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Psoas muscle, Solar Plexus & “dharn” | Ayurveda + Western Medicine

I have experience of going to a physical therapist for what I would describe the condition as restless legs, although this was never diagnosed nor was it ever mentioned by anyone. While I’ve been having my sessions, I have tried to get to the bottom of the problem. It isn’t that big of a deal really, that’s why I haven’t prioritised it until now; it’s just been at the back of my head. We’re not meant to sit still all our day in front of a desk, and years of doing it has taken it’s toll I assume. I realised that I want my body to be as healthy as possible for my age, and sitting still is surely not going to help me nor is it going to fix the whole “restless legs” issue. I have now been able to connect three different areas of knowledge about the same isse; Ayurveda and the Chakra system and Western medicine.

It all started when I was coming back home from a trip to Paris, and we were sitting in a bus from the airport which was unfortunately located 80min outside of Stockholm. We were coming home late in the evening, which I didn’t think much of at the time of booking, but during the bus trip I cursed my former self for even thinking of booking such late tickets. I had this creeping sensation in my legs as if there were something crawling underneath my skin around my knees and thighs, I couldn’t even describe it properly. If I moved around my legs it became better, but only for 2 seconds, so I sat there forcefully trying to move around my legs for the entirety of the trip. If one doesn’t go mental then this might. I let this situation pass and didn’t think much of it until I found myself in a similar situation and I put two and two together. A cinema visit late in the evening, which was basically the same time, having to sit still in the same spot and not being able to get up (unless I wanted to be a pain and let the whole row know my pain).

Months passed and I started getting really frustrated, turning down friends’ offers to go to the cinema or anything that required late evening sitting still. The criteria for seeking professional help has always been, if it interferes in your daily routine, so I went to the doctor.
Said and done, tests were completed, results came back and nothing was wrong physically. Just to be on the safe side, CAT scans were done and some weeks later the results came back – nothing abnormal! The doctor suggested me to contact a physical therapist if my issues continued – I gave the issue a rest for almost a year.

During my first visit to the physical therapist she did a bunch of physical exams, looking at my spine, checking my legs when I’m lifting something, the flexibility etc. One of the tests involved massaging to the right and left of the navel while I was lying down. I am a very high pain tolerant person, but this pressure of her fingers in my stomach hurt like hell, more so on one side than the other. She said that it’s the hip muscle, more properly called Psoas muscle that seemed tense or short. I wanted to know more, so I have ever since read a lot about it, trying to massage myself, and doing the exercises that were given to me by her. Now to the interesting part.

Throughout my whole life, I have heard about the punjabi/hindi word dharn which is basically an imbalance in the solar plexus area, or what some call it a “navel displacement”. The Ayurveda and ancient Indian way to describe this has never really had a good equivalent in Western medicine and I believe that is why there isn’t a holistic view on this problem. I fully believe that the psoas muscle being strained and tense is only ONE way to describe the problem.  The other connections to the same problem are the 3rd chakra, solar plexus being imbalanced which causes physical symptoms in the body after going long enough with the imbalance. How do we resolve this problem?

The Chakras. Solar Plexus is the Yellow wheel in the core of the body

According to my physical therapist I only needed to do my exercises that she had given me, which I’ve done for a year and haven’t noticed a huge change in posture nor the core strength which is key here. Changing habits is the main key here. Being more active and not sit still for longer periods of time. Take breaks, walk in the nature, do yoga and stretch. Practicing mindfulness and meditate daily has started to create a shift in me lately. I can sense that when I incorporate both Western medicine and the old ancient Indian Ayurveda find solutions to dharn; it will work. It’s not an easy solution, I believe it’s more of a lifestyle change, back to how we used to be; hundreds of years ago. We’ve become too convenient and lazy lately, that’s only the truth. It’s harsh but if we don’t do anything about it now, the issues will just increase.

If you have an issue with restless legs syndrom or psoas muscle, try looking at your body as a whole. Listen to your body, what does it need that it so desperately wants you to notice? More movement, more healthy food and/or more calmness?

I will keep you posted on my progress and will post a video on Youtube in a few weeks on this topic.

Namaste,
Peace and Love,
Kimmi Madeline

 

Ayurvedic Health Potion – My Morning Routine

When I wake up in the morning, at 5:00 am (I know it sounds early, but I decided not to adapt completely to Swedish time after coming back from India), I start by making my health potion. I start by boiling up water and while it’s getting to the right temperature I start adding all the different herbs and spices into my large 50 cl cup. I believe it’s important to have a large cup for this health potion, because otherwise it becomes too strong and not as easy to drink. I heat it up again after I’ve drank half the cup, because I’m a very slow drinker.

The ingredients that I use are:

  • 1 tsp of organic matcha tea from Japan
  • 1/3 tsp of ashwagandha (ayurvedic herb)
  • 1 dash of tulsi powder (holy Indian basil)
  • 1/4 tsp of organic ginger powder
  • 1/3 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 dash of organic turmeric
  • optional: raw unprocessed sugar to taste (I try not to add any sugar, but in the beginning it might help with the taste)
  • boiling water
  • oat milk or any other vegetable milk substitute of your choice

I add all the dry ingredients in my cup and start pouring a little boiling water at a time to mix all the herbs together. I fill up slightly more than half the cup with boiling water and add oat milk to fill it up, that is also depending on taste and preference.

I feel energised and very refreshed by drinking this health potion. My hormones are getting back into a nice balance, I can really feel my body changing for the better with these simple steps towards a more healthy lifestyle.

green tea

After drinking the tea, I go on with doing my yoga exercise routine, mostly just for 15-30 min, but I intend to increase it gradually.

Hope this is helpful to anyone out there, and let me know if you have any questions and I will get back to you.

Peace and Love,
Kimmi Madeline

Mumbai Dreams…

It’s been 2 ½ weeks since we came back from India this time around. The India fever has been running high ever since I came back home, been binge-watching Hindi films during these past few weeks to try to grasp for the last few straws of India that I had left in me from the trip. Why do I feel this way these days? Am I making up for all those years when I didn’t feel that I belonged neither here or there? Am I getting more sentimental with time, more than I already am? I don’t have an answer to all these questions, all I know is that writing has been my only saviour; it helps me cope with my complicated and scattered emotions about belonging.

I just started reading the book The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and have also watched the film by Mira Nair based on the same novel. That film hit a spot in my heart and I can’t help but to cry tears of recognition and melancholy. The pain and the suffering is too close to heart. Writing these words after watching the film, aren’t written without a tear in my eyes. At least they clean the vision and hopefully I can see clearly now what I have long wanted to see. Me and who I truly am. There’s never been a need to pretend but I didn’t realise that when I was younger. You don’t have to try to fit in when you know you don’t. Being unique is what is best.

Ever since the second day of visiting Mumbai in November, I knew that I had found my missing piece of inspiration. My long lost inspiration for writing my story, my book. I found it again, in the heart of Mumbai. I could see the waves coming into the shore and we were driving by the south side of Mumbai, feeling the breeze from the opened window. My hair was getting messy in the wind, but I didn’t mind at all, I felt at peace. I knew I had found my way back, to my core. I think that’s why I have had my “identity crisis” with the endless watching of Hindi films, trying to see if I can relate to any of it. I don’t feel the need to relate anymore, I already know what was missing all along. My acceptance.

Peace and Love,
Kimmi Niroopinder Madeline

Poem: Creatures of the sea.

Poem: Creatures of the sea.

fishes in the sea

One thought. One dream. One soul.
You can hear my voice
Deep within my soul
Calling out your name
Swimming to the shore
As one we are together.

Oceans apart,
You can still hear me
Words are drowning in
Telepathic waves,
My heart is yearning for
Peace of mind.

Connecting spirits
No matter the distance
No matter the time
We are always online
Truly divine
Creatures of the sea.

my missing puzzle piece.

India, it’s been a while since I told you what I really feel. It’s not like I didn’t care or forgot about you, but I guess I hadn’t found my way home. In my heart. And my aching soul.

While growing up I lost a piece of me here and I couldn’t find it for over a decade. I was always looking to find my way back to that part of me. It was disconnected for so long. I almost forgot. I almost lost you. Disconnected.

I never understood the lump in my throat. Hidden emotions stacked under the surface. Ready to burst at any moment. Triggered by the invisible pain. Deep down in my soul.

A ray of infinite light has enlightened me now. I can see you clearly now. You were always there for me. Right in front of me. Day or night. Dark or light.

It was here all along. My forgotten puzzle piece. It was so hard to find. I didn’t forget about you. I was just lost. But you, still accept me for who I am. For that I am grateful. For that I am proud. Proud to call you my home.

Audio Books | Yay or Nay?

I have an account at Good Reads where I update every now and then which books I'd like to read and which books I'm currently reading. I love that platform because you can review and find books so easily and share it with your friends. What I'm not as good at is to actually read the books I enter into my Good Reads account. Either I have to buy a bunch of books, which I do every now and then, but I also have to carry them in my purse to be able to read them on the metro or tram. I have come to the conclusion that it's not working out very well for me, this way of reading. I love books and I love that they give us insights into topics or stories we never have heard before. So I would like to read a lot more from my list of "to-read" books.

I came across a free try out subscription of an app via work, which we may use for 45 days to listen to audio books. When I was younger I had made up my mind that I am not an audio books kind of person, because I didn't think I had the focus or concentration for following someone else reading it aloud for me – I had imagined that I need to read along in the text to be able to understand whatever the person is saying. I can admit that to some extent it might still be a little true, but given the right situation, mindset and also believe it or not, headphones – I don't normally have a problem with that anymore. If I use more noise-cancelling headphones and I am not distraught with other thoughts or stressed over something, it can be pretty nice to have someone else read the story aloud for you while you're walking down the streets or passing through a lot of people in the metro. It gives me a whole new dimension to the otherwise pretty boring commute through the big city, I even get to learn something new on the way to work.

It all started with podcasts actually. I started listening to a Swedish podcast which deals with philosophical questions, called "Filosofiska Rummet", it's a very reflective talk-show with very interesting guests and questions that they're discussing and sometimes able to answer in their own way. I love walking down streets listening to philosophical debates and having my own thoughts lingering on while I hear their reasoning.
Or the podcast from Darren Hayes (ex. Savage Garden) with his friend Anthony Armentano discussing and analysing films they've watched during the week. "We Paid to See this" it's called, a highly recommended podcast to listen to if you're interested in finding out about which films you really should go for and which ones you can safely stay away from without missing a thing.

A light-hearted comedic spoiler free movie podcast focusing on the week's new cinema releases. Darren Hayes and Anthony Armentano spend their hard earned (or borrowed) cash to see the latest film releases and tell you what they thought. Because they don't get in for free, their opinions are honest. Honestly! May contain funny bits (they're both Groundlings trained improvisers) and strange non sequiturs (Anthony has a degree in film and Darren has an Olympic medal in rambling). Maybe some naughty words too. – iTunes

These podcasts were the ones making me take the step to listening to audio books eventually.

 I don't know what happened after my mid-twenties, but I have become much more thirsty for knowledge. Every day has to teach me new things, I crave new information more than I did back in school. It's strange that it just gradually became this hobby of wanting to know more about certain topics, I actually enjoy it and I'm glad for this new found interest.
I'm going to become better at reflecting those thoughts on my platform here in this blog. Sometimes it feels much better to be able to share it in writing rather than walking around with thoughts that aren't complete. It seems as though when I write sometimes I get into a flow and the thoughts just finish themselves.

Peace and love,

Dealing with Depression

Inspiration: 2010 12 19 – video footage of talking to myself, suicidal thoughts.

No one can tell you how you feel. They're not inside your mind and know your thoughts. You, and only you know your truth. Always.

I found a video footage of me talking in a vlog to myself in 2010 12 19 about being severely depressed. I talked about the fact that I seriously needed to seek help for it or talk to someone. People think it's always so easy to just reach out and tell people that you're depressed, but truth me told, from own experience, it's hard to even tell yourself to start with. You just starting to feel low about everything around you, nothing feels as fun as it used to be anymore. When you get too deep that's when you really need a hand, but it might already be consuming you from the inside – which was what was happening to me on 19th of December of 2010. It had happened to me in the past, it wasn't the first time I felt this bad so in a way I thought it would pass. You can't just shrug it off, it affects every single aspect of your life. It's not always caused by a specific reason, which many people seem to think.
The video I found was on my real old hard drive that I found today. It was very difficult watching the whole 10 minute long video, because I could see the hopelessness in my eyes and my voice. I wanted to just tell her that things will get better, and that I should brace myself for more of these moments to come, but I would be able to handle them better over time. I feel that there shouldn't be so much taboo regarding these mental illnesses, people wouldn't be as afraid of admitting it to themselves at first or let alone tell someone about it.
For me it's always been my biggest and darkest place inside me that always finds me when I least expect it. Happiness has nothing to do with it. Depression can still consume you. Happy or sad.

 

Memories – Known or Forgotten

Jag måste få skriva ner lite tankar som dök upp medans Jonas Hassan Khemiri nämnde en sak på TV. Om en människa är vilsen eller förlorad, och inte har så många minnen kvar, skulle det synas på en kroppsscanning? Existerar minnen endast i min hjärna eller delar man minnen på en annan dimensionen med den man skapade minnena med? Om den person man skapat minnen med, inte existerar längre, försvinner även de minnena eftersom man är ensam om de nu?

/ Kimmi Madeline

Poem from late 2014

The inner calm is so fragile and becomes easily unsteady

When the storm hits your heart you embrace the vibes

Closing my eyes to find myself in a different world

Quiet, peaceful and reminiscent of a road to light my way

The road to creative abundance is my fulfillment in life

A moment just like in heaven is how I want to be with you.

 

Floating barely under the surface of your love

I’ve been overwhelmed by your generous affection

My inner wound of pain is slowly healing with your touch

I just need a glass filled with your love to carry on

Your light brightens the shadows behind my eyes

The gloomy shadows are slowly diminishing from my soul

Your warmth embrace ensured me security when being lost

Your love was the medicine I needed, only love

 

I was running away for so long

There was so much pain to hide

Every soul I met could only see my shell

I was wearing a mask that was dying inside

Became foggy and overheated at times

Ran for so long I forgot how to be free

Forgot how to breathe from within

Telling the world the truth wasn’t the answer

The mask would break into pieces

Would never be who I used to be anymore

I would have to be the truth – and be myself

Own my truth

Open and honest. Totally raw.

Chana Dal | Vegetarian Indian Soup | Recipe

Chana Dal 

RECIPE

Ingredients

2-3 Small Onions
6-7 Garlic Cloves
2 cm / 1 inch of Ginger
3 ½ – 4dl of dry Chana Dal
1 Package of Crushed Tomatoes (390g)
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 can of Coconut Milk
1 Organic Vegetable Stock (equivalent of 0.5l liquid stock)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp jeera
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
Chili powder (as much as you’d prefer)
½ tsp hing or asafoetida powder
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
salt to taste

HOW TO

These are all the ingredients for the chana dal. Start off by putting the dry chana dal in water to soak for 1 to 1½ hour.

Ingredients for Chana daal

Ingredients for Chana Daal

Extra virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin Olive Oil

Meanwhile the chana dal are soaking in water, I chop up the onions, garlic and ginger together in a mixer.
I use this method because I find it easier and quicker, but you can of course chop them up by hand and also add them one by one in the frying pan.

 

Onion, Garlic and Ginger

Onion, Garlic and Ginger

 

After the chana dal have soaked in water I bring 2 litres of water to a boil with 1 tsp of turmeric,
1 piece of vegetable stock and salt, in which I add the lentils to boil for around 35-40 minutes on medium heat.
While the lentils are boiling we’re going to create the masala which will later go into the boiling lentils.

 

Boiling Chana lentils

 

To make the masala, you start by adding your choice of vegetable oil (I use olive oil). When the oil is warm enough
you can pour in the jeera seeds so they start splutter.

 

Olive oil and jeera

 

Then you add the onion mixture to the oil and fry it on medium heat for about 5 minutes before adding spices.

 

Chopped onion, garlic and ginger mix

 

The spices we add are visible in the image below. I use this Indian tray of spices to store my spices,
and it’s a very convenient way to keep them fresh and to only fill them up when they’re finished.
If you’re interested in buying a similar, I’ve found great ones over at Ebay.

 

Indian spice mix

 

So we’ll add the coriander powder, turmeric, chili and jeera powder. Mix it together with the onion mixture
and let it fry for another two-three minutes.

 

Chopped onions

 

Afterwards, you’ll add the hing powder. This is optional, if you don’t have hing at home, you can skip this step.

 

Chopped onions

 

Continue with adding the tomato paste to the masala mixture, and blend well.

 

Chopped onions with tomato puré

 

Also, we have added the crushed tomatoes to the masala and we’ll let it cook for another 5 minutes before
it’s ready to be poured into the chana dal.

 

Chopped onions with tomatoes

 

When the 35-40 minutes of boiling the chana dal have passed and the lentils feel a bit more soft, you can go ahead
and add the masala to the boiling chana dal. Keep the heat at medium-low and let it simmer so that it blends well.

 

Chana dal with masala mix

 

In addition, we add the kasori methi, also called as fenugreek seeds in English. If you don’t have this at home,
you may skip this step.

 

Fenugreek seeds in chana dal

 

Optional: I added a piece of butter to my chana dal at this stage. If you want to keep it vegan, you don’t have
to add the butter.

 

Butter in chana dal

 

To make the chana Dal a bit more creamier, I add one can of coconut milk and you can see the colour change
to a more creamy yellow (image below).

 

Coconut milk in chana dal

 

The final step is to add some freshly chopped coriander/cilantro and turn off the heat.

 

Coriander in Chana dal

 

Voilá! Here we have the final result (below). I like to serve it with a small click of butter in my bowl and
eat a nice home baked bread or chapati/roti to go with the dal.

 

Home cooked Chana Dal

Chana Dal with freshly baked bread

 

Hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know if you’ve tried it out yourself. If you have any of your own suggestions,
please leave them in the comments so others can benefit from your tips and tricks. Check out my Youtube channel to see more recipes in the future and be sure to hit the subscribe button if you want to stay in touch.
I post images of all kinds of food related things on my Instagram, either out in restaurants or homemade food – be sure to check it out if you’re interested in giving me a follow.

Peace and Love,
Kimmi Madeline

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