Category Archives: Spirit

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!

 

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.

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.

3 Ayurvedic Post-Cleanse Do’s and Dont’s

We finished our community kitchari cleanse yesterday and I gotta say, I am SO proud of you!! As we begin eating normally again, you should know about these 3 Ayurvedic post-cleanse do’s and dont’s. Just because the cleanse is over does not mean it’s over! We need a transition period to keep our agni strong. No dumping fried chicken, french fries and hot fudge sundaes into our bellies to celebrate that we did a cleanse ;) Nope. That’s not the way. Check out these tips below.

I’ll be doing MUCH more video on YouTube in 2017 and beyond so be sure to follow my HeyMonicaB channel so you don’t miss a post.
XO!

How to Make Kitchari

Answering your questions and prepping for our 3-day kitchari cleanse, here is my video on how to make kitchari. We can use it any time we need a reset in the body or mind. If you’d like to join over 200+ of us doing kitchari cleanse, sign up here for free!

Kitchari Cleanse

Hey Guys!

I’m doing a LIVE kitchari cleanse Saturday January 14th thru Monday January 16th. The event is FREE. If you can’t make it those dates, register anyway because I’ll leave the recordings up through January 31st :) More info below and I hope to see you there!

WHAT IS A KITCHARI CLEANSE?

A kitchari (KIT-cha-ree) cleanse is a mono diet for 3-7 days to nourish, lightly remove toxins, reset the digestive system, and clear the mind. Kitchari is the go-to Ayurvedic fix when our mind, body, and/or emotions need to hit the reset button!

Wait, what is kitchari, exactly? Kitchari is a traditional Indian dish made of digestive spices, basmati rice, mung dahl and veggies of your choice.

What the cleanse entails: Eating a mono-diet of kitchari for 3 days. You can sip herbal teas between meals. A piece of fruit as a snack is ok if you are very hungry. Take life slower than normal. Easy reading, limit screens (tv, computer, mobile), spend time outside, light exercise, journal.

How will it benefit me? In Ayurveda, kitchari is a considered a pure food. It helps clear toxins, optimizes digestion and clears our mind. We may find that digestive heaviness, bloating, indigestion and constipation will go away. Cloudiness of mind, confusion, uncertainty, or indecisiveness will open to clarity. Negative emotions lighten and dissipate.

The combination of spices work directly on agni and the digestive tract, which helps gather and expel any old, unused, unneeded food stuffs. It also helps burn off ama (toxins) — yay!

A few days of eating this pure food will turn your mind easy, peaceful, and clear.

Come join me on kicking off 2017 with a CLEAR mind and body!! XO! Monica B.

8 Tips for a positive and memorable holiday

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Holiday is totally underway.

Everybody will digest the holidays differently. Some people start counting down the days in September. Others are a hot mess of frantic disorganization. Some long for nostalgia as others strive to make this the best holiday ever. Some people get outta dodge and go vacation (that will be us). Some peeps spend Christmas Day on the beach because it’s summer (Hi, southern hemisphere folks! *waving*).

Whatever holiday means to you, I encourage you to…create a story. Don’t wait to be entertained. Don’t wait for something good to happen. Don’t wait for someone to feed you. CREATE it. Create memories. Be the spark! Light it! Show up and be 100% present. You know that saying, “With bells on!” HECK YES! Put yo’ energetic bells on! Be the person with the best hugs. The first to offer the hostess a hand. Use your eyes to fully connect. And for goodness sakes put down the smart phone (unless you are taking pictures)!

OR.
Perhaps you are taking a personal day of downtime and reflection. Not everything has to be a party. Some of my favorite and most memorable days are when I was quiet. Sit in a hot tub (that will be me). Enjoy a quiet day in nature. Breathe in crispy air and let your butt plunk right down in the snow — might as well go all the way back and make a snow angel while you’re at it. Stroll that beach (can you make a sand angel?). Savor that sunset. 

Whatever you’re doing, create a story. You make imprints in your life every single day, so let’s pay more attention. Move and speak with intention. Let’s be ALIVE.

8 TIPS for a positive and memorable holiday:

Don’t complain. Make a conscious effort not to get trapped into complaining, even if others are doing it. It tanks the energy and brings the crap to the forefront. You don’t want the crap. Instead, talk/think about what you are grateful or hopeful for. Keep your energy positive and pure. Bring the energy up.

Ask them. Before talking about yourself, ask how others are and be specific. Inquire and care. Take time to listen and learn something about them. This is what enriches relationships. 

Hold your rose. If certain people are hard to be around on holiday, hold a gigantic invisible rose in front of you (any color! with glitter, sure!). Let any intense words and negative energy fall into the pedals of the rose. That way, you listen, but you don’t absorb what they are dishing out.

Let go of expectations. Don’t think about the holidays of yesteryear or what you want this one to be. Forget all that because neither exists. We so often set ourselves up to feel crummy because of the story we made up in our minds. Instead, embrace the present. Enter with full joy and love and you will create something even better than you could expect!

Get enough sleep. Not enough sleep creates a vata increase and mood swings. Get enough zz’s so you can bring your most present and chipper self! 

Extra water. I know you. You’ll probably have a coffee or cocktail or both (that will be me), which causes dehydration. So start drinking extra water (not on a full stomach) now and throughout all of holiday. Along with lack of sleep, not enough water can cause moodiness, low energy, sluggishness and constipation (which makes anyone cranky. 

Take alone time. No matter what’s on your schedule for holiday, take some alone time. If you are on vacation with your partner or spouse, you still need alone time. It is the perfect time for reflection and rest before jumping into the new year.

Get creative. Ask yourself this question, “What is 1 thing I can do to bring LIFE into today?” And get creative about it. How can you delight or inspire yourself? Others? Try a new recipe? Walk a new path on your hike? Buy fresh flowers? Endless things you can do, but bring a little magic. Bring a little sparkle. That is what creates the memories.

 

No matter what you do for holiday, ENJOY it to the fullest. Create a memory. Create a story.

Wishing you SO much joy, love, and laughter.Til the new year…
Love,
Monica B.

Ayurvedic Coloring Book

Introducing, A Blooming Ayurvedic Coloring Book!

There’s nothing like it and it’s perfect for holiday. Makes a great office gift, teacher gift, or a throw a yoga studio coloring party! Life is your creation and so is your art.

 

Thanksgiving Gratitude

In my Ayurvedic Thanksgiving tips, I suggest writing out a gratitude list. Well hey! You can use this pretty little 2-page freebie printout, the Thanksgiving Gratitude Tree :)

It would make a great accessory to a hostess gift or print out a bunch for your gathering and everyone can fill out their trees. A Thanksgiving Gratitude party! That’s what it’s all about afterall, right?

Page 1 – fill out the circles
Page 2 – explain WHY you are grateful for what’s in the circles.

Thanksgiving Gratitude Tree 2016

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However you use it the most important part is to connect to what you’ve been blessed with and WHY. Life is incredible. We will receive no greater gift. Even in the most challenging times, we are gaining perspective and wisdom. And we can be grateful for the path. Even if we are feeling a little powerless, gratitude for the struggle is a powerful message, “Thank you for the challenges because it is making me wiser, stronger and teaching me things I would not have learned otherwise. I accept and am grateful for my path.”

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Love,
Monica B.

 

Vata Empathy

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Empathy.
How does a vata express empathy? Vatas are a total split on the spectrum — either insensitive or hyper-sensitive. Other people’s feelings might not register on their radar at all (me, me, me). Or, vatas can be rocked to the core by another person’s pain because they feel SO much empathy.

Practice healthy empathy by listening, offering help and following through with it (if you are not going to follow through, don’t offer). But don’t letting someone else’s struggle consume your thoughts and emotions. Instead, send a blessing like this, “I send you blessings that all will be well soon and you learn the lessons needed to evolve.” Then let it go like a sparkly mylar balloon in the blue sky. Their struggle is not yours to keep.

This little insight couldn’t fit in the 14-page seasonal guide, Vata Seasonal Bloom. Let’s use our empathy in this world, just not so much that it takes us down. 

Vata Freebies

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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!)

 

 

vata – discipline

Discipline. Vatas love to feel free and

discipline is their gateway to freedom. Sounds strange but if vata can use discipline to adhere to a reliable schedule, complete projects one by one, and practice diet and lifestyle that benefits them, they will soar like a bird! Their mind won’t have to worry about all the things they have to do because the discipline will take care of that for them. Once discipline is a habit, their mind will be free to be creative, inventive and full of new ideas. And, because they are not constantly in reactive mode, they will feel awesome about executing their ideas. Their spirit will soar because their magical ideas are getting out into the world!

Ayurvedic lunch ideas for kids

lunch_for_kidsRaise your hands, who has kids? 1, 2, 3…good! At least 3 of you do so this is good to share and even if you don’t have le kiddos, you can use this for yourself!

Anyone struggle coming up with new and healthy ideas for the kids lunches? *me raising my own hand!* I did! My 5-year old just started kindergarten and so it’s a new game making her lunches every day. Without a plan, I knew I’d be harried and absent-minded when trying to cobble together a good lunch. So I said to myself, “Girl! Get it together and just write it all down.”

So I did! I wrote down a bunch of lunch and snack ideas on a piece of paper and stuck it to the inside of my cupboard. Then I thought, “Hey I would make this pretty and my Ayurvedic peeps might love this too!”

A gift from me to you, please enjoy this list of lunch ideas for kids.
NOTE: They are not pure Ayurvedic…they are kind of “Ayurved-ish.” (see below for why)

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Why are these not Ayurvedic?
#1 lunch should be the biggest meal
#2 eat happy and calmly
#3 meals should be warm
#4 fruit should be eaten alone 
#5 eating for the doshas will vary per kid

Let’s first talk about #1: Lunch is the biggest meal of the day. I mean, if the kid eats, you can pack a big enough meal. Or like most, they will be totally distracted by their friends that they will skip most of it and smoosh the rest back into the lunch pack. And they will come home starving (*shakes fist* anyone see how our eating habits can become backwards at a very early age?).

#2: Eat happy and calmly. She’s happy for sure. But some only get 15 minutes for lunch (*shakes fist again*). No way can a child fit in a “big lunch” in 15 minutes.

#3: Meals should be warm. Little thermoses help this! Most of her lunch is room temp (which is better than from the fridge)

#4: Fruit should be eaten alone. Yes, yes it should. My daughter knows the rule, but will chow fruit however she pleases when I’m not around. We can’t control how they combine their food.

#5: Eating for their doshas will vary. Depending on their dosha, some foods will benefit them more than others. Don’t over think that at this point, just do the best you can. Here’s what goes through my head for my pitta-vata kid, “She needs grounding/carb foods, a little protein, fruit, veggies, healthy fats and water.” You can reference the dosha menus to see what foods in general work best for your kiddo, depending on their dosha.

Whattaya say is this helpful for you? If I confused the dickens out of you please let me know. AND! OR! If you have ideas to add, we’d all love a sharing of more great lunch ideas and recipes so feel free to share in the comments.

XO!

 

Keep it FUN.

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Ayurveda Class

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Ready for beginner’s Ayurveda class? Watch the video for my story on how Ayurveda changed my life and let’s start bringing Ayurveda to YOUR life! 

I just launched an online Ayurveda class steered toward the beginner. In this 6-week course, you will begin to understand and APPLY Ayurveda to YOUR life! The class is a self-paced 6-week course which will never expire. We will use my book, In Your Elements, as a guide through the course as we dive into Ayurvedic foundations and craft your own personal Ayurvedic plan. YOU are the creator of your own well being. Ayurveda at its best works because of participation of the client (that’s you!), so my friends, you’re the driver. *vroooomm*

Here’s what you’ll learn:

• An Ayurvedic foundation which you can use forever!
• Dosha discovery (who are you and what makes you tick?)
• Create your own customized nutrition plan
• How to use the daily routine so you feel awesome each day
• Preventative habits to avoid getting sick
• Personalized guidance and unlimited questions throughout the course
• Tips on how to use Ayurveda easily in our busy-busy world
• How to build an Ayurvedic plan any time you need it
• You’ll get weekly worksheets, planners, and some of my art too!

Remember, this class never expires, so you can review it again and again. Life is long, we need constant balancing and reminders. And besides health is not a finish line, it’s a never-ending journey of daily practice.

YEAH! Come on with me and I’ll teach you how to CREATE YOUR BEST LIFE!

BIG LOVIE LOVE, Monica B.

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

You will learn how to live vibrantly, productively, energetically once you watch this Ayurvedic Daily Routine video! Watch it now to begin changing your life, right away.

The Ayurvedic 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.

You will never look at your day the same way. And yes you might watch this and be like, “Duh, that makes sense.” A lightbulb might pop on as you begin to pair the simplicity of Ayurveda with it’s power. And that’s the beauty. Simple power. You can improve your health and life quickly just by knowing how nature rules time.

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

Eating
Working/Productivity
Exercise
Sleeping
Relaxing
Strategizing
Meditating

What you’ll find in the video is very practical, just looking at our schedule coming from a different philosophy. So get ready to commit to 1-2 changes (If you are inspired to share, I would love to know what they are) as you practice creating a whole new vibrant way of shaping your day.

Enjoy if you love it, share it with those you love. Let’s share Ayurveda among our families in friends like they did in villages 5,000 years ago — it’s meant to be shared so everyone can benefit!

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

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Ayurvedic Facial Rejuvenation

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Whee! I just got back from a 3-day Ayurvedic Facial Rejuvenation 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!