Happy Spring! What a beautiful time of year it is. There is so much life bursting forth at once, as the earth awakens from winters peaceful sleep. It’s always amazing to me to see the way that life stirs after the dark season; light brightens the scenery, as the buds start to flourish, the colors deepen, and the spirits of the plants start to sing. A feast for all the senses, whether it be the warmth of the sun, the scent of cottonwood buds, the beauty of yellow daffodils next to bright red tulips, or the stirring of greater life force reflected in my body. Spring is a perfect time to shift the sluggish energy within, and to invite more prana into the being. Breathing a little deeper, moving a little faster, and flowing with the natural rhythms of the planet.
As always natural beauty is shining bright here at The Hawthorn. Pete has created a beautiful space for our garden this year. With the warmer days and greater light, we already have lots of vegetables started, and are enjoying wonderful spring greens that we overwintered. Its wonderful to connect with the earth, planting the seeds for future growth.
This month’s Monthly Meditation Morning will be held Sunday, April 7. There will 3 separate sitting periods: 9:00- 9:50, 10:00-10:50 and 11:00-11:50. Drop in for any one, or stay for them all. This space is for any silent mediation type, no experience necessary. Its a beautiful opportunity to sit in silence and just be, with all and anything that is.
Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00. As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels- in a very gentle heart opening space. Consultations, Ayurvedic Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.
Spring time is a period of nature’s great awakening. As human beings we are part of this natural cycle, and in greater awareness we begin to feel energy starting to bubble up inside of us. After a long winter of settling into ourselves, it is time to allow this energy to move, to grow, and to express itself. It is the perfect time to move past the boundaries of our comfort zones, and to open to new experiences and the fresh beginnings of springtime. Now is the time to take our deep dreams of the past few months and to birth them into our reality, whatever that may be. You may notice that there is a natural stirring deep inside, and energy starting to fluctuate below the surface. This energy may feel exciting, or may instead be an experience of discomfort, of unsettledness. Let go of the judgements you may have, of any labeling that you give an experience or a sensation, and instead invite flow into your being. It’s alright if you aren’t clear on your direction, or if you don’t “know” where your path is moving. Trust that the soul does, and that it will take you exactly where you need to go. Notice how you are experiencing your body right now. How you are feeling inside and outside, and allow any held energy to move. Any tension or tightness, whether it be in the muscles, in the emotions, or an energetic feeling or block, is energy that doesn’t have a clear space to flow. These blocks whether old or new, can limit our birth, our transformation, while at the same time reminding us of the importance of surrender and flow.
Some wonderful ways to increase dynamic movement into all areas of our body at this time of year are:
- Exercise- Springtime is a wonderful time to get out and get moving. All of winter’s heavier residue is ready to shift, and with a strong practice of physical exercise we can create flow in our cells and muscles, supporting any movement on the deeper levels. Yoga is always a great practice. A dynamic strong class, that is strengthening and opening and at the same time it will work on all of our koshic layers to cleanse, nurture and relax our beings. Walking outside at this time of year is also a wonderful way to increase energy in the body. Pick up the pace a little and allow yourself to feel the movement. If you can walk in the forest or in nature, even better. The more we spend time outside, and align ourselves with the natural rhythms of the earth, the more things will open. Dancing is a great way to move too, if there is any live music close by, go and enjoy yourself, find your creative flow and let your feet and your body lead you, and of course you can always move your body in the living room to your favorite cd.
- Cleansing- Another way to create flow on the physical level that will affect it much deeper. Its time to let go of the heavier foods, and to eat lighter. Not a time for fasting, but for supporting your body with a gentle, yet powerful cleanse. One where you kickstart your digestion while still supporting your system with healthy foods for your dosha and the season. Eating nettles, bitter greens, kitchari, and avoiding heavy and cold foods is a great way to start. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in an Ayurvedic Cleanse. This is an easy 10 day experience that is nurturing, supportive and cleansing all at the same time. After a cleanse lightness is experienced not only in the body, but also in the mind, the emotions, and general energy flow.
- Meditation- As always meditation is a wonderful way to clear the nervous system and to open the channels for greater flow, direction and clarity in all things. Even 20 minutes once or twice a day can have a huge effect. A simple practice that transforms our beings and our lives.
- Affirmations- Not sure where you are going, but wanting to support the movement of energy in some way? Create some key phrases that will support your path and opening. Perhaps something as simple as “I am ready for new beginnings”, or maybe its much more focused. Do you have a dream that seems out of reach? Ask for it. Or make it a reality in your words. What would you like to create in your life? Breathe it in with repeated mantras every day. Example- “I am blessed with abundant flow and movement in my life”. The more your believe, the stronger the action.
- Massage- As always bodywork creates flow and energy. Ayurvedic Bodywork is extremely powerful in supporting the process of letting go, and creating new pathways. It is grounding and nurturing yet deeply releasing on both the subtle and physical energetic levels. Abhyanga opens all the channels in the body, while Shirodhara can soothe the mind and allow you to release years and years of mental stress and patterning. The chakra work also releases held stress in a very relaxing and honoring way. As we clear these held blocks, we allow a new way of being to emerge.
Support Your Digestion With Ayurveda
Spring is Kapha Season in Ayurveda. Even with the shift into greater sunshine and longer days, in most places there is a excess of damp and cool energy. This energy manifests not only in the world around us, but in our physical bodies too. Digestion is often sluggish, there is still a feeling of sleepiness in our muscles, and a slowness to our actions. As we strengthen our digestion by eating balancing foods for this time of year, we can create a more energy for our entire being. Its a wonderful time of year to take part in a rejuvenating cleanse, or to at least be conscious of taking in a diet of easily assimilated foods. Remember that Kapha energy is cold, to balance that energy its best to eat foods that are warmer, and spiced to create more flow and energy. Green juices and bitters are also wonderful at this time of year, as they support natural detoxification and encourage the liver to release any stored energy. Dark leafy greens are great examples of bitter plants, and for those of you that have dandelions in your yard, the leaves are a beautiful addition to the diet. Also drinking warm spiced water (either a fennel, cumin and coriander seed mix, or if you are gluten tolerant,a barley water) will support the cleansing process in a balanced, healthy way.
This month I thought I would share a Kichari recipe, perfect if you are taking part in an Ayurvedic Cleanse, or a wonderful meal to have anytime that you would like to enjoy an easily assimilated saatvic meal. It is not only incredibly healing to the body, but also very pleasing to the taste buds:) This recipe is infused with Kapha Balancing Spices, remember you can substitute most fresh juicy vegetables, and add more water to make it creamier if needed.
½ cup basmati rice
¼ cup split mung beans
3-4 cups water
2-3 teaspoons ghee or olive oil
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds,
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pinch of red chili or cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder (also known as hing)
¼ teaspoon turmeric, salt to taste like ½ to ¼ teaspoon
2 cups chopped vegetables like zucchini, carrots, leeks
4-5 stems cilantro, washed and chopped
½ cup spinach leaves, washed and finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons dry shredded coconut
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Rinse the mung beans and rice in a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
In a pot, heat the ghee or oil on medium heat and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric, red chili, and ginger in this order and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the mung beans, basmati rice, and vegetables, then add water and salt. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes or until mung beans are soft and completely cooked. Top with cilantro leaves, coconut, and spinach, add fresh lemon juice at the end, and stir nicely.
Preparation time: 45 minutes
This recipe is from Ayurveda: A Quick Reference Handbook-By Dr. Manisha Kshirsagar and Ana Cristina R. Magno
Great for sluggish digestion, and creating more agni in your system. This is a wonderful treat for Kapha season, or anytime of year if you experience bloating, heaviness, or lack of hunger. If you have lots of pita (fire energy) in your being its best to try in small doses at a mid day meal- as this can create excess heat and may not be suitable for your daily routine.
- Loonie size piece of ginger (silver dollar in the US)
- Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Cut the ginger into long thin pieces. Squeeze lemon juice on it, and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for a few minutes and marinate. Enjoy with your biggest meal of the day.
I am embracing the idea of expanding my perception on how to share Ayurveda and my services with others. I would love any feedback or ideas that you may have. Would you be interested in a yoga or Ayurveda retreat sometime? How about a web seminar or class? Perhaps there is another way that you see my energy flowing? I would love to hear your thoughts:)
As always thank you so much for your time and energy in reading this newsletter. I so appreciate all the support and energy that you share with me.
The light in me bows to the light in each and every one of you