February is here, and spring is starting to appear on the beautiful west coast of British Columbia. The snowdrops, speckled with yellow aconite are leading the path down the driveway, and crocuses are starting to bloom. As the world begins to awaken from deep winter slumber, a feeling of opening occurs in my heart, of excitement and of possibility. The amazing events in Egypt multiply that feeling tenfold… peaceful protest from the peoples hearts brings immense change, imagine if we could bring that peaceful heart energy into everything we do. Valentines day is just around the corner, and while it may be a “Hallmark” holiday, it gives us the opportunity to honor and connect with our hearts, to send love out to those we love, and into the universe itself. Seasonally we are entering Kapha energy, which is sweet and soft and loving. With all this blissful heart energy in my awareness at this time, I thought I would focus my intention in this newsletter on the heart, and share ways that we can open, connect with and manifest the love that is always there all of the time.
Perhaps one of the most powerful and amazing ways that we can connect with the heart and move more consciously into love energy, is by creating compassion in our daily lives. This practice starts with the self. Often we run stories that we aren’t good enough, or smart enough, or nice enough, or “anything else” enough. When in reality we are just perfect, even with our perceived inadequacies and mistakes. We are human after all. Notice how you react when things don’t go your way, or what your silent daily chatter in the mind is like. Are these thoughts coming from a place of love? Try not to judge if you do notice self-criticism, anger or fear. Guilt is another great deceiver of the mind. Instead see what it feels like to send yourself a smile, or say something positive in response, and as you notice the thoughts popping up try replacing them with kind words. Eventually you will notice that the thought patterns change, that the chatter can be loving, and that when things are difficult, the feeling of acceptance will be there. Daily meditation practice is a great help to this, allowing us a break from the busy mind and allowing our spirit to shine. Spirit moves through heart energy, through compassion, and through love. As we create a practice of self-compassion, it allows us to spread the loving energy outward to others, to be more forgiving and more accepting, to move more fully from the heart.
Heart Massage – Hridaya Marma Point
A great way to physically connect with your heart energy is by giving your self a heart massage. Very grounding when you are stressed, and very opening all of the time. Place one hand palm down on your heart chakra centre, in the center of the chest, 14 fingers from the navel. Place the other hand on top, and take a breath or two to feel your energy, notice what this area feels like, do any thoughts come up, any feelings? Is it comfortable? Does it feel open or closed? Try not to judge, just notice what is there. After a few breaths, start to massage the area in a clockwise direction, keeping the hands steady, and firm. Start slow, and then let the practice unfold, you may stay slow and steady, or you may feel the need to massage more vigorously, follow your intuition and trust that you are giving yourself what you need☺
Traditionally it is recommended to self massage this Marma point 300 times a day (5-10 minutes), see what feels right for you, and stop when you feel that its time. Keep the hands on the heart center for a few breaths, and notice what it feels like, maybe it is a little different than before?
This is a wonderful self practice to connect with your heart center, sending healing energy through your hands, creating opening and flow in the heart chakra.
Yoga is a wonderful way to slow the mind down and to connect with the larger energy as a whole.
Matsyanasana the fish
Wonderful and restorative, this asana, opens the heart, allowing you to release your mind and to come into a more connected state of being.
Relax into this asana for 5 to 10 minutes, breathing deeply and letting your self sink deep into consciousness
- Using a bolster, a cushion, a bed pillow folded in half, or a rolled up blanket or towel, lay down with your spine and your head supported, your pelvis and legs will be resting on the floor
- If your lower back feels tight, place a smaller, lower pillow underneath your sit bones.
- Allow your arms to come down by your side, palms spread open in a gesture of receptivity. Your shoulders will be releasing towards the floor.
- Close your eyes, breathe deeply, relax and enjoy.
- Try to stay 5-10 minutes, allowing you to melt into awareness, maybe noticing or feeling the energy around the heart.
- Come out by rolling onto your side, move the pillow and take a few minutes to lie flat on your back in savasana.
Why not treat yourself to a healthy sweet. It’s nice to include sweet tastes in our diet, but without the refined sugar, in a way that is more balancing and digestible. These cookies are yummy, and very easy to make. Great for Vata, and Pitta, and good for Kapha in moderation.
Raw Coconut Carob Nut Cookies
¾ cup raw walnuts or cashews
¼ cup raw carob powder
1 cup dates (Medjool dates are very nice)
Pure Vanilla Extract- a few drops
Coconut to Cover
Process all the ingredients together in a food processor until fine and sticky. Roll into balls and then in coconut, or flattent and place a nut on the top.
If it isn’t sticking together well for you, add a Tablespoon of water, or a Tablespoon of your favorite nut butter
Heart Opening With Ananda Ayurveda This Month
There are some wonderful classes and events happening at Ananda Ayurveda this month, and more are manifesting☺
On Sunday, February 27 I am offering an Ayurvedic Cooking Class, at my beautiful home in Glenora, BC (just outside of Duncan). It will be a lot of fun, and we’ll get to experience how cooking with joy creates amazing food. Info down below.
On Thursdays in February, I am offering Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Classes at Natasha’s Temple in Duncan. This class is a wonderful way to connect with breath, working with our consciousness and heart energy to balance, heal and open.
Bodywork is amazing way to connect with the heart, and Ayurvedic Therapies are very nurturing, loving and opening. Physically relaxing and restorative, the treatments heal on deep energetic levels, facilitating opening and release on all levels of being. Treat yourself to the gift of touch, you deserve it.
Coming soon- A day of yoga and meditation Organic vegetarian lunch included. Let me know if you are interested, and which day in March could work for you, space will be limited:).
If you haven’t visited already I have a great facebook page- Ananda Ayurveda
And a beautiful website that I post more often than this monthly newsletter www.anandaayurveda.wordpress.com
As Always I thank you for sharing your time with me, and I would love to hear back from you. What helps you step into the light of your heart?
A Hands On Exploration Into Fun, Creative & Healthy Cooking According To Ayurvedic Principals
About the 6 tastes and how they relate to each dosha
How to make Ghee, Almond Milk, and Spice Mixes, as well as the full menu
How to cook simple,delicious & nutritious meals
Organic and Vegetarian
Lunch is Included
$65- space is limited call Asrael to pre register- 250 597 3973
Cooking Class Facebook Page
Warm Lentil Salad
Ginger Raisin Chutney
Vegetable Papillotes With Almond/Coconut Marinade
Mixed Vegetable Curry
Fresh Almond Milk Chai
Amaranth & Date Energy Bars
A day of light, of the coming spring, of fire, and of a time of blessing.
Imbolc is a Pagan/Wiccan/Celtic blessed day, that marks the mid point between the Winter Solstice and the spring equinox. A day for a celebration of the coming of spring, of the energy of the home, and of the triple of fire goddess Brighid. Brighid is the patron of poets, healers and magicians, a goddess of divination and prophecy.
Today’s energy offers a little extra space for magic, listen to yourself and notice if there is more clarity, if you see or feel things on a deeper level, and trust that whatever comes to you today is real, and right. Dive deep and honor the inner intuitive, the inner healer and the transformation that is occurring within, and around you. Trust, Enjoy and Honor your feminine.
I thought I would share a few traditional ways of honoring Brighid, and the energy of this day.
- Tie up a piece of white fabric outside, perhaps a scarf, or a piece from your altar, even a piece of sheet would be fine. Dedicate its energy to healing, and allow the energy of it to flow into the earth and consciousness as Brighid’s energy and the energy of us all flows by.
- Light a red candle, and keep it alive all night, again as a blessing and a light to this beautiful goddess, connecting to all of the other flame keepers around the world tonight.. Place something you would like blessed by this flame and allow it to absorb the energy of the light.
- Take a few minutes to meditate or find some silence, to connect with your inner energy, perhaps with the intention to allow yourself to slow down and open to the light and the energy of the coming spring
Today is also called Candlemas in the Christian religion, taken from this pagan celebration, it is an honoring of Mother Mary, by all means if that is more comfortable for you, enjoy your celebration and meditation with her energy.
In the more secular world today is Groundhog Day, and from what I have head, he didn’t see his shadow.. it looks like spring is coming soon:)
Tomorrow or course is Chinese New Year. Year of the Golden Rabbit… a time of relaxation, restoration, flow, and enjoyment… to prepare for the Year of the Dragon to come.
Whatever the day.. whatever your belief, think of this as a good reminder to come into your own spirit a bit more, to bless the coming light, and to listen to your being. A little bit of tradition, and ceremony is always helpful, and more powerful than you may think. Intention is as powerful as doing, so connect with the heart, and enjoy whatever way you choose to honor this day and energy:)
It is hard to believe that tomorrow it will be February. Here in Duncan it is beautiful but cold outside… I awoke this morning to an amazing glowing pinky, red sunset.. reflecting the beauty and love of the heart. Blissful, and magical:)
It has been a wonderful few months since I started this new blog, and this new journey in the Cowichan Valley. Months of opening, sharing and creating.
On Saturday, I shared an Introduction to Ayurveda class with a wonderful group of people from the valley, and a few from Victoria, so much fun, I thank you all for coming:)
Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy classes begin this Thursday evening at Natasha’s Temple in Duncan, should be lots of fun, exploring energy, and consciousness. Diving deep to heal, and giving permission to let go, of anything and everything.
5:30-7:00 pm, $15 drop in, $48 for 4 classes.
Also coming this month:
Ayurvedic Cooking Classes at The Hawthorn, in Glenora. Right now I am thinking of either February 20, or 27th.. Let me know what works for you. Lets explore the healing magic of ayurvedic cooking together, lots of fun- and we get to enjoy a wonderful organic meal too:)
The Deerheart Sanctuary Retreat, has been held off until the spring, will keep you updated:)
Some other ideas floating around in the magic of the universe are:
4 week Yoga and Ayurveda course.. 1 day, once a week – Relax, Connect, Learn, and Enjoy
A Day of Yoga and Bliss- Morning meditation, Yoga Class, Organic Ayurvedic Meal, Yoga Nidra, Afternoon Yoga Class, Meditation.
Let me know if you’re interested, or if there is anything else you would like to try too:)
Also.. if you haven’t experienced the bliss of Ayurvedic Treatments yet, remember its never too late to try.. Nurturing to body, mind and soul, luxurious and healing:)
Enjoy your day:)
I hope that you are all well and wonderful! I finally took some pictures of my the lovely healing space that is my treatment room!
Its a wonderful space to give and to receive healing in. Bright and light and beautiful.
I look to forward to sharing its energy with you all.
Namaste and Happy New Year,
2011 is here and with it comes the hint of longer days, and the promise of spring. The New Year also brings with it a sense of new beginnings, it is a time when we make new resolutions, and direct extra energy into our dreams and our goals. In this spirit of beginnings, I am pleased to announce that Ananda Ayurveda is offering an Introduction To Ayurveda Workshop on January, 27 and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Classes beginning February 3rd, in Duncan, BC- more details at the end of the newsletter. And in the spirit of giving, last months solstice special will continue, $25 off all Ayurvedic Body Therapies, Intuitive Counseling Sessions, and Jyotish Astrology Readings, treat yourself or a friend, you deserve it:)
I am also excited to announce that there will be a short article about Ayurveda, in the Cowichan Valley Voice newspaper, January/February edition.
As we move through January, we are still in a Vata season, the Kapha energy of late winter and spring is coming but not here yet. With that in mind remember to ground, and to stay warm and energized. Keeping the Vata energy in mind, I thought that this month I would share with you a few of my favorite recipes, essential oils, and a yoga asana, all will nourish, comfort and create opening.
Warm up with yummy homemade Chai
6 cups water
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs whole fennel seeds
2 Tbs whole cardamom pods (crushed) or ½ tsp cardamom seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds (crushed)
1 tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (or 2 tsp ground cinnamon)
2 cups almond milk (homemade is best)
honey or stevia to taste
In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the ginger, fennel seeds, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Add almond milk to pot and let warm for a few more minutes.
Strain and serve, sweetening to taste.
If you’d like you can add 1tsp Peppermint, or 1tsp Rooibos herbal tea to the spice mix.
This recipe is great for balancing vata, and kapha.
* A variation of the wonderful Chai Recipe in Eat, Taste, Heal
Red Lentil Dhal- Simply The Best
2 cups split red lentils
7—9 cups water
1 Tbs fennel seeds
1 Tbs cumin seeds
½ Tbs coriander seeds
½ Tbs turmeric
2-3 Bay Leaves
½ Tbs ground coriander
½ Tbs ground cumin
1Tbs Olive Oil
Any mixture of carrots, potatoes, zucchinis, yam, fennel, leeks, celery
1. Put seeds and turmeric in a pot.
2. Warm on medium low heat for 2-3minutes, you will know its too hot if the seeds start to pop.
3. Add Olive Oil and any vegetables you want to put in – the veggies depend on you, experiment and have fun with what you have in the fridge. Stay away from onions and garlic; use fresh fennel and leeks for flavoring instead.
4. Sautee vegetables for 5 minutes on medium heat
5. Add lentils, ½ Tbs of salt, bay leaves and 7 cups of water
6. Bring to a boil and then let simmer covered for 30-45 minutes until the lentils are soft. Add water until it is the consistency that you like.
7. Add ground coriander and cumin, salt to taste
The soup is ready to eat. Yum☺
• Blend the soup after cooking with a hand blender to make creamy
• Add fresh squeezed lemon juice to your bowl of soup- this is a favorite of mine
Essential Oils not only smell wonderful, but have amazing properties that affect us on all the levels of our being. You can experience the gifts of essential oils in many ways, a popular easy way is in a diffuser that is heated by a candle, if you don’t have a diffuser a few drops in a saucer of hot water will do. You can also place them on your skin- always making sure to put them in carrier oil first, such as sweet almond, or jojoba. One of my favorite ways to use essential oils is in the bath, especially in the cold winter months. I find there is nothing that warms me, and relaxes me quite like a tub full of hot water, a scoop of Epsom salts and a few drops of my favorite essential oil. Bliss.
A few scents that are balancing to Vata
Lavender– A favorite essential oil for many, Lavender is well known for bringing a sense of peace and calmness to the being. It also connects us to our higher self, taking us out of the busy mind. Lavender is great for relieving depression, and anxiety, and it also helps to clear the nadi’s. It is wonderful for creating emotional balance.
Myrrh– A spicier scent that is energizing and rich is also good for bringing balance to vata, and the busy mind. It brings with it the energy of self-expression, and strength and confidence in one’s being and purpose. It allows us to cut through the misconceptions of our minds, and brings us to balance within.
Sweet Orange– Sweet Orange has a soft, sweet aroma. It brings with it a sense of calmness and clarity, and balances any highly charged emotional state. It is wonderful for releasing and relaxing any emotional tension- especially on the subconscious level.
Yoga Asana For January
Goddess Pose- Supta Baddha Konasana
A wonderful posture to relax, open and be with. This asana is wonderful for grounding Vata, as it creates energy flow through all of the chakras, bringing special attention to the 1st and 2nd. Accessible to all ages and levels, be sure to use pillows and bolsters to be comfortable and try stay here for a while (at least 5 minutes). Breathe deep, and full, maybe even sending those breaths to areas of the body that are speaking to you. If there comes a time that you feel the need to just let go, release the breath, and relax fully into the posture- notice what happens.
1. Lie flat on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet together flat on the ground. Slide your heels comfortably towards the sit bones.
2. Allow your knees to naturally open and float towards the ground creating a stretch across the inner thighs and groin. Place pillows under each knee as high as needed to be comfortable, it is not about straining or stretching, it is about comfort, the opening will come over time and with the breath. Place the soles of your feet together as the outer edge of feet rest on the ground. Feel free to place a small pillow underneath your head if it feels good.
3. Notice if your lower back is arched, and if it is adjust your body so that the lower back is on the ground, or that there is a slight pelvic tilt. Again, we want no straining
4. If the knees or thighs feel strained at all, even with the pillows move the feet away from the sit bones, this will still be opening. Soles of the feet are still together.
5. Hands can go where you like, some of my favorites are: arms spread out to the sides, palms up, palms over the heart or palms on the belly.
6. Close your eyes, and breathe long full breaths, directing the energy towards the belly. After a few minutes, notice if the breath wants to flow somewhere else, or notice where your attention is directed. Send the breath there, and feel what happens
To come out of the pose you can either bring your knees up to the chest and give your self a big hug, or stretch the legs out one by one. Take a spinal twist to either side, and then relax for a few minutes in savasana
Thank You so much for your time and energy in reading this. I would love any feedback, and am here to answer any questions you may have. I also invite you to share this newsletter with anyone you know that may be interested in any of the topics, its great information to get out there!
Most Importantly – remember that you are the one you have been waiting for, so enjoy your being, enjoy where you are, and smile because you are exactly where and what you are supposed to be.