First Play Dough

IMG_5343This is the first time I made the play dough. Going to use it this weekend with the kids. Lets see how it goes.

Recipe:

1/4 cup plain white wheat flour

1/8 cup salt

1 Tbsp yucca/tapioca starch

1 tsp oil

Natural color

Mix all well together slowly with water. Add little by little water to get a dough, knead well, put into zipper bag and freeze until use.

I thought about natural colors and looked around and used things from the garden. So here is how I got these colors. I mixed the below ingredients to the basic recipe to get the colors.

Red/Orange – Achiote seeds from the garden, ground up.Unknown
Green – Hibiscus leaves blended with water and boiled to thicken up.

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Black – AshesUnknown-1
Yellow – turmeric

Turmeric-leaves

5. Blue/Purple – Fresh wild purple/blue flowers ground up with salt. I do not know this plant in my garden but it blooms a lot.

 

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Appachhi/Patties

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I love making such kind of patties for lunch along with a large salad and a chutney. I keep trying various flours and grains for such patties. This time the recipe is:

1. 1/4 cup Barley
2. 1/4 cup Quinoa
3. 1/4 cup White dry corn pieces
4. 2 small onions chopped fine
5. 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
6. Salt to taste
7. 1/2 cup water
8. 2 TBSP plantain flour

Soak first three items for 4 hours. Drain, wash, blend with water. Add the plantain flour. Mix well to make a batter, not too thin and to thick. Add rest of the ingredients and mix well. You should be able to pour the batter with a tablespoon on the pan. Turn when cooked on one side. Cook until cooked on the other side also.

Chutney: soaked and boiled tamarind with water, coriander leaves, dates, garlic – blend all together and serve with the patties.

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Garden Photo Blog – 2017

Garden-2017
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My Dream Project – Library and Learning Centre

Phase 1 :

My Dream Project – Building a library and skill centre in my village 🙂
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Teaching English – Body parts & colors with drawing

I printed some worksheets from https://en.islcollective.com on body parts. Kids had to match the words with the body parts, then color the body, then draw another boy’s body and label the body parts. In this snippet I taught them colors and they had to color the scarecrow. Whenever they picked a crayon they had to tell the name of the color and then paint.
The kids are 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13 years old.

Teaching body parts and colors with drawing
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How I use soapnuts

Soapnuts

1. To wash not so soiled clothes (5 soapnuts without seeds in a muslin bag in the laundry machine). I have seen that soapnuts do not really work on soiled clothes and kitchen wipe cloths.
2. To wash toilet, kitchen counters, stove tops and to sparkle the sink tap: For this use I powder the nuts in vitamix dry grinder, strain and pack in sprinkler bottles like that we use for salt on the dining table. Then whenever I want to clean I just sprinkle it, sprinkle some water, wipe it all over, leave it for 5 minutes and wash with water. To sparkle the steel taps no need to leave it for 5 minutes.
3. To wash hair: Soak overnight and use. 3. To wash hair: Soak overnight and use. Oil massage hair previous night and take a shower next morning.

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Some good videos here:

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Mudra Magic! My first experiences with Mudras

Sharing my experiences with mudras(will keep adding as I keep experimenting):

1. My first encounter with mudras was with my father. He started doing prana-mudra after reading that it is good for the eyes. My mom and dad both had glasses for reading. My mom’s number kept increasing but my dad’s number stayed the same and he said it is because of prana-mudra.

2.Decades ago while studying for my engineering I was told by someone to do Adi mudra to get rid of sleep. I just did one fist with my palms in the lap or on the table and continued studying for my exam and lo behold the sleepiness was gone. I was feeling heat in the head.

Adi Mudra
Adi Mudra

3. Last month I did a yoga teacher training course and we had our first class on Mudra Yoga. Next day was a Sunday and we went on a 12 hour city trip most part of which was done walking. I had bought new box heel sandals and I am used to only flat sandals. So after few hours I started having pain in the lower part of the spine. So I did the Merudanda mudra in downward direction while continuing walking. And again, in just 10 minutes my pain was gone!

Merudanda Mudra
Merudanda Mudra

4. Then after some weeks I developed dry cough and I used Surya+Jalashamak mudra and Linga mudra for 15 minutes each daily. But these I did along with ginger+tulsi+honey tea, warm water drinking. The cough lingered very long but I did get relief from the mudras, I could feel the heat in my chest with those mudras. Meanwhile a friend who was very skeptical about mudras also tried these mudras for her sinus and she said she was surprised to see them working!

5. Just today I woke up with a stiff neck. Whenever it used to happen before I could not move my head side ways for many hours and it pained. Today when it happened I started doing Merudanda mudra thinking I will have to sit at least for 15 minutes to make it work. But as soon as I did the mudra I felt a warmth in that spot and not even a minute passed that it healed! It is amazing.

Surya Mudra
Surya Mudra

 

Jal Shamaak Mudra
Jal Shamaak Mudra

 

Linga Mudra
Linga Mudra

Interestingly if you do this mudra right, with the thumb erect, 2 points start throbbing. And these are exactly the 2 points which are mentioned in acupressure to relieve asthma and breathing difficulties and for cough.

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6. Some days ago I had menstrual cramps and I would usually take bach flower rescue remedy and sleep over it. And all my day would have been dull and in slight pain. But today I did Apana-Vayu mudra. I sat with a 15 minute timer but just in 10 minutes the pain was gone!
Surprising thing is that I have menstrual cramps only outside India, in India never and the flow is also less in India and exactly 5 days long whereas outside India it is 7-10 days longer. Am hoping with regular practice of yoga, pranayama and mudras it will be normal.

 

Apana Vayu Mudra
Apana Vayu Mudra

7. Today I was heavily bloated looking 9 months pregnant and feeling heavy. So I tried vayu mudra and I felt lighter. Then I tried apana vayu mudra and I started burping uncontrollably for next 15 minutes. Phew! 🙂

 

8. Today I had continuous lower back pain, which I ignored yesterday thinking it will heal on its own. I had carried heavy tanks of saw dust uphill on my shoulders day before yesterday. So today I did resting crocodile pose with a heat pad on the lower back, along with merudanda for lower-back and it healed in 10 minutes.

 

So what exactly are mudras???

Each finger in our hand represents an element as shown below. Our yoga teacher told us some interesting details :-).

5 Elements 5 Fingers
5 Elements 5 Fingers

In India we are used to showing the pinky to ask/tell that we want to go to the bathroom to urinate because pinky stands for water and we show thumb to indicate that we are thirsty because thumb stands for fire/heat. Think of the thumb as the king and the other fingers as slaves. When the tip of thumb touches the tip of any other fingers the other finger element gets balanced.

So if thumb tip touches the index finger tip, the air element in us gets balanced and so the functions of the body and mind controlled by the air element come into balance.

If the thumb tip touches the bottom of the index finger, then the slave is higher than the king and the air element increases.

If the index finger tip touches the thumb bottom, then the slave is enslaved to the king and the air element decreases. And so on for other fingers.

There are more complex theories behind it which I need to study first and then will share. But for now they work for me and my friends, so try it out and share your experiences!

A good video on mudras:

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Another simple potato soup

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Ingredients

1 Large potato (the softer soup variety)
1 medium size onion
10 chives
1 TBSP coconut oil
Salt, black pepper to taste
3 cups of water

Procedure

Cut the potato and half of onion into big chunks and put to boil until soft, blend.
Make thin slices of the other half of onion and stir fry in coconut oil.
Finely chop chives.

Add all ingredients and serve! Serves two people for half a dinner or full dinner.

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