India planted a seed. And once a seed is planted in the heart it has no choice but to grow. Because the heart only knows how to nourish and love , this seed will grow and grow and there is nothing I can do about it. However in order for this seed to grow so much, my heart must grow too. The limbs must find their way through the walls of the heart out into the light. It may sound easy but let me tell you it is quite the experience and sometimes painful. Painful to the minds eye anyway. This growing and breaking through is similar to that of a lotus seed. It must grow through the mud and the gick on the bottom layer of the water. Up through the depths of the deepest water it finally reaches the top for fresh air and sunlight. Once fully blooming a beautiful lotus flower appears. To the eye, a simple process. To the flower, it knows know different. How could it wish to be doing something other than what it is? Sometimes we wish we were doing something other than what we are. But how silly! We can’t be doing anything other than what we are. Growing and blooming and unfolding. There is magic. And even though the word or idea of magic may seem childish it is not. It requires a child like heart to believe, but my friend it is real. Turn off the mind , turn on the heart. A seed has been planted, let it grow.
LOVE and LIGHT
I’ve been home for a little over a week. The smells seem like something I imagined. The mix of incense, spices, animals, smoke, and sewage. The loud bustling of people, rickshaws, cars, market places, and music of the various temples are something that flood your ears as soon as you wake. For a week I awoke to people chanting at five am and I learned quickly why ear plugs were an item on our list to pack. I don’t really know where to start because I think I could write a book. India is wild. One day felt like two. Waking up at six am almost every morning for meditation and yoga for two hours was the norm. Incredible Indian breakfast to follow. I expected to loose weight in India but my expectations were wrong. We ate like queen and kings. I was so surprised how quickly I picked up Indian words. I even started to shake my head side to side like the locals when talking to friends. I never got used to being in India however. Every second was colorful, exciting, almost scary, but most of all, forcing me to be present. Time moves slow but so fast simultaneously. Deep vallies, hundred year old bridges, thousands of years old temples, caves, banyan trees, the Himalayas, the Ganges River, the Yamuna River. One morning at four am we walked participated in parkram. The city of Vrndavan is considered the most holy city in India. Parkram is walking around the entire city to circle over five thousand temples and four am is the most auspicious time of day to this. So when in India… We walked. For two and half hours. It was cold, dark, and early. The energy is thick everywhere you go no matter what time of day. I had blisters on my toes and my mind was wandering a thousand places as I struggled to return to my breath over and over.Soaking in every experience and sight. The city is still restless even at four am. Dogs barking at people that seemed to be up to no good while others lay sprawled randomly across the streets in nothing but blankets trying to escape the cold India morning air. When Gregg dropped me off at the airport I was overwhelmed with emotion. As he got my backpack out of the trunk and held it out to strap on my back , tears came. I was afraid and part of me didn’t want to leave but I knew I didn’t have a choice. This is what I wanted wasn’t it? I knew I was going on a journey and I wouldn’t return the same. and Im not. My whole life changed in a period of two weeks. I also told a friend when India was just a thought, a plan, “If I go to India Im just going to cry the whole time”. and thats what I did. From the time I left Jackson until the time I landed back in the United States I cried. I am on the journey still even though I am no longer in India. I am still processing what I learned, what I saw, what that means, and how to integrate all of that back into my life here in small town Mississippi. My life has already changed so much just in the past week and so much his stirring in my heart and soul. This is all I have for now but I have a lot more to tell. Mostly I am grateful for experiences and I am overwhelmed that I am able to call them my own. Trying my best to bring back what I took to share with everyone else.
LOVE AND LIGHT
About five weeks ago I made my own face wash and face lotion. I started researching and learning about all of the chemicals that are in face washes and lotions that are harmful or not good for our bodies so…. I went all natural. First I threw away all my store bought products.Take a moment to check the ingredients on the back of your bottle you have laying around. I didn’t know what one chemical was when I did. I felt bad because they weren’t empty but not as bad as I did for putting unknown chemicals on my body. Next I looked up different recipes, taking what I liked from each to make my own. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy was my main source of information if you are looking to make your own also. Next I went to our local natural grocery store and got the list of things I needed, including little containers to store the product in once it was complete. All of these things can be bought off the internet if you don’t have access to a local natural grocery.
- 2 oz Castile Soap (I used Rose)
- 2 oz Almond Oil
- 1/2 oz coconut butter
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drop lemon essential oil
- 3 drops clary sage
I used baine- marie method or a medium sized pot with boiling water and another smaller set in or on top of the medium pots water to melt the cocoa butter, almond oil, and Castile soap together. Then add into container that you want to store your mix in and add oils. You can replace all of those oils I used with whatever ones you would like but these are some of my favorite! Just make sure you don’t use peppermint because it will burn.
- 3 oz Cocoa butter
- 1 1/2 oz almond oil or grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 oz spring water warm
- 3 1/2 TBSP fresh lavender
Using the bain-marie method, melt the cocoa butter then add spring water and almond or grapeseed oil. Pour in container you want to store, add lavender, and stir in until cold.
Its not hard, but it does require a little bit of prep work. I have truly enjoyed how my skin feels and looks. This may be a placebo effect but nonetheless I truly believe it is important what we put in and on our bodies! Give these a go and let me know what you think. What are some of your favorite essential oils to incorporate into your daily routines? and YES! I was worried about the wash not being able to remove mascara and makeup but it works like magic. I also have started using rose water and rose oil spray on face every morning.Rose water can bring benefits to all skin types, it can help sooth and cool sensitive and irritated skin, balance the skin all over the body, cleanse oily skin,soften and tone mature skin, rejuvenate the normal skin. Rose water is filled with anti-oxidants and various vitamins, therefore, it can help prevent the signs of ageing and nourish the skin. Check it out. I can’t wait to play with making more natural products. Until then-
LOVE and NATURAL YOU
So it is day four of the detox. Im sorry for the delay in updating but sometimes life gets going so fast, blogging gets left behind! I have been studying for my finals and just finished my last one! Day two of juicing went not as smoothly as day one, but it was so worth it. The past few days have allowed me to experience life in a more sober way. I was never really aware of the dramatic impact the foods I was consuming had on me. Certain foods allow for bursts of energies, while others make me sleepy. The ups and downs in between coffee until that night when I had a glass of wine or beer to offset the nerves of the day. Detoxing has allowed me to be more present without the roller coaster ride that my body usually takes me on. To end the juicing portion of the cleanse I made soups! Soups are a great way to allow the body to not work as hard by not having to break down solid foods, while also allowing for easy uptake of nutrients through the intestines. I used various herbs such as garlic, turmeric, and ginger and included them in my soups to add an extra cleansing touch! Today is the last day of the cleanse and I cannot wait to have cup of coffee tomorrow morning! I plan on doing this detox again in a few weeks but a little more intense to get me ready for our trip to India. oh yea.. Im going to India!! I cannot wait to post pictures and write about the trip. More details about that soon. If you want any of the recipes I used for my soups leave a comment or your email!
LOVE and LIGHT
Going on the first full day of detoxing with just juice and I am feeling good! Last night I started having cravings but so far today I have a clear mind. I started my morning off with lemon honey ginseng tea and a spinach, celery, cucumber, cranberries, and ginger root juice. Cranberries are a powerful antioxidant preventing cancer, cavities, and UTIS. They are a great source of vitamin c and also aid in the cleansing of the kidneys, lymphatic system, and intestines of toxic buildup. A bag of cranberries at your local grocery store is only about two dollars! Throw them in your juicer or in some water! Most of us only eat them around Thanksgiving or Christmas, but you should definitely consider working them into your diet year round.
Before leaving my house instead of making my lunch and preparing snacks like normal, I made juices. I recycled my komboucha juice bottle from last night to hold my mid morning juice! They are great glass bottles to reuse. My mid morning juice consisted of watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and apples! YUM! Right now I am drinking my favorite green tea by Bigelow. Mid afternoon juice is next. This will be oranges, cucumber,spinach, and celery.
Tonight I will probably make a greens and fruits juice followed by chamomile tea. Only consuming juice for twenty four hours is a great way to detox but also feels a little like fasting. I am super interested in fasting because of the spiritual, physical, and mental benefits fasting can provide, so I think juicing is a great way to get an idea of what fasting may be like. Anyway, what are some of your favorite ways to detox? I love learning about nutrition and the affects of food on the human brain/body. Tomorrow I will post about day two of detoxing! Leave a comment if you want any of the juice recipes I mentioned! Really I think juicing is an area where you can be creative and switch things up so give it a try!
LOVE and LIGHT
Thanksgiving is over so that means time for a detox! The amount of butter I consumed alone in the past week is enough to make doctors laugh! The best way to detox is to eat whole, raw, fresh foods, lots of sweating and lets not forget yoga! So if you are into the whole health or juice scene you have probably already tried Komboucha juice before, but if not this is my favorite for detox! Trilogy has ginger root and lemon as well komboucha. This is what I am starting my detox off with tonight. Tomorrow I will start a juice cleanse for the first half of the week followed by soups made with various veggies and lentils the second half. My favorite thing to include into my juices when I am detoxing is ginger root. This root is found deep in the Earth and stimulates digestions, blood circulation,and sweating. Another key thing the ginger root is involved in is cleansing of the colon, liver, and other digestive organs. This can be found at your local grocery store in the produce section! My next favorite go- to for detoxing is hot lemon water. I know this may sound crazy but skip the coffee and alcohol for a week! Instead try having hot lemon water in the morning , green tea mid day, and chamomile tea at night. Just for the week. The body works so hard to break down all the foods and chemicals we put inside of it, especially after a holiday. Giving the body a whole foods diet will give it a break as well as release all of the toxicity build up. Did you know that most days we cook our foods until the body no longer recognizes it as food. We have altered it so far from its original state that it sees it as a foreign object, so the body reacts by releasing white blood cells! I had no idea either. These days the amount of knowledge we have at our finger tips is crazy. If you are interested leave me a comment and I can recommend some good books and documentaries to check out on whole foods! I will also be posting some detox juices and recipes on my instagram with updates throughout the week! Feel free to tag along for the detox journey. Its not always fun but the results are so worth it!
LOVE, LIGHT, and WHOLE FOODS
I’m sitting on my couch drinking a cup of tea, reading for my night class, and slightly annoyed at my dogs fighting behind me over a bone. Why does this matter to you? Well, Luna, our newest Italian greyhound is busy chewing on a bone enjoying herself while Arya in discontent, stares. So I find a bone laying on the couch near by and give to Arya. They now both have a bone to chew on. So I go back to reading and hear fighting again. Arya has a bone right next to her but still wants the one Luna has been enjoying. Before I open my mouth to tell Ary to stop, it occurs to me how we humans are not very different. This has happened so many times but never had it occurred to me that I could take a lesson away from this. So I sit and think about all the times I have looked upon another with wishful eyes and an envious heart instead of enjoying what I have instead. Isn’t it funny the ways in which we learn. Be thankful for what you have. A grateful heart is a content heart.
LOVE and LIGHT
See the thing about yoga is, it teaches us to love every moment. Eventually the hard and the easy times become a little more alike than different. And there is a problem with that because when we fall in love with every second, resistance makes its way into our heart. Why would we ever want to leave the moment we are in to go to another if we love the one we are in now. So the goal then is to not fall into love but to become love. Because then there is no duality and no duality means no suffering. Then when we feel we are not love, it creates an opportunity for surrender, for suffering, which allows for grace, and also for humility which ultimately brings us full circle again. We are grounded. It allows us to see ourselves as we are and not how we think we are. How the world is and not how we think the world is. It gives space from confinement. Freedom.
What is yoga for you?
LOVE AND LIGHT
Picture of my first head stand after injury
I haven’t been posting many blogs lately because I haven’t had very much to say out loud. Ive been pretty much stuck inside my head for the past month. Some people know this but I fell in the shower almost a month ago now. I cut myself open about eight inches across and almost four inches deep. I haven’t been able to engage in any physical activity including yoga during that time. For me, this is a really big change. Mentally and physically.
Tuesday night I taught my first yoga class again. Usually I am going through the various asanas with the students as I teach.Since I still couldn’t do any physical activity, Gregg came with me to be my physical guide as I verbally taught. It was so hard to instruct a class and give alignment cues without actually doing the poses myself. Feeling my own body in the poses is what allows me to verbally help others in what they may be feeling or how to correct something they may be doing in a pose. I think it will be a good learning tool for me to be able to teach without going through the poses throughout the class but right now it is just frustrating. After class Tuesday on the way home I almost cried because of my longing for yoga. I can count on my hands the amount of poses I have done since my injury and I am not sure at what pace my body will allow my practice to return. Next week I plan on trying to start my physical practice back. If that goes well I hope to incorporate those physical asanas back into my teaching. This past month has felt like an eternity but I know everything happens for a reason. Still waiting on all the pieces to fall into place for me to learn what I need to from this experience and I look forward to sharing it with you when it does.
LOVE and LIGHT
To have this love means to feel everything.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
To have this love means to accept things as they are.
To have this love means to love yourself, one way or another.
To have this love means to find pleasure in the result so much that the journey is worth enduring.
To have this love is to accept people as they are, even the ones you don’t like.
Because to have this is love is to realize it is all one-Singular-Love.
Teaching yoga has given me insight into how I carry my words and myself. How do I talk to others? Am I negative or positive? Encouraging or discouraging. Last week I felt like my class did not go as well as my first one. Of course if you asked the students they may not agree. We are our own worst critics. I found that I was correcting with negative words. When talking students through various asanas (poses), I would adjust their pose by saying don’t do this, or don’t do that. Instead I should say, do this or do that and encourage the things I see being done correctly. These simple insights translate over into my life outside of yoga. How do I communicate with others on a normal day to day basis? This helps bring awareness to my words and ultimately the love I give. One of my most favorite aspects of yoga is, that no matter the teacher or student, there is always a lesson to learn on the mat that can be translated into everyday life. Here’s to growing and loving!
LOVE and LIGHT