My friends, I still cannot process the horror of Friday, nor can I comprehend how much the parents, families and community of Newtown are hurting. I’ve searched deep for words but have only come up with tears as I clutched my family this weekend. My mind is in disbelief, my heart is shattered. My soul is outreaching with grief and love to those that have lost more than I could ever imagine.
December 16th, 2012 · 2 Comments
December 6th, 2012 · 4 Comments
December 2nd, 2012 · 1 Comment
I saw on facebook the other day that a friend of mine created a mini felt Christmas tree for her 2-year old daughter, fully enhanced with homemade felt ornaments. I was inspired after reading her post, “Hoping this keeps my daughter’s paws off the family tree. Yep, I found my crafty bone….It was actually a great little project that got the laptop off my lap.” (Ahh…getting the “laptop off my lap.” A phrase that is music to my Ayurvedic eyes!)
My first thought was, “I love it! Er…how would I ever have time to do this?” My brain quickly got pouty and overwhelmed by all the things I would love to do and don’t have time for like painting, sewing stuffed animals, podcasts, making pretty art for heymonicab, taking more classes, reigniting my violin lessons, and the list goes on. Truth is, I want to make sure I am a focused parent during my 1.5 hours per day with my daughter. My time is limited! And that makes me sad. I wish I had limitless time…don’t we all?
I felt like a piece of me was neglected, which is not living optimally or Ayurvedically. I’ve always done some sort of design or creative projects, always! *pout* The good news is, it’s just in my head. I can change it! After much introspetion, I came to the conclusion that being a “focused parent” (as I judge myself) doesn’t mean that I have to sit and stare at her. Her blooming mind would love to see the fun things I can create with my hands. I’m sure she would like to stick a piece of gluey felt onto another while getting glue on her hands. With a switch of the mind, I moved myself from “pout-space” to “sprout-space” and started my tiny felt tree tonight. Whee!
Life is busy (for all of us!), but it sure feels good to wake a part of our lives that has been sleeping. Maybe some of you feel stifled with the limited time you have. Does your creativity and recreation take a back seat? We know a balanced life includes good work and good fun, but it’s up to you to make the change. Nobody is going to hand you more fun time, you have to take it. Overall, this is a reminder that healing comes from the inside out. We have everything within ourselves to succeed, heal, change course, and evolve. If you are an ace at making time for the things you love, please share with us! We would love to know how you do it all! And for the rest of us, perhaps all we need is to change our mind and the time will appear :) xo!
November 21st, 2012 · No Comments
I thought you might enjoy 10 tips for an Ayurvedically Healthy Thanksgiving! Not to worry, these tips are easy to incorporate and don’t require any special preparation. More than anything, it’s a reminder to incorporate our Ayurvedic rules even (and especially) on a day like Thanksgiving. Give them a try! And let me know if you notice a difference between this and your non-Ayurvedic Thanksgiving. XOXO!
1. Open your eyes and write a list of 25 things you are grateful for (it’s ok to write the list while cozy in your bed).
2. After drinking a glass of water, go for a brisk 30 minute walk in the crispy fall air.
3. If you have breakfast, make sure it’s very small and warm. Otherwise skip breakfast and drink ginger tea with honey.
4. Have 1/4-1/2 tsp Indian appetizer 30 minutes before dinner to stoke agni.
5. Avoid walking around and eating, stay mindful of what goes in!
6. At dinner, serve others before you serve yourself.
7. Bless your food!
8. Pick only your favorite foods and build your plate according to your dosha. Instead of eating until you are full, eat until you feel satisfied.
9. Go for a leisurely walk after the meal to aid digestion.
10. Drink ginger tea and fast Friday morning to let your agni digest all the food from the day/evening before. Don’t eat again until you are hungry.
November 18th, 2012 · 3 Comments
Heyo! I have some funzie products to share from the folks at barefootyoga. They are a great resource for enhancing your yoga practice and zen space, especially during the upcoming holidays when life can be a bit hectic.
Mysore Practice Rug: I really like this earthy soft little rug. Put it over your yoga mat (otherwise you’ll slide around the floor) and it provides extra cushion, absorbs sweat so you don’t slip, and is extra long. It’s just perfect for savasana so that your ankles don’t hang over the mat, know what I’m sayin’? In a pinch you can also fold and use for extra support under your shoulders during plow pose or shoulder stand. I have to admit, carrying it around as my “yoga blankie” is a comfort and…I absolutely love the smell. It smells like earth. Rooted. Grounded. It’s like an added sensory experience while surrendering to child’s pose and becoming one with the earth.
Silk Eye Pillow: Yes please! I love this! This super soft flax and lavender pillow is a little piece of heaven. It’s SO soft! It feels delicate yet weighted, which is perfect for calming tired computer-laded eyeballs at the end of the day. By relieving tension in the eyes (governed by pitta), stress levels decrease, tightness in the jaw releases, and it can even help prevent headaches! If there are any ladies on your gift-list who like a little luxurious pampering, this is probably not something they would buy for themselves. It even has a pretty zipper pouch that it can “sleep” in. Luscious!
November 9th, 2012 · 1 Comment
A story: My 16-month old had to ride in a wagon with 2 other toddlers on the way back to school from the park. They were being selfish and started pushing, shoving each other out of the wagon! The teacher said, “We don’t move unless you all hug!” They immediately sat down and squeezed each other tight while laughing their heads off until they got to their destination.
Choosing a route of hug and laughter will still get you to your destination, only you’ll have much more fun getting there.
November 7th, 2012 · 2 Comments
On the train this morning I noticed a guy who was standing super rigid, hanging on for dear life. Every time the train would slow down or speed up, he would lose his footing and fling around (almost steptin’ on my toes). The rest of us had bent knees, slouched shoulders, were reading books or playing mobile games, and we rocked and swayed easily with the train. What a great reminder to surrender, let life rock you back and forth. Enjoy the ride :)
November 5th, 2012 · 4 Comments
Hey! Did you know that not getting enough sleep is one of the causes of vata imbalance? It’s true! Even if you are not a vata person naturally, you will begin to experience vata symptoms like forgetfulness, moodiness, worry, panic, anxiety, depression, and a general sense of feeling “ungrounded,” without enough sleep. In our busy worlds we stay up late working, watching tv, Facebooking, or maybe working on projects. But there is no better project than YOU! So get your booty to bed by 10/10:30 and enjoy your zz’s. Try it without fail for one week and see if you feel renewed energy! Has anyone tried getting more sleep in their quest to be more Ayurvedic? How is it working?
Please note: coffee is not a proper substitute for sleep, it’s a bandaid. And underneath that bandaid is someone who just needs sleep. :)
October 26th, 2012 · 5 Comments
Happy Friday! Recently I was interviewed by Lisa, a writer for Well + Good NYC, on which workouts are best for your dosha(s). Yay! Check out the interview here. And in case you missed them, I have a couple other posts on exercise for your dosha and what to do when you are a vata craving exercise (because vatas need to slooooow down). Be healthy, live according to YOU, and have a super weekend! xoxo.
October 21st, 2012 · 13 Comments
Last week I got a question from Holly, a new reader, who just discovered Ayurveda. Her question? She has no idea where to start! Such an awesome question I thought I should answer so everyone else could reap the benefits too. That’s what it’s all about!
So let’s get to it.
1. You must first know who you are (for the most part) by taking the dosha test. Take the test according to who you are naturally, not necessarily as the person you are today! Over time we collect habits, traumas and life experiences that might alter our original doshic balance. Once we understand where we started, we can figure out if/how we are imbalanced today. Make sense? Don’t panic if you are a blend of two. However, if you measure even in all three doshas, take it again because being tri-doshic is super rare!
2. Once you find out your dosha(s), read the Seasonal Blooms so you can find out more in depth about who you are naturally.
Vata Seasonal Bloom: http://heymonicab.com/2012/10/vata-season/
Pitta Seasonal Bloom: http://heymonicab.com/2012/05/pitta_season/
Kapha Seasonal Bloom: http://heymonicab.com/2011/03/seasonal-bloom-kapha/
3. Pick good foods to eat. Sounds like what everybody says, all the time, but it’s just so important because our bodies are made of what we put in them! If you put junk food in them, you will feel and look like junk. Eat fruits and veggies (organic as often as possible!), healthy grains and fats. If you eat meat, make sure the animal lived a happy life (we consume and therefore become any negative emotions in that animal including fear, anxiety, depression, anger, distrust, etc.,). And that’s kind of it! No magic potion, just common sense. Eat good food.
4. Pick 1-3 things to change and start to live according to the daily routine. Stick with these changes for 2 weeks-1 month and then add 1-2 more changes. If you try to change too many things at once, you will fail. Start slowly and add one by one.
Honestly, if you do these three things, you will be SO far ahead. Awareness of who you are is huge! Add to that, knowing what to eat is huger! And hugest is following the rules of nature because we are a small piece of all encompassing nature! :)
October 18th, 2012 · 2 Comments
October 16th, 2012 · No Comments
October 12th, 2012 · 7 Comments
Listen to the vata HeyMonicaB radio show episode here: http://bit.ly/pLxW08
Kind peoples! Tis vata season! It’s getting chilly and blowey outside. Leaves are falling and we might crave warm drinks while we add an extra layer of clothes. I created an entire booklet focusing solely on Vata! Please download and share Seasonal Bloom Vata so that you know what to expect and how to manage the energy of vata in fall and early winter. XO!
October 8th, 2012 · 9 Comments
Lately, I’ve been thinking a LOT about time. Because I don’t have much. Note: Pittas always think about time. They are never late. They will do drive-bys to make sure they are not late. Don’t fault them, it’s just their nature.
Admittedly, I was spoiled in Los Angeles since my work was 1.4 miles from home (5 minutes there, 20 minutes back. Don’t ask, it’s LA traffic). I knew how good I had it, so I never took it for granted and was able to squeeze every last drop of time out of my morning including a work out, dog walk, journal writing, short meditation and a shower before leaving the house. And I got to the office at 8:00 a.m. Although I’m holding it together and have managed to keep some of my Ayurvedic habits in the San Francisco bay area, a lot has changed and even a shower is hard to come by some mornings.
It takes me 1 hour in one direction to get to downtown San Francisco (car + BART train) from home, so that’s 2 hours a day that I’ve lost. Ok, I won’t be dramatic. I’ll be accurate and say I’ve lost 1 hour 35 minutes per day, since my commute was previously 25 minutes round trip. So, 1 hour 35 minutes x 5 days is…a lot of time. Math…anyway, that is family time, workout time, and HeyMonicaB posting time. Aiiee…strapped.
Since I am 1/2 pitta, I feel I must be efficient at all times and I started thinking how I could best utilize my time on BART. It came to me that it could be the perfect time to sit and write a blog post – or at least ideas and inspirations for posts! Bingo! But, there are some variables like grabbing the train that goes directly to my stop without having to transfer. Also, I don’t always get a seat. If I miss my first train, I will have to stand because the second train will have more people on it. If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday, those tend to be more busy and I might not get a seat on the first train either. *sigh*
So you can see, how I run like clockwork and a misstep can change the whole day causing me to run into traffic, miss a train, forget my lunch, or milk for my one cup of coffee ;) Right now, I am very much a human doing rather than a human BE-ing. There is no “be.” No be! Ya feel me? I know you do. I know you might have a similar (or worse) schedule than mine so what to do we do? Where do we find time and where can we just, be? What do you do? Since my derailment, I’ve adhered to changes 1-3, but I haven’t yet figured out what feels best with my blank time on BART…and it bugs me.
Look at that. Just by writing, I might have answered my own question. What if, instead of trying to squish in blog posts on the train…I just, be. Maybe that’s my “be” space. I don’t know what will work best, but I’ll keep you posted. And if I’m not posting, maybe it’s because I’m BE-ing. Love you!
October 1st, 2012 · 7 Comments
While on the topic of moving, I couldn’t help but notice…mess. Like when you look in your closet and you think, “Yikes. That’s…a mess.” (pittas have no idea what I’m talking about right now. hehe.) But do you know the best part about a messy closet? The best part is that you SEE the mess! You know it needs to be cleaned and so you clean it!
Now, what if you had a messy closet but only very slightly cracked the door open, just enough to toss a rotten piece of clothing in there–and then you shut the door. In that closet would be dirty clothes and shoes all in a jumble…and you wouldn’t notice until you were completely out of clothes to wear. And as you opened the door, a mega-pile of stank clothes would fall on your head. And then, you would have stanky clothes and shoes laying all over the floor (to your surprise, but not really) and you are forced to clean it up. Plus now you are freezing because you have no clothes (that last sentence was just for dramatic effect).
The difference between these two scenarios is total awareness. In both cases, you will end up having to clean up your closet. In the first scenario, you will notice the messy closet before it gets too bad. And in the second scenario, you’ve not only got a mess on your hands but you have to clean immediately because you waited too long.
Friends, our health is the same as that closet. Ayurveda’s foundation is prevention. So let’s working on our health while we catch some of the warning signs (headache, insomnia, constipation, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart burn, etc.,) before it turns into something worse. Ignoring these “pesky” warning signs doesn’t make them go away, rather they will turn in to something much more serious later and then you’ll be in a pickle! So! Right now, start living, eating, and exercising according to your dosha(s). And if you are completely lost, then begin with the daily routine.
We all have a certain amount of mess in our minds, bodies, spirits, and closets ;). Learn to see it, own it, embrace it and start to clean it up. What are some stories of your physical or metaphorical closets? How did you embrace it and change it? :) xoxo!
September 24th, 2012 · 4 Comments
Ok so, I had to laugh. Recently I was crossing the street and a big, “Whonk! Whoooonk!” caught my attention as this sassy car was honking and jolting to get around another car (there were no other cars on the street). As it drove away jerkily (literally and figuratively), a half block later it had to slam on its breaks for a red light (hehe). By the time the other car got to the light, the light turned green.
Be that green car. Stay steady, consistent and balanced. Trying to force a situation either emotionally, mentally or physically, will likely lead us to more roadblocks. If something isn’t going your way, it’s most likely because there’s a better solution that you don’t know of yet. Just like if sassy car had taken it slower, he would have been able to coast through that light.
Take life one peace at a time :) It’s all good. You’ll still get there, but it will be soooo much easier. xoxo!
September 16th, 2012 · 13 Comments
As most of you know, my family and I moved two weeks ago, hence the drought (cue the tumbleweeds) in recent articles. When life brings a new job and a long distance move while having a toddler, husband, and pets, time is pretty sacred. I’m sure you could tell me a major life change (Do tell! How did you keep it together?) when you’ve changed course, and it shook you up a bit!
Over the past couple weeks, my Ayurvedic disciplines have slacked. Here are all the non-Ayurvedic things I’ve been doing lately: I started drinking more coffee because I am not sleeping as much and I need to be on my game at work. I also don’t exercise (yoga or barre), but I still manage to walk/jog with Blossom each morning before sunrise. My commute is an hour now instead of 5 minutes and it’s not always a comfy ride on public transit. I work when I get home sometimes and am on the computer past 9:00 pm. I have not been bringing my lunch, instead spending too much money and racing to grab and eat on the go. I’ve been kinda moody. And I don’t drink enough water. I also don’t breathe much (consciously) any more or write in my journal. So sad. Sound familiar? Any of this currently happening to you? It’s certainly a very common scenario of how most Americans live and most of us don’t bat an eye. Well, my eyes are batting because I know better. I am consciously aware that I feel like junk when I live like this.
The good news? We can change any time (and it’s only been a few weeks) :) We have all the knowledge and wisdom within ourselves to make a change! So! I am going to commit to a few things this week. You are welcome to make a few changes in your world too and ride along with me if you want. Remember, when making long lasting changes, it’s important to do just a couple small ones at first so that they become habit.
Here’s what I’m going to start this week to get back on my Ayurvedic track:
1) Have just one cup of coffee (truly a mugfull, I don’t drink 16oz coffees) instead of two
2) Drink 2 full bottles of water, daily. I have a purple nalgene bottle, which is 36 oz so it’s easy to track.
3) Bring lunch
4) Breathe slowly on the train and/or if I have a place to sit, write in my journal
Who’s with me?! And what are YOU going to do to live more Ayurvedically as an American? XOXO!
August 19th, 2012 · 9 Comments
What’s Ayurveda’s view on chewing gum? I’m a vata dominant and I chew gum after every meal (sugar free wriggles ones that are meant to be good for your teeth) Is this ok? Thank you!
This is an awesome question! Chewing gum is something we may overlook because, well, gum is tiny. And we don’t swallow it. It’s kind of like nothing. So why would we consider chewing gum as any sort of influential factor in staying balanced? And I’m going to say, “Because in Ayurveda, everything counts!” :)
The answer is that chewing gum is vata increasing. Sorry for the news. But if you think about it, it’s kind of like fidgeting (also vata) except with our mouth. It’s constant motion, constant action, and it’s rather subconscious because we do it without really paying attention. It’s mindless action (especially for those gum snappers!) which is a quick way to increase vata because vata IS action/motion. On top of it, digestion starts in the mouth with salivation, so you are jump starting that process over and over as well as swallowing lots of air. This can cause gas and bloating (yes that tiny piece o gum) and also create a sense of anxiousness in the mind. Vata is the energy of movement…so the more movement you have (albeit a wee tiny piece of gum), the more that energy will increase.
August 17th, 2012 · 3 Comments
August 5th, 2012 · 3 Comments
I gotta tell ya what’s goin on! Sorry I’ve been little MIA but life just keeps on…lifing (I think I made up a new word)! I’ll fill you in quick. My family and I are moving from Los Angeles to the SF Bay Area at the end of this month. I also changed jobs a few weeks ago and went back to my old company (love them!), so I have a new/old job. We’ve been trying to get day care, apartment, a job for my husband, moving company, packing, and all the other logistics that a big move brings. Hence, blog posts have been…lacking lately.
Also…I can’t get my subscriber button to work! ARRGG! You guys, I might lose my mind. I am clearly technologically challenged and this subscriber thing has been the bane of my online existence for quite some time. I’m so sorry for those of you who want updates – trust me, I want you to have them too. Send some good vibes my way – send me an easy solution – or send me someone smart who can help me fix it. Anyway, that’s your Ayurvedic homework for this week. On the inhale think <<<Subscriber button>>> and on the exhale think <<<work>>>. Totally kidding, but I will be doing some extra so hums so that I can figure it out and right quick.
I’ll be back with more frequent posts again real soon. But in a nutshell, new/old job is great – moving to our favorite city is great – not having an extra brain and set of hands is not so great but we can only do what we can do. And LIFE comes first! :)
<<<subscriber button>>> <<<work>>>>