Yoga Ma: Ayurveda for Mama & Child

Natural Cold Care For The Whole Family

http://www.chandika.com/tridoshic-nasya-oil/I’ve been reading a lot lately about the latest wave of colds and illness common with this time of year and thought it was time to share some of my tips (Ayurvedic and otherwise) and online resources. Remember: these are not fail proof, our boys still get sick sometimes, but I feel it has made a difference. They have good immune systems and we’ve never dealt with anything more serious than a low fever or common cold or stomach bug (there’s not much to do about the latter). This year I’ve really dedicated myself to the following and so far so good! 

Put the kettle on! I make sure there’s always a tea pot on the table at meal and snack times filled with some warming beverage. I love herbal chai or mineral rich nettle. A simple and wise choice is slices of fresh ginger root (cut off a 1 inch thick section), fresh lemon juice from ¼ wedge (put in the whole wedge after its squeezed), and honey. 

Honey Tea is served with plenty of honey! Be careful not to add it when the water is too hot as it will destroy many of its beneficial qualities. It makes a great cough syrup or when throats are dry and sore. 

Elder Berries At breakfast I add about ¼ cup of elder berry concentrate to our tea pot and sweeten with honey. When someone is actually sick they get a straight shot with honey. Here’s a recipe I refer to and use ginger root instead of turmeric root: https://wellnessmama.com/24470/elderberry-tea/ I also like to add pinches of dried hibiscus flowers and rosehips to improve the flavor. Everyone loves it. 

If someone is getting sick they’ll get 1-2 teaspoons of syrup (tea + honey) in between meals: https://wellnessmama.com/1888/elderberry-syrup/

Golden Milk Another favorite among the adults is this yummy concoction. It has yet to grow on my 3 year old. Turmeric is the main herb in Golden Milk which gives it the yellow hue. It’s a great immune booster, anti-inflammatory, warms the whole body, and is very nourishing. I like to add a little coconut oil or ghee for more calming and energy. Here’s Dr. Weil’s recipe: https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/anti-inflammatory-diet-pyramid/anti-inflammatory-golden-milk/

Chyavanprash Pronounced Cha-van-prash, this is the quintessential Ayurvedic immune boosting tonic for all ages - and it is ages old. The families of India have been taking this herbal paste for generations. And it tastes good! My boys love it. I put some on a small spoon and let them lick or suck away. Bit messy but so what. You can also stir it into warm water for a tea. It’s suggested after the midday meal. If I forget we take it after afternoon snack. If someone is showing symptoms they’ll have some every couple of hours but not too close to bedtime. It’s energizing so it might interfere with sleep. You can start taking this once the weather starts to turn cold as a preventative. It has many many herb ingredients that vary between brands. I don’t know what some of them are but I do know that it works! The base of the paste is ghee, honey, and usually sugar, too. I use Banyan Botanical’s but I hear Vaidya Mishra’s is amazing - and he has sugar and fat free options for special diets: http://www.chandika.com/chyawanprash-herbal-tonic-paste-limit-of-3-per-order-for-the-1-5-oz-size/

Dr. Douillard has a great article on chyavanprash and includes an interview with a young client here: https://lifespa.com/gambling-for-immunity/ I love this photo above from this page because this is what a good day with our “goop” looks like for us. 

Sitopaladi This is another classic Ayurvedic herb formula that’s been used for generations. You should know that the main ingredient is (rock) sugar, and its for good reason. Sugar representing the sweet taste helps to calm the nervous system and therefore the immune system (which is why I think children crave this taste most; they just need natural and healthy options). Banslochan is another main ingredient that comes from the inner part of bamboo and acts as an effective expectorant for congestion and excess phlegm (white or yellow) and cools a hot fever. The other warming ingredients like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and pepper help to digest excess mucous, clear passage ways for better breathing, and relieves coughs, too. You can find out more about this at Dr. Douillard’s site: https://lifespa.com/ayurvedic-supplement-facts/sitopladi/ Note that his formula also contains turmeric. We use Banyan’s which sticks to the original recipe.

I add ½ - 1 teaspoon of the powder (½ for kids, 1-2 tsps if an adult is sick already) to a hot tea pot of water and let steep for 10 minutes or so. My little pot holds about 4 cups of water. By the time its cool enough to drink its ready for some honey and pouring into cups to cool off more. If there’s a scratchy throat or cough present, I add a tea bag or two of slippery elm and licorice tea (I like Throat Coat from Traditional Medicinals). For stronger medicinal use you can make a paste with honey and take right off a spoon. This might be too strong for the little ones but its great for adults. My husband took the tea using 1 tsp before bed when he swore he was coming down with something. He went to bed early and the next morning was fine. 

Banyan Botanical has more info here with a video on taking sitopaladi. 

If using Ayurvedic formulas that you can’t pronounce makes you queasy, try making your own immune boost blend using 1 teaspoon each of dry ginger, cinnamon, ground cardamom, and a couple dashes of black pepper and ground clove. Add ½ - 1 tsp to a tea pot with hot water and a tea bag of spearmint, peppermint or thyme. Go to bed early and sweat it out! 

For a stronger brew you can also gently bring to a boil slices of fresh ginger (1-2 inches), cinnamon sticks, a pinch of whole cloves, several smashed cardamom pods in about a quart of water - and let steep for 20-30 minutes. You can also add dandelion root (roasted or not) or burdock root as an inflammatory, and turmeric or astragalus root for an immune boosters. Please use organic ingredients when possible as you are trying to avoid toxins in cold care. 

Neti Pot Adults and kids ages 12+ can use a neti pot to moisturize sinus passages and therefore protect against pathogens (since most of them come in that way or through the mouth). This is a proven preventative. You add ¼ tsp neti pot salt to warm water in pot (filtered is best) and if you’ve been exposed to illness you can add a drop of Frankincense essential oil (very strong use just 1 small drop please!). I also like a little rose water for moisturizing and cooling. Neti is really great for dry sinuses, headaches, and allergies. Great when traveling. It helps with mental clarity too. I follow this up with Nasya herbal oil of which there are many formulations and aims to further moisturize and protect. Depending on the formula you can benefit from greater alertness, less anxiety or depression, just to name a few (in addition to the protection against colds, flu and allergies). I simply put a little on the tip of each pinky finger and apply up my nose. Sniff sniff while I pinch my nostrils - and I’m done. Ahhh. The effects are immediate. No surprise that my 3 year old loves it. We’re using Vaidya Mishra’s lovely smelling tridoshic blend found here: http://www.chandika.com/tridoshic-nasya-oil/

For stronger medicinal use you can try A. Muzda’s Super Sinus Nasya: http://www.shop.ayurvedaoilsandmore.com/Super-Sinus-Nasya-Oil-1oz-no32.htm It has calamus/vacha so its more opening but also more heating and stimulatng. Ok for adults but not close to bedtime as its too stimulating. This one is big guns for serious sinus problems, colds, etc. 

At bedtime I love Shaktiveda’s Serenity Within nasya to help me wind down and sleep. I use a deeper application here: lying down on bed with my head leaning over the side of the bed (nostrils pointing straight up) I apply drops into my nostrils and rest for 5 minutes or more. I’ve read that nasya shouldn’t be done at bed time but it has worked for me for years. You can do this during the day too as its great for anxiety panic nervousness etc. 

A Nice Warm Bath work wonders whether your sick or just feel a bit under the weather. Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salts to enjoy deeper more restorative sleep. Its great for achy muscles, too. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil, relax, and take deep breaths. A drop of Frankincense can’t hurt. Go to bed early. 

Get good shut eye Once it starts getting cold we start going to bed a little earlier - or at least try to most days - especially when daylight savings ends. Getting more sleep is a great preventative to the onslaught of bugs you and your kids may face. Nighty night!

If you’re interested in learning more: 

Read Perfect Health for Kids by Dr. John Douillard (book) or read his many articles on children’s health at his website Lifespa.com

Read any herbal book by Rosemary Gladstar or Susun Weed about herbs and children. Both have wonderful books on women’s health, too. 

Posted 52 weeks ago
Posted 52 weeks ago

Full Ayurvedic Daily Routine

If you didn’t make my workshop on Ayurvedic Self-Care: Daily Routine (Dinacharya) at the Sukhava Bodhe Yoga & Music Festival you’ll find an outline below with links to resources. 

The Ayurvedic daily routine balances the body, mind, and spirit. It serves as everyday preventative medicine to lower risk of disease, increase vitality, and promote longevity.

This is a basic routine. It’s important to identify your primary dosha (or primary imbalance) and adjust accordingly. You can see an Ayurvedic practitioner to do that, like me. Contact me to set up a free phone session to find out how I go about this in person or by phone/Skype. 

1. Vata Time (air + ether doshas): 2AM - 6AM

Ideal time for spiritual practice; always start with gentle pranayama and meditation like nadi shodhana to neutralize the doshas

Waking

Go to bed early (by 10PM)  in order to wake up early naturally

The best time to wake is between 4 and 6 AM.

It’s the most sattvic, or peaceful, time of day.

Hydrate

Drink a glass or two of warm or room-temperature water

This flushes toxins, wakes up digestion, and prepares the body for elimination

Add a fresh slice of lime, lemon (pH balancing) or ginger (warming, stimulating)

Elimination

Sit on the toilet first thing; this will stimulate your system to empty both bladder and colon.

Cleanse the senses

Nasya: later in the morning or before bed, anoint the inside of the nostrils with a nasya oil (here’s a great line of nasyas)

Splash face with cool or warm water (avoid harsh soaps) depending on the season

Spritz the face with a pure rose water spray (avoid synthetic fragrance), drop rose water and saline solution in the eyes 

Oil pulling: swish with sesame or coconut oil in the mouth for 5-15 minutes, spit out, and rinse mouth with warm water; optional: gargle with warm salted water, adding turmeric to cleanse the mouth and throat (I like this one)

Anoint body with oil (see Abhyanga below; don’t forget to rub oil inside ears and nostrils using fingers)

Neti (nasal irrigation): use a neti pot with filtered water and neti pot salt 

Brush teeth and scrape tongue 

2. Kapha Time (earth/water): 6AM - 10AM   

Abhyanga (self-massage)

Vata-types: 4-5 times a week

Pitta-types: 3-4 times a week

Kapha-types: 1-2 times a week

Lightly brush the whole body with a soft body brush or silk gloves

Anoint the whole body with oil, starting at the head down to the trunk; begin again at the extremities and work towards the body; long strokes on the bones, circles at the joints; spend more time on head/face/scalp, hands, and feet.

Shower or bathe after the self-message (use a natural shampoo; only use a mild soap in “strategic” areas)

On non-abhyanga days, you can do a quick application with less oil and allow it to absorb before putting on clothes (5-10 minutes); or just focus on head/scalp, hands, and feet

You can use a dosha-specific oil or a seasonal one (links to some of my favorites below)

Vata = Fall/Winter

Kapha = Spring

Pitta = Summer

Tridoshic = All Seasons/ All Doshas

Exercise

Yoga (on an empty stomach)

Outdoor walk, etc. (a light breakfast okay)

Breakfast

Breakfast is usually the lightest, smallest meal as digestion is not very strong yet

Simple, nourishing foods like cooked fruit (avoid raw) or porridge

Kapha-types can skip this meal to boost their agni

Eat by 8AM

Try to focus on seasonal foods as much as possible with all meals. Check out these seasonal grocery list for summer and fall/winter

3. Pitta Time (fire + water doshas): 10AM - 2PM

Work

The most productive time of the day is from 10AM - 2PM. Use this time to get things done.

Pitta types may start to feel hungry by 10AM and may have a small snack.

Fresh fruit is the ideal snack or something with substance like nuts.

Raw fruit should be eaten by itself; otherwise, it may compromise the agni.

Avoid caffeine, sugary sweets, and salty crunchy snacks.

Lunch

The midday meal should be the largest one at or near noon. Vata and Pitta-types may like to eat a little earlier.

Hardest to digest foods are eaten at this time as agni is the strongest (meat, dense protein like beans, nuts or cheese, raw vegetables)

Sip small amounts of water with meals to avoid drowning the agni; the best time to hydrate around meals is 20 minutes before a meal

Afterwards, get some fresh air and go for a relaxed walk if you can (no devices)

4. Vata Time: 2PM - 6PM

A good time for creative pursuits, reflection, writing, and looking ahead

Energy starts to wane at this time

Make time for 4PM tea time; sit down away from work with a cup of herbal tea and a light snack like fresh fruit; get fresh air whenever possible

Restful, quiet, calm activities are best at this time

5. Kapha Time: 6PM - 10PM

If you exercise during this time, do so as early as you can, otherwise it can interfere with sleep.

Dinner

As the agni simmers down to embers, digestive fire is lowered and dinner is nourishing and lighter like soups or dal; one pot meals are easiest to digest

Easy to digest proteins are ideal; mainly plant or dairy based

Try to eat before sundown and at least 3 hours before bed

Go for a relaxed walk to aid digestion

For a nightly fast, try to abstain from food for 12 hours total (i.e., 7PM - 7AM)

Relaxation

Use this time to relax and create calm at the end of your day

Lower lights or use less lights so your endocrine system understands that the time for sleep is near; this helps the whole body to prepare for sleep

Avoid or limit screen time; turn off all devices to get at least 1 hour of uninterrupted quiet time

Prepare for the next day

This is when I get things ready for the next day like soaking grains, nuts, or legumes or preparing sourdough starter for the next day of baking. Why do this?

Bedtime

In/around bed:

Yoga stretching or gentle postures, tai chi, qi gong

Use calming nasya to aid in sleep. I love this one

Rub calming oil on soles of feet (ashwagandha, jatamansi, skullcap, Sleep Easy) or in scalp (bhringaraj or Healthy Hair)

I like to rub bhringaraj oil on my scalp on evenings before I plan to take a shower in the morning. It also helps to take the edge off of hectic mornings. Here’s the one I use. Or I will rub Sleep Easy oil on my feet. 

Go to bed by 10PM

9:30PM for Vata-types

10PM for Pitta-types

10:30PM for Kapha-types

Turn off and unplug all devices if kept at bedside; avoid electronics in bedroom if possible

6. Pitta Time 10PM-2AM

As the body rests during sleep, the body is busy doing many things and needs to be at rest to do these things well

Detoxing all the tissues of body starting with the liver

The brain eliminates toxic byproducts, saves new memories, and eliminates excess information

Blood pressure drops, body temperature drops (a cool room can help with falling asleep)

Growth hormones are released to repair damaged cells and create new ones.

You should feel rested in the morning when you awake; if not, you’re not getting enough sleep; you should wake naturally before your alarm goes off

Sleep loss increases the risk of health problems and causes hundreds of driving accidents

Good sleep will effect how well you function the next day: physically, emotionally, mentally. This is especially true for children. Find out how many hours your kids need here

Nighty night!

Posted 62 weeks ago

Top 10 Tips for Daily Routine & Families  (cont.)

Backtracking a bit. Let’s return to the morning routine, the foundation of a new day. Here its worth mentioning again that if I miss out on any self-care ritual I tend to feel more frazzled when stressful situations hit. That could be many many times within a few hours which is why the self-care component of the daily routine is so very important. Its good for everyone in the family. What kid doesn’t love smearing stuff all over themselves? And for mommas? I feel its a must. Like taking your daily vitamins (bad example, we don’t take vitamins but you get the picture). Especially postpartum mommas. Let’s go through them one at a time. First, the crown jewel … 

#4 Abhyanga 

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Abhyanga, meaning self-massage, is something you might do every morning. It’s a wonderful spa-like treatment using warm oil  and you can do the more practical DIY version at home every morning or as often as you can. The result is wonderfully soft, hydrated skin and also a sense of calm alertness that’s hard to describe. Gentle, rhythmic strokes soothe the nervous system and at the same time invigorates especially as it boosts circulation. It’s akin to putting on lotion, which you’re probably doing anyways, so this can replace that. Plus oil is better for skin as its more easily absorbed and moisturizing - and doesn’t have all that weird stuff it in! Good oils include sesame for cold bodies, coconut for warm bodies. Almond and olive, too. You can buy food grade organic ones at the grocery store or buy from Ayurvedic producers especially to get herbalized oils for different body-types (doshas). See link below. 

The main difference from applying lotion is that you may do this before showering or bathing. This is so that warm moisture helps oil penetrate the body more deeply where it can do the most good. This is a more therapeutic approach but I think absolutely worth it. If you’re new to this you can try putting on the oil after and while you’re still damp. Avoid scrubbing yourself dry with a towel. Try gentle patting or air dry if you can. I like to sit after and relax for 5 minutes just to enjoy the feeling of feeling like myself. Ahh. Good morning me.

Another big difference is the pressure used: gentle, not too much. This is so that you’re gently stimulating the lymphatic system just under the skin’s layer and not deeper into the muscular layer. This also makes it more deeply relaxing. 

Here’s a link to a how-to video on Banyan Botanicals’ website. I get my oils from them, too.

Don’t feel like you have to do the full 20+ minutes to get the benefits. It’s wonderful if you have the time like on the weekends. If not a quickie will still make a noticeable difference. I usually take about 6-8 minutes, hop in the shower, hop out, and while I’m still damp I apply a second super quick application. I also use an herbalized oil for my abhy that supports postpartum (8 months into it). I take more time if I have it. Here are notes on my routine:

1) Always start with the head: I massage oil through my scalp, all over my head, face, in/around ears (I use Bhringaraj herbalized oil which is good for hair, skin, and cool calming for my mind that’s more heated these days). This I warm slightly by rubbing in between my hands. Then I comb the oil through my hair. While I do all of this my body oil is warming in the warmer. 

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2) Then on to the body working my way down: long strokes along arms and legs, circular motions around joints, big circles on the stomach from my right to my left (following direction of digestion), spending time working on feet, in between toes, etc. My body oil is more warming: Ashwagandha-Bala for strength, a specific for postpartum: calming and strengthening body and mind. 

3) I do neti pot at this time.

4) Sit for a few minutes. Breath. Relax. Spritz face with rose water if I’m feeling warm. Sometimes I add a few drops of lavender and rosemary essential oils. Here’s my short meditation time in case I don’t get around to it later in the day. Check!

5) Into the shower I go to wash my hair. I try to use a shampoo with less weird stuff in it. If not, I feel the oil on my scalp offers protection and I’m careful not to rub it in too much. 

6) Out of the shower I use up the rest of the oil in the warmer while my skin is still damp. Put it on my face and use a bit of it in my hair. Right now I’m using transdermal herbal creams as my second “coat” - on my arms and legs that delivers more herbal support for emotional health/moods, prana-flow, etc. (more info on these when I post about postpartum care in future blogs). I feel the herbal creams really makes a difference, too. I notice when I don’t do this. My energy falls flat. I may get too emotionally reactive. I just feel better. I strongly believe its the combo of abhy + herbal creams that’s keeping PPD at bay (more on that later too). There’s been a study on this actually! I’ll share more when I blog about PPD (postpartum depression). I like to call it my herbal armor. 

7) After all this I do nasya (nasal oil). 

8) By this time my skin has soaked up all the oil and creams and I’m ready to get dressed. 

This seems like a lot - and it probably is to a new comer. Important to avoid overwhelm: take baby steps. Start to finish it probably takes me about 20-25 minutes. Once you get into a flow it all happens rather quickly. However if trying to do all this is stressful for you, that’s counterproductive so try to scale back. 

Just Add Kids!

This is where things get interesting. Babies are relatively easy. You can start applying oil right away or whenever you think they’re ready. I would start with a neutral non-herbal oil at first like coconut or sesame. Organic is important for the little ones. It can be very stimulating for them so go slow, just a little at a time, and gradually do more. Very gentle touch. This is very useful for calming a baby and helping them sleep better. And its great for digestion and working out any gas bubbles (circular motions from their right to left). 

This can be fun and messy and sometimes chaotic, especially with multiple kids. I recommend applying oil for younger kids after bathing while they’re still a bit damp (use less on scalp to prevent oil slick head). This I think is safer. Use less oil if its an evening bath since they’re little bodies need to digest it and digestion is wanes after sunset. 

 As they get older you can get them more involved. Older kids can help with applying the oil before or after bathing (hold off on feet to avoid slips and falls). I use Ashwagandha-Bala oil for them which is great for building strong muscles and bones. For me its strengthening and calming. Who doesn’t need that?

It doesn’t happen every day, mostly on bath days but that’s good enough for now. You can also do oiling on non-bathing days and use less. Just let them air dry a little while keeping them warm. That’s great for dry itchy skin during the winter months.  My 9 month old gets oiling this way more often since I get more opportunities with him during diaper changes. He LOVES it. I use Ashwa-Bala for him and plain coconut on my 3 year old. My tot is not as big a fan but he tolerates it. As we approach warmer days the whole family switches to coconut. 

As a first step, consider making a switch from lotion to oil and see how it feels to apply before and/or after bathing. Good luck and happy oiling!

Namaste.

p.s. Kids should wait to do neti and nasya until they’re a little older. Seriously, I can’t wait with all the runny noses!

Posted 78 weeks ago

Top 10 Ayurveda Tips For Families on Daily Routine

Ayurveda teaches that a daily routine lends a soothing and stable rhythm to our days that support the whole body-mind system - especially healthy digestion and a calm mind (nervous system).  Routines help children to feel safe in their every day explorations. Their curiosity can run wild within the boundaries of a routine plus they learn that there’s a time for everything. Parents benefit from this as well to help manage the challenge of raising their little ones. 

We thrive on routine, literally. And I should note that ours is a flexible one depending on what’s going on that day. Things happen within a general time frame but our day goes something like this: wake up, breakfast, chores, outdoor play or activity, lunch, nap, play time indoors, clean up, dinner, family time, bed. We rise early and we go to bed early (even the grown ups). We eat three pretty solid meals that happen about the same time every day. Set snacks in between meals, no constant grazing. I’ve lots to share in the kids and eating department so stay tuned for more on that. 

These first two tips are the cornerstones upon which I believe the Ayurvedic routine is built upon - at least ours is. Because of this they are the least flexible. That means that on the most part we go to bed and rise at the same time every day (yes, even weekends but there’s more flexibility then). If waking/sleeping times get shaky everything else starts to fall apart (like when we’re traveling or hosting weekend guests). This is when illness can creep in.

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#1 Tip: Evening: Retire early. I start here because if this doesn’t happen it gets in the way of things flowing right in the AM. I get to bed as early as I can. Ideally 9/9:30 but when I’m finally closing my eyes its usually closer to 10 pm. Try to get 7 hours minimum. 8 hours is ideal for most. Bed by 10/10:30 pm works best because you get better quality, sound sleep than if you go to bed later and sleep the same amount of time. It might have something to do with our internal “housekeeping” functions starting at 10 pm. Being asleep by that time allows our bodies to dedicate maximum energy to restoring the body-mind system, repairing damage from daily stress, cleansing toxins, etc. If we’re awake between 10 pm and 2 am that nightly operation is compromised. We wake up feeling groggy and not-so-well-rested. If we get to bed earlier we wake earlier with more ease, This is why I always start with evening routines before I address morning ones with my clients.

If you’re accustomed to going to bed late, roll your bedtime back 20-30 minutes at a time until you arrive at something do-able for you.

Try winding down about an hour before the time you want to be asleep by turning house lights down and turning off screens. This helps our brains and bodies prepare for sleep. Try a longer story time for little ones and avoid TV after dinner. 

Teenagers tend to stay up later (and sleep later), which is fine within reason but screens need to be off by a reasonable time. Ask them to try to do their computer homework first so they can be done sooner than later. Their brains need a lot of rest and too much screen time before bed can interfere with good quality sleep. That goes for everyone. 

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#2 Tip: Morning: Rise early. My boys are up by 6/6:30 am. I get up earlier so I have quiet time to myself to get ready and make breakfast. This is CRUCIAL for me to feel sane the rest of the day and handle stress better. Depending on how much time I have I may do one of the following important morning rituals (I’ll take more about each in future blogs):

a. self-massage with warm oil (abhyanga = heaven on earth) + shower

b. yoga and/or meditation practice

c. neti + nasya (nasal irrigation and oil)

I try to alternate my self-care routines because I don’t want to rise at the crack of dawn to try to do it all. That’s just crazy-making for me plus I can’t get to bed that early. This works for me. This way I can really take my time with my massage or yoga or cooking (I do almost every day) and enjoy peace and quiet while I’m at it. I feel less overwhelmed and anxious about getting it all done or having to rush through it. That’s not relaxing!

The main idea behind these practices for me is that they are incredibly nourishing and grounding activities that calm and relax my whole system before my tot comes stomping down the stairs crying out for his breakfast. It’s not about indulgence and self-pampering. This is survival, folks. 

Some mornings are a total bust. I’m lucky to get breakfast on the table or my teeth brushed. Life happens, and that’s okay. BUT if I aim to alternate some self-care love every day I’m going to get something out of it most days. That’s pretty good! This is what I tell my clients is the secret to setting long-lasting habits. Try every day. It may not happen but more often is better than not at all.

#3: Drink Water. This happens first thing or as soon as possible. I keep water at my bed stand so I can hydrate right away (still nursing). After I get dressed I go to the kitchen and make myself a warm cup of water and add the following: a squeeze of fresh lemon and/or a few slices of fresh ginger. It’s hydrating, cleansing, awakening to the digestive fire. I love it. Plus it will move your bowels sooner than later. It’s a good idea to eliminate before you take your first meal.

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More coming soon … 

Heather 
Yoga Ma

Posted 89 weeks ago

Hello!

I look forward to sharing lots of information about motherhood through the lenses of Ayurveda and Yoga, both ancient teachings with roots in India. If you’re new to either there’s a plethora of websites where you can be introduced. My favorites include Banyan Botanicals, LifeSpa (Dr. John Douillard), and HeyMonicaB. 

My blog is aimed at those with just enough knowledge to be hungry for more and want to see what living an Ayurvedic lifestyle is like with kids. That being said, you don’t need ANY previous knowledge of Ayurveda to make use of tips and tricks presented here. Practical information is what I like to put out there. The principles from the ancient teachings are the ideal. The gold standard. What you’ll find here is real life. After nearly 10 years of marriage and two children, I’ve done my best to keep some semblance of an yogic/ayurvedic lifestyle. This blog is an account of that process. My trials, triumphs, etc. 

I’ve been applying methods from both sister sciences and experimenting on myself since I started studying and practicing them many years ago. First yoga in the early 2000′s and then Yoga’s lesser known sister science Ayurveda in 2009. That curious attention has extended to my husband and now our two young sons who were both conceived and raised with help from the “two sisters.” I’m eager to share my findings and how we’ve greatly benefited from these ancient teachings. Keep in mind that just as every individual is unique, our families are, too. I always encourage mamas and papas to do what they feel is best for their family. You are the expert with your family. The information I share is a humble offering of what’s worked for me and mine. 

The first thing I’d like to share is that I am not a Purist. I take inspiration from the two sisters of ayurveda and yoga (henceforth called the Two Sisters) and make it my own. I encourage you to do the same. They are a forgiving pair. The daily practices can seem too daunting for a mother or father who is already overwhelmed caring for their young child/children. That’s why I’ve tried to prioritize and definitely simplify. In my eyes, if something isn’t realistically do-able, it’s not going to happen. Even if its important to our health and well being. Things just needs to be easier. Parents, usually mothers, have enough on their plate. 

I hope I can help with this starting with breaking down some of the basic day-to-day wisdom. My first offering to you is an overview of the Ayurvedic daily routine (dinacharya) that my family follows to best of our ability. I call it: My Top 10 Daily Practices That Keep Me/Us Sane. Or A Day In The Life Of An Ayurvedic Mama (Dear Lord, Help). That’s in my first blog! Read on…

May peace prevail in your house. Shanti. 

Heather

p.s. If you’re wondering about me and where I received my training … I’m a nationally certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (CAP) and Yoga Teacher (RYT). I teach in professional programs and offer individual consultation.The focus of my personal practice is women’s health - that embraces the whole family - and especially postpartum recovery and mental/emotional well being for mamas. You can find out more about me at my website AnnapurnaYogaAyurveda

Posted 89 weeks ago

January 2017 Update

January 25, 2017
Happy 2017 everyone! Another update from yours truly: my second child, Stefan, was born in July of 2016 and once again I'm on maternity leave until further notice. I am still available for phone consultations, however. Please feel free to get in touch to set up a phone call to discuss your New Year's health and wellness goals! I'm taking a limited number of new clients this year so don't delay. My practice continues to focus mainly on women's health and wellness; especially pregnancy, postpartum, and the little ones, too. 

You can still find me teaching prenatal yoga at Well-Rounded Maternity Center on Saturday mornings at least twice a month. I'm also working on a postpartum yoga program that will be hopefully offered there. Stay tuned to when this 8-week series will begin. This year marks my fifth year teaching Ayurveda and Prenatal Yoga to Yama Yoga's 200-hour YTT program! I love it to pieces. Yama has been a rock for me here in Milwaukee. Thank you, Marietta. 

Sadly Kanyakumari Ayurveda closed in Fall of 2016 so I will no longer be offering in-person consultations, workshops, or cooking classes there. Many thanks to the people, especially owner/director/head goddess Cheryl, who made that place so memorable for me. It was my spiritual home for many years. before I even ventured here. In fact, its one of the main reasons why I ended up in Milwaukee. Nevertheless, I look forward to staying connected with Kanyakumari family for years to come and brewing up more Ayurveda fun for the whole community.

I do plan on returning to Well-Rounded Maternity Center to see consultation clients when I return. My personalized herbal formulas will also still be available! You do need to be a new or existing client to get those. 

I have no upcoming events for the time being but please check back every so often. I'm still working on getting a regular Dancing For Birth class up and running but for the time being love hosting these amazing one-time events for expectant and postpartum mamas. I'll post dates as they get closer. 

My seasonal e-newsletters are on hold for now. I've taken the sign-up form off my website for now. Too many emails from robots despite the "I am not a robot" check box.  

Please use the contact forms to keep in touch. Be aware that my kanyakumari.us email is no longer functioning. Existing clients and interns can also reach me at my Gmail address. 

May this year be blissful and abundant for you and your family!

Yours in love and light. 
Namaste. 

Heather


 

Happy New Year!

January 7, 2016
This year has blown by as I've been busy exploring motherhood of a one-year old! I've learned so much. Professional ambitions have taken a back seat. I'm still simmering/marinating in the journey of new-mom-hood but there are a couple exciting things to announce. 

Most significant is that starting in the Spring, I will be offering Ayurvedic body work at Well Rounded Maternity Center along with my new assistant, Willow. She is a wonderful and experienced Ayurvedic body worker and I'm happy to n...
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What's New: Late 2014 & Early 2015

November 19, 2014
Hello! I'm very excited to be gradually returning to teaching after an extended maternity leave. My son, Dorian, our first child, was born April 27 earlier this year. I've enjoyed being with him these 6+ months and he's taught me more than I ever expected to learn from such a little human. He amazes me with his thirst for learning and endless curiosity.

My time with him so far has made me eager to share what I've learned by experience in the way of holistic wellness surrounding pregnancy, post...
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Daily Detox

April 17, 2014
One thing that we may overlook with the growing interest in detoxification is that there are many ways we can avoid accumulating an overload of toxins in the first place. There are countless choices we make every day that effect our health - for better or for worse.

Minimize Your Exposure To Toxins: 
  • Buy organic produce and non-GMO food items whenever possible (look online for shopping guides)
  • Eat real food; avoid processed foods as much as possible
  • Drink lots of good quality water; filter drink...

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Falling Gracefully: Ayurvedic Tips For Fall

September 26, 2013
Take Care of Vata & Take Care of Yourself This Fall
I love the sound of dried leaves underfoot and uncovering my stock of cozy sweaters for those cool, crisp evenings. Fall is the season of Vata, according to Ayurveda. The nature of Vata is cold, dry, light, mobile, and rough; all things that remind us of the qualities of the cooler months ahead. 

Although Fall brings wonderful things like Halloween and Thanksgiving (my personal favorites) it can also bring some things that aren't so much fun. ...

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Summer Time ... And The Living Is Easy

August 12, 2013
Isn't that how it should be, as the song goes? Where have the "lazy days" of summer gone? It seems summer days are busier than ever. Our clothes are different and the temperature is warmer, but as always we are swept up into the business of keeping busy. 

I've been more aware of this lately as my summer continues to fly by. Just by slowing down a bit I've been able to make more time for myself. I'm amazed by the profound effect of mindfully pausing to soak in the essence of summertime, even fo...

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Featured Article on FedWellness.com: Ayurvedic Techniques for Clarity

April 17, 2013

See the full article here: http://fedwellness.com/ayurveda-ccf-tea/
 

Heather is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Panchakarma Technician at Kanyakumari Ayurveda.  She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher trained at Kripalu Center.  That is where we met as she was a valued resource working as a faculty assistant in the yoga teacher training program.

I love Heather’s approachable style and ease in sharing the ancient science of Ayurveda and asked her to contribute some basic action steps for ...


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It's Time: Your Very Own New Year Make Over

January 3, 2013
I'm really looking forward to 2013 and hope you are, too. I'm working on updating my website and added a bunch of new services, packages and affordable prices. Whether you just want to figure out what your Ayurvedic constitution is or you want a full Ayurvedic consultation package for detox or pregnancy... I hope I can help you in your health goals this year. 

Maybe you're not sure what an Ayurvedic Practitioner does? I'm like a personal holistic coach guiding you in discovering all things con...
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Not. One. More. Resolution.

January 4, 2012
Am I the only one slightly annoyed (being modest here) about the resolution time of year? A time of new beginnings. A time of new priorities and promises, yes. However, in my experience resolutions do not work. Yes, over the years I have been able to embark on healthier endeavors and slowly do away with bad habits. Well, most of them anyways. I am human, after all. But it wasn't with the help of any resolution. It usually starts like this ... this Year I'm gonna ... and I'll also .... the lis...
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Fall: Winds of Change Are Blowing

September 30, 2011
I was driving home yesterday and was struck by the first signs of leaves changing on the trees that line the streets. It was breathtaking! Tiny yellow leaves had sprayed parked cars and larger ones could be seen rolling down the sidewalk as if out for an afternoon stroll. The sun peaked out from darker clouds that had deposited much rain in the previous hours. The smell is the air was unmistakable. Fall. My favorite season next to Summer ... and Spring.

As the temperature drops and cool breez...
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