Ashta Lakshmi is the form of Goddess Lakshmi who is named for “Dhanya” which means grains. This form of Lakshmi will ensure that we get all the wholesome nutrients and minerals we need for a healthy body, mind and spirit. Today we will focus on the part of Dhanya Lakshmi that gives nourishment to us as human beings rather than the giver of agricultural wealth. Food is our most basic and important form of wealth. We need it to sustain our life and health. We are wealthy when we have an abundance of nutrient dense food that keeps use nourished and healthy. Ashta Lakshmi can help us get all the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals from our foods.
We have an abundance of nutrient rich foods available to us in our Western culture. Some of my favourites are: pumpkin seeds which lower cholesterol, have omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are a good source of minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and iron. I love chia seeds and hemp seeds for the high protein and omega 3/6 balance as well. Goji Berries are another nutrient abundance food and are high in protein and vitamin C. Cinnamon is amazing because it curbs sugar cravings one of the most nutrient deficient foods on the plant. I love quinoa, it is considered a complete protein because it contains all eight of the essential amino acids we need for tissue development. Quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc, and lower in sodium compared with wheat, barley and corn and it is gluten-free grain. Tumeric and ginger are fabulous anti inflammatory flavouring agents. Speaking of Kale greens are probably my most favourite nutrient abundance foods.
In today’s yoga class,we will focus on the abundance of food to sustain our life and health from the perspective of the yama ahimsa (nonviolence or loving kindness) and aparigraha (non-greed or take only what you need) and the niyama saucha (cleanliness and purity) and Isvara pranidhana (surrender to the divine).
First, it is an act of loving kindness to feed yourself nutrient abundant food that will sustain your health. Your body is your temple and this is one way you surrender to the divine (isvara pranidhana) is to honour your body by feeding it the best possible foods. By practicing yoga we are creating space and clearing our bodies to be able to receive nutrient abundant food rather than nutrient deficient food. In today’s practice we will create an ideal environment in our bodies to receive nutrient abundant food.
Finally, we have an abundance of food available to us in Western society – so much that we waste food and throw out enough food to be able to feed starving people in the world. “There are nearly one billion malnourished people in the world, but the approximately 40 million tonnes of food wasted by US households, retailers and food services each year would be enough to satisfy the hunger of every one of them”
Through the practice of mindfulness we can become aware of the yama aparigraha (non-greed) we can practice taking only what we need to nourish ourselves and avoid wasting food as much as possible.
Props Needed: Meditation Cushion, Yoga Strap
Yoga Asanas/Yoga Postures: Kapala Bhati Pranayama, Skull Shining Breath, Ujayi Pranayama, Victorious Breath, Apanasana/Knee to Chest Pose, Supta Ardha Chandrasana/Reclined Half Moon, jathara parivartasana/Alligator Twist, Bhujangasana/Cobra, Anjaneyasana/Lunge, Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon, Bow Pose/Dhanurasana, Marichyasana/Marichi’s Pose, Mukula Mudra