Matcha Tea

Matcha teaI´ve been a tea addict for more than ten years now; from red, white, green and black to a never ending variety of mixtures and infusions. Six months ago, I discovered the “King of teas”, I was very sceptical about it since it had an awful aspect and it looked nothing like a normal tea; I introduce you to matcha tea.

Matcha refers to a premium green tea which is finely milled into powder, bringing you the complete benefits of the entire leaf instead of drinking only the brewed water. This Japanese beverage is made from shade-grown tea leaves also used to make gyokuro, and has been used for Japanese tea ceremonies since the XIII century.

Matcha tea

This tea has huge values over any other tea; when having a bowl of matcha tea, you´re ingesting 10 glasses of normal green tea, in terms of antioxidants and nutritional value. Still hesitating? Matcha is ideal to boost metabolism and burn calories, it´s rich in chlorophyll and fiber, an excellent detox source, perfect for diabetics and people with insulin problems as it is sugar-free, reduces cholesterol and blood sugar; also, it contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to relax the mind but be in an alert mood as well (Buddhist monks used it for meditation) and vitamins A, C, E, K and B complex.

matcha tea leaf shortbreadsMatcha can also be used for baking and cooking meals, such as ice-cream, noodles, cupcakes and wagashi, among others.

I drink it in the morning, before any meal. It helps me to soothe hunger a lot, so I end up by having half the breakfast I would normally eat; it also helps me to awake, enhance my mood and be more concentrated in my everyday activities. I wouldn’t recommend you to drink it in the evening since, in my experience, you´ll have a very long night (trust me).

I´ve observed that, since I started with matcha, I haven´t gained a pound (I even lost weight) but the best part is that I really feel very good all day long. It´s the perfect combination for my yoga activity.

Matcha teaI must say, this is not a cheap tea, it is actually very expensive for the portion you get, but it is a very worthy product to include in your everyday diet and also to start taking care of yourself in every aspect.

You can find matcha tea at Teavana in Mexico, in Tea Shops in Spain, or get it online in the US in this excellent page, which also has very good tips: www.matchasource.com (be sure to keep it well closed in your refrigerator).

I leave you with a video so you can learn how to prepare your matcha at home, it´s very easy and actually, it feels kind of a ritual. Cheers!!

A New Era 2012

calendario-maya

We´ve all heard several theories, ideas and events that directly relate to the year 2012. Some of them affirm the end of the world is near, others mention the Mayan culture, some say it´s an energetic movement and others simply take it as another year. So, what’s the real  issue about 2012?

As a yoga lover, I asked Jivan Vinod, (Yoga teacher, Osho Meditation Leader, Osho Therapist and my guru) to explain me, in his point of view, about this precise moment, in which many of us maintain ourself in uncertainty. I found his thoughts of wisdom as a statement I had to share, as here it is:

“There is no doubt that something is about to end, you can feel it in the air and see it day by day with all the chaos that´s continuously happening; everything is breaking apart, burning, collapsing and falling.meditation

If the world is breaking into pieces, it´s because it doesn’t work anymore the way it used to do, if it´s destroying itself, it´s because things need to change in order to give place to new ways, if it´s destroying itself, don’t try to put it together again or fix it, just let it finish falling apart to start soon with a new beginning.

2012It´s time to start over, to redefine our direction and what we really want, it´s time to understand that the old way of doing things is no longer working and that we have to create a new space that permits us to grow and, of course, to be whom we’ve always been, and whom we have come to be in this world.

It´s not about starting from zero, as life has made us wise and shown us many things, it´s about making the most of that wisdom in order to try again, create your goals and follow your highest thoughts and wishes. It´s time to create a new reality that´s giving you the opportunity to start over.

omThis changes will not come by itself, it´s not only about practicing a positive mind, this transformation requires materialization in each of your actions, thoughts and feelings. It´s very easy to repeat yourself you want to live in peace when you explode with anger with the finest action against your ego; it´s easy to hide behind depression and not face reality; it´s easy to live in a constant mental stress and not meditate; it´s very easy to want everything to change for good without trying to make an effort to notice this difference. Change comes from inside and it needs to be congruent with your thoughts and actions.us

Without a doubt, this is the time to jump, we have the privilege to live this precise moment, which is full of energy, to help us start this new era we´ve all been waiting for, a new season in which humanity transforms “me” into “us”. ”

“We are the ones we have been waiting for” affirmed the Hopi people. As so it is.

So, just as Jivan affirmed, “If the world is to end, let it find us dancing; loving each others, meditating and, of course, fulfilled, awakened, and full with inner peace”.

IsabelGalindoFotografía_Jivan007Info and images are courtesy of Jivan Vinod (www.jivan.com.mx)  twitter: @_jivan

Oh la lá yoga time

Yoga WallParis…just by thinking about it makes me sigh. There are so many wonders in The City of Light; beautiful buildings, amazing food and the glamour of parisiennes.

I´ve always thought that Paris is a city that has something to offer for every person and taste. In this case, the French capital offers a revolutionary way of keeping up with yoga lessons in the comfort of your own bedroom while visiting, ¿where? only at The Hidden Hotel.

Located at Rue de l’Arc de Triomphe and surrounded by a mystic ambience, The Hidden Hotel’s final purpose is for you to find pleasure in each of it´s secret delights away from the noisy avenues and the continuous rush of Parisian life.Hidden Hotel

As part of it´s green philosophy, the hotel has a secret “sanctuary” for every yogi: a yoga wall. Inside one of the “Exception” suits of the hotel, this Yoga Wall provides you with the possibility of doing your yoga session with a new concept by using adjustable bands, a harness and also a teacher to assist you in every asana.Yoga Wall

Now you know that when you´re in for yoga lessons abroad, you´ll always have Paris….

Defying Gravity

Yoga has been one of my favorite activities for almost 4 years now. It really helps me be in touch with my inner me, it soothes my mind and helps as a regular “fitness activity” as well.

I started as a Hatha Yoga fan, but lately, I´ve tried several kinds of yoga like: Jivamukti, Ashtanga, Iyengar and Vinyasa. All of them are very distinct since they focus on different aspects. It was on this never-ending adventure that I discovered my latest addiction: D-Gravity.

You might be wondering,  what kind of yoga is that?! I have to say, it´s one of my favorites. It´s a mixture between gymnastics, pilates, dance, acrobatics and yoga (kind of Cirque Du Soleil style). A hammock firmly hanged to the ceiling will let you define yourself and gravity with many posture possibilities.

The American dancer and gymnast, Christopher Harrison, created this yoga style with the intention to improve health, soothe stress, gain more flexibility and, of course, improve your body figure as it focuses on your abs, lower back, arms and butt.

I have to say this discipline really requires self-confidence, since there are moments you just have to let go yourself. For me, this has been a personal challenge in every class since every day I get to push myself a little harder and gain more confidence.

The exclusiveness for this yoga is held by DIR Fitness Club in Spain. I really urge you to practice it. You will be seized by an indescribable feeling of freedom.