Physical Positions

The physical positions, pleasurable and firm, are executed in a choreographic way, without repetitions and linked by movements of transition. In the first stage, the physical positions develop body awareness, motor coordination, and the elasticity of the tissues, articular flexibility and muscle tone. With regular practice, in order to progress further, you will learn how to keep the positions stable, comfortable and aesthetic: the breathing must be conscious, deep (abdominal and complete) and rhythmic (regular), while you localise your consciousness, focus on mental images, colours and sounds, and maintain a deep feeling of intention and a strong sense of purpose.

Muscular tension and energy When we practice the physical positions, they unravel the complete picture of our muscle and articular limitations. Many of these limitations are a result of tensions.

The phenomenon of muscular tension The muscles have a great capacity to contract. Each and every stimulus captured by the senses produces a reaction of contraction on our musculature. When we interpret the stimulus as a threat to our integrity, our muscular network contracts, building a protective shield with the aim of reducing the impact of the intimidation on our vital areas.

Partial contraction Once the threat ceases, the muscles return to their point of rest, partial contraction or muscle tone, which is the ideal stage for the muscles to initiate a contraction immediately after receiving a sign from the nervous centres. In complete relaxation, the muscle would take too long to react to the stimulus, placing survival in risk.

Stiffness However, if a threat is present for a long time (months or years), the muscle tone gets deformed, leaving the tissues retracted, stiff and the muscles lose the ability to return to the level of rest or partial contraction.

Tiredness and pain This way, we deteriorate our flexibility, the flow of blood in the muscles, the reflexes, the sensory perception, increasing the accumulation of toxic products on the cells and predisposing the muscle network to tiredness and pain.

The origin of threats

Fear The vast majority of the chronic muscular tensions have their origin in fear, a basic, instinctive emotion, crucial for the evolution of mammals. The function of this feeling is to scan the environment in search of real or imaginary threats.

Education In Man, this emotion is trained through education, and conditioned and improved regarding the norms and rules of collective life. Some people express mostly reserve and opposition, while others express courage and trust. Many factors determine their behaviour: the place and time, family values, ethnic values, genetic aspects, among others.

Training These factors shape the way each of us interprets the flow of life events. If we regard them as threats, we will be stiff. If we regard them as part of our training to continuously improve, we will fell at ease. After all, what really matters is the way we see reality, not reality itself…  

The energetic cost of muscular tensions

Stagnant energy Hypertonic muscles, with too much tension, demand a continuous flow of energy to keep their retraction. Energy poorly channeled. which remains stagnant, directed to maintaining the shield of muscle armour, with the purpose of self-defense. The trouble is that 90% of the threats exist only in our imagination. Because our energy is limited, we feel continuously tired and a permanent sensation of physical, emotional and mental impotence.

Western model We spend years focusing exclusively on work, the need of acknowledgement, security and comfort, decades of a life-style that tends to anxiety, dispersion, and lack of inner bodily communication. The consequence of this model is that our intercostal muscles, the extensors of the spine, the anterior and posterior muscles of the thighs, nape, back, face, arms, and other, fell a chronic lack of rest, of a healthy tone, relaxed and comfortable. This condition affects the breathing, flexibility, concentration, sleep, humour, leading us to a low quality life, without the perception of value and priority.

adapted text from Joris Marengo’s blog: http://blogdojojo.com

Jerk-Style Cauliflower Steaks

Stunning steaks made from cauliflower, a vegetable subtle enough to absorb all the luscious marinade while still retaining some necessary bite.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Place all the marinade ingredients into a food processor or mini blender and blitz until coarse but spreadable.

Remove the leaves from around the cauliflower, but don’t remove the bulb at the bottom, as this is what will keep your steaks intact. Halve the cauliflower and, working from the cut side out, slice each steak around 1½ cm thick … you will probably only get two full steaks from each half but you can roast the remaining florets in the same way.

Generously brush the steaks with the marinade. If you want to do this ahead of time, you can leave them to marinate in the fridge until you need them.

Place the steaks on a roasting tray and loosely cover with foil. Roast for 15–20 minutes before removing the foil for a further 10 minutes, turning once.

Heat a griddle pan to a medium-high heat and finish the steaks off in the pan to mark/sear on both sides. Serve with your chosen accompaniment.

Ingredients

For the cauliflower steaks

  • 1 medium cauliflower

For the marinade

  • 35 g fresh coriander
  • thumb-size piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 scotch bonnet
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • juice of ½ lime
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crunchy veg, egg noodles & a runny egg

This super-fast, super-tasty meal is perfect when you’re feeling a little down or, let’s be honest, a bit hungover, as it’s full of the good stuff. Flavouring the noodles with a dressing is genius, and a runny fried egg on top is a bit of an added bonus. Drizzle with lots of chilli sauce to ensure it gives you a slap around the face, and tuck in.

Peel the ginger and garlic and finely grate into a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and a pinch of pepper, then mix to make a dressing. Trim and shred the cabbage and put it into a large pan of boiling salted water with the broccoli (cut into florets first, if using fresh) and noodles to cook for around 3 minutes, then add the mangetout for a final minute. Drain it all well, then toss in the bowl of dressing.

Meanwhile, fry the eggs in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with a lug of olive oil until cooked to your liking (I like mine with a runny yolk). Divide the noodles between bowls, pop an egg on top of each one, and serve drizzled with chilli sauce for that all-important added kick.

Recipe from www.jamieoliver.com

Spiced Wholewheat Couscous with Sweet Potato and Pistachios

The nutty, nutritious, wholewheat couscous complements the fragrant sweet potato beautifully in this North African-inspired dish from Stella McCartney.

Ingredients

For the couscous

  • 3 small sweet potatoes

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

  • 150 g giant wholewheat couscous

  • 500 ml light vegetable stock or water

  • handful of raisins, preferably organic

  • 1 rounded teaspoon za’tar

  • 50 g unshelled, unsalted pistachios, chopped

To serve

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Scrub the sweet potatoes under cold water and cut each into 6 wedges. Tip into a roasting tin, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and roast in the oven for about 20–25 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender and starting to caramelise at the edges. Add the pumpkin seeds to the pan for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

While the sweet potato is cooking prepare the couscous. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the couscous and cook gently for 2–3 minutes until starting to brown. Add half of the stock or water to the pan and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the couscous is tender and has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining stock or water to the pan as and when needed. Add the raisins, za’tar and chopped pistachios to the pan, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cool slightly.

Mix together the juice from half the lemon and the extra virgin olive oil and pour over the warm sweet potato when it comes out of the oven. Gently stir the freshly chopped herbs and roasted sweet potato wedges into the couscous and serve with extra lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Warming and Delicious Miso Broth

A warming, nutrient-packed Japanese broth, perfect for a healthy lunch on a winter’s Meat Free Monday.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 200 g mushrooms (enoki or shiitake), sliced
  • ½ carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon shredded fresh ginger
  • good handful of choi sum or baby leaf spinach, shredded
  • 5 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons yellow miso paste
  • tamari or soy sauce to taste

METHOD

Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan and add the mushrooms and carrots. Quickly cook the veggies for a minute until just softened then add the chilli and ginger and cook for another 10 seconds.

Throw the choi sum or baby leaf spinach and spring onions into the wok and cook until the leaves are only just wilted. Remove from the pan and divide between 2 bowls.

Bring 700 ml water to the boil in a large pan. In a small bowl mix the miso with a couple of tablespoons of the water and then add the paste to the pan. Stir to combine and add a little more miso if needed. Divide the drained and pour over the miso broth. Add tamari or soy sauce to taste and serve immediately.

The best hot chocolate … with melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows

There is no other better classical way to fix a freezing cold Monday… oh yeahhhhh….

By Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

  • 565 ml full cream or semi-skimmed milk

  • 2 tablespoons good-quality drinking chocolate

  • 1 handful marshmallows (non-meat gelling agents)

  • sugar, optional, to taste

Method

This takes around 3 or 4 minutes to make. First put the milk into a pan. Bring to a simmer – not a boil – and while it’s heating, put a tablespoon of choccie powder and sugar, if using, into each mug. Add a little warmish milk from the pan to each mug – you just need enough to dissolve the chocolate powder. At this point, plonk a few marshmallows into each mug. When the milk is at a simmer, carefully pour it into a plastic jug or flask. I normally do this over a sink as I always end up spilling a bit (the trick is to have a big enough jug or flask so the milk only half fills it – you need the extra space for shaking and frothing).

Screw the lid on tightly, place a cloth over the lid for safety, and shake hard for a minute. Remove the lid, minding the steam, and pour the milk into your mugs. A little stir, and you can slurp your way to heaven!

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Inspiration: www.jamieoliver.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 800 g mixed mushrooms (we used white button, crimini, portabella, shiitake)

  • olive oil

  • 2 onion , peeled and finely sliced

  • 3 sticks celery , trimmed and finely sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic , peeled and sliced

  • a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley , leaves picked and chopped, stalks finely chopped

  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme , leaves picked

  • 60 fluid ounces vegetable stock

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 150 ml light cream cream

 

METHOD

Peel off any tough outer skins of the mushroom caps and throw them away, then slice the mushrooms finely. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and pour in a splash of olive oil. Add the onion, celery, garlic, parsley stalks, thyme leaves and mushrooms, place a lid on top and sweat gently until softened. 

Spoon 4 tablespoons of mushrooms out of the pan and put to one side. Pour the stock into the pan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then whiz with either a Vitamix or even a standard hand-held blender until smooth. Pour in the light cream, heat just before boil, then turn off the heat. 

What is our definition of Quality of Life?

Quality of life is to make your existence uncomplicated, to do what gives you pleasure, with joy, health and well-being.

Quality of life is to fulfil physiological and ergonomic needs, to adopt habits that improve and maintain the functionality of the body, emotions and intellect. It is the improvement and development of our abilities, in relation to the triad: good nutrition, good health and good mind.

Quality of life is to relate in a relaxed, ethical and responsible manner towards nature and your surrounding socio-cultural environment. It is to aspire to always share and integrate: with generosity, grace, respect and affection in all human relations. It is to adopt a set of values that include exceptional civility, culture and education.

Quality of life is to adopt a vision of the world that motivates us to pursue development and continuous improvement, realising personal excellence by means of study, ideals and self-knowledge.

Quality of life is to keep expenditure below your earnings. It is to live near your work. To eat frugally. To be able to find satisfaction in everything. To spend time with friends and acquaintances. To give flowers to the people you love. To not let the pitfalls of life get you down. To love frankly and forgive sincerely.

These are our values.

DeRose

Pumpkin & Peanut Coconut Curry

Inspired by DeRose Method Greenwich

This week we cover another delicious meatless recipe that represent our nutritional proposal making food a multi-sensory experience that enriches our lives while meeting all the nutritional demands to attain higher performance in all areas of life.

 

Method

Heat the oil in a large pot or wok and fry the onions for 5-8 minutes on medium-high heat. As soon as this starts to happen, add the pumpkin and carrot and stir-fry for a few minutes (if you have the time, broil the butternut squash instead of stir frying to get that lovely roasted flavor). Stir in the tomato purée, 1/2 the coriander and jalapeño, then add the coconut milk. Stir, then add the peanut butter mix. Cook at a soft simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the pumpkin is tender. Season to taste or add soy sauce as you like. Garnish with coriander leaves, crushed peanut and serve with cooked rice or couscous.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp unsalted crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • juice of 1 lime
  • small handful fresh coriander (otherwise known as cilantro), chopped finely with roots
  • 2 jalapeños, halved and partially deseeded (according to your spiciness tolerance)
  • 4 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 red onions, diced (may substitute with any onion or shallots)
  • 3 medium carrots, roughly diced
  • 1 large or 2 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and roughly diced
  • 1 400 mL of coconut milk

Spiced Almonds

These roasted almonds with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger are the best Christmas snack! The spices make them taste really festive, while the mix of honey, sugar and maple syrup make them extra sweet and indulgent! The fantastic thing about these is that they’re so easy to make, so you can throw them together in no time.

Ingredients

  • 500g of almonds (3 and 1/2 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar 

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons of nutmeg

  • 1/2 a teaspoon of ginger

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C, fan setting.

Place the honey, maple, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon in a pan and gently warm through until mixed together and runny

Take off the heat and stir in the almonds until its really sticky. Place on a baking tray so they’re evenly spread out and not overlapping. Lightly sprinkle the coconut sugar on top. Then place the tray in the oven and let it cook for thirty minutes. Make sure you stir the nuts once or twice in this time so that they cook evenly.

Once the nuts are crunchy take them out the oven and transfer them to another greased baking tray. Allow them to cool before storing them in something air tight!

Inspired on Deliciously Ella