Golden Milk

Why you should try it

  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Gives relief from colds and coughs
  • Holds antiviral properties - strengthens immunity
  • curcumin in turmeric is a purifier: clarifies the skin, detoxes our blood and liver.
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Ingredients

  • 1cup of Milk or coconut milk (an Angela favorite)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2-1tbs. of coconut oil
  • Agave or honey to taste
  • 1 pinch of black pepper

Directions

  • Begin to heat milk medium to medium-high heat.
  • While milk is heating, add turmeric, ginger, and coconut oil.
  • Pour into cup and add sweetener and black pepper to taste.

Kitchari

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Founder of Eka Yoga

 

Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic dish that’s known for providing a ton of nutrients to the body while at the same time pushing out the toxins. In India, kitchari is a regular household meal, but it’s also often used to heal those who are sick because it is so easy to digest – soothing the belly and healing the gut wall so nutrients can be better absorbed. 

  A Kitchari cleanse is typically done for 3-7 days (eating only Kitchari), depending on the individual’s schedule and the amount of cleansing needed to be performed.  Ideally, this is a planned out regimen that will allow the system to ease into the cleanse and eventually ease out of it. Begin to phase out refined sugar, processed food, caffeine, etc. at least 7 days before the cleanse and continue to keep out of diet 7 days after cleanse. 

 * Please note: If you are not careful, a cleanse can do more harm than good, further destroying the digestive system and depleting the energy levels. It's recommended to try it for 1-2 days to see how your body reacts to the cleanse before going for a full 7 days. A cleanse of any kind should be avoided during menstruation.

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 5-6

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Ingredients

¾  cup Basmati Rice

1 cup Mung Beans (Tri-Doshic) - Soak over night in 2 inches of water before cooking

* Mung Beans are normally good for all three doshas, but if you notice the kitchari has made your digestion worse, try switching to another legume. 

- Vata: Red Lentils 

- Pitta: Chick Peas, Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans

- Kapha: Chick Peas, Navy Beans, Adzuki Beans

6 cups Water

½ to 1 inch Ginger Root (chopped or minced)

2 tsp. Ghee or Coconut oil (traditionally ghee is used)

¼ tsp. mineral salt

½  tsp. Coriander Powder

½ tsp. Cumin Powder

½ tsp. Turmeric Powder

½  tsp. Whole Cumin Seeds

½  tsp. Mustard Seeds

1 pinch Asafoetida (hing)

* Asafoetida that is not made with fillers is hard to come by in the U.S. I recommend the Banyan Botanicals Kitchari Mix – The mix includes the spices listed above in addition to the Asafoetida.

3-4 cups Chopped Vegetables (Choose according to body constitution’s needs)

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

Directions

Rinse rice and mung dal – soak mung dal over night or up to 8 hours.

In a large pot (big enough to add all ingredients and 6 cups of water) warm the ghee/coconut oil on medium heat.

Add fennel, mustard and cumin seeds, sauté seeds until they start to pop.  Once seeds start to pop, add the rest of the spices, ginger, rice, and mung beans.

Cover rice and mung beans completely in ghee/coconut oil and spices. Slowly add the six cups of water and your choice of vegetables (any leafy greens can be added toward the end) and bring water to a boil. Once the kitchari has reached a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until all ingredients are tender (45 minutes).

Add fresh cilantro and salt to taste.

 

Kitchari Benefits

  • Mung Dal (Split Yellow Peas) – Mung Dal is high in protein and fiber. It’s filled with tons of nutrients and vitamins, including; iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B.  Mung Dal is the only legume that is Vata balancing. This means that the legume will not cause gas. Wooohoo!
  • Basmati Rice – Long grain rice is both easier to digest and has a lower glycemic index than other varieties of rice.
Did you know…
With popular diets like “Atkins” and “Paleo”, carbohydrates have gotten a bad name. However, when you eat beans with rice you are creating a complete protein and actually getting more from beans than you would without the rice.
  • Asafoetida (Hing) – Asfafoetida comes from the root of the ferula species or the carrot family. It’s mighty stinky before you cook it, but delicious when cooked and packed with nutrients. Benefits include: eliminates flatulence (add a small sprinkle to any variety of beans to help reduce excess indigestion or gas created from the legume), holds anti-inflammatory properties, helps provide relief from menstrual cramps, lowers blood sugar, helps control high blood pressure, and is a powerful anti-oxidant. 
  • Increases the digestive capacity
  • Removes toxins from the system
  • Removes heaviness and congestion from the body
  • Removes heaviness and congestion from the mind
  • Enhances the “Satvic” (balanced) state of an individual
  • Enhances energy and feelings of wellness (prior to the cleanse; during the cleanse one may experience low energy due to the flushing of toxins and mild diet)
  • Increases one’s confidence and motivation levels

Abhyanga

I was first introduced to Abhyanga in India as the Ayurvedic ritual of self-massage. The ritual suggests massaging your entire body, beginning at the crown of your head and working your way to your feet.  While performing, you should massage up along your arms and legs (moving toward your heart), massage in an upward circular motion around face and joints, and massage in a clockwise motion around your stomach and chest.

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The benefits of abhyhanga include:

·      Increased circulation (specifically at nerve endings)

·      Lubrication of the joints,

·      Elimination of toxins from the body

·      Makes deep tissues soft and supple, helping to remove stress and nourish the nervous system

·      Helps reduce cases of pain, debility, and stiffness

·      Helps reduces fatigue

·      Increased energy levels

·      Soft and healthy skin.

As one who is vata dominant (prone to: dry skin, achy joints, poor circulation, and insomnia), I took the ritual home with me and made it a part of my routine.

I’ve now been practicing abhyanga for several years and have undoubtedly seen its benefits. That being said, there are definitely evenings when I wished it wasn’t a self-massage, but me receiving a massage.

Ask and you shall receive

A few months ago, a magical wellness center, by the name of Natural Rhythms Integrative Health, opened their doors to serve those seeking alternative or holistic health care, and sure enough they offer Abhyanga!

Without skipping a bit, I made an appointment with the lovely Afrin Sopariwala, and here’s what happened…

The experience

I arrived feeling a bit sweat, hungry, and frantic, as it had just been one of those days. I was greeted and offered water or tea while Afrin finished preparing the room. When we made our way to the treatment room, Dr. Anup Mulakaluri joined us for my pre-treatment consult.   My consult included some general health intake questions, but also questions that checked in with my recent mental and emotional state of being.  Both Dr. Anup and Afrin took their time talking to me and truly seemed interested in helping me find the happy and healthy Angela that got lost somewhere in the business of life.

Lastly, Dr. Anup performed an Ayurvedic pulse reading , an amazing experience on it’s own, and gave me some self-care homework before sending me off into pure bliss!

When I finally made my way onto the table, I was treated to a full-body application of warm, medicated oil, used to pacify the doshas.  Afrin began the massage at the crown of my head and then made her way down to the soles of my feet. Extra care was taken on the soles of the feet because that’s where important marma points lie. Marma points are the pathways that lead to the inner body and signal it to produce exactly what it needs to heal. Healing is exactly what I experienced during this Abhyanga session, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I felt amazing through the entire massage and like a ball of mush when I got off the table.

If you’re in need of some self self-care and nourishment with practitioners that care, look no further. 

For more on Natural Rhythms Integrative Medicine 

 

 

Ayurvedic Sweets and Snacks

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Founder of Eka Yoga

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Kheer (Rice Pudding)

What is Kheer

Kheer is a traditional Indian dessert and from an ayurvedic perspective, it is light and cooling, which is beneficial for the Pitta dosha. The dessert is usually made with some type of grain (rice, cornmeal, creamed wheat), milk, cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, rosewater, natural sweetener, and some type of nut. 

Traditionally, it is served with meals rather than after a meal, as it may cause congestion and sinus problems - Kapha imbalances. 

I make this dish often and I usually switch the recipe up every time I do. However, after raving reviews and requests for my last batch's recipe, here it is! 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 1 tbsp cardamom
  • 2 tbsp agave 
  • 1/8 cup chopped cashews
  • 1/8 cup shredded coconut

Directions

  • Soak rice in water for 2 hours, drain, and rinse.
  • Bring rice and coconut milk to a boil in a medium sized sauce pot. Once at a boil, turn to low and cover.
  • When rice and coconut milk are no longer at a boil, add rosewater, cardamom, agave, cashews, and coconut. Let simmer until rice is fully cooked or soft. 

Ayurvedic Sweet Potatoes

I don't think you'll find this recipe in any traditional Ayurvedic cook book. This was a cooking experiment that went way right!

I like to call this recipe the 4 C's because it includes the magically wonderful spices: cardamom, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. 

Cardamom is sweet,  pungent, and heating. It is good for both Kapha and Vata, as it helps increase agni or our digestive fire. 

Cumin is pungent, bitter, and cooling. It is good for all three doshas and for maintaining digestive health. It also helps with the absorption of minerals in the small intestines, the release of gas, and can be used as a mild pain reliever.

Coriander is sweet, astringent, and cooling. It is good for all three doshas. It can be used as a diuretic and can help reduce fevers. 

Cinnamon is sweet pungent and heating. It is balancing both vata and kapha, but can over stimulate pitta. It is good for digestion, the removal of toxins, and improving circulation. 

Ingredients

  • One large sweet potato
  • 1 tbps ghee
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp corriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • Sea Salt (to taste)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Chop potato into small cubes or slice (the thicker the pieces, the longer they will take to cook).
  • Place chopped potatoes into a large mixing bowl.
  • Melt ghee and pour over potatoes. Stir until potatoes are covered.
  • Add spices. Stir until potatoes are covered.
  • Spread potatoes across a large non-stick baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. 

Malas and Mantras

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Founder of Eka Yoga

Less than a year ago, I opened the doors to Eka Yoga, a Seattle based yoga studio themed around the doshas of Ayurveda. Opening those doors was one of the most exciting and terrifying things I have done.  I worked a full time job in addition to teaching an average of 6 yoga classes per week for nearly 5 years to make Eka a reality, so to have my life savings disappear in a matter of a few months was nerve racking. To be honest, the entire experience made me sick.

I knew owning a business was going to be tough, but not this tough. However, despite my worries and the challenges I've faced thus far, I've managed to hold my head high through it all with the help of a few simple mantras and my Japa Mala.

Because I've had such luck with the prayer-like activity, I thought I'd share my experience, the history of the Japa Mala, and some of my favorite mantras, hoping that these tools can help others just as much as they've helped me.

We’ve all experienced “the hard knocks of life” or stress. We could be the best decision makers in the world, but despite our best intentions shit still happens -- and sometimes it happens all at once; the dog gets an eye infection, grandma is put in the hospital, a co-worker quits, and the last roll of toilet paper has  run out.  If we are not being mindful, when we experience these stressors, our bodies react instinctually in one of two ways – fight or flight.  

1. Fight - We power through and don’t look back. When we react to situations in this way, we are not taking the time to digest our experiences properly and when we don’t properly digest our experiences, it’s like being emotionally constipated. Emotions pile up within us until there’s no more room. When there’s no more room, they end up coming out, but they come out in the form of an illness.

2. Flight - We retreat to a space that makes us think that we can’t handle our stressor.  When we retreat, we are mentally giving up hope and when hope is lost, depression occurs. The further we retreat, the deeper we get and the deeper we get, the harder it is to get out.

If we relate these two stress responses to the Ayurvedic Doshas, you’ll find that Pittas tend to power through, Vatas tend to retreat, and Kaphas are somewhere in between.

For more on Ayurveda and the Doshas: www.ekayogaseattle.com/ayurveda/

Being Vata dominant myself, I know that I am prone to getting stuck in my own head and caught up in judgmental thought patterns.  When I’m faced with an abundance of stress, I want to retreat, I want to cry, I want to give up. There are times I do retreat and cry, but I don’t give up. I keep my head high and regain the momentum to keep moving forward with the help of a mantra - a single word or a short phrase.

Perhaps it’s the Catholic School girl in me that continually brings me back to the prayer-like motion; maybe it’s just the magic of routine and repetition? The magical part being, that through routine and repetition, I’ve become more confident and focused.  I’ve seen how daily dedication can result in body and mind transformation that cultivates great momentum and motivation to continue moving forward.  

What is a Japa Mala?

In Sanskrit, Japa means to recite and Mala means prayer beads. The Japa Mala is traditionally used in prayer and meditation and consists of 18, 27, 54, or 108 beads.  Malas are also referred to as mala beads, Buddhist beads or Buddhist prayer beads. They are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra.

What is a mantra?

A mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated to aid in concentration. It can be anything that you can easily remember, repeat, and connect to.  In Dharmic traditions, mantras are used for everything - illness, pain, stress, prosperity, fertility, etc.

While a mantra doesn’t have to be Sanskrit, there is a rich history and numerous benefits to reciting one in in the ancient language.

Mythologically speaking, Sanskrit is said to be the language of the gods. The language that connects human-beings to their higher selves. Historically speaking, Sanskrit is believed to have been  developed by observing the natural progression of sounds created in the human mouth, thus making sound and pronunciation an integral part of the language.

When reciting a mantra in Sanskrit, pronunciation and rhythm are more important than knowing what the mantra actually means. Traditionally, the purpose of saying a mantra aloud is to cultivate the energy vibrations associated with it.  By enunciating Sanskrit words and vibrating a certain combination of sounds, our tongue is pressing itself into particular areas of the mouth (this pressure is much like acupressure), sending signals to the hypothalamus in the brain. This part of the brain regulates chemical activity in all areas of our body, which in turn can help relieve pain, reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure… the list goes on.  

Although ancient yogis may not have known what a hypothalamus was, heck… I don’t think I do  they  recognized the effects that sounds and mantras had on the body and mind.  One point for the ancient yogis!

My Favorite Mantras:

Bija Mantras or Seed Sounds

LAM (Pronounced as lum) - Associated with the root chakra. Good for cultivating grounding energy.

VAM (Pronounced vum as in thumb) – Associated with the sacral chakra. Good for cultivating courage.

RAM (Pronounced rum) – Associated with the solar plexus chakra. Good for cultivating self-esteem.

YAM (Pronounced yum) – Associated with the heart chakra. Good for cultivating love and compassion.

HAM(Pronounced hum) – Associated with the throat chakra. Good for cultivating good communication.

AUM (Pronounced um) – Associated with the third eye chakra. Good for cultivating inner wisdom.

AH (Pronounced ah as in aha)– Associated with the crown chakra. Good for letting go or releasing.

The Bija mantras are one-syllable seed sounds that, when recited, activate the energy of the chakras, which in turn help cultivate physical, mental, and emotional balance. According to the Puranas, (ancient Indian literature and folklore), the universe was created out of the sound AUM and the body can be recreated through a series of sounds.  According to recent work in quantum physics, science proves that the universe was indeed made of sound.  Another point for ancient yogis!

So… if we are truly composed of sound and we lose our rhythm, we’re going to lose our physical, mental, and emotional health as well. Think of your body as a band. If one musician is off by a single beat , the song will sound slightly off.  If all of the musicians are off by a beat, the song is going to sound horrible.   If your body is a band, you want everything to sync up and harmonize to create happiness and health.

Ganesh Mantra - Om Gan Ganpate Namaha

Ganesh is the well-known Hindu elephant deity. He is the remover of obstacles and the lord of good fortune and new beginnings.  There are several different Ganesh mantras, but this one in particular is meant to help remove obstacles and bring success.  

Shivaya Mantra - Om Namah Shivaya

Shiva is the deity of transformation who represents the true and highest form of self. This mantra is meant to help cultivate self-confidence and compassion.

Shanti Mantra - Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Normally, this mantra is recited at the beginning or at the end of a larger mantra or prayer, but as it is a mantra to invoke peace and bliss, there’s never a bad time to do it.

I got this - I got this

That’s it, that’s the mantra. When I’m feeling overwhelmed and that feeling of wanting to retreat, I repeat to myself “I got this” until I believe it.

How to practice a mantra:

1. Find a quiet and comfortable space to practice.

2. Smudge or clear the energy of that space. I like to light some Sage, or Palo Santo and use a space that is clean and clear of clutter.

3. Set an intention. By taking the time to dedicate your practice to something, you may be able to focus more intently and achieve a deeper state of meditation.

4. Choose a mantra that correlates to what you’re trying to achieve. 5. Repeat your mantra a minimum of 3 times or any number that can be divided into 108 (18, 27, 54).  When reciting your mantra, you can use your Japa Mala as a tool to help keep count. The above is the traditional way of practicing mantras and it’s a lovely way, but the truth is, most of us don’t keep a stick of sage in our backpacks and we don’t always have space or the time to recite our mantras 108 times.  At any given time, if you feel a mantra will positively change your state of being, recite that mantra! You can recite it aloud or to yourself. You can recite it in a quiet and serene place or you can recite in on your bus ride home from work. If you need it, use it.

Listen to your Gut: Shishir (Seattle Addition)

By LeLa Becker

200 Hour E-RYT and Tantra Life Coach

Ayurveda is acknowledging and adjusting the elements within us to energetically align with the elements outside of us and in our environment. Imagine we our microcosms within a massive macroscosm. In Tantra-a study/practice deeply rooted in Ayurveda- it is called “purna”, meaning “whole’.  We chant “this is whole, from the wholeness comes the whole. If the whole is removed the wholeness remains.” Meaning we are one in the same. We are connected to the environment around us because it is us and we are it. So obtain optimum health and live a balance life we must learn how to pacify and balance ourselves within the universe. There are three pillars to Ayurveda: Ahar (diet), Swapna (rest and relaxation), and Brahmacharya (control of desires). There are also three doshas: Vata (Air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (earth) Know your Dosha by taking this test (http://www.ekayogaseattle.com/doshatest/).

It is important to adjust ones rutacharya (daily routine) to what is happening within our environment and then within our lives. It is a practice much like taking ahimsa (ending harmful deeds and thoughts) learned on the mat and into our worlds. Life is a practice and we can only do the best we can to be happy, healthy and free. Shishir (winter) Cold increases in this season. The weather becomes more dry and rough. In this season you have to follow a regimen that gives attention to the cold and Vata. It is currently the Shishir (winter) in Seattle. It is cold and wet. This is very Vata environment. For the purpose of this article I will address each dosha in a vata environment.

Vata

 If you tested Vata for your dosha and you are living in a Vata environment, then you have the potential to get extremely “vata-ed” out. You may find yourself unable to concentrate or sleep. Spinning in circles and not being able to catch your footing. Balance these days with warm and grounding exercise and food. Quinoa cooked in organic Beef Bone Broth. A hearty, spicy, and spice filled potato stew. Add Ghee to your coffee or morning tea. Use cinnamon, cardamom and ginger when ever possible. I advise rubbing warm sesame seed oil into your skin, especially on the bottoms of your feet. Wear a scarf around your neck and cover your ears when going outside.

Northern India Vata Chai recipe: Add dried herbs to a dry sauce pan: 3 whole cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1 Star of Anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp of cardamom seeds, and 1 tsp of peppercorns swirl in pan until you can smell the essential oils seep out of the herbs. Then add about 5 cups of water. My favorite part is when the cold water hits the hot pan coated in the herb’s essential oils and the fragrant steam bellows into the air. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn off, stir in loose black tea and a generous amount of crushed fresh ginger. Allow to seep for 5 minuets then strain out herbs and add water to 5 cups of warm Hemp, Cashew, Almond Milk, or Whole Raw Milk. Add Honey or Stevia to sweeten. Add 1 tsp of Ghee if you are extra cold.

Pitta

 If you tested Pitta and you live in a Vata environment this is your time to shine. It is cool enough where it could balance your firey pitta. Although there is still a potential of being “vata-ed” out depending on how well you are maintaining your pitta. Pittas are fire and water. The water element in a Seattle winter could throw your dosha in one way or another. The best thing to do is acknowledge how you feel that day, maybe even retake the dosha test on the website to see where you register at that moment. If you are cold and showing symptoms of being “vata-ed” out: a lack of concentration or running around in an unproductive circle, then you may need to raise your pitta. Focus on eating plates that are similar to steamed kale, garlic and red lentils add a small amount of ghee and paprika. If you are noticing that you are getting angry easily and having more internal upset such as heartburn then take a break from red meats, spice and fermented products (ie: beer and sauerkraut). Think about eating foods that are cooling like chic peas, plain yogurt, cilantro, and cucumbers. Use an extra bit of salt when ever possible. I advise rubbing coconut or sweet almond oil into your skin, especially on the back of your neck. Drink warm water with a fresh ginger slice and fresh mint leaves.

Pitta Chai recipe: Add dried herbs to a sauce pan with 5 cups of water: 1 tsp of Cardamom Seeds, 2 tsp of Fennel, 1 tsp Licorice Root, 1 tsp Coriander Seeds, 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds, 2 strains of saffron (opt) and generous amount of crushed ginger Bring to a boil, strain out herbs and add water to 5 cups of warm Coconut, Almond Milk or Skim Milk. Add a ½ tsp of Rose Water. Add Raw Cane Sugar or Stevia to sweeten.

Kapha

If you tested kapha and you live in a Vata environment. Be careful it is very easy to hibernate during this season. Kaphas are the earth-cool and moist-because our environment is cold and most it might tilt our kapha to excess. It is important to watch your kapha tendencies in this season. Rub Toasted Sesame Seed Oil all over the body, pay special attention to the belly. Get up and go for a walk.

Southern India Kapha Chai Recipe: Add dried herbs to a dry sauce pan: 3 whole cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp of cardamom seeds, 1 tsp of peppercorns, ½ vanilla bean pod and 3 mustard seeds Swirl in pan until you can smell the essential oils seep out of the herbs. Then add about 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn off, stir in loose black or green tea and a generous amount of crushed fresh ginger. Allow to seep for 5 minuets then strain out herbs and add water to 5 cups of warm Almond, Coconut, Rice or 2% Milk. Add Stevia to sweeten.

Stay warm, eat right, meditate, practice love.

Namaste

Surround yourself with people who spark your soul-How to live your most passionate life

By LeLa Becker

200 Hour E-RYT and Tantra Life Coach

 

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”

-Jim Rohn

It took me almost all the years of my life to realize that I have a choice when choosing the people that surround me. It has taken me that many years to learn that the people that surround me are not something that I should have to struggle for or with, but rather are a gift that I can indulge. The energies that I choose to have around me now, are those that spark my soul and propel me into my best life. It took me this many years to know what was most important to me and then even longer than that to recognize how I could get it.

I was recently asked “what does connection mean to you?” The response, that dribbled off my lips, was unfamiliar but I liked the way it sounded when the words took up the space beyond my lips. My answer was “I’d like to think that connection with righteous intent is an energy that sparks your soul.  It is received as the best expression of your heart, without judgment or worry. The best connections create a sense of ease and fulfillment within every fiber of your soul.”

We are energetic beings and although there are many ways to connect to the world around us. The practice of meditation and yoga (“to-yolk”, “to bind”) is a direct link that allows us to connect to the energies around us. As a life coach and a Tantra yoga teacher, I believe and teach that it is the energies-in which we tap into and in which we surround ourselves-that will either prevent us or accelerate us into our most passionate and productive lives. It is our conscious choice to succeed at our most passionate and productive lives.

Make a list of the 5 people that are closest to you. Categorize them in the ways in which they effect you. Is it negative? Positive? And in which parts of your life? Does your speech change when you are around them? Or the way that you find yourself dressing? Do they drain your energy? Or do they give you a surge of energy straight into your soul? Do they lift you up? or hold you back? Do they have the same values as you? If you changed something about yourself, would they still want to be around you? What is the feeling you get when you are around them? and what does that do for your life?

Analyze this list. Make moves to consciously choose the energies you want around you and the ones you do not. Then implement the 5 steps below to start to live your most passionate and productive life. 

5 first steps to clearing a path to your most passionate and productive life

1)      Sit Still:

How will you know how to recognize what you want out of life if you don’t completely know what it is? Sit Still. Give yourself the permission to meditate until it comes to you.

This is a simple meditation that you can do to clear your mind and focus on what it is that you really want out of this life.

“Sit in a comfortable chair or on the floor. Close your eyes. Breathe. Allow yourself the permission to relax. Let go of your thoughts. Release all of your thoughts. Clear your mind. Keep allowing your thoughts to float away. Like little clouds, release them and clear your mind. Release all the clutter, the important ones will come back. Sit with all the emotions, the questions, the songs, and just keep listening”

As one of my students described it. “It was like a thunderous bolt of lightening. Like someone screamed it right into my ear. I knew I had to listen to it.”

2)    Be honest:

Be completely honest with yourself.  Get out a piece of paper and figure out exactly what you want to receive from this world. Make it as silly and outlandish as you want as long it is exactly what you want.

3)    Learn to break up:

Learning the tools to leave an abusive, negative or unfulfilling situation, substance, lifestyle or connection is the hardest and most rewarding thing you can do to live a passionate and productive lifestyle.

4)    Let go:

Let go of the way you used to think or be. Let go of how the people around you want you to act or live. Let go of the expectations that others have of you.

“Remember you are under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.”

5)    Reframe your brain:

Catch yourself when you start to complain and then smile. It is in our culture to complain and it is a scientific neurological fact that the neurons that fire together, stay together. Retraining your brain to reflect the life that you want is a practice. Consciously changing from complaining to gratitude will change our lives.

This is an easy exercise. Every morning before you get out of bed and every night before you go to bed think of one thing in which you are grateful. This will help your brain to recognize gratitude rather than focusing on the negative.

Remember that the best energies are the ones that fuel your soul. The ones that allow your quirky sparks to shine. The ones that hold you up, with open hands, yet don’t hold on at all.

The ones that allow the magic to drip from your finger tips. These are ones that will support you into a future of exactly how you want to live your life.

Join LeLa at EKA for a monthly workshop that will dive deeper into these subjects. we will explore, identify and practice the life that you have always dreamed of. By practicing Tantra Yoga, Meditation (visualization, breath work, and theta healing), Journaling, Strength exercises (both mental and physical), Massage and more. Sign up today to receive your spot. Purchase for the year and receive 25% off.

For more information on LeLa's "Mind Over Matter" workshops

Ayurvedic Tips for Travel

By Valentina Komarova

Ayurvedic health counselor, yoga teacher and Thai bodywork practitioner

www.venetyoga.com

As we move into the holiday season, Ayurveda can offer some helpful tips on how to stay balanced during travel. 

Travel – exciting as it is – can aggravate Vata dosha: our airy, mobile, volatile side. Unbalanced Vata might lead to insomnia, digestion issues, anxiety and general feeling of being spacey and ungrounded. 

Travel also throws us off our daily routines and rituals with new schedule, new foods, new impressions, and a lot of change.

So would Ayurveda recommend us not to travel? Of course not! It is a wonderful way to discover yourself and expand your horizons. But Ayurveda suggests several ways to counterbalance the main issues of traveling. 

 

On the plane

 Stay hydrated: bring your own water bottle, and try to avoid stimulating and dehydrating beverages like coffee, alcohol, and soda

Eat light: have a meal before leaving for the airport, and bring snacks (such as fruits, nuts or date/nut bars) with you. If possible, avoid airplane food - though it might get tricky on a longer flight. Pro travel tip for longer flights: most airlines offer vegetarian or kosher meals, and usually those are a healthier option. You have to contact the airline and order those in advance. 

Control the temperature: you might get hot, then cold, then hot again - so dress in layers; bring a shawl and socks. 

Curate your playlist: stack up on calming, warm, grounding and soothing music (whatever that means to you) to block out in-flight noises and help you relax.

Meditation and pranayama: since you have all this time to yourself, use it to sit still (if even for 5 minutes), or do several rounds of belly breath or alternate nostril breathing. Travel is filled with movement and often with rush and worry, so take some time to slow down and sit still. These practices will help you stay grounded, and might help prevent flight anxiety.

Do some in-flight yoga: 

- Slow head rolls in half circle.

- Slowly turn your head left and right several times.

- Wrap your arms around you, trying to touch your shoulder blades with your fingertips. Then stretch your neck by pressing your ears towards your shoulders both left and right.

- Holding the armrests, gently twist.

- Hug your knees to your chest while sitting.

- Circle your feet and your wrists. 

- Try to get up and walk or stand every hour, especially on a longer flight

- Do upward salutes and forward folds while waiting in line for the WC (hi, weird looks!)

 

Once you arrive 

Go out: if you arrive during the day, go for a short brisk walk. Moving and being out in the sun will help your body to adjust to the new time zone.

Do self-massage with oil before going to bed: this practice is very calming and grounding and will help you sleep better.

Settle into a rhythm: see if you can adapt some of your daily practices for travel - a short round of sun salutations? Morning walk? Meditation? Breakfast alone? Whatever works for you to keep you steady and grounded. To help with jet lag, try to wake up and go to bed at the same time on your trip. To help your digestive system with the stress of travel, try to keep the meals regular and at the same time as much as possible. 

Key points to keep in mind for Vata, Pitta and Kapha:

Vata: it’s so easy to get inspired by new places, unfamiliar sounds, colors and foods! But don’t get carried away; keep yourself grounded with routines and rituals. Take extra care of your digestion: it’s most vulnerable when you travel.

Pitta: don't overschedule! Allow some space and time for unexpected adventures, don’t try to see everything, take time to enjoy the moment and be in the flow.

Kapha: try to get some alone time: with all the excitement of travel you need to give your mind some time and space to process new impressions and emotions.

 

Travel kit

 

   Warm shawl and socks for the plane/car travel;

   Water bottle;

   Triphala (to help with digestion)

   Herbal teas: bring your favorite ones to keep you cozy and help with digestion (peppermint, chamomile, fennel are great for digestion);

   Abhyanga oil;

   Nasya (nose) oil (if your nose gets dry on the plane);

    Essential oils: peppermint to keep you fresh and use for headaches; any blend for immune support (like Four Thieves); lavender to rub on wrists before sleep; any citrus for when you need some energy and uplifting.

 

 

Happy travels! Stay curious and grounded!

Ayurvedic Granola Bars

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Founder of Eka Yoga

Eating right, in general, is hard. Eating right for your body type is even harder. Food should be enjoyable and delicious, not stressful. Ultimately, a happy belly is a happy you.  Below you'll find a simple granola bar recipe that can be easily modified to please your dominant dosha.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped nuts (Vata: Almonds, Pitta: Peeled almonds & coconut, Kapha: Almonds)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon seeds (Vata: Flax, Pitta and Kapha: Flax, pumpkin, & sunflower)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried fruit (Vata: Apricots, Pitta: Raisins, Kapha: Cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (Pitta and Kapha only)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Then lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the oats and roughly chopped almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 7-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. While the oats are toasting, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract seeds, chia and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves, making sure to stir occasionally. Pour the butter mixture over the toasted oats and almonds and add the cranberries and golden raisins. Mix well. Let cool for 15 minutes then add the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
  4. Transfer the oat mixture to prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula firmly press the mixture into the pan until the mixture is in a uniform layer. Scatter remaining a few extra tablespoons of mini chocolate chips over the granola bars and use the same rubber spatula to gently press them into the granola so they stick. Transfer the entire pan to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.
  5. After the granola has cooled completely, gently lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles and cut it into squares or bars. Serve as needed.

Insight to Agni

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Founder of Eka Yoga

What is Agni
In Ayurveda, agni is the element of fire and is described as being the main source of life. Being considered the main source of life is not to be understated. Agni’s primary functions are digestion, assimilation, transformation, and absorption, and these functions don’t just pertain to food. Our bodies digest everything we hear, see, feel, smell, taste, and eat.  When our bodies put these functions into use, they are turning matter into energy. If our bodies cannot digest (agni is weak), that matter turns into ama or toxins.  Therefore, efficient digestion nourishes and sustains every tissue and organ in our bodies and inefficient digestion causes indigestion, which Ayurveda believes is the root of all diseases. 

A great way to visualize agni is to think of our stomachs as a giant pot. When we eat, all of our food goes into that pot, but unless the stove is on or there is a fire burning underneath that pot, nothing is going to be cooked. 

How to Increase Agni
Agni is said to lie in our solar plexus or our abdomen region, so anytime we can bring heat to that area of the body we are helping to create a robust metabolic fire.

Eating:
- Eat when you’re happy. Eat when you’re hungry.
- Eat in moderation.
- Don’t drink cold beverages with your meals.
- Drink tea or eat soup before meals.
- Drink warm water or tea after meals.


If you're looking for some assistance with keeping that fire burning during the holidays, check out Cook an Ayurvedic Thanksgiving


Yoga/Exercise:
- Navasana (boat pose)
- Any type of sit up
- Twists
- Engage in at least one aerobic activity a day where you break a sweat. 

Other:
Abhyanga (self-massage) – Using either sesame oil or a specific Abhyanga oil, massage your belly in clock-wise circles for 2-5 minutes. This should help reduce any excess gas or air that has built up in the stomach and is causing indigestion.

Tending your Fire - Food for the Vata Season

By Valentina Komarova

Ayurvedic health counselor, yoga teacher and Thai bodywork practitioner

www.venetyoga.com

 

Ayurveda suggests that we adjust our daily rituals and foods to the seasons, same as we change our wardrobe with the changing weather. This way we are working with the natural forces around us and within us, not against them, to keep us balanced.
Autumn through mid-winter is considered Vata season in Ayurveda. Vata is comprised of air and space elements, and Vata season is cold, dry, rough and windy. People who naturally have a lot of Vata tend to get out of balance the most, but during Vata season all of us could develop Vata imbalances: ungroundedness, trouble keeping focus, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, irregular digestion.
To restore balance, Ayurveda recommends to cultivate the opposing qualities. The cold, dry and rough season can be balanced with lifestyle practices (hyperlink) and foods that bring warm, smooth, heavy and oily qualities.
To better understand some of the following recommendations, it’s useful to keep in mind that Ayurveda views our digestive process as fire that burns the food within us. The stronger the fire, the better the food is digested. Weak or irregular fire cannot process food as efficiently and leads to accumulation of unprocessed food and waste - ama or toxins - in our body. 
So the key focus of the autumn practices is to tend our internal fire: to keep the body and spirit warm and healthy.


Here are some steps you can take to support your digestion in the Vata season:


1.    Make a point to eat regularly, don’t skip meals - for even burn, fire needs stable supply of fuel.
2.    Eat with the sun - our digestive fire lives by the sun, and it’s strongest at noon. If you eat your biggest meal of the day at that time, you highly increase the chances that food will be fully digested, working with the natural forces within you, not against them.
3.    Eat warm, cooked foods. That raw green smoothie that was so good in the summer might not sit well with you in the autumn. Generally, soups, stews, hot bowls and curries are your friends in autumn, as one-pot meals are considered in Ayurveda easier to digest. Added bonus: these dishes are usually quick to put together, which frees up time, as our lives become busier in the autumn. And if you are craving greens, try sautéing them (my favorite combination is cooking the greens in coconut oil with cumin and fennel seeds).
4.    Add oils to balance the dryness of the season. Cook with ghee. Dress your salad or bowl with olive or toasted sesame oil, and add seeds and nuts. Avocados are a great source of oil, and make an excellent spread for sandwiches. 
5.    Support your digestion with fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kombucha. Take a little every day with your main meal.
6.    Favor sweet, salty, sour tastes: these are considered building tastes in Ayurveda, they are nourishing and grounding. This does not mean that you should eat dessert with every meal - meat, rice, wheat, oats and beans such as chickpeas, mung beans, red lentils are considered sweet in Ayurveda, as well as dairy products, such as cheese and milk. Have some dried fruits - figs, dates or apricots - for dessert. Lightly salted roasted nuts and seeds will make a good Vata snack.
7.    Eat seasonal root vegetables: beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, corn. And of course pumpkins, acorns and squash!
8.    Use lots of warming spices: garlic, ginger, anise, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, cumin, fennel, nutmeg. A trick I learned in my Ayurveda training is to get a traditional spice tray - that way your spices are always in front of you when you are cooking, and you will want to use at least several, if not all of them. 
9.    Take herbal teas - chamomile, peppermint, ginger, fennel seeds - to keep you warm and support digestion. Traditional masala chai is also an excellent drink for the Vata season.
10.    Change of seasons is always a good time for a gentle cleanse, but be mindful of raw and juice/smoothies ones, as these might not go so well in the autumn. Light soups or a traditional Ayurvedic cleanse with kitchari will work great. 

Stay warm and grounded!

Move into Vata Season with Success

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Founder of Eka Yoga

As you feel and watch the weather cool down, the wind pick up, and leaves begin to dry and fall to the streets, you may notice that your body is doing similar things. Your body temperature might be a bit lower, your mind scattered, and your skin dry. 
These are all Vata imbalances and even if your body type is not Vata dominant, you can can still experience Vata imbalances. 

Your body is more connected to the seasons than often accredited for. A change in season can be challenging if you don't know how to properly balance those imbalances that come along with it. Below, I've listed a quick guide to keep you grounded and balanced as you and your body transition into Fall. 


Physical Activity


Participate in activities that are heat cultivating, strong, and grounding. In addition, activities that are going to keep you focused and help you build stability and balance are key. If yoga is your go to activity, add twists. Twists are a great way to release any excess air that is being stored in the belly, aka bloating. 

Food


Eat foods that are heavy, grounding, and cooked in oil. Root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and beets will be particularly Vata pacifying.

Day to Day


Make a routine for yourself. The Vata dosha is known as the mover, which is something we need, but when imbalanced can cause us to easily jump from one activity to the other or one thought to the other. Having a consistent schedule or a routine helps ensure you stay on track.

Ayurvedic Strawberry Kale Orzo Salad

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Founder of Eka Yoga

As we move into the summer months and the outside temperature begins to rise so does our inside temperature.  Ayurveda, a Hindu medical system that uses yoga, diet, and herbal formulas to bring wellness and balance to an individual’s entire well-being, believes that this heat increases our Pitta or our fire and water elements. To decrease excess Pitta, one should eat foods that are cooling, dry, hearty, and energizing.  This salad is just what the doctor ordered.

Serves: 4

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

 

Salad Ingredients

4 cups water

2 cups Farmigo’s Mediterranean and herb orzo

½ a head of kale

2 cups strawberries

½ cup cashews

 

Dressing Ingredients

2 tbs. olive oil

3 tbs. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. black pepper

Salt to taste

 

Directions

Add orzo to 4 cups of boiling water.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until orzo is al dente.  After cooking, place orzo into a bowl and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or until cool.

 

While orzo is cooling, chop kale into bite size pieces and slice strawberries.

Prepare dressing by whisking olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper together.

Add kale, strawberries, cashews, orzo, and dressing into a large mixing bowl, toss, and serve! 

Himalaya Yoga Valley Interview with Angela - Continuing Your Yoga Education

Last August, I was lucky enough to be interviewed by my amazing yoga school, Himalaya Yoga Valley. In the interview, we talk a bit about Eka Yoga,  but mostly we talk about what to expect when you decide to continue your yoga education in a 500 hour training.  If you are interested in doing any type of yoga training or retreat, I highly recommend HYV.  You can find out more about HYV, what they have to offer, and their locations around the world at http://yogagoaindia.com/

                                                      500 Hour Teacher Training Welcome Puja

                                                      500 Hour Teacher Training Welcome Puja

 

In this article we interview one of our 500 hour graduates Angela Glaz of Eka Yoga Seattle to share a personal experience with those thinking of further education and development through a 500 hr Teacher Training. This post gives a great insight into the differences between a 200 hour and 500 hour Teacher Training and what you can expect if you choose to further your study in this capacity.

For those graduates who are not familiar with you Angela can you tell us a little bit about yourself; name, location, current teaching status etc…?        

My name is Angela Glaz and I am currently living in Seattle, WA, USA with my husband and fur child, a Dachshund named Desta. Currently, I teach weekly Hatha and Vinyasa with a local studio I have been with since they opened their doors four years ago. Throughout my time with this studio I’ve also taught kids yoga series and workshops on: The Bandhas, Chakras, and Ayurveda. Early this September, I will be taking the first steps in opening my own yoga center, Eka Yoga. Eka’s vision is to honour and serve the uniqueness of every mind, body and spirit through yoga and Ayurveda. You can find out more about Eka Yoga at www. ekayogaseattle.com

Congratulations on the opening of your new Yoga studio, what an incredible step to take as a Teacher! Before opening your studio you decided to complete your 500hr Yoga Teacher Training with Himalaya Yoga Valley, what drew you to this schools program and how would you describe your experiences in 500 hr tt compared to your 200 hr?

It is nearly impossible to narrow it down to one thing! My top two reasons for attending my 500 hour with HYVC (Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre) are: HYVC’s mission to stay true to the source of yoga and their foresight to include a business immersion week in their 500hr curriculum. As for the differences between level 1 training & level 2, the 200hr TT (teacher training) is comparable to high school, you’re learning your basics or the foundation of your education. Your 500hr TT is like attending college or university. You have the chance to explore and a build upon that foundation. For me personally, I felt like I was a hot mess through my entire 200hr TTC. I learned a lot about yoga, but mostly I learned a lot about myself. My 500hr on the other-hand was completely different! I still had my days where my practice brought up things that I would have preferred stayed buried, but I felt as though I was more comfortable in my own skin, willing and ready to explore what was next for me personally and educationally. Although you are still on a pretty tight schedule during your 500hr, I felt as though the HYVC team gave me the room, the tools, and the encouragement to do that exploring.

Before you arrived on your level 2 training you were asked to start investigating an area (s) of interest or specialisation that you would like to focus on and research during your time here, what inspired you to specialise and develop your teaching knowledge in ‘Yoga and Ayurveda for your 500hr Portfolio development?

Through out my life, I always strived to be healthy, yet never really felt healthy. During my 200hr, I was introduced to Ayurveda, and I found it fascinating! I continued to educate myself on the topic for my own well-being, and sure enough, it changed my life just as much as yoga had. Most of us do a teacher training because yoga did something great for us and we want to give others the opportunity to find that greatness through yoga as well. I did my research on Ayurveda for the same reason. I wanted to know more about the connection between Ayurveda and yoga so that I could give my students a well rounded wellness experience.

It sounds as though you went into your 500hr with a really clear idea of what you hoped to gain and expected to achieve during your experience, not that all student-teachers would be in the same position, however based on your initial inspiration for attending a level 2 training how do you feel the program supported your professional development & over all learning goals?

When I returned home, I took the business outline and "Yoga and Ayurveda" research paper, I was assigned to work on throughout my training, and I turned it into an actual business plan. I am presently in the process of finding a space and getting the funding to make the plan a reality.

Upon your initial return and previous to opening your own centre you returned to teaching at your local studio, what changes did you have or did your students notice in your teaching?

The most popular response I received from my students when I returned home was, “You seem more in charge, and I like it.” It’s a funny thing to say, but I understood what my students were trying to convey. When I returned, I felt as though I had earthquake proofed and added a few new stories to the original foundation I built in my 200hr.

Wow, sounds like your students had a fantastic response to your return, in what other ways do you feel your have applied what you learned on your training not only to your teaching but also to your personal practice?

In my teaching, I am sure to never ever ever say, “your first dog of the day.” Also, I’ve been making a conscious effort to tell the story behind the sequence I plan in order to show my students how it all connects – intentions, breath, asanas, sanskrit, philosophy, health benefits, etc. In my personal practice, I am very proud to say that I have made sure to keep my routine of my morning meditation, pranayama, and asanas, even if it’s only 15-20 minutes. I leave my house by 6:30am every morning for a walking meditation with my husband and dog and I make sure to do at least one breathing exercise and five sun salutations before I go to work. There are many mornings when I am sure that staying in bed is the answer, but as soon as I finish my practice, I’m always grateful that I chose the later.

Although developing your knowledge and personal practice were strong elements of the 500hr TTC, what was the highlight or most valuable aspect of the 500hr TT program coming back as an experience Yoga teacher?

I really enjoyed and also found the one-to-one weekly meetings with our assigned teacher super helpful. Whether I was feeling overwhelmed, unsure, confused, or nervous about anything and everything that was part of my training, Eveanna always knew what to say and what tools to give me to move forward in a successful way.

Do you have any final comments or anything else about the training that that you learned on the training course that surprised you or that you wish to share?

“We are society yogi’s.” Lalit made sure to remind us that although we do our best to stick to tradition, we live in a world where two 2 hour yoga practices per day is not realistic for most. We are not yogi’s living in a cave, we live in a society where we need to pay bills, care for our family, etc. We do not have to renounce the world to be good yogi’s. I feel that HYVC’s well developed curriculum, knowledgeable teachers, and welcoming space has created a yoga program that can’t be beat. I’m so thankful for the knowledge, tools, and encouragement that they’ve passed
my way.

Ayurveda for Beginners

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Founder of Eka Yoga

Ayurveda: the sister science to yoga, the medical side of yoga, the lore of life, healing through nature, life knowledge… all correctly define this ancient healing practice, but don’t quite tell us how to use it or do it.  If you’re up for going all in, you could read the four textbooks written on the fundamental principals of Ayurveda. However, you will find that reading a textbook in general is usually less than exciting and it’s pretty time consuming.  If Ayurveda resonates with you and you’re interested in dipping a toe or two in to try it out, let me hold your hand. 

Ayurveda – Ayuh meaning life and veda meaning knowledge, in a nutshell, is an ancient system (perhaps the oldest) of healing that stems from the beautiful land of India.  The main purpose of Ayurveda is to heal and maintain the quality and longevity of life.  We can do this by understanding and honoring our own unique qualities, our dosha or body type.  To find your body type, it’s qualities, and ways to balance its imbalances head to http://www.ekayogaseattle.com/ayurveda/

Finding your dosha will bring clarity to a number of things you’ve thought or wondered about yourself and your body. Please keep in mind, not one dosha is better than the other. We are all a combination of the three, but most of us are dominant in one.  Each dosha requires it’s own unique lifestyle regime; exercise routine, eating habits, and sleeping patterns. However there are other simple Ayurvedic practices to incorporate into your routine that benefit all body types. 

4 Ayurvedic Rituals to Add to your Routine 

                                                                                                              Gandoosh - Oil Pulling

                                                                                                              Gandoosh - Oil Pulling

 

1. Tongue Scraping (Jiva Shodhana) 


Need: Metal or plastic tongue scraper 

How to do it: Let it be the first thing thing you do when you wake up in the morning – do on empty stomach. Scrape tongue from back to front as many times as needed until tongue feels clean. Rinse scraper after each scrape. 

Benefits: Removes accumulated toxins from digestive track (ama) – these toxins would otherwise be absorbed by your body. Removes oral bacteria that causes Halitosis. Activates saliva, which aids in digestion or keeping your internal fire (agni) burning. Opens pores on tongue and stimulates taste buds. Promotes teeth and gum health – helps reduces plaque, tooth decay, gum infections and gum recession.


2. Oil Pulling (Gandoosh) 


Need: Oil (coconut or sesame - coconut oil is known for having antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory properties)

How to do it: Take about 1tbs. of oil and swoosh it around mouth for 15-20 minutes. Do not swallow oil. Spit out in garbage and then rinse mouth with warm water. 

Benefits: The fat enzymes from the oil pull out bad bacteria, congestion, mucous and expel it from the body. Helps reduce inflammation in the gums and gum disease.
Eliminates bad breath. Soothes sore throats. Enhances the senses, increase mental clarity. Reduce fatigue and Kapha imbalances.

 

3. Dry Brushing (Garshana)


Need: Brush with natural and thick bristles or silk glove (Try to avoid synthetic fibers)

How to do it:  Start with the bottoms of your feet and work your way up to your hips using upward strokes (moving toward your heart). Press as hard as is comfortable. Next, start with your hands and move up toward your shoulders using upward strokes. Move circular around your joints. After your brush your limbs, move to your back, stomach, and then chest, neck, and face.  (Move clock-wise around your stomach) Pay special attention to your inner thighs and armpits- areas where we stimulate the lymphatic system.

Benefits: Stimulates the skin and lymphatic system- enhancing blood circulation and the release of accumulated toxins. Promotes exfoliation and skin renewal. Helps balance Kapha imbalances – the increase of blood circulation increases energy levels.  (Especially good to do during the winter) Calms the nervous system. Rejuvenates cells and helps prevent premature aging. 

4. Self-Massage (Abhyanga)


Need: Warm oil (Jojoba oil is good for all 3 doshas and as a facial moisturizer)

How to do: Massage entire body beginning at the crown of your head. Massage up along your arms and legs (moving toward your heart). Massage in upward circular motion around face and joints. Massage in clockwise motion around your stomach and chest. Take extra time on feet and earlobes - where nerve endings and marma points are that connect to essential organs.  Let oils soak into deeper layers of skin for 15-20 minutes – follow with a warm bath or shower. (Don’t scrub off oil – only wash off excess oil using a mild soap)

Benefits: Increases circulation, specifically at nerve endings. Calms of the nerves. Lubricates the joints. Helps eliminate toxins from the body. Helps with sleep. Promotes soft and healthy skin. Helps increase energy levels.

 

 

The Birdy Breakfast

The Birdy Breakfast has been created to satisfy the taste buds and the bellies of both Vata and Pitta body types. This recipe gives you plenty of wiggle room to change, add, and leave out.  Have fun with it!

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 

 

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup dry cereal (Choose according to your Dosha's needs) *

1-2 cups nuts/seeds (Choose according to your Dosha's needs) *

3/4 cup dried fruit (Choose according to your Dosha's needs) *

1/2 cup chia seeds *

1/2 cup flax seeds *

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup oil (Choose according to your Dosha's needs)

3/4 tsp. salt

* Can change or leave out of the recipe

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine oats, nuts, fruit, and brown sugar. 

In separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. 

Combine both mixtures and pour onto 1 large cooking sheet or 2 small cooking sheets (make sure mixture is spread thinly across cooking sheets). 

Bake for one hour (give or take 15 minutes depending on your oven). Stir every 15 minutes. 

Cool for 30 minutes and then mix in cereal, chia seeds, and flax seeds. 

 

A Little Taste of Earth

The perfect meal for Vata season, Vata body types, or for any body type that feels they need to be grounded. 

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

3 Small Yellow Beets

5-6 Colored Carrots - yellow, purple, white

5oz Fresh Arugula


1 Cup Wild rice

1 Cup Lentils - Yellow or Black

2-3 tbs Sesame Oil

2 tsp Cumin

2 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Sea Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Peel beets and then chop into 1/2-1 inch chunks. Chop carrots into small circles. No need to peel carrots unless skin is looking dry. 

In large mixing bowl mix 1-2 tbs sesame oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp turmeric, and 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Add beets and carrots to oil and spice blend. Mix until vegetables are completely covered in oil. After vegetables are saturated, spread them out on a large baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until vegetable are tender. 

Lentils: Use 3 cups of liquid (water or vegetable broth) to 1 cup of dry lentils.  Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until lentils are soft (15-20 minutes).

Rice: Use 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until rice is soft (15-20 minutes).

Arugula: Using a large frying pan, heat remaining sesame oil (1tbs) on medium heat. Once oil is heated or is easily able to slide around in pan, add arugula and remaining cumin (1 tsp), turmeric (1 tsp), and sea salt (1/2 tsp).  Saute arugula in oil and spices for 5-6 minutes or until soft. 

Beets and carrots are root vegetables and the roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation. Roots are an essential part of any plant, they support and nourish. When we ingest these roots, we are supporting and nourishing our bodies and minds, which in return enables us to feel grounded and balanced. 
Sesame oil is warming - bringing heat to the belly or igniting the digestive juices that aid proper digestion. Sesame oil also helps alleviate dryness of the skin/hair.

A Veggie Burger That Will Please All Body Types

Eating right in general is hard and eating right for your body type is even harder. Food should be enjoyable and delicious, not stressful.  With this in mind, I've created a veggie burger that can be easily modified to satisfy all body types. 

Serves: 9-10

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

                                                         Kapha veggie burger served over a bed of arugula and a side of polenta. 

                                                         Kapha veggie burger served over a bed of arugula and a side of polenta. 

 

Vata Veggie Burger

1 cup cooked rice 

28 oz cooked lentils 

2 eggs

3/4 cup grated beet or carrot

1 small onion (finely chopped)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp thyme 

1  1/4 tsp salt

1 cup wheat bread crumbs 

 

Pitta Veggie Burger

1 cup cooked barley 

2 14 oz cans of chickpeas

2 eggs

3/4 cup grated zucchini

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cilantro

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 cup wheat bread crumbs

 

Kapha Veggie Burger

1 cup cooked barley 

2 14 oz cans of chickpeas or black beans

2 eggs

3/4 cup grated carrot

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 small onion (finely chopped)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chilli pepper or paprika

1 cup bread crumbs (if possible not made of  wheat, oats, or rice)

 

Directions

Cook barley/rice as normal. 

In a large bowl, mash beans/lentils.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix. 

Preheat large skillet and 2-3 tbs of oil on low - medium heat. 

Using spoon or hands, make patties from burger mixture (1/2 cup of the mixture will make a regular sized burger).   Cook each side for about 7 minutes or until golden brown. 

Precooked burgers are good up to 5 days if kept refrigerated. Raw or precooked burgers can last up to 3 months if kept frozen.