Loving life with nature, beauty and yoga's wisdom.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bathing Beauty

Summer's heat calls for cooling off in water. Since taking a dip in the ocean or a pool isn't an everyday convenience opting to take a bath in lieu of a quick shower is. When you take the time to sit in a tub and feel the sensation of water against your skin, your mind and body melts into oneness. This experience is similar to noticing your breath in a yoga pose or quietly reading a book and not hearing your name being called. When your mind and body unite... anxiety, worries and fears slip away.

Our minds are quick and will dart towards stressful thoughts that is why I suggest taking a bath in the evening when our egos are typically soft. I also recommend beautifying your bath with objects that please your senses. I like to get all creative about it and pick a theme. The bath shown is my Aphrodite bath. She is the Grecian Summer Goddess who is associated with beauty, creativity and prosperity. Her myth states she is the rose of the ocean who surfaces during summer as beautiful woman along the shoreline. As a result physical objects that represent her presence are roses, shells and salt.

To invite Aphrodite's energy into my auric field I filled my tub with warm water and poured in 2 cups of epsom salt to ease my weary muscles. I learned about the benefits of salt baths in my dance days and they really work in relieving muscular pain! To please my eyes I placed a single rose in a vase alongside the tub with a few petals in the water. For soft lighting and the right smell I included a rose scented Yankee Candle. Be sure the flame is not near the shower curtain or towels. I added a handful of sea shells I bought from Bed, Bath & Beyond to enhance my ritual to evoke Aphrodite.

Before entering the tub and pretty much anything I start to do in life I say a prayer. I held my hands above the water and said something like...

"Aphrodite, please infuse this water with love, light, beauty, creativity and transformative vibrations. May it remove unwanted density found within me so that my true and lighter self can be revealed. I like you will shine my light. Thank you, from the depths of my heart."

Create your own bathing beauty ritual and you'll notice a calm, cool and centered you emerging from the water.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Simple Summer Solstice Sequence


Navasana/Boat pose, ring www.accessorize.com

Earrings, shades and sandals www.forever21.com

Table top pose

I learned way back in my dance training days to break it down and simplify as much as possible. This dance principle has helped me greatly in getting the teachings of yoga across to so many different types of people.

My focus these days is the belly, the third chakra/energy center. The energy center from which we receive the sun's power. Access it by crunching, twisting (not shown) and back bending. Doing so will give you the space to soak up the sun's divine rays. You will also physically strengthen your core body and emotionally activate your will to get up and go after what you want. In addition to activating our physical and dream body, conditioning our solar plexus chakra tames our ego's fire from burning out of control and keeping us further away from our truth.

When working on this center visualize yourself inhaling the golden warm rays of the sunshine in. When you exhale see yourself burning darkness out from within.

Tunic vintage Monsoon from London, nap sack gifted from India, tights www.lailarowe.com

Another thing I learned from the dance stage is when the sequence is simple the costume must scream. Are my yellow tights bright enough? I down played them a bit by wearing a white camisole underneath, a billowy white & red rose embroidered tunic as a cover up and an ethnic print nap sack for color and visual depth. This ensemble is not very everyday however the color story follows the no more than three color rule...yellow, white and red. Also these colors are of the moment and this makes me feel in sync with nature as we celebrate the Summer Solstice sun.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Aphrodite Emerging

I'm a big believer that during different seasons of a woman's life she naturally takes on characteristics similar to various ancient mythological goddesses. Goddesses like the Celtic Goddess Brigid, when she wonders in winter's darkness of what she can possibly create for the new year ahead, the Grecian Goddess Hecate who knows what path to take during a new moon and the Hindu Goddess Kali who destroys what is due to die in her consciousness. There are so many Goddesses and learning about them has personally helped me to be easier on myself as I grow and change.

As we approach the Summer Solstice, the longest day of light in the Northern Hemisphere on Wednesday June 20th, the tree's leaves are fully developed and lush. While along the shoreline the essence of the Grecian Goddess Aphrodite, Venus to the Romans, emerges from the water's foam that glides along the sand.

Botticelli's "Birth of Venus"

She's a siren. Sexy, charismatic and oozing with the ability to create something fabulous. Her attention getting energy is likened to Hollywood starlets such as Mae West, Marilyn Monroe and Angelina Jolie.

Marilyn Monroe

Aphrodite is not a vulnerable goddess who demands another to prop her up. Rather her liaisons are plentiful and are not limited to being sexual.

Tunic vintage from India. Tank, denim leggings and shoes www.forever21.com

She stands in alignment where her front body meets her back body and her feet evenly push downward while her crown moves beyond the clouds. Her focus always returns to watching the rhythm of her breath and heartbeat. Doing so slows her mind down and allows her to be in the moment at hand. She exudes presence, confidence and always gets the right amount of attention.

Aphrodite knows something and her gift is to make it known.

Beads Annie Sez circa 2011

This summer sit alongside a moving body of water and call on Aphrodite, the Goddess who matches the strength of the peaking summer sun to attract more light, love, beauty, creativity and fertility into your life.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Strawberry Moon Salad

This past week fans of the celestial sway have been talking about the amazing view on Tuesday eve of the planet Venus moving in front of the waning moon. This sort of thing doesn't happen too often so if you were lucky enough to see it or at least know about it I'm sure you've noticed how what happened above regarding a feminine energy planet, Venus moving in front of Mother Earth's view of another feminine planet, the Moon, has greatly affected the female side of you for the positive. Did you feel more loving, attractive, charismatic and creative this week?

When the female side of us is turned on whether you're a guy or a gal the urge to go into the kitchen and cook can arise. Because a few female planets plus Monday's partial lunar eclipse during a full moon called the Strawberry Moon by farmers caught my attention, I'm feeling to share the Strawberry Salad recipe I learned from my Aunt Eileen many moons ago.

When it comes to buying produce, I buy organic. Yes, it costs more to eat organic but you can find great value at a lower price than most mainstream markets if you shop for produce that is in peak season like strawberries at your local farmer's markets, co-op markets or go to a competitively priced market like Trader Joe's. If you're not clear of where to shop for fair priced organic food in your neighborhood simply do a google search and the organic friendly nicely priced shops in your area will unveil themselves to you.

Why buy and eat organic? Because eating foods high in pesticides and other chemicals lowers our vibration and keeps us from attracting what we want like high energy, restful sleep, peace of mind and overall good health.

Extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, agave sweetener, strawberries, baby spinach leaves and sliced almonds

When you buy strawberries it is important to eat them the same or next day as they go bad quickly sitting in the refrigerator. Be sure to wash them well and slice off areas that look moldy or bruised.

This recipe is great for summer evenings when you're not that hungry or it is late and you need to eat something. All you need is what you see above mixed together. I'll leave the exact measurements up to your taste buds.

This salad served with toasted whole wheat French bread drizzled with olive oil and water to drink flavored with fresh squeezed lemons and mint leaves will leave you feeling light and refreshed. Eating one super light dinner a week does your metabolism good according to Ayurveda, a natural medicinal practice from Southern India.

Have fun shopping mindfully for higher value produce, cutting your costs and cooking summer light. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Magical Mudra for Memorial Day Blues

A tie dye sky

My life so far has been lived along the Hudson River in the area that divides New York City from New Jersey. Having lived along both riversides there's always been a maritime feel to my suburban or city life. I can say my Dad, a Navy veteran, has inspired me from an early age to notice the River. He taught me how to read the river's current, be aware of the moon's affect on the tides plus my first memory is of hiking with my parents along the river's trails. After decades of being beside the Hudson I never get tired of gazing into it.

This past Memorial Day weekend like each one that has passed since my Dad left his body over a decade ago makes me sad and grateful for all the military men and women like my Dad who served our country for freedom. Freedom, something I never think twice about.

Top www.zara.com necklace www.forever21.com bracelets & earings www.lailarowe.com circa 2008

Ganesh mudra. Ganesh, the Hindu elephant deity, an energy that has a uncanny ability to put in your path exactly what you need to move through obstacles. Soften your grip as you shield your heart center.

Although my life has never faced any dire oppression I can attest that my ego and all my silly little mind patterns and iron clad beliefs have held me hostage for far too long.

In the spirit of living like a free and peaceful yogini I'm asking myself more consciously than ever to stop pointing fingers at others and blaming them for how my life has not gone exactly the way I wished. As I've been diving deeper into the waters of my consciousness the dark emotions tied to my shadow side is swimming towards the streaming light above as I see everything is coming from me.

Now in the Northern Hemisphere we are moving into the longest days of light, the peak of the year. The ancient Celts say if you take your pain and suffering and throw it into the bonfires they used to light this time of year and start shedding your darkness, you will in time stop your unconscious from sabotaging you and move into wholeness.

This sounds so lovely but the real life practice of becoming lighter isn't so easy. These days I've been biting my tongue, not picking up the phone or writing that note if it has a trace of me pointing and blaming. Instead I sit with myself, feel what comes up when I'm in the pointing and blaming mode, inhale a new breath in and exhale out what doesn't serve me to the best of my ability. You know what? As a result I'm noticing I'm getting quieter. Quiet, like the monks I used to sit with and wonder why they had nothing to say.

Tie dye tights $16 from www.lailarowe.com shoes www.forever21.com circa 2011

Since I've burned some bad behavior I can sit in Warrior 2 pose and feel more open than ever.

My eyes confidently soften as my Warrior becomes peaceful and easy.

You can explore Ganesh mudra behind your back for extra heart opening.

Yesterday as I read about the ancient Celts lighting bonfires between May 1st/Beltane and the Summer Solstice/Litha June 21st to celebrate the Northern Hemisphere's ascent to the longest days of light, I privately wished I could stand before an ancient bonfire and shed a bit of my shadow... and look what I stumbled into on my daily walk with my baby the same day I read about the Celt's bonfires...a memorial bonfire, watched by veterans behind my camera to honor the warrior souls who gave their time or life in the spirit of peace and freedom.