Greeting & Namaste!
The end-of-year Holiday season has begun! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! The winter holidays can be a joyous and celebratory time for many, yet for many of us still the end-of-year celebrations can bring about stressful feelings of anxiety, overwhelm and depression. In addition, holiday overindulgence can leave us feeling slow, sluggish, unmotivated and heavy in body and mind. What can we do to stay true to our personal health and well being while enjoying the holiday gatherings and get-togethers?
If we consider what's going on in nature, we can make more sense of why many of us experience all of these challenging emotions this time of the year.
In nature, Vata season is in high swing, with Kapha season to follow later in winter. Considering the "gunas," or qualities, of Vata and Kapha and how they are expressed in nature, the weather is definitely erratic with a propensity for becoming colder and colder, and either: a) windy and dry or: b) stagnant and wet; wild flora has either completed its life cycle or has gone dormant till next Spring; animals are spending more time resting; nights are becoming longer and longer as we approach the Winter Solstice.
Now, let's consider how the gunas of Vata and Kapha express themselves through "vikriti," or imbalance, in the human mind-body. Excessive Vata creates dryness in the body's organ systems; chills the body's "agnis," which are the metabolic fires of the body, thus slowing down or stagnating our digestion and other metabolic processes; develops instability in the mind which can lead to anxiety, absent-mindedness, and overwhelm; upends our sense of foundation, stability and groundedness which can lead to insomnia, fear and insecurity. Excessive Kapha creates congestion, excessive phlegm/ mucous, and fluid retention in the body due to stagnation; promotes heaviness, dullness and lethargy in the mental and physical bodies resulting in weight gain, foggy memory, lack of motivation and depression; continues to chill the body's agnis, thus stagnating digestion, elimination & metabolic processes even further.
Our individual, unique prakriti will partly determine how much we will be affected by Vata-Kapha seasonal conditions, but most people--even the purist of pitta prakriti--will probably find themselves staving off some intensity of seasonal vata and/or kapha vikriti. To help balance our bodies this winter, make sure to stay warm as much as possible--body, mind and soul! Here are seven Ayurvedic tips to help beat the winter blues:
>>1)Eat hot, nourishing, mild to medium spiced meals, and make sure to eat 3 meals daily at
around the same times to maintain strength of the digestive and metabolic fires
>>2)Drink warm beverages like hot water with lemon/ lime and a little fresh ginger or herbal teas gently sweetened with honey to keep warm and satiated between meals.
>>3)Practice dynamic, invigorating yoga asana or cardiovascular exercises--for people of kapha prakriti, now is a great time to try a hot yoga class!Click here for a 15 minute sun salutation warm-up video with me :-)
>>4)Practice heating/ solar pranayamas and kriyas such as Surya Bhedana, Ujjayi, Nauli or Kapalabhati to keep congestion, coughs and colds to a minimum.
>>5)Dress warmly inside the house if feeling chilled, sleep with a heating pad (be safe!) and wear layers under your jacket if you need to adjust your level of warmth.
>>6)Practice abhyanga oil self-massage and nasya nasal oiling regularly as an offering of self-love, to maintain warmth and comfort of the body, and to keep the skin nourished and supple. Abhyanga and nasya are both types of "Snehana" or oleation therapies in Ayurveda. The Sanskrit root word "Sneha" means either "oil" or "love" in English, so when we practice abhyanga and other oil therapies, we are not only nourishing our body, but we are nourish our need to feel loved. Try verbally or mentally saying to yourself "I love you" or other words of positive, loving affirmation when practicing abhyanga self-massage. Give yourself the gift of loving self-touch to provide nourishing warmth your body, mind and soul <3
>>7)Spend time with the people you love whether it be friends or family to warm the heart and soul! Another great way to nourish your soul is to do volunteer work this holiday season at a homeless shelter or any other community service of your choice. Helping out those in need connects us to our compassion and loving kindness--the essense of our heart chakra. I enjoy volunteering at Room In The Inn in downtown Nashville.
Join me for a very special FREE workshop coming up on Friday Dec 7th 6-8pm at the Small World Yoga Studio on 17th Ave S in Nashville. Experience Ayurvedic Yoga! CLICK HERE TO PRE-REGISTER AND SAVE YOUR SPOT!
>Learn about the three Doshas (Vata, Pitta & Kapha), how they express themselves in the mind-body, and where they mainly exist in the body.
>Take a Dosha Quiz to discover your predominant Doshic constitution, called "prakriti."
>Discover how to cultivate an overall sense of physical & mental well being through Yoga postures that help to balance your unique prakriti.
This is one of several final projects I need to complete to receive my Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor certification on Dec 21st, so please join me to learn about what I've been studying all this year!
Another wonderful thing I participated in this year is I taught at the Music City Yoga Festival, and it was such an amazing gathering of the Nashville health and wellness community! I co-taught an ayurvedic yoga flow with local yoga teacher & ayurvedic counselor Liz Workman Meade and ended the festival with a mini yoga nidra session. CLICK HERE to check out photos from this year's MCYF and my growing gallery of photos from yoga festivals at which I have had the delight of teaching! I am looking forward to the abundance of OPPORTUNITY that is showing up for me in 2019! Om Shreem Maha Lakshmiye Namaha <3
My Sept-Dec 2018 class schedule is out! Wednesday with me are now all about restorative yoga! I now teach TWO restorative yoga classes on Wednesdays: 9:30am "kapha" restorative yoga at Kali Yuga Yoga and 7:30pm "deep rest" restorative yoga at the Small World Yoga Studio. This means I teach FOUR weekly restorative classes and FOUR monthly meditation classes! Join me for "Yoga Samana" and restore your mind, body & spirit!
In addition, I'll be taking hiatus from the Thursday 6pm "Air & Earth" vinyasa flow & restorative mix-up at Vanderbilt University Black Cultural Center for Winter break, but we'll be resuming for the Spring semester in late January so please stay tuned class to resume!
I would like to share some news on my personal journey:
I'm finishing a 450-hr Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor certification on December 21 2018! It has been such a transformational journey and I am grateful for the support of my community and I embarked on this journey.
What you may not know is that this 450-hr program is just the first step in a 2-tiered 600-hr Ayurvedic Health Counselor program!
The remaining 150 hours to complete the program begin January 2020 in the form of a 2-week intensive at an Ayurvedic University & Hospital in Pune, India. I want to complete the full 600-hr, 2 year program, so I'll be working hard over the next year to save money for this major growth experience.
I have been practicing yoga since 2010 and teaching since 2014. Over the years, I have branched out into deeper studying of Vedic text, meditation, Ayurveda and the beginnings of Jyotish. I know that pilgrimage to India would prove a massive opportunity for my growth spiritually, experientially and intellectually. Through this personal and professional growth, I can be of better service our yoga community with a more thoughtful and authentic approach to the integration of Yoga, Ayurveda and meditation.
If you would like to help me reach my monetary goals for this endeavor, please donate to help me pay for my travel & tuition fees!
CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO MY GoFundMe FUNDRAISER <3
$5000 would help me completely cover my round trip flight to and from India, my full tuition & boarding costs and any pilgrimages to ashrams, temples & holy places. Complimentary sessions are available for a variety of donation levels! Keep scrolling down to read
>>Details for the 150-hour "Motherland Studies" India Internship program through Dancing Shiva Yoga & Ayurveda:
India Study at D.Y. Patil University
This 15-day intensive takes place at the esteemed D.Y. Patil University in Pune, India. For several years the Dancing Shiva School has established a close affiliation with this fully accredited Indian university. Dancing Shiva students will experience a unique opportunity of participating in specialized classes given by Mas Vidal and the faculty of the university. The material covered in the classes includes expansive (more advanced & in depth) coverage of the material listed in the main curriculum. The main difference gained from participation of studies in India is substantial. Firstly, to study at an Indian Ayurvedic university is unique to our affiliation with D.Y. Patil, as this is not a commonly permitted at Indian academies. As international students you receive the direct cultural experience, classes given by an Indian faculty, experience of observing actual patient cases (encounters) in an Ayurvedic hospital and access to an extensive library and dedicated departments for each main topic of Ayurvedic education.
>>When you donate at least $30 you can receive 1 complementary 60-minute private yoga session with me
>>When you donate at least $40 you can receive 1 complementary 75-minute private yoga session
>>When you donate at least $50 you can receive 1 complementary 90-minute private yoga session
>>When you donate at least $60 you can receive 1 complementary 60-minute private yoga session with me + complementary pass to one of my workshops of your choice
>>When you donate at least $100 you can receive a complementary Ayurvedic Health Counseling Package (3 sessions) with me
>>When you donate at least $150 you can receive a complementary Ayurvedic Health Counseling Package + complementary 60-minute private yoga session
>>When you donate at least $200 you can receive a complementary Ayurvedic Health Counseling Package + complementary 60-minute private yoga session + complementary Ayurvedic cooking demo
Thank you all for your support!
Love & Light <3