June Newsletter- Great Gratitude

Autumn floral background with birdsHappy June everyone,
The sun is shining, gardens are planted, and the days are long and bright, filled with beauty, warmth and the promise of a wonderful summer. I hope that you are all well and wonderful, and finding time to do whatever it is that makes you smile. It has been a very interesting month for me, on many levels~ a time filled with many ups and downs, travel, on both the spirit and physical levels, and immense learning, more that I could ever imagine. I have come to a place of deeper understanding, acceptance and gratitude for each and every moment. Life is such a gift, as are all of our connections~ those with our families, close friends, and any being that touches us in a special way. To love and honor those around us wholeheartedly, and to be able to express that love, offers the chance for true surrender into our heart.

With this new awareness, I look forward to this beautiful month of June. I will be offering an Ayurvedic Cooking Class on Sunday June 19, from 10:30-2:00 at The Hawthorn, it will be a wonderful early summer menu, with as much local, and homegrown produce available. I am also continuing the special of a free tarot reading with the purchase of a 90 minute Abyhanga, so luxurious, relaxing and healing:) Tuesday June 14, will be a Yoga Nidra night beginning at 7:30. I will be updating the website soon, with other class times and special events.

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dentro de la barriga

Surrender And Enjoy

Something that is so simple yet so difficult for most of us to do. Let go, and just enjoy what is, trust and surrender to the knowledge that all is just perfect. Do you take time to really enjoy where you are at, what you are doing, or does your mind fill with the clutter of so many worries, stresses, thoughts and things that take us away from the true beauty and magic of this amazing life we live. This past month, I was confronted with sudden serious illness of a close relative, an experience that although extremely emotional, was perhaps one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. It really brought to my awareness what is important, and very clearly illuminated the amount of time and energy I spend focusing on the trivial things in my daily life. Every moment is a chance to feel love, to feel gratitude, and to experience the wonder around us. Each thing that happens is full of magic, full of light, and giving us opportunity to grow and to learn, whether it may seem difficult or easy. Embrace whatever it is that life brings, trust that it is all wonderful, and needed, and allow yourself to enjoy each and every moment. It truly is a gift.

I also experienced an amazing amount of love and gratitude for my family, my friends, and all of those around me. To be able to express on a heart level with those that we have long standing relationships, is such a gift, cutting through the layers of the past, to the beauty and energy of the true connection. To feel the support and energy of so many, from both the people close to me, and from some that I didn’t even know, was truly humbling. To see so clearly, how we are all connected, we are all one, and we are all light beings- such innate trust ~ what else is there to do but to surrender?
I thank all who sent their support in every and any way:)

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Yoga Pose Of The Month

Reclining Twist

A wonderful way to wring out any tension in the spine, very relaxing, and rejuvenating at the same time.

Directions

  1. Lie on your back, arms down by your sides palms up, legs about mat width apart. Take a minute or two here to breathe and slow down your mind and your body.
  2. Bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the floor, about hip width apart… take a moment here to connect with your body, how are you feeling? Notice if your chin is coming down slightly.. if not, or if it feels strained at all, feel free to place a pillow under your head.
  3. Bring your knees up to your chest, and give yourself a big hug.. Enjoy this beautiful self love, and if you like, rock slightly from side to side, massaging the lower back.
  4. Release your arms and allow them to float down to the earth outstretched, palms up. Let your knees melt down to the earth on your right side, again, feeling free to place a pillow underneath the legs, or in between them. You can keep your head straight, or if you would like you can turn your head to the left. Remember to breathe:)
  5. Allow yourself to be here with the breath for about 3-5 minutes, and then take yourself to the other side.

Don’t push yourself, allow yourself to relax, and be here.. This asana is very opening, in a very gentle way, relax and enjoy. When you are ready to come out, feel free to give yourself another hug- or just release into savasana, and enjoy.

Some benefits of this asana-

  1. Opens the 2 main meridians (nadi’s in the body)
  2. It is a wonderful release for any stuck energy along the spine, it also releases and relaxes the lower back.
  3. This asana wrings out all of the abdominal organs, which is both cleansing and renewing.
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June Recipes

Green Goodness-
At this time of year the gardens are just beginning to share their bounty of wonderful healthy food. One thing there is definitely not a shortage of in my garden is greens. Amazing spinach, leafy lettuce, chinese greens, and of course the ever plentiful kale. If you haven’t noticed from my past newsletters greens are a important and favorite part of my diet, they carry so many nutrients, are great in juices, salads, and in pretty much any cooked dish. And they can be even more versatile than that.. Many of us love to snack, even if it may not always be the healthiest thing for our bodies, especially if the snacks are store bought. I thought this month I would share a healthy, easy alternative, for a crispy and delightful snack. Chips~ Made out of kale (Next spring when nettle season is still going, you can make these with stinging nettles as well)

Kale Chips

1 Bunch Kale- organically grown, or even better from a garden close to you
1-2 Tbs Olive Oil
salt to taste ~ just a sprinkle

If you like you can add these spices for added enjoyment, and they are great for digestion
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cardamom

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Tear the leaves off of the stalk, and into pieces, not too big, maybe 2-3 inches square
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss with salt, and spices if you choose
  4. Lay onto a baking sheet, I like to put parchment paper down first
  5. Let cook about 15 minutes, checking about half way, and giving a stir.
  6. Enjoy

Asparagus
Another wonderful spring vegetable that is just popping up locally here in BC is asparagus. So delicious and so wonderful for us. Ayurvedically Asparagus is a wonderful for all dosha’s it cools pitta, soothes Vata, and purifies Kapha. High in potassium, very easy to digest, and a natural blood purifier, it is very high in folic acid, it is a great vegetable to include in any meal. I often cook it in a pan with a little bit of olive oil and salt, trimming the base of the stems off, and cooking about 5-10 minutes until tender. Easy and Delicious.

Quinoa and Asparagus Pilaf

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
½ tsp salt
1-2 tsp oil
1 lb asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup fresh peas- they should be at a local farmers market soon:)
1-2 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbs Olive Oil
¼ cup chopped dill
Salt to taste

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer.
  2. Place in a pot with the water, add salt
  3. Bring to a boil uncovered, turn down to simmer and cover. Let cook 15-20 minutes
  4. In a pan lightly saute the asparagus and peas in 1 tsp of oil, until tender
  5. Toss with quinoa, drizzle with olive oil, and lemon juice, mix in the fresh dill.

Light, cooling, nutritious and tasty:)

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Upcoming Events

Ayurvedic Cooking Class- Early Summer Menu
Sunday June 19
10:30-2:00
At The Hawthorn
Fresh garden goodness, wonderful food, and a great time
Full lunch is included

Menu to be announced soon- check here for more information soon:)

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is a body-centered form of meditation that can help us discover a greater sense of wholeness and balance that is naturally ours. This method of self-inquiry is practiced in a comfortable lying down position, in which participants are guided into the deepest levels of relaxation and mediation. This practice burns away negative patterns of conditioning, creating the space for transformations on the physical, emotional, and energetic levels.

Join Me For 30 minute Yoga Nidra (a recorded session by Swami Niramjamananda) followed by 30 minute silent sit

Tuesday June 19– 7:30pm

By Donation

250 597 3973

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Once again, I thank you all so much for your time in reading this. I wish you all a wonderful June, and I look forward to seeing and sharing with you all more. Remember, right here, right now, is what there is….. and its wonderful:)

Deepest love and gratitude,
Asrael

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May Newsletter- Surrender To Love

Natural healingNamaste,

I hope you are well and wonderful wherever you may be this beautiful spring day. It is hard to believe that it is already May ~ A time to embrace the beauty and the joy of light and growth, both in the garden and within ourselves. To nourish the seeds we have already planted, and to sow more of what we would like to create in our lives. Knowing that what we manifest in our lives affects the entire planet, so practice mindfulness, acceptance, and most of all love.

May is the month of Mother’s Day, and in the spirit of that energy, I wish Happy Mothers Day to all of the wonderful mothers out there, and give thanks for your work, your caring, and your nurturing. You live the most important job of all~ Much Gratitude to you all. For those that are not mothers, I offer you to embrace the matriarch energy within yourself, that you share with the world in other ways, to honor, nurture, and love.

May is a very busy month for me at Ananda Ayurveda. I am offering a wonderful special ~ Treat yourself, or maybe your mom, to an hour and a half Abyhanga (Ayurvedic Massage) and receive a free tarot reading. See below for more information about the wonderful experience of Abyhanga.
I will be at the Bench School Fair just outside of Cowichan Bay, offering tarot readings on May 14, from 10-2, come get a reading if you are in the area, and for those far away, I am available by phone or skype ( just as powerful as in person). I am also pleased to share with you many new events at my house, The Hawthorn: A weekly meditation circle, yoga classes, a weekly toning circle, Yoga Nidra– and more to come. The next Ayurvedic Cooking Class will be on Sunday June 5 from 10 am -1:30 pm, I will be posting the menu soon☺ There should be lots of seasonal vegetables up then, and we will also use some wildcrafted plants too:).

Abyhanga – Traditional Ayurvedic Massage

Many people have never had an Ayurvedic Massage, it is a wonderful experience, one that heals the body on much more than just the physical, and it feels so good.

An Ayurvedic Massage balances your body, mind and spirit, while working on the subtle energy layers, allowing for tremendous healing, in a very comforting way. The experience of Abyhanga is very different from that of a Swedish Massage, or a normal western massage. It begins with warm organic oils (the oils typically used are sesame, or sunflower, and coming this summer, medicinal herbal oils), anointing the hands, feet, forehead and top of the head, activating these chakras. More warm oil, is poured onto the body, and massaged into the skin, the therapist uses long fluid, rhythmic strokes, that cover the entire body. These strokes activate the energy meridians (the nadi’s), clearing and allowing prana to flow. The oil grounds the physical body, lubricating the tissues, and allowing any toxins in the cells, and from the energy body to move into the digestive system, and be released. Our bodies luxuriate in the oil, absorbing much of it, its warmth is comforting as it nourishes every cell in our body. Essential Oils add to the treatment, offering to balance and relax on an energetic level, and just smell so good. While giving the massage, the therapist, is in tune with the client, its a meditation, a dance and a flow, one where energy awakens, chakras balance, and healing can occur on deep levels. A massage, that allows you to relax deeply, at the same time allowing for restoration and rejuvenation. A heart opening experience of bringing balance to your being in blissful awareness.

This months special: Free Tarot Reading with the purchase of an hour and a half Abyhanga .

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Eating Ayurvedically

Wild Weed – The Amazing Dandelion

Dandelions are an amazing addition to the springtime diet. Dark green, bitter leaves, sunny, sweet yellow heads, and they grow just about everywhere. Many gardeners, do their best to rid themselves of the beautiful dandelion, but it really is a gift, offering so much to our bodies.

As it has been a wet, cool, spring here on the west coast, many of us are still feeling that kapha energy, perhaps a little sluggish, mucousy, and heavy. Dandelion greens offer a great remedy for that with their bitter taste. The energy of bitter helps to dry up the Kapha excess, and the dark green leaves enrich our bodies with calcium, iron, Vitamin A, B, C, D and Vitamin K, more even than a serving of broccoli. The leaves are great in salads, stir fries, and green juice.
The dandelion buds are another wonderful addition to salads, and cooked dishes. If you pick the fresh buds, before they open, toss them in a stir fry and you get a beautiful mixture of sweet and bitter, they soak up the juices, and are amazingly delicious. The flowers are a sweet and easy way to make your salads look pretty as well as taste good. Take off all of the green and its just sweet, a little green adds a bit of bitter. Its best to not eat the stem, doesn’t taste so good, and as the dandelion matures, there can be a latex milk that isn’t so nice to ingest.
The roots are amazing too, a fall harvested root can make a great coffee subsitiute, and they are great medicinally for the liver, and stomach. The leaves aid digestion, and are great for the kidneys, and bladder. And the flowers are relaxing, and satisfying, also great as a skin tonic☺ So for those of you that have dandelions growing in your yard, and know that there are no fertilizers, or pesticides on them, why don’t you try to make friends with them, enjoy the gifts that they offer, and eat well.

Lemon- Mint Sauteed Dandelion Leaves

1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Fresh Mint
1 Tbs Dill
2 Tbs Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
Big Bunch of Dandelion Greens
1 leek sliced, or ¼ cup fennel chopped
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper

Sautee the leek, or fennel in the olive oil on low heat. Add the greens, and cook until soft, add the salt pepper, and toss with the lemon juice and fresh herbs. Enjoy.

Dandelion Flower Facial

My favorite Ayurvedic Face Lotion from India, is made from the flowers of Dandelions.
This is a great way to take care of your skin, it softens, heals, and nurtures, plus its so easy to make.

A handful of dandelion flowers- ones that are open already without going to seed
Water

Place the dandelions in a container that has a cover, pour boiling water over them, make sure they are well covered by the water. Place the lid on top and let sit for an hour or two.
Strain the water into a bowl, and place the wet flowers on your face, lying down, closing your eyes, and relaxing. Leave for about 10 minutes. Use the liquid to rinse your face, leaving its residue on. Any left over infusion can be put on your face before bed.

This is a recipe I adapted from Susun Weed’s Herbal Healing Wise Book.

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Yoga Pose Of The Month

Balasana – Childs Pose

With all that is happening in the world today, I thought that it would be fitting to share Balasana, the pose of a child with you. This is a beautiful asana of surrender, and of acceptance. Child’s pose is extremely relaxing and restoring, great for all dosha’s, it restores the parasympathetic nervous system, is grounding, and a wonderful place to take solace and rest in. In any yoga class, this is a great place to visit when you need a break.

Practice

  1. Begin by coming to a hands and knees table position, Take a few breaths here, (if you like feel free to do the cat stretch, massaging your spine for a few inhales and exhales).
  2. Bring the big toes together, and spread the knees wide apart as you sink your sit bones back to your heels.
  3. Allow your upper body to melt into the earth, the arms outstretched in front of you, palms down. Forehead resting flat on the floor.
  4. Breathe deeply, all the way to your belly, and allow yourself to surrender to the moment, allow your thoughts to float by, and see if you can revisit the innocence and peace of a child.

Modifications

Feel free to place a bolster underneath your stomach, this is nice if you want to relax into the asana for a long time.

You may also bring the knees a little closer together, folding forward, forehead resting on the mat. Allowing your arms to float back by your sides palms up.

See what feels more comfortable for you, and enjoy, staying as long as you like

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Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events ~

There is alot happening at The Hawthorn this month, Weekly Meditation, Yoga, Toning, and Yoga Nidra.

Weekly Meditation Sit ~ At The Hawthorn
Join us on Thursday evenings, for a 50 minute sit. All types of silent meditation welcome. A wonderful hour spent in peaceful silence, supported by others.
7:30 pm-9:00 pm

Call 250 597 3973 for directions, and more information. Beginning April 28 – runs all Thursdays in May.

Weekly Toning Circle~At The Hawthorn
Healing with the magic and vibration of sound. Open yourself to the experience of moving energy, clearing blocks and opening through the power of our own expression. No musical experience or talent is necessary, we are working with our primal and natural instincts, and whatever tone comes out is just perfect:)

The class begins with time for sound to flow, in whatever form it may take, moving the bodies, and letting the voice be heard. After this warm up, this opening, we will sit and ground for about 10 minutes in silence, allowing the energy channels to clear and settle. We will then move through the chakra’s, working with different tones and sounds that resonate with each one. There will be the opportunity to share with the circle with words at the close of the circle. A truly powerful and moving experience.

Thursdays: 10am-12 pm
Suggested Donation $10~Circle dates: May 5th,12,19,26

Follow Your Bliss- Yoga With Asrael ~At the Hawthorn
A Class for all levels: from the beginner to the experienced yogi. We will flow with the breath, melt into the asanas, and open our hearts and our minds to the bliss of our being.

Small class sizes- practice in a sacred, healing, and loving space.

Wednesday mornings 10am-11:30 am
Class Dates- April 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25
Suggested Donation-$10
Call for Information/Directions- 250 597 3973

Yoga Nidra ~ At The Hawthorn

Experience the ancient art of
YOGA NIDRA
Yoga Nidra is a body-centered form of meditation that can help us discover a greater sense of wholeness and balance that is naturally ours. This method of self-inquiry is practiced in a comfortable lying down position, in which participants are guided into the deepest levels of relaxation and mediation. This practice burns away negative patterns of conditioning, creating the space for transformations on the physical, emotional, and energetic levels.

Join Me For 30 minute Yoga Nidra (a recorded session by Swami Niramjamananda) followed by 30 minute silent sit

Tuesday May, 10 – 7:30pm
By Donation
250 597 3973

Where is The Hawthorn?
The Hawthorn, is a magical, healing heart centre, located just a few minutes (4 km) from downtown Duncan, in the beautiful area called Glenora. At the end of a one way road, down a driveway tunneled through cherry trees, a 2 acre paradise, of gardens, peace and tranquility. Call for directions at 250 597 3973

Once Again,
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I wish you all a wonderful May~
Much Peace
Asrael

www.anandaayurveda.wordpress.com

Beltane Blessings

Namaste,

Happy May 1st.  A day to fully experience the beauty and energy of spring, wherever you may be.  Beltane, traditionally a festive day of rebirth, a time to embrace the power of creation, enjoying both our spirits energy,  those around us, and the fertile mother earth beneath our feet.

See if you can create time today to spend time outside, in the forest if you are able too, or even taking a walk someplace where there are trees, and nature, if you are in the city.  Breathe in the fresh spring air.  Take your shoes off, and connect with the ground beneath your feet.  Allow yourself to connect with the energy of the earth, to feel her power, her strength, and her blossoming.  Smell the flowers around you and bask in their scent.  Feel your beauty and your aliveness, and share that energy with those around you.

Happy May Day- Enjoy:)

Happy Earth Day ~ And Upcoming Events

Namaste,

I hope you are all well and wonderful on this beautiful spring day.  A day to honor the earth, and perhaps give special intention and energy to healing the impact of our lives on it.  Also remembering, that every day is Earth Day- so keeping the respect that we hold today, and allowing it to flow and transform our lives each and everyday, in our interactions with the earth, with our communities and with ourselves.

I am very excited to announce many new offerings this spring.   The sacred space of my beautiful home, The Hawthorn shines forth its energy as a place to share, grow, and learn together.  I am posting a list below of all the new scheduled classes, and will soon be announcing dates, for an Introduction to Energy Healing, as well as an Evening of Dharma Talks.

Ayurvedic Consultations are still on special this month for $100, this includes a free follow up.   Next months special is going to be extremely nurturing and opening~ A free Tarot Reading with the purchase of an hour and a half Abyhanga, or a Shirodhara treament.. Pure Bliss- Feel free to schedule now, if you have a special treat for mothers day in mind:)

Here is the new schedule- The Hawthorn is 4 km outside of Duncan, a 5 minute drive from town~ yet it feels like a different world:)

Weekly Meditation Sit ~ At The Hawthorn

Join us on Thursday evenings, for a 50 minute sit.  All types of silent meditation welcome.  A wonderful hour spent in peaceful silence, supported by others. Beginners welcome:)

7:30pm -9:00 pm

Call 250 597 3973 for directions, and more information.  Beginning April 28 – runs all Thursdays in May.

Weekly Toning Circle~At The Hawthorn

Healing with the magic and vibration of sound.  Open yourself to the experience of moving energy, clearing blocks and opening through the power of our own expression.  No musical experience or talent is necessary, we are working with our primal and natural instincts, and whatever tone comes out is just perfect:)

The class begins with time for sound to flow, in whatever form it may take, moving the bodies, and letting the voice be heard.   After this warm up, this opening, we will sit and ground for about 10 minutes in silence, allowing the energy channels to clear and settle.  We will then move through the chakra’s, working with different tones and sounds that resonate with each one.   There will be the opportunity to share with the circle with words at the close of the circle.  A truly powerful and moving experience.

Thursdays: 10am-12 pm

Suggested Donation $10~Circle dates: May 5th,12,19,26


Follow Your Bliss- Yoga With Asrael ~At the Hawthorn

A Class for all levels: from the beginner to the experienced yogi. We will flow with the breath, melt into the asanas, and open our hearts and our minds to the bliss of our being.  

Small class sizes- practice in a sacred, healing, and loving space.

Wednesday mornings 10am-11:30 am

Class Dates- April 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25

Suggested Donation-$10

Call for Information/Directions-  250 597 3973


Yoga Nidra ~ At The Hawthorn

Experience the ancient art of

YOGA NIDRA

Yoga Nidra is a body-centered form of meditation that can help us discover a greater sense of wholeness and balance that is naturally ours.  This method of self-inquiry is practiced in a comfortable lying down position, in which participants are guided into the deepest levels of relaxation and mediation.  This practice burns away negative patterns of conditioning, creating the space for transformations on the physical, emotional, and energetic levels.

Join Me For 30 minute Yoga Nidra (a recorded session by Swami Niramjamananda) followed by 30 minute silent sit

Tuesday May, 10 – 7:30pm

By Donation

250 597 3973

Dates to be announced soon~

Introduction To Energy Healing and An Evening of Dharma Talks~ followed by a short silent sit.

Happy Vedic New Year

This is an email I received from a fellow practitioner, Maria Carbonelli, of Sama Ayurveda, in Santa Barbara, CA.  It struck a chord with me,  and so I thought it would be wonderful to share with all of you:)

“Ayurveda has its roots in the vedic tradition and yesterday 4/4/11 marked the Vedic New Year.

The theme or purpose for this year is a challenging year for many. Our lives are in upheaval, jobs being lost, divorce and separation of relationships, homes being sold, moves being made, feelings of great shifts taking place within and externally from us. It’s an uncomfortable place to be. Anxiety is high. We have great obstacles to overcome but with that comes enormous growth. ENORMOUS growth. Real progress, not superficial surface level progress, comes through change, using the VATA energy to make this shift from fear to CHANGE but we also must use the PITTA energy to FOCUS on our changes and the KAPHA energy to NOURISH and sustain us through the changes so we don’t get depleted through the process.

Once we can see beyond our circumstances and move from fear we will be able to see the blessing. It is a difficult time and to make this statement is a bold one when we can barely see tomorrow through the muck. This is a great reminder that we have this reserve within us and to dive in and seek further inside rather outside of ourselves for answers. May that give us some comfort in our doing through right actions.”

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