Still hungry? Yoga, TCM, and the 5 Tastes

Food and nutrition is a spicy topic in wellness.

And it should be, right? Nourishing the body has many meanings and we can’t ignore that what we put into our mouths effects our energy level, weight, mood, sleep, digestion, and overall health.

We all have strong opinions about what to eat, how to eat, and when to eat.

An insight from yoga practice is the realization that we are energetic beings and that everything we do, from what we eat, to what we think, to how we move and behave, either nourishes this energy or depletes it. We glean a new understanding that "we are what we eat" and begin to subconsciously shift food and lifestyle decisions. 

TCM's 5 tastes can guide those choices. 

According to this ancient wisdom, incorporating all 5 tastes (which correspond with the 5 Elements) into a meal satiates the palette, regulates emotions, strengthens the internal organs, aids digestion, and improves immune function.

The 5 tastes are:...
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Are You In Your Element? Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood

Eastern Taoist Philosophy categorizes everything we are, everything we do, and the world around us, into one of the 5 Chinese Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal or Water. 

(Why these are different from the Ayurvedic Elements is a topic for another time.)

Seasonally, we have just transitioned from the Fire Element of early summer, into the Earth Element of late summer.

  • In a life cycle, this Element corresponds to the ages of 33 to 58 years old.
  • Earth is a building element. It’s literally a time to get your hands dirty and create what you desire through steady, long-term focus. 
  • The Earth Element is the time to invest in your health, relationships, career, and finances. 
  • Characterized by weighty life decisions, entry into the Earth Element may be marked by marriage, divorce, breakups, promotions, starting a business, a physical move to a new place, sobriety, starting a family, going back to school/graduating, or purchasing...
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Yoga Off the Mat and Off on Vacation ☀️

Have you ever heard that you enjoy your vacation the most 3 days before you actually leave?

My mentor shared this idea with me recently, although I’m not sure where he heard it…

He explained that the joy of anticipation culminates three days before departure, and that the actual experience never lives up to the mind’s vision.

I argued that if this is true, then we all need to upgrade our vacay mojo!

However, this week I find myself exactly one month out before I leave for my 3 week Greek adventure and my excitement feels ready to bubble over the top!

(One of those weeks will be spent with those of you joining us on our epic Odyssey to Delphi Retreat Sept 1 - 8!)

I actually considered packing today. Packing, unpacking, and repacking thrills me for weeks in advance of a trip because it draws out the joy! So maybe there is a touch of truth in this 3 day anticipation culmination idea…!

Here are my favorite ways to stay connected...

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Summertime Self-Discovery: How to

Did you feel it? That shift in energy that came in with the Solstice last week?

It happens every year: Summer bursts in and the power of the season is either harnessed or wasted...

What are your favorite summer activities? I bet you already begin to harness Summer's innate energy. 

Summer's Fire Element makes this the season of the tongue! Talking, connecting, being together in community are all signs of living in harmony with the seasonal energy. 

Here's a quick recap of the three key empowerments Summer brings according to time-tested Taoist wisdom: 
  • Physically: Summer Season marks high tide for the large muscles, and the cardiovascular system, specifically energizing the heart and blood circulation and supercharging the flow of your life-force energy (prana or qi). 

This means you feel more awake, alive, and ready for action, and in command of your physical form.

  • Emotionally: Summer is season of the heart's joy, love, and...
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The Modern Yogi’s Maintenance Guide in 3 Easy Steps

 

My husband spent a large part of the holiday weekend doing maintenance at our yoga and wellness studio: painting, cleaning, changing light bulbs, polishing the wooden benches and cubbies. And it looks great! A fresh coat paint can make almost anything look new.

But it got me thinking... What do I do for personal regular daily maintenance, for my whole self, not just my living space? I don’t mean laundry and dishes, Marie Kondo decluttering, or even daily yoga or meditation.

I’m talking about the big picture vision of what I do regularly to nourish all levels of myself: body, mind, and soul.

I've distilled my personal “almost daily” maintenance into 3 bigger categories:

(I say almost because let’s keep it real: some days it just doesn’t happen, and that’s ok!)

Appearance 

I’m a believer that “when you feel good you look good” and when you look good, you feel good! So when the invisible hands of depression or anxiety...

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