yoga

Body Bliss Life and Daughters of Culture 5-Day Yogic Lifestyle Challenge

Join Amrit-Sadhana of Body Bliss Life & Daughters of Culture 

for a 5-day yogic lifestyle treat!

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Living a yogic lifestyle can bring flow, simplicity & ease to your life. Even adding a few yogic techniques can make a difference. As a community we will cook together, meditate together & connect with ourselves & each other.

With December comes the Winter Holidays & with the Winter Holidays can come stress & anxiety. For some, this time of year can be really challenging emotionally. Going through the holiday's having stability & balanced emotions will keep your stress low & your nervous system strong.

We are very excited to share this with you, as we are coming to the closure of 2018 we feel this is a nice way of us coming together as a community, as a true sisterhood.

This meditation was taught by Yogi Bhajan in November 1991, he said “This meditation is especially useful for dealing with stressful relationships and with past family issues. lt addresses phobias, fears, and neuroses. It can remove unsettling thoughts from the past that surface into the present. It can take difficult situations in the present and release them into the Hands of Infinity.”

This meditation with instructions can be found HERE.  (Link: https://www.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/authentic-relationships/stress-relief-and-clearing-emotions-past)

December 13th at 6 PM PST we will do this meditation together on IG Live as a community.

Ayurvedic Adaptogenic Latte:

I love adding herbs and adaptogens to my morning brew. They help to support my nervous system and make delicious lattes. You can choose to use coffee, matcha or a non caffeinated drink for this recipe, it’s up to you. Listen to your body each morning. Maybe one morning you feel like coffee and others, you will feel like tea. If you’re not used to introducing fats into your morning beverage, start with 1 tsp and build from there.

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  • 1 cup coffee or tea

  • 1/2 cup nut milk (if you don’t make your own, try and find one with a short list of ingredients. Malk is great!)

  • 1 tsp to 1 T ghee or coconut oil

  • 1/2 date

  • 1 tsp ashwagandha

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger and cardamom

Blend everything in your high speed blender and pour into your favorite mug. Wrap your hands around your mug and set an intention for the day.


Ayurvedic Morning Porridge:

  • 1 cup steel cut oats (soaked overnight, This is a MUST as it will help with digestion and cut the cooking time in half)

  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water

  • 1/2 cup nut milk

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a saucepan over medium high head combine oats, water, milk and turmeric. Bring to a bowl and reduce to a simmer. Cook until oats are soft (this should only take about 10 minutes since you have soaked them). Add cinnamon, ginger and applesauce. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat and stop with hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds or almond butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy Notes: This porridge is great for the winter months as it is going to help to warm you from the inside out. The cinnamon and apple will help to balance blood sugar while the turmeric and ginger provide anti-inflammatory properties. The oats are loaded with fiber to keep you full for a longer time. If you cannot tolerate oats: you can use a mixture of chia seeds and shredded coconut. Combine 1 cup nut milk with 1/4 cup hemp chia seeds and a 1/3 cup shredded coconut. Prepare as directed without the water and using the chia and coconut as the oats.


As yogis, we eat simple diets. We do not eat anything that can’t be digested within 24 hours which is often why meat is not on the menu (although, I truly believe in intuitive eating and if that is what serves your body, this is a completely judgement free zone). A great way to cleanse the body it with a kitcheri diet. You can choose to eat this simple lentil and rice porridge for every meal or you can choose to eat it for one meal a day and supplement with steamed veggies,

salads and simple meals the other two. This is a traditional recipe given by Yogi Bhajan with a few personal adjustments. 

  • 4 1/2 cup filtered water or veg broth

  • 1/2 cup whole mung beans, soaked overnight

  • 1/4 cup white basmati rice or quinoa

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup peeled and finely chopped ginger

  • 3 cups chopped veggies (I find carrots, cauliflower, zucchini and broccoli works best)

  • 1 T ghee or coconut oil

  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp coriander

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a big soup pot, over medium heat, melt ghee and add onions, ginger, garlic and spices. Cook until the onions have just begun to caramelize. Add veggies, stirring occasionally so they do not stick. Rinse the soaked mung beans and the rice and add to pot. Stir until coated in onion and spice mixture. Add water or vegetable stock and salt. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and let cook until the rice or quinoa have broke down and let cook until the rice or quinoa have broke down and thickened the mixture. Taste and add extra salt, if needed. Store in a glass container in your refrigerator.

Can be served with a spoonful of ghee, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Here is your Yogic Schedule for the week:

  • Wake up 15-30 minutes earlier than your usually schedule to have time for your morning practice and meditation.

  • Hydro Therapy is optional, but I highly recommend giving it a try. Once you are done with your warm shower in the morning, turn your shower to cold and run your body as the cold water hits your skin. Make sure that you tune around to get your back, legs, arms, face etc. Bonus if you can hop straight into a cold shower, but I’ve been a yogi most of my life and the only time I can do that is the middle of Summer when its 100 degrees outside. If you are on your moon cycle, this is not advised as it increases blood flow and your body needs to focus on releasing what no longer serves it at this time.

It is also advised to start slow if you have high blood pressure or sciatica issues.

Benefits of Hydro Therapy:

• Opens capillaries and clears toxins at the deepest level of the body

• strengthens the immune system

• strengthens the nervous system

• prevents fatty liver

• increases metabolism

• improves circulation and flushes the organs

I don’t want to give you an outline with times because I feel that everyone has their own schedule so I am going to give you a layout for a day.

1. Wake up, drink a quart of warm water (you can add a squeeze of lemon if you’d like), get ready (cold shower!)

2. Make breakfast and adaptogenic latte

3. Morning practice with Emotional Balance meditation

4. Journal 3 things you are grateful for :)

5. Be mindful of your thoughts throughout the day. Allow emotions as they come, write them down if you need but see if you can honor them, feel them and then make no judgements.

6. Get some movement in! Walk, run, dance, however you choose to move is your choice, just move!

7. Drink TONS of water. 3 quarts if you can.

8. Make your kitcheri ahead of time so it is easy to heat it up for your meals. Serve with sides of steamed greens, salads, or steamed veggies. Keep your diet simple and allow your body to find flow in the simplicity.

9. Stop to check in with your body and breath several times a day

10. Keep a journal and write about your experience at the end of each day. 

  • Do you feel more or less connected? 

  • Do you feel more or less grounded?

The intention for this week is to help you to connect with your highest self, let go of what isn’t serving you & ground you deeply for the holiday season. Cultivating community is a huge passion of mine & collaborating with Daughters of Culture Sisters is a great way for us to unite. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at bodyblisslifepdx@gmail.com.

Guided & Led by Amrit-Sadhana of Body Bliss Life

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How I've learned to cope with anxiety

This post has been a long time coming. I often get messages from people via instagram asking me if I deal with anxiety and if so, how do I cope. I thought it would be most beneficial to write it all down in one place. 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am speaking from my own experience and providing tips in hopes that it will help someone. If you deal with severe anxiety and anxiety attacks and feel it is interfering with your life, please reach out to a mental health professional. 

The short answer is, YES! I do have anxiety. Is it all the time? No. Is it more than the average person? Maybe. I remember being a very young child, maybe 2 or 3 and telling my mom I had a "funny feeling in my tummy." Looking back, I realize that was anxiety. The way it manifests may have changed throughout the years, but I have lived with anxiety most of my life. As a result, I have collected different tools and ways to cope that have helped immensely. I still deal with anxiety: Some days are better than others and sometimes I am freaking out inside when I look like I have it together on the outside. It's not about perfection, but progress and helping yourself to feel grounded and safe. 

Anxiety comes in so many forms and with so many different names. It can range from butterflies in your stomach to being doubled over, not being able to breath and feeling like you're having a heart attack and everywhere in between.

Figuring out the why can be helpful, but it can also engage the mind and make things worse. For me, if I can track the trigger, then I immediately know the why. This doesn't come as easy for everyone. If you find your mind racing to find the why, then maybe that doesn't matter in the moment. That is when I will start with my first suggestion...

Meditation and Breathwork:

For me, my anxiety is the worst when I am not in my body. When my mind goes to worst case scenario and I start to future trip like I'm getting paid. This is where I use my yogic training to get back into my body and bring me into the present. The first thing I do is either sit in a chair with my feet flat on the floor or in a crosslegged position on the floor. Place your palms face down on your thighs. I take 5 deep breaths (as deep as I can get). The intention is to make each breath longer then the previous. I then do a body scan from my toes to the top of my head. Checking in with each part of my body and bringing myself fully into the present moment in my body. If I'm still feeling anxious after this, I will do some spine circles or cat cows and I will mentally chant the words "Sat" (pronounced saht) on the inhale and "nam" (pronounced nahm) on the exhale. "Sat" means truth and "nam" means name or identity so you are connecting with your true identity. It is impossible for your mind to focus on more than one thought at a time so focusing on a simple mantra (you could even use "let" on inhale and "go" on exhale) will keep you focused just on that and hopefully help to relieve some of the anxiety

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Move your body and get outside:

For me, exercise has been one of the biggest components in helping me to cope with my anxiety. Hard cardio works best for me, but sometimes just getting outside for a walk, breathing the fresh air and feeling the circulation moving in my body does the trick as well. When I get a good sweat in 3-5 times a week, overall my anxiety is significantly better the on weeks when I just don't get it in. It really doesn't matter how you move your body, it's just important that you move. On days when I just don't have the time, I will get out for just a 10 minute walk or hop on my rebounder for a few minutes just to move the stuff around. When endorphins are released, it interacts with receptors in your brain that reduce pain and trigger a positive feeling in your body that is similar to morphine. Have you have done a really hard workout and halfway through start crying for no reason? Its because your body is moving emotion that has been stuck. I find that stuck emotion causes anxiety so get your body moving and move it regularly!

Journaling:

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Having a place to put your anxious thoughts is powerful. There are three ways we move emotion through out body: breath, sound and movement. Journaling is considered movement as you are moving your hand to get the words out. When our minds get the best of us, sometimes the best thing, for me, is to sit down and let it ALL out on paper. Without judging myself or editing myself. All the dirty, ugly, neurotic, catastrophic thoughts. There is nobody there to judge you or tell you you're wrong. There is nobody there to tell you you are too much or that you need to "calm down." It can all come out on those pieces of paper and when you are done you can close it up, put it somewhere safe and move on. If those thoughts come back, you go back and write some more. You write until you have nothing more to write.

Journaling has always been one of my most powerful tools. One of my favorite exercises to do it to grab 4-5 different colors pens and start writing on one page. I then write horizontally, diagonally, words over other words. When you're done you are left with a beautiful mess of colors and I always feel lighter. 

Products that help:

For me, managing my anxiety has been a lifestyle change. One of self care, checking in with myself, meditating, exercising and listening to what my body needs. I am going to share a few supplement and products that I have found to be very helpful. 

Ashwagandha: 

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic adaptogen (an herb that helps the body adapt to stress) used to strengthen the adrenal and nervous system. It has a wonderful calming effect. In a study, ashwagandha was used in place of lorazepam and found to be just as effective as the prescriptions drug. My favorite brand of ashwagandha is Sun Potion. This company tests three times throughout the process for toxins and heavy metals (which are common in things grown in India and China). They are also certified organic and has been most effective, for me. I simply put it into my morning drink and enjoy. 

Reishi:

Reishi is a functional mushroom and is also an adaptogen. It is known as the Queen of Plants. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. When used regularly, the mushrooms effects build in the body and can be quite effective. My husband says that he feels the effects of reishi immediately and that it works better than anything else he has tried. In studies it has been shown to effectively reduce anxiety with 4 to 6 weeks of regular use. It can also combat depression and fatigue. The only reishi I use is from Root and Bones. Use code "bodyblisslife" for a discount. 

Rescue Remedy:

This is a product I have been using as long as I can remember. My mom always had a vial (or 5) of it. It's a homeopathic remedy and it truly works. If you feel an anxiety attack coming on or just have that low grumble of butterflies in your stomach, you take a few droppers full and within a few minutes start to feel the calming effects. Since then, the company has released several other Rescue Remedy infused products. If you can't do alcohol (as it is alcohol based), the pastilles are a good alternative. They even have a sleep formula. 

Integrative Therapeutics Lavela:

These little lavender pills have changed the game for me. I keep a strip of them in my purse and as soon as i feel anything come on, I pop one in my mouth. Within 20 minutes, I feel a sense of calm wash over me. When I'm having a hard time, I will take one each morning preventatively. I am so grateful I found these and that they have made their way into my life. I have recommended them to several clients and they all report back that they work. They also give you a lovely essence of lavender in your mouth. :)

Plant Therapy "Worry Free":

This lovely essential oil blend has all the properties to relax the body and mind. I love to use it before meditating, before bed, in the morning or whenever I am feeling a little anxious. I place several drops in the palm of my hand, run my hands together to warm it up and then cup my hands around my nose taking several deep inhales. I take the remaining oil and rub it on the back of my neck, my chest and inside my wrists. 

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Anxiety is different for everybody. Learning to cope with or live with it is a journey and may look different from person to person. These are just a few things I have found to be effective and lasting. I still deal with anxiety, but I have found a good self care system that works for me. Recognizing when it's coming on and knowing what will be best for me to help calm and ground myself. Sometimes I do all of these things and sometimes a simple walk in the fresh air helps. I hope that you find these suggestions helpful and, as always, if you have any questions please leave a comment or email me. 

 

Moon Cycle Survival Guide

I was 11 when I got my moon cycle for the first time and along with it came all the symptoms. The women in my family have all coped with heavy cramping, bloating and hard periods. I'm talking doubled over, nauseous, mind-numbing cramps from knees to mid back, black out pain. I'm grateful I have a hippy yogi mom and to grow up in an Ayurvedic home to help me learn what would work for my body. 

When I went to a gynecologist, they thought maybe I had endometriosis, but that was quickly thrown out. The next "resolution" was to put me on birth control, which we did not do. Over the years I tried cutting out all sugar, caffeine, hard cardio, warm compresses, prescription pain medication (which just made me high and didn't actually take the pain away), you name it, I've most likely tried it. 

Over the years I have collected recipes, remedies and techniques that have helped me to cope. For me, one of the most powerful tools I learned is to just recognize that this is how my body cycles. I put this guide together to make it as gentle as possible. Not saying this is how all women's bodies cycle. If you truly feel like something is off, I recommend finding a naturopath or gynecologist that you like and trust to see if there is something else going on. I am not a doctor and am just sharing what I have found works for me. 

Warm Gingner Tea: 2-3 Days before my cycle and the first few days of my cycle, I sip on ginger tea. This is an Ayurvedic recipe and it makes a huge difference. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and will help with bloating, indigestion and cramping. I will make a big batch of this tea each morning and sip on it throughout the day. Adding a bit of honey will up the anti-inflammatory factor. 

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 3 inche fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup nut milk
  • honey to taste (optional)

In a saucepan, bring the water and ginger root to a boil and let it roll until reduced by about a 1/3. Add the milk and remove from the heat. Pour into a mug and add honey to taste.

 

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  • Pain Management: I used to pop 4 ibuprofen every 8 hours when I was on my cycle because it was the only thing that would touch the pain. I finally found a combination of supplements and herbs that really work.  I work in a chiropractic clinic and we sell a product called Formula 303. These magical pills are an herbal muscle relaxant made from valerian, magnesium and passion flower extract. They work like a dream not only for cramps but also tension headaches and muscle tightness. I take 2 every 3-4 hours to stay on top of the pain for the first 3 days of my cycle. I have found that these are not as effective is the cramping is already really bad. I have to make sure I take them at the first sign of cramping. I also take a dose of CBD each morning and evening to help with inflammation and pain. I currently use Select CBD.  I have been really happy with this source but don't necessarily think its the only one or the best one out there. Do you research and make sure you are getting it from an organic source. I will be doing a whole blog post on CBD soon.  When things get really painful I will add a Valerian Tincture, as well. This is formulated by the doctor I work for, but you can find valerian tinctures at most health food stores. 
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  •  Free and Easy Wanderer: This is a Chinese herb combination developed to help support the female reproductive system. When I am good about taking this every day, it makes a difference in my cycles. I take one dropper-full each morning in my glass of water. 
  • Ashwadangha: This Ayurvedic herb is truly amazing for the entire body. It helps to support the adrenal glands, nervous system and reproductive system. It very high in iron (if you have extra heavy periods, mix ashwagandha with molasses and nut milk). I take this herb almost every day. I feel that it helps keep my body in balance, and it also strengthens the uterine wall. Sun Potion is my favorite source for powdered extract. It is organic and tested for heavy metals (this is extremely important for products that come out of India). Portland Ashwagandha Farm makes a really great tincture as well. 

Note: I am also planning a post on adaptogens to support  your moon cycle so stay tuned for that!

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  • Warm Epsom Salt Baths and Hot Water Bottle: I'm a sucker for a warm bath. When cramping is really heavy, I light a candle, fill the tub, add epsom salts and climb in. I use this time to meditate and connect with my body. Sometimes I read a book, but it really helpful for me to just sit and listen to my body. I will place my hands on my abdomen and breathe through the discomfort. The warm water and epsom salts help to ease the cramping as well as low back pain and body aches. On days when a bath isn't possible or it's just too hot outside, I will curl up on the couch with a hot water bottle tucked next to tummy. This makes a huge difference and feels warming and comforting to my body. 

  •  Movement: Some people find it helpful to do cardio or movement while on their cycles. My body does not like it. I have a tendency to do very gentle and slow yogic stretches and gentle slow walks. This way my body is still moving, but not exerting. It's already working so hard to expel what no longer serves it. Some yoga poses that feel very soothing to my body are child's pose, gentle camel pose, and sitting in easy pose with both hands gently cradling your abdomen. Breathe all the way down into the bottom of your abdomen and breathe it all out. Whatever type of movement you choose to do during this time of the month, make sure you are connecting with your body and not pushing. 
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I am sharing these tools in hopes that it will provide some sort of support or help for other women. I know that I felt like this was just going to be my life and I couldn't do anything about it. It took me asking questions, trial and error and my yogic upbringing to find the things that worked. That being said, our bodies are always changing and always evolving so tomorrow I could wake up and none of these things work. Learning to tune into my body and truly listen has been the most powerful tool. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me directly or leave a comment below. 

How Body Bliss Life was Born

Happy Friday! I realized I just jumped into the whole blog thing and didn't do a post introducing myself, what I do and why I do it. So here goes:

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Hey! My name is Amrit-Sadhana, I live in Portland. I'm originally from Central Oregon and have lived in LA, Italy, Vietnam and spent extended time in India. I grew up in a yogic home (which you've heard me say before), but what does that mean? It means that I was raised with Kundalini yoga and meditation from a young age, we didn't wear shoes in our house, it constantly smelled like chai (totally ok with that), chant music was played non stop and we had a yoga room (yes, a whole room dedicated to yoga). This does not make my childhood extra special or void of trauma, but it did provide me with some tools that I carry with me to help me to cope. In fact, it's what helped me to heal from trauma. This lifestyle is the seed/foundation of why I created Body Bliss Life. I wanted a place where I could share my knowledge and experience of Ayurveda, yoga and mediation. Where you could find inspiration to create yummy and healthy vegetarian meals and a place where being a woman is 150% celebrated. Living consciously and blissfully is my passion because I feel that we all deserve it. It's a birth right. 

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    When I discovered feminine movement, I feel like the missing piece of a puzzle was found. When I lived in LA, I met Sheila Kelley (the creator of S Factor). She invited me to come take a class (me?! pole dancing... I don't think so). Took me about 3 months to take her up on her offer and of course I was hooked from the moment the class started. Never had I been given permission to move my body without judgement or shame. I could spend 10 minutes to get from the floor to my feet and it was celebrated. Too often, we are rushed and don't allow our bodies to just move in a way that feels good. Thus began my journey. When we moved away from LA, my body missed the movement so much. I traveled back several times for teacher training so I could become a teacher. Discovering my style of teaching took some time, but I found that it works best for me to fuse my upbringing with yoga and meditation with the movement, thus was born Body Bliss Movement. 

    I have a lived a lot of life in 31 years. There is so much more to tell but for now I will leave you with a few fun facts about me:

    1.  When I was young, my father was a professional shepherd. I spent many of my childhood days on a farm "helping." In high school/college, I milked cows. You could say that I am a farm girl at heart
    2. I am semi-fluent in Italian (used to be fluent) and miss Italy every single day
    3. I have my Bachelor's in Voice Performance and sang with Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera for 2 1/2 seasons.
    4. I did a 1000 day meditation (1000 days in a row without missing one day. A minimum of 11 minutes a day and no more than 31. In Kundalini yoga when you do a meditation for 1000 days in a row, you master it.). I did bound lotus, which is when you sit in full lots and wrap your arms around to grab your toes and then bow your forehead to the ground. 
    5. Elephants are my most favorite animals in the entire world!
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    Oil Pulling 101: What is it and why you should be doing it

    Lets talk oil pulling! One of my favorite Ayurvedic practices.

    Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic technique used to cure many ailments and to disinfect the mouth. It is between 3000-5000 years old. I have been oil pulling for about 6 years now and it has made a huge difference. In fact, the last time I went to my dentist he asked me what I was doing and told me not to tell anybody about it because it would put him out of business (can I get an amen!)

    Like many Ayurvedic and Eastern philosophies and traditions, they have come to the west and been modified. This isn't always a bad things, but part of what makes these ancient techniques so effective is because they have been practiced for centuries in the same way. There is a science behind them that can't be argued with. 

    I wanted to provide breakdown of exactly what oil pulling is, how to do it and the benefits. Like many eastern traditions that comes to the west, there seems to be a lot of incorrect information out there. People who have read about it once and decided they are going to change it (which is fine, but there is a lack of understanding on why it is done a certain way). 

    What the heck is it?:

    Oil pulling is the process of taking a tablespoon of oil in your mouth (traditionally un-toasted and unrefined sesame oil, but you can also use unrefined coconut oil) and swishing (or "pulling" the oil between your teeth) for 15 to 20 minutes (yes, you HAVE to do it for this long, I will explain in a bit). Spitting the oil out and then brushing your teeth. In Ayurveda (as well as most eastern philosophies) a lot of what is going on with our health reflects in our mouth and on our tongue. Good oral health=good overall health.

    Things you need to know:

    • Needs to be done on an empty stomach (best done first thing in the morning before your brush your teeth)
    • DO NOT swallow the oil as once it is swished it is loaded with toxins from your body. 
    • Rinsing and brushing your teeth after pulling will help to remove any remnants
    • 20 minutes seems like a really long time, but I make it a part of my morning practice. When I wake up, its the first thing I do. I hop in the shower and get dressed all while pulling. By the time I'm dressed and start to do my face it is time to spit.
    • If your jaw is hurting while you are swishing, you are swishing too vigorously. You want it to be a gentle and slow swish.

    Why 20 minutes?

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    The technology behind oil pulling is that it mixes with the enzymes in your saliva to pull the toxins our of your blood. It takes the 20 minutes for this to happen. So if you only swish for 10 minutes you are probably getting the benefit of whiter teeth (which I understand, is one of the reasons people do it), but you are missing out on so many other amazing benefits!

    What's the Point?

    There are A LOT of health claims behind oil pulling. While I cannot attest to it "curing" anything, I can tell you what it has done for me. I originally began oil pulling because my teeth had become extremely and increasingly sensitive due to receding gums caused by grinding my teeth. It was to the point that I was using a prescription toothpaste (which was so gross and loaded with all sorts of chemicals that are not good for you). My teeth were so sensitive that it hurt when I smiled and cool breeze touched them. A friend of mine mentioned oil pulling so I went home and began my research. I started  every day for 20 minutes. I made it part of my morning sadhana (practice). Within 3 days, the sensitivity in my teeth had gone down significantly. I also started to notice my skin becoming clearer, some digestive issues being resolved and, overall, feeling more energized. An added bonus is that people were asking if I had my teeth professionally whitened! While I truly don't believe in a quick fix, I was seriously impressed with the outcome. While I no longer oil pull every day (usually 3-4 times a week), it is still a part of my regular routine and I am very grateful for it. Below is a list of benefits oil pulling claims:

    • Promotes oral hygene
    • Reduce Headaches
    • Increase Energy
    • Decrease teeth senstivity
    • Promotes Healthy Skin
    • Helps with digestive issues
    • Detoxes the body

    Since I began oil pulling regularly, I have noticed some pretty amazing shifts in my body. Honestly, if the only thing it did was make my teeth sensitivity go away, I was sold. This is not to say that everybody will have the same experience. This was mine and I wanted to share it as it has been a really great tool for continuing to learn new things about my body. If you haven't tried it and are curious, check it out. You've got nothing to lose. If you have tried it and have a success story, please share. I believe in creating a community where we can share our successes and discuss our different opinions. Happy pulling!

    Resources:

    • I like to use Napa Valley Organics Sesame Oil which is cheapest from Thrive Market
    • This is the website I have referred people to for years. Its a great resource for oil pulling- http://www.oilpulling.com/

    Spiced Golden Milk

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    Golden Milk: You've probably heard of it as turmeric is now the "it" superfood. Growing up in a yogic household, golden milk was served to me regularly. A rich golden cup full of turmeric, honey and almond oil.

    These days you will find it at coffee shops, in the refrigerated section of your grocery store and in powder form on the shelves. One important aspect about turmeric that many do not know is that in needs to be activated in order to be usable by the  body. This can be done by combining with a good fat (ie, ghee) or by cooking at a low temperature for an extended period of time. 

    It is a common misconception that black pepper helps with turmeric absorption. Black pepper contains a compound called peperine, which inhibits the metabolic breakdown of turmeric in the gut and liver so that it remains in the body longer and increases the effects. So it is beneficial to combine black pepper with your turmeric, but it does not help with absorption. For this reason I like to add black pepper in addition to either simmering the powder in water or mixing with a healthy fat.

    Most of you already know that Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, but did you also know that turmeric has a long list of benefits including, but not limited to:

    • blood purifying

    • lubricates the joint

    • can repair damage to the nerve center caused by drug abuse

    • promotes digestion

    • immune support

    • nourishes the heart and circulatory system

    If you're going to make golden milk, I find the most effective way to do so is by cooking the turmeric powder in water. The turmeric powder needs to simmer at a low temperature for at least 8 minutes to make a paste. 

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    I grew up using a recipe by Yogi Bhajan. I use his traditional way of making turmeric paste, but have made a few adjustments and added some delicious spices. 

    Golden Milk:

    • 1/8 tsp organic turmeric powder

    • 1/2 cup filtered water

    • 1 cup nut milk

    • 1 T ghee, almond oil or coconut oil

    • 1 tsp raw honey

    • a pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

    • 1 pinch ground cardamom

    • 1 tsp grated ginger root

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    In a saucepan add the turmeric powder and filtered water. Bring to a boil and turn down to a low simmer. Set a timer for 8 minutes. Continue to whisk the paste while it simmers. Cook until a paste forms (at least 8 minutes or longer). Add the milk, ghee, pepper, cardamom and ginger. Bring up the heat until the milk is hot, but not boiling. Once hot, remove from heat and strain through a mesh strainer. Add sweetener to taste and enjoy.

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    Note: You can make a larger amount of paste to keep in a glass jar in your fridge for up to 40 days. Just increase the amount of turmeric powder and water. When you want to make golden milk, simply heat up your milk and other ingredients with anywhere from 1 tsp to 1 T of turmeric paste, strain and enjoy. 

    Add-ins: To superpower this already amazing drink you can add reishi, ashwagandha, pine pollen, spirulina or chlorella. The possibilities really are endless. For adaptogen companies I love and trust head over to my "Products I love" page. 

    Once you've made the paste you can add it to other dishes and drinks.  I like to add it to oats, lattes, curries, stir fries, etc. 

    Turmeric is an amazing root that can have really impactful benefits on your health. I highly recommend making it a part of your regular diet. To add to all the incredible benefits of turmeric, regular consumption can lead to a beautiful golden glow. You really can't go wrong. 

    Resources:

    https://www.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/yogic-diet/yogic-foods-recipes/golden-milk-healing-tonic-vitality-and-flexibility

    https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/herbs/turmeric/

    https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/is-turmeric-effective-only-when-combined-with-black-pepper/turmeric_black_pepper/

    Self Care During the Holiday Season

    Self Care can be challenging any time of year, but it can be extra challenging around the holidays. Holidays are not particularly easy for a lot of people. They bring up core issues, sadness and depression. There is also a pressure to buy the right gifts, make the right meals and to look a certain way. It is, sometimes, all too much.  I personally, love the holidays but also feel the stress of the season so here is my guide for self-care from now through January 1st.

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    Meditate:

    was given the gift of mediation at a very young age. I realize that it does not come as easy for everybody. Even if it is just a quick 3 minutes meditation every day. Take a moment to sit in a quite place, close your eyes and breathe deeply. If you have more time, that is wonderful, but 3 minutes is just long enough to connect and reset. I like to practice the alternating nostril breath. To do this plug your right nostril with the middle finger of your left hand and inhale to the count of 8. Hold for a few moments and then plug your left nostril with your thumb and exhale. For more information on this meditation click HERE.

     

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    Make good food choices:

    This can be tricky as the "right" foods are different for everyone. What I mean by this, is to eat as much of a whole food diet as you can. Especially this time of year our bodies crave warming foods like winter squash, root vegetables, dark leafy greens, whole grains, beans etc. I like to batch cook roasted vegetable and grains so that I can throw together a quick bowl when I'm hungry instead of going to those convenience foods that don't make me feel very good (let's be real, I have an addiction to boxed macaroni and cheese). These foods will not only make your body feel good, but will also keep you grounded and balanced around all the chaos of the season. Learning to listen to your body is a learning curve. For example; usually when  you are craving sugar (yes, you may have a sugar addiction, but that's a conversation for another time), your body is actually craving protein. Try eating a slice of organic cheese, an egg or some baked tofu. It will typically curb the craving. When that doesn't do the trick I will eat a date with almond butter, a piece of organic dark chocolate or a homemade goodie made without refined sugar. My philosophy this time of year is to eat really well 85% of the time and to indulge the other 15%. The reality is that there is no point in completely restricting yourself from all the things you love, but the constant over indulgence isn't healthy either. There is a balance and it's important to find which balance is for you. The whole mentality of "the diet starts Monday" is not healthy. It creates an anxiety around your food with effects your digestion and the way your body takes it in. Try to give yourself permission to enjoy what you eat and not guilt trip yourself. At the end of the date, eat the pie, have some roasted vegetables and go to sleep, you're gonna be ok!

     

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    Attitude of Gratitude:

    No matter how busy I am, I always take time to write down 5 things I am grateful for each day. Not only does this put life into perspective, but it also makes you stop and think about how much you actually have. We can get so caught up in all the things we want and not have appreciation for what we already have in front of us. It's powerful to recognize those things and send out grateful energy. Not only does it feel good to do this, but it also cultivates more positive energy in your life.  Why is this in my self-care for the holidays post? Because self-care isn't always about taking a bath or eating a cookie, it's also about connecting with yourself, honoring your body and creating an awareness of what you need. On the flip side, it is also ok to journal about all the things that are effecting you. Journal it out. Write about your frustration and your stresses and then set intention to surrender or release (if you're ready) and if you're not that is ok too. Self-compassion is a hard thing to learn, but it is of utmost importance. Learning to not be so hard on yourself will truly have a huge impact on your life. 

     
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    Move Your Body: 

     

    Whether it is getting outside for a walk, doing 15 minutes of yoga, getting some cardio in or just putting on a song and dancing your heart out, MOVE YOUR BODY! There is so much science and research about the effects exercise not only has on the body but on the brain. It is an incredible anti-depressant, lifts your spirit, strengthens your body and releases toxins. On an energetic level it also shakes all the shit off. So if you're feeling super low, get that body moving and sweat it out. You don't have to run 3 miles for it to be effective, just do something that gets your blood circulating and your heart rate up. Most importantly, don't beat yourself up if a day goes by and you don't move. Just start again tomorrow. 

     

     

    The Holiday season should be something that in enjoyed. It should be spent with the people you love and enjoy spending time with. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case. This is the time of year when you really need to put your mental health before anything else. Take a bath at the end of the day, read a book that brings your joy, eat foods that nourish your body, but that also taste delicious. It's so important to take time each day to connect with yourself. Connect with what is stressing you out and causing you anxiety and see if there is something you can do about it. Try to stay present in the moment, BE IN YOUR BODY and breathe. If this post does nothing more then give women the permission to take care of themselves and be a little selfish,  then I have done my job. 

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    Goddess of the Month: Sophie Jaffe of The Philosophie

    I have been so incredibly excited about this Goddess of the Month. Body Bliss Lifers meet Sophie Jaffe of The Philosophie!* I first discovered Philosophie Superfoods while staying with a friend in LA. She showed me her smoothie cupboard and pulled out three brown envelopes with bright labels. She said they were created by a local mom and vegan/raw chef. I used them every day for the remainder of my trip. When I got home, I immediately placed an order and I have not been without since.

    Not only does this beauty make amazing superfoods blends, but Sophie is a true inspiration. She teaches to believe in magic, to be the best you, you can be and to work your ass off to live the life YOU want to live. I am beyond grateful to have her as a friend and support system in this life. Without further adieu, let's hear what this Goddess has to share:

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    What inspired you to create your own company?

    I wanted superfoods to be accessible to anyone and everyone. I also wanted it to be easy to get a nourishing boost of superfoods, all rolled into one bag. I know for myself personally, I was so sick of running out of a certain product, mid way during my smoothie, having to run over all of LA to find the right Maca, hence philosophie was born!

    My husband was a big push behind starting philosophie superfoods! We were floating in the sea in Israel, realizing I was starting to really wear myself down with meal planning and cooking for so many different people all through out LA.  I knew creating my own personal blends for people to use on their own, was the natural and organic next step. 

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    Why superfoods?

    Because I fully believe in them, and the impact and power they have on our bodies!

    What is your morning routine?

    If the kiddos actually end up sleeping in their own bed (which rarely happens ;) ) I'll try and get a few extra minutes of sleep! If they are with me, its major snuggle time, then brekkie! We love to make superfood smoothies or waffles together, depending on what everyone is craving! In our house, we REALLY listen to our bodies! 

    Once we get them out the door to their school (a Waldorf, obsessed with it!) i try to find some beautiful morning light to stretch a bit. Next up, its time for a sweat! Hot8 yoga, Soul Cycle, or the Culver city stairs are my main go to's lately! I'll rush home for a quick shower then its time to check my ever growing email, and get to work!

    My favorite Superfood Coffee recipe found here:

    So easy, I throw these ingredients into my Vitamix Blender:

    Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why? 

    I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by so many incredible women, from friends to family. My incredible, beautiful, inspiring mother Phyllis, is also a huge impact on my life and philosophie. She also braved a huge battle with Stage 4 Breast Cancer, and was one of the most terrifying experiences of our lives. I was so inspired by this that I created the Cacao Magic Mushroom superfood blend which includes 3 medicinal mushrooms: ReishiChaga and Cordyceps. These 3 mushrooms have been used for centuries to heal people and are known as “the ultimate herbal substances”. I began to do more research than ever during the time she had cancer to get to know the magical herbs of the world and using them myself.

    If you were stranded on an island and could only take two adaptogens with you, which two would you choose and why?  

    Reishi and Chaga for their incredible healing benefits! Truly foods you can live off of.

    How do you honor your feminine body? 

    By speaking kindly to it and allowing my self to be authentic and free!

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    Where do you find Bliss in your life? 

    Through my kids, husband, work, workouts, helping others, laughing, a great meal! A sweaty yoga flow does wonders for the soul and mood. Making time to move your body is key in maintaining Bliss for me!

    If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be? 

    Don't listen to the noise, trust in yourself and your authentic being! only YOU know whats best for you, and don't hesitate to say NO to something that doesn't serve you!

     

    *To receive 15% off your total purchase with The Philosophie, use code "bodybliss"

    Welcome!

    Hello Beauties! Welcome to my Blog: "Living consciously through the feminine!"

    I am thrilled to start this journey and to take you along with me. I have had requests for years to start a blog and its finally time for me to take the plunge. Here is a little about me:

    •  I am a feminine movement teacher living in Portland
    • I love to cook and play in the kitchen
    • I love all things feminine
    • I've been practicing Kundalini yoga and meditation most of my life
    • I have a passion for real foods and creating beauty with them
    • I have my degree in voice performance and you can catch me performing from time to time

    My goal is to bring you recipes, products, guest bloggers and movement. To inspire you to live a little more in your gorgeous feminine body every day. To create a community that uplifts and supports. When women come together and support one another, amazing things happen!