SEASONAL SELF-CARE BLOG
WINTER RADIANCE 2021
Posted on December 22nd, 2020
Breathe deeply and accept the jewel and the grit of this moment.– Mark Nepo
We’re arriving at the doorstep of 2021 bruised and battle scarred but resilient and adaptable. No one said that evolution was going to be easy. Our entire way of being in the world is shifting and though we are getting more adept at the continually changing landscape, it’s difficult. As Winter started approaching and it became apparent that things would be in various levels of “lockdown”, I started feeling overwhelmed and alone. I leaned in more deeply to my home yoga practice, boosted my self-care, and picked up my accordion and started singing again. I started feeling more balanced, grounded, and connected with my deeper being. I am so grateful that I have these tools to help me reconnect, re-balance myself and access my creativity. My home practices have been my refuge, my oasis for many years.
This Winter, I would love to help you create or deepen your home practice so that you will have this refuge where you can re-connect with your deepest self and renew your being. I also want to help you really rest so that you can truly rejuvenate during these Winter months. I’d like to share with you many profoundly relaxing practices to help you sleep more deeply so that you can receive the nourishment and healing that only deep sleep can offer. In addition, since our yoga studios are closed now and we can’t go on our fabulous Winter Retreat this year, I thought I’d create a way for us to gather together as a community. So I created the Winter Wellness Journey, as an opportunity for you to deepen individually as well as in the support of community so that we can flourish this winter.
This Winter Wellness Journey is offered live through weekly Zoom sessions, a monthly intensive restorative yoga workshop, as well as a facebook group where we will share our process as we deepen in our internal winter practices. All the sessions will be recorded for those who are not able to attend the session.
Winter Meridian Yoga & Yoga Nidra
Developing a Home Yoga Practice
The Art of Sleep & Rest
Join me and nourish the well of your being this Winter and cultivate your full radiance and vitality!
Happy Solstice and Happy Holidays!
SPRING GREEN SOUP
Posted on February 28th, 2018
Are you starting to feel a little gunky inside as the weather outside keeps shifting between Winter and Spring? Are you experiencing tight shoulders, headaches, eye issues, tight tendons, stiff necks, eczema and other skin problems. Are you getting agitated and irritable lately? These are signs that your Spring organ network, liver and gall bladder organs, are starting to get overwhelmed with the rising energy of Spring and need some loving attention.
SPRING GREEN SOUP
In these first sightings of Spring, warm sunny days sandwiched between snowy or rainy cold mucky days, my insides start waking up and dancing a little “I want to cleanse jig”. But I know that it is still too early to do a juice cleanse or a full on detox. According to the wisdom of Ayurveda, you should wait until true weather to do a juice cleanse because it is too cooling and depleting for your system in the cold weather. But as we start shifting into Spring, I start gently sweeping the main pathways with a Spring Green Soup. It is warm, nourishing and starts the cleansing process in a very gentle way. I just made my first Spring Green Soup of the season! The recipe is from my dear friend, Nishanga Bliss, author of “Real food All Year”. Back in the 90’s she introduced me to the Chinese Medicine Seasonal food practices and we started our Seasonal Yoga workshops which blossomed all the way into my Yoga Sukhavati Seasonal Yoga Teacher Training!
The Spring Green Soup is delicious and easy to make! I chose to use Dandelion greens as part of my cluster of greens to include because of their bitterness and potency in cleansing the liver and gallbladder to help them stimulate bile production which helps break down foods and filters and detoxifes the blood. According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is the time to cleanse the liver and gall bladder, the wood element. So in went the dandelions to my Spring soup! I also added the digestive powerhouse and diuretic, Fennel to help relieve some bloating and indigestion I was experiencing. I’m feeling so much better after 2 days eating this soup & taking my purifying baths! When cleansing it is essential to offer ways for the toxins to leave your body, so I’ve been taking balancing, nourishing and purifying baths this week. Before I bathe, I do a simple skin brushing to get my lymphatic system in tip top shape. The skin is the largest organ in your body and a large part of our detoxification process Check out our Spring Practices post on purifying seaweed baths!
SPRING GREEN SOUP
2 tablespoons ghee, lard, coconut oil, or olive oil
1 bunch spring or greenoinion, white adn green parts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fennel ore celery, coarsely chopped
1 quart Bone Broth, Poultry stock, or vegetable stock
2 small potatoes or turnips, diced into 1/2 cubes
1 bunch leafy greens, such as spinach, or arugula, or dandelion (include some others in addition to dandelion), coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
1 tsp fresh or dried dill
2 tablespoons chickpea miso or white miso
juice of 1 lemon
Join me for my Spring Cleanse Flow workshop on Sunday March 25, 2018 at Sacred Sounds in Manhattan, NY or April 15 at BodyWorks in New Hampshire. Or you can download my Spring Cleanse video, and sweep out the cobwebs from home!!
Fifth chakra – Visuddha – throat chakra
Posted on February 1st, 2016
Speak your truth and let your creativity flow freely! Enjoy these practices to open Visuddha Chakra, your throat chakra. Join us on instagram @yoga_sukhavati for our #chakraSeries#Thurs and get some tips for opening your chakras every Thursday!
With our fifth chakra, we shift from the physical plane of the lower chakras to the more subtle spiritual realms of upper three chakras. Located in the throat, Visuddha chakra, meaning purification, is associated with the elements ether and controls the principle of sound. It governs speech, communication, and creativity through the vibrational resonance of our voice. Our self-expression is the pathway for our interior world to make itself known in the outside world. The throat is also the internal portal between our mind and body. When our fifth chakra is blocked our creative expression and voice are impaired. We may not speak up for ourselves, be shy, withdrawn,, mutter, stutter, whisper or have a tight voice. If excessive, we may monopolize conversations, speak too loudly or have a shrill voice. When our throat chakra is healthy there is an easy balance in conversation between listening and talking. The voice is resonant, clear, and authentic. We easefully express ourselves and our creativity flows.
The fifth chakra is blue with 16 petals on which are inscribed the 16 Sanskrit vowels. In the center of the lotus is Ham, the bija mantra or seed syllable for Visuddha chakra. Chanting Ham as well as the sanskrit vowels is very healing and opening for the related organs as well as emotional and mental aspects of Visuddha. Singing and mantra practice are wonderful ways to heal imbalances in Visuddha chakra.
This photo was taken on my Retreat in Norway at Tomrefjord. Every evening as we sat down for dinner, an exquisite elemental dance of light arose in the vastness of space of the fjord. We were in awe and I had the distinct feeling of being in the presence of the divine.
The throat chakra, Visuddha chakra, means “Purification”. It is the portal to our spiritual dimension. As we purify the toxins from our physical, mental, and emotional bodies through our yoga, meditation, and chanting practices, we also cleanse our subtle body. The element of the throat chakra is ether, or “Akasha”, derived from the sanskrit root “kāś” meaning “to be visible”. Translated as space, sky, atmosphere, Akasha, or ether, is the element in which visibility occurs. The first element created, akasha is the essence from which the other elements arise in the material world. Ether governs sound. Sonic vibrations create a deep cleansing of the etheric body. As such chanting, mantra practice, and singing are very potent means of purification and spiritual awakening.
MATSYASANA (Fish pose)
Do you find it difficult to express your thoughts and feelings? Are you afraid to speak your truth? Do you find that you silence yourself often, wishing you could speak up, but remain mute? Do you have creative impulses that lie dormant? If yes, your throat chakra may be blocked.
The throat chakra governs the free flow of honest communication and creative self-expression. I have found that shoulderstand (sarvangasana) and fish pose (matsyasana) are the most effective asanas to open up the throat chakra. Consistent practice of these poses will help you clear your voice and open the pathway to easeful communication and creativity. Prep for these poses with a healthy dose of shoulder openers to warm up your neck and shoulders. I always include plenty of shoulder openers in my classes, as my students will attest! This picture was taken awhile ago, when I was living in Oakland, California. I have always loved it.
SHANKH MUDRA (Shell Mudra)
Open your voice, clear the pathway to easeful and honest communication, heal throat issues, and unleash your creative self expression.
- Sit comfortably
- Wrap your left thumb with the fingers of your right hand
- Place your right thumb on the middle finger of your left hand
- Hold the mudra in front of your chest
- Chant “Om” several times
- Listen afterwards, letting the echo of the chant reverberate through your being
- Rest in silence
- Enjoy the peacefulness and sense of calm that Shankh mudra awakens inside