Pickled Ginger Carrots

Pickled Ginger Carrots

My team and I recently completed another Yoga Cleanse Retreat here on Vancouver Island. We had an amazing time full of laughter!

During my cleansing retreats, we enjoy delicious freshly made juices, which means multiple fridges packed with veggies! It's always a little hard to gauge how much juice we'll be making throughout our time together and this year, in particular, we ended up with a lot of unused vegetables! That meant we needed to get creative and try a few new recipes so that we could continue to enjoy all the beautiful fresh veg without it going to waste.

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Seasonal Cycles :: Expand into Summer

Seasonal Cycles :: Expand into Summer

According to Chinese Medicine the season of summer is related to the fire element and Heart energy. Ayurveda (the medical system of India) also tells us there is an increase in pitta or fire this time of year. Fire is the most yang element. It is connected to heightened activity, expansion, connection and expression. The Heart which is related to fire governs the spirit and circulation of blood. When the Heart or fire element is disturbed we may experience anxiety, insomnia, a feeling of heat or skin eruptions. 

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Yin Yoga Sequence for the Kidney Meridian

Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Kidney and Urinary Bladder

Within our yin yoga practice we can practice sequences of poses that directly target areas of the physical body as well as specific meridian lines. Meridians are considered channels where Qi or Prana flows. Qi is the basic life force of the body. Having enough Qi flowing smoothly in the meridians is key to health and longevity in body and mind.  

While each pose effects multiple meridians at a time we can combine the poses in a sequence to emphasize one or two meridians.

The sequence below targets the Kidney and Urinary Bladder channels. The Kidney and Bladder are related to the water element and the season of winter. New to the elements? I also created a video about all 5 elements here. 

Acupressure Point Kidney 1 (YongQuan)

In another post I wrote about the acupressure point Kidney 1 and how to use it in your practice so be sure to check that out as well.  

Add pressure to the point when able during the below sequence to increase targeting of the Kidney meridian. According to Chinese Medicine the Kidney generally helps us to ground so pressing this point is especially helpful if you've been feeling anxious or ungrounded. Use gentle pressure to begin and slowly increase. Hold the point anywhere between 30 seconds to a minute or so dependant on your preference.

Yin Yoga Sequence for Kidney and Bladder Meridians:

** Hold poses between 3-5 min. depending on your ability

Butterfly Pose

Forward Fold (Caterpillar)

Saddle Pose

Sphinx or Seal Pose

Child's Pose

Dragonfly Pose

Reclined Twist

Legs up the Wall

Savasana

I hope you enjoy the sequence! Let me know in the comments if you tried it out and what you discovered :)

See you next time!

A Yin Yoga Sequence for the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians

Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Liver and Gallbladder

Within our yin yoga practice we can practice sequences of poses that directly target areas of the physical body as well as specific meridian lines. Meridians are considered channels where Qi or Prana flows. Qi is the basic life force of the body. Having enough Qi flowing smoothly in the meridians is key to health and longevity in body and mind.  

While each pose effects multiple meridians at a time we can combine the poses in a sequence to emphasize one or two meridians.

The sequence below targets the Liver and Gallbladder channels. To learn more about the Gallbladder channel be sure to check out my post on the lateral sheath. I also created a video about the wood element and a post on the season of spring which are directly related to the liver and gallbladder.

Acupressure Point Liver 3 (Tai Chong)

Add pressure to this point during the below sequence to increase targeting of the Liver meridian. According to Chinese Medicine the Liver generally likes energy to move so pressing this point is especially helpful if you've been feeling tense or stressed.

The point is located on the tops of both feet between the bones of the big toe and second toe. Most people find a place near this area that feels a little more sensitive. Use gentle pressure to begin and slowly increase. Hold the point anywhere between 30 seconds to a minute or so dependant on your preference.

Yin Yoga Sequence for Liver and Gallbladder Meridians:

** Hold poses between 3-5 min. depending on your ability

Wide Knee Childs Pose

Close Knee Childs Pose

Sphinx Pose

Sleeping Swan/Pigeon Pose

Shoelace Pose

Reclined Twist

Happy Baby Pose (Stirrup pose)

Savasana

I hope you enjoy the sequence! Let me know in the comments if you tried it out and what you discovered :)

See you next time!

Release the Lateral Sheath

Release the Lateral Sheath

Everything in the body is connected. When studying and speaking of the human body we often name individual anatomical parts as if they are somehow separate from all other parts. This of course is not true; everything is deeply interconnected within the body. One of the ways anatomical structures connect to, and are affected by, one another is through the fascia which wraps and weaves around all structures. In some areas of the body the fascia is light and airy while in other areas it is tough and dense. Its purpose is many fold but the importance of keeping the fascia pliable and adaptable cannot be overlooked.

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A Beautiful New Video Series about Health Care in Nepal

In 2011 I volunteered with a wonderful organization called the Acupuncture Relief Project (ARP) providing primary medical care in rural Nepal. It was a life changing opportunity. I gained unparalleled experience in the field in addition to being provided the space to grow as a person and practitioner.  

Feel free to view my Case Study Research Paper from my time at the clinic or the Acupuncture Relief Project Research Paper of compiled case studies from that year.

Since I volunteered in Nepal the Acupuncture Relief Project has expanded its reach and impact. Most recently film maker Tristan Stoch created a series of 7 short videos highlighting the work being done in Nepal by ARP.  Check out the first 2 videos in the series below and if you'd like to watch more head to the compassion connects youtube channel

I hope you enjoyed this little peak into the beautiful work of this organization. If you'd like to get more involved head to their website for more info. 

I'll see you next week!

Building Intelligence and Strength in the Feet and Legs for Stability and Grounding

Building Intelligence and Strength in the Feet and Legs for Stability and Grounding

The feet are the foundation of the body. The 33 joints and the 26 bones in the foot are constantly moving and making small articulations based on the forces the body is bearing. Ultimately any incongruence in our posture or alignment (day to day and in our asana practice) will show up in the feet. The opposite is also true; as we re-align and strengthen the feet and legs greater postural integrity will enter the whole body affecting seemingly unrelated issues. 

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Yoga Cleanse Retreat Metchosin 2016

Hope you're having a wonderful day!

My next Yoga Cleanse Retreat is here!

I've offered Yoga Cleanse Retreats in places such as Costa Rica and Vancouver Island. They offer an opportunity for participants to relax and rejuvenate while at the same time going through a process of cleansing. This year a wonderful eco-therapy practitioner will be joining me too. 

These retreats involve beautiful nourishing meals and guidance from experienced practitioners. Basically when you sign up for a Yoga Cleanse Retreat you can rest assured you'll be in qualified and caring hands!

The food at a Yoga Cleanse Retreat is always wonderful and helps to lead you through a deep process of cleansing. This year you'll have the choice of 1-2 days of juicing. Now if that sounds scary - don't worry! The juices are plentiful and packed with vitamins and minerals to keep your body and mind healthy and clear.

If you're interested check out the video above. These cleansing retreats hold a special place in my heart and it truly makes it worth all the work when I hear testimonials like the ones in the video.

EARLY BIRD PRICES END MAY 1st so be sure to get in soon :)

And as always - if you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to reach out.

3 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Anxiety

3 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Anxiety

The breath is an immediate doorway into discovering what is happening in the body and mind. Your breathing is a reflection of all kinds of systems in the body including muscular, respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological systems.  It affects energy levels, and your emotional state, and is in direct relationship to your energetic system which regulates the movement of Qi or prana throughout the body.  

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