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Letting Go

This past week Marco and I were able to get away to a family vacation. It was so wonderful being with all of his family and getting to know them more. I learned a lot about myself on this vacation. I recently re-read the book The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer with one of my clients. The focus of the book is about how to let go of things that bother us. The way we do that is by allowing things to pass through us. How? Well Michael says all you have to do is relax the shoulders, breathe, and remember that you are standing on a spot on the world that is spinning in an infinite universe, then Shazam! Easier said than done!

Most of us like to attach to our feelings, whether they be good or bad and hold on to them tightly and never let them go . We tend to hold onto the good things so that we can always cherish or compare them to our other experiences and we hold to the bad situations so that we can never be hurt again (victimizing). BUT we are actually not the ones experiencing the event. Our True Self isn’t the one feeling the emotions that arise during an issue it is just our ego or psyche. Have you ever noticed that you are hearing the thoughts in your head? That implies there are two of you… One is your True Self (not affected by anything!) and the other is your ego (always affected by everything!) When an event happens – we react. This reaction is an influx of energy and it will pass through us if we let it. We don’t have to hold onto the event, but if we do keep it close – it builds upon itself over and over again every time we get triggered to remember this event – creating an energy cyst. Our True Self is just watching the scene pass like a movie. It doesn’t hold onto the event for us to fear what may happen in the future or take it on as it’s idenitity. The goal is to become aware enough during an event to move through it and not attach and keep it. Let me give an example…

When I was a baby I was chubby chubby chubby and going to the beach was so fantastic except one part – the SAND! I would get sand stuck in every crack and crevice of my rolls and it would be extremely hard for my family to get it all off of me – sometimes I would even get rashes from not being able to get the sand out. So I have this negative trauma connected to getting sand on me. I love going to the beach! You might be asking how this is possible when so much of it is the sand… Well, in order to enjoy the beach, I had to ensure that no sand got on any area of my body except my feet. I would take every precaution to keep sand off my towel/blanket and the moment sand got on anything – I was done. So was I ever really fully enjoying the beach? No! Because I was constantly monitoring my experience to feel safe. My aversion to the sand wasn’t always as bad as it is now, but the older I got the more intense it became – I was building onto my trauma. My energy cyst was growing and growing.

During this trip, I told Marco that he could play with Mesías at the beach and that he would be in charge of bathing him afterwards. That way I didn’t have to touch any sand. We went to the beach and of course Mesías loved every moment of it. He was throwing the sand all around, screaming with delight, eating the sand…. Sand was everywhere! I was dying inside, I felt myself tighten up and close off; I was literally gagging as Mesías was eating the sand. BUT (and thank God) something inside me noticed that Marco and Mesías were having so much fun and I was just watching on the sidelines totally missing out. I didn’t want to miss out having fun with my family because of something I couldn’t let go of! So, I went for a swim to gain some confidence (I had to talk myself into it!), and I came back and sat down with Marco and Mesías in the sand at the waters edge. With each wave, I could feel the sand going into my bathing suit, but I could also feel myself letting go. What do you know, my shoulders started relaxing, my breathe eased, and I didn’t die. AND we had so much fun! There was no way for me to know what the future held for me with the sand; how full my bathing suit or crack would be. BUT I did know I didn’t want to lose this moment with my son because of a fear that had been holding me captive for all of my life. Each day we made baby steps, and I was slowly able to let go of my drama with the sand.

When I think about all the times I wasn’t living fully or truly enjoying life, I can always connect it to fears from past experiences. The root of this fear is that I might experience the same feelings and sensations (or worse!) as I did the first time. Or the same feelings and sensations from another time where the fear, anticipation, and expectation had already begun building up around past experiences. How much more fully can I experience life if I just let go of these fears?

I do believe that this isn’t my only life to live. I have many many more to take on, but what I do know is I will never get to be Sherri again married to Marco with our son Mesías so I better not take any moment for granted and let go of all my shit so I can flow with life and have an amazing journey. I don’t want to miss one moment where I could be having fun, enjoying life, and living in the present.

What are you holding onto that you can’t let go? Fear, anger, sadness, expectations, an exciting time in your life, a perfect body weight, a younger you … and what can you do to start letting go and fully living life?

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Listening to the Body when it Speaks

Many of my teachers believe that the body speaks to us through aches and pains. I have come to believe this as well. We often feel symptoms within our body and they tend to only get worse when we choose not to hear what they are saying. This makes a lot of sense when you start to understand how the energetic body operates. Throughout our lives (this life and past lives) we hold onto experiences or trauma. We have a hard time letting these experiences or traumas go as they arrive in our lives. We want to hold onto the good memories and we hold onto the traumatic memories as well! We hold them within our body instead of letting them go and the longer we keep them the larger they become. You can imagine it like an energy cyst in the body that gathers energy every time we pay attention to this experience. We pay attention to them when we get triggered to remember that experience.

Imagine you were tickled a lot as a young child by your siblings and it made you really uncomfortable and in fact the tickling was something that you began to hate. Every time someone came near you, you would begin to clench up in a way to protect yourself, even if it was for a hug. Slowly, over time, you began to manifest symptoms wherever you had tightened the body in this protective manner, let’s say in the shoulders. You could have chosen to let this go as you are no longer a child being tickled by your siblings or you can choose to hold onto and carry it around with you. This carrying causes weight in the shoulders, which causes pain in the shoulders and this prevents you from enjoying physical touch throughout your life. This is just a simple example of how we can hold onto something and our body holds onto the symptoms.

When I work with clients we discuss aches and pains they are having and then we also discuss things that are going on in their lives. I also work with them energetically so we can discover the connection between the physical ailment and the cause.

Some examples I have seen when working with clients are:

  • Pain in the back related to fear of the client’s partner not having their back during a career transition.
  • Hip pain and knee pain caused by a client fearful of stepping forward in a move to a new location.
  • Stomach pain and digestive problems when a client was not willing to digest their current situation.
  • Lower back pain when a client discovered they were fearful of being able to financially support their family.
  • Neck pain when a client was feeling like their husband was being a real pain in the neck.

Do I need to keep going or do you get the idea?  Ask yourself, what symptoms am I feeling today? Can I connect this to one of your issues that you need to let go of? If you are not sure there are great books out there to help you out! Here is one of them.

If all these clients could let go of this fear, then the suffering would disappear. Not sure how to let go? Guess what – I wrote a blog about getting neutral that I keep referencing! It will teach you one technique you can use to let go.

 

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Some Basic Truths

imgresA few weekends ago Marco and I had one of our teachers, LeRoy Malouf come in for a proficient workshop on learning his healing method, Energetic Wellbeing Process. Throughout this training, we spent a lot of time learning how go strong to our lives at 100%  and we also worked on clearing symptoms or things that were bothering us. By the end of the weekend, we were all so clear and operating in our truths. My higher Self came in and revealed some obvious yet profound truths to me. I thought I would share them with you.

-In order to live the best life possible we must: be strong at 100% of our life and we must clear things that come up on a daily basis (if you are interested in learning more about this you can book a session with Marco or I so we can show you. It’s really easy!)

-There is unlimited possibilities out there!DSC04305

-Only I can limit what is available to me.

-Only I can get in my own way.

-The Universe will constantly remind me of it’s power and it doesn’t mind doing it.

-I must stop living small.

-I must continue to get neutral to statements that come up. I wrote about how to do this a few weeks ago here.

xo

Getting to Neutral

Getting to Ne
Marco and I spent the weekend in a training with one of our teachers and a big part of the training is about getting neutral to life. What do I mean when I say neutral? It means not having a charge or giving your energy to an outcome or circumstance. Or in LeRoy’s words, “becoming at Ease with one’s dis-Ease. Being neutral is not reacting to anything that you, another person, a group, an organization, a government, or a country — thinks, says, or does, or doesn’t think, say or do.”

When people are first introduced to this topic, I often hear them say that it sounds like you are learning not to care about something which is far from the truth. You can still care about something and not allow yourself to go weak to it. It is allowing you to not be bothered by it, to maintain your calmness and peacefulness. You learn to stop giving your power away to the thing you are addressing.

Let’s look at an example.

When Mesías was born, the hospital scared us with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and told us we must always lay him on his back to sleep, that he should be swaddled and that he should never sleep in our bed. Well don’t you know Mesías slept the best on his stomach, unswaddled and in our bed. HA! Figures! In fact, the kid wouldn’t sleep any other way! So of course Marco and I were scared that he would get suffocated! We constantly checked on him to make sure he was still breathing and sometimes I still catch myself doing it! We were NOT neutral to this at all!

So HOW DO YOU GET Neutral?

Step 1: Worst Case Scenario

What is the worst possible thing that could happen?  – Mesías dies.

What’s worse? – Mesías dies. Everyone blames me. Marco and I divorce because of it.

What’s worse than that? – I can never get over the death, I’m all alone and miserable for the rest of my life. Marco feels all the same things too.

What’s worse than that? –  This misery continues for all eternity.

In practice I could keep going to worse and “worser” case scenarios if I needed to or if they came to mind.

Step 2: Best Case Scenario

What is the best possible thing that could happen? – Mesías sleeps.

What’s better than that? – We all sleep.

What’s better than that? – We all sleep and feel refreshed.

What’s better than that? – Because we can sleep and are refreshed we can engage more fully in life.

Again this could continue to additional better case scenarios . . .

Step 3: Check Your Energy to the Best Worst Case Scenarios

When you focus on the situation, does anything still bother you? In my example it doesn’t but if your energy is still going weak to either the worst case or best case scenario, then you would continue to worsen the worst case scenarios, and improve the best case scenarios.

Step 4: Get Neutral

Why do we get neutral to those best and worst case scenarios? Accept that neither is likely and reality often falls somewhere in between. Get neutral to reacting to the downward spiral of the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario might be obvious, but why do we get neutral to the best case scenario?!?! To avoid building anticipation, expectation, or anxiety around an unrealized reality. It’s great if it happens and we can still enjoy it if it does, but if it doesn’t that’s ok too!

THEN! You will have found neutrality.

Another way to do this quickly, but involves awareness… If you catch yourself doing “what ifs” then flip the what if to a positive or negative.

Example:

What if...What if I let Mesías sleep on his belly and he suffocates? … What if I let Mesías sleep on his belly and he has the best sleep ever?

What if I let Mesías sleep unswaddled and he scratches himself? … What if I let Mesías sleep unswaddled and he sleeps soundly?

What if I let Mesías sleep with me and I suffocate him? … What if I let Mesías sleep with me and he sleeps though the night?

Now, doesn’t that just take the drama out of it all? I love to claim I want a drama free life… if that is true I just found the answers!

 

Let me know if you have any questions or need help getting neutral to something!

Manifesting as if things already exist

IMG_1354We have all heard about manifesting I’m sure but if not it can be defined as “displaying or showing (a quality or feeling) by one’s acts or appearance; to demonstrate”. Essentially creating something that you would like to exist in your world. We all chose to be embodied in this world to create. The chakra located right below our naval is connected with our sense of creation is called the Sacral chakra – why because it is our entire purpose to create here. We are always creating something whether it is through our thoughts or actions.

One of the key components of meditation is to become aware of our thoughts so that we don’t get caught up in them. Our thoughts are either connected to our Higher Self or our ego. The original thought (gut reaction) is our Higher Self or intuition speaking and then any thoughts following that is our ego. Have you ever noticed that your ego is constantly complaining or creating drama in your life? The purpose of meditation is to become aware of your ego doing this and pull yourself out of it.

You might be asking why I brought up mediation… and that is because it has a lot to do with manifesting. Whatever we think – becomes. Here is an example: Someone may be so worried (thinking about it all the time) that their significant other will cheat on them. Guess what eventually happens.. the significant other cheats! NOW – if we practice meditation and gain awareness, meaning we can catch the worrisome thinking and flip it to a positive like “My significant other is so attracted to me and always wants to be with me.” What do you think is going to happen? Just that!!

Now there are some other important factors in manifesting that we often forget…

  1. We say the desired state as if it already exists. Notice I didn’t say “My significant other will be so attracted to me and will always wants to be with me.” I said “My significant other is so attracted to me and always wants to be with me.” If we don’t state it as if it already exist then the Universe doesn’t always know when we want it. So maybe this might be some other significant other down the road… or later after they cheat they change their mind. Here’s another example. Say you really want to move to San Francisco… you wouldn’t say, “I want to move to San Francisco.” You would say  “I am moving to San Francisco.”
  2. Now, let’s take deeper look at this move to San Francisco… we need to help the Universe out even more… so we have the statement  “I am moving to San Francisco.” Great! But when??? You haven’t told the Universe when you would like to go. You might be moving there when you’re 80. Let’s get more specific!  “I am moving to San Francisco January 1, 2018.”

love-your-selfOk so let’s review:

  • Become aware of the thoughts you don’t want and flip them into desired states.
  • State the desired state as if it already exists.
  • Be time specific.

Now start creating the life you have always dreamed of! AND always show gratitude.

Life’s Patterns

Have you ever noticed that the universe provides you with the same experience over and over again? Do you ever have moments where you feel like you are dating/in a relationship with someone who is similar that the person you just broke up with, and maybe the one before, and maybe who is like your dad or mom?

Before we are incarnated into this life, we sit down and make choices of whatLife's Lessons lessons we want to learn during this
lifetime and until we learn them the universe will keep providing us with opportunities to learn our lessons. You will literally be given the same situation over and over again until you learn how to deal with it differently. Find a new tool to add to our toolbox of skills.

Let me give you two examples that might help you understand what I am saying better.

 

First example:

I have always been a girl who loves to live without drama in her life, but for a long time I just kept having to deal with drama mostly with other girls, one relationship after another. The typical response (looking back I can of course see what I would do over and over again). I would get upset with someone because they didn’t meet my expectations (I am not sure I even expressed to them what my expectations were!!) and I would speak my truth or try and set boundaries (people don’t like it when we do this!!). Then in return they would get defensive and say mean things. I would
reach out to 3 people.. my husband and 2 best friends to get vindicated and to see if they thought I was being an ass. A few of these experiences and then the girl and I would no longer be friends. Rinse, wash and repeat – it would happen again.

HMMM… Finally! I became aware of this pattern one day. I was presented with an email from a girl friend and I watched myself start my pattern. BUT something different happened this time. I had been practicing Ho’ponopono, it is the act of I'm sorry,Please forgive me,Thank you,I love youHo'oponoponosaying “I’m sorry, Please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” So I started practicing it and don’t you know things shifted for me. I began to understand and feel love and compassion for my friend who could not let this go, wasn’t I too doing the same thing by reaching out to my 3 people to complain. I also then felt a great sense of love and gratitude that I had these wonderful people in my life to reach out to. I then just felt so grateful for the entire experience and all the experiences that brought this drama in my life so I could learn this lesson and move forward. I sat and cried with so much love and joy!  BUT, the universe doesn’t stop there, she makes sure you really get the lesson – so of course one more! AND don’t you know this person apologized via email. Funny the coincidence I was reading the book Zero Limits by Joe Vitale and he had the same experience emails and all!

Another great example would be with my love life. I have dated and married very similar personalities to my father. They kept finding me and I kept seeking approval from them. I also didn’t know how to stand up for myself or set healthy boundaries. After getting my divorce I found one of my teachers and she helped me learn to fall in love with myself and truly love ME! Again, the person that had to change was me. Now I am able to have a healthy loving relationship with my husband. BUT I had to change myself in order to have this. I also had to love myself in order to find him! Otherwise guess what? The pattern would repeat itself.

The beautiful thing about these patterns is once you work through them it not only helps you, but it helps the other person who is connected to this pattern. You see we seek out each other to play out these lessons – in yogi terms it is called our Lila. <3

These lessons were very simple – yet profound. I have learned that I cannot create expectations and not share them and get upset with others when they are not met, I need to set healthy boundaries with others and I cannot seek approval from other people – I must find that within myself.

What patterns have you found happening in your life? What are some of the great lessons you are seeking in this lifetime?

Election got you feeling all the emotions? Here’s a nice reminder.

taboo tuesdayDear Family,

There are many of you who are distraught, anxious and fearful of what may come and there some of you who are excited through the moon, but please know that everything always works out! There has never been a time that this hasn’t been the case. What happened today is just a reflection, a projection of truth. It is a mirror image of where society really is and to deny that is just compressing it. We are all racists, all sexists, and all judgmental. A lot of these thoughts are kept within ourselves because we are judging them to be terrible things. I admit to those qualities within myself and I have seen them in reactions towards his behaviors. Here is a person who is just able to state his thoughts out loud – to be really vulnerable. The true question you need to ask yourself is what is it about him that really upsets you because it is a reflection of what you don’t like within yourself. How can you take that knowledge then and do something different?  

Then I want to you ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen out of all of this? Really get down there in the worst situation and then just keep going. Then ask yourself what is the best thing that could happen from all of this and then keep going to the best thing ever!  After you have done this find somewhere in the middle to sit because this will most likely be our reality and then you can find that sense of peace in balance, find the space of neutrality. Have feelings about it, but continue to remind yourself that it will all work out!

Hopefully through all of this it will just allow more space for love and compassion instead of hate. All these things are coming up because we have been pushing them down. Now it’s time to be passionate about something – passionate about changing yourself first! We can only make a difference that way. We can only love fully and be compassionate towards others when we have mastered that within ourselves. So instead of weeping about today, think of what a great opportunity you have been given to do some work within yourself to get to that space of complete love and acceptance for yourself first and then for others.

At the end of the day we know that in our society one man/woman doesn’t have all the power – there is a whole group of people who have to make the decisions. BUT the power you do have is within yourself – how you decide to move forward with how you love and take care of yourself.

 

Wellness Mama Wednesday

Nourish yourself with postpartum practices and foods! Read on…

hannahpreggo

In honor of our first monthly mama’s playdate at the studio (and Sherri’s approaching due date), I want to call attention to some ways to support mothers postpartum. In my experience as a new mother, for some reason it was difficult to overtly ask for help, although when help was freely given, I desperately drank it up and wailed tears of gratitude. The later stages of pregnancy and early stages postpartum have been in my experience a time of high emotion, general fogginess and the fierce softness that comes with labor, delivery and the precious time with a fresh new baby. My mom describes this time as existing “between two worlds” and I have not yet found a better way to describe it. Becoming a mother is to be the vessel of the incarnation of spirit. The veil between the two worlds is sheer, leaving the mother feeling both otherworldly and animalistic, both spirit and entirely human in all its rawness. This kind of sensitivity may be new, or not, but either way, there is nothing quite like it.

I can not speak to every woman’s experience of pregnancy but the second time around for me was settling, a call to slow down. After the baby was born, it was a time to do less and take rest, to be present with new baby, and to allow the healing process (and rest and relaxation is an absolutely necessary state for healing). There have been so many blogs written about ways to support new mothers postpartum. Do the laundry, bring meals, don’t stay too long (if at all), come by and hold the baby while mama showers, etc. All of this advice is very helpful. I want to delve a little deeper into who to invite as a supportive caretaker after the baby is born and the most nourishing foods to eat for the optimal digestion and healing.

Here’s the thing: Whether you’ve had a textbook birth, a long labor with emergency c-section, an epidural, a natural homebirth in the tub, etc., birth is traumatic for the body! And you are still between two worlds months after the baby is born, so you may feel like you’re floating (free floating emotions are very real at this time – LOVE in a way you’ve never felt before, worry, anxiety, exhaustion, sadness, etc. all in the same minute). So here’s the message I want to convey through this post – ASK FOR HELP and NOURISH YOURSELF with healthy, healing, womb-friendly foods. Your digestive system will be delicate and in need of restorative and balancing foods (see recipe list below!). You will want to be surrounded by those you love and feel supported by. Your mother and/or mother-in-law may be lovely women, but depending on the nature of those relationships, you may want to put limitations on those visitations. You can have your partner gently direct visitors to protect you and your space. In my experience, women friends who prepare delicious foods are my favorite. They come by and kiss your forehead, ask if you need any help, and leave the food. An idea I borrowed from a friend, I sent out an email before the baby came to all the women I love and feel supported by to ask for their help – a beautiful exercise for me in opening up and acceptance. (Pictured below is Christine lovely delivering fresh juice and nut milk to a postpartum friend!)

christinewithjuice

Postpartum doulas and caretakers are available for hire! It is worth the money to spend this precious and glorious time in peace and wellbeing.

You may find that you are more hungry breastfeeding than you were during pregnancy. Postpartum, I craved warm soupy protein-laden foods (my baby was born in March so it was cold outside) like oatmeal and rice/lentil dishes with lots of Indian spices. Kitarchi is an Ayurvedic dish made with mung beans and rice that pacifies all the body types and is very healing and restorative. Fennel tea, molasses, and sunflower seed butter helps to bring in the breastmilk. A cup of tea with sunflower butter and hemp seeds (and maybe some honey or maple syrup) on toast is a nice snack. Fresh juices made with beets and greens are really also really nice. Here are some links to recipes that I really enjoyed. I also recommend the book, The Whole Pregnancy Handbook for pregnancy and breastfeeding nutrition information.

Healing Ayurvedic Kitchari by Natureal Mom

Nepali Rice Pudding Recipe by Real Foods Witch

Here’s a nice resource from Seed to Health – my favorite recipe is the Lentil Rice Casserole.

I ate a lot of oatmeal with coconut butter and dressed it up with goji berries and hemp seeds (PROTEIN!), bananas, cinnamon, or whatever flavors you are feeling.

Feeling supported and nourished allows us to heal, grow and learn. It is so very important.

xoxo

Wellness Wednesday: We Need to RELAX!

yoganidra

My mind has been overactive these past few months. Shifting into fall from summer play, outdoor activities, packing lunches, toddler nap times, nursing baby, etc. seems a bit jarring, especially since my 4 year old started full day preschool, my 7 month old is becoming more awake everyday and I started working part-time. I haven’t worked since February when I was biking around the city teaching yoga classes. Here’s the thing – when you’re with children and babies most of the day, they require your presence; and the same is true for teaching yoga classes. If you’re not grounded and present in the classroom, most likely your class will suck. So I am currently moving through a brain shift – working at a computer from home while simultaneously trying to manage the household, drop off/pick up Nico from school, take care of my perfect little baby (and of course practice yoga because I don’t know how to live without it). All of this has my mind reeling. I am mentally stimulated, inspired and learning, but I’m having a hard time TURNING OFF.

The reality is that we are really busy. The yoga practices are reminders to slow down and travel from the mind, and all it’s mental heavy lifting, to the heart – to remember that the body is finite, the Self is infinite and everything we experience is for growth and learning. These practices are the most precious gifts, especially as we learn to tune in and use them to support immediate needs. I tend to make time and space for asana, pranayama, and meditation, but I rarely prioritize relaxation unless I absolutely need it. Lately, I’ve even been skimping on savasana because I am so desperate for time to move my body that the window closes (i.e. Sascha wakes up from his nap) before I am able to practice a long savasana. THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR ME. My body suffers and I don’t get the recharge that I so desperately need. Most days, I would most benefit more from a 20-40 minute Yoga Nidra than 1+ hour of asana. So, let me tell you about the magic that is Yoga Nidra…

Yoga Nidra, or psychic sleep, is a guided meditation while laying in savasana, releasing one body part at a time until the entire body is relaxed. My teacher Sri Dharma uses the example that the body is like a computer – from time to time you must close the apps to clear away the clutter so that the computer can function at it’s highest capacity. There are many different styles of Yoga Nidra meditation – some are more wordy and some will take you far out. I prefer a simpler version. Sri Dharma leads a very simple Yoga Nidra that results in total relaxation so that deep healing may occur. He also guides you through beautiful visualizations that stimulate the higher chakras. With regular practice of Yoga Nidra, you may lose body consciousness which allows for an expansive experience.

Yoga Nidra is a technique that not only facilitates the deepest relaxation for the nervous system and all of the muscular and connective tissues, but it also integrates all of the techniques that prepare you for the higher practices and limbs of yoga. The seemingly mystical experiences that may occur during Yoga Nidra aside, the practice will most likely leave you feeling recharged and refreshed in body and mind.

Because we are so busy and our minds constantly turned on, finding time to find deeeeeeep relaxation is essential. Sri Dharma says, 1 hour of Yoga Nidra is comparable to 4 hours of sleep. Totally worth it.

Here’s how!

(1) Go to a class! We offer Yoga Nidra classes! Wednesdays @ 7:30-8:30 pm, Thursdays @ 1:00-2:00 pm (this is a cOmmunity by donation class!) and on Saturdays @ 6:10-7:00 pm.

(2) There is no shortage of free guided Yoga Nidra audio on the internet, but I recommend spending a few dollars on a quality recording that you will use over and over again. I, of course, recommend Sri Dharma’s Yoga Nidra. And here’s a good iPhone app!

Deep relaxation reminds us that we are supported. By the Earth, by our loved ones, and by our highest Self. I highly recommend taking time from your busy life to slow down and go deep. I promise to continue to remind myself that I, too, need to relax. Give it a try!

Meatless Monday: Red Lentil, Yam and Ginger FALL SOUP

meatlessmondayyyEating seasonally is best for the body and the planet (and Lord knows, she needs some love right about now). Michael Pollen, longtime advocate for local, slow, seasonal food, is also a huge proponent of cooking at home primarily because we as consumers make better health choices by planning in advance and home-cooking is proven to be better for the environment.

That all being said, FALL IS MY FAVORITE FOOD SEASON. Most every season I participate in a yogi seasonal cleanse with one of my fabulous teachers. She is trained in Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga, the Dharma Yoga diet and raw food cuisine – she has combined these principles to create a compassionate and updated diet that will bring radiant health to the body and mind. I have learned SO MUCH from these cleanses; it’s unreal. What we choose to eat is loaded – politically, emotionally, socially – so we all must do our best to make personal upgrades. Another message that has seeped into my heart-mind: we all deserve the best ingredients to support the best health possible. This notion is especially potent when coupled with mindful buying, paying attention to labels, fair trade products, etc. I think it’s also important to note (I can’t write this blog post with this left unsaid), you can eat well within your price range! Make a few updates at a time – for example, smoothies for breakfast – using fruits and vegetables, even if you can’t afford the organic variety (check out the dirty dozen list to help you decide what to buy conventional or organic).

Okay, so what’s on the menu for fall? During this windy, dry season, it’s good to bring balance and grounding with nourishing soups and stews, seasonal root vegetables and squashes, and as always, LOTS of greens. I want to share a recipe that was shared with me via the cleanse group. This soup is perfect in every way (especially with the fresh ginger and turmeric root) and sooooo easy/inexpensive.  Check it::

1 cup red lentils

5 small garnet yams, peeled and chopped

2 Tbsp fresh turmeric, grated or finely diced (if you don’t have fresh, 1-2 tsp powder will do it)

4 Tbsp ginger, grated or finely diced

1 Tbsp coconut oil

6 cups vegetable broth

¼ cup coconut milk

1 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

Garnish with A TON of chopped cilantro

Add coconut oil to soup pot at medium heat. Get the pan nice and hot, then add grated turmeric, ginger and lentils. Saute for 3-5 minutes until fragrant and then add yams. Toss until coated and slightly caramelized. Add stock and bring to gentle boil, then simmer until yams and lentils are soft. Turn off the heat and add coconut milk and cilantro. (When I made this soup, I also added chopped kale for extra greeeeens).

A tip from a friend: when you reheat this soup, add a ton more fresh cilantro!!!