My Yogic Journey to Tasting Nirvana

Setting the mood.

Featured Spade 2 Folk Recipe for Holidaze on the Side

I selected this recipe as one of my favorite Vata Comfort foods for the Holidays.  Eating according to my dosha has created space for me to reflect on the Yogic principles of living.  These principles bring understanding to your experiences that will manifest the following experiences.  It allows you to take ownership of your life by knowing your physical constitution (Dosha) and your archetype (Dharma).  Currently I am a Vata/Teacher.  Knowing your dosha and dharma type provides the map informing you where you are and how to look for the next landmark on your path.  But first things first…sustenance.

Awesome “Roasted Winter Vegetable Jambalaya”


1 c diced yellow and red onion

½ c seeded and diced green pepper

1 stalk celery with leaves finely chopped

3-5 clove Garlic minced

¼ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. cayenne

Sea Salt 2 taste

3 tbl. EVOO + 1 tbl Coconut oil

¾ c Glenn Muir chopped canned tomatoes w/juice

1 tbl. Tomato Paste

1 c brown rice (my favorite is “Easy Cooking Whole Grain Brown Rice Suoyhaka Genmai” rinsed and soaked overnight and strained for1 hour before cooking.

3 c Homemade Vegetable Broth

Roasted Vegetables

1 c peeled and diced carrots

1 c peeled and diced golden beets

1 c peeled and diced parsnips

1 c peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes

1 c peeled and diced white sweet potatoes

½ c baby portabella mushrooms


½ c fresh chopped cilantro

½ c scallions with green tops finely chopped

Sauté onion, paprika, red pepper, chili powder, etc. in I for 5 min add brown rice

and sauté until smell the nutty aroma mix in diced tomatoes and tomato paste and stir for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Roast vegetables on foil or parchment paper. Mix all vegetables in a bowl with EVOO, Creole seasoning and spread evenly in a shallow pan. Dust with pepper. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes. 

While veggies are roasting.

  1. Bring rice mixture back onto the burner.
  2. Heat the vegetable broth to light boil and turn on rice mixture and pour broth into Dutch oven.
  3. Add the roasted veggies and mix very well with wooden spoon.
  4. Turn heat to low medium to light simmer, cover and cook for approximately 45 minutes remove from stove leave lid on and let stand and steam for 10 minutes more.
  5. I prefer to use the same pot for that down home feel, you may want to use your favorite serving dish. Now it is time to put the Garnish of cilantro and green onions (scallions). Serve with greens or simple salad, French garlic bread and I like sweet green tea, but wine or beer works. Perfect for football, soccer or even tennis matches. I like to have a light dessert like sorbet and fresh fruit.  sound The above soundtrack creates a nice ambiance. Bon Appétit!


Week 1 November 15, 2021 Monday


The Yamas & Niyamas may be thought of as guidelines, tenets, ethical disciplines, precepts, or restraints and observances. I often think of them as jewels, because they are the rare gems of wisdom that give direction to a well-lived and joyful life. In yogic philosophy, these jewels sit as the first two limbs of the 8-fold path.* The first five jewels are referred to as Yamas, a Sanskrit word which translates literally into the word “restraints” and includes nonviolence, truthfulness, nonstealing, nonexcess, and nonpossessiveness.

The last five jewels are referred to as the Niyamas, or “observances,” and include purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, and surrender. Many guides to ethical conduct may leave us feeling overwhelmed with concepts, or boxed in by rule sets. Yoga’s guidelines do not limit us from living life, but rather they begin to open life up to us more and more fully, and they flow easily into one another in ways that are practical and easy to grasp. Nonviolence, the first jewel, sits as the foundation to the other guidelines, which in turn enhance the meaning and flesh out the richness of nonviolence. Nonviolence is a stance of right relationship with others and with self that is neither self-sacrifice nor self-aggrandizement. This tenet guides us to live together, share the goods and do what we want – without causing harm to others or ourselves. Truthfulness, the second jewel, is partnered with nonviolence. The marriage of these two guidelines creates a powerful dance between two seeming opposites. We can appreciate this statement when we begin to practice speaking our truth without causing harm to others. As partners, truthfulness keeps nonviolence from being a wimpy cop-out, while nonviolence keeps truthfulness from being a brutal weapon. When they are dancing perfectly together, they create a spectacular sight. Their union is nothing short of profound love in its fullest expression. And when there is cause for disharmony or confusion between the two, truthfulness bows to nonviolence. First and foremost, do no harm.

Nonstealing, the third jewel, guides our attempts and tendencies to look outward for satisfaction. Often, our dissatisfaction with ourselves and our lives leads us to this outward gaze, with a tendency to steal what is not rightfully ours. We steal from the earth, we steal from others, and we steal from ourselves. We steal from our own opportunity to grow ourselves into the person who has the right to have the life they want.

Nonexcess, the fourth jewel, has been interpreted by many to mean celibacy or abstinence. Although this could certainly be one interpretation of nonexcess, its literal meaning is “walking with God.” Whatever your beliefs about the Divine, this tenet implies an awareness of sacredness in all our actions and an attentiveness to each moment that moves us into a stance of holiness. From this place of sacredness, the boundary is set to leave excess behind and live within the limits of enough. If we have been practicing nonstealing, we will automatically find ourselves primed to practice this guideline.

Nonpossessiveness, the fifth jewel and last of the guidelines known as the Yamas, liberates us from greed. It reminds us that clinging to people and material objects only weighs us down and makes life a heavy and disappointing experience. When we practice letting go, we move ourselves towards freedom and an enjoyment of life that is expansive and fresh. If we have begun to live the first five jewels well, we may notice that our time is freeing up and there is more breathing space in our lives. The days begin to feel a little lighter and easier. Work is more enjoyable and our relationships with others are a little smoother. We like ourselves a little more; there is a lighter gait to our step; we realize that we need less than we previously thought; we are having more fun.

As we begin our study of the final five jewels or Niyamas, we move into a more subtle realm and into an interior resting place, a place that becomes like Sabbath for us. Purity, the sixth jewel, is an invitation to cleanse our bodies, our attitudes, and our actions. It asks us to clean up our act so we can be more available to the qualities in life that we are seeking. This precept also invites us to purify how we relate to what is uppermost in the moment. It is the quality of being aligned in our relationship with others, with the task at hand, and with ourselves. Contentment, the seventh jewel, cannot be sought. All the things we do to bring fulfillment to ourselves actually interfere with our own satisfaction and well-being. Contentment can only be found in acceptance and appreciation of what is in the moment.

The more we learn to leave “what is” alone, the more contentment will quietly and steadily find us. Self-discipline, the eighth jewel, literally means “heat” and can also be translated as catharsis or austerities. It is anything which impacts us to change.

Change makes us spiritual heavyweights in the game of life; it is preparation for our own greatness. We all know how easy it is to be a person of high character when things are going our way, but what about those times life deals us a dark card? Who are you in those moments? This guideline is an invitation to purposefully seek out refining your own strength of character and it asks, “Can you trust the heat? Can you trust the path of change itself?”

Self-study, the ninth jewel, is a pursuit of knowing ourselves, studying what drives us and what shapes us because these things literally are the cause of the lives we are living. Self-study asks us to look at the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and realize that these stories create the reality of our lives. Ultimately, this tenet invites us to release the false and limiting self-perception our ego has imposed on us and know the truth of our Divine Self. Surrender, the tenth jewel, reminds us that life knows what to do better than we do. Through devotion, trust, and active engagement, we can receive each moment with an open heart. Rather than paddling upstream, surrender is an invitation to go with the underlying current, enjoy the ride, and take in the view.

In this book, each Yama & Niyama has been given its own chapter in which the philosophy of the guideline is woven with practical examples and stories. At the end of the chapter, I’ve included a list of questions as a guide for ref lection. I encourage you to journal and/or form a study group to help deepen your commitment to your learning and to yourself.”

*The 8-fold path, or Astanga Yoga, comes from the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali. Pantanjali, curious about what held true for all the different kinds of yoga, codified these basic tenets of all yoga in writings called the Yoga Sutras. Our word suture comes from the same word; think of these truths as weaving your life together in much the same way a medical suture would thread your torn body together. The writings of the Yoga Sutras form a basic text for classical yoga. The other six limbs of the 8-fold path are Asana, or postures; Pranayama, or breath control, Pratyahara, or sense withdrawal; Dharana, or concentration; Dhyana or meditation; and Samadhi, a state of unity.”  - The Yamas & Niyamas:  Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice - Deborah Adele

This week will focus on meditation on Yama #1 AHIMSA Non-Violence.  Stay tuned for the next post featuring Week 1 Ahimsa.  The first Yama Nonviolence.  Till then.


Blessings to all…

In Gratitude,



Eating your Dosha!!

© 2021 Tasting Nirvana- All Rights Reserved.  No portion of this site can be reprinted without express permission of author.

Published by Jannat Marie

I am a 20+ Breast Cancer Survivor whose passion is culinary, literary, and Yogic principles of living the fullest and vibrant life under any circumstance.

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