Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi Guest Post

October15

Happy Monday everyone!  You may recall that a while ago i blogged about a fabulous book I read by Brian Leaf called Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi?

I wrote about how hilarious it was and how it brought back memories of my youth when i practised mediation and yoga.  This book has been likened to Autobiography of a Yogi (an amazing book too!).  Well Brian Leaf’s blog tour is kicking off today and I wanted to help spread the message about this amazing book! 

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Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

Watch the book Trailer above.  Brian Leaf is hosting a Video contest too if you’d like to participate and possibly win 250 dollars and a signed copy of his lovely book!

The following information in this post by Brian can help you increase your Creativity. In case you are wondering which type i am – I’m pretty certain that it’s Vata. Enjoy!

Yoga, Ayurveda, and Creativity

I’m thinking of new ideas all the time. So much so that sometimes I can get spun out and exhausted. My wife, on the other hand, has a much easier time staying grounded and pacing her energy. Though she’s not quite as quick with new ideas.

Ayurveda, the 5000-year-old medical system from India, often called the sister science of yoga, has a lot to say about my wife and me. According to Ayurveda, there are different types of people, and these different types have different strengths, challenges, and needs.

Ayurveda identifies three primary tendencies within people, called vata, pitta, and kapha. Vata is the energy of air; pitta is the energy of fire; and kapha is the energy of water and earth.

A person, like me, with a constitution dominant in vata will have airy qualities (creative, quick, possibly anxious). A person with a constitution dominant in pitta will have fiery qualities (intense, focused, possibly overly critical). A person, like my wife, with a constitution dominant in kapha will have earthy qualities (steadfast, grounded, possibly stuck).

A vata person will be well endowed in the creativity department. New ideas and creative solutions flow freely for such a person. Their challenge, like mine, is to stay grounded and not get spun-out and exhausted from too many creative ideas. We have to make sure to see our ideas through and not lose steam half way through a project. By calming our vata, we can be wildly creative but also focused and steadfast.

A pitta person will be incisive and intelligent, often set on a fixed course of action and less open to creativity and new ideas. Surgeons are usually pitta individuals. They are confident, focused, and intense. A pitta person can retain their great focus, but bring in more creativity and tolerance of new ideas by soothing their pitta.

A kapha person, like my wife, usually has terrific endurance and resolve. She easily stays grounded, but creativity does not flow as freely. She may sometimes feel stuck and blocked up. By soothing her kapha and increasing her vata, she can harness her tremendous strength and resolve, while also tapping her latent creativity.

So how can you effect this change in yourself? First you must identify your Ayurvedic constitution. To determine whether vata, pitta, or kapha predominates your constitution, take the following short quiz.

1. Under stress, I become __________.

A. scattered and anxious B. focused and angry C. stuck

2. When I’m hungry, I get __________.

A. scattered and anxious B. angry C. depressed

3. I hate to feel _________.

A. too cold B. too hot C. too wet

4. My biggest psychological struggles involve __________.

A. anxiety B. being judgmental, irritation, anger C. feeling stuck

5. When I have digestive problems, they involve ___________.

A. intestinal gas and bloating B. heartburn

C. slow digestion, feeling stuck

6. When I get sick, I feel ___________.

A. Worried, fried, constipated. B. Fevers, skin rashes, diarrhea.

C. Congested, stagnant, blocked up.

Count the number of As, Bs, and C’s in your answers.

Mostly A’s indicate vata, mostly B’s pitta, and mostly C’s kapha.

Now to bring balance and increased creativity. For your particular predominance (vata, pitta, or kapha), choose three of the six items listed below and follow them for at least a week and see what happens. You’ll probably feel a whole new level of health, vitality, and creativity. Let us know how it goes at BrianLeafMA@gmail.com.

If the six question survey shows a predominance of Vata:

1. Keep warm, and wear soft, comfortable clothing. Make your bed into a soft, comfy haven.

2. Eat mostly cooked foods and use a bit of spice. Eat at a table, in a relaxed setting, not on the go or at your desk.

3. Keep a regular routine, and look over your schedule at the beginning of each day, so your mind can relax and know what’s coming.

4. Practice gentle forms of exercise.

5. Spend quiet time in nature, ideally near a lake or gently flowing stream. Sit under a tree.

6. Avoid or cut back on caffeine, wheat, sugar, and processed foods.

If the six question survey shows a predominance of Pitta:

1. Keep cool. Get lots of fresh air, but avoid too much direct sun. Take evening walks in the moonlight. The moon is very soothing to pitta.

2. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

3. Avoid very spicy, very salty, and very oily foods.

4. Watch your tendency toward perfectionism, competition, and intensity. Bring in softness and love.

5. Express your feelings in constructive ways. Be gentle on yourself and others.

6. Avoid or cut back on caffeine, wheat, sugar, and processed foods.

If the six question survey shows a predominance of Kapha:

1. Get lots of vigorous exercise, everyday.

2. Avoid fatty and fried foods. Eat lots of veggies and cook with a bit of spice.

3. Eat less bread.

4. Avoid getting in a rut. Try new things, take challenges, travel.

5. Practice expressing your voice and your feelings and spend some time creating every day. Draw, paint, sculpt, sing, dance, play an instrument, imagine.

6. Avoid or dramatically cut back on wheat, sugar, and processed foods.

Brian Leaf, M.A. is the author of Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi. He draws upon twenty-one years of intensive study, practice, and teaching of yoga, meditation, and holistic health. Visit him online at Misadventures of a Yogi

Based on the new book Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi ©2012 by Brian Leaf. Published with permission of New World Library

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    I’m a Guest Blogger on Journal Girl’s blog!

    August23

    Hello friends!

    Sorry i have been away for a few days without letting you know – i was visiting my friend up in Vernon – Cheri – she had a 2 week reprieve from chemotherapy and I wanted the chance to visit for a few days while she enjoyed some good days.   We had a marvellous time! You can see a few photos below of my fun trip! I wasn’t able to blog there as i couldn’t remember the password for my blog!  Doh!

    samie_kira

    Here is one of Samie’s lovely journal pages.

    I’m very excited about being a guest blogger on the super talented Samie Kira’s blog Journal Girlplease hop on over to check out my post about how Art Journaling saved me!  As you know I have dealt with depression on and off and have found Art Journaling to be a saving grace!   

    Vernon Visit

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    My friend Cheri took us to Arrowleaf winery – that’s Okanagan lake beyond the vineyards.

    Vernon_bacchus1

    The walkway out to the picnic area where we had a lovely lunch overlooking the lake.  If you buy a bottle of wine you can bring it to your picnic table and drink it with your lunch. The winery provides glasses! How much fun is that?  Bunches for sure!

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    Corine, Cheri and Violette Smile

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    Cheri’s family – sister Lynn, Cheri, her 91 year old Mom Dot and sister Karen.

    Vernon_winery1

    The Vineyards

    vernon_shushwapriver1

    After driving for 5 1/2 hours to get to Vernon we headed out to Shushwap River to spend time there – it was super duper toasty out that day (36 degrees centigrade) so lollygagging in the river in chairs was just perfect. Cheri’s sister has a cabin near the river. It was such a glorious place to be!

    vernon_food1

    Cheri’s family are all “foodies” – they love cooking and eating fine food.  One of Cheri’s brothers is a chef (trained in Switzerland – one of the finest chefs there at one time).  He made salmon in the oven – so yummy.  Cheri made a quinoa salad and an asparagus and artichoke salad. A lovely way to end a perfect day on the river – great food, wine and wonderful company.

    I packed up my art journaling supplies and never once in 3 days took them out of the car – we were so busy visiting and enjoying the local scenery!

    If you have not already entered to win my August Contest giveaway remember to enter here – the draw date is tomorrow morning 8 am PST!  Good luck.

    Love, Violette xo

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      Guest Post: Wendy Watson

      June28

      Wendy_art

      Wendy’s art

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      Wendy

      I met Wendy a few years ago on the internet and we have become friends – I’ve enjoyed Wendy’s positivity, input and sage advice over the years.  She’s a bright beacon of light way over in New Zealand.  I think you’ll enjoy Wendy’s inspiring post today!

      When Violette first asked me to write a guest post I was really enthusiastic.  We had been talking on Skype for almost 2 hours and we had a lot to say to one another.  I thought it would be relatively easy but no!  That was at the end of March and it’s taken until now – almost 3 months!

      When I have many choices I find it really hard to limit myself, to settle to one thing, and that’s something that hits me with the naked page . . . you know that big white thing you see when you turn a page or get a fresh piece of paper?  So why do so many of us feel that way?  Is it simply the inner critic saying, “you can’t do it” or “what have you got to offer” or “who cares what you can do?”    I think for me it’s about being real and being real means being vulnerable . . . putting myself out there for either praise or criticism.

      When I am being authentic, my creative endeavours are representative of who I really am, I am standing up and saying, “this is who I am” to the world.  Sometimes I hid my work away, maybe showed it to a few trusted and encouraging friends, however when I started to show the world, there was a feeling of relief, of freedom. 

      Ha!  I wrote that previous paragraph in the third person and then thought – what a coward, what a hypocrite!  Own how you feel!  Own what you think!  So I went back and changed it all and yes, I feel the relief and freedom of being real.

      What has given me the courage to do this?  The example of others – Violette doesn’t pull punches about her dry times or down times – she’s real.   And then I developed a confidence in knowing that it is only my opinion of myself that really matters.  Yes it’s nice that my friends and family think my new blog, begun before I knew what I was doing, is great, however I live with me 24 hours a day so being happy with me is vital.

      Look around you and you’ll see that the people you love best, the people you admire are all walking wounded – none of them lay down and gave up when life was tough, they got up and continued being creative in their own way.   I consider myself to be an ordinary, extraordinary woman – we all are!  So if I can do it, perfectionist (recovering), procrastinating, 63 year-old me, so can you! 

      This morning I put up a big brave post nailing my colours to the mast, out there in the public domain.  I have had more viewings, more comments than on any other day!  What ever it is that you want to try . . .give it a go, it’s better than the alternative . . . regret.

      Visit Wendy over at Late start Studio

      If you have not heard of the Sketchbook Challenge Book Release Bloghop yet – please check out yesterday’s post and enter to win some fabulous prizes!  My contest is up until Friday Morning but there are lots of other goodies to be won after that on participating artist’s blogs!

      Love, Violette xo

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