Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

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Posts Tagged ‘Chinese medicine’

Yin Yoga

Posted by terrepruitt on April 4, 2018

Have you ever heard of Yin Yoga? It is one of those “new” yogas that is out there. New, as in it has not been around for hundreds of years. It surfaced in the West in the late 1970’s, as taught by Paulie Zink and became more commonly known under the teachings of Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. Each having their own style and take on it. Yin Yoga focuses more on the joints and connective tissues as opposed to the more widely known “yang” yoga that focuses on the muscles. Yin Yoga is very slow, in addition each pose can be held from 3 to 20 minutes. As with any type of physical activity when first starting it is recommended to start slow, or in the case of Yin – LESS. So someone first starting out, someone new to the practice, might hold a pose for 1 to 3 minutes and build up to the longer holds. Yin is very interesting, to me, at least, because it not only focuses on the joints and connective tissue, but it also focuses on the meridians or energy channels in the body. So while you are stretching your fascia, tendons, ligaments, and opening the joints, you are also unblocking the meridians and allowing Qi to flow more freely.

I have heard of Qi and the meridians before and, honestly, I am not sure I am a firm believer in all that is involved with meridians and the movement of Qi. But I will say that there is definitely a difference when I do the Yin asana. So . . . I am interested in learning about it.

What we are learning in the Yin Yoga Teacher Training I am taking is about the twelve principal sinew meridians. Meridians are used in acupuncture and acupressure and there are hundreds that travel and weave throughout the body, but the twelve sinew meridians are the ones that are affected the most in the Yin asana or poses. They are the ones that are more easily identified as they can be considered more of “in an area”. Most Yin asana have to do with the lower body and the meridians of the legs.

As I was sitting in the first two lectures about all this information, I was pretty confused (and it wasn’t the first time I had heard some of it). By the second set of lectures I was overwhelmed. But today I went over my notes and a lot of it made sense. And a lot of it sounded familiar, as if I might be remembering some of the information. What I am saying is there is a lot of information so this is just barely touching the surface. It is just a little post that is an introduction to Yin Yoga and its relation to the meridians/energy channels in the body.

Yin Yoga poses affect the different meridians. The time one stays in a Yin pose allows for the body to stretch and the meridians to open or become unblocked and allow the Qi to flow.  Chinese Medicine relates the blockage of Qi to a whole list of symptoms that are related to illness.

Have you heard of Yin Yoga?  What do you think about Qi and the meridians? 

Posted in Yin Yoga, Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Health Benefits Of Cardamom

Posted by terrepruitt on June 20, 2016

You may have read my post about Chai Tea.  A Nia Teacher friend gave me a yummy recipe for chai tea.  I had futzed with it because I wanted it a bit spicier — what?  Me?  I know.  But it is not HOT spice, just more flavorful.  Well, I was excited until I saw the price of cardamom.  And, as is my habit, I posted about how outrageous it was.  As is my friends’ way . . .one of them helped me out.  First of all she GAVE me some Cardamom, then she reminded me of where I live.  I live in one of the most diverse areas in the country – well, I think I do.  But whether that is true or not we have all types of different markets around.  There are Asian Markets, Hispanic Markets, Indian Markets, Spice Markets, Vegetable Markets, Fabric Markets . . . you name it, I bet there is one within 5 miles of me.  Well, Spice Markets have way more affordable spices then grocery stores.  I got a bag of cardamom and I have been using it in my tea.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI was curious as to what benefits cardamom might have.  And also what else I can use it in besides tea.  Here are the results of my “research”.

First of all wiki states:  “It is the world’s third-most expensive spice, surpassed in price per weight only by vanilla and saffron.”  Well, that explains the high price at the store.  I did not know that!

Cardamom has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat many ailments.

According to several websites (Sunwarrior, Organic Facts, Food Facts, and The Health Site), cardamom is good for digestion.  Some compared it to ginger, in that it can aid in digestion. It can help relieve things like nausea, bloating, gas, heartburn, acidity, loss of appetite, and constipation.

It helps eliminate toxins from the body.

It helps with bad breath. And mouth ulcers and throat infections.

It is a diuretic, which could be one way it helps eliminate toxins.

It can act as an anti-depressant.

It can also help prevent colds and flus.

Studies on animals are showing it might help protect against some cancers.

Studies on humans have shown it helps lower blood pressure.

It controls cholesterol according to a study in India done on mice.

Can possibly prevent or aid in the prevention of blood clots, by improving circulation.

It is an antioxidant, an anti inflammatory, and an aphrodisiac.

It’s essential oil can be used in aromatherapy.

Research has been done at the King Saud University concluding that cardamom can be used to control muscle spasms on animals.

Cardamom can help with some respiratory issues such as asthma and bronchitis.

It can help with sore throats and hiccups.

It is said to cure impotency and a bevy of penis problems.  I occurred to me with better circulation, these types of problems could possibly be helped.  And then if these types of problems are improved upon it could definitely relieve some depression.  🙂

In a tablespoon of cardamom there is 80 percent of the recommended value of manganese, which is really important for healthy skin.

Cardamom is a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Well, I didn’t quiet get to the part on how to use it other than in tea.  But perhaps you can help.  Do you use cardamom?  How do you use it?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Turmeric – Flavor With Benefits

Posted by terrepruitt on April 12, 2012

When I wrote the post regarding anti-inflammatory foods, I decided to buy some Turmeric.  At the time I was not able to claim knowing what it tasted like.  I figured since it was used a lot in curries I would be ok with it.  I thought that it would be a good thing to add to our diet.  Since there are so many things that work as an inflammatory, I am always trying to add anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients into our diet.  I wasn’t sure exactly how to use it, but I was wanting to give it a go.  Turmeric has been used in food and as medicine for centuries.  Seems like the West is doing a lot of research to see what health benefits it has.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:  “Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds.  Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant.”

Remember Curcumin is the phytochemcial that give turmeric its color.

And Eat This! has a list of 20 Health Benefits contributed to Turmeric including;

-When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

-Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

-May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

Well, I’ve had it for a while now and I really like the flavor.  I’ve added it to soups, to veggies, and to meat.  You know my standard ground turkey and whatever veggies I have?  Well, it really makes that taste wonderful.  I had cooked broccoli, mushrooms, and ground turkey for dinner a few nights ago, today I decided to have the leftovers in a tortilla.  Since we have a few cucumbers I decided to use some up by slicing it really thin and putting it in the tortilla with the meat and a bit of parmesan cheese.  WOW!  The turmeric and the cucumbers were a party-in-my-mouth flavor.  It was really good.  So now I am going to serve cucumbers with my turmeric ground turkey.  Many people can describe flavors, I can sometimes, but I cannot describe the flavor or turmeric.  I would say that it is somewhat mellow so it won’t necessary overpower what you are using it with.  It is not hot or bitter.  I think it can be used with anything savory.     
 
Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,Wiki says “it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell” but I don’t agree.  Maybe I will give it the mustardy smell, but not off the top of my head.

But there is a problem with turmeric.  It dyes everything yellow!  I now have several bowls and utensils dyed yellow because I used them to stir, serve, or store something with turmeric in it.  It is just as bad as tomato sauce when it comes to dying things!

I am familiar with turmeric in its powdered form, but it is a root like ginger, so if you get it in root form you can use it just as you would ginger.  You could chop it, grate it, cut it up . . . the same as ginger. 

If you like the flavor it seems like a great thing to add to just about everything.   Since it is touted as an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, help in the treatment of  inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), helps treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, improves liver function, prevents some cancers, lowers cholesterol, helps treat and prevent Alzheimer’s, reduces risk of childhood Leukemia among other things — why not add it to things?

Do you cook with Turmeric?  If so what do you add it to?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »