Diet

Love yo' self

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, I choose to write about unconditional love. When I started to brainstorm ideas, I immediately thought of a shared love between two individuals. However, after some contemplation, I realized that unconditional love for ourselves is essential to accept any amount of love from someone else. We must feel that we are worthy of unconditional love to accept it from our partner.  

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” - Lao Tzu

To be honest, self-acceptance doesn’t always come easy for me. I grew up in an 80% white school, where I was not the typical blonde that received a ton of attention. Since this was pre J-Lo and Kim K, I constantly questioned my appeal as a woman with darker features. I can recall entering Jr. High with five horribly expensive Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch shirts that I would wear on each day of the week. I constantly sought approval from outside sources hoping that “being cool and popular” would fill this need to belong. Over many years of life, love and heartbreaks, I continue my battle with self-love. On the surface, I appeared to be confident and fearless, while deep within I questioned my worth to my partner and the world around me. When I completed yoga teacher training with Silvia Mordini, who encouraged radical self-love and acceptance, I finally felt at peace with who I was. She taught us that we are not the preconceived notions that society has placed on us or the preconceived notions that we have placed on ourselves. We are unique and that uniqueness is what we need to share with the world around us.

“You do not understand your features. Your features are not your beautiful nose, your beautiful cheeks, beautiful lips, and so on. These are not your features. Your features are your beautiful behavior, your beautiful character, your beautiful health, your beautiful spirit, your beautiful advice, your beautiful wisdom, your beautiful inspiration.” – Yogi Bhajan
 

To love myself, I must accept who I am today. To accept who I am at this very moment, I must forgive myself for those moments that I stumble or even flat-out fail. This also requires that I forgive people who place me in a box, judge me, or who can’t accept that they don’t have to be what everyone expects. I continuously practice this forgiveness exercise to let go of shit that builds up. I still fluctuate between confidence and self-doubt all the time, even in the same day. However, the more I let my own light shine the more I attract a tribe that is on my wave length and encourages me to be me. I'm also lucky enought to have a husband that tells me I'm beautiful every day. He's pretty great.

What self-love practice do you have?

Want some ideas?

Self acceptane is strongly linked to the second chakra! This energy center also rules our emotions, pleasure, sexuality, creativity, and playfulness. It’s considered strong and free-flowing when we are passionate, present in their body, sensual, creative, connected to our feelings, emotionally stable and joyous. People with a blocked Svadhisthana can find it hard to associate with other people and the world around, inability to fully experience emotions and or keep them in balance, feel insecure, fail to deal with life’s changes and lack self-confidence. The lesson the sacral chakra teaches us is that every relationship we create – from the casual to the most intimate – has a purpose, no matter how painful, to help us become more consciously aware of our karma and ourselves. Some relationships are necessarily difficult because it makes us discover our own limiting beliefs. The second chakra symbolizes our creative potential, our ability to harbor fulfilling relationships, as well as our sexual energy – all coming together to create an empowered and confident individual.

Here are a few harmonizing techniques:

Meditation of or by water (2nd chakra element)

Visualization of the color orange 

Letting go of unhealthy emotions, people and memories is critical. As you are let go of your negative emotional baggage, you make space and energy for better opportunities.

Review your romantic and sexual history and deal with any continuing attachments to your past, particularly to unhealthy or disempowering relationships.

Food and/or drinks that promote a healthy 2nd chakra: healthy oils and fatty acids, fish, seeds, tropical fruits, and nuts, orange foods or drinks.

Explore your creativity: paint, sing, dance, coloring books, or play an instrument.  

Essential oils:

  • Beramot
  • Cardamom
  • Clary sage
  • Orange
  • Rose

Affirmations:

  • I Accept Myself
  • I Enjoy Life
  • I Honor My Body
  • I Respect my Body
  • I Enjoy My Body
  • I Respect Myself
  • I Honor Myself
Shakti Mudra

Shakti Mudra

Hold the Shakti mudra (insert photo) and breath for 7-11 minutes

Left nostril breathing: Take your right hand and with your fingers outstretched, block off your right nostril by putting gentle pressure on it with your right thumb.  Be sure to keep the rest of your fingers straight and pointing up towards the sky. With a long, slow, deep breath, gently inhale through your left nostril.  Then, just as gently, exhale long, slowly and completely, again through the left nostril. Repeat for 3-5 minutes.

Yoga Poses (photos aligned with list below):

  • Prasarita Padottanasana 
  • Virabhadrasana II
  • Goddess
  • Skandasana
  • Anjaneyasana (low lunge – emphasize the hip flexor stretch)
  • Baddha Konasana or Supta Baddha Konasana

I hope these are helpful to you! YOU ARE ENOUGH JUST AS YOU ARE TODAY! Seriously. Love to you today and always. Namaste friends <3 

Diet Suggestions To Balance Kapha

Modifications to Harmonize Your Dosha:

It’s best to increase pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes in your warm and light meals. As soon as they’re available, eat sprouts, berries, dandelion and other spring greens—which naturally support this time of cleansing. And stick to three meals a day to avoid overindulging.

Vata: While your Vata dosha is usually soothed by sweet, sour, and salty tastes, this time of year may present some challenges. This is because the very tastes that pacify Vata also increase Kapha. The best approach your diet is to concentrate on herbs and foods that increase your agni and tastes that do not aggravate your Vata nature. Listen to your body.

Pitta: Increase bitter and astringent tastes in your diet and decrease sweets, which increase Kapha. While you still want to include the sweet taste to balance out your Pitta, be mindful of its Kapha-increasing effects. Pittas also need to avoid caffeine during this time of year. Warm drinks may be appealing, but caffeinated drinks may end up inadvertently contribute to a Pitta imbalance and symptoms of irritability.

It’s often suggested to add extra spices or sourness during this time for their phlegm-loosening effects, but Pittas need to be careful of the herbs and spices they choose. Here are a few that will help balance Kapha without irritating Pitta:

  •  Coriander
  • Cardamom
  • Turmeric
  • Cilantro
  • Licorice

Kapha: Stick to your usual Kapha-pacifying diet during this time. Do your absolute best to avoid sweetness and cold. As always, invigorating and warming spices are best for you. To reduce the chances of excess water retention, limit your salt intake.

All Doshas:

Fruits to Favor:

  • Apples (cooked)
  • Apricots
  • Berries
  • Cherries       
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mangoes      
  • Oranges

Vegetables to Favor:

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Chilies
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Greens (cooked)
  • Leeks and Onions  
  • Spinach (cooked)
  • Winter Squash

Oils to Favor:

  • Almond Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Flax Seed Oil           
  • Ghee
  • Mustard Oil
  • Olive Oil        
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sunflower Oil

Spices to Favor

All spices will generally be supportive during the winter months