Devi Sadhana Series

Bhramari Devi, Goddess of Bees
Bhramari Devi, Goddess of Bees

DEVI SADHANA :: 9 part series on Shakti *With 9 Devi Mantras and Meditations*

Light up the world ~
Download the Devi Sadhana Series

A recording of the celebrations of Shakti as the Divine Mother, the power of life and love, over the nine nights of Navratri. Each evening, 40 Sadhaks gathered by phone as we lit the candle of our hearts, listened to stories of the Devi, learned the mantras to evoke her presence, chanted and meditated together. The recording of this series is now available here.

This series of stories and meditations will be emailed to you once daily over nine days after your purchase. Be sure to enter the email address you want the series sent to.

This is the original post introducing the Devi Sadhana Navratri Series ~

Have you ever thought about food, where it comes from and how it evolved? Why a certain food is so good, or so tasty, so beautiful, or so aromatic? Why certain plants are edible and others are not? Why animals can eat some things that would be poisonous to us? How did food even originate? Was it part of a perfect design that food evolved so we humans could? What does it mean “you are what you eat?” Aren’t we more than that? Or are we just food bodies? Entirely made up of food and destined to return to the earth to become food for the next generation? Does food also constitute our minds, our emotions? Does it feed our spirit? Where is spirit? Is it in our food? Is it in nature? If so, do we eat spirit when we eat food from nature?

Humans are part of the species called Mammal, meaning we have a mother. It is something we all have in common. We all have a mother. Beyond our biological mother, we also have a “universal mother.” We call our earth, Mother. We call nature, Mother. We call our rivers, Mother waters. We refer to the forces that create, give and sustain life as Mother. Everywhere in the world the word is the same, “Ma.” earth and tree Delicious, fragrant, healthy, living foods harvested from the radiance of nature reminds us that we all share a mother who gives us goodness, aliveness, and loving nurturance. Love is, after all, a quality, an energy, a feeling that uplifts, strengthens and affirms. Love tickles our senses, opens our heart, makes us feel awe. Food does that, arousing our five senses to feed our body, mind and soul. Food is one of the many ways this divine presence reaches out to show us each and every day that we are loved ~ you are made from love, to know love, and grow love. Scientists themselves now recognize that, underneath and beyond all form, we exist in a field of love. Food is that – the tangible, touchable, taste-able expression of that love. It is the very script of love. A narrative of our relationship with a loving presence we call Ma. navratri2 Today is the beginning of Navratri, nine nights of celebration of this loving, nurturing, creative intelligence who feeds us in so many ways. In honor, I am offering nine “virtual” meditations each evening at 6pm LA/7pm Denver/8pm Chicago/ 9pm NYC. You can call in to join our group, and each 30 minute call will be recorded, so if you can’t make our time, you will have it later to add to your library and enjoy at your leisure.

Light up the world:: Cultivate the Divine Feminine:: Register here.

annelie-2012
Painting by Annelie Solis

“Goddess Durga is omnipresent. She is the personification of Universal Mother. She is a Mother, who is present everywhere and who is the embodiment of power and energy. Great mother, who is present everywhere and who is embodiment of Peace, I bow to that mother, I bow to Durga, I bow to Shakti.” ~ Durga Stuti

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Since traditional observations call for fasting, you might not expect to find many recipes to celebrate Navratri. However, fasting in this case means fasting from certain, but not all, foods and there are many lovely dishes to celebrate Navratri, including these favorite dishes Cumin Potatoes and Potato Paneer Kofta (which you could bake instead of fry).

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I wish you a Happy Navratri! May the power of the divine mother always protect you, nourish you, and lift you up high! Jai Ma!

Raw Giveaway, Recipe & Summer Cleanse

Last week I mentioned meeting Raw Foodie Mimi Kirk. It was at a party in her honor celebrating the launch of her new recipe book, Live RAW Around The World.

RAW World

Mimi is a very youthful, vibrant, free-spirited, energetic, dynamic, beautiful 75 year-old on a mission to tell the world that you can age without getting old. In her two books, the first was Live RAW, she narrates her own story of reversing “age-related diseases,” and gives her formula for living well, along with recipes for living food and generative meals.

#Raw #Pasta Checca
Raw Pasta Checca from Mimi Kirk’s first Recipe book, Live Raw

Mimi generously gave me permission to give you this recipe below for a summer pasta she served at her book launch and later demonstrated during her talk on “living raw.”

Raw Zucchini Pasta al Pesto from Live Raw Around the World
Raw Zucchini Pasta al Pesto from Live Raw Around the World

Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Pesto Puttanesca

3 large Zucchini, peeled optionally (I like to striate the peel for color)
1 c Basil Leaves
1/2 c Walnuts (due to a family allergy to walnuts, I use sunflower seeds)
2 T EVOO
1 large clove Garlic
1/2 c Parsley Leaves
1/8 t dried Chili flakes
Himalayan Salt
Fresh ground Black Pepper
2 T Capers, crushed in garlic press
1 T Capers, whole
1/2 c Olives, raw if possible
1/4 slice Lemon for juice
Parsley for garnish

Peel Zucchini, if desired. Run through a spiralizer if you have one, or use a potato peeler for more of a “fettuccini” noodle. Place zucchini strips in a large bowl and massage with a little lemon and olive oil. Let rest for 10-15 minutes while you make the pesto. The massage agin to soften. Pour off any liquid.

Place the Basil, Nuts (or Seeds), Salt and Pepper in a food processor and pulse. Drizzle in Olive Oil while the blender is running. Stop, scrape the sides and taste. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Add more olive oil to make the pesto creamy. Smooth, thick, and pourable is what you are looking for. Add chili flakes and stir. Remove pesto from the processor ad a squeeze of lemon. Toss the pesto with the Zucchini pasta, capers and olives. Serve with a garnish of parsley.

http://vedawise.com/2013/08/06/summer-cleanse/
Summer Cleanse! Photo by Shannon Jones

Summer is a great time to clean up with a five day raw diet. If you are ready to cool, soothe and purify, I invite you to join us for my new Ayurvedic Summer Cleanse.

Also, if you would like to learn Ayurveda, and you are or could be in San Diego in late September, I invite you to join my husband and me for a weekend Immersion into Ayurveda.

And one more thing ~ Mimi also gave me permission to give away her new book to 5 fabulous Food: A Love Story followers. If you would like a book, please enter a comment below. Names will be randomly chosen on Monday, and mailed to you next week.

Raw Pizza from Mimi Kirk
Raw Pizza from Mimi Kirk

Thank you, thanks to Mimi, thanks to all the teachers of true health and wellness, and thanks to the principle of love that is in all of nature’s true foods.

Namaste!

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Post Script: Thank you, everyone, for your enthusiastic comments. It is touching and so inspiring to see so many people dedicated to healthy living and a healthy world. Thank you for that dedication! Winners have been chosen: Congratulations to Jamie, Tommy, Mary, Samuel and “Anonymous!”

Spring Detox Challenge begins April 22nd

Isn’t it a joy awakening to Spring, sensing all of nature come alive ~ and feeling yourself one with that renewal? Our upcoming Spring Clean 21 Day Challenge captures that joy, because we are doing it now, as Spring unfolds, and we are doing it together.

If you know you are ready to blossom and begin, register here.

What is an Ayurvedic Detox program?

Ayurveda is powerful because it is an age-old, tried-and-tested health science that mastered the art of deep tissue cleanse that simultaneously nourishes, so you maintain energy, peace of mind and immune strength.

Your “Spring Clean” Ayurvedic Detox includes 21 days of guided, gentle, nourishing detoxification in three phases:

1) Preparing the Way ~ Week One prepares your body for detoxification, beginning the process gently by introducing Detox Tea, Ayurvedic Herbal Formula, certain natural foods and daily practices to open the channels of elimination safely.

2) Guided Detoxification ~ Week Two involves simple meals that offer a deep tissue cleanse while simultaneously nourishing the body so you don’t have to go hungry.

3) Integration ~ Completing a detoxification is as important as the detoxification itself. In Week Three, we will reintroduce every day foods, incorporating the best meals, digestive tonics, and practices to maintain that “clean” all Spring.

Why is this one special? 

Most detox programs focus on nutrition only, and often a rather focused aspect of nutrition. Some cleanses target the liver, others the lymph, etc. This program is holistic and wholesome, addressing the whole of you – your whole body, as well as your mind, your life, your spirit. The foods, meals, herbs, and tonics on this program are gentle, nourishing and tasty, so that your detoxification won’t leave you exhausted, depleted, or unable to function – because who needs that? Our purpose is to help you live your life as best and as fully as you can.

The program also includes therapeutic Yoga, Abhyanga, Pranayama, empowerment tools, informative emails, and, if you choose, a personal consultation to tailor your Cleanse to your specific mind-body type and circumstances.

Also, I have priced it very affordably, so everyone has an opportunity to feel their very best.

Beginning April 22nd 

When you register you will receive Materials to guide you and prepare you. Then on April 22nd you will receive, by email, the program overview with a schedule, a day-to-day plan, grocery list, recipes for meals, snacks, tonics, teas, and gentle detoxification exercise, along with a recording to guide you.

You will meet your fellow “Challengers” in a closed, private online group where you will receive support and encouragement, as well as tips, recipes and more inspiration to stay the course and turn to optimal wellness.

What do you need? 

1) An email address to receive the program.
2) A computer to listen to the recorded guidance and to join our online forum to engage with your support team.
3) A few minutes at the market to pick up the sumptuous items for your Det0x. A grocery list will be provided.

How does it work? 

Beginning April 22nd I will “drop” a recording into your email box with all the information you need. There will be two more recordings that will come to you via email weekly. You will also get regular email updates and encouragement. In addition, if you choose, you will have a 30 minute Ayurvedic Consultation with me during this period so that we can tailor this Cleanse to truly meet your needs.

You can do all of this in the comfort of your own home, on your own time, listening to the weekly recordings at your own leisure. All materials are all emailed to you at the beginning of each week.

We all know that success comes more easily when we join forces with friends and others who share the same goals. So you can also choose to join our online forum, where you will connect with your “support team” ~ the other participants who will help keep your motivation strong ~ share your progress and insights, ask questions, discuss your experience.

What’s the Schedule? 

Sunday, April 22nd, 8 am PST ~ You will receive a recorded call that introduces the principles and practicalites of the program, connects you to the group,  and reminds  you of your inner, infinite power that will help you sustain this commitment. All calls will be recorded and available for review in your own time.

Sunday, April 29th, 8 am PST ~ Second recorded call to prepare you for the second week, the core of our program. Q&A to be sure you know the how’s and wherefore’s and a powerful meditation to lock in your power of commitment.

Tuesday, May 6th, 8 am PST ~ Final recorded call on the detox dynamics of Spring, ensuring correct integration of every day Spring foods and congratulating you on your success!

Daily ~ Regular Emails with directions, tips and encouragement will accompany you on this program and you will be paired with support you can reach out to if you choose.

How do I join? 

There are four ways you can receive this program:

1) You can elect the Spring Clean Challenge and receive all of the above ~ recipes, meal plans, tonics, teas, program schedule,  day-to-day plan and detox exercises, phone calls, emails and group support; PLUS, a 30 minute phone Consultation to address your particular Ayurvedic needs and tailor the program accordingly; PLUS, a Care Package of the Core Detox Provisions, VALUED AT $100 (key ingredients are not easily found at local stores). We call this the Shiva Challenge. It gives the highest level of support and ease, and it is all available for only $247 (plus shipping). Participants at this Level also receive a $100 gift Certificate to our Mastery of Life Retreat in September. 

2) Or, You can elect the Spring Clean Challenge, PLUS, the Core Detox Care Package. We call this the Vishnu Challenge and it is only $197.

3) You can elect the Spring Clean Challenge, PLUS the Ayurvedic Consultation.We call this the Hanuman Challenge and it is only $147.

4) Or, you can select the Spring Clean Challenge with all of the above, including recorded calls, emails and group support. This is best for you if you know your Dosha, have studied some Ayurveda or work with a practitioner, and are a good self-motivator. This is the Ganesha Level and is only $97.

You are likely to find that this cleanse is good for your budget – you might even save money over the course of the three weeks as your foods are basic and you will be primarily eating at home. (I will give options for those occasions when eating out is necessary). Please note that unless you purchase the Provisions, you are responsible for the items on the grocery list. 

Ready to register? 

Please click here for registration.

What have others said about this program?

” Your 21 day cleanse has changed my life and my health and I want to thank you for all your guidance, love and support. You are truly an amazing spirit. My outlook on food has changed from a meat based diet to one that is now filled with nourishing healthy foods.  As much as I was counting the days left for the 21 day cleanse to end, I am now thinking about the next one.” ~ Rick

“Laura – I really enjoyed the detox program… More energy, less angst and frustration.. Improved and more discriminatory palate. Allergies reduced, and I lost 6 pounds in my first ten days. Would definitely recommend it to a friend. Thanks again for all of the guidance and support, your caring and concern for others comes through in person, over the phone, in recordings, in emails and blog postings!” ~ Marcelle

“It has been great. I always felt full, never hungry and no I feel lighter, clearer, better. By the second week, people were commenting on how good my skin looked. By the third, I had lost 7 pounds, an unexpected benefit.”  ~ Gail

“I loved the Spring Detox with you.  It was gentle, well guided, nicely documented and very inspirational for keeping up with the program well beyond those 21 days.  The meals were nutritious and tasty and even my picky eater hubby enjoyed them and lost a few inches around his belly.  So much wisdom shining through that information that you gave us. I would recommend your program to anybody in a heart-beat, in fact I believe anybody would profit from it.  My husband and I will definitely do it again.” ~ Nicole

“Really good, and really happy. I don’t want to return to my old ways. Excited, too, that I am down a dress size just in time for a big event.” ~ Pamela

“I’m a changed man… Thank you so much for being there, Laura. I learned a LOT of valuable information, and as a single guy, this makes food simple for me–without sacrificing taste. 🙂  I was looking for a bit of a lifestyle change, and there was so much in the program that was sensible, sustainable, and simple in this way of eating and taking care of the body.  I’ve adopted much of what I’ve learned as daily routine, and have changed my core diet to embrace this way of living. This… has brought me up to a new level of functioning in my life, increased my vibrancy, and opened my heart and mind to the true possibilities of life. Thank you again, Laura.  You are doing a great service.” – Boyd

“I am so impressed by this program. It is so holistic, so nourishing, so educational. I learned so much and truly feel that it has the capacity to change anyone’s life. Just amazing!” ~ Marcia

“Beautiful, beautiful. Thanks Laura for doing this. What a mothering soul you have!”

“Thank you for a wonderful call and bringing together such an extraordinary group for this Spring cleanse. I am excited to be a part of this community.” ~ Clea

“This was a wonderful healing cleanse. I liked that I didn’t have to starve as I had struggled with body image as a young woman and completely shut my body down at one point. So I never diet anymore and never weigh myself. I just like that it was filled with healthy food and I was really good on the kitchari days. I also stayed off of coffee for almost 3 weeks. Since then I’ve tried it but haven’t liked it as much. I esp. enjoyed the oil bath in the mornings. It felt like an I love my body the way it is offering!  Something new for me. Thanks, Laura.” ~ Dani

“Your Detox workshop was absolutely amazing and so relevant. I don’t say this lightly but you are truly the most amazing teacher I’ve had the pleasure of taking a class with. Thank you for your instruction, insight and pure spirit…Happy Spring!” ~ Amanda

“thank you for encouraging us to take on 21 blissful days… a couple of things i found interesting in the last 3 weeks were an increased ability to meditate and a sense of increased focus on tasks. i’m fortunate to live in a place where i can choose a healthy lifestyle, and really become attuned with these finer points of good living. your challenge was met with open arms. we both look forward to… live it in greater fullness. *thank you* for proposing this and being the inspiring teacher that you are!” ~ Scott

“Who knew that Ayurvedic cooking could result in such piquant dishes, perfectly balanced in taste and nutrition? Laura Plumb did, and thanks to her… I can now cook healthy and delicious meals!” ~ Anne-Marie
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I invite you to join us and seize this season for your best health.
Registration here.
Namaste ~ 

Food as Medicine

Morning TeaAyurveda recognizes that the key to optimal health is a strong digestive fire. In this coldest and darkest time of the year, we need to be vigilant about strengthening that Agni, our inner fire of digestion and metabolism, to maintain the immune system’s robust vigor.

To that end, I am hosting a unique, experiential class on the subject later this month. Stoking the Fires: Ayurveda, Nutrition and Cooking for Winter Wellness is part of our continuing series on Kitchen Wisdom, in which we share with you the concepts and techniques of eating for optimal health.

All of my Ayurvedic Cooking Classes cover nutrition, food choices and preparation, spices, teas, tonics, and tips in a joyful, interactive, intimate evening. This January class will also describe the 6 Tastes and their application, the miraculous medicine inherent in your spices, and the ideal  recipes for wellness, warmth and comfort in this cold, blustery season.

The workshop includes lecture, preparations, cooking, tasting, and a rich, sumptuous, shared meal. Our class Winter Wellness Menu is above.

If you live in our region, I invite you to join us Friday, January 28 from 6-9 pm. Details are on our website.