Rest and Digest

Yesterday I was looking at a booklet a colleague of mine created about dealing with chronic stress.  Reading through the symptoms she outlined was one of those “a ha” moments for me. I recognized, once again, how fast we are all going and how unconscious we can be of the ramifications of this.  One huge consequence is in our digestive capacity, for to properly digest our food, we need to slow down, disengage from all the activity, and allow some space.   

Have you taken time to disengage and relax while eating a meal today? If we really want to heal our digestion, this is the first step.  In fact, this may be the step.  For all the best most wholesome food will not transform into healthy bodily tissue if we don’t take time to rest as we digest. Digestion is a para-sympathetic response–it only happens well when we’re relaxed.  There’s really no getting around this.

I spent years trying to digest food better. I had chronic gas and bloating and was prone to constipation, even though I ate a diet that was incredibly healthy and healing in terms of what I was eating. I had heard all about the importance […]

By |February 26th, 2019|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, health|0 Comments

How Digestion is not just about Digestion

I’ve been talking about digestion these past couple of weeks–we’ve been looking at what to eat, and how to eat, at agni–digestive fire–and ama–undigested food that is toxic to the body. Still, it’s important to understand that digestion is not just about digestion. 

How is digestion not just about digestion? Well, In Ayurveda we recognize 6 stages to the disease process, and the first 2 happen in the digestive tract. These patterns of indigestion (below) are our first sign that things are out of whack. Catch and treat it here and you have stopped the disease process in it’s tracks. If we ignore it or simply cover over the symptoms, we drive the imbalance deeper into our system creating the seeds for a more serious health issue down the road. Seriously, taking care of the belching and farting is soooo much easier than dealing with colitis or IBS or a cancer.

So, you see, digestion is not just about digestion—it’s also about the roots of our good or poor health going forward. Untreated digestive issues lead to deeper issues within the gut (ulcers, colitis, IBS, cancers) but also to deeper systemic issues due to the AMA (undigested food that is toxic to the […]

By |February 19th, 2019|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

How to Heal Your Digestion

“When diet is right, medicine is of no need; when diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.” -Ayurvedic Proverb 

The root of health is good digestion and good digestion begins with strong AGNI. Agni means “fire” and it exists in every cell of our body, governing all metabolic activity. The central bodily Agni, like the pilot light in your oven, is located in the gut. 

Caring for agni is like building a fire at the beginning of each day. You begin with a little kindling. For breakfast, we have just enough to satisfy, without overwhelming.  A warm, light meal is best when it’s cold out.  As the fire builds in intensity, we can add more wood. Eating heavier foods at the mid day meal  when your hunger is stronger will ensure better digestion than those same heavy foods in the morning or at night.

We experience agni as hunger. Real hunger is that feeling in the belly that signals we need to eat. When we’re on the verge of getting sick we lose our appetite, and when our health is returning, our appetite returns. A central way to care for agni, and thereby our overall health, is to eat only when hungry. 

Learn […]

By |February 13th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What Should I Eat?

This past weekend I had the honor of presenting Ayurveda to a group of yoga teacher trainees on Vashon Island. We spent 6 1/2 hours together learning about the origin and underlying philosophies that support Ayurveda and about our unique constitution and how to care for it. Right away folks wanted to know what to eat for their type.

Diet is one of the three pillars of health in Ayurveda, and like everything ayurvedic, it is customized to the individual and changes as our environment changes (seasonal shifts, our present climate) and as our inner environment changes (stress level, age, present state of balance/imbalance). So the answer to a simple question like what should I eat?  is, “It depends….”That being said, there are some general guidelines:

Eat a whole foods diet: ditch frozen, canned and processed food and favor whole grains, fresh meats, fresh fruits and vegetables (always local and in season when possible) and understand the dirty dozen and clean 15—those few foods that the have the most and least chemical residues on them, so you know where to invest your dollars on organic, and where it’s safe to eat conventional.  Fresh and local trumps organic in my book, with the exception of the dirty […]

By |February 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Adapting to the Changing Seasons

There was a meme going around facebook this time last year  that went like this:

Cold and Flu is not a season.
It’s an inability to adapt due to decreased sun exposure and water intake combined with increased sugar intake and stress.
Create Resistance. Create Health
I don’t want to be cavalier, here. Colds and flus suck, and we can be doing everything “right” and still get hit hard. Everybody comes down with them from time to time, and the work out for our immune system, coupled with some good down time helps us to purge our system of unwanted toxicity, which in the long run might be a good thing. 
But this meme is pointing out that we can learn to attend to the shifting needs of our organism as we transition seasons. We can adjust our diets and routines to support our immunity through these natural cycles and perhaps ward off this year’s bug. A bowl of salad in the summer can be wonderful, but that same cold, raw salad in the fall and winter can lead to constipation and bloating. A bowl of warm soup  can nourish and warm us, and cooked with a little garlic or fresh ginger can support our […]

How to Disengage from your Inner Critic

How do you deal with your inner critic? Do you have a way to address that part of you that judges, often harshly, your efforts and functions to keep you “playing small,” or feeling bad about yourself?
This part of us was called the superego by Freud, and it develops at a very young time in our lives functioning to keep us safe. It is the accumulated voices of our parents and other caregivers, including all the admonitions we received literally or energetically put together from the point of view of that young child. It expresses as an inner voice or felt-sense that lets us know when we’re doing something “wrong” and it makes us feel really bad.
The problem with the inner critic –or judge– is that it’s messages haven’t been updated, and the way we internalized those messages as young children was pretty unsophisticated. Not only that, but we have a lot more capacity at this point in our lives than we had when we were 5, so the messages of the inner critic are really outdated and past their point of relevance in our lives. 
The thing is, the original function of the superego was to  keep us safe at a time in our […]

By |September 21st, 2018|Ayurveda, disease prevention, health, yoga|0 Comments

Ayurveda for Fall

 We are nearing the autumnal equinox, a time of balanced day/night, and an official marking of the fall season. Today I am sending along a Fall Balancing Tip Sheet that I hope will support you in making shifts to your daily diet/rhythms as we change seasons. Find it HERE.
If you’re needing help in crafting daily rituals that support and balance your body/mind, join me next week for my 10-week online course, Sacred Daily Essentials. We’ll be getting clear on our unique constitutions and how to recognize and treat the inevitable imbalances that arise and so much more. Find out about Sacred Daily EssentialsHERE. 

It’s actually fairly simple to understand ourselves enough to know which activities and diets lead to balance and ease and which lead to dis-ease and unhappiness. It can be more challenging to make the necessary changes once we see what we need to do. This is where the power of community comes in–a committed group of travelers moving along together with similar goals, making small changes one step at a time. This and the wisdom teachings of a healing art like Ayurveda and some guidance on its core principles can make all the difference between actually making the changes we need to make, creating the life that we most long […]

By |September 21st, 2018|Ayurveda, disease prevention, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

Take your Self-Care to the Next Level

(If you’re reading this from the blog page, click the green “read more” at the bottom right to gain access to the hyperlinks in this post).
Dear Ones,
I hope you are feeling very well today. I am sending along an interview I did with a former member of Sacred Daily Essentials, so you can hear her talk about her experience in the course, and how her life changed for the better. Listen to the interview HERE.
We all know that disease doesn’t come from nothing—we may have a genetic predisposition for a condition—but it is our epigenetics—our environment, diet and lifestyle that often determine how those genetics express.
Are your daily habits nourishing your good health or are they feeding the disease process?
Think of your yoga practice: leave it for a week, your body gets stiffer and your mind more agitated. Leave it for a month, you start to have back pain and a hard time slowing down. You likely watch your friends who don’t practice yoga suffer with physical/mental issues that you know could be supported if not healed by starting a practice, but it’s not so easy to change our habits, even if they are leading us into pain and […]

By |September 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What it Would Feel Like to join Sacred Daily Essentials this Fall

(If you’re reading this from the blog page, click the green “read more” at the bottom right to gain access to the hyperlinks in this post).
Hello My Dears, 

It’s Saturday, and in honor of a new round of Sacred Daily Essentials, my 10 week live and online course, I wanted to share with you a couple of short practices I recorded for a past course. You”ll find them at the bottom of this post.
I am so excited to share this course with you again beginning September 24th. The online format allows you to learn ancient wisdom teachings from the comfort of your own home and to begin applying what you learn right away. The live calls create community and give you a chance to ask questions, learn from others and receive guidance as you continue to develop your practices.
What would it feel like to be part of my 10-week course, Sacred Daily Essentials this fall?
Something in you would relax knowing you had prioritized yourself, and would have the support you need to tackle some of the bad habits that had been gaining momentum in your life.
You would feel lighter remembering all the things you already know about what really works for you and what doesn’t and putting them into practice.
You would feel proud […]

By |September 12th, 2018|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, health|0 Comments

Self Care is the New Health Care

Every summer after my annual yoga retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs, I enjoy a 1/2 speed work life through July and August. In my line of work, things slow down. I see fewer folks at yoga class and in my private practice, so it’s an opportunity for me to enjoy the season and have some fun. During “summer vacation,” I spend more time outside, travel to see friends, enjoy some outdoor concerts and other entertainment and “clock out” on the early side more times than not.
This past week I’ve been coming off of a month of celebrations: birthdays, an annual visit to my home town to be with my ladies, a visit from my dad… and while this has all been fun for me, it has also taken it’s toll. For one thing, I have consumed more alcohol than I probably will for the rest of the year and then some. That and being off rhythm through travel, eating out more, and hosting has left me with a general fatigue and sluggishness in my body/mind. Ayurveda teaches that if we follow a healthy daily routine, then when we indulge during festivities, our body can bounce back pretty easily. I translate this teaching […]

By |August 31st, 2018|Ayurveda, digestion, disease, disease prevention, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

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