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

How To Stay Cool This Summer

Did you know that according to Ayurveda, we are all made of the 5 elements, and yet we are all a unique combination of those elements, and their qualities?

For those with more fire in their systems, summer can be challenging. The fire dosha, called Pitta, is composed of qualities that are primarily hot but also light, oily, sharp and pungent. If you have a predominance of pitta or fire in your constitution those qualities will manifest as sensitivity to light, fair skin, bright blue or hazel eyes (often have less than perfect vision), a strong appetite and an intense gaze (think Steve Jobs). Other ways pitta expresses is through a medium stature, good muscle development, early gray or a receding hairline and a tendency towards acidity and loose stools. Mentally, pitta is sharp, focused, critical and discerning. They have a  tendency to overwork, dragging one’s body around with the strength of one’s mind until they literally collapse. Out of balance pitta flares up easily into impatience, irritation and anger.

As summer arrives, we will all be working to stay cool, but those with lots of pitta in their constitution will have to work harder at it (something pitta folks enjoy).

Here are some simple things you can do to manage the heat […]

By |June 19th, 2016|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

Ayurveda for Late Spring

We are in the transition between spring and summer. The days are getting longer, the weather in the Northwest is vacillating between warm-hot days and cooler, cloudy days with rain. Now is a good time to make some shifts in routine to support ourselves in adapting to these changing conditions.

DIET: Late spring is a good time to enjoy some fresh salads, ideally at room temperature and especially good at the mid-day meal when digestion is stronger and raw food is easier to digest. This is a good time to support your liver by eating more bitter greens (artichokes, kale, collards, aloe vera juice) and taking bitter herbs in tea (yogi tea detox). First thing in the morning, after hydrating with fresh water,  drink a cup or two  for a week or 10 days. During that time, make your diet a little lighter overall, and minimize fats with the exception of cold-pressed olive oil (make a dressing of olive oil, lemon, fresh pressed garlic and black pepper for your salad). Fresh pressed apple cider, cut with a little pure water so as not to spike your blood sugar, is also a great tonic for your liver. Enjoy local organic berries as they […]

By |May 18th, 2016|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

Feel Better & Stay Healthy

What I love about Ayurveda is that it recognizes 6 stages to the disease process. It’s not until we’re at stage 4 that we manifest disease in a recognizable way. Learning to identify the early signs of illness: general malaise, joint and muscle aches, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, hormonal imbalance, chronic digestive issues, skin issues– means we can turn ourselves back towards health and stop the disease process in its tracks.

I was driving in to teach yoga yesterday and heard a report on NPR that the same recommendations that are good for heart health; namely, exercise, right diet, low stress, plenty of sleep, are also the same factors that support brain health. The problem according to the guest who was speaking is that 80% of people don’t follow the guidelines. 80%!!! I was shocked (Certainly it’s not 80% on the west coast and in progressive cities like Seattle)–but I realized that just because we have access to the information and the healthy choices doesn’t mean we practice them, right? I saw this clearly when I was down on the waterfront over the weekend walking and noticed so many unhealthy people. People literally limping around, carrying extra weight, carrying toxicity from poor diet, lifestyle habits […]

By |May 3rd, 2016|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

Expanding Your Awareness

At the core of every imbalance is prajnaparadha, or a crime against our own intelligence. Every time we engage in an activity or take in a substance that we know is not good for us, but we do it anyway, that is prajnaparadha. These little ways we betray ourselves throw us off balance. Eventually they add up and cause more serious illness. The genetic predispositions we carry turn on or off based on environment. Provide the right environment (diet and lifestyle), and stop the family legacy. Veer off, and that legacy will be carried forward as illness in your body.

Ayurveda, the science of life, is a several thousand year old system of holistic medicine that describes what is good and bad for our life, the factors that promote a happy or unhappy life, and outlines those  things which promote health and those which  go against health.  No two individuals are alike, and while there are general rules of thumb, many of the particulars vary person to person. My Ayurveda teacher, Dr. Lad always stressed that the Ayurveda is primarily about expanding our awareness. When we know better, we do better. Many of us have never known how to really take care of ourselves, and without this knowledge, we […]

By |April 5th, 2016|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

What Does Cleansing Look Like?

This week, I was talking with a naturopath about healthy digestion and the word “cleansing” came up. I spoke about the gentle way Ayurveda approaches cleansing, and that the approach looked nothing like the raw foods, juice fasting and colonics that I used to associate with a cleanse.  My Naturopath friend said the same thing. We both realized we needed to clarify what we are talking about when we bring this up to clients, because we both associate cleansing with these other protocols, and imagine a lot of others do too.

Ayurveda teaches the importance of seasonal cleansing to support the body in releasing excess from the preceding season, and also to give the digestive system a rest and support its optimal functioning through healing foods and herbs. While the overall cleansing practices might be the same, some of the details such as length of time, specific herbs and the amount of some foods might change according the individual’s constitution. Other factors that will influence how and when we cleanse are the seasonal environment, the age and strength of the individual, their current stress-level and work demands and their individual desires.

The first step in cleansing is called “purva karma” and it […]

By |March 21st, 2016|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating|0 Comments

Ayurveda for Self-Healing

“It is very easy to look for health outside ourselves, in the form of some miracle supplement or exercise routine or life partner who can provide us with what we are sure we need. What we really need to do, however, is to begin our search for good health by looking within ourselves, into the spaces we so often take for granted because they always reside within us. In the beginning of your inward quest you may see no more than you could if you were to walk from bright sunlight into a darkened room. But if you persist, your internal “eye” of perception will accommodate to your internal light, and you will then begin to “see.” Each of us possesses powers for health maintenance and self-healing that we can activate if we will but learn how to let them flow.”  -Dr. Robert Svoboda
When I first read these words I just stopped in my tracks. I took a deep breath. I read them again. I felt such deep resonance with this statement overall, and these words in particular: “our search for good health (begins) by looking within ourselves, into the spaces we so often take for granted….” that I had […]

By |December 14th, 2015|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

Support Your Digestive Fire This Season

This week I want to get you thinking about how you can support your digestive fire this season and stay healthy through the holidays and beyond. When we overeat, Nibble at parties all night, eat too late or eat foods our bodies can’t digest, we feel heavy, dull and cloudy the next day. When we eat the right amount of food, and are digesting it well, we feel lighter, energized, relaxed and clear. Elimination happens on schedule, and all is well.

Many of us awoke the day after Thanksgiving with a sense of heaviness and fatigue. The body was still processing all we had taken in the day before and needed our support in getting back to normal. One way to support your digestion after over-indulging is simply to sip some hot water or broth. After a few hours, you should feel a little more clarity returning, and the body getting back on track. When your appetite has returned, eat a simple-to-digest meal, without over-eating. If you tend to eat everything on your plate no matter what, serve yourself on a smaller plate and eat more slowly and with awareness of the food. This will slowly train you in a new pattern […]

By |December 3rd, 2015|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating|0 Comments

Fall Balancing

Equinox Blessings!
Fall is a time when the light, rough, mobile and cool qualities predominate in our environments. These qualities show up as cooler, windy days; lots of transition in our daily rhythm; trees losing their leaves, and the days beginning to shorten. When these qualities predominate in our external environments, they also begin to accumulate in our internal organism, causing an excess.  In ayurveda, an excess of these qualites we call vata dosha. Dosha is an abberation,  and vata relates to the wind and the qualities associated with it. Vata also governs  our nervous system. When vata becomes dosha, an aggravation of the qualities of air causes problems in our system. These show up as excess mobility (racing thoughts, multi-tasking like crazy), dryness (dry skin, constipation and a feeling of lonliness/separation), coolness (poor circulation, variable digestion, cold hands and feet) and fear and anxiety (related to an imbalance in the subtle dimension of the space element which also makes up vata). Vata dosha is responsible for 80% of all diseases, which means that an overstimulated ungrounded nervous system is at the root of most illness. 

The keyword of the season is: CALM.  We can calm our nervous system and balance excess vata […]

By |September 21st, 2015|Ayurveda, health, healthy eating|0 Comments

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