The basis of Ayurvedic Fitness is that you are exercising mindfully. Prana should flow effortlessly into every cell of your body via the breath. It is the correct use of the breath during exercise that allows us to bring harmony between the mind and body. Try and keep your mouth closed and use nasal breathing to enable you to fully utilise the breath into the lower lobes of the lungs.
When you are exercising if you are forced to breathe through the mouth, you should slow down and recapture the original breath. Once it's re-established then you can try and push yourself again but keep slowing down if your breathing becomes laboured. Eventually your body will accommodate a higher level of fitness.
Understanding who you are can help determine why type of activity you are best suited to and how much. If you choose to exercise to improve cardiovascular health then you should ensure that you consume a good diet with many antioxidants to combat the effects of free radicals.
We all have a different body-mind type; Kapha, Pitta, Vata. Choosing the right exercises to suit your mind-body type will give you the greatest benefits and enjoyments. Many people pride themselves on their rigorous exercise routines but you should ensure that you are following a routine that is in line with your Dosha (mind-body type). Following the correct regime will ensure that you are less fatigued with better stamina and strength, you will feel more energised and blissful and will look forward to exercise. To summarise;
Vata Dosha types tend to have bursts of energy but tend to tire quickly. They can push themselves too hard and feel dizzy and exhausted. Vatas are averse to cold because they don't have much fat and muscle to protect them as they are often of slight frame.
Kapha Dosha types tend to have strong, steady energy and great physical strength. They can excel at endurance events and long distance running although may have some lack of motivation to exercise.
Pitta Dosha types tend to like challenging exercise and playing sports because of their competitive nature. They can handle cold better than Vatas being of larger frame. Pittas tend to have less endurance then Kaphas and prefer moderation. Swimming and skiing are ideal to cool the heat of the Pitta.
Yoga and Ayurveda are two interrelated healing disciples from India. Each has it's own function but overlaps on various levels. Yoga is ideal for all body types because they balance all the three Doshas. I teach Integral Yoga that has an integrative approach which encompasses pranayama. Pranayama can be called the 'internal medicine' of Yoga. Pranayama directly impacts the Doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) and can have a powerful impact on physical and psychological systems.
Bring Ayurveda concepts to my Yoga practice has brought about some suptle changes. I now always do some Yoga as soon as I wakeup and I drink herbal tea afterwards to aid digestion. I never miss pranayama out of my daily practice and often now do this as a stand alone practice aswell as combined with my Yoga practice. Gaining an understanding of my doshic make up and how it can overlap and change with seasons has allowed me to balance and adjust my practice. My one to one clients are benefiting too, I can now teach more self-love and body acceptance. The deep stillness of Savasana is helpful to calm and balance Vata. Backbends and twists are great for releasing heat in Pitta and Sun Salutations are great for balancing Kapha. I've also added more massage to my teachings to help students to feel more grounded.
Yoga and Ayurveda are beautiful branches of the tree of Vedic knowledge that encompasses all of human life and the entire universe. Allowing these mindful practices into your life will bring about balance and harmony to mind, body and spirit. But ultimately, whatever exercise you choose, you should always remember to exercise mindfully.
I've been studying the Philosophy of Ayurvedic Medicine which is one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems. It was developed more than 5000 years ago in India and is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on the delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit.
Ayurveda is inspired by nature and harmony and I'm certainly finding lots of inspiration from balancing myself with nature. I'm continuing to create new pieces of jewellery to add to my current collection, here are a necklace and earrings, my latest pieces inspired by nature.
It's been a pleasure passing on my knowledge to my Yoga and Meditation students as we together develop a stronger foundation of a relationship with our higher Self. We look at our primary relationships in life. Our relationship with material objects such as cars, clothes, phones etc. the relationship we have with our family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances and ultimately the relationship with have with our own Self.
We are all too often conditioned to believe that everything sought outside of ourselves is worth having. Spending too much time, energy and resources on trying to manifest love, safety, health and happiness from some socially acceptable external source, whether it be work achievements or relationships. The main focus should be the relationship with your own Self and living with a mindful existence.
Nature is one of the greatest healers. In Ayurveda, we strive to live as close to nature as we possibly can, through our daily routines, foods and exercise regimens and being aware of health imbalances and how to balance changes throughout the course of the year as the seasons change.
This new place I'm living in may not completely feel like home just yet or indeed may never feel like it but my ongoing study of Ayurveda and Yoga allows me to understand clearly that life is not necessarily about what happens to you, it's about how you respond to it. I will continue to balance and rebalance as I embrace everything that my wonderful new home and surroundings have to offer.
My Raja training is complete and my spiritual name now appears on my certificate, pretty cool hey. Shanti Sahar which means Peace Awakening.
Gaining a better understanding of the Science of Yoga and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali interpreted by Sri Swami Satchidananda has really taught me that it's ok to be spiritual without following a religious path. Even though Sri Swami Satchidananda is considered a Guru he believes as do I that we are all teachers and we are all students and spirituality can be for everyone of all faiths and of no faith. Yes I love to teach the Integral yoga system which he founded but I also like to teach yoga that has no system at all. I don't feel that I need to be devoted to a Guru but I do find the work of Sri Swami Satchidananda very liberating.
As well as sharing my Yoga practice, I've had a busy couple of weeks, again making more jewellery but this time the jewellery was for me, a momento of my Raja Yoga training, a fine silver ring. On the ring there are three hearts to represent my small family unit of my husband, son and I. Inscribed on the heart ring are the words 'Peace Awakening'.
I also made a Sterling Silver Yantra Pendant set on an elasticated string with Tiger Ebony Beads. Tiger ebony (diospyros blancoi) is a dense hardwood that is native to southern India and is said to be a protective wood that gives strength to the wearer.
The Yantra symbolizes the entire cosmos. A Yantra is a physical expression of a mantra. The hole in the middle of the Yantra represents the very core of the cosmos, the first physical expression, a vibration of sound. The 12 petals represent all spiritual paths; Hinduism, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, African Faiths, Native American Faiths, Other known faiths and unknown faiths and is a reminder that we can respect and learn from others.
I will continue sharing my Integral yoga practice and return my gratitude for all that the Sutras and Sri Swami Satchidananda has given me by making the Yantra necklaces available to buy on this website. 100% of profits will be donated to Service in Satchidananda (SIS). To find out more about SIS, please visit the Store Page on this site.
When this lovely place no longer becomes my home, I will be very sad to leave my teacher, the lovely Nalanie and my Yogi friends but in the words of a true Raja Yogi "I will continue to practice for a long time, without a break, with all my heart".
Growing up by the Peak District in the UK allowed me to connect with nature from a very early age. I would spend much of my time out on trails with either family or friends. I have happy memories of some amazing walks with University friends who were simply wowed by the scenery.
Now that I'm spending more time in Southern Spain, I've been able to get out and explore the area. Finding trails here is much more difficult than in the U.K. There seems to be lots of private land, hunters, no maps, no books and very few signs. After some searching I did manage to find a lovely lady Johanna of sur-walks.com and a useful website walksinandalucia.com both sources have given me the confidence to just get out there and walk and discover the natural beauty this place has to offer.
I've now discovered some beautiful walks with such varied terrains. It's such a great feeling when I'm out walking with family and friends and there are those beautiful shared moments of silence. Those moments when I know everyone is being mindful and it is in those moments that we can all feel connected to each other and to nature.
I'm now halfway through my Raja Yoga training and have done a lot of meditation. Having ethical disciple allows meditation to move from concentration to a more blissful state. Meditation in my day to day life is becoming easier. Now I can just accept the beautiful elevated feeling that I experience without any expectation of achievement. Day to day activities have been simplified and are much easier to appreciate, no matter how small.
15 years ago I was admitted to A&E under extreme duress with a fatal condition. I was fortunate to recover and have been looked after over the years by an amazing haematologist who was an integral part of an amazing team of people around me when my son arrived into this world, Maxwell will always be my miracle boy. Physically I recovered relatively quickly but mentally the event stayed with me. I practiced a death meditation today which is a tool that can be used to combat the fear of death. Over time, the fear of death diminishes because the inevitable isn't a shock anymore. You are left with a feeling of calmness and happiness, it no longer matters that the memories of a traumatic event are still there.
My Raja training has allowed me to understand what the mind is about and how we can bring quietness in the crazy times. It's so important to understand that if we are emotionally better, we are physically better.
Before I signed up for my Raja Yoga training, I decided to reconnect with one of my mentors from my Hatha Yoga training. We've kept in touch over the years, most recently when I sought advice from her about some charity work I've been involved in. I've learned so much in the last 12 months about the internal structure of charitable organisations and how best I can go about helping communities. She has been a guiding light during my charity work and during my Raja Yoga training. It was suggested I should consider taking a spiritual name on completion of my training for which I feel very humbled.
I feel very connected with the group, over the next few days we will continue to work from the body outside, we will use our breath and we will mediate.
My Raja Yoga training has begun. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali provides a non-sectarian source of spirituality. It's for people moving into a new consciousness. There is certainly no promise of health or happiness and while I find myself questioning the translations, I am, however, gaining a deeper understanding of my yoga practice and the path of concentration and meditation. I'm using my mental energy much more efficiently and enjoying every moment of my training.
I'm incredibly humbled that the centre where I practice and where I'm attending my Raja Yoga training course is an Integral Yoga Centre. The centre was inaugurated by Sri Swami Satchidananda, the author of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (the book I'm studying) and founder of Integral Yoga. I'm passionate about the teachings of Integral Yoga because it integrates body, mind and spirit by combining physical and natural energy practices aswell as philosophical approaches to life in order to develop the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of individuals. The system includes the practices of asana, pranayama and meditation as a way to develop physical and mental stillness in order to access inner peace and joy, which Swami Satchidananda believed was a person's true nature.
I practice this style of yoga with sport clients who are looking to improve their performance, with physio rehabilitation clients, as part of wellness programmes within the workplace and with clients who deal with daily physical and or emotional pain, all to very positive outcomes. I'm very lucky that Sri Swami Satchidananda passed on his knowledge to Nalanie Chellaram, an incredible lady who now runs the centre and has been leading the Raja Yoga training.
Nalanie is a modern spiritual teacher, a true Soul Doctor dedicated to selfless service. She was born in 1954 into the distinguished Indian family the Harilela's. She grew up in the presence of a close family friend, who unbeknown at the time, was to have a deep and lasting influence in her life. The frequent visitor and friend was Swami Satchidananda. Nalanie travels the world to spread a message of wisdom, compassion and love, based on the philosophy of Yoga. In March 2008, Nalanie received an Honour in Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second New Years Honour's List. She was recognised for her 'Services to Humanity' and in 2009 set up an association called 'Service in Satchidananda', a nonprofit international collective of charities established in honour of Sri Swami Satchidananda. Nalanie continues to devote her time working at the centre and all over the world to enrich the lives of others based on her great Guru's core teachings of selfless service.
When I arrived at my new home, I searched for somewhere that I could practice my style of yoga and find unity with other yogis. It took some time but once I found the Integral Yoga Centre I feel truly blessed that I have found a place that I can go to and find unity with likeminded people. I feel blessed to have found this incredible woman and am beginning to understand the aim of Raja Yoga is to make the mind clean and calm, only then can you experience the Peace and Joy that is your true nature.
I'm very grateful to the Kindred Project because my son (aged 7) has had the opportunity to become involved in a diverse curricular and extra-curricular programme of cultural experiences and community services. In particular a recent visit to Hogar Betania really resonated with my son when he had the opportunity to meet and play with children at the centre who had been orphaned. Hogar Betania is a non-profit association whose mission is to care for immigrants, victims of human trafficking, women who have suffered from domestic violence, homeless people, families living in extreme poverty and children at risk.
Also presentations by older students who have visited community partners in Ecuador, Morocco and Uganda has allowed him to gain an awareness of the world in which we live and promote respect between difficult cultures and ways of life.
My son and I decided to get involved with The Kindred Project to try and make a difference to others. I designed The Kindred Project Pendant Necklace which is based on the KP logo and is made from Fine and Sterling Silver. I did the castings and my son did the sanding and polishing and helped with the packaging.
We sold lots of lovely necklaces at the school Christmas Fayre. I'm very proud of my little one for helping make these Charity Pendant Necklaces and raising money for the Kindred Project.
I continue to use my jewellery making skills to support local Charities. A HUGE thank you to all who buy my jewellery and for your continued support.
I've now been making jewellery for over a year now. I'm overwhelmed at the support I've had getting my new venture up and running. I've exhibited my work at galleries and at numerous arts and craft events and I've been flat out getting lots of orders finished for Christmas. I'm now looking forward to some down time so I can get back to the drawing board and work on some new designs.
Passionate about embracing a healthy lifestyle, my jewellery is mostly influenced by my desire to create jewellery that can allow individual expression about the things I love...Yoga and Nature and my love of the outdoor lifestyle.
Before gaining my Silversmithing Jewellery qualification I earned a Radiography Degree, Sports Science Diploma and many Fitness, Yoga and Sports qualifications and still remain active in all these fields of work. Combining my experience and inspiration, my vision is to create easy to wear jewellery that has a contemporary and individual freestyle feel.
I'm based in Sotogrande, Spain and in Sheffield, UK, the city globally known in its heyday for its excellent reputation in manufacturing silverware. As a Sheffield girl, I feel proud to be able to play a very small part in making sure that silver craftsmanship is maintained and remains at the heart of my home city.
My jewellery is handmade using both sterling and fine silver. The sterling silver is hand fabricated out of sheet or wire silver using traditional silversmithing techniques. An element of engraving, stamping or casting is used in some of my designs and I often like to work with fine silver (a purer form of silver) for these items to gain a bright finish in order to minimise tarnish. Fine silver elements are shaped and cast, hand engraved or stamped, dried and finished using modern silversmithing techniques. Fine and Sterling Silver elements are then soldered together to produce beautiful handmade wearable jewellery.
Fusing together traditional and modern silversmithing techniques can take hours of work but is very satisfying. Here is one of my latest designs and if you'd like to take a look at more please visit the Store Page on this site.
There have been some big changes for me over the last few months, new home, new town and new school for my boy and ultimately new places to practice and teach yoga.
I'm grateful that my continued yoga practice allows me to let go of attachment to sadness at missing my family and friends. I can be with myself at ease, I can feel the freedom and possibilities starting to open up and have just signed up to do some Raja Yoga training which is the Science of Yoga - the understanding and complete mastery over the mind. Over the duration of the Raja training I will be studying the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there are 200 sutras in total. The Yoga Sutras are just words alone, so they have been translated by Swami Satchidananda to give some clarity.
Sri Swami Satchidananda is respected worldwide as one of the major pioneers of the interfaith movement and as one of the most respected Yoga Masters of our time. He is the author of many books, including Integral Yoga Hatha, To Know Your Self, The Living Gita, and The Golden Present. He is the subject of three biographies, Apostle of Peace, Portrait of a Modern Sage, and Boundless Giving.
Apparently the teaching of Raja Yoga are a golden key to unlock all health, happiness, peace and joy....well it certainly sounds good to me.
Our cells are made up of many atoms. I remember first learning at school about the atomic structure and found it fascinating. At university level I studied the atom in much more details and still find this knowledge useful in both my love of Medical Resonance Imaging (MRI) and my passion for leading a healthy lifestyle and sharing my Physical and Natural Therapies.
In MRI atoms assume a certain orientation in a magnetic field. The position of the atom can become dislodged when radio waves of certain frequencies are added to the body as in MRI. The incidence of hydrogen atoms is measured and differences in the water content of different tissues of the body provides a basis for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), clever stuff.
When atoms are healthy, cells can replicate and keep the body healthy. If atoms become unhealthy, cells can die or replicate in a damaged state causing premature aging and disease.
This necklace was inspired by my love of health, physics and MRI and my respect for Sir Peter Mansfield who became a lecturer at the University of Nottingham in the Department of Physics in 1964. His love of 'the atom' and physics lead to him developing MRI and in 2003 he was awarded a Nobel Prize in recognition of his work. Recently, I worked on a brand new MRI scanner, the new software applications were fantastic and is a testament to how Sir Peter Mansfield's work still has a huge impact on MRI and its applications today. The MRI images that I produce are a great reminder of the importance of keeping our atoms healthy by leading a healthy lifestyle.
The necklace shown here is inspired by the structure of the Atom, the pendant circle represents the outer 'orbiting' energy level of the Silver atom which gives this necklace it's own identity and personality.
What Our Clients Are Saying
"Shanti's approach to wellbeing is wholesome. She takes you on a journey to awaken the body's natural healing potential. You will leave feel centred and blissfull".