Andrea Russell: Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Yoga + Meditation Teacher & Neurovascular Therapist

Hi, I'm Andrea Russell. I have learned through my own trials that the momentum of life can pull us off center, which means that we need practices and tools to bring us back home to ourselves so that we can remember and stay true to what is in our hearts. I am an Ayurvedic health counselor, yoga therapist and meditation teacher dedicated to helping you reclaim your health and vitality. My work is devoted to breaking down complex concepts and practices into accessible pieces in order to give you the tools and support you need to feel and move well.

My one-on-one mentoring sessions and international retreats focus on both the seasons of the year and the seasons of your life so that you can benefit from living in harmony with the natural world and in balance with your true nature. I love to working with people who crave transformation—big or small—and want a more sustainable and resilient lifestyle.

What do you love most about Your City?

Madison, Wisconsin has four lakes, great green parks, and beautiful hiking trails. It is important for me to be able to break away from the momentum of modern life to be in nature. Nature helps me center down and feel connected to the world I am inherently apart of.

I also love that this city has so many incredible restaurants that source locally and seasonally. It seems there is always a new restaurant to try! And our farmer’s market, it is truly remarkable. It circles around our state capital making for a lively and beautiful Saturday morning outing.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

I love a warming and nourishing, home cooked breakfast. As we are moving through autumn, I turn to Golden Oats. Seeing food as medicine, the oats and dates are grounding, while the turmeric is anti-inflammatory.

Golden Oats Porridge

Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup steel-cut oats, rinsed

1/4 tsp powdered turmeric

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp minced ginger, or 1/8 tsp ginger powder

Pinch black pepper

Pinch Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp ghee

2-3 medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1 1/2 cups water

Bring the ingredients to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 more minutes, stirring often and adding more water as needed. If you’d like to give it a protein boost, top your bowl with ground flax seed and pumpkin seeds.

If I am meeting friends out for breakfast, then my pick is Marigold Kitchen. They have a phenomenal pesto, sweet potato and kale hash with eggs.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – I wake up at 6 am, when the world is yet still and calm, thinking of three things I am grateful for to align me with what is hopeful. I make a stop at the stove to boil water with a slice of fresh ginger root. Boiled water with fresh ginger first thing in the morning boosts the immune system and promotes healthy elimination.

Then into the bathroom for dinacharya, Ayurveda’s daily self-care routine which aids in keeping the nervous system balanced and calm. A warm herbalized oil massage, followed by rose eye drops, and a shower.

My most sacred ritual of the morning is the time I spend on the meditation cushion which connects me to timeless stillness. After thirty minutes of sitting, I roll out my mat to move and breathe through a combination of alignment based yoga, mindful strength and pranayama.

10:00 AM – I try my best not to open the computer until 9 or 10 am to allow a gentle entry into the day. By then, there are often appointments to schedule and inquiries to respond to. After a catching up on the to-do’s, I take my super sweet pitbull for a walk.  

12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?

If I can sneak away from the office to eat out, I will go to Himal Chuli, an incredible and authentic Nepalise restaurant on State Street. The tofu buff is my favorite dish, second choice is the daily special of rice, tarkrai, and dahl.

If I am making my lunch, right now I am obsessed with brown rice, baked sweet potato, sautéed kale, and miso ginger tahini sauce.

7:00 PM -  The evenings are for winding down, signing off of screens, and being in good company with dear friends or reading a book. Most nights I make a restoring ojas moon mylk as a night cap. Ojas is the subtle energy essence within our bodies that provides strong immunity, nourishment to the tissues, and stability to the mind.

Ojas Moon Mylk

10 almonds, soaked for a few hours then peeled and rinsed

2 medjool dates, pitted and rinsed

1 tsp ghee

1/8 tsp cardamon, ground

1/8 tsp cinnamon, ground

2 saffron threads

2 cups warm water or almond, coconut or dairy milk

Place all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender, blend until smooth.  

11:00 PM - For the most restorative sleep, my lights go out at 10 pm so hopefully by now I am dreaming sweet dreams!

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

If I need a pick me up mid-day to get through, I turn to a cup of Chyavanprash. It is a traditional Ayurvedic recipe of ghee, honey, and herbs which nourish and strengthen the body while providing energy and vitality. I warm water and add a teaspoon or two of the Chyavanprash jam.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

My favorite Instagram account is @chit.chaat.chai as she has a wealth of healthy living tips, recipes, and beautiful pictures.

My favorite app is Asana as it helps me organize my to-do list and stay on top of all my projects.

What should everyone try at least once?

Everyone should break away from their day to day life and go on a retreat. A weekend or week. Layers of stress, the momentum of responsibility, and the pressure of trying to keep up with modern life’s pace all fall away. Explore new practices and places. Relax, restore, and have time to get connected to what feels meaningful in your heart. You will return refreshed, with greater clarity and insight.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I love getting lost in other cultures. I lead Ayurveda, yoga & meditation retreats to Bali, Greece and Costa Rica. I love arriving a few weeks early to explore the region to discover the most beautiful spots and the best restaurants.