Tonight I’m making stock overnight so that in the morning I can cook up one of my favorite Yoga Soups in the crock pot while I go off to teach; Moroccan Lentil Stew. Here’s what goes in: red lentils, red onion, sweet potato, lemon, cilantro, and digestive spices like garlic, ginger, coriander, cinnamon and clove. This Soup is so nurturing and soothing it should be called Restorative Yoga Soup! I love soup because it loves me. It is easy to digest, easy to cook, easy to individualize; add a garnish, serve only the broth, mix with a whole grain; the possibilities are endless, just like Yoga. Perfect for this Fall season, and really easy to make. My youngster loves to slurp this one! I will attach a recipe very soon! Now it’s off to bed for a nice reclined Goddess pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) to unwind this cooks legs. While I put my dogs together, and let my knees gently open, the Yoga magic unfolds at the same time as the veggies in the stock cooking down in the kitchen release their delicious flavors. Check back for more on Moroccan Red Lentil Yoga Soup and Evening Goddess Pose!
Today I gave a presentation on Yoga mindfulness relaxation techniques for test taking and general stress reduction to a group of elementary teachers in my home town. I mentioned the research studies that link Yoga practices in the classroom with better focus and more positive attitude in children and called myself a “Yoga Geek”; funny – but true! It was humbling to know that these incredible teachers already implement many wonderful techniques to help the students focus, prepare for tests and feel relaxed in each school day. These teachers don’t necessarily want or need another curriculum idea! However, I was excited to share some very simple, easy to “slip in” Yoga mindfulness tools that can be used during exams, transitions, or even given to students to use anytime needed during a regular day. One of the teachers mentioned that she is already seeing her students regularly using the exercises at their desks ( I had previously taught some of the Yoga tools to Relax the test to her class). This was great to hear! A fabulous and easy technique I showed the teachers today is called the “Chi Ball”. Students gently clap and/or rub their hands together, then separate the hands a few inches, feel the sensation between their hands while breathing easily and fully, and firmly plant both feet on the ground. Kids can make a “ball” with their “energy” between the hands; to stretch, shape and compress the “Energy Ball”. This exercise quickly focuses and calms children and they love it! One of my favorite stories about the “Chi Ball” was from a high school age Yoga student of mine who loved the technique so much she started teaching it to her friends. “It helps them calm down and get centered”, she said. While I realize that teachers have less and less time for any extra curriculum in grade school (or any) classes, and that they are doing an amazing job at preparing the students for the benchmark tests, this kind of Yoga mindfulness tool is short and unobtrusive, and can help kids during the long exam process (or during a regular day). Hearing inspirational stories about Yoga in the classroom keeps me energized as a teacher of all ages. Getting to share some Yoga tools with the best of the best teachers at Zilker elementary in Austin, Texas was such an honor. I am reminded that gratitude is the finest form of mindfulness. Kids are our best teachers.
The best way to decrease inflammation is to detoxify the body. Yoga detoxifies by increasing the oxygenation, eliminating the carbon dioxide levels in the body and promoting lymphatic return.
Do you need to do a Yoga asana to get these benefits?
No, you can do deep, diaphramatic breaths ANYTIME. However, when you combine three-dimensional breathing with aligned body movements, the effects of both are multiplied.
Maraba DiRaddo, the heart of Maraba Yoga, has over 25 years experience joyfully teaching Yoga and Mindful Movement to children, adults and families.
Offering the following services:
Personalized Sessions at my studio or your home school or workplace incorporating Mindfulness Breathing Alignmemt and Well Being.
Curriculum-based Movement for Teacher Professional Development
Personalized Healthy Lifestyle Coaching
My approach to Yoga, Pilates and Bodywork is meant to help align your body and mind. We will work together to create healing in an individualized holistic process.
My passion is in learning more about each client, to help them along their own journey, guiding you towards your goal of being the best possible you!