Ayurveda- The Knowledge Of Life

Namaste,

I thought I would share with you all, a short article I wrote for the Valley Voice on Ayurveda and the Dosha’s

Ayurveda – The Knowledge Of Life
Ayurveda, The Knowledge of Life, is an ancient healing system that focuses on creating and maintaining health and happiness, through balance in mind, body and spirit.   Unlike western medicine, Ayurveda is based on the belief that we are not just physical beings, but are also expressions of energy, or consciousness.   According to this belief, the treatments take place on many different levels, creating holistic balance.  Instead of  “catching something”, like a cold, a disease, or mental state, Ayurveda sees illness, as a manifestation of imbalance. Rather than immediately using medicine to treat the problem, Ayureda moves deeper in, addressing the root causes, not only the symptoms; whether it be physical, energetic or emotional.  The treatments often consist of working with lifestyle choices, body therapies and inner energies to create health.

You may have heard of your Ayurvedic Type, or Dosha, a combination of elements that are found in all things.   Ayurvedic belief is that each of us has a unique constitution, yet underneath we are all connected.  This unique constitution leads us each to have a different way of creating balance, and healing in our lives. The 3 dosha’s are Vata (air/space), Pitta (fire/water) and Kapha (water/earth). A person, with more vata, energy may be thinner, very talkative, anxious, or  “airy”. A person with lots of Pitta energy may be very athletic, goal oriented, fiery and generous.  Kapha energy is more soft, and slow, exhibiting itself as sweet, easy going, heavier, and sometimes lazy. It is important to remember that in the west we often exhibit imbalances, so what Dosha we think we are, may in actuality be an imbalance that we have created over years of patterning, and living a certain way.   These dosha’s are connected to everything, from seasons, to times of day, from the emotional body, to the physical. To discover your Dosha, and what your imbalances may be, visit an Ayurvedic Practitioner, who will take your pulse, look at your tongue, and even your natal birth chart.  They may prescribe you any number of things, from shifts in diet, to some yoga asana’s; starting small, to make big changes in your health and your happiness.

Ayurveda relates to all things, affecting us on all different levels.  Bringing balance as we create space in our lives and beings for peace, routine, and energy to discover who it is we are and what it is we need.

Ayurvedic Cooking Class

What a wonderful day ~ Today we held the 2nd cooking class at The Hawthorn, my home/workshop/healing space in Glenora.  It was a wonderful group, amazing food, and this time I remembered to take pictures.

I hope you enjoy looking at them:)  The next cooking class will be held sometime in April – will post details and the menu soon:)

 

Carrot Ginger Achar (Pickle)

Ginger Raisin Chutney

Date Coriander Fennel Chutney

Lentil Salad

 

 

 

 

 

Saffron Basmati Rice

Aloo Gobi Masala Curry (we made the spice mixes ourselves)

Lentil Salad

Not pictured- Vegetable Papillottes

 

 

 

Table set for 5 with Vegetable Miso Soup served- with daikon, carrots and freshly picked nettles- YUM

Baked Apples, with dried blueberries, cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon, vanilla, cardamom, and cinnamon.

A lovely group of people to share time and energy with, it was a truly lovely day:)

Kapha Season is here:)

Magnolia flowersNamaste,
Happy early spring, things are wonderful here in Glenora. The weather has been very temperamental; lots of rain/snow mix, but warm enough to start some spring greens, and spinach in the greenhouse. Feels so good and grounding to be working in the dirt, and to be planting the seeds for the summer to come.

The last month has been very busy, spending time and sharing energy with some wonderful workshops. The cooking class on February 27 was a huge success; our next one is March 13. It was a great group of people- and lots of fun. Planning a new menu for an April class. New yoga classes are beginning the end of March, these will be Hatha classes, suitable for all levels, see below for more information. I am still manifesting the Yoga and Meditation day, as well as a weekly meditation sit at my home. Open to any ideas you may have as well.

***

Greeting the new day

Kapha Season

Although the days are getting longer and spring is in the air, it is still pretty cool and damp outside. Ayurvedically speaking spring is the season of Kapha, wet, earthy, cool and damp. Winter’s energy has settled into our bodies, causing the Kapha Dosha to accumulate (water and earth). This energy can affect us in many ways, from the onset of a cold and flu to feeling a bit sluggish in the body and the mind. After a long winter, it is time to bring some warmer, more active energy into the being.

There are many easy ways that we can get the kapha energy flowing, expanding its sweetness, while keeping its heaviness at bay.

  • A great way to increase energy flow is through physical exercise; A brisk walk in the morning sun, energetic yoga asanas, like warrior, or even adding a few sun salutations to your daily yoga practice. Vigorous exercise will get the lymph moving in the body, helping to eliminate any congestion. It’s also a great way to stimulate digestion, and help to detoxify any ama that is built up in the body.
  • Springtime/Kapha time, is also the perfect time of year for a dietary cleanse. A cleanse is a great way to stimulate digestion, creating a sense of lightness in the body, and affecting the being on more levels than just the physical. In Ayurveda, a cleanse is not a fast, it means eating a lighter, healthier and pure diet of easily digestible foods. Favor bitter, astringent and pungent tastes, these help to increase digestion and remove toxins. As in vata season, warm cooked foods are easier for the body to digest, especially during any cleansing. Millet and quinoa are great lighter grains, as is white basmati rice.
  • Another easy way to warm up the body, and to keep digestion flowing is by drinking warm water throughout the day. Take a thermos to work and, try a warm tea, made with 1tsp fennel, ¼ tsp coriander seeds, and ¼ tsp cumin seeds, tasty and balancing to all of the doshas. If you have a sweet tooth, try cutting back your sugar intake and have a licorice tea, instead, sweet, warming, and satisfying.
***

Nettles
Nettles are a green superfood growing somewhere close to you. Thought of as a weed by many, and shied away from because of their sting, this amazing plant is highly nutritious and very tasty. It’s so wonderful after a long cold winter, to see the little nettles poking up from the earth, bright green, and full of vitamins- a great sign that spring is here. Nettles are the highest source of iron that you can get from a plant source, and very high in Vitamin A and C. They have many minerals, and are 40 % protein, again very high for a plant. Being so nutrient dense they are great for strengthening the body, fighting disease, and giving a boost of energy. Nettles grow abundantly in many places, often on the edge of fields, and they especially like to grow next to blackberries. Be careful picking them, as they do sting, wear gloves long pants and long sleeve shirts. I usually just pinch the tops off. If the stem is getting tough, you can always remove it while cooking. Great to substitute for any green, nettles lose their sting as they cook. Rich in flavor, nice texture, and amazing taste, a wonderful springtime energy booster to any meal. Try making a fresh green juice out of them in the blender, or replace the basil with nettles in pesto. Yum:)

Recipes

Stinging Nettle Soup

Ingredients
1 pound stinging nettles
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, sliced thin
1/4 cup white basmati rice
4 cups vegetable broth or water
1 tbs fresh grated ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 2 teaspoons of salt. Drop in the stinging nettles, and cook 1 to 2 minutes until they soften. This will remove most of the sting. Drain in a colander, and rinse with cold water. Trim off any tough stems, then chop coarsely.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat, and stir in the ginger, leeks, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and turmeric Cook until the leeks have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, broth or water, and chopped nettles. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more water if needed:)

Ginger Raisin Chutney
This Chutney is great for the spring time, very balancing to Kapha and Vata

1 Tbs Fresh Lime Juice
1/3 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Chopped Peeled Ginger Root
1/2 Cup Raisins

Combine ingredients in a food processor and grind to desired texture.

If raisins are dry soak for an hour before making

March Yoga Asana

Tree Pose-Vrksasana
As the trees start to bud, and leaves start to open up to the fresh springtime sunlight, I thought it would be a wonderful time to practice tree pose. Grounding, energizing and opening. Imagine your favorite tree, and as you open your arms and your heart, visualize the strength and energy flowing through you.

Instructions
Stand at the front of your mat in mountain pose. With your feet together or hip width apart take a moment to rest here, to feel your energy. Grounding down through all four corners of the feet, rolling your shoulders back so the heart opens, and letting the chin come down just slightly so that your neck is relaxed. Breathing deeply, connecting with the current moment.

When you are ready

  1. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the 4 corners of the foot in contact with the floor.
  2. Turn your right heel in towards the left ankle, coming onto the tips of the toes (right foot) Depending how you are feeling today, you can stay here, or move the sole of the right foot up to the inner left shin, the thigh or maybe even using your hands to place the right foot into the inner left groin, toes will be pointing to the floor.
  3. Find a focal point in front of you, something steady and solid.
  4. Bring your hands to heart center and take a few breaths here. How do you feel?
  5. Raise your arms overhead, shoulder width apart. Keeping your gaze steady, your energy grounding through your left foot, and your heart opening.
  6. Stay here for at least 5 breaths, longer if you can, eventually working up to a few minutes.
  7. Release on an exhale. Shake it out and then take yourself through the other side.

If you want to challenge yourself, try closing your eyes☺
Feel free to do this pose next to a wall for support.

***

This Month At Ananda Ayurveda
more to be added as the month goes on:)

Follow Your Bliss and Enjoy Yoga with Asrael- Thursday’s 7-8:30pm at Natasha’s Temple- beginning March 24th

A Class for all levels: from the beginner to the experienced yogi. We will flow with the breath, melt into the asanas, and open our hearts and our minds to the bliss of our being.
Drop Ins-$15 6 class series-$72

Ayurvedic Cooking Class
Sunday March 13, 11-2, The Hawthorn, Glenora
Only one spot left- look here for details:)

And as always,
Blissful Bodywork, Astrology Readings, Consultations, and Intuitive Readings

I wish you all a wonderful day ~ enjoy!

Asrael

Radiant Heart Energy- February Newsletter

Red glass heart in woman handsNamaste,
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.

Flying Chinese Lanterns

Compassion
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
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

  1. 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
  2. If your lower back feels tight, place a smaller, lower pillow underneath your sit bones.
  3. 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.
  4. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, relax and enjoy.
  5. Try to stay 5-10 minutes, allowing you to melt into awareness, maybe noticing or feeling the energy around the heart.
  6. Come out by rolling onto your side, move the pillow and take a few minutes to lie flat on your back in savasana.

Recipe

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
Ingredients
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

Preparation:
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?

Namaste
Asrael

A Hands On Exploration Into Fun, Creative & Healthy Cooking According To Ayurvedic Principals

Learn:
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
www.anandaayurveda.wordpress.com
Cooking Class Facebook Page

Menu:
Miso Soup
Warm Lentil Salad
Ginger Raisin Chutney
Saffron Rice
Vegetable Papillotes With Almond/Coconut Marinade
Mixed Vegetable Curry
Fresh Almond Milk Chai
Amaranth & Date Energy Bars

Imbolc Blessings

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:)