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Conscious Gift Giving Guide

Posted on February 4th, 2016 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

love

by Sabrina Samedi

There is something magical about this time of year, maybe it’s the million volts of electricity that light up Main Streets around the globe and ignite our hearts. Perhaps it’s the euphoric sensation about gathering around those we love the most, but the essence of gratitude and generosity is deeply rooted in our intentions, our actions and our emotions. With the holiday season upon us, the ritual of gift-exchange is a major component of rejoicing in the holidays offering incredible emotional benefits as well! There is a positive lift in our emotional relationship to ourselves and the recipient of our gifts as we search for the perfect token of appreciation for those we care so deeply for. When we give without expecting anything in exchange- we are paying it forward as they say- setting in motion a positive karmic chain in the universe inspiring others to radiate as well as attract positivity into their own lives.

As such, let’s start a shopping and giving revolution! The next time we decide to hit the malls and boutiques or indulge in a cyber-crazed shopping spree, let’s re-shift our focus from the clearance racks to the mission behind each product and give from our intention and our hearts; thus, living through our intention of gratitude not just during the holidays, but all year long. Let’s ask ourselves, what is the intention behind the gift I am giving? Beyond bringing temporary bliss, will my gift offer lasting sentiments geared towards growth, happiness and hopefully, usefulness. We express ourselves, our tastes, our interests, and sometimes advocate our principles via the products we utilize, give, wear and embody. Below is a list of gift ideas inspired by products, hard-working, soul-driven people whom we believe in supporting their cause, their mission and spreading the beauty of the gifts they have to offer. Happy Holidays!

Of course you can use the PROMO CODE SACREDCOW for 10% off of any item at www.pranamya.com Including EGIFT CARDS but here are some of our favorite finds.

Gifts that Give Back

krochet kids

 

Krochet Kids: A non-profit brand that empowers people in Uganda to rise above poverty by creating, selling apparel knit & crochet hats for babies men and women. Stay warm this chilly season with an intrinsic and heart-felt beanie because every product is hand-signed by the person who made it, giving it a wonderfully unique touch. View more of their creative designs at www.krochetkids.org.

roma boots

 

Roma Boots: Everyone needs a favorite pair of boots this winter season! For every pair of Roma Boots sold, a new pair of boots, along with school supplies, is donated to a child in need. Slip some on at www.romaboots.com.

 

esperos bag 2

                                                                                                                                                                             Esperos Bag: The perfect bag to carry all your  daily    essentials. Esperos Bag believes that literacy plays a vital  role in one’s future success. Thus, with each  bag purchased,  Esperos helps send a child in need to school for a year. To  support Esperos’ mission check out www.esperosbags.com.

stone and cloth

 

 

Stone and Cloth: Every purchase of a Stone and Cloth product helps to provide scholarships for students in need. To learn more and check out their rad products, visit www.stoneandcloth.com.                      

 

Intention, Divination and Tarot

Empowered Life 14 Empowered Life: The Empowered Life Activation Kit includes  The Empowered Life CD download of 7 Guided Meditations and  a set of 72  Soul  Cards to assist the reader on a journey towards  self-knowledge,  healing and  empowerment. The cards and  meditations can be used  together as a 40 day  Empowerment  practice, as daily inspiration for  contemplation or as a  compliment to one’s meditation and yoga nidra  practices. The kit is perfect to jump start and guide one through a 40 day empowerment practice to create change and understanding within one’s self. For more information about Empowered Life visit www.empoweredlife.yoga.

 

yantra wisdom

Yantra Wisdom: The Yantra Wisdom deck of 39 cards, as inspired by Chanti Tacoronte-Perez, offers you a quick way to shift your perspective as well as to engage with your intuition and creative self which can provide clarity. The Yantra Wisdom deck gives readers an insight to the symbol of the yantra as well as an affirmation to repeat. For more information about the wisdom shared amongst this deck visit www.yantrawisdom.com.

 

wild unkown

Wild Unknown: Committed to the inner quest and the journey of  transformation, Kim Krans illustrated the The Wild Unknown  Tarot  Deck. The deck includes 78 cards filled with magical and  mysterious  imagery. Perfect for seasoned as well as new readers,  the cards come in a  beautiful box with a lifting ribbon and fold-out  guide to get you familiar  with the cards. Kim Krans invites  potential readers to open their minds,  draw a card and enjoy the  journey. To learn more about the tarot deck  visit  www.thewildunknown.com.

 

 

Feel Good and Look Good

purusha peoplePurusha People: Founded by Hayley Elliot and motivated by the belief that what we wear next to skin along side the creative process to make such clothing is sacred, Purusha People aims to help YOU tell your story via their expressive and stunning designs. Humbling respecting all aspects of the creative production process, Purusha People sources the most organic and softest fibers while using non-toxic water based ink and low impact dyes, and paying workers a livable wage locally in Los Angeles. To view and shop their apparel visit www.purushapeople.com.

 

zen nomad                                                                                                   Zen Nomad: Committed to the belief that luxury and  sustainability can  successfully coexist, Zen Nomad  manufactures each and every piece of    their clothing in  Toronto sustainably sourcing the highest quality fabrics.  Zen Nomad aims to help you move through your day  with ease and comfort  investing in the philosophy that  peace in your body is peace in our minds  and peace in  our spirits. To shop their look book visit  www.zennomad.ca.

 

aya papaya

                                                                                                  Aya Papaya: Designed for women who are in movement, Aya Papaya clothing as manifested by founder Aya Iwaski is meant to make the goddess wearing such pieces feel comfortable yet stylish. Aya wants you to be able to dance, play and work in her creations. To view the essence of grace and strength behind all her designs, visit www.ayapapaya.com.

 

Sacred Jewelry
The Sattva Collection: Rooted in the intention of awakening to our innate wisdom and connection to our inner trthe sattva collectionuth The Sattva Collection is a global lifestyle brand committed to supporting treasured communites around the world and creating jobs for local artisans. The Sattva Collection uses precious and semi-precious stones sourced globally and akin to all their hand-crafted objects, each gem from their collection holds within itself an intrinsic meaning that can have a profoundly positive impact on the wearer. For more information on the communities The Sattva Collection supports and to view their product gallery, visit www.thesattvacollection.com.

 

Seeds of Remembrance: Shop owner Alexa Webster offers you her heart through her love-infused works of heart in her Seeds of Remembraseeds of remembrancence etsy shop. Her collection of high vibration, one-of-a-kind genuine gemstone, hand-tied, prayer malas are designed to support awakening through intention adornment Japa mediation. Alexa identifies the prayer malas as a magnificent tool for connecting and an opportunity to tune in and recognize the internal mystery unfolding in each moment. To shop her malas, visit www.etsy.com/shop/SeedsofRemembrance.

 

earth bands Earth Bands: Earth Bands want everyone to take, embrace and share  the message that by simply wearing an Earth Band you can empower  yourself  and elevate self-awareness. Earth Band’s mission is to raise  humanity’s vibration by connecting us to the things we love- Mother  Nature, our favorite sports and important causes we can’t wait to rally  behind. Earth Bands gather earth and sand from special places and  create unique, handmade, 100% American-sourced Earth Bands. To  shop through these Eco-Ethical products visit www.earthbands.co.

 

Artists Treasures for Your Home

vine and thistle                                                                                                           

Vine and Thistles (Etsy): Send a trinket of love to your dearest friends and family this holiday season. Alicia Schultz, owner of etsy shop Vine and Thistle offers custom hand lettering art and designs included personalized wooden stamps, gift tags, adult coloring book calendars, hand-lettered quote cards and personal stationary items. To shop through Vine and Thistle’s inspiring products visit www.etsy.com/shop/vineandthistle.

 

j drew carpetry

J Drew Carpentry (Etsy): A second generation carpenter with  a love  for hardwoods, oil finishes and structural planks, Drew  Silvers finds  beauty in re-purposing and bringing new life back  to the old charm of  barn wood and materials which some  would consider useless. To shop  Drew’s creative and reclaimed  works of art, visit  www.etsy.com/shop/JDrewCarpentry.

 

 

Self-Care and Nurturing

aromabliss Aromabliss Ayurveda: Aromabliss is a botanically infused, artisan quality skin and body treatment line of elixirs based on the profound nature-based wisdom of Ayurveda, Aromatherapy and Herbology. Aromabliss products are individually hand mixed in small batches and scented with the highest quality organic, wild-crafted and environmentally sustainable herbs, plants and oils. To see if these physically, mentally and emotionally enhancing products are right for you, visit www.aromabliss.com.

 

vital yogi Vital Yogi Herbals: Owner of Vital Yogi Herbals and educator of the  Science and Philosophy of Tantric Hatha Yoga, Herbalism and  Flower  Essence Therapy, Brook Sullivan is on a mission to empower  people to  take control of their health naturally. When it comes  balancing the  mind, understanding the psyche and transforming  emotional baggage  into wisdom, Brooke feels that flower essences  the optimal remedies.  Flower essences are vibrational remedies akin  to homeopathy and  work on the subtle layers (psycho-spiritual and  emotional realms) which in turn bring wholeness to the physical body and life. To learn more flower essences and botanical therapies, visit www.botanicaltherapies.com.

 

Erbaviva: Erbaviva offers premium organic personal care products erbavivathat fuse European artisan quality with healthy California organic culture to benefit the human body and the planet. Each unique and exquisite Erbaviva product is handcrafted with distinctively pure living herbs, essential oils and botanicals sourced with the highest standards of organic certification, safety, efficacy and sustainability. Visit www.erbaviva.com to view all of Erbaviva’s delightful products.

 

Love in a Bowl
gina cucina Gina Cucina Soup of the Month:The holidays are a  perfect time to gather around the dinner table  with the  ones we hold near and dear in our hearts and  what  better way to celebrate the season of gratitude  than  with delicious meals. Feeling good about our food  is  made easier with Gina Cucina as all ingredients come  from local farmers and ranchers. Continue to spread  the cheer of scrumptious and heart-warming meals  after the  holidays by joining Gina Cucina’s soup of the  month club where two seasonal organic and gluten free soups are delivered directly to your door. For more information visit www.ginacucina.com.

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10 Steps to Staying Inspired and Manifesting Your Intentions

Posted on January 19th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

moody_girl

Staying inspired isn’t always easy. Sometimes just completing our daily mundane tasks- taking care of our kids, going to work or school- can seem like a grind. So how do we stay inspired to attain the goals and dreams that we have set for ourselves?

1. Imagine:
It is said that “Imagination leads to experience” and it is one of the first steps to begin to shift our positive thoughts and aspirations into form. Creating a vision board is an excellent way to begin to shape what sprouts from our imagination into being. A vision board is a picture collage of all the things you would like to manifest. Be as specific as you can about what those things are. If you want a new car, find the actual make model and color of the car you want. If you are dreaming of an exotic vacation find pictures of the hotel you’d like to stay in and the things you’d like to do while you are there. If you desire a loving relationship find photo’s or words that invoke this for you. Place the board in a place where you can see it everyday. Take a moment each day to look at what you’ve created, knowing that you have the ability to make it happen. Pay attention to synchronicities in your life, it may be the universe conspiring to help you!

2. Be Grateful:
Gratitude is central to being a happy and inspired person. We all have something to be grateful for, even if at this very moment the only thing that you can think of is the breath you are breathing right now. Create a gratitude journal. Every night before you go to bed make a list of 5 things that you are grateful for.

3. The Company You Keep:
Sometimes you need to let go of relationships that don’t serve you. You are not being served if you consistently feel drained after being around certain people. In your friendships and relationships are you always giving more energy than you receive? Do you feel valued? Are you in a circle of friends that thrives on drama and gossip? Who are the people you look up to? Spend more time with them. It is said that you are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with. Sit with that for a moment and think about whether you need to make any changes. Surrounding yourself with people who are positive, proactive and uplifting will help you to stay connected to your own goals. Who are those people in your life? If you don’t have any, find some!

4. Make an Action List:
List five things at the beginning of the week that you can complete to move closer to your goals. Don’t be afraid to do things that seem big- like making a cold call or sending an email to someone you don’t know. List 3 things you can stop doing this week that waste time and resources i.e. internet, channel surfing, spending too much or gossiping.

5. Meditate:
Set the tone and foundation for your day by spending at least 5 minutes meditating upon waking. The practice of consistent mediation has cumulative effects and allows you to develop the ability to remain centered in the midst of turmoil.

6. Daily Exercise:
No matter what your preferred movement form is. Get out there and do it 30 minutes a day! I prefer yoga and meditation because it brings awareness to your thoughts and can reveal mental constructs that may be blocking you from moving forward. If you are new to yoga you can try a free Yin Yoga class for beginners with Sarah Powers.

7. Mindful Eating:
Be mindful of not only what you eat (hopefully 60% organic), but how you eat. Do you offer a blessing for your food? Are you talking on the phone or watching TV while you eat? Are you rushing through your meal? Do you eat too late at night ? You are not only what you eat, but HOW you eat. Incorproating the science of Ayurveda can be an eye opening way to use food as medicine and practice daily self care rituals.

8. Thirty Minutes of Silence Before Bed:
How often during the day are we ever really silent? We are constantly barraged with images, information, distractions, sound bites, feedback etc. Take time to decompress from it all and just be silent, write in your journal, meditate, make a cup of tea and just BE. In order to be truly happy we must cultivate the ability to be alone with ourselves and our thoughts- with no distractions.

9. Deep Relaxation:
It is important for us to be able to deeply relax. We mostly think of that as sleeping, but there are a few exercises that we can do that bring us into a state of deep relaxation. The practice of yoga nidra is done lying on your back, on your bed or on the floor. Your eyes remain closed as you remain perfectly still and are guided though an exercise. This is a wonderful exercise for anyone who has trouble sleeping. It can be done any time of day and is deeply restoring. And because it is so deeply relaxing it is a great place to plant an intention. All of your internal resistances soften and you now have fertile ground to manifest your dreams from. I have used this method many times to achieve goals and it is very effective.

10. Commitment
Make a commitment to yourself. If you can’t commit to yourself, it’ll be hard for anyone to commit to you in any capacity. Challenge yourself to incorporate the nine steps into your life for 41 days. If you slip, start from day one. I guarantee you’ll see changes by day 42.

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Mindful Cooking and Eating for the Holidays- Yoga and Ayurveda in the Kitchen

Posted on November 21st, 2013 by Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

ayurveda and diet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Mia Park

The holiday season is upon us, which means that many celebratory meals await consumption. Many of us have strong associations with eating that are challenged or indulged in reaction to the cultural and emotional pressures that arise during holidays. A common reaction to holiday eating is cultivating guilt, which can ruin our experience of eating and disturb digestion. Perhaps the most powerful tool to keeping our minds and bodies balanced this time of year is to mindfully prepare and eat our meals.

Yoga and Ayurveda offer techniques to be mindful while preparing and consuming food. Ayurveda is the ancient science of self-care from India and is the sister science to Yoga. Scott Blossom, a California based Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner and Ayurvedic consultant masterfully reviews the sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga in his FREE e-course on Pranamaya.com

To cook meals mindfully, consider that what you’re preparing was grown with great intention. Every plant and animal develops from cells that contain the DNA to become what it was intended to be. An eggplant comes from an eggplant seed and a cow comes from the egg and sperm of cows. This miracle of nature is a wondrous concept to ponder as you prepare your food. Your food has followed its dharma, or life purpose, to become what it was meant to be. This is an incredible miracle. Cultivate gratitude for your food and give thanks for being able to choose what you are cooking.

As you prepare the food, pay attention to it. Chicago based teacher and author of cooking with a yoga view Claire Mark says, “It’s easy to go on auto pilot and in your mind be somewhere else [when you are cooking]. If instead you are focused on the smells, the sights, and the way the food looks and feels as you prepare it, you are literally infusing it with more attention and love and consciousness.”

James Tennant,co-owner of Tejas Yoga in Chicago echoes this advice, saying, “One should enjoy the experience. If cooking is typically a stressful activity for you, ask why. Is there a particular aspect you get frustrated with or stressed out about? Is there something you can do to make cooking more relaxing? Perhaps ask someone to help you, make a list and be better prepared, or maybe get over the idea that everything has to be “perfect.” If you are stressed, that energy goes into the preparation of the food. Focus on the creative component of cooking. Pour the love you have for the people you are cooking for into the process. Smell and taste the foods as you prepare them. Foods have all sorts of amazing textures, scents, and intricacies. Immerse your senses.”

From an Ayurvedic standpoint, cooked food in season is best, right now. “Eat seasonally,” advises Jim Kulackoski,an Ayurvedic practitioner and head of the Darshan Center in Chicago.“The foods available at this time are more dense and help the body build its tissues in preparation for the winter months.” Just as raw foods, such as salads, are more cleansing, cooling, and appropriate for the summer months, cooked foods, such as acorn squash, are more nourishing during the fall and winter when your body should feel strong and robust, says Jim.

James agrees, advising that, “In general, for autumn and winter, favor warm, heavy, moist foods to balance the cool, light, and dry qualities of the season. Think stews, pot pies and hearty soups. Nourishing foods with heating spices such as black pepper, cumin, fennel, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric will stimulate the metabolism and promote the digestion of heavier foods, which we naturally favor during these months.” In addition, Jim suggests that ginger also increases circulation of blood and prana (life force), which can be low due to decreased activity and cold weather. Cinnamon helps to warm the body, while nourishing the kidney system, which is most active during the winter season. Nutmeg and garlic are grounding, helping to calm Vata dosha which can become unbalanced in the fall and winter. (Vata is an energy associated with qualities of the wind such as lightness, dryness, and mobility.)

If you are comfortable chanting or praying, consider chanting as you cook. The Mahamrityunjaya mantra, also known as the Triyambakam mantra, is a healing sound that can soothe you as you cook and offer nurturing vibration to the food. In addition, Jim, who likes to cook in a positive mental space, chants the Shanti-Path (also known as the Peace chant) from the Katha Upanishad, which he says promotes prosperity and togetherness.

When you are ready to eat, create physical and mental space for yourself. Avoid eating quickly or on the run. Before you eat, reflect again on the source of the food and the consideration that went into preparing it. Cultivate gratitude for the opportunity to nourish yourself with this meal, especially if you are sharing it with loved ones during the holidays. Jim says, “Almost every culture celebrates the shorter and colder days of winter with holidays that remind us of our togetherness, strength in community, family and bounty. I recommend enjoying these times by participating in celebrations with family and friends enjoying the cooking, eating, and sharing of foods you love.”

Chanting or sharing a prayer or blessing with yourself or with others before you eat can help to calm yourself to better enjoy the meal. Chanting “Aum” is a simple way to participate in this pre-meal gesture. Aum is said to be the root of the word “amen,” which often concludes “saying grace.”

As you eat, minimize multitasking to improve the eating experience and digestion. Challenge yourself to eat a meal by yourself without distraction. Focus solely on the food on the plate and the drink in the cup. Appreciate that the purpose of this food is to nourish you. Eat slowly, chew slowly, taste slowly. Be aware of what you’re experiencing without judgment. Mindful eating takes practice.

James suggests, “A good place to start with mindful eating, especially around the holidays is this: before putting something in your mouth or filling up your plate, get into the habit of asking yourself, ‘Am I hungry?’ Most of us eat unconsciously because there are snacks on the table or because everybody else is eating. This simple device will heighten your sensitivity to how your body is feeling in the moment. Being mindful of our emotional state while eating is imperative. Observe without criticism. Are you eating because you are anxious, depressed, bored?”

Mindful eating can change your perspective. Claire reminds us “When we cook and eat mindfully, it’s just like doing anything else mindfully. It brings something that could be mundane or routine into a beautiful and magical experience. Be inquisitiveness about eating things that you’ve eaten often—just like the experience of being in a yoga pose that you’ve been in a million times. Be more conscious. Shift your attention to being present and mindful.”

Jim gives the most practical, sound advice for mindful eating. “Always eat what you enjoy, and enjoy what you eat.” Aum to that.

For more Advanced studies in Yoga and Ayurveda with Scott Blossom visit Pranamaya you receive 10% off when you buy all three courses on Ayurveda.

 

Mia Park is Chicago based 500E-RYT and a certified ParaYoga and Rest and Renew teacher. She teaches Tantra Hatha yoga and Yoga Nidra weekly at Moksha Yoga Studio and in the Moksha Yoga 500-hour teacher training program. Mia is currently in a yoga teacher training at Darshan Center. She is also an actress, drummer, and producer who says she is able to do it all thanks to guidance from her teachers and her dedicated meditation practice. Find out more about Mia at http://www.MiaPark.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do Yogis Have to Be Vegetarian?

Posted on January 3rd, 2012 by Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

vegetarianismIt’s one of the most controversial topics in the yoga world: vegetarianism. Some say you’re not truly practicing yoga if you eat meat; others say that not all body types can thrive on purely vegetarian diets. Is there a definitive answer? Read More »»

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Q&A: Scott Blossom on Ayurvedic Cleansing and Balancing Doshas

Posted on July 1st, 2011 by Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Karen MacklinScott Blossom is an Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor, as well as a Shadow Yoga teacher. He lives in Berkeley, California and teaches courses on yoga and Ayurveda throughout the country. He talked to The Sacred Cow this month about cleansing from an Ayurvedic perspective. Read More »»

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