Understand your Nature with Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a science of longevity. It works best as preventive medicine—a body of teachings which describe those things which lead to happiness and good health and those which lead to unhappiness and disease. The basic principles of how to live, according to Ayurveda, apply to all, yet there is variation in the specifics based on body type.
In ayurveda, body-type is called *prakruti*, which means *nature* and it is determined at the time of conception. Ayurveda describes  7 distinct body-types based on combinations of the 5 great elements, space, air, fire, water, and earth.
According to Ayurveda, everything we experience is made of these 5 elements, to varying degrees. These five elements combine to create 3 doshas, or forces, which have specific functions in our organism. The three doshas are called vata, pitta and kapha
So depending on the ratio of elements that make up your organism, you can be predominantly vata, pitta or kapha; or a blend of two:VP, PK, VK; or a balance of all three:  VPK.
Whatever ratio of doshas you were born with, your prakruti, is the ratio of doshas that represents balance for you. You are not trying to become a balance of all three, unless your […]

By |July 10th, 2020|Ayurveda, disease prevention, health, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stay Cool this Summer with Ayurveda

In the northern hemisphere, late Spring and Summer are pitta season, bringing us more fire and heat which elevate those qualities within us. Pitta, one of the three doshas, or body-types, is comprised mainly of fire and a little water. Its qualities are sharp, hot, light, a little oily and spreading.
Ayurveda describes three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha, and we all have all three doshas, in our constitution, it’s just a matter of degree. Dosha literally means ‘a fault’, but in balance, the doshas act as protective barriers for our organism and serve important functions in our bodies.
If you have more pitta in your nature, you’re probably:

sensitive to light
fair-skinned with a medium build
bright blue or hazel eyed with an intense gaze and a tendency towards short or farsightedness.
average build with good muscle development
experiencing early graying or a receding hairline

Additionally, you probably have

a strong appetite and don’t like to miss meals
a tendency towards loose stools
a tendency towards rashes
a strong, bright mind with a tendency towards being overly-focused, perfectionistic, and judgmental of self and others. 
strong leadership capacities. 

For those of us with more pitta, in our constitution, the shift into summer can cause an increase in those qualities leading to imbalances like:

impatience
irritation and anger
excess […]

By |July 1st, 2020|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, health|0 Comments

Late Afternoon Medicine

Have you seen this before?
 

I saw this on facebook a couple of years ago, and never forgot it. Not to be cavalier about the flu (or a cold)–we all go down sometimes–but let’s ALSO get real about how we’re managing our energy, sleep, diet….all the things “we know” support immunity, but it only counts if we practice what we know, right??? Am I preaching to the choir? No judgment, but let’s help each other stay true, ok?
Last week, I sent out the fall tip sheet all about small ways to adapt to the changing season. I hope you’ll  take a look, maybe even print it out, and see if anything there sounds like just what the doctor ordered–like some good self-love. No sense doing something if it feels like just one more thing on your list…but if it sounds like it might feel reeeallly good to practice one of two pieces from the sheet, please do. And to support you in taking some time to be, here’s the just sitting meditation.
And speaking of real energy, and managing yours, here’s something to consider: 

What do Fall and the Late Afternoon Have in Common?

 
In the fall the ether and air elements increase, and with them their qualities of mobility, dryness and […]

By |October 2nd, 2019|Ayurveda, disease prevention, health, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stay Well this Fall and in All the Seasons of Your Life

Ayurveda is a study of yourself in relationship to all of your changing environments. Those environments may be external, like a change in the weather, or internal, like a high intensity time at work, grief at a recent loss, our current life-stage challenges and almost anything else you can imagine.

Fall  is a time of year when the ether and air elements increase and their qualities of mobility, dryness and cold are more prominent. To balance this increase, we bring in the opposite qualities of stillness, oiliness and warmth. This week I’m sending out some fall balancing tips to help you transition into the cooler, shorter days with strong immunity and calm (Let me know in the comments below if they help).
When we understand what is going on around us and within us, we can respond to these conditions with  choices that  support our overall balance emotionally, mentally and physically. If we just move along with whatever’s going on without consideration of how it’s all impacting us, we are setting ourselves up for illness and dis-ease.
Part of staying healthy and sane in our modern lives is learning to align with Natural rhythms rather than fight them.  
And by Natural rhythms, I’m not […]

By |September 24th, 2019|Ayurveda, disease, disease prevention, health|0 Comments

Ayurvedic Cleansing versus the Fad of Cleansing

I wanted to take a few moments this week to address the “fad of cleansing” that is popular in our culture, and to differentiate the Ayurvedic approach from what feels to me like a ubiquitous modern cleanse obsession.

Ayurveda like many preventive health systems uses periodic cleansing as a form of health management, specifically to boost our immunity. We accumulate toxins from our environment, from poor dietary and lifestyle choices, from chronically over-eating (regardless of whether we gain weight) and from the excesses of a particular season. Cleansing between seasons supports our body in releasing that excess, leaving us better prepared to deal with external pathogens in our environment. Constitution-tailored cleansing is an effective way to support our body’s natural self-healing and immunity..

And that’s the thing: constitution-tailored. Ayurveda is the opposite of one size fits all. Dietary fads are just that because they popularize something that worked very well for one type of person, but don’t work well across the board. Not only that, but Ayurveda recognizes how the seasons affect us, and makes shifts in what we’re doing based on those seasonal and environmental differences both externally, and internally (inner season = “life stage”). The same cleanse we might undertake […]

Preparing to Cleanse–a Gentle but Powerful Reset

Prajna paradha is a sanskrit term which is translates as, “crimes against wisdom.” It refers to the ways we willingly go against our body’s intelligence–like when we go to bed too late even though we’re tired; drink too much alcohol even though it makes us feel headachy in the morning; overeat even though we feel sick afterwards, etc. etc.
Don’t waste your time feeling guilty about your prajna paradha– we all do this from time to time. The questions to ask might be: “Why do I do this?” and “How do I get back on track with myself?”
Perhaps the chosen behavior didn’t always affect you adversely, or maybe you didn’t notice the consequences like you do now.  It’s possible everyone around you does it and so you go along with the program even though it doesn’t work for you anymore. Perhaps there is an initial thrill before the “fall” and you keep chasing that thrill even though the fall always follows. Maybe you’re stressed out, and the instant gratification you get from staying up too late, or eating the whole bag of chips makes you feel better for a moment. But not for long. And there’s the rub.
‘We can limit ourselves […]

Fall 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.”  

Ayurveda teaches that seasonal transitions are the perfect time to cleanse. Fall and Spring are especially good junctures.  Our bodies are designed to filter out toxicity and keep us healthy. An ayurvedic cleanse is a protocol of supporting our system to do that with more ease and efficiency.  The result of fully eliminating the excesses of summer are a stronger immune system which translates as less fall allergy symptoms and fewer colds and flus.  This process lightens and brightens our bodies and minds and strengthens our digestive/eliminative capacities which are really at the heart of good health. 
Enjoy these benefits:

Glowing Skin

Less Gas, Bloating and Constipation

More Energy throughout the Day

Better Sleep

More Connection with your Body

More Clarity, Less Brain Fog

Stronger Immunity including Ease of Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Sound Good?

Ayurvedic cleansing is unique in several ways:

An ayurvedic cleanse differs in that it is designed to detoxify all the bodily tissues, not just the digestive tract. During the cleanse we use internal oleation to support the movement of toxicity out of the deeper tissues and into the digestive tract where […]

By |August 20th, 2019|ayurvedic cleanse, digestion, disease prevention, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Ayurveda for Summer

Did you know that in the summer our digestive power is at a yearly low? That’s because the extra heat outside causes heat within our bodies to disperse towards the periphery to keep us cool. Less heat in the center, means less heat to digest our food and a corresponding lower appetite. We can support balance this season by going with the natural desire to eat lighter foods and less quantity. Here are some other simple tips and easy recipes for summer.

Eating Tips for Summer:

Substitute lime for lemon: lemon is too acidic and will increase heat in the body.
Enjoy cool but not iced cold drinks: iced cold beverages constrict the digestive organs and take energy to heat up–energy that’s already less available this time of year.
Eliminate garlic: too heating. Enjoy it again in the fall.
Reduce fermented foods (kombucha, yogurt, sourkraut): The sour taste increases heat in the body, so decrease amounts and frequency while it’s hot out or eliminate it all together this season.
Eat heartily from the local farmer’s markets.

Summer Breakfast–Fresh Fruit and Nuts:

Berries
Cherries
Apricots
Peaches
Handful of soaked nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans…soaked overnight, rinsed and added)
A sprinkle of grated coconut

Wash fruit and slice or pit. Add all ingredients to a bowl and dig in!
Summer Cooler–Pomegranate Spritzer:

3 oz Pomegranate […]

By |July 9th, 2019|Ayurveda, digestion, disease prevention, healthy eating|0 Comments

Nadi Shodhana

Of the 72,000 nadis (subtle channels, like meridians) that yoga describe, 3 are considered of prime importance: Sushumna, the central channel, residing within or just in front of the spine; and Ida and Pingala, the channels to the left and right of the spine respectively. These nadis control and regulate our physical and subtle nervous system. Our physical body and subtle body link up through the breath. Left nostril breathing gives access to Ida, corresponding to your parasympathetic nervous system, that part that cools, calms, and downshifts. Right nostril breathing is a way to access pingala, corresponding to your sympathetic nervous system which heats, activates and stimulates.Take a moment now to notice which of your nostrils is more open. In a balanced body, nostril dominance would shift every few hours. If you pay attention, though, you are likely to find that one side stays dominant longer than the other. This  imbalance, over time, creates bigger imbalances that manifest as body/mind symptoms such as: being too hot or too cold; excessive or deficient digestive fire;  difficulty falling or staying asleep, anxiety and depression, excess/low sex drive, menstrual irregularities and a deranged mind.To support a balanced cycle of alternating nostril dominance, you can practice 5 rounds of nadi shodhana once or twice a day. You can […]

By |June 12th, 2019|Ayurveda, disease prevention, meditation, Uncategorized, yoga|0 Comments

What to do when you are going in too many directions at once.

It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve felt pulled in so many directions that by late afternoon, I was a bit overwhelmed and out of body.

I’ve had a lot of experience in this state of overdrive, and I’ve learned that as much as the momentum I’ve accumulated in those moments wants to keep going, the best thing I can do is stop, get back in my body and reconnect to the earth underneath me. Somatic meditation brings me back to myself in a big way. It’s what I used this week to slow down and cut through that ego-illusion of ‘one more thing, then i’ll stop…’If you found going a bit too fast this week too, try this 30-minute somatic meditation I made for you. it will support your reconnection with your body and the earth (many of you who take regular classes with me will recognize this practice and enjoy this longer session). This is a perfect late afternoon, or just-home-from-work practice, but truly good anytime you can get to it–including first thing in the morning or before bed.

The good news is, you don’t have to wait until you’re feeling fragmented or de-vitalized […]

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