Have the holiday parties started for you? They have for me!
I went to one last night and have another one next week. Then, of course the actual holidays and New Years after that. Not to mention my birthday is this month and three of my closest friends have birthday’s this month too! So, I know what it’s like to over-indulge this month with sweets, desserts, and yummy holiday food. That’s why I’m sharing two tricks from Ayurveda to help you digest all that delicious holiday food!
These practices are for after you’ve already eaten the heavy meal. You may be feeling heavy, slow, and dull from the meal. So, here are two awesome things you can try:
Rest on the left side of your bodyThat’s it. Super simple. Lay down on the left side of your body for about 10- 20 minutes. Take a little nap or siesta! The key is laying down on the left side of your body. According to Ayurveda, that will help you digest your food.
Sit in a yoga pose called Vajrasana or Thunderbolt poseTo do this pose, you sit on your heels. Keep reading or watch the video to learn this pose. Bend your knees with your feet behind you. Then, sit back on your heels. If you have tight ankles, you can grab a block or cushion. Lift your hips off your heels, scoot your feet apart, and slide the block or cushion between your feet. Then, sit your hips down on the block or cushion. Sitting in this pose for few minutes will help you to digest your meal.
So, I just ate lunch and I’m going to lay down on my left side!
Today, I’m going to show you another pose that’s great for the fall season! It’s also great any time of the year if you’re working on re-aligning a vata energy issue. What’s a vata energy issue? Ayurveda describes Vata as the energy of Air and Ether. If you know your Ayurvedic constitution, then you know if you have a high level of vata energy. If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say “vata issues,” no worries! For today’s blog, know that this is a great pose for the season no matter your underlying constitution. And, you can check out my library of Ayurveda blogs anytime to get more info on Ayurveda!
For today, let’s dive right into the pose! It’s called Reclined Pigeon and is a great stretch for the hips. This is what makes it such a great pose for the Fall. The Vata energy that governs the Fall season is also related to our hips. That means the energy of the season has the potential to affect your hips (joint pain, stiffness). Depending on the variation you choose to practice, reclined pigeon is also a great pose for digestion. Experience is the best teacher, so let’s do it together! Follow along here, or watch the video:
Lay on your back
Bring the soles of your feet down to the Earth and then draw your right knee into your chest.
Open your right hip out to the side so that your right ankle comes to the top of your left leg. Flex that right foot to protect your knee. You might already be feeling this stretch in your right hip. If so, then hold here.
If you’re looking for a deeper stretch, then continue to the next step. Note that I don’t want to you experience any pain. Listen to your body and if you’re feeling pain, then back off from the pose. You’re looking for a lovely stretch without any pain.
If you choose to, take your right arm through your legs and your left hand to the outside of the left leg. You’re bringing your hands to your left leg, drawing it into your chest. Keep your left foot flexed. You want to keep both feet flexed here to protect your knees. In this variation, you are causing a slight compression of your abdominal cavity. This aids in digestion.
Pay attention. Are you noticing any sensations in your body? Let go of judgement and notice how your body feels in this pose. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths before moving onto the other side.
Leave a comment and let me know how you enjoyed this pose! Any questions or challenges? Let me know of that too!
Today, I’m sharing something that has the power to transform your relationships. It’s something I recently read from A Course in Miracles. To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure if I should make this blog because it’s pretty deep. But, I decided it was important to share, because this one concept has the power to transform your relationships.
We all want happy relationships. Whether that’s with our intimate partner, parents, children, friends or colleagues. Well, A Course in Miracles says that any time there’s a relationship challenge, it can traced back to the ego. The ego has a way of finding things to get angry or upset about. When that happens, it places guilt on the other person. This then breaks down any sort of communication.
Imagine for a moment. When someone makes you feel guilty, what do you do? For me, I shut down. I don’t want to talk to the person for awhile. And so, you can imagine what making someone feel guilty does to the channels of communication. The Course suggests that you tune into yourself in those situations. Ask yourself, “Is this something that my ego is bringing up here?”
The Course also talks about sacrifice as another way the ego places guilt on another. Have you ever said, “I did so much for so-and-so, and they didn’t even notice! They didn’t even say thank you or do anything in return!” This is sacrifice. It’s the idea that I am sacrificing myself to make others happy and they're not returning the favor. Again, if you put yourself in the other person’s shoes, can you see how this blocks off communication?
So I know this is a deep topic. It may even be a difficult topic because it requires self-examination. And that can be hard. But, I can say that the more you recognize the ego and work on tuning into your Highest self, that it does get easier. Stuff still comes up, but you’re able to nip it in the bud quicker.
So, the next time it comes up, you can say to yourself, “Oh ego, I know you’re showing your head again. But, this time, I’ld like you to take the back seat. I’m going to let my Highest self drive this time.” Then, listen. What’s your heart telling you in this situation? This is the way to truly heal your relationships. Turn it over to your heart. Allow those lines of communication to be open. And, all you need to do is ask your ego to take the back seat. Let your heart guide you.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Can you think of some situations when you let your ego rule? What are some situations when your heart led the way? What was the difference in those situations? How did each one feel? Leave a comment and let me know!
Sending you so much love on this incredible journey!
What if you could throw away your to-do list and still get everything you want?
Today, I’m giving you an inside peek into my planner! Why? Because, Thanksgiving is around the corner and, before you know it, we’ll be at New Years! And so, I want you to have the tools to make this New Year’s different from past years. You know how it goes. New Years comes around. You think about your resolutions or intentions for the year. You set some goals. And, a month later, you find that gym membership is going to waste. You’re back to your old eating patterns. And, you’ve made little progress towards your goals. The time flew by! Well, I want to set you up for success in 2019! So, today, I’m walking you through the planner that I used all year. It’s this planner, along with a system called RPM*, that helped me achieve my goals this year!
It's called the Panda Planner. This planner keeps me organized while also encouraging me to celebrate along the way. So, not only am I achieving a ton, but I’m also feeling great about it! Happy and fulfilled. And, isn’t that what we all want? Isn’t that why we run around all day doing all sorts of things? To get that feeling of being happy and fulfilled. Well, this planner helps with that! And, I’m going to walk you through it. Before I get started, in full disclosure, I’m not affiliated with this company at all. I just really love the product! So, here we go!
Monthly Calendar First of all, I love that it’s not dated! That means, if you skip a day or two, no big deal! For example, I don’t use the planner on weekends. I like to keep my weekends free and flexible. So, I skip those days and I don’t have to waste any pages. Also, it has these prompts for the month:
What am I going to focus on?
What’s a habit I’m working on?
What are my top goals?
What distractions do I want to avoid?
End of month review. What were my big wins?
These prompts are so helpful. For example, a distraction I’ve been working on avoiding all year has been stress and overwhelm. Those feelings drain my energy and I’ld rather use my energy to achieve my goals. The end of the month review is great because it forces you to celebrate! If you’re an achiever like me, then you’re familiar with that sense of finishing something and then going right on to the next thing. No pause to celebrate or to reflect. Just one thing to another. So, I love that this planner encourages you to take notice of all the awesome things you’re doing!
Weekly Plan The weekly plan starts off with reviewing your past week. Again, encouraging you to celebrate! It prompts you to list your big wins for the past week. And, when I say “big win,” it can be anything that feels like a win to you. For example, I’ve often listed things like going for a run, because I’ve been working on staying consistent with my cardio workouts. Or, I’ll write something like “laughing like crazy with my husband,” because nurturing my marriage is important to me. Of course, I also list things related to my career and mission. But, I mention those first few wins because sometimes we forget that those sort of things are important and count as wins too! Success and achievement can only give us so much happiness. How we relate to ourselves and the people in our life, well, to me, that gives the greatest fulfillment. So, whatever it is for you, take some time to celebrate! Also, celebrating what’s already great in your life is the best way to attract more of what you want! There’s a saying that “success builds on success.”
So, then it prompts you:
How can I improve?
Things I’ll do to make this week great. It gives you space to write things down for different areas of your life – personal, work, family/relationships
What am I looking forward to?
Habits I’m focusing on developing. So, this could be anything. Compassion for yourself. Finding more moments of stillness. To meditate. To be more present. What is it for you?
Learn something new
Passion project. I’ll be honest with you, this last one has been the hardest for me to stick with this past year. Doing something for no other reason than it’s fun! I need to do more of this in my life, and every week I get a little reminder here.
Daily Planner So, the daily planner continues with:
What are 3 things I’m grateful for?
What are 3 things I’m excited about?
What’s my affirmation for the day? Where am I going to put my focus?
What sort of exercise am I going to do?
What are my top priorities?
Daily schedule to fill in appointments or blocks of activity
End of the day review. What went great today? What can I improve?
This daily plan is by far my favorite part! Why? Because it focuses my mind to be grateful and excited at the start of the day. How amazing to start each day feeling happy and like you can’t wait for what the day is going to bring! The nature of these questions lead you to live each day with intention.
So, I love it and have been using it all year! Again, it’s called the Panda Planner and you can get it on Amazon. If you don’t feel like buying this planner, no biggie. Like I said, I’m not affiliated with them at all. I just love all the prompts that encourage you to focus and achieve while also feeling happy and fulfilled. That’s why I led you through all the different parts of the planner today. You can pick whatever pieces resonate with you the most and use it in your daily life.
I definitely want to hear if you use it though! What parts resonated with you the most? Which sections or questions are most helpful for you to think of each day? Leave a comment and let me know!
Sending you so much love, today and always!
*RPM stand for “Rapid Planning Method.” It’s a planning system developed by Tony Robbins. I’ve been using RPM along with the Panda Planner for amazing results all year! Leave a comment to let me know if you want to learn more about RPM. It’s too much to cover in a blog, but I’ll offer a free webinar if there’s interest!
Who doesn’t love a really great massage? What if I told you that you can get a massage everyday without spending a dime?
Well, you can! And, its called Abhyanga. In Ayurveda, Abhyanga is self-massage. It’s a massage that you can treat yourself to as often as you want. I’ve mentioned it briefly in some of my older blogs where I’ve given seasonal tips from Ayurveda. Today, I want to go deeper to give you a closer look at what its all about!
Why self-massage? Massaging your body with oil is an act of self-love. That’s what Ayurveda’s all about. It’s a beautiful system of practices of honoring and loving yourself. Also, Ayurveda says that when you put oil on our skin and let it get absorbed, it releases toxins from the deep tissues of your body. Another great benefit, especially in the Fall, is that oil grounds the energy of the season. Fall has qualities of dry, cold, and rough. What better way to bring in moisture, warmth, and softness than a warm oil massage? These qualities of Fall can also affect your mind and emotions. It can lead to your mind being restless, flighty, spacey. And so, this massage also helps ground your mental and emotional energy so that you feel stable, supported, and calm.
How to do self-massage The technique is less important than just getting the oil on your skin. The main thing is using a lot of oil and keeping it on long enough to get absorbed. Sesame oil is the best type for the Fall. It’s helpful to see this as an act of self-love because the thoughts and energy that we have when do anything is reflected in how effective the practice is going to be. So, I suggest expressing gratitude for each part of your body as you massage it. See this as a chance to be grateful for your body that works so hard for you day in and day out. Now, if you wanna get really technical, you can use the Ayurveda massage technique of long strokes across most of your body and circular strokes on your joints.
When’s the best time to do this? Ayurveda recommends every morning. I’ll be honest with you though. I do it about 3x a week. And, I prefer to do it at night before going to bed. So, here’s the deal. Ayurveda recommends self-massage as part of your morning routine. Vigorous massage strokes can wake up the body and help with circulation, especially of the lympatics. So, it’s great to do in the morning if that fits your schedule! For me, I already have a pretty extensive morning routine, so I prefer to do it in the evening. It helps me go to sleep. It’s a great way to end my day by giving myself this act of self-love. So, what I do is I massage my body, leave the oil on while I brush my teeth and floss (to let the oil get absorbed), then I take a warm shower to rinse off the oil.
So, there you have it, dear. I hope you try this out. It’s really helped me a lot with things like getting a good night sleep, calming my nervous system, and relieving joint pain. Let me know if you try it and what benefits you see! Leave a comment below!
*Interested in learning more about Ayurveda? Subscribe here to be the first to get updates about my brand new Ayurveda online course coming late 2018!!
The information on Shakti Vidya Yoga, LLC’s website, blog, programs, and classes are for general informational purposes only. This information is not and should not be taken as medical advice and does not take the place of guidance from your regular physician. Consultation with your regular physician is recommended prior to participating in Shakti Vidya Yoga, LLC’s programs and classes.