A few nights ago, at sunset, I taught yoga on the beach to my very dear friends.We started class, soaking our feet in the water. (Partially because of an injury to my foot. A very sharp piece of wood stabbed through my shoe and straight into my foot, two days ago, and it hurt and was beginning to look infected). We put ocean water in our mouths, to taste, to feel, to cleanse, to connect. We “washed” our bodies, rubbing magical ocean water on our arms, shoulders, face, third eye. Feeling both the vibrations of the setting sun and the rising moon, we did the first part of class,standing in the water. The waves were strong and splashed up on us, forcing us to balance with strength and flexibility.
There was a powerful energetic intensity to that class, it felt like a huge energetic upgrade. That sensation of floating between two magnets.Physically our practice was soft. Energetically, so strong. The wind blew with purifying force. I felt so free, at peace, energy pulsing. We all shared wide grins. Our energy was so open, so connected. We were absorbing the magic of the sea..
We celebrated the Full Moon in Scorpio. Earth Day. We went to a Drum circle, dancing with the moon as she rose over the ocean..
It seems like most people I know are going through some heavy stuff. Emotional basket case time. Detoxing. Cleansing. Processing the reality that this life is temporary. And it goes by so fast. We are all receiving big lessons, along with subtle little messages, reminding us of our true purpose, path, mission. We are being challenged to make changes in how we live. We know there are many problems in our world right now. We have to try as hard as we can to begin to live the solution.
We brought back pounds of sweet potatoes and carrots from our friends Organic farm in Gainesville. Yesterday I made the most delicious soup, totally worth sharing.
Give this recipe a try. It takes just a few minutes to prepare. Simple, Delicious, and Power packed with Goodness.
1 1/2 medium sized Sweet Potatoes (peeled) –Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber, potassium, several B vitamins, and many of vitamins and minerals.
1 Large Onion minced –Onions boost immune stystem, and help regulate blood sugar, and have anti inflammatory properties.
5 cloves of Garlic–High in Maganese and B 6, and more.. Full of Antioxidants. Garlic has long been used as a potent medicine. Fights infection, lowers blood pressure, helps detoxify heavy metals, helps balance cholestoral levels, and much more.
1 1/2 cups of Red Lentils (Rinsed)-High in protein, fiber, folate, calcium and iron.
6 Thinly sliced pieces of Ginger (take the ginger out before serving)-Well known for easing nausea and digestive issues, ginger also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties
1 tablespoon finely minced Fresh Turmeric-Very Powerful Antioxidant and also anti-inflammatory
2 large Carrots- High in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, full of antioxidants, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals.
2-3 teaspoons Pink Himalayan salt (add more if desired)-Promotes healthy PH balance and contains over 80 trace elements.
3 tablespoons Organic Butter or Ghee-Perfect balance of omega 3 and 6 and also contains high amounts of vitamin A
Sprinkle of Red pepper flakes-Contains Capsicum which fights inflammation and helps alleviate nerve pain.
Combine everything, except the butter, in a large pot filled with water. Less water for thicker lentils, more water for more of a liquid soup. Bring to Boil. Lower the heat and allow to cook for 45 minutes and then add the butter or ghee. Cook for another 15-20 minutes.. And ENJOY. Simple, Healthy, Delicious. Power Packed A+ lentils.
Every couple of days, I make a big pot of lentils, split peas, or beans.. It is easy, inexpensive, and nutritious and it lasts for several meals!!!
I am not even sure what triggered it, but when I was 14, I developed an eating disorder. I suffered from bulimia. And for twelve years, the disorder weaved in and out my life. In high school, I was a cheerleader, and when my eating disorder first grabbed hold, my weight went down drastically. After the gossip spread, a really sweet guy, started to refer to me and a friend of mine, as “bulimic bitches”..sometimes he threw handfuls of grass on us,and called us bulimic cows (One can only hope he matured). 🙂
I could blame a number of things as the trigger of my eating disorder. My family was pretty dysfunctional (like most), and my mind was always racing, full of thoughts and questions. “Why do we die? Where do we go? Why do we exisit?Why do we have war?” Why, why, why…and so on. It was exhausting. I am also an empath, and I think that perhaps I used food to try to help me ground.
There were times, when I was angry with myself, and I would stop eating. I would get thin. Very thin. Very quickly. There were other times, where it seemed food was the only way to relax, to get out of my “mind”. My body would quickly balloon. My thoughts. My judgements. My confusion. My feelings of being inadequate and ugly. I could quickly scarf down a box of Tiger Milk bars. A bag of chips. Half a cake. I would try to feed my soul, my worries, my fears, with food. Then of course, stomach full and hurting, feelings of disgust would rise up, fear of getting fat, and it was off to the bathroom. Or 3 hours of exercise. Or swearing to myself that i would not eat for an entire week (I never lasted)!! During those 12 years, sometimes I would go long periods without any bouts of bingeing or starving myself. But sometimes, particularly when I was stressed, the disorder took hold and ravaged my body and soul. My weight easily yo-yo´d up and down a good thirty pounds.
From the time I was 15-18, I also started experimenting quite heavily with drugs. I was unbalanced, reckless, and I had no idea about self-care, or how to process stress.
I feel no shame in sharing this. It is a part of my story. I have no desire to come across as a perfect person, I am far from it. Many people suffer from eating disorders, and they feel deep shame. But we shouldn´t. Life is hard. Confusing. Sometimes very painful. We all look for ways to cope. Recently a friend opened up and shared that she was suffering from bulimia. I guess in a way, I feel compelled to write, so she can understand my story. How I healed.
I healed through YOGA.
Learning to breathe through my nose, those nice deep mindful breaths, helped me cultivate an inner-peace I had never felt. Learning to quiet the mind in meditation, helped me tap into my higher wisdom. When we tame the mind, truth, wisdom, and compassion emerge.Even if we just feel it for 30 seconds, it changes everything.
Practicing Asana, taught me about my body. I learned to observe where I was holding tension, I could feel how the breath helped relax the muscles, and the mind. I learned to move my body in harmony with my breath. I started tapping into more subtle energies. Awareness. I started to observe how different I felt after eating certain foods. I felt heavy and gross after eating greasy french fries, or a candy bar. But after a large carrot, kale, and ginger juice, or a large avocado smoothie, I felt light, healthy, peaceful, beautiful. Naturally I prefer feeling healthy, and as my awareness increased, my food choices changed.
I started to notice even more subtle cues from my body. How my body felt when I was thirsty, When I was stressed, When I was tired. Simply put, I started to get to know me. And I realized my body was counting on me to make healthy loving choices.
Our energy changes drastically based on our food choices. This is talked about often in Yoga. Food can be divided into three categories.
TamasicFoods: Red Meat, Alcohol, Refined sugar, soda, fast food, and overly processed foods. Foods that are tamsic, lead to overeating, promote negative emotions, build up of toxins, dull heavy energy, and blocks the flow of PRANA.
RajasicFoods:coffee, salt, chicken, fried foods, overly spicy. (some say chocolate too, but i disagree STRONGLY) 🙂 Foods that are rajasic create an overstimulated mind, make us feel restless, and keep us very attached to our ego desires.
Sattvic Foods:Fruits, vegetables, honey, herbal tea, grains, nuts, beans, seeds, ghee. Sattvic foods promote the flow of pure and positive energy, and lead to peace, intelligence and wisdom.
Next time you eat something really observe how you feel, and then, think about these three categories, and what you ate.
Yoga, leads to increased awareness. Body, mind, and Spirit. And the straight up truth is that when I eat a Sattvic based diet, I feel good.
I honor my yoga body. I am not anywhere near being “skinny”. And I don’t care. But I do feel strong. And I know I am taking active steps, and breaths, everyday to live as healthy as I can. I don’t count calories. I don’t limit food. I eat when I want, I eat what I want.. But the difference is, that through yoga, I learned about self-care. I started to love myself, flaws and all. I found healing by going within. I eat food that nourishes me. Fruits, vegetables, lentils, seeds, nuts.. Sattvic foods. I eat Ice cream nearly everyday, but I make it RAW with avocados, coconut, cacau, and honey. And it is good. Nourishing, filling. My whole family loves it.
I know with absolute certainty, that my yoga practice put my life and my body on a completely different path. I know with absolute certainty, that yoga heals.
Yoga. Open the door. Take a deep breath. You will be amazed.
Crown Chakra Energy: This Chakra is associated with Spiritualism and enlightenment. The link between individual consciousness and Universal consciousness.
Color:White or Violet
Element: Inner Light,Divine Energy, Spirit
Location: The Crown Chakra is located right above the top of the head.
Bija Seed Sound: Om
Yoga Asanas For Crown Chakra: Meditative poses, such as; Ardha Padmasana or Padmasana-Lotus or Half Lotus, Easy Pose-Sukhasana. Also Crown to Earth poses,such as; Headstand-Sirsasana and Prasarita Padottanasana-Wide Legged Forward Fold, and more…
Gyan Mudra: In this mudra, the index finger, which represents the individual soul, connects with the thumb, which represents the Supreme or the Collective Soul. The individual dissolves or merges into the collective.
Foods That support Crown Chakra: Sattvic foods. Fruits, Vegetables, and seeds. Foods in their pure, natural state. This Chakra does not get “fed” the way the other chakras do. However, health and balance in the entire energetic system is essential for an open and balanced Crown Chakra.
Crown Chakra Affirmation: “I am open and divinely guided to enlightenment.”
Visualization:Begin in a seated position, close your eyes, and visualize white light at the Crown Chakra. Visualize and feel that energy entering the body and purifying every cell. Breathe deeply. And when you feel properly purified, visualize golden light at the crown. This light is recharging you with positive energy. The light is blessing the body, speech, and consciousness. My spiritual guide and teacher, Lama Geshela Tenzing Tamding, taught me this simple but powerful exercise many years ago.
My first experience with the crown chakra, that I remember, was nearly 13 years ago. I was living in Hawaii, getting my Reiki I attunements from a powerful Hawaiian Reiki Master. I was seated, and she was giving me the attunements, and I felt and heard cracking at the top of my head. It was strange and intense. That sensation gave way to a sweet, heavy, honey like energy, and I suddenly was in a state of pure bliss.
Wishing us all healing, guidance, and balance from Root to Crown.
Location: The Space between the eyes, sometimes located at the center of the forehead.
Bija Seed Sound: OM
Energy, Emotions, Feelings Associated with this Chakra: The THIRD EYE chakra is associated with psychic abilities, visions, messages, premonitions, and the ability to “see” things that cannot be seen with normal vision….
A closed THIRD EYE causes close-minded thinking, overly logical, critical, and untrusting thoughts and behavior!
On the other hand, an overly active third-eye can be very intense, even frightening, too much information to process. This can make us feel crazy. It is very important to find balance.
Of all my chakras, the one that is most active, is my third-eye, and that is sometimes very intense. Child’s pose, helps rebalance excess energy, and helps process so much. Sometimes after doing yoga, meditation, or Reiki, my third-eye chakra remains wide open. And I do not feel normal.-Spending time in childs pose helps me so much. So does resting my forehead on the trunk of a tree. Bowing down, moving inward, grounding into Earth, we are humbled and reminded that with our increased awareness, and sensitivity, comes responsibility.
Breath Work: Deep nostril breathing, with the eyes closed, directing the breath to and from the Third-Eye is very healing and stimulating for this chakra!
Try wearing Amethyst, an excellent third eye stone.
Healing Affirmation: I trust my intuition. I am open to receive my Highest Wisdom.
Yoga Asanas For Third-Eye: Eagle Pose-Garudasana, Childs Pose -Balasana, Easy Pose, Half or Full Lotus..
Foods that help awaken and balance this chakra: ALKALINE FORMING foods, almonds, leafy greens, avocados, bananas, flax seeds, and more can help tremendously.
In yoga, psychic ability is referred to as “siddhis.” There are many texts that talk about one of the dangers of the siddhis, is ego involvement. A feeling of “I have superpowers, I must be very special.” This is another important reminder to balance!! All the chakras working together in harmony..
Emotions, Feelings, And Beliefs Associated with this chakra:The manipura chakra is associated with will power, self-esteem, inner strength, our personal power! When out of balance it can manifest as anger, jealously, or depression, or feelings of being unworthy.
Yoga Asanas: Any core strengthening poses, Boat Pose, Plank, Forearm Plank, Inverted Plane, Twists,and Revolved Triangle, to share a few.. And of course the Sun Salutations!!!
Foods: Eating food that helps with digestion like fennel, ginger, Kombucha, turmeric, and chamomile help, as do bananas, lemons, squash, and bell peppers (go for the yellow). Go For Spicy!!!
Affirmations:: I am strong, confident, and unique. I am worthy of love, respect, and kindness. I AM EMPOWERED!
An unbalanced manipura chakra can lead to many problems.. Eating disorders are associated with this chakra. I suffered from Bulimia for many years, and it wasn’t until i committed to a regular yoga practice, that i fully recovered. To me, Manipura chakra imbalances are easily recognizable in others, but it takes great effort, and coming to a place of self-love and worthiness, to really heal.
I send you warm rays of sunshine. You are worthy. ~Tiff