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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Something All Eight Billion Humans Have in Common

Besides breathing, eating, drinking, and toileting, there is something very important that all eight billion humans have in common.

We were all born from a mother!

Yes, we all had a father also, but it was our mother who carried us inside her body for nine months, and it was our mother who labored to birth us into the earthly realm.

And, it’s not just the human animals who are born from mothers. Cows, pigs, and sheep birth their young ones also, and they have feelings just like human beings have feelings.

I bow to all the mamas: human, cow, pig, sheep, and so on…

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers!

 

 

Photo credit Laura Ockel on Unsplash

StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Feel the Compassion Vibration

 

May you feel deep love for yourself, no matter what is happening in your life right now.

May you be blessed with an open mind and an open heart.

May your weekend be blessed with quiet moments of understanding.

May you feel the Compassion Vibration in all of your 37.2 trillion cells.

 

Do you regularly stop to put yourself in someone else’s shoes? Do you ever judge other people? Do you consider yourself a compassionate person?

Did you know that the Compassion Vibration is a virtue that can be cultivated, through regular practice? One way to practice is through imagining yourself as another person who is suffering or wounded, and wondering about how they feel. Another way to practice is through loving yourself more fully, because when you truly care for yourself then you naturally care more for others.

When you are in the Highest Vibration of Compassion, you feel an all-encompassing love for all beings. You feel overwhelming love, not only for the beings of the human species, but also for all the creatures of the land, sea, and air. All feeling beings, including cows, bears, birds, and pigs, experience both happiness and suffering. When you feel the compassion vibration, you understand how everything and everyone is connected in one continuous web of loving, living energy.

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

 

 

image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

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!