I never liked my handwriting but then never put efforts to make it beautiful. Since around a year am teaching kids English in a local poor village and one of the kids who is 8 has such a beautiful handwriting that it inspired me to make mine too beautiful. Just my first day’s practice improved my handwriting on the white board to such an extent that I was really surprised. And so am continuing to improve it.
Here is the video which I found helpful:
Through his channel I came to know that he composes and plays music and does paintings with different mediums…what a store of talent!
Pulp left from making milk from any nuts. In the photo the nut pulp is of hazelnuts and apricot seeds – 1/2 cup
Parsely finely chopped – 1/4 cup
Finely minced garlic – 3 large cloves
Salt to taste
2 tsp of oil
1/2 cup wheat flour
Water as per need
Process: Mix all ingredients well with water and make a dough. The dough will not feel like it sticks together and that is ok because we are not going to roll it rather pat in the palms to make the patties. Let the dough sit for 15-30 minutes. Divide into equal parts and make patties using the palms. Cook them on a large flat pan all together with a lid on the patties. The lid is important to keep the patties soft and moist. Turn over and cook until done with lid on.
Ingredients for the topping:
3 medium size carrots
1/2 cup loose parsley
1/8 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 lime’s juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of salt
Process: Add all to a food processor and make a coarse mixture.
Serve: Scoop 2 tablespoons of topping onto each patty and serve. Makes 8 patties. We had it with warm nut milk of (apricot seeds, hazelnut, cacao powder, jaggery, rose-water)
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. My dad was a chain smoker!
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.
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!
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.
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.
So what exactly are mudras???
Each finger in our hand represents an element as shown below. Our yoga teacher told us some interesting details :-).
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 in general not just from yoga perspective:
4. I hit my spine with something really hard, like a rod, some weeks ago. It pained when it hit but then I was fine and I ignored it. After some days I started using a new chair, learning a new violin technique and I started getting numb fingers, dizziness and vomiting like feeling frequently. I had forgotten about the hit on the spine and thinking the chair and the violin are the culprits kept practicing light stretches and yoga. It was getting better, then coming back. So one day, when my back and neck were feeling stiff and I was feeling dizzy, I asked my husband to massage my back and when he touched the spine he noticed a big bump in my spine and I screamed in pain. It was then I understood that it was because of that hit I was feeling so all these weeks. Next morning we went out of town and I started feeling dizzy in the car. It was a 35 minute ride so I did UrdhvaMerudanda for upper spine. And to my astonishment the lump vanished, the pain vanished, and so did the dizziness and vomiting sensation. I was not really sure and I thought it would come back. But it has not yet and 4 days have passed since then.
Merudanda – 3 positions
Merudanda for entire spine
Adho Merudanda for lower spine
Urdva Merudanda for upper spine
3. 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.
2. 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! 🙂
1. 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.
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.
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.