Agni and Soma – The primordial cosmic consorts

Agni and Soma – The primordial cosmic consorts

Night to the Soma-drinker come, for his enjoyment, these pure drops,

The Somas mingled with the curd.

Thou, grown at once to perfect strength, wast born to drink the Soma juice, Strong Indra, for preeminence.

O Indra, lover of the song, may these quick Somas enter thee:

May they bring bliss to thee the Sage.

 

— Rig Veda, HYMN V. to Indra

Shiva

Agni and Soma are two primordial cosmic forces of the universe that are integral to all of life. They are deities in the Vedic tradition and consorts. Agni is the god of the sun and Soma (also known as Chandra) is the god of the moon. Soma is represented as the most powerful deity in the Vedic tradition – the healer of diseases, bestower of riches, and lord of all other gods. Soma is a nectar that exists within and also a drink that was made likened to ambrosia. Shiva and Indra are said to have drunk from this elixir.

 

Agni is the first word in the Rig Veda, the oldest of the Vedas or books of knowledge. It is the sacred fire which represents heat and light. Agni is the inner fire that governs transformation, alchemy, and metabolism. There are many types of agni and depending on which texts your read, they number anywhere from 3-13. Agni exists in the five primordial elements (air, fire, earth, water, space), all of the tissues of the body, and in the digestive tract.  We want to think of kindling agni with care – as we would tend a fire. The goal is to have a steadily burning flame that doesn’t go out or diminish, nor does it combist or get out of control. One can support healthy agni through diet, herbs and lifestyle choices. There is said to be a type of soma for each type of agni and today we are going to focus on soma. In the summer months, times of intense heat, stress, or outward focused action – turning our awareness inward to the quiet and rejuvenative practices can be deeply therapeutic. 

 

The word Soma comes from the root su, which means to swell, to make ready, or to prepare. The earliest mention of Soma is also traced to the Rigveda.  Soma relates to water, ojas, ambrosia, the inner power of endurance, and becomes that which provides the fuel for our perceptions. Soma connects us to Ananda (bliss), peace, contentment, and love. It is the sustainer of all and when soma flows we are in a state of pure comfort or bliss.

 

If Agni is the fiery Kundalini force that dwells in the root or earth chakra below, Soma is the watery nectar that dwells in the crown of the head above. The oily drops of Soma nourish the central channel and provide the fuel for Agni, aiding in its upward movement. Agni is connected with the fiery kundalini shakti — as Agni rises, Soma descends. We need the nourishment of soma along the central channel before awakening kundalini. According to the Vedas, Soma flows in a thousand streams to Indra’s special place. These are the thousand currents of the sahasrara chakra or the crown where there lies the thousand-petalled lotus. 

 

Remember, over-activity and excess stimulation of agni leads to depletion, burnout, and disease. It is vitally important to cultivate soma in order to enhance longevity. 

 

Ways of cultivating soma flow include diet, lifestyle, herbs, pranayama, and meditation. I will share a few suggestions for each.

 

Diet:

Honey

Ghee

Spiced Milk Tonic

I adore Divya’s Kitchen and often order my Ayurvedic meals and pantry items from them. For developing soma, I highly suggest their ghee, soma salt, split mung bean soup. I am an affiliate so if you use this link to order and code Jeanette15 you’ll receive 15% off

 

Lifestyle:

Moon Bathing

Abhyanga warm oil massage – check out my Youtube video

Marma Chikitsa – marma point therapy

Pratyahara – turning awareness inward and cultivating steadiness and quiet

 

Herbs (Stanya Rasayanas):

Chyvanaprash

Gotu Kola (Brahmi) 

Shatavari

 

Asana and Pranayama:

Sitali and Sitkari Pranayama

Restorative, Yin and Slow Flow Yoga

Brhamari Pranayama – I have a guided practice on Insight Timer 

 

Meditation:

Metta Meditation

Mantra/ Mudra

Kechari or Shambavi mudra

We are exploring these themes all summer long in my live classes and online membership. Sign up today for just $0.99. Cancel anytime.

 

Ayurvedic Herbs for Summer

Ayurvedic Herbs for Summer

Ayurvedic Herbs For Summer

Ayurvedic herbs rose, shatavari, cumin, coriander, fennel

 

Brahmi – Brahmi is a nervine that soothes, relaxes, and balances the doshas. It eases anxiety and stress, reduces inflammation, helps lower blood pressure, and has anti-cancer benefits. Combined with chamomile, cumin, coriander, and fennel, this tea will keep you cool and collected all summer long.

Manjistha – I love this Pitta massage oil from Banyan Botanicals. It’s my favorite to use during the summer months for the practice of Abhyanga. If you haven’t tried abhyanga, check out my Youtube video here.

Neem – I particularly love adding Neem to my ghee. Ghee is the optimal delivery system for herbs according to Ayurveda. This ghee is fantastic for your skin, it’s purifying and cooling in nature, helps keep blood sugar in the healthy range, improves metabolism, and benefits gut health. Order your small-batch hand-crafted organic cultured neem ghee and enjoy this summer.

Rose – ahh rose. The sacred, high-vibration plant ally is a favorite during summer. It’s a heart tonic and is loaded with polyphenols or antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. Rose helps you feel serene and brings the energy of love to your world. Mountain Rose has some of my favorite hydrosols and essential oils.

Shatavari – Shatavari is a nourishing tonic for all genders but is especially supportive for the female reproductive system during all phases of life. It calms the mind, builds ojas or the nectar of vitality and immunity, and is amazing for the skin. This is my favorite beauty balm which combines shatavari and rose geranium.

Want to Know More?

Download our beautiful 20-page guide and masterclass to access the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda this summer.

5 Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Cool This Summer

5 Ayurvedic Tips to Stay Cool This Summer

Summer – the season of play, expansion, heightened energy, long nights, and longer days. Pitta is the dosha comprised of fire and water and it is at its peak in the summer months. In Ayurveda, like increases like, and opposites bring balance so we want to offset the intensity and sharpness of the heat with things that soothe, cool, and nourish.

 

Summer is a time of depletion according to Ayurveda – our digestion becomes weaker, ojas is depleted and overall, the heat has a taxing effect on our physiology. So what can we do?

 

Here are my favorite tips to beat the summer heat and stay balanced and nourished during this season of fire.

 

1. Ayurvedic Daily Routine – the first part of every Ayurvedic consultation I offer begins with establishing a supportive daily routine – called dinacharya. In the summer, we want to make sure we are asleep no later than 11 pm. Put away the screens, establish a solid sleep ritual, and get to bed before the pitta hours kick in (10 pm-2 am). Eat your largest meal between 10 am and 2 pm.

2. Food Choices – favor sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes. Foods like cucumber, melon, berries, artichokes, zucchini, watercress, collard greens, asparagus, mung beans, rice, barley, and even dairy can be supportive this time of year. Enjoy herbs such as mint, fennel, coriander seed, basil, cardamom, and cilantro. Avoid iced and super cold drinks and foods, as they can further dampen the already compromised agni (inner fire of digestion and assimilation). Bitter ghee, called tikta ghrita, is another wonderful balm for summertime.

3. Body Care – Perform daily Abhyanga – self warm oil massage with Brahmi oil. Follow with a shower and finish with a cold rinse. Spray your eyes and face with rose water. Use sweet and cooling essential oils like jasmine, sandalwood, and rose. Rinse and massage your feet with oil before bed.

4. Surya and Chandra Trataka  – sun gazing and moon bathing. Take a walk at sunrise and practice sun-gazing at sunset. Bathe under the moonlight soaking in the softening rays of the moon. Utilize the rhythms and cycles of nature to bring about inner harmony and balance.

5. Metta Meditation and Mindfulness Practice – practice softening. Work a little less, take mindful moments every hour to simply breathe and notice your body, practice loving-kindness meditation.

With subtle seasonal shifts and attention to what is coming through the five senses, we can greet each season with balance and ease.

How to Make Rose Water

Join me live for a sweet guide on how to apply Ayurvedic lifestyle and nutrition to stay nourished, healthy, and filled with vitality this summer. You will also receive our beautiful 20-page guide with recipes, journal prompts, and your guide to the Ayurvedic seasonal routine and daily clock.

What She Really Wants This Mother’s Day

What She Really Wants This Mother’s Day

What She Really Wants

This Mother's Day

Embrace feeling nourished, rejuvenated, and thoroughly cared for in a way that lasts well beyond the treatment session. ⁠

A Day of Bliss

Treat yourself or the mother in your life to a full day of bliss. This 3-hour journey begins with a cacao ceremony and a full Yoga Therapy and Ayurvedic assessment. Next, enjoy a deeply therapeutic Infrared Sauna, warm oil Abhyanga or Thai massage, customized Ayurvedic facial, and an aroma point therapy treatment. 

Gift Ideas

My Favorite Things

Indigenous Designs Blue sweater

Indigenous Designs – she will love this!

Vitamix

An appliance you can actually give as a gift.

Sunlighten Sauna – give the gift of health

Jade Harmony Mat

Buy a mat, plant a tree. This is by far the best non slip mat available and it’s eco-friendly.

Join my online Yoga Membership with a 30 day trial for just $1

Prana

Prana – clothing she’ll feel good about wearing.

Self Care Essentials

Self Care Essentials

Banyan Botanicals is an ethical source for all of your Ayurvedic healthcare. Discover how this ancient practice can enhance your well-being, increase your longevity, and radically transform your health. These are my favorite essentials from Banyan Botanicals.

Sustainable Yoga Clothes

Sustainable Yoga Clothes

For the mother that loves clothes but also cares about our Earth. I have dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to sustainable living and earth friendly practices. Indigenous Designs and Prana are my favorite for conscious clothing choices.

Show Her Your Love

May 8. 2022

Ayurvedic Care

I believe we need the support of the village to create the kind of new earth we envision. Mothers, children, families, and communities – all benefit when there is deep support during these times of transformation. The care cannot fall to just one person.

It’s my life’s mission to change this paradigm. To bring about the conscious evolution of our souls through deep allyship, nourishment, and support. To lean in when need be and to be held.

Sacred Window Care

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Rituals for Living and Dying

Rituals for Living and Dying

Let’s talk about ritual…⁠

⁠Ritual is not only important for your spiritual practice, but also for your well-being. Ritual provides context for what is about to come, allows there to be a sense of the sacred even in the mundane, and delineates a special occasion or rite of passage with a greater sense of ease and aspect of social bonding necessary for our nervous systems. Research by van Mulukom into religious rituals in Brazil and the UK determined that taking part in rituals boosted pain thresholds and the ability to experience positive emotions, which increased social bonding in both religious and secular groups. One of the earliest examples of human ritual practice is thought to be a carving of a python in a cave in Botswana, Southern Africa, dating back 70,000 years. ⁠

Rituals can involve gestures, words, actions, or a performed sequence of events that you weave into your daily life to make everything a little more magical. They turn small everyday acts into something more significant or momentous. One of the keys to happiness is the ability to savor the moment (Dr. Laurie Santos, Yale University) and rituals help us do just that. ⁠

Research data also demonstrates that rituals are important during the dying process and can help alleviate grief by instilling a sense of balance and control. Rituals are equally important in times of birth, transformation, and rites of passage through liminal spaces. They mark time when we are “betwixt and between”.⁠

What rituals do you enjoy or bring into your daily life? ⁠

Here is a quick guide to creating more rituals and holding sacred space for yourself and others.⁠

 

⁠1. Beginning

Create a set of symbolic elements – things that have personal meaning to you or your group – that you use to mark the beginning. Turn down the lights, light a candle, burn smudge (ethically sourced of course), and create an atmosphere of sacredness.

 

2. Rhythm

Allow there to be a predictable structure of a beginning, a middle, and an end. Begin with the breath, a pause, intention setting, a centering practice, and an incantation. Next, move into the meat of your ritual – the core of your content. And finally, create a marked ending by blowing out the candle, offering a closing prayer, a moment of gratitude.

3. Integration

After closing the ritual, allow time for integration. Create an opportunity for sharing or journaling, the embodiment of what transpired through movement or a way of marking the event as special and momentous.

Utilizing the power of ritual will not only improve your overall well-being but will also provide memories for years to come. 

Check out this beautiful offering on rituals for the end of life I created with nine beautiful souls. 


Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

 

 

Resources:

 

Compassionate End of Life Care

 

United on Sunday: The effects of secular rituals on social bonding and affect

 

Time investments in rituals are associated with social bonding, affect and subjective health: A longitudinal study of Diwali in two Indian communities