21 Days of Ayurveda!

Join me LIVE on Facebook at 11am Pacific time from July 7 thru July 27!

I will be sharing 10 minutes of Ayurvedic teachings each day, which is an absolute JOY for me and should be super helpful for you to start bringing more Ayurveda into your daily practice.

If you want to see me LIVE, you must do these 2 steps:
1)
 Like my Facebook page: HeyMonicaB
2) IMPORTANT: select the drop down next to “following” and check “see first.” Facebook only shows content to 6% or less of the audience who like the page, UNLESS you check “see first.” Then you’re good. If you skip this step, I can’t reach you. *sad trombone*

YAY! I can’t wait to see your shining faces there and await all your awesome comments and questions for me to ponder. XOXO!

Qualities of Pitta

 

In Ayurveda, one of the main rules is “like increases like” and so we will look at the
qualities of the dosha and use the opposite to stay balanced.

Pitta qualities are hot, sharp, slightly oily, smooth and mobile.

To stay balanced, pitta will use the opposite qualities which are cool, calm, soothing,
slightly dry and grounding.

Please note  “cooling” does not mean ice cold. It means comfy cool. A pitta would enjoy a lukewarm or cool bath, but if it’s way freezing, it will shock our bodies and constrict channels and probably piss off a pitta. In addition to their bodies, pittas need to keep their mind cool to prevent getting hot-headed or overly stressed.

Too hot for pitta in summer

Red meat, yogurt, sour fruits, super-spicy foods, peppers, fermented or pickled foods, excess salt, tomato-based foods and alcohol. Exercising mid-day in the sun. Hot yoga. Sun-bathing.

Cooling & perfect for pitta in summer

Sweet fruits, ghee, fresh vegetables, cottage or mozzarella cheese, cool pasta salads, ice cream, coconut water, pomegranate juice, mint tea. Exercising early morning. Most yoga. Sitting in the shade and enjoying down time.

For even more tips on pitta dosha and pitta season, get the free Pitta Seasonal Bloom download here.

I am pitta!

Cereal For Dinner?

I would love to know who’s had cereal for dinner in the past week. Anyone? Confession: Me me, I had cereal tonight!

We are full into pitta season. Long days, lots of sun and heat begin to increase pitta’s fire in each of us. So when it comes to meals we are probably not reaching for spicy chili, heavy rice dishes, or mashed potatoes. Nope, that stuff feels too heavy and warm for us. So, we might crave something light and sweet, like cereal!

While your mom may have said that cereal is not a good dinner, I’ll tell you that cereal is actually not a bad dinner during summer! It’s light and easy to digest. The milk has a cooling effect on the body (plus, liquid calms down fire), it’s a mild laxative, and instantly calms stress and anxiety. The cereal is dry and light, so it soaks up any excess oils and heat. Both cereal and milk have what is a “sweet taste” in Ayurveda which is the best taste to balance pitta.

SEE?! Don’t you feel better? Craving cereal in summer is not strange, it’s totally natural! Our bodies call for exactly what we need. Next time you get a craving for cereal for dinner, check the weather because I bet it was a warm day

*Choose cereals wisely. Fruit Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Coco Pebbles and the like are FULL of sugar, which will jack you up and crash you down! No bueno! When in doubt, shop the natural foods section of the grocery store. You mostly can’t go wrong at Trader Joe’s too :) 

Change your energy

Our energy is a CHOICE. If you don’t love your day yet, you have all the power to change it in an instant. One of the best things I suggest to people is to move their physical bodies. Action transforms things. When we are transforming we are changing, and when we change with the right mindset, we can jump up quickly to a higher level of positivity.

This requires MOVING your body. Again, it’s action that will move you to higher ground.

Ideas on how to change your energy:

Get up, move. Touch your toes. Reach for the sky! Swirl your hips in a circle. Neck rolls! Clasp hands in front, then clasp hands behind. Take 10 deep, long inhales and exhales. Turn on a great music playlist. Do 20 squats. Drink a big glass of water. Give someone a big, sincere smile. Say “Thank you!” for anything and everything you possibly can. Find someone and say, “You rock. I appreciate you because fill-in-blank!” Go for a walk. Skip! Clap your hands! Sit for a 5-minute meditation. Make a gratitude list.

Next time you find yourself not loving the day, it probably has to do with the energy you are putting into it than the energy you are gleaning from it. The more we complain, the worse we feel. So stop that! haha. Eek!! Sorry but it’s kinda true! I don’t say that out of judgement, I say that coming from a place of empowerment. Don’t let your day take you for a ride, be the boss of your day. Change your energy. Own it and change it to a positive ANY time!! *raaawwwr*

Don’t over think your food.

You guys, one of the worst things we can do for our digestion is to fear, judge, or second guess the foods we are eating. That kind of worry will cause maldigestion before the food even hits our tongue. Why? Because the mind is so powerful! Let’s stop judging our food and take a second to enjoy it, savor it. If a certain food doesn’t bode well with you, leave it alone, no matter who else is eating it. Your body! Your life! Your choices.

I give 3 takeaways in this video on how to ENJOY your food and stop over thinking it!

xo

Western Medicine vs. Ayurveda

For those of you that don’t follow my facebook page, why NOT?! Haha. Kidding. I do live videos there and was particularly inspired to do this one highlighting the differences in Western Medicine vs. Ayurveda. In the video I reference “traditional medicine” which means, conventional, western, modern, allopathy, whatever you want to call that lil’ thing we call “healthcare” nowadays.

I hope this sheds some light on the differences between the two. You’ll notice, they totally don’t overlap! Each has their place. If we start using Ayurveda in the home as prevention, with proper diet and lifestyle according to the individual, we will have powerful ownership over our own health and well being! Yay Ayurveda!

Monica B’s Entrepreneur Story

Monica B’s Entrepreneur Story

I am thrilled and honored to be a featured guest on Jan McCarthy’s Entrepreneurial Voice podcast.

In this episode, I share my story of how and WHY I took the leap from the corporate world to begin my career 100% as an Ayurvedic teacher and healer. It was a long road — 8.5 years before I actually made the leap! I hope it sparks a little inspiration for whatever is your dharma (life’s work), so you keep moving toward that dream with bravery, optimism, tenacity, and passion! xo

Below are several platforms for you to listen and look for “Monica Bloom” in the list.

iTunes

Stitcher

Soundcloud

iHeart Radio

What balances vatas and pittas in kapha season?

This question stemming from several of you!

“What balances vatas and pittas in kapha season?”

Overall, vatas and pittas are going to be balanced by kapha season. Happy day!

I quickly made this crude little chart (it shows up reversed in the video), but in very simple terms, these are how the qualities shake out in kapha season.

 

In general vatas and pittas will be balanced by kapha season. In Ayurveda we talk a lot about the qualities and we use the opposite qualities to stay balanced.

Kapha qualities are: cold, wet, heavy, static (non-moving) and dull.

Vata qualities are: cold, dry, light, mobile, and rough.

All vata qualities except COLD are opposite of kapha which means, kapha will balance vata for the most part. However, vatas need to stay warm in their environment, body and diet in spring.

Pitta qualities are: hot, slightly-oily (a little wet), light, smooth, mobile and sharp.

All pitta qualities except wet are opposite of kapha which means, kapha will also balance pitta for the most part! However, anything too humid, wet, or oily will not suit pitta in spring. They should favor the dry qualities in their environment, body and diet.

In a nutshell, vatas and pittas should feel quite awesome in spring. If you are a kapha, learn more on how to balance your mind, body and spirit with this kapha seasonal bloom.

Much more learnings on my YouTube channel and Facebook page too.

XOXO!

 

 

6 tips to help kapha declutter

Kapha declutter

Muy importante! 

Those over-filled closets, basements, garages and storage spaces need attention! Kaphas, be mindful that one of the best things for you is to clear the clutter.  You see, kaphas are the glue emotionally, physically and…materialistically. They like to keep stuff, like, forever if they could. However, this clingy energy bogs them down which is the last thing kapha needs.

Kapha needs more space, lightness, and flow. When we have posessions that are all piled up, we can’t even see what we own, much less enjoy what we have.

A good bi-yearly cleanse of nooks, crannies and closets followed by a trip to the donation station will bring joy and lightness to their lives. For any kaphas having a hard time parting with “stuff” it might be easier to swallow when you know you’ll be giving it to someone else who will love it. Kaphas are very generous and will gladly help those in need, so this could be an easy sell to tell yourself ;)

Detaching is a challenge for kapha. Even emotionally, they can become overbearing, possessive and get depressed if their feelings get hurt too severely. It’s just hard for them to detach sometimes. Kaphas can also hold grudges which will weigh them down preventing their lustrous beauty to shine through.

Here are 6 tips to help kaphas declutter:

  1. Music! Kaphas, put on dancey, happy tunes while decluttering. I created a kapha playlist here. You’ll love it.
  2. Appreciate the mess. We will make a big mess before things get more clean. It might feel terrible but just keep going. Make a mess knowing it’s the only way to get clearance (Clarence. Who got that joke?!).
  3. 3 Piles Only. Keepers, Garbage, Donations. No maybes piles because that can get folded in to garbage bags and put somewhere else.
  4. Don’t reminisce. Don’t get stuck flipping through the beloved scrapbook or photo album. You’ll lose time. Just say, “Keeper pile!” and move on. Reward yourself afterward and look through the memories when the cleaning is done.
  5. Set a timer. Maybe you only have 30 minutes to dedicated to cleaning today. GREAT! Put on the playlist and/or timer and go fast as you can. Or, sock away 3 hours and get it all done at once. Either way, a timer is awesome.
  6. Reward! Plan something FUN to do when it’s over. You can keep your eyes on that prize while digging your way out of clutter. MAN what a great day. Decluttering AND a reward. You’ll sleep like a happy baby.

Vatas and pittas can use this too, but this is not usually a problem for them. Pittas are neat n’ tidy by nature because they love to organize. Vatas tend to throw stuff away and then wish they hadn’t. Ha!

If kaphas can forgive, detach, and let go, they will feel light on their feet — in their hearts, minds, and spirits too.

5 Kapha lifestyle tips

Hooray! We’re in the thick of spring, or in Ayurveda we say, “It’s kapha season!” Kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure – and it’s elements are water and earth. In spring, kapha is the overarching energy in nature and therefore it governs us. We have to adjust according to nature since we are a small piece of nature.

For more information on kapha dosha and kapha season, I created an 18-page Kapha Seasonal Bloom which you can download right here.

Below are 5 Kapha Lifestyle Tips to staying balanced in spring: 

1) Get moving and sweat. Releasing water through sweat is one of the ways we remove waste and stagnation. Sweating also increases our digestive fire which is responsible for digesting and assimilating our food.

2) Get rid of things. This is the perfect time of year to turn our closets upside-down and toss out what no longer inspires us. Kaphas are sticky by nature so while they want to hold on to things, it’s not balancing for them — it will make them feel heavier. Creating space and air in their physical dwelling will make them instantly happy and light.

3) Donate. For any kaphas having a hard time parting with “stuff” it might be easier to swallow when you know you’ll be giving it to someone else who will love it.

4) Forgive. Let go of any grudges or heavy emotions you are carrying around. They might not even be yours to carry! Heavy or negative emotions can accumulate and weigh you down both energetically and physically. Perform a ritual to say, “Thank you for the lessons, goodbye.” and release it.

5) Dress up! As we emerge from gray winter, spring enlivens us with color! Put away the sweats and toss on a pretty skirt, bright shoes or jewelry that makes you happy. Nature is already a step ahead of you with limey-colored new leaves, purple, pink and white flowers and tangerine sunsets!

How to stay committed to Ayurvedic practice

I feel so much better when I wake up, dry brush, do 10 vigorous Sun Salutes, take some deep breaths, drink a glass of lemon water and the do some pleasure reading or journaling before jumping into my crazy busy day.  I have done it, I know it feels good.  But 97% of the time I decided to sleep longer and then end up in the standard mad dash of a morning. Any ideas on convincing myself to commit to myself?

How to stay committed to Ayurvedic practice

Raise hands, anybody else feel like this?! Maybe not with her exact habits, but how many of you out there KNOW you feel better when you follow through right action in your health habits? Yeah! A lot of us! And yet, for some reason we stop doing them. I think ALL of us can relate! We are human and we fall out of practice and there is always opportunity to start again. However let’s also remember, the goal is not to keep re-starting — the goal is to keep improving for the long term.

In the video below, I answer her question, “How do I stay committed to my Ayurvedic practice.” Let’s be okay with change. Let’s be okay with some difficulty. It is the only way we can improve! I hope this helps inspire you and keep you adhering to life practices that you know work for you! XO

2017 Kapha Seasonal Bloom

Kapha Seasonal Bloom graphic. An Ayurvedic guide to late winter and spring health

Woohoo! 2017 Kapha Seasonal Bloom is ready for ya! Download your copy today to enjoy and learn all about kapha dosha, kapha people, and kapha season.

Those of you who live in cold climates could not be happier to see kapha enter in! Tulip and daffodil leaves start poking up through the snow, limey green buds pop up on the trees, snow and rain does this lovely dance which makes…slush. Ha! But it’s good! Nature is thawing and creation is happening. The brisk, bitter, and dry cold from vata season begins to soften and mellow to welcome the life and freshness of spring.

We begin daydreaming about vacation and are excited to plan some R&R. Our bodies crave warmth as we eye up the sundresses and flip flops at Target — and maybe smell the sunscreen just for fun! Inspiration to buy new stuff and throw out half of the uninspiring things that we currently own does not feel like an impulse as much as it feels like a necessity. We have an overall sense of renewal, creation, and happiness. And finally, we might feel like slowing down to enjoy the ride a bit more and maybe take the long way home. Sauntering never felt so good. YAY! Kapha is here!

Imbalancing for KAPHA: Yogurt, ice cream, cheeses, heavy comfort foods, fried foods, red meat, fish, salts, sugars. A sedentary lifestyle. Having too much stuff. Eating large portions late in the evening. Carrying old, negative emotions, grief or sadness.

Balancing for KAPHA: Vegetarian or vegan diet, apples, pears, berries, lentils and dahls, brothy and spicy soups, barley, rice, rice noodles. Zumba or dance class with a buddy. Clear out cluttered spaces. Saying no. Expressing your desires. Release old emotions that don’t serve you. Skip dinner at least once a week. Citrus scents. Bright colored clothes. Get outside once a day and walk. Uplifting beauty, such as a vase of flowers.

For so much more on kapha dosha and kapha season, enjoy the free download of the 2017 Kapha Seasonal Bloom. And! If it has served you, share it!! It takes a village to share Ayurveda (it really does! Way back 5,000 years ago, they did the same!) in an effort for ALL of us to live abetter. So, if you benefited from it, do me a favor and share this with 3 people, especially your beloved kaphas.

Kapha Seasonal Bloom inside spreads

2017 Kapha Playlist

2017 Kapha Playlist graphic

 

2017 Kapha Playlist!

In Ayurveda, sound is therapy because use the 5 senses as vehicles for healing. One those senses is hearing and we provide good sound for ears to influence the mind, which influences the physical body. I don’t have to tell you that music is highly influential on our mood, but you might not know that it’s actually an Ayurvedic therapy. To promote healing for kapha season (spring!), I created the 2017 Kapha Playlist! This bouncy, dancey, booty-shakin’, kapha-balancing playlist is full of upbeat jams to inspire kapha to get moving and have fun doing it! You might also like to download the 2017 Kapha Seasonal Bloom as a compliment, although I don’t recommend reading and listening at the same time! One, because our body-mind can actually get imbalanced when trying to absorb information from reading (see) and listening (hear) at the same time — we just can’t focus on both simultaneously. And two, because this kapha playlist is NOT reading music – they are total jams! If you try to read and listen at the same time…good luck keeping your feet and booty still! ;) Enjoy!

What IS Ayurveda?

I’ve been writing about Ayurveda for 8.5 years now and have watched it grow rapidly. I’d like to take a step back for a second and answer the question, “What is Ayurveda?”

When I started heymonicab.com in 2008, I would say, “I study and teach Ayurveda” and nobody had a clue what I was talking about. But now I say, “I teach Ayurveda! Have you heard of it?” They say, “Yes! I’ve heard of it.” I respond with, “Do you know what it is?” And they usually say something like, “Mehhh, kinda? No, not really…” This funny looking word has gone from something nobody knew about to something that people now recognize. It’s not quite so foreign anymore!

This is where I come in. If people are able to recognize it now, they’re ready for more information. I created this video to answer the question, “What is Ayurveda?” to give the newbies a broad idea of what it’s all about. Enjoy!

3 Ayurvedic Tips to Help Overcome Emotional Eating

Answering a fantastic question from one of you who wants to know if I have any advice on how to overcome emotional eating. It’s a complex question with complex answers that will be different for each of us! But I do have 3 great tips on how to uncover what the emotional eating might be all about AND how to bring more “higher food” into your life. I hope this inspires, moves some obstacles and inspires new way of thinking about food and your life. You got this!

 

4 Ayurvedic tips for an unreliable schedule

Question from Jessica: “Hey Monica B., How do I follow the daily routine when I’ve got an inconsistent night work schedule?”
I got answers!

And, for any of you out there who deal with other obstacles in your schedule, these tips can be applied to you too.

Enjoy!

Lead with Your Heart

You’ve heard the phrase, lead with your heart. Maybe your yoga teacher has said this to you at some point? Leading with the heart ensures proper posture and opens the heart chakra.

Of course you know I am not just talking about yoga asanas when I say “Lead with Your Heart.” Your passion, compassion, and life’s purpose live there. Our hearts will not fail us. When we get goosebumps, a shot of inspiration, a burst of passion, or a feeling of bliss in absolute stillness, that is the heart. If we follow those ideas, people, places, situations, which make us feel that good, there is no doubt we are doing the right thing.

See, the head knows too much and can easily get confused or push us to do something based on wrong intention. For example, just like that yoga pose, if we lead with our heads, we are likely to be hunched over and out of proper form. Maybe our heads told us we must touch those toes! So big deal, we’ve touched the toes, but we are in a hunchy, non-oxygenated, strained little mess. However…if we lead with our heart, the spine stays straight, heart is open, head is awake, eyes are bright, shoulders are dropped, breath (prana!) flows, and we find ourselves in this beautiful, easy pose. Everything is in harmony and at peace.

What a lovely place to be in. The secret is, we can do that all the time and with everything. Lead with your heart and the rest of life will fall neatly into place. Namaste, friends.

Vata and Vegan Diet

Answering a question from one of you, “I’m a vata but also vegan and I’ve read that Ayurveda says vatas should not be vegan. What do you say, Monica B?”

What we share affects the mind

An excerpt from my book In Your Elements:

To balance out life’s traumas, let us protect and grow our minds…what we share can either send a sparkle of happiness or a ding of awfulness. Let us share gifts of wonder, amazement, delight, love, compassion, and humor. Let us tell stories that inspire and make us smarter. Let us cheer each other on for overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles. Let us celebrate how people succeed at doing their very best with what they have.