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
Ananda 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.
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
Slow 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
I 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
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:)
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
I 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.
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
Ananda 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.
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
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.
Warming, 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
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
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.
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 🙂
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
I 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.
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.
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.
I 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.
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.
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 🙂
Once 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
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
Roses Are The Best Medicine
Beautiful Meadow By Our Home
Kitchen Where We Cooked Ayurvedic Delights
Georgia Taking Her Pulse
Palm Tree Love
Bird Of Paradise
View From The Deck
Question Time For Students
Hanging Out in the kitchen
Working With Students By Distance
Always Enjoying Ourselves
So blessed to be able to teach alongside my teacher
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.
Info 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.
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.