Ayurveda for Winter

Ayurveda is all about supporting our organism–mind, body and spirit– to stay in balance. This balance point is unique to each individual and while there are general features of balance, each one of us must come to know this balance for ourselves. The same food or activity that would restore a feeling of harmony for one person at one time, would throw another person off entirely. To thine own self be true—but before that, we must know ourselves and be willing to be true to what we know through our experience.
Winter season, comprised of the qualities of earth and water, is cold, heavy, wet and dark. The outer cold sends more blood flow to the core of our bodies to keep our organs warm, so our digestion tends to be stronger this time of year than at any other time. There has been a need since the fall to eat more to insulate us from the cold, and we naturally, and healthfully store a little more fat for this reason. This is the time of year when we can best digest heavier foods in general.
The longer nights send us indoors and hopefully to bed a little earlier, as good quality […]

By |January 5th, 2018|Ayurveda, disease prevention, health, healthy eating|0 Comments

How to Use a Neti Pot

I want to support you in learning about and beginning or  re-beginning the simple practices that will help you feel better all year. Here’s a short video I made for you on the practice of Jala Neti. Not sure what Jala Neti is? 
 Take a look HERE.


YOGA VIDEOS with Shannon Available soon!
I have created a monthly yoga video subscription for you! Each month I will record three practices:

One  30 – 40 minute active session

One 30 – 40 minute yin session

One 15 – 30 minute pranayama and meditation session

My intention is to support you in your home practice, and to give you a way to continue studying with me remotely.

I decided to make the videos around 30 minutes each since most people struggle to find an hour or more to practice at home. The shorter sessions will allow you to get established in a daily practice; do different styles at different times of day, and, on days when you have more time or want to indulge in a long practice, you can mix and match the videos, sequencing them on your own, and I will also offer you some guidance on this too.

Subscribers  will receive access to three new […]

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 […]

Caring for Our Senses Tip Sheet

After many posts on caring for our senses, I made you a tip sheet to print out with all the information in one place.  Enjoy!
Caring for our senses tip sheet 
If you have any questions, please be in touch: Shannon@livingintobalance.com.

By |June 9th, 2017|Ayurveda, Care for your Senses, disease prevention, health|0 Comments

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 […]

Ayurveda for Your Senses: the Skin

The classics of Ayurveda teach that over-use, under-use and wrong use of our senses lead to disease. The sense organs are the ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose. The mind is considered both a sense organ (receiving impressions) and a motor organ (acting on the world). The effects of caring for our senses are on both the organs themselves and on our minds, for our sense organs have a direct link to our minds. We take in so much stimulation every day that its often hard to unwind at the end of the day. Some of our senses, like touch, registered through our skin, are under stimulated and this leads to its own distress both physically, emotionally and spiritually. What we feed our senses, and how we care for them is an important, often overlooked form of self-care.
The skin is the largest organ in our body, serving as a barrier between the outside world and our inner body. Our skin digests sunlight and produces Vitamin D. Similarly, when we apply oil to our skin, our skin digests the oil and if it is herbalized oil, those herbs penetrate, bypassing the gut and directly influencing our nervous system. Touch is one of our primary needs. […]

By |January 27th, 2017|Ayurveda, Care for your Senses, disease prevention, health|0 Comments

Ayurveda for Winter

Ayurveda is all about the ways our organism adapts, or fails to adapt to the conditions within and around us. In the case of mal-adaption, we practice the balancing actions that reconnect us to health mentally, emotionally and physically. Winter season, comprised of the qualities of earth and water, is cold, heavy, wet and dark. The outer cold sends more blood flow to the core of our bodies to keep our organs warm, so our digestion tends to be stronger this time of year than at any other time. There has been a need since the fall to eat more to insulate us from the cold, and we naturally, and healthfully store a little more fat for this reason. The outer cold and dark sends us indoors and hopefully to bed a little earlier, as adequate rest is one of the prime supports we have for our immunity and overall health. The holiday indulgences, if they continue into the New Year, will weaken our immunity and leave us vulnerable to the colds and flus going around. The heavy, dark days can lead to a feeling of stagnation both physically and emotionally. The excess fat our body stores this time of […]

By |January 12th, 2017|Ayurveda, disease prevention, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

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

Ayurveda for Our Senses: The Ears

Caring for our Senses

Agni is a Sanskrit word that means ‘fire’ and is often used to refer to digestive strength. Mental agni is our capacity to process (digest) information and emotions—our life experience. When agni is strong at this level, we comprehend what we experience and  this yields understanding and wisdom. Just as when the physical body has a backlog of undigested food we feel heavy and sluggish, so, too the mental body can get full and heavy when we don’t take time to digest our life experience. When we routinely take in more than we can digest and assimilate mentally, we weaken our agni, and thereby our whole system.

This mental/emotional backlog results in a kind of toxicity–‘ama’–which clogs the mental pathways. When mental agni is impaired, our thinking becomes cloudy, our memory, faulty, our capacity to make meaning of our lives is weakened and we may experience insomnia, depression and anxiety.

Most of us know but don’t often consider the impact of  the tens of thousands of sense impressions we ingest daily—some of them may be healing—but many of them are not. Additionally, we lead lives that are quite busy and full and so there is simply not enough space to process of […]

By |December 27th, 2016|Ayurveda, Care for your Senses, disease prevention, health, yoga|0 Comments
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