Category Archives: ArtByHeart’s Blog

This is a collection of my blog posts dealing with Yoga, Travel, Art and Life with all it’s ups and downs.

Organifi Complete Protein and Multivitamin Shake

Organifi Complete Protein shakes boast about the amazing health benefits combined with weight loss. Can you really loose weight healthily by replacing your breakfast with Organifi Protein and Multivitamin shake?

Organifi Complete Protein and Multivitamin Shake contains 4 superfoods, 3 different vegan protein sources, vitamins from real whole foods and Medium-Chain Triglycerides fats.

Like all Organifi products, these shake are USDA Certified Organic, vegan and GMO, gluten, dairy and soy free, together with some digestion-soothing enzymes, making them a complete a perfect meal for any health conscious person.

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Organifi Complete Protein and Multivitamin Shake Review

So does it live up to the expectations? The organic ingredients that make up this complete meal all have unique benefits, which together make this shake the most nutritious in the market.

Vanilla Beans

Vanilla BeansVanilla beans are best known for their wonderful flavour in ice creams and bakeries, but they also offer a lot of health benefits.

They contain natural antioxidants  vanillic acid and vanillin, which also have anti-inflammatory abilities.  helping to control blood pressure.

The B vitamin complexes help the enzyme synthesis, nervous system functions and regulates body’s metabolism, aiding weight loss.

Monk Fruit

monk fruitOne of natures own best sweeteners monk fruit contains compounds 300-400 times sweeter than cane sugar, without the calories.

It also contain powerful cancer fighting antioxidants mogrosides, which body metabolizes differently from natural sugars, making it ideal for diabetics.

Coconut

coconut

Coconut is one of most nutritious plants on our planet. The health benefits of both coconut water and coconut oil and well researched topics.

Medium-Chain Triglycerides fats in coconuts help to reduce cravings and speed up metabolism. Most people also like coconuts sweet, gentle flavour.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

This wonderful spice is used in cooking all around the world. In the Western world it is known for its sweet aroma in bakery, in Asia its used to flavour curries and many other dishes.

It also have many health benefits and I have been writing a lot about these benefits in my blog. It is one of the key ingredients in an ancient ayurvedic honey cinnamon remedy and also my favourite infused water recipe.

Real Ceylon cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels and reduce heart disease risk factors. It is anti-inflammatory and loaded with anti-oxidants. There is also a lot of ongoing research into cinnamon’s effects in prevention of cancer and Alzheimer.

Due to its blood sugar stabilising effects, Ceylon cinnamon has the ability to reduce the feeling or hunger and help feel fuller longer.

Protein sources

As a complete meal replacement, quality proteins are added into the shake.

Hemp Seed Protein

hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are one of the rare plant sources available with complete protein chain! Its rich in fibre, which helps with digestion and they are also rich in essential fatty acids.

Additionally they contain large amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium, zinc and iron. It also has a very pleasant flavour, reminding closely that of almond butter.

Quinoa Protein

quinoa

Quinoa is a plant, rich in protein and fibre, cultivated for thousands of years in South America, for its nutritional value. Quinoa is also high in vitamin B2, lysine, magnesium, iron and manganese.

It tastes a lot like oats, so most people find its flavour pleasant. Quinoa is contains the plant compounds quercetin and kaempferol and is gluten free, making it very important in the today’s word full of gluten intolerance. It also contains flavanoids, important anti-inflammatory compounds.

Pea Protein

peas

Because of large amount of amino acids and lysine present in them, peas are beneficial for sports people and body builders. Amino acids and lysine are essential for repairing cells and hence decreasing muscle breakdown after workouts.

Peas are also good for regulating blood sugar levels, hence aiding weight loss. They are also known for their wonderful effects on softening and smoothing the skin.

Other Important Ingredients

For a complete meal you also need plenty of vitamins. These are made from organic, natural sources from real superfoods and vegetables sources.

Medium-Chain Triglycerides fats (MTCs) are found in tropical foods, such as coconut oil. They are easily accessible energy source for the body, instantly usable by your muscles an brain. They also have the amazing ability to make you feel fuller longer.

MCTS,  proteins and vitamins need to be properly digested and absorbed for the full benefits. Plant based digestive enzymes help you to break down and absorb these nutrients, at the same time preventing indigestion and bloating.

For plant based diets, more enzymes are needed for digestion. They help you to break down proteins, fats and the carbs, increasing the absorption of nutrients to the body.

Don’t take my word for it! TRY Organifi Complete Protein for 30 days with full money back guarantee, even if you just don’t like the taste! Find out more about the best weight loss protein powder there is by watching the video here.

 

My Loving Advice

I eat a plant based diet myself and found my muscle development to be hindered by the lack of proteins in my diet. I tried many protein shakes before this one, but could not find one that didn’t either make me sick or taste absolutely awful.

I used to buy different protein products, use them for a while and then abandon them as I couldn’t face to even smell them anymore, not to even talk abut downing them.

This protein shake changed it all. I don’t eat breakfast, because I practise intermittent dieting, but I love mixing a dose of the Orgnifi Complete Protein Shake with Organifi Green Juice for my on the go lunch on the days I am too busy to eat a healthy natural lunch.

I hope you enjoyed reading my review of this amazing product and gotten an answer to the question of what is the best weight loss protein shake available! You can read more amazing stories here:

Organifi Complete Protein Success Stories

Also take a look at the Organifi Green Juice! I have written a review about its health benefits that I have personally experienced.

Organifi Green Juice Review

I would love to hear from your experiences with this  protein and multivitamin shake. It is one of the few vegan complete protein sources out there and certainly the one that tastes best, guaranteed.

 

Love and Health,

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Pollen Allergy Remedies That Really Work Fast

Are you looking for pollen allergy remedies that really work and fast? Are you suffering from pollen allergies and are the symptoms making your life a misery every  spring? This article will introduce you to ayurvedic home remedies that work providing fast relief for allergy sufferers.

Are you suffering from headaches, runny nose, swollen eyes and itchy throat? The chances are that you have pollen allergies and they make your life a misery as soon as the trees and flowers start to bloom.

Antihistamines are the most common over the counter medication and they work by calming your body’s immune system reactions against allergens, such as tree pollen. They however tend to make you drowsy, give you rash and even cause weight gain.

Ayurvedic medicine has several allergy remedies that work fast, are safe even for small children and pregnant ladies and have no side effects.

Pollen Allergy Remedies

Our immune system can effectively fight toxins, bacteria and viruses which are a threat to our health. That is if it’s working optimally, when out of balance, it can react too strongly to some environmental substances, such as tree pollen, animal dust or mold.

This reaction wil cause our body to act wanting to get rid of what it recognises as a threat to our health, causing an allergic reaction due to the excessive release of histamine chemical. Histamine in it’s turn can cause sneezing,  nasal congestion, coughing, watery eyes, eczema flare and lead to more serious things such as asthma attacks.

Nettle

nettlesNettle is often considered as a weed, but it really is a wonderful herb, which many amazing prooven anti-inflammatory properties. It also strengthens our immune system in general.

A tea or tincture made from it’s leafs reliefs the allergy symptoms of watery and itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose. You can also make a soup out of it or use in many dishes instead of spinach. However nettles are best not eaten raw due to their sting!

For any type of remedy, you can use the nettle leaves either fresh or air dry them. Only collect young leaves at spring before the plants flower.

HOT TIP! If your eyes are itching and watering badly, you can wash them out with small amounts of fresh milk, which will ease the redness and itchiness almost immediately.

Peppermint

peppermint essential oilPeppermint has many wonderful abilities and can be used as a tea, essential oil or a tincture. It contains flavonoids that inhibit the activity of anti-inflammatory enzymes, such as histamines and therefore reduce the allergy symptoms.

You can use it as a tea, drink as tincture or diffuse in an aromatherapy diffuser. It is especially effective for astma and nose and airways congestions when used with a water vapour diffuser.
For more information you can read my article about different types of diffusers and find one that suites your needs best.
HOT TIP! You can combine both fresh or dried nettle and peppermint leaves together in a tea, which you should drink three times a day with a spoonful of organic raw honey.

Bee Pollen

Honey Bees

Just like raw organic honey, bee pollen is made my our little busy friends! But I am allergic to pollen you might say, it will make my symptoms worse. Actually in small doses over longer time, it teaches your immune system to get used to and handle the pollen.

Pollen is therefore more a long term remedy or a preventative measure, as you build resistance slowly during the winter and the spring before the pollen season starts. Buy an organic variety and add in small doses looking for any signs of allergic reaction.

Just like honey, this remedy is not recommended for infants. Also do not try this remedy if you have bee allergy or experience severe astma attacks as a result to pollen exposure.

Please also exercise caution with honey and bee pollen if you are nursing, as they can cause reactions in infants. Look for any signs of allergy symptoms and particularly rashes.

HOT TIP! You can mix the pollen into warm milk with a spoon full of honey and drink it in the evening before going to bed. It will double as a powerful sleeping remedy. In the morning you can mix some into your serial or yogurt.

Onion Juice

red onions

Onions are full of powerful antioxidant quercetin, which helps to calm many allergic reactions and also reliefs chronic inflammatory problems such as asthma.

Quercetin also neutralises free radicals, which cause cell damage and therefore it strengthens histamine releasing cells in our body. It is absorbed into the blood stream and provide long term protection for allergies.

Red onions work best for this recipe, as they contain higher quantities of this antioxidant. They are also generally milder and have less strong taste than yellow onions.

You can consume onions in foods, but the best benefits are achieve, when they are eaten raw, although many people prefer not to do this due to their sharp taste.

HOT TIP! Best ways to consume raw onion are as pressed juice or water infused with raw cut onions over night in the fridge.

Apples

Apple flower

Apples are one of natures gifts to the mankind! There is much truth to the old saying:

Apple a day, keeps a doctor at bay!

They contain pectin and vitamin C, which is very good for the immune system, making them one of the best pollen allergy remedies. You can eat them any way you want, raw, juiced or even baked into a delicious pie.

But did you know can also make a delicious tea out of their flowers! You can use either fresh or air dried flowers. You can also try out my delicious apple cinnamon infused water.

HOT TIP! Add a slice of lemon in your apple tea for extra dose of vitamin C or try my lime and ginger infused water.

My Loving Advice

From ayurvedic point of view the sudden high amount of allergens imbalance the doshas. This causes the weakening of the digestive fire agni. We need  to bring the doshas back into balance, which in turn strengthen the agni.

The above remedies are tested over the years in my family, as both of my children were born with bad pollen allergies. Over the years I tested one home remedy after an other, until we got to the point where my children barely notice the allergy season anymore.

I hope you have enjoyed my article pollen allergy remedies and they will help you to get a fast relief for your symptoms. If you have any questions about remedies, have allergies or have your own suggestions, leave me a comment below.

 Love and Health,

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How To Get Strong Core With Yoga?

Are you looking for ways to get strong core? Did you know that instead of doing sit-ups, practising yoga is one of the best ways to get strong core muscles? The best yoga poses to build the core also have some other health benefits for the body and the mind.

Yoga offers many health benefits, one of them being its fantastic ability for building strong core muscles. There are many different asanas that will help you build a strong core, both on novice and advanced level, but the ones that I have selected for this article, have additional benefits, which make them great for your body and mind.

What Are Core Musles?

core muscles

 

Our core does not only contain abs, but is rather a collection of muscles, including everything except your back and legs. The following are considered major core muscles:

  • Pelvic floor muscles
  • Transversus abdominal muscles
  • Multifidus
  • Both internal and external obliques
  • Longissimus thoracis
  • Diaphragm

These are the minor core muscles:

  • Lassimus dorsi
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Trapezius

How To Get Strong Core Practising Yoga

Strong core doesn’t only form a base for all the yoga poses, but it also makes a big difference in your whole life, offering great health benefits, as everything from walking, sitting, lifting and other sports activities become much easier.

Yoga offers ways to strengthen the core muscles, especially the deep core, which is difficult to strengthen with traditional sit-ups and back lifts among other typical gym exercises.

The three poses I present in this post are specifically chosen due to the exceptional benefits they offer both for your body and your mind.

Before starting the with the specific poses to build your core muscles, I suggest that you perform some surya namaskar, sun salututions, to warm up your muscles and practise your breathing. Besides surya namaskar also offers great benefit for your core.

Please note that these poses are for more advanced yoga practiser and if you are new to yoga, you should learn the correct alignment and breathing techniques by following one of the suggestions in my beginners guide.

Naukasana – Boat Pose

Naukasana is a Sanskrit word, that is comprised of two separate words: Nauka – Boat and Asana – Yoga pose.

This great pose doesn’t only strengthen and tone your abdominal muscles, but it also strengthens the hamstrings, spine and hip flexors! Besides it improves your balance.

Additionally it also improves your digestion, stimulates your intestines, kidneys and thyroids. For men it offers a unique sexual health benefit by benefiting the prostate glands.

Naukasana also offer mental benefits by offering stress relief and improves confidence.

Boat pose

How to Perform Naukasana

  1. Lie on your back, arms beside your body and feet together
  2. Breath in deeply
  3. Exhale and pull in your core, at the same time lift your chest and feet of the ground simultaneously.
  4. Stretch your hands and feet forward forming a V shape.
  5. Check your toes and fingers are in line.
  6. Breath deeply while you hold this pose unto 2mins
  7. Exhale and slowly return back to your mat

Variations

This pose has several variations, the side version of this pose is very good way of training your obliques.

Boat Pose Side

This pose becomes more effective, the longer you can hold it. Make sure you don’t hold your breath and if you move from one side to the other, make a stop in the centre on your way, only moving with the breath.

Pay attention to your form, keep your back straight and your shoulders pushed back. You can perform an easier version of this pose by keeping your legs bent from the knees, either on the ground or holding them in the air.

Sirsasana – Headstand

Sirsasana is a Sanskrit word, that is comprised of two separate words: Sirsa – Head and Asana – Yoga pose.

Headstand is a major core workout, you are using your core strength to control the movement of getting in and out of this pose, holding up your legs and keeping your balance. In fact it’s impossible to do this pose unless you poses enough core strength.

Besides strengthening your core, it also helps you to strengthen arms and shoulders. Additionally this pose also optimises the flow of nutrients to the neck and head, including eyes and scalp, hence helping to flush the adrenal glands, delivering extra oxygen and nutrients.

Sirsasana also improves digestion, relieves stress and increases focus!
headstand

How to Perform Sirsasana

There are many ways to perform headstand, advanced yogis and yoginis do not really think about getting into this pose and don’t necessarily perform all the step. However the way below is the easiest way to perform this pose in a controller matter.

  1. Sit in kneeling pose
  2. Bend forward and place the hands on the floor with fingers crossed, making a triangle with your arms.
  3. Place the top of the head between the fingers, hold it firmly.
  4. Move forward lifting your buttocks and thighs.
  5. Move the knees slightly inwards to your abdomen. Push on your hands and list the trunk and legs of of the ground.
  6. Lift the whole trunk further up untill it is perpendicular to the ground.  Now your weight is supported by the hands and your head.
  7. Lift and slowly move the legs from the front to the back. The legs will be hanging freely at the back. (the variation of this pose)
  8. Lift your legs up and aligning them with the rest of the body, making them perfectly vertical and putting your entire body weight on your arms and head.
  9. Stay in this position as long as possible breathing normally. Please note that you need some strength to get down as well.
  10. To return back to the ground bend the knees and lower the thighs bringing the thighs, bringing them close to the body.
  11. Drop the legs so that the toes touch the ground.
  12. Release the hand position and enter the child pose.
  13. Rest in child pose for 2 minutes.

Variations

There are several variations for the headstand, most famous being a supported headstand, either against a helper or a wall. This is beneficial for the beginners, who have not yet developed the strength to get into the this pose in controller fashion and holding it.

Some less known variations include the Salambasirsasana, a great way for a beginner to start a non supported headstand. It is also common to do movements with the legs, playing on the balance, while maintaining strong core and control of the movement.

head stand backbend

This variation is also a gateway to scorpion, much more advanced pose, including lifting the head forward and placing the hands in a different support position.

Phalakasana – Plank Pose

Phalakasana is a Sanskrit word, that is comprised of two separate words: Phalaka – Board and Asana – Yoga pose.

One of the best known core exercises, for good reason. It tones all the core muscles in your body, working the ones around spine very effectively. Additionally phalakasana gives a great workout for the chest, arms, wrists and shoulders, strengthening them for arm balances and more advanced poses.

This pose is absolutely amazing for your stamina and endurance. It does wonders to your nervous system, hence thereby bringing more balance into our lives.
Plank Pose

How to Perform Phalakasana

  1. Begin this pose on all fours.
  2. Tighten your core and spread your fingers, pushing your weight to your arms
  3. Step back with your feed and bring your body and head in a straight line.
  4. Don’t let hips sink by squeezing your buttocks.
  5. Breath normally and stay in this pose as long as you can

This pose can be performed in several ways, often all three are performed for the optimal benefit. The basic plank pose is part of Surya Namaskar and therefore performed as part of Ashtanga series and most vinyasa flows, as well as in Hatha yoga warm up routine.

It is also mentioned as one of the basic asanas in the famous yoga sutras by Patanjali.

Plank pose variationPlank variation

This pose looks easy, but it’s not, remember to not to hold your breath! You can start by performing this pose only for few minutes and advancing to 5 minutes at the time by trying to hold the pose few seconds longer every day.

It is better to stick your buttocks a little bit in the air, like seen in the picture with the lowest pose variation, than let them sink towards the ground. Maintain strong core at all times by pulling your belly bottom towards your spine.

The longer you hold this pose, more effective it becomes. The different ways of performing this pose make it more or less intensive on hands, arms and shoulders, but all of them work the core muscles very effectively.

Variations

This pose has massive amount of variations, one of the most common one being the side plank. This again has several variations, some of which can seen below, each with their own benefits and all beneficial for the core.

Side Plankside plankSide Plank

My Loving advice

Working on the core should be part of any well balanced exercise. Two of poses are not dynamic and therefore not part of vinyasa flows. They however for an important part of basic Hatha yoga practise.

It’s always good to rest in a child pose after performing intensive core exercises! It allow you to recuperate and recover your breathing.

child pose

There are many other poses, which work the core effectively and it’s always a good idea to vary your weekly practise. You should perform core exercises 3-5 times a week for the optimal benefits.

If you have enjoyed my article about how to get strong core, or have any question of these core exercise, their benefits or want to know more effective ways of working your core, leave me a comment below.

 

ॐ Love and Strength,

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What Is Yoga Sutras All About? Learn With Us!

You will know yoga for sure, but do you know what yoga sutras is all about? Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are 196 sutras or aphorisms, compiled from other much older sources before 400 CE by Indian called Sage Patanjali.

Yoga and pranayamas have been practised and promoted for thousands of years across the globe, entusing people across languages, nationalities, races and religions.

Yoga sutras makes it clear that yoga is a philosophy, not a religion or exercise and it’s primary aim is to remain healthy by attaining a balance between body, mind and soul.

Now, the teachings of yoga.

Yoga Sutra 1.1

What is Yoga Sutras All About

“May practise of yoga lead to reduction in suffering and increase in happiness by better focus in spiritual practise”

Translation from Sanskrit pre yoga sutras source

पतञ्जलियोगसूत्रम्

patañjali yoga sūtram

Yoga Sutras is the collection of ancient yoga texts, assembled by Indian Sage Patanjali 1700 years ago. They describe the eight limbs of yoga, offering guidelines to purposeful and meaningful life.

Who Was Sage Patanjali

Sage Patanjali is considered as one of the true Indian renaissance man. Besides the yoga sutras he is famous for, he also wrote extensive literature both in Ayurveda, defining the concept of doshas, and about the Sanskrit language and its grammar.

Surprisingly little is known about Patanjali and it is thought his teachings are perhaps an outcome of a group effort, spanning over several generations the work passing on from one teacher to the other.

There is also a myth of his birth. He was sent by God Vishnu to teach yoga on Earth in a human form as an reincarnation of thousand headed serpent Remainder to a powerful virgin yogini called Gonika, who took him in and nurtured him as her own son.

Yoga Sutras Explained

Nowadays anyone can read yoga sutra, it has been translated to many different languages from the original Sanskrit and you can even listen to them in audio files!

However in the ancient times, it took years of yoga practise and commitment by the novice to be allowed to read the spiritual teachings of the yoga sutra and start the chanting of its verses.

Yoga sutras purpose is to teach a philosophy to live ethical, meaningful and purposeful life, by defining the spiritual disciplines, divine powers and the realisations that can be achieved by yoga practise.

They are divided into four parts:

  1. Samadhi Pada – Concentration
  2. Sadhana Pada – Practice
  3. Vibhuti Pada – Progressing
  4. Kaivalya Pada – Liberation

Samadhi Pada

The first yoga sutra starts by answers the basic question: What is Yoga by explaining yoga is mastery and integration of the activities of the mind.

yoga sutra 1-14

 

It goes on explaining the importance of practice, concentration, effort and commitment. It talks about different ways of concentration, importance of aum as a shortcut to peace of mind and stabilising and clearing the mind.

Sadhana Pada

The second yoga sutra starts by talking about different colouring of thoughts and dealing with them. It then moves on to talk about karma and how to break alliance to it.

Next the text describes the eight limbs of yoga that the practiser has to follow on the path to enlightenment:

  1. Yama – restrain and self control
  2. Niyama – Activities and habits
  3. Asana – Yoga postures
  4. Pranayama – Yoga breathing exercises
  5. Pratyahara – Food and diet
  6. Dharana – Concentration and focus
  7. Dhyana – Meditation, contenplation and reflection
  8. Samadhi – State of meditative consciousness

Namas and Niyamas are defined next. They are the ethical rules of both yoga and Hinduism, containing commandments, morals, rules and goals. Their benefits are explained in more details.

Asanas, the yoga poses are described in disciplining the body, before moving on to pranayamas, the breathing exercises, and their benefits. The importance of vegetarian food and diet is emphasised for the connection of the body and mind.

Lotus

 

Vibhuti Pada

The third yoga sutra is used to explain the concepts of meditation and meditative state. It explored deeper concepts such as samyama, the practice and simultaneous experiencing of Dharan and Dhyana, complete focus and meditation.

It goes on to explore the different stages such as internal stage, leaving the body and moving into an other body. It talks about the knowledge and experiences of the renunciation and finally liberation by these practises.

Meditation

 

Kaivalya Pada

Third yoga sutra concentrates on the practise and experience obtained with it, leading to the mastery of the body and the mind.

The connection of actions and karma are explained before moving on to the memory and subconsciousness. The concept of 3 gunas, personality types in explained, together with different stages of mind.

The fourth yoga suttra ends in enlightenment and how following the eight legs of yoga can lead to it. It talks about the chances that the person who has reached the enlightenment experiences in their knowledge, meditation, gunas and physical well being.

meditate

 

My Loving Advice

Yoga sutras can only be understoods by regular practice of yoga. I first came across them when I started to study Sanskrit more than 20 years ago and only finally understood their full meaning when I studied them with the lead of my yoga guru.

Yoga sutras define the eight paths of yoga and these are basis for the every modern yoga teacher education. The yoga sutras  outline a philosophy for the every yogi and yogini to live by. It makes it clear that meditation and pranayamas are an important part of yoga practise.

If you are a beginner and want to know how to start yoga practice, take a look at my article: Starting Yoga Practice. Meditation is also an essential part of yoga and my article: Benefits of Meditation talks about how it can positively influence your life.

I hope you have enjoyed my introduction to yoga sutras and learned what yoga sutras is all about! If you have any questions of comments, please leave a message below.

 

 Love and Clarity of the Mind,

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