• Rachael Sands




I'm honoring the elements in my yoga classes... Earth, Water, Fire, Wind... we're so connected to them but rarely, if ever, stop to think about their qualities and how they relate to us. Let me invite you to tune into all things Earth... When I find myself so lost in thought and in my head that it feels like a loop and I can't think of anything else (and they're usually not great thoughts)..... that's the number one moment I know I need to stop what I'm doing, go outside, and take in some Earth love. You ever get that feeling? Thought energy is fast and distracting and associated with Air & Ether. The opposite would be Earth- slow, steady, confident in just being. You may also need to connect to the Earth if you: -can't seem to slow down -aren't feeding & nourishing yourself in a way that is healthy for you -can't let go of the past -don't enjoy being alone with yourself -have been on a computer all day and can't remember what grass feels like under your feet Hey, we've got to use the rest of the summer to our advantage while we still can! I want to share with you my... TOP 5 FAVORITE WAYS TO CONNECT TO THE EARTH: 1) Go For A Hike Retreating into the woods, being completely immersed in nature, nothing quite compares. There is still this need to check yourself, consciously allow yourself to look around, take pauses to listen, to smell, to just be. So often even when we go on adventures, we're still in our heads. Give yourself permission to be totally present. My favorite part is collecting random leaves, stones, pine cones, whatever jumps out at you... and taking them home for an arts and crafts project. This one has been on my to-do list for about a year now. 2) Plant Something Don't tell me you haven't noticed the summer flowers starting to dwindle.... This is the perfect time to go get some colorful Mum's to replace what's left in your gardens. Dig up the old, re-pot, plant, do what you need to get your hands in that dirt! This is also a great time to pull some weeds and clean up the perennials that have run their course. This isn't just me telling you to go do some yard work and chores. These things bring you energy! I thought I was going to go to bed at 5pm the other day after a particularly long day of work.... I came home and instead of plopping straight on the couch, I started pulling up some crunchy Day Lilly stems (very slow & lazily btw) and the next thing I know, the whole side of my house is looking fresh and I felt 100% more energized. The Earth is your friend. 3) Grounding Yoga Practice Any yoga practice can be grounding when you set your intention to be. But in particular- focusing deeply on your breath. Noticing your connection to the ground in each moment, how it feels pressing back into your feet and hands. In poses like triangle and side plank, gazing down at your mat or the floor rather than up towards the sky. Meditating on the size of a mountain, the strength of a large oak tree, or the entire Earth itself, moving steadfast through space, supporting every living thing with it's resources. Feeling into the natural cycle of life. How we too go through cycles. 4) Self-Massage In Ayurveda it's called Abhyanga. Massaging warm (or room temperature) oils into your skin, from your toes to you face... even into your scalp if you're not planning on going anywhere that evening! (I use sesame oil in the winter and coconut oil in the summer, plus whichever essential oils I'm feeling at that time) Our physical bodies are a direct way to connect to the Earth and the present moment. Mindfully massaging oil into the skin can be grounding and calming to the nervous system. This is an act that can be done daily, before (or after) showering.... allowing yourself to drop into a place of nurturing, rest, and quiet. I suggest massaging circles at the joints and long strokes along the long bones. 5) Cook Seasonal Vegetables There's no feeling quite like cutting into a big sweet potato. (With a sharp knife of course) So much effort and strength in pursuit of a sweet earthy-ness. Cooking seasonally keeps you in touch with what is growing right now in your area. In turn connecting you to nature, and the Earth. Staying aware of the cycles and knowing that the Earth will support you in what you need for each season. When the air starts to cool and the body needs to build for warmth throughout the winter, the Earth provides us with hearty potatoes, nourishing kale, squashes of all sizes and colors, and a whole lot more! Here's my favorite Earthy meal right now: bonus points if you grow & harvest your own! 2 servings Pre-heat oven to 400 Ingredients: 1/4 cup of adzuki beans (or black beans), cooked 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1 large leaf of kale, cut into wide/short ribbons 1/4 head of cauliflower, each floret cut into 1/2 or 1/3's 4 spoonfuls of black bean & corn salsa (I use store bought but homemade would be amazing) shredded cheddar cheese Instructions: -Soak adzuki beans overnight, drain & bring to boil, reduce heat to low & simmer for 1 hour (or cook for ~2 hours if you skip the soaking) -Add sweet potatoes, a drizzle of sesame oil (or whatever you have), salt & pepper to a bowl and stir until well coated, spread evenly onto foil-lined baking sheet -Repeat above step with cauliflower -Place sweet potatoes & cauliflower in oven for 20 minutes, stirring once while baking -Place kale into bowl with oil, salt & pepper, massage oil into leaves until well coated, evenly spread onto foil lined baking sheet and place into oven for the last 7 minutes of baking -Add ~3 tablespoons of beans into bowl, top with sweet potatoes, cauliflower, kale, 2 spoonfuls of salsa, & freshly shredded cheddar cheese -Mix all together, Enjoy! ...you can easily add cooked chicken or eggs to this for more substance. Let me know how it goes! I've got 3 servings just waiting to be eaten in my fridge right now ;) so good! I hope you find yourself noticing when you're in direct contact with the Earth this week as well as the energy & support it provides.

#elements #recipe #tips #sandsflow #yoga #ayurveda #adventure #earth

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