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.

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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

March Newsletter~ Spring Cleaning

Vector beautiful spring tree, consisting of butterfliesNamaste
I hope that this day finds you warm, happy and filled with peace.  March is here, and with it the arrival of spring.  Snowdrops have been in full bloom here at The Hawthorn for a few weeks now, and their beautiful white color illuminates the path into the heart of the property.   Yellow Aconites bring so much brightness and color after the long grey winter, and the crocuses are popping their heads up with joy.  Every morning I hear more and more birds singing, as the trees begin to bud, and the daylight grows stronger and stronger.  It is such a beautiful time of rebirth, beginnings, and awakening, a very inspirational time.
In Ayurveda this time of year is considered Kapha season, its energy is wet, cool, damp and earthy.  A time when our physical body is still holding onto winter’s slow and sluggish energy, yet the desire is there for lightness and movement.  It is a wonderful time to move any old stale energy out, and an Ayurvedic Cleanse is an amazing way to shift into the brightness of spring.  An Ayurvedic Cleanse is a very gentle way to stimulate digestion, and release any stored toxins.  Feel free to call me for more information, or to book an appointment to start your spring cleaning.  For more information on Kapha Season, visit last years March Newsletter.
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.  Springtime also means more fresh local and wild greens are appearing, and its a great time for a Cooking Class, this months class will be held on Sunday, March 25.

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.  I am continuing the specials on Jyotish Astrology Readings for $110 ($10 off the normal price).  Gain some insight into your time here~ the karmic patterns you may hold, planetary influences around you, and deep knowledge about your souls path.  Very interesting, intuitive and always helpful.

Spring Cleaning

anemone hepaticaAs I mentioned above, spring is a wonderful time to cleanse our body, but it is also a perfect time to cleanse our energetic and emotional layers as well.  Spring cleaning on all levels freshens the energy and opens the doors for true contentment.  As we work with the physical body, perhaps during a dietary cleanse, we affect the other layers of our being as well, loosening up old patterns, and beliefs so that we can let go, heal and grow.  Even for those of us who have a regular “spiritual” practice, we can lose awareness of the things that we hold onto, the energies that we carry around on a day to day basis.  Receiving energy work, or nurturing bodywork can often bring some of our deeper holdings up to the surface.  While your body and mind relax, the “stuff” can rise up into awareness, a wonderful opportunity to let it go, to release it once and for all.  I was surprised and fascinated during a session the other day (when I was the one being treated) how much stuff I was carrying in my energy field, the deep emotional patterns, and daily armor that I was walking around with.  By becoming aware of this, I was able to release and shift the energy, giving my soul a sense of peace, deepening my awareness, and polishing the jewel of my existence.  These things that we carry around aren’t “bad”, they offer us a peek into the lessons of this lifetime.  They offer us a wonderful chance to breathe life into the beauty of our being, to honor the magic of the soul, and in true awareness to smile at our humanness, showing us that we can move the energy with intention, awareness, and love.  So I invite you to dive in,  to ask yourself what is it that you are carrying?  What is keeping you from fully experiencing your bliss, your joy and your being?  Not judging just noticing, and then allowing whatever that may be to float away in a fresh breath of springtime.

Recipes

Fresh Nettle Juice

Its that time of year again, stinging nettles are starting to spring up everywhere.  Such a nourishing and amazing gift from the plant kingdom to us.  Filled with essential vitamins, protein and nutrients, these wild greens are a superfood.  I shared information about them last year at this time~ as well as a great soup recipe.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy nettles is in a delicious green drink.  As more and more greens and herbs start to appear locally, I often add them in, but here is a great basic recipe for a lovely green juice.  It will fill you with energy, give you a great nutritional boost, and it tastes delicious too.
Ingredients
1 Big Handful Of Nettles
½ Apple
Water
any other greens or vegetables you like

Chop the apple into small cubes, and put them into a blender with the nettles.  Its great if you have a Vitamix or a Blendtech, but a regular blender will work fine too.  Add about a cup or two of water, and blend until the apple and nettles are mixed very well in with the water.
Strain through a Nut Milk Bag, or a clean nylon/mesh fruit bag.
Enjoy

~ I like to add dandelion greens when they come up (they can be bitter, but oh so good for you)
~ I also add chickweed, spinach, lettuce, and fresh mint when it appears.
~ Cucumbers are a tasty addition, but they don’t grow locally here at this time of year.
~ A squeeze of fresh lemon, often adds a nice flavor
~ Play around and try different vegetables, see what tastes best to you and trust that your body knows what it needs.

Kapha Season Biryani
At this time of year, when the Kapha energy is so prevalent, its helpful to add a bit of heat to your meals.  Its a great time to cook with more fresh ginger, even spicier peppers and garlic, which stimulates digestion as well as the immune system.  If you have predominately pitta energy, you may want to eat these spicier foods in moderation, but they can still be a helpful addition to your diet in small doses.  This Vegetable Biryani recipe, has some chili’s in it~ if you aren’t used to spicy foods, try cutting the dosage in half.  The basmati rice, cilantro and almonds help to balance to the heat,  creating a wonderfully nourishing and very tasty meal.

Ingredients
1 cup Basmati Rice
2 Leeks sliced thinly
¼ tsp Saffron
1 Carrot, Sliced Diaganolly
¼ cup Green Peas
Salt to taste

The Paste
6 Almonds soaked and peeled
1 tsp Coriander seeds
2 tsp Fennel seeds
2 tsp Poppy seeds
2 cloves Garlic
2 inch piece Ginger
1-2 green Chili’s
¼ cup fresh Cilantro chopped
¼ cup fresh Mint chopped

The Tempering
1 ½ Tbs Ghee or Sunflower Oil
1 Bay Leaf
2 sticks Cinnamon
3 Cloves
2 Black Cardamom Pods

1.  Soak the almonds overnight, if you don’t have time, then soak for 20-30 minutes, peeling them and grinding them with all other paste ingredients~ I use my food processor
2.  Wash and soak the rice for 10 minutes.  Strain and set aside.
3.  In a pot heat the ghee or oil, and add the ingredients of the tempering, when they begin to let out their aroma and you hear some crackling, reduce the flame and add the onions.  Sautee for 4-5 minutes until the leeks start browning.
4.  Add the paste and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the rice, saffron and vegetables.  Add 2 cups warm water, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low.  Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5.  Fluff the rice with a fork and Enjoy:)

Yoga Asana Of The Month


Springtime is a great time to invite some more dynamic postures into your yoga practice. As our bodies try to shake off any remnants of winter it can help to add in a few more standing poses, perhaps you may even want to try out some sun salutations.  This will create energy,  increasing digestion, and flow in your body, as well as encourage the elimination of any stored toxins from the past winter.

Downward Dog
Downward Dog is a wonderful posture, a key part of any sun salutation, or vinyasa flow, and it is perfect for practicing on its own as well.  Strengthening, Rejuvenating, and Relaxing.
Instructions

1. Start by taking some time seated, or in child’s pose.  As always before starting a practice allow yourself a moment to shift away from your practical thinking mind, opening your awareness and taking time to connect to your breath and body.  Take as long as you like, perhaps spend a minimum of 3-5 minutes before moving further.  Use this time to deepen your breath, relax your body and your mind, and to just enjoy this time you are giving yourself.

2.  Bring yourself to a table position. Take a moment here to connect a bit more with your body.  Spreadyour fingers wide, deepenyour breath, and find a bit of movement, perhaps wiggling your hips, or lifting your heart, and then curling your spine on each inhale and exhale. When you feel ready take a deep inhale and move your hands forward a few inches in front of the shoulders.

3.  Exhaling, curl your toes underneath you and lift up the hips, keeping a soft bend in the knees.  Lengthen your tailbone away from your pelvis, lift the sit bones towards the ceiling and breathe.

4.  Find some movement here, maybe wiggling the hips, lifting one leg and then the other, or pressing one heel down and then the other (this is called walking the dog:)).  Take a few breaths exploring this asana while moving.
5.  Exhaling press both heels towards the floor.  The legs will be straight, but check in with your knees and make sure that you are not locking them, a soft microbend, will allow the flow of prana (energy) to continue through your body. Feel the energy in your thighs and roll them inwards slightly.

6.  Check in with your hands, making sure your fingers are spread wide and you are feeling energy in the tips of your fingers, and the base of your fingers, allowing the weight of your body to be distributed throughout your entire hand.  Allow the shoulder blades to roll back towards each other, this opens the heart a bit more:)  and let your head be long and steady between your arms.  The elbows are firm, but not locked, encouraging the flow of breath and energy throughout your being.

7.  Breathe deeply and stay for as long as you like, if it is challenging for you, take a few breaths then come down to childs pose, you can always revisit it after catching your breath:)

8.  When you are ready, exhale down to child’s pose, take a few breaths (or more) and when you are ready slip into the relaxing release of savasana.

This posture is very energizing and calming at the same time.
It stretches and awakens the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands, and strengthens them at same time.  It sparks the fire of digestion, and is very calming to the mind. It helps to relieve headache, insomnia, back pain and fatigue, opening and awakening the main energy flows in the body.   Its also very therapuetic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, and sinusitis. Such amazing benefits and a perfect asana for the Kapha time of year.

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 March 8, 22
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. March 8 and 22.

Springtime Ayurvedic Cooking Class
The Hawthorn, Glenora BC
10-1:30

Its a wonderful time of year to experiment with new things, so why not try an Ayurvedic Cooking Class.  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, as well as the full menu
~How to cook simple,delicious & nutritious meals
Organic, Locally Sourced (when possible) and Vegetarian
Lunch is Included

Menu
Wild Greens Juice
Mint and Cilantro Biryani~ spiced for Kapha Season
Fresh Springtime Vegetable Curry
Warm Spiced Dal
Spinach Chutney
Kapha Spice Mix
Chai
Call 250 597 3973 to reserve your space- limited to 6
$75

Once again, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read this.  I would love to hear any comments and feedback that you may have:)  I wish you a wonderful spring, filled with warmth, love, happiness and peace.  Enjoy Yourself~ Every Moment Is A Gift~ And You Are Living Your Dream:)
Much Love and Peace
Asrael

Imbolc~ Transitioning into the light

♥ Imbolc~

Blessings On This Magical Day~ The transition from winter darkness into spring light is in full swing. Enjoy the freshness and opportunity of new beginnings as you integrate the energy of past winter months~ Honoring the triple Goddess as she transforms into Brigid the maiden once more:) ♥

For more information on this special day, visit http://anandaayurveda.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/imbolc-blessings/

and ENJOY:)