Light Embodied

IMG_2079
Namaste,
How are you? I am well. Life is good.  It is full, positive and flowing.  This past year has really been about taking time to dive deep into myself, to enjoy all the beauty in my world, and to surrender fully to what is. Inspiration has been a big “theme” that has been popping up for me lately.  Creative flow and energy to share and to shine. Also a real desire to live fully.  To experience the energy of being here, now in this beautiful body, on this wonderful planet.  We are so blessed.


 

What’s happening at Ananda Ayurveda

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

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

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

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

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


Light Embodied

Vector sun background. Only for your design

Vector sun background. Only for your design

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

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

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


Happy Chai

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

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

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

Enjoy


Just For Fun

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


 

Testimonial

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

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


 

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

Much Love and Peace
Asrael

April Newsletter~ Opening To The Joy Within

paesaggio fantasticoNamaste
Happy April:)  I hope that this newsletter finds you all at peace, enjoying the beauty that is springtime.  Here at the Hawthorn, spring is very slowly making its presence known, the daffodils are in full bloom, the swallows have appeared, even a few hummingbirds have flown by, and the cool, rainy days are making sure that there is plenty of water in the wells, and the earth.  Every day the leaves on the tree’s  open a little bit more, slow but steady, welcoming the light that is always there, even when it’s hidden behind the clouds.  A wonderful metaphor for our own blissful beings, the light that is always there, always present, even though at times it feels hidden.

As always things are wonderful here at Ananda Ayurveda. We have a very exciting month as we have been invited to be part of a documentary on Ayurveda and its transition to the west.  There will be filming at Yoga on Wednesday, April, 18th, as well as at the Ayurvedic Cooking Class on Sunday, April 22.  We will also be offering a group meditation on that day, thinking 2 oclock, but will confirm later.  Very honored and blessed to be a part of this work, and so much gratitude to all those who have volunteered to share their treatments on camera.  Would love to have a big group out for yoga, don’t be camera shy~ you can ask to not be filmed:)

As always things are wonderful here at Ananda Ayurveda.  Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, its such a beautiful place to practice.  Satsangs are also continuing this month, biweekly on Thursdays at The Hawthorn.

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.

Why So Serious?

Loving the lifeLife as always is such a special gift; each moment and each breath offer us the opportunity to be fully in the beauty of ourselves, yet most of us walk around carrying the weight of seriousness.   This beautiful life, this wonderful existence, with all of its ups and downs offers us so many chances to experience the innate joy that is part of all of us.  Yet instead of opening to it, unfolding our petals to the playfullness that is possible, we hold ourselves tightly in, wound up in our “story” , always looking to the next moment where we may be able to relax more, once whatever we are caught up in is done. Does that moment ever come~ doesn’t another chapter always appear?  The moment is always now.  There is no place but the present, and locking ourselves up in a tight ball doesn’t allow us to experience it any better.  That’s not to say, that we “should” or will feel happy all the time, feeling the full range of emotions from grief to ecstatic bliss is part of our energetic flow.  To let go of our “serious” voice and to experience what is, even in the midst of emotions is a powerful practice .  You may be surprised to find joy there, no matter what the situation.  Our time on this planet, in this life is but a fleeting breath in the universal picture, why not enjoy it?  Finding the laughter in the mistakes we make, playing like innocent children in our daily lives, trusting that all that is happening is part of the magical balance of life.  Even in being serious, seeing that energy in our life, and smiling at it, perhaps accepting it as part of our journey, but not allowing it to squelch our amazing life force.  The light force that breathes, sings and lives in open hearted, peaceful joy.  So next time you feel so serious, take time to step back, smile and notice what shifts for you.

Recipes

Its that beautiful time of year when the nettles are coming into their full glory.  Reaching out to the sun, their leaves filled with nutrients and power.  Last month I shared with you a wonderful green juice recipe, and this month I am happy to share this lovely greens dish, packed with nutrients, and spices to balance kapha.  If nettles don’t grow by you, feel free to try this recipe with kale, chickweed, spinach, chard~ whatever it is that you enjoy and desire, you can even make a mixture of all of your favorite greens.

The Joy Of Nettles~ Steamed this time

1 T ghee or coconut oil
pinch of asafetida (optional)
1 T minced ginger
1/4 t whole fenugreek seeds, freshly ground
1/4 t whole cumin seeds
4 c fresh nettles (Can use any fresh greens)
lemon, salt & black pepper to season

Bring about 1-2 inches of water in a pot with a steamer to a boil.  Add the nettles to the steamer and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until soft.   Set aside. In a large pan, heat the ghee/oil. Add the hing, ginger, cumin & fenugreek, and saute over low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add greens and cook, stirring frequently, until flavors are combined. Season with juice of lemon, salt and pepper.

The Magic of Millet

Warm breakfasts are a wonderful way to start the day, especially in Kapha season.  Instead of going for a traditional oatmeal, or cream of wheat cereal, why not try millet?  It is a wonderful grain packed with nutrients, immune boosting, easy to digest and gluten free.  In terms of Ayurveda millet is heating and drying, so it is a wonderful food choice  for the Kapha time of year as it balances water retention, excess weight, excess mucous, and it is a natural detoxifier.  Adding coconut milk, dates and nuts can bring balance to the drying qualities, making it an acceptable food choice for all dosha’s. This is my breakfast of choice lately,  so delicious and grounding, fills me with energy yet leaves me light on my feet as I embark on my day.

Creamy Millet Porridge
½ cup millet
1.5 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods ground
½ cup grated coconut~ fresh or dried
1 apple cut into cubes (optional)
2 Tbs soaked chopped almond or sunflower seeds
Coconut milk or almond milk to taste

Place millet and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the cinnamon sticks, and ground cardamom, and apple if desired.  Let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, add coconut, nuts, seeds and then ¼ cup almond or coconut milk to taste.  No sweetener needed.  Delicious, nurturing, and filled with nutrients.  A perfect start to a spring day.

Yoga Asana Of The Month

Savsana~ Corpse Pose

Savasana~ the art of letting go.  This is perhaps one of the most important yoga postures of them all.  One that is often longed for in a more difficult part of class, and one that can often be rushed through at the end of class, or in a home practice.  This pose is about total relaxation; physical, mental and energetic.  Allowing your being to just melt into the mat, allowing all that you have just experienced in your day, in your yoga practice, in your mind to be integrated into your being, and released into the universe.  Sounds easy:)  For many of us, letting go can be the most difficult practice. Giving ourselves the permission to relax, to accept and to let go completely is a wonderful practice and one that we, in the west, are not used to.  Give yourself this beautiful gift of peace, letting yourself be and notice the difference when you arise fresh and anew.  Savasana is the final pose in most yoga classes, it can be done after your home practice, or just on its own.

Instructions:

1.  Lie down on your mat, making sure that you have made any physical adjustments that may keep you from letting go (putting socks on, covering yourself with a blanket etc.)

2.  Let your legs spread as wide as the mat, and your arms fall down by your sides, palms up.  If you like you can place your hands on your belly and your heart,  just make sure that you will be comfortable here, able to surrender to the fullest potential.

3.  Roll your head from side to side, and let it find a nice centred resting place.  If your neck is tender feel free to place a rolled up towel under your neck.  Traditionally the head is flat on the floor, so that the neck can stay long. If you find this uncomfortable, a soft pillow is ok.

4.  If you are just coming into Savasana on its own, take a few deep breaths, to centre and to soften.  If you have just finished your normal practice, allow your breath to soften naturally.  Close your eyes, feeling free to cover them with an eye pack, or cloth.

5.  Once centered let the breath soften, let the awareness float and allow each part of your being and your body to relax.  Feel the ground supporting you wherever your body touches it, and allow your muscles to relax, to sink into the earth.

6.  Notice your body, see if there is anyplace that is holding tension, and just allow that to relax, often just by bringing awareness to that part of the body it will naturally happen.

7.  Allow yourself to rest in the beauty of your own being.  Let your awareness flow, as you soften.  This is not the time for sleep, instead it is a deeper relaxation as you float in the space of your own consciousness, letting go of the attention to the physical body, yet still deeply aware of your energetic being.

8.  Stay here for at least 5 minutes, if your mind wanders thats ok, bring it back to your soft breath, and then release that attention.  If you have done a longer practice allow time for a longer savasana, typically at least 5 minutes per half hour, and feel free to stay longer if you like:)

9.  To come out of Savasana, gently bring the attention back to your breath and your body, perhaps wiggling your fingers and your toes as you take deeper, fuller, more intentional breaths.  Bring your knees up into your chest and give yourself a big hug. Feel free to rock and roll from side to side massaging your lower back.  And then very gently roll over onto one side. I like to take a moment here to rest and reflect on my practice, on any insights that may have come to me, or perhaps on one of my favorite teachings.  After some time here, gently bring yourself to seated and continue on with your day:)

~ Feel free to place pillow under your knees if there is any strain there at all:)
~ Let go of any judgement of what the experience “should” be and allow yourself this time to really surrender to each and everything that is happening.

Upcoming Events

Oceanfront Yoga

If you haven’t tried a class yet, Its a wonderful experience, in an amazing place.  Suitable for all levels, and of course filled with opening and joy:)

Oceanfront Suites Cowichan Bay
Monday and Wednesday Afternoons~ 4:00-5:30
All Levels Welcome
Hatha Yoga-Mixed Level Classes

Flow with your breath. Connect with your spirit. Move into your being. More yin than power yoga these classes are great for all levels of yogi, offering a challenge to those more experienced, yet very accessible to the beginner. Flowing at times, we learn to be with our breath, our body, and our thoughts as we melt into the asanas. Experiencing the moment, opening the heart and the mind, and accepting the energy of being where we are, at the same time creating strength, stamina, and flexibility. Always infused with spirit and bliss, and lots of smiles:) Yoga poses, pranayama, and relaxation are all experienced in these classes.
$10 drop in
Call 250 597 3973

Satsang And Meditation
Thursdays, April 5 and 19
7:00-9:00
Satsang~ an opportunity to listen, absorb and open our awareness to spiritual teachings from many different sources.
Just be present as we listen to Dharma talks from the likes of Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, and Thich Nhat Hanh (and others).
Followed by a 30 minute silent meditation (All lineages/practices welcome).
Is there anyone you would like to hear from? Let us know:)
Each session will be devoted to one teaching
No prior meditation experience is necessaryBy Donation Call 250 597 3973 for more information Satsangs are offered every other Thursday from 7-9. March 8 and 22.

No prior meditation experience is necessary

By Donation

Call 250 597 3973 for more information

Satsangs are offered every other Thursday from 7-9. April 5 and 19.

Ayurvedic Cooking Class- Documentary Special
The Hawthorn
Sunday April 22, 10-12:00
$40

Join us for a wonderful spring cooking class.  This class is a shorter version of our regular monthly classes, and will be filmed as part of an upcoming documentary on Ayurveda.  A full lunch will still be included.  During the class we will focus on the ghee, the spices and a few of the main dishes.  You will leave with the entire menu’s recipes

These class are a wonderful way to incorporate healthy, nutritious food that is balancing to your dosha, and the season.
Learn:
~About the 6 tastes and how they relate to each dosha
~How to make Ghee,and Spice Mixes
~How to cook simple,delicious & nutritious meals
Organic, Locally Sourced (when possible) and Vegetarian
Lunch is Included

Menu
Ghee
Kapha Season Spice Mix
Red Lentil Dhal with Fresh Turmeric & Spring Greens
Mixed Vegetable Curry~ Spicy & Balancing For Kapha Season
Jeera Rice
Ginger Raisin Chutney
Cardamom Almond Cookies

Call 250 597 3973 to reserve your space- limited to 6
$40

Once again I thank you so much for all of your time, support and energy.  I wish you all a joyous month.  Have fun playing outside in the freshness of the season, breathe in the beauty of life, and most of all~ Enjoy Your Self:)
Namaste
Asrael

March Newsletter~ Spring Cleaning

Vector beautiful spring tree, consisting of butterfliesNamaste
I hope that this day finds you warm, happy and filled with peace.  March is here, and with it the arrival of spring.  Snowdrops have been in full bloom here at The Hawthorn for a few weeks now, and their beautiful white color illuminates the path into the heart of the property.   Yellow Aconites bring so much brightness and color after the long grey winter, and the crocuses are popping their heads up with joy.  Every morning I hear more and more birds singing, as the trees begin to bud, and the daylight grows stronger and stronger.  It is such a beautiful time of rebirth, beginnings, and awakening, a very inspirational time.
In Ayurveda this time of year is considered Kapha season, its energy is wet, cool, damp and earthy.  A time when our physical body is still holding onto winter’s slow and sluggish energy, yet the desire is there for lightness and movement.  It is a wonderful time to move any old stale energy out, and an Ayurvedic Cleanse is an amazing way to shift into the brightness of spring.  An Ayurvedic Cleanse is a very gentle way to stimulate digestion, and release any stored toxins.  Feel free to call me for more information, or to book an appointment to start your spring cleaning.  For more information on Kapha Season, visit last years March Newsletter.
As always things are wonderful here at Ananda Ayurveda.  Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, its such a beautiful place to practice.  Satsangs are also continuing this month, biweekly on Thursdays at The Hawthorn.  Springtime also means more fresh local and wild greens are appearing, and its a great time for a Cooking Class, this months class will be held on Sunday, March 25.

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.  I am continuing the specials on Jyotish Astrology Readings for $110 ($10 off the normal price).  Gain some insight into your time here~ the karmic patterns you may hold, planetary influences around you, and deep knowledge about your souls path.  Very interesting, intuitive and always helpful.

Spring Cleaning

anemone hepaticaAs I mentioned above, spring is a wonderful time to cleanse our body, but it is also a perfect time to cleanse our energetic and emotional layers as well.  Spring cleaning on all levels freshens the energy and opens the doors for true contentment.  As we work with the physical body, perhaps during a dietary cleanse, we affect the other layers of our being as well, loosening up old patterns, and beliefs so that we can let go, heal and grow.  Even for those of us who have a regular “spiritual” practice, we can lose awareness of the things that we hold onto, the energies that we carry around on a day to day basis.  Receiving energy work, or nurturing bodywork can often bring some of our deeper holdings up to the surface.  While your body and mind relax, the “stuff” can rise up into awareness, a wonderful opportunity to let it go, to release it once and for all.  I was surprised and fascinated during a session the other day (when I was the one being treated) how much stuff I was carrying in my energy field, the deep emotional patterns, and daily armor that I was walking around with.  By becoming aware of this, I was able to release and shift the energy, giving my soul a sense of peace, deepening my awareness, and polishing the jewel of my existence.  These things that we carry around aren’t “bad”, they offer us a peek into the lessons of this lifetime.  They offer us a wonderful chance to breathe life into the beauty of our being, to honor the magic of the soul, and in true awareness to smile at our humanness, showing us that we can move the energy with intention, awareness, and love.  So I invite you to dive in,  to ask yourself what is it that you are carrying?  What is keeping you from fully experiencing your bliss, your joy and your being?  Not judging just noticing, and then allowing whatever that may be to float away in a fresh breath of springtime.

Recipes

Fresh Nettle Juice

Its that time of year again, stinging nettles are starting to spring up everywhere.  Such a nourishing and amazing gift from the plant kingdom to us.  Filled with essential vitamins, protein and nutrients, these wild greens are a superfood.  I shared information about them last year at this time~ as well as a great soup recipe.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy nettles is in a delicious green drink.  As more and more greens and herbs start to appear locally, I often add them in, but here is a great basic recipe for a lovely green juice.  It will fill you with energy, give you a great nutritional boost, and it tastes delicious too.
Ingredients
1 Big Handful Of Nettles
½ Apple
Water
any other greens or vegetables you like

Chop the apple into small cubes, and put them into a blender with the nettles.  Its great if you have a Vitamix or a Blendtech, but a regular blender will work fine too.  Add about a cup or two of water, and blend until the apple and nettles are mixed very well in with the water.
Strain through a Nut Milk Bag, or a clean nylon/mesh fruit bag.
Enjoy

~ I like to add dandelion greens when they come up (they can be bitter, but oh so good for you)
~ I also add chickweed, spinach, lettuce, and fresh mint when it appears.
~ Cucumbers are a tasty addition, but they don’t grow locally here at this time of year.
~ A squeeze of fresh lemon, often adds a nice flavor
~ Play around and try different vegetables, see what tastes best to you and trust that your body knows what it needs.

Kapha Season Biryani
At this time of year, when the Kapha energy is so prevalent, its helpful to add a bit of heat to your meals.  Its a great time to cook with more fresh ginger, even spicier peppers and garlic, which stimulates digestion as well as the immune system.  If you have predominately pitta energy, you may want to eat these spicier foods in moderation, but they can still be a helpful addition to your diet in small doses.  This Vegetable Biryani recipe, has some chili’s in it~ if you aren’t used to spicy foods, try cutting the dosage in half.  The basmati rice, cilantro and almonds help to balance to the heat,  creating a wonderfully nourishing and very tasty meal.

Ingredients
1 cup Basmati Rice
2 Leeks sliced thinly
¼ tsp Saffron
1 Carrot, Sliced Diaganolly
¼ cup Green Peas
Salt to taste

The Paste
6 Almonds soaked and peeled
1 tsp Coriander seeds
2 tsp Fennel seeds
2 tsp Poppy seeds
2 cloves Garlic
2 inch piece Ginger
1-2 green Chili’s
¼ cup fresh Cilantro chopped
¼ cup fresh Mint chopped

The Tempering
1 ½ Tbs Ghee or Sunflower Oil
1 Bay Leaf
2 sticks Cinnamon
3 Cloves
2 Black Cardamom Pods

1.  Soak the almonds overnight, if you don’t have time, then soak for 20-30 minutes, peeling them and grinding them with all other paste ingredients~ I use my food processor
2.  Wash and soak the rice for 10 minutes.  Strain and set aside.
3.  In a pot heat the ghee or oil, and add the ingredients of the tempering, when they begin to let out their aroma and you hear some crackling, reduce the flame and add the onions.  Sautee for 4-5 minutes until the leeks start browning.
4.  Add the paste and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the rice, saffron and vegetables.  Add 2 cups warm water, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low.  Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5.  Fluff the rice with a fork and Enjoy:)

Yoga Asana Of The Month


Springtime is a great time to invite some more dynamic postures into your yoga practice. As our bodies try to shake off any remnants of winter it can help to add in a few more standing poses, perhaps you may even want to try out some sun salutations.  This will create energy,  increasing digestion, and flow in your body, as well as encourage the elimination of any stored toxins from the past winter.

Downward Dog
Downward Dog is a wonderful posture, a key part of any sun salutation, or vinyasa flow, and it is perfect for practicing on its own as well.  Strengthening, Rejuvenating, and Relaxing.
Instructions

1. Start by taking some time seated, or in child’s pose.  As always before starting a practice allow yourself a moment to shift away from your practical thinking mind, opening your awareness and taking time to connect to your breath and body.  Take as long as you like, perhaps spend a minimum of 3-5 minutes before moving further.  Use this time to deepen your breath, relax your body and your mind, and to just enjoy this time you are giving yourself.

2.  Bring yourself to a table position. Take a moment here to connect a bit more with your body.  Spreadyour fingers wide, deepenyour breath, and find a bit of movement, perhaps wiggling your hips, or lifting your heart, and then curling your spine on each inhale and exhale. When you feel ready take a deep inhale and move your hands forward a few inches in front of the shoulders.

3.  Exhaling, curl your toes underneath you and lift up the hips, keeping a soft bend in the knees.  Lengthen your tailbone away from your pelvis, lift the sit bones towards the ceiling and breathe.

4.  Find some movement here, maybe wiggling the hips, lifting one leg and then the other, or pressing one heel down and then the other (this is called walking the dog:)).  Take a few breaths exploring this asana while moving.
5.  Exhaling press both heels towards the floor.  The legs will be straight, but check in with your knees and make sure that you are not locking them, a soft microbend, will allow the flow of prana (energy) to continue through your body. Feel the energy in your thighs and roll them inwards slightly.

6.  Check in with your hands, making sure your fingers are spread wide and you are feeling energy in the tips of your fingers, and the base of your fingers, allowing the weight of your body to be distributed throughout your entire hand.  Allow the shoulder blades to roll back towards each other, this opens the heart a bit more:)  and let your head be long and steady between your arms.  The elbows are firm, but not locked, encouraging the flow of breath and energy throughout your being.

7.  Breathe deeply and stay for as long as you like, if it is challenging for you, take a few breaths then come down to childs pose, you can always revisit it after catching your breath:)

8.  When you are ready, exhale down to child’s pose, take a few breaths (or more) and when you are ready slip into the relaxing release of savasana.

This posture is very energizing and calming at the same time.
It stretches and awakens the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands, and strengthens them at same time.  It sparks the fire of digestion, and is very calming to the mind. It helps to relieve headache, insomnia, back pain and fatigue, opening and awakening the main energy flows in the body.   Its also very therapuetic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, and sinusitis. Such amazing benefits and a perfect asana for the Kapha time of year.

Upcoming Events

Oceanfront Yoga

If you haven’t tried a class yet, Its a wonderful experience, in an amazing place.  Suitable for all levels, and of course filled with opening and joy:)

Oceanfront Suites Cowichan Bay
Monday and Wednesday Afternoons~ 4:00-5:30
All Levels Welcome
Hatha Yoga-Mixed Level Classes

Flow with your breath. Connect with your spirit. Move into your being. More yin than power yoga these classes are great for all levels of yogi, offering a challenge to those more experienced, yet very accessible to the beginner. Flowing at times, we learn to be with our breath, our body, and our thoughts as we melt into the asanas. Experiencing the moment, opening the heart and the mind, and accepting the energy of being where we are, at the same time creating strength, stamina, and flexibility. Always infused with spirit and bliss, and lots of smiles:) Yoga poses, pranayama, and relaxation are all experienced in these classes.
$10 drop in
Call 250 597 3973

Satsang And Meditation
Thursdays March 8, 22
7:00-9:00
Satsang~ an opportunity to listen, absorb and open our awareness to spiritual teachings from many different sources.
Just be present as we listen to Dharma talks from the likes of Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, and Thich Nhat Hanh (and others).
Followed by a 30 minute silent meditation (All lineages/practices welcome).
Is there anyone you would like to hear from? Let us know:)
Each session will be devoted to one teaching
No prior meditation experience is necessaryBy Donation Call 250 597 3973 for more information Satsangs are offered every other Thursday from 7-9. March 8 and 22.

No prior meditation experience is necessary

By Donation

Call 250 597 3973 for more information

Satsangs are offered every other Thursday from 7-9. March 8 and 22.

Springtime Ayurvedic Cooking Class
The Hawthorn, Glenora BC
10-1:30

Its a wonderful time of year to experiment with new things, so why not try an Ayurvedic Cooking Class.  These class are a wonderful way to incorporate healthy, nutritious food, that is balancing to your dosha, and the season.
Learn:
~About the 6 tastes and how they relate to each dosha
~How to make Ghee,and Spice Mixes, as well as the full menu
~How to cook simple,delicious & nutritious meals
Organic, Locally Sourced (when possible) and Vegetarian
Lunch is Included

Menu
Wild Greens Juice
Mint and Cilantro Biryani~ spiced for Kapha Season
Fresh Springtime Vegetable Curry
Warm Spiced Dal
Spinach Chutney
Kapha Spice Mix
Chai
Call 250 597 3973 to reserve your space- limited to 6
$75

Once again, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read this.  I would love to hear any comments and feedback that you may have:)  I wish you a wonderful spring, filled with warmth, love, happiness and peace.  Enjoy Yourself~ Every Moment Is A Gift~ And You Are Living Your Dream:)
Much Love and Peace
Asrael

Imbolc~ Transitioning into the light

♥ Imbolc~

Blessings On This Magical Day~ The transition from winter darkness into spring light is in full swing. Enjoy the freshness and opportunity of new beginnings as you integrate the energy of past winter months~ Honoring the triple Goddess as she transforms into Brigid the maiden once more:) ♥

For more information on this special day, visit http://anandaayurveda.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/imbolc-blessings/

and ENJOY:)

 

 

 

 

February Newsletter~ Hold Your Heart Light In Your Hands

Om symbol
Happy February (a few days early)~ it always amazes me how time passes by, so quickly~ Even when we had a few days here on the west coast of being snowed in, where everything seemed to stop (except for our monkey minds of course:) ).  I am trusting all is well with you, as you move with the ebb and flow of this great journey we call life.
This time of year is the beginning of Kapha season, and boy have we been feeling it here on the west coast.  Lots of rain, grey foggy days, and although there has been a warmth to many of the days, there seems to be a general feeling of sluggishness and sogginess.  Now that is not to say that we didn’t get our winter wonderland either, an amazing few days of snow~ about 6 inches here at the Hawthorn, and it was truly beautiful. I even went sledding down the hill behind our home~ scary, yet exhilarating at the same time.  And the quiet beauty of the snow. Truly majestic.

Feeling so blessed, life is such a beautiful journey~ the more I surrender, the more I appreciate the wonder around me.  Lots of new adventures beginning~ I am starting a six month Ayurvedic Counseling Course~ working with my dear teacher Dr.Paul Dugliss, exploring consciousness, chakras, astrology, and expanding my knowledge on how to facilitate healing for us all.  I was also contacted last month by a film company based in Victoria BC, they will be out to do some filming for a documenatry about Ayurveda, and its transition from the east into the west, very honored to be a part of the process.  Will keep you updated~ I may need some people who aren’t camera shy to take part.

I am so excited to announce a few new offerings this month~ as well as the continuation of current classes, and treatments.
Yoga Classes are continuing at the beautiful Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay on Monday’s and Wednesdays~ a balanced, healing practice~ with an amazing ocean view. This class is wonderful for all levels, and all ages.  This months Cooking Class takes us back to the basics.  Learning to make easy, nutritious and tasty dishes cooked according to Ayurvedic Principles.  If you haven’t tried a class yet~ they are so much fun, and nurturing to the spirit too:)

New this month, we are offering evenings of Satsang and Meditation, beginning Thursday February 9, at 7pm.  It is so wonderful to sit, listen and absorb teachings ~ and then share in a short meditation afterwards.  These evenings will continue every other Thursday.

I am also pleased to announce a Chakra Herbal Workshop, on Saturday, March 3 that will be taught by my dear friend, and amazing healer Denise Holden.  Come explore the magic of plant medicine and how it resonates to your being.
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.  My special offering this month is Astrology Readings for $110 ($10 off the normal price).  Gain some insight into your time here~ the karmic patterns you may hold, planetary influences around you, and deep knowledge about your souls path.  Very interesting, intuitive and always helpful.

Wow.. Lots of information, I hope I am not overloading you all:)  One more exciting piece of news.. we will soon be offering Ayurvedic Spice Mixes for sale.  Dosha Specific Mixtures, Curries, and Digestive Blends, check our website for more information.

Red glass heart in woman handsHold Your Heart Light In Your Hands~ Breathe, Accept and Center

A question that has been coming to me lately, is about the ability to integrate a strong spiritual practice into busy lives, as well as into emotionally or physically stressful times.  Often we can push ourselves too much,  not taking the time we need to ground, to center, let alone trying to find time to meditate.  Or perhaps we are in a very emotionally challenging situation, one where all of our spiritual practice seems to go out the window, and emotions overwhelm us (fear for example).  Is there a clear answer, or a clear way for anyone? All of us experience our souls journey’s very uniquely.  But there are a few practices that can help bring us more in contact with consciousness when we are overwhelmed on any level.

  1. Self Acceptance– Having compassion, gratitude and full acceptance for exactly who you are in every moment.  Sure there are times when we may live an unhealthy lifestyle, or feel so caught up in a range of emotions, that we become swallowed by the thoughts, feelings and energies swirling around us.  Instead of feeling guilty for not taking the time to practice, or for feeling so “out of control” trust that you are doing the best you can.  That the expression of your being is giving you these beautiful yet challenging lessons to open you to greater awareness and a stronger sense of being.  Every up does have its down, there is balance in every facet of the universe, these times that are more stressful are all a perfect part of the weave of our magical existence
  2. Take A Deep Breath-So simple, yet so important. A wonderful practice that takes so little time, yet clears our energy, and ground us so completely.   We often have the awareness that we are doing too much, or perhaps we are in a reactive emotional state. At this time if we can just think Stop, Center and with that intention,  take a deep full breath, through the nostrils, or the mouth, and then release. This action brings fresh oxygen into our body, allowing pent up energy to flow.  After taking one breath, it will be easier to take another, a deeper one, allowing yourself to fill your lungs with air, perhaps even filling up your lower belly.  And this time try opening your mouth and release the exhale, maybe with a little bit of sound escaping.  Continue to do this as long as you like.  But trust that even one breath is enough to shift things.  Know that if you take the time once for this, the next time will be easier, and the patterns swirling around you will start to shift. Each breath we take brings us more fully into the present. Each moment we are aware of our breath the stress and the anxiety can move out.  Each breath we take is filled with light energy, that transforms us on the deepest level.  So simple, yet so profound.
  3. Put Your Hands On Your Heart~ A step further than deep breathing, one that you can do at the same time, or weave it into your day at other times, perhaps in the shower, or just before bed.  Place your hands on your heart center, the center of the chest, and feel your heart beat, the vibrations flowing from that space, your sacred energy.  Its amazing what spending time with your heart, with your compassionate center can do.  Even when in a high stress state, it is immediately grounding, balancing, and really truly beautiful.  This action is a straight connection to our true nature~ love.  It soothes us to our deepest core.  As we take a moment to just feel that heart energy, its light moves into our hands and travels into our cells, and into our chakras.  It infuses our aura, with balancing blissful light.  Our hands also send light into the heart, clearing any emotions or energies that are holding us tightly, keeping us from realization of our true nature.

Simple yet effective, these are just a few tools that you can bring into your life when things just feel intense.  There are many more practices, such as meditation, self massage, and exercise that can help shift things, but when we get caught in the whirlwind of life, we  often don’t allow ourselves the time.  It only takes a moment, to let go of the guilt, to shine compassion towards the self, to take a deep breath, and to hold your heart light in your hands.

Recipes

Thermos Flask Lunch

At this time of year, more than ever it is so important to enhance our digestion, and nurture our physical bodies with warm, healthy meals.  Often times we find ourselves in a rush at lunch time, especially if we are working out of the house, this can lead to unhealthy food choices, or eating sandwiches and salads, which can be dry, and cool, inhibiting proper digestive functions.  I thought I would share with you an easy to prepare thermos flask lunch, nicely spiced, warming, and perfect for a midday meal.  Balance in our bodies is supported through healthy meals.

Ingredients
¼ Cup Red Lentils or Split Mung Dal
¼ Cup White Basmati Rice
1 to 1 ½ Cups Fresh Seasonal Vegetables
1 tsp Ghee, Olive or Sunflower Oil
2 Cups Water
¼ tsp Fennel Seeds
¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
¼ tsp Ground Coriander
¼ tsp Turmeric
2 Pinches of Salt

Instructions
1. Rinse the lentils and rice, put in the water and bring to a boil.
2.  Briefly saute the spices in the ghee or oil.
3.  Add the chopped vegetables and saute for 1 minute
4.  Add the vegetables and spice to the lentils and rice, simmer for 5 minutes.
5.  While still boiling pour the mixture into a 1 quart thermos.
6.  Close the thermos quickly, leave closed for about 4 hours.

  • You may need to cook the mixture a bit longer depending on the heat retaining quality of your thermos.
  • Heavier vegetables, like carrots and beets need 1-2 more minutes of cooking with the rice and lentils.
  • Feel free to add some grated fresh ginger for added spice.

Cardamom Kheer With Saffron (Rice Pudding)

Warming to the soul and healing to the heart~nurture yourself with this grounding and satisfying treat.  Kheer (or rice pudding) is a wonderful Indian dessert,a favorite dish of Shiva’s and an integral part of weddings, festivals and spiritual celebrations.  Traditionally made with milk, and sugar~ this recipe substitutes coconut milk, and almond milk, which gives it a natural sweetness, and makes it suitable for vegans.  The energy of saffron is very nurturing to the heart, and the cardamom, enhances digestion. Very easy to make, rich and tasty without being too heavy.  A delight to the taste buds, that sends its energy throughout the entire body.

Ingredients
1 ½ Cups Coconut Milk
2 ½ Cups Almond Milk
2 Tbs Raw Jaggery (Or Cane Sugar)
½ Cup White Basmati Rice
¼ Cup Raisins
½ tsp Cardamom
1 Pinch Saffron
⅛ Cup Toasted Sliced Almonds
⅛ Cup Raw Pistachios

Instructions
1.  Bring Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, and Sugar to a boil.
2.  Add Basmati Rice and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes until it thickens and rice is tender.
3.  Stir in Raisins, Cardamom, and Saffron and cook for a few more minutes.
4.  Serve garnished with the nuts.

Organic rose water is a lovely addition to this dessert.  Try adding 1/2 tsp to the mixture at the same time as the saffron, cardamom and raisins.  Rose increases the vibrational energy to the heart:)

Yoga Asana For the Month

Spinal Balance (Balancing Table Pose)
As we enter the Kapha time of year, our minds and our bodies can start to feel a little sluggish, dampened down, and even just plain lazy.  This asana is wonderful for strengthening the lower back, creating some fire in the belly~ and at the same time allowing us to surrender to our breath~ knowing that its prana will support us, allowing us to float and enjoy in this balancing posture.

Instructions
1.  As always take some time to sink into a space for opening your body, your breath and your awareness.  Perhaps start in a comfortable seat, or lying on your belly or back, feeling the earth supporting you.  Begin by starting to notice your breath, and then slowly allow it to deepen, flowing through your nostrils, down to your belly and then back up, allowing your spine to lengthen, your heart to open, and your body and mind to relax.  Move slowly with this breath, there is no need to force or to rush, be patient, and know that as you soften, it will flow deeper naturally.
2.  When you are ready, make your way onto all fours in a table position.  Check to make sure that your wrists are underneath your elbows, which are underneath your shoulders.  Notice that your knees are underneath your hips.  Spread your fingers wide and distribute the weight through your entire hand, instead of dumping it into the wrists.  Also notice that there is a slight bend to the elbows.. they aren’t pointing forward, they are soft and fluid, yet very strong.  Allow your heat to sink towards the floor, shoulder blades hugging towards each other, and allow your belly to hug up to the spine… Breathe… Enjoy this feeling of stability.
3.  When the time feels right take a deep inhale and lift your right leg back behind you hip level.  Take a moment to feel the extension, point your toes to the floor.  Breathe, Be. Maybe this will be where you want to stay.
4.  If you would like to go a bit further, Take another deep inhale and extend your left arm out in front of you, shoulder height, palm is facing in towards your center line.  In face a good time to spread those fingers and give a beautiful thumbs up to the universe.  Breathe Deeply Here.  Your neck is long and relaxed and it helps to have a soft gaze towards a point on the floor.
5.  Take as many breaths as feels comfortable here, perhaps it will be 3~ perhaps you will be able to float in this space for 10.. A little wobbling is ok, but if your breath becomes ragged, its time to come down.
6.  Take a childs pose in between and then when you are ready repeat on the other side.  Finishing with another childs pose.

Tips
* If your knees get sore, fold a blanket and put it underneath for some extra softness
* As you lengthen through your arm and leg, extend them~ open the channels of the cells, and then hug the energy back into center, feeling your strength and your solidity.  Be with this silent power of your core body, and hug into the centered grounded feeling
* Feel free to take a cat/cow stretch before, after and in between.
* And of course… Enjoy:)

If you have chronic knee pain, lower back pain or shoulder pain, be gentle with your self, Do not over extend, or hold for a long period of time.

Upcoming Events

Oceanview Yoga

If you haven’t tried a class yet, Its a wonderful experience, in an amazing place.  Suitable for all levels, and of course filled with opening and joy:)
Oceanfront Suites Cowichan Bay
Monday and Wednesday Afternoons~ 4:00-5:30
All Levels Welcome
Hatha Yoga-Mixed Level Classes
Flow with your breath. Connect with your spirit. Move into your being. More yin than power yoga these classes are great for all levels of yogi, offering a challenge to those more experienced, yet very accessible to the beginner. Flowing at times, we learn to be with our breath, our body, and our thoughts as we melt into the asanas. Experiencing the moment, opening the heart and the mind, and accepting the energy of being where we are, at the same time creating strength, stamina, and flexibility. Always infused with spirit and bliss, and lots of smiles:) Yoga poses, pranayama, and relaxation are all experienced in these classes.
$10 drop in
Call 250 597 3973

Ayurvedic Cooking Class~ Back To Basics

At The Hawthorn
Sunday, February 26
10:00am-1:30pm

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, Locally Sourced (when possible) and Vegetarian
Lunch is Included

Menu
Spiced Dal
Jeera Pulao (Basmati Rice Infused With Cumin)
Mixed Vegetable Curry
Ginger Raisin Chutney
Cardamom Almond Cookies
Ayurvedic Chai
Spice Mixes~ Seasonal and Digestive

Call 250 597 3973 to reserve your space- limited to 6
$75

 

Satsang And Meditation

Thursdays February 9, 23, March 8, 22

7:00-9:00
Satsang~ an opportunity to listen, absorb and open our awareness to spiritual teachings from many different sources.
Just be present as we listen to Dharma talks from the likes of Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, and Thich Nhat Hanh (and others).
Followed by a 30 minute silent meditation (All lineages/practices welcome).
Is there anyone you would like to hear from? Let us know:)
Each session will be devoted to one teaching
No prior meditation experience is necessaryBy Donation Call 250 597 3973 for more information Satsangs will be offered every other Thursday evening, beginning February 9.
The Chakra Herbal
Exploring Energy Anatomy & Plant Medicine
In this class we will explore:
* Nurturing our Bodies and Spirits with Herbs
• A basic understanding of energy anatomy
• The correspondences between chakras and colors, sounds & yoga postures
• Understanding the currents of liberation and manifestation for spiritual growth and living our dreams
• Using the Doctrine of Signatures to determine a plants’ chakra affinity
• Using plants to correct imbalances in chakras with oils,
baths, teas, tinctures and plant based meditation techniques.
•We will go through each chakra and discuss certain plants to assist in cleansing and rebalancing them, along with the mental and emotional  patterns they carry.
* Insight into the chakras from the perspective of Incan shamanism
* This will be a interactive, take tools home with you workshop.

Saturday, March 3rd
The Hawthorn – Glenora
 9:30 am – 1:00
$40
pre-registration required
Class Size is limited to 8

Facilitated By Denise Holden

Certified Integral Yoga Instructor
Plant Spirit Healing Practitioner
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Family Herbalist
Once again I thank you so much for your time in reading this. It was a long one~ lots to say this month I guess:)
I wish you all a wonderful month~ shining gratitude peace and love your way.
From my heart light to yours
Namaste
Asrael
www.anandaayurveda.wordpress.com

The Heart Leads The Way~ January 2012 Newsletter

Namaste,
Winter background with triangle textureHappy New Year~ I hope that your holiday season was beautiful, blissful and filled with joy. 2012 has arrived and with it a sense of awakening, wellness and acceptance. Entering a new calendar year can often bring with it a sense of beginnings, of strength, and of excitement~ seeds to be planted and intentions to be nurtured. Things are moving quickly all around us in the universe these days, great awakenings are happening every moment and the time is ripe for growth in leaps and bounds. Enjoy the freshness of this year, and a clean slate.  Believe that all you desire and all you are here for is not only possible, but is happening~ jump in and enjoy the journey:) Let go of any fear~ remember the time is now~ And Now Is AMAZING:)

Things are beautiful here at Ananda Ayurveda~ I had a relaxed holiday season at The Hawthorn, and have been enjoying the dark, winter rainy days. January offerings continue, with another marvelous Ayurvedic Cooking Class on Sunday, January 29~ they are always such a joy to take part in~ lots of learning, and lots of fun:) Yoga is ongoing~Mondays and Wednesdays at the beautiful Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay~ A great class filled with spirit, energy and bliss.  And as always the regular offerings here at The Hawthorn~ Beautiful Ayurvedic Body Therapies, Ayurvedic Consultations, Jyotish Astrology, Intuitive Counseling and Tarot Readings

The Heart Leads The Way

sunset in heart handsThe New Year always brings with it intentions and resolutions~ ideas of what we would like to create in our life and in our universe. It is a magical time where the entire human consciousness allows us to believe that we can change, we can start new patterns, and we can open to the opportunities of anything and everything. These opportunities and this magic is available to us at any time, at every moment but for some reason on January 1 it feels like a new starting point, on a much larger scale.
I feel that in these times of universal change, perhaps one of the biggest intentions that I have brought into my being is to connect more fully with my heart energy. To shift the attention from the mind, into my spirit and to allow spirit to guide me. Trusting fully that I am supported in each and every way, that life is graceful, and that there is nothing to fear. To allow my connections with each and every being to be rich and present, knowing that each being is just a reflection of myself. To believe that I am here for a reason, and that if I surrender to my spirit, the flow will guide me into each and every moment, taking me exactly where I need to be~ at all times. Control is an illusion, a trick of the mind. Life can be a wild ride sometimes, but what a magnificent adventure it is, and I intend to jump into it, living each breath as it comes, riding each wave with acceptance, and most of all staying open to all possiblities. The heart shines brightly, leading us through the darkest times, always glowing with a unique brilliance. This heart light is with us always, and it is not something that is separate from us, it IS us.. and my intention is to walk within that light even more completely~ in grace, in gratitude, and most of all in love. I invite you, if you haven’t already, to look at what you have imagined possible for yourself, to feel your intentions, and then to bring them into active being. Trust that you can be all that you intend, and whatever that is to walk with it in Love.

Recipes

In Ayurvedic Cooking, we can help to bring balance to our bodies with different tastes. In winter when it is cold and dry, cooking with sweet, sour and salty food we can bring a little bit of warmth, and moisture to our beings, here on the west coast where it can be quite damp at this time of year, foods that are more pungent are also a great addition to the diet. Also our bodies often start to long for the fresh green vegetables from springtime and summer, salads are not the most easily digestible food for us in the winter. This month I am happy to share with you a warm rubbed kale quinoa salad, and a immunity boosting spice mix~ that is great for the winter season.

Rubbed Kale Quinoa Salad

An amazing salad~ and wonderful for this time of year, you can serve it with warm quinoa, and the kale gets broken down as you massage your energy into it, making it easily digestible, and very very tasty:) The garlic, is heating, and a powerful antioxidant~ so a great supplement in moderation to the Ayurvedic Diet at cool, moist time of the year.

Ingredients
1 bunch kale torn in bite size pieces
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped almonds

Dressing:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbs Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Tamari
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Tbs Honey
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped

Combine dressing ingredients, stir, pour on kale and massage with hands to break down the heavy fibers of the kale. Add quinoa and almonds and season to taste.

Feel free to add in any other vegetables of your choice~ or leave it as it is. A very addictive and healthy addition to any meal:)

Winter Spice Mix
4 Tbs Turmeric
3 Tbs Ground Cumin
3 Tbs Ground Coriander
4 Tbs Ground Fennel
1 Tbs Powdered Ginger
1 Tbs Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Tbs Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tbs Ground Cardamom

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

Yoga Asana Of The Month

Ananda Balasana~ Happy Baby Pose

Lets start the New Year out with joy~ opening our hearts, releasing our lower backs, and creating energy flow and awareness in our sacral center and hips. Ananda Balasana is also very calming to our mind and our nervous system. Connect with the joy of your inner child as you breathe and relax in this joyful asana. Great by itself or a wonderful addition to include in your regular practice before savasana.

Directions

  1. Start by lying on your back. Take a few minutes to allow your body to relax, and your mind to transition to the space of yoga. Feel free to take a deep inhale and then opening your mouth, exhale and release any tension that you have been storing in your body. Then slowly start to bring attention to your breath, breathing deeply, inhaling and exhlaing through the nostrils. Enjoy this time of softening, relaxation, and rest that you are giving yourself. Allowing fresh energy and oxygen to enter your body, and knowing that with each exhale you are allowing all that is not needed to leave.
  2. When you feel a strong relaxed breath flowing through you. Bring your knees up to your chest on an inhale. Give yourself a big hug. Wrapping your arms around your legs. Perhaps you want to roll from side to side giving yourself a nice lower back massage. Enjoy. Take as long as you like with this.
  3. Exhaling release the knees and allow them to open, slightly wider than your torso, so that they have moved towards the armpits. They are still bent, soles of the feet are facing the sky.
  4. Inhaling, grasp the insides of both the feet with your hands. Bringing each ankle over the knee. Your shins should be perpendicular to the floor. Press down with your hands, as you press up with your feet creating a nice balance of resistance. Breathe deeply and fully.
  5. Relax into the posture for 30 seconds to a minute~ if you would like to stay longer, let the resistance go, and just enjoy full breathing and gentle opening for as long as you like.
  6. To come out of the asana exhale and gently release both legs to the floor. Shake the legs out. Take a few breathes, then repeat~ or take a reclining spinal twist before allowing yourself to float in savasana

Upcoming Events

Oceanview Yoga
Oceanfront Suites Cowichan Bay
Monday and Wednesday Afternoons~ 4:00-5:30
All Levels Welcome
Hatha Yoga-Mixed Level Classes
Flow with your breath. Connect with your spirit. Move into your being. More yin than power yoga these classes are great for all levels of yogi, offering a challenge to those more experienced, yet very accessible to the beginner. Flowing at times, we learn to be with our breath, our body, and our thoughts as we melt into the asanas. Experiencing the moment, opening the heart and the mind, and accepting the energy of being where we are, at the same time creating strength, stamina, and flexibility. Always infused with spirit and bliss, and lots of smiles:) Yoga poses, pranayama, and relaxation are all experienced in these classes.
$10 drop in
Call 250 597 3973

Ayurvedic Cooking Class ~ January 2012
At The Hawthorn
Sunday, January 29
10:30am-2pm

Join us for a wonderful adventure in Ayurvedic Cooking. Learn to make amazing organic vegetarian meals, according to Ayurvedic principles. This month our menu is warming to the soul~ perfect for the cool, wet rainy days we are having. These classes are always so much fun~ Fill your mind with knowledge, your spirit with joy and your belly with amazing food:)

This months provisional menu~ Subject to change on availability of fresh, organic produce. (and the whim of the chef)

Curried Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Baghar Baingan (Baked Stuffed Eggplant~with a spicy nut sauce
Black Bean Patty With Carrot Cardamom Jus
Spiced Kheer (Rice Pudding)~ with saffron, cashews and spices
Mystery Chutney
Cardamom Fennel Tea

Call 250 597 3973 to reserve your space- limited to 6
$75

As always, So much gratitude to you all for taking the time to read this, for your support and for your energy. I wish you all a very auspicious and joyous January~
Remember~ As we open our beings, to all that is possible, we spread our wings, to fly with our hearts~ embodying and enjoying all and everything in the universe~
Namaste and Much Love
Asrael

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