Monthly Archives: February 2011

Embrace YOU.

‘Elo! So, understanding this dosha balancing thang can be a little confusing. I get lots of emails and questions that my readers have about their own unique balance. Sometimes I even get vatas saying, “I wish I was a kapha!” Doesn’t everyone? ;) Just kidding. Oh come on now, kaphas have their problems just like every other dosha, but sometimes we do wish we could become something we are not. Maybe we wish we were more organized like pitta. Or maybe we wish we had more creativity like vata. And of course, we all wish for more peace of mind and compassion like a kapha.

Friends I have some news…YOU are always going to be YOU. You cannot become a different dosha if it’s not in your nature. I’ll break it down for you. Quite simply the doshas can be represented by animals :)

The lovely, light, free-spirited, often anxious (and bumping into windows) vata can be represented by A BIRD.


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The competitive, muscular, leader (king!) of the jungle, meat-eating, and sometimes ferocious pitta, can be represented by A LION.

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The slow-moving, gentle, never-forgetful, vegetarian, most peaceful and yet the strongest dosha is kapha, which can be represented by AN ELEPHANT.

Back to my point, none of these animals are wishing they were something else. They all embrace who they are and live by focusing on their strengths and positive qualities rather than their weaknesses. So remember that. While you are discovering who you are, embrace the way you are unique. XOXO.

a little something.

pssst. hey. guess what? I have a little 5  1/2 month secret I have to share with you. :) I’m due mid-July. It’s been quite the last 12 months! Last February I got engaged, then we got married, I started a radio show and got preggers. Holy lucky! I have to say, the gratitude flows and brings ploppy tears to my normally not-so-emotional pitta eyes.

These were taken at 13 weeks. First of all, it has a butterfly friend in there with it and second, it knows how to peek back at us already! What a funny kid! Anyway, I wanted to let you know what’s going on. I’m gathering lots of Ayurvedic pregnancy information and learning a lot through this process.

It’s fun so far! I have not felt sick unless I don’t eat, but that’s easy enough to fix. I’ve been eating yummy oatmeal in the morning, doing my regular yoga practice (including shoulder stand, baby likes to go upsidedown…whee!) and ballet-inspired workouts. I still walk the dogs twice a day, have a full time jobby job, a radio show and the blog. And so far so good! My blog posts have been a little slim lately so I want to get back with those. Because I soooo miss you!

BUT I’m thankful for the radio show as a nice vehicle to spread Ayurvedic knowledge and tips. If you have not listened yet, I encourage you to do so or check out the archives! They are FULL of information.

Hope you are having a great weekend!! :) Namasté. x.

OH YAH! And, it’s nickname is “butterhead.” Because I said I was going to slather ghee “down there” during delivery to make it extra slippery so baby could just slide right out (do not try that!! It was a joke!). We will find out the gender on Tuesday March 1. Unless it’s still being a little jokester and crosses its legs or something.

Bit Of Wisdom {32}

How do you stay life-full?

An observation: Now that my internet has been down for a week, I feel more blissful, more life-full. All I want to do is create things!! I feel dreamy & eyes are open! In your world, notice what is life-draining. Can you reduce or eliminate it so that you are more life-FULL? Do you spend too much time on things that don’t matter? Have a think… XOXO

Happy Valentine’s Day

{HUG} Happy Valentine’s Day! Today I wish I had time to cut out doilys and make hand made Valentine’s for the special people I love. Remember those? I used to love making special Valentine’s out of doilys. Even more than that, I enjoyed that once a year I could use the word, “doily.” Doily doily!

Since we are far apart and I can’t hand you a Valentine, how about I provide some Ayurvedic facts about the heart. Enjoy these. I got these from a lecture by Dr. Lad when we were learning about the chakras.

• 4th chakra is the heart chakra, color is green, not red

• the heart is the seat of the mind

• the heart is the seat of pure consciousness and  innocence. When you say, “me” your hand goes to your heart as if to say, “here I am,” and we point to our hearts.

• the heart is the seat of surrender and letting go

• the heart is the seat of stress. Stress is the #1 killer {so hum, so hum, so hum…}

• tears are the language of the heart. Shedding tears can open your heart (and relieve that stress)

And finally, faith will flower into the truth. Never lose your faith. Faith lives within the heart and will flower into the truth.

XOXO, MonicaB

Hello Dahl-ey

 

Hi. Do you have the song in your head now? ;) Still love me. HEY so here’s what. I get so many questions about mung dahl because there seems to be a lot of confusion on what they are exactly. I’m with ya. When I first started learning Ayurveda, I didn’t know what a mung (or moong) dahl (or dal) was either. So, let me help you!

Not long ago I was in my local Indian “sweets & spices” store. And while waiting for them to make my lunch, I like to shop and see what kind of Indian goodies jump out at me. On this fun day, I saw mung dahl (the right kind) and next to it, I saw mung dahl (not the right kind) and I thought, “Ah-HAH! I’m totally going to take a picture cause this stuff is confusing as all heck.” And then I decided to take a photo of the other kinds of little yellow beans that might be mistaken for mung dahl too. YAY!!

In Ayurveda, we make kitchari as a nice meal and it’s even used as a cleanse. One of the most crucial ingredients in kitchari is mung dahl. It’s a complete protein and it’s a sattvic food which means that it’s totally pure for the mind and body. So, I’ve been asked, “Can I substitute yellow split peas for mung dahl?” and, “I got the green ones. Are they okay?” and “I got these yellow split beans, chana dahl, are those the same?” Not to mention, it’s spelled different ways too, like: {mung, moong} and {dahl, daal, dal}. All those spellings mean mung dahl and that’s what you want.

So let me clear the air. Simply put, none of those other dahls, beans, or peas have the same qualities as mung dahl does. Therefore, your kitchari will not behave the way that it should and therefore it won’t do the “job” on the body-mind that kitchari should. Those dahls will not hurt you of course, but they won’t have the effect on you that kitchari should.

Have a look below and hopefully you’ll be clear as day!

(above) The green mung beans are whole, so they are tougher to digest and can aggravate vata. Once the whole green beans are shelled and split, you get mung dahl which is what we want! So these two mungs are the same, but they are in different forms. You want the yellow ones, not the green.

(above) HOHkay. Look how confusing this can be! All these pretty little yellow lentils look the same, but only one is mung dahl. Notice how much smaller the beans are than the other two and they are much smaller than yellow split peas.

SO! Does this help?! Gosh I hope so. It’s not easy being an American and trying to seek out this Indian-esque stuff on our own. That said, they probably don’t have mung dahl at your regular grocery store. I believe Whole Foods has it, Trader Joe’s does not. Any Indian grocery will have them and if you find them online somewhere, tell me and I’ll post the links.

Carry on good people. Carry on and enjoy the body-mind cleansing effects of a happy and correct kitchari. Yay. xo

Viver Ayurveda | Training in NC

Hey! For those of you interested in a weekend of Ayurveda, I’d like to share this Viver Ayurveda training in Chapel Hill, NC | April 27-May 1 | 703-307-1523 | PDF Download

It’s being presented by Arjun from Brazil, whom I love!! He and I have crossed paths a couple times and only through email. He is a world-reknown teacher of Ayurveda and is the Founder of TriGuna Institute in Brazil. What a treat to learn from him live. Don’t miss the opportunity!

A little bit about the program: The program Viver Ayurveda presents an intensive immersion on the essential topics for building a better and healthy life style as a life celebration act. Learn, Experience and Share. Engage yourself in recovering your well-being then heal the community promoting the culture of vitality, rejuvenation and detoxification based on an integrated approach from Nature using Sound, Meditation, Gems, Nutrition, Herbs and Spices, Massage and Aromas.

This very special Ayurvedic training has been designed to cover the classical principles and authentic background of Ayurveda from its history and philosophy to anatomy and physiology. You will be introduced to the elements which help us to engage Ayurveda vividly in our life. Disease is honored as an inner teacher which shares its message of knowledge and in so doing helps us to remove the ignorance and invites the wisdom and poetry of the cure.

Tip: Licorice for Acidity

If you have any acid-reflux or heartburn issues, drinking licorice tea will help! Licorice (the real stuff not Twizzlers!) is cooling, heavy, and smooth. Will cool down, weight down and “smooth” out any heat and irritation. :)

Where’s My Bliss?

Where’s my bliss? The other night I was reading an interview with this cool illustrator/Pixar artist, Sanjay Patel. He created a sweet website www.gheehappy.com (come on, how cute is the name?) where he sells books and products. Tip: You can get a cute, free Ganesh screen saver if you go to the products page :) Anyway, he’s Indian and he grew up in America with devout Hindu parents. He didn’t really jive or understand the Hindu religion so when he got older he became interested in how to make the stories simple and portray the dieties in a child-like manner. The books are super adorable and beautifully illustrated.

As a former graphic designer and wanna-be artist myself, I really admire his dedication and craft. In one of the interviews someone asked him if he practiced religion (he doesn’t, really) and he said, “I know I feel absolutely at peace and totally satisfied when I’m working. I completely lose myself and that’s the greatest feeling. No crticism, no desire, just absolute bliss.”

Whoa. Then I had this notion that…I don’t really ever feel that way. I mostly feel satisfied only once I’ve accomplished something or can check something off a list (can you say, pitta?). And during the process I find myself critiquing my own work and playing mind games where I often end up talking myself out of my own creative process. When I write blog posts there is definitely a healthy dose of passion and love involved. However, sometimes that gets trumped by my concern that the topics are interesting/helpful enough, that the graphics are nice enough, and that…what if someday, I run out of things to say!! Even in playing my violin, I swear to myself sometimes in my head instead of just listening to the cool sound I’m making on the instrument. Of all things, that should be blissful! Where’s my bliss? I don’t paint or draw with my hands any more, which could actually lose me for a period of time, which makes me a little sad.

I want my bliss back! So. In an attempt to rediscover “just being,” I came up with a list (damn you and your lists, pitta) of when I actually feel somewhat blissful. And, it’s really small (here is pitta again, judging how small my list is) Here it is:

1. Sitting in the hot tub on our honeymoon enjoying my milky coffee
2. Siting in the hot tub at my parents’ house in Vegas reading a magazine
3. Doing yoga
4. Savasana (SHA-va-sana. Laying on my back after yoga for 5 minutes and letting myself melt into the floor)

Um. And that’s it. In learning from Sanjay’s words, I feel like I need a little more bliss time. I’d like to start creating simply out of enjoyment without my expectations surrounding everything all the time. My husband (kapha) is very good at living in a blissful little world and daydreaming. I could learn a little from him also.

So I want to know, what’s your bliss? When are you most blissful and totally at peace? What are you doing that you lose all track of time because you are immersed in pure enjoyment? Tell me! Maybe I just need a little inspiration. But clearly, I need a hot tub ;) xo.

Bit of Wisdom {31}

Ahhh…we just talked about this on tonight’s radio show (episode 5). I thought it was brilliant enough to post for your pretty eyes and heart to absorb. From Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur:

Ayurveda teaches the value of bringing our awareness to all things, including preparation and enjoyment of our meals. As you become more conscious of how you eat, you naturally become more conscious of what you eat and what influence it produces in your body and mind.