Ayurveda for Summer

Did you know that in the summer our digestive power is at a yearly low? That’s because the extra heat outside causes heat within our bodies to disperse towards the periphery to keep us cool. Less heat in the center, means less heat to digest our food and a corresponding lower appetite. We can support balance this season by going with the natural desire to eat lighter foods and less quantity. Here are some other simple tips and easy recipes for summer.

Eating Tips for Summer:

Substitute lime for lemon: lemon is too acidic and will increase heat in the body.
Enjoy cool but not iced cold drinks: iced cold beverages constrict the digestive organs and take energy to heat up–energy that’s already less available this time of year.
Eliminate garlic: too heating. Enjoy it again in the fall.
Reduce fermented foods (kombucha, yogurt, sourkraut): The sour taste increases heat in the body, so decrease amounts and frequency while it’s hot out or eliminate it all together this season.
Eat heartily from the local farmer’s markets.

Summer Breakfast–Fresh Fruit and Nuts:

Berries
Cherries
Apricots
Peaches
Handful of soaked nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans…soaked overnight, rinsed and added)
A sprinkle of grated coconut

Wash fruit and slice or pit. Add all ingredients to a bowl and dig in!
Summer Cooler–Pomegranate Spritzer:

3 oz Pomegranate […]

By |July 9th, 2019|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, healthy eating|0 Comments

Nadi Shodhana

Of the 72,000 nadis (subtle channels, like meridians) that yoga describe, 3 are considered of prime importance: Sushumna, the central channel, residing within or just in front of the spine; and Ida and Pingala, the channels to the left and right of the spine respectively. These nadis control and regulate our physical and subtle nervous system. Our physical body and subtle body link up through the breath. Left nostril breathing gives access to Ida, corresponding to your parasympathetic nervous system, that part that cools, calms, and downshifts. Right nostril breathing is a way to access pingala, corresponding to your sympathetic nervous system which heats, activates and stimulates.Take a moment now to notice which of your nostrils is more open. In a balanced body, nostril dominance would shift every few hours. If you pay attention, though, you are likely to find that one side stays dominant longer than the other. This  imbalance, over time, creates bigger imbalances that manifest as body/mind symptoms such as: being too hot or too cold; excessive or deficient digestive fire;  difficulty falling or staying asleep, anxiety and depression, excess/low sex drive, menstrual irregularities and a deranged mind.To support a balanced cycle of alternating nostril dominance, you can practice 5 rounds of nadi shodhana once or twice a day. You can […]

By |June 12th, 2019|Ayurveda, disease prevention, meditation, Uncategorized, yoga|0 Comments

What to do when you are going in too many directions at once.

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve felt pulled in so many directions that by late afternoon, I was a bit overwhelmed and out of body.

I’ve had a lot of experience in this state of overdrive, and I’ve learned that as much as the momentum I’ve accumulated in those moments wants to keep going, the best thing I can do is stop, get back in my body and reconnect to the earth underneath me. Somatic meditation brings me back to myself in a big way. It’s what I used this week to slow down and cut through that ego-illusion of ‘one more thing, then i’ll stop…’If you found going a bit too fast this week too, try this 30-minute somatic meditation I made for you. it will support your reconnection with your body and the earth (many of you who take regular classes with me will recognize this practice and enjoy this longer session). This is a perfect late afternoon, or just-home-from-work practice, but truly good anytime you can get to it–including first thing in the morning or before bed.

The good news is, you don’t have to wait until you’re feeling fragmented or de-vitalized […]

Space to Be

Every morning of my life begins with practice. The practices I have been engaging for the past three decades have helped me slow down, release stress and heal my body and my mind. They have made me a better mother, a better friend, a better teacher and a happier woman. These practices come from the wisdom traditions of yoga and ayurveda and have been passed along to me by wonderful teachers, tapping into a lineage that is thousands of years old.

When I didn’t prioritize the time to attune to myself deeply, I was more stressed out and edgy, anxious and exhausted. The care I had to offer from that space was less than optimal. 

Nothing is more important than you being connected deeply with you. For the truth is YOU are connected deeply with all of creation, and when you remember that deeper source, and let go of all that obscures your knowing you are that, life flows more easily and effortlessly. And all that needs doing, gets done. Forget that, and life becomes an endless and exhausting to do list.  It’s no wonder we want to check out with food and substance and media, which never really satisfy for long.  

Yogic self-care is a […]

By |May 29th, 2019|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Ayurveda for Mid-Spring

For us in the Northern Hemisphere, May Day signals the half-way point between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. In the Northwest U.S. the weather is vacillating between warm-hot days and cooler, cloudy nights. Now is a good time to shift your routine to support your adaptation to the longer, warmer days.

DIET: Make it a little lighter overall ( enjoy heavy foods like nuts, dairy, wheat and meat less often, and in less quantity). Add fresh salads, ideally at room temperature at your mid-day meal, when your digestion is stronger. and with a dressing of cold-pressed olive oil, lemon and fresh pressed garlic, black pepper and salt to taste. Enjoy local organic berries as they become available, and eat more bitter greens (artichokes, kale, collards, mustard) to support your liver. Bitter herbs like turmeric, burdock and those found in teas such as yogi tea detox are also good now. A happy liver means clearer skin, less heat in the body and more emotional balance.

ASANA: Twists, prone back-bends, abdominal work like agni sara and nauli with attention to clearing the eyes will help release stagnation, keep you cool and support your digestion.

MEDITATION: 5 – 15 […]

Why Cleanse?

Ayurvedic Physician Dr. Robert Svoboda says, 

We can either limit ourselves a little bit willingly, or Nature will do that for us in the form of illness.  Cleansing is an opportunity to slow down, reset your digestive system and release any toxic accumulation in your body or mind. Good digestion is at the heart of good health. When we habitually over-eat, eat when we’re not hungry, or eat unhealthy foods, or foods that we can’t digest well, we weaken our digestive capacity and our overall health. When we don’t take time to slow down and digest our lives, our minds get agitated and negative.

Ayurveda teaches that spring is a great time to gently detoxify, helping to release the excesses of winter to help ward off allergies, colds and congestion and let go of excess weight. This process lightens and brightens our minds as well as our bodies.

Ayurvedic cleansing is unique in several ways. For one, we don’t only eliminate the bad stuff, we also increase our self-care and intake of nourishing foods/drinks throughout the process. We also make changes gradually so as not to shock our system (even a positive change is disruptive to the body’s […]

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

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software