Ayurveda for Mid-Spring

May Day or Beltane, signals the half-way point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in the Northwest, the weather is vacillating between warm-hot days and cooler, cloudy nights. Now is a good time to make some shifts in routine to support ourselves in adapting to the warmer, longer days.

DIET: Mid spring is a good time to make your diet just a little lighter overall (heavy foods like nuts, dairy, wheat and meat you can enjoy less often, and a little less quantity). Add some fresh salads, ideally at room temperature, into your diet, especially good at the mid-day meal when digestion is stronger and raw foods are easier to process. You can make a dressing of cold-pressed olive oil with lemon and fresh pressed garlic and black pepper and salt to taste. Enjoy local organic berries as they become available, and to support your liver, eat more bitter greens (artichokes, kale, collards, mustard) and take bitter herbs like turmeric, burdock and those found in teas such as yogi tea detox. If the tea appeals, try adding in a cup first thing in the morning, until the […]

Why Cleanse?

Ayurvedic Physician Dr. Robert Svoboda says, 

We can either limit ourselves a little bit willingly, or Nature will do that for us in the form of illness.  Cleansing is an opportunity to slow down, reset your digestive system and release any toxic accumulation in your body or mind. Good digestion is at the heart of good health. When we habitually over-eat, eat when we’re not hungry, or eat unhealthy foods, or foods that we can’t digest well, we weaken our digestive capacity and our overall health. When we don’t take time to slow down and digest our lives, our minds get agitated and negative.

Ayurveda teaches that spring is a great time to gently detoxify, helping to release the excesses of winter to help ward off allergies, colds and congestion and let go of excess weight. This process lightens and brightens our minds as well as our bodies.

Ayurvedic cleansing is unique in several ways. For one, we don’t only eliminate the bad stuff, we also increase our self-care and intake of nourishing foods/drinks throughout the process. We also make changes gradually so as not to shock our system (even a positive change is disruptive to the body’s […]

Rest and Digest

Yesterday I was looking at a booklet a colleague of mine created about dealing with chronic stress.  Reading through the symptoms she outlined was one of those “a ha” moments for me. I recognized, once again, how fast we are all going and how unconscious we can be of the ramifications of this.  One huge consequence is in our digestive capacity, for to properly digest our food, we need to slow down, disengage from all the activity, and allow some space.   

Have you taken time to disengage and relax while eating a meal today? If we really want to heal our digestion, this is the first step.  In fact, this may be the step.  For all the best most wholesome food will not transform into healthy bodily tissue if we don’t take time to rest as we digest. Digestion is a para-sympathetic response–it only happens well when we’re relaxed.  There’s really no getting around this.

I spent years trying to digest food better. I had chronic gas and bloating and was prone to constipation, even though I ate a diet that was incredibly healthy and healing in terms of what I was eating. I had heard all about the importance […]

By |February 26th, 2019|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, health|0 Comments

How Digestion is not just about Digestion

I’ve been talking about digestion these past couple of weeks–we’ve been looking at what to eat, and how to eat, at agni–digestive fire–and ama–undigested food that is toxic to the body. Still, it’s important to understand that digestion is not just about digestion. 

How is digestion not just about digestion? Well, In Ayurveda we recognize 6 stages to the disease process, and the first 2 happen in the digestive tract. These patterns of indigestion (below) are our first sign that things are out of whack. Catch and treat it here and you have stopped the disease process in it’s tracks. If we ignore it or simply cover over the symptoms, we drive the imbalance deeper into our system creating the seeds for a more serious health issue down the road. Seriously, taking care of the belching and farting is soooo much easier than dealing with colitis or IBS or a cancer.

So, you see, digestion is not just about digestion—it’s also about the roots of our good or poor health going forward. Untreated digestive issues lead to deeper issues within the gut (ulcers, colitis, IBS, cancers) but also to deeper systemic issues due to the AMA (undigested food that is toxic to the […]

By |February 19th, 2019|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, health, healthy eating, yoga|0 Comments

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

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