1/2 tablespoon more oil for beets
1/2 quinoa washed
1/2 masoor dhal- orange color ,
sometimes called split lentil
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pinch hing ( asfeotida)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 pipali- long pepper
one large-ish golden beet washed and
chopped into bite size cubes
big handful of washed greens ( collardkale-
1/2 shallot onion chopped small
1/2 teaspoon salt
cilantro – lime – for topping
First get a nice size cooking pot and add ghee or oil
and fenugreek, mustard, cumin, and wait till seeds
pop from heat. Turn heat down a little and add
turmeric, pipali (you can use black pepper), and hing.
Then to the spices add the dhal and rice, stir and
sauté for a few minutes. Depending on how soupy you like, add 3 to 4 cups of water, and bring to a boil.
After two minutes lower heat to simmer and place a lid on top.
Now take another pan and add the 1/2 tablespoon olive or coconut oil and the salt and chopped shallot, let this brown lightly and add the beets.
Again sauté for a few minutes and add to the
other quinoa and dhal. Then I like to make the greens
in large bite size pieces and at 15 minutes into
cooking, add the greens one top and do not stir in.
Cook another ten minutes. Remove from heat, stir, and ladle into bowls and add toppings.
2 Tbs Ghee or another high heat oil 1/2 cup Moong Dal (split
take half the !!!!!!! timewhole)
1 tsp Cumin seeds 1 cup rice (wht or brn basmati) or !!!!!!! quinoa
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp black peppercorns 1/4 tsp
pipali- Long Pepper 1/4 tsp Fennel powder
1/4 tsp Coriander powder
2 pinches Asafetida
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp grated ginger root
1/4 tsp grated Turmeric root
1 small cup Spring veggies 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 Lime quartered 51/2 cups water
Soak the Moong dal one half an hour for split and two hrs for whole. Wash the rice and
Moong well. Melt ghee or heat oil in pan and add all of the dry seeds, not powders.
Wait a minute or two and they will pop. Turn down the heat. Add all powders and salt.
Add the ginger and turmeric roots. After mixing add rice and moong. Stir well and coat
the beans and rice with ghee and spices. Sauté a minute and then add 51/2 cups water.
Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes. Then turn down to low and add veggies. Put lid
on pot and cook till all water is absorbed. about 15 minutes. Top with cilantro leaves
and squeeze of lime.
You can alter this by making it with Brown rice and whole green moong. This will then
take near to 45 minutes to cook and you may want to add veggies last twenty minutes.
You can also use Quinoa instead of white basmati. It takes the same shorter time with
the split moong and is a great grain for the spring.
If you want more protein you may use equal parts moong and grain. Add a little more
Alter with different spices and veggies. This one recipe can provide many delicious,
quick, easy, and very heathy meals.
Fabulous Fruit Compote
A delicious recipe from Mosa’s spa kitchen in Lancaster, for balancing both Pitta and
Vata. As summer waxes into early fall, we naturally notice changes in our appetite and
food desires. Here is a perfect transitional dish that is quick and easy to prepare. It can
be served for a breakfast treat, for a heart-healthy snack, or for a delicious naturallylow-
cholesterol dessert. Fruit compote is virtually fat-free, full of flavor, and pleasing to
all the senses. For Vata-balancing, serve it warm on cooler fall days, or if the weather is
hot, let it cool and serve this dish at room temperature for a perfect Pitta-balancing
Choose fresh organic seasonal fruits that are readily available. Organic apples, plums,
pears, peaches, bananas, cranberries and mangos are ideal for this recipe.
Peel and cube 2 medium organic apples, one peach or nectarine, and one additional
fruit such as a pear, plum or mango.
Place in a saucepan with 1⁄2 cup water on medium-low heat. (Note: High cooking
temperatures break down vitamins and nutrients that are in the fruits.)
Add a pinch of cardamom, a pinch of powdered ginger, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and 2
whole cloves (optional). Note: A slice of fresh ginger root can be used instead of the
Simmer over medium-low heat in a saucepan with 1⁄2 cup of water, stirring
occasionally until tender. If water boils off before tender, add a dribble of hot or roomtemperature
water while cooking.
Serve in individual dishes warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 half-cup servings.
Use only organic apples, pears and bananas, to which a tablespoon of grated coconut
can be added during cooking.
Use apples and plums and add whole cranberries for a more chutney-like compote.
Mung Bean Soup
This soup is excellent for cleansing and giving the digestive system a break. It is said
that having this soup for breakfast for 30 consecutive days cleanses and balances the
digestive system. Or, eat only this soup for one day, (also have water and herbal teas).
1 cup rinsed whole green mung beans
1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 tsp fennel seeds 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander powder
1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced finely
1/8 fresh lemon slice, rind and flesh Fresh coriander, salt, lemon juice.
Method: Put all ingredients except coriander, salt and lemon juice in a pot with 6 cups
of water. Or dry roast the seeds first to increase their flavour and potency.
Simmer until soft (about 1hr). Add fresh chopped coriander and salt. Serve with a
squeeze of lemon juice and 1⁄2 tsp of ghee per serve. Note: To make this soup a little
more substantial, yet still wonderfully cleansing, add some chopped sweet potato at
the beginning. Can also add some broccoli or green beans toward end of cooking to
lightly cook into the soup.
Ayurvedic Cooking- Usha Lad & Vasant Lad
Everyday Ayurveda cooking for a calm, clear mind- Kate O’Donnell
Easy Healing Drinks from the Wisdom of Ayurveda- Amadea Morningstar
Healing Spices- Bharat B. Aggarwal ( this one is not Ayurvedic but amazing
information and recipes vegetarian and non-veg.
New Moon April 11- Full Moon April 26- 2021
4 – 5:30 pm M.S.T. cost $50
Practices for the new and full moon. In this class the Chandra Namaskar traditional sequence will be taught. The beneﬁts of honoring the moon are akin to honoring the planetary divine feminine. The moon enhances the water element, helps secrete soma (neurotransmitters) in the brain, and cools down hot, reactive emotions.
4 sessions: 48€ 1 session: 15€
This workshop will be taught in English through ZOOM
AYURVEDA & FALL SEASON
with Lisa Schrempp
Ayurveda is the science of life, a wholistic plan for optimal vitality which encourages developing an intimate relationship between Nature and our psychophysical-spiritual self. Fall season is dominated by wind which begins to cool things down after summer season. One of the big challenges with our external and internal environment at this powerful juncture is the quality of dryness. We can clearly see this by looking at how the green color of nature starts to dry and colors of red, brown and yellow dominate just like in the picture above. The qualities of Fall are dry, light, mobile, clear, rough, cold and subtle. These qualities will be increased in nature in the fall, in the weather and our bodies. Recognizing when a quality is excess in body and/or mind and then having tools to bring that energy into balance is practicing Ayurveda. Practicing Ayurveda is fun and always timely if we wish to have a relationship of mutual care with our planet and the beings we are interdependent with.
I will be teaching this transition in four sessions.
Tuesday September 8th – 7:30 – 8:30pm (Paris Time)
#1 Intro to Ayurveda- The Science of Longevity. What are the basic principals of this ancient preventative and natural healing system? That everything you are made of is reflected in your world and and everything out there is within you. Being able to recognize & experience this relationship with the external can educate us and foster skillful connections towards resonance and inter-being. Join to learn all about your many layers of interaction with nature and utilizing the wisdom of Ayurveda to find balance.
Tuesday September 15th – 7:30 – 8:30pm (Paris Time)
#2 A Daily Fall Routine – RITUCHARYA means seasonal discipline or a gentler version of the word is translated as seasonal routine. Sharat is the fall season and characterized by what is going on with the weather, the local harvest and the activities that this time of year presents. The keys are flexibility and awareness. Being prepared for whatever the winds may blow in is a great analogy for riding the up and downs of our lives. It never gets boring if we are open. The adaptability fall requests of us can sharpen our minds . Clarity in routine helps us to enjoy the elevated winds with calm and present energy.
Tuesday September 22nd – 7:30 – 8:30pm (Paris Time)
#3 Diet & Digestion- The harvest in fall may be slightly different depending on the habitat you are living in. Local harvest is one of the best ways to connect to the plants, veggies and fruits that are appropriate as much for the animals as for the humans where they live.
There are some great tips to adjust how we cook this harvest, that will help to create a healthy microbiome that will nourish and provide immunity from fall fallout!
Tuesday October 22nd – 7:30 – 8:30pm (Paris Time)
#4 Ashtanga Yoga practice with attention to the qualities of Fall. The wind can bring great benefit to our asana practice if we have the tools to balance the strong tendencies toward light, dry, cold, mobile, rough and clear. These qualities are elevated in the fall and they are the same as Vata Dosha . Vata Dosha is an energy which creates all movements within our being. The movements can create havoc or great peace depending on our ability to balance the rising wind. There are three main ways of creating a balanced practice. In this session we will get on our mats and experience these balancing techniques to calm the winds and elevate peace.
5 Element Workshop with Ayurveda & Yoga
Ayurveda and yoga have recognized the power of the earth and the more subtle constituents of all things around us, are constantly creating balance within our body, psyche and being. The reason is that the stuff around us is the same within us. The elements are the building blocks of macrocosm and microcosm. We are constantly in communication and recalibrating balance with our world, whether we recognize it or pretty much ignore it. With the two ancient eastern systems of Ayurveda and Yoga, we can grow deeper relationships, which feed our well-being and naturally foster a kinder and gentler foot print here on planet Earth.
On the next five Saturday’s from 10am-11:30am MT, we will look at each element at a time:
- within the body and mind.
- how the element can be enhanced by awareness practices : asana, pranayama, routine, & foods yup, a
recipe for enhancing each element:)
- elemental practice with meditation on the corresponding physical plexus (chakra) and it’s gifts to the core of our being. i.e. -fire element is situated at the navel plexus- manipura chakra. This is the strongest digestive region within the human body. When we digest our food well, and especially food which is pure, and appropriate for our constitution , courage is bestowed.
This is going to be fun and interactive, Satsang- community enhancing. The perfect timing to saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to a sustainable wholeness within our reach.
December 5, 12, 19, 26, January 2nd, 2021
10am-11:30am Mountain Time
5 classes $50 or $15 per class
AYURVEDA & FALL SEASON- with Lisa Schrempp
Taught in 4 sessions- Saturdays, August 29th, September 5, September 12th and September 19, 2020.
10am-11am Donations suggested $10-$30 per session.
50% of proceeds will go to HomeboyIndustries.org
Ayurveda is the science of life, a holistic plan for optimal vitality which encourages developing an intimate relationship between Nature and our psychophysical-spiritual self.
Fall season is dominated by wind which begins to cool things down after summer season. One of the big challenges with our external and internal environment at this powerful juncture is the quality of dryness. We can clearly see this by looking at how the green color of nature starts to dry and colors of red, brown and yellow dominate just like in the picture above. The qualities of Fall are dry, light, mobile, clear, rough, cold and subtle. These qualities will be increased in nature in the fall, in the weather and our bodies. Recognizing when a quality is excess in body and/or mind and then having tools to bring that energy into balance is practicing Ayurveda. Practicing Ayurveda is fun and always timely if we wish to have a relationship of mutual care with our planet and the beings we are interdependent with.
I will be teaching this transition in four sessions:
#1 Intro to Ayurveda – The Science of Longevity. What are the basic principals of this ancient preventative and natural healing system? That everything you are made of is reflected in your world and and everything out there is within you. Being able to recognize & experience this relationship with the external can educate us and foster skillful connections towards resonance and inter-being. Join to learn all about your many layers of interaction with nature and utilizing the wisdom of Ayurveda to find balance.
#2 A Daily Fall Routine – RITUCHARYA means seasonal discipline or a gentler version of the word is translated as seasonal routine. Sharat is the fall season and characterized by what is going on with the weather, the local harvest and the activities that this time of year presents. The keys are flexibility and awareness. Being prepared for whatever the winds may blow in is a great analogy for riding the up and downs of our lives. It never gets boring if we are open. The adaptability fall requests of us can sharpen our minds. Clarity in routine helps us to enjoy the elevated winds with calm and present energy.
#3 Diet & Digestion – The harvest in fall may be slightly different depending on the habitat you are living in. Local harvest is one of the best ways to connect to the plants, veggies and fruits that are appropriate as much for the animals as for the humans where they live. There are some great tips to adjust how we cook this harvest, that will help to create a healthy microbiome that will nourish and provide immunity from fall fallout!
#4 Ashtanga Yoga – Practice with attention to the qualities of Fall.
The wind can bring great benefit to our asana practice if we have the tools to balance the strong tendencies toward light, dry, cold, mobile, rough and clear. These qualities are elevated in the fall and they are the same as Vata Dosha . Vata Dosha is an energy which creates all movements within our being. The movements can create havoc or great peace depending on our ability to balance the rising wind. There are three main ways of creating a balanced practice. In this session we will get on our mats and experience these balancing techniques to calm the winds and elevate peace.
Taught in 4 sessions- Saturdays, August 29th, September 5, September 12th and September 19, 2020.
10am-11am Donations suggested $10-$30 per session.
50% of proceeds will go to HomeboyIndustries.org
DON’T GET SICK, DRINK CHAI
GINGER – fresh grated, promotes digestive fire , burns toxins, stimulant, antipyretic( fever reducer),improves kidney function, stimulates menstrual flow, enhances sperm mobility and blood flow to penis. Called the Universal medicine. – Dr Vasant Lad
TURMERIC – Reduces phlegm, good for all types of indigestion, antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti parasitic and a vulnerary (wound healer).
CARDAMOM- helps to increase digestive power, what we digest creates strength and what we do not digest….toxins.
Helps to keep sinuses clean and clear. BLACK PEPPER- digestion!
Colon, lung and breast cancer prevention. Eases arthritic pain.
Basically black pepper breaks gunk up and helps you move like Ganesha.
CINNAMON – lowers blood sugar levels and provides circulatory power.
CLOVE- Great at fighting infection and reducing all kinds of bodily pains. Clove is also an anti- carcinogen and helps circulation breaking up blood clotting around the heart. Good for colds and coughs and improves digestion.
STAR ANISE – may help with flu, tooth decay, septic shock, cold sores, dementia, mononucleosis BLACK TEA- significant number of antioxidants, reduces cholesterol, increases digestive power, helps prevent strokes, enhances cognition and enhances energy.
I was lucky enough to travel to Haiti in March 2010, 6 weeks after the catastrophic earthquake. I was to assist a Haitian/ Tibetan Monk who practiced a wide variety of healing arts. We were to be traveling around the epicenter about 20 kilometers from Port-au-Prince. We would be setting up free alternative clinics. I would be assisting him, teaching restorative yoga, pranayama and giving mini Ayurvedic oil abhyanga ( massage that primarily works on calming the internal winds and works great on reducing anxiety)
My three wishes that were very clear in my head before I left were to remain healthy, practice yoga and continue drinking Chai. Staying healthy earned number one slot in my supplications. I had desire to be of some benefit. The thought of ending up sick and having someone look after me was unacceptable.
I started a daily yoga practice in 1990 with an extremely awesome line up of teachers; Sharon Gannon, David Life, Ruth Lauer Manenti, Kevin Gardner, Manouso Manos, Robert Moses, Richard Freeman, Sri K Pattabhi Jois and BKS Iyengar. Nairantarya in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali means continuous, unbrokenness, and without stops and it is a descriptive as to how to practice. As a teacher of Yoga I have often seen the difficulties of the opposite. Not committing to a practice is the first cornerstone of disbelief. By some grace, completely unearned I have always dedicated myself to a practice, uninterruptedly.
The third wish I hoped to fulfill felt fairly indulgent and just as important as any addict will understand. Chai has been as regular as yoga asana since the first year I visited Mysore India. I remember drinking it on the street from a vendor who had a traveling tea stall and was often parked right outside of the Yoga Shala. It was indeed sad the few times I enthusiastically went to this Chaiwallah ( one who makes chai) and found his traveling show had moved on. Possibly it was one of these times when I began my studies in the art of chai making.
I flew to Haiti with a huge suitcase filled with herbs, tinctures, oils, naturopathic remedies and assortments of healing gifts from my larger community. I also had a carryon with my yoga comfortable clothes, the works for my chai-a-holism and the wish to be of benefit ….
My accommodation was a tent, I pitched it a decent distance from the house where others stayed. There was a large house where many of our group stayed, I was close enough to feel connected to the group and away enough in the case of collapse. The house had been declared safe and I had witnessed the inspection. It consisted of a man with a hammer who had taken several whacks at a wall and then given it the seal of approval. It seemed insufficient to me but in the aftermath of devastation, people were finding ways to make a living and moving forward from the rubble.
After my first attempt at yoga, I found the outdoor slanted terrace was a better choice than the living area. Rodents had taken up residence in the mayhem of the collapsing of walls and as team members started to awaken and also filtrate the space, my
upside-downess needed a bit more tranquil atmosphere. A space dedicated to practicing in silence with an uplifted attitude has a certain precariousness and if found in a mind then certainly ephemeral.
After my first practice I started snooping around the kitchen and found out how to turn the gas on and requested the person in charge of food to get some milk. Everything else I needed I had carefully brought from home. There I was in Haiti on a mission within a mission, I got the works and that very morning the chai flowed and the dopamine took good care of me.
These morning events continued uninterrupted for the next two weeks until it was time for my flight home. I had some intense times like when the Voodoo marching band played in the middle of the night and the day I was giving oil massages outside in ninety degree Fahrenheit and there was no clean water to drink. Considering what these people were going through it was all just minor challenges and fears arising and passing, things I could actually address and digest.
Desire is often on a list in Ayurvedic lore as the first thing that causes trouble in our life. On experiencing all my wishes granted I have reflected that once in a while our selfish and yes, addictive behaviors might serve the greater good. Maybe you agree? On arriving home I learned through an email from the Monk that everyone in our group was sick from a bug that had penetrated our camp. Everyone! Even those who lived in Haiti that had organized the events were laid down with diarrhea. At the time I thought of one reason that I prevented the realms of booty mess, it was my chai.
there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again ~ Rumi
Spring cleaning- doing a 5 day cleanse
Exercise outside. Breath deep, watch your inhale, pause and exhale pause
Chanting AUM, feel it from your pelvic floor rising to the crown of you head.
Kriyas- Kapalabati ( shinning skull ), Agni Sara ( digestive fire wash), Trataka ( eye cleansing) and Nauli ( stomach abdominal massage)- these are only recommended if you have had proper instruction in them and you know contra-indications.
Surya Namaskar #1 , wake up and facing the rising sun, bow 🙂
Shoulder Stand- SaalmabhaSarvangaasana-
many more are there but this is a good start
take rest in corpse pose.
Recognize the turnings of your mind, especially the ruts you fall into and shift awareness to breath.
Inhale, moment, exhale, moment.
Make it simple, set the metronome app and see how comfortably you can inhale X amount of seconds and follow with the same amount exhale.
Inhale 3 seconds, exhale 3 seconds.
If you are feeling very stressed you can extend the exhale 2 or 3 seconds longer for a short time.
Exhale is parasympathetic nervous system.
When waves of fear start to swallow you, gently remind yourself to breathe this present moment.
Feel your body, ask yourself what am I feeling.
I am aware of fear.
I am not fear.
I am consciousness.
Walking in nature
Hanging out more in your yard.
Drink herbal teas throughout the day, keep the fluids moving.
Asking ourselves how we got here and how can I do something right now to change for the better of all.
Food & Herbs for vitality and immunity
Lots of cooked vegetables
Cooked dark leafy greens
Sufficient protein for your body’s needs
cinnamon and cardamom & ginger tea
Beans and grains together
Include spices with your food such as garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, basil
small amounts of cooked fruit such as baked apples or apple sauce
kitchadhi (basmati rice & mung dahl)
Triphala is a great source because of the Amalaki fruit.
Ashwagandha- Adaptogen helping our immune system
Turmeric- Anti Viral, helps heal tissues
Garlic, Ginger, Oregano, Elderberry, St John’s-wort
Chyawanprash- an herbal paste that is delicious.
Medicinal Mushrooms- Reishi #1 benefit boasting the immune system
Citrus & citrus peel
Black Seed, black cumin
Asfeotida ( hing)
heavy sticky and old food
The information and understanding of the COVID-19 virus infection and disease continues to change rapidly.
I encourage you to make ask your Doctor what may work for you. It is also important to reiterate that there are no clinically evidence-based integrative prevention or treatment strategies for Covid-19 virus infection.
DINACHARYA – Ayurveda & the Importance of Daily Routine
This class will introduce the wisdom and knowledge of life from the Vedas captured in the wholistic practices of Ayurveda (Science of Life). The focus will be on an ideal daily routine that will aim to keep your body, mind and spirit in balance with the ever-flowing nature of our cosmic universe. When is the optimal time to eat, to clean and detox, when to sleep for the deepest benefit and when is the ideal time and how much is appropriate for making love. Join me for fun discovery about our bodies, proper timing ( rhythm) and daily care in the theory of Ayurveda.
OCTOBER 11, 2019
7950 E Redfield Rd #170
August 17, 24, 31 & September 7, 2019
$35 per class or Class Pass all 4, $85
Yoga practices that connect three epicenters of the body’s vitality; our brain, heart and gut.
Regulating breath, active cleansing, creating specific shapes and mindful exercises will be explained and practiced in each class. Experimenting with practices old and new, Lisa will offer alternate expressions of consciousness that will be unlocked from massaging and synchronizing these organs. Herbal remedies, spices and other enhancers to these organs will also be discussed and often tasted 🙂 A synergistic coordination between the brain, heart.and gut will give us the ripened aspects of life.
Lisa Schrempp has thirty years in yoga training and twenty in Ayurveda (wholistic ancient healing system). In this workshop she will draw from those years of study, training and personal experience. Practices that integrate, detox and rejuvenate the superior intelligence and interfacing of these vital organs will be taught and explained. Each class will include all three organs with special emphasis in their ability to create wholeness and transformation.
August 17, 24, 31 and September 7, 2019
4 Classes $60 Single class $20
The beauty of a well digested opening sequence, Surya Namaskar and standing asanas is that these can be practiced alone to acquire excellent health of body and mind. The foundations are also the keys to all the series of asanas, they are the precursors for the benefits achieved by practicing the basic to the advanced series.
This 4 week series will include the full series of Yoga Chikitsa with devotion to detail and alignment.
My 25 +years of practice with the Jois family and advanced practitioners I feel the message is actually simple,. Ashtanga practice gives tools to remove suffering and pain ( Duhkha). The Yogi through dedication and devotion to the guidelines, sees that peace and radiant health are within and will be revealed through the practice.
Yoga Chikitsa is the traditional starting point to cure the gross ailments of mind and body. This practice initiates a transformation that starts to direct the Yogi to make the most therapeutic changes in their life. To move well promotes eating well and this stimulates a detox of stress and we enjoy ourselves and others in a more loving way. The 1st series of Ashtanga yoga helps one to leave bad habits and return to one’s self. Where does healing come from? It comes from within.
Winter has settled in. Although here in Arizona, she looks nothing like the winters of my childhood. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. My two sisters and I used to whine to our thrifty father that we couldn’t get out of bed until he turned up the heat, teasing him that overnight icicles had formed in our hair, and, leaving the warmth of our beds, we would surely freeze and he would be left childless.
“Come in, she said, I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”— Bob Dylan, Shelter From The Storm
Interfacing with nature outwardly and inwardly to reap the benefits of a balanced life is one of the most profound gifts of Ayurveda. Through every season, our relationship to nature shifts, and during the winter we may find ourselves indoors more than out. Seeking shelter from winter’s elements is a natural tendency for most beings, and, ultimately, keeps us alive. Shelter is a place or a practice that gives protection.
The Qualities of Kapha in Nature
In the winter, the qualities of cold, cloudy, damp, heavy, slow-moving, and dark affect our physical and mental experiences. These qualities may provoke kapha imbalances, leading to more mucus and bronchial congestion, which in turn may create greater respiratory discomfort and complaints. Mentally, without the appropriate activity and supportive diet, the season may invite loneliness, isolation, intense emotions, and lethargy.
The quality of cold is generally constrictive, and this aspect of winter constricts the skin, pores, and connective tissues. Through this constriction, our bodies retain the heat that would normally be dispelled through these tissue layers. When heat is drawn in from the periphery, this may heighten agni (the digestive fire), increasing hunger and the desire for more wholesome foods. In this way, winter’s cold can act as a catalyst to find the things that sustain us, supporting quality nourishment and a robust immune system.
Our diets and routines will also naturally shift, as the darker days and slow-moving quality of winter allow for a gentler and slower daily rhythm.
Winter mornings can sometimes bring an accumulation of kapha dosha, manifesting as congestion or general heaviness. The following is a kapha-pacifying tea recipe* recommended by my teacher, Dr. Lad:
½ teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
Small pinch of ground clove
Add to 1 cup of hot water, let it steep, then strain and drink.
*This is not recommended for those with elevated pitta. If you’re not sure if pitta is elevated, take the Ayurvedic Profile™ quiz.
The Sanctuary of Self-Care
One of my favorite shelters is the Ayurvedic practice of abhyanga. Abhyanga is a traditional method of oiling the skin, scalp, and orifices of the body prior to bathing. The oil may be a simple, organic Sesame Oil, which is slightly heating, or you may make or purchase an herbal oil that will boost the power and efficacy of the practice. Ayurveda believes this practice helps to protect one from inclement weather, unhealthy atmosphere, wrinkles, dry or rough skin, fatigue, and sluggish digestion. It also supports the nervous system and helps to promote restful sleep. Another name for the practice of oil massage is snehana. This word also means love. Self-love and acceptance are greatly increased by abhyanga, and this love is the first doorway to true spirituality.
Warm Your Body
Harmonizing with the season is as easy as what many of us learned in our childhood when someone who cared for us dressed us appropriately. Wearing a hat in winter can keep us a whopping 40 percent warmer. Covering our ears is extremely helpful as they are vulnerable to cold weather and wind. There are many tiny bones in the architecture of the ears which can easily be disturbed by the cold wind.
Even in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, my very recent new home, there have been many gray days. During winter, gray is a dominant color in nature, as well as white and black. An easy way to counter these dominant monotones is to bring in some warmth by wearing clothing that includes orange, red, and yellow tones; eating foods that contain these colors; and by participating in activities that warm your soul. These are enlivening to the visual and physical senses and help to expand our feelings and awareness.
A heavier winter diet and more restful hours spent indoors are nicely paired with bold exercise that promotes circulation. Ayurveda says this is a time to move and build strength and power through exercise—this provides the body the ability to shed the accumulation of dark, cold, and heavy tendencies. Warmth promotes circulation, and circulation promotes joy.
Warm Your Heart
Inviting friends over to gather around a fire is a wonderful activity for the extra hours of dark and cold outside. Eating homemade soups and stews and drinking draksha, an herbal wine that improves digestion, is a recipe for fantastic winter relationships! Creating a relaxed home atmosphere to connect with friends and family repairs and regenerates the heart. Other practices that can give refuge from the weather are developing a meditation practice, reading literature that engages the spirit, and paying attention to dreams. Of course, these activities are not exclusive to a great winter, but they do make use of the natural invitation of the season to turn inward.
About the author
Lisa began studying yoga in 1985 and has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga since 1992. After studying with Sri K Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois she received Sri K Pattabhi Jois’s blessing to teach in 1997. In 1998, Lisa moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to study Ayurveda with Dr. Vasant Lad. Relocating to Tuscon, Arizona in 2002, she began a formal Ayurveda practice and, in 2012, she founded Ashtanga Yoga Tucson. With over 18 years of experience in Ayurveda, Lisa is a seasoned practitioner and has studied extensively with Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Sunil Joshi, Dr. Anil Kumar, Dr. Robert Svoboda, and David Life and Sharon Gannon. She also holds a Yoga Therapy Certificate from B.K.S. Iyengar. Find out more about Lisa by visiting her website.
I am grateful to be alive today!
I owe a great part of being alive and being grateful to my teachers of Yoga and also to the students I have worked with.
Especially today I want to thank the Ashtanga Yoga tradition and lineage.
I thank Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, Sharath Jois and Saraswati Jois. I have had the blessing of studying with them personally and felt confident in trusting my body and mind in their care.
I started Ashtanga practice in my mid 20’s, three years after beginning an asana practice.
I have never felt discriminated because of my gender or sexuality. I have experienced the feeling of being celebrated by my teachers.
David and Sharon of Jivamukti Yoga were very enthusiastic for me to study with Sri K Pattabhi Jois and first introduced me to Guruji when they invited him to teach at Jivamukti Yoga studio in 1994.
I went to Mysore India alone in 1995. My first morning was exciting, scary and a trill was coursing through my system as I imagined studying with a living Yoga Master. My first morning I walked 40 minutes in the dark and somehow arrived in the twelfth spot of twelve places and the opening prayer commenced as my feet landed into Samasthiti.
In 1998, I met Dr Vasant Lad who was giving a speech at a medical facility. At that time, I decided straight away to move from NYC to Albuquerque
New Mexico to study Ayurveda with him. Over the last 2 and 3 decades, Yoga and Ayurveda, have been my guides in life.
I have continued with the ashtanga practice somewhat against the recommendations of an appropriate yoga practice for a Vata dominant individual. Vata dominant constitution means that the elements of air and space have more influence on my nature than the elements fire, water and earth . There have been many challenges to stay grounded and strong. I can imagine that all of you also have had difficulties arise on the mat and the ability to embrace them can become opportunities for our self- transformation.
I have needed to explore and modify the practice to meet with the changing state of my body, age and environment over the last 30 years since this practice joined with my life.
I have seen many Vata type bodies struggle with the demands of a traditional Ashtanga practice, and I have many suggestions to share for helping all constitutions and specifically developing the skills to balance Vata Dosha. I have had the experience of my Vata dosha being elevated and unbalanced. I have experienced being ungrounded, chaotic, having high levels of anxiety, and feeling that I was somehow deficient in prana- life force needed to support an ashtanga daily practice. A large part of my work has been to develop ways to practice Ashtanga which are healing and transforming for spiritual and physical well-being of the practitioner. I believe that Ashtanga can be for anyone of any constitution if there is belief in the system and the dedicated exploration.
All of us are realizing that the health of the body, mind and spirit can not be separated. I see this moment as a powerful looking glass at life on the planet right now in the Time of Corona. We are interwoven with nature, like the many natural fibers used to weave a basket. The more intricate and colorful challenges that arise and are embraced, the more beautiful the basket called life. Our survival and ability to thrive is dependent on this weave of interdependency or as Thich Nhat Hanh calls it our inter-being.
The abilities to take care of each other fosters our greater awareness of inter-being, and this has always been one of the realizations of a successful
yoga practice. We are sharing life together. Throughout history this connection has never been demonstrated so clearly.
One of my teachers right now is Zach Busch who was an oncologist and a developer of allopathic cancer drugs. He is now working on repairing soil with farmers. Dr Busch went from a cancer specialist to working on regenerating the earth’s soil. Going from treating one of the biggest outcomes of imbalanced nature, cancer, to treating the root of disease and possibly the root of the climate crisis. He now works to regenerate and flip- flop the disregard we have shown to the planet.
During the last few months many humans have also seen the benefit of working less, traveling less and generally having less. Of course, I do not mean to include all here. Many beings have been on the fringes of society unable to have enough when others have never known anything but surplus. My hope is that structural racism and poverty will be addressed much more now than in the past. I believe there is great purpose behind our waking up to the disparity and imbalances that are causing so much stress to our world and her beings. Perhaps the outcome will be a genuine sharing. Sharing the resources with beings who have been taken advantage of. After all, these resources belong to us all.
In the time of Corona, I have limited my movements far from my house, and I have bridged my energy with my immediate surroundings. This home of mine now feels more of a representation of my vitality, strength and struggles versus a kind of quarantined lock up. Of course, I do need a connection to others! The moment my hands start to give Bella ( my canine comrade) an adjustment ( really just some pets), I feel the hormones softening my nervous system, and miss this with friends and students.
Staying “in touch” has taken on many forms like zoom, social media, and for now this is a blessing.
We share this very breath with all sentient beings. I want to live with a Joyful Awakening of my nature and with the other, for as long as the body is able, until there is no more other. This is my fantasy— this virus will
bring us to a mutual respect for all living and the sharing of the life in harmony with our home, planet earth.
A true longevity