Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Greetings!

"As the sun shines upon my heart, may my heart shine upon the hearts of others!" - The Upanishads

Dear Friends,

I hope that this finds you happy, healthy and delighting in the beginning of spring!

What a miracle change is! Transformation happens so quickly this season as the warmer weather and moist air brings along all of nature's budding beauty. It is in the air, more change is certainly on the way!

This season of change in Ayurveda (the science of the body) is called kapha, a time when our bodies and minds tend to be slow and even sluggish in the process of awakening out of our hibernation from winter. Now is a time to get to bed early and arise at an early hour to avoid the feeling of heaviness that often comes with sleeping-in during this time. Drink hot liquids with spices like ginger and cinnamon and be sure to include daily exercise to cleanse the body and mind. Create a plan and pave a path for your body and mind to spring into a healthy and happy you! I hope that you will join me Sunday, May 16th for Detox Ruah Yoga Flow workshop at Yogaworks and also please read below for some very special news!

In gratitude, peace, joy, love and good health.

Namaste,

Ruah

Compassion, Love & Transformation


This coming October, with the grace and miracle of the universe, I hope to experience the new joy and blessed occasion of sharing a new sense of compassion and love as a mother!

I have always known that I wanted to be a mother. I grew up loving kids spending my entire young adult life babysitting, playing with children and being a summer camp counselor. It always just felt natural and was what I loved. Now with the actual prospect of becoming a mother to my own little one, I am overwhelmed with excitement, anticipation, fear, and wonder! While I understand that we can never know what the universe holds up ahead, I do feel that this new experience is meant to be exactly as it is, to teach me so many things and hopefully be able to share this miraculous experience with others.

I once attended a wedding where the priest spoke of the Hebrew word for compassion, rechemet, which derives from rechem, which is Hebrew for womb. The miraculous existence of the womb is so clearly connected to how we as humans are able to share compassion with ourselves and with others. In order to be compassionate and to love others, we must first be compassionate to and be in love with ourselves.

As much as it is difficult to fathom, we all lived inside our biological mother's womb at the beginning of life. Our own form as we are now started out barely the size of a poppy seed, growing over time inside of her as we slowly transformed into the physical foundation of who we are today. During this special time inside of our mother's womb, we were equally dependent on our own health as we were on the health of our mother. Likewise, she was dependant on her health as well as ours in order to survive.

As tiny human beings growing at an amazing rate inside our mother's womb so many years ago, we were already in motion to developing into exactly who we are right now. Our mother also experienced the transformation of her body and life as she discovered this entirely new identity that she also learned to accept and love as her new self. This rhythm continued for 40 weeks as we both intimately integrated as one being and eventually gave us life on this earth - capable of passing on that love and compassion we experienced in the womb with others.

So as this new chapter of life develops, I am reminded of the priest's advice, love yourself first and the divine energy within you, then you will best be able to love another. As our bodies, minds and life continue to transform in ways beyond our imagination, it is important to do our best continue to love exactly who we are in each moment (even if your favorite yoga top & jeans don't fit and you can't jump back into chatturanga ; ), so we can focus on sharing the love that we cultivate within ourselves right into the heart of loved ones.

What Next?
In case you are curios, my plan is to teach! I expect to teach as far along through this as my body and this beautiful little one growing inside me will allow and return to teach a few months afterwards with hopefully plenty of new lessons learned. Fortunately for me and other mom-to-be yoga teachers, many inspirational yogini teacher moms have pioneered and paved the path to doing it all - Gurmukh Khal Khalsa, Shiva Rea, Rainbow Mars, Anita Goa and many more. I hope to follow in their footsteps and continue my path as a yoga teacher. We will see what the universe has in store and I will be sure to continue with more updates.

Breath Meditation for Wisdom, Happiness & Peace

Sit comfortably with your eyes closed and spine erect and lower back supported if you have tension (if you become uncomfortable, feel free to adjust your body and find stillness again).

· Inhale for a count of 4-8 and Exhale for the same count.

· Notice the natural retention or pauses between the inhale and exhale.
· Continue to follow the breath up your spine as you inhale and down your spine as you exhale.
· If distracting thoughts come, acknowledge them and then use the breath to draw you back from any distracting thoughts.
· Allow the breath to become more and more effortless and shallow with each passing moment.
· Once you feel a sense of ease, draw your awareness back to the breath.
· As you inhale, visualize a sense of peace and happiness expanding from within you.
· As you exhale, visualize letting go of any physical tension or gripping.
· Allow yourself to care about absolutely nothing, letting go of last moment and freeing yourself from the next.
· Be fully present in your breath and sense of peace & happiness from within.

Tips for Healthy Digestion





Drink to your health!
First thing every morning, start with a full cup of water with fresh lemon to start cleansing the digestive system.

Spice up your Day!
Choose spices like cumin, fennel, pepper, turmeric when cooking. Clear toxins in your body by sipping hot water throughout the day. Try eating very lightly for a day - choosing soups, fruit (raw and stewed), juices, herbal teas.

Wake up to a Green Juice Smoothie!
Prior to having morning sickness (aka heightened food sensitivities and tastes), I absolutely lived by this amazing morning pick-me-up concoction! Many students have agreed to this special way of starting the morning with a yummy green juice in the blender! It is truly delicious and honestly, the green taste is very subtle, it's actually quite sweet with the fruit. So, I haven't completely given up my morning juice, but for now I'm just doing the fruit version since apparently my body isn't as thrilled with the green part. If you're like me right now and can't stomach green in the morning, you can follow the fruit version below.

Green Juice Smoothie:
(enter into blender in this order for best blending results)
1/2-1 cup of chopped melon (cantoloupe, watermelon, honeydew melon etc.)
1 sliced banana
1 avocado (optional)
½ cup of berries (optional)
1-2 handfuls of spinach/kale/swiss chard (just one or all three together)
1 tblsp organic oats

Fruit Juice Smoothie:
1/2-1 cup of chopped melon (cantoloupe, watermelon, honeydew melon etc.)
1 sliced banana
1 avocado (optional)
½ cup of berries (optional)
1-3 tblsp organic low-fat plain yogurt
1 tblsp organic oats

Use your breath!
Breathing in and out with your right nostril only will help stimulate your digestive system. Do this before and after every meal to improve your metabolism.

Pingala Pranayama (2-5 minutes)
Sit comfortably and close your eyes, taking your awareness inside.
Close off your left nostril with the ring finger of your right hand and breath in and out through your right nostril.
Nadi Shodona (3-11 minutes)Follow along with me on Ruah Yoga YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ruahyoga?feature=mhw4#p/a/u/0/p-qbjk10tB4

Ruah Yoga

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New York, New York, United States
Flow yoga, prenatal yoga, beginner or advanced yoga and spiritual meditation with guidance from NYC yoga instructor Ruah Bhay, M.A. Discover your healthy body and mind with private sessions.