Category Archives: Seasonal Balance

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!

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!

2017 Vata Seasonal Bloom

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Download Blue Button

I’m EXCITED for you to have these Vata Freebies!
You get Vata Season Webinar + Vata Seasonal Bloom (14-page health guide)!

Let’s talk about vata + the weekend for a sec.
Computers make us feel anxious, so why don’t you print Seasonal Bloom and read it by the fireplace or in your favorite chair. Print is more balancing than the screen, plus it is so lovely you will want it in your hands.
*inhale* *exhale*

We live in a HIGHLY imbalanced vata world with things like computers, smart phones, traffic, and social media. We get anxiety over what we think we should be doing and who we think we should be. *breathe* You are perfectly aligned on your path. You are already doin’ it. The world is just moving faster than ever (hyper-vata) and you can feel that zippy energy, which can create an internal panic.

Let’s slow it down and use this weekend to disconnect from all that stuff.

Find a pumpkin. Cook a meal. Sink into a long bath. Free flow on a bike ride. Catch views from your favorite hike (even if it’s urban). Bust out your paints. Go to the high school football game. Say hello to the yarn basket. Savor a magazine. Power walk with your favorite person. {insert your ideas here}

Let’s bring it down. You are perfectly as you should be, perfectly on your path.
You don’t need to move faster, just trust and slow it down.
*inhale* *exhale*

BIG LOVE! (it’s not you, it’s just vata!)

 

 

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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Dosha Snapshots

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!

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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, the download 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.

dosha snapshots

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!

6 Ayurvedic Tips to Balance the Time Change

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Oh man, our clocks changed! Just as we got used to the glow of the sun waking us, it’s pitch black again when the alarm goes off. The reward is a longer day, which, “Hooray for daylight!” but the time change can still throw us off. Time change in Ayurveda affects vata because, well, we’ve made a fast change. *Poof* just like that, we gained an “extra hour.” It can take some of us weeks to adjust but hopefully the tips below will help you slide back nicely into nature’s rhythm quickly.

6 Ayurvedic tips to balance the time change

1. Wake up before sunrise. Ha! Easy enough to do now, ’cause you kind of have no choice. My point is, just because it’s dark at 6:00 a.m., don’t go hittin’ the snooze until the sun comes up. We already know waking up during vata time (before sunrise) gives us a daily boost because as we rise in the energy of movement. So keep doing that! Yes it’s dark, but you’ll have more energy than if you pull the covers over your head until sunrise. Not only is sunrise kapha time and therefore slow time, but you’ll be late for work (pssst, ’cause work still starts at the same time).

2. Cook at home, with fresh ingredients. As always in Ayurveda we strive to put the best foods in our bodies, always. During the time change, it’s especially important. Best is to make sure foods are made at home with fresh ingredients including plenty of fruits and veg. Not too much dairy!

food ideas!
• Instead of Chinese take out, make fried rice at home, use extra veggies and less soy sauce (salt).
• Instead of delivery pizza, pick up some pre-made pizza dough (Trader Joe’s has it), brush some olive oil onto the crust (bonus if you want to infuse the oil with garlic) or a little sauce. Add a wee, thin layer of cheese. Then load up the crust with all your favorite vegetables like kale, zucchini, peppers, whatever you love.
• Do I even need to tell you a nice batch of kitchari will help set you straight?
• Instead of sit-down Mexican, grab all the supplies including beans, meat (if you choose), avocado (yes please!), peppers, corn tortillas (bonus if you make them yourself), rice, fresh cilantro and all the fixin’s. You will have far less salt and sugar in what you make at home. I advise skipping the taco seasoning and make your own mix with cumin, chili powder, and other spices.Or, a little salt & pepper is all you might need. Choose the fresh-made salsa in the produce isle instead of the room-temp stuff in the chip isle. Below is a pic of my dinner last night: homemade spanish rice, homemade tortillas, avocado, bell peppers, cilantro and hot sauce. mm!

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3. Limit salts & processed sugars. Tons of excess salts and sugars lurk in foods especially from chain-restaurants, pre-packaged foods or frozen foods. Eating those foods at any time can make it extremely challenging to wake up in the morning (cue the, “I’ve feel like I’ve been hit with a baseball bat” wake-up). Salt holds water and creates heat so it’s great for vata-types in winter, but no bueno for kapha season. So again, keep foods as veggied and fruitied and grainy-ed as you can! Fresh fresh!

4. Oil Massage! “Yeah yeah, Monica B. You and your oil massages.” Dude, but since time change is a vata change and we calm vata directly through the skin, now is a perfect time not to slack on oil massages. Plus your skin will feel like a baby! Trust me.

5. Water. Drink plenty of it — not too cold and no ice (vata-imbalancing). You might be drawn to choosing extra coffee or stimulants to keep your peeky eyes awake since you got up early, but try not to have any more (if any) than you normally would. Choose extra water since water flows…it will help you go with the flow

6. Normal bed time. It’s only been one day since the time change, so you might still look at the clock at 10:00 p.m. and think, “Pah, it’s really only 9:00…I can stay up for another hour.” No, it’s really 10:00 p.m. ;) So get your lil’ booty to sleep on time so you can wake up in the dark easier (hehe).

7. So Hum. As you prepare for sleep, lay in your right side and do “so hum” mantra and meditation for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you fall asleep before you’re done with the 10 minutes, bonus!

If you adhere to these things for 3-5 days in a row, you won’t even notice the time change, I promise.
Hint: You can use these same tips for air travel!
Double Hint: You can do these things daily and change your entire life! <—10% off with code 6ZE83B8R thru 3-31-16.

XOXO!

Seasonal Bloom – Kapha 2016

HEYO! Ayurveda promotes living according to the season. Here is a freebie 2016 Kapha Seasonal Bloom, just for you. mmmwah!

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The 12 Days of Ayurveda

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Ayurveda encompasses mind, body and spirit, right? Yep! We probably spend the most of our time trying to nurture, improve, or heal our body as we focus on, “What should I eat?” and “What is the best exercise for me?” Our mind usually comes in second place like, “How can I relieve stress?” or, “I should probably meditate sometimes…” But how often do we focus on truly living through the spirit? Not as often. And spirit is important. Spirit is our pure essence, our infinite being, our light. It is the answer to, “Who am I?” I am spirit (so hum).

So in thinking about the holiday season (since we are totally in the throes now), I noticed a thread of commonality weaving through us. During this time of year more-so than any other, we actually talk about spirit! The word “spirit” is used all the time as we feel “spirited” and “get in the spirit.” We have a “spirit of believing” and the “spirit of giving.” We are even prone to drinking too many “spirits“! With the flip of a switch during the holiday season, our spirit begins to soar through kindness, love, celebration, compassion and generosity as all of these awesome positive emotions become the focus. Whether we are religious or not religious, spirit transcends as we want to join in the spirit with everyone else — because it feels awesome. Our spirit tells us so.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the holidays can bring physical and emotional challenges that affect our spirit too. The holidays can add a laundry list of extra things to do, might include stressful travel schedules, and bring out a rollercoaster of emotions. Gah! And then you shake your fist and say, “Arg, the Holidays!” So, it’s not all roses and we know that. But if we asked our spirits, I think they would love to believe in magic that brings us all closer.

In light (yes, pun!) of Hanukkah starting and Christmas around the corner, I would love to honor our spirits during the holidays this year with a little somethin’ special.

Tomorrow will start The 12 days of Ayurveda. And it goes a little somethin like this, “On the first day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me…” Whee! So for 12 days there will be a little something special for you to use in your life and, especially during the holidays.

Now, if you want, you can sing to the tune of “The 12 days of Christmas.” It works (and yes, I sang them all out loud. If you are good maybe I’ll do a video). Or, you don’t have to. This is spirit, people! No rules and anything goes as long as it’s full purity of heart. LOVE YOU! I hope you have fun with this! *blowing kisses*

10% off my book, In Your Elements, thru 12/13 (Sunday)! Use the code: MC8RC2WV

 

Super Itchy Skin Season

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Hoooo. Welcome to “Super itchy skin Season” I mean, well, that’s probably not the official name of the season. Most would call it vata season or, fall. Anywho, if we have not already started practicing daily oil massage by now, our skin is probably letting us know it. We know it’s dry when our skin starts to show it’s texture and we can write the word “Dry” on the back of our hand with our fingernail (who remembers that commercial?). We know it’s dry when lotion buurrrns our skin (Why? Cause alcohol is one of the first ingredients in most skin lotion which dries it out further and makes it sting!). We might also wake up in the middle of the night with itchy-itchy dry scratchy legs like I did couple years ago and almost went nuts!

Most of you guys know by now that it’s time for OILS. Maybe we should rename it “Oil Season.” That sends a better message. Oils soak into our skin (especially warm oil – it’s heavenly) and also create a barrier to the outside cold, dry air. If we use oils daily, we won’t get super-itchy-skin or wake up in the middle of the night with itches. As a bonus, applying warm oil massage promotes sound sleep and can be used as a relaxation technique to unwind before bed.

Here are some ways to sneak in oils each day:
• Daily Oil Massage (yes, even for busy people), ideally in the morning before shower.
• Keep a small bottle of oil at your desk. Use like you would lotion and apply to forehead, cheeks, hands, arms, shins (if you start rubbing oil above your knees at work, people will think it’s just weird). Make sure it’s rubbed in really well.
• If you didn’t do massage in the morning then apply warm oil to your bod in the evening. Dump some oil in a pot on the stove and heat it (careful! It heats very fast and will continue to heat in the pan even when removed). Apply with strokes up and toward the heart.
• Rub warm sesame oil on hands and feet before heading outside in the cold.
• Eat oils too. Our skin is dry because our insides are dry. Favor vata-balancing diet with plenty of healthy oils this time of year.

And below are some of Monica B’s Favorite Oils (Confession…I have a lot of favorite oils, but these guys are tops).

It’s important to choose oils that benefit your dosha the best. Our friends at Banyan Botanicals have a nice variety of oils to choose from.

Vata-balancing oil. Warm, nourish and ground.

Pitta-balancing oil (will nourish but also cool). Calm, sooth and cool.

Kapha-balancing oil. Invigorate, warm, revitalize.

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Another one of my favorite luxurious brand of oils are from Boditonic. These would make awesome gifts or a nice bit of pampering for yourself. The baby scent is my favorite (it’s a calm, very light ylang ylang). The original scent is also good — it’s more lemongrassy. If you order from Boditonic, say hi to Adam and tell him Monica B sent you. It will make him smile.

 

 

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Made in small batches with care by Adam at Boditonic.com

 

IN YOUR ELEMENTS is here!

IN YOUR ELEMENTS IS HERE! 

 

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EEEYAAAH!!!!! THE BOOK IS DONE!

Who’s going to hold hands and jump up and down with me?! Who’s coming over to my house? Where are you people when I NEED you!? ;) You guys, after 1 1/2 years, my Ayurvedic book is COMPLETE! READY FOR THE WORLD! *high kick* *clap hands* *shake booty*

BUY IT HERE.

In Your Elements: A Blooming Ayurvedic Guide to Creating Your Best Life is a vibrant mix of Ayurvedic wisdom, humor and practicality all rolled into one book. In Your Elements was created for those of us who believe in the power of the individual and that true health stems from within.

My lovely book walks you through fundamental Ayurvedic foundations and includes over 70 questions, exercises and oodles of tips to help you along the journey. The whole book is a customized look at your life including, your daily routine, dosha quiz, menus, recipes, home therapies, exercise recommendations and more! As a bonus, Yoga teachers and Ayurvedic practitioners will LOVE this book for their classes and clients, respectively.

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So Monica B, what’s next?
We are going to have a proper launch party webinar in October with yours truly as the host. I’ll do a little chat, we will have book give-aways, I’ll answer any questions and we will have a PAR-TAY together online. That is coming SOON so keep your peepers out and be ready to “woohoo!” Oh! And if you have not signed up for my newsletter yet, definitely do that.

For now, go buy the book! Love it up. Share with friends. There will be SO MUCH MORE very soon! XOXOX! Monica B

 

Lotus Turkey

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Gobble Gobble! Lotus Turkey is here to remind you how to have a simply divine Ayurvedic Thanksgiving!

1. Morning exercise. Start the day with a little sweat to release toxins and stoke agni.

2. Write gratitude list. Super important! Write a list of 10 things you are grateful for. Then write 10 more.

3. Put on good music. Cause, yes!

4. Prepare a dish to share. Contribute to the feast, enjoy making it and put love in the food!

5. Have a glass of wine. Wine stokes agni and prepares for digestion. Yes in Ayurveda wine is actually used as medicine in some cases!

6. Bless the turkey. With sincerity say a little blessing (even if it’s to yourself), “Thank you turkey, for giving your life to me so that I can be nourished.”

7. Have potatoes with ghee. Potatoes (sweet ones are best!) are grounding ghee is awesomely nourishing.

8. Don’t over-stuff yourself. You know you’ll feel like crap so don’t do it. Eat to 1/3 capacity and leave room for the food and liquid to mix.

9. Help clean up. Don’t let the hostess do it by herself. Lend a hand to give back for all he/she has done for you.

10. Take a post-meal walk. Grab the crew and go for a leisurely walk around the block for fresh air.

11. Snuggle and cuddle. That’s what the end of Thanksgiving is all about. Cuddle with those you love (even if it’s your animals) and tell them why you love them so much.

*SMOOCH* Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Oil Massage for Busy People

 

Oil Massage for Busy People?! Yessssss. In Ayurveda we love the benefits of a good daily oil massage. Great. Now, raise your hands if you are thinking, “Yeah awesome for the people who who have time for luxury but pssshhht, there’s no WAY I can do that daily! I’m so busy — I can’t even remember to bring my lunch much less do a massage before work. Monica B, you are crazycakes with this suggestion!”

Um. Perfect! That’s why we are talking about oil massage, or abyhanga, for busy people! Because that’s you—and that’s me! In my busy world with my job-job and hideous 3 hour commute, I still do it and I’ll tell you how.

YOU’LL NEED

Sesame oil (for vata)
Coconut or Almond oil (for pitta)
Sunflower oil (for kapha)
{Psssst…if not from Banyan, you can get these oils from any grocery store in the oil section! Get the organic cold/expeller pressed kind.}
1 small plastic squeezy bottle. Like a travel size shampoo bottle or a mini ketchup bottle with a tiny cap
1 towel you don’t care about

HERE WE GO

1. Put your oil in the squeezy bottle
2. Keep the oil in the bathroom near your shower
3. Stand on the towel you don’t care about.
4. Apply the oil from toe to head. We want absorption, not an oil slick, but also no tugging on the skin. Should take 3-5 minutes. Start with your feet and legs. Use long strokes on the bones with some pressure up toward the heart, then go back down with less pressure, then back UP toward the heart. Clockwise circles around the joints. Clockwise circles around the belly and belly button with some pressure. Don’t forget your booty. Get your back the best you can, upward toward the shoulders. Long strokes on arms up and toward the heart/shoulders. Get hands starting from the base and Clockwise again around joints. Upwards on the neck. And don’t forget your face.
5. Get in a nice warm (not super hot*) shower.
Wash your hair (optional), pits, bits, and feet. Don’t scrub anything!

6. Get out and DAB yourself off. The oil will be absorbed into your skin, leaving it super soft!
7. Finish getting ready with your busy self :)

Your bod will feel really smooth, warm, and you’ll be calm in the mind! It will set the tone for your whole day, I promise! Even if you are super busy, you will really benefit from this simple practice as it tells our entire being that we CARE enough to nourish it, daily. Try it for a week and I bet you’ll LOVE it! Let me know how it goes. XOXO!

*Super hot water is very drying to the skin.

If you want MORE about Ayurveda for a busy life, I wrote an awesome book! Check it out In Your Elements: A Blooming Ayurvedic Guide to Creating Your Best Life.

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Benefits of Massage (Abhyanga)

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to injury or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.” Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89

It’s winter, vata time. Vata time is windy, cold, light and dry. Brr. Don’t forget your oil massages in the morning! Before your shower, warm some sesame oil and give yourself a head-to-toe massage for about 15 minutes. Daily in winter time is ideal, but at least do it once a week.

Benefits of applying warm oil to the whole body
• Brings strength, tone, and suppleness to the body and all tissues
• Makes our skin more elastic so we look younger (anti-aging!)
• Strengthens and improves vision
• Gives the body nourishment inside and out
• Increases longevity
• Helps us have sound sleep!
• Strengthens our ojas
• Tones our tissues, bringing vigor and vitality to the body
• Improves circulation to extremities and internal organs
• Calms vata and pitta while helping kapha flow

Benefits of applying oil to the scalp
• Helps hear become soft and glossy, sometimes thickens it
• Works directly on the sense organs to soothe and stimulate
• Lessens (even removes!) facial wrinkles

I mean, why would you not do it? ;)

Let’s move to the next step where I teach you how to do abyhanga.

Ayurvedic Summer Guide

Please enjoy my ayurvedic summer guide or as I like to call it, Pitta Seasonal Bloom! :) Wondering how to stay balanced for summer? An oldie but GOODIE…a super-mega charged GOODIE, in fact! :) It’s not new. But it’s a GREAT refresher for you. And a good introduction to Ayurveda for your friends and family. Especially the ones who have no idea what that Aaaayyyyurrr stuff you talk about really is :) Share among the people! Let’s keep improving how people LIVE! Thanks and love you! xo! (And yes, still working on the book)

Click on le photo to download this lovely little ayurvedic summer guide, Pitta Seasonal Bloom.

Ayurvedic summer guide

 

 

Favorite Summer Foods

favorite_summer_foods

 

I asked ya’ll on Facebook, “What is your favorite in-season summer food that shouts, ‘YAY! Summer!’ when you eat it?”

Examples of your favorite summer foods

 Mangoes, watermelon, cucumbers, all sorts of home-grown tomatoes (<–lots of people said that one!), cantaloupe, peaches, fresh basil (w/fresh mozzarella), corn on the cob, cherries, berries, asparagus, nectarines and ice cream!

**Monica’s MIND BLOWN here**

Um. Kay. Notice anything about these foods? Like, what they have in common?

ALL these foods are fruits and vegetables!! Almost ALL these foods are pitta-balancing! It’s pitta season and isn’t it amazing (in the true sense of the word) that nature perfectly makes available the VERY best foods for the season! On top of it, we actually CRAVE and APPRECIATE those foods! Perfect by design, these foods are all wonderfully light and cooling, which keeps our pitta levels down (in all of us) and balanced so we don’t overheat and get cranky.

One food that is not pitta-balancing are tomatoes. But vatas and kaphas can have them, and love them! Pittas can have tomatoes in small amounts, but they should be small and sweet like cherry tomatoes. Overall, tomatoes are heating and can be a bit too acidic for pittas and in the hot weather (like, don’t inflame your eye like my ma did once). Tis why it’s good to balance hottie tomatoes with cooling cilantro (like in fresh mild salsa) or cooling fresh mozarella (like a caprese salad). See how nice they go together?

What didn’t make the list

bread, rice, mac n’cheese, grilled cheese, meats, potatoes, root vegetables, pumpkin, chili, stews, pasta. Those foods make us feel heavy and hot this time of year and are therefore more balancing in the winter to keep us grounded and warm :)

Tip: The more red in color the tomato is, the more of the fire element it has in it. So if you are a pitta, you might want to pick the cute yellow or orange ones for a sweeter taste.

For those of you who weren’t on the facebook party, you’re not left out! What are YOUR favorite summer foods?? Tell us! It would be quite a most awesome party if we all showed up with our fruits and veggies together! Under a sun umbrella of course. And with good music. And the vatas would dance. Party on! XOXO!

Seasonal Bloom: Kapha

kapha_2013_iconHAPPY Kapha Season! Kapha season goes from late winter through spring, and the time is now! If you have already read the seasonal bloom in the past, maybe take another look! And then pass it along to a friend :)

NEW inside this one, I created a kapha playlist! That’s right, music to shake your booty to while spring cleaning. Nothing better to get a kapha moving than some great tunes! *shake it!*

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE KAPHA SEASONAL BLOOM HERE

I also ask that in return for reading, absorbing and hopefully loving the information, that you share this with at least three of your friends or family. We ALL need more Ayurveda in our lives. It’s my passion, it’s my life’s work and I am grateful I can share this with you. Please share with more people so my reach gets larger!