SEASONAL SELF-CARE BLOG
Posted on October 18th, 2017
A few weekends ago I went apple picking and pumpkin hugging upstate with my friend Melanie and her absolutely adorable 2 year old daughter, Annabella. It was incredible to be walking in the midst of the fields, picking our way through apples, squashes & veggies galore, feasting on the colors and abundant offerings of the Fall Harvest. I loved seeing it all through the eyes of Annabella, who loved tasting each apple from every tree which had low enough branches that she could pick from. Her exuberance and curiosity about life was overflowing! It was an experience of enjoying the fullness of life, the fullness of the pumpkins in all of their glory as they lay right next to their stalks that had nourished them until this moment. The birthing vines were now starting to dry up and decompose back into the earth, leaving the pumpkin as an offering, a gift from the Earth.
Ahhh Harvest time-the abundance of the last fruits and vegetables offered before nature takes it’s yearly winter’s slumber. The bounty sitting alongside the simultaneous decay of matter as it contracts, pulling inwards and downwards returning to the earth to fertilize the seeds of Spring’s rebirth. The Fall Harvest is simultaneously a celebration and a letting go. It is the time to distinguish between what is nutritional and should be kept and what can be released and left for compost. In Chinese Medicine, Fall is the season of the Metal element. It offers us the opportunity to lighten up and let go, open the door to clarity, and distill and refine our beings to their essence. This environmental distillation is mirrored in our bodies, minds, and lives. The Autumn harvest offers the opportunity to celebrate and focus our energies on that which we want to birth and let go of that which no longer nourishes our lives and dreams. It is the time to invite abundance and vitality into our lives as we shed the non-essential, resolve and release unhelpful habitual thoughts and emotions, and let go of unhealthy relationships and patterns. By releasing the non-beneficial, we create space for recognizing the essence of who we are and clarity for our intentions,
In the Fall we often need supportive practices to help us as we undergo these elemental processes of letting go, releasing, and surrender. Seasonal yoga, food, and lifestyle practices can help us attune our internal rhythm more with the natural cycles and deepen our connection to ourselves and our environment.
Use the metal element to help you harvest your home. Cut through the disorder with the metal element’s ability to discern and systematize. Fall is the time to organize the clutter in your home, release the agitation in your mind, and clear out the chaos in your life. By releasing the excess and organizing our living space and minds, we acknowledge what we want, recognize who we are, and invite space into our homes and lives.
ORGANIZE the chaos in your home
SYSTEMATIZE areas of congestion. Pick one of these areas in your home to clear out and organize this week – filing cabinet, closet, computer, desk, bookshelves, kitchen
JOURNAL to let go of what is swirling around in your mind
FOCUS on what you want to bring to full manifestation
CELEBRATE and enjoy the fruits of your life!
2 Fall warm drinks for vata dosha!
Posted on October 6th, 2017
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.