Ayurveda Health April Newsletter 2017
– Autumn – transitioning with the seasons- looking after the Vata dosha
– Food is the Perfect Medicine.
– Dr Vijay Murthy – a fantastic opportunity to attend a workshop on the topical subject of Intermittent fasting…a few “one on one” consultations (with Dr Vijay Murthy) offered on the 11th May
– Restorative/Yin practice/Meditation practice – new 6-week course starting (Yoga Tree in Takapuna) Tuesday 2nd May
– Recipe – Spiced Lentil soup with Coconut Milk
Quote I love …
The seasons are shifting …the days are becoming shorter and the temperatures are becoming colder. You can really feel the transitions of the seasons and it is a time when we become a little more vulnerable.
“Real flowers are much more beautiful than plastic ones, in part because of their impermanence. We appreciate the seasons, the autumn and the spring, because they are a process of change. In this way, impermanence is beauty.” – Chögyam Trungpa
As the seasons change so does the dominant dosha in our immediate environment. In the fall Vata increases and this tends to make people, especially Vata types, more prone to symptoms like constipation, sore and dry throats, excessive dry skin, anxiety, sciatica and increased insomnia. The word Vata means to move and this is an important clue to the character of the Vata individual. Vata regulates all activity in the body; from the number of thoughts we have, to how quickly and efficiently food moves through the digestive tract. The behavior that Vatas are drawn to – erratic hours, travel, frequent change, and excessive movement – can easily upset their balance. Excessive vata makes the mind restless and hyperactive. Like the wind the vata types have a hard time feeling grounded, when their Vata becomes aggravated. Sticking to a routine is difficult for them, but is vital for them to remain healthy. To decrease vata, Ayurveda has given us dietary, lifestyle and herbal treatment strategies. Here are a few underlying concepts that these strategies are based on:
Have a look at products that help keep Vata in balance – click here
Food is the perfect medicine.
In Ayurveda Food is the number one focus in healing. We know that food builds, fuels and repairs every cell in the body, and by means of the subtler energies it also fuels and heals our emotions. What you eat is as important to your mental health, as it is to your physical health.
Ayurveda recognizes that we are all so different and that “one shoe does not fit all.” All foods are classified according to taste; Virya i.e. heating or cooling effect; the dominant quality (guna) of the food eg drying, oily etc. The principle of strength of digestion and the amount of toxins on the body, are always taking into consideration. A good example of right diet wrong person, would to treat a Vata dominant person with all raw food and juices for long periods of time. This would eventually increase the Vata through the cold, astringent, and drying action of the food. Raw is Ok for detox, but generally for Vata people, they require more warm and unctuous foods. To treat a person’s health without careful regard to diet is like tending a garden without checking the soil and amount of sunshine and water it receives. . Good food leads to good health and mental well-being.
Intermittent fasting – workshop with Dr Vijay Murthy May 10th
We are so excited and honored to have Dr Vijay visit NZ in May. During this time he will be offering his expertise on a topical subject. Intermittent fasting as the most effective solution for:
This will include how to fast and how not to. Traditional ways of fasting and the scientific evidence on medicinal fasting. His bio is impressive view here – click and I really encourage you to try and make his talk. You will learn a lot as he is a great communicator. There will be allocated time for questions. Details are as follows – View Facebook Event – Click Here
In addition to this he will be allocating the next day – Thursday 11th May Vijay will be offering – one on one consultations. These will be held here at Ayurveda Health in Milford. There are a few spaces left in the afternoon If you wish to book please email me email@example.com. It will be a case of “First in first served”.
Yoga – Restorative class moving into lead meditation…(yes it is good for vata)
We are offering a “restorative class moving in to meditation” again starting for 6 weeks in May.
Tuesday evenings from May 2nd – 7.00pm to 8.15 pm
A very nourishing form of Yoga that benefits all people (there is no need to have had any prior yoga experience).
All people are very welcome. Register online: www.theyogatree.co.nz
Spiced Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk –
Note this recipe serves about 6 people.
We have made this recipe in our cooking classes and I am feeling like eating this warm and nourishing food again. Very yummy and perfect for the coming colder months. The recipe calls for green lentils. Split or red lentils will likely get too mushy here. I used 4 cups broth because I like my soups on the stewy side, if you prefer more broth to you soup, add another cup or two when cooking the lentils.
1 1/2 cup lentils, rinsed (green suggested)
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp cumin and coriander powder
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 large red onion, diced
2 stalks lemongrass, outer layer removed, lower portion finely minced
1 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. cinnamon pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
Pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cup coconut milk (use full fat, just believe me)
3 Tbsp. lemons, lime or orange juice
A few handfuls of swiss chard, spinach or kale
1 cup flake coconut, toasted (optional)
Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Add the rinsed lentils, broth, thyme and turmeric , cumin and coriander powders to a large pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
While the lentils cook, heat the coconut oil in a pan. Add the onion and sauté until just browned. Add the lemongrass, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, pinch of red pepper flakes and some fresh ground nutmeg and sauté another minute. Add the onion mixture to the lentils and stir, keeping the heat on a low simmer. Add the coconut milk and greens and simmer another five minutes, stirring occasionally until just wilted. Taste for salt and spice and add, as you prefer. Finish with the citrus juice and serve warm with toasted coconut flakes and cilantro on top.
A thought plus a quote…
Intuition, intention, awareness, acceptance are cornerstones in creating lasting change. On and off the Yoga mat, these principles enable us to let go of old patterns and ways of being.
• Our thoughts become our words
• Our words become our actions
• Our actions become our habits
• Our habits become who we are.
“Most people work hard and spend their health trying to achieve wealth. Then they retire and spend their wealth trying to get back their health.”
Your body is designed to preserve its own health. It is constantly replenishing its cells. Every second, several million red blood cells are removed and replaced from your circulatory system. Every five days your stomach lining is renewed. Every thirty days, you have a brand new protective skin. Every ninety days, your body turns over all the molecules that make up your bones.
Why do we not get well?
If one has clogged blood vessels or intermittent headaches, it won’t necessarily be obvious to see how acrylamides in crisps, casein in pasteurised and homogenised dairy, free radicals in cheap vegetable oils, sugar, aspartame, and the multitude of other disease-causing compounds found in our diet are injuring our cells internally.
With the abundance and endless varieties of foods available from our supermarkets why is it impossible to feel nourished by what we buy?
It is simple …. nature is not in command. Often our foods are sweetened, emulsified, stabilized, salted, irrigated, bleached, blanched, polished, degermed, sprayed, anti-spoiled… By the time some of the food reaches our tables it is loaded with more chemicals than a chemist shop. Additionally, it is hard to observe the damage that stress-related compounds released because of anger or anxiety does to our organs. What happens to our energy stores when we act against our own values or respond out of fear? Where does our “moral compass” come into play when preventing illness or getting well.
We all know about good food choices, good lifestyle choices, exercise, sunlight, positivity and stress-coping techniques, – but it can be hard to remain focused and motivated when you can’t see the effects of our choices in real-time. I am always so surprised when people expect immediate relief in conditions that have taken years to manifest. Most alternative therapies require some form of self-responsibility.
What Then Does It Take To Stay Healthy? Everyone in today’s World who wants to be healthy, has a personal responsibility to learn as much as possible about health.
We have a huge amount of information available to us, which can be very confusing and overwhelming. Ayurveda teaches us to take personal responsibility by experiencing ie you need to participate in Ayurveda to understand it. In Ayurveda food and actions are the keys to healing. We hear a lot about food but not so much about actions (and how energetically they can affect us).
Ayurveda can’t prevent someone from aging or death. But it can strengthen body and mind to make the journey of life more enjoyable. The Ayurveda perspective is to get away from the idea of quick fixes that is so firmly entrenched in our culture. Most healing takes time and commitment. We need to heal not only the body, but mind and spirit. Both Yoga and Ayurveda aim in gradual and natural deep internal changes. Not forced or superficial. Below are some tips that I hope you find useful.
Recipe of the month.
I very much enjoy the fresh chutneys to add digestive power, but also taste to foods such as Risottos or other rice or meat dishes, that need a little zing. In Ayurveda Beetroot are best for Vata constitutions because they are sweet in taste, warm, moist and add mass.
However, for Pitta types a small amount of juice can be therapeutic for liver conditions. The medicinal properties of Beetroot utilized in Ayurveda are for uterine disorders, constipation and hemorrhoids. As beetroot are economical and still in season, this is an easy and appropriate recipe to try.
Blend one large boiled and skinned beetroot with 1 tsp each of toasted cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black peppercorns.
Sauté 1 small red onion 2 cloves of garlic and 2 green chilies.
Add 1 tsp salt, 30 grams fresh coriander, 1 tblsp Tamarind sauce, a tomato (skinned) and the juice of one lemon.
Combine and serve fresh – Delicious ….. a bit hot & spicy for the Pitta digestion but good for stimulating Kapha & warming Vata
Featured Product – Bramhi Vati
When do I think of Bramhi Vati – anytime we have that feeling of brain fog, or just lack of mental clarity. Good to use before exams or when highly stressed and “can’t think straight.”
Bramhi Vati – A traditional Ayurveda formulated product containing Bramhi, Ashwagangha and shankapusphi herbs. Click here to buy now.
Laying the Foundation for your health…
I have focused this newsletter on vibrational energy and health. Prana (life-force) is the common thread between Ayurveda and Yoga. It includes some suggestions that we can apply to increase our “vibration” and why slow Yoga works. Also, a recipe that is yummy and healthy – good for this time of year – plus a quote that resonates with me. Here’s to 2017 – may we be peaceful, loving and courageous.
Ways to raise your vibration –
We all know what it is like to be happy. We literally feel lighter and more expansive. The happier we are the more we will invite happier experiences as we are operating at a different frequency. When we are unhappy we feel heavy and denser. Sometimes just checking in as to how we are feeling will alter our vibration. Perception always starts with awareness.
Some suggestions to raise your vibration
- Find something of beauty every day and honor it.
It may be a flower, a child’s smile or a beautiful painting.
- Be grateful. Make a list and cultivate the attitude of gratitude.
- Do something for someone else. Takes the attention of yourself and creates an aspect of abundance
- Stop complaining and gossiping
- Exercise- walk, yoga, get active.
It has been proven that exercise releases endorphins that make us feel happier
- Listen to music – ancient chants are designed to alter your frequency.
- Breathe – slow the breath down. This has a direct effect on the nervous system.
A calm vibration is a higher vibration.
- Meditate daily
- Hug someone or smile.
Removing Density from your body – why slow yoga
Because of stress, poor diet, lack of movement, aging and emotions, the body can become very dense. When the body becomes dense, it becomes very stiff and rigid. The body’s life force or prana, which moves through every cell of the body, cannot do so fluidly in the presence of a dense physical body. One of the purposes of yoga asana (poses) is to help break up the density of the physical body, thus allowing the prana to flow more freely. For this to happen, the posture needs to be held for an extended period. This is where restorative and Yin yoga comes in. Long holds allow the muscles to begin to relax.
If you hold a posture for just 15-30 seconds, the tendons – the attachments where the muscles connect to the bone – tighten in resistance to the stretch. If the posture is held for 2 minutes or more, the belly of the muscle where all the blood – and with it the potential elasticity – are found will begin to release and lengthen. Lengthening the belly of the muscle is like putting elastic links in a chain – the result is more permanent elasticity and flexibility.
With greater muscle flexibility and elasticity, the prana can begin to mod help break up the subtle mental, emotional and energetic blocks in the body. Per the Ayurveda philosophy there are 72,000 nadis or subtle energy channels in the body. Once the Prana begins to move, through slow yoga, breathe, meditation and a balanced lifestyle, the nadis become activated and our bodies do feel less dense. Don’t get me wrong, I love and support all types of Yoga, but more and more see the benefit or a restorative practise.
If you would like to experience a mix of restorative, Yin and meditation … there is a course starting at:
The Yoga Tree in Takapuna on Wednesdays 6.45pm to 8.00pm from the 1st March up to and including the 12th April.
Click here to book now
Why have an Ayurveda Consultation?
The beginning of the year is a good time to review your health and be inspired to make change for the better. Ayurveda is a fantastic preventative medicine. Once the basic principles are understood you can take responsibility for your own well-being by increased awareness as to what makes you feel better and what makes you happy.
If you have not already considered an Ayurveda consultation as a good launching pad to improve your health. (There is a 20% discount this month if you book by the end of February).
Make a booking – click here
Recipe for the summer months…
The recipe I am enjoying is… Persian Cucumber Salad
It makes for a complete meal in itself, and once your potatoes are cooked, it comes together rather quickly. Recipe below…
Newsletter – November/December 2016
Living according to the season – the summer months
How I love summer. The sun is out, the days are longer, we can spend more time outside, and most of us feel generally happier and healthier.
In Ayurveda we see it as a time when the fire element is increased, there is more warmth, lightness and dryness. These are qualities that increase Pitta and can also increase Vata.
If we are of dominant Pitta constitution it is even more important to adjust your routine to cater for the change in weather. Pitta can build up in the digestive system, liver, eyes, skin, and heart at this time of year. This can result in conditions such as diarrhea, inflamed and red skin, sensitive eyes, hypertension, anger and frustration.
Here are some Ayurveda suggestions for your summer routine
- A light massage with room temperature coconut oil* (or Pitta reducing oil) nourish the skin and clear any heat. Wash this off with cool water.
- Your diet in the summer should consist of sweet, bitter, astringent flavors and be light and easy to digest.
- In the summer it is best to avoid all dark meats such as beef, lamb and pork as well as citrus fruits, tomato, garlic, onion, salt and sour dairy products as these all increase pitta.
- Coffee and alcohol should be avoided (or at less limited)
- Utilise the cooling herbs – cumin, coriander, fennel, peppermint leaves and mint as digestive herbs (pitta digest) – link
- When you are thirsty try drinking cool herbal teas of peppermint, licorice, fennel and rose. Limes are also very cooling.
- Before you go to bed, especially if it has been a hot day, rub the soles of your feet with *Bramhi oil to bring all the heat down to your feet
- Spray your face with *organic rose water “during the day or before going to bed– very cooling Suggested Yoga Practise to reduce Pita
- Start your yoga practice with some cooling and calming Sheetali pranayama- this is an especially calming and soothing practice where you roll your tongue into a tube and then draw the air in through this tube and out through your nostrils. You can just feel the cool air chilling you out!
- Pitta can accumulate in the digestive system, especially the liver and small intestine. Do some abdominal stretches and abdominal twists for helping to clear pitta from your belly. Try Trikonasna (triangle series), Bhujangasana (cobra), Matsyendrasana (twist), Ushtrasana (camel).
- It is important to not do too many inverted poses (esp headstand) as these bring heat up to your head if you are already a bit of a pitta prone person or are suffering from hypertension.
- After yoga anoint yourself with some sandalwood or rose oil. Place a drop on your third eye, throat and navel to keep these centers cool and calm.
Lets talk about Asparagus
I love Asparagus and have been munching my way through, many stalks, as the season is short lived in NZ Asparagus, in Ayurveda is one of the few vegetables that can be eaten by all doshas with no aggravation. Sweet, astringent and bitter, cool light and moist, it is ideal for Pitta. It stabilises Vata, being easy to digest, and lightens Kapha. Medically it can be used as a slight laxative, nerve sedative, general tonic and demulcent.
That aside it tastes delicious just steamed with a dash of ghee, some grated fresh ginger, black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste. In writing this newsletter I came across this recipe – It is a take on the kitchari recipe given last month utilizing Asparagus as the main vegetable. Have a look – it’s healing and delicious.
I have made two huge batches of this stew in the past 3 months and am not tired of it at all. Enjoy something new!
- 1 teaspoon ghee (I substituted olive oil)
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 cup finely chopped leeks (wash carefully – white parts only)View recipe – click here
Featured Herb – Amalaki (also known as Amia)
How I love this herb…Being Pitta in nature I have first hand felt the benefit of Amalaki. It is very beneficial for the heart of the body and also the emotional heart promoting longitivtiy. It is the best single herb for controlling Pitta being a front line anti-inflammatory herb. The fruit is very high in Vitamin C and hence a powerful anti oxidant. It is used to treat hemorrhoids, gout, gastritis, colitis, liver or spleen disorders, premature greying, hair loss, and palpitation. Can be bought in caps or powder and is the key ingredient in last months featured product Chyavanprash
Rose the cooling flower
Roses are coming into full bloom…here are a couple of recipes that you can utilize to make the most of the petals… It would be appropriate to mention that 1,400,000 hand picked petals are required to produce 1 liter of rose oil (that equates to 67 blossoms to give one drop). We need to remember these statistics and savor and appreciate each drop of oil as a gift of healing.
Rose Water Toner
You will need:
- 1 cup organic rose petals,
- 2 cups boiling filtered water
- and 1 spray bottle
Place the rose petals in a pot or metal bowl. Cover the petals with boiling water and soak for around 1 hour.
Strain and pour the rose water into a spray bottle. Store in the fridge. Rose water is slightly astringent, cooling and great for sensitive skin.
Ayurveda does not separate Mind and body. We see good health as not just a absence of disease but the ability to be the best that we can possibly be. Emotions have an effect on our health and you will see in the following graphic, emotions traditionally associated with particular organs. Sometimes eating right and exercising is not enough we have to look at our ability to feel and greet our emotions – both good and bad. Carl Jung said “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the dark more conscious. “By facing our emotions we can explore them and develop more resilience This is where mindfulness and meditation have a role – reflection and self-study all play their part in healing.
With spring upon us it is the perfect time to shake off the winter heaviness and recalibrate and invigorate our bodies. Our bodies naturally detox every day however with the large number of toxins we are exposed to daily through pollution, insecticides, alcohol, coffee, processed foods our bodies get overloaded.
The practice of cleansing is considered a vital part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle. It provides a means to clear accumulated waste and toxicity that can accumulate in the tissues compromising our health Panchakarma which is the Ayurveda cleansing and detoxing technique is often recommended.
The idea is that through the five actions of purgation, laxative therapy, herbal and oil enemas, the ama or toxins are driven back into the gastro track, and from there expelled from the body. It is a fairly strong and active treatment and and ideally should be done in a clinic where you can relax and focus your whole attention on the process.I t is not always necessary to go to this extreme, as you do need money and time, to take on a full Panchakarma.
There are less intense detoxes (including a milder form of Panchakarma) that can be recommended dependent on your lifestyle . I tend also to use a naturopathic detox that is high in protein and uses herbs and nutrients to support all three phases of detoxification.
Detox is particularly recommended in spring, because in the spring, your body’s natural cleansing and rejuvenating mechanisms kick into high gear, in tune with all of nature. Health is much more than an absence of a definable disease. Often we have forgotten what it feels like to be well and vital. A detox is a good start in the right direction. If you wish to discuss what detox could be right for you email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. You will get added benefit if this is personalised to you.
Recipe – Kitchari
Ayurveda physicians often prescribe a kitchari diet before, during, and after panchakarma, to restore systemic balance. Kitchari provides nourishment while allowing the body to devote energy to healing. The grains provide the protein, the and spices kindle the digestive fire, that is often weakened by poor food combinations.
You can safely subsist on kitchari anytime in order to build vitality and strength as it helps balance all three doshas. For restless vata, the warm soup is grounding; for fiery pitta, its spices are calming; and for chilly kapha, it provides healing warmth.
1. First, rinse one cup of split yellow mung beans and soak for several hours. Set aside.
2. In a blender, liquefy one tablespoon of peeled, chopped ginger; two tablespoons of shredded coconut; and a handful of chopped cilantro with one-half cup of water.
3. In a large saucepan, lightly brown one-half teaspoon cinnamon; one-quarter teaspoon each of cardamom, pepper, clove powder, turmeric, salt; and three bay leaves (remove before serving) in three tablespoons of ghee, or butter.
4. Drain the mung dal and then stir it into the spice mixture, in the saucepan.
5. Next, add one cup of raw basmati rice. Stir in the blended spice and coconut mixture, followed by six cups of water.
6. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook on low heat for approximately 25 to 30 minutes until soft.
I am using the natural inclination for “spring cleaning” to abide to that saying “less is more” trying to de clutter my life and home from all the excessive stuff that I seem to have accumulated. My husband is a minimalist when it comes to stuff, and has been a good influence on me reducing my need to consume (as was my habit). My wardrobe though still looks very abundant …
I like the saying that we should remove everything from our homes that cannot be used and that does not give us pleasure to look at.
That is my challenge for October. Do you want to join me?
Chyavanprash is an amazing formula that has been used for over 3000 years in Ayurveda to boost immunity, strengthen the body, providing energy and vitality. It is a type of herbal jam made from a base of amalaki fruit, a rich source of antioxidants.
In one study, it was shown to increase the macrophage activity and their number, indicating enhancement of non-specific immune response and reduction of chances of infection.
Chyavanprash is an excellent method for daily herbal consumption due to its unique constituents of cane sugar, ghee and honey. These nourishing tastes play the important role of “carriers” that allow the herbs to penetrate deep into the tissues. Great for convalescence and respiratory conditions.
In a small daily dose (1 or 2 teaspoons), it makes for a tasty and very healthful treat. This tridoshic formula stimulates metabolism and enkindles the digestive fire without aggravating pitta. It balances vata and kapha while strengthening the body against the effects of a stressful lifestyle.
6-week course at the Yoga Tree Takapuna
Starting Wednesday October 19th – time 7 to 8 pm
Restorative yoga is a slower-paced form of yoga. It takes a healing, meditative approach and is a true antidote to our hectic pace of life. Give yourself the time to slow everything down for an hour– you will feel the benefits.
The benefits: increased focus, stress relief, better sleep, pain reduction, and more.
Book through The Yoga Tree – email@example.com
Ayurveda is an ancient medicine whose principles are tried and true. I am convinced that why Ayurveda works so well is that we really address lifestyle and diet – the basic building blocks of being well.
- EMF pollution and children’s vulnerability to this exposure
- Recipe of the month – spiced Lentil soup with coconut milk
- Wrap up of the Bali retreat – pictures say a thousand words
- Invite for Ayurveda Cooking classes where we look at how we can use our kitchen spices and foods as medicines.
One thing that was not around thousands of years ago, that in my opinion, needs to be addressed today is the issue of EMF – or Electric Magnetic Force. I have become more aware of this, as it can be measured through the hair profiling that Ayurveda Health offers, and it seems that young people in particular have particular high readings. The obsession with smart phones, laptops, desktop computers, home theatre systems, and all things electronic has made our lives easier in some ways, but much more complicated in others. This excessive uptake of EMF’s has contributed (especially to those who are sensitive) to poor sleep, anxiety and stress, decreased energy levels, gastrointestinal issues, thyroid disorders, and inflammation. EMF should be considered a harmful invader to your body, as it interferes with your health at a cellular level (after all we are all electrical beings). In yoga and Ayurveda we would see this has affecting the Prana (life-force) of the body.
What does happen at a cellular level? …..
Your cell membrane receptors recognize the electromagnetic fields at very low levels of exposure producing a stress respond – similar to when the body is exposed to toxic chemicals or heavy metals. This often referred to as ‘oxidative stress” – damaging DNA, which canbe the first step to cancer and contribute to conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia and fibromyalgia. Children are more affected than adults and this article makes an interesting read
What can we do?
1. Use it less and turn it off more. Even when your cell phone isn’t in use, it emits harmful radiation. Turn it off when not in use. And start using that landline again!
2. Keep it far away from your body. Don’t stow your cell phone in your pocket or your bra, or tuck it under your pillow at night. Keep it far away from your body so that you don’t expose yourself to unnecessary radiation.
3. Only use it when there’s good reception. The harder your cell phone has to work, the more radiation your body absorbs. Pay attention to those bars, and try to only use your cell phone in areas that get good reception.
4. Use a well-shielded wired headset. Not just any headset will do. If the wire isn’t well shielded, then it can transmit signals directly to the brain! Look for a well-shielded wire headset, particularly one with a combo shielded wire and air tube.
5. Have protection in your home. Plants in the home help, as do crystals and EMF protection devices. I am sure there are many more companies that provide, but I have used these products so feel OK about recommending them. Check out Life Energy Solutions – note they have a great offer at the moment a free radiasafe (protection from cell phone radiation) when you spend over $80.00 Click here to view now.
Recipe of the month – SPICED LENTIL SOUP WITH COCONUT MILK // Serves 6
This is a yummy warming soup for the colder months. The recipe calls for green lentil as split or red lentils will likely get too mushy here. I used 4 cups broth because I like my soups on the stewy side, if you prefer more broth to your soup, add another cup or two when cooking the lentils.
1 1/2 cup lentils, rinsed (green suggested)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp both cumin & coriander powders
1 – 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 large red onion, diced
2 stalks lemongrass, outer layer removed, lower portion finely minced
1 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cup coconut milk (use full fat, just believe me)
3 Tbsp. lemon, lime or orange juice a few handfuls of swiss chard, spinach or kale
1 /2 cup flake coconut, toasted (optional) chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Add the rinsed lentils, broth, thyme and turmeric or curry powder to a large pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. While the lentils cook, heat the coconut oil in a pan. Add the onion and saute until just browned. Add the lemongrass, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, pinch of red pepper flakes and some fresh ground nutmeg and saute another minute. Add the onion mixture to the lentils and stir, keeping the heat on a low simmer.
Add the coconut milk and greens and simmer another five minutes, stirring occasionally until just wilted. Taste for salt andspice and add as you prefer. Finish with the citrus juice and serve warm with toasted coconut flakes and cilantro on top.
The Ayurveda and Yoga retreat 2016
No words are needed – the photos say it all. Thank you to all those who attended! Until next time…
Ayurveda education and cooking classes – This is more than a cooking class!
– How can we use our kitchen spices and food as medicine?
These classes are always popular but due to time restraints I have been unable to offer them until now. Lots of you have asked me, but to be honest I cant remember exactly who, so am offering “first in first served” as numbers are limited.
What you will learn
- Learn how to make food taste great and also be good for you
- Learn how to use food as our medicine
- Learn how to aide digestion to prevent bloating, gas, indigestion etc
- Learn the importance of utilising the various tastes in food to remain healthy
We will be cooking delicious, nutritious food.
The groups will be small (8 people max)
Dates and Times
Saturday 27th August 11.30m to 2.30pm
Thursday evening 31st August 6.30 to 9.30pm
The cost will be $120 per session.
Please confirm your place firstname.lastname@example.org
I like this saying… Often we work in a man’s world, trying to keep up with our male counterparts, forgetting that physiologically and psychologically we are very different species. Recently I went to a gathering at Lulu Lemon where I was invited to speak on Shakti – this is the female energy in the womb of every female – a women’s Shakti has the power to give life, create, nourish and nurture.
It made me think how as women we have really reduced our female power to the shadows.
What women need to entrust is their internal rhythms. There are certain times where we are more vulnerable, such as change of season, menarche and menopause, and during our moon cycle….. where our immune system can wan.
Hence we cannot always bring our “A” game – sometimes we need to retreat, slow down and reassess our priorities. Often I see women working hard out at the gym and opting for vigorous yoga practices when they are on their cycle. The old adage of taking time to rest and to care for themselves during their menses does not seem to occur.
Menstruation is an opportunity, not only for cleansing but also for rejuvenation. In Ayurveda your period can be understood as the body’s attempt to cleanse itself. Not jut the lining of your uterus but also all the toxins that have built up in your body. Menstrual difficulties are related to the amount of ama (toxins) in your system. Menstrual irregularities can be assisted by keeping the system clear and eating clean appropriate food for your body type.
If in any way or menstrual cycle is problematic you may find the following interesting…
Vata When out of balance the menstrual cycle can become irregular, or it can be unusually long. Blood flow may be light and the colour of the blood is often dark. Maybe be accompanied by feelings of anxiety, nervous tension and insomnia. Cramping, lower back pain, joint pain is also common. There may also be abdominal discomfort, bloating or constipation.
Pitta For women with a Pitta imbalance, there may be food cravings and increase appetite plus feelings of irritability and anger. Often the skin erupts and headaches, diarrhea, and hot flushes occur. Blood flow tends to be heavy and the colour of the blood is usually bright red.
Kapha With Kapha imbalance, the cycle is regular and is often accompanied by bloating and weight gain. Breasts can be swollen and tender. There is often a feeling of heaviness, achiness and stiffness in the joints and the back. Lethargy, oversleeping depression are common. Blood flow can be heavy and there may be clotting and excessive discharge.
Yoga Practice – Yoga practice Bottom line if your body gives signals that it wants to rest, listen, make adjustments, and modify your exercise and yoga regime. Gentle stretches may help, but in general not a strong yoga practice.
It is also recommended not to do abdominal exercises or inversions (like headstand or handstand) as these poses disrupt the normal flow and can result in more painful and heavy menstruation.
Shatavari – My favorite female herb
- Nourishing tonic for men and women
- Maintains a healthy female reproductive system
- Supports healthy lactation
- Promotes fertility and a healthy libido
Shatavari (Asparagus racemous) is a rejuvenative herb that strengthens and nourished the tissues. It is translated as “100 husbands” implying its role in promoting fertility and vitality used traditionally in maintaining healthy production of female hormones. It is one of those herbs that can be useful from menarche to menopause, supporting the reproductive organs and a healthy immune system. Is available in capsule or powder form.
Neti Pot – Once you have tried it you will be hooked. The first sign of a cold flush out your sinuses. The Neti pot is a powerful nasal irrigation system that alleviates congestion and sniffles, provides allergy relief, and clears the sinuses resulting in a clearer breath and interestingly a clearer mind. Saline solutions to unclog sinuses have been used for a while but the neti pot is more effective than saline nasal sprays.
To use fill the neti pot up with lukewarm pure water and add ¼ tsp of Himalayan salt. Tilt your head about a 45 – degree angle. Place the spout into your top nostril and tilt the pot so that the saline solution pours out the other nostril Switch and blow out in-between sides.
Detox Healthy Green Soup – warm, healthy and nourishing…. and delicious
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 zucchini, sliced
- 1 small kumera
- 1– 1 ½ tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 cups of, chopped greens, such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, packed.
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- ½ c. loosely packed cilantro
- Heat a large stock pot over medium- low heat until hot and add the zucchini, sliced kumera, garlic and spices
- Add the greens gradually, you will have to add them 1 handful at a time, stirring and letting them cook down to add more. (Add spinach last as it takes the least amount of time to cook down)
- Add the cilantro and cover, bringing to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer while covered and cook for about 20 minutes until greens are completely soft.
- Blend until smooth Adjust the seasonings if necessary, and return to simmer, 15 more minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon and then serve! Remove from the heat.
Bali Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat – July 2016
We are almost fully booked. This leaves one house – the Padi house – which seems really cute! Have a look click here to view.
This could sleep up to 4 people comfortably but is maybe best suited for a couple, Mother and daughter or close friends. There are a range of age groups, as well as beginners and more experienced yogis so everyone will be catered for. If you are interested in coming please contact me – Click here. It will be amazing!
The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life. – B.K.S. Iyengar
I am convinced that the more we connect and harmonise with ourselves and with Mother Nature the healthier we become. This means changing the ritual of our lives in accordance to the season, by adjusting our food and behavior.
Winter can aggravate conditions that can weaken your immune system—so it’s essential to take good care of yourself at this time of year. With that goal in mind, here are some suggestions to keep your immune system strong and your energy up. If the body is not getting what it needs it normally will ask for it? When the weather gets colder we naturally are attracted to warmer food to compensate for the colder weather but to take this concept further.
- Food Fuel – Eat warm, mushy foods- Soups, casseroles, curries, porridge are all on the menu. This means eat less raw and cold foods
- Lube it up – We need more fat in winter to counteract the dryness. Add more healthy oils to your diet – ghee, coconut oil, and flaxseed, avocado oils to your food.
- Spice it up – add more spice to your food – spices such as pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, cloves, cardamom, cayenne and turmeric to name a few. They all aid in digestion and are warming in property. An easy way to get more spice is to make the spice chai tea recipe below.
- Hydrate – Make sure you are drinking plenty of fresh, pure hot boiled water. Water is essential for the optimal function of every system in your body and hot water will help loosen mucus. Adding some raw ginger will enhance this action
- Oil your skin –an Ayurveda massage is deeply nourishing to your nervous system and stimulating for your lymph system. A monthly visit for an Ayurveda massage supported by daily application of medicated oils is one of the nicest things you can do for yourself.
- Sleep – we naturally want to sleep more in winter. Treat yourself to a few early nights a week. Before bed sip on warm milk with a small amount of nutmeg, ashwagandha, cinnamon and ghee for a sound and peaceful sleep.
Isn’t this interesting… Our amazing body is designed to preserve its own health. It is constantly replenishing its cells. Every second, several million red blood cells are removed and replaced from your circulatory system. Every five days, your stomach lining is renewed. Every thirty days, you have a brand new protective skin. Every ninety days, your body turns over all of the molecules that make up your bones.
Why then do we get sick?
Ayurveda puts a lot of emphasis on food, daily routine and honouring the seasons, in other words working with Mother Nature and her offerings. With the abundance and endless varieties of foods available from our supermarkets why is it impossible to feel nourished by what we buy? It is simple… Nature is not in command. Often our foods are sweetened, emulsified, stabilized, salted, irrigated, bleached, blanched, polished, degermed, sprayed, anti-spoiled…I could go on.
By the time some of the food reaches our tables it is loaded with more chemicals than a chemist shop. This is what we put into our precious bodies. We all know about good food choices, good lifestyle choices, exercise, sunlight, positivity and stress-coping techniques, – but it can be hard to remain focused and motivated, when you can’t see the effects of our choices in real-time. It seems that in many cases discomfort has to be severe enough to warrant change; and for many more, even that is not enough.
What we need to do – The Ayurveda perspective is to get away from the idea of quick fixes that are so firmly entrenched in our culture. Most healing takes time and commitment. It has to be truly felt. Once we become more aware we can make new choices, and let go of old habits that no longer serve us.
Having an Ayurveda Consultation is like having a road map – when you are out of balance you know what to do. This can be very empowering. Contact me to discuss various options for you and you’re well being. Click here.
For organic hair colour that is a great experience and also economical www.hue.co.nz
My favourite Yoga schools www.yogasanctaury.co.nz and www.northshoreyoga.co.nz
An excellent site to find Ayurvedic recipes www.joyfulbelly.com
A good friend and colleague who built this website, also practising Ayurveda www.ayurvedawellbeing.co.nz
Home delivered organic Vegetables that are not too pricey www.naturallyorganic.co.nz
I have been practicing meditation for a long time and now teach it. My belief in meditation, as importantt to health and well-being continues to grow. I have noticed how as I continue to practice there is a deepening in all my experiences.The inner silence and sense of peacefulness is carried forth more and more into my daily activity.
I am sure I used to be very black and white with strong opinions. I know sense that I can come from a place, where I know but I don’t know, so my mind is more open and receptive to receive.
The simple act of consciously inhaling and exhaling (breathe meditation) grounds us in our bodies, reminding us where we are, who we are and how precious our life is. When we connect deeply to our own existence in this way many of the petty thoughts and feelings that can dominate our minds dissolve without any effort
If you wish to attend a restorative yoga class where we prepare our bodies and minds, so we can settle into a lead meditative practice you would be very welcome.
I like this saying – Women are not small men. Often we work in a man’s world, trying to keep up with our male counterparts, forgetting that physiologically and physcologically we are very different species. Often I see young girls working hard out at the gym and opting for vigorous yoga practices when they are on their cycle. The old adage of taking time to rest and to care for themselves during their menses does not seem to occur. Menstruation is an opportunity not only for cleansing but also for rejuvenation. With each monthly cycle, enormous hormonal shifts occur. In Ayurveda your period can be understood as the body’s attempt to clean itself out. Not jut the lining of your uterus but also all the toxins that have built up in your body. Menstrual difficulties are related to the amount of ama (toxins) in your system. Menstrual irregularities can be avoided by keeping the system clear and eating clean appropriate food for your body type.