The Best Type of Salt to Balance Your Dosha

The Best Type of Salt to Balance Your Dosha

According to Ayurveda, the right salt—in moderation—can help balance your dosha. Here are 6 of our favorites, from mild soma salt to fiery black salt.

Salt gets a bad rap, but the right type of salt in moderation can have great health benefits, according to Ayurveda.

“It can help eliminate waste from the body, aid in digestion, and relieve pain in the colon," says Heidi Spear, faculty at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, meditation coach, and author of Ayurveda Made Easy: 50 Exercises for Finding Health, Mindfulness and Balance.

In Ayurveda, the salty taste is one of the six tastes (salty, sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent). Ancient Ayurvedic texts even mention the likes of sea salt and rock salt. “We need to have salt in our diet,” says Divya Alter, chef at Ayurvedic restaurant Divya’s Kitchen in New York City and author of What to Eat for How You Feel: The New Ayurvedic Kitchen. “It helps us experience all the other tastes properly. Each taste has a mental and physical function in the body.”

But don’t make BFFs with your salt shaker just yet. The goal is to keep the body in equilibrium by discovering your constitution (dosha) and choosing the right salt accordingly, as salt’s inherent elements—fire and water—impact the doshas, and affect each dosha differently.

See also What is Ayurveda?

Salty Taste for Vata

Vata is air and space, so to keep it grounded, you want something warm, moist, and heavy, making the salty taste an ideal equalizer. When saltiness is ingested, it helps balance vata’s cool and dry elements. Our on-the-go, hyper-connected culture creates excess vata for many people. “In the right amounts, the salty taste’s qualities—oily, heating, and heavy—can balance vata,” says Spear.

See also Yoga for Your Dosha: A Grounding Vata Yoga Sequence

Salty Taste for Pitta

Pitta and the salty taste share the same elements: fire and water. Adding saltiness can aggravate this dosha, especially in the hot summer months. To cool down, you’ll want to add small amounts of bitter taste, like bitter melon and dark leafy greens.

See also Yoga for Your Dosha: A Refreshing Pitta Yoga Sequence

Salty Taste for Kapha

Made up of earth and water, kapha is stable, damp, and cold. To optimize best tastes for this dosha, choose something that has heating and slightly dry qualities. So go ahead and sprinkle salt in your dishes, just don’t go overboard, as one quality of the salty taste is water retention, which can make kaphas feel sluggish. “Too much salt is kind of like having molten lava within and can cause aggravation of kapha and pitta, triggering problems such as skin eruptions, digestive issues, and feeling overly hot," says Spear.

See also Yoga for Your Dosha: A Congestion-Clearing Kapha Yoga Sequence

Regardless of your dosha, when choosing a salt to add flavor to your meals, steer clear of table salt, as pure sodium chloride is particularly harsh on the body, says Alter. Here are 6 of our favorite salts—from mild soma salt to fiery black salt—to better balance your dosha.

The Best Type of Salt for Your Dosha


15 Anti-Aging Health Benefits of Yoga That Will Make You Want to Start Practicing Now

15 Anti-Aging Health Benefits of Yoga That Will Make You Want to Start Practicing Now

While age does affect you in various ways, there’s a lot you can do to limit its impact on your body. Yoga is an excellent anti-aging tool, capable of relieving symptoms and in some cases improving medical outcomes. It doesn’t matter where you’re starting from or how old you are—movement and yoga can help.

Along with the smile lines and gray hair, aging brings changes that are harder to see but very easy to feel, especially during movement. As you age, you’ll encounter general physiological changes in elasticity, stability, speed, strength, and endurance, as well as a different perspective on physical goals. Specific health problems emerge as we age, and these age-related illnesses might affect your yoga practice. Here, we offer our thoughts on how to modify your practice for these common ailments, and we detail the ways that (in some cases) yoga can actually relieve symptoms or has been proven to improve medical outcomes. From heart issues to less lung capacity, decreased bone density to hormonal changes, and bad backs to artificial knees, physical changes will affect and dictate the needs of a yoga asana practice, but in all cases, doing yoga will make you feel better.

General Physiological Changes

Here’s the bad news: as you age, your body becomes less flexible, less stable, slower, weaker, and less competitive in endurance. With age you lose elasticity in muscle, fascia, and (as you can see in a mirror) skin. This results in generally less flexibility, which can translate to instability and stiffness. Sarcopenia (muscle loss) and osteopenia (bone loss) are common aspects of aging. Both can contribute to less strength, speed, and endurance. While it does get harder to build muscle with age, it’s not impossible, and it’s never too late. Exercise and yoga help you maintain the muscle mass you have and continue to add more. Whether you suffer from osteopenia may have as much to do with genetics and gender as it does with your physical activity level, but movement and weight-bearing exercises keep bones healthier for longer.

This information probably doesn’t come as a surprise, though; we tend to be well versed in the changes that come with aging, especially as we get older. The good news is that you also have all the attendant wisdom, confidence, and life experience of your years on earth. And let’s be honest: while it might be nice to still have the body of a twenty-one-year-old, we know few people who actually want to be twenty-one again (we certainly don’t!). Besides, the news gets even better: while age does affect you in various ways, much of it is in your hands, and there’s a lot you can do to limit the effect of age-related changes. Yoga is an excellent anti-aging tool. And it doesn’t matter where you’re starting from or at what age you begin—movement and yoga can help.

See also 7 Kundalini Yoga Tricks to Reverse Aging from the Inside Out

Things That Get Better with Age

There’s plenty of reason to celebrate every passing year: self-confidence, body image, empathy, and decision-making all get better with age.And as we age, our stress levels tend to get lower. People report greater happiness in the later years of their lives—the older we are, the happier we are. In short, things may change, but a lot changes for the better!

15 Health Benefits of Yoga for Aging Adults

1. Osteoporosis/Osteopenia

Problem: As you age, your bone density decreases. For some people, this decrease is so great, it results in osteopenia or osteoporosis, which means their bones are more susceptible to fractures.
How yoga can help: Weight-bearing exercises can marginally increase bone density, although the gains are small. Still, yoga is valuable not only because of its potential effect on your physical skeleton but because it helps you build muscle, body awareness, and better balance.
Tips for your yoga practice: Weight-bearing lunge poses, like Warrior I, Warrior II, and Side Angle Pose, help build hip and leg strength; balancing poses like crane, tree, and Warrior III help protect against falls that can cause fractures in already-brittle bones. Because bone density loss makes your spine more fragile, be sure to talk to your medical team to create a plan of safe movements. Depending on the degree of your osteopenia, it might be wise to limit poses that require folding forward or minimize the degree to which you fold. The same is true of poses that require twisting—be gentle in approaching movements that cause your spine to rotate, or skip twisting poses all together.

2. Arthritis

Problem: Arthritis can cause daily pain in joints like hands, knees, wrists, or elbows. It can make you feel stiff and creaky, limiting comfortable range of motion.
How yoga can help: Recent research shows that a regular yoga practice can aid in reducing joint pain and help in improving joint flexibility. A regular yoga practice might also reduce inflammation.
Tips for your yoga practice: Avoid weight bearing in your hands and wrists, a common location of arthritis pain.

3. Spinal Stenosis

Problem: Spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal canal or vertebral openings, can squeeze your spinal cord and cause radiating pain and numbness that affects your hips, legs, and even your shoulders.
How yoga can help: A yoga practice that cautiously approaches forward folds and side bending and avoids extension (backbending) poses can help significantly reduce pain.
Tips for your yoga practice: If you have stenosis and osteoporosis, you might avoid forward folds altogether. In general, avoid big, deep movements of the spine. Less is better. Safe yoga, though, can help you build strength and create better postural habits, which can help alleviate chronic pain. An experienced teacher with knowledge of your condition will be a powerful ally.

4. Disc issues

Problem: Herniated, bulging, or slipped discs can press on your spinal cord or nearby nerves, causing spasms, limited movement, and radiating pain. Disc issues and back pain are more common in the lower lumbar region but may occur anywhere along the spine.
How yoga can help: Yoga can help you build core strength and flexibility in your spine, and these two things can go a long way toward remedying back pain.
Tips for your yoga practice: If you experience pain from disc issues, often it is best to avoid forward folds or any pose that causes your spine to round, as this can exacerbate the issue by squeezing the disc more. Instead, focus on backbending poses and poses that challenge your abdominal muscles and strengthen your hips.

5. Core Strength and Back Pain

If you’ve ever experienced back pain, you’ve probably been given the advice to strengthen your core. That wisdom is logical—building up the muscles in your trunk, back, abdomen, hips, and legs means that your spine is better supported.
How yoga can help: Any new movement or exercise that you add to your daily life will likely result in a stronger core; as you move your body in new ways, your major stabilizing muscles have to adapt. Yoga offers specific poses for core strength, too.

6. Nerve Issues: Pain, Neuropathy

Problem: When nerves are injured, pain, weakness, numbness, cramping, or tingling can occur as a result. In peripheral neuropathy, this often occurs in limbs, hands, feet, fingers, and toes. Nerve issues can result from a myriad of illnesses. Often caused by circulatory system issues, neuropathy also can be a side effect of other diseases or injuries.
How yoga can help: Yoga poses improve circulation; movement alone can help! Body awareness is also key.
Tips for your yoga practice: The more you are aware of what exacerbates or helps with pain or numbness, the better you are at making wise choices with your movement practices. Yoga allows you to explore your body in slow, safe movements. It gives you the opportunity to get to know what works for your nerves. Be sure to move slowly and pay careful attention to your body’s response in each pose.

See also Why More Western Doctors Are Now Prescribing Yoga Therapy

7. Ligament Tears

Problem: Ligament tears are common in aging, stressed, and over-used joints, especially knees, shoulders, hips, and ankles. As we age, we put increasing stress on these joints, which can result in abrasions and tears. If the ligaments give out, or if the joint is degraded, you may find yourself with a replacement.
How yoga can help: Yoga is useful for ligament issues in several ways: First, yoga helps you strengthen the muscles around your joints. Your knees, for instance, will be better protected if your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps are strong. Many common yoga lunge poses help keep your legs strong. Yoga is also useful if you are recovering from a ligament tear injury, as it allows you to continue moving even amidst injury.
Tips for your yoga practice: You should choose a gentler practice as you heal, and omit any poses that exacerbate your injury. Finally, yoga is adaptable enough to continue even if you experience a hip or knee replacement. You’ll be able to come back to a yoga practice, and doing yoga after a replacement (with your medical team’s approval) may even speed up the healing process.


8. Tendonitis/Tendonopathy

Problem: Although it’s often a temporary condition, tendon inflammation can cause joint pain and stiffness, and it can also create instability in weight-bearing movements. And as tendons age they can degrade, a condition called tendonopathy.
How yoga can help: Acute tendonitis generally requires some days of rest. But after allowing time to heal, yoga can be useful in helping establish new movement patterns. Because tendonitis is often caused by repetitive movements, practicing a variety of yoga poses offers you a chance to continue movement but in new and various ways—shoring up the muscles around the tendon and giving inflamed areas a chance to heal.
Tips for your yoga practice: If your health-care team diagnoses tendonopathy, ask which movements are safe and which you should avoid, then follow their directions in your home practice and convey them to your yoga teacher in class. Because of yoga’s adaptability, you will be able to find poses and sequences that continue to work for you.

9. Myofascial tightening, stiffness due to decreased collagen

Problem: As we age, we lose flexibility in our muscles and connective tissue, which results in stiffness, imbalance, and less confidence while balancing.
How yoga can help: If you don’t use it, you lose it! A regular yoga practice can help reverse some of that acquired stiffness. Gentle, regular stretching can help keep your body fluid and flexible. We’re often as amazed as our yoga students when we see the changes that habitual stretching and movement can confer. You don’t have to touch your toes, but yoga might get you a little closer to them.

See also Yoga for Flexibility Challenge: 5 Ways to Target Tight Spots on the Mat

10. Hormonal Changes/Hot Flashes

Problem: In women, menopause can bring temperature changes and hot flashes.
How yoga can help: Some studies have shown that a restorative yoga practice can help decrease the hot flashes that can come with hormonal changes.
Tips for your yoga practice: During a yoga class, it can also be helpful to lighten the amount of clothing you’re wearing or dress in layers so that when you feel warm, you can peel off a longer-sleeved shirt. Some yoga classes are warmer than other others. If you plan to attend a class, ask in advance about the temperature of the room.

11. Blood pressure

Problem: High blood pressure is one of the most common ailments that affect adults as they age. One in three American adults has high blood pressure. Rapidly transitioning from standing upright to folding forward can exacerbate dizziness, a common symptom of low blood pressure and a side effect of common medications for high blood pressure.
How yoga can help: Some studies show that regular yoga can lower blood pressure, so a routine yoga practice will help.
Tips for your yoga practice: As you move, avoid transitions that put your head below your heart, and opt out of sequences that require you to move quickly from standing to forward folding.

12. Asthma

Problem: Age-related lung changes can aggravate asthma, so as you age, bouts of asthma may increase.
How yoga can help: If your asthma is provoked by exercise, yoga is a good fit, since with yoga your heart rate stays relatively low.
Tips for your yoga practice: Keep in mind that in some classes yoga teachers use essential oils or incense to enhance the students’ experience. While this is a lovely intention, if you are asthmatic, strong scents can be triggering. It’s appropriate to ask in advance if these types of scents will be used in class and to request that they be omitted. Calling ahead to verify this may be the wisest choice.

13. COPD, Chronic Bronchitis, and Emphysema

Problem: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and emphysema make breathing very challenging and limit your ability to do cardiovascular activities.
How yoga can help: Yoga is low impact. For this reason, it is a useful movement practice if you have COPD or similar respiratory problems. Additionally, a yoga practice often has pranayama, or breath practices. Focusing on inhaling and exhaling can be useful if you have a chronic breathing problem, since breathing exercises can potentially help strengthen muscles used in respiration. Time spent in mindful breathing can also help you have more awareness of your breath; noticing when you get breathless or when you feel short of breath can help you seek treatment quickly.

14. Insomnia and Sleep Issues

Problem: Night wakefulness or restlessness may disrupt sleep.
How yoga can help: Intentional, slow breathing can foster a sense of relaxation and calm. A slow yoga and stretching routine before bed can help encourage drowsiness and tranquility. In fact, studies show that yoga can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Exercise of any type helps tire us out and promotes exhaustion, which can lead to better quality sleep.

15. Chronic Illness

Problem: Chronic illness can cause pain and hopelessness and may create limitations to practicing yoga.
How yoga can help: Yoga can be effective as a pain-management tool for painful diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Since yoga is so adaptable, it can be practiced in a chair or hospital bed. It may also be a helpful meditative tool for those diagnosed with a terminal illness.

The Only Yoga Rule You Need to Follow

The Yoga Sutras contain bits of wisdom and yoga philosophy. This text is one of the earliest yoga books. Regarding yoga poses, the sutras don’t say much. Yoga sutra 2.46 tells us simply that yoga poses should be steady and comfortable. Knowing that this is the only prescription for the poses frees us from feeling like our yoga practice has to look a certain way. A yoga student can do a handstand, or not; a lunge, or not; a balance pose, or not. Your practice is your practice. Find strength and ease, and do what works for you.

See also Feel Better As You Age With Yoga

From Lifelong Yoga by Sage Rountree and Alexandra Desiato, published by North Atlantic Books. Copyright © 2017 by Sage Rountree and Alexandra Desiato. Reprinted with permission of publisher.     


15 Poses to Open Your Heart Again After Grief

15 Poses to Open Your Heart Again After Grief

Practice this hip-opening sequence regularly to help you release energy from unprocessed grief.

Chris Fanning

When my husband died 15 years ago, my yoga practice became a way for me to process my grief—one breath, one transition, and one asana at a time. As a result, I was better able to move through my grieving process, rather than getting stuck in it. My fragile heart did not close its shutters. Instead, it remained painfully open in the beginning—and happily open now.

For many months following my husband’s passing, tears flowed every time I practiced, in private and in public. Those tears kept things moving, preserved the flow of life through me, and over the course of much time, served to transmute that pain and loss into a way of meeting the world with an open heart.

During the course of all of our lives, we will inevitably experience grief that stops us in our tracks, both literally and metaphorically. When this happens, it can be tempting to distract ourselves instead of processing our emotions. But when we embark on a regular yoga practice, we begin to release the stuck, stagnant energy that results from unprocessed feelings. I designed this sequence to help you open your hips—a particularly potent area when it comes to unearthing and releasing stored emotions—and to help you turn your pain and grief into fearlessness and compassion.

See also Healing Heartbreak: A Yoga Practice to Get Through Grief

See also 10 Ways to be Fearless in the Face of Grief and Loss

About Our Pro
Teacher and model Claire Copersino is a yoga teacher in Greeport, New York. To learn more, visit


Miraculous Practice: How Yoga Leads to Transformation

Miraculous Practice: How Yoga Leads to Transformation

See how the regular study and practice of yoga led to full transformation in four lives.
miraculous yoga practice woman in backbend

Has yoga changed your life? It’s pretty likely, since just about everyone who practices yoga has been touched in some way by its transformative power. Maybe you simply feel better in your body. Perhaps you’ve experienced more profound changes in your life, relationships, and worldview. But because these changes often take place over time, as part of a subtle and organic process, it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about yoga that helps you to live a better life.

ParaYoga founder and Tantra scholar Rod Stryker says that to truly understand why yoga is so transformative, you first have to understand the concept of transformation. The idea that yoga changes you into someone better than the person you were before is something of a misconception, Stryker says. It is more accurate to say that yoga helps you remove the obstacles that obscure who you really are, that it helps you come into a fuller expression of your true nature. “We’re not transforming into something we aspire to," he says. “We’re transforming into the very thing that we are innately: our best Self."

One way yoga encourages transformation is by helping you to shift patterns you’ve developed over time, patterns that may be unhealthy, Stryker says. When you put your body into a pose that is foreign and you stick with it, you learn how to take a new shape. Taking this new shape with the body can lead you to learn how to take a new shape with the mind. “If practiced correctly, yoga asana breaks down the psychological, emotional, physical, energetic, and psychic obstacles that inhibit us from thriving," Stryker says.

Yoga also teaches you how to make better decisions. Everything about practicing yoga involves intention—you set apart time in your day to do it, you move in a specific manner, breathe in a specific way. And when you are mindful and deliberate in your yoga practice, you create the opportunity to become more mindful and deliberate in your life. “The people who stick with yoga realize that they make decisions that are more constructive than destructive," Stryker says. “I often tell my students that one of two things will happen after you do yoga for a few years: Either you will begin to change for the better, or you will stop doing yoga."

Perhaps most important, your yoga practice allows you a glimpse of the joyful and free person you can be, says Anusara Yoga teacher Sianna Sherman. Practicing asana, she says, shows you that you can accomplish things you never thought you could. “At first, we think, ‘There’s no way I am going to be able to do a Handstand.’ And then, in little increments, we start to gain this confidence. And then all of a sudden we can do it." When you’re lying in Savasana at the end of a yoga practice, after you have worked hard and felt thoroughly present and connected to your body, that sense of joy and freedom you experience is an expression of your true nature. Even though it may be fleeting, it shows you what is possible.

The following stories are examples of yoga’s transformative power. They are the stories of four people in unusually difficult circumstances who, through yoga, were able to find the strength, confidence, presence, and discipline to change their lives for the better. May they inspire you to trust in the practice and in the answers that arise from getting to know your own Self.

The Power of Presence

“If I thought too much about what had happened, I would get sad and angry, and I couldn’t forgive the mistakes that had been made. If I thought too much about the future, that was too overwhelming. But if I stayed right in the present moment, I could handle things with grace and with ease."

In 2003, Julie Peoples-Clark, an Ashtanga and Bikram yoga practitioner living in Baltimore, was in her ninth month of a healthy pregnancy in which she practiced yoga every day, ate well, and took good care of herself. When she went into labor, she went to the birthing center where she had intended to have a natural birth, but nothing went as planned. As a result of a difficult labor and mistakes made by the birthing center, her daughter, Ella, was born with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. Doctors said she would never be able to walk, talk, or even sit up on her own. After Ella’s birth, Julie abandoned her yoga practice and spent the next two years wrestling with anger and depression. But through reconnecting with and deepening her yoga practice, Julie learned to let go of what might have been and to see the beauty of what was actually before her.

When Ella was nearly two, Julie took her to a program called Yoga for the Special Child in Encinitas, California, which she had seen advertised just days after Ella’s birth and finally felt ready to explore. Founder Sonia Sumar offered some yoga practices for Ella, and introduced Julie to Patanjali Yoga Sutra. At Sumar’s encouragement, Julie began to spend 15 minutes a day on her mat, combining a gentle asana practice with reading the Yoga Sutra and meditating. These small blocks of time shifted Julie’s experience of her circumstances profoundly. “Just being on my mat, in my sacred space, and focusing on my breath put me in the present moment. If I thought too much about what had happened, I would get sad and angry, and I couldn’t forgive the mistakes that had been made. If I thought too much about the future, that was too overwhelming. But if I stayed right in the present moment, I could handle things with grace and with ease."

The more Julie took this time for herself, the more present she became in all aspects of her life, including in her interactions with her daughter. She started to see Ella as a gift and a treasure. “I feel like I missed two years of my daughter’s life when she was a baby," Julie says. “I was so goal oriented, and I wanted her to be well. But sitting down on the yoga mat with her made me realize how rich my experience was. I have a beautiful daughter who is achieving amazing things every day."

Ella is now seven years old, and Julie has become an advocate for children with disabilities as well as a yoga teacher for disabled children and adults. When she reminds her students to stay present with what is, she is speaking from a place of experience. “One of the hardest things about Ella’s birth injury and disability was, and at times still is, thinking about what could have been: my life with a healthy child, birthday parties, dance lessons, Mommy and Me yoga classes," Julie says. She credits studying the Yoga Sutra with helping her to release attachment to what might have been, and for helping her gain acceptance and gratitude for what is.

“The sutras helped me gain the insight that my ego is creating my suffering by wanting what I do not have," she says. “My life is so incredibly rich and purposeful. I have a reason to get out of bed each day. I have a supportive, very sweet husband and a wonderful network of friends and family, all of whom have been touched deeply by beautiful, amazing Ella."

Life on Purpose

“When you hold poses for a while, you have time to get where you want to be. That’s how I feel about life now. If you are slow and mindful, you tend to be more focused on your goals and intentions."

In 1999, Stacy Meyrowitz was a sociable 32-year-old living a fast-paced life in Manhattan, booking artists and celebrities to appear on the VH1 network. Her life changed overnight when she suffered a brain hemorrhage, and she suddenly found herself facing significant cognitive impairment and months of recovery. Yoga helped Stacy get her life back and taught her the value of living with intention.

In the hospital after the hemorrhage, Stacy was calm and peaceful, she says. But as she slowly began to regain cognitive function, she became increasingly frustrated by her inability to comprehend simple things. She was easily confused, disoriented, and a step behind everyone else, both physically and mentally.

“My memory, balance, spatial relations, and concentration were all impaired," she says. “I’d gotten black and blue from bumping into walls. I would get lost in the city—I couldn’t figure out that I was going uptown when I actually wanted to go downtown. I had no interest in my friends, in my career. It was all just too much work."

Feeling disconnected from everything in her former life, Stacy dropped in to an Anusara Yoga class. Right away, she was drawn to the way the teacher asked everyone to line up their mats. The idea of order felt reassuring, she says. The teacher went on to give specific anatomical instruction that Stacy found she could follow. “I craved that kind of instruction like someone who hadn’t had food or water," Stacy says. “It was simple stuff I could totally focus on and go slow and do."

She started taking a beginners’ Anusara Yoga class every day at the same studio, and found that the clear, mindful asana instruction improved her memory, spatial relations, focus, and sense of connectedness with her mind and body. But on a greater scale, she says, the daily practice showed her the value of acting deliberately. She learned that, on the mat, patience and focused intention translated into more precision in poses; off the mat, those qualities resulted in living in a more deeply satisfying way. “When you hold poses for a while, you have time to get where you want to be," she says. “That’s how I feel about life now. If you are slow and mindful, you tend to be more focused on your goals and intentions."

Today, Stacy, who now works in real estate and is preparing to do a yoga teacher training, sees the effects of her yoga practice in every part of her life. She describes herself as more patient, precise, and detail oriented than she was before her brain injury, and able to make better business decisions. Her eating habits have changed—she ate fast food before the hemorrhage but now loves to cook, spending long stretches of time shopping for food, chopping vegetables for the week, and packing food to take to work. And she spends more time deepening her relationships with longtime friends, rather than filling her calendar with events involving big groups of casual acquaintances. The common thread, she says, is that she lives her life with a greater sense of purpose and intention. In some ways, she says, she feels like a completely different person from the one she was before the hemorrhage. “But I feel this person had to have always been here."

For Your Own Sake

“I learned to do yoga for me, to discipline myself for my own benefit."

Larry Sherman had survived a lot: substance abuse, a near-death experience as a naval petty officer in Desert Storm, and a divorce that left him with the responsibility of raising his children. But no problem seemed as insurmountable as his weight, which at his heaviest exceeded 540 pounds. Through yoga, Larry found the inner strength to turn his life around.

Larry’s overeating began as a way to cope with loneliness, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder. “I refused to go back to alcohol, so food was it for me," he says. “And I ate with a fury. I would wake up in the morning and go to the bagel place and eat two or three bagels and drink a cup of coffee. On the way home, I’d purchase two or three dozen doughnuts. Then I’d drive straight to the China Buffet and eat there for two hours, and then go home and eat my doughnuts. I was sick and tired, and I couldn’t breathe. I was spending every night waiting to die."

Larry had been in and out of food-addiction programs over the years, and in 2006, at age 47, he decided to try again. “I knew I had to make the decision to either live or die," he says. “I chose to live." But he knew that just changing his eating habits wouldn’t be enough. One day at a health fair, he met a yoga teacher who encouraged him to try yoga. Larry started attending classes at Yoga Shelter in Detroit, where his teacher and fellow students had to help him into the poses at first by supporting his arms and legs. “I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t even stand for long periods of time," he says. “And here I was, 480 pounds, and doing a Half Moon Pose." He kept going to classes and, to his disbelief, found himself doing Pigeon Pose, and then Boat Pose.

His size made the poses difficult and sometimes painful, but his teachers urged him to keep practicing. “Each time I did, I got more flexible and wowed myself with what I could actually do if I breathed and tried and never gave up on myself," he says. As asana became a regular part of his life, Larry discovered that his body was capable of moving with grace, and even of providing him with moments of pleasure. He found his self-confidence increasing—and with it the will to stick with the food-addiction program, something he hadn’t been able to do in the past. Over the next six months, he dropped 100 pounds. “You don’t want to abuse your body when you know how good it can feel," he says. “When you have felt the magnificence of your body in a vinyasa class or a slow flow class, then you know that you’re making a bad choice when you eat 10 pieces of fried chicken or half a pizza."

Today Larry weighs 180 pounds, and works in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation hospital, where he mentors young adults. “Yoga teaches you how to parent yourself, to take care of yourself," he says. “I was in the military, so they teach you to be disciplined for them. But I learned to do yoga for me, to discipline myself for my own benefit."

Discover the True You

“One day, I was sitting in Lotus position with my eyes closed, and I saw someone sitting in front of me, looking back at me. It was a beautiful woman. And I thought, ‘Oh my God, is that who I am?'"

At 40, Rachel Eliason is a registered nurse, a budding writer, and the loving mother of a 12-year-old son. But just four years ago, she was living her life as someone she wasn’t—someone named Richard. Yoga and meditation gave Rachel the insight to connect with the truth of who she really was, and the courage to embrace living her life as that person.

Rachel was born a biological male and as an adult had gotten married and fathered a child, but she had struggled all of her life with confusion about her gender identity. After her divorce five years ago, she tried living life as a gay man, but still felt unsettled. “It was obvious that this wasn’t the answer," she says. “I was still dealing with someone else. I wasn’t dealing with me."

Rachel had had a regular yoga and meditation practice for years, but she began spending more time with her practice, seeking answers and trying to connect with who she was. It was in meditation, she says, that she was able to see herself as a woman for the first time. “One day, I was sitting in Lotus position with my eyes closed," she says, “and I saw someone sitting in front of me, looking back at me. It was a beautiful woman. And I thought, ‘Oh my God, is that who I am?'"

The vision wasn’t as much a surprise as it was confirmation of something she’d always known subconsciously, but it was the realization she needed to move forward. “It had always been in the back of my head, but it was something I very consciously tried to avoid for a long time," she says. “I realized that maybe this was not just some fantasy. Maybe it was real. Maybe it could happen."

Rachel’s asana practice kept her connected to her body and helped keep her mind clear and free of judgment as she began the long and difficult gender-transition process, which at first involved changing external things, like her name and her clothing, as well as taking hormones. “I spent too much of my life trying to get around a lot of issues by being intellectual about them—like thinking that my feeling like a woman wasn’t real. Yoga helped me to inhabit my own body and just be myself," she says.

Her practice also helped her become comfortable with the way her body naturally wanted to move and express itself. “As a man, I had always held my hands together when I talked, to keep them from moving about, because it looked feminine," she says. “I had learned to control the way I walk because my natural tendency is to have a more feminine walk; rather than building a new female persona, it was more a matter of letting go and allowing my body to do what it felt was the most natural thing. And yoga was a huge help in just that."

Today, as the gender-transition process continues, Rachel is enjoying relief from the confusion that once overshadowed her. Her yoga practice is a constant reminder that achieving the truest expression of herself takes time.

“After you’ve done yoga for a while, you start to enjoy the process and realize that it’s not just about the end result," she says. “People think a sex change is something you do. But we call it a ‘transition,’ because it’s a process. Nobody wants to go through months of being on hormones and getting ready to have surgery. But you have to start with where you are and what you’ve got. You have to be patient and let the process unfold."


Ignite Your Practice: 12 Inspirational Yoga Quotes

Ignite Your Practice: 12 Inspirational Yoga Quotes

Yoga is chock-full of inspirational words and wise advice. Here, a dozen quotes on life, practice, and the path to turn to in moments calling for renewed motivation.

If there’s one thing we learned in YJ’s first 40 years, it’s that yoga tradition and philosophy are chock-full of inspirational words and wise advice. Here, a dozen quotes on lifepractice, and the path to turn to in moments calling for renewed motivation.


《 Michael Lington – Call Me Late Tonight(Stay With Me) (04:09) 》

《 Michael Lington – Call Me Late Tonight(Stay With Me) (04:09) 》


#墓誌銘 #書摘



書名:《墓誌銘風景:生命的亮光,人間的印記(link is external)









墓誌銘在詩作品的印象,也出現在1972年,我譯介的捷克詩人巴茲謝克(Antonin Bartusěk, 1921-1974)的詩選,34首詩的終篇。那時,巴茲謝克還健在。經歷「布拉格之春」並留下詩見證的他,以一首〈墓誌銘〉刻劃他生活的城市。



巴茲謝克在1970年代初期的一本企鵝版《捷克當代詩選》和塞佛特(J. Seifert, 1901-1986)及賀洛布(H. Holub, 1923-1998)三人並列,塞佛特並於1984年獲諾貝爾文學獎。捷克和東歐國家在二戰後一直在共產統治體制,1980年代末才自由化。巴茲謝克的〈墓誌銘〉其實喻示的不是個人,而是集體的命運。
















在金寶山的紀念墓園,許常惠的墓座,鐫刻著他的墓誌銘,彷彿他心意的剖白,更是他形影的呈現。江鵬堅 人權律師,政治俠客









《 Michael Lington – Everything Must Change (06:48) 》

《 Michael Lington – Everything Must Change (06:48) 》

The Yoga Sutra: Your Guide To Living Every Moment

The Yoga Sutra: Your Guide To Living Every Moment

Yoga is so much more than asana. 
The sutras show us how to be our true selves and appreciate every moment—
even when life gets crazy.

Yoga is so much more than asana. The sutras show us how to be our true selves and appreciate every moment—
even when life gets crazy.

It was one of those nights: My husband was out, two of our three kids were sick with colds, I had a work deadline the next morning, and one of the dogs found and tore into a dirty diaper, spreading the contents all over the room. And I mean all over. It was a last-straw moment to beat any others, and I was either going to freak out—yell at the dogs, curse my husband for being unavailable, and stomp around the house wondering why all these things had to happen at once—or find a way to draw on the tools Patanjali provides in the Yoga Sutra to accept the situation with as much grace as I could and figure out how to get through it with as little suffering as possible. So, I opted for the latter, managed to laugh a little, put the dogs outside, and cleaned up the mess. This, I realized in that moment, is why I do yoga.

See also Yoga Sutra 1.1: The Power of Now

One of the greatest things I’ve learned from my teacher, T. K. V. Desikachar, is that the true value of yoga is found when you apply it to your daily life—especially in those messy moments (say, when your dog decides to have at a dirty diaper). The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, widely regarded as the authoritative text on yoga, is not just for contemplating on the mat. The sutras are meant to be put to the test and practiced in your work, leisure time, and in your role as a parent, partner, and friend.

succulents, plants, green

The Yoga Sutra, explained

This ancient yogic text is traditionally presented as a guide for refining the mind so one can reach the highest states of concentration and focus. This focus is a means to an end: It leads to a clearer perception and the ability to know the Self, which ultimately results in independence from suffering. The 195 short verses are believed to have been compiled sometime around 350 CE by Patanjali, whom traditionalists also credit with writing texts on Ayurvedic medicine and Sanskrit grammar. Very little is known about the man Patanjali. In fact, it’s unclear whether Patanjali was an individual or simply a name created to represent several people. Yet while factual details about Patanjali are scant, the Yoga Sutra and its lessons are still with us today.

The 195 sutras are divided into four books, or padas, which cover four broad topics: what yoga is (samadhi pada); how to attain a state of yoga (sadhana pada); the benefits of yoga practice (vibhuti pada); and the freedom from suffering (kaivalya pada) that is the eventual goal or result of a consistent practice. The word sutra comes from the same root as “suture,” or thread—each concept is compact and discrete, but it can be woven together with others to present a full tapestry of meaning.

Though composed of few words, each verse is rich with meaning and depth, so that the most advanced student can continue to gain new insights even after years of study. Every carefully chosen word has clear meanings and connotations, which is why the sutras are best learned from an acarya, or “one who travels the path”— an experienced teacher who can help you appreciate the layers of complexity in the text and apply their meaning to your life.

While Patanjali is concerned primarily with calming, focusing, and refining the mind, the ultimate reward of putting the sutras into practice is that you feel better at every level of your human system, and the potential impact of this on your day-to-day life is limitless. When your mind is less agitated, you experience less anxiety and sleep better. When you have clearer perception, your confidence increases as you make fewer mistakes. Your relationships become more fulfilling as you take more emotional risks and connect with others from a place of knowing yourself more deeply. When you are more connected with your own needs and tendencies, you can take better care of yourself, whether that means eating more healthfully, finding a new job, or getting enough rest.

Admittedly, putting the sutras into practice off the mat can be especially challenging, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor, and starting with the eight sutras will give you a brief introduction to the transformative power that Patanjali’s simple but fundamental principles can have in your daily life. Consider them tools that are so universal in their approach and applicability, everyone can benefit from them, regardless of their background, experience, or beliefs. If you’ve never contemplated the Yoga Sutra, think of these eight verses as an entryway for accessing the support Patanjali has to offer you in your own life. Perhaps they’ll serve as an invitation to learn more.

See also Why Paramahansa Yogananda Was A Man Before His Time

Put in the practice

1.14 sa tu dirgha-kala-nairantarya-satkara-adara-asevita drdha-bhumih

To achieve a strong foundation in our practice, we must practice over a long time, without interruption, believing in it and looking forward to it, with an attitude of service.

Whenever you undertake anything new, whether it’s a relationship, a job, or a course of study, Patanjali advises you to recognize that there is going to be some effort involved. You must consciously create the foundation you hope to build on. Becoming a parent, starting a business, studying piano, taking up rock climbing—whatever you’re undertaking, if you approach it with the attitudes described by this sutra, you will experience more joy in the activity itself and you’ll create a solid foundation on which to build the future.

The first guideline Patanjali offers is dirgha-kala, or “long time.” This means recognizing that what you are undertaking cannot be perfected overnight, that you have to commit over time to get lasting results that you are happy with. Nairantarya, the next guideline, translates as “no interruption,” which addresses your continued commitment to the process. Your efforts must be wholehearted; an attitude of a little bit here and a little bit there is not going to help you reach your goal. Imagine trying to learn how to play the piano without practicing regularly, or trying to lose weight while eating healthfully only once in a while.

Satkara, the third guideline, means belief in what you are doing. If you approach a task with uncertainty, or with the attitude that your endeavor will fail, you set yourself up for disappointment. Patanjali advises that if you believe in what you are doing, your efforts will have greater impact. If you’re an activist lobbying for stricter clean-air protocols, for example, you have to believe in the cause if your efforts are going to effectively inspire others to support your work, and it helps you maintain your own momentum and enthusiasm.

Adara refers to the fact that you must look forward to what you’re doing. Whatever you set out to do, Patanjali advises that, on some level, you must enjoy the job at hand. Even if what you’re doing is difficult or tiring, there can still be joy and satisfaction in the effort if you know that you are experiencing something positive from it. Adara is important because, without it, you are prone to burnout or to abandoning your commitment.

Lastly, Patanjali mentions asevita, meaning that you must approach each endeavor with an attitude of service. You can do this by asking yourself, How can I best serve my work? My relationship? This practice? If you are parenting, one way you can serve that practice is by making sure that you get enough rest, time for yourself, and healthful food, so that when you are with your kids you can be at your best. Service to your efforts might mean getting a good night’s sleep before making a big presentation at work. Or it could simply mean approaching your work—whether it’s volunteering at a nonprofit or running a huge international corporation—with a positive attitude.

See also The Roots of Yoga: Ancient + Modern

child, piano

Get to know your true self

2.17 drashtr-drshyayoh samyogo heya-hetuh

The cause of our suffering is the inability to distinguish between what is the truth (what perceives) and what appears to be the truth (what is perceived).

2.23 sva-svami-saktyoh svarupa- upalabdhi-hetuh samyogah

The inability to discern between the temporary, fluctuating mind and our own true Self, which is ­eternal, is the cause of our suffering, yet this suffering provides us with the opportunity to make this distinction and to learn and grow from it, by understanding the true nature of each.

Patanjali says that the cause of suffering (heya-hetuh) is the inability to distinguish (samyoga) between two entities—the Self, or seer (drashtr), and the mind (drshyam), which includes your thoughts and emotions. Distinguishing between the two closely related entities—and understanding the role of each and the relationship between them—is a central goal of yoga and the key to your happiness and peace. Think of it this way: Imagine you’re a personal assistant who works closely with your boss and functions as her representative in public. Now, think about what would happen if you began to feel and act as if you were the boss, eventually forgetting to consult or even recognize your boss. Obviously, some problems would likely occur if this distinction were blurred. So, think of the Self, or seer, as the boss, and the mind as the boss’s instrument or assistant, recognizing the distinct role each one plays. That’s when you will acquire clearer perception.

Of course, one might say that Patanjali recognizes the value of both entities. It’s not that the mind is bad or the Self, or seer, is better. You need your mind, emotions, and identity to live in the world, just as you need your inner compass, or true Self.
What’s crucial is discerning the role of each and making sure that each entity is acting according to its proper role. The good news is that while the difficulty of distinguishing these two entities can be frustrating, and can even cause you a great deal of discomfort and pain, Patanjali says that the suffering that results when you mistake one for the other actually helps set you on your road to greater clarity.

The mistakes you make, and the pain you feel as a result, serve to guide you toward a greater understanding (upalabdhi—literally “to obtain or go near”) of both the true nature (svarupa) of the mind and the true nature of the Self, or seer—“the external that is seen and the internal that sees,” as T. K. V. Desikachar describes them. It is only through this increased understanding of the nature of each and the relationship between them that you are able to differentiate between the two, and hence prevent future suffering.

Instead of being too critical of yourself when you make a mistake, the message here is that you can let go of self-blame, regret, and criticism. By holding on to those thoughts, you are only making yourself more miserable, adding suffering on top of the suffering, so to speak. Patanjali is concerned with the present: You are here now, so it’s irrelevant how you got here, whose fault it was, or how badly you messed up. The important thing is that your mistakes give you a chance to learn something about yourself and to potentially do things differently the next time.

See also Live Your Yoga: Discover the Yamas + Niyamas

Walk in someone else’s shoes

2.33 vitarka-badhane pratipaksha-bhavanam

2.34 vitarka himsadayah krta-karita-anumodita lobha-krodha-moha-purvaka mrdu-madhya-adhimatra
duhkha-ajnana ananta-phalah iti pratipaksha-bhavanam

To avoid hasty actions that may be hurtful, we must practice trying to imagine or visualize the opposite of our first, instinctual reaction. We must see things from a different point of view and weigh the potential consequences.

Often, Patanjali’s most powerful advice broadens your view, shifting your frame of reference or offering a new vantage point from which to see things (pratipaksha-
bhavanam). These shifts might seem simple, but they can have a profound impact on your experience. Patanjali advises that to avoid doing harm by acting hastily, you must try to “visualize the opposite side.”

Patanjali is quite specific in these sutras, explaining that hasty actions that cause harm to others can happen in three ways: You hurt someone directly (krta: I am angry, so I kick someone); you hurt someone by way of someone else (karita: I ask my friend to kick another on my behalf); or you approve, encourage, or feel glad about harm done to another person (anumodita). Patanjali explains some reasons that people harm others, including greed (lobha), anger (krodha), and delusion or infatuation (moha). He then warns that, whether you harm someone a little bit (mrdu), an average amount (madhya), or a great deal (adhimatra), the result for you is the same: endless suffering (duhkha) and a lack of clarity (ajnana). To avoid this, practice pratipaksha-bhavanam.

Patanjali is a realist. He is not saying that you should not have legitimate feelings, or that you should judge yourself for feeling the way you do. He is reminding you that if you think badly of another, that person doesn’t suffer—you do. If you actually harm another person, you will likely suffer as much as, if not more than, the person you harm.

Patanjali offers this advice not so that you can become the citizen of the year, but so you can be happier and more fulfilled. It might sound selfish, but the most supportive thing you can do for the world is to focus on your own personal growth and transformation, and then act from that place in the world.

See also Ask the Expert: What Are 3 Must-Reads for Beginner Yogis?

Yoga and Animals, puppies, beach

Tap into your inner strength

1.20 shraddha-virya-smrti-samadhi-prajna-purvakah itaresham

For those of us who were not born into states of higher consciousness or knowing, we must cultivate self-confidence and conviction to help us maintain our persistence and strength, and to remember our direction so that we may attain our goal of a focused mind and clear perception.

Often translated as “faith,” shraddha is more appropriately translated as “self-esteem,” “personal conviction,” “self-confidence,” or “determination.” If you are consciously making an effort to achieve greater clarity (itaresham), your conviction (shraddha) will be followed by the strength and persistence (virya) to remember your direction (smrti) and to reach your goal of total and clear understanding (samadhi-prajna).

Practically speaking, shraddha is your inner strength; when you’re lost in the woods and it’s getting dark, shraddha is your deep inner trust that you will find a way to make a fire, get warm, and find something to eat. It’s the guiding force inside that urges you to keep putting one foot in front of the other until you come out of the woods. This resource is one of your greatest assets—a way to help you connect to your own true Self or the place of quiet light within.

Later, in sutra 1.22, Patanjali indicates that shraddha is apt to wane and fluctuate. We all have days when we feel more confident and self-assured, and days when we doubt ourselves. Shraddha is unique to each person: You might have just a little bit, or you might have a lot. The potential to cultivate shraddha is within you, though you might not be aware of that potential, or use it to your advantage. The right support (a good teacher, friend, partner, or mentor) can help you cultivate and strengthen shraddha.
Most daily challenges aren’t as dramatic as being lost in the woods. But if you’re facing a stressful time at work or dealing with an illness or a difficult relationship, it helps to remember that within you is the strength that can carry you through the hardest of times. Even if things become so difficult that you forget your inner strength, it is still there.

See also Is Yoga a Religion?

Align your attitude

1.33 maitri-karuna-mudita-
upekshanam sukha-duhkha-
punyapunya-visayanam bhavanatah-citta-prasadanam

An attitude of friendliness toward those who are happy, compassion toward those who are suffering, pleasure and delight at those who are doing good deeds in the world, and nonjudgmental watchfulness toward those who do harmful deeds will help us to attain a peaceful and balanced mind.

Recognizing that you can change your mood by shifting your attitude is an important step toward easing suffering. But implementing the attitudes Patanjali suggests is not always easy. Patanjali says you should feel friendliness (maitri) toward those who are happy (sukha). This seems like obvious advice, but how often, when others are happy, do we find ourselves feeling jealous, or bad about ourselves, with thoughts like “Why didn’t I get that raise? Why didn’t I win the lottery? Maybe that person cheated! They don’t deserve it!”

Likewise, Patanjali says you should have compassion (karuna) for those who are suffering (duhkha). But instead of compassion, you might feel responsible for saving them, guilty about their misfortune, or fearful that what happened to them could happen to you.
When others are doing good deeds in the world (punya), instead of feeling joy (mudita), you might feel critical of yourself for not doing the same, or even suspicious about their motives or integrity. Perhaps most difficult of all, Patanjali says that you should try to maintain an attitude of nonjudgmental watchfulness or observance (upeksa) toward those people who are doing harmful deeds in the world (apunya). This can be extremely challenging. How often do you jump in and place blame, taking sides without knowing the full picture?

Patanjali uses the word upeksa intentionally: He’s not telling you to hide your head in the sand, but to observe from a safe distance and with nonjudgment. If you can adopt these attitudes, you will receive the blessings of a calm, peaceful, and balanced mind (citta-prasadanam). And through this, your path will become clear.

Remember, the Yoga Sutra is a guide to feeling better in daily life, not to becoming a saint, and sometimes the best action isn’t the most heroic one. I once got between two dogs that were fighting to break them up. Without thinking, I tried to pull the dogs apart and ended up getting a bad bite. Had I not reacted so quickly, I might have thought of a better solution, like using a stick to separate them, or asking for help from someone more experienced. Similarly, if you witness an injustice on the street and get in the middle of it, you’re putting yourself in a position of conflict, and could become injured. But if you observe, trying not to pass judgment, you will be able to respond more clearly and act effectively while preserving your peace of mind and your personal well-being.

peace sign, car window

Find your inner compass

1.29 tatah pratyak-cetana adhigamo’py antarayabhavas ca

Those who have a meaningful connection with something greater than themselves will come to know their own true Selves and experience a reduction in those obstacles that may deter them from reaching their goal.

Once you are linked with something beyond your own identity, two things happen, says Patanjali: First, the inner consciousness (pratyak-cetana) is revealed (adhigamah) as the Self; second, the obstacles that deter you on your path (antaraya) are reduced and eventually extinguished (abhava). Coming to a place of independence from these obstacles of the mind facilitates a deeper connection with your own inner compass—that quiet, peaceful place within. When you are connected to this inner compass, you are better able to handle the twists and turns of life. You don’t take things so personally. Your mood generally remains stabler. You see things more clearly, and so you are able to make choices that serve you better. As Patanjali says, it is almost as though you become independent of the effects of whatever is occurring around you. You can experience it without absorbing it or identifying with it. You have the distance and perspective to see that what you’re experiencing is not who you are, but rather something that’s happening to you, and you can therefore move through it with greater ease.

I experimented with this soon after a friend’s wife died, when he started shouting at me one evening in front of a group of people. Somehow, without effort, I understood that he was not really angry at me. I recognized that he was in fact extremely sad about his wife’s death, and, even though he was saying terrible things to me, my ego did not step up and feel humiliated. Nor did I get defensive and retaliate by saying terrible things back to him that I would later regret.

Instead, I had an awareness that extended beyond my own immediate experience, which, while it certainly wasn’t pleasant, was not devastating or even hurtful because I was clear that it was not about me. I did not feel anger, embarrassment, or any of the other things I might have felt had I been acting from my ego or emotions. Instead, I felt deep compassion and understanding for my friend. I knew he did not want to hurt me, and I knew how much he was hurting.

The results of putting the principles of the Yoga Sutra into practice show up in moments like this, when you least expect them, with gifts of clarity and compassion. It’s here, in your relationships with others, in your moods, in your reactions to life’s situations, that you know your yoga practice is working, helping you to stay anchored, calm, and stable.

In these moments, you are able to respond from a place of love and trust, of compassion and nonjudgment. You shine from your center as a result of being connected to something deep within you as well as beyond you. When you are connected to your core and acting from that place within, you will find that you can handle almost any situation with much greater ease and clarity.

Kate Holcombe is founder and executive director of the nonprofit Healing Yoga Foundation in San Francisco and a longtime private student of T. K. V. Desikachar. Visit her at


《 Michael Lington – Fragile (04:47) 》

《 Michael Lington – Fragile (04:47) 》



#豆仔湯 #台南小吃 #飲食文化







老台南人吃香腸熟肉,客人都會跟老闆要一碗「豆仔湯」,內行的會加上骨肉或肝連肉,豆子容易有飽足感,所以又稱這種豆子叫「椪風豆」,是傳統勞動社會中替代飯食的好東西,它就是「豌豆」(學名Pisum sativum)的一種,鄉下農家稱「荷蘭豆」故名思義,這是十七世紀荷蘭人引進台灣的蔬果之一。一般東方料理食用豌豆,常會連果莢一起料理,也會取其青豆,但香腸熟肉用的荷蘭豆,經過去夾、乾炒後醃製風乾,呈現為黃色,也方便保存多日,客人點菜後在以熬煮香腸熟肉的高湯燙過後,加上香菜即可。





[1] 曾華壁,2011年三月,《臺灣史研究》第十八卷第一期,〈釋析十七世紀荷蘭據臺時期的環境探索與自然資源利用〉,頁1-39,台北,中央研究院臺灣史研究所。


《 Michael Lington – All In Love Is Fair (04:37) 》

《 Michael Lington – All In Love Is Fair (04:37) 》




《 Michael Lington – Apasionada (04:36) 》

《 Michael Lington – Apasionada (04:36) 》

【自然谷之星】做草仔粿又可做織品 天然素材青苧麻

【自然谷之星】做草仔粿又可做織品 天然素材青苧麻



青苧麻。圖片來源:Ting Cheng (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


葉背呈反差明顯的白色。圖片來源:Shih-Shiuan Kao(CC BY-SA 2.0)


苧麻布。圖片來源:Vincent Chien(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

事實上,青苧麻(Boehmeria frutescens)其實是苧麻(Boehmeria nivea )在野外的變種,兩者在外型上極為相似,可由葉背的絨毛密集程度作區分。苧麻引進台灣的確切時間現已不可考,但清朝康熙年間(1685年)寫成的《台灣府志》已有載錄:「土民所種,可織暑布」,可見原住民栽植的歷史悠久,且已被視為經濟作物。苧麻的紡織工藝並非台灣所獨創,在中國、日本、韓國……等地,苧麻紡織早已是歷史悠久的傳統產業。目前,中國已將其列入「國家級非物質文化遺產」;韓國亦將其納入「韓國無形文化資產」之內,並於忠清南道舒川郡韓山面,每年舉辦韓山苧麻文化節。

苧麻製成的紡織線。圖片來源:apinkleaf(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


草仔粿的製作。圖片來源:Chyn(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

青苧麻 檔案




科名:蕁麻科 苧麻屬

學名:Boehmeria frutescens Thunberg



  1. 多年生草本狀灌木,植株向上直立生長。
  2. 葉互生,此屬其他物種為對生。
  3. 葉片長6~12公分,寬4~8公分,卵形,邊緣為鋸齒狀,葉背密布白色絨毛,觸感粗糙,有三條主脈。
  4. 花期為5~7月,單性花。雌花為淡綠色花瓣,雄花則是黃白色,兩者皆為四枚花瓣。小花數簇生成球形,排成圓錐花序。
  5. 果實為扁圓形瘦果,被毛。


※感謝CHOICE喬義司  與行政院環境保護署支持自然谷之星專頁







《 Michael Lington – Twice In A Lifetime (04:43) 》

《 Michael Lington – Twice In A Lifetime (04:43) 》










在平緩的山稜線上,是一大片早已無人管理的柚子園,巨大的集塊岩散布其中, 形成特殊的環境景觀。也因為荒廢、車輛不易抵達,讓稜線上一棵百年苳老樹得以保存。這些幽谷中的水與綠,是尚德珍貴的自然資源。

















《 Michael Lington – Lovely Day (04:48) 》

《 Michael Lington – Lovely Day (04:48) 》

































【◎心靈研磨坊 - 曼陀羅藏◎】

《心靈研磨坊 ─ 身心體能極限的突破,放慢步調,邁開腳步,輕鬆地悠遊著....》

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