Awareness Shifting Beneath Our Feet

sunset in heart hands

Welcome to November~ Time is such a mysterious thing, passing by at times in the blink of an eye.  I hope that this beautiful autumn season has you all filled with a sense of peace and presence in your lives.  Darker days, cooler temperatures, and the magnificent colors of the leaves on the trees.  Things shifting into the inward season, a wonderful time for reflection, and of course a time of great transition and shifts for us all.

A few people have asked me about my newsletters being missed, and I want to apologize for not being more regular with them, life has been very full, and honoring my downtime has been key for balance to my being.   Life is very beautiful right now, heart awareness is flowing strongly through me, and I am enjoying all of the openings that the universe is bringing.

I am excited to announce a few new offerings from Ananda Ayurveda.  As many of you know I had been taking part in an Ayurvedic Counseling Course.  I finished in July and have been working with clients steadily since.  It has been a beautiful journey of deepening self discovery, and powerful inner healing for both myself and my clients.  For more information visit the section on it down below.  I am also happy to announce that I have a few new products to offer, I will be carrying beautiful Therapeutic Essential Oils from YoungLiving, as well as Planetary Oils from Enlightened Living Enterprises, both extremely powerful, soothing and healing for our bodies and spirits, for more information feel free to email, or to call me.

 

This November 3, I will be giving a free talk, and meditation on Ayurveda and the Energy Body, at Harmony Yoga in Downtown Duncan, from 1-1:30.  The following week I will be sharing a workshop on Integrating Ayurveda Into Your Life, also at Harmony Yoga in downtown Duncan, from 1-3:30, $30. For more information or to reserve space please call: 250 597 3973

 

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, its such a beautiful place to practice.  The sea lions are back and the ocean view is as lovely as ever.

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 ongoing.

 

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Awareness Shifting Beneath Our Feet

dramatic suset landscape in desertDoes the earth feel like it is rumbling beneath your feet?  Earthquakes in October, on both the east and west coasts of North America reflect the shakiness of our stance on the earth today.  Over the past few months, even the past year, I am noticing the steady increase of strong vibrations of change.  There is great movement and growth happening in our beings,  as we cleanse out the old to open for the new.  Life is happening, moving and shaking us to our core, bringing up bright feelings of blissful hearts at times, and at others there may be waves of anxiety or stress.  As the energy expands life often brings to us “big” moments whether they manifest in an illness, an emotional release, or just in lots of things coming our way at once.  All of this energy is very important for our growth, what can seem unmanageable, is in fact exactly what we need to move forward onto the path of our true dharma.  Remember we are never given more than we can handle, and even the huge struggles of life, are our biggest opportunities for us to expand.  I know that it is not always easy to embody this, especially if we are in the midst of a very difficult time. Trust that life is full of valleys, and the darkest, deepest ones lead the way to the highest peaks.  Just like earthquakes these shaky times are actually important for releasing stress.  If we can let go of our judgement on what is happening, the uncomfortable buzzing, the busy minds, the stress in our bodies and even feelings of fear, can all be healthy indications of energy moving, as the nervous system refreshes and replenishes itself.

So what can we do to ease any feelings of discomfort we may have.  How can we move with the flow, instead of feeling like we are constantly swimming against the current?
There are a many ways, and we are all different, so what works for one, may not for the other, but in general here are a few ideas, that have been powerful helpers in my journey, as in those of many clients and friends:

  • Emotional Flow– Notice if you are restricting or pushing back any of your emotions. As things rise up in these tumultuous times it is important to let the energy flow.  We are not our emotions, they are energy, and just like all energy they need to move, to be experienced, and as that happens in turn it can be released and transformed.  Embrace the tears,  accept the anger, and don’t run away from the fear~ welcome them and notice what happens when you do.
  • Meditation– A daily meditation practice is wonderful for shedding the skins of the story, and realizing that truly, what is happening, is not the “real” you,  instead just an opportunity for you to play, to grow and to learn.  Meditation is also a great way to release stress from the nervous system, to tone and massage it, as well as to open the door to greater consciousness, and the realization of what we already are.  20 minutes once or twice a day is a huge boost towards our acceptance, our healing and our growth.  I am teaching free mantra based meditation if you are interested in learning, and also happy to help with a zen based practice.
  • Rest– Make sure that you are getting enough rest.  In Ayurveda it is recommended to be in bed before ten pm, this  can be difficult for many of us.  If you stay up late regularly  and find yourself tired the next day, try going to bed a half an hour earlier.  On the days you don’t have to work let go of your alarm and notice if you sleep in.  Often once we allow ourselves to start to rest, then the our body will really show us how tired we are and sleep will come easily and fully.   If you are getting enough sleep, but still tired, nurture yourself with some gentle walks outside, a yoga class or two during the week, or weekly self massages followed by a bath~ a ritual for relaxation and peace.  As we rest, we create the firm ground for stability and peace through the changes that are occurring

There are many more practices that help with the transformations, these are just a few.  I believe what supports us most of all is listening to our heart, and trusting that we are not just ok, but that we are in the perfect place.

 

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Ayurvedic Counseling

Old keys and a red heart.As many of us are experiencing great shifts and changes in our perception, and our consciousness there is a large desire to shed the patterns of the past, and to jump into the perfection of the spirit and the present.  Often for us to embrace the magic of the “moment” we have to release our old conception of ourselves and of the world, enabling us to greet our daily lives with peaceful acceptance and joy.  Much of today’s counseling happens in a very literal sense, working with the  perception of our “story”, and learning to work through it all on the mental and emotional layers.  In Ayurvedic Counseling we move deeper, getting to the core issues at hand with intuition, awareness and consciousness.  As an Ayurvedic Counselor, I help to facilitate these shifts, but the client is the magician, learning the tools to connect deeply with their own being ,to experience powerful connection, and release.  In essence remembering their true selves, before the patterns that served them once became stuck in place after their usefulness was over.  Profound shifts are occurring in the universe today, and magic is happening. As I work with clients in this way, I see great support for the transformations of the soul, and huge shifts in just a few sessions that allow for the shedding of the old, and the blossoming of the new.

In Ayurvedic Counseling, you can learn:

  • Natural Meditation (an effortless, mantra-based meditation)
  • Intuition – How to access your inner knowing to aid in change and transformation
  • The Energetic Flow of Emotions
  • Chakra Needs and Chakra Healing
  • Planetary Influences on your life and relationships through Vedic Astrology

All of this in a beautiful sacred space, safe and comforting~ whether it be in person in Duncan, BC or by skype from anywhere around the world.
For more information see Ayurvedic Counseling or call 250 597 3973.

 

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Recipe Of The Month

Speaking of rest, one of the best ways to nurture our physical body, and to create ojas (essential energy of the body) is to have a cup of warm spiced milk before bed.  Now I know that many people are lactose intolerant or vegan, and raw organic local cows milk can easily be substituted with a nut milk of your choice, or even a creamy coconut milk.   If you do choose to drink milk from a cow, it is extremely important that it is as close to the source as possible, and that the cow it comes from is happy and fed well (non GMO organic grains), and that the milk is non homogenized.  Its very hard to find milk like this in the west these days, but if you do, it can be nutritious, nurturing food.  Another important thing to remember is that the milk is simmered for 10 minutes or so on a low heat, and always spiced, so that it doesn’t ferment in your body.  If you are feeling very vata (airy, spacey, or perhaps anxious), you can always add a ¼ tsp of ghee to the milk for extra grounding.

Spiced Bedtime Milk
Serves 1
1 cup Milk (Cows, Goat, Nut, Rice or Coconut)
¼ tsp Ghee (optional)
pinch cardamom
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
honey, maple syrup or stevia to taste

Place all of the ingredients into a small pot, bring to a boil, and then let simmer for 10 minutes.
Sweeten and sleep well

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this~  I look forward to connecting more soon.
Enjoy Your Selves
Asrael

Transformations- Magic Unfolding

Namaste
I hope that this newsletter finds you well and happy.  Its hard to believe that it is already September, it feels like summer has just began.  Time is so interesting, the way that it can bend and shape itself in our perceptions.  Things are wonderful here at The Hawthorn, the universe’s abundance manifesting in all aspects of life.   The last few months have been extremely powerful, filled with so much transformation.  To ease the movements of the shifting energies, I took a month off from the newsletters to nourish my being,to enjoy the warm summer sun, the flow of the cool Cowichan River, and the peace of stillness in my being.  As life continues its flow I am still finding a full and busy schedule, but my heart missed you all, and wanted to check in.

As we step into September, its almost like stepping back into our routines, a time of harvest, but also of getting back into a regular practice in our life.  Not that it can’t be a holiday all of the time, but one that is more focused, practical and grounded.  Its a great time to get back into Yoga.  Yoga Classes, are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay.  Classes will continue 4:30-6:00, on Monday’s and Wednesday’s, for the month of September, changing to 4:00 in October.  There will be class on Labor Day as well.  Join us in this magical practice space; as we move inside for the cooler months, we are still blessed with the beautiful ocean view.  I was lucky enough to be part of a short video for the classes~ Check it out here and see the beautiful space we practice in:)

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, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.

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Transformation- Magic Unfolding

Beautiful nightThere are so many things I could write about this month, but what keeps speaking out to me over and over, through my experience, and that of clients, friends, and family, is the powerful transformations that are occurring today.  2012, has long been held as a year of major change, and it seems that the time is now, it is upon us, and there is no running away.  There is so much happening at this time, affecting us on all the different levels of our awareness.  It seems like there is wave after wave of movement, shift and flow coming our way, in overwhelming magnitude.
What is this transformation?  How is it affecting you/us?
Its different for all of us, yet the main thing that resonates is that it is powerful, and life changing.  Perhaps there is something happening to you on a physical level, a sense of heaviness, old injuries speaking strongly to you; or a difficult to diagnose illness, something that comes on powerfully and suddenly.  On an emotional level, it can feel like a roller coaster of ups and downs, times of depression, anxiety, or great fear, while at other moments the heart just seems to sing, and see so clearly the light and love all around us.  Energetically dreams are powerful, and vivid.  Sleep may be interrupted, and in the waking state sometimes it can feel like you are vibrating at a higher level.  Your experience may just be that life is bringing you challenge, after challenge, pushing you to expand your boundaries of acceptance and surrender. At times it almost feels like there is no time to rest, to rejuvenate~ that things are happening at an amazing rate, and all you can do is hang on.

As the transformations expand, and we shed our comfortable skins, there really is not much we can do but surrender and believe.  Believe that it is all happening for our greater good, that this discomfort, pain, fear, and joy is all reverberating through us to support our souls journey, to bring greater light to the universe and the planet as a whole.  As these deep, swirling currents grab hold, know that they are enabling us to breathe fresh light into our beings, to expand our awareness, by letting go of the old “stuff” that we have been carrying.  Its not time to run away or to stuff down the emotions, to deny the experiences we may be having in our physical, and energetic systems.  Instead feel everything completely, embrace it, every bit of it.  Hold and nurture it in your heart, so that it is part of the whole,  so that it can be digested and illuminated with our hearts.  Not kept separate, not judged but experienced fully, as a friend, a teacher, and part of the beauty of all life.  Who are we to say that what is happening to us in any given moment, isn’t perfect.  Every breath is a stitch in the fabric of life, and right now, the universe is weaving a beautiful multicolored tapestry.  We are part of this wonderful evolution, and for the transformation to continue, we need to move through many changes, letting go of our judgement, and experiencing the beauty of it all.  As we step forward each moment, knowing that we are on the perfect path, and that the best we can do is believe, and be with ALL that is happening.  Remember you are not alone, we are all connected, a reflection of the whole, and the center of this whole is bright, beautiful, and shining.  As unsettled as these times are, we are supported wholly by the universe, and magic is unfolding in every moment.

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Recipe Of The Month

Raita are yogurt “salads” that are mixed with vegetables and spices to create an easily digestible accompaniment to a meal.  In Ayurveda yogurt should rarely be eaten alone, it is best mixed with other spices to balance out the acidity, and eaten at room temperature.  Fresh homemade yogurt is preferable its easy to make, and wonderful in lassi’s and raitia’s .  As always, raw milk, straight from the cow is a magical nectar, but if that is unavailable, the organic, unhomogenized is fine.  If you are vegan, you can definitely substitute almond milk or coconut yogurt.

This raita is filled with the garden’s bounty, add other vegetables and experiment with the spices.  Most of all enjoy:)

Mixed Vegetable Raita

2 cups yogurt
1 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbs sunflower oil
pinch of asofetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp curry powder (optional)
2 cup grated cucumbers
½ cup grated carrots
1 small tomato, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs fresh ginger
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped toasted cashews
1 ½  Tbs lemon juice
salt
black pepper

1.  Whisk the yogurt with the maple syrup until it is free of lumps.
2  Heat the oil in a small skillet.  Add the spices in order, and saute over low heat until the mustard seeds “dance”
3.  Mix the spice mixture into the yogurt, stir in the vegetables, ginger, cilantro and cashews.  Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

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Wishing you a beautiful and wonderful September, filled with the beauty of life.  Remember that you are never alone~ we are all connected, and the transformations may seem overwhelming, but remember,  all the cracks let the light shine in:)
Much Peace
Asrael

July Newsletter~Honoring The Guru Within

Autumn floral background with birdsNamaste

Happy July.  It is hard to believe that summer is already here.   I hope that wherever you are you are being graced with the light of the sun.  Here at The Hawthorn, things are beautiful as always, even if a bit cool~ it has been a perfect June to practice gratitude for the soft breezes and gentle clouds, as much of Canada and the States are sizzling in abnormal heat waves.  There has been a whirlwind of activity flowing around me lately~ I had an amazing trip to New York City, this past month.   The energy in NYC is so vibrant, creative and powerful, so many people, and so much to do.  Loved walking in the city, feeling the sun on my face in the parks, and just soaking in the powerful vibrations.

On my return to BC, I brought back two old friends of mine, Chela (a fluffy ginger lion) and Trouble (his strong, sleek brother).  Their energy is soft, yet powerful; deeply healing, and full of strong magical medicine.  I do have a separate entrance to the healing room for those of you that are allergic~ and of course the treatment space is always animal free:)  I am also blessed to have my mom visiting for a few weeks.  Its so nice to spend time together,  enjoying the beauty of the the Valley, the garden, and whatever each day brings.

Summer is pitta season. It is important to find balance at this time of year, staying cool, and content in the heat.  Last year’s July Newsletter has lots of information on how to enjoy the summer sun, without overdoing it.

Yoga Classes, are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  at a new summer time 4:30-6:00, on Monday’s and Wednesday’s.  It’s such a beautiful place to practice, and if the weather is nice we will even enjoy some outside yoga by the sea.

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, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.

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Honoring The Guru WithinClose-up picture of a Buddha Face in Bronze, from Nepal.

Tuesday, July 3rd is Guru Purnima, Ayurvedically this is the most auspicious Full Moon of the year, a time to honor one’s teachers and to give thanks for the lessons of life.  It is also important to remember to honor our own inner teacher, giving gratitude and respect to the innate knowledge within.  One of the biggest lessons in our lives is to learn to trust, and accept the strength of our own intuition, our own power.  Teachers may shine the light on the path, offering us tremendous gifts, but there is always the spark within that serves as our deepest guide.  At this time of great awakening, more and more we are hearing our inner voice.  There is a sense of knowing, of letting go of the monkey mind, and a deepening of the connection with the deepest layers of our intuitive being.   As we allow ourselves the time, even just a moment here or there, to stop and to listen to what is underneath the thoughts, what is underneath the emotions, there is the opportunity to experience the powerful movements of our own teacher.

We all go through things differently. For some of us there is the feeling of needing to move in a certain direction, or to stay put, sometimes there is a strong yes or a no that comes when we are faced with a decision.  For others we may actually process things physically, feeling heavy or slow at times when our spirit is telling us it is time to shift, while feeling a safety or contentment when we are where we need to be, even if where that is doesn’t feel “safe or secure” in the mind.  Perhaps guidance or direction will come in dreams, trust the magic that happens in sleep, listen and believe that what you feel underneath it all is very, very real.  We often second guess ourselves, separating ourselves from our own truth. By honoring this sacred truth, this sacred knowing, we open the way for the flow to move clearly.

Perhaps this Tuesday, as well as honoring your favorite teachers, it is a perfect time to give yourself the greatest gift of self love, acceptance, belief and gratitude.  To trust that you are the “perfect” teacher, that your inner angel, is always letting you know the way.  Allow yourself to believe the magic within, let your heart light shine back to you, and enjoy its brilliant warmth.

For those of you who would like more guidance on working with your intuition, I just finished an Ayurvedic Counseling/Life Transformation Course, and will be offering sessions to learn to dive deeper within, facilitating the awakening and opening of the greatest teacher of all.

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Recipes

This month I wanted to share an easy, nutritious recipe, that is cooling to the body, yet more easily digestible than a normal salad.  Toasting the Quinoa in oil before cooking it brings out a delicious, nutty flavor.  Green onions, and zucchini are now readily available in the garden, or at local markets, and the currants mixed with the lemon add a delightful sweetness to the dish.  This is great served warm, or let to sit for a few hours and served at room temperature.  Perfect for a warm sunny day:)

Quinoa With Dill, Lemon and Currants

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped green onions (about 6)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small)
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. To make the quinoa, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the green onions and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the dark green parts wilt but do not turn brown, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally until the grains start to crackle and turn dry, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the water, the currants and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. Bring to a boil then decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of the lemon until you have 1 teaspoonful then squeeze the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons of juice.
  7. To finish, remove the pan from the heat, stir the zucchini, lemon juice and zest, 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons of the dill and the pepper into the quinoa. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  8. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes.
  9. Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons each of sesame seeds and dill, and serve.

This recipe is from the cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck:)

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Wishing you all the most wonderful, relaxing and enjoyable July.  Enjoy yourself, your families, and the magic that is all around us.  Much gratitude to you all for all that you teach and share with me~
Much Love and Peace
Asrael

Trust In The Flow~ June Newsletter

paesaggio fantastico
I am excited to be taking a trip to see my family this month, and to be with my sister at her wedding, it will be wonderful to spend time with everyone, and share the joy of celebration with her.  Yoga Classes at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, will be on a break for a few weeks, to resume at a new summer time 4:30-6:00, on Monday, June 25.  It’s such a beautiful place to practice, and if the weather is nice we will even enjoy some outside yoga by the sea.

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, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.

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Trust In The Flow

Niagara Falls. Beautiful side view at summer timeAt this time, there is so much happening on the planet, and in our consciousness that it often feels like life’s flow is taking us on a wild ride through endless rapids.  It is a beautiful ride filled with unknown beauty and magic, but one that also leaves us with a sense of not knowing what the next twist will bring.  As the universal energy expands, and our collective hearts open, there is much internal and external purification that is  occurring.  What may seem important in one moment, may suddenly shift;  the areas that we have been directing our energy may feel like they have hit a dead end; emotions are alive and flowing.  The bubbles of joy, and love are growing, even amidst all of this movement, and now is the time to just step into the flow, to trust that it will guide you exactly where you need to be.  Where you are is perfect, even if all of your hard thought out plans have not come to the fruition expected.  The way will become clear,  and as things percolate around you, or within you, remember that the idea of control is one of the ego and the mind.   Accept the circumstances that are happening, embrace whatever the feelings may be, from joy to fear.  Open to the beautiful mystery of life, know you are part of the great magical transformation that is happening now.  Yes, things are uncertain and shifts are taking place on all the levels of the world and our being.  All these little rapids, are allowing us to shake up our idea of what “has” to be, and allowing the potential of what could be to grow.  The universe is raising its vibrations, bringing expansive light and awareness to all.  Hearts are opening, love and awareness is expanding.  As the light comes in, it clears all the “old” stuff, bringing it to the surface so it can move on. Let it move.  Trust it is moving. Remember that as one door closes, it allows another door to open wide.

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Recipes

Ayurvedic Green Dishes
Our garden if filled with fresh, nutritious greens at this time of year.  There is an abundance of kale, tat soi, chinese greens, and even some swiss chard poking up.  Not to mention the many different kinds of lettuces.  In Ayurveda cold salad’s can cool agni (digestion), leading to ama and vata imbalance.  It is easy to spend a few minutes warming the greens up, adding some spice and flavor. If you love your greens raw, make sure that you add healthy fats to help them move through your body with more ease.  Avacados, nuts, seeds, and organic oils are very important.  Also you can try adding some warm cooked quinoa,rice and steamed or sauteed vegetables, this will also help the digestion process.  Kale is great rubbed with oil and a bit of salt, as it breaks the cellular fibers up and “cooks” it in the process.

Garden Fresh Horta

A traditional peasant dish of boiled greens and weeds.  The broth is nutrient rich and offers so much flavor.

Ingredients
1 big bunch of mixed greens (kale, swiss chard, chinese greens, dandelion greens, daisy greens, chickweed, spinach, and any others you like)
1 cup water
⅓ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt

Directions:
In a large saucepan on medium low heat, cover and simmer greens until the remaining stems are soft.  Drain until ½ cup of water is left.
Place the greens and the broth in a serving bowl.  Dress with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt.  Serve warm and enjoy:)

Sesame Cumin Kale

Ingredients
2 Tbs raw sesame seeds
1 Tbs fresh grated ginger
2 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp sea salt
3 cups kale (or other greens), stemmed and sliced into thin strips
1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs water

In a small saute pan on medium low heat, add sesame seeds, cumin seeds and sea salt.  Slowly toast, until the seeds start to brown, and the aroma is strong.  Stir in the kale, the cider vinegar, the ginger and water.  Cover immediately.  After a minute stir again.  The kale will be wilted with a deep green color, and the water cooked out.  Serve hot.

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Yoga Asana Of The Month

Extended Mountain Pose
I am finding such a need for grounding in my practice at this time.  Taking time to slow down, to breathe deeply, and to enjoy the air flowing deep into my belly.  Connecting my feet to the earth whilst inviting a connection to the universal sky energy.  At the same time my body desires to strengthen, to stand tall, and feel alive.  Urdhva Hastasana offers this gift of strength and suppleness, a bright connection of heaven and earth.

Directions

1.  Stand at the front of your mat.  I like to keep my feet hip width apart, and feel the ground beneath my feet .  Find your center, your balance, noticing if you have a tendency to hang out in the past (the heels), or grip onto the future (the toes).

2. Firm your thigh muscles, keeping a softness in your knees, let that softness flow up to you inner belly.. Feel the energy flowing up your inner ankles, all the way up to your thighs and through the sacrum to the heart, the neck and the top of the head.  Lengthen your sitbones towards the floor, and then bring your belly towards the spine.

3.  Allow your shoulders to roll back, so that the heart can open.  Find space in your collorbones and your chest, and allow your arms to hang softly but steadily by your side.

4. Check in with your head and neck, allowing the chin and throat to soften.  Breathe deep and enjoy this steady mountain pose.  Take at least a few deep breaths here, feel your strenght, your connection to the earth.

5.  Inhaling, Lift your arms out to the sides allowing them to float up with your breath, extending them over your head.  Allow the palms to come together.

6.  Exhale, bring the palms together in Namaste Mudra to the heart, and then repeat this circular motion a few times.  This opens and cleanses the energy, and feels so good for the shoulders.

7.  When you feel ready, the next time you inhale the arms to the sky, keep them shoulder width apart.  spread your fingers wide. Let your shoulders roll back and look up to the sky

8.  Breathe deeply, notice how the heart shines so open and bright.  Feel your feet firmly planted on the ground, the earth supporting you, as your fingertips reach towards heaven.

9.  Give yourself as much time here as you like. When you are ready to release, then exhale your hands together to heart center.  Take a few moments here to feel your energy.  Enjoy

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I wish you all an amazing and wonderful June.  Enjoy this beautiful expansion of life, and the summer suns warm glow.
Much Love and Peace to you all:)
Asrael

May Newsletter-Awareness Awakening

Namaste

Magnolia flowersHappy May:) I hope that life is filled with brightness wherever you may be. It has been a cool damp spring here at The Hawthorn, the landscape is luscious and green, and the mix of tulips, daffodils, and bluebells, are alive with vibrant color. April was a wonderful month, long full days, of working, learning and opening to all that life has to offer. This Saturday, May 5th is Lunar Beltane, there will be a “Super Moon”, a Scorpio full moon at its closest point to the earth for the year (8:35 pm, pacific standard time). Big and bright, the moon is in the watery sign of transformation (Scorpio), this promises to be a time of great opening, a powerful evening, notice your dreams, trust your intuition, and pay attention, the chance for magic is high:)

As many of you know last month I was honoured to take part in a documentary on Ayurveda. It was an incredible week, one that fostered opening on very deep levels for all involved. I want to thank all of you who participated for your support. It meant so much to share the energy with you, to look out during yoga, to awaken after the meditation and to feel your beautiful light shining bright. Such support, I feel truly blessed. The cooking class, was so much fun, and wonderful to share the meal with the producers and camera men too. All I can say about the day of treatments is that the energy was flowing, sparkling and clear, the universe offering to us all, the gift of transformation. It was truly amazing. It seemed that the divine energy was so much more palpable, with outside attention focused on the deep healing.   I was also excited to discover that Deepak Chopra, will also be part of the documentary~ WOW:) The film won’t be out until January, 2012, and will be showcased on Vision TV,  I will keep you all updated:)

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, its such a beautiful place to practice.  We will be offering Satsang, and meditation, but are still firming up the days/dates, is there a day that works for you?  Let me know~ at this point we are thinking Sunday afternoons, twice a month.  I will let you know as it evolves:)

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, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.

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Awareness Awakening

MeditationChecking in with my clients, students and myself, I am noticing a common theme in the universal consciousness these days. It appears to be a time of whirling energy, so much flowing all around us that at times it feels overwhelming. This is a great time of planetary and consciousness change, opening and release is happening in every breath, and the moments of great clarity, shining bliss, and true being, are becoming closer and closer together. I have been noticing bubbles of great beauty, floating up through my being from my soul consciousness, these “bubbles” are just a glimpse of the brilliance of our true nature. As they percolate through the layers of my existence, I feel such great peace, contentment and pure trust, this “feeling” is our true nature, this sense of ultimate belonging, is who we are. We have spent lifetimes, building the walls to lock our self away from reality, for many of us we function in a life where we so identify with our mind, and our emotions, that the entire idea of a deeper self is a foreign concept. Our entire society functions on the idea that we are our physical, emotional body, that if we buy certain clothes, succeed in our careers, have the “right” things happen for us, that we will be happy and fulfilled, yet it seems “this” is never enough, are we truly ever at peace?

Well, the time is now, the walls are crumbling, and our bright, shining, perfect beings are longing to express themselves, to not feel separate any longer (they never were, its all been an illusion). As our consciousness expands, there can be growing pains, old fears, memories, patterns coming up to the surface. Life may seem very up and down at times, moving altogether too fast, our firm footing is no longer what it once was. Let these emotions flow, let the memories move on, try not to attach to much to what it may mean, but shine your heart light out to each experience and let it dissolve back into the universal flow. Trust that you are supported, know that the divine is expressing itself in each of us~ we are awakening, letting go of the false idea that we need to be anything than what we are. There is nothing to fear, nothing to hold on to, All is well. Life is evolving in huge steps, the wave is not always comfortable, but its beautiful as it is bringing us the gift of awareness.

As momentum increases, there are times when its easy to feel overwhelmed and even stuck. Suffering has been part of our human existence, and fear also has a firm grasp over many of our lives. The time is ripe to let it all go, and to surrender to the greater pattern. Easy to say, but when we are in the midst of it, it can be hard to open to the depth of experience. If things do rise in intensity for you, allow yourself to surrender, to stop and take a break, let yourself rest. Nourish your body with deep sleep and meditation, this soothes the nervous system, and allows your consciousness to grow. Trust your intuition, listen to your feelings, and your visions, the more you do, the more the way will be clear. Give yourself the gift of massage, yoga or energy work, let your being be cared for, your heart and your spirit deserves to be honoured. Perhaps most of all, offer yourself the gift of intention, to let go of any idea of what should be, of what needs to be, and of any attachment to an outcome. Trust that the magic is happening, and that birthing pains are part of the exciting transformation that is blossoming all over this planet. What a wonderous gift to be here now.

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Recipes

Churna’s~ Spice Mixes

Spices are an important part of Ayurvedic Cooking, not only do they impart great flavor to the food, they also carry medicinal properties, and bring the balance of the six different tastes to every meal. When cooking spices can be sprinkled on top of the food but if you temper them in a ghee or coconut oil then add them to the dish, you will be able to absorb the full range of their properties. In Ayurveda we all lean towards the body constitution of one dosha or another, not all spices will be beneficial in the same amounts for each body. In a Vata Pacifying Mix, the herbs will impart a sense of calmness to the being, while nourishing the digestive tract. A Kapha Pacifying Mix, will have a bit more spiciness to it, warming and stimulating to the being. A Pitta Pacifying Mix, will be cooler, soothing to the digestion, and the nervous system. There are also wonderful curry mixes, that can enliven soups, stews, bean dishes. A common herb used in Ayurvedic Cooking is turmeric, which is antinflammatory and antioxident, beneficial to the entire body. Cumin is also very popular, aiding digestion with out being to hot, Coriander is tri-doshic, purifying to the blood, and is sweet and astringent to taste. Cardamom is a prized spice, so deeply aromatic, it stimulates digestion, and helps to eliminate excess gas. Fennel is also an important herb for daily use, cooling, nourishing, and great for increasing agni (digestive fire), while keeping pitta in check. These are just a few of the herbs used on a daily basis in Ayurveda.

I am very pleased to share with you all, our exciting new line of Organic Ayurvedic Spice Mixes, hand blended with love by Pete and I. All the herbs are 100% organic, non irridated, and ethically sourced. We have come up with our signature mixes to balance the dosha’s, adding flavour to any meal. There are Kapha, Pitta, and Vata churna’s, as well as a spicy Garam Masala, and a mild but flavorful Korma Powder. $12 to pick up from us, shipping is extra~ please call for more information.

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Mixed Vegetable Curry

A wonderful dish for the springtime filled with aromatic spices that help perk up digestion. Steaming the vegetables beforehand, allow them to keep their crispness. I use our own Korma Powder, a curry powder works as well:)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 4-5 cups vegetables cut into ¾ inch pieces (whatever is fresh and in season at the time~ for the last cooking class we used, fennel, broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower). Steamed until just tender
  • 2 Tbs Ghee or Coconut Oil
  • 1 ½ Tbs Korma Powder
  • 2 Tbs Ground Almonds
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped leek
  • 1 tsp brown rice flour
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped Cilantro
  • 2 Tbs plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the ghee in a pan over low heat. Add the korma powder and cook, stirring until fragrant (about 3 minutes)
  2. Add the almonds and leek, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the flour and asafetida and cook for another 2 minutes
  4. Pour in the water and the coconut milk. Whisk until smooth and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cilantro, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the vegetables and stir until they are evenly coated with the sauce.

Enjoy:)

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Once again I thank you so much for sharing your time, and energy with me~ its such a gift to share my learning with you, I always notice that after I write these newsletters, teach a class, or spend time with a client, how much you all teach me~ reflecting back all and everything that I need in that moment:)

Blessings and Gratitude~

Asrael

An extra special month for my mom, her birthday and mothers day on the 13th~ love you so much mom!

Radiant Heart Energy- February Newsletter

Red glass heart in woman handsNamaste,
February is here, and spring is starting to appear on the beautiful west coast of British Columbia. The snowdrops, speckled with yellow aconite are leading the path down the driveway, and crocuses are starting to bloom. As the world begins to awaken from deep winter slumber, a feeling of opening occurs in my heart, of excitement and of possibility. The amazing events in Egypt multiply that feeling tenfold… peaceful protest from the peoples hearts brings immense change, imagine if we could bring that peaceful heart energy into everything we do. Valentines day is just around the corner, and while it may be a “Hallmark” holiday, it gives us the opportunity to honor and connect with our hearts, to send love out to those we love, and into the universe itself. Seasonally we are entering Kapha energy, which is sweet and soft and loving. With all this blissful heart energy in my awareness at this time, I thought I would focus my intention in this newsletter on the heart, and share ways that we can open, connect with and manifest the love that is always there all of the time.

Flying Chinese Lanterns

Compassion
Perhaps one of the most powerful and amazing ways that we can connect with the heart and move more consciously into love energy, is by creating compassion in our daily lives. This practice starts with the self. Often we run stories that we aren’t good enough, or smart enough, or nice enough, or “anything else” enough. When in reality we are just perfect, even with our perceived inadequacies and mistakes. We are human after all. Notice how you react when things don’t go your way, or what your silent daily chatter in the mind is like. Are these thoughts coming from a place of love? Try not to judge if you do notice self-criticism, anger or fear. Guilt is another great deceiver of the mind. Instead see what it feels like to send yourself a smile, or say something positive in response, and as you notice the thoughts popping up try replacing them with kind words. Eventually you will notice that the thought patterns change, that the chatter can be loving, and that when things are difficult, the feeling of acceptance will be there. Daily meditation practice is a great help to this, allowing us a break from the busy mind and allowing our spirit to shine. Spirit moves through heart energy, through compassion, and through love. As we create a practice of self-compassion, it allows us to spread the loving energy outward to others, to be more forgiving and more accepting, to move more fully from the heart.

Heart Massage – Hridaya Marma Point
A great way to physically connect with your heart energy is by giving your self a heart massage. Very grounding when you are stressed, and very opening all of the time. Place one hand palm down on your heart chakra centre, in the center of the chest, 14 fingers from the navel. Place the other hand on top, and take a breath or two to feel your energy, notice what this area feels like, do any thoughts come up, any feelings? Is it comfortable? Does it feel open or closed? Try not to judge, just notice what is there. After a few breaths, start to massage the area in a clockwise direction, keeping the hands steady, and firm. Start slow, and then let the practice unfold, you may stay slow and steady, or you may feel the need to massage more vigorously, follow your intuition and trust that you are giving yourself what you need☺
Traditionally it is recommended to self massage this Marma point 300 times a day (5-10 minutes), see what feels right for you, and stop when you feel that its time. Keep the hands on the heart center for a few breaths, and notice what it feels like, maybe it is a little different than before?
This is a wonderful self practice to connect with your heart center, sending healing energy through your hands, creating opening and flow in the heart chakra.

Yoga
Yoga is a wonderful way to slow the mind down and to connect with the larger energy as a whole.

Matsyanasana the fish

Wonderful and restorative, this asana, opens the heart, allowing you to release your mind and to come into a more connected state of being.
Relax into this asana for 5 to 10 minutes, breathing deeply and letting your self sink deep into consciousness

  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.
  4. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, relax and enjoy.
  5. Try to stay 5-10 minutes, allowing you to melt into awareness, maybe noticing or feeling the energy around the heart.
  6. Come out by rolling onto your side, move the pillow and take a few minutes to lie flat on your back in savasana.

Recipe

Why not treat yourself to a healthy sweet. It’s nice to include sweet tastes in our diet, but without the refined sugar, in a way that is more balancing and digestible. These cookies are yummy, and very easy to make. Great for Vata, and Pitta, and good for Kapha in moderation.

Raw Coconut Carob Nut Cookies
Ingredients
¾ cup raw walnuts or cashews
¼ cup raw carob powder
1 cup dates (Medjool dates are very nice)
Pure Vanilla Extract- a few drops
Coconut to Cover

Preparation:
Process all the ingredients together in a food processor until fine and sticky. Roll into balls and then in coconut, or flattent and place a nut on the top.

If it isn’t sticking together well for you, add a Tablespoon of water, or a Tablespoon of your favorite nut butter

Heart Opening With Ananda Ayurveda This Month

There are some wonderful classes and events happening at Ananda Ayurveda this month, and more are manifesting☺

On Sunday, February 27 I am offering an Ayurvedic Cooking Class, at my beautiful home in Glenora, BC (just outside of Duncan). It will be a lot of fun, and we’ll get to experience how cooking with joy creates amazing food. Info down below.

On Thursdays in February, I am offering Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy Classes at Natasha’s Temple in Duncan. This class is a wonderful way to connect with breath, working with our consciousness and heart energy to balance, heal and open.

Bodywork is amazing way to connect with the heart, and Ayurvedic Therapies are very nurturing, loving and opening. Physically relaxing and restorative, the treatments heal on deep energetic levels, facilitating opening and release on all levels of being. Treat yourself to the gift of touch, you deserve it.

Coming soon- A day of yoga and meditation Organic vegetarian lunch included. Let me know if you are interested, and which day in March could work for you, space will be limited:).

If you haven’t visited already I have a great facebook page- Ananda Ayurveda
And a beautiful website that I post more often than this monthly newsletter www.anandaayurveda.wordpress.com

As Always I thank you for sharing your time with me, and I would love to hear back from you. What helps you step into the light of your heart?

Namaste
Asrael

A Hands On Exploration Into Fun, Creative & Healthy Cooking According To Ayurvedic Principals

Learn:
About the 6 tastes and how they relate to each dosha
How to make Ghee, Almond Milk, and Spice Mixes, as well as the full menu
How to cook simple,delicious & nutritious meals
Organic and Vegetarian
Lunch is Included

$65- space is limited call Asrael to pre register- 250 597 3973
www.anandaayurveda.wordpress.com
Cooking Class Facebook Page

Menu:
Miso Soup
Warm Lentil Salad
Ginger Raisin Chutney
Saffron Rice
Vegetable Papillotes With Almond/Coconut Marinade
Mixed Vegetable Curry
Fresh Almond Milk Chai
Amaranth & Date Energy Bars

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