Namaste Friends,

Today I am laying in my very exquisite bed at the Panjim Heritage Inn in Panjim, Goa it’s the first time in two weeks I’ve had enough Wifi to upload images and write my newsletter.

I love it here, though if it weren’t for the Patil family I think getting around would be a real challenge. I have been fortunate to have their support and company while here. Many of the guidebooks and travel bloggers recommend places that are just awful, which is no surprise to the seasoned traveler.

If it weren’t for the Patil’s, I may have been subjected to every tourist trap imaginable. Often Indians recommend things they think Americans would like, ex., ketchup and french fries and less spicy food. They are often suprised that I prefer food the way they prepare it. I wonder if many western travelers require food and experiences that don’t fall far from their usual experience, which is odd to me, why bother travel if you only bring your world with you.

In any case I’ve been saved?.

While away, in America there have been bomb threats on leaders of the Democratic party and tragically yet another mass shooting at a Jewish temple. From here America looks like a violent and backwards place. Ironically, I was worried about being safe here – while most Indian’s won’t eat a cow let alone shoot up a school full of children or people in worship. You might think it unpatriotic to make a statement like this, but when I travel abroad I end up explaining and apologizing for my country and it’s current President. I come home to a very divided country with very little confidence in my ability to be an agent of change, even so I will make whatever efforts i can through meditation, Yoga and plant medicine.

The first ten days of my trip were spent in the jungle outside of Belgaum where I was learning to identify the 60 most commonly used plants of the Westerns Ghats. It was a lot to take in. The next trip will be about learning to make medicine in traditional blends. I can’t absorb any more information but I have seen Ayurveda in practice within a family raised in the tradition, so I feel I have a better understanding of how it’s implemented in modern Indian society. Therefore, I can now apply it to my life in NYC.

Now that my son is almost done with college I am considering traveling for a full year. The below Yoga training may be my last for a year or two, unless I am able to host from a remote location. If you are considering joining me please register soon.

If planning to join me in Costa Rica, please reach out upon receipt of this email. I would like to secure some deposits as soon as possible.

I’ll be back to teaching on November 7th and look forward to connecting with you then.

With Love,
Colleen Lila


Ayurveda, uses herbs and spices to aid the body in the digestive process, (dipana, enhances agni,while pacana, burns ama /toxins). Many of these spices have been widely used by culinary traditions around the globe but little is understood about the various medicinal benefits of these herbs apart from flavor enhancement.

Below is a list of the most common Ayurvedic kitchen herbs and the benefits of each. Use them skillfully and keep your digestive system working smoothly.

Some things you should know about Herbology in the Ayurvedic tradition: K= kapha, P= pitta, V= vata. The symbol – means reduces and + means increases. Vipaka- refers to the post-digestive effect, which is the ultimate effect the herb has on the body and therefore the dosa. This effect takes place in the second stage of digestion in the lower small intestine. Generally, a pungent vipaka is good for kapha and vata (so long as it’s not too drying, or too often) and increases pitta, which is already firey, sweet vipaka is good for vata and pitta, but is building and therefore not good for kapha. Sour vipaka is good for vata.
Virya, refers to the temperature of the herb, we generally describe these as being either, heating (usna) or cooling (sheeta), vata and kapha dosha benefit from a usna virya or heating effect, whereas, pitta requires a sheet vireo. Understanding, the virya of each herb makes all difference when choosing herbs for the individual. Which is why I have compiled a list of the most common kitchen herbs listing benefits, special effects (prabhava) and the post digestive effect.
GINGER- zingiber officinale, KV-P, used for all vikruti (imbalances)- KVP, vipaka- sweet, Virya- heating.

Therapeutic Actions: digestive stimulant, rejuvenative, carminative, aphrodisiac, vasodilator, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, anti-cholesterol, expectorant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, promotes voice.

Traditionally used for, colds, flus, abdominal pain, indigestion, vomiting, nausea, hemorrhoids, motion sickness, belching, arthritis, heart disease, headaches, hypothermia, laryngitis.

Widely used for it’s ability to alleviate motion sickness, but also for it’s anti-microbial and antioxidant properties. Ginger stimulates peripheral circulation. I use it in formula to move medicine into the deeper and peripheral tissues, this action is called a catalyst.

TURMERIC- curcuma longa, K-PV+ (in excess), in moderation


it is tridoshara. Vipaka- pungent, Virya- heating

Therapeutic Actions: alterative (‘blood cleaning’), antibiotic,
antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antioxidant,
antiseptic, antispasmodic, cardiovascular stimulant, carminative,
stimulant,vulnerary, analgesic (pain relieving).

Traditionally used for indigestion, poor circulation, skin disorders and lung issues, such as bronchitis and coughs, rheumatoid disorders and arthritis, infections, hemorrhoids, parasites, gallstones and anemia, IBS, yeast infections, has anti-hepatotoxic effects. High in Magnesium, silicon and potassium.

Widely used for it’s anti-inflammatory benefits. this plant has been studied at length for it’s positive effect in protecting the brain from developing plaque. For more information on these finding read this PubMed article here. Precautions, Turmeric is a blood thinner and is the source for drugs such as Wayfarin. If already using blood thinners speak with your Dr. about dosages.

NOTE* 100mg-1500mg considered a medicinal dose!

BLACK PEPPER- piper nigrum, KV-P+, Used to reduce Kapha and Vata, Vipaka- pungent, Virya- heating

Therapeutic Actions: stimulant, expectorant, carminative, febrifuge,
anthelmintic, emmenagogue.

Traditionally used as a way to reduce toxic accumulation
in the intestines. Used to increase metabolic action,
sinus congestion, poor circulation,
amenorrhea, and helps ti increase absorption of nutrients.

Black pepper is one of the most useful stimulants because it adds a penetrating power to other herbs aiding and promoting absorption. In fact, black pepper with turmeric increases bioavailability by 90%!!! Black pepper is heating and can further aggravate Pitta dosa, therefore incases where pitta is activated pippali (long pepper) is a better choice.

CUMIN- cumimum cyminum, KV-P= (in excess P +),
Vipaka- pungent, Virya- mildly heating. Primarily for rasa (plasma) and rakta (blood).

Therapeutic Actions: carminative, alterative, stimulant,
antispasmodic, galactagogue, aphrodisiac.

Cumin has the special action (Prabhava) of balancing all dosas, it can be added to any combined formula to
harmonize the actions of other plants.
It is especially effective on the 5 bhuta agnis, which are the liver enzymes. Combined with Fennel, this herb acts as a powerful galactagogue, prompting lactations and reducing colic. There are no precautions. Daily use is recommended for assimilation and absorption of nutrients.

CORIANDER/CILANTRO- coriandrum sativum, PKV=, Vipaka- sweet, Virya- mildly heating
Bladder and skin.

Therapeutic Actions: diuretic, alterative, diaphoretic,
carminative, stimulant, antiseptic.

Coriander has a special action of helping to balance pitta dosa
i.e. too much fire in your energy, heat in your face, spreading
rashes, rage and judgment. It has the ability to stimulate digestion
without aggravating pitta dosa.

Traditionally used to treat saamapitta
disorders (toxic heat) and Vata disorders of the blood and urine,
such as, bladder infections.

Coriander is the seed of Cilantro. Cilantro is said to aide in the removal
of heavy metals from the blood and tissues, because of it’s high levels on selenium.
‘It is both a chelator – moving heavy metals out of the body and a mobilizer, moving mercury and other heavy metals from deeper stores to more readily removal areas’ -National Integrated Health Associates. To read more on removing neurotoxins from the body read this article.

FENNEL: foeniculum vulgare, VK-P=, Vipaka- sweet, Virya- slightly heating rasa (plasma), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle), majja (nerves). Tridoshic spice.

Therapeutic Actions: carminative, stomachic, diuretic, digestive stimulant, antispasmodic, expectorant,
galactagogue.

Fennel is indicated whenever there is digestive trouble and can be used safely by all ages. Excellent for all kinds of colic pain. The fruit or bulb has a tonic effect for the nervous system and is sattvic for the mind.It has the social effect (prabhava) for being helpful in lactation. There are no precautions for this herb.


CARDAMON: elettaria cardamomum, VK-P=, Vipaka- sweet, Virya- cooling cardamon

Therapeutic Actions: expectorant, carminative, stomachic, diaphoretic, digestive, stimulant, mild-antiseptic.

Cardamon, highly regarded as a digestive spice. It’s increases digestive enzymes, which we call agni in Ayurveda. It is a highly effective spice for balancing vata related digestive issues, of irregularity. Cardamon is safe for nursing mothers to drink, for digestive relief passing through the milk to relive colic symptoms. It is believed to cleanse the 5 pranas of the body directly working with prana and samana vayu. Cardamon taken with caffeine helps to reduce the toxicity of caffeine on the liver.

CINNAMON: cinnamomum zeylanicum, VK-P+, Vipaka- sweet, Virya- heating. Works on (dhatus),

rasa (plasma), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle), majja (nervous system).

Therapeutic Actions: diaphoretic, carminative, stimulant, expectorant, diuretic, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antiseptic, analgesic, alterative, vermifuge.

Cinnamon is traditionally used as an expectorant helping to break up mucus, relive congestion of colds and flus. Also helpful for chronic lung disorders and recent evidence suggests its excellent for stabilizing blood sugar levels. High doses should be avoided when pregnant. It is also known to reduce arterial tension, so should be avoided where cases of extreme low blood pressure are a concern.


GARLIC:allium sattivum, VK-P+, Vipaka- sweet in raw form/pungent in dry or oily form, Virya- heating, rasa (plasma), rakta (blood), media (adipose tissue), majja (nervous system), sukra/artava (reproductive).

Therapeutic Actions: stimulant/catalyst, expectorant, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, antibiotic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, anti-parasitic, rejuvenate, alterative, hypotensive.

Traditionally used to alleviate colds and flus but in contraindicated for pittas dues to it’s highly rajasic nature. But can be roasted with oil to lessen the rajas qualities. It is also good for controlling cholesterol and also good for helping to manage arteriosclerosis. It is an APHRODISIAC so bring on the garlic breath!!




Namaste,

We have moved into Vata season, governed by the elements, air + ether. It is at juncture in seasons and in life, that are we are most vulnerable to creating imbalance in our bodies.

Like the planet, our bodies hang in delicate homeostasis, there are many external factors that can disrupt this balance. These external factors are termed parinama samyoga- temporal factors which include: passage of time, seasonal changes, life and cycle changes. It is during this time that it is most important for us to follow a diet that decreases the accumulation of dosha before it enters deeper layers of tissue, this diet is alleviating or in sanskrit, prasama.
In Fall this diet is primarily based in local seasonal, organic vegetables like squashes and green leafy vegetables that are rich, unctuous, and deeply grounding, such as root vegetable. Ayurveda is the oldest continuously practiced medicine that remains relevant and current as it is faithful to the rhythms of the planet and the smaller rhythms of the individual seeking to bring the individual into harmony with the larger rhythms of the surrounding world. The primary aim is to avoid disease states, in Ayurveda the term disease state has a much broader definition than in western medicine. A disease state, according to Ayurveda is a state of imbalance that began as the accumulation of too much of one or two elements in the body. The way to overcome accumulation in the body id through the, Three Pillars of Health.

The Three Pillars of Health:
Ahara-diet
Vihara-lifestyle
Ausada- herbs


Sancaya-? Prakopa-? Prasama-?


SEASONAL CHANGES:
Dosa Spring Summer Fall/Winter
Vata ? ? ?
Pitta ? ? ?
Kapha ? ? ?

In Ayurveda states of disease all classified in stages, alleviation becomes more difficult as we progress through the stages of disease.

Six Stages of Disease:
Sancaya: accumulation
Prakopa: aggravation
Prasara: dissemination
Sthanasamsraya: localization
Vyakti: manifestation
Bheda: differentiation
Stages of disease manifest in the order listed above. The aggravated doshas move through the bodies channels, from the center to the periphery. The two mobile dhatus are rasa (plasma) and rakta (blood).

Vrddhi-increased state, Ksaya-decreased state. In the prasara stage we can see the dosha vrddhi signs, we can see some systemic manifestations of the dosa, ex. extreme dryness of the skin, blackish coloring. If we do not get balanced in the prasara stage we move into sthanasamsrayastage, the angry dosha moves along in rasa and rakta settle into a vulnerable place in the body called, khaivagunya= kha-space, vaigunya-impairment/defect. A Khavaigunya can be a genetic predisposition, a previous injury or an area of continued abuse of neglect in the body.

In vata signs of an increase appear as emaciation.
ABNORMAL STATES OF THE DOSAS, DHATUS & MALAS:

Vriddhi Lakshanas: vata- emaciation, catabolic process on the body, it doesn’t build it depletes.
Temples hollow
Veins
blackish/grayish/ashen discoloration in the skin- circles under the eyes
Joints prominent
Dehydrated
Abnormality, tics, tremors, roll shoulders, turn head, antsy, quivering lips, spasms/fine tremors in the muscles, heart palpitations etc. end of the range, epilepsy, Parkinson’s
Constipation- painful, dry, hard, infrequent, ease of transit and/or frequency changes. Bowels should move every day, it’s not ‘optimal’ to move bowels less, output and input should be balanced, toxins getting reabsorbed, water is getting reabsorbed. Three different herbal remedies to get them to do this is probably not best, bloating discomfort, passing gas are signs they need help.
Loss of sense, poor taste perception, loss of feeling, tinnitus,insomnia -vata governs the 5 senses, if it’s eyes but the eyes are red then it could be pitta and vata, two dosas involved.
Meals and sleep, three hours before bed
Excess talking is a vrddhi lakshana of vata, content irrelevant.
Higher mental function- confusion, not really understanding things, cognitive impairment, not fully understanding things
Joint and muscle pain- warm sesame, mahanarayan oil, castor oil
Emotions- anxiety, fear, restlessness (physically and mentally) impending doom, self conscious, people are judging them,
Ksaya Lakshana: of vata- when vata is ksaya
Aversion to talking
Loss of appetite
Hyper salivation
Tired
Depression

Vrddhi Pitta:
yellowish/reddish discoloration of the skin/stools/urine/eyes- ranges from a little to a lot (yellowish eyes ? jaundice)
Hot red angry,’itis’, superficial inflammation of the skin, pittas are more reactive by nature
People with allergies tend to shy away from herbal and topical interventions because they tend to react to things.
Increase body temperature and burning, feel they are burning up, they feel parched and thirsty, always thirsty
Disturbed sleep, predominately vata or pitta?
Fainting, vertigo, dizziness
Weakness of the sense organs particularly the eyes
Bitter taste and sour belches
Emotional state, angry, irritable, road rage, criticism (explosive), fighting with people



Ksaya Pitta:
Dull complexion
Slow bowels
Decreased body temperature

Pitta provides the home for fire and water etc. therefore if pitta is high in pitta the aggravation will be higher. Pitta is hot, sharp, oily, light, liquid. When pitta agni is too hot the food will be burned and not absorbed. Digestion is too sharp the absorption is poor.

Vata will tend towards irregular agni vishama, vata is cold, rough, dry, hard, light, mobile. If vata eats too much cold food or someone with a vata imbalance eats too much cold food the agni will become cold…sometimes they can digest the food and sometimes they cannot.


YOGA & COOKING RETREAT IN IBIZA, SPAIN
Ibiza, Spain | May 1-6, 2017
w/ Colleen Lila & Cassandra Purdy.

Join me and my dear friend for an exquisite week of Yoga, Meditation, Ayurvedic lifestyle and cooking on the outrageously gorgeous island of Ibiza, Spain.

Explore the secret beaches, orange and carob groves, enjoy mountain views onto the turquoise water of the Spanish Mediterranean.

Don’t let 2017 pass without an adventure. You deserve it!

Daily Yoga | Dharma | Pranayama
Daily Cooking Classes | Healthy fine dining
Dinacharya – Ayurveda daily lifestyle practices
Herb walks in the mountains- medicine making
live music | dance | exploring | massages | swimming | relaxing | trunk show

A beautiful finca (villa) will be our home base for daily yoga and cooking classes. Gaia Weaving activities will include: Yoga of Cooking daily workshops in clean food, as well as herbal preparations from foraged native plants such as: wild rosemary, fennel, calendula, aloe and herba santo. The week will also focus on Yoga, meditation and a study of the Spanda Karikas, as well as, Ayurvedic Lifestyle techniques with Colleen Lila.

(For full course details contact : colleenlilayoga@gmail.com)

Retreat Cost: $1100- $2200.*
private luxury suite: $2200. per person
single private room: $2000.
couple’s private room: $1600 per person
shared room: $1700.
camping/veranda: $1100. BYOT
off-site: $1100.

To register, please send a non-refundable $300 deposit to Colleen: colleenlilayoga@gmail.com

$100 off if you book before January 1st!

*flights not included

SOME HIGHLIGHTS WILL INCLUDE:
An afternoon of advanced yoga at Atzaro resort
An evening yoga/meditation session on Moon Beach with live sitar and tabla player
Sunrise meditation on the Cala Xaracca beach, followed by breakfast picnic, swimming.
sea salt collection on the south shore (for sea salt body scrub and culinary salts with rosemary, lavender and thyme)
meditation and dharma talk overlooking the mythical Es Vedra.
daily short cooking lessons covering detoxifying and energizing drinks and meals. Healthy and tasty treats such as, aloe/lemon/honey smoothies and (vegan/GF) chocolate coconut chia mousse, true Andalusian gazpacho, superfood powerballs and much more!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Lila Tandava Teacher 300hr. trainees will receive 30 credit hours in philosophy, meditation, Yoga lifestyle and asana

RETREAT HIGHLIGHTS:
An evening stroll through the D’alt Villa (Unesco World Heritage site) in the old Ibizatown port , followed by dinner in a great restaurant.
A visit to the famous Las Dalias hippy market on Saturday.
Sunset at Benirras beach, drum circle, swimming, candlelit dinner picnic.
Sunday market in San Juan, live music, artisan vendors, great shopping.
final night fiesta dinner at the villa, surprise live entertainment.
hike in the hills for yoga and meditation on overlook, w/ tea and snacks.
private shopping adventure at bohemian mecca for unique couture at Ashalak
ADD-ONS:
tarot reading/astrological chart by celebrated French astrologer and San Juan icon Noelle Ruzsancik.
an empowering striptease, burlesque class with American, teacher and dancer, Thalassa.
sea kayaking around Portinax harbor, visit to lighthouse.
numerous styles of massages can be booked on request at villa with the island’s best practitioners.

“Besides the political impact of our food choices there is the also the opportunity for mindfulness. Mindfulness is one step and intention is another. Part of Gaia Weaving is the idea of knitting together our inner and outer world, putting a cohesive sense of philosophy and lifestyle into practice. We all have our weaknesses and blindspots but as we evolve, we strive to be consistent.”
-Cassandra Purdy



Permaculture + The Yoga of Cooking + Herbal Home Remedies + Yoga + Philosophy/Meditation
with Colleen Lila Breeckner, Cassandra Purdy & Ben Falk of Whole System Design

Thursday, September 10th – Sunday, 13th
Mad River Valley, Vermont

This series of workshops is developed to weave our spiritual lives into our daily lives in practical and resourceful ways. Level I is the first of five levels designed to enable you to take control of your world through the knowledge of permaculture practices, meditation, Yoga, global medicine, nutrition and other wellness practices.

Subjects covered in Gaia Weaving include:
basic permaculture practices
ecological garden design
composting
the art of companion planting.
make herbal, salves, soaps, teas and tinctures.
eating for a healthy gut biome
fermentation, SCOBY (making kombucha tea), yogurt and kefir from cultures.
food combining, learn food myths and proper methods.
bread making
farm to table basics -the benefits of eating with the seasons and how to get all your nutritional needs met using local foods.
meditation,Yoga and the Yogic philosophies which support self reliance, autonomy and regenerative lifestyle practices.
relationship, team building and leadership skills
how to lead an ecologically minded lifestyle -to weave a green legacy for future generations!

Schedule Gaia Weaving Level I, Sept. 10-13th, 2015

Arrive Thursday by 12 PM leave Sunday by 2 PM
1:30-3:30 pm tour with Ben Falk

Morning- Yoga practice, 7:30-8:45
Meditation- 8:45-9:15
Silent Breakfast- 8:45-10:00 AM
Morning Workshops 10 AM-12 PM
Lunch (cooking demo)
Afternoon Workshop/Hike
Dinner (cooking demo)
Evening Meditation or free time

GAIA WEAVING WORKSHOP- TUITION & ACCOMODATIONS:
20 hours RYT Yoga
$435 for course
may include Lila Tandava RYT accreditation +$35
+$350 for single housing on-site
+$200 shared room at on-site
+$50 to sleep in your own tent
+$25 commuter fee for off-site accommodations


To find out more information about Permaculture and Whole System Design, please visit the website at:
www.wholesystemsdesign.com
To register for Gaia Weaving contact Colleen at:
colleenlilayoga@gmail.com



© 2018 Colleen Lila Yoga