Nature is a haven of healing and wisdom, and the more we spend quality time with her, the more we can access our own healing nature.
Below are two mindfulness practices for strengthening your connection with Mama Earth and your inner nature of peace and vitality.
The first practice, called forest-bathing, has become a frequent practice during our Hike + Yoga community adventures and retreats. A common therapeutic practice in Japan, called Shinrin Yoku, forest-bathing is proven to reduce stress hormone production, improve feelings of happiness and free up creativity, as well as lower heart rate and blood pressure, boost the immune system and accelerate recovery from illness.
The second practice, called earthing or grounding, is to simply and mindfully make sustained contact between your physical body and the earth, like barefoot walking or sitting or lying down directly on the grass, sand, dirt or other earth surface. Just like while forest-bathing, consider shutting off your digital device and practicing conscious breathing and presence to maximize the wellness benefits.
I've been practicing this more regularly with my partner and the dogs by barefoot walking for 20-60 minutes on the smoothest dirt hiking trails I can find at Griffith Park in Hollywood. We've found the practice beneficial in spending quality time together while helping to decrease the intensity and duration of sore muscles after regular trail runs.
Below is a summary of the listed benefits of earthing. Find the explanations and science behind them here.
Click on the image above to watch a recent IG LIVE interview with Drew Holly and Itzel Gersten, the founders of Wild Love Vegan Food, who will be once again catering our creatively delicious meals and guiding a Healthy Holiday Cooking Class at our upcoming retreat, Inner Peace, Outer Harmony, on December 3-6, 2022 near Temecula, CA. (Find retreat info and their bio here.)
In this IG LIVE interview, we address:
Ready to dip your toes into creating nutritious plant-meals at home, especially for the fall/winter holidays? Join me, a 500-hour Registered Yoga Teacher, and Jocelyn Harrision, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, for a 2-hour workshop in Studio City on November 5, 2022, Debunk the Myths: Accessible Yoga & Vegan Nutrition for Healthy Living. Click here for details. We'll address common obstacles to starting or sustaining a yoga practice and eating vegan nutritiously.
Comment below with your favorite tips on creating deliciously nutritious vegan meals or your thoughts on this interview.
Click on image above to watch a recent IG LIVE interview with Trevor Arthur, a Kirtan Yoga Teacher, explaining what mantra and Kirtan Yoga are and their benefits. Trevor will be guiding a Mantra & Kirtan Yoga Workshop during our upcoming yoga retreat, Inner Peace, Outer Harmony, near Temecula, CA on December 3-6, 2022. (Find details about the retreat and Trevor's bio here.)
OM ASATOMA MANTRA OF PEACE
Here's a mantra we've been chanting in our weekly yoga classes and at our Fall 2021 Yoga Retreat, Breath of Perspective, called Om Asatoma. I chant it to remember my true nature, as it evokes peace, clarity and alignment with your Truth and pure consciousness.
From Sanksrit, it translates as:
From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality
Om peace, peace, peace
Om Asatoma Mantra (In Sanskrit):
asato mā sadgamaya
tamasomā jyotir gamaya
Oṁ śhānti śhānti śhāntiḥ
Here's a link to a Spotify recording of the chant by Deva Premal that you can chant along with at home. Experience the potency of the mantra and what you're evoking from within you when you chant daily 108 times for 40 days or more. While chanting, focus on cultivating the bhavanam, or feeling tone, of what you're amplifying in your life through the mantra.
Feel free to comment below with your favorite mantras or your experience with mantra and Kirtan Yoga!
At our October 2022 Full Moon Mini-Retreat in Ojai, CA, I served these Full Moon Cacao Treats made of nutritiously energizing superfoods. They are simple to make and are raw and vegan. As promised, here's the recipe for when you need a quick, satisfying and healthy dessert/snack...
Basically, the three main ingredients are 1c walnuts, 1c pitted Medjool dates and 2 Tbs cacao powder, all organic. This makes about 12 rolled up balls about 1.5 inches in diameter.
Start by grinding the walnuts in a food processor or strong blender until the consistency is crumbly. Then, add the dates and cacao powder to the blender. After, roll up a clump of the mix in your palms to create a ball. Either eat the balls right away, or store them in the fridge for a cooler and more solidified texture.
Variations to the ingredients:
(1) To the above mixture, add 1 tsp of pink salt and 1 tsp Vanilla Extract to enhance flavor. Then, sprinkle to taste a dash or more of cinnamon powder. For extra superfood boost, add 1 Tbs Spirulina powder. (See photo of ingredients below)
Then, after rolling the balls, you might roll them on a dusted clean surface lightly sprinkled with cacao powder and spirulina to add a dusty colored coating. To top them off, poke 2 goji berries on top for a sweet heart signature and Vitamin C antioxidant kick.
(2) Really hungry and want to add more protein? Try this version and a double sized amount: Blend 1c walnuts and 1c cashews. Add in 2c dates, 1 tsp pink salt, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract, 2 Tbs almond butter, 1 Tbs honey and 1Tbs spirulina.
Note: The measurements are really just a starting point. Most importantly, taste dough and tailor to your taste buds! Also, this recipe is a compilation of research into different cacao balls and spinning it with my own flavor. So, get creative, enjoy the process and remember to offer gratitude for these amazing plants and for sharing their prana, or vitality!
Want more healthy plant-based recipes & inspiration?
Join me and Wild Love Vegan Food for 4 days of of plant-based inspiration and a Healthy Vegan Holiday Cooking Class near Temecula, CA on December 4, 2022 at our Inner Peace, Outer Harmony Wellness Retreat!
A Collective Blog about Yoga Lifestyle & Inspiration
REviews of Root 2 Rise Yoga with Michelle chua:
Michelle truly lives out what she teaches. She is so much more than a yoga teacher - I learned this when I went on her exquisitely curated trip that she organized to Costa Rica this past June 2018...Hopefully like me, you'll be delighted by her effervescent love of movement, nature, and all people!
Michelle clearly stands out with her beautiful and bright energy. I love how her practice and teaching encompass body, mind and spirit. She not only teaches yoga but lives and exudes it.
Michelle not only teaches 'yoga', she embodies it fully with her heart and soul...
Michelle is by far one of the best instructors I've ever had, period. Patient, clear in her explanations and demos, and so encouraging...
My first yoga class was with Michelle years ago. You can have the best (yoga pose) sequence and not teach from your heart. With Michelle, I also feel her passion when I'm in her class. I can see she loves what she does, and she inspired me to want to teach yoga, too.
I'm so grateful to have met Michelle! Her kind energy opened up my interest in pursuing yoga and meditation. She is such an incredibly light and soul. She starts with grounding ourselves through mindfulness and breathing exercise. She brings the most authentic energy to the class by sharing the history and understanding behind poses, names, and techniques. I truly appreciate her work and impact on my well-being!
I’ve had dozens of instructors over the years, but Michelle is far and away the best yoga mentor I’ve ever practiced with. She epitomizes grace during these difficult times. Michelle has saved my sanity and my back while working from home, keeping me grounded with her sharing of yogic teachings and meditation techniques. Her repertoire of physical asanas is encyclopedic, and I’ve loved learning new poses and stretching my boundaries. Jump in, all. You’ve got this!
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