Gather Ayurveda’s Healing Power This Fall

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Even though we are weeks away from the official start of fall with the Equinox, it still feels like summer, at least on California’s Central Coast. In order to stay balanced as the season shifts, we need to reduce the accumulated heat in our bodies before the leaves start falling and the cool breeze blows.  That means eating lots of apples, melons, avocados, greens and other seasonal fruits and veggies, while starting to incorporate more of fall’s cooked foods. You can also consider doing a short Ayurvedic home cleanse next month in order to hit the reset button.

It’s essential to work with your body’s innate wisdom to make a shift with the seasons through harmonious diet and lifestyle choices.  Ayurveda says that in order to be balanced, we must live in harmony with nature.  If you learn and incorporate the basic principles of Ayurveda you will more likely stay healthy throughout the fall and winter and will fully enjoy the upcoming holiday season.

Ayurveda can show you what to eat not only for the season, but for your body type, what exercises are best for you, how to best take care of your body through herbs, self-massage, sleep routines, meditation and much more.

If you do nothing to switch up your diet and lifestyle right now, you may be much more susceptible to colds, flus, constipation and anxiety, and that’s just a few lovely symptoms.

Why Travel to a Yoga/Qi Gong Retreat?

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Yes, you can attend a local yoga or qi gong class on every day, but the moment you get home, it’s time to make dinner and pick up the house…diminishing the good vibes you felt after class. The hurried routine of daily life in our culture simply wears you down.  Attending regular classes certainly helps, however a retreat takes it to a whole other level.

When looking up the word “retreat” in the thesaurus, similar words include departure, sanctuary, and move away.  In the context of a Yoga/Qi Gong retreat, you could say that you are departing from your typical patterns and ruts, and towards the sanctuary of a week-long practice. The week catapults you into a mindset of new possibilities as you explore how to gracefully ride your wave of life.

The positive influence of a retreat go way beyond a typical vacation, where you may simply be looking for an escape, especially from yourself. As the Buddhist saying goes “Wherever you go, there you are.” There are so many retreats to choose from these days, some more thoughtful than others. The more profound week-long teachings encourage and inspire us to dive deep into ourselves, beyond the clutter of an overactive mind. When the body becomes relaxed and flexible, the mind follows suit. The retreats that I lead intentionally and gently help you to access insights for a life-changing sense of perspective, clarity and calm.

On that note, I will be co leading a retreat to Panama with Annie Elson E-RYT-500, April 26-May 2, 2020. It seamlessly blends separate ingredients– an adventure to a beautiful, exotic locale; camaraderie with like-minded people; healthy, prepared meals; independent time to relax, explore or kayak/surf the warm waters; and an intensive focus on Yoga and Qi Gong to open up the mind, body and consciousness.  Together, the ingredients provide a powerful and nourishing elixir, allowing you to tap into your more relaxed, happy self. Once there, you are way more receptive to the teachings offered.

Why is traveling so enticing? You are naturally in a more receptive state when traveling. When I travel I feel excited and free. This feeling is amplified when combined with reflective practices.  How do I know that I arrived there? I feel joyful, and light, like a kid, yet wise and centered like an old soul. This is when you start to create a new reality for yourself.

Plus, when we retreat with like-minded people for a week, we generate a palpable synergy together that enhances each individual’s experience. You’ll find more comfort in riding the wave of life, with all its ebbs and flows once you return home as well.

Our retreat invites you to drop in a bit deeper each day until you are joyfully riding the barrel of your own wave, discovering your own raw power and beauty. Will you join us in Panama April 26-May 2?

Engaging Your Mind: Strategies for Managing Chronic Pain

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Courtesy of Jackie Waters of Hyper-tidy.com

We’re conditioned to think of pain as one symptom of a
treatable problem, something that’ll go away with time and medication. Aspirin
can chase away the worst of headaches. The searing pain of an inflamed appendix
disappears after the source of the problem is removed. Here one day, gone the
next. Finding out you have a condition that causes lasting, chronic pain is a
cataclysmic life event, especially if you’re accustomed to an active lifestyle
without physical limits or medical encumbrances. Chronic pain means you’re
facing a new life, a new reality that forces you to deal with pain every day.
This time it isn’t going away.

Accepting the truth is jarring because it means you have to
find ways to manage your pain, to admit that it’s part of you now. It’s a form
of loss because it restricts you in ways that are completely alien. But you
need to move beyond the idea that you’re accommodating pain and understand that
from now on you’re managing it and mitigating its influence on your life.
Chronic pain is a condition, it’s not a death sentence.

A Holistic

For decades, doctors have controlled pain by prescribing opioid painkillers in
staggering amounts, a trend that’s created a national addiction crisis. But
there’s increasing evidence that a solely prescriptive approach to pain
management is not only ineffective in the long run, but can aggravate a
patient’s condition and do more harm than good. The American
Psychological Association
has called for a more balanced
approach, one that incorporates therapy and psychological methods in
establishing a more robust means of controlling pain.

with chronic pain means observing healthy mental and physical habits. Eating
healthy foods, getting at least seven hours of sleep, and exercising on a
regular basis are important. It’s also important to distract yourself, to busy
your mind with activities and exercises that
prevent you from dwelling on the pain and feeling like a victim. Try
visualizing pain as an object, something that can be stored away out of sight
and out of mind. Pursuing a hobby or reading a book can engage your mind
completely in positive activity.

keeping your house free of allergens, pollutants, or irritants will help reduce
the likelihood of inflammation, which can make your chronic pain much worse. In
addition to switching to all-natural cleaning products (harsh chemicals can
sometimes cause flare-ups), selecting a vacuum that thoroughly cleans your
floors can help matters tremendously. For example, while hardwood floors are
relatively easy to clean, you’ll need a vacuum with high suction to help
eliminate dirt and grime from tile flooring. Not surprisingly, there are
countless models on the market, so make sure you find a good tile-friendly vacuum before buying


Spending quality time with friends and family members —
supportive people who care about you — is a reassuring and healing way to cope
with pain. Go to the movies with a loved one, or have coffee and discuss a
favorite subject with someone you enjoy being around. Remember, you’re less
likely to feel the pain if your mind isn’t zeroed in on your condition, so find
ways to avoid dwelling on physical symptoms of pain.

Movement and

Many pain management experts advise caution when it comes to
exercise. Overly strenuous exertion can exacerbate your condition and make it
more difficult to manage the pain. Instead, try some stretching exercises that enhance
muscle flexibility, which will help reduce pain-producing muscle contractions.
Yoga and meditation exercises are also effective practices. Measured abdominal
breathing and mindful muscle relaxation work for many people,
who learn to focus on the source of tension in the body.

Stress-Free Home

Surround yourself with an uncluttered space, a refuge from
stress that emphasizes green plants and soft light. Incorporate
soft and relaxing music, the hum and vibration of ambient noise or even the
soft whirring of a fan. Take some time to clean out your closets and drawers,
ridding yourself of belongings you no longer need or want. You might be
surprised at how therapeutic a little home purging
can be.

Always bear in mind that pain is a physical and mental
phenomenon. It may never completely go away, but you do have the ability to
minimize its severity and its ability to control you. Embrace a holistic
strategy for managing pain, one which shuns an over-reliance on pharmacological
solutions that offer temporary relief but tempt you to overlook more lasting
coping strategies.

5 Ways to Prime Your Digestion for Thanksgiving!

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5 Tips to Kick Start your Digestion

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to review the digestive tips that I shared a few years back.

It seems like this time of year rolls around so quickly, and while I am excited to shared delicious meals with friends and family, I also know that my digestion easily gets overwhelmed with too much of well, everything. Following the Ayurvedic tips below has made a tremendous difference and hopefully will for you too!

  1. Stay away from cold, icy drinks! Your digestion works best when heated up, metaphorically speaking like a fire, and ice cold drinks dampen the flame. Once that happens, your food doesn’t “cook” and may just sit in your belly like a rock. Simply request “no ice” when dining out, and at home, get accustomed to drinking room temperature water.  It’ll quickly become a habit as start to notice the difference in your digestion.


  1. A strong digestive fire (AGNI) will help you to digest your food better, moving it through your system efficiently so it doesn’t turn into fat, or create a belly ache. Turn up your agni by drinking 8-12 ounces of water about 15-20 minutes BEFORE you eat, preferably with a squeeze of lemon or lime. This prepares your digestive track for food, stimulating all the necessary digestive enzymes. It is ESSENTIAL to drink your water before and not during or immediately after your meal. When you drink beverages during your meal it dampens your agni, creating bloat, gas and general discomfort. You can sip on a little water while eating if needed. Wait at least a half hour after your meal before consuming a beverage, although you can sip on hot tea such as ginger tea.


  1. Most people really like this suggestion: according to Ayurveda we should eat desert first! The body digests the sweet taste first. If you fill your belly with lots of turkey and stuffing, then add a piece of pecan pie, your body will naturally digest the sweet pie first, leaving everything else to sit. You’ll know when that happens by the reaction of your tummy.  So, start a new tradition this Thanksgiving and serve those pies as appetizers. J  Or just eat your holiday dessert alone, several hours away from any meal, which actually breaks rule number 5, below, but there are always exceptions to the rules on   (Perhaps a mid –day piece of pie, instead of right before bed.)


  1. Finish your final meal of the day around sunset. Our bodies mirror the rhythm of nature, so our agni is actually highest at noon (when the sun is peaking), meaning we can eat more and digest better at that time. If you schedule allows, even if it’s just on the weekends, eat your largest meal of the day at lunch, followed by a lighter “supper” around sunset. I suggest a nice, savory soup during the cold, dark winter to help keep you warm and enkindle your agni. (See link to pumpkin soup recipe below.)  If you finish eating for the day around sunset or shortly after, and just say no to the holiday cookies calling your name (at least a few days a week), it will be easier to maintain your weight. You’ll probably sleep better and feel lighter and more energetic in the morning.


  1. Now here’s a biggie. We’ve been told to eat frequently during the day to quell hunger. According to Ayurveda, most of us should stick to three meals a day, giving our bodies several hours to digest the prior meal and start to rely on our bodies’ fat stores for additional energy. In order to do this, eat a decent size lunch and be sure to have some fat and protein with each meal.  If you must, have a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts for a snack.

Here are some herbal formulas that I recommend for digestion:


Triphala – Gently cleanses and detoxifies the system

Pitta Digest – for digestion that is too quick

Vata Digestion – for those who suffer from constipation, gas and bloat

Kapha Digest – for Sluggish Direction

Liver Support –Promotes proper digestion of fat and a healthy metabolism.

Stress –Ease – Helps the body and mind to adapt to stress of the holidays (or life in general)

Travel Tips For Balance!

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17 Tips For Balance During Summer Travel

Traveling and the 3 Doshas or Body Types – Vata, Pitta and Kapha

Typically when I travel, I notice that I start to feel a bit overwhelmed with my growing to do list. I love exploring new places, but dread getting ready as I become a crazed, stressed out version of myself. My Vata quickly gets out of whack, meaning I don’t sleep well and easily feel agitated. This effects my decision making abilities as well, and I end up packing too much, which I typically regret when I’m actually at my destination. Does this sound like you too? Well, you may be Vata in nature of have a Vata imbalance.

Now a Pitta person, on the other hand, compiles checklists months before their trip, complete with color-coded tabs and a detailed itinerary. Due to my du

al dosha nature of both Pitta and Vata, I can easily find myself here too, depending if the wind is blowing stronger (Vata nature) or the fire is burning brighter (Pitta nature). While Pitta is super organized, they tend to over organize and plan, which leaves little room for flexibility. In the best case scenario, a Pitta person will initially put those organizational skills to good use, but then “let go,” and leave room for spontaneous adventures as well.

I personally don’t have many Kapha tendencies within me as Kapha people tend to take it slow and easy, not stressing over the whole ordeal. They will slowly and methodically plan for a trip, possibly procrastinating, but once they get going, they will finish prepping. While kapha’s are typically home bodies and the least inclined to seek out travel, it can be the easiest on them, as they have a strong, earthy nature that don’t get scattered like Vata, or burned out like Pitta.

Regardless of your dosha, we can all benefit from the below travel tips. You can bet that I am following them right as I count down the days to my epic adventure in Iceland! My husband and I will be driving camper vans around the country with another couple to explore Iceland’s bountiful and rugged nature!

(Curious about your dosha? Click here for details on a personal consultation)


Before you leave:

  1. Eat foods prepared with plenty of ghee and/or sesame oil to combat dry plane air and travel.
  2. Start proactively taking additional immune support herbs a week prior, including Vitamin C, especially if you are traveling to a different climate.

On the Flight

  1. Drink warm water or ginger tea while in the air – You can also alternate between warm and room temperature water, being sure to drink about a cup of water for every hour in the air, as the plane air is super dehydrating. Avoid cold or bubbly drinks, alcohol and coffee (all dehydrating). Instead of coffee, drink ginger tea (bring the tea bags with you) to stay warm, grounded and healthy.
  2. Spritz your face with essential oil infused water. I like using a few drops of lavender in my spritzer. This will not only hydrate your skin, but help to keep you relaxed. Make sure that your spritzer is 2 ounces or under to comply with TSA regulations.
  3. Nasya Oil– Dryness is a common issue during travel. Lubricating the sinuses, or performing nasya, is a helpful and soothing. Apply Nasya Oil (1-2 drops in each nostril) at least once during your flight. Sniff the oil into each nostril to maintain nasal health and lubricate the nasal passages. Nasya can also help support mental clarity and energy during and after travel.
  4. Eat warm, moist foodsduring the trip and when arriving at your destination. Avoid cold, dry foods which can create dryness in the body, as well as anxiety.
  5. Flying can cause sinus pressure to build: To help, press gently under the eyes from inside to outside, massage the base of the ears in slow circular motions, and use revolving pressure on the temples with fingertips. Again, deep breathing helps keep the nasal passages open.
  6. Focus on your breath and quiet your mind during take-off and landing to reduce anxiety and calm Vata during the transitions in and out of the air. Take long slow and deep nasal breaths and gently allow your awareness to focus on your breath.
  7. Walk around during the flight and find a spot to stretch, essential for your circulation and for preventing thrombosis in your legs. (Consider compression socks as well.)
  8. Other items to use during flight:
    • Eye mask to block out light when sleeping
    • Eye drops for dry eyes
    • Ginger capsules to help with motion sickness and jet lag (take numerous times during the flight)
    • Small jar of lotion (2 oz.) for face
    • Travel pillow for comfort
  1. Take herbs for balance throughout your trip (linked below)
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is one of the classic adaptogens that helps the body cope with stress and travel. It can balance stress-fighting hormones and is classified as one of the few brain-derived neurotropic factors (BDNF’s) that support brain cell production. Take ashwagandha before, during, and after your flight to support your health, immune system and nervous system.
  • Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) is another BDNF that has been shown to help the body reconnect with the circadian rhythms that are disturbed when traveling.  Bacopa has an affinity for relaxing tension throughout the system, making it an invaluable ally in tension-related conditions such as congested and slow-moving bowels, muscle tightness, menstrual discomfort and trouble sleeping.
  • Triphala  Occasional travelers’ constipation is typically a result of a travel-related Vata imbalance that causes dryness. We now know that travel disturbs the circadian rhythms of digestion. Taking triphala during travel and for a couple of days after you arrive is a great way to avoid occasional constipation and help get the body back on schedule.
  • Immune formula (listed on #2)

Upon Arrival

  1. Enjoy an oilabhyanga (self-massage) once you arrive and settle in. First, plan to rest and take a warm bath or shower. While in the shower or after, give yourself a massage withoil and even put a few drops of the oil in your ears and nose. You can also gargle with it (oil pulling). These practices help to balance the Vata or the stress on the nervous system and regulate the circadian clock during travel.
  2. Continue to eat warm, cooked foods for a couple of days until you are over jet lag. Choose what is local to the area that you are visiting if possible.

Here are a few more of general tips that I also follow:

  1. Travel with a few essential oils like lavender for relaxation and calm, peppermint for alertness, and perhaps jasmine which is soothing for both Vata and Pitta.
  2. If you have a morning routine like I do of journaling and meditating, absolutely keep that up. More than ever, it will help you to maintain balance and calm. At times I’ve tended to let this go (especially on travel days) and have regretted it.
  3. Pack at least three days in advance (more if possible), especially if the hustle and bustle of prepping for a trip activates a sensitive nervous system.
  4. Keep the evening prior to traveling as mellow as possible, eating a warm meal, taking a bath and going to bed early.

By following these tips, you’ll be in optimal shape both physically and mentally to fulling embrace the wondera of traveling.

Product Spotlight: I Travel Well (includes many of the herbs listed above)

I Travel Well supports the body’s natural adaptive mechanisms to keep your body and mind functioning optimally throughout your journey. It helps reestablish healthy sleep patterns as well as supports the immune, respiratory, and nervous systems. It also works to maintain digestion and eliminate the natural toxins that can accumulate due to an irregular diet and schedule.

Unearth Your Paradise Within Surrounded by The Lush Beauty of Costa Rica!

Speaking of travel, I’d like to offer you the wonderful opportunity to practice Qi Gong and gentle Yoga in the beautiful tropical paradise of Costa Rica!  Spending time in nature enhances our “Chi” or “Prana,” and we will be absolutely surrounded by the sun, sea, sand, tropical forest, and waterfalls!  I’m partnering up with Annie Hopper (RYT-500) for a magical retreat March 2-9, 2019, where you can truly unplug, unwind and refresh! Imagine breathing in the fragrant tropical flowers, biting into a fresh, juicy mango, enjoying a soothing massage at the eco-resort’s spa, gently waking to the birds singing, and gazing at the clear blue ocean in front of our lodging. There are only 6 spots remaining and only one double room (ideal for couples). The early bird catches the worm, so if you are interested contact me ASAP at my contact information below.  Payment plans are available. For more details,click here.


Fortify yourself For the Winter Season with Warming Foods!

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Thanksgiving is around the corner, and here on the Central Coast of California, we’ve felt a shift in the weather over the last week. In other parts of the country, I’m sure you’ve already experienced the change in the season. It’s time to alter our eating pattern in order to support our immune system, digestion and overall health. According to Ayurveda, this is the Vata time of year, where the elements of “Air and Ether” take center stage. It is likely colder and dryer outside and you may be feeling a bit cooler and drier as well. While these days I typically run a bit on the warmer side, I’ve even noticed that I’ve been feeling a bit chilly.

In Ayurveda we say that opposites create balance, and with that it mind, it’s time to shelf the lettuce and cook up warming foods like butternut squash, sauteed greens, oatmeal, stir-fry, sweet potatoes, some meat (if you are a meat eater.), roasted nuts, butter, ghee and stews, just to give a few examples. Think of the

typical Thanksgiving fare – most of the traditional choices associated with the meal are actually really balancing for your body.

Watch a video to learn more about eating with the Three Seasons here!

Meanwhile, to help keep your digestion and immune system humming, check out the basic Winter Food List below. Hope this helps!

Winter Grocery List

Though these are not the only items you can eat, they are the most beneficial foods for this season.

*An asterisk means it is best to eat more of this food.

Artichokes, hearts Apples, cooked *Anise Mung – split, yellow Alcohol (moderation)
*Avocadoes Apricots *Asafetida Tofu Black Tea (moderation)
*Beets *Bananas *Basil Coffee (moderation)
*Brussels Sprouts Blueberries Bay Leaf Water (warm or hot)
*Carrots Cantaloupe, w/lemon *Black Pepper  
*Chilies Cherries Caraway  
Corn Coconuts, ripe *Cardamom NUTS & SEEDS HERB TEAS
Fennel Cranberries, cooked Cayenne *Almonds *Cardamom
Eggplant, cooked *Dates Chamomile *Brazil Nuts *Chamomile
*Garlic *Figs *Cinnamon *Cashews *Cinnamon
Ginger *Grapefruit Clove Coconuts *Cloves
Hot Peppers *Grapes Coriander *Filberts *Ginger
Leeks Guava *Cumin *Flax *Orange Peel
Okra *Lemons Dill Lotus Seed
Onions *Limes *Fennel *Macadamias  
Parsley *Mangoes Fenugreek *Peanuts, raw SWEETENERS
Potatoes, mashed Nectarines Garlic *Pecans Honey – Raw
*Pumpkins *Oranges *Ginger *Pinons *Maple Syrup
Seaweed, cooked *Papayas Horseradish *Pistachios *Molasses
Squash, Acorn Peaches Marjoram Sunflower Raw Sugar
*Squash, Winter Pears, ripe Mustard *Walnuts *Rice Syrup
*Sweet Potatoes *Persimmons Nutmeg Mint
*Tomatoes Pineapples Oregano
Turnips Plums Peppermint    
Strawberries Poppy Seeds MEAT & FISH GRAINS
  *Tangerines Rosemary *Beef  *Amaranth
OILS   *Saffron *Chicken  Buckwheat (moderation)
*Almond Sage *Crabs  Millet (moderation)
*Avocado DAIRY Spearmint *Duck *Oats
*Canola *Butter Thyme *Eggs *Quinoa
*Coconut *Buttermilk *Turmeric *Freshwater fish Rice
Corn *Cheese *Lamb *Rice, Brown
*Flax *Cottage cheese   *Lobster Rye (moderation)
*Mustard *Cream CONDIMENTS *Ocean Fish *Wheat
*Olive *Ghee Carob *Oysters
*Peanut *Kefir Chocolate *Pork  

Learn more about the seasonal diet in

“The 3-Season Diet”

by Dr. John Douillard

*Safflower Milk, not cold Mayonnaise *Shrimp
*Sesame Rice/Soy Milk Pickles  *Turkey
Soy Sour Cream *Salt  *Venison
Sunflower Yogurt Vinegar

The Lowdown on Ayurvedic Cleansing

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The Lowdown on Ayurvedic Cleansing

“Cleanse” may have taken on the tinge of a trendy buzzword but, in reality, it is a function that our bodies, when in balance, perform naturally and regularly.

The detox channels of the body – or the channels through which the body cleanses damaging toxins – are the same as the digestive channels. There is an intimate link between these two processes.

According to Ayurveda, the goal is always to optimize the body’s natural propensity for cleansing, which is the safest and surest way to know you are not storing dangerous toxins in your fat cells and brain.

A couple times a year, Ayurveda recommends an intensive cleansing regimen to reset the digestive function – which can get boggy and congested over time – and provide rejuvenation for all of the organs that work so hard to keep us functioning.

In America, poor digestion is incredibly common. Modern-day exposure to preservatives, pesticides, plastics, and environmental pollutants has put us in a vulnerable position. Digestive strength can also be weakened from over-eating and eating foods that are inappropriate to the season.

A more intensive cleansing regimen can kick your natural detox function into a higher gear, encouraging the body to do a better job of cleansing on its own.

3 Keys to an Intelligent Cleanse

  1. An intelligent cleanse will always seek to open up the detox channels first.

This will ensure that once toxins are released, they are quickly eliminated through the excretory or eliminatory system, lest they be pushed from one fat cell to another or default back to the liver, which often sends them back into the bloodstream.

You want to make sure that the cleanse you are doing has a clear plan for where the toxins will end up – and you want that to be outside

 of your body.

  1. An effective and carefully-designed cleanse will have the goal of balancing the blood sugar.

Unstable blood sugar is the root cause of many common imbalances in the west. It wreaks havoc on the brain, skin, adrenals, cells, heart, gut, joints and more.

If the cleanse is extremely restrictive, low in calories, lack fiber, nutrition and/or are mainly liquid, you are going to run into blood sugar spikes and crashes.

  1. A thorough and complete cleanse will include the resetting of digestion. Resetting the digestion after a cleanse is key, as healthy and well-functioning digestive pathways equal healthy detoxification pathways.

Doing so allows for the balancing of digestive fluids, such as the stomach acids, pancreatic enzymes, and bile. A good balance of these fluids allows for efficient flow, and for them to do their job of breaking down food in the stomach and small intestine.

Resetting the digestion is also a critical factor in the proliferation of diverse strains of healthy microbes. They are responsible for immunity, detox, mood, evolutionary changes to DNA, and just about every other human function. The goal is to create the perfect environment for the good microbes to thrive.

Do Your Research & Cleanse Smart

Make sure that any cleanse you do can outline in detail the process it sets in motion to accomplish these steps, that its ultimate goal is to restore rather than deplete, and that the benefits are logical and long-lasting.

Want To Learn More?

> Learn more and register for a 14-Day Ayurvedic Digestive Detox and Lymph Cleanse here
>>> Join us! A Group Cleanse is taking place October 17-30th, 2017!

OR, Come to a Cleanse Workshop on Saturday, September 30 at Yoga Village in Arroyo grande.

Summer Food List to Cool Your Body and Mind

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Summer Grocery List
Though these are not the only items you can eat, they are the most beneficial foods in the Summer.

·         Eat more foods that are Sweet, Bitter, Astringent / Cold, Heavy, Oily:  such as salads, smoothies, fresh fruit.

·         Eat less foods that are Pungent (Spicy), Sour, Salty / Hot, Light, Dry: such as spicy foods, hot beverages.

Alfalfa Sprouts *Apples *Adzuki Water (room temperature or cool)
*Artichokes *Apricots Bean Sprouts
*Asparagus *Blueberries *Black Gram
Avocados *Cantaloupe *Fava HERB TEA
Bean Sprouts *Cherries (ripe) *Garbanzo *Chicory
*Beet greens *Cranberries Goya *Dandelion
*Bell Peppers Dates Kidney *Hibiscus
*Bitter Melon Dried Fruit Lentils *Mint
*Broccoli Figs Lima
*Cabbage *Grapes *Mungs
*Cauliflower *Guavas *Split Pea SWEETENERS
*Celery *Mangoes *Tofu Maple Syrup (small amounts)
Chicory *Melon (all) Raw Sugar
*Cilantro Nectarines CONDIMENTS Rice Syrup
Collard Greens Oranges (sweet) Carob
Corn Papayas (small amounts) Mayonnaise
*Cucumbers *Peaches (ripe and/or peeled)   NUTS & SEEDS
*Dandelion *Pears Almonds
Eggplant *Persimmons OILS *Coconut
Endive *Pineapple (sweet) Almond Flax
*Fennel *Plums (ripe) Avocado Macadamias
Green Beans *Pomegranates (sour) Canola Pinon
*Jicama *Raspberries *Coconut *Pumpkin
*Kale *Strawberries Flax *Sunflower
*Lettuce Tangerines (sweet) *Olive
Mushrooms *Soy DAIRY
Mustard Greens MEATS Sunflower Butter
*Okra Beef (moderation) Ghee Cheese (moderation)
Parsley Chicken Cottage Cheese
Peas Duck (moderation) *Ghee
Pumpkin Eggs (moderation) SPICES Ice Cream
*Radishes (moderation) Freshwater Fish Anise *Milk
*Seaweed Lamb (moderation) Asafoetida *Rice/Soy Milk
*Snow Peas Pork *Chamomile  
Spinach (moderation) Shrimp (moderation) *Coriander
*Squash, Acorn Turkey Cumin
Squash, Winter Fennel
Sweet Potatoes GRAINS Peppermint  

Learn more about the

 seasonal diet in

“The 3-Season Diet”

by Dr. John Douillard

Swiss Chard *Barley Saffron
Tomatoes (sweet) Oat Spearmint
Turnip Greens *Rice
*Watercress Rye
*Zucchini Wheat


Don’t Skip A beat! – Find Your Rhythm During Daylight Savings Time

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Don’t Skip A beat! – Find Your Rhythm During Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time Takes Place this Year on Sunday, March 12

Some version of Daylight Savings time (DST) has been in use since early times when ancient civilizations would adjust their daily schedules to the sun’s schedule. In current times, DST is now in use in over 70 countries worldwide. [1]

Shifting your clock forward by an hour, this year on March 12, brings to mind longer, beautiful spring and summer days and the chance to spend more time basking in the sunshine. Unfortunately, the transition is not always as easy as it sounds. Even an hour time change can mess with your body’s 24-hour natural cycle. Cued by light, it is called the circadian rhythm.

According to Ayurveda, the body’s natural state mirrors that of nature, which accounts for our circadian rhythm. Ideally, we rise with the sun, and slow down as the sun sets in anticipation of darkness and sleep. We see just how much our internal clock is set to the rising and falling of the sun when we all of the sudden jump forward an hour.

It can take about a week for the body to adjust to the time change, not just for sleeping, but for meal times and other activities as well. Until we have adjusted, we can have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up at the right time. This can lead to sleep deprivation and reduction in performance, increasing the risk for mistakes including vehicle crashes. This is especially true when you skip forward in the spring, essentially losing an hour out of your day.[2]

Daylight Savings Time occurs during the Kapha season (spring), when cool, heavy and moist qualities are most prominent both in our environment (think thick, gooey mud…) and in many people’s bodies, because humans mirror the qualities found in nature. As a result, you may feel more lethargy, heaviness and dullness, especially so if your dosha is kapha. Experiencing DST and the Kapha season simultaneously is enough to even drive true Vatas and Pittas out of balance. Because opposites create balance according to Ayurveda, chose lighter foods and more “yang” or stimulating activities.

Committed to tackling Daylight Savings Time before the clock strikes midnight? Here are seven steps to set your body’s clock forward and get back in rhythm following simple ayurvedic principles:

  1. Go to Bed Early… If you normally get to sleep at 10 (ideal time according to Ayurveda) on March 12 10pm will feel like 9 pm – I know, it’s confusing! As a result, you may be tempted to burn the midnight oil, which may leave you feeling foggy the next day or longer. Instead, about three days prior to DST, gradually adjust to an earlier bed time in 20 minute increments. Using 10pm as an example, go to bed at 9:40, then 9:20, then 9 the days leading up to DST.  Herbal formulas to help you relax and sleep include Banyan’s I Sleep Soundly”.  Other sleep suggestions include turning the lights and computer screens off at least a half hour prior to bedtime, finishing a light dinner three hours before hitting the sack, taking a warm bath and diffusing relaxing essential oils such as lavender, jasmine or rose geranium (some sort of floral scent.) in your bedroom. I keep a diffuser on my nightstand, and find the gentle, fragrant scents extremely relaxing year-round. If you are naturally prone to an “early to bed and early to rise” pattern, you will adjust easier because the time shift follows your usual tendencies. Conversely, if you typically keep to a “late to bed and late to rise” routine it will be more difficult for you. If so, you may want to adjust to an earlier bedtime starting about a week prior to DST, at 10 minute increments each day.
  1. Wake up early – The same goes for three days prior, gradually move up your waking time by 20 minutes as well. Ideally, according to Ayurveda, this would be at 6am, before you start to feel the weighty pull of kapha, from 6-10am. If you get yourself out of bed as close to 6am as possible, you will feel more energized, light and lively throughout your day. One of Ayurveda’s best known herbs to help you adapt to the time change is Ashwagandha. One of my favorite formulas to engage my brain in the morning is Mental Clarity.
  2. Shift your Meal times as well following the same format. This means eating a bit earlier each day by 10-20 minutes until you have shifted your meal times to an hour earlier by DST.
  3. Eat Lighter Foods. Since this is also the Kapha time of year, heavier foods will feed into feeling lethargic regardless. The time shift can amplify that imbalance if you don’t pay attention to your food choices. Choose seasonal foods that are lighter and dryer in nature.
  4. Eat Clean, especially the few days before and after the time change. Eliminate or at least reduce caffeine, and do away with alcohol and processed sugar, which tax your system. Following tip #4 will also naturally help you to eat a cleaner, seasonal diet.
  5. Spend Time Outdoors, especially in the morning, as close to sunrise as possible. Even a brisk walk around your neighborhood will benefit you. The morning sun will reset your circadian rhythm and the exercise will increase your circulation and help you to be more alert.
  6. Practice Breath of fire, also known as Kapalabhati. This is a rapid rhythmic breath with equal emphasis on the inhale and exhale. The technique will energize you and increase alertness among other benefits. Add this to your morning routine shortly after waking up.

The time change reminds us that if we do live in harmony with the rhythms of Mother Nature, she will be kind to us. It’s also a great opportunity to transition into balancing routines for the spring season. Essentially, incorporate Kapha balancing guidelines, and shift your daily routines forward a few days before March 12 to help you to stay in stride!

[1] https://www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/history.html

[2] https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2016/03/09/daylight-savings/

Welcoming 2017 With A Clearer State of Mind – Clutter No Longer Serves Me!

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Welcoming 2017 With A Clearer State of Mind – Clutter No Longer Serves Me!

So, I started out the New Years with a single-minded focus on cleaning my bathroom drawers. Sounds boring, but it gave me such a sense of accomplishment!  As I began developing some of my intentions for 2017 (which are still in process), I realized that I really value a clear, settled mind. When my mind is steady I have more room for intuitive thoughts to come through and for my creativity to flow.

I’ve been taking herbal formulas with herbs like Bacopa and Brahmi (Gotu Kola) for a few months now, and I can’t overstate how much they have helped me to go from overwhelm and lack of focus to more clarity, sharpness in thought and get up and go.

So back to the bathroom, when I opened those drawers it felt chaotic, clumps of hair and all, and no longer aligned with who I am. I got to thinking, my home reflects the state of my mind, and even if the counters look clean, it’s somewhat a façade if it’s just on the surface.

With that in mind I felt juiced up to attack those drawers, throwing away items like half used bottles of who-knows-what, and using my Pitta (sharp fire) energy to organize and wipe down the shelves.

Funny I suddenly felt lighter and clearer within myself as well, like I just cleaned my inner spaces too. I’m so proud of my bathroom drawers. Still have the cabinets to go, but now I am motivated! Who knows what inner resources will be available once I do!

For help clearing your mind, check out one of my favorite herbal formulas from Banyan Botanicals: Mental Clarity.  Here’s a description of this formula:

The herbs in Mental Clarity have traditionally been used to support all aspects of mental performance, including memory, concentration, and learning capacity. This effective blend helps sharpen the mind and is useful for those prone to forgetfulness, confusion or indecisiveness. Mental Clarity is an ideal supplement for students, seniors and anyone with a mentally demanding workload.*

Some other activities that have helped me to move from overwhelm to a clear, calm state include meditation, good sleep and naps when needed, Yoga Nidra, QiGong, essential oils and a good diet.

This particular post was supposed to be about my bathroom drawers, but it was a confluence of ongoing, positive lifestyle choices that led me to the state where clutter no longer serves me!


I meditate every morning (almost) for 20 minutes or more. Currently I am using the TM technique, although I believe that any kind of meditation helps to both ground and inspire the spirit. When I occasionally skip my meditation practice, I feel like something is missing from the start of my day, and I tend to get pulled off center easier.  I’ll go more into the topic of meditation in a future blog.


How could I have addressed those bathroom drawers with such vigor if I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep? In Ayurveda, sleep is considered one of the essential pillars of life. Your mind just can’t function at its optimal if most of us don’t get 7 to 8 hours on a regular basis. Best times to sleep: 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. More on this topic later as well!

I will add one of my favorite resting activities – Yoga Nidra – in a January post, along with Qi Gong, general diet for balance and my love of essential oils.

Meanwhile, I’ve got to go, as I’ve got a bathroom cabinet now that is calling me!  Remember to check out Mental Clarity to help clear your head. Who knows what inspiration will come knocking once the cobwebs are cleared!