You feel everything. You always have.
From the itchy tag on the back of your shirt to the emotional state of the stranger sitting next to you on the train. Taking it all in like a giant porous sponge.
You notice the tiny cracks in the paint that resemble the shape of an alien's head. Nobody else seems to notice the sound of the refrigerator's hum, or the ticking of your friends watch. Your left palm is often itchy and there is a mild achy pain in your upper left abdomen. When you walk by the smelly sewer spots in the city, it hits you harder than most. The almonds that were stored in the cooler with cheese now have a slightly cheesy taste that nobody else seems to notice.
It’s not easy feeling it all. In fact it can be incredibly isolating. You may have been told that you were “too much” more than a few times in your life. Feeling like nobody can hold you is scary. It can get exhausting to live life with the belief that you have to hold it all. Processing the emotions of every person in the room and filtering them through your fragile system is rough. It especially hurts when you feel other people's negative emotions towards you.
I have spent countless nights wondering why I was different. Wishing I could just be like one of the "cool girls" who could sit bare-legged in the grass and not be bothered by the pokey blades. Praying that I could somehow shut down the part of my brain that was constantly analyzing what everyone was thinking.
Being sensitive can be challenging on so many levels… but what we often forget, is that it is also a gift.
Because we feel so much, so deeply we are able to experience life in all its vibrancy. We get to appreciate the full range of complexity that this world has to offer. From being the first to notice the subtle smell of the night blooming Jasmine that grows in summer to detecting the boysenberry undertones in your glass of Pinot Noir, we are able to detect life’s delicate nuances that may have otherwise been overlooked.
We have the capacity to experience deep empathy and compassion for those in pain and allow others to feel seen and heard in their suffering. Because we feel so much ourselves, we are able to feel for others, and are able to offer them the most beautiful gift of all... our loving presence.
Who doesn't love fancy camping hacks? These are my top 3 favorite Ayurvedic tricks that you can use on your next weekend getaway!
1. Make your own mosquito repellent that actually smells good!
Directions: Just add the following ingredients to a small jar, cover with a lid and shake well.
2. Quick and Easy 10 minute Coconut Chai (serves 4)
Ingredients: cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, fine ground black pepper, fresh ginger, black tea bags, optional: maple syrup or natural sweetener of choice
3. Skip the S'mores and Try making these delectable Stuffed Dates instead!
Coconut Cardamom Stuffed Dates
All the best,
What do you do when you start to feel that scratchy throat and stuffy nose? Everyone has their own cold prevention remedies and recipes, but in my humble opinion, green mung bean soup is the winner!
First thing first, it's incredibly delicious! It may look a little funny if you aren't used to it...but it tastes amazing. The caramelized onions and garlic and cumin seeds give it a rustic and comforting and appetizing aroma and the mung beans have a very pleasant creamy texture.
Not only does it taste like heaven, each ingredient is incredibly healing. When I was healing from Ulcerative Colitis, green mung bean soup was one of my staples because each ingredient is so medicinal. Now I just cook it when I want something that I know will digest well, or if I would like to do a little cleansing. If I feel like I am getting sick, I just make a pot of green mung soup and eat it throughout the day. Works like a charm!
The key is that it's warming and nourishing, but not too heating and also light and easy to digest which makes it ideal for people who have compromised immunity. The green mung beans are high in protein, but they are very light and also have a mild scraping action to help pull out impurities from the body. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and helps to purify the blood. Cumin seeds, mustard seeds, garlic and onion all help to stoke your digestive fire.
The best part about this soup is that you can keep all of the ingredients on hand at all times so you don't have to make a special trip to the store if you feel like you are getting sick. You even add any vegetables that are in your fridge and make it even more delicious. I like adding greens and carrots to mine, but you can add any kind of vegetable that suits your fancy!
1 cup whole green mung beans (must soak at least 5 hours)
3 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp Ghee11/2 tsp ginger - chopped
1/2 tsp garlic - chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 small pinch of hing (asafoetida- available for purchase at the Indian Store) 1 tsp Himalayan Pink Rock Salt or to taste (available at Trader Joes or Whole Foods)
1. Soak the mung beans overnight in water.
2. Finely chop ginger and garlic.
3. Drain the mung beans, rinse them and put them in pot with 3 1/2 cups of water.
4. Add salt and turmeric and bring to a boil.
5. Cook Mung beans fully stirring occasionally. (they are not fully cooked until they are breaking apart. Will take approx. 45 min unless you use a pressure cooker in which case it will only take about 20 minutes)
6. Heat ghee in a separate pan. Add hing, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Wait until you hear the cumin seeds pop. Then add garlic and ginger and let simmer for a few minutes until garlic becomes golden brown.
7. Add ghee mixture to cooked mung beans and stir.
8. You can add greens like kale or spinach to this for some added texture. If you want to add other harder veggies like carrots or potatoes, add them after the mung beans have been cooking for 10 minutes, always add greens at the very end.
9. Enjoy :)
By: Molly Russell |Daily Ayurveda Affiliate Practitioner | firstname.lastname@example.org
I am here to spark an honest check in with yourself. How are you sleeping?
Cultivating solid and satisfying sleep is something we are all craving. We all try to get more. We all want more. And we all have had those days in the middle of the week we wish we could stay in bed for just a few more hours, if not all day. As we transition into fall, the nights are getting darker, the air is getting cooler, and it is a natural time for us to all hunker down and get cozy. Yet, we still struggle with sleep.
Sleep is when all the good stuff happens in our bodies. Sleep is the time for the body and mind reset, detoxify, and rejuvenate. Sleep allows for our memory and creativity to grow and restore.
After, we are bombarded with a full day getting input from all directions, going to work, caring for our families, running errands, feeding ourselves, trying to get in a working out, checking our Instagram account, refreshing our Facebook feeds, watching the most recent presidential uproar video, trying to keep up with what is happening around the world, staying connected and on the ground to the efforts of so many people doing good in this world in a time of so much inhumanity…we can be left feeling burnt, exhausted, depleted, raw, done.
So where is the respite? We always have sleep to reboot us and refresh us. But what happens when it is not? What happens we stay awake staring at the ceiling for hours, wake up at 3am and can’t go back to sleep, get woken up by sirens just after dozing off, or simply stay up on the computer or phone to get “caught up” and our racing mind keeps going long after the lights are out?
I am here to offer you some inspiration and reminders on nightly self-care. Perhaps some you know, perhaps some you forgot, and perhaps one will inspire you.
Before going to bed tonight, try one of these, two or even all four...
Let a warm shower or hot bath calm your nervous system, release tension in your body, and quiet the mind.
Golden Spiced Milk
Over a flame steam ½ cup whole milk (can start by replacing with nut milk if you are not a drinking dairy), ¼ cup water, and a pinch of turmeric, couple saffron threads, fennel, cardamom, black pepper, and NUTMEG (induces sleep), with a bit of raw sugar or maple syrup to taste. A little night cap, if you will.
Massage Feet and Scalp
Warm the massage oil to a comfortable temperature either on an electric cup heater, or over a candle flame. Take a spoonful of oil, and rub it into the soles of your feed, and then cover with socks. Pour a tablespoon of oil onto the crown of your head and lightly massage the oil in a circular motion. Put a cap on your head, or a towel on your pillow to protect your linens. Perhaps offer this sweet treatment to your partner, child or family member.
Screen-less hour before bed
Just put them away. It feels awesome. If you must hold your phone, for fear of detachment, try downloading a calming meditation app and practice a 10-minute guided breathing meditation on HeadSpace, which offers a 10-day complimentary trial.
Molly Russell: Molly has joyfully practiced Ayurveda for past 6 years and offers individual counseling, group classes and cooking workshops around the Bay Area. She graduated from a 3-year intensive Ayurveda Health Counseling program from Vedika Gurukula in Emeryville. After changing her diet and lifestyle, and seeing the effects of cooking with foods that were balancing to her body and mind in changing seasons, she is inspired to share this awesome toolkit of Ayurveda with her community.
Want to learn more? Stay connected for more information about personal consultations with Molly.
As the seasons change it is important that we change our diet to help keep our bodies in balance with the shifts that are occurring in our external environment. It is ideal to consume more bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes in springtime because these tastes help to reduce the excess kapha (earth and water) that has accumulated over the chilly winter months.
Please feel free to share this recipe with your friends!
Facts borrowed with permission from Vasanti Health
How Do I Get Started?
A little back story...
When I started studying Ayurveda, my teachers had me purchase a copper vessel to use for drinking water. At first I was nervous that my water would taste funny, like the way pennies smell. But I gave it a shot anyways, not fully understanding how or why, I just trusted that it was somehow more magical and sacred than drinking out of an old mug, so I gave it a shot.
To my surprise, it didn't taste like pennies. To be honest, it only lasted about a week, and then the novelty wore off and I got too busy and just forgot about it.
Then a few months ago, I received an email from a beautiful stranger named Mantreh Atashband. She had been following my blog for sometime and noticed that I never mentioned the medicinal value of using copper vessels for drinking water. She offered to send me one of the beautiful copper tamba cups that she sells on her charitable website, VasantiHealth.com.
When the package arrived, I was blown away by the sweetness and care that went into the packaging. There was even a handwritten note from Mantreh herself! The tamba was so bright and shiny, it was not like the old dingy one I purchased at the Indian store. It was bold and beautiful and had amazing energy. Once I started using the Tamba I noticed that my water started tasting fresher, and full of life.
I have been using the cup on a regular basis for over a month now, and can honestly say that I am hooked. It is such a special practice, and a wonderful way to increase mindfulness and show your self a little extra love.
Cheers to your health!
There is a tradition here about setting New Years resolutions, and a trend of people not even bothering because: who keeps them anyhow? People have made enough broken promises to themselves, why make one more?
Because we know there is an opportunity for growth for us, and to affect that change it’s going to take some dedication and determination. As humans we are creatures of habit, and most everything we do is habitual. Our morning routine, the way we tie our shoes how, many times we chew before we swallow, how often we check email or facebook, whether we walk on the inside or outside of our feet… the list goes on forever.
The habits we have create our reality. The habits we have point our lives in a direction that determines an almost certain future. If looking at that future feels good to you, then fantastic! On your jolly way. If looking at that future has some room for improvement, it’s time for a course correction, and the thing about course corrections is: the sooner you make one, the smaller the change you need to get to your desired destination.
To grow in the way we want to grow, we can create a habit that points us in that direction.
MAKING IT WORK
So you have a vision for a positive future, a habit pattern from the past, and here you are, always in the ever changing present, with a choice between going to the past or the future.
Put your attention on the now. The present is where you can make decisions. Leaving your decisions in the past is habit. Making decisions in the future is procrastination.
Making decisions in the present is power. Sieze your power.
FACING THE HURDLES:
Following through on these changes takes determination, like running hurdles. In the hurdle races there is an end goal, and a number of obstacles. If you miss a hurdle, it hurts and slows you down, but does not disqualify you or cost you style points. The worst thing you can do is look back at the missed hurdle and regret missing it. That almost guarantees you’ll smash right into the next one. Look forward for the next one and do your best to clear it, keep running, looking forward. The natural consequences of missing the last hurdle was penalty enough.
This is the subtler habit to shift to enable the bigger changes.
INTEGRITY: RECOMMIT, RENEGOTIATE, AND/OR CONSEQUENCES
The problem people face with these changes is when they miss one commitment they tailspin out. They feel they’ve broken their integrity and don’t want to proceed out of integrity.
There are three basic ways to restore integrity:
Yoga is the practice of getting present. In the hatha form that I teach and practice, we move into our bodies, which are always and only ever in the present. We face the places where we habitually store tensions, and instead of taking that as a permanent reality, we make choices around how to deal with them.
Patanjali (author of the yoga sutras ~0AD) said one of the forms of ignorance is misidentifying the temporary as permanent. You were not born with your habits, you will not die with your habits, they are temporary visitors. Acknowledge them as such, and let them go if they do not serve you.
To leverage yoga to help your life, make use of “Sankalpa” (intention setting). Take a moment at the beginning of each practice to get quiet and remember the changes you are looking to make. Get a sense of the kind of person who would make that changes. Allow yourself to be more like that person.
When in the flow of your practice, you’ll want to add in some warrior poses, and set a timer for 2 or more minutes – increasing over time – noticing when you want to leave the pose, but staying in your commitment unless you feel like there would be tissue damage. Feel the power as your strength sustains you well beyond what you thought you’d be comfortable doing, guiding you towards the fullness of your capacity, and reminding you of the quality of persistence you have that you can achieve what you set out to do.
Written by: David Schlussel
For the 10 years prior to studying Ayurveda, I didn't feel consistent hunger. Along with my naturally high vata (air & space), I also lived a very erratic lifestyle which only added to my digestive troubles. Somehow I discovered that a small cup of tea made of grated ginger before meals would help me feel hungry enough to eat. Not ideal to rely on all the time but it worked and it was all that I knew at the time. Years later, it was enlightening to be able to spend a lot of time studying the properties of ginger.
There is a funny thing with ginger. In Ayurveda, fresh and dry ginger have some different medicinal properties due to the drying process. It’s quite remarkable. Fresh ginger is actually considered to be more drying for the body and dry ginger is said to be more unctuous. I've listed some of the common and best uses for each type of ginger below. Some of these can be interchanged with each other but you will have overall better effect by following the breakdown on this list.
13 Health Benefits of Ginger:
Ginger should be used sparingly in summer, early fall and for anyone with vitiated pitta.
Abhyanga is the Sanskrit term for the ancient Ayurvedic practice of full body oil massage. It is just one part of the morning Ayurvedic routine known as dinacharya that is recommended for all healthy individuals, kids included. The skin is the largest organ of the body, so it makes perfect sense that it would be used as another tool for better health. Sesame seed oil is the oil that is the most effective for the majority of people and seasons although other oils are used as well. For me, abhyanga is one of the most important practices that I do daily and it sets the tone for my entire day. Along with the benefits that I mention below, taking 20 minutes to check in with every part of my body shows where I need to focus on or be extra gentle with as the day goes on.
Five Benefits of Abhyanga:
When To Do Abhyanga
It should be done on an empty stomach, ideally after you have eliminated your bowels in the morning, or before you eat dinner in the evening. It is especially important to do during the hot, dry months of summer and the cold winter season. Try to oil yourself daily, or at least three times per week.
Never apply oil when you have active indigestion, fever, diarrhea, colds, coughs, flu, etc. Do NOT do Abhyanga when menstruating. Avoid abhyanga when it is raining or extremely cloudy outside. If you have oily wounds or rashes then avoid those areas or don't do it at all.