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kourtney

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SWIRL FAMILY TRADITIONS: SATTVIC MORNING


SWIRL FAMILY TRADITIONS SATTVIC MORNING via Swirl Nation Blog

Sattva is a state of mind that causes us to remain steady, calm and peaceful. As the wife of a yoga teacher trainer, starting each day with tranquility is a priority. Our years in residence at the Himalayan Institute allowed us to cultivate a morning ritual that sets the tone for our entire day. 

 

Each morning begins with a glass of water, neti wash and homemade Indian chai. My husband lights a candle and we sit next to each other on our meditation cushions to begin morning prayers. After completing audible chants, we practice japa meditation in silence. Then I wake up the kids while Luke starts preparing breakfast. 

 

This daily routine infuses our home with palpable calmness. School day rush is filled with a sense of urgency but there is an underlying current of joy and gratitude. Communication is clear and when things go wrong, no one gets bent out of shape--we adjust and support each other.

 

Anyone can cultivate harmony in their home using tools and techniques that resonate with their personal beliefs and tradition or religion. Creating balance in your home isn't difficult but it does take effort and consistency is key.

 

The result is a happy, productive life--a life that everyone deserves.

 

Easy Homemade Chai

Makes 2 cups

 

Grate two inches of peeled ginger into 1 cups of water and bring to a boil
Add 3 heaping tablespoons of black tea
Optional pinch of saffron
Add 1 cup milk (optional almond, rice or soy)
Bring to a boil (skip boil for non-dairy milks)
Add sugar to taste
Add 6 Green Cardamom pods ground with a mortar and pestle

Strain and enjoy!

Check out these links: 

Himalayan Institute

Neti Wash

 


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SWIRL ART: IDRIS ELBA


Idris Elba

Stumbled on this about an hour ago. It made me very happy. Husbands (including my own) I apologize but it's not often us ladies see a man like this in a music video. Actually I don't think I've ever seen a man look or sound better in a music video.

When famous actors turn musician, it doesn't always go so well. This time it did. I can't believe I'm just now seeing this. It came out in October 2015!

This week we were supposed to write about a fine artist- like a painter or sculptor. Oh, wait, he is a fine, real, real fine artist. Yep, def obsessed. But I'm telling you... Idris Elba is, well, see for yourself...


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Swirl Style: Cause Couture


Visiting India in 2001, I was enamored with the never-ending range of color worn by the women.  Deliciously hued saris and salwar kameez, draped effortlessly on city dwellers and rural residents alike. The intricate details of the native garb oozed femininity and I couldn't image how all of the work in these garments was truly handmade. But an adventure to an underground loom shop revealed artisans chanting to keep track of the stitch, color and pattern. At shift change, the fresh craftsman knew exactly where to pickup without missing a beat. I was hooked.

 

In 2009, I landed a job with an unknown women's couture label whose mission was to combat sex trafficking. I learned the sobering facts: 

  • At least 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor and bonded labor
  • About 2 million children are exploited every year in the global commercial sex trade.
  • Almost 6 in 10 identified trafficking survivors were trafficked for sexual exploitation.
  • Women and girls make up 98% of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Committed to saving lives, my new bosses had been developing their line for two years. Completely created in India, this American mother/daughter duo designed and imported nearly 1000 one-of-a-kind handcrafted masterpieces to the US. Dresses, coats, pants, shorts, jackets, jumpsuits in cashmeres, cottons and silks in every color imaginable. Simple daily wear, red carpet worthy--and everything in between. My philanthropic boss presented me with a new wardrobe so I could properly represent the company. There is a palpable energy in ethnic fabrics that draws people in. Hanging at a Lakers game, I unexpectedly caught a certain Kardashian giving my black embroidered cashmere shawl the side-eye.

The company was eventually sold due to the owner's divorce and but continues its mission.  I moved on to become a stay-at-home-mom but to this day, I rarely leave the house without wearing something from India. If I want to make a lasting impression, I wear Scarlet Poppy Arte. Shoppers in NYC can see the line by appointment only. There is a small fraction of the line is available online.  Brace yourself--it's pricey. Queen Bey would have a field day in their showroom. The Ganesh Dress took six months to make and Zendaya could rock it on a red carpet. Would love to see Zoe Saldana in the Sunset Kimono.

All dresses are from Scarlet Poppy Arte, from L: Gnesh Dress, Sunset Kimono, Aqua Gala Gown, and Envy Lounge Coat


Thank goodness it's easy for the rest of us to incorporate the flavor of any culture into a wardrobe without breaking the bank. Shawls, bangles, earrings add texture and color year around. I usually keep it simple--detailed pants with a chunky turtleneck, all black anything under an embellished coat or a wiggle dress with glitzy bangles and animal print shoes. Ethnic designs keeps things fun and virtually guarantees no one will have an outfit like yours. 


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SWIRL HAIR: INDIAN OILS


I was wearing weaves in the early 90’s. Looooong weaves that looked somewhat natural. Then I went REALLY natural for over 10 years and loved it. But childbirth and age prompted me to throw in the occasional extension. When I moved to LA in 2008, I found a weave genius and wore a beautiful full head for two years while my hair fully repaired. I took out my weave for good after losing one of my best friends to ovarian cancer in 2010. I’d throw in the occasional clip-in hair but I was finished with sewing in.

Photo from www.myhenna.us

Photo from www.myhenna.us

During a visit to India in 2013, I picked up three different oils to promote hair growth. That is when the obsession began. I now have about 10 hair oils, masks, etc from India and they are far less expensive than anything else. Oh, and they work. I just applied Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Oil as a pre-wash conditioner while I write this but I don’t smell like garlic at all. It contains Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary and some chemicals that may be not so healthy but I do so many healthy things, I’m not going to worry.

The oils penetrate great and define my curls. My hair has pretty much stopped breaking which a a big deal for a woman over 40. The nearly 7 oz. bottle was $3.99. I’ll shampoo and condition and then massage homemade Triphala oil with Bhringraj  into my scalp. The “Triphala Plus” doesn’t smell so great (fried something!) but it keeps my hair crazy soft and again--no breakage!



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