Matcha green tea has been a revelation. How or why hadn't I been introduced to it before is beyond me. Already I have a plethora of green tea in my kitchen, and well with all my research on health and nutrition matcha somehow escaped my field of recognition. How did this happen? At any rate I owe this all to the world of social media. Flipping through my Instagram feed I became inspired by one of the various healthy food gurus I follow. They were using it in their smoothies praising a long list of it's health benefits and also highlighting how it makes for an excellent replacement for coffee. The timing couldn't have been better because over the past month, finally with some resignation, I have come to the conclusion that coffee is simply not good for me.
I know, I know, the famous ashtangi saying, "no coffee, no prana," has been touted with pride around the community. But seriously, for me longterm coffee consumption meant a big time depletion of prana. Through other research I have also found this to be true from other resources in regards to yoga practice. Not only does coffee deplete our adrenal glands but it is dehydrating as well as depleting for the body of valuable minerals and taxing on the nervous system. Now, I'm not saying every once in a while having a cup of joe is a bad thing I just came to the conclusion that for myself drinking it daily was doing more harm than good overall. And let's face it, it's a drug! One that once you quit will leave you with withdrawal headaches lasting for a number of days. Now, I don't mean to badger coffee because sure it gives a nice kick in the morning. The smell. Well, that is what always got me. Oh that smell! There is nothing quite like it. But let's look at an alternative that garners even more benefits and brings a state of alert and calm centered wellbeing at the same time. No jitters.
My new found favorite beverage of choice. It adds to, instead of takes away. One important note in regards to what we choose to consume daily. Does it add to our overall long term health and well being? Or does it simply give the illusion that it's what is needed to get through the day. Remember, if there is one thing yoga practice teaches is what we do today will affect our tomorrow.
A Background ...
Match has been consumed for over a millennium in the Far East starting with Japanese Zen Buddhist monks and Chinese Daoist who recognized the benefit of matcha supporting a calm energy in the body while remaining alert for meditation practice. This comes from the compound L-Theanine which promotes the production of alpha waves which in turn induces relaxation without drowsiness. Also, L-Theanine activates concentration, memory and boosts one's energy and endurance. Samuri warriors would also drink matcha before their battles.
Matcha gives a high does. Topping the ORAC scale you can rest assure along with a healthy diet that making room for more antioxidants is a good thing while also containing a few components that play a key role in cancer prevention. It fortifies the immune system providing abundant quantities of Vitamin A and C, Iron, Protein, and Calcium.
Is that all?
NO! Not only does matcha give a high dose of antioxidants, improves concentration and endurance it boosts metabolism and detoxifies as well. High in chlorophyll drinking matcha plays a hand in removing heavy metals and chemicals from the body. Because the tea leaves are stone ground and you are essentially drinking the ground tea leaves themselves you receive a more effective bang for the buck when it comes to obtaining these essential nutrients versus steeping the tea leaves.
Give it a try!
One of these days I'll make a video on how to make it. That's a promise. However, in the meantime if you are curious, the below video with give some insight on how to prepare it. There are also other creative ways to consume matcha by making lattes as well as adding it to smoothies. I'm sure the possibilities are endless. However, the best way to drink it is straight up!
Friend, from the very beginning, you were not broken. You were not born into sin. You were not destined for the spiritual garbage heap. There was never anything fundamentally missing from your life.
You just thought that there was. Others tried to convince you that you were not good enough, because they too felt not good enough. In your innocence, and with no evidence to the contrary, you believed them. So you spent all those years trying to fix, purify and perfect yourself. You sought power, wealth, fame and even enlightenment to prove your worth as a ‘me’. You compared yourself to other versions of ‘me’, and always felt inferior or superior, and it all became so exhausting, trying to reach those unreachable goals, trying to live up to some image that you didn’t even fully believe in anyway, and you longed for the deep rest of yourself.
But you were always perfect, you see, from the very beginning. Perfect in your total imperfection. Your imperfections, your quirks, your flaws, your weirdnesses, your unique and irreplaceable flavours, were what made you so loveable, so human, so real, so relatable. Even in your imperfection, you were always a perfect expression of life, a beloved child of the universe, a complete work of art, unique in all the world and deserving of all the riches of life.
It was never about being a perfect ‘me’. It was always about being perfectly Here, perfectly yourself, in all your divine strangeness. “Forget your perfect offering”, Leonard Cohen sings. “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
RECENT NEWS - MAY 2014
Namaste lovely yogi's. In November 2013 I graduated from my final yoga training in Sedona, AZ. This last course was the 300-hour Yoga Therapy Course at 7 Centers Yoga Arts Academy (one of the top 10 yoga schools in the country), and it's completion made me a qualified 500 hour yoga teacher! The highest I can go in licensing hours!
I have enjoyed every single course I could at that beautiful Yoga Academy and I miss my teachers immensely... but it seems the universe wanted me to spread my wings and fly solo now for a while and without them next to me 24/7. I'll embrace it and attempt to live the yogic principles they provided to me over the years.
So, as you have probably figured out, I am no longer in Sedona, AZ but can now be found in Knoxville, TN and the yoga space I have created is beautiful!!! I'm finally settled as well and now offering 90 minute public classes in the Adair Park behind my house for only $15. The type of yoga class I'll lead is up to you as a class! Let me know what you want and I'll make it happen! Ashtanga? No problem! Vinyasa Flow? You got it! Yoga Nidra? Yes please! Yin? MmMm... What ever your body and soul needs, I'll provide it to you.
Check out the calendar for times and days! If you're interested in joining, contact me by shooting me an email, text or give me a call and reserve a space! I look forward to meeting you Knoxville yogis! Namaste! ♥
P.S. I truly miss you Sedona Yogis. You are always in my thoughts. I miss your smiles and your laughter and your faces in a hot yoga class, or 7 Centers class, or even at New Frontiers or on a hiking trail. I miss you I miss you I miss you. I'm sending you love every single day and I'm sending you gratitude for all you've taught me. The light within me sees and honors the light within you. ~ Ashley
You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and that is where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.”
(Courtney A. Walsh)
Love is the essence of our life. I have written this blog with love, and I offer it to you, dear reader, with the hope that the suggestions offered here will become a vital part of your self-healing and continued well-being. ~ Ashley
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by Amy Ippoliti
Enlightenment Is Your Nature: The Fundamental Difference Between Psychology, Therapy, and Meditation
❤ WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT ASHLEY CRUZ YOGA ❤
"From Aldea Yanapay (great school of love to children), to the incredible homely hostel la boheme, to the food at mercado san blas and at greenpoint... My 6 weeks in Cusco/Qosqo/centre/gravitational centre were all truly well balanced out by Ashley ● I have been doing yoga for five years in London, Lisbon and NYC and I was wonderfully surprised by the teacher Ashley in Cusco, Peru. From her words, to the sense of opportunity, helping, the pace, the getting everyone's names and brief "why am I here", taste for music and simply those oils... vinyasa gained a new look for me. ● You made me feel so balanced out, just when I needed that push. May your excellent work continue and your knowledge be taken further." ~ Yours, Ana Maria (portugal)
❤ Ashley Cruz YOGA IS SOCIAL ❤