As many of you know, Ayurveda really is the knowledge of our connection to nature; our own personal nature as well as the nature of the universe. I find that December is a wonderful time to embrace the natural cycles of our being as we deepen our experience of our own inward journey. In the northern hemisphere the nights become longer and darker, which helps to foster the sense of hibernation; slowing down, taking rest and allowing all to be exactly as it is. For many of us the season shifts to winter, which is often cold and dry (Vata Dosha). Nourish and nurture are two of my key words at this time. It feels so good to honour my sacred self with sweetness, love and gentle routine, to not force but to gently surrender to the moment- listening and accepting all that life is.
Life has been full, wonderfully full- Yoga classes are now held at 2 different locations. 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. Both spaces are beautiful, and the classes are an opportunity to deepen your relationship with yourself and your body.
December is a time of darkness, deep reflection, and a wonderful opportunity to rest, restore and care for your self. I am finding that this year more than ever I am drawn to gentle routine, and grounded practices that allow me to enjoy the body I am in, and the being that I am. Many people get swept up in the holiday flow and find it hard to settle. I notice that these practices help me stay centred, and in alignment to my natural needs at this cold time of year.
1. Meditation- It is such a gift to take a few minutes a day to be with myself. Letting go of of anything and everything except the experience of me. Taking some time in gentle silence or with a subtle mantra releases held stress, brings clarity and allows my heart to shine brighter. A short daily meditation practice (20 minutes) shifts things profoundly in my day and my life. I find it grounding, energizing and necessary for balance and peace.
2. Self Oil Massage (Soul Hug)- One of my favourite daily practices is an Ayurvedic Self Massage (Abhyanga). Nurturing and nourishing, it is delightful to feel the warm oil on the skin, as it soaks into all the cells in the body, supporting our energy flow and healthy function of the lymph, organs and digestion. I love to take some extra time on my belly and my heart centre, always giving extra love where its needed. Enjoy the video posted below for a brief introduction, and message me for more information- I am happy to send you a instructional video to watch.
3. Yoga/Movement- Our bodies stiffen up in the winter weather, and one of the best remedies for this is taking some time to breathe and move. Yoga is a wonderful way to awaken our body/spirit connection, being with the breath as we gently open to the day. Again just a few minutes creates room for huge transformation. Deep Breaths and Surrendering Stretches = Balanced Being
4. Walking Outside- Nature nurtures always. In our society we get so habituated to staying inside, being warm, spending time online, or at work. If we could all take 5 minutes to just step outside and breathe in some fresh air our health would improve. In winter with the lack of light, the natural cycles of the universe are so apparent. We are part of this nature, and the more we disconnect from it (staying inside all day), the more we disconnect from our own nature. Walk outside, look around, feel the elements and enjoy. It is great to take a longer walk if you have time, or to get to the forest, the sea, or the mountains- but even just stepping outside with the intention of attention will bring balance to the being.
These are just a few ways that we can find routine and comfort at this time of year. I would love to hear what settles you in your body and your growth.
Self Massage Intro Video
It is a celebratory time of year, and with the cold, dry energy our body often craves sweet flavours to bring us into a warm grounded place. While sugar is not the best thing for us in large amounts (in any form), we still need to embrace the 6 tastes in our diet, and sweetness is balancing at this time of year. Fruit is always nice, but best if it is cooked, or baked so that it is more easily digestible. I thought I would share with you a few healthy Ayurvedic Sweet Treats to enjoy on the cold, dark evenings.
Heat the ghee, add the spices and cook until the moisture has steamed off
– courtesy of New World Ayurveda
2 large ripe pears
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
(optional) coconut milk, almond milk, yogurt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the pears in half and place on a baking sheet. Scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle with cinnamon, top with walnuts and raisins, drizzle 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup over each one. Bake in the oven 30 minutes. Enjoy!
Remember one of the best ways to increase digestion is to enjoy your food. So nourish your body with the healthy sweet treats and enjoy the richness of natures bounty.
Gift Certificates Are Available- Give the gift of Ayurveda or Yoga to a loved one. Many offerings are available by distance, and all are available in person.
New Yoga Class- Tuesday morning, 9:30-11:00 at Yum Yoga in Cowichan Bay. Starting January 6. Call me for more info 250 597 3973 Healing Light Yoga Therapy Workshop
Saturday, January 17 9:30-11:00 $40
Georgias Bella Yoga Studio, Metchosin, BC
Wishing you from my deepest heart the most wonderful Solstice and holiday season. Feel your inner light and allow it to shine. For each moment we touch our own brightness it reflects out to the universe in a brilliant wave of energy that allows for transformation and peace for all.
Namaste, Happy September:) I hope that this past summer has been full of abundance and bliss for you all. My life has been wonderfully full. I am so blessed to live in such an amazing community where my business and my life is complemented by so many amazing beings. The sun has been shining a lot, and the rays of light have touched all the areas of my life, there is expansion and growth in all things. I havebeen blessed to be supported by music and nature during my outdoor yoga classes at Providence Farm, and our new Yoga Wellness Professional Course that integrates Ayurveda and Yoga has started . I am also part of a Yogini Collective, and we are offering a wonderful morning of Yoga For The Coast, on September 20, there is more info below if you would like to donate from afar, and please come join us if you are local.
There is so much happening. I am excited to announce that in October my MondayYoga classes will be held at Yum Yoga Studio in Cowichan Bay, 4:30-6:00. Wednesday’s will continue at the chapel at Providence Farm, also 4:30-6:00. We will be at Providence both days in September- outside in the Orchard if the weather holds, and in the chapel if it’s cool and/or wet.
This is a long newsletter this month- A good portion of it is dedicated to yoga and sleep, as I was asked to share a blog with that as the subject. I did want to share a short spirit based message as well. Simple and sweet. Take care of yourself this autumn season. Listen to the inner voice within, and the outer voice that speaks through your body. Rest when you need too. Give love to your dreams. Nurture your spirit. And always trust that the path of your journey is unfolding exactly as it needs to. It is ALL perfect. You ARE ready for it. Take time to enjoy your own magical experience of this moment.
The Healing Power Of Sleep
Sleep, that magical and sometimes elusive place, where our body, mind and spirit can rejuvenate, relax, release the stress, and integrate the energy of our busy lives. The deep rest that our bodies gain from the downtime of sleep is essential for radiant health and well- being. I was asked by a eco sleep company to share a blog post about my favourite yoga routines for bed- and so I hope you enjoy this sleep routine- it’s the perfect way to soothe your way to deep and restful sleep.
Deep Rest- Yoga Style
Remember- Best sleep happens before 10 pm. The natural bioryhthyms of the body are able to feel natures support and turn inward with an earlier bedtime. So try to shut the electronics down by 9 pm, and give your self some time to turn inward with this peaceful practice.
Yoga is so much more than just the physical practice. It IS the integration of our body and consciousness. One of the best ways to bridge the gap between our body and spirit is with the breath. And there is no better way to relax our body and mind then with subtle breathing techniques. When I feel ready to settle down. I always start by taking a few deep breaths, and then I move onto Nadi Shodan- (alternate nostril breathing).
This is a great practice to do at anytime of the day, as it brings balance to the left and right sides of the brain and the body. It is especially nourishing to the nervous system, it clears the mind, and it releases stress. All in all it is a wonderful practice to do right before bed.
Sit comfortably and relax your body (you can be in a chair or cross legged). Let yourself smile softly- it not only relaxes the jaw. It feels good.
Relax your left hand on your left thigh- palm up.
Place the tip of your index finger and middle finger of your right hand on the base of the hand just below the thumb. The ring and pinky finger are extended as is the thumb.
Take a deep, soft inhale.
With the thumb of your right hand close off the right nostril and exhale out the left nostril. Let the exhale be slow and soundless.
Slowly inhale into the left nostril.
Close the left nostril with the ring and the pinky finger of the right hand. Pause for a comfortable moment.
Slowly exhale out of the right nostril .
Inhale in the right nostril, close the right nostril, pause and breathe out the left.
Repeat the process.
I encourage you to take a minimum of 4 rounds with this. You can then increase the rounds to as many times as you like. This beautiful pranayama practice prepares our being for deep relaxation. It is wonderful to do right before bed.
Yoga Asana-Preparing The Body For Supported Sleep
As we move into the yoga postures, I thought I would just share a few of my favourites- any and all of these are great for helping to relax the body, and to prepare for a blissful sleep. I usually do one or two of these an evening, and spend 5 minutes or more in each posture. Try them out, see what feels good to for your body. Take the time to get comfortable and to relax into them, use pillows and blankets to get comfortable, shut the lights off. You can even do most of these on your bed, so that you can just drift off to sleep afterwards (or even during). Be with the breath for as long as you can, and most of all- Enjoy yourself.
Childs Pose- Balasana
This is a beautiful asana of surrender, and acceptance. Child’s pose is extremely relaxing and restoring. It restores the parasympathetic nervous system, is grounding, and a wonderful place to take solace and rest in. This Asana is extremely soothing and relaxing and will calm an overactive mind. It helps us to release stress from our bodies, and to feel the natural and safe support of the universe.
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).
Bring the big toes together, and spread the knees wide apart as you sink your sit bones back to your heels.
Allow your upper body to melt into the earth, the arms outstretched in front of you, palms down. Forehead resting flat on the floor.
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 belly for added support and relaxation. A pillow may feel good between your sit bones and your heels.
Supported Fish Pose- Matsyasana
Wonderful and restorative, this asana, opens the heart, allowing you to release your mind and to come into a more connected state of being.
1. Using a bolster, a cushion, a bed pillow folded in half, or a rolled up blanket or towel, lay down with your spine and your head supported, your pelvis and legs will be resting on the floor
2. If your lower back feels tight, place a smaller, lower pillow underneath your sit bones.
3. Allow your arms to come down by your side, palms spread open in a gesture of receptivity. Your shoulders will be releasing towards the floor.
Come out by rolling onto your side and removing the bolster. Make any movements that feel good to you.
Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)- With Or Without A Bolster
A wonderful posture to relax, open and be with. This asana is wonderful for grounding and restoring energy. This asana is extremely rejuvenating to our abdominal area. It ignites the flow of the 2nd chakra and empowers the integration of emotions.
1. Lie flat on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet together flat on the ground. Slide your heels comfortably towards the sit bones.
2. Allow your knees to naturally open and float towards the ground creating a stretch across the inner thighs and groin. Place pillows under each knee as high as needed to be comfortable, it is not about straining or stretching, it is about comfort, the opening will come over time and with the breath. Place the soles of your feet together as the outer edge of feet rest on the ground. Feel free to place a small pillow underneath your head if it feels good.
3. Notice if your lower back is arched (if you aren’t using a bolster), and if it is adjust your body so that the lower back is on the ground, or that there is a slight pelvic tilt. Again, we want no straining
4. If the knees or thighs feel strained at all, even with the pillows move the feet away from the sit bones, this will still be opening. Soles of the feet are still together.
5. Hands can go where you like, some of my favorites are: arms spread out to the sides, palms up, palms over the heart or palms on the belly.
To come out of the pose you can either bring your knees up to the chest and give your self a big hug, or stretch the legs out one by one.
Modifications- Feel free to use a bolster underneath your back for extra heart opening. For extra shoulder opening place a bolster above your head and let your arms rest on it- If there are any tingling sensations, then release the arms to your sides. An eye pillow can be really nice too.
Legs Up A Wall (Wide Legged Or Together)
This is a pose that detoxifies as it relaxes, supporting your body, relaxing your energy, and at the same time cleansing your immune system and lymph nodes. This asana is extremely rejuvenating to the body and very soothing to our nervous system. It helps to support the natural flow of energy in the body, and sends all of the blood flow back to the heart and head .
Sit in front of a wall with your right hip and shoulder touching the wall (or left, whatever is comfortable for you)
Bend your knees and roll onto your left side and back, so that your legs come up against the wall, heels resting on the wall
Have your sit bones 6 inches away from the wall (can be further if you have really tight hamstrings)
Rest your hands where they are comfortable, on the belly, by your sides, over your head, or on your heart.
Try to stay here for 5-10 minutes breathing fully, and relaxing
Modifications: Place the soles of the feet together, in a modified bound angle, if you like you can place a bolster under the lower back, or a pillow underneath your head.
Legs On A Chair
A deeply relaxing asana, wonderful for the lower back, and accessible to Everybody. Similar to legs against the wall, but more supported and easier to let go in. Enjoy and allow yourself to melt into your being.
1. Place a blanket on the chair if you like to make it softer for your legs. If the chair is tall, feel free to place a folded blanket underneath your lower back for additional height and comfort.
3. Lie on your back, and lift your legs onto the chair, so that they are supported and relaxed, the knees are bent, the spine is straight, and your heart is open.
4. Palms can be by your sides, or on your stomach, or heart, wherever feels right to you~ knowing that you can move them at any time.
5. Reconnect with your breath, breathing deeply, softening and opening.
Modifications- You can use a pillow underneath your head if you like, or a soft neck support. Its your practice, do what makes you feel comfortable. Know that you are facilitating deep healing and relaxation in this asana.
To come out, gently bring your knees to your chest, giving yourself a huge hug, rolling from side to side, massaging that lower back, and eventually rolling to one side, taking as much time as you need to rise up.
The wonderful time in our practice when we let go and just release drifting away into a space of deep relaxation and conscious awareness. Now is the time to let go, to surrender. Lie on your mattress and soften into it, let your eyes grow heavy. Let your legs and arms spread wide, and let go of your breath. You will notice that your entire being relaxes, and as it does feel the effects of your before bed yoga practice. Soften here for as long as you like, before you know it you will be melting into a comfortable, and deep sleep. Sweet Dreams.
It is important to nourish our bodies not only with our sleep, but with what we sleep on. Healthy, organic and chemical free bedding, and mattresses are the only way to go. I want to extend my gratitude to Casper Sleep for asking me to be a part of their blog, check them out for a great mattress, and for those of you who live locally on Vancouver Island, we have a great natural sleep resource right here in Duncan- Rest House . Sleep easy knowing your health and your body is being supported by nature.
Recipe Of The Month-
Stuffed Grilled Apples
Yes, You heard me correctly- Grilled Apples Stuffed with dried cherries, currents, almonds and sweetened with a touch of maple syrup. Melt In Your Mouth Goodness. I was gifted with a large box of apples by one of my yoga students this autumn, and my mom inspired me to try them on our grill. As a vegetarian we are always looking for fun ways to cook on the deck, and this is a recipe that can’t be beat.
4 Medium Tart Apples Cored
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1 Tbs Coconut Oil
a pinch of saffron
Place each apple on a piece of foil
Toast coconut until brown. Melt coconut oil and spices with the coconut.
Combine ingredients and spoon into centre of the apples.
Fold foil over apples, seal tightly.
Grill covered over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until apples are tender.
Open foil tenderly to allow steam to escape.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I hope that the yoga poses encourage deep rest for your being, and help to nourish your soul. I hope to write more soon. As always I am grateful for your support and your time.
It’s a beautiful day here in Cowichan Bay, British Columbia. The sun is shining, the sea is calm, and a vibrant and peaceful energy fills the air. All in all it is a beautiful day to do some writing. I am going to do something a little different today, I have been asked by a colleague of mine, dating and relationship coach Lisa Hache-Maguire, to take part in a “Blog Tour” (sponsored byIC Publishing– which you can follow via #ICBlogTour). It’s a great chance to share how the creative process flows through me in my writings that I share with you all.
Here we go
How Do You Start Your Writing Project?
For Example: (where do you find inspiration? Do you outline? Do you jump right into the writing? Do you do all of your research first? )
Beginnings often start with the ending of something. In my case my writing projects often start from the bottom up. When I sit down to write my mind is often like a blank canvas, I am not exactly sure what is going to come out, or know how things will manifest. A lot of my writing is done in the form of monthly newsletters, where I include things like recipes and events, so I often start there. Taking something basic and clear- like a recipe often gives me the foundation for my creative flow. As I see the words on the page- most often with a picture or two, things start to gel together for me, and then the true creative energy just seems to whirlwind and flow, and the true message of my sharing will come out.
Generally I don’t really do anything else to prepare. My flow is often just a channelling that comes through me, and there is no questions or need to research. It is almost like there is a deeper voice speaking through me, one that needs to come out, and lets me know when its speaks to the larger universal consciousness as a whole. Spirit is sharing through me as I write, and as I put the words down on paper (or the computer screen) I know that I am healing a deeper part of myself as well as those that read my blog.
How Do you Continue Your Writing Project?
For Example: How do you find motivation to write on the non-creative days? Do you keep to a schedule? How do you find the time to write?
I don’t know if continue really applies to my creative process. It seems like when its time to sit down and write I just do it. I am 100%, all the way committed. Unless there is nothing there, then I just stop until the voice inside me speaks loudly. Its almost like a whirlwind of energy that moves through me when its time to write. I just sit down, and out it comes. This process can take anywhere from an hour, or a whole day, and involves so much more than just writing, as I love to complement my blog with pictures- Sometimes the pictures I share will inspire the writing, and is always supportive t0 the process.
There are some days when I feel the urge to sit down and write but nothing flows, perhaps Mercury is in Retrograde, or the stars just aren’t aligned. When this happens I don’t push it, I just know that I need a break, I often will do something at that time that will nurture my soul.
How Do You Finish Your Project?
For example: When do you know the project is complete? Do you have a hard time letting go? Do you tend to start a new project before you finish the last one?
Finishing the project is usually quite cathartic. As I mentioned before I usually sit down and just write non stop until I am done with the flow, so when the words stop coming, I am usually quite ready to stop. As with all of the writing I do, there is no sensation of needing to say more, or of starting a new project. When it is time to write there is no stopping me, until the message of spirit is out. I like to just bask in the moment of peace that fills me up, and know that I am sharing a little piece of universal magic with someone that may need to hear it.
Include One Challenge Or Additional Tip That Our Collective Communities Could Help With Or Benefit From.
Hmmm… I guess the one thing I would really offer as a tip, is something that could be offered as a challenge, and that would be to Listen, and to Trust. Listen to the stirrings deep within you. Listen to the words that are ready to be spoken. As with all things creative, the flow is there. It is there for us to connect with, to jump into, and to share. Don’t overthink it, don’t worry if it “sounds” right, just trust the flow, trust the process, remembering that your process is going to be very unique to you. Let go of judgement and most of all Enjoy. Enjoy the connection to source. Enjoy the connection to Spirit. Enjoy the words that pour out on the page. Enjoy Your Self Speaking.
Thank you for taking the time to read this- Next week we are going to have some amazing beings, sharing their thoughts on this topic- Check them out:)
Anita Kalnay is a mixer of magical scents (she makes perfumes), an amazing bodyworker, a soul proprietr and a kundalini yoga teacher, who delights in adventure and herb gardening on beautiful Vancouver Island, British Coumbia. Follow her on facebook hereand here, or check out her websiteto see what she is up to.
Christy Greenwood is a divinely inspired creative being, who shares her gifts with us in many ways. She is chakra dance and yoga teacher, a personal coach and an intuitive and gifted bodyworker who practices in a sacred space in the Cowichan Valley. Follow her on Facebook.
Ayla Ludwig is a artist, a writer and a teacher of English in Korea. She loves to share of her adventures living in a foreign country, whether by vlog, or in written form, and creates beautiful art that you can see hereand on tumbler. She is inspiring, funny and very creative in all that she does, and really gives a great look at different areas of the world that you may never visit on your own.
Mariana Trapera, a sacred activist, grandmother, therapist and writer, is passionate about encouraging other women to embrace and live from their sacred feminine essence, especially in their later years. Check out her website for more information.
Namaste, Happy June. I hope wherever you are that your spring has been bright and filled with light.
Life is moving along here in Cowichan Bay, and I am fully enjoying the longer days and the brightness that seems to infuse my soul in the summertime. The sunlight and the warmer weather seems to brighten everything.
There is lots going on and happening in my world, life is full, but very integrated and peace is everywhere, even in any challenges that arise. I have a busy month and summer coming up. I am off to Michigan next week to co-facilitate a Clinical Intensive For Ayurvedic Practitioner Students. As always it is going to be such an honour to work with my teacher, Dr.Paul Dugliss, and with so many of the students I have been working with online. There is also a wonderful new course- Ayurveda for Yoga Teachersthat I have been co-creating with some amazing beings- See more info down below and please feel free to share the link with any one you know that may be interested.
Overall life is good, and I am enjoying the flow of all things. When I have down time I enjoy the magic of being, and when things are busy it feels exciting and invigorating to be taken by the flow. I am as always in awe and gratitude of life and its expression. What a gift. What an experience. Its a powerful time to be alive, and I feel so blessed to be connected to such a beautiful community of beings, near and far.
photo credit to: Robert Cerins
Our last class of the Spring Session is this Wednesday, June 11. The Summer Session of Yoga will begin on Monday, June 30 at the beautiful Providence Farm. We will be outside in the meadows, surrounded and supported by nature- It’s truly magical. We have also been blessed to have some wonderful local musicians come and play for us on Mondays. Yes that is right LIVE MUSIC MONDAYS– it’s wonderful to practice to the vibrations of local sound yogis. The class is great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with. Suggested Donation is $15.
June is here, and with it is the beautiful sunshine- the glorious light that really reflects the magic of all that we are. For many of us it has been a challenging time. A time where old emotions and memories are coming to the surface, old stuff that we thought we were done with. I am also noticing lots of muscular pain, and body sensation as these old memories are coming to the surface. It almost feels as if to become more flexible we must first tighten up and give the old places a space to breathe before they can transform and move out of us.
This entire process or the space that we are in feels like a blossoming on a very large scale. Even though things seem to be moving very quickly, there is a sense of strong roots, and a flexible stem. The feelings that come up, or the sensations in the body that we experience, may be very intense, but they are not ungrounded, they have form and feeling and there is nothing to do but to express them, and to be with them. To embrace them totally as what is needed for this moment. Notice if you have the tendency to push things down. Well it doesn’t seem to be working these days, it just sticks around and rises up until you listen to it.
Anger seems to be a big one for many these days. This seems to be a manifestation of the fire of the heart, it’s not letting things slide by so easily, it doesn’t want to repeat the old patterns. This anger is not just any anger, its a flame that is directing us where to move, showing us what is not serving us, illuminating what needs to be released. Often if we are supressing our desires, or the desires of the soul we can just feel stuck and heavy. That time is over, the fire has been lit and it’s up to us to caretake it and to allow it to burn brightly. Things may ignite and shift quickly, but the purpose is clear, light is flowing, and as we step into who we are, as we honour our deepest path, we can truly feel that universal energy supporting us. Fear may still come up, or anxiety, but it feels like the time for that is shifting, and that movement is at hand. Take time to notice your body, to step into the aches and pains, to feel the beating of your heart, and to fully own all and everything that you are.
Recipe Of The Month
The abundance of kale, spinach and arugala in my garden inspired me to get creative in the kitchen last week. I was also blessed to receive some beautiful milk that I was able to make into homemade cheese- For those vegans out there you can easily substitute tofu for this recipe. The greens mix was spicy, with a bit of fire and energy from garlic, and warmer spices, and the paneer offered a delightful cool taste and texture to the mix. It was really simple to make, and oh so tasty. I would love to hear how it worked for you, and if there are other vegan options other than Tofu, let me know, I would love to share.
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces homemade paneer or tofu (recipe follows)
2-3 cups cooked and blended greens(any kind)
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 (1-inch thumb) ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green serrano chile, finely chopped (seeds removed if you don’t like it spicy!) any kind of hot chili is fine
1/2 teaspoon garam masala spice mix
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
In a large bowl, whisk together the turmeric, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons oil. Gently, drop in the cubes of paneer and gently toss, taking care not to break the cubes if you’re using the homemade kind. Let the cubes marinate while you get the rest of your ingredients together and prepped.
Steam the greens until they are quite wilted and moist. Squeeze them out. Place in a blender or a food processor and bring them to the consistency of your choice- I like them a little less than pureed.
Place a large skillet over medium heat, and add the paneer or the tofu as the pan warms. In a couple of minutes give the pan a toss; each piece of paneer should be browned on one side. Fry another minute or so, and then remove the paneer from the pan onto a plate.
Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and chile. Now here’s the important part: saute the mixture until it’s evenly toffee-coloured, which should take about 15 minutes. Don’t skip this step – this is the foundation of the dish! If you feel like the mixture is drying out and burning, add a couple of tablespoons of water.
Add the garam masala, coriander and cumin. If you haven’t already, sprinkle a little water to keep the spices from burning. Cook, stirring often, until the raw scent of the spices cook out, and it all smells a bit more melodious, 3 to 5 minutes
Add the greens and stir well, incorporating the spiced onion mixture into the spinach. Add a little salt and 1/2 cup of water, stir, and cook about 5 minutes with the lid off.
In Ayurveda the belief is that pure milk, from a happy, contented and well fed cow is one of the most nurturing foods for our bodies. This milk is easy for most people to digest when it is cooked properly and consumed warm, with spices. Unfortunately it is very difficult to obtain milk like this from a healthy, happy cow in the west. Even many organic sources are not always what they seem to be. Organic is better than not, and local is best. And remember to eat it with joy and love, giving respect to the beautiful life that shared part of itself with us.
1/2 gallon organic or raw whole milk, not pasteurized 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
4-quart saucepan Strainer or colander Mixing bowl Cheesecloth, nut bag, or other cloths for straining Dinner plates Something Heavy
Heat the milk: Pour the milk into the saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring the milk to a bare simmer — just below the boil at around 200°F. Stir the milk occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure the milk doesn’t scald. When ready, the milk will look foamy and steamy. If the milk reaches boiling, thats fine- it will still make cheese.
Add the lemon juice: Remove the milk from heat and stir in the lemon juice. The milk should begin to curdle immediately, but it’s ok if it doesn’t.
Let the milk stand for 10 minutes: Cover the milk and let stand for 10 minutes to give the acid time to completely separate the curds and whey. At the end of 10 minutes, the curds should be completely separated and the liquid should look yellow and watery. If the milk hasn’t separated, try adding another tablespoon of acid.
Strain the curds: Set a strainer or colander over a mixing bowl and line it with cheesecloth, a nut bag, or other straining cloth. Carefully pour the curds into the strainer, letting the whey collect in the bowl beneath.
Squeeze the curds: Gather the cheesecloth in your hand and gently squeeze to remove the excess whey.
Salt the curds: Open the cheesecloth and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt over the curds. Stir gently and taste. Add more salt if desired.
Press the curds: Transfer the curds (still in the cheesecloth) to a large dinner plate. Shape them into a rough square and then fold the cheesecloth tightly around the curds to form a neat rectangular package. Set a second plate on top of the package and weigh it down. Press for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Use or refrigerate the paneer: Once pressed, your paneer is finished and ready to use. You can use it immediately or refrigerate for up to two days. Refrigerated paneer will be firmer and less likely to crumble than fresh paneer.
This recipe and picture was shared from a great cooking blog- thekitchn.com
The Power Of Love Is In Your Hands
I often talk about our own healing potential, and the ability to create huge transformation in our life with subtle energy works. I hope you enjoy this short video sharing one of my favorite techniques.
I am SO excited to share the most transformative, and powerful offering yet:) A course on Ayurveda for Yoga Teachers- Abundance, Transformation, And The Knowledge Of Nature (Consiousness) is waiting for you and your students- Join us as we transform our lives, and the lives of all who we share with.This is a course designed to share the ancient knowledge of Ayurveda with your yoga students, as well as to deepen your own experience of your being, and of your consciousness, all while creating abundance and flow in your life. You will learn practical tools as well as deepen your experience of the subtle energy of our beings. You will walk away with many tools to share all of this knowledge with your students, spreading the light of Ayurveda and its magic into your community.I am blessed to be working with such amazing beings as Dr.Paul Dugliss, Sandra Dugliss,Dave Lesinski, and Wendy Arniell. Please check out the website for more info, and don’t hesitate to contact me for more details. There is a free conference call this Tuesday, June 10 at 10:30 PST- register for it here. Please feel free to share this with any yoga teacher that may be interested. Thank you:)
Much love and gratitude to you all for taking the time to read this. As always I welcome comments and feeback and so enjoy connecting with each and every one of you. Wishing you a beautiful day AsraelThis picture is a work in progress from my dear friend, the artist Coco Jones- Please check her out here
Has it really been 3 months since I sent out a newsletter? Time sure flies by when you are having fun… although it hasn’t been all fun and games. I asked for some movement in February- I was ready to fly- and I sure did. A month of deep cleansing on a physical level, and movement as well. March was blissfully supported surrender in Hawaii, and April has been really about integrating that surrender into my practical life. All in all an extremely powerful new year, and one that has been full of listening, accepting and allowing. There has been lots of transformation happening, and with the shifts, has come great growth- if we don’t let go of the old, how can the new flourish?
Some of the amazing things I have experienced in the last few months- Facing my Deepest Fears Scuba Diving In British Columbia in a BLIZZARD, Scuba Diving in beautiful warm water while whales sing around me, snorkeled surrounded by dolphins, Watched the Manta Ray Ballet beneath the sea, became and auntie, held a successful and enlightening creative wellness retreat, and lived, laughed, cried and loved.
Yoga Classes have moved location to Providence Farm Chapel, They are still on Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, we are inside now, but the gardens will be a lovely place to practice once the warmer weather sets in. It is a beautiful space that resonates with amazing energy, and we have been blessed to have some wonderful local musicians come and play for us on Monday’s. Yes that is right LIVE MUSIC MONDAYS– its wonderful to practice to the vibrations of local sound yogi’s. The class is great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with. Suggested Donation is $15.
Integrated ManifestationsIts been a while since I have been in touch and it has certainly been a time of ups and downs. There have been moments when I have felt like my physical body was purging itself of old patterns, stresses and memories- a restructuring of DNA that my nervous system was squeezing out. It almost felt like the universe was just pulling all the stops out at once- saying this is what you asked for.. (February was a bit rough). I feel like it was a necessary cleansing for stronger roots and a firm foundation to set into my being. Life is amazing that way; it always gives you exactly what you need, even when you don’t think so at the time.
I talk about surrender a lot and as its energy integrates itself more fully into my being I notice how wonderful it is to be one with it. In February when I was struggling with colds (3 of them) and teeth problems (3 trips to the dentist), there was nothing to do but surrender, and emote whatever needed to come out at the time. On holiday, there was no choice but to let go, and feel the natural support of nature in all it’s beauty and it’s energy, and now in this past month, there really has been a beautiful feeling of peace in my being. No fears about what will come next, or what should come next- it is unfolding. There are no worries about having a slow week, or being too busy- I am just enjoying whatever that week/day brings. It’s very freeing, and I notice that as I allow the space that life is unfolding for me.
Of course there are the necessary tasks and practices that I need to do to live, but there is no need to get caught up in how or when they will take place. And unfolding they are. It feels as if I am unwrapping a big beautiful present, and as I peel away the paper a little more of the magic is shown to me every day. Manifestations are coming into fruition, wholeness is being realized and life is flowing in its unique way. It’s not even like every day is “easy”, there are many challenges, but it’s all part of the bigger fabric of our universe, and of my life. It feels great to realize this on a deep level, to see the gifts that are offered to me every day, and to see my dreams being realized. Yes dreams do come true. I have been sitting, knowing, waiting for the next steps in my dharmic evolution, not knowing how they would show themselves. I have been planting seeds, trying new things, but never being clear on the next steps, about HOW to make things happen. I realize now there is no how, there just is. Life will bring us the opportunities when it’s time, and it is time for the next step.
Do you notice that when you just let go and ride the waves how it seems that the flow just continues? When we push, it often feels like we are just banging our head on a brick wall. What happens if you just let go? This doesn’t mean you can’t try, or study, or move towards your goal. But what would happen if you let go of the outcome? If you let go of the need to control how it will manifest? Try it and notice what happens. It is easier said than done, I know. As the vibrations increase, things are changing quickly. We are creating entirely new ways of processing information. Our structured ways of moving through the world are not serving us any longer, instead of a straight road with many stops on the way its more like a kaleidoscope, the most magical colours in amazing patterns, full of light- and each glance provides a moment of magic. What a blessed time to be alive:)
Wilted Red Cabbage With Mint
Spring is filled with lots of fresh vibrant greens, baby broccolis, and cabbage. Often I notice that my body longs for salads, but I know that they aren’t the most digestible at this time of year. Its important as we make the transition into warmer weather that we nourish, and nurture our digestion with warmer salads, and this is one of my favourite ones. I hope you enjoy it too:)
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Medium Red Onion Thinly Sliced
1 Garlic Clove Minced
4 Cups Packed Finely Sliced Red Cabbage
Juice Of One Lemon
2 Tbs Each of- Mint, Dill, Parsley
Freshly Ground Pepper
Feta Cheese (Optional)
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion. Turn to coat it and cook for a minute to sear and soften. Add the garlic and the cabbage, season with 1 tsp salt, then immedietly begin turning it in the pan to wilt it evenely. 2 minutes is enough- just wilt it, not fully cook it. Remove the pan from the heat and toss with 2 Tbs Lemon Juice. Adjust to your taste. Toss with the herbs and more salt if needed. If you indulge in cheese from time to time crumble in some organic goats feta, otherwise enjoy with the Tahini Yogurt Sauce.
Tahini Yogurt Sauce
1 Clove Garlic
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Yogurt (Organic Milk, Or Coconut)
3 Tbs Tahini
Finely chop the garlic mix with salt until smooth, mix with yogurt and stir in the tahini. Mix into the salad:)
This was shared from the Vegetable Literacy Cookbook by Deborah Madison:)
Community Is so Important in My Life- So I would love to share some local offerings from colleagues of mine
Salts Clothing Kickstart Campaign- Check it out for organic, fair trade, beautiful clothing at a great price- Ships Worldwide- I’ve seen the clothing, they are beautiful to the touch, and lovely to wear. I can’t wait to get my order:) look here. Jennifer Graham will also be at Monday’s yoga class with her beautiful wares- Come check them out:)
Sacred Chant Circle this Sunday, April 27 @ Rivendell Yurt 7-8:30pm, by donation- Led By Sadie Bartram- for more info call-250 748 2089
abunDance Journey this Sunday, April 27 @ Providence Farm Chapel- 10-12 am $15- Led By Christy Greenwood- for more info call 250 737 1800
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I hope your journey of these past few months have been filled with love and light- peace and flow, and acceptance of all that is happening. I wish you all blessings of abundance and joy, and a beautiful month of May-
Happy February:) It has been a long time since I have been in touch- I have missed you all:)
Things are good, wonderfully abundant and full. I feel deep connection with my work, with my community, with my family. Life is amazing in the way that it flows and directs us exactly where we need to be and to go. It’s hard to remember that when we feel challenged, but everything is a stepping stone on our magical journey in this life. My intention in this coming year has been to expand further, to take leaps of faith and to dive into life. The only box or restraint that there is, exists in my mind. As I spread my wings wide I am so excited to see what will open for me as I welcome all and everything that comes. Of course I need to find the time and space to encourage this growth. There are so many things that I desire to do, to create and to live. I feel fresh and ready to move into the next period of growth and transformation. I also feel tremendously supported by my community, those here in the Cowichan Valley, and around the world. I am so honoured and blessed to know all of you, and the energy you share with me is felt and appreciated.
News and Upcoming Events
There is lots of exciting news this month. Remember that documentary I filmed almost 2 years ago? Well it is finally out! Yippee! I can’t believe it, I am so excited. If you do have television it begins on Monday, February 3 on Vision TV. Here is the vision tv link. Here is the promo. I am in episodes 3,4,6- and for those of you close by, we should watch them together- I have copies of the dvd’s. It is a very interesting look at aging and the ways we move through it and can work with it. I am honoured to be part of it and excited to see what it will bring.
I also consulted for a website that works in tandem with the producers and am offering a 90 day challenge for better health. As the holistic consultant I offer many easy tips to start on the path to greater health and wellness. Try it out, or share it with someone that is looking for better health and may not know where to start. My collegue Jonny Bowden offers a more scientific approach, but still offers very tangible ways to heal. www.takingbacktheyears.com
Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, we are inside now, but still with the glorious ocean view. The banquet rooms have just been renovated, and its beautiful and fresh feeling. The class is lovely, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.
As I wrote earlier I am feeling the need to stretch my wings and expand in my life. I am noticing that as I grow, the box I have created for my life is no longer big enough to hold my dreams, or my reality. Not for business, not for personal experience, and not for my consciousness.
Anything is possible, and everything is possible. As we move into this phase of being (The Chinese Year of the Wood Horse), I am ready to gallop and fly into the magic of this life. I am no normal horse, I am instead a magical fairy unicorn, and my dreams are awaiting to be lived. Sounds crazy? Perhaps, but no crazier than living in a safety zone of walls that don’t serve me anymore. I have noticed in these last few years that what was serving me, no longer fits, and what was comfortable, even in its discomfort no longer has use. I still have challenging days, and when old patterns or emotions rise, I notice the reaction in my body to them, but they don’t throw me off track anymore, or at least not for long. There seems to be a deeper and more grounded awareness that is flowing through me. Why can’t I live my dreams?
Do you notice this in your life? Are you feeling constrained by ideas that you created? By walls that you have built without ever realizing it? Where do your dreams lie? What is calling out for you? Are you ready to step into the life that you are here to live?
I am not talking about just being happy or peaceful, although those may be side benefits. I am talking about living Truth, and stepping into all that you are. I have so much to offer, as do we all. In that offering, I have fears, and judgements, but I also have creativity and abundance. Who is to say that my spirit is not here to dance with the angels and to soar into all of the possibilities that I have not thought were available to me – whether it is because I don’t have the self esteem or self worth, or because I feel limited by my finances, or any other reason (the mind can come up with a lot!).
Whats the worst thing that can happen? As I often tell my yoga students, I might fall. I might get pointed in another direction. I might not succeed in the way that I had attached my hope to. One thing is for certain: I will never know what could happen until I try. I invite you to look at your life, and to see if there is a crack in one of your walls that is calling to you to explore. Take a moment, look at it, and remember you are not a serious being, you are a being that is here to live, to explore and to grow. I am ready, it takes courage, and I may falter. But my heart shines bright, and every step I take is a step forward into my truth, into love, into connection and into myself. Watch me fly.
Not very ayurvedic but so delicious. I get stuck in the rut of eating the same food every day (I love my stir fried veggies with quinoa or basmati rice), and my husband and I decided to dedicate an evening a week for making a special meal. This past week we enjoyed this amazing dish, the fennel melted in my mouth, and the saffron enlivened my senses. Sometimes its ok to step out of our “regular” diet, just like it’s wonderful to step out of our box of comfort. I encourage you to try this and I trust you will enjoy it as much as we did.
Braised Fennel Wedges With Saffron and Tomato
1 large fennel bulb
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 onion thinly sliced
2 tsp fennel seeds
good pinch of Saffron threads
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 clove garlic crushed
3 Tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
Trim all the stocks and the greens from the fennel bulbs. Take of the outer leaves if they look thick and scarred. Halve the bulb lengthwise and cut the halves into wedges about 1.5 inches apart at the widest section.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan, when hot add the onion and fennel seeds, crumble in the saffron and the thyme and then cook until the steam releases the color from the saffron. Add the fennel wedges and cook them until golden, turning them and the onions occasionally. Once they are well colored, add the garlic, stir in the tomato paste and then add the stock and 1 tsp salt. Scrape the pan to release the juices, then cover and simmer until the fennel is tender. About 15 minutes.
This dish is from Deborah Madison’s cookbook Vegetable Literacy and it is AMAZING!!
I would also love to invite you to leave a review for me on google, on yelp, or facebook . For any or all of my services. The more we share our positive feedback with others, the more that things can grow. I thank you for your support
I also thank you for taking the time to read this:) I wish you all a beautiful February- Remember, nothing is to silly to dream, its sillier to lock those dreams away.