You ARE your habits! By committing to simple ayurvedic habits you can create body bliss. In January 2016 I chose to enroll in the Yoga Health Coach certification program and the prerequisite was, of course, to participate it a 10 week Ayurvedic habits program. I was excited to do this AND was a bit smug as I prided myself in practicing a healthy Ayruvedic dynacharya (daily habits) already! Pleasantly humbled I was! During my 10 weeks with the group I had some unexpected transformations. First of all, focusing on the habits deeply one week at a time with a lesson, an interactive group conversation on FB and a coaching call created a very fertile ground for profound shifts. Here are some of my take aways: 1. Moving my dinner time up before 6pm most of the time with keen awareness on what I was asking my digestive system to process at the end of the day! I had previously been operating on the habit of a healthy organic dinner with family which was my biggest meal and often at 7:30 or 8pm. In order to make that I’d snack late afternoon and eat dinner when I wasn’t even very hungry. In my new habit of earlier lighter dinner and no snacking I had fun creating healthful soups and veggie dishes and posting them on the forum. 2. I used “weeds” such as dandelion greens and thistle in my morning smoothies to add an earth connected intelligence to my day. 3. Even though I’m a pretty educated and dedicated person around organic, healthy food choices, the BT course truly upleveled my eating habits of what, how and when to eat. 4. My vice was enjoying Chardonnay with dinner most evenings. I now RARELY have wine with dinner. This was HUGE! I didn’t expect to do it because I didn’t think it was a big deal but just really wanted to give the 10 weeks my all. I realized that the wine was a habit and now it’s just an occasional choice and I feel better for it! 5. For years my tongue has had little scallops on the edges and was a bit thick indicating pour absorption in my digestive tract. Now the scallops are barely there and the thickness has decreased. All in all, I learned that the immersion keeps me learning and going deeper into my practices – there is no room for smugness because there are always more layers. The group, the coaching calls and the lessons provide a container and context to make evolution faster and easier! I also have awareness which allows for witnessing of my actions on habits I could use more improvement to move towards the balance in my life I desire and the compassion to be gentle with myself. Learning the “kaizen” approach is perfect for making progress in those areas that have lots of resistance☺ Living the habits has given me an even greater confidence that teaching them is of great service to EVERYONE because they help resolve issues by clearing out the toxicity of being out of sync with one’s natural rhythms. I look forward to sharing this wisdom of entraining with natures rhythms in my BODY BLISS course with others and seeing them thrive! Are you ready to up level your habits and blissfully thrive? Schedule a free strategy session to get clear on your goals and commitment to aging better, feeling better and looking your best!

 

Bringing in new practices into your life can be tricky. The ego mind which only identifies with the past and familiar turns into the saboteur telling you all the reasons you cannot do the very thing you want to do! Rather than get mad at the ego – it’s only doing what it knows – you must engage your higher mind and imagination and chose a new identity! This sounds a little strange (the ego mind kicking in) but it is very doable! First you need to get really clear on what you want and why. Next think of a person or archetype that embodies what you want. Draw a picture of that, put a reminder in your phone, just something to keep it in your awareness. Visualize yourself being the person enjoying the rewards of the new habit then take doable actions to align with this new, unfamiliar identity. This might look like “I want to start a meditation practice so I can manage stress and become a calmer person and enjoy my relationships more.” Place a drawing or statue of a calm meditator to remind you of this several times a day. Spend time perhaps each morning and evening visualizing yourself meditating and creating a peaceful feeling. Make a doable action like creating a little space in your home to practice, commit to when and how long for instance each morning after waking and before checking electronics to sit for at least 5 minutes and do the same thing at the end of the day. Now you have a plan and inspiration to follow through with!

Are you feeling a new identity emerging? Sometimes it’s only in hindsight that you actually see your evolutionary progress! Also, you may have to hear or do something many times before it takes hold! This is one of the reasons why we want to make the new habit small enough the ego’s resistance won’t stop it. Think about the trigger, action and reward? Example: trigger waking up, action – 5 minutes of meditation, reward receiving the benefits of doing it and evolving your identity! Having awareness of what’s working and also what’s not is very important. I’m so glad just to have the awareness because some of these habits I have dialed in and others…well, I’m embarrassed to say I watch myself ignore the trigger and action, hence, no reward! This is really a good thing because I have much more awareness and catch myself in the act! That in itself is making me question my own integrity or even desire in some areas! Since this is about self love rather than self judgment, it breeds compassion towards oneself and others. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Try being more present with what is without judgment and recognize your evolution by being in this journey! Habit by habit you are creating a more clear and vibrant YOU!

Ayurveda (science of life) teaches that our healthy daily habits in themselves are a spiritual practice! Having rituals that create and maintain health are a necessary foundation to evolve. When you think about it our bodies are filled with channels (nadi’s in Sanskrit) 72,000 to be exact. Just like when your sink is clogged it can’t drain. In fact, stuff you were wanting to get rid of comes back up and you certainly can’t put more in until you resolve the clog. Apply this concept to your body, mind and spirit and those 72,000 channels flowing through it all and you can see the importance of keeping those channels clear. Our habits are the tools to clean and clear the channels so consciousness can flow freely!

Our current culture and social protocols actually have gotten away from supporting our bodies/minds to entrain with their natural rhythms causing all kinds of chaos, mental and physical illness. This is why I’m so passionate about reconnecting with the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. Our habits make us who we are. If we practice habits of eating a poor quality diet, going to bed too late, and being too busy we are accelerating our aging process and degrading our experience of joy. Dinacharya is the Sanskrit word for daily habits in Ayurveda and as I mentioned before, necessary self care practices.

What are these habits? I’ll list 3:

1.Eating our biggest meal while the sun is shining brightly (even if it’s     behind a cloud!), and a very light evening meal preferably before 6pm.

  1. Meditating to allow our mind field to process all of 60,000+ thoughts it has daily.
  2. Starting your morning with warm water.

There are more! All of them are designed to clear out what is not needed and is blocking the free flow of energy and information in our channels and putting in clear, evolutionary life force energy (prana in Sanskrit) so we can experience a more blissful life.

It’s a nice reminder that an underlying reason we are committed to these habits is to align with joy, peace and clarity in our lives. This is why the ancient wisdom tradition of Ayurveda prescribes the daily habits as a spiritual practice. As we dance with experimenting what eating earlier and lighter looks like, how to meditate and get used to drinking warm water, we first may see the disorganization in our lives! This at times may seem like a deal breaker; however, remembering to take small incremental steps will build our castle of freedom! Freedom comes from discipline and healthy habits. Also, being in integrity with yourself may look different than someone else’s experience. This pulsation of where we want to go, the ideal, and where we are and what’s doable in this moment, the real, is something we want to be very aware of and use this as our personal gauge. It is a journey! What are your thorns and roses?

Schedule your FREE Strategy Session to get clear on what health challenges you are ready to overcome and see how I may help you! candice@swansage.com

There are lots of stories being presented on Facebook – mostly pictorial stories that can easily paint a less than accurate picture. One can get the idea that everyone else’s lives are picture perfect and plunge into a depression or one can keep in touch with many who would have been off the radar pre Facebook days. Parents, teachers, and psychologist are overwhelmed and frankly don’t know how to manage this new monster in children’s lives or their own for that matter. I like to look at Facebook with the same lens I view the mind and it’s unruly monkey. Facebook isn’t good or bad, it just is. HOW we relate to it is the important factor. Does it serve us or are we slave to it? There will always be new distractions tempting us from our path. Thank goodness for the practice of meditation!  Through this tried and true practice I’ve learned to apply it to everything in my life! As you cultivate a regular meditation practice in your life you develop more awareness in what’s distracting you – on and off the cushion – and make wiser choices. Personally, I like to use Facebook for connecting with people in courses I’m taking. I like the private forums. I think it’s a fabulous business tool and a great way to connect to those on similar paths. The forums help me to stay focused on task at hand and not go down some rabbit hole that I had no intention of going down! A regular meditation practice also helps one to align with her or his intuition and feeling what’s right and what’s not. I find people are extending their masks on Facebook even more so because they can. This inauthenticity isn’t doing anyone any good. I’m all for putting positive vibes out there as long as the cost isn’t presenting a lie. As spiritual beings in human lives we are meant to experience life and to look into the shadow with courage and curiosity. I have seen such tragedy when people are too afraid to do that and sell themselves short into a picture perfect mask rather than look closely at what lurks behind. It’s the suppression of that shadow that creates a dangerous situation. It’s okay and even important in our evolution to develop the capacity to BE with challenging situations and emotions. Masking emotions sadly is epidemic and even encouraged by many. This can easily change as more people choose to go within and be still with themselves by embracing a meditation practice. We must have tools to navigate this tricky territory which is why Ayurveda, the oldest and truest healing practice on the planet,  provides proven ways to do just that with meditation, yoga, and healthy lifestyle habits that expand us, strengthen us, deepen us and  perhaps most importantly, help us live better with our ego selves! Start learning and deepening these practices for yourself and see how much clearer you become! Join me for a Primordial Sound Meditation class and learn how to establish a lifelong successful meditation practice! I offer courses monthly, the times and dates vary so please call or email. I also offer regular classes and coaching in Ayurveda so one can gain a great foundation of the philosophy and begin incorporating daily practices to help with sleep, diet, relationships, purpose and more!

We are members of a DOING culture and rewarded for doing the very things that burn us out and keep us dull! It takes courage to meditate and give yourself permission to just be rather than do. Thank goodness that yoga has become familiar to most – if people are not practicing at least they’ve heard of it! The wisdom traditions with WISDOM being the key word give us all of the tools to live our best lives, heal our karma, our bodies and minds, and find bliss. Why do people avoid this wisdom right at their finger tips? The ego clings to the past and the familiar and when that structure is threatened it becomes a tyrant of a saboteur! We all experience this daily and guess what? The sages told us that RAJA YOGA, meditation as the royal path, heals this affliction of the ego and the dis-ease in our lives. The process is simple but not necessarily easy. I believe instruction is absolutely necessary or one can easily get discouraged and give up. I did when I was first interested in a meditation practice. My ego played every trick in the book convincing me that I couldn’t do it right, I didn’t have time, my mind was too busy, I didn’t have quiet experiences, etc… So I believed in this crazy monkey of a mind and gave up. That is until I took the course in Primordial Sound Meditation developed by Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simon. It gave me a rock solid foundation from which to establish a successful lifetime meditation practice. I learned 7 years ago and have not missed one single day! I still will experience a turbulent mind and a feeling of not having the experience that I want. I just know what that is all about it and chose the practice over a perfect experience. I’m as busy as any of you out there and I know the ego will always present competition to my practice and really tempting ones sometimes but I choose the practice. In addition to my daily Primordial Sound Meditation practice, I continue to study other methods of meditation including creative visualization and have gone on to study and earn certifications in Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. This all blossomed from my courage to commit to learning HOW to meditate and having the courage to do it regularly. Thinking about or talking about meditating won’t deliver the benefits sorry to say:) Having the courage and commitment to sit and be with any and all that comes up in a practice has taken more faith, discipline and maturity than extending my nature of doing to more doing even if it’s yoga or hiking in nature. These activities are awesome and absolutely recommended in this ancient wisdom of Ayurveda but they are not enough! They help to prepare us for meditation. So be courageous and let that monkey ego serve you rather than rule you! I’d love to help you develop a successful, enriching, lifelong practice! Contact me at candice@swansage.com or www.swansage.com and be courageous!

Why you really should make time to meditate

By now most people are at least aware that meditation provides some benefits. Many still think they don’t have enough time or they can’t achieve a “still” mind so choose not to do it. With these common thoughts it’s understandable why folks my put it off or look at it as a luxury rather than a necessity. This is an unfortunate thought! If you knew that a regular meditation practice could be an antidote to the rampant mental illness in our society would you reconsider? Look at the usage of anti depressants, anti anxiolytics and sleep aids being prescribed these days and it’s enough to see we have a very sick culture! What is happening here? According to the ancient wisdom tradition of Ayurveda, the oldest successful healing system on the planet, a daily meditation practice is imperative for a healthy experience in life. In fact, meditation is referred to as Raja Yoga – the Royal Path. All the other yoga practices are preparation for this most important practice as the 8 limbs of yoga teaches us. Why? It’s not so easy to see what exactly is happening when one meditates because the benefits are accruing in a realm you can’t measure. Our minds are comprised of three levels – conscious, subconscious, and unconscious. We have awareness of our conscious mind which is only about 10%. We are being driven and making decisions from our sub and unconscious minds which is the other 90%. This is why it can be so difficult to reach goals that we set for ourselves. Perhaps one wants to lose weight, quit an unhealthy habit, attract abundance or a healthy relationship but can’t. That’s because he is acting from deep embedded patterns that can be almost impossible to change with desire only – in Ayurveda this pattern is referred to as a samskara. In order to change this pattern one must access this deep level in the mind and meditation is the way to go about it! One plants the intention of the desire and then lets go or detaches from the outcome and meditates. With a regular meditation practice the mind is able to process the thousands and thousands of thoughts, emotions and experiences in one’s life and open to a much more creative expansive field of possibilities. Without processing all of those thoughts, emotions and experiences we clog our subconscious mind which then overflows and clogs our unconscious mind. This my friend leads to a big mental illness – solutions are impossible to see, anxiety, depression and insomnia rule and reactivity is sadly what one automatically turns to rather than calm creative responses. What is happening with a regular meditation practice is one is able to digest all those thoughts, emotions and experiences and unclutter the mind. Ayurveda would refer to this as digestion in the mind with Agni (fire) by way of a meditation practice. One of my teachers likened this to viewing the mind as the overflowing trash can on your computer screen which clearly, a mind like that would be agitated, and emptying that trash one meditation at a time, like pushing the empty trash button daily! One needs to make the transition responsibly and certainly consult with your practitioner before tossing the drugs as that could be quite shocking to the body! Years ago I had a time of terrible insomnia and my doctor convinced me to take ambien. It was awful stuff, took me away from myself and did not give me the deep rest that I needed. It was a crutch which was OK in that it was a holding space until I found Primordial Sound Meditation.  I fortunately weaned off of it because of the above reasons. I did this as I began my regular Primordial Sound Meditation practice and am happy to say now that a night of insomnia is the exception rather than the rule! My meditation practice is one of the most valued parts of my life and I love teaching/coaching others in this healing practice! If you are ready to explore and embrace a meditation practice please contact me!

I am thrilled to be teaching intro meditation classes in Aspen on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Arjuna Yoga from 1:30-2:30, $10 and at the Maroon Creek Club (for members only) from 11:00-12:00 on Tuesdays and 3:00-4:00 on Thursdays. The ancient sages knew and modern science confirms that a regular meditation practice deeply enhances one’s experience in life on all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual! Yet, it’s so hard for most to do this! Come experience meditation and take home practical tools and pearls to establish, reignite or enhance your practice!  I look forward to sitting with you:)

According to Ayurveda a good morning starts the night before with evening practices to promote unwinding, digesting the experiences and emotions of the day, and sound sleep to allow the body to keep up with detoxification.  Enjoy this article by VPK with tips on just how to enhance your well being with simple practices and herbal supplements if needed!

Read here:

Ayurvedic Evening routine to unwind and recharge

At vpk® by Maharishi Ayurveda is to serve your health needs with the best ayurvedic herbal products. Through powerful formulations and ancient lifestyle tips, their aim is to bring balance to your body and life. Enjoy a 10% discount on your first order with the coupon code: swansage10

 

The co-founder of the Chopra Center, David Simon, said there is one topic that gets people more charged than sex or money and that is FOOD! People are highly opinionated about the food they eat – all claiming their diet is the best be it paleo, vegan, vegetarian, raw, gluten free – you name it. When asked about mine I answer ORGANIC. As the wisdom and timeless teachings of Ayurveda state, each of us is made up of a unique combination of the 5 elements that create everything in our manifest world – earth, water, fire, air and space, so it would make sense that each of us needs a unique diet to balance her/his constitution (Dosha). As we wake up to the the universal knowledge of Ayurveda we begin to understand that our environment is us!  It is our extended body that we must take care of just as we would take care of our teeth, skin, hair, etc… The thing is that the plants and trees don’t need us like we need them. In fact we cannot survive without them. They can survive quite nicely without us! Every breath you take is a gift from the trees. Every vegetable you consume allows you to digest the light of the life giving sun. The plant kingdom does this by photosynthesis and this is how we are able to ingest light.  You hear our planet referred to as Mother Earth for a reason. She sustains us with the food and water that we need to nourish our physical bodies so that we can thrive and feel good. By not caring for her back we are committing a mass suicide really. When we poison her with pesticides, or mono crop thereby destroying the rich diversity in her soil that is so important for our nourishment, or adulterate the food she renders by over processing and chemically altering, we are destroying ourselves by poisoning the building blocks of a healthy body/mind. RETURNING to an organic diet isn’t some kind of fad, it’s a reconnecting with our own wisdom of universal biological unity. It’s a spiritual connection. By choosing organic you powerfully help heal your personal and extended body. How you eat is a personal choice  depending on many factors – age, gender, climate, personal issues and beliefs – just make sure it’s organic! To learn more about Ayurveda and it’s timeless healing properties contact me for a course or coaching session. You will learn how to re-entrain yourself to natures rhythms which can help you sleep soundly, eat healthfully, normalize weight, detoxify, connect you with your life’s purpose, and improve your relationships to name a few! Meditate on this. Go ahead, hug a tree today! Honor your Mother! It’s a great way to acknowledge Self love!

Join me on Tuesdays at ARJUNA YOGA STUDIO in Aspen for meditation from 4-4:45! Their summer yoga schedule is back in full swing. If you are a member at the MAROON CREEK GOLF CLUB in Aspen I lead a meditation class on Thursdays from 3-4.

I’ll be teaching another Primordial Sound Meditation class this July. The dates are firmed up when we coordinate schedules. Contact me if you are ready to begin, reconnect to or deepen your practice and receive your personal mantra from an ancient lineage in India! This class is what gave me the solid foundation to my meditation practice. The information you receive is invaluable and will help you establish a practice in a way that you understand and can relate to. Read what others who have taken the class have to say!

www.swansage.com

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