Spacious Fullness

IMG_5276Namaste,

I hope that this newsletter finds you all well, and at peace wherever you may be in this moment.  What a wonderful spring it has been, there is so much life bursting forth, so much energy building, and so much space to grow in.  We were blessed here in BC with an abnormally beautiful and warm early spring. It was such a gift to get out in the garden, and to plant the seeds for summer.  At around the same time of this warm spell many spirit inspiring gifts also arrived.  I was blessed to spend a weekend in Seattle with Adyashanti, while at the same time receiving the gifts of ancient healing through an intentional Yagya.  This weekend inspired powerful movement and release, much of which I am still integrating.  There has also been more work on the documentary that was filmed last year, still no word on the release date, I will keep you posted.  Above all there has been a beautiful sense of connectedness, of peace, and of acceptance.  There is no hurry to do, there is no need to push or force, there is almost a sense of waiting to see what comes next, all the while living very comfortably in the present moment.   More recently the rains and cooler weather have come again, perfect for watering the seeds planted in fertile awareness, perfect for the quiet time that is reflecting through my being.  Perfect for nurturing the earth, and cleansing its essence so that when the sun appears again life can just bloom fully and completely.

This month’s  Monthly Meditation Morning  will be held Sunday June, 16.  There will 3 separate sitting periods: 9:00- 9:50, 10:00-10:50 and 11:00-11:50.  Drop in for any one, or stay for them all.   This space is for any silent mediation type, no experience necessary.  Its a beautiful opportunity to sit in silence and just be, with all and anything that is.

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, soon to be outside by the seaside. It is a lovely class, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.

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 CounselingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

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Spacious Fullness

paper peopleLife lately has been a bit different.   This may mean something unique to each and every one of us, as we all experience the universe in our own way, but often times there are key threads that weave our experiences together.  To me it almost seems like these last few months have been a bit of a waiting period, a time of gestation where there is no knowledge of what comes next, nor any expectation of what needs too.  This doesn’t mean that life isn’t full of its normal challenges, or day to day practical matters, but that within that, expanding throughout and around it, there is a great sense of space and acceptance.  There is a sensation and a feeling of the unknown, of the needing to be quiet, to take self care, and of total trust of it all.  Its an interesting feeling, this trust, because its not knowing you have to trust, or should trust, its just innately there.  Fear seems to be melting away, motivation at times may be lacking, but thats ok.  It isn’t the right time to force, it isn’t necessary to be in control of the next move, we never are anyways.  Its almost as if my entire being is just in this place of awareness, and that’s all that there is to do at this time.   The mind has actually stepped into balance with this energetic flow of the past few months, it does still chatter about, but the words, the thoughts aren’t addictive, there is no attachment to them.  There is almost an emptiness to the qualities of the thoughts, and a peacefulness in the  awareness of it all.   There is no thinking about what I “need” to be doing, I just do it if its needed.  There is no worry about the work week ahead, there just is what there is.  Its very strange, but very comfortable, and very supportive in its own way.  My body is also stepping in line with this awareness.  I hear it speak, I take the time for practice, for healthy eating, and for balance, and it responds.  I am sleeping better, dreaming beautiful dreams, feeling light in the vessel that I inhabit, and noticing a glowing vitality to my skin, and best of all I have more energy!  Again,  there is no control over this, no forcing, it just feels natural to take the time to do my daily routine, to nourish my physical which in turn supports my emotional and spiritual.

Sounds wonderful doesn’t it:) It is, but for some of us this may be an uncomfortable time of the unknown, of not experiencing a large flow of movement or of  creative energy.  There are still the desires infused in every aspect of life.  The knowledge that there is movement to come, the magic wants to expand and flow, the flow of consciousness that needs to express itself in more tangible ways.  It will happen.  Remember that even when we are still, we are flowing, that even when spacious there is fullness.  Just as in the garden, the seeds need to rest in the earth before they can pop up towards the light.  But even in the soil they are always expanding, and when the time is right they move, always growing until they share with us their beautiful blossoms and fruit.  Enjoy this rest, take care of yourself,  and listen.

Some daily practices I have been enjoying that reflect peace and health back to me are:

  • Daily Meditation- Always worth the time
  • Warm Spice Water- 1 tsp fennel, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp coriander- sipped throughout the day
  • Abhyanga- Self Oil Massage
  • Oil Pulling- With Sesame Oil
  • Nasya or Neti
  • Green Juice
  • Early Bed Time- 10 pm

For more info on any of these practices feel free to email me, or book an appointment to see what practices may be right for balance and peace for your being.

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Ayurvedic Massage Oils

c403266ac7bf11e2b04622000a1f9be0_7Ayurvedic Massage OilsIf you have ever experienced an Ayurvedic Massage then you know what a nurturing, luxurious and OILY experience it is.  I have been making and using medicinal herbal oils in my treatments for the past 5 years.  Most of the herbs that I use have been western herbs that I have grown myself, and offer similar properties to some of the herbs used in India.  This spring I received the message that it was time to make some more traditional Ayurvedic Oils, created in the tradition of the ancient pandits.  Unfortunately many of these medicinals are not grown here in Canada, but thanks to Harmonic Arts, I am able to order Organic and sustainably grown herbs from other places.  So with a big smile on my face, and excitement  in my heart I made an order and got to work.

Work may not be the best word for the practice of making the oils, as a light heart and deep intention made the time spent peaceful and enjoyable, but it definitely is quite a process.  When I make my western oils I always sun soak them, stirring them daily, and letting them infuse over a long period of time, sometimes for up to 6 months. I was led to work with these oils in a different way, respecting the ancient manner in the way they are transformed into medicine.  Instead of mixing the plant essences directly into the oil, I began by making strong infusions of the powdered herbs, simmering them in water for 3-4 hours, until they had reduced to 1/6th their size.  I then strained the plant matter out leaving me with a beautiful dark and fragrant tea.  I mixed this tea with a paste made out of powdered herbs and water, and then an equal amount of Organic Sesame Oil.  I then brought these concoctions to a very low simmer and let them cook, stirring regularly until the texture of the paste shifted its consistency from powder, to sticky goo, to a fine sand like texture.  What a beautiful practice it was to watch the changes that occurred.  Each herb had different energy, some were mucuousy and heavy, while others were light and dry, and they all had to experience a period of sticky tightness before releasing their essence fully to the oil…. sounds a bit reflective of our human experience doesn’t it?  After they were done, I strained the oil one more time and left them to cool.  This entire process took anywhere from 4-8 hours, and during that time I was infusing them with love and presence.  I was also listening to the herbs, connecting with their energy and spirits, very beautiful and inspiring.

I am now excited to offer these oils as part of my practice, as well as for sale if you are interested.  They are very potent, and very powerful.  Cooking the herbs in the oil creates a silky texture, and a beautiful natural scent.

100% Organic Vata Oil– Ashwaghanda, Shatavari, Shankhapushpi, Passionflower, Bhringaraj, Licorice, Sesame Oil

100% Organic Pitta Oil– Amla, Brahmi, Guduchi, Shatavari, Neem, Licorice, Rose, Lavender, Sunflower Oil, Sesame Oil

100% Organic Kapha Oil– Purnanarva, Calamus, Manjistha, Neem, Rosemary, Sesame Oil, Sunflower Oil

100% Organic Shirodhara Oil– Bhringaraj, Brahmi, Shankhapushpi, Passionflower, Sesame Oil, Olive Oil

I believe in the magic of growing and nurturing a plant from seed, to its place on our table, in our vision, or in our medicines, but there are also benefits to using plants that grow in other areas.  They bring with them an exotic magic, that can sometimes offer greater benefits and they can mix with the local herbs to give an even stronger effect.  These Ayurvedic Herbal Combinations have been used for thousands of years, and I am very pleased and honored to share them in my practice.

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Recipe Of The Month

Easy Bright Green Juice

Its that time of year when greens are in abundance.  So full of color, of life and of nutrients.  Fresh juice is a wonderful way to add in leafy greens to your diet, to many salads can dampen our agni (digestive fire).  You can mix and match greens, add herbs and spices, and make this recipe your own.  Think of this as a creative template, one that can be transformed from day to day, always full of vitamins, detoxifying, and so deliciously refreshing:)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 green apple 
  • 1-2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, turmeric, or both
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 tsp green powder (we use a chloryphyl, spirulina blend)
  • fresh herbs (mint, dill, basil, fennel leaves)
  • big bunch of leafy greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, dandelion greens, beet greens, etc.)
  • 1/2 lemon

 

Blend until mixed in your blender and then strain through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Enjoy.  I highly recommend a Blendtech blender, or Vitamix, but a normal one will do.  If you are using a normal blender, then check in with it, and make sure you don’t overheat the juice, let it rest and then blend further.

Get creative, add some radishes, or broccoli~ anything you like:)

You can always add fresh greens into your smoothies as well:)

***

India Trip 2 247I am continuing to embrace the idea of expanding my perception on how to share Ayurveda and my services with others.  I would love any feedback or ideas that you may have.  Would you be interested in a yoga or Ayurveda retreat sometime?  How about a web seminar or class?  Perhaps there is another way that you see my energy flowing?  I would love to hear your thoughts:)  There is a retreat in the making, I will keep you updated:)

Wishing you all a beautiful month of June filled with peace, abundance, and acceptance of all that may be~ and some sunshine of course:)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this~

Much Love and Peace

Asrael

 

 

 

 

Divine Movement

Namaste-

dd39ba849d6e11e29ecd22000aaa08de_6Happy Spring!  What a beautiful time of year it is.  There is so much life bursting forth at once, as the earth awakens from winters peaceful sleep. It’s always amazing to me to see the way that life stirs after the dark season; light brightens the scenery, as the buds start to flourish, the colors deepen, and the spirits of the plants start to sing.  A feast for all the senses, whether it be the warmth of the sun, the scent of cottonwood buds, the beauty of yellow daffodils next to bright red tulips, or the stirring of greater life force reflected in my body.  Spring is a perfect time to shift the sluggish energy within, and to invite more prana into the being.  Breathing a little deeper, moving a little faster, and flowing with the natural rhythms of the planet.

As always natural beauty is shining bright here at The Hawthorn.  Pete has created a beautiful space for our garden this year.  With the warmer days and greater light, we already have lots of vegetables started, and are enjoying wonderful spring greens that we overwintered.  Its wonderful to connect with the earth,  planting the seeds for future growth.

This month’s  Monthly Meditation Morning  will be held Sunday, April 7.  There will 3 separate sitting periods: 9:00- 9:50, 10:00-10:50 and 11:00-11:50.  Drop in for any one, or stay for them all.   This space is for any silent mediation type, no experience necessary.  Its a beautiful opportunity to sit in silence and just be, with all and anything that is.

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00.  As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels- in a very gentle heart opening space.  Consultations, Ayurvedic Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

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Divine Movement

Yoga poses silhouettesSpring time is a period of nature’s great awakening.  As human beings we are part of this natural cycle,  and in greater awareness we begin to feel energy starting to bubble up inside of us.  After a long winter of settling into ourselves, it is time to allow this energy to move, to grow, and to express itself.  It is the perfect time to move past the boundaries of our comfort zones, and to open to new experiences and the fresh beginnings of springtime.  Now is the time to take our deep dreams of the past few months and to birth them into our reality, whatever that may be.  You may notice that there is a natural stirring deep inside, and energy starting to fluctuate below the surface.  This energy may feel exciting, or may instead be an experience of discomfort, of unsettledness.  Let go of the judgements you may have, of any labeling that you give an experience or a sensation, and instead invite flow into your being.  It’s alright if you aren’t clear on your direction, or if you don’t “know” where your path is moving. Trust that the soul does, and that it will take you exactly where you need to go.   Notice how you are experiencing your body right now.  How you are feeling inside and outside, and allow any held energy to move.  Any tension or tightness, whether it be in the muscles, in the emotions, or an energetic feeling or block, is energy that doesn’t have a clear space to flow.  These blocks whether old or new, can limit our birth, our transformation, while at the same time reminding us of the importance of surrender and flow.

Some wonderful ways to increase dynamic movement into all areas of our body at this time of year are:

  • Exercise-  Springtime is a wonderful time to get out and get moving.  All of winter’s heavier residue is ready to shift, and with a strong practice of physical exercise we can create flow in our cells and muscles, supporting any movement on the deeper levels.  Yoga is always a great practice.  A dynamic strong class, that is strengthening and opening and at the same time it will work on all of our koshic layers to cleanse, nurture and relax our beings.  Walking outside at this time of year is also a wonderful way to increase energy in the body.  Pick up the pace a little and allow yourself to feel the movement.  If you can walk in the forest or in nature, even better.  The more we spend time outside, and align ourselves with the natural rhythms of the earth, the more things will open.   Dancing is a great way to move too, if there is any live music close by, go and enjoy yourself, find your creative flow and let your feet and your body lead you, and of course you can always move your body in the living room to your favorite cd.
  • Cleansing-  Another way to create flow on the physical level that will affect it much deeper.  Its time to let go of the heavier foods, and to eat lighter.   Not a time for fasting, but for supporting your body with a gentle, yet powerful cleanse.  One where you kickstart your digestion while still supporting your system with healthy foods for your dosha and the season.  Eating nettles, bitter greens, kitchari, and avoiding heavy and cold foods is a great way to start.  Feel free to contact me if you are interested in an Ayurvedic Cleanse.  This is an easy 10 day experience that is nurturing, supportive and cleansing all at the same time.  After a cleanse lightness is experienced not only in the body, but also in the mind, the emotions, and general energy flow.
  • Meditation-  As always meditation is a wonderful way to clear the nervous system and to open the channels for greater flow, direction and clarity in all things.  Even 20 minutes once or twice a day can have a huge effect.  A simple practice that transforms our beings and our lives.
  • Affirmations-  Not sure where you are going, but wanting to support the movement of energy in some way?  Create some key phrases that will support your path and opening.  Perhaps something as simple as “I am ready for new beginnings”, or maybe its much more focused.  Do you have a dream that seems out of reach?  Ask for it.  Or make it a reality in your words.  What would you like to create in your life?  Breathe it in with repeated mantras every day.  Example- “I am blessed with abundant flow and movement in my life”.  The more your believe, the stronger the action.
  • Massage-  As always bodywork creates flow and energy.  Ayurvedic Bodywork is extremely powerful in supporting the process of letting go, and creating new pathways.  It is grounding and nurturing yet deeply releasing on both the subtle and physical energetic levels.  Abhyanga opens all the channels in the body, while Shirodhara can soothe the mind and allow you to release years and years of mental stress and patterning.  The chakra work also releases held stress in a very relaxing and honoring way.  As we clear these held blocks, we allow a new way of being to emerge.

 

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Support Your Digestion With Ayurveda

Spring is Kapha Season in Ayurveda.  Even with the shift into greater sunshine and longer days, in most places there is a excess of damp and cool energy.  This energy manifests not only in the world around us, but in our physical bodies too.  Digestion is often sluggish, there is still a feeling of sleepiness in our muscles, and a slowness to our actions.  As we strengthen our digestion by eating balancing foods for this time of year, we can create a more energy for our entire being.  Its a wonderful time of year to take part in a rejuvenating cleanse, or to at least be conscious of taking in a diet of easily assimilated foods.   Remember that Kapha energy is cold, to balance that energy its best to eat foods that are warmer, and spiced to create more flow and energy.   Green juices and bitters are also wonderful at this time of year, as they support natural detoxification and encourage the liver to release any stored energy.  Dark leafy greens are great examples of bitter plants, and for those of you that have dandelions in your yard, the leaves are a beautiful addition to the diet.  Also drinking warm spiced water (either a fennel, cumin and coriander seed mix, or if you are gluten tolerant,a barley water) will support the cleansing process in a balanced, healthy way.

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Kitchari

This month I thought I would share a Kichari recipe, perfect if you are taking part in an Ayurvedic Cleanse, or a wonderful meal to have anytime that you would like to enjoy an easily assimilated saatvic meal.  It is not only incredibly healing to the body, but also very pleasing to the taste buds:)   This recipe is infused with Kapha Balancing Spices, remember you can substitute most fresh juicy vegetables, and add more water to make it creamier if needed.

Ingredients:
½ cup basmati rice
¼ cup split mung beans
3-4 cups water
2-3 teaspoons ghee or olive oil

¼ teaspoon mustard seeds,
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pinch of red chili or cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger

¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder (also known as hing)
¼ teaspoon turmeric, salt to taste like ½ to ¼ teaspoon

2 cups chopped vegetables like zucchini, carrots, leeks
4-5 stems cilantro, washed and chopped
½ cup spinach leaves, washed and finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons dry shredded coconut
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preparation
Rinse the mung beans and rice in a fine mesh strainer and set aside.

In a pot, heat the ghee or oil on medium heat and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric, red chili, and ginger in this order and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the mung beans, basmati rice, and vegetables, then add water and salt. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes or until mung beans are soft and completely cooked. Top with cilantro leaves, coconut, and spinach, add fresh lemon juice at the end, and stir nicely.

Preparation time: 45 minutes

This recipe is from Ayurveda: A Quick Reference Handbook-By Dr. Manisha Kshirsagar and Ana Cristina R. Magno

 

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Ginger Pickle

Great for sluggish digestion, and creating more agni in your system.  This is a wonderful treat for Kapha season, or anytime of year if you experience bloating, heaviness, or lack of hunger.   If you have lots of pita (fire energy) in your being its best to try in small doses at a mid day meal- as this can create excess heat and may not be suitable for your daily routine.

Ingredients

  • Loonie size piece of ginger (silver dollar in the US)
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • Salt

Cut the ginger into long thin pieces.  Squeeze lemon juice on it, and sprinkle with salt.  Let sit for a few minutes and marinate. Enjoy with your biggest meal of the day.

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AsraelI am embracing the idea of expanding my perception on how to share Ayurveda and my services with others.  I would love any feedback or ideas that you may have.  Would you be interested in a yoga or Ayurveda retreat sometime?  How about a web seminar or class?  Perhaps there is another way that you see my energy flowing?  I would love to hear your thoughts:)

As always thank you so much for your time and energy in reading this newsletter.  I so appreciate all the support and energy that you share with me.

The light in me bows to the light in each and every one of you

Namaste

Asrael

 

 

 

 

 

Be All That You Dream

Heart treeNamaste

Spring is making its way to the west coast early this year.  It is so wonderful to experience the magic of the earth awakening.  Snowdrops are in full bloom, the buds on the trees are starting to plump up, and the nettles are in beautiful abundance already.  It is such a welcome and refreshing feeling to know that the light is growing stronger once more,  to know that once again its time to plant seeds and to allow the magic of nature to support the growth of all things.  A wonderful time for setting new intentions, and to clear out any cobwebs that we have been collecting over the past few months.

Things are wonderful here at the Hawthorn, we are starting to seed our garden, and Pete has been creating a beautiful new fence and space for us to enjoy the wonderful vegetables that the seeds will transform into.   He is also starting a small permaculture/organic gardening business, so if you, or someone that you know are looking for any ideas or extra help this year, please call him at 250 597 3973.  His work is abundant and beautiful, creativity shines through in everything that he does.

This month’s  Monthly Meditation Morning  will be held Sunday, March,  10.  There will 3 separate sitting periods: 9:00- 9:50, 10:00-10:50 and 11:00-11:50.  Drop in for any one, or stay for them all.   This is daylights savings day, so set your clocks forward an hour.  This space is for any mediation type, no experience necessary.  Last month’s was very well attended, and I had many people calling and asking for more.  Its a beautiful opportunity to sit in silence and just be, with all and anything that is.

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00.  As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels- in a very gentle heart opening space.  Consultations, Ayurvedic Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

***

Be All That You Dream

dreamstime_m_23752911I was blessed to experience a wonderful few weeks in Hawaii this winter.  This was a short but powerful time away, magical in so many ways.  I had amazing adventures snorkeling in the sea, walking on the lava fields, seeing the active volcano, and I even swam with beautiful wild dolphins.

The energy on The Big Island is so powerful, yet so gentle.  I experienced huge shifts in consciousness that illuminated the misconceptions of my mind, and allowed me to witness the deeper connections of the universe.  This time away was a wonderful reminder of the importance of surrender in my life.  I clearly saw the restrictions that reside in my mind.  These restrictions are tricks of my belief system; mainly the thoughts, the patterns, and the ideas that hold me back from reaching my highest potential.  It became clear to me how important it is to let go of this old “world” invented by my mind.  How each moment is an opportunity to dissolve the restraints of what could be,  and to instead embrace all that is.  We often talk about “going with the flow”,  and at times feel like we are doing that, but so often we get caught up in the routine of our daily lives we just stay strictly on a certain “known”  path.  Even as things fall away within us,  and as the shifts in our life and our universe continue, it seems that we hold ourselves in by certain boundaries of what is, or what can be possible.

Everything and anything is possible.  To know this is one thing, but to believe it and to live it is another.  Do you notice that there are things you would like to do in your life, but that seem impossible?  Or maybe you are feeling stuck on your path and not seeing a clear way to further growth.  Perhaps part of the challenge is the linear thinking we are so accustomed to.  As we relate our movement through life with the metaphor of  a path, or as we experience ourselves as a structured and set being, we limit our true potential.  We are energy, and the boxes, the restrictions that we create in our mind are illusions, we make them true because we believe.  Reality is nothing more than an idea, and if we can create the idea of a “path”, why can’t we embrace the idea of a universe?  Instead of a straight line forward, imagine a spacious place that allows us to grow in all directions.   Visualize the path becoming a shooting star, or an ocean filled with open flow.  Look at your thoughts and your feelings, take a moment to realize that is all that they are.  Thoughts and ideas-we give them power with our belief. Now is the time for change, and perhaps the biggest change can come as we let go of the structure in our minds, and instead believe in our creative, flowing potential.

How do we do this?  Good question, one I am sitting with and being with on a daily basis right now.  The key image that keeps coming to me is “surrender” and to let go of the safety of all that you think is real.  Another word that chimes in is “awareness”; to pay attention to the traps we set in our thought patterns.  By changing the structure of our thoughts, by opening to a world so much greater than the one we have created in our mind since birth, we can experience the fullness in everything.  Believe that jumping off our straight, set path is supported, that there are other ways that we haven’t even dreamed of yet.  We are energy, and energy moves in all directions.  We need to flow.  Without flow there are blocks, there are restrictions.   Always remember that we are life, and life lives, it moves, it breathes, and it is free to explore everywhere and everything.

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Recipe Of The Month

I thought I would share 2 recipes with you this month.  A beautiful greens dish to honor those new spring greens that are starting to appear in the Valley, and a sweetly spiced millet, to warm our souls on the chilly days that still appear now and then.  Enjoy:)

Saag

As local fresh greens are starting to come into season (nettles, kale, spinach, chinese greens, and soon dandelion leaves) I thought it would be a wonderful time to share a simple Saag recipe. Traditionally made with spinach it can be made with any kind of leafy green vegetable.   Greens are a wonderful addition to any diet, whether steamed, sauteed, or juiced, they offer abundant nutrients and cleansing support to our liver.  We are blessed here on the west coast to have an abundance of nettles, which are a superfood, filled with so many vitamins, minerals and even protein.  Great in the springtime after eating foods that are stored, or grown further away, harvesting local greens are a great gift to ourselves.  In Ayurveda bitter greens are very balancing to Pitta, and are also great for Kapha, because of their abundant nutrients they are also fine for Vata to eat, but better cooked then cold.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs Fresh Ghee or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
  • 4 cups greens chopped (a mix of them is fine)
  • 6 cups spinach chopped (if you have it, otherwise just add more spring greens:))
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan.  Add the ginger and the spices and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Add the greens, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until tender (about 10 minutes) Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Blend if you would like it a creamier texture.

 

Spiced Millet With Dried Cherries

Millet is a grain that doesn’t get a lot of use, but it is a wonderful option for a breakfast cereal or for an alternative to rice and quinoa.  Gluten free, it is very high in protein and easy for most people to digest.  A beautiful yellow color, it is a pleasure to look at as well as to eat.  This dish can also be prepared with a basmati rice if you don’t have millet on hand.  The ghee, the millet and the maple syrup add some sweetness,  with a bit of cinnamon spice.  A wonderful healthy treat as we begin our transition into spring.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ghee or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery or fennel
  • 3/4 cup millet
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp saffron
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pistachio halves
  • Coconut milk

Directions

1.  Heat the ghee or oil in a suacepan, saute over low heat for 30 seconds until it melts.  Add the celery or fennel and cook until it begins to soften (2 minutes)

2.  Add the millet and saute, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, until the millet darkens slightly.  Add the water the salt and the saffron.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat, and simmer until the millet is tender and the water is absorbed.  Stir a few times and be careful that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.  Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.

3.  While the millet is cooking, combine the cherries, the water, the maple syrup and the cinnamon in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for about 5 minutes until most of the water is absorbed and the cherries are tender.  Fold the cherry mixture and the pistachios into the millet.

4.  Add fresh almond or coconut milk for a little extra creaminess if you like

If making basmati rice instead of millet, follow the correct water ratio for the rice.

Enjoy

These recipes are adapted from Heaven’s Banquet, by Miriam Hospodar

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IMG_0605Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I look forward to sharing more with you soon, and wish you all a beautiful, bountiful and warm sunshiny spring.

Much Peace

Asrael

 

 

January Newsletter-Flowing With The Vibrations

fior di lotoNamaste

Happy New Year to you all.  I hope that your holiday season was warm, wonderful and in whatever way, exactly what you needed.  It’s hard to believe that 2013 is already here and in full swing.  Life is wonderful here at The Hawthorn, we had a very quiet holiday season, filled with peaceful transfomration.    I am feeling blessed with the longer days, and the warmth of the sun- also for the connections of community, friends and family that I feel around me always.

My practice has been so supported these past 2 years in the Valley, I am so grateful to all of the support from the community, from my clients, and from my Yoga Students.  It has been a powerful reminder that when you follow your dreams, and your heart, the universe will support you.  I feel blessed to be able to live in such a beautiful spot, and to be able to share these practices with so many.

Life continues, as always in its magical and wonderful ways.  I am happy to finally announce a Monthly Mediation Morning starting here at the Hawthorn.  The first one will be Sunday, February 10.  There will 3 separate sitting periods: 9:00- 9:50, 10:00-10:50 and 11:00-11:50.  Drop in for any one, or stay for them all.   This space is for any mediation type, no experience necessary.

I also want to let you all know that this year I am introducing new rates on my Bodywork Therapies.  I haven’t raised my rates in over 4 years.  I now create my own organic infused oils, use higher quality organic essential oils, and have deepened my knowledge and practice of the treatments.  Not to mention rising energy costs, and the comparable rates of local practitioners (which are still higher).  If you mention this newsletter before March 1st, I will be happy to book you in for a treatment (during the month of February) at the old prices.

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4-5:30.  As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels- in a very gentle heart opening space.  Consultations, Ayurvedic Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

 

Flowing With The Vibrations

Step Waterfalls2013, promises to be a magical time, full of continuing expansion and growth.  Can you feel the vibrations? They are so strong, it can be hard not to notice them sometimes.   As the energy on the earth and in the universe increases it can often feel a bit uncomfortable.  Huge bursts of energy,  at times creating feelings of anxiety, frustration, and panic, or maybe it feels more like excitement.  This is very normal, and is nothing to be worried about, its just the nervous system rebalancing itself as it restructures. Letting go of the old unneeded rigidness, reflecting instead the open flow of  heart energy.  Perhaps you notice these feelings coming up, stress releasing through the form of emotion or tension, and realize that is all it is, there is no connection to the mind.  I see these experiences as a beautiful indication of the layers of the old ways peeling off, almost like the skins of an onion.

This time is not only filled with the discomforts of  growth, there is great beauty in the expanding awareness.  The glimpses of pure connection that used to seem so rare, or intermittent are now appearing more often.  The heart centre glows with the bliss of being recognized, and the mind is finding it easier to let go of the story.  Some of the things that clients of mine are noticing include: greater feelings of intuition, and “knowing”,  powerful dreams that are filled with vivid colors, and a sense of greater connection with the whole.

It is important, as things continue to shift all around us, to take care of your physical body and to nurture the nervous system.  These growth spurts that are occurring can be unsettling at times, so make sure you allow things to flow, eat healthy & grounding foods, and enjoy the routine of your daily practices.  It’s a great time to be with a deeper meditation practice, to enjoy bodywork, and to allow yourself time in the day for extra rest.   It is also a beautiful practice to connect with others, whether they be friends and family, or energies on the spirit plane (guides, archangels, ascended masters, animal totems, plant spirits, etc.).  Remember that you can always ask for help and the universe will support you.  Try it, and see what happens.  Put your faith in the knowledge that you are not on your own, pay attention to the intuitive guidance within, and always ask for what you need. As you let go of your control over the outcome, or the journey, you will be amazed in every moment.

Recipe Of The Month

With all of the energy flowing through us and the universe right now it is a wonderful time to enjoy the sweet, and comforting foods.   Soothing to the nerves, balancing to the cold, dry Vata energy of winter, and so full of joy to eat.  The delicate flavour of saffron, is wonderful for creating ojas (essential energy, consciousness).  The ghee, basmati rice, and milk, are wonderful for calming our mind, and the ginger and cardamom add a beautiful taste of spice as well as aid digestion.  Enjoy this beautiful recipe, it’s fun and easy to make, and perfect for a winter’s day.

Sweet Saffron Pilaf

  • 1 1/4 cups white basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream (or nut, seed or coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 2 –inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 10 green cardamom pods, pounded in a mortar and pestle to break open the shells
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup soaked, chopped almonds with skins removed
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
  • 2/3 cup jaggery, coconut palm sugar or maple syurp

1.  Combine the rice and water in a medium bowl and soak 20 minutes.  Drain and reserve the water.  Set the rice and water aside separately.

2.  Meanwhile, toast the saffron in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring and pulling the pan off the heat occasionally to keep the saffron from burning, until the saffron darkens to a maroon color and is fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds.  Crush to a coarse powder in a mortar and pestle, or in a bowl with the back of a spoon.  Stir in the milk or cream, and set aside.

3.  Combine the ghee or oil, the cinnamon stick, cardamom, and ginger in a medium heavy-bottomed casserole over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring, until the cinnamon unfurls, 1 to 2 minutes.

4.  Add the currants and nuts and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

5.  Add the drained rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add the reserved water, turn down the heat, cover and simmer very gently over low heat for 15 minutes.

6.  Now uncover and sprinkle the rice evenly with the sugar.  Drizzle the saffron mixture over the top.  Put the pan over very low heat, cover and continue cooking 5 more minutes.  Serve hot.

This recipe is courtesy of Suvir Saran’s cookbook Indian Home Cooking.

 

It being a new year, there are lots of new intentions in the air, and one of mine is to invite the experience of playfulness into my life.  Opening already to the greater flow,  I feel the energy swirling in currents of great liberation, and it no longer feels like it is such a challenge to jump in.   Did you make an intention?  How does this year feel so far to you?

Always remember that you are not alone, we are all connected, trust this and feel the love and support in the universe, and know that it is just a reflection of all that is inside of you.

Much Peace and Love

Asrael

Solstice Blessings

Wishing you all a wonderful and amazing winter holiday season.  Know that the light in increasing, in more ways then one.  Embrace the beauty in your heart, and allow your love to flow freely and fully to all those around you.

Much Love, Peace and Wishes for a Beautiful New Year!

Asrael

December 2012- Heart Centered Awareness

Heart.Namaste

Happy December 2012.  A time for great celebration, connections and opening.  Not only is it a seasonal time of many holidays, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza.  It is also the time to welcome the light back to the earth on Solstice, December 21, and the end of the Mayan Calendar.  12/12/12 is also a very auspicious day, one filled with great possibility of inner expansion and transformation.

Life is wonderful here at The Hawthorn, it has been a moody winter-grey and cloudy, but also full of warmth and energy.  I am so blessed to share community in this beautiful Valley, and with those outside of it via skype:) The gratitude I feel for all of you that I am in contact with, whether it be in person, voice, or energy is amazing. Thank you so much for being in my life.

It is  the holiday season and a great time to share our love with those close to us.  I have beautiful gift certificates available- for all of my services, local and distance.

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4-5:30.  As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels- in a very gentle heart opening space.  Consultations, Ayurvedic Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

 

A Very Special Solstice

YuleThis year, as most of you know is an extra special solstice.  A day that transcends all others, offering opportunities for planetary enlightenment, and the awakening of all.  The end of the Mayan Calendar.  For many there is the fear of doom, and destruction, but I believe it is the turning of cycle, an opening into a new way of being, one that may not take place all at once, but that will continue for the days and months to come.  We are blessed to be alive at this amazing, and wonderful time.  Trust that the magic that has been unfolding will be sparked to life in these coming weeks.  Listen to your heart, and know its power.  Share with community.  Let go of fear and division.  Welcome unity.  Open your eyes to the light in each one of us, and notice that the separateness is no longer so clear.  We are all transforming, none of us are alone, and life is bursting forth with light, love and beauty.  Take time for yourself this month, to go inward and to pay attention to the shifts occurring.   12/12/12 also offers to be a powerful day for inner illumination.  If possible on that day, gift yourself with some extra time for meditation, or silent reflection.  Take it easy, and don’t force anything, let everything unfold in exactly its own time, and enjoy.  Listen, look, and enjoy whatever happens, it is for the greater good, new beginnings are possible, and new beginnings ARE taking place right now.

 

Heart Centered Awareness

As things shift all around us, and within us, its a great time to bring our awareness and our attention to our heart center.  We have been programmed since birth to think with our minds, and to allow our mind to control our everyday interactions, to run the story of our emotions and our lives. We have been programmed since birth to think with our minds, and to allow our mind to control our everyday interactions, to run the story of our emotions and our lives.  What would happen if we let our heart lead instead?

You may have your own practice already to connect you with that higher heart awareness, a few ways that I like to connect are:

  • Heart Marma Massage:  Place your hands on your heart center (center of the chest).  Take a moment or two to close your eyes, and pay attention to what you feel.  Perhaps there is a warm, tingly feeling, lots of energy flowing through the heart.  Maybe there is a tightness, or no feeling.  Let go of judgement and just experience whatever is there.  Then gently start to massage the heart center, in a circular direction.  Let your palms be relaxed and your body comfortable.  Practice this for a minute or two, and then let the hands settle, taking time to notice if the energy has shifted.
  • Heart Breathing:  Great to do anytime, but especially nice during yoga, or before meditation.  Take a few deep breaths to settle your body and your mind.   When you feel relaxed, breathe deeply into your heart and as you exhale imagine light flowing out from the heart into the universe.  If you like you can even imagine the breath filling in the entire heart chakra before it moves outward.  As you breathe imagine the breath flowing up from the earth into your heart, then down from the sky to your heart, maybe even from your back body into your heart.  Notice which way feels most natural to you,  and most of all enjoy.
  • Bliss Technique:  Perhaps the simplest practice of them all.  This can be done as often as you like, for as long as you like.  It is key in learning to “think with the heart and love with the mind” .  All you have to do is turn your attention to the heart and let go of the thoughts in the mind.   Experience the love that is already present.  This attention allows the heart to open and brings divine bliss to the mind.  Don’t worry if you don’t notice any difference in your heart in the first few days of practice, over time, the light will grow stronger, and the mind will relax to open to experiencing the natural beauty that is there.

 

I wish you all a wonderful holidays.  Enjoy your loved ones and enjoy your self.  Trust that all is well, safe, and divinely inspired.  Open to the magic of the times, and allow the light to shine brightly, through you, within you, and all around you.

Much Peace and Love

Asrael

 

 

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