Happy August to you all. I hope that this newsletter finds you well and wonderful~ content wherever you are in this time and space. Summer is fully in bloom here in BC, and although it has been cool and cloudy, I feel much gratitude for the temperate climate~ sending the breezes to those of you in the midst of the humid heat waves to the East. Its been a busy month, filled with joy~ whether its through work, gardening, or amazing river hikes and swimming. A month filled with introspection as well as expression, coming into deeper awareness of all the connections~ between everything, and anything. Melting in to a deeper sense of trust and awareness, knowledge that everything is just fine, just divine.
This upcoming month offers lots of new adventures and opportunities. I am excited to announce two new yoga classes (Thursday~4-5:30pm, and Saturday 10-11:30 am) at the Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay~ on the deck, with an ocean view. I am also pleased to announce the next Ayurvedic Cooking Class on Sunday, August 28, the last cooking class was filled with garden abundance, hand picked~ peas, broccoli, chard, cucumbers, and fresh herbs~ and this month there will be even more:) Of course I am always inviting you to try the blissful, nurturing body experience of Abyhanga, I just find it is the perfect way to really sink deep into the peaceful spirit. As a special treat this month, schedule an Ayurvedic Consultation (1.5 hours, with a free half hour follow up) and an Abyhanga for only $190 (normal price $210).
Expression Of The Soul Self
I have been thinking a lot about expression lately, its many different forms~ the ways that we can share our own unique part of the consciousness ocean. August is a Pitta month Ayurvedically speaking and Pitta’s energy thrives by expressing itself, whether in words, movement, lifestyle and in countless other ways. In working with clients, friends, family and the self, I have been asking “ Am I expressing my soul self to the fullest? “ and not reacting to what comes, but just listening, noticing and paying attention to what is there.
Do you express your soul self to its fullest potential? What does that phrase mean to you?
Some of the ways that the expressive energy manifests in my consciousness are
1. Through speaking my emotions, my feelings, any pent up energy that manifests in thoughts~ not necessarily to others, maybe just to the universe, or by writing in my journal… maybe if I really feel the need going out into a private space in the beautiful world and singing or screaming very loudly, letting it all out whatever it is… without judgement. As humans we all experience a full range of emotions, from blissful loveliness, to uncomfortable fear, or anger. When we hold these emotions tightly it can manifest energetically in frustration, anger, anxiety, and depression, physically it can eventually lead to muscle soreness, nerve problems, and disease.
2. Noticing what it is that I am “doing” in this physical life.
Am I in tune with my deeper desires, am I acting in balance with my soul choices. This can range anywhere from work, to the way I relate to others, to my own self perceptions. Many of us in this westernized world we live in, do what we are “supposed” to do, and sometimes feel stuck in the idea that we can’t move out of the space that we are in. There are no locks holding us anywhere, our spirits are free and ready to move anywhere, anytime~ and its important to trust that the universe will support us fully when we step in line to our higher desires, and our souls path. Are you content with where you are? If not what can you do to open the door? What can you do that will allow your soul self to find its path? If you sit for a minute, and ask this, something will come, and when it does, allow it to express itself in thought form, maybe in an image, or in words… its different for all of us. In whatever way it comes, embrace it.. notice if the mind tries to shut it down with a “can’t” or “its not possible” that is just a trick, a societal conditioning. Believe its possible, and it will be:) A good way to manifest the path to expression is by creating a vision board, drawing pictures, or cutting out phrases and photos from magazines relating to your highest dreams~ pasting them on a posterboard and hanging it where you can see it every day. It works like magic (we are magic). By creating healthier, forgiving, soul self loving perceptions, we start to create new energy waves in the consciousness ocean, drawing more like energy towards us, opening the doors to everything we ever dreamed of. It is all there, when we block our expression, when we lock it tight, and stay focused in our “shoulds” the path becomes muddy and unclear~ again creating a space for anxiety, fear, and illness.
3. Movement~ Connecting With Nature~ Meditation
Another way I look at expression is within my physical manifestation of my soul self. Am I moving enough? Am I outside enough? Am I sitting enough? Sometimes when I am holding things in, my body becomes tight, I sit in the same place, all day~ usually working on something that I feel is important, or maybe its cold outside and I just feel sluggish and tired. Not that having days off isn’t important, this is more when there is some energy floating around that needs to move~ but doesn’t want to. One of the best things I can do for my “soul self” here is to go for a beautiful walk in nature, or go out on my deck if the weather is good and do yoga~ Even 15 minutes of a mindful practice, whether walking or in Yoga, moves things tremendously~ allowing my energy to flow, and releasing any pent up physical blocks. Another great practice is to get in the garden and really touch the earth, starting by walking through the yard with bare feet, and then getting on my hands and knees feeling the earth in my fingers~ so grounding. To be outside connecting with the elements, feeling nature, and knowing that I am a part of it all. Embracing that connection~ allowing my spirit to really soar with everything that it is a part of.
Now, as humans we do have monkey minds, and our minds sure can create a lot of havoc for us~ with thoughts, storylines, “important” things, the list is endless. A very important part of my life is allowing the mind to express itself~ without playing into it.. without judging it, or holding on to any of its meanderings~ this is through the practice of meditation. An opportunity to allow my soul to again connect with the universal consciousness, while sitting still~ the mind may be busy at times, very active~ expressing itself fully, but in the bigger picture my true expression shines brighter and fuller, allowing peace, energy and acceptance of what is.
We are all connected, all one, yet we are all expressions of that one~ each with a unique energy, a unique path, and a unique way of expressing our manifestation in this life. See if you can take some time this month to listen to your “soul self”, and to notice if you are swimming in its special currents, or if you are treading water~ and believe that whenever you desire you can open the door to the adventure of your highest potential by jumping in to your dreams.
Zucchini (and all summer squashes)
If you have a garden you are probably familiar with the luxurious bounty each summer from the magnificent squash plants. It often seems as soon as I pick one, there is another one popping up, ready to be savored and enjoyed. Summer squash (zucchini, yellow crookneck, pattypan) are probably one of the most Pitta balancing foods available in the garden, fresh from the garden, they offer cooling and sweet energy~ perfect for a hot summer day. The abundance of the summer squash, gives us the opportunity to eat them as much as we like, and there are so many wonderful ways to prepare them. Roasted in the oven, Steamed (best if steamed whole and then sliced, to retain their flavor), In salads, Stuffed squash boats, the list goes on and on. The blossoms are wonderful to eat too, you can stuff those as well, or just toss them into a stir fry. As many of us are out all day in the summer~ whether it be working, enjoying nature, swimming in the lovely river I am sharing a quick, easy and versatile recipe this month. One that takes minutes to prepare, and can be enjoyed on its own, as a side dish, with rice, or even in a sandwich~
Grated Summer Squash
6 cups grated summer squash
2 Tbs Ghee or Sunflower Oil
1. Sprinkle the grated squash with salt and toss. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, then drain well, squeezing out excess moisture.
2. Melt ghee in a large pan, or add sunflower oil to pan. Add the asafetida and saute over low heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the squash and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. If there is excess water in the pan drain. Season to taste
Creative Options (Let your playful Pitta energy come out)
~ Add 1 Tbs fresh ginger to the asafetida
~ Add your favorite homemade curry powder to the asafetida
~ At the very end of cooking, add some fresh herbs from the garden~ dill, cilantro, pepperment, thyme, basil~ whatever you like
~ At the very end of cooking squeeze ¼ of a fresh lemon onto the zuchhini
Try one of these, or a mixture, and Enjoy:)
The main recipe was taken from Heaven’s Banquet by Miriam Hospodor
Vancouver Island offers a wonderful abundance of fruit and berries in the summer time, and wonderful way to get lots of Vitamin C, as well as satisfy any sweet cravings. I have been blessed with fresh cherries from our own wild cherry trees, raspberries from a local farm, u-pick strawberries, and blueberries and saskatoons are next on my list~ all of them have been so amazingly wonderful to eat. In our last cooking class I made a wonderful Berry Cobbler, sweetened with Maple Syrup. Maple Syrup is very cooling to Pitta, and has such a wonderful nurturing sweet taste~ I prefer to use grade C as it has the most minerals and the strongest flavor. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did:)
Mixed Berry Cobbler
6 Cups fresh or frozen berries (if frozen do not thaw)
¼ Cup maple syrup
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 ½ Tbs arrowroot powder
1 ½ cup spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp sea salt
¼ cup sunflower oil
⅓ cup maple syrup
¼ cup almond milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1.Preheat the oven to 375 F. Mix all of the fruit ingredients together. Place the entire contents in a
2. Combine flour, baking powder, sea salt, and sunflower oil together in a food processor and pulse until mixed. Add maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla and pulse only until the liquids are mixed in. Top the berry mixture in a pan with 6-8 spoonfuls of the mixture~ space them evenly.
3. Bake for 25 minutes
This recipe was adapted from the book Vegetarian Traditions by George Vutetakis
Yoga Pose Of The Month ~ Janu Sirsasana
Forward Bends are extremely relaxing to the nervous system, cooling to the body, and help to bring balance to our being. Janu Sirsasana allows us to breath deeply as we extend from the hips, lengthening the spine, and bringing light and energy to the hamstrings. Great for hot summer days, for calming excess mental energy, and a wonderful every day practice
1. Start by sitting on a folded blanket or a soft pillow, legs extended in front of you hip width apart. Arms by your sides, fingertips on the earth. Take a minute or two here to breathe, creating intention for this moment in time, allowing your energy to ground into the earth, noticing with each breath the heart lifts and fills with light, the spine lengthens, and the body begins to relax~ remembering not to rush, reminding the self to be present.
2. When you are ready take a deep inhale and bending your right knee, bring the sole of the right foot to your inner left thigh. The outer right leg is on the floor, perhaps with a folded blanket under the knee for comfort. Exhale.
3. Take another deep inhale, and lengthen the spine, turning slightly so that the center of the torso is over the left leg.
4. Allowing the heart and the breath to lead you exhale and fold over the left leg. Notice if you are collapsing into this bend and allow your shoulders to roll back, your heart to stay open, and the feeling of lengthening in the lower back. Arms can be by your sides, holding your shin, or perhaps even your left foot. If you like take an inhale to lengthen the spine once more, and then exhale fold more deeply into the leg. Your neck is soft and relaxed. Eyes are closed and breath is deep and flowing.
5. Enjoy hear for at least 5 big breaths, staying for up to 3-5 minutes. Melting deeper as you relax and float in your awareness of the moment. When you are ready Take a deep inhale slowly come up, extend both legs, I like to give them a shake here:)
6. Take yourself through the opposite side
This is a great pose for calming the mind, soothing the mood, balancing anger, depression, and uncertainty. It helps digestion, stimulates the liver and the kidneys, its great for menopause, menstrual discomfort, headaches, and sinusitis. All in all a truly magnificent and wonderful Yoga Asana to be in.
There are lots of exciting events planned for this August~ Would love to see you at any or all of them:)
Oceanside Yoga at Oceanside Resorts in Cowichan Bay, BC
So excited to be teaching yoga on the deck this month
Flow with your breath. Connect with your spirit. Move into your being. More yin then 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.
Thursday Afternoons in August~ 4-5:30 pm
Saturday Mornings in August~ 10-11:30 am
$10 drop in
Ayurvedic Cooking Class~ August Menu
Sunday, August 28 ~ 10:00-1:30
The Hawthorn $75
250 597 3973
Its time for another cooking class:) The gardens here at the Hawthorn are just flowing with abundance~ and the August menu is going to take full advantage of these lovingly grown vegetables and herbs. The classes are always so much fun, with lots of learning, sharing, and enjoying amazing meals with wonderful people. Nutritious food, that is easy to make~ working with the Ayurvedic principles of the 6 tastes, happiness while cooking, and food grown from sustainable sources. These classes are limited to 6 students. Call to reserve your spot today:)
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
Nori Rolls with Summer Garden Pate
Tempeh and Garden Vegetable Kebabs in a Spicy Almond Marinade
Vegetable Coconut Thai Style Soup
Summer Fruit Chutney
Cilantro Mint Chutney
Spiced Ginger Nectar
5 Spice Mix
Blessings to you all~ I wish you a wonderful month, filled with expression, love and peace