Healing Light & Yoga

Angel with open hearted gesture. Photo based illustration.

Namaste,
I hope things are wonderful in your world, wherever you may be. It has been a month of great movement and flow in my inner world. One where the internal intensity of my being matched the brightness of the amazing full moon. At the same time my body has just wanted to be still and rest. I have been doing what I can to honour that deep sleepiness that keeps speaking out, at the same time I have been feeling the need to step out into the sunshine and let its bright rays stream into me. These days feel like a powerful time, an opportunity to go deep within and to peel back the layers of what is comfortable, to move into deeper truth of the self, the soul and the path. Comfortable or not, it’s where we are, and if you are feeling the ripples as I am, know that you are not alone.

This space is dedicated to our own power to heal and transform. Included is a small article I wrote for The Valley Voice, and information on the upcoming Healing Light Yoga Therapy class that starts March 12, as well as a delicious Carrot Pickle Recipe just for fun.


 

Let The Light In

DSC_0090As the season shifts into early spring, we notice more light in the world. This expansion of daylight reminds me of the light that we are, and how we can encourage energy flow to deepen our experience of being in our yoga practice.

We can always invite our experience on the mat one to be one of discovery. Working with the energy of breath and subtle intention we can explore the idea of consciousness in our body.

One of the beautiful gifts of yoga is how it connects us to our spirit. It is an opportunity to go inside and explore the depths of our being. With conscious breathing, we can do more than just relax, we can flow energy to spaces that are calling for our attention. Perhaps you are in pigeon pose, and your hip is feeling tender, try sending the breath there. Start by breathing nice and deep into the belly and then send the energy of the exhale to that sticky spot. You may notice a release, or you may notice a build up in intensity, and find a gentle release in that area during savasana. Another way to explore the essence of prana is by taking time before your final relaxation to direct breath to different areas; perhaps there has been tightness in your solar plexus, or anxiety in your heart center. Take a few moments to send the breath here, and let yourself fully surrender into savasana.

Release can come through many different forms. Tightness in the muscles can be completely physical so you may just experience relaxation. It could be stored emotions, or a trauma from our past, so you may experience images,colours, memories, even emotions. These sensations usually pass as quickly as they come as they are released.

Yoga is a wonderful way to open to the truth of our potential as energetic beings. As we connect with the breath we can experience great transformation.


Carrot Pickle (Achar)

As we enter the Kapha time of year (think wet, cool, earthy and damp), it is important to nourish our digestion with a little bit of spice, and foods that are easy to digest. One of my favourite ways to enhance “agni” is by adding a little bit of spicy pickle to my meal. A couple bites of this bright and spicy carrot achar can enhance your inner fire, encouraging assimilation of the nutrients, and giving you energy for your day. This is best eaten at the main lunchtime meal, as a small side- not as a plateful (although it is so yummy, it’s hard to resist)
Fresh Achar

achar2 Cups carrots – sliced into matchsticks
2 Tbs ginger root – cut into matchsticks
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 Cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 tsp salt
1 chilli – sliced thin
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp mustard seeds

Place all ingredients, except mustard seeds and oil in a bowl. Heat oil in a small pan on med/high heat. Add mustard seeds. When they start to pop and turn black, remove from heat and add to veg mix. Mix together and let sit for at least 30 mins before serving.


Testimonials

A lovely sharing from a Healing Light Yoga Client- Thank you so much Tiziana for your presence, your power and your bright open heart- It has been my pleasure and joy to work with you

“In the past few years, I had started to associate the word YOGA with a healing practice that was no longer for me! Due to illness and immobility, I was no longer able to participate in a YOGA class. When the opportunity came to work with Asrael, I almost did not take advantage of it because I feared it would be another Yoga class like many. I was wrong!

Working with Asrael made me realize that the “movement” we are seeking in YOGA is more of an internal process rather than the “motion” we experience during exercise. With her effective, yet gentle and compassionate approach, Asrael helped me bring back to life parts of myself that I thought were forever lost. It was a gradual process made of many small successes that eventually resulted in complete healing. Today, I look back and am in disbelief over the progress I made. With her clear focus, tremendous insight and knowledge Asrael guided me to let go of the trauma that was lodged deeply into my physiology and was preventing a full recovery.

I highly recommend her teachings to anybody who feels stuck yet truly wishes for the kind of deep transformation needed to experience the pure bliss of BEING that is our birthright!”- Tiziana, California USA

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Healing Light Yoga- Healing With Higher Energies
In the past Healing Light Yoga series we have explored the healing power of subtle awareness and the power of mantra when taken to the subtlest level. We have begun to develop the ability to sense energy in the Chakras and in the subtle aspects of the Healing Breath.

In this final Healing Light Yoga series we will explore the profound and subtle energies that are always around us. Some refer to these energies as Guides and some as Angels. Their presence and assistance can become palpable the more closely and frequently we work with them. As we develop our awareness, we discover the Divine nature of these higher energies which are bold in both their healing power and their transmission of love.

In this 7th Series of Healing Light Yoga, we will use these Messengers of Love and the subtle energies in our environment to assist us in balancing the Chakras and creating healing in our physiologies. We invite you to join us for this exciting exploration!

Healing with Higher Energies Course Overview

Childs Pose1. Session 1: Healing Light Yoga – Core Principles Reviewed and Introduction to Subtle Perception, Intuition, and Clairvoyance

2. Session 2: Calling in Angelic Energy and Clearing the Energy Body

3. Session 3: 4th Chakra Healing with Higher Energies

4. Session 4: 3rd Chakra Healing with Higher Energies

5. Session 5: 2nd Chakra Healing with Higher Energies

6. Session 6: Integration – Healing with Angelic Energy

Registration for this course is open everyone, including those who have never done Healing Light Yoga Therapy before. Introductory videos and handouts that illustrate foundational principles are included.

Register Now

Course Details

WHERE: Live onine from the comfort of your home

WHEN: 6 Saturdays, beginning March 12; 11:00AM-12:30PM EST; 8:00AM-9:30AM PST. All sessions are recorded and are available anytime for 3 months after the class begins.

TUITION: $108 per series (only $18/class) – Includes six interactive 90-minute classes, access to class recordings, handouts, introductory educational videos, and access to the participant online forum

Taught by Asrael Zemenick (me) and facilitated by my mentor and friend, Dr. Paul Dugliss and New World Ayurveda

Learn More


10400881_44145591544_8678_nWishing you all a wonderful month. As we all flow through these transformative times together I am thankful for the connection with each and every one of you-

Blessings and Love
Asrael

Slow Down and Connect

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fior di lotoNamaste,
It’s hard to believe it is the beginning of February already and as the days grow longer, and the weather grows warmer, I am enjoying the feeling of new energy and flow in my life.  It is reflected in the garden as bulbs start to peek out, and I bought my first grown in BC tulips at the store yesterday.  It is so nice to see the light returning back to the land.

The new year is often a time of setting resolutions and intentions.  I let this year pass by with out making any “new” ones as I am following the seeds that I have already planted and sowed (to be present, mindful, aware and loving).  I did set a few small goals and one of them is to try to share more regularly with you all.  I love connecting with my global community.


What’s evolving at Ananda Ayurveda

DSCN0927Ananda means bliss in sanskrit.  I find that beautiful heart opening energy in all the work that I do.

When working with clients or groups in a sacred space, I notice great transformation and growth in people’s lives. There is a deepening of their experience of life, and of who and what they are,  leading to emotional, physical and intuitive balance. These deeper connections that are nourished over time blossom into an awakening of connected spirit and true health.  As I witness this growth, I see it reflecting into the essence of my practice.  All things evolve and Ananda Ayurveda is starting to shift towards much more than just single session work (although that is still being offered).  If you are interested in learning more about this deeper work and how a commitment to your own growth can be profound and life changing, contact me.   I would love to talk about the ways that Ayurvedic Spiritual Coaching may serve you whether you are on Vancouver Island or anywhere around the world.
The power of distance healing is amazing, and with today’s technology we are so blessed to be able to share so easily across the world. All of my offerings are available by distance- except for the luxurious bodywork, and the effects of this work are profound.

Winter is a great time to experience the magic of Ayurvedic Bodywork Therapies- nourish yourself with warmth, they are all so soothing and nurturing.  Experience conscious healing, on such deep levels- in a very gentle heart opening space.  Consultations, Ayurvedic Counselling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.  As are gift certificates for anything that I offer.

Yoga classes are still held in two beautiful places- Monday evenings are at Yum Yoga Studio in Cowichan Bay, 4:30-6:00. Wednesday’s are at the warm and wonderful Harmony Yoga Studio, also 4:30-6:00. Both spaces are beautiful, and the classes are a wonderful opportunity to deepen your relationship with yourself and your body.

It’s Simple- Slow Down and Connect

DSCN1557Slow Down.  Simple, direct and to the point.  This is the reminder I keep getting these days.  Take it easy, allow things to come to you.  Sounds simple doesn’t it?  My mind sure doesn’t think so at times.  The universe too, seems to be spinning and moving and a faster pace every day. Sometimes it feels impossible to slow down.

Then I remember to take a deep breath and feel my body.  This reminds me of the peace that exists within everything. At times that is enough; I see with deep clarity, the intense movement of thoughts, energy for what it is, the wholeness is always there, it is always at centre.  All I have to do is take a breath, and it’s there.  At other times it’s not so easy, but with acceptance and acknowledgement, of my human experience, I can enjoy the fluctuations and smile at the stories that I am walking in from day to day.

Especially as I connect with my community, my clients and my relationships I notice that if I slow down, and just stop trying so hard, that the healing, connections and love will just flow.  My yoga classes are a wonderful example of this.  When I go to present the class with expectations or attachment to it being enjoyed, I often feel disconnected. I feel stress, the words don’t flow so easily.  When I enter class in a space of spirit, closing my eyes, and allowing the words to just pour forth from centre, I feel energized and open.  There is no trying, there is just what comes out- and it is always perfect (even in it’s imperfections!).  I see this in all areas of the practice.  The more I step out of the way, the more powerful the healing is. There really is no doing, there is just being a clear and open channel for consciousness to flow through.

It is easier to remember this while working with others, seeing the transformation and growth that happens when we slow down and just connect.  Yet it is a powerful reminder that I draw into each day.  The dance of life is just that, a dance.  One that is flowing, one that is moving, one that has different tempos, but it’s breath is constant and as we feel and connect to centre we can flow with the movement with ease.  So when things feel full, busy, or overwhelming.  Try taking a moment to breathe, and repeat the mantra Slow Down.  It may change your life.


 

The Art Of Abyhanga

traditional indian ayurvedic oil foot massageI was honoured to be featured in our local newspaper in an article about Ayurvedic Massage’s and Winter Skin care- Enjoy!

Abhyanga by Sheila Badman
In the winter months, I seek out warmth. Saunas, steams, warm baths… Recreation is at a minimum and my body feels the aches deeper and longer. Skin is drier and my favourite yoga poses are the heat generating ones. A new discovery for me, but an Ayurvedic one that has been around since ancient times is an Abhyanga, the Sanskrit word for “oil massage”. A luxurious, blissful, full body experience this soothing warm oil treatment was used in ancient times as a daily ritual for maintaining overall health and well being.

With less than a handful of certified Ayurvedic practitioners on Vancouver Island appointments are sought after, but well worth the wait. Ananda Ayurveda, in Cowichan Bay offers a complete menu of Ayurvedic Healing including counselling, nutrition, astrology, yoga and massage. Operated by Asrael, her specialized training began in India and continued in California where she returns annually as faculty member of New World Ayurveda.

Each treatment begins with a cleansing foot bath and a short pulse diagnosis where layers of body and energy imbalances are read through your skin and bones to identify areas in need of healing. Asrael identifies my needs as nourishing, peace and openness. Oils used are a mix of certified organic, wildcrafted, and small farm pesticide free “organic”.  “Bala Ashwaganda oil and an Ayurvedic Pitta blend that includes rose, sandalwood, amla and lotus all in a base of organic sesame oil.” she smiles  “ The treatment begins with anointing the hands, feet and head to stimulate smaller chakra points.  “In Ayurveda we encourage healing on all the layers of our being – Body, Mind and Spirit.” Asrael explains “ We work on the entire body to allow every part that is holding on to anything come to the surface and be transformed.” Typically untouched, attention is also given to the chest and belly areas. “In Ayurveda digestion is key to proper health, so work on the belly and the emotional heart is important to open the doors of deep healing. Every inch of my body is feathered in light oil applied with swift clearing and circular strokes to nourish the skin, cleanse the lymph system, tonify the muscles and clear the chakras and pathways of prana. The treatment also stokes digestive fire and helps clear stress, insomnia, anxiety and emotional blocks. “Many of my clients will just come for a nice relaxing experience – and leave with a profound shift in their awareness.  Winter is Vata Season in Ayurveda (Space and Air), so it is naturally the driest time of the yearly cycle for us, even here on the wet west coast, we live with heat sources that are drying to our entire body. Abhyanga balances vata and nourishes the entire body. The amount of oil used in the massage (1/2 cup – 1 cup) is like food for our skin cells, and not only moisturizes the skin but offers nutrients through the herbs that are in them. The skin is the largest “organ” of our body, so as we nourish the skin we nourish all aspects of our whole being. The oil moves through all of the tissue layers in the body, and is absorbed to the smallest cell.  As this happens it replenishes the lymph system and blood system which also supports skin.” If you are looking for something new to soothe your whole tired body and dry winter self – consider a 90 minute hot therapeutic, ancient Ayurvedic massage.


Mid Winter Spice Mix

Assortment of spices in wooden spoons and jars,Healthy digestion begins with enjoyment of the food, and spices are natures best medicine.  They are a wonderful way to stoke the fire of our digestion while at the same time bringing wonderful sensations to our taste buds.   We are in the midst of winter- wet, cool and damp.  In Ayurveda this is a transition into Kapha season, which often leaves our body and digestion feeling sluggish and cold.  One of the best ways to increase digestion (agni) is by adding spices to our meals.  Today I am am sharing a wonderful mix of spices that is easy to make, and very warming to our system without being too spicy.  It is great to add to soups, stir fries, stews, just about anything.

When cooking with spices I normally recommend warming them in a little oil first- keeping them on a low heat until they start to smell bright.  Then you can add your vegetables, or if you like you can add it at the end.

Fresh lemon juice squeezed into the meal at the end of cooking, and some fresh ginger are also great at this time of year.

Mid Winter Spice Mix

4 Tbs Turmeric
3 Tbs Ground Cumin
3 Tbs Ground Coriander
4 Tbs Ground Fennel
1 Tbs Powdered Ginger
1 Tbs Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Tbs Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tbs Ground Cardamom
Mix all of the spices together, and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Use with stir fried vegetables, lentils, rice, or just about anything you would like to try it with. If you can, its best to buy the cumin, coriander, fennel, Black pepper, and cardamom seeds, and then grind them yourself in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. It only takes a few minutes, and the aromatics and energy of the spices are even more potent:)


Testimonials

A lovely sharing from a client I have worked with by distance with Ayurvedic Integrative Counselling- Thanks Brooksley, it has been my honour and my pleasure to work with you.

“Working with Asrael has been powerful and insightful for me.  Each session has brought deep healing on both the physical and emotional level.  It feels magical the way energetic work can have such a profound impact in my daily life.  Asrael is compassionate, authentic, and intuitive as she guides me to my own understanding of what I am truly needing.  My meditation practice has become more satisfying and regular due to our sessions.  This work, though gentle and pleasant, is changing my life in profound ways.  Thank you Asrael!”- Brooksley, MA, USA


AsraelZemenick-257x400I wish you a beautiful day wherever you are, and as always want to express my deepest gratitude for your presence and part in the universe and its flow. Thank you for who you are and for all that you do.

Blessings and Love
Asrael

Light Embodied

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Namaste,
How are you? I am well. Life is good.  It is full, positive and flowing.  This past year has really been about taking time to dive deep into myself, to enjoy all the beauty in my world, and to surrender fully to what is. Inspiration has been a big “theme” that has been popping up for me lately.  Creative flow and energy to share and to shine. Also a real desire to live fully.  To experience the energy of being here, now in this beautiful body, on this wonderful planet.  We are so blessed.


 

What’s happening at Ananda Ayurveda

10346191_857276271002708_7303162531933230357_nAnanda means bliss in sanskrit.  I find that beautiful heart opening energy in all the work that I do. There is an abundance of connections and flow with clients and community all over the world these days.  The power of distance healing is amazing, and we are so blessed to be able to share so easily with technology.

All of what I offer is available by distance- except for the luxurious bodywork, and the effects of this work is profound.

Winter is a great time to experience the magic of Ayurvedic Bodywork Therapies- nourish yourself with warmth, they are all so soothing and nurturing.  Experience conscious healing, on such deep levels- in a very gentle heart opening space.  Consultations, Ayurvedic Counselling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.  As are gift certificates for anything that I offer.

Yoga classes are still held in two beautiful places- Monday evenings are at Yum Yoga Studio in Cowichan Bay, 4:30-6:00. Wednesday’s are at a new location, at the warm and wonderful Harmony Yoga Studio, also 4:30-6:00. Both spaces are beautiful, and the classes are a wonderful opportunity to deepen your relationship with yourself and your body.

Also take time to check us out in January’s issue of the Valley Voice– we are honoured to be featured in a winter skin care article.
photo- by Christy Greenwood


Light Embodied

Vector sun background. Only for your design

Vector sun background. Only for your design

Life.  It is like a river that flows, winding in different directions and at different intensities. The only thing that is constant it seems, is change and movement.  Energy is the same way, it’s always moving, always flowing in patterns and waves. Even our mind, it is never still, always thinking, creating, spinning stories and dreams.  Life is pulsing with movement and fullness.

I notice that when I step into the flow, and step out of the idea of control that I can fully embrace life.  This crazy, vibrant and exciting thing that we are.  So often I get locked into the ideas, the stories, the thoughts, what I think I “know”.
I ask my self lately what it would it be like to move through my day with the openness and innocence of a child.  To watch things unfold with wonder and to move from within my body, from an embodied space.  I have been blessed with the fortune to have some experiences lately that have fully opened me, not only to the truth of what I am, but also to the possibilities that are available to us all in any moment.  It is so simple, we just need to remember that the mind is what it is. Every thought, opinion, emotion is an idea created by this big blob of magical grey matter in our heads.The nervous system gets involved too, and our chakras, our DNA might speak up, but it’s our attachment to our beliefs that keep us from realizing our true potential.

At the heart of it all though is light, energy flow, beauty, acceptance and love; true, divine love.  It doesn’t mean being blissful all the time, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t human, and aren’t going to have ups and downs.  It seems to mean for me, in this moment at least, moving and living from a different place in my body, and in my energy field. Feeling centre, being light embodied.  Not living out of my body, but enjoying the currents of life moving through it.  Watching with innocence my humanness and smiling softly at myself when I notice how caught up in it I am. Perhaps most of all, being soft and gentle and loving to myself.  In love with who I am, what I am, letting things settle and not trying to control, or to attach to any outcome. Just witnessing with sweetness and with love.


Happy Chai

DSCN1523Warming, nourishing, and so yummy.  This is my favourite chai recipe- it was shared with me by my colleague, Carisa Wilder, and I make it a few times a week.  It is especially lovely in vata season, the creaminess is grounding and the spices heat the body up in the best way. Try it, it’s guaranteed to make you feel cozy and warm

Happy Chai
2 cups water
1 cup milk (nut, seed or raw organic local milk)
1 tsp fennel
1 tsp coriander
3 slices chopped ginger
3 pieces cinnamon bark (not whole sticks)
3-4 pods cardamom crushed
2 cloves
2 peppercorns

Boil all the herbs in 2 cups water. Then simmer for 15 minutes.  Add milk and cook for 5-10 minutes more.  Sweeten with honey or maple syrup.

Enjoy


Just For Fun

One of my favourite artists is Michael Franti.  He is fun, light, and usually shares a positive message- Just thought I would share one of my favourite songs with you today- Turn it up and have a little dance party in your living room- I’ll be dancing with you.  I love you :)


 

Testimonial

A lovely sharing from a client I have worked with by distance with Healing Light Yoga, and Ayurvedic Integrative Counselling- Thanks Kelli, it has been my honour and my pleasure to work with you.

“I knew once I met Asrael as a practitioner in her Healing Light Yoga class that she would be able to assist me on my ever-evolving spiritual journey. I had come to a crossroads in my life, career and spiritual practice where I felt stuck and needed the assistance of someone who could not only understand all of these factors on a high level but could help me get “unstuck.” I was looking for someone that had a foundation and background in yoga and Ayurveda and could “speak my language” about some very profound events that were shaping my life and forcing me to change rapidly. Asrael was the exact person that I needed and she has been an amazing spiritual coach. Her depth and understanding is not only rich but compassionate and supportive. She has guided me through a series of sessions that have had a tremendous affect on me and that have also created the necessary shifts necessary needed. She has assisted in helping me overcome some deep fears and anxieties that have kept me in a “comfort zone” for a very long time but were no longer serving me and needed to be released. I will continue to work with Asrael as I find her to be a critical professional in my life. If you are seeking Asrael as a coach on any or all of these levels you have found a gem- look no further.”- Kelli, Oregon, U.S.A


 

IMG_2076I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and beautiful start to the new year. Thanks so much for your continued support, and for the energy that you share.  We are all connected, so with each smile, each moment of gratitude, and acceptance,  we help each other step into our awakened and vibrant selves.

Much Love and Peace
Asrael

A Reflection On Being

 

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DSCN0927Namaste,

I hope this email finds you all well and wonderful.  It seems like such a long time since I have shared with you all.  Much has been going on in my life- abundance, flow and deep enjoyment of all things that are arising.  This spring was filled with travel and teaching- We completed the  first Yoga Wellness Professional Course- and finished it off with an intensive in beautiful California- you can see pictures here, and I recently  returned from a well deserved rest in Hawaii.
The world and life continues to move quickly around me, yet there is a sense of peace and calm that I am embracing in my life and my practice. Joy seems to be a current running through my mind and being these days- and of course gratitude for all and everything around me.  I am looking forward to sharing more with you all, and the world as a whole in the time to come.  We will be offering the Yoga Wellness Pro course again this September, its an amazing experience whether for personal growth or for sharing with your community.  I hope to also be announcing another session of Healing Light Yoga Therapy soon.  And of course I am drawn to creating some wonderful retreats in vibrant locations around the globe, just need to make the time to create.  I am also excited to announce that I have been featured as one of the Top 5 Ayurvedic Practitioners in the Vancouver Area– by Crowd Wellness-Stay tuned to all and everything new that will come.

DSC_0010 2
Yoga classes are still held in two beautiful places- Monday evenings are at Yum Yoga Studio in Cowichan Bay, 4:30-6:00. Wednesday’s are in the lovely chapel at Providence Farm, also 4:30-6:00, and as soon as the weather brightens a bit more we will be outside in the meadow.Both spaces are beautiful, and the classes are an opportunity to deepen your relationship with yourself and your body.

As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels- in a very gentle heart opening space.  ConsultationsAyurvedic CounsellingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.  As are gift certificates for anything that I offer.


A Reflection On Being

DSCN1041I want to talk about the freedom of being me.  I want to share about the light that exists within us all.  I want to offer a reminder on the importance of nature in our lives, and how that nature is just a refection of ourselves.  That nature is also a reminder that we are a small piece in a much larger web of life.  I want to share about the kindness that is inherent in all of us, and how if we can just turn it towards our own beautiful self, then we can more easily share that love with the world.  I want to express the importance of play, of joy in our lives.  I want to share all this and more.

There is so much to share, so much moving for so many of us. The ways the universe shows itself are countless, and it is different in each of our realitys.  Sometimes this movement is light and blissful, and other times it is like banging against a rock wall.  However life is blossoming for you right now, it is the right way.  The path is clear, even when it feels stuck.  Life is not a struggle- it is a movement of energy, just like a leaf falling off a tree- sometimes it softly lands on the ground, and other times its swept away in a whirlwind.  Watching the dolphins play in the sea, seeing the manta ray beneath me softly moving towards deeper sea, experiencing the life that is so much bigger than me.  It doesn’t matter how fast I move with it, or against it.  It doesn’t matter if I struggle and push, or softly accept (well it may be easier if I surrender, or at least more enjoyable), but life continues.  My energy flows.  My story of me turns the page.

What a breath of fresh air this knowledge is.  To know that I am always moving, always alive, always bright.  That I don’t NEED to struggle, and that i have the choice to react differently, to move more softly, to ride the waves with presence but also joy.  That any resistance is held energy, patterns perhaps, or just a mistake of my mind wanting to be in control. It sounds so simple, and it really is. In its beautiful, innate way it is the simplest thing we can do.  That doesn’t mean it’s easy.  It doesn’t mean that it happens instantly, (it could I suppose).  For me it seems to come in waves, and it all comes together when I remember that I am just a small fish in a large sea of life, and that I have the choice, and the willingness to be part of the ocean of life, and to ride the beautiful, sometimes tumultuous adventure of being human.

Some things that help me are a daily meditation practice, stepping outside and feeling the natural world, connecting with my loved ones, getting good rest, and reminding myself that I don’t need to hurry.  I can intend, I can manifest, I can desire and want, but I don’ t need to move out of force, or fear or anything but joy towards the goals of my heart.  It will be there for me- whether it directs me on a long, windy road or a short direct one.  If I take my time and look around, either journey can be filled with beauty and connection.


Dolphin Love

In celebrating nature, we celebrate ourselves.  Here is a taste of the magic that flows everyday in life- as the dolphins swim and play in Honaunau Hawaii.  I have been blessed to swim many times with these magical beings, here is just a taste of the light they share by just being (just like us).  Video by Jeffery Fogel.


 

Recipe- Dosa With Sambar

One of my favourite dishes in India is the Dosa.  A fermented pancake that is wonderfully easy to make (don’t let all the steps scare you), and tastes so good.  In Ayurveda we usually stay away from fermented foods, but this is an exception to that rule.  Its often served with sambar (recipe included) and lovely with a coconut chutney.  But can be eaten with a regular dal or whatever you like.  If you would like a more filling meal you can also put spiced vegetables on the pancake, roll it up and have a masala dosa.

Dosa With Sambar

Dosa
Step 1
1 cup split urad dal (or moong dal)
1 1/2 cups basmati rice

Step 2
Water
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp salt
pinch of asafoetida

Step 3 
Ghee or Coconut Oil

1.  Clean and wash dal and rice separately.  Place in separate bowls and cover with 3 times as much water.  Soak overnight
2.  In the morning, drain.  Combine in a blender or food processor with enough water to make a thick pancake batter.  The consistency of the batter should be smooth.  Blend in the asafoetida, the fenugreek and the salt.
3.  Cover and let sit unrefrigerated, until tiny bubbles form on the surface and the mixture smells sour.  In the summer this can happen overnight, in cooler weather it can take up to 36 hours.  You will know its worked when it has increased in size and may be lighter and foamier looking.

 To Cook
1.  Put some oil on a large skillet on medium high heat.  Cast Iron is the best, as it gets crispier.  Pour a little batter on the the skillet- and use the spoon in a spiral motion to spread the batter as thin as possible.  See this great youtube link for a clearer idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6ztX7C7YR0

2.  When the surface is almost cooked turn it over and let cook a few more minutes on the other side.

Have fun with this- it may be a thick pancake you come out with, its not always easy to get it just right- but its a tasty treat and with practice and the right temperature skillet easy to make a paper thin dosa.

Sambar
Step 1
1 cup Toor Dal or Split Mung Dal
6 cups water

Step 2
2 Tbs sunflower oil
1 tsp cumin seepds
1/2 tsp urad dal (optional)
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

Step 3 
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbs sambar powder
2 tsp sugar

Step 4 
2 tsp tamarind paste mixed with 1/4 cup hot water
salt
3/4 cup fresh cilantro

1.  Wash Toor Dal thoroughly. Place in Water and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the dal is tender.
2.  Heat oil in a small skillet.  Add the urad dal and saute over low heat, stirring frequently until the dal starts to darken.  Add the hing, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds and saute until the mustard seeds dance.
3. Add the tomatoes, pepper, turmeric, Sambar Powder, and sugar.  Cook, stirring constantly until tomatoes are mushy.
4.  Add the spice mix to the dal, add the tamarind mixture.  Add salt to taste.  Simmer 5-10 minutes for flavours to blend.  Stir in the cilantro just before serving.

Sambar Powder
Freshly ground spices are best

1 tbs ground coriander
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp ground mustard seeds
1 Tbs turmeric

1.  Place all the spices except for the turmeric into a dry skillet.  Toast over low heat, stirring constantly until spices become fragrant.
2.  Stir in turmeric and remove from heat.

Recipe courtesy of Heaven’s Banquet by Miriam Hospodor :)


 

DSC_0082Once again just extending my deepest gratitude to you all for taking the time to read this.  I wish you all a beautiful and wonderful spring, and encourage you all to take time to feel your own connection to nature, however that may be.  Take time to breathe, to look around and to look inside, and to embrace the brilliance of your own part in this amazing world.
Namaste
Asrael

Yoga And Ayurveda Wellness Pro Retreat

I wanted to share a few pictures from the 4 day Yoga Wellness Professional Retreat- A delightful moment to connect with students near and far, and for them to practice and share all the knowledge they have learned. What a magical time:)

Photos by Asrael Zemenick and Samantha Mee

Keep Calm And Relax

 

samsara1-129I am so excited to share with you this guest blog by  Samsara Mind and Body of London.

   Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing system, still widely practiced today. It teaches that illness arises when the body is in a state of imbalance and, in order to maintain good health, we must ensure our energy systems are in sync with each other. These energy systems are known as the three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. The way in which the doshas interact directly affects your physical, mental and emotional health.

In the modern would, we’re more prone to illnesses caused by stress and anxiety. The key to overcoming and preventing such issues lies within our ability to cope with the demands of everyday life. Here are some of the top tips, taken from the Ayurveda approach to health, to help you keep calm and relax:

Make Time Each Day to Unwind and Relax

Relaxation and meditation are both key to good health. In order to ensure balance between the three doshas, we must take time out of each day to unwind.

Not only does the time out enable you to relax, but it can also help you gain mental clarity and gain an improved self-understanding. The benefits of meditation are far reaching, and have also been linked to the prevention of physical ailments (e.g. hypertension).

Indulge in Ayurvedic Treatments
A wide range of Ayurvedic treatments are available to help accelerate the process of achieving a balanced state and improve your ability to relax and unwind. Many of the treatments have been designed with relaxation in mind, and use a variety of techniques (e.g. the application of medicated oils and massage) to address your individual requirements.

To get the most from your Ayurvedic treatments, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve. This will enable you to choose the treatment package most suited to your needs. Many therapists will offer a special de-stress package to address problems related to stress and anxiety, helping you unwind and relax. For example, Samsara Mind and Body offer a package to include a whole body massage (Abhyanga), a foot massage (Pada Abhyanga) and forehead oil flow treatment (Shirodhara).  If you are in London, you can visit Samsara Ayurveda.  If you are in British Columbia, visit Asrael at Ananda Ayurveda for these luxurious and nourishing treatments.

Pay Attention to Your Diet

Central to Ayurveda is the principle that most ailments can be avoided with good nutrition. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, you should eat according to your body type, which is characterised according to the most dominant dosha within your body.

If you have an imbalance led by vata, you may experience symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and dehydration. If you eat large amounts of bitter or spicy foods, you’re likely to make the problem worse. Instead, you should focus on sweet, sour and easily digestible foods, such as fruit, cooked vegetables, and warm milk.

Listen to Your Body

It is important to listen to your body, and assess any signs of imbalance. If it feels like something is wrong, it’s an indication there’s an imbalance between your doshas. Correctly assessing the symptoms can help you attribute the problems to dominance within one dosha, enabling you to recover and restore balance.

To assess the symptoms, you need to take time each day to think about how you’re feeling, and recognise any difficulties you have experienced during the day.

Monitor and Disengage from Negative Thoughts

Negative thinking is one of the leading causes of stress and illness in the modern world. In order to live a peaceful, relaxed life, you must learn to disengage from the negative thoughts. To do this, you should actively monitor your thoughts, and learn to recognise when a negative thought enters your mind. Once you’ve identified a negative thought, it’s important to accept it, without allowing any further negative energy. Take control of the situation, whilst understanding why the negative thought has entered your mind. You should counter the negative thought with positive thoughts and actions.

 

logo-samsaraInfo On Samsara Mind And Body:  Samsara is London’s leading Ayurveda center. We offer a range of Ayurveda treatments that include Shirodhara, Mukhabhyanga and Akshi Tarpana. All our treatments begin with a full consultation and our team have many years expertise. We’re located in Wandsworth South London.

 

 

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