I look around me, boxes stacked, familiar things I have loved and travelled with are either tucked away or given to loved ones as memories of us journeying together on this path of life in love and light.Winter path

I scan my body, and feel discomfort, a sense of instability. I steady my gaze on the stack of familiar things that will stay close to me as I transition to my new home in Central Virginia. I feel contentment, and grounded-ness once again.

How grateful I am to remember a Universal Law of Life, Opposites Balance. I appreciate the importance of changing things little by slowly, so I can maintain balance in my mind, body and Spirit. I remember the Principle of Life that suggests that what is happening in my environment (macro-cosmos) influences my internal environment (micro-cosmos).  Another opportunity to create balance for myself and loved ones. The ability to offset the cold, dry, windy qualities of the winter season with warmth, moisture, and conditions creating stability in my mind, body and soul. The wisdom of nature applied to my life offers the medicine of well-being, balance and healing.

 Awesome preventive actions that promote health and empowerment!

Deb Yoga BallanceAs we experience this transformational and introspective season of movement, reflection and starkness, may you develop practices of self-care that offer ease

 and comfort to your life and to the lives of those you love!

Namaste (“I recognize the love and light, the Divinity in your heart”) and Love,

Debbie Vigneri (Devoted to the life-long study of Yoga and Ayurveda)

 

Seasonal Foods as Medicine

The environment provides nourishment, health and sustainability. What types of seasonal foods are available that provides health, well-being and energy?

*Starchy and root vegetables (potatoes and squash)

*Wintry weather greens: sea vegetables, kale, collards, chard. Artichokes later in the winter

*Warming Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, cumin, salt, black pepper, chilies, and vinegar in moderation), unrefined sweeteners such as maple syrup, raw honey and molasses

*Warmed and spiced milk (cow’s or goat’s), and yogurt

*Raw or roasted nuts and nut butters

*Moisture filled grains, such as wheat, brown rice, and oats (cooked with extra water)

*Fruits that are heavy, moist and have building qualities such as, oranges, bananas, dates, figs, papayas, mangoes, grapefruits, and lemons (in late winter)

Proteins, such as lentils, small beans, tofu, eggs, and most meats

 

Winter Lifestyle

*Self-massage with warming sesame oi in the morning and if needed at night. Heat your oil and mix a favorite essential oil to further enhance relaxation of the nervous system (para-sympathetic branch of the central nervous system). Start at your feet and work your way up toward the head. Arms and legs receive long strokes, circular motion at joints, abdomen and scalp. After at least 20 mins. take a hot shower to facilitate passage of the oil applied, into the pores of the skin for deep penetration. Avoid using soap and blot dry the skin.

*Dress Warmly protecting ears and neck from the sharpness of the cold, wind and cold temperatures

*Swab the nostrils and ears (outer) with sesame oil

*Use a humidifier in sleeping space at night

*Sit in a steam room or in a hot bath

*Moderate motion such as, yoga, dancing or walking

 

Winter Spice Recipe:

(from: Kate O”Donnell, The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook, pg. 269)Spice Cabinet

Providing the balancing tastes of salty, sweet and sour. These spices induce warmth and movement of prana (energy/circulation)

1 tbsp. coriander seeds

1 tbsp., turmeric powder

1 tbsp. cumin seeds

½ tsp. pink salt

To taste cinnamon powder (1/2-1 tsp.) or i?2 tsp. sugarcane

1 tsp. ginger powder

1 tsp. black pepper (optional)

In a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet, dry roast coriander and cumin seeds (only for 2 mins. or less until their scent is in the air). Set aside to cool. When thoroughly cooled combine with other ingredients and grind (with hand grinder or mortar and pestle). Store in a recycled glass spice shaker or glass container with a tightly fitting lid to preserve freshness.

Breath Work

Practice sitting quietly after some Mindful Motion Yoga, and sense the breath. By growing the length of your exhalation, your body will now sense a calmness and enter into the para-sympathetic nervous system (the energy or prana can be directed to resting and digesting). Follow our video for the technique specifics.

Mindful Motion (Visit our video for instructions)

Due to the elements (air and ether) that make-up this season, grounding and connecting to the earth for a sense of stability is essential to establishing balance. View our video for the following suggested daily postures (asanas):

With each posture, practice deep, complete breathing.

* Goat Pose (grounding and direction of energy downward for stability, strengthens the legs and adds to lower body circulation of energy/prana)

*Yoga Mudra (alleviates constipation, lifts the mood, eases sciatica, low back discomfort and headache tension)

*Bridge Pose (relieves back pain)Deb-Yoga

Message In the Wind

Prayers to the Infinite by Dana Faulds

The wind snatches a thought from my head

and makes off with it before I can catch it again.

 

Of course I don’t really try. Why would I, thoughts being cheaper than cow dung? But now the laces of my mind come undone, and I can’t help myself- I run barefoot in the snow while my hair billows out like a wild pony’s mane.

“Here I am, take all of me,” I yell at the wind, who grabs the words from my mouth and howls in reply. “I really mean it!” I shout, “Take me. Liberate me.

Sweep me away from my routines and what I think

I know about the truth. When I wake up, let it be to a whole new life, a new me, no beliefs or preconceived ideas to fetter creativity.”

The wind roars but it ignores me. Twigs, leaves, bits of ice, a piece of plastic bag blow past while I stand there, jumping from one freezing foot to the other.

Finally, the wind dies down just long enough to give me this advice:

“Go inside before you catch your death,” it says. “Go in and seek your own road to liberation.

Mine looks like hurricanes and cooling summer breezes.

Mine takes the shape of tornadoes, and the lightest touch of air moving across a bear breast.

Find you own way, and when you do, pursue it with abandon.”

So I go indoors, plunge my frigid feet into a tub of the hottest water

I can stand and feel like I’ve won the lottery, or been to France.

I feel like nothing is the same, but it’s still me

I see reflected in the mirror.

I dry my toes and dance with such passion that

I dissolve like honey in hot tea and never hear the wind whistle at me as it rushes past the window.

 

 

Continue reading “Winter Yoga-Ayurveda by Debbie”

A time of letting go, change, and a time of returning to self

 Outside

yoga-feelWalk and listen to the sound of the footsteps

Walking on the grass

Walking on fallen leaves

The sound of footsteps on gravel…

On pavement…

Breathe while listening…

Without any sense of hurry…

Listen to the sound of the breath and the footsteps

Yoga through the seasons   by Sandra Sabatini & Silvia Mori

Autumn brings a sadness for me as I let go of the beautiful bounty of the harvest and growing season, as I become aware of the fading heat and availability of sunlight. I let go of visiting friends and extensive travel. I feel the pull and invitation of my energy to begin the journey inward.

This autumn holds even more of these elements as I and my family prepare for our migration Southward to Virginia, our new home. How I will miss the familiar! Our home, our community, our friends, family and practice. The comfortable, predictable familiar!Deb on the Trail

As we sort through our material possessions we have carried with us so long, and pass them onto loved ones, it is bitter sweet. I am so very aware of the joy and sorrow as I let go to let in. As My life, as I know it, begins to die, I parallel the natural world. Holding the hope of rebirth in the new beginnings of Spring! It is only through this process that I can experience rebirth. I am willing and open to this experience. May I learn the Graceful ways as nature teaches me.

May the following Mind, Body and Spirit suggestions, ease you into your rebirth as you experience the transformative qualities of this season of letting go.

Love and Blessings to all,

Namaste,

Debbie

Activity for the Spirit

Take a walk in a favorite natural place and experience the placement of each foot on the earth as you slowly walk in nature aware of your breath, your supportive skeleton and the sensations of your body in this movement. Your exhalation expresses the practice of letting go so you may receive again. Touch in with the sensations you experience and the emotions that present. Allow them to flow through and out of you.

At the end of your walk, breathe in, raise your arms up overhead and feel the Gratitude for all you have received in this experience and in your life. End with eyes closed, one hand on your heart and the other on your stomach returning to the constant rhythm of the breath. Feel and Relax!

Fall Yoga

Yoga for Autumn

 

Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and upper and lower body warm-ups help me and my students to stay grounded and flexibility during this time of year. Please visit my YouTube videos for instruction and guidance. Enjoy

Ideal Autumn Foods

Seasonal foods are best for our nourishment. Foods that will be of substance for the energy level of the body throughout the winter. Foods that are warming, grounding, and moist will offer balancing qualities in a dry time of year. Bitter and astringent foods such as cranberries, pumpkins, dark leafy greens, root vegetables. These foods will also help to release accumulated summer heat. Adding building foods like Coconut oil, oats, figs, and sesame seeds are ideal.

 

Fall SpiceA Balancing Fall Spice Mix

1 tbsp. coriander seeds

1 tbsp. cumin seeds

 2 tsp. fennel seeds

1 tbsp. turmeric powder

2 tsp. ginger powder

In an iron skillet or heavy bottomed skillet, dry roast the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds using medium-low heat until you can detect their aroma in the air. Place seed to cool in a wide mouth bowl to cool completely.

Grind them to a uniform consistency using a grinder or mortar and pestle. Pour back the grind-ed seeds into the wide-mouth bowl and add the turmeric and ginger. Mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into an airtight storage container or spice shaker.

Add to foods and feel and enjoy the warming and nourishing qualities!

The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O’Donnell

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.”Believe Bill

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 59

Every day I stand at turning points. My thoughts and actions can posture me toward or away from my path of destiny. The life I am meant to live. Courageous I am when I admit that I have come to the end of something and to the invitation to turn with abandonment, conviction and faith, to walk the path, I was destined to experience. Oh, how those first few steps seem so arduous and frightening until I surrender, become present, connect to my inner resource and allow my heart to be my guide. It is during these times that synchronicity creates the path that will set me free to my authenticity and usefulness to myself, my community and the world.

Continue reading “Turning Point – for Debbie & Ruth”