Suns and Roses. A Summer Solstice Spice Salutation.

Suns and Roses. A Summer Solstice Spice Salutation.

Suryanamaskar!

Twelve Spice Solstice Blend

 

Hello Sunshine. Happy Summer Solstice 2017!

DO YOU KNOW THE NAMES OF THE SUN AND WHY THEY IMPACT YOUR DAILY WELLBEING?

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class (and I’m 99.9% sure that you have!), you’ll have practiced at some point SURYANAMASKAR, the sun salutation. You may know that this health-giving yoga practice actually has 12 names to salute the sun and each one is specific to each part of this life-giving yoga flow.

This morning as I woke up to the first day of Summer, the first thing that popped into my head was “Salutations to the Sun”. The second thing was “ohmigosh that is going to be my Solstice Spice Blend.” I originally was going to make a Solstice Rose Spice Blend and I had already harvested, washed and dried the rose petals and they were ready. I knew EXACTLY where these would go in my 12 Spice Solstice blend. Beauty! Roses are all about beauty.

I was on fire. I jumped out of bed and went to gather my spices. Twelve spices for 12 Sun salutations. Yes, perfect. Now to tune in and listen to which spice aligns with what name. It was so easy because the spices speak to me (seriously tho’) and this all happened through a deep relationship of listening I’ve been cultivating with them for many years.

First I had to refresh my memory and chant the full Suryanamaskar before getting started.

It was so completely fascinating to me as I began to chant each one and remember the meanings of the names matching them to a specific spice. The qualities and actions of the spices harmonize with the names of the Sun to create this nourishing, enlivening spice blend. A digestive tonic activating the fire God Agni, stimulating digestion, nourishing all tissues, bringing illumination and pleasure and adorning your food.


The 12 Names of Surya the Sun God Agni, and the companion spices.
  1. Om Mitraya namah: Salutations to Him who is affectionate to all
    FENNEL: The Friend of all.
    Fennel is tridoshic and good for all digestive issues. Good digestion=happiness.
  2. Om Ravaye namah: Salutations to Him who is the cause for change
    CARDAMOM: Praised by all.
    Cardamom is a warming sweet spice that gently enkindles the digestive fire and sweetens the breath.
  3. Om Suryaya namah: Salutations to Him who inspires movement
    STAR ANISE: The Guiding light to all.
    Star anise blasts through congestion in the micro channels of the body making way for light.
  4. Om Bhanave namah: Salutations to the One who diffuses light into everything
    ROSE: The Bestower of beauty.
    Rose reduces inflammation in the body and brings love and beauty to the mind.
  5. Om Khagaya namah: Salutations to Him who moves across the sky
    SALT: Stimulator of the senses.
    Salt is townifying to the system and enhances the flavour in foods, herbs and spices.
  6. Om Pushne namah: Salutations to Him who nourishes and sustains all.
    SESAME SEED: The Nourisher of all.
    Sesame seeds nourish the deeper tissue layers of the body and are grounding and fortifying.
  7. Om Hiranyagarbhaya namah: Salutations to Him who contains everything
    COCOA: The Light in the Spiritual Heart.
    The flavanols in cocoa ease depression, are antioxidants and bring pleasure to life, increasing healthy longevity.
  8. Om Marichaya namah: Salutations to Him who’s rays destroy ignorance.
    BLACK PEPPER: The Destroyer of Disease.
    Black pepper is a potent digestive, helping other foods and medicines to become bioavailable. Decongestant.
  9. Om Adityaya namah: Salutations to Him who is God of gods.
    COCONUT: The One who inspires.
    Coconut is deeply nourishing as a healthy bioavailable fat. Boosts the immune system, heals the skin.
  10. Om Savitre namah: Salutations to the One who produces light.
    GINGER: The Purifier.
    Ginger is a digestive, aids in the assimilation of nutrients and other herbs and spices.
  11. Om Arkaya namah: Salutations to The Beloved.
    TURMERIC: The Radiant One.
    Turmeric is called the ONE MEDICINE. Anti-inflammatory, blood and liver purifier.
  12. Om Bhaskaraya namah: Salutations to The One who Shines so we may Shine.
    SAFFRON: The Illuminator.
    Saffron pacifies Pitta and excess heat in the body. Revitalizes the reproductive system. Aphrodisiac.


12 SPICE SOLSTICE RECIPE

This aromatic sweet, salty, spicy, solar spice blend will bring great rasa/taste to your food and innumerable health benefits to your body, aiding digestion and uplifting the heart. Sprinkle lavishly on all your foods from popcorn to salads to veggies to grains to avocado toast.

Individually toast each spice until the aromatic seeds begin to pop. Watch the coconut, it toasts quickly and will be ready when it turns a light caramel colour. Do not toast the turmeric, salt, ginger or saffron.

Individually toast and grind (crack the seeds unless specified so they are textured and not completely powdered)
1 TBSP Fennel seed, 1 TBSP cardamom seeds (not the pods), 1-2 whole star anise well ground, 1/2 cup dried rose petals (to make 2 TBSP ground petals), 1 TBSP salt, 1 cup sesame seeds, 2 TBSP cocoa nibs, 1 TBSP Black Pepper, 1/2 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut (no need to grind), 1 TBSP ground ginger, 1 TBSP ground turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp saffron.

Grind each spice while chanting the correlating name of the sun. Pour into a bowl.
Meld all 12 spices together while chanting the 12 names of the sun.
Sprinkle lavishly. Enjoy as the potent solar energy imbues your food and life with pleasure and illuminates your healing capacity. You are radiant as the sun. The seeds know this and they are here to remind you.

Let me know how you are enjoying your blend. Inspire the community and share photos of your Solstice blend on Facebook. You can eat this Tridoshic blend through the Summer season.

Fragrant Solstice Blessings,
Spice Mistress
Glynnis xox

Don’t Give Up on Your Beauty

Don’t Give Up on Your Beauty

It is so painful to lament lost beauty and feel like there is nothing to be done. Beauty is individual and personal and has nothing to do with societal preferences or cultural impositions. It has to do with you. It is how you feel and how you feel about yourself that reflects your beauty.

Beauty is health.

In Ayurveda every one of us is created with a unique combination of the 5 elements. Our mind/body type or Dosha is determined at conception. We cannot change this. Ayurveda teaches us to love our beauty, our unique flaws and perfect imperfections exactly as we were created. And it gives us a guide and the tools so that as we grow, change and age we embrace all of it gracefully.

I will say this, it’s hard to do and aging is challenging. At some point or another we are going to feel like giving up on our beauty. You start to notice lines that weren’t there before, things going a little south, bones aching, joints cracking, mind heavy, emotions out of control, weight appearing as if plastered on overnight.

You start to wonder how you can feel great again and take back those days, weeks, months, years of casually ignoring your body, your beauty, your soul yearning for vitality.

There are certain things you can and others that you cannot take back.

LET’S FOCUS ON THE ‘YOU CAN’.

It takes the equal amount of time to heal something that it does to diminish something in your body. That’s encouraging. It means that consistent action over time at a steady and moderate level can restore you back to your vibrant healthy self. The sooner you begin a daily practice of intentional healing steps, the sooner you will notice the recovery.

One small intentional practice  done daily will create lasting positive change over the long run.

4 AREAS OF HEALTH WHERE WE RESTORE OUR BEAUTY.

BODY: How do you feel about your body and your unique beauty?
Where can you restore your physical vitality?

MIND: Do you feel at peace in your mind? Is there clarity, focus, space?
Where can you revitalize your mind?

HEART: What is the measure of your emotional health? Is it joy, bliss, creative expression? Where can you access love?

SPIRIT: Does your spirit feel light, awake, and freely expressed?
Where can you free yourself up?

Get a daily plan in place to restore your four areas of vitality. Tap in to your innate healing power and rediscover your inherent beauty.

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Medicine Buddha and the Three Poisons

Medicine Buddha and the Three Poisons

This week while teaching Aromatherapy at The Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage (VSBM), we had the opportunity to listen during an aromatic compress treatment to the Medicine Buddha Chant.

A student commented how profoundly healing and soothing that felt while receiving her treatment (we were working with a blend of ginger, fennel, lemon, and clary sage).

HARITAKI-FLOWER

It made me think more about the Medicine Buddha, this benevolent healer known as our enlightened essence. This means at our most awakened we are our own healers. In our highest consciousness we affect our health and wellbeing.

This includes the wisdom to choose the right methods and medicines as well as and especially the most enlightened mental attitude towards our own healing.

With the help of some powerful and simple healing Ayurvedic herbs we can restore ourselves to health and use these plant medicines as a catalyst for ongoing vitality and longevity.

In the right hand The Medicine Buddha is holding out as an offering the sacred Chebulic myrobalan plant. This is known as haritaki and is one of the three ingredients in triphala, the Ayurvedic ‘Mother of Medicines’

The revered Haritaki by itself is a powerful medicine and one of the best herbs for balancing Vata.

It acts as a gentle cleanser, removing accumulated toxins in the digestive tract. It is a restorative herb, nourishing and rejuvenating the tissues while maintaining regular elimination. It is the base of many medicines used in rasayana/restorative Ayurvedic therapies.

 

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To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?

To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?

TO CLEANSE OR NOT TO CLEANSE? THAT IS NOT THE QUESTION! Because cleansing my darlings is not even in question. Imagine your car that runs every day up and down, fetching, schlepping, letting off steam, absorbing shocks, dealing with other crazy hot-headed cars, getting gassed up, parked at night in the cold, or all day in the heat, or not outside at all. Only going on a trip once in a while, or resting at a park every now and then. And worst of all NEVER getting a good service with oil changes, filters cleansed, brakes checked, fluids replenished, gunk flushed out, engine resting. Ugh imagine.

And we, just like our beloved vehicles are exposed to external toxins, unresolved emotions, misplaced anger, processed foods, not enough sleep, undigested waste, and psychological stress and the list goes on.

Well our dear old car could go for quite a while, it could keep pushing on gallantly without noticing how sluggish it feels, how tired, how drained, how cranky.

Then suddenly one day…

So no, cleansing is not a question. Ama or toxic sludge is what builds up in our body and mind through poor digestion, and other lifestyle crimes against wisdom, as well as the other external factors I mentioned.

 

The root of all disease in Ayurveda is undigested, unprocessed and unattended to ama or toxicity. A good cleanse helps to rest, stoke and rejuvenate our digestive fire or agni. This is what ensures the proper processing of food and keeps our metabolic processes working like a well-tuned engine. Our beautiful body temples like our vehicles on the road do need regular cleanses and tune-ups.

The question then really is: WHAT is the right cleanse, WHEN is the best time to cleanse and HOW are we cleansing?

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