October Newsletter- Peace With What Is

 

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Loving the lifeNamaste,

I hope this email finds you comfortably in the flow of the autumn season.  Its been a while since I last checked in, and I apologize for that. Vibrations are high, things have been extremely abundant (in all ways), and time has just flown by.  Change is all around and its been a surprisingly grounded, yet fast flow of energy.

I am excited to announce that we have moved into a new home in Cowichan Bay (about 10 minutes from The Hawthorn).  It’s a very different space, and it vibrates deeply with its own expansive and peaceful healing energy.  We are blessed to see the ocean from our living area, and with all the rain of the past week, many beautiful rainbows too.  Ananda Ayurveda will be opening its doors here on Monday, October 7, in a beautiful, light filled space on the ground floor- There is a separate entrance, a beautiful bathroom with a shower if needed, and the space radiates peace and joy.  Pictures to come soon, as we are in the process of painting.  It feels wonderful to be by the seaside, and I even get to walk to teach my yoga classes.

There has been lots happening in life, on a personal and business level, and I have a few new offerings to share with you in the next few weeks, as well as the continuation of all my existing services.  A few months ago I asked for expansion.  Well when you ask, the universe does provide, and I know there is much, much more to come.  On Saturday, October 12, I am excited to be teaching a brand new yoga class, Healing Light Yoga Therapy.  This 6 week class is a powerful exploration and experience of growth and transformation, and available to anyone, anywhere in the world, as it is offered online.  I am also offering a course on Ayurveda And The Energy Body, at Harmony Yoga in Duncan, BC on Sunday October 13 from 1-3:30.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about the subtle energies that we are, and to experience the body as much more than a physical being.

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, we are inside now, but still with the glorious ocean view. It is a lovely class, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.

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.  ConsultationsAyurvedic CounselingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

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Peace With What Is

Sunset YogaTime seems to be moving so quickly these days, a reflection of the movement that is flowing through so many of us at this time.  It seems that as the vibrations of the universe increase, that our awareness and our ability to be one with the movement is also increasing.  I am noticing big shifts in the way that not only I, but my clients and friends, comprehend the changes that are occurring.  There seems to be a more subtle acceptance of it all, a surrender to the natural rhythm of the universe, as much as it may move up and down and all around.  Its almost as if there hasn’t even been time to let the mind get involved, to step into the fear. The past few months for many of us have been about action, and movement.  Shedding our skin, it is the year of the snake after all, and instead of leaving it all behind, integrating it into our present awareness, so that there is the connection to our past, a grounded space to be in, to move from and with.  An honouring of all that we are, and all that we have experienced, the easy times as well as the challenging.  This doesn’t mean that there are not the bursts of energy in the chakra centres that can connect to our emotional memories.  There are huge shifts  in those emotions, and they need to be acknowledged and allowed to be experienced, this creates more flow, leading to deeper peace and greater awareness.

Now I know that others are feeling more stuck, more held in.  For some there is a stagnancy, it feels like there is so much ready to move and to open, and the same patterns keep getting played out over and over again.  Perhaps it is with a physical illness that doesn’t seem to want to move, or it keeps returning.  Perhaps it is the memory body that keeps bringing visions and experiences of the past.  For some it is relationships that seem to have lost their sparkle.  Those that are feeling this tired, old energy, are often frustrated, and ready for some movement yet it just doesn’t seem to be happening.  This too is all part of the process, part of what is needed for you to go through, to integrate all of the changes and shifts that are occurring in the subtle bodies.  Your being is just moving with it differently, its releasing and cleansing in its own way, and there is nothing “wrong” with how its happening.  It may feel challenging and that is ok, but remember that its nothing that you are doing.  That you aren’t in control, and the only thing that you really can influence is your reaction, and movement with it.

For all of us, I ask the question.  How does it feel to be with what is?  Is there Peace there?  What would it be like if we let go of attachment to all that was happening, and were ok with what was?

As human beings, we really like to control things, the story is so important to us.  How we feel, what may happen, what should be happening.  The list goes on and on.  As the frequency of the vibrations increase, and the layers of our skin, of our lives are peeled off there is lots of upheaval and change.  For some this is very quick, flowing, moving, like a fast river, filled with rapids.  For others this happens as we hold still, as we stay put, but the energy is still flowing. It never stops.  What would it be like to be at peace with what is for us?  What would it be like to know that it was all just as it needed to be?  This doesn’t mean we have to be happy, this doesn’t mean not feeling emotion, but as we accept and let go of attachment, surrender will come.  With this letting go, there is greater peace, and grounding, whether moving quickly or staying put.  There is the knowing that all is exactly as it should be.

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Healing Light Yoga Therapy

DSC_0122I wanted to share a little bit about the Healing Light Yoga Therapy that I am offering with my teacher Dr.Paul Dugliss, from New World Ayurveda.  It is such a gift and an honour to work with him, as well as to share this powerful opportunity with the world.  It is a very different experience of yoga, and so much more than an asana class.  Its an opportunity to dive deep, to explore the subtle energetics of your being, and to open to the fullness that you already are.

Ayurveda and Yoga go hand in hand, both are practices that affect us on the physical,emotional and subtle levels.  In our modern world we seem to focus more on the tangible aspects of these practices, when in reality they offer pathways to the deeper layers of our being.  In a regular yoga class we move our bodies, and deepen our experience of the breath which can expand our experience of mindfulness and peace in our lives, a wonderful and important practice.  But just as we need to connect with our breath and our bodies, we also need to bring our awareness to the more subtle aspects of being, which can be achieved through Healing Light Yoga Therapy.

This practice shares the essence of Ayurveda: connecting with consciousness to heal, to express and to be.  It’s very simple, a matter of connecting with your own innate healer.  This purifies “ama” (impurities- emotional, energetic, karmic, and physical), and encourages release and rebalancing.  This yoga practice is accessible for anyone, even someone that is not physically active.  It combines restorative yoga asana, pranayama (breathing techniques), enlightening energy awareness and the practice of surrender.  By connecting with the deeper layers of consciousness, transformation and healing occur in all ways.  Physically there can be great opening and releasing of pain, emotional blocks melt away, and energetic healing of past lives, chakras, and deepening of the intuition.

This is a powerful practice, that reminds us that there is more depth to yoga than the asana, more layers to Ayurveda then the lifestyle choices, and infinite possibilities for our growth, health and awareness.

The class is offered online in 6 week sessions, the first class starts on October 12.  It’s ok, if you miss one or two, as they are available afterwards for streaming.  The next session will begin in January. Dates to be announced.   I am hoping to create space for a workshop locally in Duncan, sometime this autumn or winter season.

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Recipe Of The Month

Its time to harvest the rest of the tomatoes and peppers from the greenhouse here on the west coast, and the harvest is abundant.  Tomatoes and peppers are both pitta aggravating food, but this soup brings balance to the heat, with coconut, and coconut milk, which also helps to balance vata.  As we are moving into the Vata time of year, nourishing and hearty soups and stews are wonderful additions to the diet.  As always feel free to play with the vegetables you have on hand, adding what feels good to your body.  Enjoy.

Mulligatawny Soup

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups slice leeks, or fennel

1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee
1 pinch cayenne to taste (more if you want heat)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 medium carrot chopped
1 large yukon gold potato, or sweet potato, cut into small cubes
1 medium red or orange pepper, seeded and chopped
1 firm tomato, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened finely grated coconut
1 cup coconut milk
2-4 teaspoons fresh lime juice (to taste)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantroIn a medium soup pot, saute the onions and celery in the oil. When the onions are becoming translucent, add the cayenne, turmeric, and ground coriander. Saute for a minute, stirring to prevent the spices from burning. Add the stock, salt, carrot, and potato. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the vegetables for 10 minutes.Add the pepper, tomato, grated coconut and coconut milk. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Then add the lime juice and cilantro. Adjust the seasonings. Serve at once, or even better, let it sit for an hour or so to bring out the flavors and then reheat gently and serve. Top with fresh cilantro.***1398043As always I thank you so much for taking the time to read this.  I feel such gratitude for each and every one of you.  The light within us all is so full, and so spacious, so beautiful, and I honour each and every connection in my life. Thank you for your piece in this beautiful fabric of life.NamasteAsrael

 

August Newsletter- Riding The Waves of Change

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Amorous exploitsNamaste,

I hope that you are all enjoying a bountiful and beautiful summer.  It has been glorious here in the Cowichan Valley, so much sunshine and light, fresh breezes, and just lately a little bit of rain to feed the gardens and the forests.   As I sit outside on my deck writing this, I feel so grateful for the warmth, and space that summer offers.    The gardens are abundant this year, a jungle of growing food, delightful to the eyes, and filled with nutrients and taste for the body.  My favorite sight is the huge pink dahlia that greets me when I walk through the gates.  It reflects the beauty of the heart chakra expanding, so alive, open and breathtaking.  Life is amazing.

Summer has not only been filled with abundance in the garden and sunshine, but there has been abundance in work as well.  Things have been buzzing here at Ananda Ayurveda, a steady flow of clients, old and new, and powerful transformations are occurring.  Not only have I been blessed with fulfillment in practice, I feel the strength of connections in community, in my friendships, and in the beautiful faces I see at yoga every week.  Not only do I get to experience teaching outside next to the ocean in a serene setting twice a week, I am touched by the presence of all of the yogi’s (new and experienced) that shine their spirits bright on Monday’s and Wednesday’s.  What a gift and an honour it is to be able to share my time with everyone.  To teach, to learn, to express, and to open.  Life is amazing.

August is already halfway passed and there are many changes on the horizon.  There will be no monthly meditation this month,  but all other practices are ongoing.  I will be away for a week teaching an amazing Ayurveda and Yoga intensive in Maine, USA with my teacher Dr.Paul Dugliss and New World Ayurveda.  Its so exciting.  Sadie Bartram, will be subbing my yoga classes, and what a gift she is, bright, conscious, and an amazing teacher.

IMG_7070Yoga Classes are at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, it is right outside by the seaside, weather permitting. It is a lovely class, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.

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.  ConsultationsAyurvedic CounselingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

I also wanted to share a dear friend of mine’s new spirit-inspired business venture.  If you meditate or are drawn to the magical energy of gemstones, or consciously inspired jewelry then I highly recommend taking the time to visit Meaningful Mala’s.  Malas are sacred prayer beads, that can be used for mantra’s spiritual focus, or support during meditation and life.  These are particularly beautiful and sacred pieces, all infused with powerful light energy and love.  I have two, and they sparkle radiantly.  When I wear them I feel extra energetic presence, grounding and peace.

***

Steady Vibrations

Which way to choose - 3D renderThere is so much happening right now for many of us.  Emotionally, energetically, physically and mentally there are many vibrations coursing through us.  What was once hidden below the surface is now coming to light, although it doesn’t seem like it has broken through quite yet.  The humming is getting stronger. The movements are building up.  Any sense of calm and peace is held in check by a strong current of transformational energy that is so close to bursting through.   Opportunities arise, the wave reaches a crescendo, and then something happens and it doesn’t manifest, or it turns into a different path.  Old patterns are coming to the surface.  Emotions are moving steadily, as energy expands.  And of course the heart is beating brightly, shining light through all and any discomfort, if we choose to notice it.

What do you notice?  Are you feeling connected to the flow right now, or are there sensations of something bigger happening, something that you can’t quite put your finger on?  Are there emotions or memories arising that you thought you had worked through?  Does it feel like what was once safe and familiar no longer serves you?

We like to think that we have control, and we like to think that we know what will happen, but really one of the only things that we do know for certain is that there will be change. Nothing stays the same, nothing is permanent.

Universally right now it is a huge time of shift and restructuring.  All of the old, heavy, outdated patterns, and foundations are breaking down.  Ways that used to serve us are proving to be no longer useful.  There is rubble in what was thought to be safe, or strong, and there is a powerful sensation of not knowing what will come next, or how things will rise from the old.  One of the ways this is manifesting in our lives are by old emotions, and patterns coming to the surface once again.  Don’t worry they aren’t here to stay.  Open to them, notice them, and allow them to be (don’t encourage them, but embrace them).  Feel their energy like an old friend, and trust that they are part of the transformation.   Whether it be a stuck feeling in the belly, old emotional energy hanging around the heart, or anything else that feels stale and uncomfortable.  Let it be.  It’s on the surface so it can be experienced and released, not pushed back down again.

Pay attention and notice what else you are experiencing.   For many with this heavy current of movement that isn’t quite reaching its potential, there is also a strong sense of light in the heart and in the being.  A sense of peace, of knowing that all is well.  Connect with that, feel that beauty, and notice that even when things are uncomfortable that the light of this powerful energy is still present.  Pay attention to the bursts of gratitude, joy, and connection that arise, and maybe you will notice that those sensations are in everything, even the discomfort.

Another “symptom” of this shift is the inability to really “think” about what is going to happen next, to properly “plan” out the next move.  There is an emptiness when it comes to really creating and focusing the mind on the task, yet when things need to get done, it happens.  This is all part of the restructuring, the mind will always do its thing, monkeying around, but as consciousness expands there won’t always be the need to “know” how everything will happen, or to “know” the answers beforehand.  It will all unfold, and when we need to speak, act, move we will be able to do it spontaneously, and firmly in the moment it is needed.  So if you have been feeling spacey lately, embrace that too, its not a worry, its perfect, as is all the energy that is being shaken up at this time.

As always there are many tools that can help keep the nervous system grounded, and soothed as it grows and opens to the higher vibration.  Meditation, daily self massage, bodywork and time in nature are all powerful tools.  Acknowledging what is, also is extremely helpful, as is trust.  For those that are feeling that there is more to move then they know how Ayurvedic Counseling can be a powerful tool, helping to release old patterns, and bring into practice all that you may individually need for peace, growth and grounding.

***

Recipes of the Month

It’s summertime and the vegetables are abundant.  Whether you grow your own, or buy from a local market, there are so many choices and wonderful foods to enjoy right now.  It’s also hot out and often I find myself too busy to cook big meals, or foods that involve the oven or stovetop at dinner time.  I thought I would share with you two of my favorite salads.  Both of these can be made in advance and left to marinate for the day or overnight.  The cooked grains help with the digestibility of the raw vegetables, and remember to always serve them at room temperature, not ice cold.  I have always loved middle eastern food, so here is a different spin on Tabouli; and Barley is great for summer, easy to digest, and very balancing to pitta in the heat.   These are two recipes that seem to find their way to my table quite regularly these days.

Three Grain Tabouli

Grains

  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/4 cup dry millet
  • 1/4 cup dry bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Lemon Blend

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced

Mix

  • 1 large bunch curly leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Tbs scallions, diced fine
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preparation

Rinse grains in a strainer, while you bring water, olive oil and salt to a boil.  Add grains, cover and turn down to a low simmer until water is cooked out (about 15 minutes).  Let cool

Puree lemon juice and garlic in a food processor or blender. Put aside

Coarsely chop the parsley, until you have about 2 cups.  Place in a large bowl and mix together with all of the remaining ingredients, including the grains and the lemon blend.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes, but even better if it sits overnight.  Serve at room temperature.

Enjoy

If you are gluten free, increase the millet and quinoa by 1/8 cup and make it 2 grain tabouli:) or use buckwheat or kasha instead of bulgur

Barley Mint Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked pearl barley (cooled)
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint, minced
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cups scallions, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery or fennel, minced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Puree lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a food processor or blender until the garlic is pulverized.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients and let marinate for a few hours.  Serve at room temperature and enjoy.

– Feel free to add different vegetables, I like to throw in zucchini, green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.  Be creative, and create a colourful and tasty meal.

Both Recipes are from Vegetarian Traditions by George Vutetakis, an amazing chef and a wonderful, inspiring cookbook.

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IMG_7197Once again, thank you so much for your time and energy in reading this.   I so appreciate each and every one of you.  As I mentioned before there are lots of changes on the horizon.  Expansion in all things, transformation and growth.  I looking forward to sharing it all with you soon:)
Some things to look forward too.. Creative Expression Yoga and Ayurveda retreats filled with Radiant Awareness, hosted by me and my dear friend Robert Halley,  Yoga and Ayurveda Workshops at Bella Yoga in Metchosin, and Harmony Yoga in Duncan, and much much more. Stay tuned, and enjoy yourself:)
Namaste
Asrael

 

July Newsletter- Comfortable With Uncertainty

Woman and maze

IMG_5992Namaste

I hope this newsletter finds you in a beautiful space, wherever that may be.  I can’t believe it is already almost July, what a full, and busy summer it has been.  I have been blessed with lots of physical flow in my life so far this summer, so enjoying the travelling and connections with friends and clients.  This travel has allowed me to embrace the strength of the city, and the also the amazing depth of knowledge of so many Ayurvedic Practitioners, and Doctors, at the AAPNA conference in Vancouver a few weeks ago.   Just to be balanced out with the quiet calm connections of community and deep natural beauty at Quadra Island last week.  Such different places, and energies, both filled with exactly what I needed at the time.  I am excited to be doing further travel this summer in August, teaching a Yoga and Ayurveda Course in Portland, Maine.  I can’t wait to spend the time with my mentor as well as share in spreading the knowledge with the students, there is space available if anyone is interested, and it can be done online too:)

Things as always are lush and beautiful here at the Hawthorn, we have been blessed with our early planting, eating abundantly from the garden already- Beets, Carrots, Peas, Broccoli and more greens than you can imagine:)  We even have some small tomatoes on our early plants.  I feel as the seeds from the garden produce, so too are the seeds planted in my being.  Movement is starting to stir inside, and the spaciousness is beginning to show its potential.  I am in the midst of planning some retreats, hopefully I will get the dates out soon.  A Cowichan Valley retreat in September, and maybe someplace more tropical in February or early March.  I am very excited to watch things shift and grow.

This month’s  Monthly Meditation Morning  will be held Sunday July, 14.  There will 3 separate sitting periods: 9:00- 9:50, 10:00-10:50 and 11:00-11:50.  Drop in for any one, or stay for them all.   This space is for any silent mediation type, no experience necessary.  Its a beautiful opportunity to sit in silence and just be, with all and anything that is.

IMG_7070Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, it is right outside by the seaside, weather permitting. It is a lovely class, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.

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.  ConsultationsAyurvedic CounselingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

***

Comfortable With Uncertainty

Sacred MudraAs summer comes into full swing I am noticing the beginnings of new movement in my being.  Almost as if I have been in a gestational period and that new life will blossom forth soon.  The spacious peace that I have been experiencing is deepening and shifting to an experience of great vibrations, and of powerful energetic movement. I trust that this will in time be mirrored in a more external way as well.  As I feel this expansive energy start to awaken in my body, it’s not necessarily comfortable, it doesn’t feel so safe or controllable, instead it feels like a river of movement that will flow where nature takes it.  I notice it more as sensations in my body, a feeling in my chest, perhaps a tickling in my belly.  Is it excitement, is it anxiousness, or is it just energy flowing?

The first thing I try to do is let go of the labelling of it, and just acknowledge its presence.  What is my mind going to do, but create a connection to something in the past, probably something fear based?  Instead as I just notice the energy, even deepen my experience of it by bringing my awareness there, it shifts into a fuller experience.  That experience is not always the same, and I remind myself to let go of any judgement, to notice what happens, and to let it follow its natural course.  Sometimes the sensations soften, and disappear as the energy moves and shifts, at other times it may become more intense, and bring back powerful memories, or stronger sensations in the body, before transforming into a space of openness.  Other times it just seems to stay around, reminding me of its presence, letting me know that there is energy building, making its self known.   As I let go of the judgement and attachment to it I become fascinated by the sensations that it brings, the way that it feels, and the way that I experience and react to it.

Its important to remember as things shift and move in our lives and around us, that we are never in control, that we never really know for certain what is going to happen.  At times when things start to move, when life gets a little wobbly or even if there is just a new feeling of energy moving through us, we are thrown into the knowledge of our tenuous hold on things and that can create the feeling of a tailspin.  Its so easy to feel safe and in “charge” when life is still, but are we ever really?  When life moves, when energy shifts, when something is born into being it can be scary, overwhelming, and filled with uncertainty.  There can be feelings of fear, mixed with excitement, adventure mixed with trepidation.  These times are a wonderful opportunity to dive in to your awareness and let go of any sense of control, to play with the sensations of emotion, to open yourself to all the possibilities.  Anything can happen, at anytime, and as we hold onto a feeling of what needs to be, or play into thoughts of being in control, we just set ourselves up for suffering and disappointment.  When energy starts to move, when life flows, whether easily or in a challenge, explore the moment, play with the sensations, acknowledge all of the emotions, and embrace the uncertainty- its a great reminder of the life energy flowing through us.  Trust that nature will lead us exactly where we need to be.  That we are exactly where we need to be, and that being in control of that is just an illusion.

***

Recipe Of The Month

Our garden is bursting with peas at this time of year.  Planted in early March, they have grown taller than me, and their abundant white flowers keep popping with tasty sweet pods.  We have both snap peas and shelling peas in the garden.  They are delightful to add to any meal, adding fresh energy, and sweet enjoyment.

Seared Sugar Snap Peas

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil,coconut oil, or ghee
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • 3-4 scallions or green onions, sliced on the diagonal
  • Salt
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon juice to taste

Directions

1 Heat a large sauté pan on high heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and heat it until it shimmers, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar peas and toss to coat with the oil. Sprinkle salt over them and toss again. Allow to cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute.

2 Add the green onions and fresh ginger. Toss to combine. Let cook for 1 minute. Toss and cook untouched again, this time leaving everything undisturbed for 2 minutes.

3 Turn off the heat, mix in the lemon zest and mint, then add black pepper and lemon juice to taste. Serve at once.

Enjoy

***

IMG_5350As always, I thank you for your time in reading this.  I always appreciate your comments and your feedback, and I look forward to connecting with you again soon.  Let me know how you are doing, and open your heart to the possibilites of connecting in a Yoga Retreat sometime soon, whether here in the Valley, or someplace warm and tropical in the winter.

Above all, encourage your being to enjoy the flow, to feel the changes, and to embrace the uncertainty~ every moment is fresh with possibilites, and we never know what will happen, so remember to take time to pay attention and to enjoy the journey:)

Much Peace

Asrael

 

Spacious Fullness

IMG_5276Namaste,

I hope that this newsletter finds you all well, and at peace wherever you may be in this moment.  What a wonderful spring it has been, there is so much life bursting forth, so much energy building, and so much space to grow in.  We were blessed here in BC with an abnormally beautiful and warm early spring. It was such a gift to get out in the garden, and to plant the seeds for summer.  At around the same time of this warm spell many spirit inspiring gifts also arrived.  I was blessed to spend a weekend in Seattle with Adyashanti, while at the same time receiving the gifts of ancient healing through an intentional Yagya.  This weekend inspired powerful movement and release, much of which I am still integrating.  There has also been more work on the documentary that was filmed last year, still no word on the release date, I will keep you posted.  Above all there has been a beautiful sense of connectedness, of peace, and of acceptance.  There is no hurry to do, there is no need to push or force, there is almost a sense of waiting to see what comes next, all the while living very comfortably in the present moment.   More recently the rains and cooler weather have come again, perfect for watering the seeds planted in fertile awareness, perfect for the quiet time that is reflecting through my being.  Perfect for nurturing the earth, and cleansing its essence so that when the sun appears again life can just bloom fully and completely.

This month’s  Monthly Meditation Morning  will be held Sunday June, 16.  There will 3 separate sitting periods: 9:00- 9:50, 10:00-10:50 and 11:00-11:50.  Drop in for any one, or stay for them all.   This space is for any silent mediation type, no experience necessary.  Its a beautiful opportunity to sit in silence and just be, with all and anything that is.

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, soon to be outside by the seaside. It is a lovely class, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.

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.  ConsultationsAyurvedic CounselingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

***

Spacious Fullness

paper peopleLife lately has been a bit different.   This may mean something unique to each and every one of us, as we all experience the universe in our own way, but often times there are key threads that weave our experiences together.  To me it almost seems like these last few months have been a bit of a waiting period, a time of gestation where there is no knowledge of what comes next, nor any expectation of what needs too.  This doesn’t mean that life isn’t full of its normal challenges, or day to day practical matters, but that within that, expanding throughout and around it, there is a great sense of space and acceptance.  There is a sensation and a feeling of the unknown, of the needing to be quiet, to take self care, and of total trust of it all.  Its an interesting feeling, this trust, because its not knowing you have to trust, or should trust, its just innately there.  Fear seems to be melting away, motivation at times may be lacking, but thats ok.  It isn’t the right time to force, it isn’t necessary to be in control of the next move, we never are anyways.  Its almost as if my entire being is just in this place of awareness, and that’s all that there is to do at this time.   The mind has actually stepped into balance with this energetic flow of the past few months, it does still chatter about, but the words, the thoughts aren’t addictive, there is no attachment to them.  There is almost an emptiness to the qualities of the thoughts, and a peacefulness in the  awareness of it all.   There is no thinking about what I “need” to be doing, I just do it if its needed.  There is no worry about the work week ahead, there just is what there is.  Its very strange, but very comfortable, and very supportive in its own way.  My body is also stepping in line with this awareness.  I hear it speak, I take the time for practice, for healthy eating, and for balance, and it responds.  I am sleeping better, dreaming beautiful dreams, feeling light in the vessel that I inhabit, and noticing a glowing vitality to my skin, and best of all I have more energy!  Again,  there is no control over this, no forcing, it just feels natural to take the time to do my daily routine, to nourish my physical which in turn supports my emotional and spiritual.

Sounds wonderful doesn’t it:) It is, but for some of us this may be an uncomfortable time of the unknown, of not experiencing a large flow of movement or of  creative energy.  There are still the desires infused in every aspect of life.  The knowledge that there is movement to come, the magic wants to expand and flow, the flow of consciousness that needs to express itself in more tangible ways.  It will happen.  Remember that even when we are still, we are flowing, that even when spacious there is fullness.  Just as in the garden, the seeds need to rest in the earth before they can pop up towards the light.  But even in the soil they are always expanding, and when the time is right they move, always growing until they share with us their beautiful blossoms and fruit.  Enjoy this rest, take care of yourself,  and listen.

Some daily practices I have been enjoying that reflect peace and health back to me are:

  • Daily Meditation- Always worth the time
  • Warm Spice Water- 1 tsp fennel, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp coriander- sipped throughout the day
  • Abhyanga- Self Oil Massage
  • Oil Pulling- With Sesame Oil
  • Nasya or Neti
  • Green Juice
  • Early Bed Time- 10 pm

For more info on any of these practices feel free to email me, or book an appointment to see what practices may be right for balance and peace for your being.

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Ayurvedic Massage Oils

c403266ac7bf11e2b04622000a1f9be0_7Ayurvedic Massage OilsIf you have ever experienced an Ayurvedic Massage then you know what a nurturing, luxurious and OILY experience it is.  I have been making and using medicinal herbal oils in my treatments for the past 5 years.  Most of the herbs that I use have been western herbs that I have grown myself, and offer similar properties to some of the herbs used in India.  This spring I received the message that it was time to make some more traditional Ayurvedic Oils, created in the tradition of the ancient pandits.  Unfortunately many of these medicinals are not grown here in Canada, but thanks to Harmonic Arts, I am able to order Organic and sustainably grown herbs from other places.  So with a big smile on my face, and excitement  in my heart I made an order and got to work.

Work may not be the best word for the practice of making the oils, as a light heart and deep intention made the time spent peaceful and enjoyable, but it definitely is quite a process.  When I make my western oils I always sun soak them, stirring them daily, and letting them infuse over a long period of time, sometimes for up to 6 months. I was led to work with these oils in a different way, respecting the ancient manner in the way they are transformed into medicine.  Instead of mixing the plant essences directly into the oil, I began by making strong infusions of the powdered herbs, simmering them in water for 3-4 hours, until they had reduced to 1/6th their size.  I then strained the plant matter out leaving me with a beautiful dark and fragrant tea.  I mixed this tea with a paste made out of powdered herbs and water, and then an equal amount of Organic Sesame Oil.  I then brought these concoctions to a very low simmer and let them cook, stirring regularly until the texture of the paste shifted its consistency from powder, to sticky goo, to a fine sand like texture.  What a beautiful practice it was to watch the changes that occurred.  Each herb had different energy, some were mucuousy and heavy, while others were light and dry, and they all had to experience a period of sticky tightness before releasing their essence fully to the oil…. sounds a bit reflective of our human experience doesn’t it?  After they were done, I strained the oil one more time and left them to cool.  This entire process took anywhere from 4-8 hours, and during that time I was infusing them with love and presence.  I was also listening to the herbs, connecting with their energy and spirits, very beautiful and inspiring.

I am now excited to offer these oils as part of my practice, as well as for sale if you are interested.  They are very potent, and very powerful.  Cooking the herbs in the oil creates a silky texture, and a beautiful natural scent.

100% Organic Vata Oil– Ashwaghanda, Shatavari, Shankhapushpi, Passionflower, Bhringaraj, Licorice, Sesame Oil

100% Organic Pitta Oil– Amla, Brahmi, Guduchi, Shatavari, Neem, Licorice, Rose, Lavender, Sunflower Oil, Sesame Oil

100% Organic Kapha Oil– Purnanarva, Calamus, Manjistha, Neem, Rosemary, Sesame Oil, Sunflower Oil

100% Organic Shirodhara Oil– Bhringaraj, Brahmi, Shankhapushpi, Passionflower, Sesame Oil, Olive Oil

I believe in the magic of growing and nurturing a plant from seed, to its place on our table, in our vision, or in our medicines, but there are also benefits to using plants that grow in other areas.  They bring with them an exotic magic, that can sometimes offer greater benefits and they can mix with the local herbs to give an even stronger effect.  These Ayurvedic Herbal Combinations have been used for thousands of years, and I am very pleased and honored to share them in my practice.

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Recipe Of The Month

Easy Bright Green Juice

Its that time of year when greens are in abundance.  So full of color, of life and of nutrients.  Fresh juice is a wonderful way to add in leafy greens to your diet, to many salads can dampen our agni (digestive fire).  You can mix and match greens, add herbs and spices, and make this recipe your own.  Think of this as a creative template, one that can be transformed from day to day, always full of vitamins, detoxifying, and so deliciously refreshing:)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 green apple 
  • 1-2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, turmeric, or both
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 tsp green powder (we use a chloryphyl, spirulina blend)
  • fresh herbs (mint, dill, basil, fennel leaves)
  • big bunch of leafy greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, dandelion greens, beet greens, etc.)
  • 1/2 lemon

 

Blend until mixed in your blender and then strain through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Enjoy.  I highly recommend a Blendtech blender, or Vitamix, but a normal one will do.  If you are using a normal blender, then check in with it, and make sure you don’t overheat the juice, let it rest and then blend further.

Get creative, add some radishes, or broccoli~ anything you like:)

You can always add fresh greens into your smoothies as well:)

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India Trip 2 247I am continuing to embrace the idea of expanding my perception on how to share Ayurveda and my services with others.  I would love any feedback or ideas that you may have.  Would you be interested in a yoga or Ayurveda retreat sometime?  How about a web seminar or class?  Perhaps there is another way that you see my energy flowing?  I would love to hear your thoughts:)  There is a retreat in the making, I will keep you updated:)

Wishing you all a beautiful month of June filled with peace, abundance, and acceptance of all that may be~ and some sunshine of course:)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this~

Much Love and Peace

Asrael

 

 

 

 

Divine Movement

Namaste-

dd39ba849d6e11e29ecd22000aaa08de_6Happy Spring!  What a beautiful time of year it is.  There is so much life bursting forth at once, as the earth awakens from winters peaceful sleep. It’s always amazing to me to see the way that life stirs after the dark season; light brightens the scenery, as the buds start to flourish, the colors deepen, and the spirits of the plants start to sing.  A feast for all the senses, whether it be the warmth of the sun, the scent of cottonwood buds, the beauty of yellow daffodils next to bright red tulips, or the stirring of greater life force reflected in my body.  Spring is a perfect time to shift the sluggish energy within, and to invite more prana into the being.  Breathing a little deeper, moving a little faster, and flowing with the natural rhythms of the planet.

As always natural beauty is shining bright here at The Hawthorn.  Pete has created a beautiful space for our garden this year.  With the warmer days and greater light, we already have lots of vegetables started, and are enjoying wonderful spring greens that we overwintered.  Its wonderful to connect with the earth,  planting the seeds for future growth.

This month’s  Monthly Meditation Morning  will be held Sunday, April 7.  There will 3 separate sitting periods: 9:00- 9:50, 10:00-10:50 and 11:00-11:50.  Drop in for any one, or stay for them all.   This space is for any silent mediation type, no experience necessary.  Its a beautiful opportunity to sit in silence and just be, with all and anything that is.

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00.  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, Ayurvedic Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

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Divine Movement

Yoga poses silhouettesSpring time is a period of nature’s great awakening.  As human beings we are part of this natural cycle,  and in greater awareness we begin to feel energy starting to bubble up inside of us.  After a long winter of settling into ourselves, it is time to allow this energy to move, to grow, and to express itself.  It is the perfect time to move past the boundaries of our comfort zones, and to open to new experiences and the fresh beginnings of springtime.  Now is the time to take our deep dreams of the past few months and to birth them into our reality, whatever that may be.  You may notice that there is a natural stirring deep inside, and energy starting to fluctuate below the surface.  This energy may feel exciting, or may instead be an experience of discomfort, of unsettledness.  Let go of the judgements you may have, of any labeling that you give an experience or a sensation, and instead invite flow into your being.  It’s alright if you aren’t clear on your direction, or if you don’t “know” where your path is moving. Trust that the soul does, and that it will take you exactly where you need to go.   Notice how you are experiencing your body right now.  How you are feeling inside and outside, and allow any held energy to move.  Any tension or tightness, whether it be in the muscles, in the emotions, or an energetic feeling or block, is energy that doesn’t have a clear space to flow.  These blocks whether old or new, can limit our birth, our transformation, while at the same time reminding us of the importance of surrender and flow.

Some wonderful ways to increase dynamic movement into all areas of our body at this time of year are:

  • Exercise-  Springtime is a wonderful time to get out and get moving.  All of winter’s heavier residue is ready to shift, and with a strong practice of physical exercise we can create flow in our cells and muscles, supporting any movement on the deeper levels.  Yoga is always a great practice.  A dynamic strong class, that is strengthening and opening and at the same time it will work on all of our koshic layers to cleanse, nurture and relax our beings.  Walking outside at this time of year is also a wonderful way to increase energy in the body.  Pick up the pace a little and allow yourself to feel the movement.  If you can walk in the forest or in nature, even better.  The more we spend time outside, and align ourselves with the natural rhythms of the earth, the more things will open.   Dancing is a great way to move too, if there is any live music close by, go and enjoy yourself, find your creative flow and let your feet and your body lead you, and of course you can always move your body in the living room to your favorite cd.
  • Cleansing-  Another way to create flow on the physical level that will affect it much deeper.  Its time to let go of the heavier foods, and to eat lighter.   Not a time for fasting, but for supporting your body with a gentle, yet powerful cleanse.  One where you kickstart your digestion while still supporting your system with healthy foods for your dosha and the season.  Eating nettles, bitter greens, kitchari, and avoiding heavy and cold foods is a great way to start.  Feel free to contact me if you are interested in an Ayurvedic Cleanse.  This is an easy 10 day experience that is nurturing, supportive and cleansing all at the same time.  After a cleanse lightness is experienced not only in the body, but also in the mind, the emotions, and general energy flow.
  • Meditation-  As always meditation is a wonderful way to clear the nervous system and to open the channels for greater flow, direction and clarity in all things.  Even 20 minutes once or twice a day can have a huge effect.  A simple practice that transforms our beings and our lives.
  • Affirmations-  Not sure where you are going, but wanting to support the movement of energy in some way?  Create some key phrases that will support your path and opening.  Perhaps something as simple as “I am ready for new beginnings”, or maybe its much more focused.  Do you have a dream that seems out of reach?  Ask for it.  Or make it a reality in your words.  What would you like to create in your life?  Breathe it in with repeated mantras every day.  Example- “I am blessed with abundant flow and movement in my life”.  The more your believe, the stronger the action.
  • Massage-  As always bodywork creates flow and energy.  Ayurvedic Bodywork is extremely powerful in supporting the process of letting go, and creating new pathways.  It is grounding and nurturing yet deeply releasing on both the subtle and physical energetic levels.  Abhyanga opens all the channels in the body, while Shirodhara can soothe the mind and allow you to release years and years of mental stress and patterning.  The chakra work also releases held stress in a very relaxing and honoring way.  As we clear these held blocks, we allow a new way of being to emerge.

 

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Support Your Digestion With Ayurveda

Spring is Kapha Season in Ayurveda.  Even with the shift into greater sunshine and longer days, in most places there is a excess of damp and cool energy.  This energy manifests not only in the world around us, but in our physical bodies too.  Digestion is often sluggish, there is still a feeling of sleepiness in our muscles, and a slowness to our actions.  As we strengthen our digestion by eating balancing foods for this time of year, we can create a more energy for our entire being.  Its a wonderful time of year to take part in a rejuvenating cleanse, or to at least be conscious of taking in a diet of easily assimilated foods.   Remember that Kapha energy is cold, to balance that energy its best to eat foods that are warmer, and spiced to create more flow and energy.   Green juices and bitters are also wonderful at this time of year, as they support natural detoxification and encourage the liver to release any stored energy.  Dark leafy greens are great examples of bitter plants, and for those of you that have dandelions in your yard, the leaves are a beautiful addition to the diet.  Also drinking warm spiced water (either a fennel, cumin and coriander seed mix, or if you are gluten tolerant,a barley water) will support the cleansing process in a balanced, healthy way.

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Kitchari

This month I thought I would share a Kichari recipe, perfect if you are taking part in an Ayurvedic Cleanse, or a wonderful meal to have anytime that you would like to enjoy an easily assimilated saatvic meal.  It is not only incredibly healing to the body, but also very pleasing to the taste buds:)   This recipe is infused with Kapha Balancing Spices, remember you can substitute most fresh juicy vegetables, and add more water to make it creamier if needed.

Ingredients:
½ cup basmati rice
¼ cup split mung beans
3-4 cups water
2-3 teaspoons ghee or olive oil

¼ teaspoon mustard seeds,
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pinch of red chili or cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger

¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder (also known as hing)
¼ teaspoon turmeric, salt to taste like ½ to ¼ teaspoon

2 cups chopped vegetables like zucchini, carrots, leeks
4-5 stems cilantro, washed and chopped
½ cup spinach leaves, washed and finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons dry shredded coconut
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preparation
Rinse the mung beans and rice in a fine mesh strainer and set aside.

In a pot, heat the ghee or oil on medium heat and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric, red chili, and ginger in this order and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the mung beans, basmati rice, and vegetables, then add water and salt. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes or until mung beans are soft and completely cooked. Top with cilantro leaves, coconut, and spinach, add fresh lemon juice at the end, and stir nicely.

Preparation time: 45 minutes

This recipe is from Ayurveda: A Quick Reference Handbook-By Dr. Manisha Kshirsagar and Ana Cristina R. Magno

 

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Ginger Pickle

Great for sluggish digestion, and creating more agni in your system.  This is a wonderful treat for Kapha season, or anytime of year if you experience bloating, heaviness, or lack of hunger.   If you have lots of pita (fire energy) in your being its best to try in small doses at a mid day meal- as this can create excess heat and may not be suitable for your daily routine.

Ingredients

  • Loonie size piece of ginger (silver dollar in the US)
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • Salt

Cut the ginger into long thin pieces.  Squeeze lemon juice on it, and sprinkle with salt.  Let sit for a few minutes and marinate. Enjoy with your biggest meal of the day.

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AsraelI am embracing the idea of expanding my perception on how to share Ayurveda and my services with others.  I would love any feedback or ideas that you may have.  Would you be interested in a yoga or Ayurveda retreat sometime?  How about a web seminar or class?  Perhaps there is another way that you see my energy flowing?  I would love to hear your thoughts:)

As always thank you so much for your time and energy in reading this newsletter.  I so appreciate all the support and energy that you share with me.

The light in me bows to the light in each and every one of you

Namaste

Asrael

 

 

 

 

 

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