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. […]

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

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 […]

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

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

What do Fall and the Late Afternoon Have in Common?

Fall is a time of year when the ether and air elements increase and with them their qualities of mobility, dryness and cold. To balance this increase, we bring in the opposite qualities of stillness, moisture and warmth. It’s the same in the late afternoon. You know that time of day when you start to feel scattered, tired and a little frayed? This is a great time to take 10, and rather than push through to completion, step away from whatever activity you are engaged in and take a moment to gather yourself together. Part of staying healthy and sane in our modern life is learning to align with the Natural rhythms rather than fight them.

It’s so common when we start to feel the lull of the late afternoon to drink more coffee, reach for a quick burst of energy through a sugary carbo-laden snack, and push through to complete whatever we’ve been working on. However, most of us who’ve tried this know that this exacerbates the problem, and while we may succeed in pushing through, we sacrifice our peace of mind, and drain the little energy we had left for our work day, and return home frazzled and exhausted.

Ayurveda […]

By |September 28th, 2016|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

Syncing up with Natural Rhythms to Support more Calm, Energy and Happiness

Yoga and Ayurveda are both at essence about expanding awareness and entering more fully into relationship with Reality. Through Hatha Yoga, we relate to our embodiment, not as a mental concept, but as our direct experience or felt-sense that includes layers of mental and emotional tension patterns as well as depths of intuitive knowing and at essence, Being itself, as our very nature.

Our physical and mental habits can either free or obscure the flow of prana through our system. With more awareness of our habit patterns comes more freedom to choose responses that support our deeper intentions. Yoga reveals to us directly that we are not separate from the whole, but intimately a part of it.  Ayurveda shows us that our interconnectedness with all means that our organism is always registering changes in our environment. By adjusting our routines and daily rhythms to support our body’s balance, we can come into better alignment with ourselves, others and all of Life.

Ayurveda, which is the science of life describes those things which bring health and well-being and those things which bring disease and anguish. As we become more aware of the impact of our choices, we are free to choose things which bring us more calm and happiness.

One […]

By |September 16th, 2016|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating, HOME|0 Comments

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old system of natural medicine, originating in the Indus Valley in India, outlining how to live in a way that promotes happiness, peace and health in the body, mind and spirit. Made up of two sanskrit roots: ayuh: LIFE and veda: SCIENCE, Ayurveda describes those things which create health on and those things which destroy it. Ayurveda came into being at the same time as the Vedas, the oldest recorded spiritual teachings on record, that were passed down by rishis, (wise beings who spent their lives immersed in spiritual practices). Yoga, Vedanta and Buddhism, which came along later, all influenced Ayurvedic Philosophy. Inference, Comparison, Testimony, Vedic Scripture (revealed knowledge) and Logic all constitute valid ways of knowing in this science.

Ayurveda has been described as an energy medicine in contrast to our modern allopathic “matter medicine” (Thanks to my friend, Dr. Bill Dean for that statement). Ayurveda views all matter as arising from energy or prana, in a top down, subtle to dense approach.  This is similar to Traditional Chinese Medicine, which comes from Ayurveda. Whose view of the body/mind organism and how to treat it shares many similarities. Working with the subtle ways our organism […]

By |July 16th, 2016|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating|0 Comments

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