to standard medical care services. If you have any questions about any of these tips, please consult your primary care physician.

Coffee Is Good Medicine

Coffee doesn’t work for everyone, but it is good medicine for me. For many years I drank tea most days, due to all the hype against coffee. But then a couple of years ago, I started drinking coffee daily, and I was surprised to find that I actually feel better with coffee. Although I love the taste of strong green tea, and I intuitively feel that it is a very high vibration plant, it makes me feel jittery and nauseated, whereas coffee makes me feel inspired and happy. Recently I read an article about the many health benefits of coffee, including prevention of cancer, dementia, and strokes. (To read that article by Ocean Robbins, click on the title here: “Surprising Reasons Why Coffee May Be A Health Food”) Ocean does point out that some people get jittery from coffee, in which case it is not their medicine, but for those who can drink it, this antioxidant-packed bean brew can work wonders. I enjoy dark roast black coffee daily, and it seriously happys up my mind!

With both coffee and tea, it is super important to buy organic, and with coffee it’s especially crucial to buy fair trade, so that the workers are paid a fair living wage.

This January, to happy up your mind and elevate your consciousness, try this happy combo:
Sipping a cup of hot coffee (or tea) while reading my new book,
The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes
To purchase your happy copy today, please click on this happy link: Happy!

May All Beings Be Happy!