Transformations- Magic Unfolding

Namaste
I hope that this newsletter finds you well and happy.  Its hard to believe that it is already September, it feels like summer has just began.  Time is so interesting, the way that it can bend and shape itself in our perceptions.  Things are wonderful here at The Hawthorn, the universe’s abundance manifesting in all aspects of life.   The last few months have been extremely powerful, filled with so much transformation.  To ease the movements of the shifting energies, I took a month off from the newsletters to nourish my being,to enjoy the warm summer sun, the flow of the cool Cowichan River, and the peace of stillness in my being.  As life continues its flow I am still finding a full and busy schedule, but my heart missed you all, and wanted to check in.

As we step into September, its almost like stepping back into our routines, a time of harvest, but also of getting back into a regular practice in our life.  Not that it can’t be a holiday all of the time, but one that is more focused, practical and grounded.  Its a great time to get back into Yoga.  Yoga Classes, are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay.  Classes will continue 4:30-6:00, on Monday’s and Wednesday’s, for the month of September, changing to 4:00 in October.  There will be class on Labor Day as well.  Join us in this magical practice space; as we move inside for the cooler months, we are still blessed with the beautiful ocean view.  I was lucky enough to be part of a short video for the classes~ Check it out here and see the beautiful space we practice in:)

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, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.

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Transformation- Magic Unfolding

Beautiful nightThere are so many things I could write about this month, but what keeps speaking out to me over and over, through my experience, and that of clients, friends, and family, is the powerful transformations that are occurring today.  2012, has long been held as a year of major change, and it seems that the time is now, it is upon us, and there is no running away.  There is so much happening at this time, affecting us on all the different levels of our awareness.  It seems like there is wave after wave of movement, shift and flow coming our way, in overwhelming magnitude.
What is this transformation?  How is it affecting you/us?
Its different for all of us, yet the main thing that resonates is that it is powerful, and life changing.  Perhaps there is something happening to you on a physical level, a sense of heaviness, old injuries speaking strongly to you; or a difficult to diagnose illness, something that comes on powerfully and suddenly.  On an emotional level, it can feel like a roller coaster of ups and downs, times of depression, anxiety, or great fear, while at other moments the heart just seems to sing, and see so clearly the light and love all around us.  Energetically dreams are powerful, and vivid.  Sleep may be interrupted, and in the waking state sometimes it can feel like you are vibrating at a higher level.  Your experience may just be that life is bringing you challenge, after challenge, pushing you to expand your boundaries of acceptance and surrender. At times it almost feels like there is no time to rest, to rejuvenate~ that things are happening at an amazing rate, and all you can do is hang on.

As the transformations expand, and we shed our comfortable skins, there really is not much we can do but surrender and believe.  Believe that it is all happening for our greater good, that this discomfort, pain, fear, and joy is all reverberating through us to support our souls journey, to bring greater light to the universe and the planet as a whole.  As these deep, swirling currents grab hold, know that they are enabling us to breathe fresh light into our beings, to expand our awareness, by letting go of the old “stuff” that we have been carrying.  Its not time to run away or to stuff down the emotions, to deny the experiences we may be having in our physical, and energetic systems.  Instead feel everything completely, embrace it, every bit of it.  Hold and nurture it in your heart, so that it is part of the whole,  so that it can be digested and illuminated with our hearts.  Not kept separate, not judged but experienced fully, as a friend, a teacher, and part of the beauty of all life.  Who are we to say that what is happening to us in any given moment, isn’t perfect.  Every breath is a stitch in the fabric of life, and right now, the universe is weaving a beautiful multicolored tapestry.  We are part of this wonderful evolution, and for the transformation to continue, we need to move through many changes, letting go of our judgement, and experiencing the beauty of it all.  As we step forward each moment, knowing that we are on the perfect path, and that the best we can do is believe, and be with ALL that is happening.  Remember you are not alone, we are all connected, a reflection of the whole, and the center of this whole is bright, beautiful, and shining.  As unsettled as these times are, we are supported wholly by the universe, and magic is unfolding in every moment.

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Recipe Of The Month

Raita are yogurt “salads” that are mixed with vegetables and spices to create an easily digestible accompaniment to a meal.  In Ayurveda yogurt should rarely be eaten alone, it is best mixed with other spices to balance out the acidity, and eaten at room temperature.  Fresh homemade yogurt is preferable its easy to make, and wonderful in lassi’s and raitia’s .  As always, raw milk, straight from the cow is a magical nectar, but if that is unavailable, the organic, unhomogenized is fine.  If you are vegan, you can definitely substitute almond milk or coconut yogurt.

This raita is filled with the garden’s bounty, add other vegetables and experiment with the spices.  Most of all enjoy:)

Mixed Vegetable Raita

2 cups yogurt
1 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbs sunflower oil
pinch of asofetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp curry powder (optional)
2 cup grated cucumbers
½ cup grated carrots
1 small tomato, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs fresh ginger
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped toasted cashews
1 ½  Tbs lemon juice
salt
black pepper

1.  Whisk the yogurt with the maple syrup until it is free of lumps.
2  Heat the oil in a small skillet.  Add the spices in order, and saute over low heat until the mustard seeds “dance”
3.  Mix the spice mixture into the yogurt, stir in the vegetables, ginger, cilantro and cashews.  Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

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Wishing you a beautiful and wonderful September, filled with the beauty of life.  Remember that you are never alone~ we are all connected, and the transformations may seem overwhelming, but remember,  all the cracks let the light shine in:)
Much Peace
Asrael

July Newsletter~Honoring The Guru Within

Autumn floral background with birdsNamaste

Happy July.  It is hard to believe that summer is already here.   I hope that wherever you are you are being graced with the light of the sun.  Here at The Hawthorn, things are beautiful as always, even if a bit cool~ it has been a perfect June to practice gratitude for the soft breezes and gentle clouds, as much of Canada and the States are sizzling in abnormal heat waves.  There has been a whirlwind of activity flowing around me lately~ I had an amazing trip to New York City, this past month.   The energy in NYC is so vibrant, creative and powerful, so many people, and so much to do.  Loved walking in the city, feeling the sun on my face in the parks, and just soaking in the powerful vibrations.

On my return to BC, I brought back two old friends of mine, Chela (a fluffy ginger lion) and Trouble (his strong, sleek brother).  Their energy is soft, yet powerful; deeply healing, and full of strong magical medicine.  I do have a separate entrance to the healing room for those of you that are allergic~ and of course the treatment space is always animal free:)  I am also blessed to have my mom visiting for a few weeks.  Its so nice to spend time together,  enjoying the beauty of the the Valley, the garden, and whatever each day brings.

Summer is pitta season. It is important to find balance at this time of year, staying cool, and content in the heat.  Last year’s July Newsletter has lots of information on how to enjoy the summer sun, without overdoing it.

Yoga Classes, are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  at a new summer time 4:30-6:00, on Monday’s and Wednesday’s.  It’s such a beautiful place to practice, and if the weather is nice we will even enjoy some outside yoga by the sea.

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, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.

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Honoring The Guru WithinClose-up picture of a Buddha Face in Bronze, from Nepal.

Tuesday, July 3rd is Guru Purnima, Ayurvedically this is the most auspicious Full Moon of the year, a time to honor one’s teachers and to give thanks for the lessons of life.  It is also important to remember to honor our own inner teacher, giving gratitude and respect to the innate knowledge within.  One of the biggest lessons in our lives is to learn to trust, and accept the strength of our own intuition, our own power.  Teachers may shine the light on the path, offering us tremendous gifts, but there is always the spark within that serves as our deepest guide.  At this time of great awakening, more and more we are hearing our inner voice.  There is a sense of knowing, of letting go of the monkey mind, and a deepening of the connection with the deepest layers of our intuitive being.   As we allow ourselves the time, even just a moment here or there, to stop and to listen to what is underneath the thoughts, what is underneath the emotions, there is the opportunity to experience the powerful movements of our own teacher.

We all go through things differently. For some of us there is the feeling of needing to move in a certain direction, or to stay put, sometimes there is a strong yes or a no that comes when we are faced with a decision.  For others we may actually process things physically, feeling heavy or slow at times when our spirit is telling us it is time to shift, while feeling a safety or contentment when we are where we need to be, even if where that is doesn’t feel “safe or secure” in the mind.  Perhaps guidance or direction will come in dreams, trust the magic that happens in sleep, listen and believe that what you feel underneath it all is very, very real.  We often second guess ourselves, separating ourselves from our own truth. By honoring this sacred truth, this sacred knowing, we open the way for the flow to move clearly.

Perhaps this Tuesday, as well as honoring your favorite teachers, it is a perfect time to give yourself the greatest gift of self love, acceptance, belief and gratitude.  To trust that you are the “perfect” teacher, that your inner angel, is always letting you know the way.  Allow yourself to believe the magic within, let your heart light shine back to you, and enjoy its brilliant warmth.

For those of you who would like more guidance on working with your intuition, I just finished an Ayurvedic Counseling/Life Transformation Course, and will be offering sessions to learn to dive deeper within, facilitating the awakening and opening of the greatest teacher of all.

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Recipes

This month I wanted to share an easy, nutritious recipe, that is cooling to the body, yet more easily digestible than a normal salad.  Toasting the Quinoa in oil before cooking it brings out a delicious, nutty flavor.  Green onions, and zucchini are now readily available in the garden, or at local markets, and the currants mixed with the lemon add a delightful sweetness to the dish.  This is great served warm, or let to sit for a few hours and served at room temperature.  Perfect for a warm sunny day:)

Quinoa With Dill, Lemon and Currants

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped green onions (about 6)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small)
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. To make the quinoa, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the green onions and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the dark green parts wilt but do not turn brown, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally until the grains start to crackle and turn dry, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the water, the currants and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. Bring to a boil then decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of the lemon until you have 1 teaspoonful then squeeze the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons of juice.
  7. To finish, remove the pan from the heat, stir the zucchini, lemon juice and zest, 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons of the dill and the pepper into the quinoa. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  8. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes.
  9. Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons each of sesame seeds and dill, and serve.

This recipe is from the cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck:)

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Wishing you all the most wonderful, relaxing and enjoyable July.  Enjoy yourself, your families, and the magic that is all around us.  Much gratitude to you all for all that you teach and share with me~
Much Love and Peace
Asrael

Trust In The Flow~ June Newsletter

paesaggio fantastico
I am excited to be taking a trip to see my family this month, and to be with my sister at her wedding, it will be wonderful to spend time with everyone, and share the joy of celebration with her.  Yoga Classes at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, will be on a break for a few weeks, to resume at a new summer time 4:30-6:00, on Monday, June 25.  It’s such a beautiful place to practice, and if the weather is nice we will even enjoy some outside yoga by the sea.

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, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.

***

Trust In The Flow

Niagara Falls. Beautiful side view at summer timeAt this time, there is so much happening on the planet, and in our consciousness that it often feels like life’s flow is taking us on a wild ride through endless rapids.  It is a beautiful ride filled with unknown beauty and magic, but one that also leaves us with a sense of not knowing what the next twist will bring.  As the universal energy expands, and our collective hearts open, there is much internal and external purification that is  occurring.  What may seem important in one moment, may suddenly shift;  the areas that we have been directing our energy may feel like they have hit a dead end; emotions are alive and flowing.  The bubbles of joy, and love are growing, even amidst all of this movement, and now is the time to just step into the flow, to trust that it will guide you exactly where you need to be.  Where you are is perfect, even if all of your hard thought out plans have not come to the fruition expected.  The way will become clear,  and as things percolate around you, or within you, remember that the idea of control is one of the ego and the mind.   Accept the circumstances that are happening, embrace whatever the feelings may be, from joy to fear.  Open to the beautiful mystery of life, know you are part of the great magical transformation that is happening now.  Yes, things are uncertain and shifts are taking place on all the levels of the world and our being.  All these little rapids, are allowing us to shake up our idea of what “has” to be, and allowing the potential of what could be to grow.  The universe is raising its vibrations, bringing expansive light and awareness to all.  Hearts are opening, love and awareness is expanding.  As the light comes in, it clears all the “old” stuff, bringing it to the surface so it can move on. Let it move.  Trust it is moving. Remember that as one door closes, it allows another door to open wide.

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Recipes

Ayurvedic Green Dishes
Our garden if filled with fresh, nutritious greens at this time of year.  There is an abundance of kale, tat soi, chinese greens, and even some swiss chard poking up.  Not to mention the many different kinds of lettuces.  In Ayurveda cold salad’s can cool agni (digestion), leading to ama and vata imbalance.  It is easy to spend a few minutes warming the greens up, adding some spice and flavor. If you love your greens raw, make sure that you add healthy fats to help them move through your body with more ease.  Avacados, nuts, seeds, and organic oils are very important.  Also you can try adding some warm cooked quinoa,rice and steamed or sauteed vegetables, this will also help the digestion process.  Kale is great rubbed with oil and a bit of salt, as it breaks the cellular fibers up and “cooks” it in the process.

Garden Fresh Horta

A traditional peasant dish of boiled greens and weeds.  The broth is nutrient rich and offers so much flavor.

Ingredients
1 big bunch of mixed greens (kale, swiss chard, chinese greens, dandelion greens, daisy greens, chickweed, spinach, and any others you like)
1 cup water
⅓ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt

Directions:
In a large saucepan on medium low heat, cover and simmer greens until the remaining stems are soft.  Drain until ½ cup of water is left.
Place the greens and the broth in a serving bowl.  Dress with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt.  Serve warm and enjoy:)

Sesame Cumin Kale

Ingredients
2 Tbs raw sesame seeds
1 Tbs fresh grated ginger
2 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp sea salt
3 cups kale (or other greens), stemmed and sliced into thin strips
1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs water

In a small saute pan on medium low heat, add sesame seeds, cumin seeds and sea salt.  Slowly toast, until the seeds start to brown, and the aroma is strong.  Stir in the kale, the cider vinegar, the ginger and water.  Cover immediately.  After a minute stir again.  The kale will be wilted with a deep green color, and the water cooked out.  Serve hot.

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Yoga Asana Of The Month

Extended Mountain Pose
I am finding such a need for grounding in my practice at this time.  Taking time to slow down, to breathe deeply, and to enjoy the air flowing deep into my belly.  Connecting my feet to the earth whilst inviting a connection to the universal sky energy.  At the same time my body desires to strengthen, to stand tall, and feel alive.  Urdhva Hastasana offers this gift of strength and suppleness, a bright connection of heaven and earth.

Directions

1.  Stand at the front of your mat.  I like to keep my feet hip width apart, and feel the ground beneath my feet .  Find your center, your balance, noticing if you have a tendency to hang out in the past (the heels), or grip onto the future (the toes).

2. Firm your thigh muscles, keeping a softness in your knees, let that softness flow up to you inner belly.. Feel the energy flowing up your inner ankles, all the way up to your thighs and through the sacrum to the heart, the neck and the top of the head.  Lengthen your sitbones towards the floor, and then bring your belly towards the spine.

3.  Allow your shoulders to roll back, so that the heart can open.  Find space in your collorbones and your chest, and allow your arms to hang softly but steadily by your side.

4. Check in with your head and neck, allowing the chin and throat to soften.  Breathe deep and enjoy this steady mountain pose.  Take at least a few deep breaths here, feel your strenght, your connection to the earth.

5.  Inhaling, Lift your arms out to the sides allowing them to float up with your breath, extending them over your head.  Allow the palms to come together.

6.  Exhale, bring the palms together in Namaste Mudra to the heart, and then repeat this circular motion a few times.  This opens and cleanses the energy, and feels so good for the shoulders.

7.  When you feel ready, the next time you inhale the arms to the sky, keep them shoulder width apart.  spread your fingers wide. Let your shoulders roll back and look up to the sky

8.  Breathe deeply, notice how the heart shines so open and bright.  Feel your feet firmly planted on the ground, the earth supporting you, as your fingertips reach towards heaven.

9.  Give yourself as much time here as you like. When you are ready to release, then exhale your hands together to heart center.  Take a few moments here to feel your energy.  Enjoy

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I wish you all an amazing and wonderful June.  Enjoy this beautiful expansion of life, and the summer suns warm glow.
Much Love and Peace to you all:)
Asrael

May Newsletter-Awareness Awakening

Namaste

Magnolia flowersHappy May:) I hope that life is filled with brightness wherever you may be. It has been a cool damp spring here at The Hawthorn, the landscape is luscious and green, and the mix of tulips, daffodils, and bluebells, are alive with vibrant color. April was a wonderful month, long full days, of working, learning and opening to all that life has to offer. This Saturday, May 5th is Lunar Beltane, there will be a “Super Moon”, a Scorpio full moon at its closest point to the earth for the year (8:35 pm, pacific standard time). Big and bright, the moon is in the watery sign of transformation (Scorpio), this promises to be a time of great opening, a powerful evening, notice your dreams, trust your intuition, and pay attention, the chance for magic is high:)

As many of you know last month I was honoured to take part in a documentary on Ayurveda. It was an incredible week, one that fostered opening on very deep levels for all involved. I want to thank all of you who participated for your support. It meant so much to share the energy with you, to look out during yoga, to awaken after the meditation and to feel your beautiful light shining bright. Such support, I feel truly blessed. The cooking class, was so much fun, and wonderful to share the meal with the producers and camera men too. All I can say about the day of treatments is that the energy was flowing, sparkling and clear, the universe offering to us all, the gift of transformation. It was truly amazing. It seemed that the divine energy was so much more palpable, with outside attention focused on the deep healing.   I was also excited to discover that Deepak Chopra, will also be part of the documentary~ WOW:) The film won’t be out until January, 2012, and will be showcased on Vision TV,  I will keep you all updated:)

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, its such a beautiful place to practice.  We will be offering Satsang, and meditation, but are still firming up the days/dates, is there a day that works for you?  Let me know~ at this point we are thinking Sunday afternoons, twice a month.  I will let you know as it evolves:)

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, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.

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Awareness Awakening

MeditationChecking in with my clients, students and myself, I am noticing a common theme in the universal consciousness these days. It appears to be a time of whirling energy, so much flowing all around us that at times it feels overwhelming. This is a great time of planetary and consciousness change, opening and release is happening in every breath, and the moments of great clarity, shining bliss, and true being, are becoming closer and closer together. I have been noticing bubbles of great beauty, floating up through my being from my soul consciousness, these “bubbles” are just a glimpse of the brilliance of our true nature. As they percolate through the layers of my existence, I feel such great peace, contentment and pure trust, this “feeling” is our true nature, this sense of ultimate belonging, is who we are. We have spent lifetimes, building the walls to lock our self away from reality, for many of us we function in a life where we so identify with our mind, and our emotions, that the entire idea of a deeper self is a foreign concept. Our entire society functions on the idea that we are our physical, emotional body, that if we buy certain clothes, succeed in our careers, have the “right” things happen for us, that we will be happy and fulfilled, yet it seems “this” is never enough, are we truly ever at peace?

Well, the time is now, the walls are crumbling, and our bright, shining, perfect beings are longing to express themselves, to not feel separate any longer (they never were, its all been an illusion). As our consciousness expands, there can be growing pains, old fears, memories, patterns coming up to the surface. Life may seem very up and down at times, moving altogether too fast, our firm footing is no longer what it once was. Let these emotions flow, let the memories move on, try not to attach to much to what it may mean, but shine your heart light out to each experience and let it dissolve back into the universal flow. Trust that you are supported, know that the divine is expressing itself in each of us~ we are awakening, letting go of the false idea that we need to be anything than what we are. There is nothing to fear, nothing to hold on to, All is well. Life is evolving in huge steps, the wave is not always comfortable, but its beautiful as it is bringing us the gift of awareness.

As momentum increases, there are times when its easy to feel overwhelmed and even stuck. Suffering has been part of our human existence, and fear also has a firm grasp over many of our lives. The time is ripe to let it all go, and to surrender to the greater pattern. Easy to say, but when we are in the midst of it, it can be hard to open to the depth of experience. If things do rise in intensity for you, allow yourself to surrender, to stop and take a break, let yourself rest. Nourish your body with deep sleep and meditation, this soothes the nervous system, and allows your consciousness to grow. Trust your intuition, listen to your feelings, and your visions, the more you do, the more the way will be clear. Give yourself the gift of massage, yoga or energy work, let your being be cared for, your heart and your spirit deserves to be honoured. Perhaps most of all, offer yourself the gift of intention, to let go of any idea of what should be, of what needs to be, and of any attachment to an outcome. Trust that the magic is happening, and that birthing pains are part of the exciting transformation that is blossoming all over this planet. What a wonderous gift to be here now.

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Recipes

Churna’s~ Spice Mixes

Spices are an important part of Ayurvedic Cooking, not only do they impart great flavor to the food, they also carry medicinal properties, and bring the balance of the six different tastes to every meal. When cooking spices can be sprinkled on top of the food but if you temper them in a ghee or coconut oil then add them to the dish, you will be able to absorb the full range of their properties. In Ayurveda we all lean towards the body constitution of one dosha or another, not all spices will be beneficial in the same amounts for each body. In a Vata Pacifying Mix, the herbs will impart a sense of calmness to the being, while nourishing the digestive tract. A Kapha Pacifying Mix, will have a bit more spiciness to it, warming and stimulating to the being. A Pitta Pacifying Mix, will be cooler, soothing to the digestion, and the nervous system. There are also wonderful curry mixes, that can enliven soups, stews, bean dishes. A common herb used in Ayurvedic Cooking is turmeric, which is antinflammatory and antioxident, beneficial to the entire body. Cumin is also very popular, aiding digestion with out being to hot, Coriander is tri-doshic, purifying to the blood, and is sweet and astringent to taste. Cardamom is a prized spice, so deeply aromatic, it stimulates digestion, and helps to eliminate excess gas. Fennel is also an important herb for daily use, cooling, nourishing, and great for increasing agni (digestive fire), while keeping pitta in check. These are just a few of the herbs used on a daily basis in Ayurveda.

I am very pleased to share with you all, our exciting new line of Organic Ayurvedic Spice Mixes, hand blended with love by Pete and I. All the herbs are 100% organic, non irridated, and ethically sourced. We have come up with our signature mixes to balance the dosha’s, adding flavour to any meal. There are Kapha, Pitta, and Vata churna’s, as well as a spicy Garam Masala, and a mild but flavorful Korma Powder. $12 to pick up from us, shipping is extra~ please call for more information.

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Mixed Vegetable Curry

A wonderful dish for the springtime filled with aromatic spices that help perk up digestion. Steaming the vegetables beforehand, allow them to keep their crispness. I use our own Korma Powder, a curry powder works as well:)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 4-5 cups vegetables cut into ¾ inch pieces (whatever is fresh and in season at the time~ for the last cooking class we used, fennel, broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower). Steamed until just tender
  • 2 Tbs Ghee or Coconut Oil
  • 1 ½ Tbs Korma Powder
  • 2 Tbs Ground Almonds
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped leek
  • 1 tsp brown rice flour
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped Cilantro
  • 2 Tbs plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the ghee in a pan over low heat. Add the korma powder and cook, stirring until fragrant (about 3 minutes)
  2. Add the almonds and leek, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the flour and asafetida and cook for another 2 minutes
  4. Pour in the water and the coconut milk. Whisk until smooth and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cilantro, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and stir until they are evenly coated with the sauce.

Enjoy:)

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Once again I thank you so much for sharing your time, and energy with me~ its such a gift to share my learning with you, I always notice that after I write these newsletters, teach a class, or spend time with a client, how much you all teach me~ reflecting back all and everything that I need in that moment:)

Blessings and Gratitude~

Asrael

An extra special month for my mom, her birthday and mothers day on the 13th~ love you so much mom!

April Newsletter~ Opening To The Joy Within

paesaggio fantasticoNamaste
Happy April:)  I hope that this newsletter finds you all at peace, enjoying the beauty that is springtime.  Here at the Hawthorn, spring is very slowly making its presence known, the daffodils are in full bloom, the swallows have appeared, even a few hummingbirds have flown by, and the cool, rainy days are making sure that there is plenty of water in the wells, and the earth.  Every day the leaves on the tree’s  open a little bit more, slow but steady, welcoming the light that is always there, even when it’s hidden behind the clouds.  A wonderful metaphor for our own blissful beings, the light that is always there, always present, even though at times it feels hidden.

As always things are wonderful here at Ananda Ayurveda. We have a very exciting month as we have been invited to be part of a documentary on Ayurveda and its transition to the west.  There will be filming at Yoga on Wednesday, April, 18th, as well as at the Ayurvedic Cooking Class on Sunday, April 22.  We will also be offering a group meditation on that day, thinking 2 oclock, but will confirm later.  Very honored and blessed to be a part of this work, and so much gratitude to all those who have volunteered to share their treatments on camera.  Would love to have a big group out for yoga, don’t be camera shy~ you can ask to not be filmed:)

As always things are wonderful here at Ananda Ayurveda.  Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, its such a beautiful place to practice.  Satsangs are also continuing this month, biweekly on Thursdays at The Hawthorn.

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, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.

Why So Serious?

Loving the lifeLife as always is such a special gift; each moment and each breath offer us the opportunity to be fully in the beauty of ourselves, yet most of us walk around carrying the weight of seriousness.   This beautiful life, this wonderful existence, with all of its ups and downs offers us so many chances to experience the innate joy that is part of all of us.  Yet instead of opening to it, unfolding our petals to the playfullness that is possible, we hold ourselves tightly in, wound up in our “story” , always looking to the next moment where we may be able to relax more, once whatever we are caught up in is done. Does that moment ever come~ doesn’t another chapter always appear?  The moment is always now.  There is no place but the present, and locking ourselves up in a tight ball doesn’t allow us to experience it any better.  That’s not to say, that we “should” or will feel happy all the time, feeling the full range of emotions from grief to ecstatic bliss is part of our energetic flow.  To let go of our “serious” voice and to experience what is, even in the midst of emotions is a powerful practice .  You may be surprised to find joy there, no matter what the situation.  Our time on this planet, in this life is but a fleeting breath in the universal picture, why not enjoy it?  Finding the laughter in the mistakes we make, playing like innocent children in our daily lives, trusting that all that is happening is part of the magical balance of life.  Even in being serious, seeing that energy in our life, and smiling at it, perhaps accepting it as part of our journey, but not allowing it to squelch our amazing life force.  The light force that breathes, sings and lives in open hearted, peaceful joy.  So next time you feel so serious, take time to step back, smile and notice what shifts for you.

Recipes

Its that beautiful time of year when the nettles are coming into their full glory.  Reaching out to the sun, their leaves filled with nutrients and power.  Last month I shared with you a wonderful green juice recipe, and this month I am happy to share this lovely greens dish, packed with nutrients, and spices to balance kapha.  If nettles don’t grow by you, feel free to try this recipe with kale, chickweed, spinach, chard~ whatever it is that you enjoy and desire, you can even make a mixture of all of your favorite greens.

The Joy Of Nettles~ Steamed this time

1 T ghee or coconut oil
pinch of asafetida (optional)
1 T minced ginger
1/4 t whole fenugreek seeds, freshly ground
1/4 t whole cumin seeds
4 c fresh nettles (Can use any fresh greens)
lemon, salt & black pepper to season

Bring about 1-2 inches of water in a pot with a steamer to a boil.  Add the nettles to the steamer and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until soft.   Set aside. In a large pan, heat the ghee/oil. Add the hing, ginger, cumin & fenugreek, and saute over low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add greens and cook, stirring frequently, until flavors are combined. Season with juice of lemon, salt and pepper.

The Magic of Millet

Warm breakfasts are a wonderful way to start the day, especially in Kapha season.  Instead of going for a traditional oatmeal, or cream of wheat cereal, why not try millet?  It is a wonderful grain packed with nutrients, immune boosting, easy to digest and gluten free.  In terms of Ayurveda millet is heating and drying, so it is a wonderful food choice  for the Kapha time of year as it balances water retention, excess weight, excess mucous, and it is a natural detoxifier.  Adding coconut milk, dates and nuts can bring balance to the drying qualities, making it an acceptable food choice for all dosha’s. This is my breakfast of choice lately,  so delicious and grounding, fills me with energy yet leaves me light on my feet as I embark on my day.

Creamy Millet Porridge
½ cup millet
1.5 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods ground
½ cup grated coconut~ fresh or dried
1 apple cut into cubes (optional)
2 Tbs soaked chopped almond or sunflower seeds
Coconut milk or almond milk to taste

Place millet and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the cinnamon sticks, and ground cardamom, and apple if desired.  Let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, add coconut, nuts, seeds and then ¼ cup almond or coconut milk to taste.  No sweetener needed.  Delicious, nurturing, and filled with nutrients.  A perfect start to a spring day.

Yoga Asana Of The Month

Savsana~ Corpse Pose

Savasana~ the art of letting go.  This is perhaps one of the most important yoga postures of them all.  One that is often longed for in a more difficult part of class, and one that can often be rushed through at the end of class, or in a home practice.  This pose is about total relaxation; physical, mental and energetic.  Allowing your being to just melt into the mat, allowing all that you have just experienced in your day, in your yoga practice, in your mind to be integrated into your being, and released into the universe.  Sounds easy:)  For many of us, letting go can be the most difficult practice. Giving ourselves the permission to relax, to accept and to let go completely is a wonderful practice and one that we, in the west, are not used to.  Give yourself this beautiful gift of peace, letting yourself be and notice the difference when you arise fresh and anew.  Savasana is the final pose in most yoga classes, it can be done after your home practice, or just on its own.

Instructions:

1.  Lie down on your mat, making sure that you have made any physical adjustments that may keep you from letting go (putting socks on, covering yourself with a blanket etc.)

2.  Let your legs spread as wide as the mat, and your arms fall down by your sides, palms up.  If you like you can place your hands on your belly and your heart,  just make sure that you will be comfortable here, able to surrender to the fullest potential.

3.  Roll your head from side to side, and let it find a nice centred resting place.  If your neck is tender feel free to place a rolled up towel under your neck.  Traditionally the head is flat on the floor, so that the neck can stay long. If you find this uncomfortable, a soft pillow is ok.

4.  If you are just coming into Savasana on its own, take a few deep breaths, to centre and to soften.  If you have just finished your normal practice, allow your breath to soften naturally.  Close your eyes, feeling free to cover them with an eye pack, or cloth.

5.  Once centered let the breath soften, let the awareness float and allow each part of your being and your body to relax.  Feel the ground supporting you wherever your body touches it, and allow your muscles to relax, to sink into the earth.

6.  Notice your body, see if there is anyplace that is holding tension, and just allow that to relax, often just by bringing awareness to that part of the body it will naturally happen.

7.  Allow yourself to rest in the beauty of your own being.  Let your awareness flow, as you soften.  This is not the time for sleep, instead it is a deeper relaxation as you float in the space of your own consciousness, letting go of the attention to the physical body, yet still deeply aware of your energetic being.

8.  Stay here for at least 5 minutes, if your mind wanders thats ok, bring it back to your soft breath, and then release that attention.  If you have done a longer practice allow time for a longer savasana, typically at least 5 minutes per half hour, and feel free to stay longer if you like:)

9.  To come out of Savasana, gently bring the attention back to your breath and your body, perhaps wiggling your fingers and your toes as you take deeper, fuller, more intentional breaths.  Bring your knees up into your chest and give yourself a big hug. Feel free to rock and roll from side to side massaging your lower back.  And then very gently roll over onto one side. I like to take a moment here to rest and reflect on my practice, on any insights that may have come to me, or perhaps on one of my favorite teachings.  After some time here, gently bring yourself to seated and continue on with your day:)

~ Feel free to place pillow under your knees if there is any strain there at all:)
~ Let go of any judgement of what the experience “should” be and allow yourself this time to really surrender to each and everything that is happening.

Upcoming Events

Oceanfront Yoga

If you haven’t tried a class yet, Its a wonderful experience, in an amazing place.  Suitable for all levels, and of course filled with opening and joy:)

Oceanfront Suites Cowichan Bay
Monday and Wednesday Afternoons~ 4:00-5:30
All Levels Welcome
Hatha Yoga-Mixed Level Classes

Flow with your breath. Connect with your spirit. Move into your being. More yin than power yoga these classes are great for all levels of yogi, offering a challenge to those more experienced, yet very accessible to the beginner. Flowing at times, we learn to be with our breath, our body, and our thoughts as we melt into the asanas. Experiencing the moment, opening the heart and the mind, and accepting the energy of being where we are, at the same time creating strength, stamina, and flexibility. Always infused with spirit and bliss, and lots of smiles:) Yoga poses, pranayama, and relaxation are all experienced in these classes.
$10 drop in
Call 250 597 3973

Satsang And Meditation
Thursdays, April 5 and 19
7:00-9:00
Satsang~ an opportunity to listen, absorb and open our awareness to spiritual teachings from many different sources.
Just be present as we listen to Dharma talks from the likes of Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, and Thich Nhat Hanh (and others).
Followed by a 30 minute silent meditation (All lineages/practices welcome).
Is there anyone you would like to hear from? Let us know:)
Each session will be devoted to one teaching
No prior meditation experience is necessaryBy Donation Call 250 597 3973 for more information Satsangs are offered every other Thursday from 7-9. March 8 and 22.

No prior meditation experience is necessary

By Donation

Call 250 597 3973 for more information

Satsangs are offered every other Thursday from 7-9. April 5 and 19.

Ayurvedic Cooking Class- Documentary Special
The Hawthorn
Sunday April 22, 10-12:00
$40

Join us for a wonderful spring cooking class.  This class is a shorter version of our regular monthly classes, and will be filmed as part of an upcoming documentary on Ayurveda.  A full lunch will still be included.  During the class we will focus on the ghee, the spices and a few of the main dishes.  You will leave with the entire menu’s recipes

These class are a wonderful way to incorporate healthy, nutritious food that is balancing to your dosha, and the season.
Learn:
~About the 6 tastes and how they relate to each dosha
~How to make Ghee,and Spice Mixes
~How to cook simple,delicious & nutritious meals
Organic, Locally Sourced (when possible) and Vegetarian
Lunch is Included

Menu
Ghee
Kapha Season Spice Mix
Red Lentil Dhal with Fresh Turmeric & Spring Greens
Mixed Vegetable Curry~ Spicy & Balancing For Kapha Season
Jeera Rice
Ginger Raisin Chutney
Cardamom Almond Cookies

Call 250 597 3973 to reserve your space- limited to 6
$40

Once again I thank you so much for all of your time, support and energy.  I wish you all a joyous month.  Have fun playing outside in the freshness of the season, breathe in the beauty of life, and most of all~ Enjoy Your Self:)
Namaste
Asrael

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