SEASONAL SELF-CARE BLOG


3 Fall tips to balance vata dosha

Posted on October 11th, 2016


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For the sensitive, delicate, creative vata types, the increase in the air element in the Fall often brings anxiety, nervousness, and hyperactivity to a high pitch. Are you feeling a bit scattered, overwhelmed, and fragmented this Fall. Is it difficult to focus and complete projects?  Do you have insomnia? Do you suffer from arthritis or creaky joints? Is your digestion off?  If you are experiencing any of these things, your vata dosha may be out of balance.

Here are 3 tips to help bring Vata Dosha into balance this Fall!

LUXURIATE
Cherish yourself this Fall. Bask in a luxurious daily self oil massage to nurture your dry, rough, chapped skin and ground your anxious mind. This is one of the most effective ways to calm your mind and soothe your nervous system. Abhyanga, self oil massage, is a deeply nourishing Ayurvedic practice of anointing yourself with warm oil before showering. Loving yourself with this warm, nurturing, touch will calm the fragmented, anxious, nervous vata. Sesame oil is best for vata dosha because of it’s warming quality. Abhyanga is an essential practice to ground Vata Dosha. I just love doing this. When I do Abhyanga, I truly feel so much more relaxed and calm. Give it a try.

ABHYANGA- daily self-massage with warm sesame oil

  1. Heat up a pot of water.
  2. Take it off the stove, place the container of organic sesame oil in the pot to warm the oil
  3. Slowly and lovingly massage the warm oil into your skin from head to toe.
  4. Use long strokes on your limbs and circular strokes on your joints
  5. Let the oil soak into your skin for 20 minutes

Rinse off in the shower.

NOURISH
Warm up and ground yourself this Autumn with yummy soups using carrots, parsnips, beets and other root veggies as well as the gorgeous assortment of squash available in plenty at the farmers markets now. Soup is the best thing for the delicate vata digestion, which tends to run dry and cold. Nourish and ground yourself with root veggie soups – perfect to help ground and nourish those experiencing constipation, gas, bloating and other vata digestive issues!

GROUND
Embrace rooting yoga practices this Fall, to help ground the windy air element. Invite steadiness and clarity into your mind by choosing poses that will deepen your connection with the Earth. Calm down the wind, by doing less vinyasa’s. Establish stability by staying in your standing poses for longer periods of time. Deepen your roots by waking up your feet, legs, and pelvis. Add more seated poses and forward bends in your practice to literally sit on the ground and anchor your windy distracted, fragmented mind.

Join me this weekend for my SACRED ROOTS RETREAT Oct 14-16, in the glorious Catskills. Celebrate Fall with joyous and nurturing practices for seasonal well being. Relax in nourishing yoga and Ayurveda remedies which ground vata dosha, the air element, and restore focus and balance to your being.

joyous heart!

Leigh

Leigh in light_opt

 

 

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LET THE EARTH LIVE

Posted on October 2nd, 2016


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“Let the Earth live”, this is what I heard. The voice came quickly, clearly, without drama or excess. I was sitting in front of my yoga class one Thursday at noon, inviting my students and myself to listen inside and let an intention arise from the wisdom of the heart. I suggested not to let the mind tell you what to do, but to take the time, sit patiently, focus on the heart center and ask the great guidance from the wisdom of the heart to speak. I did the same and like a bolt of clarity from the very heart of Earth itself the words “Let the Earth Live” sprung forward leaving all the tendrils of my mind’s agenda dangling in the wind. I was actually a little stunned. Often when I really take the time to listen to the heart, words like “kindness”, “patience”, “deep love”, “listen”, “soften” come forward. That morning my mind had not been spinning on the impending disaster of climate change. My worries were far more personal and petty in nature. So when the words “Let the Earth Live” came forward with such a quiet force and with such clarity, I really listened and I’m still listening. And I’m trying to do what I can to follow this request. The class that followed was I’d say the best class I have taught in a long time. Though I had come in with a completely different plan, I shifted it to focus on connecting to the Earth. I mean, when the Earth speaks you have to listen!  Right? So we slowed waaaay down, so that we could feel, so we could touch, so we could listen, so we could connect to the Earth. At first I could see the minds chomping at the bit, wanting to move the bodies into distraction, to fly through the air with a sweaty, windy, gymnastic adventure. But I knew from Ayurveda that would only create more air element and disconnection and that we desperately needed to find earth. We needed to slow down, to touch ground, to make contact, to feel our connection with our bodies so we could nourish the earth element in our bodies and connect with the presence of Earth itself. So I Invited our minds to ground their fragmented, distracted, disconnected wires of inattention, and connect through the temple of our bodies through simplicity through slowing down and connecting to the stability, the groundedness, the ever generous abundance and loving embrace of the Earth. We touched the Earth with presence of awareness awakening our own roots of our toes, our feet, our legs, and pelvis and strengthen muladhara chakra our root chakra. And it worked. People were glowing at the end and full of gratitude in our bow to the Earth.

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The request “Let the Earth Live” continues and deepens daily. I have been strongly feeling that in order to survive, we need to awakening the wisdom of our voices as women. We must dust off, pry open, and reverse the conditioning of silencing the intelligence that is uniquely feminine. I am trying in my own path as a yoga teacher and artist to share the women’s Lunar Yoga practices through my teacher trainings, workshops, and gatherings. The Full Moon Elixirs that I’ve been offering have been very empowering. These circles of women gathering together to honor the lunar cycle feel like magical, mystical experiences, tapping into ancient roots of women’s circles over the centuries. As I offer more ways to gather, I am nourished by discovering other allies. Just yesterday after teaching a Lunar Yoga workshop in Boston, I stumbled through my e-mail into Tree Sisters, an amazing organization of women taking direct action to gather together and help re-forest the Tropics in 10 years. “Feminine consciousness is the vital ingredient in humanity’s evolution into a protector species on behalf of all life. This month we are calling forth women as a force of nature, on behalf of nature by inviting 2500 women to become tree sisters, collectively planting 1 Million Trees per year.”

Powerful action is needed, sisters. It’s time to wake up and plant some trees! The Earth is calling us. I encourage you to listen, follow the call, and do what you can to “Let the Earth Live”.

I invite you to join me on one of my upcoming retreats and embrace the journey to renew, rejoice, reconnect with yourself and the beauty of the natural world.

Sacred Roots Retreat: Catskills, Oct 14-16
Flourish this Fall with practices connecting you with your rooted, grounded, most vibrant self! Relax in nourishing yoga and Ayurveda remedies which ground vata dosha, the air element, and restore focus and balance to your being. 

Nicaragua Yoga & Surf Retreat, Feb 18-25, 2017
Embraced by our beautiful yoga sanctuary at Costa Dulce, nourish your being with a week of yoga, meditation, and thai massage practices to awaken seeing and listening from the heart. Invite the spirit of wisdom, open hearted connection, and the abundance of nature into your life.

joyous heart!

Leigh in light_opt

 

 

 

 

Leigh

 

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Q & A with Bahareh Hosseini

Posted on March 5th, 2016


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Bahareh bio PIC women's course_optLearn about Bahareh Hosseini and her connection with Wise Earth Ayurveda. Barhareh will be leading the Women’s Ayurveda: Womb Shakti Medicine weekend on April 9-10.

Where are you from originally?
I’m originally from Iran but have been living, studying and working in Toronto, Canada for over 15 years. I absolutely love New York, and so glad to be 1 hour away so I’m planning on visiting more often.

What is Wise Earth Ayurveda?
Wise Earth Ayurveda is a distinct sadhana based education of Inner Medicine Healing, employing a unique learning model that informs that  you have the power to heal yourself. This is different from other contemporary schools in Ayurveda  which are largely based in clinical and prescriptive methodology.

One can work towards healing and inner harmony by recognizing and employing the following:
Wholeness: Realizing the true Self to be one with nature
Simplicity: Practicing humility through surrender to nature’s intelligence
Ahimsa: Harmony: Committing to inner harmony
Memory: Restoring cosmic, cognitive, and ancestral memory
Rhythm: Honoring nature’s nourishers: Food, Breath & Sound
Sadhana – Sacred Practice: Aligning every activity in accord with nature’s rhythms
Consciousness: Cultivating inner awareness and knowingness

You have worked closely with Maya Tiwari. How did you get connected with her?
I connected with Maya through her books years ago, ever since I began my Yoga Teacher Training and when I seriously started studying Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. In person however, I connected with her when she visited Toronto on Tour a few years ago, where I was volunteering at the event. We kept in touch after that event and for me this relationship has brought the teachings in the books alive in a way I couldn’t have ever imagined. I am deeply grateful that I have been able to continue to study and work with Maya.

When did you become interested in Ayurveda? How long have you been practicing?
I became interested in Ayurveda when I first heard about it through my Yoga Teacher Training in 2007. At the time I was working as an engineer and my lifestyle of working in corporate offices and a nuclear power plant though sacred in it’s own way felt very foreign and non-feminine to me. I started experiencing health issues in  my 20’s and I knew that wasn’t right. After I finished the Yoga Teacher training I immediately started reading more and then studying through books and in-person locally in Toronto with Matthew Remski (http://matthewremski.com/) , in his home studio which really helped me see the world in a different way. I recognized even early on that for me the gift of Ayurveda is in self healing and wellness education and not necessarily in clinical practice and in prescribing medicines. At the same time I felt the need to explore the world of healing and art of medicine in a more diverse way so I delved into studying Shiatsu Therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture) for 5 years full time, which meant I had to quit my lucrative engineering career path, and I gladly did so.

I have always continued on learning and practicing Ayurveda alongside the other modalities I’ve learned, in specific currently teaching other yoga teachers and my Acupuncture/Shiatsu patients and incorporating it in my treatments.

What is a women’s Shakti powers?
We all have Shakti powers, men and women. But of course as women we have a special relationship with it.

Shakti  is the primordial feminine power that moves within the body and psyche of every female through a specific prana that circulates within the two lower chakras. Manifested as the pro-creative energy, shakti-prana flows within the genitals, womb and belly of a woman. It allows us the maternal and creative powers that we have as women, this is not limited to physical procreation or mothering,  but creating and manifesting of ideas, art of medicine itself. It allows us to be natural nurturers of our communities, our men, our children.

What are signs that a woman’s Shakti prana is disturbed?
This may manifest in emotional imbalance, as well as physical…a prime example is our menstrual cycle that is not in line with our regular rhythm, or fertility issues. But in general our very creative and maternal powers as women gets disturbed, which in turn affects our work, families, our relationships and our health. In our modern lives, it is almost a given that our shakti prana is disturbed, as we live so much of our daily lives away from Mother Earth.

How has Wise Earth Ayurveda changed you as a person?
Wise Earth Ayurveda has definitely changed me as a person; meaning it has really improved my faith and confidence that I along with other women have the shakti, and the inner medicine healing powers that sustain us and will protect us, and that all of that does not require any extravagant or expensive tools or supplements but rather in our daily rituals of living we can celebrate our being-ness and maintain good health and vitality. In addition, For me, as an Iranian woman raised in a society where the feminine has been oppressed, abused and violated against for so long, I re-gained the confidence and power naturally inherent in me to continue with my dharma and duty in life without fear.

How can Wise Earth Ayurveda practices help women?
Ayurveda in itself is a more feminine form of medicine, Wise Earth in specific, founded by a woman,  is really focused on bringing that healing power which is ours back into our own hands, especially as women and inspired by Mother Earth. We are guardians of the Mother Earth as Women and most closely related to her. By coming back to our roots, we can then very naturally and intuitively flow with that energy which has created us and continues to support us.

I am so happy to be visiting and exploring Ayurveda with NYC’s Yoginis, I am sure it  will be an encouraging and fulfilling weekend as we bring these teachings alive together as a group.

Join Barhareh for her transformative workshop  Women’s Ayurveda: Womb Shakti Medicine weekend on April 9-10.

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