Tranquil Tummy

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Soothe a troubled digestive system with these natural remedies.

 

According to Ayurveda, gas and constipation are signs of disturbed vata and low agni.  Vata, meaning ‘wind’, governs our body’s internal and external motion.  Agni, or ‘digestive fire’, transforms what we eat into the nutrients the body can assimilate and transform into energy.  Certain foods, cold or dry weather, or disruptions to your schedule can upset both, resulting in slow digestion and stagnation in the digestive tract.  For mild constipation or gas, follow these guidelines to calm your vata and stabilize your agni.

 

Eat right – Balance vata’s cool, rough dryness with moist, warm meals of freshly cooked whole foods.  Avoid cold, dry, fried and processed foods.  And eat moderate amounts at regular mealtimes even if you don’t feel hungry.

 

Butter up – Stoke your agni by adding a teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter) and some warming spices such as ginger, cumin, or cinnamon to your meals.

 

Go herbal – Traditional Ayuverdic herbal formulas such as hingwashtak, avipattikar and trikatu are effective agni boosters when taken in powder form added to warm water.

 

Make lemonade – Warm lemonade alleviates the tissue dryness associated with constipation and gas.  Upon waking, stir the juice of one-quarter lemon into a large mug of warm water, along with a teaspoon of raw, unprocessed honey.

 

Try Triphala – Triphala is a traditional combination of three dried fruits, in powder form, that acts as a mild laxative for some.  Mainly, though, it’s a tonic that detoxifies the colon and improves its ability to absorb the subtle life force, or prana, from digested food before waste is eliminated.

Smooth moves – Forward bends and twists compress the lower abdomen to release gas.  They also relieve tension that can disrupt peristalsis, says Jillian Pransky, director of retorative yoga teacher training for YogaWorks, who suggests the following poses:

 

Pavanamuktasana (Wind-relieving pose)

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Balasana (Child’s pose) supported

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Paschimottanasana (Seated forward pose)

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Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose), supported

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Janu Sirsasana (Head of the knee pose), supported

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Jathara Parivartanasa (Revolved abdomen pose)

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By Niika Quistgard from Yoga Journal October 2008

 

Note:

Hingwashtak – provides relief from Vata type digestive problems such as bloating and flatulence.  Contains:
Pippali (Piper longum), Ginger (Zingiber offinale), Marica (Piper nigrum), Ajamoda (Carum roxburghianum), Saindhava (Rock salt), Sveta jeeraka (Cuminum cyminum), Krsna jeeraka (Carum carvi), Hingu (Ferula foetida)
Avipattikar - relief digestive heat Contains: cane sugar, nishoth, cardamom, clove and ginger.

Trikatu – Trikatu is a renowned Ayurvedic digestive compound, which raises the metabolism to eliminate toxins and ensure efficient digestion of food.  Contains: Pippali (long pepper), Marica (black pepper), Sunthi (dry ginger)

Challenging pose: Urdhva Dahunurasana (Wheel Pose)

Benefits:
Stretches the chest and lungs, strengthen the arms, wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen and spine. Stimulate thyroid and pituitary. Increase energy and counteracts depression. Therapeutic for asthma, back pain, osteoporosis and infertility.aotyl6jca8o9jnycaz5uu1ccabswekycallvqz5caog3gbtcadnxodpcaewmsdrcandbm1mcanznf9qcantdqqvca6p11auca2eofaqcawzyp0bca6rwt87ca9i89jdcak3vz34can5aut5

Spice makes Nice

Fragrant cardamom lends its subtle sweetness to chai and

is natural digestive aid.

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Ever taste the earthy vanilla undertones in chai or Indian milk desserts and wonder what that special flavor is? Most likely it’s the spice cardamom.  In the traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, cardamom seeds are also used as lozenges to suck on after meals to help digestion.  From an Ayurvedic perspective, acid from tea and coffee, and spicy foods like curries, irritate the intestines, leading to an increase of gas-producing mucus that then makes congestive ingredients such as milk, cheese, and wheat much more difficult to digest.  

 

It turns out that the tiny cardamom seeds reduce mucus buildup caused by heavier foods – especially rich desserts – and contain natural carminatives, which reduce gas.  Cardamom is also alkaline, making it natural antidote to acid.  As a member of the ginger family, cardamom has been used to make heavy and acidic foods easier to digest for more than 5000 years.  Throughout the Middle East even coffee is brewed with ground cardamom seeds, reducing its acid and neutralizing the stimulating effects of caffeine (plus it tastes good!).  Cardamom is also one of the richest sources of the phytochemical cineole, a potent antiseptic for bad breath, gum disease, sore throats, and respiratory conditions.

 

Ground into a spice with a mortar and pestle, cardamom can be dusted on French toast, stirred into puddings and squash soups, or sprinkled over vanilla ice cream.  It’s sure to make ordinary foods naturally sweeter on the palate and easier on the tummy.

By John Douillard – Yoga Journal, October 2008.

Note: Cardamom = kapulaga in Bahasa Indonesia.

Tato yang kehilangan penggemar

cimg1900Ditulis oleh Febrianti

Bagian dari tulisan Sungai Silaoinan, Suatu Hari

Tempo, 29 Maret 2009

 

Lihatlah pemuda itu.  Di lengan kirinya ada tato burung elang, dan tepat dibawahnya tampak gambar sepotong tangan.  Dadanya dihiasi tato sarang laba-laba dan sketsa perempuan telanjang.  Tato si pemuda berbeda sekali denga sikerei (dukun dan ahli tumbuhan obat) yang duduk disebelahnya.

 

Tato sang sikerei lebih indah dan simetris.  Kedua lengan, mulai dari bahu hingga siku, dihiasi tato morif spiral dan motif gelang di lengan sebelah bawah.  Sedangkan bagian dada dengan motif garis-garis lengkung, ditambah dengan garis lengkung di pinggul dan garis-garis mendatar di paha dan betis.

 

‘Ini gambar tato zaman sekarang, kalau itu sudah kuno,’ kata Anto Satoinong, 20 tahun, membandingkan tatonya dengan tato yang melekat di tubuh sikerei Sadodolu Sabailati, 70 tahun disebelahnya.  Persamaannya, kedua tato itu dibuat dengan tekhik dan peralatan yang sama kunonya, menggunakan jarum yang dicelupkan ke air tebu dan jelaga.

 

Sadodulu Sabailati menyayangkan pendapat sang pemuda.  Menurut dia, titi (sebutan untuk tato) adalah budaya Mentawai dan bentuknya lebih bagus dan punya arti.  Namun ia mengaku hanya tinggal generasinya yang menggunakan titi.

 

‘Anak-anak saya juga tidak ada yang mau ditato, karena melihat banyak orang luar yang tidak memakai tato dan merasa tato kuno.  Selain itu, mereka tidak ditato karena rasanya sakit,’ kata Sadodolu.  Ia sendiri ditato saat masih remaja.  Ketika itu semua tubuh lelaki dan perempuan berhias tato sebagai ganti pakaian.

 

‘Membuat titi ini butuh waktu berhari-hari dan berdarah.  Apalagi kalau dibawa mandi rasanya sakit sekali.  Ada juga yang pingsan saat dibuat titi,’ kata Sadodolu.

 

Tradisi bertato memang mulai ditinggalkan di Siberut, seiring dengan pengaruh dunia luar.  Menurut Urlik Tatubeket, Ketua Dewan Pengurus Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Peduli Mentawai, tato tidak hanya dikenal di Siberut, tetapi di semua kepulauan Mentawai lainnya seperti di Sipora, Pagai Utara dan Pagai Selatan.  Tetapi disana tradisi tato sudah duluan hilang sejak 1950 – an.

 

‘Sejak tahun 1950-an, setelah pemerintah mewajibkan penduduk harus memeluk salah satu dari lima agama besar yang diakui pemerintah, orang Mentawai tak lagi menghias tubuhnya dengan tato, kecuali di beberapa kampong pedalaman di Siberut,’ kata Urlik.

Protestan, yang masuk ke Mentawai sejak 1901, menurut Urlik, merupakan agama yang paling keras melarang kepercayaan Arat Sabulungan yang dianut orang Mentawai.  Tato dianggap bagian dari kepercayaan itu, karena selama mengerjakannya disertai dengan punen patiti atau upacara penatoan.

 

‘Saya masih ingat waktu kecil ada orang Mentawai bertato yang diusir dari jemaat oleh pendeta,’ kata Urlik yang juga pendeta GKPM (Gereja Kristen Protestan Mentawai) Saurenuk, Pulau Sipora, dan tidak memiliki tato. ‘ Selain itu, orang Mentawai yang bersekolah keluar daerah juga tidak mau menato dirinya karena takut dianggap primitif.’

 

Terlepas dari itu, sebenarnya tato tradisional Mentawai adalah khazanah dunia.  Ady Rosa, peneliti tato Indonesia dari jurusan Seni Rupa Universitas Negeri Padang, menyimpulkan bahwa Tato Mentawai termasuk tato tertua di dunia karena seni tato mulai dikenal di Mentawai sejak orang Mentawai datang tahun 1500 sampai 500 sebelum Masehi.  Mereka adalah suku bangsa protomelayu yang datang dari Yunan, kemudian berbaur dengan budaya Dongson.

 

‘Tato di Siberut sudah jauh sebelum bangsa Mesir mulai membuat tato sekitar tahun 1300 sebelum Masehi.  Jadi bukan tato Mesir yang tertua di dunia, tapi tato Mentawai,’ kata Ady Rosa.  Menurut Ady, ada sekitar 160 motif tato yang ada di Siberut.  Masing-masing berbeda.  Setiap orang Mentawai, baik laki-laki maupun perempuan, bisa memakai belasan tato di sekujur tubuhnya.

 

Ada tiga fungsi tato bagi orang Mentawai.  Pertama sebagai tanda kenal wilayah dan kesukuan.  Ini tergambar lewat tato utama, semacam kartu tanda penduduk.  Lalu sebagai status sosial dan profesi.  Motif yang digambarkan tato ini menjelaskan apa profesi si pemakai, misalnya sikerei, pemburu binatang, atau orang awam.  Ketiga, sebagai hiasan tubuh atau keindahan.  Ini tergambar lewat mutu dan kekuatan ekspresi si pembuat tato melalui gambar-gambar yang indah.

 

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Mantra: So’Ham [I am That]

tibet

 

So’ham is perhaps the simplest of all mantras but these two syllables are immensely sacred and powerful.  They mean ‘I am That’ with ‘That’ referring to the Divine foundation of all reality.  So’ham is a simple breath mantra: Mentally repeat ‘so’ on the outbreath, and then ‘hum’ on the inbreath.  When you begin, with each outbreath you may be aware of receiving act of giving and letting go.  With each inbreath you may be aware of receiving of honoring the Self in the moment.  Eventually, all intentions dissolve into the simple pulsation of the mantra’s sonic qualities, bringing a stillness and peace within the rhythm that is like serene ocean waves.

 

Hamsah is a Tantric version of this mantra.  The word hamsah means ‘swan’, which represents the individual soul, and can be translated to mean ‘I am That,’ as well.  Repeat ‘hum’ on the inbreath and ‘sah’ on the outbreath, observing the innate energy of your breath as it rises and falls in the spine.

 

Either version of this mantra is perfect to use in meditation or in Savasana.  Synchronize the repetition of the mantra with Ujjayi Pranayama to realize powerful results over time.

 

By Christopher D.Wallis, who is a Sanskrit scholar at the University of California, Berkeley (yogasthana.org) – Yoga Journal May 2009.

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