Friday, March 21, 2014

kapha love

this is my dinner smoothie--a cara cara orange, coconut milk, parsley, avocado, and some soaked walnuts with a sprinkle of cardamon (which soothes the nervous system).

happy spring! in ayurveda wisdom, this is the kapha time of year which means we have lots of earth and mud element in the air (think mud).  this is the energy of cohesion and grounding, so it's a beautifully stabilizing time if you are normally scatter-brained or anxious.  my monkey mind is definitely feeling much more focused in my meditation.  when kapha goes out of balance, it can lead to stagnation and unhealthy attachment.  spring cleaning makes a lot of sense right now, as does cleansing the body.  an easy way to do this is to start adding lighter, well-spiced foods to your diet.  bitter, pungent and astringent tastes are also great.  think dandelion greens and cayenne in your soup or parsley and grapefruit in your smoothies.  i made a salad dressing with lemon juice and mustard today that felt about right.  it's a time to cut back a bit on all but the healthiest of fats, and eat dinner a little earlier because digestion can slow with all the muddy energy.  exercise is important now too.  walk often and fill your lungs (a place where kapha likes to hang out) with deep, nourishing breaths.  kapha is also the energy of an open-heart and love, so spread this around!  give the best of yourself by listening from a grounded place to the people you meet.  you'll learn so much and shine inwardly.  if you need inspiration, read this long but worth-it poem about mother nature by goethe.

Goethe: Aphorisms on Nature

NATURE! We are surrounded and embraced by her: powerless to separate ourselves from her, and powerless to penetrate beyond her.

Without asking, or warning, she snatches us up into her circling dance, and whirls us on until we are tired, and drop from her arms.

She is ever shaping new forms: what is, has never yet been; what has been, comes not again. Everything is new, and yet nought but the old.

We live in her midst and know her not. She is incessantly speaking to us, but betrays not her secret. We constantly act upon her, and yet have no power over her.

The one thing she seems to aim at is Individuality; yet she cares nothing for individuals. She is always building up and destroying; but her workshop is inaccessible.

Her life is in her children; but where is the mother? She is the only artist; working-up the most uniform material into utter opposites; arriving, without a trace of effort, at perfection, at the most exact precision, though always veiled under a certain softness.

Each of her works has an essence of its own; each of her phenomena a special characterisation: and yet their diversity is in unity.

She performs a play; we know not whether she sees it herself, and yet she acts for us, the lookers-on.
Incessant life, development, and movement are in her, but she advances not. She changes for ever and ever, and rests not a moment. Quietude is inconceivable to her, and she has laid her curse upon rest. She is firm. Her steps are measured, her exceptions rare, her laws unchangeable.

She has always thought and always thinks; though not as a man, but as Nature. She broods over an all-comprehending idea, which no searching can find out.

Mankind dwell in her and she in them. With all men she plays a game for love, and rejoices the more they win. With many, her moves are so hidden, that the game is over before they know it.

That which is most unnatural is still Nature; the stupidest philistinism has a touch of her genius. Whoso cannot see her everywhere, sees her nowhere rightly.

She loves herself, and her innumberable eyes and affections are fixed upon herself. She has divided herself that she may be her own delight. She causes an endless succession of new capacities for enjoyment to spring up, that her insatiable sympathy may be assuaged.

She rejoices in illusion. Whoso destroys it in himself and others, him she punishes with the sternest tyranny. Whoso follows her in faith, him she takes as a child to her bosom.

Her children are numberless. To none is she altogether miserly; but she has her favourites, on whom she squanders much, and for whom she makes great sacrifices. Over greatness she spreads her shield.
She tosses her creatures out of nothingness, and tells them not whence they came, nor whither they go. It is their business to run, she knows the road.

Her mechanism has few springs — but they never wear out, are always active and manifold.
The spectacle of Nature is always new, for she is always renewing the spectators. Life is her most exquisite invention; and death is her expert contrivance to get plenty of life.

She wraps man in darkness, and makes him for ever long for light. She creates him dependent upon the earth, dull and heavy; and yet is always shaking him until he attempts to soar above it.

She creates needs because she loves action. Wondrous! that she produces all this action so easily. Every need is a benefit, swiftly satisfied, swiftly renewed.— Every fresh want is a new source of pleasure, but she soon reaches an equilibrium.

Every instant she commences an immense journey, and every instant she has reached her goal.
She is vanity of vanities; but not to us, to whom she has made herself of the greatest importance. She allows every child to play tricks with her; every fool to have judgment upon her; thousands to walk stupidly over her and see nothing; and takes her pleasure and finds her account in them all.

We obey her laws even when we rebel against them; we work with her even when we desire to work against her.

She makes every gift a benefit by causing us to want it. She delays, that we may desire her; she hastens, that we may not weary of her.

She has neither language nor discourse; but she creates tongues and hearts, by which she feels and speaks.

Her crown is love. Through love alone dare we come near her. She separates all existences, and all tend to intermingle. She has isolated all things in order that all may approach one another. She holds a couple of draughts from the cup of love to be fair payment for the pains of a lifetime.

She is all things. She rewards herself and punishes herself; is her own joy and her own misery. She is rough and tender, lovely and hateful, powerless and omnipotent. She is an eternal present. Past and future are unknown to her. The present is her eternity. She is beneficient. I praise her and all her works. She is silent and wise.

No explanation is wrung from her; no present won from her, which she does not give freely. She is cunning, but for good ends; and it is best not to notice her tricks.

She is complete, but never finished. As she works now, so can she always work. Everyone sees her in his own fashion. She hides under a thousand names and phrases, and is always the same. She has brought me here and will also lead me away. I trust her. She may scold me, but she will not hate her work. It was not I who spoke of her. No! What is false and what is true, she has spoken it all. The fault, the merit, is all hers.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

five things i think are just great

1.  saturday afternoon oaxacan lunch on a beautiful day with my sweet liz and these nice folks at a communal table at the quasi-legal place that throws you down the keys and serves quesadillas with squash blossoms and tamarindo refresco.

2.  this ted talk about the grapes of wrath and emotional resiliency and the immune system and healing cancer through compassion.  it's helped me to really understand the ayurvedic concept of ojas and how to bring more of this connective, flowing energy into my life when my tendency can so often be to over-plow (burn out) my energetic resources.

3.  this quote from the book i'm reading for a yoga ladies book club called women who run with wolves.  i really suggest checking it out if you feel at all like you've lost a sense of connection to your own depths.  i'm two chapters in and it's rocking my world.

"I'll tell you right now, the doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious.  If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door.  If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door." 

4.  these bands that are getting a lot of play on my spotify favorites downloads as i drive around this city:  frankie rose, dum dum girls, courtney barnett,  au revoir simone, blood orange, agnes obell, and austra.

5.  this spring yoga retreat i'm leading with the stunning julia romano in west virginia this may.  like the other goddess women i lead my retreats with, it's such a pleasure to co-create a theme, pick a space and know how many of us will be changed by a weekend of really getting to know ourselves better in the relaxed space of mother nature.  last friday morning, my meditation teachers guided me through a deep exploration of how all each of us is is open presence and that by abiding in this presence as often as we can (meditation), there is healing and truth and connectivity.  that same day julia sent me the write-up for the retreat with the title of "practicing presence."  of course it's divine and right and you should totally come.  you can find information on signing up here.  much love!

Monday, March 3, 2014


just saw these guys on saturday night!  they are really good duo that filled u st music hall with lots of dreamy music.  plus they both have such excellent hair! plus they are local!  win win win!