I chose this quote by Thich Nhat Hanh because it feels particularly important at this time. I have felt deep sorrow as of late due to the disconnection that has lead to terrible violence. I am very aware that acts of violence happen everyday all over the world, and each act is equally heartbreaking. But a couple things have happened one right after the other that are pulling on my heart- 69 people shot in one weekend in Chicago, violence against women and the misunderstanding of consent, a horrific attack on the LGBTQ community and the taking of one's life due to mental illness. In the last weeks I have felt numb and I have cried a lot. I have also felt profoundly grateful to have friends to share in this sorrow with and to be a part of a larger community that I believe promotes connection and unity at it's core.
We all suffer, that is part of being alive. Of course some of us suffer more than others. I believe when this suffering becomes too much people take drastic measures to try to be made free from their suffering. This is a complex topic, so in an attempt to keep things simple, I am presenting this- what can we do each day, in each interaction with another human to remember that we are in this together? I believe the answer is simple, though not always easy. Come back to the present. Come back to your feet on the ground. Look at the person in front of you. Acknowledge that person. Acknowledge yourself. All parts of you. Even the sadness, the darkness, and the confusing parts. Can we practice presence without condition with ourselves and with each other? I think we can and I believe over time this will create more connection, understanding and unity among all people. We can be present; we can be peace.
The Season of Pitta
When I speak of pitta I am referring to the teachings of Ayurveda. If you are unfamiliar, please read my last post about Kapha season here. To refresh your memory, in Ayurveda there are three doshas that are always shifting depending on the season, our habits, life stage, etc. In each of us exists different amounts of each dosha. The doshas are vata (composed of air and space), kapha (earth and water) and pitta (fire and water).
Vata: creative and spiritually connected
Pitta: intelligent and content
Kapha: loving and nurturing
Out of balance:
Vata: anxious and fearful
Pitta: angry and irritated
Kapha: depressed and sluggish
With hotter and longer days it can be helpful to stay aware of these pitta pacifying remedies.
1. Stay hydrated. One of my favorite ways to stay up on the H2O and keep electrolytes balanced is this simple remedy:
8 oz water
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar (or honey- in this case melt honey in hot water then add to glass)
2. Like increases like- so for those of you that love a hot, sweaty workout try doing it in the morning before the day's heat has arrived. Or alternatively, take a break from high intensity workouts on hot days and go for a hike or a swim.
3. Utilize pitta. The pitta time of day is between 10am-2pm. This is when your digestive fire is strongest, making it the best time to eat your largest meal. If you can, make time to eat leisurely and if when you finish eating you have 10 minutes to spare do some LSD- that's my teacher Sarahjoy's acronym for Left Side Down ;-) Laying with the left side down can help promote digestive ease.
4. Pitta gets things done but too much pitta leaves us irritated or angry. If you are sensing a heat overload, take 5-10 minutes to rest into the floor or the support of props with a restorative forward fold, supportive twist or legs up the wall pose. These are excellent remedies to calm the fire of pitta.
5. Prepare for sleep. Pitta time of night is 10pm-2am. Sleeping during these hours is extremely beneficial for our health and specifically the function of the liver. Put the technology away (this one is a challenge for me) and meditate before bed to slow down (I never regret this one). If meditating is not a part of your repertoire try mantra. Chose a word that represents something you want to embody and on each inhale breathe it into your body. On each exhale breathe it out to share with the world. You can set an alarm starting with 2 minutes and each day add a minute working your way up to 15 minutes. Notice the quality of your sleep after meditating.
6. Cooling foods. The teachings of Ayurveda recommend eating cooked foods as it is easier for our bodies to digest. That said, this is the seasons of salads! Maybe even fresh picked from your garden.... or mine. You want some lettuce? We have bunches! Make your salads "warmer" by adding cooked pitta balancing vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or brussel sprouts or cooked beans or animal protein if you eat meat.
7. Dessert. Warm summer nights call for delicious treats. This recipe is so tasty!!
I love taking time to be aware of and practice being in harmony with the season. I hope these tips are insightful and useful for you! I am not offering a change of the season workshop this season so I would like to invite you to my dear friend Jess Jarris's workshop! This weekend she will be celebrating the summer solstice at Yoga Refuge in SE Portland. Check out the workshop details below.
New Classes & Schedule Update
This is my last week teaching the Tuesday Vinyasa 2 and
Friday Hatha Flow will change to 9:30am-10:30am starting June 24th