SEASONAL SELF-CARE BLOG
2 Fall warm drinks for vata dosha!
Posted on October 24th, 2016
Happy Fall! Its windy and cold out there & vata dosha, the air element, is on the rise.
Often when the wind picks up in the Fall, Vata dosha, the air element, goes out of balance. Our mind gets very active with ideas spinning a mile a minute. We feel like we want to do everything and be everywhere–We’re the wind after all! So we try to do it all, over plan our schedules and get totally overwhelmed, fragmented, and can’t get anything accomplished. Often as vata dosha goes out of balance, we have trouble falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. Sound familiar? This week as the leaves start turned turning glorious colors and the wind is picking up & blowing them off the trees, I’ve really been feeling my vata go out the roof . So what to do????
It’s time to curl up with a yummy warm drink & get all cozy!!! This will really help you stay grounded and calm the anxious vata mind so that your creativity and visionary brilliance can shine this Fall. I have two favorite warm drinks this Fall. India’s Ayuvedic gem, “Golden Milk” to help you get a good nights sleep and from the heights of Peruvian Andes, “Vegan Hot Maca Chocolate”, to wake you up in healthy style!
To help me prepare for sleep, I’ve been drinking Ayurveda’s “Golden Milk” every night before going to bed. My friend, Jen Kuipers, gave me her favorite recipe and it is totally rocking my world! The gem of Indian medicine and cooking, Tumeric has incredible digestive, anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties. Coupled with ginger and the spices, it becomes a digestive powerhouse and immune booster, as well as a magical sleepytime elixir! I’ve been drinking it every night. I love the ritual of grating the fresh tumeric & ginger and grinding the spices. The pepper unpacks and increases the benefits of the tumeric. Cardamom helps cleanse the body during the night with it’s detoxification properties. Cloves are a digestive stimulant as well as a great boost for the immune boost system helping release sinus & bronchial congestion. Cinnamon is also a digestive tonic. Nutmeg is an amazing sleep aid. The coconut cools all the heating spices down creating balance.
I find it the ritual of making Golden milk comforting and helps me start to relax. Then I light some candles, and put some essential oils in my diffuser (lavendar, clary sage, geranium, and bergamot are my favs these days) and curl up on my couch and sip my “Golden milk”. It makes me deliciously relaxed and sleepy! Try it – You’ll love it!
1 mug of milk (almond or other nut milk, or coconut milk )
1 tsp fresh tumeric
¼ tsp fresh ginger
4 black peppercorns
2 pods green cardamon
½ tsp coconut mana
honey to taste
Heat up the milk and simmer. Grate the fresh tumeric & ginger and add to the milk. Grind the peppercorns, cloves and cardamon and add with coconut mana, cinnamon, nutmeg to the milk. Whisk until it becomes a gorgeous golden color. Strain & add honey. It’s deeeeelicious!
In the morning or afternoon, if you want a healthy picker upper which is a great alternative to coffee, try my other Fall favorite drink a yummy hot chocolate made with Maca, the Peruvian superfood. I’m drinking it right now to wake me up and let the words flow!
Originating high in the Andes, maca root grows at 7,000 to 11,000 feet, making it the highest altitude growing plant in the world. Perhaps it is this ability to live in such an extreme environment, that creates the beautiful adaptogenic quality of maca which helps keep you balanced in times of internal or external stress. Esteemed for centuries for it’s healing properties, maca is a complete protein and packed with vitamins & minerals. Maca increases your energy by balancing the endocrine system so that it helps regulate your hormones. It is a gift for women’s health, helping to smooth the hormonal roller coaster the menstrual cycle and menopause. Maca increases libido and fertility, making this Superfood an exquisite elixir!
Vegan Hot Maca Chocolate
by Pauline Hanuise
1 mug almond milk (or your favorite substitute)
1 heaping teaspoon maca powder
1 heaping teaspoon cacao powder
1 pinch cinnamon
honey to taste
Carefully heat your almond milk to a simmer. Then blend it for a few seconds with your maca and cacao powders.
Pour the liquid into your favorite mug and sprinkle some cacao nibs and cinnamon on top.
3 Fall tips to balance vata dosha
Posted on October 11th, 2016
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!
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
- Heat up a pot of water.
- Take it off the stove, place the container of organic sesame oil in the pot to warm the oil
- Slowly and lovingly massage the warm oil into your skin from head to toe.
- Use long strokes on your limbs and circular strokes on your joints
- Let the oil soak into your skin for 20 minutes
Rinse off in the shower.
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!
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.
Improve your concentration with Headstands
Posted on October 26th, 2015
Are you feeling fragmented and overwhelmed this Fall? Spend a little more time upside down with Leigh and deepen your powers of concentration!
I’m truly enjoying my headstand practice this Fall. I have always loved being upside down. I can remember as a kid hanging out alot in shoulderstand on the cushioned ledge in our dining room. I also could be found dangling upside down for hours on the swing in our tree in the backyard. The first person I knew in my life that did headstands was my grandfather, Albert Evans. He had a 33 minute daily exercise practice which included a 3 minute headstand. I was inspired by his daily dedication and he was in amazing shape! It made a real impression on me.
I always feel so nourished by my inversion practice. I am much more able to concentrate. The day goes smoother and I really get a lot more done. Distractions fall away and I can stay focused and on task. I increase the time I spend in inversions in the Fall to stay balanced and centered in our “windy season”. In Fall, Vata Dosha (the air element) increases and we often feel fragmented, overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious, nervous, scattered, and distracted. When our vata dosha gets out of balance, we experience our thoughts running a mile a minute resulting often in insomnia. Inversions help us quiet the mind and deepen our concentration in addition to the enormous cleansing and healing benefits for our immune, digestive, reproductive, circulatory, endocrine, and nervous systems.
Try spending a little more time upside down this Fall!
Oh, and if you’re having trouble falling asleep, or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, just listen to my “Sleep & the Art of Rest” audio sessions–Guided relaxation and breathing practices to help you unwind, ease your mind, and summon sleep! Enjoy!