It’s hard to believe it is the beginning of February already and as the days grow longer, and the weather grows warmer, I am enjoying the feeling of new energy and flow in my life. It is reflected in the garden as bulbs start to peek out, and I bought my first grown in BC tulips at the store yesterday. It is so nice to see the light returning back to the land.
The new year is often a time of setting resolutions and intentions. I let this year pass by with out making any “new” ones as I am following the seeds that I have already planted and sowed (to be present, mindful, aware and loving). I did set a few small goals and one of them is to try to share more regularly with you all. I love connecting with my global community.
What’s evolving at Ananda Ayurveda
When working with clients or groups in a sacred space, I notice great transformation and growth in people’s lives. There is a deepening of their experience of life, and of who and what they are, leading to emotional, physical and intuitive balance. These deeper connections that are nourished over time blossom into an awakening of connected spirit and true health. As I witness this growth, I see it reflecting into the essence of my practice. All things evolve and Ananda Ayurveda is starting to shift towards much more than just single session work (although that is still being offered). If you are interested in learning more about this deeper work and how a commitment to your own growth can be profound and life changing, contact me. I would love to talk about the ways that Ayurvedic Spiritual Coaching may serve you whether you are on Vancouver Island or anywhere around the world.
The power of distance healing is amazing, and with today’s technology we are so blessed to be able to share so easily across the world. All of my offerings are available by distance- except for the luxurious bodywork, and the effects of this work are profound.
Winter is a great time to experience the magic of Ayurvedic Bodywork Therapies- nourish yourself with warmth, they are all so soothing and nurturing. Experience conscious healing, on such deep levels- in a very gentle heart opening space. Consultations, Ayurvedic Counselling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available. As are gift certificates for anything that I offer.
Yoga classes are still held in two beautiful places- Monday evenings are at Yum Yoga Studio in Cowichan Bay, 4:30-6:00. Wednesday’s are at the warm and wonderful Harmony Yoga Studio, also 4:30-6:00. Both spaces are beautiful, and the classes are a wonderful opportunity to deepen your relationship with yourself and your body.
It’s Simple- Slow Down and Connect
Slow Down. Simple, direct and to the point. This is the reminder I keep getting these days. Take it easy, allow things to come to you. Sounds simple doesn’t it? My mind sure doesn’t think so at times. The universe too, seems to be spinning and moving and a faster pace every day. Sometimes it feels impossible to slow down.
Then I remember to take a deep breath and feel my body. This reminds me of the peace that exists within everything. At times that is enough; I see with deep clarity, the intense movement of thoughts, energy for what it is, the wholeness is always there, it is always at centre. All I have to do is take a breath, and it’s there. At other times it’s not so easy, but with acceptance and acknowledgement, of my human experience, I can enjoy the fluctuations and smile at the stories that I am walking in from day to day.
Especially as I connect with my community, my clients and my relationships I notice that if I slow down, and just stop trying so hard, that the healing, connections and love will just flow. My yoga classes are a wonderful example of this. When I go to present the class with expectations or attachment to it being enjoyed, I often feel disconnected. I feel stress, the words don’t flow so easily. When I enter class in a space of spirit, closing my eyes, and allowing the words to just pour forth from centre, I feel energized and open. There is no trying, there is just what comes out- and it is always perfect (even in it’s imperfections!). I see this in all areas of the practice. The more I step out of the way, the more powerful the healing is. There really is no doing, there is just being a clear and open channel for consciousness to flow through.
It is easier to remember this while working with others, seeing the transformation and growth that happens when we slow down and just connect. Yet it is a powerful reminder that I draw into each day. The dance of life is just that, a dance. One that is flowing, one that is moving, one that has different tempos, but it’s breath is constant and as we feel and connect to centre we can flow with the movement with ease. So when things feel full, busy, or overwhelming. Try taking a moment to breathe, and repeat the mantra Slow Down. It may change your life.
The Art Of Abyhanga
Abhyanga by Sheila Badman
In the winter months, I seek out warmth. Saunas, steams, warm baths… Recreation is at a minimum and my body feels the aches deeper and longer. Skin is drier and my favourite yoga poses are the heat generating ones. A new discovery for me, but an Ayurvedic one that has been around since ancient times is an Abhyanga, the Sanskrit word for “oil massage”. A luxurious, blissful, full body experience this soothing warm oil treatment was used in ancient times as a daily ritual for maintaining overall health and well being.
With less than a handful of certified Ayurvedic practitioners on Vancouver Island appointments are sought after, but well worth the wait. Ananda Ayurveda, in Cowichan Bay offers a complete menu of Ayurvedic Healing including counselling, nutrition, astrology, yoga and massage. Operated by Asrael, her specialized training began in India and continued in California where she returns annually as faculty member of New World Ayurveda.
Each treatment begins with a cleansing foot bath and a short pulse diagnosis where layers of body and energy imbalances are read through your skin and bones to identify areas in need of healing. Asrael identifies my needs as nourishing, peace and openness. Oils used are a mix of certified organic, wildcrafted, and small farm pesticide free “organic”. “Bala Ashwaganda oil and an Ayurvedic Pitta blend that includes rose, sandalwood, amla and lotus all in a base of organic sesame oil.” she smiles “ The treatment begins with anointing the hands, feet and head to stimulate smaller chakra points. “In Ayurveda we encourage healing on all the layers of our being – Body, Mind and Spirit.” Asrael explains “ We work on the entire body to allow every part that is holding on to anything come to the surface and be transformed.” Typically untouched, attention is also given to the chest and belly areas. “In Ayurveda digestion is key to proper health, so work on the belly and the emotional heart is important to open the doors of deep healing. Every inch of my body is feathered in light oil applied with swift clearing and circular strokes to nourish the skin, cleanse the lymph system, tonify the muscles and clear the chakras and pathways of prana. The treatment also stokes digestive fire and helps clear stress, insomnia, anxiety and emotional blocks. “Many of my clients will just come for a nice relaxing experience – and leave with a profound shift in their awareness. Winter is Vata Season in Ayurveda (Space and Air), so it is naturally the driest time of the yearly cycle for us, even here on the wet west coast, we live with heat sources that are drying to our entire body. Abhyanga balances vata and nourishes the entire body. The amount of oil used in the massage (1/2 cup – 1 cup) is like food for our skin cells, and not only moisturizes the skin but offers nutrients through the herbs that are in them. The skin is the largest “organ” of our body, so as we nourish the skin we nourish all aspects of our whole being. The oil moves through all of the tissue layers in the body, and is absorbed to the smallest cell. As this happens it replenishes the lymph system and blood system which also supports skin.” If you are looking for something new to soothe your whole tired body and dry winter self – consider a 90 minute hot therapeutic, ancient Ayurvedic massage.
Mid Winter Spice Mix
Healthy digestion begins with enjoyment of the food, and spices are natures best medicine. They are a wonderful way to stoke the fire of our digestion while at the same time bringing wonderful sensations to our taste buds. We are in the midst of winter- wet, cool and damp. In Ayurveda this is a transition into Kapha season, which often leaves our body and digestion feeling sluggish and cold. One of the best ways to increase digestion (agni) is by adding spices to our meals. Today I am am sharing a wonderful mix of spices that is easy to make, and very warming to our system without being too spicy. It is great to add to soups, stir fries, stews, just about anything.
When cooking with spices I normally recommend warming them in a little oil first- keeping them on a low heat until they start to smell bright. Then you can add your vegetables, or if you like you can add it at the end.
Fresh lemon juice squeezed into the meal at the end of cooking, and some fresh ginger are also great at this time of year.
Mid Winter Spice Mix
4 Tbs Turmeric
3 Tbs Ground Cumin
3 Tbs Ground Coriander
4 Tbs Ground Fennel
1 Tbs Powdered Ginger
1 Tbs Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Tbs Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tbs Ground Cardamom
Mix all of the spices together, and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Use with stir fried vegetables, lentils, rice, or just about anything you would like to try it with. If you can, its best to buy the cumin, coriander, fennel, Black pepper, and cardamom seeds, and then grind them yourself in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. It only takes a few minutes, and the aromatics and energy of the spices are even more potent:)
A lovely sharing from a client I have worked with by distance with Ayurvedic Integrative Counselling- Thanks Brooksley, it has been my honour and my pleasure to work with you.
“Working with Asrael has been powerful and insightful for me. Each session has brought deep healing on both the physical and emotional level. It feels magical the way energetic work can have such a profound impact in my daily life. Asrael is compassionate, authentic, and intuitive as she guides me to my own understanding of what I am truly needing. My meditation practice has become more satisfying and regular due to our sessions. This work, though gentle and pleasant, is changing my life in profound ways. Thank you Asrael!”- Brooksley, MA, USA
I wish you a beautiful day wherever you are, and as always want to express my deepest gratitude for your presence and part in the universe and its flow. Thank you for who you are and for all that you do.
Blessings and Love