The Root.. Gyan Mudra

In love with the subtle expression of Mudras....  Spending time with Emily in the flower fields as she plays.. vibing with the energy of the flowers, suddenly she was in a state of expression deep within her, it all just flows.  Mudras are like tapping into frequencies that convey messages within our bodies. and those outer forces that create a notion, a profoundness during meditation is like opening portals to expand and release knowledge.  

As we come into Spring, the idea is to establish our connections by first deepening our root chakra.  It is the first chakra located at the base of the spine, planting our physical body to the Earth. Gyan Mudra is our Root.  Let’s root ourselves, get grounded so we can become the masters of our thoughts. This Mudra is considered the Heirophant, the master of mind over matter, fearless and elevated. Let’s go beyond any obstacles!

In Ayurveda this Mudras boosts the air element (Vaayu), stimulating the brain, nervous system and pituitary gland.  Touch your index finger, the air (Jupiter), and your thumb, the fire. to create this mudra in the morning hours for 30-45mintures during your meditation, will deeply empower your mind...

Emily Hoda

Find the subtleties of Mudras and just play....  

More Mudras to come!  So Stay tuned!

Photo of Emily Hoda, Shining spirit, Tea sister, Yogini and soon to be TCM Practitioner.

 

Pacific Coast Ayurveda

Starting the New year off right means a decision to be much more discipline and focused in the way we eat.  While we continuously seek out whole food choices, sometimes our environment can give way to our imbalances. making it much harder to maintain a consistent healthy lifestyle.  Thankfully, I have been studying an Ayurveda practice that has given me so much insight these past few years that there are no excuses to living well.

Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of natural and holistic medicine. When translated from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “the science of life”

(the Sanskrit root ayur means “longevity” or “life” and veda means “science”).

 According to Ayurveda, each person is influenced by certain elements more than others. This is because of their prakriti, or natural constitution. Ayurveda categorizes the different constitutions into three different doshas: Vata (air+space), Pitta (fire), Kapha (earth).

Lately, I’ve personally had an influx of hormonal imbalances that motivated me to look further into my practice. We as humans all need to check in with how our bodies are feeling and reacting in this day and age, and not just wait until we are sick or something should happen. That is the first and simple step to a healthier lifestyle... Just tune in.

The message was clear, I decided to turn to my friends at Pacific Coast Ayurveda in Calabasas to help me dig deeper. Practitioners  Madison Madden and Victor Briere opened PCA's doors a few months back as a way to share their passion and knowledge with a modern approach, while helping you relate to this thousand or so year old tradition.

Madison and Victor are the new generation of healers, here to help us understand this more or less complicated, yet prolific holistic science in the best way possible. Really, the most intimidating part is just hearing the Sanskrit verbiage... words like “ Dosha” and “ Prakriti “ make us want to scratch our heads? But honestly, once you dive in and trust the process it all starts to make sense. We are one with the elements of nature and that's a beautiful thing, especially in the healing sense.

When I sat down to talk about my lifestyle choices, and how it continues to change so rapidly as I’ve gotten older, not to mention the fast pace that has become our normal appetite. We decided to focus on a 10 day cleanse, called Udvartana.

By eating specifically vegetarian with 3 light meals a day, along with 7 days of a type of rigorous massage performed together by both Madison and Victor in continuous and synchronized motions. The purpose of Udvartana is to penetrate the lymphatic lobes using a specially blended herbal paste made with various organic grains, flowers, herbs and oils.

This highly effective treatment, would release stagnant toxins in our bodies, which is particularly good for weight loss, cellulite and stimulating sluggish circulation and digestion.

The first few days took a lot out of me emotionally and physically, so I definitely felt the need to be restful during this process from beginning to end.  I stayed off social media during those ten days too, naturally allowing my body to fully reap the healing benefits.

Each day would begin with a great and thorough discussion on how I was feeling. In a way, it was like beginning a meditation practice... carving out space to see clearly at the over all goal, while helping us to learn about each other, one that is rare in the western world of medicine.

That time became very special to me. Building trust by listening to how I was feeling, honestly made me appreciate the kind of human beings they are, and how they love what they do and genuinely want to help you.  I mean, if the over-all goal is to be healthy, then find those who want to be healthy with you. Those healing practitioners who are raising the bar on what it means to live well is the model that Madison and Victor see clearly in their practice.

I wanted to also share... One of my favorite parts of this experience was setting a new intention each time I laid down for treatment.  Madison would say, “What would you like to create today?”...  Then in the most beautiful and poetic way, Madison would construct as few versus into a prayer, followed by them tuning into a Kundalini sacred mantra, ONG NA MO GURU DEV NAMO, to open the our spiritual channel, followed by “Aad  Guray Nameh” as Protection and guide to us all while they stood over me just as they were ready to start.  

The 10 days felt ritualistic, and by the end of the treatments and cleanse, I felt realigned and invigorated.. Fine tuning all aspects of my body and it's emotional well being. 

I highly recommend this treatment! For more on Udvartana and Pacific Coast Ayurveda.

Be in touch here! http://www.pcayurveda.com

Alternative Solutions

We spent the first half of this month in a state of transition. Feeling very meditative as the calm new year was settling in, we reflected on our past time, coming clean with all that doesn’t serve us.   I just finished a 10 day cleanse with the help of my friends and Kerela Academy colleagues at Pacific Coast Ayurveda, which I will share my process of this deep ritual massage in the next couple days.

When I awoke this morning, all I wanted to do was cook a good hearty meal... But I also spent those ten days being very focused, conscientious and clean.

I turned off the social media channel and completely just tuned with my body, mind and spirit. Having this much time to yourself really makes you understand those wounds we inflict in ourselves on the choices we make in our daily lives, eating, not exercising.... 

"The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”  ― Rumi

I was reluctant to go right back to the usual habits of my food loving behavior, so I sat with this thought as I meditated this morning. All and all I am a pretty healthy person. We eat nutritious whole foods all of the time. we shop organic with little to no preservatives in our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean we are eating properly, eating the kinds of foods that are giving us the nutrients our body needs.

Take for instance dairy.... We love cheese, and I am big on butter... Cheese and butter is probably one of hardest to take off our meal planning because we just use it all the time, and we love the taste. plus, these days butter is gold. studies show butter fat is like brain food.  

So what’s the problem?  

Dairy products for many body types can create a mucus build up in our systems and over time begin to make the body feel sluggish. And even though all these good fats are components of good health, most people just consume way too much, and eventually all that we thought was "good" for us isn’t really working for us.

In thinking of this... How should we incorporate a kinder approach to butter and dairy?

On one of the days of this cleanse, we were allowed to eat Paneer. A soft cheese with curd like consistency.  It is an Indian staple, so while going through this cleansing process and learning how to make it. I understood “Paneer is an excellent source of Protein for everyone. Paneer is made from milk but the Protein part of it and not the fat part. The protein which you get from the milk is as good as the complete source of protein.”

This process is done in very easy way... by Boiling the milk, adding a tablespoon of any one of these.. Curd, Lemon or Vinegar. then draining it in a cheese cloth once it curdles.  Conveniently here my first alternative solution and a kinder approach to cheese lovers.  I also believe using Ghee will be extremely helpful.  I can’t say for certain cutting out butter and cheese for life is way to be. but being solely of the present mind, having just got off a cleanse, my relationship to many of our old ways of thinking has shifted. This year is about making smart choices... no trends, just solutions our bodies need.

 

(photo: paneer made with veggies with almond banana date bread)

Poppy and Someday

When I drove down the narrow curvy road heading to her home.. the road ended onto sweet nook up against a mountain covered with trees in Laurel Canyon.  It was quiet with all the subtleties of the bohemians era that once was.  Her home was one of those lucky finds, a treasure in the heart of the city, not too far from the main road, but far enough to feel seclusion.  It has been some time since I trekked to that neck of the woods, but it felt good to be there. Earlier in the year I finished my course studies in Ayurveda, and while determined to continue to learn rather become a counselor right off the bat, I realize that my service and offering for now was to connect and share of those who practice this philosophy and science.

I met Kari Jansen of Poppy and Someday at the Mercado Sagrado this past fall... The attraction to her products was instantaneous, the scents were delightful, and we had the common bond of Ayurveda, so I knew she had more to share.

A few weeks later when we sat down to finally catch up, I found myself engaged on the path in which she had chosen to study Ayurveda and Herbalism.  She offered me tea that was brewing in the sun next to her garden. We chatted about the relevance of our practice, the understanding of traditional ways but knowing we must continue to further our knowledge in the way we live today. Kari mentioned the Ojas and the Guna’s... a rarity when first having a conversation on this topic...  But she spoke of it in so naturally that felt like anyone could comprehend it, even if you knew nothing about Ayurveda... a clear observation that she has been practicing for over 10 years, and seemingly certain this way of life found her soul as a child.

( Ojas, A Sanskrit term meaning “vigor,” circulates throughout the bodily tissues and heart, sustaining the physical self, bringing clarity to the mind and balancing the emotions. Guna’s, the influence or impulse. The cosmic matter is made up of three gunas, more specific qualities obtained from their elemental makeup).

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She is a practitioner and healer of all sorts, focusing her dreams by way of plant medicine and flower remedies. She spoke of her time in India, studying and cultivating her practice then onto Northern California, Sebastopol at Dhyana Center where she was taught by founder DeAnna Batdorff.

It was there when she realized her passion for plant alchemy that prompted her to create Poppy and Someday. Her tinctures spray, salves and smoke blends are wildcrafted and bathed in crystals.  Her essence in being is rich with her studies and when you talk with her, she becomes like a sister, a girlfriend you’ve known for years, excited to share ideas and stories on how we can all treat ourselves with more care.

 

Check out Poppy and Someday's  on-line store, and also here in Venice at the General Store.

 Kari + Poppy and Someday will also be at the Echo Park craft fair this month.

 

http://poppyandsomeday.com/

 

 

 

Elemental with Ayurvedic Tealogist

A sigh of relief as we heard the beat of the rains at the midnight hour welcoming the first day of November. By morning, freshness filled the air and rainbows were floating in the sky. it had been many moons since the rain gods blessed us, so we were off to a good start.

I sat listening to the wind, thinking of all the elements as the damp trees were swaying and the leaves were falling. I thought about how happy or sad the weather can make us, how truly connected we are to the elements of nature.

Studying the elements (Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth) is one of my favorite aspects of my Ayurvedic practice, as with our tea ceremonies. It is all so elemental that the desire to connect to these practices have some how opened gateways to those who seek our similar philosophies.

I stumbled upon Fehreen Ali of Tea Coup. Known on the social media plane as the Ayurvedic Teaologist, who by the look of her amazing IG photos has a very similar idealism and practice to mine, but lives on the other side of the planet.  She is an advocate for good health, and sharing her wealth of knowledge is one of many gifts. I am amazed by the beauty of these  connections, the very thought that even though we may not ever meet, she is someone who is out there doing what she loves,and in part, like me, connecting so perfectly to her elements.

Soon after, Fehreen and I exchanged friendly emails, and so I wanted to lovingly share a little piece of this connection.

 1).  How long have you been drinking tea.

Teacoup has been specializing in tea and tisanes blends since 2012, but I have been blessed with the knowledge and early age of blending spices from my 92 year old grandma.

2). What inspired Tea & Ayurveda Herbs?

"As a student and practitioner of Ayurveda, I noticed that there was a gap in the market here in Australia, thus I began my tea blending journey”.

3). Do your customers come for Ayurveda, or Tea? Both, “I wanted to offer my clients Ayurvedic teas as a solution for various ailments and for general well-being”.

 

For more visit Ferhreen on Tea Coup’s website.. http://teacoup.com  

and on Instagram @ AyurvedicTeaologist

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Photos by Tea Coup

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Butter to Ghee

All summer I’ve been wanting to write about the importance of Ghee, and then felt that October and Vata season would be a better, mainly because it is the perfect time to boost our essential fats, preparing ourselves for the coziness as the air cools down.

The truth is Butter is all the rage for a reason, and hailing as the fat burning superfood is Ghee.  A staple of Ayurvedic Medicine, Ghee is made by heating butter until the milk solids are separated then removed. a simple point to clarify that after this process it is no longer dairy, just fat. this type of fat is mostly saturated which is brain food, it also helps to rebuild muscle mass. 

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As part of a oleation technique in trimming down, two spoonful of ghee in the morning helps lubricate the body and remove toxins.  one great tip... a healthy amount of dietary fat optimizes the sex hormones...  now everyone can use a bit of that!

(What is Oleation? It is a traditional Ayurvedic practice of cleansing by administering oils both internally and externally. This process called snehana prepares the body for a deeper cleansing program known as panchakarma.)

 

 

“You are the butter to my bread,and the breath to my life” ― Julia Child

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