March Newsletter~ Spring Cleaning

Vector beautiful spring tree, consisting of butterfliesNamaste
I hope that this day finds you warm, happy and filled with peace.  March is here, and with it the arrival of spring.  Snowdrops have been in full bloom here at The Hawthorn for a few weeks now, and their beautiful white color illuminates the path into the heart of the property.   Yellow Aconites bring so much brightness and color after the long grey winter, and the crocuses are popping their heads up with joy.  Every morning I hear more and more birds singing, as the trees begin to bud, and the daylight grows stronger and stronger.  It is such a beautiful time of rebirth, beginnings, and awakening, a very inspirational time.
In Ayurveda this time of year is considered Kapha season, its energy is wet, cool, damp and earthy.  A time when our physical body is still holding onto winter’s slow and sluggish energy, yet the desire is there for lightness and movement.  It is a wonderful time to move any old stale energy out, and an Ayurvedic Cleanse is an amazing way to shift into the brightness of spring.  An Ayurvedic Cleanse is a very gentle way to stimulate digestion, and release any stored toxins.  Feel free to call me for more information, or to book an appointment to start your spring cleaning.  For more information on Kapha Season, visit last years March Newsletter.
As always things are wonderful here at Ananda Ayurveda.  Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, its such a beautiful place to practice.  Satsangs are also continuing this month, biweekly on Thursdays at The Hawthorn.  Springtime also means more fresh local and wild greens are appearing, and its a great time for a Cooking Class, this months class will be held on Sunday, March 25.

As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels~ in a very gentle heart opening space.  Consultations, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.  I am continuing the specials on Jyotish Astrology Readings for $110 ($10 off the normal price).  Gain some insight into your time here~ the karmic patterns you may hold, planetary influences around you, and deep knowledge about your souls path.  Very interesting, intuitive and always helpful.

Spring Cleaning

anemone hepaticaAs I mentioned above, spring is a wonderful time to cleanse our body, but it is also a perfect time to cleanse our energetic and emotional layers as well.  Spring cleaning on all levels freshens the energy and opens the doors for true contentment.  As we work with the physical body, perhaps during a dietary cleanse, we affect the other layers of our being as well, loosening up old patterns, and beliefs so that we can let go, heal and grow.  Even for those of us who have a regular “spiritual” practice, we can lose awareness of the things that we hold onto, the energies that we carry around on a day to day basis.  Receiving energy work, or nurturing bodywork can often bring some of our deeper holdings up to the surface.  While your body and mind relax, the “stuff” can rise up into awareness, a wonderful opportunity to let it go, to release it once and for all.  I was surprised and fascinated during a session the other day (when I was the one being treated) how much stuff I was carrying in my energy field, the deep emotional patterns, and daily armor that I was walking around with.  By becoming aware of this, I was able to release and shift the energy, giving my soul a sense of peace, deepening my awareness, and polishing the jewel of my existence.  These things that we carry around aren’t “bad”, they offer us a peek into the lessons of this lifetime.  They offer us a wonderful chance to breathe life into the beauty of our being, to honor the magic of the soul, and in true awareness to smile at our humanness, showing us that we can move the energy with intention, awareness, and love.  So I invite you to dive in,  to ask yourself what is it that you are carrying?  What is keeping you from fully experiencing your bliss, your joy and your being?  Not judging just noticing, and then allowing whatever that may be to float away in a fresh breath of springtime.

Recipes

Fresh Nettle Juice

Its that time of year again, stinging nettles are starting to spring up everywhere.  Such a nourishing and amazing gift from the plant kingdom to us.  Filled with essential vitamins, protein and nutrients, these wild greens are a superfood.  I shared information about them last year at this time~ as well as a great soup recipe.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy nettles is in a delicious green drink.  As more and more greens and herbs start to appear locally, I often add them in, but here is a great basic recipe for a lovely green juice.  It will fill you with energy, give you a great nutritional boost, and it tastes delicious too.
Ingredients
1 Big Handful Of Nettles
½ Apple
Water
any other greens or vegetables you like

Chop the apple into small cubes, and put them into a blender with the nettles.  Its great if you have a Vitamix or a Blendtech, but a regular blender will work fine too.  Add about a cup or two of water, and blend until the apple and nettles are mixed very well in with the water.
Strain through a Nut Milk Bag, or a clean nylon/mesh fruit bag.
Enjoy

~ I like to add dandelion greens when they come up (they can be bitter, but oh so good for you)
~ I also add chickweed, spinach, lettuce, and fresh mint when it appears.
~ Cucumbers are a tasty addition, but they don’t grow locally here at this time of year.
~ A squeeze of fresh lemon, often adds a nice flavor
~ Play around and try different vegetables, see what tastes best to you and trust that your body knows what it needs.

Kapha Season Biryani
At this time of year, when the Kapha energy is so prevalent, its helpful to add a bit of heat to your meals.  Its a great time to cook with more fresh ginger, even spicier peppers and garlic, which stimulates digestion as well as the immune system.  If you have predominately pitta energy, you may want to eat these spicier foods in moderation, but they can still be a helpful addition to your diet in small doses.  This Vegetable Biryani recipe, has some chili’s in it~ if you aren’t used to spicy foods, try cutting the dosage in half.  The basmati rice, cilantro and almonds help to balance to the heat,  creating a wonderfully nourishing and very tasty meal.

Ingredients
1 cup Basmati Rice
2 Leeks sliced thinly
¼ tsp Saffron
1 Carrot, Sliced Diaganolly
¼ cup Green Peas
Salt to taste

The Paste
6 Almonds soaked and peeled
1 tsp Coriander seeds
2 tsp Fennel seeds
2 tsp Poppy seeds
2 cloves Garlic
2 inch piece Ginger
1-2 green Chili’s
¼ cup fresh Cilantro chopped
¼ cup fresh Mint chopped

The Tempering
1 ½ Tbs Ghee or Sunflower Oil
1 Bay Leaf
2 sticks Cinnamon
3 Cloves
2 Black Cardamom Pods

1.  Soak the almonds overnight, if you don’t have time, then soak for 20-30 minutes, peeling them and grinding them with all other paste ingredients~ I use my food processor
2.  Wash and soak the rice for 10 minutes.  Strain and set aside.
3.  In a pot heat the ghee or oil, and add the ingredients of the tempering, when they begin to let out their aroma and you hear some crackling, reduce the flame and add the onions.  Sautee for 4-5 minutes until the leeks start browning.
4.  Add the paste and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the rice, saffron and vegetables.  Add 2 cups warm water, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low.  Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5.  Fluff the rice with a fork and Enjoy:)

Yoga Asana Of The Month


Springtime is a great time to invite some more dynamic postures into your yoga practice. As our bodies try to shake off any remnants of winter it can help to add in a few more standing poses, perhaps you may even want to try out some sun salutations.  This will create energy,  increasing digestion, and flow in your body, as well as encourage the elimination of any stored toxins from the past winter.

Downward Dog
Downward Dog is a wonderful posture, a key part of any sun salutation, or vinyasa flow, and it is perfect for practicing on its own as well.  Strengthening, Rejuvenating, and Relaxing.
Instructions

1. Start by taking some time seated, or in child’s pose.  As always before starting a practice allow yourself a moment to shift away from your practical thinking mind, opening your awareness and taking time to connect to your breath and body.  Take as long as you like, perhaps spend a minimum of 3-5 minutes before moving further.  Use this time to deepen your breath, relax your body and your mind, and to just enjoy this time you are giving yourself.

2.  Bring yourself to a table position. Take a moment here to connect a bit more with your body.  Spreadyour fingers wide, deepenyour breath, and find a bit of movement, perhaps wiggling your hips, or lifting your heart, and then curling your spine on each inhale and exhale. When you feel ready take a deep inhale and move your hands forward a few inches in front of the shoulders.

3.  Exhaling, curl your toes underneath you and lift up the hips, keeping a soft bend in the knees.  Lengthen your tailbone away from your pelvis, lift the sit bones towards the ceiling and breathe.

4.  Find some movement here, maybe wiggling the hips, lifting one leg and then the other, or pressing one heel down and then the other (this is called walking the dog:)).  Take a few breaths exploring this asana while moving.
5.  Exhaling press both heels towards the floor.  The legs will be straight, but check in with your knees and make sure that you are not locking them, a soft microbend, will allow the flow of prana (energy) to continue through your body. Feel the energy in your thighs and roll them inwards slightly.

6.  Check in with your hands, making sure your fingers are spread wide and you are feeling energy in the tips of your fingers, and the base of your fingers, allowing the weight of your body to be distributed throughout your entire hand.  Allow the shoulder blades to roll back towards each other, this opens the heart a bit more:)  and let your head be long and steady between your arms.  The elbows are firm, but not locked, encouraging the flow of breath and energy throughout your being.

7.  Breathe deeply and stay for as long as you like, if it is challenging for you, take a few breaths then come down to childs pose, you can always revisit it after catching your breath:)

8.  When you are ready, exhale down to child’s pose, take a few breaths (or more) and when you are ready slip into the relaxing release of savasana.

This posture is very energizing and calming at the same time.
It stretches and awakens the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands, and strengthens them at same time.  It sparks the fire of digestion, and is very calming to the mind. It helps to relieve headache, insomnia, back pain and fatigue, opening and awakening the main energy flows in the body.   Its also very therapuetic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, and sinusitis. Such amazing benefits and a perfect asana for the Kapha time of year.

Upcoming Events

Oceanfront Yoga

If you haven’t tried a class yet, Its a wonderful experience, in an amazing place.  Suitable for all levels, and of course filled with opening and joy:)

Oceanfront Suites Cowichan Bay
Monday and Wednesday Afternoons~ 4:00-5:30
All Levels Welcome
Hatha Yoga-Mixed Level Classes

Flow with your breath. Connect with your spirit. Move into your being. More yin than power yoga these classes are great for all levels of yogi, offering a challenge to those more experienced, yet very accessible to the beginner. Flowing at times, we learn to be with our breath, our body, and our thoughts as we melt into the asanas. Experiencing the moment, opening the heart and the mind, and accepting the energy of being where we are, at the same time creating strength, stamina, and flexibility. Always infused with spirit and bliss, and lots of smiles:) Yoga poses, pranayama, and relaxation are all experienced in these classes.
$10 drop in
Call 250 597 3973

Satsang And Meditation
Thursdays March 8, 22
7:00-9:00
Satsang~ an opportunity to listen, absorb and open our awareness to spiritual teachings from many different sources.
Just be present as we listen to Dharma talks from the likes of Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, and Thich Nhat Hanh (and others).
Followed by a 30 minute silent meditation (All lineages/practices welcome).
Is there anyone you would like to hear from? Let us know:)
Each session will be devoted to one teaching
No prior meditation experience is necessaryBy Donation Call 250 597 3973 for more information Satsangs are offered every other Thursday from 7-9. March 8 and 22.

No prior meditation experience is necessary

By Donation

Call 250 597 3973 for more information

Satsangs are offered every other Thursday from 7-9. March 8 and 22.

Springtime Ayurvedic Cooking Class
The Hawthorn, Glenora BC
10-1:30

Its a wonderful time of year to experiment with new things, so why not try an Ayurvedic Cooking Class.  These class are a wonderful way to incorporate healthy, nutritious food, that is balancing to your dosha, and the season.
Learn:
~About the 6 tastes and how they relate to each dosha
~How to make Ghee,and Spice Mixes, as well as the full menu
~How to cook simple,delicious & nutritious meals
Organic, Locally Sourced (when possible) and Vegetarian
Lunch is Included

Menu
Wild Greens Juice
Mint and Cilantro Biryani~ spiced for Kapha Season
Fresh Springtime Vegetable Curry
Warm Spiced Dal
Spinach Chutney
Kapha Spice Mix
Chai
Call 250 597 3973 to reserve your space- limited to 6
$75

Once again, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read this.  I would love to hear any comments and feedback that you may have:)  I wish you a wonderful spring, filled with warmth, love, happiness and peace.  Enjoy Yourself~ Every Moment Is A Gift~ And You Are Living Your Dream:)
Much Love and Peace
Asrael

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