This newsletter is published a bit late because I am still adjusting back to reality after returning home from my latest trip to India. The scabs from the millions of mosquito bites around my ankles are just starting to flake off and the beautiful henna design that was painted on my hand is slowly fading out. However, every time I close my eyes all I see is India. This was easily the most transformational trip of my life and I'm still processing and absorbing all that I just experienced.
I embarked on a 14-day sacred pilgrimage and with 10 other divine souls. We traveled to a handful of cities around India, visiting ancient temples, forts & palaces along the way. We had the pleasure of spending time in remote, timeless villages where families had little belongings, living on only $2 a month. We visited an alternative healing hospital where the doctors and practitioners would pray together each morning, reciting affirmations to heal their clients holistically. We chanted plenty of kirtans together, took a boat ride on the Ganges at sunset and enjoyed lots of yoga classes. There was oodles of heavenly food and it was all so good!
I hope you enjoy my snip-its below and throughout my blog. Happy spring!
Lauren Forney, HHC, RYT
Holistic Health Coach
Registered Yoga Teacher
|Sacred Pilgrimage in India|
I've got loads of pictures and could go on all day about my travels...but I've summed up some of the best parts in a blog post. Click the image below to check them out with links to some quick videos as well!
|Ghee, spices, rice & beans, veggies all cooked in a pot = divine kitchari that tastes and feels oh-so-good.|
While staying at the Yoga Institute in Mumbai during my first trip to India some time ago, we were served a yellow, mushy cooked food at each one of our meals. I had no idea what it was - all I knew was that it was totally delicious. This began my love affair with kitchari. On this past trip, the joke between our group was how Lauren would finish off any of the kitchari left at the table! I swear, I could eat it all day, every day.
Kitchari means "food of the gods" in Sanskrit. This hearty, one-pot dish is widely eaten in India, especially by sadhus, who leave it to cook while they are meditating. It's also served in India's hospitals to children and the elderly since it's an easy-to-digest nourishment. Therefore this recipe is great for anyone who is recovering from an illness, fatigue, or having digestive problems. It's excellent for general detox at the change of season, hence the reason why I'm spotlighting it now as we bloom into spring. Prized as a nourishing and cleansing complete meal in Ayurveda, it has been a staple in my diet when I'm sick, cleansing, or needing to give my system some serious comfort.
We live in a culture where our energy is continuously being uprooted. Over stimulation, toxicity, rapidly changing environments, over-saturation with information, over stimulated nervous systems, concrete jungles, rushing, spinning out, fear of unknown, endless time on computers, handheld devices and social media, working long hours ignoring the needs of our bodies, time in crowded cities, travel, bright lights, and the escalated pace we live by are all part of modern life and pull our energy upwards - ungrounding us. Even just writing all that stressed me out! For example, spring is viewed as a time of hope, possibility and greenness. While all of these qualities are appealing, you might feel overwhelmed with the aliveness and business that spring brings along, especially with the radical change in weather (umm, the weather on the Jersey shore has been cray-cray).
|In this image, I'm practicing vrksasana, the tree pose. |
I love to imagine that roots are growing out from my feet into the Earth. Click on my picture for a step by step video on how to do this pose and notice how different you feel after practicing it!
Finding your center isn't always easy in this world we live in. To re-ground yourself, give these two yoga practices a try:
1. To counteract a scattered feeling, start by focusing on the Yama (yoga's ethical do's & don'ts, yamas are the don'ts while niyamas are the do's), Kshama. It means releasing time (or time pressure for modern clock-aholics like me), being patient and functioning in the now. It also means learning to embrace the uncertainty of life. When you practice this attitude in our day-to-day activities, you'll begin to soothe your nervous system and normalize your body's biological rhythms which will help to strengthen your life force.
2. Practicing yoga poses that emphasize your connection to the Earth can help you feel this acceptance and clarify your focus. Choose asanas (poses) that require you to find balance in off-balance positions or comfort in uncomfortable places. Make sure you exhale fully, making your out-breath two to four counts longer than your inhale to free yourself of toxic substances and thoughts. When the weather finally is nicer, practicing your asanas on the grass or sand will only further this grounding connection your body & soul needs.
Learning to thrive within a changing environment is part of life, and the transition in the seasons is a great time to test out what gets you centered.
|Center Your Health's BLOG & Archive|
Check out what I've been blogging about since my last newsletter. Enjoy!
Sacred Pilgrimage to India
CYH's Song of the Moment
Comfort Foods Revealed
Do nice things for people who will never find out
If you're behind on some newsletters, here is a full archive!