Saturated Fat – Forget what you’ve been told

An interesting article, certainly something to ponder .. and a new look at the Paleo Diet

“Americans largely embraced the anti-saturated-fat gospel, substantially cutting their consumption from about 13.5 percent of total calories in the early 1970s to about 11 percent of calories by 2000. In 2006, the American Heart Association recommended that people cut their saturated fat even more — down to 7 percent of total calories, which is half of what people were eating 40 years ago. But there have been unforeseen consequences, Krauss notes. “If you cut down on saturated fat, what do you replace it with?”

Food manufacturers responded by creating thousands of products in which saturated fat and cholesterol were replaced with refined carbohydrates, sugars and trans fats. And therein lies the problem. Not only do trans fats drive bodywide inflammation, but foods rich in refined carbohydrates and sugars trigger sharp increases in blood-sugar and insulin levels, which then set the stage for weight and blood-sugar problems — the leading risk factors for type 2 diabetes and CVD. “Replacing saturated fat with refined carbohydrates and sugars does not decrease CVD risk,” says Krauss. “More and more, the evidence shows that eating more refined carbs and sugars increases CVD risk.” “


Traditional Hatha Yoga

And this is why Yoga is so misunderstood – so many want to stress how what they are doing is ‘different’ or ‘better’ than Traditional Hatha Yoga, the timeless body and mind connectedness of India.

In this article, Ms. Forrest points out that her “new kind of yoga” is particular good for a segment of the population because of:

1-Grounding through the feet;

2-Deep Breathing;

3-Relaxing the Neck;

4-Strengthening the core;

5-Body awareness; then

6-A willingness to “feel authentic” and “respond honestly”.

You want ‘authentic’ and ‘honest’?  Then listen up .. this article is a load of hogwash.

Traditional Hatha Yoga teaches all of this and more.   In fact, it’s not even Yoga if it does not include these elements at the least.

I suppose this is why I’m not a big ‘Yoga face’, a famous ‘Yoga personality’ .. because I don’t believe in misrepresenting what Yoga really is.

Breathe Well!  Smile Often!

Yogini Valarie Devi

Non-Judgement Day is Here!

21 May .. Happy Non-Judgement Day!

Why do we judge?  Well, for lots of reasons.  Often, it’s an instinctive response to a situation we are unfamiliar with, so we do it to protect ourselves.  Mostly, when we get past reasons and excuses, judgment can be reduced to a single motivation – fear.

For all our attempts otherwise, we are fearful beings.  We fear the unknown and what we don’t know.  We fear not being ‘normal’ or ‘fitting in’, we fear appearing to be ‘inadequate’ or ‘uninformed’, or we fear not being able to express our ‘true feelings’.  We fear because it’s easier to look outside our self than to peer into depths left so unexplored that sitting quietly with self can be a daunting experience.

And so we judge others.  Just remember: When you point a finger at another, there are three more pointing back at you.  (Karma or Threefold Law, anyone?)

So how do we break the cycle of judgment?  First, we need to understand what ‘judgment’ means.  For example, today – 21 May 2011 – is a good day to start because for many, this is ‘Judgement Day’, the day when god comes to hand out the ‘final and eternal judgment’ upon every nation.

To begin, lets determine what judgment is.  When someone wears something we never would, or they don’t know something that we do know or assume that ‘everyone knows’, or their sexual lifestyle is ‘odd’ or ‘disgusting’, or their religion is ‘out there’ or ‘misguided’, or how much money they have or don’t have, or if they are disabled or sick, or if we in any way come to a conclusion about who they are and how they will respond to any given situation based on these things (and more), that is judgment.

Mostly, judgment is defined by ‘society’, or what ‘society’ deems it to be, so that ‘society’ has assigned neat little tags that we can label people with so we know how exactly how to judge them.  For example, we judge based on what is ‘normal’ and ‘perfect’; but, who defines what is ‘normal’ and ‘perfect’, and who is ‘society’?

To begin, ‘normal’ is a setting on a washing machine, along with ‘casual’, ‘heavy duty’, ‘delicate’, ‘bulky’, ‘hand wash’, ‘wrinkle free’, ‘steam’, ‘rapid/speed’, and ‘rinse/spin’.

Personally, some days I wake up feeling ‘heavy duty’ – either ready to take on the world or tired and lethargic.  Other days I get concerned or stressed, so need some ‘wrinkle free’ because I may feel ‘delicate’.  When in a hurry, ‘rapid/speed’ is nice, and if I eat too much I feel ‘bulky’.  Mostly I have ‘casual’ days, and when walking in the words, contemplating life, I experience a refreshing ‘rinse/spin’, which are always, of course, ‘hand wash’ days.

Because every soul we encounter is coming from a different ‘setting’ (mind-set, culture, circumstance, background, what have you), then our soul-self – our unique reflective essence – can never be ‘right’, or ‘perfectly’ match the setting of another in any particular encounter.  Sure, sometimes we meet others who – at that very moment – share our ‘setting’, but mostly, not.

Therefore, it seems to me that ‘normal’ is recognizing that everyone I meet may be on a different ‘setting’.  And instead of being ‘agitated’ by this, I allow myself to be like water .. to gentle flow in the moment.

When we meet another, if we allow ourselves to be ‘light’ and ‘soak/pause’, then we may determine another soul’s setting, or not.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter if we do or not, and that too is normal.  Think about it: Dirt gets on clothing, so we wash clothing to remove what clings / attaches to it.

In Yoga Philosophy, ‘attachment’ is abhiman, and ‘non-attachment’ – to be removed from the dirt that gets on us, is asamsakti.  Likewise, ‘clinging’ is upadana, and there are plenty of things we cling to; such as harmful perspectives, over-indulgence, religious or worldviews, and self-doctrine.  Mind you, none of these things are ‘bad’, but they can weigh down the garment of our body/skin when they become measures for the ‘cleanliness’ of others.

So, on Non-Judgment Day, 21 May, I have decided to contemplate acceptance for others, to honestly listen to what they have to say, to understand where I can, and where I cannot .. to not be concerned.  It’s a very good day to not be attached to pre-conceived ideas, to take a sincere look at being ‘sincere’, at what it means to be ‘thoughtful’ towards others, and ‘peaceful’ or non-agitated in all my doings.

Truth is such a precious thing, for akin to trash and treasure, one man’s truth is another man’s fear.

Each of us walks upon the Great Wheel .. some on the outer rim, some on the many spokes.  Some have arrived at the outer hub, and some, once there, seek the spiral that leads deeper still.  Who then can judge another for their place, their particular ‘setting’?

When we grow towards our true self, it is not necessary for others to do the same; for truth brings height, and that amounts to perspective, and that means we have not forgotten the many ‘settings’ we have already experienced, and may yet experience again.

Breath Well!  Smile Often!

Yogini Valarie Devi

“It wasn’t rape-rape.”

The above quote is from Whoopi Goldberg – made on the tv show ‘The View’ – in defense of Roman Polanski.

On 3 April 2011, the first ‘Slut Walk‘ was held.

As I understand it, this protest aims to draw attention to the fact that most rape has nothing to do with the way a woman is dressed, while further stating that rape is always a serious crime.

Here are two views of the ‘slut walk’.

Slut Walk is “demeaning”

“Why I will participate”

The judge in this case explained that the rapist / defendant was ““insensitive to the fact (she) was not a willing participant”, and he will not serve any time in jail.  (The details of this can be read on the wiki link.)

On 14 May 2011, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was taken into police custody on allegations of rape.  Here is the wiki on who he is and specifically, his history of “sexual misconduct“:

With Strauss-Kahn, it is being claimed that he is a “victim”, specifically, that he is being “set-up” (in the wiki link above, below the noted section).

Interestingly enough, Polanski too was viewed as a ‘victim’, specifically that the judge aimed to ‘make an example‘ of him.

So that Whoopi’s comments that this was not a case of “rape-rape”, actually mirrors the thoughts of his supporters.

What got me thinking about this is a headline I read this morning, where Ken Clarke, the British Justice Secretary, demarcates between ‘date rape’ and ‘serious rape’:

Frankly, I find this disturbing because all rape is serious.  Now, I understand that all crimes are circumstantial – as is clearly seen in murder for example:

But what I am seeing in the examples cited (and far more can be cited) is that rape should be perceived in degrees; or specifically, in ‘types’:

I understand this.  However, at no time should this detract from the fact that rape is a serious crime.

Which brings the topic to the notion of blaming the victim – an idea probably as old as rape itself:

And from the link above, victim blaming “concepts are at least partially accepted in many countries. In some countries, victim-blaming is more common, and women who have been raped are sometimes deemed to have behaved improperly.”

Which brings up the statistics on rape:

In the United States, 38% of rapes are committed by a “friend or acquaintance”, and a “current or former partner” shares the same percentage with a “stranger” .. 26%.  (See link above.)

So in regard to Polanski, who used drugs and alcohol on a 13 year old girl, he was an “acquaintance”.  In the case that triggered the ‘slut walk’, the victim was raped by an “acquaintance”.  In the Strauss-Kahn case, he is a “stranger”.  In every case, the victim resisted, which is what makes it rape.

I dont really know where I am going with this.  Maybe its triggered by the conversation several woman had last night after Yoga class – where we talked about ‘female liberation’ and what that meant for us then and what it means today.

Maybe its triggered by the series of recent events, which hinge on the idea that a woman ‘deserves’ to be raped, or somehow ‘asks’ to be raped, or ‘brings it on herself’ based on her clothing, when in truth, the true reason for rape is not only obscure, but multifaceted, and 99% initiated by men.

So I suppose what I am saying is, in reading these headlines, I don’t think it wise to lose sight of the very real fact that the definition of “rape” lies squarely on there being NO CONSENT.

Ahimsa!  Non-Injury!

Yogini Valarie Devi

Freedom from Disease and Abnormality

Eating healthy is the first step in disease prevention

You want freedom from disease and abnoamality

‘Cause you don’t wanna have this stuff effecting your realty


Are you ADHD?   Are your kids?   Did you know there has been a 3% rise in ADHD, per year, from 1997-2006, and that this percentage is increasing?   Wonder why?   Wonder what could be causing it?

Well, The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics has published research done by the University of Montreal and Harvard University, which examines the potential relationship between ADHD and exposure to certain toxic pesticides called organophosphates.

So how are you or your kids getting exposed to toxic pesticides?

In the food you eat.

Babies and children are the most susceptible, being smaller with developing immunities.   But, regardless of your existing good health, the toxic pesticides found on the food you eat can damage the nerve connections in the brain, which means they disrupt the brain’s neurotransmitters.   So .. what does that mean?   It means that the pesticides on the food you eat are hampering your motor system (basic movement), increasing introversion, changing your mood, de-regulating your body temperature, impacting your sleep, decreasing your short-term memory, hindering your learning capacity, and lowering your arousal (stimulation, creating dullness).

If that’s not enough .. organophosphates, that are sprayed on the food you eat .. are used to make nerve gas.   Yes, the same nerve gas used in warfare, and the flea control you put on your pets.

Fortunately, its not all fruits and veggies, so here is a list for you to watch out for:  Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Cherries, Grapes, Lettuce, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Spinach, and Strawberries.

If you eat these .. buy them organic!   Yea, yea .. I know, “it’s expensive”, you say; but we are talking about longterm neurological damage here.

To help save money, you do not need to buy these fruits and veggies organic.

Honestly, consider your priorities here:  health versus loss of health.   Remember, food – whole food – is preventative medicine.   ADD and ADHD are very real and very serious; not only do I know lots of kids with it, but more and more am meeting those with “adult onset ADHD”.

Seriously, for kids, being inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive in school is going to keep them from learning, and so end up being medicated.   And for adults, that means ‘zoning out’ or being easily distracted, having difficulty in paying attention, struggling to complete tasks, overlooking details, and poor listening skills – try doing your job when your brain neurons are not firing right because of the food your eating!

Bottom Line:  This is a quality of life issue, and true food for thought.

Eat Well .. Smile Often!

Yogini Valarie Devi

Acknowledge Self, Gain Health

Are you searching for ‘Raw Vegan’ or ‘Live Foods’?   Are you searching of ‘Yoga and Diet’?   Are you searching for ‘healthy lifestyle’?   Are you searching for ‘Yoga and Ayurveda’?   Are you searching for a way to reclaim your health and vitality?   Are you searching for ‘traditional Yoga’?   Are you searching for something to ease the sense of emptiness you feel inside?

Ok .. so that last one was really deep!


So regardless of how you came to this page, face it, you are looking for something to connect with.   Whether it be healthy eating, Yoga, a life change, or some other, you are here to help define who you are and what you know.

Eating whole foods – foods close to their natural state – has always been at the heart of Yoga, which has always been about health.

Seems like every day, reading the news, there are articles about this disease or that disease.   And it’s true, disease is on the rise, which means Big Pharma drug use is on the rise, which combines to create a transgression against natural law.   Yes .. natural law .. which is your inner wisdom.  L ets be honest here, when eating a burger your getting more than just cooked meat; for example, the FDA and USDA allow the definition of ‘meat’ to have upwards of 20 components.

Before taking up exercise (Yoga), one must learn about health (Ayurveda).   So that health comes first, then exercise; which makes since, because most of us are born healthy and only take up exercise after getting out of shape (or unhealthy).

You see, health and exercise – Ayurveda and Yoga – focus on eliminating the cause of disease, promote a return to natural law/living, and reestablish balance within the bodymind complex.   So health and exercise is holistic, or that which includes the whole of our being, which means the body, mind and spirit.   But at the most fundamental level – so therefore, the easiest – there is whole food, which is the medium for bringing balance to the sum total of what we are.   You see, there is nothing more basic, more natural, then preventative health and healing.

The self is the origin of all finite happiness,

But it is itself limitless, transcending definition.

It remains unaffected by deeds, good or bad.

It is beyond feeling and beyond knowledge.

It is the ever present in the meditation of a Yogi.

-Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Now that’s diving deep!

You see .. free will is our divine birthright, as are our capacities for self-reflection and distraction.   So that our ahamkara, our “individual self”, is both the vehicle gifted us at birth to facilitate life’s journey, and the means of our free and willful expression.

You see, ahamkara is how we remember our self and Self – the light and the Sun, the spark and the Flame.   So when we remember our divine origin, how can we stuff a processed food product into our mouth?   How can we sit on the coach and allow their arteries to clog, or arthritis to set in?

Acceptance of our s/Self is the greatest health of all, and for this, time stands still; for the accomplishment of inner quiet (peace of mind) removes years of aging.   As we begin to nurture our body, mind and spirit, we find that time actually reverses itself and we gain youth – vigor and vitality.   You see, longevity is not in the future, but in the living moment, and that is the true cornerstone of holistic health.

Breathe Well .. Smile Often!

Yogini Valarie Devi

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