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Riding the Waves

Riding the Waves

We have a full “Harvest Moon” coming this weekend:  Friday into Saturday.

Full moons have a lot of energy.  They can magnify whatever is going on in our lives If you have been feeling out of sorts, you may find you feel even more so. 

And women, remember, we are ruled by the moon.
This means we may have an “extra special ride” ride when it’s the full moon time.

On the other hand, if you are feeling strong, even tempered and on top of your game, this too can be more heightened. You may feel even more joyful, inspired, and expanded.


The planet Jupiter, the largest planet known for its wisdom, is contributing to the full moon effects this month.

Jupiter’s influence helps cut through confusion.
Thoughts and feelings that have been stuffed down may rise up.

We may find we have the power and courage to see and feel what needs our attention and take action that moves us in the direction that is right for us.

There are many tools which help bring us back to a place of presence, stability, and stillness.

Mantras are one such tool.

The word mantra means a vehicle or tool to help neutralize the mind and connect us with our heart.

Mantras help us clean our minds and discover what is getting  in our way of experiencing happiness and peace.

    Please join me for the weekly Free Online Yoga Class!

    Thursday,  Sept. 8, 2022
    9-10am
    All Levels, everyone is welcome!

    Let’s  come together for a full moon practice with breath and movement  to help clear what is obstructing us in daily life, heighten our intuition, and open us to new possibilities and uplifted moods.

    We will chant a mantra dedicated to the moon to help bring peace of mind:

    Click Here for the link to one such version of the mantra.

    Hope to see you!

    Balanced Living During the Late Summer

    Balanced Living During the Late Summer

    There can be challenging forces at play when August comes especially when the heat continues to be a predominant force. The accumulated heat can cause inflammation and a dry internal environment.

    We can experience fatigue, overwhelm, and agitation.

    We also have the change in the air now with cooler nights, signaling Vata is on the rise. (This means the nervous system will be more tender.)

    The good news is that the body will let us know if there are things going on that we need to pay attention to.

    And, thankfully, we have the wise ways of Ayurveda’s daily and seasonal lifestyles and foods, yoga practices, and the underlying philosophy of both, Vedanta, to help show us the healthy path through the ebb and flows of the changing days, nights, seasons, and life cycles.

    Before I get into some tips for late summer care, I want to remind you of a fundamental principle of Ayurveda.  It’s one of the first things I talk about when I’m asked about Ayurveda. 

    We’ve got to get this one.

    Ayurveda says that Mother Nature’s law and rhythms guide all of life including ours. Our greatest health is found when our daily and seasonal lifestyle practices are synced with nature.

    • Rise with the sun and the birds
    • Sleep with the moon and the stars.
    • Eat 3 meals per day with the main meal in the middle of the day.
    • Read spiritual scriptures.

     – My teacher, Dr. Lele’s prescription for health

    Translated: 

    • Rise by 6am- the time of Divine consciousness- a perfect time for yoga and meditation
    • Bed by 10pm-when the energy supports settling and sleep
    • Eat the biggest meal between 11a and 2p based on foods for the season when the digestive fire is the brightest
    • Awaken to the truth of our spiritual nature- so that we can remain situated within our own selves and feel the joy, peace, and love that is our birthright

    This guidance falls into the Dinacharya –Daily Routine – category.

    The teaching about specific foods and practices fall into the Ritucharya –Seasonal Practices category. These two go together and are equally important.

    Signs of imbalances
    -and things we can do to alleviate them in late summer

    Some of the telltale signs of imbalances:

    • irritability,
    • feeling critical, angry, short tempered,
    • impatience,
    • a tendency to “push” too hard,
    • loose stools or constipation,
    • dry skin,
    • skin rashes, especially the ones that spread quickly,
    • anxiety,
    • and sleep troubles just to name a few.

    What to do!

    We want to make sure we hydrate well and lubricate the tissues of our bodies.

    And we want to slow down. Regardless of what we are doing, see if we can do it a little more slowly.

    • Favor foods with sweet, cool tastes
    • Focus on hydration
    • Eat smaller portions in general

    Here’s a partial list of foods to favor ~

    • peaches, plums, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers
    • green beans, carrots, dates, raisins
    • white chicken or turkey
    • mung beans
    • ghee, olive oil, coconut oil
    • coconut water
    • sunflower seeds
    • cumin, coriander, fennel, dill, cardamom
    • Reduce dry, hard, rough foods like popcorn, pretzels, chips
    • Reduce salt
    • Pungent taste such as raw garlic and onion and spicy foods

    We have a lot of say when it comes to health and wellness.  We need to remain aware of the connections between how we are living and how we are feeling.  

     If we want to sleep good tonight and feel good tomorrow, we need to pay attention to how we are living today.

    “A well lived day is medicine unto itself.”

    Today is a perfect day to begin living an awakened life.

    Thank you to all of my teachers and to all the Yoga And Ayurveda Community.

    Choosing Between the Hard and the Hard

    Choosing Between the Hard and the Hard

    Here we are in full bloom of summer; a time of high energy and activity.

    The power of the sun fuels the fire element and propels us to action. The sun gives us strength, vitality, and focus and rules our digestive fire.

    Clarity and radiance are born from this power.

    Plus, this week we have a new moon in cancer on Tuesday, the  28th. The watery elements heighten our emotions and provides an opportunity for us to clear away what has been and open to new possibilities. 

    Personally, I am in the thick of these very things.

    The fire and water elements that predominate right now can give way to us feeling out of sorts such as irritated, angry, and critical.  We may be more sensitive, emotional, and reactive.

    We may experience more inflammatory conditions…..acid reflux, skin rashes, etc. Or maybe we push ourselves too hard rather than surrendering to the pace of the body. Add to the equation the circumstances in the world around us and in our own personal lives.

    What a wild ride it can be. This we know:  the more we can remain calm and steady, the better off we will be. This is especially true when faced with making a difficult decision.

    I am in the midst of making  a decision between “the hard and the hard”.
    So how do we choose between the two?

    My beloved studio/barn and one plus acres of land is for sale. My Yoga and Ayurveda business is, and will remain, alive and well…online.

    I have come to the point in my life where I want and need more simplicity and a financial cushion for my elder years. What I know to be true is that this decision cannot be rushed.

    I have taken time over the past two years to reflect on this.

    I’ve needed to get quiet and centered and clear about my intentions and the “why”.

    I’ve needed to allow the time and space for the emotional roller coaster ride.

    I’ve applied the teachings about the importance to go beneath the surface waves of turmoil.

    I have sorted through the fears, the heartache, the letting go as well as being open to the possibilities and new beginnings.

    The words from Jack Kornfield help comfort me:

    “ Like a traveler on a train.
    We can put down our bags.
    We can relax our grip and trust
    in the unfolding of life.”

    In the end, when the answer comes of what is truly right for us, we will know.

    There is a calm and peace way deep down inside that shows us the way.

    And all will be alright.

     

    For those of you who are facing difficult decisions at this time,  my heart is with you.

    May you too take all the time you can and need so you can hear the wisdom of your soul to show you the way.

    With love,
    Deb

     

    Inspiration for Troubling Times

    Inspiration for Troubling Times

    These troubling times continue on. 

    So many of us feel the heartache, anger, despair, and overwhelm. We go through our days not quite knowing how to feel or what to do. 

    My daily practice helps me stay strong and steady. And, I often look to inspirational readings.

    Here is one that helps keep things in perspective for me:

    “Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height.
    Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches.
    Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth.
    Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously.
    The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots.
    In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.”  

    -Osho

    One thing I know to be true.

    We need our practices more than ever to help us stay grounded and balanced.

    Movement, breath work, mindfulness, and meditation are some of the keys to help maintain inner stability.

    Training ourselves daily with our sadhana, or practice, helps us  develop a stable emotional body and a calm mind which in turns bring about peace and happiness.

    When we uplift ourselves then we also deepen our roots and we can shine our light and help uplift and root all those around us as well.

    This takes work.  Freedom takes work. Doing our own inner work is what is needed more than ever now.

    The saying goes:  Peace begins with us.

    I encourage you to reflect upon the following questions and write down insights, thoughts, or anything all all that comes to mind. This practice will help clarify and guide you on your path.

    Some Questions to Ponder:

    • What are the areas within us that needs healing?
    • What are our triggers that bring on shame, anger, resentment, blame, and pain?
    • What can we do to help uplift ourselves so we can uplift all those around us?

    We are encouraged to let ourselves feel what is going on.

    We are encouraged to take the time to self-reflect and self-correct.

     

    • What are our thoughts, how are we behaving?
    • How are we living day in and day out? 
    • What are we surrounding ourselves with? What are we eating?
    • Are our daily habits supporting our mental and emotional health?

    “Stop a minute.  Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water.

    Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.”

    -Barbara Kingsolver

    Why Celebrate a Lunar Eclipse?

    Why Celebrate a Lunar Eclipse?

    Right now, you may be experiencing a different energy and strong emotions. It isn’t just you. We are coming up on a rare lunar eclipse this Sunday night/Monday morning. It is a Blood Moon and Supermoon, and “the first of two of most ‘balanced’ lunar eclipses for four centuries.”

    The energy of this eclipse event will be felt for two days before and for two days after. It is a potent, yet perfect, time to release negativity and past emotions. We have a unique opportunity right now to create significant change in our lives and move forward in our spiritual journeys.

     

    So let’s celebrate this moment!

    In honor of the lunar eclipse, please join me on Monday, May 16 for a FREE Breath Practice and Meditation from the Kundalini Yoga tradition. We will set the stage with the space and time for you to release stress and tune in to your feelings and intuition.

    Lunar eclipses are feminine in nature and affect women more at this time. During this time, the emotional body can dominate our sense of self.

    With a “rare and balanced” lunar eclipse, then, it is especially important for us to nurture calm and clarity for our inner selves.

    In preparation for a mindful practice:

    • Distance yourself from distractions.
    • Have a quiet space.
    • Light a candle.
    • Have a journal or notebook handy.
    • Bring a shawl.
    • Make your self comfortable and allow for inspiration and insight to shine.

    You may even be surprised at the wisdom that seems to “come out of the blue” during a lunar eclipse!

    If you are looking to remain steady and calm during this emotional time, please make use of the recorded breath and meditation practice. Click the button below to access the recording!

    Monday, May 16th
    Recorded LIVE 

    Together, we will harness the energy of this divine and celestial event!

    Let’s Go Foraging

    Let’s Go Foraging

    There is a term in Ayurveda,  “Ritu Charya” which means attuning to seasonal rhythms with our diets and lifestyles.

    We help rebalance ourselves when we shift our routines to be in alignment with the seasonal changes.  Think spring!  Movement, growth, new beginnings…..

    Winter is a more sedentary time for most of us.  For anyone who has put on a few extra pounds, this is the perfect season to take the weight off.

    In Spring, we can reset our biology, align ourselves, and discard old patterns so we can start fresh.  How do we nurture and guide this new growth we envision?

    Start Here with 3 Tips to Help Burn Fat

    1. Intermittent fasting – no snacking between meals and waiting 12 – 16 hours of no eating between the evening meal and breakfast.  This packs a punch and doesn’t feel at all like what we might associate with the cravings and hunger and fasting.
    2. Eat spicier foods — spicier foods help to stoke the digestive fire, “agni” in Ayurveda terms, which raises our metabolism and keeps us burning fats throughout the day.

    3. Move more and eat less — this combination tones us, helps us burn and cleanse ourselves of unwanted fats, and starts to break those craving habits and replace them with healthier ones of our choosing.

    For cleansing, think bitters.
    If you live in an area where dandelion and burdock grow, you are lucky! These plants are a  couple of my favorite spring time herbs which grow here in the northeast.

    DANDELIONS are a great food and a gentle tonic for the liver. 

    If you have dandelions growing in your yard, head out with a little gardening tool and dig them up at the roots: in both spring and fall. The leaves are a diuretic, and help move excess water from the body. You can steam or saute the leaves, put them in soups or salads, or just eat them warm.  

    The flowers can be used in baking.  You can make dandelion tempura with a milk, flour, and egg batter.
    The roots can be cut up and made into a tea or decoction (which means simmering them for a stronger tea).

    BURDOCK is a nourishing liver and kidney food and helps promote digestion. 

    You can cut up the roots, and put them in soups and make a tea or decoction, same as dandelion. Just know that when you are digging the root, it is a long (long) tap root (as you can see in the picture). Be patient!

    Burdock is also a great skin tonic.  When I was 19, my sister and I used to place steamed burdock leaves on our faces and lie down on the couch to help heal our pimples.  It worked!

    If you are not able or want to forage, you can find these products in the produce department of a grocery store or coop.  Organic is what you would want.  You can also purchase teas that provide benefits from these herbs.

    CLEANSE

    Here are 3 of my top tips to help cleanse the body:

    1. Sip hot water throughout the day 
    2. Liquid diet:  soups, smoothies, juices
    3. Exercise

    We want to stoke the digestive fire:  “Angi” which is a key component for health, longevity and vitality.


    Here is a simple recipe to help stoke your fire.  It’s especially good if you feel like your food is just sitting in your belly

    Ginger Relish:

    ½ tsp grated ginger
    Pinch of salt
    1 tbsp. lime
    Drizzle of honey

     

    We also want to check in with ourselves on a deeper level. Ask: What thoughts have been churning around inside our heads? Consider: What have we been holding onto that’s not useful?

    If you haven’t yet downloaded my free ebook: The Radiant Woman:  An Ayurvedic Approach to Beauty From the Inside Outplease do! You will learn how to look and feel your very best using India’s ancient sacred sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda.  These proven teachings show us how to develop our inner strength and beauty as the root of our outer beauty and radiance.

    You will be amazed at the simplicity of the teachings.

    Blessings to you all!

    Deb

    Rising above the chaos

    Rising above the chaos

    We have just experienced a powerful full moon with strong energies contributing to lots going on.

    It can be a challenge to stay grounded while all these changes are taking place.

    We are all being tested in different ways.

    The question is, how can we bring a settledness to ourselves when life’s events feel chaotic.

    How can we rise above the confusion, worry, anger, and divisiveness?

    For me, one of my mainstays is my Yoga practice. 
    My practice helps me stay steady even in the midst of all the chaos.
    My struggles have much less drama, intensity, and duration.

    I can often maintain a broader view, see things for what they are, and smile to my troubles.

    Yoga means wholeness:  oneness with all things: coming into an integrated state of being.

    A yoga practice helps us to experience the feeling of being connected to each other and to all that is.

    It helps to open our heart space and expand our awareness so we can see things more clearly.

    Awareness is essential to awakening:  awakening to the truth of who we really are and to what matters the most in life.

    A well rounded, integrated yoga practice helps us experience a more settled feeling in our minds, bodies, and emotions.

    We feel healthier, happier, more vibrant and hopeful.

    Consistency is key. We need to practice daily so that the vitality we are creating is stronger than the stressors of life.

    Without consistency, our new elevated state will not be stabilized in our being and then we will slide back into the old grooves and lose our grounding.

    Having a sangha – a spiritual community is important to help us stay consistent and connected. 

    In some ways, this past year has made it easier for folks to connect and partake of yogic offerings online.

    For this, I am grateful.

    Here are a few suggestions for today to help you remain settled and uplifted:

    -Let the breath be long, slow, and deep.  As is the breath, so is the mind.  When the breath slows down, the mind will follow.

    -Tune inside – Take a pause, take a breath, come into this moment, and place awareness on our heart space.  Feel the relief.

    -Accept everything:  resist nothing.  What we resist, persists.  Allow all things to be as they are.  Trust that all will be alright.

    -Find something you are grateful for. Gratitude, like love, peace, compassion and faith are high vibration words that provoke a positive feeling in the body.

    For online classes please visit the website https://ayurvedayogacenter.com/online-yoga/

    Join our Facebook community

    Yoga in These Times

    Yoga in These Times

    With the health situation as it is, I wanted to acknowledge we are in some rough waters.  It is hard not to feel overwhelmed, somewhat fearful, and confused as to what to do and not do.
     
    The “Corona Virus in Maine” was the topic on Maine Calling last week on Maine Public Radio. Very good program.  It’s worth listening to. This we know:  grounding, shoring up, calming, and immune building measures are called for now. There are many disciplines that help.

    As a yoga studio owner, I have sought council, am following the guidelines, and have taken measures to help keep us all safe. Here’s the scoop:

    • Classes will continue here in Liberty unless or until it makes sense not to.  I will certainly keep you posted.
    • I have hand sanitizer waiting once you enter.
    • We are encouraged to practice social distancing: no hugging, no shaking hands.
    • I am asking that folks bring their own yoga mats and blankets.
    • I also have sanitizing wipes for chairs and other surfaces that will be cleaned regularly.
    • And please do not come if you have a cough, cold, sneezing, or are feeling ill in any way.

     
    The practices I am focusing on now help to strengthen and balance our systems so that we can withstand whatever comes our way. Also, reducing stress and anxiety, supporting immune health, and more is what is covered these days. All through the lens of Yoga and Ayurveda.
     

     

    This past winter I have been working on getting set up for more online offerings.  There will be more posted on my website very soon. Now may be a good time to consider a personalized yoga practice online or by phone. The practice can be designed for you- uniquely you and what you need and want. For example, if anxiety is on the rise there are certain breathing practices, yogic exercises, and chants that can be very helpful. A daily sadhanda, or spiritual practice, is essential. It is what helps anchor and fortify us.  I can help you design one especially for you. E-mail me: ayuyoga@fairpoint.net or call 207 589-4254 to find out more and to schedule a session.
     

    Other Online or phone offerings:

    Online/ phone  coaching program to help you make deep lasting changes that can be very transformative.

    An Ayurvedic Consultation is also very potent to help you identify your unique constitutional make-up and needs.  This includes a customized diet and lifestyle plan which follows the ancient way:  no one size fits all.

    No matter what, we need each other.  It is a known fact that being connected is essential to our health and wellbeing. There are many ways we can remain connected.  If I don’t see you, I will remain in touch through e-mails and, finally!, I will be sending out a regular monthly newsletter.

    Some tips for us all:

    • Stay hydrated!!  When the winds in our minds are blowing, we dry out–which contributes to anxiety and fear.
    • Warm, moist cooked foods are grounding and nourishing.
    • Soups and stews.
    • Warm liquids
    • Teas such as chamomile, holy basil, and licorice are comforting.
    • Even plain water with a little lemon can soothe.
    • A paste made from equal parts raw, unfiltered honey and turmeric are helpful to strengthen immunity.
      • Take 1 tsp. of the paste  every couple of hours.
    • Lemon, ginger, turmeric, and  honey tea as well.
    • Oil your body with warm sesame or almond oil – daily.  It’s amazing how quickly that can help ground us. In fact, Ayurveda says it is one of the quickest ways to calm down the nervous system.

     

    A simple breathing practice to reduce stress:

    Breathe in for 5 counts, hold the breath in for 6 counts, and exhale for 7 counts.
    Repeat and practice for 1 – 3 minutes.  It’s worth trying.  It works!

    Weekly Classes:

    • Tuesday, Vibrant Living – a Gentle/chair yoga class 9-10:15am
    • Wednesday, All Levels Yoga – 8:30-10am.
    • Thursday, Kundalini Yoga for Anyone  6-7:15pm

    Yoga and Ayurveda for Spring – Kapha Season coming April 6-10. 3 spots left

    In closing, I send strength and healing thoughts to all,

    Deb

    Tuning Inside to Steady Us

    Tuning Inside to Steady Us

    Fall can be a dicey time of year.

    Nature pulls on us to slow down; quiet down.

    Yet, holidays are coming around the corner. So how can we remain calm with enough energy to help see us through the next few weeks?

    We are told that true strength and stability lies within. 

    Creating the conditions inside ourselves to provide the strength and resilience we need is always an inside job. My teachers have taught me that if I remain committed to my daily practice, the rest of my day will unfold in its own way and will take care of itself. I have found this to be true.

    A simple daily practice that includes moving energy and our spines,  attention to our breathing, and connecting to the truth of who we are can help us remain steady and strong through the daily ups and downs.

    Helping support people on their own journey through life is one of the areas I focus on in all of my offerings. This includes suggestions for creating simple practices that are easy to incorporate into your daily lives.

    Just five minutes a day can go a long way to shoring us up.

    COMING UP!

    Monthly Reset:
    Slowing Down, Tuning In ~Coming back into balance

    this Friday, November 1, 6:30-8:30am

    Tea is served. $25.Please e-mail to register ayuyoga@fairpoint.net (Minimum of 6 people needed to hold this offering) 

    Women’s Full Moon Gathering

    Tuesday, – November 12th 6-8:00pm

    The full moon is a powerful time – our practices and discussions will be dedicated to our radiance.

    “Like a woman who has found her authenticity, November’s beauty radiates from within.” –Sarah Ban Breathnach 

    Tea is served. $25. Please e-mail to register ayuyoga@fairpoint.net (Minimum of 6 women needed to hold this offering)

    Also, Weekly classes:

    • Tuesday, Vibrant Living  9-10:15am
    • Wednesday, All Levels Yoga  8:30-10am
    • Thursday, Kundalini Yoga for Anyone  6-7:15pm

    Individual Ayurvedic Wellness Consultations – by appt.

     

    Here’s to our well-being and peace of mind.

    Intuition of Woman

    Intuition of Woman

    One of the gifts of being a woman is our deep sense of inner knowing: our Divine Guidance. When we are tuned into our intuition we simply “know” what is right for us and what isn’t. We “know” the answers to our questions more easily and are able to sift through the muck and confusion in our minds when faced with making decisions. There is much less second guessing.

    We recognize when situations and opportunities present themselves that are important for us to pay attention to. We learn to trust ourselves more.  Our self-confidence improves.  Our self-esteem grows. Life becomes more simple.  What a relief!

    Intuition:The ability to understand something immediately without the need for conscious reasoning.”
    “A thing that one knows or considers, likely from instinctive feelings rather than from conscious reasoning.”

    In the past I made some of my decisions based on fear and/or confusion. Many times the choices I made were not in my best interest. I used to try and make myself be alright with certain situations and people.  The truth is, there were times I was not ok, yet I let my mind override my deep intelligence. I struggled with not knowing which way to go and what to do.  My attention was more focused on external things which took me away from the source of my deep strength and inner knowing. This opened me up for insecurities, unsettled feelings, and confusion. It’s not that way for me anymore. At least not very often.

    To develop and access our intuition we need to tune into ourselves daily. We need to move energy and clear energetic blocks so our life-force energy, our prana, can rise up and feed the higher glands in our bodies. (The pituitary gland is the “seat” of our intuition.) We need to “clean” the mind with yogic exercises and other techniques to help us develop a more neutral, meditative mind. 

    We need to sit in silence.

    The chatter in the mind must be quieted so we can hear the Divine’s guiding voice. Women, if you can relate to some of the struggles I have had, I invite you to come to the next Women’s Morning Retreat, dedicated to strengthening our sensitivity, our awareness, and our connection to our own highest authority: Our Intuition – “The Voice of the Soul”

    Women’s Morning Retreat: Intuition of Woman,
    Silence and Deep Listening
    Saturday, December 7, 9-Noon
    $60.

    I will share the teachings and practices that have proven to be so helpful for me in navigating life and living in alignment with my own truth.  Our morning together will be soulful, empowering, and relaxing. Not to mention we will most likely laugh a bit and that these practices really do work!! I can attest to that!

    I hope you will consider joining me.  I love sharing with and learning from other women in a calm, supportive, healing environment. That is what this morning will be about. You will leave with practices you can easily incorporate into your daily life that will set you on your way of knowing more deeply your own truth.

    The retreat consists of yogic exercises, including from the Kundalini Yoga tradition,  meditation, chanting, and silence. Also included: handouts, tea, snacks, and supportive e-mails.

    At the Ayurveda Yoga Center, 91 Stevens Pond Road, Liberty. For more information and to register please contact: Deborah Keene at 207-589-4254 or ayuyoga@fairpoint.net.