Raw cashew-coconut cake for May Day

There are official holidays in many countries in May. Usually I do my best to use this time and organize short trips somewhere. But I decided to have home-style holidays at this time with an intensive eco, healthy schedule. I am going to:

  • Read books and prepare new information for my blog.
  • Enjoy massage and new hair-cut;
  • Cook new main dishes and deserts. We eat at home at least 80% of the total numbers of meals. And we are going to follow the same way during holidays;
  • Go for family gym workouts and tennis. And practicing new workout program;
  • Meditate with Headspace app daily;
  • Practice yoga at home every morning;

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Yesterday I tried to make a new raw desert for us: coconut and nuts cake with mango. There are three different levels in this cake, which I put in a silicone mold of the shape for banana bread. And then put it in the freeze for a night.

Ingredients

Lower brown layer:

  • Almonds grounded in a blender – 100 g;
  • Raisins – 100 g;
  • Some water;
  • Raw cacao powder – 2 tbs.

Middle white layer:

  • Cashews, pre-soak in water for 2 hours – 100 g;
  • Coconut milk to taste;
  • Dried coconut to taste.

Upper layer:

  • The same ingredients like in a white layer;
  • Mango – 1 piece (you can replaced mango by berries or other fruit which gives you a color).

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You should blend all ingredients for each layers and lay our in a mold in the queue. I have read many different similar recipes in the Internet before. All of them said you should keep your desert in a freezer for 4–6 hours or overnight. So I did. It is also recommended to out a desert in a room temperature for 10–15 minutes before serving. But we tried this cold desert and due to our family council came to the conclusion this is not a good idea to eat a quite cold food for the digestion. Therefore, the desert was sent in the refrigerator defrosted naturally slow for a half a day. We guessed it! The cake turned into a soft and delicate mass of layers with a variety of flavors!

People: El Kalinado

El Kalinado is a man who wasn’t afraid to begin his new happy life in his 57th year. He left his home and his art studio in Victoria, Canada, sold and gave everything away, and went to travel alone.

I was lucky to meet El Kalinado in a yoga retreat & raw food place in Palawan Island, Philippines. I love the time talking with him, joining his sound healing & laughter meditation, and raw food cooking class.

A magic way from France to Canada

El told me: “I am an artist and a healer; I was born in 1954 in France. The story began when I was 12 years old. I was invited to join the “Bendor Drawing academy”, owned by Paul Ricard, a philanthropist who was also a friend of Salvador Dali. At this young age I was already drawing nude models.

Two years after the death of my farther, when I was 19, I met my future wife in London. As we were sitting at the terrace of a restaurant, my uncle invited this young woman passing by to join us for coffee. She was from Canada. We quickly felt that we were to live together and went to study in France, before moving to Canada to live there for 30 years together.

My wife died nine years ago, when our daughter was 17, and our son was 22. So I stayed in Canada for a while until the children became independent. I then decided to make a big change in my life: I sold and gave away everything, and went to Southern East Asia.

Sound-Healing at Bahay Kalipay, Philippines
Sound-Healing at Bahay Kalipay, Philippines

Yoga, massage and sound therapy

I started to practice yoga when I was in the university. After I had car accident, I needed a lot of massage therapy to recover. I noticed that while receiving massage therapy, the experience could be very different, depending on the therapist. With some, as soon as they put their hands on you, just from their energy you feel better. I then understood that this was not only massage therapy, but also pranic healing energy. So I started to learn massage therapy and Sound Therapy. It made a lot of changes in my life: it changed my habits and my diet. I then studied other alternative therapies.

No sickness for 15 years already

Before, I always had wine with dinner. But learning and practicing different therapies changed my habits. Progressively, without making a conscious choice, I stopped drinking wine, eating meat and avoiding anything that was not resonating with my body and my energy.I used to be sick every winter but since, I’ve not been sick for over 15 years.

Raw food

I try to eat mostly raw vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts, a plant based diet. I mostly eat raw food, but when I live in India, I eat cooked vegetables, rice or lentils one time a day.I like sweets only if they are made without white sugar or artificial sweetener. I used to teach raw chocolate classes in Canada: mixing unsweetened chocolate (coco powder or chocolate mass) with either coconut nectar, maple syrup, agave syrup (or honey if you are un-vegan) dates, and coco butter or coconut oil. This makes a healthy chocolate that must be kept in the fridge.

Picture from a raw food cooking class at Bahay Kalipay, Philippines
Picture from a raw food cooking class at Bahay Kalipay, Philippines

Main rules to be eating raw food

  • Drink 2 glasses of water when you get up, to flush your digestive system.
  • Chew slowly: I recommend to take a spoonful in your mouth, and then put the spoon on the plate, don’t touch it until you chewed the food completely and your mouth is empty. This is very important to have the enzyme needed for proper digestion.
  • It is good to eat fruits separately. Don’t mix them with vegetables and grains.
  • Don’t drink with your meals: drink at least 30 minutes before and 1 hour after your meal.Try to get fresh organic fruits and vegetables.
  • If you live in a cold country, I recommend eating some kind of warm food: hot soup, vegetables or tea, and use some “heat food” like cayenne pepper and ginger.

Why is a green smoothie good?

When you put green vegetables in a blender, you extract all the nutrients from them. If you try to chew spinach or other greens, you have to chew them for at least 10 minutes to get the same amount of nutrients. But always drink your smoothies very slowly so you can digest them properly.

The main rule in my life

I will never retire… I never stop learning… I live in the present as much as possible and I love to help people heal with all the modalities I practice (Energy Medicine, Sound Healing, Emotions re-programing, Reiki, massage and Sat Nam Resayan).”

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How to reach a regular fitness?

  1. Push yourself to go to the gym or do other sports during first 6-12 months;
  2. Keep a strong discipline and willpower;
  3. Enjoy small results and love yourself more and more;
  4. Remember about the future and the quality of your life which increases by proper fitness and health food;
  5. Make photos of yourself in an underwear every two weeks in the same day and compare these in different periods. Enjoy results or be honest and correct your nutrition plan or/and workouts;
  6. Listen and feel yourself. Have a rest;
  7. Finally enjoy fitness as your lifestyle habit.

Food and activities in the travel: Israel

They said Israel is a second home of start-ups after Silicon Valley now. This place definitely inspired me a lot by fresh ideas, new plans and challenging tasks. But what I liked most was people’s ability to live life here and now: just being yourself, walking, socializing, dancing, smiling and enjoying tasty food.

Food in the travel

  • Mediterranean cuisine is famous for its long positive impact on life expectancy. I could easily find both delicious and healthy food (fresh vegetable salads seasoned with local olive oil, fish and seafood) in any local cafe.
  • But… I had to abstain from eating up, even the most delicious and healthy dishes! I have discovered that food helpings tend to be really hospitable in Israel: three times larger than the average ones in Russian and European restaurants.  Here I experienced my first cheating day of not finishing the ice cream, as one scoop turned out to be much bigger than I had been used to.
  • I was really pleased by beverages variety. For instance, this is possible everywhere in Israel to select from coconut water smoothie, soymilk coffee, mint and lemon tea, or fresh juice. Actually, I encountered lots of fruit shops in every city I visited: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bat Yam and Haifa.
This is just one scoop of ice cream with one flavor in my cup, and two flavors on the cup of my friend
This is just one scoop of ice cream with one flavor in my cup, and two flavors on the cup of my friend

Activities

  • The trip was rich with strolls about Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. My mobile pedometer would register approximately 18 000 steps daily for three days running.
  • I took my time to practice in-home yoga before breakfast.
  • My friend suggested our cycling tour along Tel Aviv shoreline. To tell you the truth, bicycles were not the most comfortable ever, but cycling truly accelerated our movements, contributed to diversity of sights seen and filled our day up with brand new emotions and experiences.

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  • When planning my trips, I always google good gyms and yoga classes or ask my friends and acquaintances about such places. It was my friend Katya this time, who took me to the Russian-speaking morning yoga meditation class, which took place at a sea view classroom.
  • I had spare time for gym on Shabbat. But Shabbos, or Shabbat is a holy day when Jews refrain from work activities. That’s why I quickly designed a training program for the open-air workout. In the morning Katya and me had one-hour boot camp in front of the sea. It is noteworthy that there is plenty of space for those who want to train at the seaside.

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You will be able to find out more about that training program of mine in one of the following posts.

Raw coconut&mango breakfast

Good morning!

I’m so glad to come back at my home and kitchen after long trip! Love cooking healthy food and, of course, eating it then!

Thanks Nutritious&Delicious for the inspiration to cook a super tasty, 100% raw breakfast. The original recipe is here.

 

I’ve changed the recipe a little bit due to the ingredients at my kitchen.

I put for two cups:

  • 1 mango,
  • 1 glass of homemade coconut milk,
  • 10 teaspoons of chia seeds,
  • 2 teaspoons of organic date syrup from Israel.

The taste is amazing! Thanks Nutritious&Delicious!

No to Arthritis: Instruction Sheet

If you are familiar with my fitness record, you know that I had come to gym for health, not for beauty. The problem was solved and I created a muscular girdle in the core to support kidneys and not let them shift down. But soon life called me to the next challenge. The knee joint pains lead me to doctors who diagnosed a case of genetic knee arthritis.

It hurt to tears during inflammation of the knee.

I started studying the arthritis subject with innate systematic approach: discovered other people’s experience, searched for sportsmen’s recommendations, and consulted with orthopedists and rheumatologists.

In the course of treatment I formed the following habits.

1. Appropriate doctors are essential

You have to surround yourself with professional medical support: that of orthopedist, rheumatologist, ultra sonographer and radiographer. I found the right doctors on recommendations of acquaintances. I would arrange an appointment with a doctor, prepare a list of questions, visit the doctor and realize if he met my requirements and if I could trust him. You’d better also do ultrasonography and radiography in recommended clinics and undergo re-examinations at the same places with the same doctors.

2. Tolerating pain is forbidden

Knee pain is the first stroke of joint inflammation. In case of arthritis, the cartilage deteriorates and the bones start rubbing directly against each other. That’ s why I agreed to take medicines prescribed by my orthopedist. I was on non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and cartilage protectors.

3. Daily exercising is a must

Your physical therapy should be on a daily basis. There are no capillaries in knee joints and important nutrients are provided by synovial fluid, which is transported into the joint space from cartilage only when the joint is active, i.e. during movement. Moreover, it is necessary to build leg muscles to create a muscular girdle for your knees. But it is not recommended to do weight exercises, such as squats, lunges and jumps at inflammatory state.

I relocated my lower body workout from the gym to home mat. I performed light 45-minute leg and butt workouts every day. My orthopedist had provided illustrated instruction sheet to those exercises.

I kept on working out my upper body in a gym with sitting position exercises prevailing. In that way, weight is distributed on hips, not on legs. I always warmed up by cycling only.

I added regular swimming to my training schedule for general joint support and my overall muscular tone maintenance.

4. Eating avocado and cottage cheese is good for you

In case of knee arthritis, nutrition should be focused on cartilage repair. Firstly, your diet should be healthy and balanced. Take lots of vegetables, fruits, green-stuff and safe drinking water. I had refused meat, gluten, roasted and junk food long ago and this point was no hard task.
Secondly, I increased the quantity of fatty fish, avocado, olive oil, prawns and other rich in healthy fats products consumed.
Thirdly, I added casein protein to my evening menu. I found out from several articles that growth hormone in human organism is produced naturally throughout the whole life, however, its level drops over the years. Protein tends to double up the growth hormone production, which facilitates cartilage repair. Casein protein is digested within few hours, which, in its turn, raises the chance of growth hormone production. I tasted casein protein powder but was preoccupied with body response. That was why I replaced it with 100-gram portion of skim cheese and used to have it two hours before bedtime. At the time it was the only dairy product on my menu. And currently there are no dairy foods at all. Collagen, which is contained within aspic, is considered to be beneficial for arthritis treatment. But I refrained from this experiment, as I didn’t feel like eating meat products back then.

5. Taking care of your knees, by all means

I ordered special orthopedic insoles, as proper foot fixation is another foundation for knee joints. And my personal experience proves it well. At least, now, that I have new footwear and insoles, I don’t get tired from long time walking, as I previously did. And you can easily displace your insoles from these or those shoes to the other ones. Now I choose to buy new footwear only if my insoles fit well in it.

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Happy end

I have no bum knees any more. The doctors have noted significant improvements. I have gradually added leg workouts to my training and displaced my in-home physical drills to the gym. I have built my muscles scrupulously and successively. Now all kinds of exercises, seated or stand up, lunges or squats, are included into my regular training programme. But I still tend to listen to my body and to focus more on sets quantity and quality, than muscle mass gain.
My body reveals and health strengthens.
To tell you the truth, this is a great piece of luck to prove first-hand that recuperating your health is possible at any age.

Keep health in Russian winter

Well, I’m in a Russian winter the second day after long time in a warm Asian climate. And this is a good chance to check my health and body.

Many people said me I don’t eat read meat and chicken just because I spend more time in a warm country. Firstly, I don’t eat read meat for more than three years, so I begun when I was in Russia. The second, yes, I didn’t eat chicken since I’m in Asia.  And the third, I don’t think it depends on climate, as I didn’t want to eat meat and chicken for many years before.

I’m on a low-carbs diet also. So many people said again I would want eating more carbs during Russian winter. We will see. I will listen my body during my time in the winter. I promise to be honest with you and myself. Now I can say I like here hot tea and soups more than before.

My plans to keep health and energy during Russian winter:

  • take multi vitamins every day;
  • eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits;
  • workout every day;
  • sleep at least eight hours at night.

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In the end of this week there will be minus 26-28 during daytime. I guess it will be difficult for me to go to the gym for workout even by taxi as not all cars work in such cold weather usually. I’m going to workout at home as there are more than enough equipment: the mat, a resistance tube, gliding plates, weights for ankles.

I will keep to share my experience with food and workouts during winter time 🙂

Dietary muffins

I don’t remember why and how I decided to cook dietary muffins this year. But recently I cook them quite often for our nice family weekends. I have tried different options of recipe. Firstly, I added a homemade cottage cheese, but I don’t eat dairy products for half a year now. So I created the different recipes and the taste is even much better. And now this is definitely dietary muffins without gluten, sugar, dairy products and butter.

Ingredients and proportions for six muffins:

  • 2 small organic eggs + 1 egg white;
  • 1 teaspoon of stevia (or teaspoon of honey);
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon;
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil;
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda;
  • 4 tablespoons of buckwheat flour;
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut or brown rice flour;
  • 6 pieces of mashed dates;
  •  2 mashed bananas with 1 teaspoon of organic cacao;
  • dried apricots or raisins to your taste.

I put dried apricots into hot water for 10 minutes. They swell up and the taste becomes very tender.

While dried apricots are soaking I’m mixing all the ingredients adding one after another. Then I put paste in baking cups filling them half and then bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

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I cooked such muffins several times. You’ll have the tenderest taste if you add soaked apricots 🙂

One more nice option is to mash a carrot instead of dates with bananas and cacao.

Bon appetite!

Karin G. Reiter. Australian Medical Nutritionist

Australian Nutritionist Karin G. Reiter inspires me not only to change in nutrition. She was an lawyer in a bank industry some years ago, studied Medical Nutrition, opened her Nutrition clinic in Singapore, became the wife of a happy husband and a mother of two healthy children. In the same time Karin was educated as a personal fitness trainer, shares her professional and personal experience in her blog Nutrisious&Delicious, has launched its own free ebook with healthy recipes, exercise five times a week, and just lives a fulfilled, meaningful life.

LOVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO EAT A GOOD FOOD

Karin is my teacher about medical nutrition during the course “Personal trainer FISAF Singapore”. I am very inspired by her lectures, and wanted to know more how she organizes a healthy food habits for her family with two children at ages five and three years old.

Me: How do you teach your children to eat healthy food?

Karin: They were born to know healthy food flavors from birth. They eat vegetables, fruits whole grains like quinoa, lentils, nuts and seeds… I make an almond milk… So they know flours in their systems and they love it. The challenges happen around the ages 3 or 4 when the children see the other children eating unhealthy food. So I do a workshop called “Kids eat healthy”. I educate parents why some food is unhealthy for children and how to get your children to eat healthy food. Because most people don’t really understand why some food is best avoided or how to get their kids to eat healthy. And also I explain sociological side how to deal with that: children should eat 90% healthy food cooking at home or eating at healthy restaurants. My kids love sushi and there are many places in Singapore where you can find fresh juices. So it’s very easy for us to eat out. And we never eat at McDonalds or places like that. And when we go to parties, I allow the children to eat whatever they want. Because this is a small percent of their food. They are still kids.

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Me: You told me that problems happen around the ages three to four. So how do you persuade them to eat healthy food 90% of their time?

Karin: You don’t persuade children. And you don’t teach them what is the nutrition food. You just try to create positive thoughts for their habits. I’m modeling behavior for my children. I eat healthy food, they eat healthy food. They help me to cook food. They help prepare the food, touching it, smelling it, learning about it. They come shopping with us to the markets. So they know well what is healthy food. And when they choose healthy food, I tell them “Good choice, healthy choice”. When my daughter wants to eat unhealthy food, she knows this is unhealthy. And sometimes she can say me “I feel a stomachache”. And I remind her, she has a stomachache because she ate an unhealthy food. Or also there is a big connection between unhealthy food and children’s reaction and feelings. When you have kids one day, you will see that when they eat unhealthy food, they have mass of reaction. Really like running around, crying. And it’s very difficult to manage. So I try to show connection to my daughter how she eats and how she feels.

Me: What are the general rules to choose a good food?

Karin: The first is it’s a natural form: coming from trees, from a ground rather than something coming from a box. And fresh is best. Also little or no ingredients. You need understand all ingredients. I strongly recommend eating 80% of plant-based food: vegetables, nuts, seeds, lentils, beans and different kinds of whole grain, brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat…. Things like that.

Me: And how many times a day do you eat? How many times a day do you recommend to eat?

Karin: There is no one recommendation for every persons. Everyone isn’t the same. Some people need to eat six meals a day, and other three meals a day. I think it really depends on your hunger, your personality. I think generally you should eat around every two hours when your stomach is empty of previous food. So it can be three main meals, and two-three small meals. Or ot can be six small meals.

The photo is from a personal archive of Karin
The photo is from a personal archive of Karin

Me: How much time do you spend for cooking every day? Because some people think it’s quite difficult to cook healthy food.  

Karin: I usually write down a menu plan on Friday for the next week. So know where my kids will go next week, or if we have guests at home. On Saturday I make shop for a whole week. And then usually on Sunday I cook four or five different big dishes. I make a lot of vegetables, I make hummus, I a big soup, I make much amount of beans or lentils, I make an almond milk. I don’t make fresh food in advance. I like fresh salads, green juices and smoothies, which I can prepare very quickly during a week. And I cook some fish, steamed vegetables during a week too. I don’t spend so much time for cooking. I usually spend one day for shopping, one big day for cooking around for three hours, and 30 minutes for cooking during weekday.

Me: How do you help your clients to change them?

Karin: We set goals: where we are gonna to be six weeks later, 12 weeks later or one year from now. And how we are gonna to get these goals. Maybe one week you cut out this type of food. You know, that’s the goal for this week. So it’s about the goals. But also about the plans how to make these goals. For example, if you want to decrease your cholesterol, how are you gonna to do it? Are you gonna to workout three times a week, to eat fresh vegetable salads for lunch every time, and you’re gonna to cook by yourself 90% of time.

Me: What could you recommend to people who have allergies?

Karin: You need to define if you have food allergy or food sensitivity. You feel tired, your mood is not good, your skin is not good, your bowel is not working correctly then you might have food sensitivity. The cheapest way to test if you are allergic to certain foods is to do elimination diet. So generally many people don’t feel good to gluten or wheat, dairy products, eggs and nuts. So and you need to avoid these food for two weeks but 100% to avoid them. And after two weeks one by one to add them and to see if you have a reaction. And if you have some of reaction like your skin, stomachache or headache, or diarrhea. It means you have sensitivity to this food. So you should cut out of your diet.

Me: Could you let us know your food diary for a day?

Karin: I don’t eat the same every day. But I can say what I ate yesterday. I had a green juice for breakfast with muesli, almond milk and berries. And then I had buckwheat with homemade hummus and fresh salad, and lemon for lunch. And afternoon I had berries, and some nuts, and some pineapple. And then for dinner I had a sweet potato with a small piece of fish and a big salad.

The photo is from a personal archive of Karin
The photo is from a personal archive of Karin

Me: And if a person wants to lose just 2-3 kg, what could you suggest generally?

Karin: Go back to the labels of food, which you eat. They should be simple with few ingredients. Drink a lot of water, eat a lot of vegetables in all forms: soups, salads, juices. Limit your fruits during a day (up to three fruits per day), eat only whole grains, and reduce the amounts of animals, which you eat.

Me: Thank you so much! And what is your main advice for people?

Karin: My main advice for people you should listen your body. You should learn about your body. Most people have no idea: they listen to the doctors, they listen to other people. Don’t follow the trends, magazines. The point is not to be skinny; the point is to be happy. And nutrition connects with your happy. When you eat a good food, you are happy. You are happy inside and love yourself enough to eat a good food. So all starts to love yourself and being true to yourself.

Everything happens for a reason

Natalia and I studied together. We were both television journalism students with prior TV work experience. You might expect something interesting with such a background, right? Natalia, now 29 years old, first worked as a translator and then as a PR-manager in a foreign company before eventually ending up as a yoga instructor.

In Natalia’s words, everything in her life has flowed naturally: twice living and working in the USA, a second higher education degree at the Department of Oriental Studies, teaching yoga, studying Japanese in Tokyo for three years and working in a show business. But I don’t think people’s lives are determined by luck. Natalia knows how to dream, and perhaps more importantly, how to make her dreams a reality.

Me: Why did you go to the East, to the origins of yoga?

It had always been my dream. After living in America I could speak English pretty well at the age of 22 and I decided that one foreign language was not enough for me. I had always wanted to visit Japan that is why I chose Japanese. This language is interesting and pretty hard to learn. Plus, three years of living in Japan is a fantastic experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve experienced and compared European, American and Asian ways of thinking. And it’s been fascinating in speaking of our perceptions of the world.

The photo is a personal archive of Natalia. Model's work in Tokyo
The photo is a personal archive of Natalia. Model’s work in Tokyo

Me: Did yoga change you?

Yes, it did. Nothing would have happened without it; I couldn’t have earned enough money for my education and I wouldn’t have had the strength to change my life so radically.  I feel it gave me the belief that no matter what I chose to do everything would be fine.

Me: So how did it happen?

My plan was to learn Japanese and to get to know the country but sometimes things do not go according to a plan. So I first worked as a translator, then as a model, and then finally found my place in show business. I met many famous people and went to the gigs of rock bands that I’d been listening to since I was a teenager. I never thought I would see them perform live!

Natalia and Paul Stanly in Tokyo
Natalia and Paul Stanly in Tokyo

Me: Wow, how do you combine yoga and rock music?

Easily! I’ve loved rock music since I was 14 years old. This is one of the reasons why I was so lucky to be able to work with rock musicians in Japan. When you’re able to tell Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit: “Hey dude, I was listening to your songs when I was a teen, thank you for your music!”,  you can understand each other pretty well. By the way, there is a popular American yoga instructor with black eyeliner and leather bracelets whose motto is, “Rock your pose! Rock your body!”

Me: Does she practice with rock music?

No (laughing). I’m also true to my temperament and I prefer dynamic yoga – ashtanga vinyasa. This yoga is for energetic people; it suits better to people with western cost of mind. Madonna, Sting and many other successful people do practice it. Yoga helps them to balance their eventful life and prevents them from getting bored during practice.

The photo is a personal archive of Natalia
The photo is a personal archive of Natalia

Me: When you just getting started, which way is better – to practice yoga with instructor or to do it by yourself?

I recommend to practice with professional instructor for the first months. As soon as you get the basics and learn how to feel your body you can try to do it by yourself. Goes without saying that practice with instructor cannot be compared to practice with videotape.

Me: Some beginners have health problems after yoga. What do you think about that?

It happens, and it is quite normal. When you are doing yoga all your muscles are working really hard. Some of them cannot actually be trained on any gym machines. So when you touch some previously stabilized old problems you can feel some pain. Your old injuries can “wake up”. You can even feel something than have never bothered you before. Do not panic. Just tell your instructor about it and he or she will help you to deal with it. You should not endure the pain or give up doing yoga. Your task is to find your optimal load. After that the pain will be gone and will never disturb you again. It applies to musculoskeletal system. But if you have some problems with your blood pressure or headaches, it is better to see a doctor and find a cause.

Me: Who comes to practice yoga?

Yoga is intellectual training. It is usually the choice of educated and successful people. Some people are doing yoga for muscle stretching or because of health problems and they are getting more than expected. Yoga means strength and flexibility of your body, balance and calmness of your mind. If your spine is healthy, you are healthy. Many people cannot live without final shavasana relaxation. It is an ideal asana for having rest after a workday.

Me: That’s right! I’m ready to see my Vietnamese instructor anytime only because of shavasana with stroking and head massage!

Yeah, I use this technique too. And I learnt it in Asia. It is not actually “stroking” (laughing). It is the way your instructor can help you to relax and take more comfortable position. Sometimes you cannot lie down comfortably by yourself, and it is very important. And also an energetic aspect should not be excepted.

Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio
Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio

Me: Can yoga be combined with gym workouts?

Yes, but not at the same day. You should not underestimate the exercise stress of yoga. If you combine them, you will just be tired. It is really cool to do yoga with run or any other cardio exercises.

Me: What about your nutrition?

My basic principle is to listen to the body. If you want to eat some cake: find a reason why. And then let yourself to eat this cake easily and with pleasure. If you want to eat cakes every day, you should definitely find a reason. Maybe it is lack of glucose. You should check it with a dietician. Do not eat something that makes you feel heaviness; eat the food, which you are enjoying to eat. My diet is based on a principle of inverted pyramid: I eat most of the food in the morning and noon. In the afternoon I eat less, proteins prevail, and I exclude carbohydrates and floury food.

Me: Do you eat meat?

I used to eat a lot of meat. In the last six months I eat only white meat and it is not because any ethical issues. I realized that red meat makes my body heavier. Sometimes I have up to 5 workouts a day so I need proteins. That is why I prefer to eat fish and chicken. My only weakness is Korean cuisine.

Me: How did you come to love Korean cuisine while living in Japan?

It happened accidentally. My language school was in a Korean district of Tokyo.

Me: What is the conception of your life?

I like yoga principles in respect to modern life. In every period of life things should happen when they are supposed to be happening. You should not give up your youth for enlightenment. If you like to drink with your friends, do it even if you practice yoga. Do stupid things, gain some life experience. There are many limitations in our life, don’t make more. Practice yoga and try to feel your body. Do no harm. Give more than you take. Don’t wait for anything in return. “Practice yoga and you’ll have everything”. I am the best example of this saying.

Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio
Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio

Me: What is your ideal of beauty?

It is when everything is real and natural. You have to do a lot to look naturally beautiful. I mean sport and healthy nutrition. It is much easier to do make up.

Me: What is the freedom?

In my opinion, freedom is wrong idea. What kind of happiness can be found in the freedom? For example, it is so good to be depending on your beloved person! Or find your place in society. Friends and job are limiting our freedom but give us a lot more instead

Me: Why did you come back to Russia?

I decided that it was time to progress in yoga. Neon lights of Tokyo led me a bit away from my main goal. I have just passed through selection into international fitness holding company “Citrus” fitness-club. So now intensive training is in process. Now I’m on the way that I’m going to be on for all my life. I had to change something. It is always a regress without a progress.

Me: What’s next? What are your plans for the future?

I’m going to go to California soon to have a 200-hours class of yoga instructor and get an international level certificate. In my greater plans I’m going to create my own unique approach of yoga practice.

That is so awesome! Will you come to our production studio for some pictures and videos before you go?

Yes, with pleasure!