Adapting to the Changing Seasons

There was a meme going around facebook this time last year  that went like this:

Cold and Flu is not a season.
It’s an inability to adapt due to decreased sun exposure and water intake combined with increased sugar intake and stress.
Create Resistance. Create Health
I don’t want to be cavalier, here. Colds and flus suck, and we can be doing everything “right” and still get hit hard. Everybody comes down with them from time to time, and the work out for our immune system, coupled with some good down time helps us to purge our system of unwanted toxicity, which in the long run might be a good thing. 
But this meme is pointing out that we can learn to attend to the shifting needs of our organism as we transition seasons. We can adjust our diets and routines to support our immunity through these natural cycles and perhaps ward off this year’s bug. A bowl of salad in the summer can be wonderful, but that same cold, raw salad in the fall and winter can lead to constipation and bloating. A bowl of warm soup  can nourish and warm us, and cooked with a little garlic or fresh ginger can support our […]

What it Would Feel Like to join Sacred Daily Essentials this Fall

(If you’re reading this from the blog page, click the green “read more” at the bottom right to gain access to the hyperlinks in this post).
Hello My Dears, 

It’s Saturday, and in honor of a new round of Sacred Daily Essentials, my 10 week live and online course, I wanted to share with you a couple of short practices I recorded for a past course. You”ll find them at the bottom of this post.
I am so excited to share this course with you again beginning September 24th. The online format allows you to learn ancient wisdom teachings from the comfort of your own home and to begin applying what you learn right away. The live calls create community and give you a chance to ask questions, learn from others and receive guidance as you continue to develop your practices.
What would it feel like to be part of my 10-week course, Sacred Daily Essentials this fall?
Something in you would relax knowing you had prioritized yourself, and would have the support you need to tackle some of the bad habits that had been gaining momentum in your life.
You would feel lighter remembering all the things you already know about what really works for you and what doesn’t and putting them into practice.
You would feel proud […]

By |September 12th, 2018|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, health|0 Comments

Self Care is the New Health Care

Every summer after my annual yoga retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs, I enjoy a 1/2 speed work life through July and August. In my line of work, things slow down. I see fewer folks at yoga class and in my private practice, so it’s an opportunity for me to enjoy the season and have some fun. During “summer vacation,” I spend more time outside, travel to see friends, enjoy some outdoor concerts and other entertainment and “clock out” on the early side more times than not.
This past week I’ve been coming off of a month of celebrations: birthdays, an annual visit to my home town to be with my ladies, a visit from my dad… and while this has all been fun for me, it has also taken it’s toll. For one thing, I have consumed more alcohol than I probably will for the rest of the year and then some. That and being off rhythm through travel, eating out more, and hosting has left me with a general fatigue and sluggishness in my body/mind. Ayurveda teaches that if we follow a healthy daily routine, then when we indulge during festivities, our body can bounce back pretty easily. I translate this teaching […]

By |August 31st, 2018|Ayurveda, digestion, disease, disease prevention, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

Ayurveda for Summer

What Ayurveda is and What it’s Not
Have you ever or do you regularly have the sense that you can tune into your body and know what it needs to stay balanced and happy? The sages who first spoke about Ayurveda developed this capacity deeply; in fact, they could attune to their own organism to such an extent that they came to understand not just their body, but the human body and energy system in general. They were able to map out the physical and subtle bodies in great detail without ever cutting open one to see inside. They came to know the different subtle and physical elements which make up the human body and energy system as well as those things which promote health and happiness and those which lead to disease and distress.
I have studied Ayurvedic medicine formally since 2011, and in that time, I have sat in classrooms with western trained doctors and scientists who have been deeply touched and amazed at the intricacy in which  these ancient seers came to describe and understand the body. Synchronizing this ancient view with the western scientific understanding brings a more holistic (mind, body, spirit) and individualized approach to wellness and healing. My teacher, Dr. […]

Taking Care of the Small Stuff

My Ayurveda teacher, Dr. Lad often reminds us to take care of the small problems when they arise. You know those little annoying problems that don’t go away: minor digestive issues, intermittent sleep disturbance, hemorrhoids, low energy….The idea is simple: small problems left untreated turn into bigger problems. We get used to the problem, learn to cope with it but never actually resolve it, and next thing you know we’re dealing with a major health issue.
A friend of mine recently landed in the hospital after a recurring tooth infection became systemic and began affecting her heart. My friend lives a holistic lifestyle and is pretty tuned into her body. Still, she had this tooth infection that would periodically arise, but after gargling and cleaning carefully around the toot, it would get better and she’d forget about it. Thing is, it kept coming back. She was calming it, but not resolving it, and eventually landed in the hospital. She finally had the tooth removed, but by that time, because the infection had spread, she had to go on a massive dose of antibiotics, which the doctors weren’t sure would take care of the infection it was so bad. Fortunately for my […]

Stay Cool this Late Spring and Summer

In the northern hemisphere, late Spring and Summer are pitta season, bringing us more fire and heat outside which elevate those qualities within us both physically and mentally.
For those with more fire or heat in their constitution, these inner shifts can become uncomfortable bringing an increase in impatience, irritation and anger as well as excess stomach acid, loose stools, skin eruptions, throbbing headaches and a desire to escape the heat.
If you have a predominance of pitta or fire in your constitution, you probably recognize these signs of imbalance, especially prominent in the warmer weather. If you have more pitta in your nature you’re probably sensitive to light, fair skinned with a medium build, have bright blue or hazel eyes, an intense gaze and a tendency towards short or far sightedness. Additionally, you probably have a strong appetite and don’t like to miss meals. Mentally you are bright with a tendency towards being overly-focused, perfectionistic, judgmental of self and others and have strong leadership capacities. Other ways pitta expresses physically are in good muscle development, early graying or a receding hairline and a tendency towards excess acidity, loose stools and skin eruptions. Out of balance pittas will drag their bodies around […]

By |May 24th, 2017|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

How to Take Care of Your Digestive Fire

Ayurveda teaches that all imbalance in the body starts in the digestive tract. Those low-level, chronic gut issues undermine our good health and over time, send imbalance into the deep tissues (organs) creating disease. Basically, everything we take into our organism we need to digest
Agni, the sanskrit word for “fire,” refers to all of the digestive juices in our stomach as well as the digestive enzymes from the liver and pancreas and the rest of the digestive tract. According to Ayurveda, there is agni in every cell in our body (think cellular metabolism) and in 40 main sites in the body. But the primary Agni, called “Jatara Agni” is in the stomach. If agni is strong we are physically radiant, with lustrous skin and eyes, good immunity, balanced temperature regulation, a clear mind and  self-confidence. When agni is weak, there is indigestion: gas, bloating, excess acidity, poor assimilation, weak immunity, dull complexion and eyes, foggy thinking, fatigue—you get the drift.
We feel agni when we feel real hunger in the belly. Its important to be able to distinguish real hunger from emotional hunger. Real hunger is a sign of health and a signal that the body is ready to […]

Year-End Ritual: Creating Space for the New Year

In my last post, I began a series on the topic of mental digestion.  Indigestion at this level is at the root of so much of the malaise, lack of focus and diminished vitality we feel in our lives that I wanted to focus some time on the topic and offer simple ways to work with it.

We all know what it’s like to be overly full at a physical level. In fact, over the holidays we probably experienced more than usual while socializing with friends and family, nibbling throughout the days and evening–not really hungry, but enjoying the abundance of celebratory food and drink. This is as it should be. Life was also made for celebrating, and these times can be wonderful in so many ways. AND these times take their toll on us when they have gone on for too long….All the leftovers and sugary treats around the house begin to bog us down and we start to feel lethargic, achy and ripe for whatever cold or flu is going around. The remedy is to give our bodies time to process the excess by waiting for true hunger to return, sipping hot water with lemon (gently detoxifying) and once our appetite […]

By |December 29th, 2016|digestion, disease prevention, health|0 Comments

Agni: The Secret to Good Health and Longevity

Its not surprising that my Ayurveda teacher, Dr. Vasant Lad, began our 6-week intensive talking about AGNI—digestive “fire.” Ayurveda teaches that all imbalance in the body starts in the digestive tract. Those low-level, chronic gut issues undermine our good health and over time, send imbalance into the deep tissues (organs) creating disease. Basically, everything we take into our organism we need to digest (and that includes the zillions of sense impressions we register daily–more on that next month.). With the holiday season and colds and flus in the air, I wanted to offer you some ways to support agni, this season so you and your family can stay healthy and bright.
Agni, the sanskrit word for “fire,” refers to all of the digestive juices in our stomach as well as the digestive enzymes from the liver and pancreas and the rest of the digestive tract. According to Ayurveda, there is agni in every cell in our body (think cellular metabolism) and in 40 main sites in the body. But the primary Agni, called “Jatara Agni” is in the stomach. If agni is strong we are physically radiant, with lustrous skin and eyes, good immunity, balanced temperature regulation, a clear mind and  […]

By |November 27th, 2016|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, health, healthy eating|0 Comments

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