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5 Days Juice Cleanse and Yoga Detox at Prama Institute in Asheville – North Carolina

Our 5 day juice cleanse & yoga program is a very popular retreat.  You will feel refreshed and revitalized when you leave our center.  It is a great way to cleanse in a supportive environment.  You will enjoy 3 full days of liquid fasting, two days of delicious and detoxing meals, workshops, private health consultations, group support, daily yoga and meditation classes.  Our retreats are held in our beautiful retreat center with private and semi-private rooms, hot tub, sauna, and walking trails, and it is only 20 mins from Asheville.

Our 5 day detox program will give your digestive system a well deserved vacation. You will free up energy to heal. You will feel more energized and nutritionally satisfied. Why? Simply because raw juices are brimming with nutrients—they are full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and healing phyto-nutrients.  For those that would like a deeper cleanse, you can arrive early, stay later, or come separately for an individualized stay.

This yoga detox program is designed to create better health and relaxation. It is especially designed for those who want to feel more energized, struggle with weight problems, need help kicking bad habits, want to eliminate toxins, or simply wish to feel less stressed. The usual method to achieve better health is to heal various ailments, to focus on what is wrong with us and then treat the symptoms. But in our programs, we build better health by creating an environment where problems and imbalances simply do not thrive.  Together we create a higher frequency of being where optimum health arises naturally. That’s the power of our holistic rejuvenation program. That’s the effectiveness of simply combining juice fasting, yoga therapy, power foods and meditation. This comprehensive program will teach you simple, effective techniques to take charge of your own health.

In this program, you’ll receive much more detailed training and experience than during our weekend programs. It may even transform your life.  Dr. Linda Page, author of the book Detoxification, and many other health experts recommend a week long detox and rejuvenation program once a year. Combined with yoga and meditation, such a program can unlock the secrets to vibrant health. And that’s what this retreat is all about! The solutions to preventive health are quite simple! This program will teach you all about them!

Here is a podcast Episode 001 – The Benefits of Juice Fasting

Dharma and the Art of Time Management

“And remember – Life is very short – Do not waste any single moment of your life”

These were the last words I heard directly from my spiritual master – Shrii Shrii Anandamurti three days before he left the body on October 21st 1990.

At distance of almost seventeen years those words still ring in my ears and push me to find better ways to utilize time.

Many times I questioned myself about what is the best utilization of time. In spirituality Kiirtana is considered the best utilization of time. Kiirtana is a spiritual practice that consists in chanting the name God and dancing softly at the same time. It is a very subtle science which is able to elevate the mind in the loftiest realm of joy and infinite happiness.

Unfortunately we are not in the capacity to do Kiirtana all the time. We live in a world that needs many different utilizations of time which may or may not be conducive for spiritual pursuits. Of course it should be also considered that not everybody has a spiritual inclination and human society is a quite a complex and heterogenic body.

Time Management is defined as the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively, especially at work. Several authors consider it both an Art and a Science. Here we wish to consider the relationship between the essential characteristics of human being in relationship with time management. As we are dealing on an uncharted ground it is rather premature to call it a science. It is rather safe to call it an art of living which outcome or product is happiness and wellbeing for both individuals and society.

Matrixes are common tools in Time Management. In one of the most common time is considered in the form of urgency and importance of an activity. Each author add its own twist of it. Above is the Eisenhower Matrix as an example.

When we talk about Dharma we consider four types of specific engagements or essential pursuits common to all human beings:

Expansion – It relates to all types of activities that gives the satisfaction of growing.

Flow – It related to all types of activities conducive for unity and togetherness.

Service – It relates to all types of activities meant to give without compensation.

Spiritual Love – It relates to all types of activities conducive to a state of grace.

Taking in consideration and nurturing these four aspects of human life transform Time Management in the art of living a fully productive and satisfactory life.

Time is the psychic measurement of the motivity of action. For there to be time, there has to be a place, for without a place no action can be performed. Over and above time and place, a person is also necessary, for that person will take the measure of the motivity of action. And thus where there is time, there have to be place and person as well.”

Time is a relative factor and in time management we have also to consider the other two variables, place and person. It means that an activity cannot be considered as standalone. It should be included in an agenda. Each activity becomes a composition of four factors: time, place, person and purpose.

The importance and the urgency of an activity are relative to the agenda. The importance qualifies the purpose and the urgency qualifies the other three factors, time place and person.

At this point we can safely conclude that Dharma is the guiding principle that determines whether our agenda is going to lead us to success or not.

Time Management changes radically when we work in a team instead of working alone. The whole agenda needs to be flexible enough in other to accommodate any kind of change or inconvenience. In family life as well as in community time management is the art being available and makes attention in any circumstances. We are bound to do mistakes and we need time to make adjustments and sacrifices.

In collective life sentiments play a big role and they can upset the most carefully prepared agenda. The idea that we can separate family life from work assigning a respective time frame may prove a recipe for catastrophe in the delicate balance of human relationships. Sometime time management and planning reduces safely to one simple condition: complete surrender.

Once I was in company with a dear friend a spiritual practitioner of meditation. He had already two children and the wife was waiting for more. The finances of the family were quite tight and it happened that in this most critical time he lost the job as a nurse of a retirement home. He remained without job for some time and finally he got job in a hospital. The time was up for the new babies! The wife had to be brought to the hospital for a premature delivery. There were twins of seven months and they required intensive care. Only after that everything got normalized he found out that the new job had all the medical expenses for the wife covered while the previous job had no benefits in regard.

Family and collective are part of Dharma. They allow expressing fully the four characteristics of human life. Nurturing relationships is both important and urgent. In this context time management is not a dry science. It is the very subtle art of making the best of everything at any given time. Everything is important as everybody is important and great. Including our time.

Ayurveda – Vata Pacifying Foods

(source: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/diet/vata-pacifying-foods/)

Vata is balanced by a diet of freshly cooked, whole foods that are soft or mushy in texture, rich in protein and fat, seasoned with a variety of warming spices, and served warm or hot. These foods calm vata by lubricating and nourishing the tissues, preserving moisture, and maintaining warmth, all while supporting proper digestion and elimination. What follows are some specific principles that we hope will empower you in discovering a vata pacifying diet that works for you.

Qualities to Favor and Avoid

Vata is cool, dry, rough and light, so eating foods that neutralize these qualities – foods that are warm, moist, oily, smooth, and nourishing – can help to balance excess vata. This section offers a closer look at the qualities of various foods. An improved understanding of these qualities can guide you in making specific dietary choices that will better support vata.

Favor Warm Over Cold

The warm quality can be emphasized by eating foods that are warm in temperature, foods that have a warming energetic, and by using warming spices generously (most vata pacifying spices are warming… see our list below). On the other hand, it is best to avoid foods with a cooling energetic, cold and frozen foods or drinks, carbonated drinks, large quantities of raw fruits and vegetables, and even leftovers that have been kept in the refrigerator or freezer. The cold quality is inherently increased in these foods, even if they are served hot.

Favor Moist and Oily Over Dry

Vata’s dryness is offset by eating cooked rather than raw foods, by cooking and garnishing foods with generous amounts of high-quality oils or ghee, and by staying hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, ideally warm or hot – but no cooler than room-temperature. In addition, moist foods like berries, melons, summer squash, zucchini, and yogurt help offset vata’s dry quality, as can hydrating preparations such as soups or stews. Oily foods like avocado, coconut, olives, buttermilk, cheese, eggs, whole milk (preferably non-homogenized), wheat, nuts and seeds are generally supportive as well. Avoid exceptionally drying foods like popcorn, crackers, white potatoes, beans, and dried fruits.

Favor Grounding, Nourishing, and Stabilizing Over Light

While the heavy quality is the true antithesis to vata’s lightness, very heavy foods like deep-fried choices can easily overtax vata’s delicate digestion. Eating too much in one sitting can also be overly heavy, so it’s important not to overeat. It’s better to think in terms of grounding vata’s lightness with sustenance – eating foods that offer solid, stabilizing sources of energy and deep nourishment to the physical body. Generally, these foods will naturally taste sweet. Cooked grains, spiced milk, root vegetables, stewed fruits, nuts, and seeds are good examples. Highly processed foods such as canned foods, ready-made meals, and pastries are often quite heavy, lack prana (vital life force) and are generally quite detrimental to vata. Similarly, stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and hard alcohol should be avoided, as they are generally not supportive of vata’s need to stay grounded and stable.

Favor Smooth Over Rough

There’s a reason that raw fruits and vegetables are sometimes called roughage; their fibrous structure gives them a very rough quality. This is why vata does well to resist large quantities of raw vegetables and fruits. Even cooked, some foods like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, dark leafy greens, and many beans are exceptionally rough and should be avoided. Conversely, eating foods and preparations that are smooth in texture – things like bananas, rice pudding, hot cereal, hot spiced milk, puréed soups, and the like – can really help to soothe vata’s roughness.

Tastes to Favor and Avoid

Vata is pacified by the sweet, sour, and salty tastes and aggravated by the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes. Understanding these tastes allows us to better navigate a vata pacifying diet without having to constantly refer to extensive lists of foods to favor and avoid.

Emphasize

Sweet

  • Favor naturally sweet foods like fruits, most grains, root vegetables, milk, ghee, fresh yogurt, nuts, seeds, most oils, and vata-pacifying meats (see our list of foods to favor and avoid).
  • The sweet taste is the foundation of a vata pacifying diet. It is the predominant taste in most of vata’s staple foods.
  • Sweet foods tend to be grounding, nourishing, strength building, and satisfying.
  • Emphasizing the sweet taste does NOT require us to eat large amounts of refined sugar or sugary sweet foods. In fact, doing so tends to exacerbate vata’s tendency to over-exert and then crash.

Sour

  • Favor sour additions like a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, a splash of vinegar, a side of kimchi or sauerkraut, a bowl of miso, a slice of cheese, or a dollop of sour cream.
  • Sour fruits like green grapes, oranges, pineapple, and grapefruit are also appropriate when eaten alone, and in moderation.
  • The sour taste is generally not the centerpiece of a meal; instead, it tends to compliment and enliven other flavors.
  • The sour taste awakens the mind and senses, improves digestion, promotes energy, moistens other foods, and eliminates excess wind.

Salty

  • The salty taste is almost singularly derived from salt itself.
  • But favoring the salty taste does not mean that your food should taste as if it’s being cured.
  • In fact, salt is already over-emphasized in the typical western diet. Simply being mindful of including savory flavors and ensuring that your food has some salt in it will likely be sufficient.
  • Salt stimulates the appetite and digestion, helps retain moisture, supports proper elimination, and improves the flavor of many foods.

Minimize

Pungent

  • Pungent is a spicy, hot flavor like that found in chilies, radishes, turnips, raw onions, and many spices. That said, in moderation, most spices are actually vata pacifying – see our list of foods to favor and avoid.
  • The pungent taste is hot, dry and light; too much of it is extremely drying to the system, exacerbates the rough quality, and therefore disturbs vata.

Bitter

  • The bitter taste predominates bitter greens (like kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, etc.), and is also found in foods like bitter melon, Jerusalem artichokes, burdock root, eggplant, and chocolate.
  • The bitter taste is cooling, rough, drying, light, and generally reducing – all qualities that tend to aggravate vata.

Astringent

  • The astringent taste is basically a flavor of dryness – a chalky taste that dries the mouth and may cause it to contract (picture biting into a very green banana).
  • Legumes are classically astringent in taste – adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, soybeans, etc.
  • The astringent taste is also found in some fruits, vegetables, grains, and baked goods – things like apples, cranberries, pomegranate, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, rye, rice cakes and crackers.
  • The astringent taste is dry, cold, heavy and rough in nature and so understandably aggravates vata.

How to Eat

When it comes to pacifying vata, how we eat may be just as important as what we eat. Vata is deeply soothed when we choose to eat in peaceful environment – one where we can offer our full attention to the act of being nourished. And routine itself balances vata, so the practice of eating three square meals per day (at about the same time each day) further reduces vata and helps to strengthen delicate digestion. Sometimes, it is impossible to avoid all vata-aggravating foods. In a pinch, the detrimental potential of these foods can be minimized by making sure that they are well cooked, served warm, and garnished generously with oil or ghee. Lastly, because vata requires regular nourishment, it is best to avoid fasting. If you feel the need to do a cleanse of some sort, a mono diet of kitchari is much less vata-provoking than a fruit or juice cleanse, and is certainly better than an all-out fast.

Suggested Meals

Breakfast

Breakfast is a critical meal when vata is elevated. After an overnight fast, vata needs real nourishment and a hearty breakfast is generally very stabilizing.

  • Hot Cereals – things like oatmeal, rice pudding, cream of rice, and cream of wheat – are also excellent choices. For a richer, creamier breakfast, the grains can be cooked in milk (or a substitute), or you can add a bit of hot milk after cooking. To make this meal even more vata friendly, garnish it with ghee, sliced almonds, and flax seeds, sweeten it with honey or maple syrup, and add warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cardamom.
  • Another delectable breakfast is a date and almond shake, made from soaked dates, soaked and peeled almonds, and boiled milk (or a substitute) – blended together with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Lunch

Ideally, lunch is the main meal of the day, meaning it’s the largest and the most nourishing of the three. Hearty grains, steamed and sautéed vegetables, appropriate breads, soups and stews are excellent building blocks for lunch. This is also the best time to enjoy a small salad, if you must have one. Try something like:

  • Split mung dal with basmati rice, sautéed okra with shredded coconut, and naan. If you like, garnish this meal with cilantro, cucumbers, and a dash of yogurt.
  • Rice pasta or gnocchi with pesto, black olives, pine nuts, cheese, and a side of marinated beets. If you like, add a small green salad tossed with an oily but stimulating dressing – like lemon-ginger vinaigrette.

Dinner

Dinner is ideally a bit smaller and lighter than lunch. But to soothe vata, it needs to offer adequate nourishment. Soups, stews, or a smaller serving of lunch often fit the bill. Try:

  • Carrot soup with quinoa, asparagus, and a buttered tortilla.

 

Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower Rice

Braised chickpeas with cauliflower rice is one of the fastest little meals on the planet. The trick is spicing the cauliflower rice. Simply pulse chopped cauliflower florets in a food processor with cumin and coriander until it looks like rice, and voila!, you have a base for your braised chickpeas—no heat required.

Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower Rice

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 x 400g tin (1½ cups) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon curry powder
200ml (¾ cup + 1½ tablespoons) coconut milk
½ cauliflower head, cut into chunks
½ teaspoon ground cumin
handful of coriander (cilantro)
50g (1 scant cup) fresh spinach

PREPARATION

1. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and curry powder, stirring for a few moments, and then pour in the coconut milk. Lower the heat and leave to simmer while you make your cauliflower rice.

2. Place the cauliflower, cumin and coriander in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice, then remove and divide between bowls.

3. Stir the spinach into the chickpea mixture and leave to simmer for 2 minutes, then spoon it over the cauliflower rice.Serves 2.

Ananda Marga Banner

Ananda Marga is present in several locations and it should be easy to locate it visually. Those who look for meditation and yoga or a vegetarian life style, etc. will have a easier task to find Ananda Marga if there is a banner on the front of the Ananda Marga Center. We are looking for designers able to make a professional banner for Ananda Marga. The banner will be exposed on the front of every Ananda Marga project or center in New York Sector.   The size 2.5′ x 8′ can be taken as a reference.

In New York Sectorial Office we are also using two professionally made vertical banners which are portable and can be exposed during any Ananda Marga program or event. Below is the image of one of them.

Testimony and Video for AMURT Feeding Programs in Los Angeles and Washington DC

Just got back from feeding the homeless in downtown LA. Mama D Feeds The Homeless is an Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team – AMURT project which has been running for many years now, thanks to the ongoing work of Dada Mukta Atma Ananda, Jayashrii, Lee and other volunteers, providing hundreds of people every Sunday with a decent breakfast. -Dada Gunamuktananda

“Another reason to love #losangeles. Thomas was in our @mamadfeedsthehomeless line today. Hes from Oakland but thinks the social services in Los Angeles rule the school. He’s in a wheelchair, been homeless forty years and lives at the Charles Cobb apartments “almost eight years. great people here. they keep us in line and take good care of us. best doctors, case managers and counselors. good good people. The best” we set up in front of the Cobb each week. The Charles Cobb is just one of 26 permanent supportive housing units funded and operated by the exceptionally awesome #skidrowhousingtrust @skidroworg so the chronically homeless and mentally ill can lead lives in wellness. To permanently house the swelling number of humans living on the streets of all major cities seems to be the best bet both fiscally and psychologically to treat chronic homelessness. Let’s make room! Let’s build more!Vote #yesonH March 7th! tomorrow last day to register Angelenos! in the meantime come down and volunteer with us! @ericgarcetti @lamayorsoffice @skidrowinternetradio @julessorensen @leesherman5 @aliciawells8it @remi_loves_dogs @ibsquid #yesonH @pathpartners @wendybrazilart @hiltonfoundation @launitedway @countyofla #skidrowhousingtrust #skidrow #dtla #mamadfeedsthehomeless

Mama D Feeds The Homeless is a local Los Angeles project under AMURT, a worldwide relief NGO. Every Sunday morning, they provide hot meals to the homeless of Downtown Los Angeles.


Recently a group from the Channel Company volunteered at our Food For All program. They were in DC for a conference and wanted to give something back to DC.

https://vimeo.com/207137961

Food For All has been providing groceries to over 60 economically struggling households every week for the past 26 years.

In actuality, the local program in other formats started in the 1970’s, went through the 80’s and has continued in its present format since the early 90’s. It’s been happening for 40 years at least.

Please note that the poverty statistics cited by the woman in the video are incorrect. 100,000 live below the poverty line, and not the over 600,000 people she suggests.

Seminar near Washington DC

The Sterling, Virginia (Fairfax Bhukti) mini-seminar on Sat Feb 18 was sweet and inspirational.  The young and mature participants showed a high degree of interest and a wonderful flow of discussion and wealth of knowledge was shared by all — following the Seminar Notes for the 1st Phase of 2017.  The spiritual practices and the lovely meal that followed capped a wonderful seminar day — “Sowing the Seeds of Spirituality:  Shrii Shrii Anandamurti’s Seminarium”.

The seminar was conducted by Acarya Dhruva in the picture with the margi from the area.

Same day two programs in West Plains, NY and Long Island

Ananda Marga monks were special guests at the Gathering of Lights meeting in Long Island. Acarya Abhiramananda Avadhuta and Acarya Vimaleshananda Avadhuta assisted to a beautiful spiritual program featuring interfaith songs and drum performances.  Ananda Marga Universal mantra Baba Nam Kevalam was presented on stage and all participants joined in chanting and dancing together. Everybody felt a very strong spiritual vibration which remained for the entire program till the end. Special thanks to all the spiritual leaders present with their devotional feeling and warm love.

In the same day in the morning Acarya Abhiramananda Avadhuta and Brahmacarinii Vaeragya Acarya together with LFT Tanmaya participated to an Akhanda Kiirtan organized by Sister Nirainjana in West Plains and attended by several Margi and families from around NY State.

The activities in New York are on the surge as more classes are given at Senior Citizen centers and schools. Acaryas Shankarananda Avadhuta and Acarya Diiptimananda Avadhuta together with LFT Tanmaya are very active promoting Ananda Marga in different venues in Queens and Manhattan