DAY IN THE LIFE OF VIDYA LIVING
Claire, what a beauty and fully from the inside out. I remember the first time I saw Claire, she was working for Matthew Kenney and I was just starting my training. She was classic, elegant, extremely at ease in her body and of course, beautiful. She has continued to shine her light and show her talents though her gorgeous blog and wellness hub Vidya Living. I’m so inspired by her recipes, rituals, honesty and ability to see herself clearly. If you haven’t already been introduced to Claire, I’m honored to share some of her story and beauty from Vidya Living here on Strong & Radiant.
Routine is not something that has come easy for me in the past, but learning to create a grounding yet fluid structure in my life has been so vital for doing the deep healing work on my nervous system, digestive and reproductive organs that I so dearly needed. For years I resisted my morning practice because the idea of doing something rigidly and routinely the same every single day felt..well..oppressive! Years ago, I lived with a partner who was very disciplined and consistent in the same daily practice. I often found myself comparing my practice to his and feeling shame that I couldn’t stick to that kind of structure. It wasn’t until I started to reflect on Shakti, the dance of fluid feminine energy, did I really come to embrace my own watery, rhythmic nature. My body is in a constant dance of contraction and expansion as I move around with the cycle of moon and the seasons. By shifting my view of a daily practice into a sacred act of self-care and viewing these acts as meaningful rituals rather than chore-like routines changed everything for me. I now intuitively pick and choose each day from this incredible tool kit of self-care rituals Yoga and Ayurveda has provided me. Some mornings it’s more writing, more chanting, more dancing, more stillness and pranayama, pulling cards from an intuitive deck, or a gentle asana practice.
These colder winter days, I find myself lingering in bed longer with the kitties, grabbing my journal to write from under the covers before I get up to put the kettle on for tea. Before I move into any more meditative practices, I consistently do my morning cleansing rituals, starting with oil pulling, tongue scraping, dry skin brushing and abhyanga before I shower. After I’m clean and covered in a copious amount of oil, I’ll grab that tea or a morning elixir and sit down in my sacred space for morning practice. I’ve been reading Nischala Joy Devi’s translations on the Yoga Sutras and loving her feminine heart-centered approach to integrating this wisdom. If my mind feels cluttered, as it usually does, 10 minutes of nadi shodana (alternate nostril breathing) clears that for me.
My work days are a changing combination of private yoga and wellness coaching clients, creative projects, and recipe testing/photographing for the blog, print magazines and other collaborations. I block out an hour or two for lunch so I have time to eat a grounding meal away from my computer and do 20 minutes of yoga nidra. In warmer days, I plug in an inspiring podcast and go for a long walk after my meal. In the evening, I teach a public yoga class, go climbing or to a dance class for more movement.
I am a guilty late-night worker, my most productive hours come between 11-2am (so bad!). But now I’m rehabbing that habit and happy to report almost fully recovered… I still have my nights every now and then. But I make a conscious effort to take all electronics out of my bedroom and unwind by 9pm with a hot bath followed by an herbal oil massage. Then I read or write until I’m ready to fall asleep. If I’m really wired from a potent full moon or maybe a little too much late night cacao indulging, I’ll do a few rounds of nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) to calm my mind before climbing in bed. It makes such a difference for me to sleep by 10pm and wake with the sun. This is truly essential to complete your daily dinacharya.
For many years, my only workout was a very rigorous Ashtanga practice. Now, my yoga practice has taken a more therapeutic approach with asana and remains my spiritual practice. Instead, you’ll find me rock climbing, hiking or dancing it out when I’m in the mood to sweat.
I’ve been working on healing my adrenal fatigue healing after years of not properly nurturing my inner rhythms, a daily yoga nidra practice has become vital for me in this process of rejuvenation.
I could listen to afrobeat and dance in the kitchen all day…
Kabocha Squash & Red Lentil Soup Recipe
1 small kabocha squash, seeded & cubed
1 small sweet potato, cubed
1 cup red lentils
½ yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tamari
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
6-8 cups water
2 tbsp white miso paste
Combine all ingredients, except the miso paste, in a slow cooker. I use this clay pot slow cooker to make my soups and stews. Depending on the setting of your slow cooker, cook for 2-3 hours until tender and soupy. Continue adding water as needed for a soupy consistency. When finished, stir in the miso paste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve with chopped cilantro, sprouts or greens of your choice on top.
Note: If cooking this on a stovetop instead, lightly heat the pan with olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic and ginger on medium heat 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Combine remaining ingredients, except the miso, and cover to cook for 40-50 minutes. Stir in the miso paste at the end and season with salt & pepper if desired.
Claire Ragozzino is a certified yoga instructor, plant-based chef and holistic wellness educator. Blending Ayurvedic principles, plant-based nutrition, and yogic philosophy to cultivate deep inner wisdom for intuitive healing, Claire works with clients around the globe to inspire transformational changes in their health and wellbeing. Whether this means cleansing with the seasons or aligning our daily rhythms in harmony with the moon cycles, her business + blog, Vidya Living, provide a resource for women looking to reconnect with their roots and the ancient wisdom of self-healing through food, breath and conscious movement.