Dosha Snapshots

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I’m sharing something very special. Ever want all the information about doshas in one place? You can have the dosha snapshots that I use in my in-person training classes! Each one of the doshas are summarized and easily accessible in this handy 4-page download. Bonus: Also included is a seasonal dosha chart and the daily routine!

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If you or someone you love does not know what a dosha is, this is perfect. If you are a yoga teacher trying to explain doshas to your students, this would be awesome for them.  Or, if you just want a refresher on the doshas with all information in one place, this is for you too.

Hit me with questions any time and ENJOY!

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Taking to Root

Hey! You know those life changes you’re putting into play? First, congratulations, you’re DOIN it!! Second, you might not see results just yet but keep working at it day by day. It takes a little time for the sun and the rain to sprout that little seed before we see it peek above the soil. Keep going! *waving pom pons* And a little Toad the Wet Sprocket is always good.

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Ayurvedic Daily Routine Video

In Ayurveda, the daily routine is the foundation in living according to nature’s flow. Only by following these guidelines can we begin to achieve optimal health – without it, we are missing a HUGE and simple component to becoming as healthy as we can be.

In this video you’ll learn WHY certain times of day are best for:

Eating
Working/Productivity
Exercise
Sleeping
Relaxing
Strategizing
Meditating

Grab the download so you can have the routine at your fingertips.

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Ayurveda seems awesome but where do I start?!

Think Ayurveda sounds pretty great but are overwhelmed by where to start? Here are my top 5 recommendations to started with Ayurveda right away. You don’t need to know anything about Ayurveda in order for them to work — It’s time to start creating your best life!

Ayurvedic Facial Rejuvenation

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Whee! I just got back from a 3-day Ayurvedic Facial class at the California College of Ayurveda! As a lifelong teacher and student of Ayurveda, I’ll never stop learning and this class was such a treat that I must share with you.

SKIN CARE HIGHLIGHTS!

Our skin eats. It’s also our largest organ, so anything we put on our skin, we should be able to put in our mouth (if not, reassess your skincare line. No judging! Just awareness) because it gets absorbed and digested by our body.

Vatas have dry, thin skin, so their skin care should be nourishing, moisturizing and fairly oily! They tan easy. When balanced vatas have a delicate radiance. When imbalanced, they might experience dry or flaky skin, rough patches, rough bumps and blackheads (due to small pores).

Pittas have sensitive, hot skin so their skin care should be nourishing as well as cooling, but not too oily. They burn easy. When balanced, pittas simply glow! When imbalanced, they might experience pimples/acne, rashes, rosacea and sunburn.

Kaphas have cool, thick, oily, porcelain skin and they will look young forever (maybe not quite forever)! They should avoid thick, clogging creams and instead use light, oil-free skin care. When balanced, they look like porcelain goddesses. When imbalanced, they might experience congested skin including cysts and acne or excessively oily skin.

FACIALS/MASSAGE HIGHLIGHTS!
When we practiced (and received!) our facials, we used products made of all natural ingredients and Ayurvedic herbs that promote a variety of tri-dosha balancing effects to the skin including, rejuvenation, circulation, cooling, moisture and nourishment. The whole thing took about 1 1/2 hours to do — can you imagine?! We got to practice 3x and receive 3x (yesss!).

OK here’s how it went:

  1. We gently exfoliated the face and neck using upward motions while wearing silk gloves (they were not silky smooth, more like linen), which stimulated circulation.
  2. Then, we did a gentle oil and massage on the neck and face (upward motions!) to bring nourishment after the friction of the gloves.
  3. Next, we zoned in on the marma points, which are the little “activation points” along the body’s channels that run from head to toe (just like acupuncture points). We touched on these points through each stage of the massage to release stagnation, increase circulation and promote emotional balance. During this marma massage stage of the massage we gave them extra special attention.
  4. Then we took hot towels that we had previously soaked in chamomile and lavender tea and steamed the face for 10 minutes (protect eyes with cucumber!).
  5. After that we applied the cleanser and massaged again — it got super sudsy and was quite fun!
  6. Then we did a lymph massage to the face and neck with body butter
  7. We repeated the 10 minute facial steam with chamomile and lavender soaked towels
  8. Then we painted the facial mask on and while it was sitting, gave our client hand and foot massages.
  9. We removed the mask and applied facial moisturizer and dabbed on wrinkle serum.

TA-DAH!!! One and one half HOURS of awesome. And we each got to receive it 3x in 3 days!! My face looks more balanced, toned and nourished — and I look less tired. Score!

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Making the tea of chamomile and lavender flowers. We soaked them in boiled water for 10 minutes, strain. Then we dunked our facial towels in the tea and kept them in a hotcabi til steaming time!

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We used Dr. John Douillard’s (he’s awesome!) LifeSpa line of skin care products.

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Facial steam with the warm towels that were soaked in the tea. Cucumbers keep the eyes cool.

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The facial mask I “painted” on my client which tones and nourishes after we exfoliated, massaged and steamed the face.

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Time for dessert — A tower of creams and goops we made ourselves! Various ingredients include avocado, greek yogurt, glive oil, mango, aloe vera and red sandalwood. Stack o’ goodness!! And yes, we were eating the mango one like it was candy.

Pitta Seasonal Bloom 2016

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Pitta season is in full swing — it’s SUMMER time! Summer means sun, summer rain, sweat, swimming pools, popsicles, watermelon, bare feet, vacation, sun hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and…go find shade! There is so much to look forward to and I’m excited to share my Pitta Seasonal Bloom download with you!

Why is seasonal balance important in Ayurveda? Remember our Ayurvedic foundation, “like increases like.” Which means when the elements/doshas are dominant in us AND in nature, they can overflow and create imbalance in us. When we are imbalanced we start to feel like crud and if we feel like crud for too long, eventually we will notice physical ailments in our bodies or minds. SO! The goal in Ayurveda is to avoid feeling like crud and live optimally by staying in harmony with nature instead of working against it.

Pitta seasonal bloom has loads of diet & lifestyle tips for your mind, body and spirit. Here’s to a happy and healthy summer! *clink!*

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Monica B | Facebook Live 3!

 

Energetic Hangover

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I’m intuitive and also like a sponge in that I absorb energy from others. I have real empathy for what other people experience and get overwhelmed very quickly. Is this a typical vata quality or is it more complicated than that?

Empathy…vatas don’t “carry” other people’s emotions like a kapha will, but vatas are super receptive (subtle quality) and can pick up on subtle energies. And they are easily bothered by it. Therefore, they are easily affected by other people because they are easily influenced. Yeah? So maybe not so much empathy (that is kapha) but influenced and affected by others’ emotions which can make a vata feel powerless (weak) and anxious (worry about future).

The key is to maintain your own energy.

Idea 1: I like to visualize a BRIGHT pink light over the top of my head,  almost like an umbrella or jelly fish or shower cap. And it dumps/glows pink light on me – and as it goes down, it severs ALL ties and strings to anyone who is holding my energy. Then I visualize an opening in the top of my head where I let light in. Light pours in the opening and it builds my energy/glow back up from my toes all the way up through the top of my head until I am full of my own energy. You can practice this every evening or whenever you feel you need it. Dang, I wish I could draw that! Maybe that’s a painting waiting to happen, hey?

Idea 2: You can also visualize a GIANT rose (pick your favorite color! maybe it even sparkles) in front of you. Giant! Like big enough to cover your whole bod. And as people complain to you, let their complaints fall into the rose petals so it doesn’t get to you. Listen while they talk of course, but use the rose as a barrier.

Overall, their energy is not yours to take care of. Let them go through whatever they are going through, but it does not have to turn into your energy. Give them a silent blessing that they make it through their struggle, lessons learned and a bright outcome. Something like so, “This is part of their path, not mine. I don’t have to absorb it. Blessings and love to them, I know they will figure it out and be better for it.”

Let me know if this helps! Or share this with someone else you think who might need it. xo!

 

Bit o’ Wisdom {57}

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Tip: Strong Agni

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A Game! Find 8 Ayurvedic Things Wrong

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Inspired by my daughter’s Highlights Magazine, when we “find all the things that are wrong in this picture,” I thought it would be fun to play an Ayurvedic game. Wanna play!? Life and learning is more fun with games! Come on let’s go!

THE GAME: Our friend Lenny does not know anything about Ayurveda. There are 8 ayurvedic things wrong with how or what he is eating. Hint: the answers have nothing to do with his dosha.

THE SCENARIO:
When Lenny gets to work at 9:00 am, he happily eats a whole bagel with cream cheese for breakfast that his thoughtful coworker brought in for the team. Lenny is not hungry for lunch until 1:30 pm at which time, he dashes out to grab a small salad and eats at his desk before his 2:00 meeting. Lenny leaves work at 5:00 and heads straight to the gym before coming home at 7:00. He’s starving! He prepares a nice big bowl of pasta drizzled with olive oil and adds steamed broccoli, zucchini and salt & pepper. The pasta bowl is accompanied with two soft garlic-butter breadsticks and lots of water to rehydrate after that workout. Smiling *rubbing his hands together*, he turns on some lovely music and sits down to eat at 7:45, enjoying and finishing every bite.

8 THINGS ARE WRONG: What are they? Go!

And, let’s be kind. There’s really no “wrong” in life, we’re just trying stuff to see what works. So, no judging Lenny. Through your teachings, he’s about to learn a whole new way of eating. Yay Lenny!
SOME THINGS ARE RIGHT: Lenny has also done some things right, hasn’t he? Feel free to call those out as well.

ANSWERS BELOW!!
1. 9:00 am breakfast, a bit late & too heavy
2. Lunch at 1:30 is late
3. A light salad is not enough for lunch: lunch should be biggest meal
4. Eating at desk: don’t eat & multitask
5. Too much bread/sweet taste (heavy) especially at dinner & all day
6. Too much water with dinner, will douse agni
7. Dinner is too late
8. Dinner is too big in quantity

When Change Happens

*inhale* Last night I found out that another dear friend of mine is moving cross country. I was IM’ing a coworker this morning and these little words came out of me. Hoping this reaches anyone riding that line of embracing change as it kicks their ass. *exhale*

 

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Cooking Ayurvedically for a Family

Answering your question, “How can I make an Ayurvedic meal for a family when everyone has different doshas?”

GET THE HANDY LIL’ DOWNLOAD

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In Your Elements e-Book

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Bit o’ Wisdom {56}

Life Is

Ayurvedic Pizza Party

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Ayurvedic pizza party!? Pizza is not really Ayurvedic, but the world we know it has plenty o’ pizza. For us, pizza is definitely part of life — and if it’s part of life, it’s part of our Ayurveda. When you find yourself in the midst of a party, learn how to balance your plate for your dosha by checking out my pizza party tips on Banyan Botanicals blog.

A big shout out to my friends at Banyan Botanicals for promoting this playful excerpt from my book, In Your Elements. They are doing a FREE book give away! Wanna free copy of my book? Just enter here (scroll to the bottom). I hope you win! It’s a fabulous book and full of fun things like…pizza parties :)

ENJOY! And hit me with pizza party (or any other) questions any time. xo!

 

 

 

 

Your mark in the world will disappear

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This is for all of you who overachieve, bust your ass on a daily basis, or feel pulled in several directions. If days/weeks/months fly by without even realizing how you’ve spent your time, life is too short for that!! Recent perspective shifts have changed my life — I hope this inspires. Love, Monica B.

Backstory: Since I was 20 years old, I’ve been trying to figure out how much stuff I can cram into a day. Because you know, I was supposed work my ass off in order to climb the corporate ladder. And then I would make good money (forget about being an artist! You’ll starve.) to buy a house and save for 401k and my children’s college funds. And frankly, I also wanted to make a mark in the world! Cause we’re supposed to, or something!! Well jeez, that’s a lot of stuff to think about, so I figured I better get crackin’ early. Because of those early beliefs, I’ve never had just one job. For 20 years I have consistently had a full time day job and a part time job, always. At one point I was working from 4:50am until 8:00pm. And yes, I had terrible vata aggravation — for years I never stopped moving. It’s felt like a constant chase.

2012 until recently: I had a 2.5 hour daily commute and a stressful, what felt like round-the-clock job managing a team of eight. I didn’t even like that job, yet all my time was spent doing it because I believed I had to in order to be “successful.” I consistently came home crabby and sad. My reprieve was my family and my book.

Ten days after I launched my beautiful book as part of my personal mission to “make millions of people healthy and happy,” (<–there’s that whole ‘mark in the world’ thing) my dog Blossom died. My heart broke. Everything stopped. My first thought was, “She left too soon. I should have taken her to the park more.”

Instant perspective change: Spend time doing what I love as much as possible. 

A few months later, we went to L.A. and saw a dinosaur exhibit at the museum. Dinosaur bones are 65 million years old. Do you know how flippin’ old that is?! Crazy old! Then I started thinking that dinosaurs probably were competing for territory. Some were probably squabbling over shelter or food. Some wanted to be the best dinosaur, ever! Maybe they had names or addresses. Maybe they built stuff. Maybe one was a saint. I bet some dinosaurs busted their ass to climb the corporate dinosaur ladder, only to arrive there disappointed. I’m sure T-Rex thought he was making his mark in the world. And then, *WHAM!* Meteors hit the earth and they all died. And that’s it. WTFruit?! Millions of years and they are wiped out just like that. They can be summed up in one sentence, “Dinosaurs once roamed the earth.” My stomach pitted when I realized that. What the heck have I been doing all these years and for whom? Cause…I just wanna laugh and paint!

More perspective: I will eventually become unknown or forgotten, so I can ease up on the over-achieving thing. 

Today: Since “more parks” and “dinosaur bones,” (my new mantras) I have chosen a different route. I no longer manage people. I work from home more often. I moved into a design & creative director role where I design all day long! My boss (she’s awesome) and teammates know that my life’s work is Ayurveda and in the near future, it will become my full time job. I started taking violin lessons again. I began cooking more. I hang with friends more. I spend more time outside. I started painting old trucks (I’m obsessed with old trucks but didn’t think they exactly “go” with Ayurveda. But since dinosaur bones, who cares! I’ll paint trucks if I want to). I am now centering my focus into delighting and inspiring people (you!) with whomever wants to join me. As a result of my new route, I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUUUUUN! I LOVE MY DAYS!!

So. If you knew that someday you will be completely forgotten, how would you live differently? If the only reason you are ‘busting your ass’ is to ‘make a mark in the world’, you are missing the point. Life is to be enjoyed. Marks in the world are not permanent. Dinosaurs die.

Whatever it is you do, enjoy your every day. You will find that marks or waves you desire to create will only come when you extract your best, most authentic self and have fun sharing your gifts. Life is short and marks in the world are not permanent anyway — just make your every day awesome. LOVE YOU with my BIG FUZZY HEART!!

If you want to support what I’m doing with Ayurveda and bringing MORE life goodies out there, grab a copy (and hold on tight, life is a wonderful ride!) of my book and spread the word on Amazon with a review! Xoxo!Buy_book_here

Bit o’ Wisdom {55}

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Post-cleanse eating

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Spring is a popular time to do cleanses. Whatever the garden variety of cleanse (there are tons), everybody is talkin’ about cleansing. Here’s what nobody tells you: We should not eat normally right after the cleanse!

Below is an excerpt from my book In Your Elements on ensuring digestive benefits from your cleanse.

After the cleanse is just as important as the cleanse itself.

It is important to slowly rebuild agni to be good and strong. Don’t say, “Yay! My cleanse is over! I’m going out for steak and wine and chocolate cake!”

No, no, no, don’t do that. If you eat normally right after the cleanse, agni won’t be strong enough, and you will start building up ama (toxins) right away. Counterproductive!

Instead build the digestive system back up slowly.
The day after the cleanse, have liquid soup with veggies. The next day, have soup with veggies and rice or noodles, maybe a slice of bread. You could even make a batch of kitchari. Next day you can start eating normally.

See that? A little step-by-step process to eating normal again. Note: You must do this with ANY cleanse or you will reverse the benefits and actually make your digestion worse. It’s really important!

Has anybody experienced a good or bad end to a cleanse based on what you ate immediately after? Inquiring (yet judge-free) minds want to know! XO!

Take an every day vacation

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You just got back from a wonderful vacation and after 2 days back in daily life, you’ve already lost your bliss and relaxation. What the Fruit?! Well truth is, life is long and vacation is not. So, let’s learn how to bring joyful aspects of vacation to our every day — daily enjoyment is what life is all about. While taking time to luxuriate might seem impossible (or makes you roll your eyes), it’s not. It just requires a little prioritization and focus. We work hard — we all deserve to take an every day vacation.

What do we do on vacation that we don’t do daily?
{we don’t work • we spend more time outdoors  • we have the luxury of time • we see beautiful things • we eat yummy, fresh food • we listen to different music • we get extra sleep}

So let’s bring these to life.

7  enjoyments to take an every day vacation:

1) Work. In general, I believe most of us like to work as long we are doing something we enjoy. We like to produce, create, think, and watch things grow based on our efforts. Remember we are getting paid – holy flip! – to do what we love to do, daily. Now, for those who really hate the ol’ jobby job, switch jobs if you can. If that’s not possible, then realize the job now serves a purpose and will pay for necessities and things you enjoy, while you seek/create the job you love.

2) Time outdoors. On vacation we spend time outdoors and even exercise outdoors. At home, we might hit the gym, workout class, or jump on the treadmill in the basement. Notice those are all indoors? As beings of nature, nature revitalizes us. We feel amazing in nature because it’s our home. Get outside, daily! Even 20 minutes will do wonders.

3) Luxury of time. How can we get more time into the day? We can’t. Time is time. But we can use the time we have, better. Instead of noodling online, put on sneakers and power walk for 30 minutes. Instead of complaining to a coworker, go outside, find a bench, sit n’ breathe. Wake up early, enjoying the twilight into sunrise while you light a candle and journal intentions for the day (no complaining in your journal — rainbows and sunshine).

4) Beautiful things. How can we bring in more beauty to the daily-daily? Flowers on the table. Beautiful, transportive photos at home or work. New dangle earrings, a mala bracelet or sparkly crystal. Can you work by a window? Can you get a natural light lamp? Himalayan salt lamps are awesome. What do you see on vacation that you could bring to your every day?

5) Eat fresh, yummy foods.  You are the one choosin’ your groceries so…choose ones that make you feel amazing! Does mango make you feel like life is easy? Get it. Avocado make you feel spoiled? Do it. An afternoon chai latte? Have it and savor. Hand-made pasta? Take some extra time on a Saturday and make it. Thai food your fav? Get a Thai cookbook and commit 1 recipe to memory.

6) Happy music we normally don’t listen to. Pandora, Spotify, Google Music (formerly Songza). All of these give us world music at our fingertips. Some of my favorite transportive music stations on Pandora are: “Wes Anderson” (makes me feel like I’m pedaling around Paris with flowers and bread), “Tycho” and “Washed Out” (makes me feel like I’m on a hazy beach in SoCal), “Nightmares on Wax” is another easy chill mix, “1901” makes me want to dance. Google Music is also super fun where you choose songs based on your mood or how you want to feel.

7) Getting extra sleep. No you can’t sleep in daily like you can on vacation, but there’s an easy fix. Go to bed earlier. Spend 1 week going to bed at 8pm or 9pm and see how fantastic you feel. Use this when needed. When I was writing my book, I would stay up mega-late 2-3 nights in a row and then balance with 2 nights of going to bed at 8pm.

Whattaya think? Are you inspired? What other ideas do you have – do share!

If we spent more time enjoying each day and less of a focus trying to escape it, we would feel nourished and enriched, every single day. That is the good life, my friends. Finally, please enjoy my favorite little story about the Mexican Fisherman and The Investment Banker. Love!