Tuesday

A Smashbook and a Yogini Meet


Yesterday I received a fantastic package from Kelli over at Petrified Lime. We originally became friends via a Round Robin we did with a few other girls on twitter. It was really fantastic and inspiring to see Kelli's work.  I really like how she sees art, and creates. She's working on a very cool Music Monday, which I think I may join...I love music.

Anyhow, I received a very cool Smashbook!!  I have never purchased one, and have been curious about them. I tweeted this to Kelli and she then sent me one that she handcrafted!!! It is so cool, and clean! It's got a clean template so I pretty much can do whatever I feel with it. I have the perfect project in mind. Once it's half complete I'll share some of it.  In the meantime I will leave you with a small snapshot of the pages inside.





I love the pockets!! I can't wait to start working on it today! Check out a few of my favorite post by Kelli here, here, and here.

Namaste

Saturday

Foods that best suit your Dosha


Maintaining our dosha balanced is a daily task. We are always mindful of our Self and our environment.  Ayurveda is dancing with nature, in tune with Self and our circumstances. Now that we know our dosha, we can begin to balance and maintain our health in order to prevent any dis-ease.  Find out if you may have any imbalances here.

Vata Qualities 
Vata is ruled by the Elements of space and ether. It is also known as the "King of the Doshas". This dosha is movement, like the wind. It moves everything through the system.  Qualities that govern vata are dry, rough, cold, subtle, light, and mobile. The goal is to pacify these qualities with foods that are moist, smooth, hot, heavy foods to balance and ground the dosha. 
Pacifying Vata
The main taste in this diet are sweet, salty, and sour. Eating more foods and eating more frequently, as skipping meals is common if unbalanced. Adding pungent spices would be excellent for Vata as they aid in regulation of appetite. Meals should be cooked, and warm. All junk food should be avoided as they aggravate the dosha. The setting should be one of calm, serenity, and eating under these same feelings. Avoid eating during times of anxiety, fear, or nerves. Vata types tend to have irregular eating habits and should focus on making a routine for eating a specific time each day, and always carry snacks. 
Most fruit is fine for Vata and should be consumed in moderation because it's qualities mirror Vata. Dry fruit should be avoided, as should apples and melons.
Vegetables should be cooked and prepared with oils and spices to aid in digestion. Cabbage family should be avoided because they cause gas. Be aware of any allergic reactions to nightshades. 
Most whole grains are good for Vata, as they are both nourishing and heavy. 
Most beans aggravate Vata, they are drying and promote constipation. Mung and tofu (soy) are best.
Nuts and seeds are great for Vata as they are warm, heavy, and moist.
Dairy, Animal products, Sweetners, and oils are suitable for Vata in moderation. 
Most spices are good for Vata. Pungent spices are beneficial.
Vata Tea and other Vata products.


Pitta Qualities
Pitta is ruled by the Element of Fire. This dosha governs digestion, consumption, and like a fire, it is always going. Burning and using it's energy, thus, most Pitta types have a big appetite, and rarely gain weight. Pitta dosha is aggravated by sour, salty, and pungent taste. Qualities of Pitta are hot, sharp, oily, light. moving, acidic, and liquid. We should focus on foods that are mild and bland tasting to cool the hot Pitta.
Pacifying Pitta
The main taste to pacify Pitta are sweet, bitter, astringent. Sharp or stong tastes should be avoided. Raw is best for Pitta as most fruit and vegetables are cooling and have water in them. A proper spice mix is ideal for Pitta because it consists of cooling spices. Avoid fried food and overly cooked food. Meals should not be consumed while angry, upset, or irritable. 3 meals is usually enough and eating late at night is not recommended. 
Fruit is good for Pitta because it is cool, calm and quenches the thirst. Most juices are good as long as they are fresh squeezed with no added sugar.
Most vegetables are good for Pitta, especially if consumed raw.  Steamed is another option for vegetables. 
Nightshades can aggravate Pitta because of their acid content.
Most grains are good for Pitta, however, brown rice (short grain), buckwheat, corn, and rye should be avoided.
All beans except peanuts and lentils. (Yes, peanuts are considered beans).
No nuts or seeds for Pitta except Coconut and Sunflower.
Dairy should be kept to cottage cheese, cream, milk, rice milk, soy milk, unsalted cheese, and paneer.
Animal products aggravate Pitta and provoke anger and aggression.  Best to avoid or limit. Egg whites are acceptable. 
Oils include butter, coconut, ghee, soy, sunflower, almond, and canola are suitable.
Pitta types are best as handling sugar. They can utilize fruit sugar, honey, maple, and raw.


Kapha Qualitites
Kapha is ruled by the Element of Water and Earth. This dosha is the builder of the three. It is constantly accumulating. Kapha is Sanskrit meaning "mucus". Qualities that govern Kapha are moist, cold, heavy, dull, soft, and static. Kapha types can gain weight by just thinking of eating the cupcake (totally a joke but being a Kapha type, I often feel this when I'm not eating appropriately). Qualities to pacify Kapha are dry, warm, and light. Kapha is aggravated by sweet, salty, and sour. (I adore these qualities). 
Pacifying Kapha
The main taste to pacify Kapha are pungent, bitter and astringent. As most food is sweet in taste, less food is needed to be consumed (ya, this bummed me out greatly). We need to eat the least, and work out the most. Ha! Back to business. Kapha types need to eat less food, and with less frequency.  They have the capacity to skip meals with no problem, as long as it is not often. They are better suited to prepare foods for their Vata friends.  They should avoid eating at night, avoid breakfast, and eat between 10am and 6pm. They should be aware of not using food as an emotional crutch. 
Most fruit should be limited as it has a high water content and we need to limit this. Dry fruit, however, is the exception. Also, sour fruits like lime, lemon, and grapefruit can aid in dissolving mucus and reducing fat. 
Most vegetables are fine for Kapha, however steamed with spices is best to combat the vegetables cold nature. 
Grains are good in moderation, favoring barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, rye, and any dry or popped grains.
Beans are fine for Kapha as they are drying in nature. Avoid chickpeas. (I never do but I add a ton of spices to balance it's nature and make it more digestible.)
No nuts or seeds except Pumpkin and sunflower.
Dairy should be extremely limited as it causes mucus to form. Use soy milk, goat milk and buttermilk in moderation.
Oils should also be avoided, and only use corn, soy, canola, sunflower.
No animal products for Kapha. Eggs aggravate Kapha.
Only sweetener consumed should be honey.
All spices are good for Kapha, including hot, spicy, and peppery. Salt should be avoided except in small amounts during winter. 

Ayurveda states we should eat whole, living foods first, followed by cooked for a more light filled palette.  A sattvic mind, a clear mind. I encourage you to try eating according to these guidelines and experiment with how you feel. The only thing that can happen is you feel better, right? At least I did. I cannot tell you how happy I was to find out I was Kapha. There was a reason why I have such strong hips and legs. I'm rooted to the earth. Grounded. Energized. I can tolerate the most, eat the least, sleep the least, and be active the most. I preserve and have an abundance in Ojas. I will gladly take all of these in exchange for being a large framed woman. I accept myself as I am and cherish my large statuesque physique. I love being a Kapha type and Ayurveda has allowed me to understand and appreciate this about my Self.

Wishing you much well being and health.

Namaste.

I often use "Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners" in my kitchen. Meals are easy, and adaptable. Breaks down the concept of how to cook using Ayurvedic principles. I highly recommend it if you are planning on pursuing this new journey of Self Healing. 

ps. I have started working with Maharishi Ayurveda to bring this knowledge to the Latino Community and I'm so happy to be doing so! I hope to begin translating into Spanish, however, I feel that most of us are bilingual and appreciate both languages. They offer great products and wonderful articles, go peruse and enjoy! (fine print: i disclose i am part of their affiliate program)

Wednesday

C.H.J.S. - Your Truth


The throat chakra in Sanksrit is called the Vishuddha chakra, which means pure.  Consciousness and truth govern are governed by this chakra.  Its role is to purify our awareness and provide inner clarity.  This chakra is also associated with sound and creative self-expression, communication and speech. The ability to speak honestly, to receive, process and digest information. When we begin to speak our truth, it is from this chakra which we speak. Holding onto unexpressed anger, we may feel a sense of not being heard, or inability to make ourselves heard. I have always been one to speak my truth. My problem has been holding my tongue, because I am quite frank. I see no need to muddy relations with thoughtless communication. It does nothing for both parties except disappoint and make one run around in circles. Yes, the truth hurts, but lies hurt more and the pain usually lasts a lot longer than finding out the truth and being able to deal.

Signs of an imbalanced Throat Chakra:
You have a hard time expressing yourself
Unable to find the right words to convey you thoughts and feelings
Saying things you later regret
Suffer from any kind of speech defect
Don't feel inspired by your work
If you have a hard time telling the truth, or often finding yourself telling white lies
You suffer from overactive or under-active thyroid
Often suffer from sore throats

Here are some ways to balance the throat chakra:
Color: Turquoise
Element: Ether
Location: Throat, Neck
Mantra: Ham
Yoga Asanas: Neck rolls and shoulder shrugs; Half shoulderstand, Plow, Fish
Symbol: Circle
Planet: Saturn
Sensory Function: Hearing
Associated body parts: throat, neck, ears, jaw, mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, thyroid gland
Gemstones/Crystals: Aquamarine, Blue Opal
Essential Oils: Eucalyptus, Chamomile,  Peppermint
Food: Fruit
Art Prompt: use one of the following affirmations to guide your piece.

I am able to hear the voice of my soul.
I am able and willing to speak my truth.
I am able to celebrate the beauty in my life.
I use the power of words to make the world a better place.

The last of these canvas' appeared all at once. There was no time to document anything. The spirit guided and I danced with it. The above picture is the final piece.


I began by laying down acrylic in a light blue color, then added a layer of medium blue. I took stencils to it and laid them down with white spray paint.  I then added my lettering. "Truth - Speak it".  I added the letters because we must discover our truths from A to Z and we use these letters to create words, sentences, actions, our life.  I finished by adding the transformation butterflies, rhinestones for some shine, and a border of glittery flowers going down the left side. I am very happy how it came out. It represents my Throat chakra perfectly. Lots of layers, mixed with letters and transforming energy.

I hope you have a moment to expand truth in your life. Whatever that may mean to you. Truth often leads to freedom, and the chance to expand up and out. Facing our truth is one of the hardest things we may do in this life, but once we conquer that, we can overcome anything, because we will be seated in our truth. Our vision. Our dream.

Namaste dear friends.

Thursday

I Know My Dosha, Now What?

Now we can begin to observe if we are in tune with nature, or, do we have any imbalances, or aggravated doshas.

Signs of a balanced dosha:
Vata is energetic, strong sense of humanity, adaptable, quick comprehension, easily adaptable, positive spirit, strong healing energy, flexible, true enthusiasm, good in communication, and able to initiate things.
Pitta is intelligent, warm, friendly, courageous, good guide, clear, great perception, visionary, courageous and discriminating.
Kapha is calm, peaceful, strong faith and devotion, nurturing, supportive, patient, forgiving, compassionate, loving, loyal, stable, and content.

Location of Doshas:
Everything in the body is broken down into the 3 humours (doshas), and each dosha has its respective site on the body.

Vata (Air) is located in the colon, thighs, hips, ears, bones, and it's associated with the organ of touch.  Its primary site, however, is the colon. Produced from below, as gas from the colon
Pitta (Fire) is located in the stomach, small intestine, sweat, blood, lymph, and the organ of vision. It's primary site, however, is the small intestine. Produced in the middle as bile and acids from the liver to the small intestine.
Kapha (Water) is located in the chest, head, throat, pancreas, stomach, lymph, fat, organ of taste and smell (tongue and nose). Its primary site is the stomach. Produced above as phlegm in the lungs and stomach.

Symptoms and Signs of Aggravation:
The doshas accumulate in their primary site in the digestive system, giving rise to the process of dis-ease. When the doshas are aggravated, they give rise to a variety of symptoms and dis-eases. The doshas are aggravated by over consumption of a specific taste in our diet. Ayurveda has 6 tastes: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent (not a taste but an important aid in scraping of old toxins in the body and eliminating).

Vata aggravation leading to excess causes debility, emaciation, liking of warmth, tremors, distention, constipation, dizziness, confusion, insomnia, depression, incoherent sleep, sensory disorientation, piercing pain, cracking of joints, dehydration, stiffness, astringent taste in the mouth and dark, or reddish brown discolorations
Pitta aggravation leading to excess causes thirst, yellow color of urine, eyes, stool, skin, a burning sensation, feeling hot, boils, sweating, pus formation, bleeding, fainting, exhaustion, difficulty sleeping, pungent and sour tastes. Strong body odor is a good indicator as well.
Kapha aggravation leading to excess causes depression of digestive fire, nausea, heaviness, lethargy, cough, excessive sleeping, difficulty breathing, chills and looseness of limbs. Excess creates phlegm, hardness of tissue, itching, obesity, edema, indigestion, sweet and sour tastes.

These symptoms alert us there is aggravation and we can begin to take the necessary steps to bring the doshas back to balance.  Unfortunately, very few of us recognize these as beginning symptoms and continue with life, which leads to chronic aggravation and chronic disease, such as diabetes, and high blood pressure, etc. Treating them at the site of location by their respective methods, we are able to address the root problem and eliminate the dis-ease, returning the Self back to balance.

When we know our dosha, and our imbalance (vikruti), we can then begin to treat by pacifying dosha with food and herbs, and in chronic cases with various therapeutic modalities, as well.  I am kapha, I (try to) eat kapha pacifying foods to avoid aggravation.  Every dosha has it's respective methods of pacification and treatment. Every person has a different treatment because NOT EVERYONE LIVES THE SAME LIFESTYLE, so each client is treated as an INDIVIDUAL, not as a whole. If you'd like more information for study, I recommend "Ayurvedic Healing" by David Frawley, I used this book as a reference in this post and use it religiously in my home.  It breaks down most dis-eases and how to treat.

If you'd like further information about healing with this modality, send me and email or tweet me..  I'm a counselor, and I know some very good practitioners.
Next we will focus on the methods of balancing each dosha.  Hope you are enjoying this journey.

Namaste

Saturday

Consider This.


To consider others is hard work, right?  If you're a mom, this is the adjective that best describes how we spend our day.  Considering the feelings and needs of others, our children, our spouse.  Is this something we do out of obligation?

While growing up the theme in my home was consideration.  We had to be considerate of those we lived with and shared space.  If we woke up before everyone else, we were to be quiet and consider those still sleeping.  If we wanted to watch tv, we'd have to ask what everyone wanted to watch.  If we brought a snack home, we had to bring enough for the whole house, not just for ourself.  I was supported and encouraged to think of others while exploring this life.  My mother taught us to be humble, kind, and considerate.  To have manners, and speak to people with respect, with honor, and with intention.  She always said everyone was navigating the best to their ability and we needed to consider this when out in the world.  

As I navigate this world, now as a mother, I see how much lack of consideration we have as a society.  When did we become so inconsiderate of others, of our world??  Are we so lacking in self respect that we no longer realize we need each other in order to survive this journey?  Do you realize that I need you?  How? I need you to be here, read this, share with me, teach me, show me, and in turn, I offer you the same.  I have experienced things that could alleviate your heartache, and vice versa.  All our journeys are different, however the pain, sorrow, suffering, and anger we feel is all the same.  It's the same emotion, the same hurt, the same feeling.  We choose to focus on the difference because we want to be unique, all while already being unique.  We must begin to heal ourselves by loving our true Self. Without judgement.  Let us stop comparing ourselves to others, to society, and begin to reflect on our inner self.  On self healing all of the experiences and traumas we experience on this journey.  If we begin to consider our self, and heal with awareness, we can begin to consider others.  Then maybe, just maybe, the world will begin to reflect this.  

Consider your feelings, your needs.  Ponder them, digest them, process them, embrace them, and then release them.  Begin to breathe again.  Stop holding your breath.  Most of our traumas are from not processing our feelings, getting stuck in a certain state of mind/feeling and continuing in the loop.  Like a broken record, we play the same tune over and over, and many times we don't realize this is occurring.  Many times we continue on our journey and wonder how or why things are occurring all while forgetting we have the choice in this life.  If there is one thing that is for sure, it's that you will always have a choice. Always.  Take deep breaths and embrace the unknown.  Your breath is your super power in this world, don't take it for granted.  Delve into it all while considering yourself.  

I was riding my bike this afternoon and there were no cars on the street.  I decided to stay on my side instead of taking up the entire street while no one was around...and I thought, hmm, I wonder how many people would consider staying in the bike lane, while having an open highway.  Is it a brainwashing, or is this my true nature? I don't know, but I like it.  I like thinking of others, I enjoy aiding in other's happiness.  Why shouldn't you be happy, 'tis the reason for this journey...to enjoy.  Being born is the blessing, everything else is cake and ice cream.  Trust in life, it only want's the best for you. Thank you for being here, now, with me. I appreciate you.

Namaste

Wednesday

Which Element Governs Your World?

Prakruti, one's natural state of wholeness, is determined upon conception.  It's based on many factors, including the parent's state of being at that time.  It consists of 3 basic qualities, attributes (called Gunas) and they are: 

Sattva - the principle of light, harmony, balance, intelligence, and perception
Rajas - the principle of energy, being active, emotions, and chaos.
Tamas - the principle of inertia, the darkness, state of dullness, and resistance.

Our doshas dance with the Gunas and our goal is to maintain them in the Sattva (light) vibration.

The 3 basic Dosha (humours) types are Vata, Pitta, Kapha.

Our lives are ruled by these 3 and we strive to balance them and harmonize with nature.  Most of us are blessed with 2 of 3 humours.  Once we can deduce our original constitution, we can then begin to examine the dis-ease and how to balance.  Which one sounds like you?

VATA - thin, lean, dry skin, dry hair, tend to have small eyes, low appetite, prone to constipation, very active - physically and mentally, insomnia or scant sleep, fast speech. Adjust easy to change, and may be indecisive, often worry too much and have a nervous nature. They are the wind element and the primary dosha. Like air, they are motion. Tend to be artists, creators, often daydreaming and the mind goes a mile a minute.
VATA qualitites - light, quick, cold, subtle, dry, changeable, mobile

PITTA - moderate frame, moderate weight, soft or oily skin, hair is also soft and oily, sharp eyes, great appetite, easy eliminations, excessive thirst, loves competition, sleep is sound, speech is sharp and clear, tend to have freckles, they are the fire element so they are always warm, heated in all aspects.  Pitta means "the power of digestion".  Tend to be athletes, leaders, managers, anything business type.   
PITTA qualitites - hot, oily, sharp, intense, acidic/sour; related to the color red.

KAPHA - large frame, heavy, thick oily hair, big eyes, slight thirst, elimination is slow, activity is low to lethargic, mind is calm and slow, sleep is heavy and often prolonged, and they speak slowly.  They are the earth and water element, and refers to the power of cohesion. Tend to be the nurturers, the supporters, like teachers, counselors, doctors, nurses.
KAPHA qualitites - slow, heavy, static, dense, moist, wet, unctuous, oily

Here is a great Dosha quiz from the Ayurveda Dosha Org.  Take it.  Answer the questions as you always have been, especially as a child.  It helps stay true to your original nature, prior to imbalance. Once we know Dosha, we can then assess our Vikruti, our imbalance.  

Take the quiz. What could it hurt, right?

Would love to know your Dosha.

Namaste

Friday

Intentions and Resolutions in the New Year

The new year...a time when intentions and resolutions are made, promised; for the betterment of Self.  I've never been one for either and when I did make them, I usually gave up before January ended.  

But this year feels different, I have a new found determination for aiding in all unhealed areas of my life, your life, the community, the citizens, the world.  I realized the blessing of having studied Ayurveda, a 5000 year old healing science, and feel I must share it with you, your life, your awareness.  

Ayurveda, which is Sanskrit, translates to the Science of Life.  It is a healing science focusing on mind, body, and spirit.  Your diet is considered one of the important therapeutic tools.  By bringing harmony and balance to your diet and lifestyle you then begin to practice the preventative aspect of Ayurveda.  Imagine, you have to power to heal yourself based on the foods you chose to consume.  

The uniqueness in this healing science is the attention to the individual and their symptoms, causes.  Everything is looked at from diet, to lifestyle. It encompasses various therapies including yoga, meditation, astrology and working with gemstones, however food and cooking play a prominent role.  Food is considered to affect not only our body, but also our mind.  By understanding how to prepare foods best suited for our bodies and minds, we can achieve a harmony, a balance and begin to thrive in divinity.  

As with any intention or resolution, we must be clear as to why we are doing this, and the ultimate goal.  My intention is to bring you more information about this science.  Expand your awareness about food, and being in tune with nature, because Ayurveda focuses on being a partner with nature, and the elements.  I remember my mom saying the exact same thing to me when I was a child, live in tune with nature, just as this science teaches. 

Ayurveda speaks of a universal life force which manifests as three energies, or Doshas; they are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.  We're all made of a unique combination of these 3 Doshas.  Most people have an abundance in one or two doshas.  This combination is determined when one is conceived, and is your authentic nature.  These three doshas constantly vary based on your diet, season, environment, age, and several other factors.  Dis-ease begins when dosha's begin moving in and out of balance creating a confused environment for the body and accumulate in areas in which they don't belong.  The first step is figuring out in which Dosha(s) you are abundant.  You may find quizzes online, or you can email me and I'll work with you directly.  

Intentions and resolutions for the new year have begun.  I am determined and dedicated to healing myself so I may heal the world...that's a quote somewhere, right?  Won't you join me?

Have you heard of Ayurveda?  Are you curious to find out more? Let me know.