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Posts Tagged ‘ayurvedic’

In Full Bloom

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

My Garden

In our family garden, June is the sweetest month, when each day we marvel at the wonders of this simple paradise full of roses, herbs and flowers in bloom. The bees dart in and out of our hive, and butterflies hover and alight in the butterfly garden I planted with my daughter. Breathe deeply and you’ll catch the scent of Magnolia, Almond Bush, and Ylang-Ylang floating on the breeze.

It all seems so magical! But, as ever, the plants also offer such poignant teachings about the everyday, and seeing the thrilling blooming exuberance of this spot, I’m also reminded of all the loving care these plants have received over many months in order to reach such breathtaking heights.

It is, of course, the same with us. Coming fully into bloom takes all kinds of care and patience, a sustained effort that pays off like nothing else. The nurturing formulations I’ve created—using some favorite medicinal plants of my garden—offer just that kind of precious and powerful natural healing, the kind that can’t be replicated with a quick-fix. Take, for example, our flower waters—replenishing Bulgarian Rose Water, soothing Roman Chamomile Tonic, and energizing Essential C Tonic, containing Lemongrass. For me, these three are pure plant-based healing at its best—refined and deeply healing on so many levels. But I also love the connection that this blooming brings to us all. Take a moment to experience the uplifting rush nature delivers through its flowers—grab a wild bouquet at the farmer’s market or bejewel your salad with edible blossoms. Make it a point of enjoying all this blooming beauty!

After all, bloom-time is also the best time to remember that when we simply are who we are, we bloom, too, becoming a true force of nature. There is nothing like gazing at the perfect rose to remind us of all the potential we embody when we are true to ourselves. This month my wish for us all is to find the time and the space to flower into all that we are.

Ayurvedic Tips for Transformation

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

ayurveda-sept2016-web

I was introduced to the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda therapies in the early 90’s, and have incorporated Ayurvedic massage and essences into my facial treatments ever since. Ayurvedic practices support a truly beautiful way of living, and one that I crave and incorporate into my days in as many ways as I can, whether at home or in my treatments.

One of the things I love about Ayurveda is its focus on our daily rhythms, which brings balance into our lives. In following the Ayurvedic tradition, every new season we have the opportunity to tweak, refine and optimize our routines, a process called ritucharya. Generating a fresh daily schedule with intention brings mindful awareness and loving care into creating just the right conditions for each individual to flourish. So, with fall just around the corner, I’m happy to share with you a few of my favorite Ayurvedic tips for transformation.

First Light: Ayurvedic tradition regards the early pre-dawn with a special reverence, recognizing that it holds a uniquely potent vibrancy. While you might think rising that early will leave you tired, for many it’s worth experimenting with rising before the sun (even by 15 minutes). Remarkably, that special pre-dawn vibration can super-charge the rest of your day.

Oil Pulling: Even before taking a sip of water, I practice oil pulling daily, swishing a small spoonful of sesame oil around the mouth for several minutes (some prefer coconut oil). This ancient traditional remedy removes toxins without stripping plaque from teeth or harming the gums, and impacts immune health, whisking away impurities and bacteria.

Kick Start: Over the years I’ve often mentioned my habit of starting the day with a glass of water and lemon, which is also recommended in Ayurvedic practice. However, if this doesn’t suit you, you might try another Ayurvedic prescription—drinking a cup of hot water sweetened with a spoonful of raw, local honey. Both early morning beverages offer a wonderful range of benefits by strengthening the immune system and activating the digestive tract, so your body can better release toxins.

Purely Luminous: During the dry fall months, Ayurvedic practitioners recommend spending several minutes each morning massaging pure, warmed oils into the skin, which improves circulation, stimulates lymphatic flow and brings a beautiful luminosity to the skin. The heated oil absorbs deeply, and is very nourishing. Simply warm your favorite body oil—Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil is perfect—by putting the bottle in a container of very hot water for several minutes. Massage from the top of the body downward with the warmed oil, starting with the head and scalp, then the ears, neck and shoulders. Massage the arms with long strokes, and work with a circular motion for the chest, abdomen and hips. The legs can be treated also with long strokes, and you might spend a little extra time on the hands and feet. If you can, let the oil penetrate for several minutes, then wash clean in a warm shower.

Raw Power: Ayurveda recognizes that when some foods are cooked—or over-cooked—the heating process breaks down their natural benefits. The 5,000-year-old tradition prescribes raw fresh fruit in the fall, a season defined by its dry coldness, as well as grounding, soothing root vegetables, including beets and carrots as well as plenty of nuts and seeds.

Awakening the Senses: Becoming more aware of the seasons as they change through observing the sensations that come through our senses—watching the way the light changes and the natural landscape transforms, listening to the natural sounds in our environment—can also guide us into a deeper awareness of our emotions, and has the power to illuminate our relationship with stress, or to help us more fully experience gratitude for our connection.

All Together: On Sundays, I love to pick vegetables and herbs from my garden to make a traditional Ayurvedic Indian dinner for my family. It’s fun to listen to traditional Classical Indian music each week while preparing the meal—what lovely sound therapy!

I hope you’ll experience all the uplifting, re-invigorating power held in these simple and transformative practices. Over time, even the smallest shifts in our seasonal routine create momentum and true transformation.

True Value

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

TF Garden Shot 2

If your spring has been anything like mine—bustling, busy and full to bursting—entering into summer offers the perfect opportunity to re-orient towards all that matters to us most, putting aside the to-do list for a moment in order to bring delight back into our days. Surrounded by distractions, bounded by commitments, it’s so easy to lose sight of what is truly important, especially when what we value seems small. But isn’t it funny that when we take a moment to stop and think, it’s somehow the small things that matter most? This is an expression of our true wish for joy.

We often undervalue the ways in which we express our love for life, whether that might mean taking the time to walk, instead of driving, or reaching out to a friend, cooking a meal from scratch, lingering in the garden, singing in the car, letting a child plan out the afternoon, getting back into a favorite exercise routine. For myself, I love to carve out time to appreciate nature, especially the plant life all around us, which provides our living food source, as well as precious medicinal remedies, while inspiring the senses. For me, there is nothing like enjoying the simple beauty of flowers, whether in a vase or in the wild, their aroma, and their energy.  

Yet indulging in these love-filled, life-full luxuries can all too easily slip into last place. They’re not quantifiable, and they’re set aside in the name of practicality. But while a sensible diet and good sleep habits do wonders for our health, increasing vitality, strength and resilience, it’s these small and impractically beautiful gestures that fuel the fire and re-kindle our life-force, touching the deep core of who we are. To be sure, if there was a universal holistic prescription for glowing skin, it would embrace our desire for simple happiness.

There is so much potential for beauty everywhere we turn, and especially when we allow life’s small gifts back into our days, letting the truth of who we are shine.



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