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Tag Archives: 5 elements

Smell Your Life

I still remember an evening, many years ago, in the Mission district of San Francisco as I wandered for hours, drunkenly drawn along by the intoxicating scent of cherry blossoms. When I first traveled to India, it was the scents, as I stepped off of the airplane, that first signaled to me that I had arrived somewhere that would transform me.

Now that I am a mama, I could lie for hours, cuddling my little guy, taking in the smell of his hair (granted, he’s only 4 😉 ). The smell is uniquely him.

What are some of your favorite (or most memory-inducing) scents?

Smells have incredible power to inform you, transport you or uncover memories long stored away. Smelling requires an intimacy that we don’t often consider. In order for you to smell something, small molecules of it have to enter your body. Your sense of smell connects you to your most ancient animal origins.

In holistic medicine, scented oils, incense and flowers are all used as therapeutic components. While the effects of smell may seem subtle, the impact is profound and pervasive.

Connecting with your sense of smell:

      • For this contemplation, you will need something strongly (naturally) scented. Some ideas include incense, essential oil, fragrant tea or a fresh flower.
      • Sit comfortably with your chosen scent nearby. After a few moments of connecting with your deep breath, light the incense or cradle the flower, tea cup or a few drops of essential oil in your hands.
      • Inhale the scent deeply and allow it to permeate your mind.
      • Notice what thoughts or sensations arise in your awareness. Inhale deeply again as the impression of the scent on your experience starts to fade.
      • After a few minutes, close with a few deep breaths into your belly.

If you don’t own any essential oils, you might consider buying one of the ones in the list below to experiment with a bit. I love the oils from Floracopeia.

Stimulating and invigorating scents (clear dullness and lethargy)

– Camphor
– Eucalyptus
– Clove

Cooling and irritation-soothing scents (soothe anger, irritability and frustration).

– Sandalwood
– Rose
– Lavender

Calming and grounding scents (help ease anxiety and settle down for sleep)

– Orange
– Geranium
– Amber
– Vanilla

What are some of your favorite scents? Share in the comments below!


All in Good Taste…

If you are anything at all like me, eating occupies a lot of your time. Thinking about it, drooling over beautiful pictures of it, buying it, preparing it, and, of course, eating it…I know it’s not true for everyone, but for me and many of the people I know, food is really a passion.

If sight is our most human of senses, taste is probably our most social. We “break bread” together, we host a feast in celebration of major life landmarks and we offer food to our ancestors, gods and goddesses.

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Hearing Your Life

Most weekdays, I spend a lot of time in front of my computer or at my jewelry workbench by myself. It can get a bit lonely and disconnected feeling.

Last week I ran a little experiment. I wanted to see how I could inspire myself and others to connect more with our experience. To slow down a bit and feel the world around us and also to reach through these funny inter-webs and connect more with each other, as well.

I have to say, the experiment was pretty successful. By the end of the week, each of us who played my Healy-Feely game had undergone some sensual healing. So, I wanted to share the wealth, starting with hearing.

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Yoga for Stress and Anxiety

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes get stressed out ☺. Lying in bed some nights, I’m at the mercy of the thought spin-cycle in my head. Some days, I can find myself practically paralyzed by the thought of all the things I need to do. What if I pick to do the wrong one first?!


On those days (or nights) the first thing to do usually isn’t one of the things on that laundry list. It’s about 25 minutes of slow, simple yoga practice with deep breathing and re-rooting myself in my body. Read on for a yoga sequence video… Read more »

Earth Element: The Ground of Stability

SpaceWind FireWater Earth

This is the final post of a series of posts on the 5 elements of Ayurveda and yoga. You can read posts here on: space, wind, fire and water.

Earth Element

As the energy of manifestation stabilizes, it gels into solid form. Water element slows to a standstill and hardens as it crystallizes into earth.

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Water Element: Connecting to Nourishment

SpaceWindFire WaterEarth

This is the fourth of a series of posts on the 5 elements of Ayurveda and yoga. My last post was on fire element.

Water Element

As nature flows into more material manifestation—space gives rise to wind which gives rise to fire—the elements take on more tangible form. As the spreading quality of fire slows and cools, water element is born.

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Fire Element: the Principle of Transformation

SpaceWind Fire Water – Earth

This is the third of a series of posts on the 5 elements of Ayurveda and yoga. My previous posts were on space element and  wind element.

Fire Element

The friction created by the movement of wind element gives rise to fire. The transformative nature of fire  liberates the potential power and energy of wind.

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Wind Element: The Source of All Power

Space – Wind – Fire – Water – Earth

This is the second of a series of posts on the 5 elements of Ayurveda and yoga. My last post was on space element.

Wind Element

As the potential within space element moves into action, wind element is born.

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Space Element: The Place Where Things Happen

Space – Wind – Fire – Water – Earth

These are the names of the 5 elements of the manifest world as taught to us by Ayurveda. Their combination and interaction with each other provides all things their unique expression. The elements themselves are unseen, but they are the source of the qualities, or gunas (there’s our word gunas again), that we can perceive.

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