- Buy a tongue scraper with bristles that can really work into the crevices on the tongue. A great brand to look out for is Doctor Tungs. Note that a toothbrush, while certainly better than nothing, is designed to clean the hard and smooth surface of the teeth. It is therefore not the most adequate instrument for cleaning the soft, rough surface of the tongue. On the other hand, many tongue scrapers do not feature bristles and therefore can only reach the top of the tongue, completely missing a large amount of the bacteria living in the mouth!
- In the mornings and evenings, brush your teeth first as normal, and then scrape several times across the surface of the tongue using the scraper, trying to reach the back area of the tongue if possible.
- Floss and use a natural mouthwash for maximum cleaning and the freshest breath.
- Choose four to five activities that you do everyday, such as brushing your teeth, taking a shower, eating a meal, washing up, or traveling to work. Pay full attention to that activity as it is happening. Feel the toothbrush on each tooth, feel your foot against the ground upon each step. Taste the food, feel its texture, hear your teeth as they grind. Don’t just rush through your routine. Be aware of each stage of the activity, take an interest in it, no matter how mundane.
- Thinking is not the enemy. In fact, its an incredible tool, as all of us have experienced. We can be aware of our thoughts just as we are aware of our outer world. The obstacle to overcome is when we get lost in compulsive thinking and forget the present moment. When this happens, just bring attention back when you realize you lost it.
- If you get really caught up in excessive thinking, try using a mantra to take back control. Repeat a chosen word or phrase over and over to anchor your mind on that one word, preventing it from writing a speech about your failings or a tragic novel about your future prospects.
- Choose a good quality oil with a taste that doesn’t offend you. Sesame, olive or coconut oil are the most popular oils for oil pulling. Coconut oil has a lovely taste and great antimicrobial properties, so that might be a good place to start.
- On an empty stomach, such as first thing in the morning, take one or two tablespoons of oil in the mouth and slowly swish it from side to side across the teeth, taking care not to swallow it. If using coconut oil, you can first chew it a bit to melt it in the mouth.
- Keep this up for at least 5 minutes. Try 20 minutes for an excellent cleanse. During this time you can take a shower, do a little housework or simply sit in meditation, mindfully paying attention to the feeling of the oil in the mouth. You don’t need to stay in the bathroom!
- When you are done, spit out the oil into a garbage can and not the sink, so that you don’t clog up your pipes. The oil will have collected all sorts of toxins and germs, so be careful not to swallow it. It may have changed to a white colour with a thick constituency. Your mouth should feel wonderfully clean!
- Rinse out the mouth and follow with your regular oral hygiene routine. Some people prefer a salt water rinse to get rid of all remaining oil.
- Smile, and feel your teeth and whole mouth sparkling!
Last month for me was a time of Sadhana (personal practice). I took the past 30 days to retreat within and dive deep into the inner workings of myself. The last two weeks I went into silence and deep meditation – no speaking, communicating, phone, computer, books. For some, the thought of this is torture, for others, an amazing gift. For me, it was a time of internal watching, a time to check into the Samskaras (the mental impressions) that I have dug since my last meditation sitting.
When we become quiet we find so much tension (both physical and mental), so much craving, so much aversion. In the silence we experience our misery in a very visceral way. It is hard to sit with, but in the process of simply observing, without reaction, the healing begins. Through meditation, we realize that absolutely nothing outside of us causes our suffering, we are 100% responsible for our reactions. This hard to digest fact became very clear during my quietude.
Yes outside events happen, yes they sting, they have impact, but we are the creators of our own story moment by moment. We dig the grooves of the mind, and we have to work to come out, no one else can do that for us.
The good news is that there is a way out, there is a way to forgive and heal and be happy.
Meditation (along with so many other spiritual practices) gives us the tools to be truly peaceful. I am grateful for my teacher, Goenka Ji, who illuminated the path of Vipassana Meditation to me.
Inhale: Observe the sensation of breath
Exhale: Observe the sensation of breath
We have so many beautiful retreats coming up from March to October 2017. Specifically, there are two silent meditation retreats happening, one in April with Carolyn Ann Budgell and one in May with Sarah Manwaring-Jones.
Wishing you continued freedom and happiness on your life path,
Bring a breath of fresh air to your oral health with tongue scraping
A major part of our oral anatomy is the tongue, although this essential organ is often completely forgotten about during our daily oral health routine. Ever wondered why a hint of bad breath seems to creep back almost as soon as the smell of the toothpaste has faded? Well, that’s because the surface of the tongue, just like the teeth, becomes coated in bacteria everyday. Unless this bacteria is removed during oral cleaning, it will just continue to collect there, diminishing our oral health and releasing unpleasant odours. In fact, the texture of the tongue is such that its many crevices can trap and hold bacteria, allowing it to multiply in our mouths over time. To add to this uncleanly environment, our bodies remove toxins during sleep which land on the surface of the tongue. Therefore, to maximize oral health and combat bad breath, it is essential to use a tongue scraper to clean the surface of the tongue on a daily basis. This practice can also improve our digestive health and boost the immune system against future contaminants, allowing our mouths to become fragrant gardens of healthy oral flora!
For amazing oral health and a super fresh mouth, follow these steps:
Many of us have no idea how much bacteria remains in the mouth after brushing our teeth. Using a tongue scraper can make a world of difference to achieving lasting freshness in the mouth and a glowing sense of oral well-being! Try it out and literally taste the benefits as the surface of the tongue is transformed.
Meditation in Action
Many of us would love to establish a regular meditation practice, but when we try to set time aside for it in our busy lives, it often just ends up being one more thing we have to do in our day that we never quite get around to. Or, for those of us who succeed in establishing the practice, we often finish our mediation and dive straight back into the demands of our day, carrying very little of our awareness with us. Instead of, or in addition to, sitting down for a meditation session, Meditation in Action involves treating life’s regular little chores and tasks as mini meditations. This allows busy people to incorporate meditation into the activities they are already doing, and naturally merges meditation with daily living, avoiding the compartmentalizing of mediation versus “my life”.
To practice Meditation in Action, you simply choose to be fully aware of what you are doing in the moment, rather than mechanically carrying out the task while your mind is somewhere else. In this way, you cultivate awareness and train yourself to live in the present moment. Here are some pointers to help you with your practice:
Life is happening now, but our minds are constantly jumping between thoughts about the past and the future, never settling into the place where life actually is: the present moment. In this way, days and years can go by, and we miss out on our actual lives. On a deeper level, we are life, that very life that shines in this moment, but by living in the world of thoughts instead of the world of life we cut ourselves off from our natural joy, our natural home. Cultivating awareness day by day allows us to awaken from our mind-made delusions to the incredible joy of life in the moment, which is the truth of who we are.
Oil Pulling for All-Natural, Deep Oral Cleansing
Nowadays, its hard to imagine how people coped before the age of toothbrushes and chemically formulated toothpastes. However, as with many other things, we are slowly rediscovering that Nature has provided us with everything we need to be healthy and glowing, if we just know where to look. A surprisingly simple yet amazingly effective all-natural solution for dental health comes in the form of an ancient Aryuvedic practice called Oil Pulling – all you need is oil. This is literally as it sounds – you take a swig of oil, usually coconut, sesame or olive oil, and swish or “pull” it back and forth between the teeth for a certain period of time, usually 5 to 20 minutes. It may sound strange but it can in fact become a very therapeutic, meditative daily practice. The idea is that toxins in the body are drawn out into the oil, providing a deep oral cleaning as well as a general detox. The reported benefits include excellent oral health, pearly white teeth, super fresh breath as well as a heightened sense of well-being, clearer skin and even better sleep. It can also reportedly help to improve sinus congestion, headaches, PMS, inflammation and arthritis symptoms, and promotes general good health. This practice can be added to your usual oral hygiene routine for a deeper, holistic cleanse that goes beyond the surface of the teeth and gums. Try it out using these steps:
While it might seem like a lot of extra work to practise oil pulling everyday, its a great way to bring a bit of detoxing into your daily routine, something your body will thank you for! Give it a go and see how wonderfully clean the mouth can feel after the oil comes out. Starting the day with the freshest taste in the mouth feels lovely!
YIN TO YOUR YANG
Happy Holiday Season!!
This time of year can be filled with many opposites. Peace and irritability, love and anger, cold and hot, happiness and sadness, abundance and scarcity, love and hatred. If we are honest with ourselves, these are the fluctuations of the human mind on a daily basis. The polarities of life seem to be more evident during this season of tradition and family. Most of us have many mixed emotions about spending extended time with our relatives during the holidays. Whether it’s your unfiltered uncle or your mom who knows how to push your buttons, we all have loved ones in our lives that can test our patience. On top of family commitments, we have social gatherings, gift buying, food consumption, work, kids, and organizing it all brings forward our Yang energy.
We have all heard of and/or know what the Yin/Yang symbol looks like. If you were around in the 80’s and early 90’s it was also a popular fashion symbol on pendants, belts, t-shirts (and more), but did you ever find out what it actually means?
“Neither Yin nor Yang are absolute. Nothing is completely Yin or completely Yang. Each aspect contains the beginning point for the other aspect. For example: day becomes night and then night becomes day…Yin and Yang are interdependent upon each other so that the definition of one requires the definition for the other to be complete.” Personal Tao
This explains why the Yin/Yang symbol, which is actually called the Taijitu, has a black side with a white dot and a white side with a black dot. When two things are balanced, they are equal but still separate. In a relationship of harmony, the two energies blend into one seamless whole, as perfectly embodied by the swirling Yin-Yang symbol.
General Examples of Yin & Yang:
Yin = Darkness, Moon, Feminine, Shade, Rest
Yang = Light, Sun, Masculine, Brightness, Activity
When our Yang energy becomes dominant, we need to create balance by introducing more Yin energy. If we are feeling overwhelmed, hot, tense, agitated, we should sit, relax, slow down, cool down. This is intuitive, but we often continue to add more Yang energy into our already Yang like life.
So, now we know that the holiday season can create an abundance of Yang, and we also know that we need to balance this with Yin. If you feel your blood pressure rising and your breath becoming restricted while you are waiting in a shopping line-up, tune in, cool yourself down, sit down, take a few conscious breaths, go outside, turn on your Yin energy. It will balance you and enable you to have more equanimity with this beautiful season.
I just completed my Yin Yoga training in Vancouver with one of the founders of the tradition, Bernie Clark. I am very excited to introduce this teaching style into my classes. At Nectar Yoga B&B on Bowen Island, we will have regular Yin Yoga classes and at all of my upcoming Exotic Retreats.
Join me in Morocco, Iceland, and Spain (where there will be a specific Yin & Beginner themed retreat). Limited Space still remains for my Morocco and Iceland Retreats coming up in February 2016.
Sending you much peace and balanced energy during this special season.
WE ARE ONE YEAR OLD TODAY!
I’m gushing with joy and gratitude. One year ago my partner and I took possession of our home on Bowen Island and Nectar Yoga B&B was born.
We have met hundreds of people in the past year from all over the world. Thank you to all my students, you are my teachers. You show me the light and teach me all I need to know.
Here are some things I’ve learned this year:
If you are not happy, make a change, maybe a really big change
All your dreams are possible but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy
Follow your intuition and base all your life choices on it, if you don’t know what intuition feels like, be still
If you have trouble sleeping, come to my house and I’ll put you to work, hard manual labour will have you sleeping like a baby
Everyone on this planet needs space to reflect and breathe
Not everyone is as clean as I am
Talk a walk in nature, you’ll feel better
Find a partner who has your back, who helps you to accelerate on your spiritual path, who gets you!
If you’re not with that person, let them go, find your soul mate, they are waiting…
This too shall pass, everything is always changing
It’s not what is happening to you, it’s how you move through it
The energy you put out is the energy you get back, action/reaction
Life is truly beautiful, even when its cold and raining
Find stillness, breathe, refill
Eat amazing food and love every bite (even full gluten, full sugar, full fat chocolate cake – love it!)
Don’t get too caught up in perfecting your diet, your body, your appearance, your yoga practice, just be a damn good person
Surround yourself with people who are vibrating at your frequency
Be real – be the actual person you portray on Facebook
Find community, if you can’t find it, create it
Making money has nothing to do with success, real success is soul to soul connection
Our body is impermanent, at any moment it could be gone, so live the life of your dreams
Say yes to every good opportunity, unless it sacrifices balance
Heal your past, forgive, mostly yourself, then everyone else
You are beautiful, you are uniquely you, no one can replicate that
See beauty in the diversity, not difference
Judging is different than noticing the reality as it is
If you have knowledge that will heal others share it, it’s potency accelerates when you share
Find the lessons and the blessings in all of your life experiences
I love island life, I love small community, I love sharing in other’s healing process, I love small details
Swim in the sea, swim in the lake, just swim, there is a deep stillness in the water
A true Yogi is someone who speaks kind and softly, who shares all they have, who sees the connection of all beings, I hope to one day be a Yogi
You are deeply wise, no truth is outside of you, it’s all within
Surround yourself with good people, but also lots of animals, they have so much wisdom and love
Go for it, today is the day, tomorrow may never come, you can do it!!
Most of all…Be Happy
These are not cliches or cute quotes I found on the internet, these are the REAL lessons I have learned this year. Thank you to the love of my life, my forever partner, without his amazing dedication and deep wisdom, this life would be the same. Thank you to all our guests and your beautiful comments, feedback, wisdom, and energy, this has made Nectar Yoga B&B so amazing.
Andrea & Sat
THE NEW GEODESIC YOGA DOME
Nectar Yoga B&B is excited to announce the opening of our NEW GEODESIC DOME.
Summer is in full swing on Bowen Island. We only have a few spots left to book our cottages until September. We have lots of exciting news, and the most special is our new yoga space – a Geodesic Dome!
We have converted our original yoga space into a Forest Cottage and have just completed construction of our yoga dome. We chose this structure for its amazing acoustics, the light, the shape, the low impact it has on the natural forest surroundings, and it’s awesome structural aspects.
Buckminster Fuller’s lifelong goal was the development of what he called “Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science”– the attempt to anticipate and solve humanity’s major problems through the highest technology by providing “more and more life support for everybody, with less and less resources.” “Bucky” is best known for the invention of the geodesic dome–the lightest, strongest, and most cost-effective structure ever devised. The geodesic dome is able to cover more space without internal supports than any other enclosure. It becomes proportionally lighter and stronger the larger it is. The geodesic dome is a breakthrough in shelter in ease of construction and energy efficiency. The geometry allows proper circulation of the ambient air with little energy input.
Join us this summer for a yoga getaway in our new yoga dome! Click Here to book.
Here is a review from one of our guests last weekend:
“A perfect getaway! We stayed in the forest cottage suite and didn’t want to leave…Such a peaceful place and the yoga classes were amazing. Andrea is so knowledgeable and personable..thanks again and we can’t wait to come back!”
If you wish to leave us a review, you can do so on our Trip Advisor Page.
Sending you much peace in the summer months. Enjoy the beauty of this season.
Andrea & Sat
Nectar Yoga B&B is happy to participate in The Taste of Bowen.
Jun 13 – “Taste of Bowen” – SATURDAY, June 13, 2015 10:30am- 3:00pm
Location: Snug Cove, Village Square, Artisan Square, on Bowen Island
The West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the 2nd Annual “Taste of Bowen” which will take place on Saturday, June 13, 2015, from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm and will feature a “taste” of Bowen Island businesses in Snug Cove, Village Square and Artisan Square. Off-islanders: Park/bus to Horseshoe Bay, walk on the ferry and experience “The Taste of Bowen” all within walking distance from the ferry. Visit businesses, enjoy music and experience a ‘taste’ of Bowen! Last year we sold out!
Members – 15.00, Non-members – 15.00, Children under 12 – 5.00 Register or Learn More.
Come visit us at our table!
Morocco Yoga Detox Retreat, September 25 – October 1, 2015
Nectar Yoga and Mirella Saraswati team up for a rejuvenating week of yoga, relaxation, delicious cleansing food and exotic Moroccan landscapes this autumn.
MOROCCO YOGA DETOX RETREAT OVERVIEW
Submerge yourself in a peaceful detoxifying environment, deepen your yoga practice, learn about nutrition & healthy cooking, cleanse and relax in Morocco this coming autumn. After a week at this magical oasis with us you’ll feel renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated, we promise!
A peaceful haven welcomes you in the wonderland of the Moroccan countryside. The view of awesome dessert landscape and olive groves is a perfect setting to start off your day of yoga & well-being. You’ll be led through two daily yoga classes, meditation sessions, group discussions and lectures taught by Andrea from Nectar Yoga. Whether you are new to yoga or deepening your existing practice, you’ll gain a stronger awareness of your mind, body and spirit connection after your Morocco Yoga Detox Retreat.
Mirella Saraswati will have your taste buds watering before every meal. Each day we will enjoy inspirational, delicious, and extremely healthy creations. Informative demonstrations and lessons are included during this week. You’ll go home with a new relationship to food and the desire to eat clean. For some local flavor, Mirella will be working with a Moroccan cook to include some regional inspiration in the menu.
The Moroccan property features a main villa with two suites, surrounded by 5 private detached adobe cottages, which are truly one-of-a-kind. An expansive swimming pool, framed by shady umbrellas and lounge chairs overlooks the beautiful valley of Essaouira. The natural dessert landscape is dotted with olive trees and walking paths. This exclusive yoga retreat is your perfect detox sanctuary. Join us for a yoga detox retreat you’ll always remember.
Ibiza Yoga Detox Retreat, April 26- May 2, 2015
When April 26 – May 2, 2015
Where: Ibiza, Spain
IBIZA YOGA DETOX RETREAT OVERVIEW
Submerge yourself in a peaceful detoxifying environment, deepen your yoga practice, learn about nutrition & healthy cooking, cleanse and relax in Ibiza this coming spring. After a week on this magical island with us you’ll feel renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated, we promise!
A peaceful haven welcomes you where the air is pure and clean. The view of distant rolling hills and Spanish white-washed fincas is a perfect view to start off your day of yoga & well-being. You’ll be led through two daily yoga classes, meditation sessions, group discussions and lectures taught by Amrita from Nectar Yoga. Whether you are new to yoga or deepening your existing practice, you’ll gain a stronger awareness of your mind, body and spirit connection after your Ibiza Yoga Detox Retreat.
Mirella Saraswati will have your taste buds watering before every meal. Each day we will enjoy inspirational, delicious, and extremely healthy creations. Informative demonstrations and lessons are included during this week. You’ll go home with a new relationship to food and the desire to eat clean.
The hillside property we selected features a centuries-old “finca”, or traditional farmhouse, one detached adobe cottage and two adjoining stone dwellings which are truly one-of-a-kind. A terraced swimming pool, framed by extra-large group seating and dining, is the focal point of the main house’s exterior. Natural rock landscaping, beds of fresh herbs, including mint and rosemary, trees bearing almonds, figs, pomegranates, oranges are yours to indulge in. Lounge areas dot the property giving you many options to choose from when in search of a place to relax and rest. This small exclusive yoga retreat is your perfect detox sanctuary. Join us for a yoga detox retreat you’ll always remember.
A hillside property with sweeping views overlooking the rural Sant Augusti valley in the South-West of Ibiza island. The finca and all guest housing have been lovingly restored in a delightful blend of classical architecture, modern interior design, and 21st century conveniences. Several magazines have featured this beautiful finca as it is the perfect example of old-meets-new Ibiza bohemian luxury.
Four-foot-deep stone walls offer natural temperature control. High-beamed ceilings bring in an abundance of light which streams through floor-to-ceiling retractable glass doors, skylights, and windows in the main house. The interiors white-washed walls, floors, and ceilings are contrasted by dark woods and colourful textiles from Asia, India, and the Middle East. The common living area, with fireplace and flat screen TV, is hearth and heart of the home. There are three homes on the property exclusive to our retreat.
The grounds are private and open for you to explore. The Main House is the largest and accommodates up to 8 guests in 4 double occupancy rooms. The Adobe Cottage accommodates two singles or one couple and the detached micro suites sleep private singles. There are 5 bathrooms, six outdoor patios, and one outdoor shower on property. Each morning and evening we will practice meditation and yoga in the garden yoga dome. You’ll experience a magic unspoiled relaxing yoga retreat and detox holiday of a lifetime.
When: October 12 – October 18, 2014
Where: Ibiza, Spain
Submerge yourself in a peaceful detoxifying environment, deepen your yoga practice, learn about nutrition & healthy cooking, cleanse and relax in Ibiza this coming fall. After a week with Nectar Yoga you’ll feel renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated, we promise!
A peaceful haven welcomes you where the air is pure and clean. The view of distant peaks piercing through the morning mist is a perfect way to start off your day of yoga & well-being. You’ll be led through two daily yoga and meditation sessions in the yoga dome taught by Amrita and Mirella, your retreat hosts. Whether you are new to yoga or deepening your existing practice, you’ll gain a stronger awareness of your mind, body and spirit connection after your week with us.
This hillside property features a centuries-old “finca”, or traditional farmhouse, one detached adobe cottage and two adjoining stone dwellings which are truly one-of-a-kind. A terraced swimming pool, framed by extra-large group seating and dining, is the focal point of the main house’s exterior. Natural rock landscaping, beds of fresh herbs, including mint and rosemary, trees bearing almonds, figs, pomegranates, oranges are yours to indulge in. Hammocks dot the property giving you many options to choose from when in search of a place to relax and rest.
This small exclusive retreat is your perfect getaway this Fall. Join Nectar Yoga for a retreat you’ll always remember.
Join Nectar Yoga this fall for a truly unique and exotic retreat adventure. Nectar Yoga Retreat Morocco.
WEEK 1: October 26 – November 1, 2014 SOLD-OUT!
WEEK 2: November 1 – November 8, 2014. LIMITED SPACE REMAINS
Breathtaking natural surroundings as well as a treasure trove of antiques, artifacts and art work, makes this gem a perfect yoga retreat destination. Your body will feel toned, stretched, relaxed and lighter after your week with Andrea, owner of Nectar Yoga.
Enjoy the beautifully manicured grounds, a private olive grove, stunning interior spaces, dip in the outdoor infinity pool, meditate in the open air yoga studio, walk through the countryside, a guided tour of Marrakesh, a henna party, outdoor cinema, reading, and relaxing are just a few of the activities you will partake in during your Nectar Yoga Morocco Retreat.
This small exclusive retreat is your perfect exotic getaway. Feel the warmth of the Moroccan sun this Fall with Nectar Yoga.
A row of fountains in a garden of roses leads you to the front door of your Nectar Yoga Morocco Retreat. Everything you see has a story to tell, with treasures gathered the world over. With 99% positive feedback of Trip Advisor and articles in Elle Decor, The New York Times, National Geographic Traveller and over 20 more, this location is sure to leave you in awe.
The 800 square-foot Pool is the centrepiece of the property, inviting you to cool off during the warm days. Loungers & umbrellas offer the perfect spot to sunbathe or read.
Hidden away in the olive grove, is the Outdoor Cinema. This exclusive theatre has a huge screen, amazing surround sound, deckchair seating and a fire pit to warm up during the evenings. It’s a memorable spot to watch Casablanca under the stars.
Another magical feature is the exotic Arabian Dining Tent. Lush carpets create a cozy atmosphere and the one-of-a-kind linens will provide the perfect backdrop to the delicious evening meals that you will be served here.