I thought I would share a bit about what was going on in my world these past few weeks. The seasons are changing and as we begin our transition into darker nights, cooler temperatures and a more inward cycle of being it’s a potent reminder to remember that life is beautiful in all its shades.
Gratitude- The sun has been shining beautifully, it’s been golden and warm during the days, and crisp and clear at night. Grateful for this nourishing light before the west coast winter begins. Grateful for my garden and it’s bounty. Grateful for the earth and it’s never-ending support.
Transitions- Chela, my sweet, orange lion is in the midst of crossing over- transitioning back to the stars. It’s been interesting to hold space for him, to just give love and nourishment, and to accept it is his time (could be today- could be a week from now). His big beautiful heart has given so much, that it is running out of energy. Witnessing his slow movement, his deep rest, and his purrs and trusting he will go when he is ready (or let us know if he needs help). Lots of emotion of course.. pure, alive and intense at times.. But most of all deep, deep love.
Inspiration- Subtle, yet sweet- listening to the energy that wants to flow through me. Feeling its invitation and opening to it’s movement, and creative flow. Interested to know how it will express itself into the world
Rest- the need for deep rest, as the days shorten noticing my bedtime gets earlier and earlier. Allowing myself to lie down, to surrender and to go inward. My meditation practices too- so valuable and needed now.
How are you?
It’s been a while since I shared a recipe- And autumn is a beautiful time to do so. The time of year to dive deep into a warm bowl of soup or stew, to luxuriate in tender, well cooked vegetables, to eat something that feels like a nourishing, supportive hug.
Savory Pumpkin/Winter Squash Vegetable
A recipe from- Chef Mosa at the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts
5 cups of pumpkin or winter squash of your choice, peeled and chopped into 1- to 2-inch cubes (feel free to add in carrots, Brussels sprouts, or any other local fall vegetable)
1½ tbsp. ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
3 to 4 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. grated ginger (fresh)
¼ tsp. asafoetida
½ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. gharam masala
½ tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. brown sugar
Steam pumpkin cubes for 20 minutes.
In a saucepan over medium flame, heat ghee until hot and add cumin seeds.
When cumin seeds are brown — stirring constantly — add ginger, bay leaves, asafoetida, and (last) add turmeric and gharam masala.
Add steamed pumpkin, stir, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add salt, coriander powder, and sugar.
Stir well, and then cover for 5 minutes.
Remove from flame and serve.
Healing Light Yoga- Awakening Into The Energy Body
A Six Week Journey Into The Essence Of Your Being
Starting Saturday, November 3.
8:00-9:30 PST/11-12:30 EST.
$108 USD + tax
Online Via Zoom
All classes are recorded if you can’t be there live.
As many of you know I love to embrace healing on the very energetic level of being. In life we are so much more than the body (although the body is an essential part of our experience here on earth). I also believe that if we can come into greater connection with our own ability to heal and connect with all parts of ourselves, that we can truly expand in our health, our wellbeing, and our light.
Healing Light Yoga is a beautiful and powerful consciousness based modality, that taps into our full potential of healing- body, mind and spirit. In this upcoming series, we will be embracing the energy body and opening to the deep and subtle flows, awakening to the power with in. I would love for you to join me.
One of the keys to connecting with the inherent light of our being.
What are you grateful for today?
I am thankful for so much. Both the things that fill me with joy, and the things that challenge me. Thankful for my friends, family and community, and grateful for my pets and for the work I am supported to share. I am grateful for my teachers, and for my home. I am especially grateful for the earth, and all the nature in it. Plants, Animals, Minerals, Wind, Air, Rain and all the way it comes up. And I am grateful for all that that challenges me, that allows me to grow, the things that I may not understand or like. I am grateful for these more difficult things both that well up inside of me and outside of me. I am grateful for the experiences. I am grateful for being here at this powerful and crazy time.. I am grateful for so much more than I can express here. I am so grateful….
We are enjoying a very early and sudden autumn here on the west coast of Canada. It’s a mixed blessing, as I am feeling deepest gratitude for the rain and at the same time, deep longing for more sunshine. It does feel good to get into the flow of September, back to routine and a more committed focus in general.
It’s been a while since I have shared and I am hoping I will write more this year. I just figured out how to connect my website blog to my email server, so intend to share shorter emails more often as I become inspired (think guided meditation, mudras, recipes, creative channellings). Today, I just wanted to share a little bit about what I have been experiencing and exploring in my field of consciousness this summer. Thank you for taking the time to tune in and to read.
Endings and Beginnings
It’s been quite a summer, full of intensity and growth. A potent time of fiery endings and powerful beginnings. There has been lots of change and discomfort, as life seems to be pushing us to the edge for greater evolution. It’s as if the universe is saying that it’s time to be who you are meant to be. There are no excuses, you are here for a reason so move forward- NOW. While at times it feels like there is no movement happening at all, I feel like the snake who has been shedding it’s skin, although this skin has moved from the inside out. Does this feel like a common theme for the past 6-7 years? Or is it just me? It seems to intensify each year though.
For me, it’s been all about letting go of responsibility, and in a greater sense, about embracing more of the Divine Feminine in my life and less of the Divine Masculine. I have always blamed (yes blamed), my over-responsible nature on an imbalanced third chakra, but it’s come to my attention these past few months, that it’s really more about the role I have chosen to take on since a young child, of active doing. I don’t think it is just me, I think much of our western culture has taken on that ideal, and it’s not necessarily something that makes us stronger.
In my life these patterns of responsibility run deep, woven within my subtle energy body. In my day to day life I am great at surrendering, taking it easy and allowing inspiration to rise up. I don’t stress, I trust in the abundance of life and it’s flow, and I have a happy life with my family and my beautiful community. Yet underneath all of that easy and sweet energy, there has always been a gnawing sense of needing to do, keep busy, figure things out and get things done- very subtle yet very powerful. Chains that I have been holding onto for lifetimes. I believe that this is what is dissolving, not just for me, but for many of us. As the earth awakens, and consciousness continues to rise, I believe that this has no place in this being, or world any more.
These past few months, an awakening has taken place within. A divine knowing that I no longer can carry the burden of taking care of everything. There is no purpose to these mental patterns, to this driving sense of movement. I have felt this through pain and discomfort, mostly in this body (that’s when I really start to pay attention- physical discomfort), but also in the mind and in the emotions. Yet within it all there has been a deep knowing, a deep trust and a deep surrender.
I believe that we used to listen to the intelligence of nature. We attuned ourselves to the energies of the seasons, and the patterns of the day. Time wasn’t always so limited or pressing, and life was for living, not for doing. I believe this from my deepest heart. I believe that it will once again be so. Things are cracking us wide open, so this can be so.
This is an affirmation I have been using alot this summer, and sharing with many of my clients as well.
Very simple, yet very powerful
I let go of every person, problem, thought or thing
that is no longer part of the divine plan for my life
I open to all of the wonderful things that the divine has in store for me
A beautiful expression and reminder of the truth of being.
Watch and read the words, and then listen again with your eyes closed. Just amazing!
I just wanted to take a few moments to share some of the beautiful offerings that will be shared in the next month or two.
It’s finally here- A Divine Temple to hold space for the powerful and transformative workshops held by Aparna and I.
Our intention is to create space for women to gather, to share and to grow together. We will be holding Monthly Moon Temples, and also offering some beautiful courses over the year.
And here is a beautiful short (about 20 minutes long) interview that Aparna had with me about our new website.
Ayurveda And The Emotions
October 2, 2018
4:30-5:30 PST/ 7:30-8:30 EST
It is my honour to present this workshop through the Ayurvedic Association Of Canada. It’s free if you are a member, and $40 CAD if you are not.
Ayurveda embraces health and wellness on all the levels of our being, from the most dense to the most subtle. Emotions are a big part of this life, and they can often be the root cause of imbalance or disease. As we identify with and attach to our emotional patterns we are pulled away from the essence of our true nature. Ayurveda offers the tools and the wisdom to open to emotions in a new way, creating space for deep healing for our body, mind and spirit.
In this powerful, informative and experiential workshop Asrael Zemenick will explore the relationship of emotions to our health, wellness and embodied consciousness, as well as share tools to create a healthy flow of emotional well being.
Some of the things we will explore are Emotional Ama- Is there such a thing? What is it? How does it manifest? Where do we notice it the most? Emotions and The Doshas- There are certain patterns that resonate with different Dosha’s and common imbalances. Emotions And The Energy Body– Emotional energies flow through the subtle body in different ways- Chakras, Koshas and Nadis. Digesting Emotions- Proper digestion is essential for vibrant health- emotions, like food need to be assimilated and digested. Tools For Emotional Flow– Daily Practices that support emotional intelligence and the awakened self.
This transformational 3 day course creates space and holds the intention for us all to open into the beauty of our divine hearts. In this supported journey of heart centered awareness, Asrael and Aparna will guide you through a gentle awakening of the energy body, inviting you to connect with your bright heart and your true consciousness.
Each day we will meet in sacred space, coming together as a group of women, to honour the goddess that lives within us, and to open to the awakened heart.
During this time, we will support you into connection with the courage, strength, joy and radiance of your blessed heart. Ultimately guiding you into the “Sattva” or pure essence of your being.
We would love for you to join us: www.blessedfeminine.com/essence-of-the-goddess/
Thank you all so much for all that you do. Every moment we spend caring and connecting with ourselves, is a moment of healing for the entire world. I am grateful for your presence in my life. I am grateful for your essential energy that is part of the evolution of consciousness. I am grateful for you, in your humanness.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
I hope things are wonderful in your world, wherever you may be. It has been a month of great movement and flow in my inner world. One where the internal intensity of my being matched the brightness of the amazing full moon. At the same time my body has just wanted to be still and rest. I have been doing what I can to honour that deep sleepiness that keeps speaking out, at the same time I have been feeling the need to step out into the sunshine and let its bright rays stream into me. These days feel like a powerful time, an opportunity to go deep within and to peel back the layers of what is comfortable, to move into deeper truth of the self, the soul and the path. Comfortable or not, it’s where we are, and if you are feeling the ripples as I am, know that you are not alone.
This space is dedicated to our own power to heal and transform. Included is a small article I wrote for The Valley Voice, and information on the upcoming Healing Light Yoga Therapy class that starts March 12, as well as a delicious Carrot Pickle Recipe just for fun.
Let The Light In
As the season shifts into early spring, we notice more light in the world. This expansion of daylight reminds me of the light that we are, and how we can encourage energy flow to deepen our experience of being in our yoga practice.
We can always invite our experience on the mat one to be one of discovery. Working with the energy of breath and subtle intention we can explore the idea of consciousness in our body.
One of the beautiful gifts of yoga is how it connects us to our spirit. It is an opportunity to go inside and explore the depths of our being. With conscious breathing, we can do more than just relax, we can flow energy to spaces that are calling for our attention. Perhaps you are in pigeon pose, and your hip is feeling tender, try sending the breath there. Start by breathing nice and deep into the belly and then send the energy of the exhale to that sticky spot. You may notice a release, or you may notice a build up in intensity, and find a gentle release in that area during savasana. Another way to explore the essence of prana is by taking time before your final relaxation to direct breath to different areas; perhaps there has been tightness in your solar plexus, or anxiety in your heart center. Take a few moments to send the breath here, and let yourself fully surrender into savasana.
Release can come through many different forms. Tightness in the muscles can be completely physical so you may just experience relaxation. It could be stored emotions, or a trauma from our past, so you may experience images,colours, memories, even emotions. These sensations usually pass as quickly as they come as they are released.
Yoga is a wonderful way to open to the truth of our potential as energetic beings. As we connect with the breath we can experience great transformation.
Carrot Pickle (Achar)
As we enter the Kapha time of year (think wet, cool, earthy and damp), it is important to nourish our digestion with a little bit of spice, and foods that are easy to digest. One of my favourite ways to enhance “agni” is by adding a little bit of spicy pickle to my meal. A couple bites of this bright and spicy carrot achar can enhance your inner fire, encouraging assimilation of the nutrients, and giving you energy for your day. This is best eaten at the main lunchtime meal, as a small side- not as a plateful (although it is so yummy, it’s hard to resist) Fresh Achar
2 Cups carrots – sliced into matchsticks
2 Tbs ginger root – cut into matchsticks
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 Cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 tsp salt
1 chilli – sliced thin
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
Place all ingredients, except mustard seeds and oil in a bowl. Heat oil in a small pan on med/high heat. Add mustard seeds. When they start to pop and turn black, remove from heat and add to veg mix. Mix together and let sit for at least 30 mins before serving.
A lovely sharing from a Healing Light Yoga Client- Thank you so much Tiziana for your presence, your power and your bright open heart- It has been my pleasure and joy to work with you
“In the past few years, I had started to associate the word YOGA with a healing practice that was no longer for me! Due to illness and immobility, I was no longer able to participate in a YOGA class. When the opportunity came to work with Asrael, I almost did not take advantage of it because I feared it would be another Yoga class like many. I was wrong!
Working with Asrael made me realize that the “movement” we are seeking in YOGA is more of an internal process rather than the “motion” we experience during exercise. With her effective, yet gentle and compassionate approach, Asrael helped me bring back to life parts of myself that I thought were forever lost. It was a gradual process made of many small successes that eventually resulted in complete healing. Today, I look back and am in disbelief over the progress I made. With her clear focus, tremendous insight and knowledge Asrael guided me to let go of the trauma that was lodged deeply into my physiology and was preventing a full recovery.
I highly recommend her teachings to anybody who feels stuck yet truly wishes for the kind of deep transformation needed to experience the pure bliss of BEING that is our birthright!”- Tiziana, California USA
Healing Light Yoga- Healing With Higher Energies
In the past Healing Light Yoga series we have explored the healing power of subtle awareness and the power of mantra when taken to the subtlest level. We have begun to develop the ability to sense energy in the Chakras and in the subtle aspects of the Healing Breath.
In this final Healing Light Yoga series we will explore the profound and subtle energies that are always around us. Some refer to these energies as Guides and some as Angels. Their presence and assistance can become palpable the more closely and frequently we work with them. As we develop our awareness, we discover the Divine nature of these higher energies which are bold in both their healing power and their transmission of love.
In this 7th Series of Healing Light Yoga, we will use these Messengers of Love and the subtle energies in our environment to assist us in balancing the Chakras and creating healing in our physiologies. We invite you to join us for this exciting exploration!
Healing with Higher Energies Course Overview
1. Session 1: Healing Light Yoga – Core Principles Reviewed and Introduction to Subtle Perception, Intuition, and Clairvoyance
2. Session 2: Calling in Angelic Energy and Clearing the Energy Body
3. Session 3: 4th Chakra Healing with Higher Energies
4. Session 4: 3rd Chakra Healing with Higher Energies
5. Session 5: 2nd Chakra Healing with Higher Energies
6. Session 6: Integration – Healing with Angelic Energy
Registration for this course is open everyone, including those who have never done Healing Light Yoga Therapy before. Introductory videos and handouts that illustrate foundational principles are included.
WHEN: 6 Saturdays, beginning March 12; 11:00AM-12:30PM EST; 8:00AM-9:30AM PST. All sessions are recorded and are available anytime for 3 months after the class begins.
TUITION: $108 per series (only $18/class) – Includes six interactive 90-minute classes, access to class recordings, handouts, introductory educational videos, and access to the participant online forum
Taught by Asrael Zemenick (me) and facilitated by my mentor and friend, Dr. Paul Dugliss and New World Ayurveda
It’s hard to believe it is the beginning of February already and as the days grow longer, and the weather grows warmer, I am enjoying the feeling of new energy and flow in my life. It is reflected in the garden as bulbs start to peek out, and I bought my first grown in BC tulips at the store yesterday. It is so nice to see the light returning back to the land.
The new year is often a time of setting resolutions and intentions. I let this year pass by with out making any “new” ones as I am following the seeds that I have already planted and sowed (to be present, mindful, aware and loving). I did set a few small goals and one of them is to try to share more regularly with you all. I love connecting with my global community.
What’s evolving at Ananda Ayurveda
Ananda means bliss in sanskrit. I find that beautiful heart opening energy in all the work that I do.
When working with clients or groups in a sacred space, I notice great transformation and growth in people’s lives. There is a deepening of their experience of life, and of who and what they are, leading to emotional, physical and intuitive balance. These deeper connections that are nourished over time blossom into an awakening of connected spirit and true health. As I witness this growth, I see it reflecting into the essence of my practice. All things evolve and Ananda Ayurveda is starting to shift towards much more than just single session work (although that is still being offered). If you are interested in learning more about this deeper work and how a commitment to your own growth can be profound and life changing, contact me. I would love to talk about the ways that Ayurvedic Spiritual Coaching may serve you whether you are on Vancouver Island or anywhere around the world.
The power of distance healing is amazing, and with today’s technology we are so blessed to be able to share so easily across the world. All of my offerings are available by distance- except for the luxurious bodywork, and the effects of this work are profound.
Yoga classes are still held in two beautiful places- Monday evenings are at Yum Yoga Studio in Cowichan Bay, 4:30-6:00. Wednesday’s are at the warm and wonderful Harmony Yoga Studio, also 4:30-6:00. Both spaces are beautiful, and the classes are a wonderful opportunity to deepen your relationship with yourself and your body.
It’s Simple- Slow Down and Connect
Slow Down. Simple, direct and to the point. This is the reminder I keep getting these days. Take it easy, allow things to come to you. Sounds simple doesn’t it? My mind sure doesn’t think so at times. The universe too, seems to be spinning and moving and a faster pace every day. Sometimes it feels impossible to slow down.
Then I remember to take a deep breath and feel my body. This reminds me of the peace that exists within everything. At times that is enough; I see with deep clarity, the intense movement of thoughts, energy for what it is, the wholeness is always there, it is always at centre. All I have to do is take a breath, and it’s there. At other times it’s not so easy, but with acceptance and acknowledgement, of my human experience, I can enjoy the fluctuations and smile at the stories that I am walking in from day to day.
Especially as I connect with my community, my clients and my relationships I notice that if I slow down, and just stop trying so hard, that the healing, connections and love will just flow. My yoga classes are a wonderful example of this. When I go to present the class with expectations or attachment to it being enjoyed, I often feel disconnected. I feel stress, the words don’t flow so easily. When I enter class in a space of spirit, closing my eyes, and allowing the words to just pour forth from centre, I feel energized and open. There is no trying, there is just what comes out- and it is always perfect (even in it’s imperfections!). I see this in all areas of the practice. The more I step out of the way, the more powerful the healing is. There really is no doing, there is just being a clear and open channel for consciousness to flow through.
It is easier to remember this while working with others, seeing the transformation and growth that happens when we slow down and just connect. Yet it is a powerful reminder that I draw into each day. The dance of life is just that, a dance. One that is flowing, one that is moving, one that has different tempos, but it’s breath is constant and as we feel and connect to centre we can flow with the movement with ease. So when things feel full, busy, or overwhelming. Try taking a moment to breathe, and repeat the mantra Slow Down. It may change your life.
The Art Of Abyhanga
I was honoured to be featured in our local newspaper in an article about Ayurvedic Massage’s and Winter Skin care- Enjoy!
Abhyanga by Sheila Badman
In the winter months, I seek out warmth. Saunas, steams, warm baths… Recreation is at a minimum and my body feels the aches deeper and longer. Skin is drier and my favourite yoga poses are the heat generating ones. A new discovery for me, but an Ayurvedic one that has been around since ancient times is an Abhyanga, the Sanskrit word for “oil massage”. A luxurious, blissful, full body experience this soothing warm oil treatment was used in ancient times as a daily ritual for maintaining overall health and well being.
With less than a handful of certified Ayurvedic practitioners on Vancouver Island appointments are sought after, but well worth the wait. Ananda Ayurveda, in Cowichan Bay offers a complete menu of Ayurvedic Healing including counselling, nutrition, astrology, yoga and massage. Operated by Asrael, her specialized training began in India and continued in California where she returns annually as faculty member of New World Ayurveda.
Each treatment begins with a cleansing foot bath and a short pulse diagnosis where layers of body and energy imbalances are read through your skin and bones to identify areas in need of healing. Asrael identifies my needs as nourishing, peace and openness. Oils used are a mix of certified organic, wildcrafted, and small farm pesticide free “organic”. “Bala Ashwaganda oil and an Ayurvedic Pitta blend that includes rose, sandalwood, amla and lotus all in a base of organic sesame oil.” she smiles “ The treatment begins with anointing the hands, feet and head to stimulate smaller chakra points. “In Ayurveda we encourage healing on all the layers of our being – Body, Mind and Spirit.” Asrael explains “ We work on the entire body to allow every part that is holding on to anything come to the surface and be transformed.” Typically untouched, attention is also given to the chest and belly areas. “In Ayurveda digestion is key to proper health, so work on the belly and the emotional heart is important to open the doors of deep healing. Every inch of my body is feathered in light oil applied with swift clearing and circular strokes to nourish the skin, cleanse the lymph system, tonify the muscles and clear the chakras and pathways of prana. The treatment also stokes digestive fire and helps clear stress, insomnia, anxiety and emotional blocks. “Many of my clients will just come for a nice relaxing experience – and leave with a profound shift in their awareness. Winter is Vata Season in Ayurveda (Space and Air), so it is naturally the driest time of the yearly cycle for us, even here on the wet west coast, we live with heat sources that are drying to our entire body. Abhyanga balances vata and nourishes the entire body. The amount of oil used in the massage (1/2 cup – 1 cup) is like food for our skin cells, and not only moisturizes the skin but offers nutrients through the herbs that are in them. The skin is the largest “organ” of our body, so as we nourish the skin we nourish all aspects of our whole being. The oil moves through all of the tissue layers in the body, and is absorbed to the smallest cell. As this happens it replenishes the lymph system and blood system which also supports skin.” If you are looking for something new to soothe your whole tired body and dry winter self – consider a 90 minute hot therapeutic, ancient Ayurvedic massage.
Mid Winter Spice Mix
Healthy digestion begins with enjoyment of the food, and spices are natures best medicine. They are a wonderful way to stoke the fire of our digestion while at the same time bringing wonderful sensations to our taste buds. We are in the midst of winter- wet, cool and damp. In Ayurveda this is a transition into Kapha season, which often leaves our body and digestion feeling sluggish and cold. One of the best ways to increase digestion (agni) is by adding spices to our meals. Today I am am sharing a wonderful mix of spices that is easy to make, and very warming to our system without being too spicy. It is great to add to soups, stir fries, stews, just about anything.
When cooking with spices I normally recommend warming them in a little oil first- keeping them on a low heat until they start to smell bright. Then you can add your vegetables, or if you like you can add it at the end.
Fresh lemon juice squeezed into the meal at the end of cooking, and some fresh ginger are also great at this time of year.
Mid Winter Spice Mix
4 Tbs Turmeric
3 Tbs Ground Cumin
3 Tbs Ground Coriander
4 Tbs Ground Fennel
1 Tbs Powdered Ginger
1 Tbs Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Tbs Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tbs Ground Cardamom
Mix all of the spices together, and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Use with stir fried vegetables, lentils, rice, or just about anything you would like to try it with. If you can, its best to buy the cumin, coriander, fennel, Black pepper, and cardamom seeds, and then grind them yourself in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. It only takes a few minutes, and the aromatics and energy of the spices are even more potent:)
A lovely sharing from a client I have worked with by distance with Ayurvedic Integrative Counselling- Thanks Brooksley, it has been my honour and my pleasure to work with you.
“Working with Asrael has been powerful and insightful for me. Each session has brought deep healing on both the physical and emotional level. It feels magical the way energetic work can have such a profound impact in my daily life. Asrael is compassionate, authentic, and intuitive as she guides me to my own understanding of what I am truly needing. My meditation practice has become more satisfying and regular due to our sessions. This work, though gentle and pleasant, is changing my life in profound ways. Thank you Asrael!”- Brooksley, MA, USA
I wish you a beautiful day wherever you are, and as always want to express my deepest gratitude for your presence and part in the universe and its flow. Thank you for who you are and for all that you do.