Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cheesecake Recipe

Even the staunchest vegetarian can have a sweet tooth, but this can be satisfied in a natural, healthy way, rather than with empty calories.  Desserts can be as simple or as eleborate as your schedule permits.


This rich and easily prepared dish is ideal for special occasions.

  • 110g (4oz) crushed disgestive biscuits
  • 75g (3oz) coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 400g (14oz) cream cheese
  • 275ml (1/2 pint) yoghurt
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • fresh fruit for garnish

Mix together the crushed digestive biscults, chopped// walnuts, and butter, and press into a 23cm- (9 inch-) springform tin.  Chill in the refrigerator until the mixture sets or, for a crisper texture, bake in the oven at 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4 for about 10 minutes, until it turns golden brown.  Set aside.

Beat the cream cheese and the yoghurt together until smooth.  If possible, use an electric mixer so that the mixture becomes light and airy.  Add the honey and vanilla essence.  Pour over the biscult crust and chill until firm.  Just before serving the cheesecake, decorate the top with attractively sliced fresh fruit.
Serves 6-8.

Variations: To make a Chocolate Cheesecake, add 25g (1oz) of cocoa powder to the cream cheese filling and, before serving, decorate the top with dark chocolate curls or grated chocolate.  Be careful not to overdo it, or the result will be too rich.

For Orange or Lemon Cheesecake, add 2 tablespoons of orange or lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons of finely grated orange or lemon zest to the cream cheese mixture, and decorate the top with small pieces of fresh citrus fruit.

Source from Yoga Mind & Body - Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Path Without End

When beginning meditation, one common mistake is to have a definite goal in mind, and to pursue it doggedly.  We might decide to meditate to combat stress, to experience blissful states, or even to become enlightened, but these aims only set up "gateless gates" that impede progress.  By suggesting that we know where meditation will lead, we create fixed concepts about it, which obscure the actual experience.  The best approach is one of a relaxed "not knowing" and total open-mindedness.  So we can believe in the benefits of meditation, but should avoid having fixed ideas about how these will arise and what they will feel like.  In this sense, meditation is a path without end.  We have expectations that attract us to it in the first place, but once practice begins these must be put aside, and meditation entered into as an experience complete in itself.

Commentators have sometimes referred to meditation as a journey into vastness, or, as Zen Master Dogen described it, "just sitting".  This means a total absorption in the practice of meditation itself, without intention or expectation, and without impatience or disappointment.

Source from Learn to Meditate by David Fontana

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yoga Posture: The Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Ardha means half.  In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Matsyendra is mentioned as one of the founders of Hatha Vidya.  It is related that once Lord Siva went to a lonely island and explained to his consort Parvati the mysteries of Yoga.  A fish near the shore heard everything with concentration and remained motionless while listening.  Siva, realising that the fish had learnt Yoga, sprinkled water upon it, and immediately the fish gained divine form and became Matsyendra (Lord of the Fishes) and thereafter spread the knowledge of Yoga.

After the forward and backward bending of the spine, the Spinal Twist gives a lateral stretch to the vertebrae, back muscles, and hips.

Physical Benefits

  • Helps to keep the spine elastic by retaining side-to-side mobility.

  • Helps to relieve muscular problems in the back and hips.

  • Removes adhesions in the joints caused by rheumatism.

  • Increases the synovial fluid of the joints, and makes the joints very active.

  • Tones the roots of the spinal nerves and the sympathetic nervous system, and brings a fresh supply of blood.

  • Massages the abdominal muscles, relieving digestive problems.

  • Benefits the gall bladder, spleen, kidneys, liver and bowels.

  • The prostate and bladder are not enlarged if one practises regularly.

  • Helps to cure constipation, dyspepsia, stimulates the pancreas and useful for diabetes.

  • Improves the lung capacity. 

Mental Benefits 

  • Helps to cure disorders of the nervous system.

  • Brings peace of mind.

Pranic Benefits

  • Augments the Prana Sakti (vigour and vitality), removing innumerable diseases.

  • Rouses the Kundalini (potential spiritual energy).


  • People who have recently undergone abdominal surgery may avoid.

Common Faults

  • Buttocks are lifting off the ground.

  • Back is not straight, and the body is leaning, rather than twisting laterally.  If the body leans, rather than twisting, you will not gain the benefit of the asana.

  • Looking over the wrong shoulder.

  • Hand is allowed to hang freely, rather than clasping the opposite ankle.

  • Foot is not flat on the ground.

  • Back hand is too far from the body.

Note: Please perform the yoga under the guide of a certified yoga teacher especially for beginner. You are at your own risk and responsible if you perform on your own. Whatever provided here is just act as an information.

                      Light on Yoga - B.K.S. Iyengar