Mark Tassi

Holistic Health the Way Nature Intended

Tag: Los Angeles

Riding in LA

So I just uploaded the first YouTube video about the wonders of riding in LA. Check it out.

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Harley and I Chat Bicycles

At our recent fruitluck in Santa Monica at the Palisades Park Totem Pole, we were lucky enough to have Harley Johnstone, aka Durianrider. Harley missed his connecting flight in LA due to a delay with his flight from NYC which delayed Harley in LA for 24 hours. It just so happened that we had our fruitluck on the same day, lucky for us, maybe not so lucky for him. Although, knowing Harley, he’s never one to miss an opportunity and in his book, opportunities are like ripe fruit, waiting to be found!

It’s always good to see Harley and he’s always generous and willing to lend a hand wherever he can. Check out the video at 3:05 where he makes some adjustments to my bike and goes over it with a fine tooth comb making sure that there are no cracks which could prove disastrous should the bike fail in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’d just ridden in from Silverlake, and while to the uninitiated, a 40 mile round trip ride may seem a bit excessive, to the hard core cyclist, it’s just business as usual!

Oh and there’s Sylvia Vale, the Vegan Ninja Bunny at 4:04 and that’s always a good thing. And look! There’s Robby Barbaro!

Hope to see you at our next Fruitluck as you never know who or what the wind may blow in.

Thanks Evan and Harley!

To your health,

M

Pranayama

Sunday last, I attended a Spiritual development workshop at The Aetherius Society in Hollywood. This was led by Reverend Brian Keneipp, executive secretary of The Aetherius Society in Los Angeles and based on the course of pranayama exercises as given by the late Dr. George King in his book, Contact Your Higher Self Through Yoga.

As a practitioner of these ancient breathing exercises for a number of years, the course was an excellent refresher and was suitable for both beginner and experienced alike.

As anyone who lives knows, breath is vital for life. One can live weeks without eating, days without drinking, but only moments without breathing. Of the three then, breath is the most vital.

The ancient Yogis, wise beyond all basic conception, devised exercises to enhance health, not only on the physical plane, but also on the mental and psycho-spiritual planes as well.

As breath controls the entire nervous system, one can, with the correct breathing methods and diligent practice, not only control the physical nervous system, but the subtle nervous systems as well, affecting one’s entire being and vitally enhance the quality of one’s whole life from the basic physical function to the highest spiritual aspiration. And what is more, definite steps towards this can be accomplished in as little as 15 regular minutes per day, and in material terms, a bargain worth its weight in star sapphires!

Let’s have a more detailed look at how this works and why it should be.

Prana

Prana is the basis of all life, of all health and well being. Prana, or the Universal Life Force, is the basis of all energy. One cannot have good health without a consistent intake and flow of prana. Food is but one source of this vital foundation. As previously mentioned, as important, or even more important than food, is the air we breathe, the liquid we drink and as important from a spiritual view, the actions we perform and the thoughts we think. With this perspective, diet, then, takes on a much broader concept consisting of all sources of not only energy intake, but the output of energy as well. Prana is a flow of energy, diet, in its broadest sense, being the intake of all aspects of this energy from it various sources. Health, on the other hand, is the result of the proper ingoing and outgoing of prana. As one must breathe in for life, one must also breathe out.

Source of Prana 
 
All manifestation on Earth is the result of Sunlight. All prana comes from the Sun. There are five major and five minor pranas; each flows from the Sun for 32 minutes each, making for a complete cycle of 160 minutes. It is said that an auspicious time for the practice of pranayama, yoga deep breathing, is 160 minutes, in that an even intake and charge of all the five pranas can be accomplished. An interesting point of note is that modern science has recently discovered that the Sun goes through regular cycles of expansion and contraction lasting periods of exactly 160 minutes. What the scientist discovers today, the Yogi has known for thousands of years, the human nervous system, sensitized by the strict application of Yogic principles, is still the most sensitive of all instruments.
 
All matter on Earth, then, is but crystallized Sunlight.
 
How does one charge oneself with this prana? Besides Sunlight, as mentioned previously, the three ways in which prana is accessed is through the breathing, drinking and eating. Of the three, breath is the most important. Again, one can live for several weeks without eating, several days without drinking, but one can survive only a few minutes without breathing.
 
Deep breathing, then, is one of the finest ways to charge oneself with the Universal Life Force. Good health, both physical and mental, can never be achieved while one fails to breathe deeply. Research has shown the there is a direct correlation between breath and the nervous system. How many times have we “calmed the nerves” by taking deep breaths? Consistent, steady, controlled physical and mental activity can only be achieved while one is breathing deeply. 

Rev. Brian Keneipp discussing yoga concepts with attendees.

Pranayama

To take the principles of deep breathing to the next level requires the scientific application of pranayama or yoga deep breathing. The ancient Yogis devised systems of physical, mental and spiritual development through the control of breath. On the purely physical level, deep breathing oxygenates the blood. Oxygen is required for nutrient absorption and enhanced oxygen boosts the metabolic rate. Converting food to energy requires an alkaline PH and deep breathing helps to increase alkalinity. Deep breathing also helps to move the lymph which in turn results in decreased toxicity by as much as 1500%. Deep breathing calms the central nervous system resulting in greater mental clarity and enhanced physical function and performance. Pranayama breathing exercises are numerous and I will make no attempt here to teach pranayama or give exercises in this space. There are many books on Yoga which contain certain of these exercises. Having said that, one would do well to find a carefully devised course of breathing exercises put together by an experienced Master of yoga. This, however, while certainly available, may not be as easy it would at first seem. I would recommend the booklet, Contact Your Higher Self Through Yoga, by Dr. George King, available through The Aetherius Society.

To your health,

M

Wholesale!

Wholesale produce market on 7th and Central, Los Angeles, CA.

Those of us in Southern California, at least Los Angeles from my experience, are really fortunate to have a year round growing season and especially year round farmers’ markets almost every day of the week. Speaking for myself, from my location in Silverlake, there are local farmers’ markets within a three mile radius of my home five days a week! And on two of those days, there is a farmer’s market within walking distance less than a half mile away! So we are indeed blessed by the Heavens and the Earth.

But what I like as much or even more is the wholesale market on 7th and Central. Personally, I opt for this old wholesale market in preference to the new structure. The old market is open later, much later, until noon, and the deals are generally better, and you can often find and get great deals on ripe fruit. You can’t do that in the new.

When one adopts the fruit and vegetable lifestyle, one finds oneself eating large quantities. At that point, it’s just not practical from a financial standpoint or even from a practical, logistical standpoint to shop in supermarkets. It can get very expensive!

Here in L.A. we are also fortunate to be blessed with such ethnic diversity and ethnic markets to boot, and I often find great deals on produce there. There are also one or two supermarket chains here that also offer very good deals. But for the absolute “steals”, there is nothing like the wholesale market.

Get yourself down to the wholesale market in your city and stock up. In this lifestyle, it’s important not to limit yourself and as important is to have plenty of ripe fruit! The wholesale markets are the way to go. I shop the farmers’ markets for greens mostly, but for fruit, I shop wholesale. There isn’t a better deal to be found. Why pay the middle man?