Mountain views expand your time at the spiritual retreat center.

Wellness, Naturally: The Magic of Panchakarma

By Kim Rossi
August 23, 2018

The Art of Living Retreat Center’s Panchakarma cleanses are magical, and it’s such an honor to be a part of that process. We heal people from all over the country who are seeking greater health, whether they’re already fit or at the beginning of their journey.

 

Panchakarma: the basics

We haven’t watered down the program to make it more comfortable. It’s much different than the average Westerner’s daily routine. Being out of this comfort zone creates incredible mental, physical, emotional, and energetic growth.

 

Throughout the cleanse, you’re supervised by an Ayurvedic doctor, who helps you determine what’s out of balance in your body. You might already know what’s keeping you unbalanced, or you might be completely surprised.  Either way, these daily check-ins monitor your progress and help us tweak the program to fit you best as the days go by.

 

During the Panchakarma cleanse, we eat an Ayurvedic diet to heal and nourish. There are incredible authentic Ayurveda treatments at the spa: Abhyanga, Shirodhara, Nasya, Marma. We do a very balancing yoga and meditation practice. My favourite part is that every day we hold a knowledge session hosted by an expert. Every day you’re learning practical tools of Ayurveda and how to integrate them into your life. You bring these experiences back into your life, and continue to improve your health and well-being and raise your vitality.

 

The benefits of Panchakarma

It’s so amazing to be with each person when they start this journey, and to see them daily in the process, and watch their results come to life. They always far exceed my wildest expectations of what people can get out of Panchakarma. Physically, they feel lighter and cleaner. They’re eliminating better. Their mind is clear, clean, focused, and balanced. They experience weight loss, pain relief, and more energy.

 

This program not only relieves physical imbalance, but mental imbalance as well. Our emotional health is deeply connected to our physical wellness. When we don’t have ideal digestion, there’s no way the mind can be calm. If we’re experiencing constipation or bloating, it can extend to anxiety, insomnia, and even depression. If we have acid reflux, that disrupts our sleep, and if our physical bodies are not functioning well, we might feel agitated, irritated, frustrated, and overly self-critical. We might feel lethargic, dull, slow.

 

Panchakarma’s emotional connection

Panchakarma helps with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and a lack of connection. During the cleansing process, emotions come up that no longer serve our highest best self.  We give you the support you need to dissolve those emotions and leave them behind. Ayurveda has known for 5,000 years that our digestion is intimately related to our state of mind, and that’s why it’s so important to eat a pacifying diet and cleanse at least once a year.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurveda, schedule a call with one of our Ayurveda ambassadors to talk about what your wellness goals are and how Ayurveda and Panchakarma fit into your journey. We can’t wait to speak with you!

 

We are honored to hold space for you to begin your journey to health, happiness, and balance with Ayurveda. The Art of Living Retreat center offers personalized consultations, retreats, and treatments – check out our catalog or call 800-392-6870 to find the right program for you.

 

Kimberly Rossi, director of Shankara Ayurveda Spa, has been studying, practicing, and teaching Yoga, Meditation, and Ayurveda classes and workshops for seventeen years. Kim is a Kripalu Ayurveda Counselor. A certified yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner, Kim believes these paths assist us in being the very best version of our self.

     

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , cleanse , diet , Panchakarma , retreat , spa

Radiant Child Yoga with Shakta Khalsa Copy

By Shakta Khalsa
August 11, 2018

 

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Shakta Khalsa, founder and director of Radiant Child® Yoga, and dive deeper into how she started her program and what to expect from it. She will be joining us for a retreat November 7- 11 to share her internationally-known training program for teaching yoga to children, and interacting with children consciously. There are currently around 25,000 Yoga Alliance approved Radiant Child Yoga teachers worldwide. Shakta is an ERYT-500 and IKYTA certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and is considered the “godmother” of the children’s yoga movement. She is a leading expert on children and yoga, having worked with both since the mid-1970s.

My journey began more than forty years ago when I got involved in Kundalini Yoga and the Kundalini community. Members lived in spiritual communities, or ashrams, and their children lived and practiced yoga alongside them. I learned quickly that I not only really loved spending time and working with the children, but I also really seemed to have a talent for it. Making up songs and animal yoga poses to share with the young ones came very naturally to me. So, that’s where I got my start teaching yoga to children back in the 70s. I’ve been teaching yoga to adults for over 40 years as well.

I worked individually with children at the start of my career before becoming a Montessori teacher. By the 1980s I had my own school in Baltimore, so I was able to do yoga everyday with the students. The benefits of meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques were apparent. And I’m talking about preschoolers aged three to six. My assistant didn’t practice or study yoga, but she would beg me to do yoga with the kids because she could see what a difference it made for them.

In the 1990s I moved to Virginia and became a mother, so I stopped running the Montessori school. I continued my work by teaching at various schools and daycare centers, and within a short time I was teaching five hundred children a week.

Follow The Child

Simply put, children are impacted by yoga, breath, and meditation in much the same way as adults. They are more relaxed, focused, happier, and feel better about themselves.
Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori schools, based her teachings around the motto “follow the child”. When teaching yoga to children (or teens, because I teach a wide range of ages), we observe them to see how much energy they have on a day to day basis and tailor the practice around that. If their energy is high, we match it to help bring them back to a more calm and focused state . If they seem like they need a lift, then we use the yoga practice to provide that.

The root of the motto “follow the child” is really about honoring their needs. In my program, Radiant Child Yoga, we always honor the children. We see them as big souls in little bodies. We don’t just see them as cutesy little kids; we see who’s really there. But of course, we still make it fun for them. We recognize their playfulness but at the same time we make sure to see them as fellow human beings. Children often aren’t used to adults relating to them from that space. Let’s say I’m visiting a school or after-school program to teach a yoga class. Now, the teachers are doing the best they can, and they are with them all day long, so I don’t want to cast judgement. But sometimes whoever is in charge will say things to me like “Watch out for that one and call me if he doesn’t behave. You can just send him back to me.” Immediately they’ve projected a negative image about this child. I don’t want to have an expectation about this child.

I want to meet them as they are. And I’ll always point out what they’re doing well in order to help them shift their self-perspective to a positive one. If authority figures have a negative image of them, it can show quite easily and lead to low self-esteem. When this happens, they think they have to act out more just to get attention because nobody’s giving them any attention for all the things they are doing well. So I give them that, and it really helps. Spending many years working with children means I really understand them. I know how to help them live to their potential.

Little Masters

I was the direct student of Kundalini master Yogi Bhajan during his lifetime. He would always talk about the beautiful, natural radiance of children. This is where I got the name and the mission for my program. We want to help children to stay radiant, healthy, wise, and in touch with their intuition. I started this program because I saw that children are in touch with their own inner guidance, wisdom, and joy, and I wanted to help them to maintain that. Often something happens in their lives that dulls that bright light, that radiance. I do find that children have an easier time accessing that state of original joy and connection to who they are than adults do. In this way I was so motivated and inspired by children, and I wanted to help them maintain their natural abilities and their natural connections to who they are. That’s really how this program began. To me, they’re little masters, especially the young ones. They’re so amazing, so innocent, so connected to who they are. But as life goes by, as it does for us all, children take on many things that aren’t true to who they are. They can become over-socialized, but yoga keeps them in touch with their inner light.

Diving Deeper into Radiant Child Yoga Teacher Training

When participants leave they have all the basic tools they need to teach children all the way from babies to teenagers. We also make sure to include teaching children with sensory integration issues like ADHD and autism. This is all done in the span of a 30 hour training. Another valuable component is the materials. I’ve written a number of books so there is plenty of information to take home, which also includes a manual, CDs and DVDs, and arts and crafts workbooks. We work with these materials during the program so you lean how to make the most of them..
Our teaching includes how to set up a class for different ages, how to use songs in a class, and how to incorporate yoga games. We introduce techniques which may be out of the ordinary, like games and songs, because they help you capture young imaginations and connect with the children. Before you know it you’re having fun, and you’re learning, too. You’re learning how to get in touch with your playful, spontaneous side. We also cover all the elements of yoga very thoroughly. It’s very balanced between teaching concepts behind yoga and letting the children have fun; for example, we add breathing practices to everything we do because I’ve found that’s one of the best ways to keep centered and avoid losing the students’ focus during transitions. It can also be very calming, which is so helpful in a classroom setting.

Children have so much pure energy. I love to be around it; it’s truly inspiring. It can be a challenge, and you have to be on your toes. But in the Radiant Child training you will learn how to be on your toes and still be relaxed. It’s not about having a lesson plan and just checking off steps. You have to exhibit the inner quality of yoga, and part of the program is showing people how to do that. So, if you remember you are the yoga, your energy will emanate from you quite beautifully. A crucial part of Radiant Child Yoga is our self-awareness as adults. That’s where our own practices of yoga and meditation come in. We start our day with a Kundalini practice for adults so that we all connect with our energy, and then we can go on to learn and teach from that place of connection. By tapping into our own inner guidance, we can teach children to do the same.

Upcoming Family Programs

Nov 07-11
Family & Relationships Featured Presenters Yoga & Teacher Trainings

Radiant Child Yoga Training

Shakta Khalsa

Sharing Yoga & Mindfulness with Children

Learn More
Feb 15-17
Family & Relationships Featured Presenters

‘Make it Work’ – Couples Retreat

Tony Gaskins Jr.

The science behind a healthy relationship

Learn More
TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , cilantro , cooling , diet , Recipes , summer
Cleansing with Ayurveda - the Art of Living Retreat Center

Wellness, Naturally: Cleansing with Ayurveda

By Kim Rossi
July 30, 2018

Cleansing with Ayurveda - the Art of Living Retreat Center

I first dipped my toes into Ayurveda as an extension of my yoga and meditation practice. I was looking for a complete experience of vitality, optimal health and well-being, and lots of energy. My first intention was to go into Ayurveda School for my own personal vitality, but as it turns out, I fell in love with sharing it with others, too.

 

Building a strong container

With Ayurveda, we have this container around us, or as I like to call it, our capacity. Without a strong container, the ways in which we take care of our health–exercise, meditation, yoga, and a healthy diet–just flow in for a bit of a boost and then flow right back out again, without much long-term benefit.

 

Without a strong container, we can do everything right and still find ourselves off-balance. We can rise with the sun, go for a walk, drink our lemon water, scrape our tongues, have a meditation session and perform asanas, but can get in our car and encounter traffic and still become completely disrupted and aggravated.

 

What Ayurveda does is strengthen our container. It extends our capacity, our radiance, and our potential, so that external factors don’t hit us as hard. Of course, we’ll always encounter inconveniences, but in the long run, they won’t throw you off and ruin the rest of your day.

 

Beginning your journey

Ayurveda is incredibly simple, and unlike so many other systems of health, it doesn’t demand perfection from you. You can incorporate Ayurvedic principles and practices four out of seven days of the week. We don’t want to be feverish and do everything every day! That’s not sustainable. Incorporating Ayurveda is as simple as finding a few practices that really resonate with you, and then building upon it as you continue your journey.

 

The basics of Ayurveda

The essential first step of Ayurveda is finding your dosha, or constitution, and beginning to incorporate the recommended diet habits associated with that dosha. Our diet is the foundation of our Prana, or our life force energy, and so much of imbalance, disease, and physical and mental unwellness stems from poor digestion. Start with three meals a day.Fine tune and tweak these meals to be more pacifying to your dosha, and you’re already off to a great start.

 

The second step I’d recommend is looking at your sleep habits. Make your bedroom a sanctuary–no computers, TVs, or cell phones; a comfortable mattress; curtains that close and create a nice dark room. Get a good night’s sleep and rise with the sun, and you’ll have more energy throughout the day. Just by incorporating these two basic things, you’re practicing Ayurveda.

 

Ayurvedic cleanses

Ayurveda recommends a seasonal cleanse every spring and fall, because wisdom dictates that it takes six months for disease to accumulate. During winter, we store toxins in our fat. When it starts to warm up, these toxins are released. That’s why so many people are more vulnerable to sickness in the springtime! A spring cleanse flushes these toxins out and bolsters our health. In the summer, we accumulate heat in the blood, which can also manifest in disease. We dispel that heat when autumn moves in, and a fall cleanse can help support your body in that process.

 

Each cleanse eliminates these toxins in a very gentle, nurturing, and highly effective way. We’re resetting our digestive fire, which is thrown out of balance from stress and a low-quality diet. Cleansing also gives you an opportunity to reset your relationship with food in your habits and behaviours. It’s gentle, nurturing, and nourishing to mind, body, and soul.

 

Ayurveda and weight loss

I do a lot of Ayurvedic consultations with predominantly women, and one of the major focuses for this group seems to be finding and maintaining an ideal weight. The media goes wild promoting the latest weight-loss fads, but many of these fads are counterproductive to our digestive system. Extreme diets actually diminish the digestive system’s capability to support and maintain an ideal weight. While we may lose weight quickly in the present, we’re destroying our body’s ability to maintain a long-term healthy weight.

 

Weight loss is actually pretty simple. We bring our weight into balance by eating the right foods at the right times and in the right quantities, and by doing the right amount of exercise.

 

There are, of course, some constitutions where eating lightly serves you, and other constitutions where a gentle diet of kichiri once a week to reset the digestive system is satisfying and nurturing. But that’s the wonderful thing about Ayurveda–your ideal health is always dependant on your individual needs and constitution.

 

Rewire your relationship to food

Ayurveda resets your relationship with food. Most of us deal with a lot of stress, and we tend to deal with it in two different ways. Either we skip meals and have no interest in eating, or we overeat out of a desire for comfort and groundedness.

 

Both of these cases are detrimental to the digestive fire. Ayurveda helps you learn how to manage stress and your relationship with food, to rewire it so that you perceive food for what it is: nourishment.

 

We are honored to hold space for you to begin your journey to health, happiness, and balance with Ayurveda. The Art of Living Retreat center offers personalized consultations, retreats, and treatments – check out our catalog or call 800-392-6870 to find the right program for you.

 

Kimberly Rossi, director of Shankara Ayurveda Spa, has been studying, practicing, and teaching Yoga, Meditation, and Ayurveda classes and workshops for seventeen years. Kim is a Kripalu Ayurveda Counselor. A certified yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner, Kim believes these paths assist us in being the very best version of our self.

 

 

 


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , Cleansing , diet , doshas , mindfulness , organic food , Panchakarma , weight-loss

Radiant Child Yoga with Shakta Khalsa

By Shakta Khalsa
July 28, 2018

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Shakta Khalsa, founder and director of Radiant Child® Yoga, and dive deeper into how she started her program and what to expect from it. She will be joining us for a retreat November 7- 11 to share her internationally-known training program for teaching yoga to children, and interacting with children consciously. There are currently around 25,000 Yoga Alliance approved Radiant Child Yoga teachers worldwide. Shakta is an ERYT-500 and IKYTA certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and is considered the “godmother” of the children’s yoga movement. She is a leading expert on children and yoga, having worked with both since the mid-1970s.

My journey began more than forty years ago when I got involved in Kundalini Yoga and the Kundalini community. Members lived in spiritual communities, or ashrams, and their children lived and practiced yoga alongside them. I learned quickly that I not only really loved spending time and working with the children, but I also had a talent for it. Making up songs and animal yoga poses to share with the young ones came very naturally to me. That’s where I took my first steps teaching yoga to children back in the 70s, and I’ve been teaching yoga to adults for over 40 years as well.
I worked individually with children at the start of my career before becoming a Montessori teacher. By the 1980s I had my own school in Baltimore, so I was able to do yoga every day with the students. The benefits of meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques were apparent. And I’m talking about preschoolers aged three to six. My assistant didn’t practice or study yoga, but she would beg me to do yoga with the kids because she could see what a difference it made for them.
In the 1990s I moved to Virginia and became a mother – so I stopped running the Montessori school. I continued my work by teaching at various schools and daycare centers, and within a short time I was teaching five hundred children a week.

 

Follow The Child
Simply put, children are impacted by yoga, breath, and meditation in much the same way as adults. They are more relaxed, focused, happier, and feel better about themselves.
Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori schools, based her teachings around the motto “follow the child”. When teaching yoga to children (or teens, because I teach a wide range of ages), we observe them to see how much energy they have on a day to day basis and tailor the practice around that. If their energy is high, we match it to help bring them back to a more calm and focused state . If they seem like they need a lift, then we use the yoga practice to provide that.
The root of the motto “follow the child” is really about honoring their needs. In my program, Radiant Child Yoga, we always honor the children. We see them as big souls in little bodies. We don’t just see them as cutesy little kids; we see who’s really there. But of course, we still make it fun for them. We recognize their playfulness but at the same time we make sure to see them as fellow human beings. Children often aren’t used to adults relating to them from that space.

Let’s say I’m visiting a school or after-school program to teach a yoga class. Now, the teachers are doing the best they can, and they are with them all day long, so I don’t want to cast judgement. But sometimes whoever is in charge will say things to me like “Watch out for that one and call me if he doesn’t behave. You can just send him back to me.” Immediately they’ve projected a negative image about this child. I don’t want to have an expectation about this child. I want to meet them as they are.
And I’ll always point out what they’re doing well in order to help them shift their self-perspective to a positive one. If authority figures have a negative image of them, it can show quite easily and lead to low self-esteem. When this happens, they think they have to act out more just to get attention because nobody’s giving them any attention for all the things they are doing well. So I give them that, and it really helps. Spending many years working with children means I really understand them. I know how to help them live to their potential.

 

Little Masters
I was the direct student of Kundalini master Yogi Bhajan during his lifetime. He would always talk about the beautiful, natural radiance of children. This is where I got the name and the mission for my program. We want to help children to stay radiant, healthy, wise, and in touch with their intuition. I started this program because I saw that children are in touch with their own inner guidance, wisdom, and joy, and I wanted to help them to maintain that.
Often something happens in their lives that dulls that bright light, that radiance. I do find that children have an easier time accessing that state of original joy and connection to who they are than adults do. In this way I was so motivated and inspired by children, and I wanted to help them maintain their natural abilities and their natural connections to who they are. That’s really how this program began. To me, they’re little masters, especially the young ones. They’re so amazing, so innocent, so connected to who they are. But as life goes by, as it does for us all, children take on many things that aren’t true to who they are. They can become over-socialized, but yoga keeps them in touch with their inner light.

 

Diving Deeper into Radiant Child Yoga Teacher Training
When participants leave they have all the basic tools they need to teach children all the way from babies to teenagers. We also make sure to include teaching children with sensory integration issues like ADHD and autism. This is all done in the span of a 30 hour training. Another valuable component is the materials. I’ve written a number of books so there is plenty of information to take home, which also includes a manual, CDs and DVDs, and arts and crafts workbooks. We work with these materials during the program so you lean how to make the most of them..

Our teaching includes how to set up a class for different ages, how to use songs in a class, and how to incorporate yoga games. We introduce techniques which may be out of the ordinary, like games and songs, because they help you capture young imaginations and connect with the children. Before you know it you’re having fun, and you’re learning, too. You’re learning how to get in touch with your playful, spontaneous side.

We also cover all the elements of yoga very thoroughly. It’s very balanced between teaching concepts behind yoga and letting the children have fun; for example, we add breathing practices to everything we do because I’ve found that’s one of the best ways to keep centered and avoid losing the students’ focus during transitions. It can also be very calming, which is so helpful in a classroom setting.
Children have so much pure energy. I love to be around it; it’s truly inspiring. It can be a challenge, and you have to be on your toes. But in the Radiant Child training you will learn how to be on your toes and still be relaxed. It’s not about having a lesson plan and just checking off steps. You have to exhibit the inner quality of yoga, and part of the program is showing people how to do that. So, if you remember you are the yoga, your energy will emanate from you quite beautifully.
A crucial part of Radiant Child Yoga is our self-awareness as adults. That’s where our own practices of yoga and meditation come in. We start our day with a Kundalini practice for adults so that we all connect with our energy, and then we can go on to learn and teach from that place of connection. By tapping into our own inner guidance, we can teach children to do the same.

 

Upcoming Family Programs

Nov 07-11
Family & Relationships Featured Presenters Yoga & Teacher Trainings

Radiant Child Yoga Training

Shakta Khalsa

Sharing Yoga & Mindfulness with Children

Learn More
Feb 15-17
Family & Relationships Featured Presenters

‘Make it Work’ – Couples Retreat

Tony Gaskins Jr.

The science behind a healthy relationship

Learn More
TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , cilantro , cooling , diet , Recipes , summer

California Creamed Kale and Chickpeas

By Dr. Joel Fuhrman
July 20, 2018

 

Serves: 4

Category: Main Dishes – Vegan
Author: www.drfuhrman.com
For an easy and delicious entrée, combine sautéed kale, onions and chickpeas with a creamy garlic cashew sauce.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup unsweetened soy, almond or hemp milk
1 clove garlic
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added or low sodium chickpeas, drained
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place cashews, non-dairy milk and garlic in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Heat 2-3 tablespoons water in a large skillet or dutch oven and water saute the onion and carrots for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the chickpeas. Gradually add the kale and saute until kale starts to wilt, adding additional water as needed to prevent sticking. Cover and cook until kale is tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in cashew sauce and crushed red pepper. Cook, uncovered for 2-3 minutes until heated through.

 

Calories 335; Protein 16 g; Carbohydrates 46 g; Total Fat 11.6 g; Saturated Fat 1.8 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 70 mg; Fiber 11.2 g; Beta-Carotene 5838 ug; Vitamin C 49 mg; Calcium 203 mg; Iron 5.3 mg; Folate 210 ug; Magnesium 130 mg; Zinc 3.2 mg; Selenium 8 ug

 

 

 


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , cilantro , cooling , diet , Recipes , summer
Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

Satisfying Cilantro Summer Sauce 2

By Diana Bellofatto
July 10, 2018

Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

The hot time of year is upon us once again! Eating seasonally and staying cool will guide us toward lots of greens and veggies. This sauce makes the perfect partner to accompany your culinary creativity.

For the most part, nuts are heating, but almonds that have the skin removed are not. The skin of the almond is a tough substance to digest, and contains some anti-nutrients that are best removed. What remains is a protein-rich, ojas (think immune boosting & strengthening) enhancing, satisfying food.

In the world of Ayurveda, cilantro is known for it’s cooling effects and ability to cloy toxins from the body. It has an affinity for the skin and can even be made into a paste and applied to skin eruptions from rashes due to allergic reactions from poison ivy and the like.

Lime helps to impart the salty taste without creating excess heat, so you won’t have to add much salt to this sauce.

You can whip this sauce up in just a few minutes in a blender or food processor. Enjoy!

Fresh cilantro and almond sauce

If your agni (digestive fire) is up to the task of digesting raw veggies, this sauce can double as a dip for crudités or as salad dressing. Otherwise, it dresses cooked vegetables and grains very nicely.

  • 1/2 cup almonds, soaked over night in a bowl and peeled
  • About 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/4-1/2 cup lime juice
  • About 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt & black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Place soaked and peeled almonds in a blender with ½ c. water, lime juice, olive oil, pepper and salt. Puree.
2. Add cilantro (leaves & stems) and blend well.
3. Add more/less water and/or oil for desired consistency.
Store in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Makes about one cup.

Upcoming Health and Ayurveda Programs

Sep 28-30
Health & Ayurveda

Raw Food Bonanza

Poornima Sharma

Discover the nourishing power of whole foods

Learn More
Oct 05-07
Health & Ayurveda

Vibrant Health with Ayurveda

Kim Rossi

Discover the ancient healing science of Ayurveda and its practical application

Learn More
Oct 12-14
Health & Ayurveda Self Discovery

The Whole Body Transformation

Amie Valpone

Discover the Missing Pieces Keeping You from Optimal Health, Weight and Happiness

Learn More
Oct 13-21
Health & Ayurveda

Panchakarma Cleanse: October

Panchakarma: the Ancient Wellspring of Modern Wellness

Learn More
Oct 26-28
Health & Ayurveda

Ayurveda Awareness & Spinal Care

Medha Garud

Balance yourself from within with yoga for spinal care and optimal health.

Learn More
Nov 02-04
Health & Ayurveda

Ayurveda Culinary Retreat

Nalini Mehta

Unlocking Health with Ayurvedic Cooking

Learn More
Nov 04-09
Health & Ayurveda Yoga & Teacher Trainings

Living Light Weight Loss Retreat

Ayurveda Spa Team

Be light. Feel light. Shine Bright.

Learn More
Nov 10-18
Health & Ayurveda

Panchakarma Cleanse: November

Panchakarma: the Ancient Wellspring of Modern Wellness

Learn More
TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , cilantro , cooling , diet , Recipes , summer
Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

Satisfying Cilantro Summer Sauce

By Diana Bellofatto
June 29, 2018

Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

The hot time of year is upon us once again! Eating seasonally and staying cool will guide us toward lots of greens and veggies. This sauce makes the perfect partner to accompany your culinary creativity.

 

For the most part, nuts are heating, but almonds that have the skin removed are not. The skin of the almond is a tough substance to digest, and contains some anti-nutrients that are best removed. What remains is a protein-rich, ojas (think immune boosting & strengthening) enhancing, satisfying food.

 

In the world of Ayurveda, cilantro is known for it’s cooling effects and ability to cloy toxins from the body. It has an affinity for the skin and can even be made into a paste and applied to skin eruptions from rashes due to allergic reactions from poison ivy and the like.

 

Lime helps to impart the salty taste without creating excess heat, so you won’t have to add much salt to this sauce.

You can whip this sauce up in just a few minutes in a blender or food processor. Enjoy!

 

Fresh cilantro and almond sauce

If your agni (digestive fire) is up to the task of digesting raw veggies, this sauce can double as a dip for crudités or as salad dressing. Otherwise, it dresses cooked vegetables and grains very nicely.

 

  • 1/2 cup almonds, soaked over night in a bowl and peeled
  • About 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1/4-1/2 cup lime juice
  • About 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan salt & black pepper to taste

 

Directions

1. Place soaked and peeled almonds in a blender with ½ c. water, lime juice, olive oil, pepper and salt. Puree.
2. Add cilantro (leaves & stems) and blend well.
3. Add more/less water and/or oil for desired consistency.
Store in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Makes about one cup.

 


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic Recipes , cilantro , cooling , diet , Recipes , summer
Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

Stay Cool with these Summer Ayurveda Tips

By Diana Bellofatto
June 20, 2018

Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

Like the changing tides of the ocean, the practice of Ayurveda encourages us to go with the ebbs and flows of the seasons. Ayurvedic wisdom has recommendations to help us maintain balance of body, mind, and spirit. These measures can be very simple but have profound results.

 

Reaching an imbalanced state from an over abundance of heat can make manifest a host of uncomfortable side effects. In summer you may feel irritable, judgmental, argumentative, have dry skin or skin eruptions, and experience diarrhea. These discomforts can be ameliorated or avoided altogether with these summer Ayurveda tips!

 

Avoid sun

Avoid being out in the midday sun. If you go outside to exercise, try to do it in the early morning or evening. Bathing by the light of the moon instead of the sun is preferred and wear sunglasses even if you are only going out for a few minutes.

 

Wear the right colors

Colors effect our moods and body temperature. If someone says something that makes us angry we might say, “That made me see red!”. The color red stimulates and can incite, thereby increasing heat so, steer toward cooling colors in your summer wardrobe with whites and pastels.

 

Massage yourself with cooling oil

When overheated, we sweat and can experience dry skin. Massaging the body with coconut oil can cool and moisturize. Coconut oil also has the ability to kill odor causing bacteria. Always choose high quality, unrefined, organic oils. “Keep your cool” by massaging your scalp and feet with bhringaraj oil at bedtime.

 

Know your dosha

Those of us with a predominance of fire element (pitta) in our bodies can tend toward being more intense and driven to succeed. Intensity and drive serve a purpose but when pushed to extremes (such as in a competitive nature while playing a sport in the hot sun) are the same qualities that can burn us out physically, mentally, and emotionally.

 

Ayurveda calls the passionate, energetic, movement oriented qualities of pitta, rajas. Rajasic qualities are necessary in our lives and must be kept in balance. You may notice that people who are predominant in these qualities can also have sharp mental acuity. Out of balance, rajas can damage the myelin sheath that protects the brain.

 

Exercise smart

When you practice yoga, favor a practice with moderate intensity and maintain a diffusive gaze (not sharp and penetrating). Exercise by swimming or walking in shaded areas instead of playing competitive sports.

 

Know your triggers

Avoid “heated” debates and “hot” topics that you know tend to rile you up. Meditating on the bija mantras (seed sounds) Shim (pronounced “sheem”) or Aim (pronounced “I’m”) can cool and clear the mind. A longer mantra is: Lokah Samastah Sukinoh Bhavantu (May all being be happy and free). This mantra promotes kindness and acceptance.

 

May you be happy and free!

 


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , cooling , doshas , seasonal living , summer

Can my body survive?: The Sri Sri Yoga Teacher Training Course

By Laurie Bishop
June 15, 2018

 

While taking a three-week course in the mountains of Boone, I spent the first week battling doubt in my abilities. The second week brought many other hurdles. My mind was willing, but could my 50-something-year-old body handle the course?

 

Luckily, sensing the exhaustion of the class, Krishan Verma, the Yogi Master, adjusted the start time from 5:30 am to 6:00 am. Thirty extra minutes. Only thirty extra minutes. I really could have used four extra hours…

 

The weekly pattern

The classes each week followed a similar pattern. We had early morning yoga, the full sequence (40+ poses) followed by breathing exercises and meditation. Then, we would walk to the dining hall for breakfast and seva. After, we would go back to the classroom for more yoga poses and strength training until lunch. Following lunch, we would do seva before walking to the classroom building.

 

The afternoon consisted of lessons on anatomy, physiology, and the endocrine system, more yoga poses, and meditation before dinner. After dinner, we did seva then walked back to Veda II (the classroom building) for satsang. The day ended with yoga theory, and study sessions/homework before hopefully falling asleep before midnight.

 

That’s a demanding schedule for someone like me. Before my car accident, I was training to run a marathon. I was a little more used to a physically disciplined life then, but that was two years ago. By week two, I wasn’t just tired; I was exhausted.

 

Weathering the weather

Not only was the course challenging, but Boone in October brought constant weather changes. There would be eighty-degree days followed by twenty-degree days. The retreat center experienced flooding and sunshine, gale-force winds and gentle breezes, beautiful fall foliage and snow. Part of the physical challenge of the course became figuring out what to wear each day: flip flops or winter boots, t-shirts or thick fuzzy sweaters.

 

However drastic the change in weather might be, the retreat center maintained its awe-inspiring beauty. After the flooding, a double rainbow painted the sky. A bright full moon warmed the frigid night. There was beauty everywhere I looked. It seemed the weather was in celebration of our course.

 

A week of celebrations

The weather wasn’t the only thing celebrating. We also celebrated Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Our class dressed for the occasion and held a celebration after dinner. I was unprepared for the Diwali celebration – I didn’t pack a dress. Sensing my feeling of inadequacy, my class buddy, Sunita, invited me to her room, reached in her suitcase and generously gave me a beautiful dress to wear. Her generosity humbled me.

 

The celebrations continued with two birthdays. Celebrating our Yogi Master’s birthday, we danced, sang and ate cake. For Halloween, we celebrated yet another birthday. We laughed and danced with Jennifer (one of our yoga instructors) and even pranked her by dressing up our anatomy class skeleton with some of her clothes and placing the skeleton on her yoga mat. The nights ended with singing around a campfire eating candy from our Sanskrit teacher.

 

We worked hard each day, but we also celebrated with great joy.

 

A varied team of instructors

We had seven instructors who taught us every aspect of yoga. Andrew, a Sanskrit scholar, demonstrated how to pronounce Sanskrit words correctly. Medha, an expert on Ayurveda, lectured on the importance of diet. Bharti, a medical doctor, guided us through anatomy, physiology, and the endocrine system. Neha, Jennifer, and Neelam taught the morning yoga classes and were always on hand to help. There was so much to the course that I hadn’t anticipated. I knew there would be a Yogi Master, but to have six additional instructors guiding us was fantastic. It increased the intensity of the course because it heightened our growth potential.

 

The course was so much more than learning yoga poses. We were learning to be healthier, happier people from the inside out.

 

Deep cleansing… literally

 

During week two, we literally moved our insides…out. One day we learned how to use the infamous Neti pot. Our entire class, together, cleaned out our sinuses using salt water while hanging our heads over the railing of the dining hall veranda. The saline cleared away the gunk and carried it down the hill to mix with the fallen leaves. On the terrace once more, we learned the practice of Sutra Neti, or nasal flossing, which I was not a big fan of; I’ll leave it at that.

 

Another class exercise was Shankhaprakshalana: a salt water colon cleanse. This time IN the dining hall, our entire class drank salt water, performed eight yoga poses, and ran to the nearby bathroom as the concoction began to work. Then we would grab another cup of the colon cleansing elixir, return to our yoga mats and continue the poses until it was time for another mad dash for the toilets. In a way, it was a lot like the prep for the colonoscopy I had last year except for the classmates and the yoga. I have to add that it didn’t taste as awful as the colonoscopy prep. The Neti pot experience may have brought our class closer, but the Shankhaprakshalana took our bonding to a whole new level.

 

At first, I thought: I will never do this again, but the cleanse left me feeling lighter. I made a mental note to repeat the practice every six months. We were getting rid of trapped physical and emotional waste. Who needs to hold on to all that garbage anyway?

 

The emergency cookies

Two weeks of focusing on yoga created a visible change in me. My clothes hung more loosely, and I was breathing more freely (and not just because of the Neti pot).

 

There was a bag of emergency cookies in my room – Pepperidge Farm Milano. I unpacked the cookies the first day and carefully placed them on the desk. I used to eat 4 or 5 every night. Maybe it was because I thought it gave me control over my day, or possibly just because? After the first week, I found that number being knocked down to one and not every night. Just one cookie every now and then. The entire yoga process was creating a calmer Laurie, a happier me that didn’t really need a cookie before bed.

 

Looseness in the body

Falling asleep at night was no problem at all. In the past, I would have to take Motrin PM to fall asleep, but with the disciplined work came a tired body and a clear mind that had no problem sleeping. Waking up at 5 am became easier and easier. When the weather was good, I loved walking to class alone but for the stars brilliant against the dark sky.

 

With all of the mountain walks combined with endless hours of yoga, I was amazed that I had no soreness. My neck and back are often sore from the car accident I had two years ago. While I was taking the yoga course, I had no stiffness or soreness.

 

An emotional detox

The Yogi Master certainly knew what he was doing. All those poses we were holding were not only strengthening but also detoxing our bodies and emotions. There were times during class when I would notice tears streaming down my face. I wasn’t sad or hurt, yet the tears came, freeing me from trapped emotions. I wasn’t the only person experiencing tears in class. We became experts at knowing where the tissue box was and gently passing it to the person in need. That wasn’t the only release. There were times when bursts of laughter would erupt from the room.

 

During the second week, I began to concentrate on my body’s alignment, and not just during the hours of yoga sessions. While walking, I was more aware of my posture. Did I suck in my stomach? Were my shoulders pulled down and away from my ears? While I sat, was my spine straight?
The stronger my body became, the more I cared about my body alignment, and the less I cared about my flexibility.

 

My mind and body became stronger, allowing my spirit to take center stage. The total immersion into yoga allowed a safe place for me to grow.

 

Mind, body, and spirit

During the second week, our minds were challenged to memorize the sequence of poses, Sanskrit terms, ancient yoga knowledge, anatomy, physiology, and the endocrine system. Our bodies worked to perform the correct alignment for the poses while learning counter poses. Our bodies also had to build up from the cleanses while maintaining a tight daily schedule. Eventually, our spirits were challenged as locked-in emotions were set free allowing for growth.

 

My fear of not being able to complete the course physically was unfounded. The second week taught me that when led in the right direction, my body can keep up just fine. It even had energy left over to celebrate happy events. I began to feel thinner, stronger, and more comfortable in my skin. I felt my spirit grow as week two ended and week three started.

 

Two weeks down and one to go. Easy, right? Not really. The class as a whole was stronger and happier, but that didn’t make week three easier. No, it wasn’t easy at all. While the hours spent in class had become more routine, and the poses an enjoyable challenge, week three brought with it challenges that made me question if my spirit was going to be strong enough to help me pass the course.

 

To Be Continued…

 


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , experiences , seva , yoga , yoga teacher training
Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet & Kale Salad

By Diana Bellofatto
May 28, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

‘Beet’ the heat and build your blood

Ayurveda tells us that we begin to accumulate heat in the body just prior to the summer, so we want to stay ahead of the game by paying attention to the qualities of foods that can help us maintain balance.

 

Beets are nourishing for the liver. Cooked beets cool and cleanse the blood, strengthen the eyesight, and improve anemia, therefore increasing stamina by bringing more oxygen to the blood cells.

 

Kale is cooling as well. The fiber in kale prompts healthy elimination, while the bitter taste of kale and beets stimulate the flow of bile. This helps keep the gallbladder and liver from becoming congested. As the bile flows, it flushes toxins from the body and encourages healthy lymphatic flow, which detoxifies the body and fortifies immunity.

 

This recipe is proof that eating Ayurvedically does not require time-consuming cooking methods or obscure ingredients. The ease with which this salad can be prepared is very supportive to our modern lifestyles.

 

Beet & kale salad

  • 1/2 cup grated carrots, steamed until soft
  • 1 1/2 cups grated beets, steamed until soft
  • 1 head of kale, chopped, with spines removed and discarded, steamed until soft
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted or raw
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup flax seed oil
  • mineral salt to taste
  • large handful of chopped cilantro

 

Directions

1. Toss all ingredients together, and voilà, you’re done! You can’t ‘beet’ this for a fast, fresh salad that you can enjoy at home or take on a picnic.

Serves 4

 


 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , beet , healthy diet , healthy eating , kale , organic food , salad , summer

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