My friends, for those of you who feel consistently sluggish, moving your body is the key to get energized. We are not meant to sit for hours on end in front of a computer or tv - it's just not natural! Since we are little beings of nature so we need to move, sweat, and tone our bodies.
Moving is essential to keep disease and sickness away (immunity booster) and it tones all the tissues of the body. Food and exercise are the building blocks for the physical body. So if we're only doing one of those things right, we are only half way. That said, I know it can be frustrating when you know you need to do some sort of exercise, but you're not sure exactly what is best for you. But that's what I'm here for!
Since Ayurveda is individualized, each dosha does better with certain exercises.
Not sure of your dosha yet? Take the quiz.
Vatas, you need to slow down. Slooooooooooow dooooooowwwwwn. Okay, even slower. ;) Because vata is so wiggly, windy,...
It's dark at dinner time now! It's easy to "hooray!" for an extra hour of sleep and "hooray!" because it's easier to wake up. But it's more than just a switch of an hour.
Time change in Ayurveda affects vata (energy of movement) because, well, we've made a fast change. *Poof* just like that, we gained extra sunlight in the morning and lost it at night. It can take some of us weeks to adjust but the 6 Ayurvedic tips below will help you slide back nicely into nature's rhythm quickly.
1. Wake up before sunrise. For those of you who are not a super-fan of this highly effective ayurvedic recommendation, your opportunity is GOLDEN right now! This should be easy! Of all times of year to start practicing, now's the time. Waking before the sun as a daily habit, gives us an extra energy boost because we rise in the energy of vata, the energy of movement, which keeps us going all...
Well! Not getting enough sleep is very vata increasing. When vata, the energy of movement, is increased we can end up with all kinds of health problems. Our minds might have problems focusing, we might have extra anxiety or worry. We might be super forgetful or even be a little bit clumsy. We might have emotional instability which keeps us swinging swiftly on the pendulum of emotions and short fuses. We might get constipation, have poor digestion or severe digestive issues, and the list goes on. If we get to the root cause of all these wonky problems, it could be that we're just chronically tired.
Sleeping rejuvenates the body and it is absolutely necessary to get enough. We need rest and rejuvenation, because we spend full days doing stuff constantly with our bodies and our minds. If we don't give ourselves high quality sleep time, we will totally break down.
You might be wondering why Ayurveda uses oils so much and talks about oils so much. Well, I've got five tips for you on why you it's a good idea to use oils on our insides and on our outsides.
1) Use oils in food because it lubricates our insides. One of the ways we prevent disease is to avoid getting very dry and brittle because then the body breaks down. Oils help prevent that breakdown as it seeps into our deepest tissues. Oils get digested and they actually turn into nourishment for all of our seven tissues (or, seven dhatus in Ayurveda). They help keep the inside of the body nice and stretchy, pliable, smooth, and unctuous. Oils bring a nice heaviness too, because we want our bodies to stay warm, and supple, and flexible.
If you are a vata person, you will need some extra oils in your diet. In fact, oil is vata's number one food because vatas...
*warning! When I filmed this, I was feeling overwhelmed myself, hence, the quick entry into my crazy breathing. haha!*
Have you ever been in a situation where you're humming along, feeling really good, taking on projects, and then all of a sudden, *WHAM!*
You're hit with this overwhelm of, "Oh my gosh. I just said yes to all these things. I have so much other stuff that I have to do. And now I'm kind of paralyzed in not knowing what to do first, or how to get out from under this. I feel so panicked that I feel like I want to move really fast, but I actually feel stricken, like I can't move at all."
The fix starts with our breath and our mind because, really, we're not physically sitting underneath a pile of overwhelming stuff. Our mind is going and going and going, and telling us, "Oh my gosh. We have so much to do!" But the pile is not physically there so we...
Oil-pulling is getting all kinds of attention and several folks ping'ed me to find out what the dealio is. Unless the info comes from a trusted Ayurvedic source, it can be hard to know what to believe.
I'll make oil pulling simple and trusted.
There are two daily practices in Ayurveda to help nourish and purify the mouth:
1) Gandusa (filling the mouth with oil and holding it)
2) Kavalagraha (swishing oil slowly between the teeth and gargling = oil-pulling). The ancient texts call for sesame oil, but you can also use ghee or coconut oil for high pitta types. When I searched online, all the recommendations I found call for coconut oil (from non-Ayurvedic sites)...and that worries me because it might not be the best for everyone.
Since I was concerned about wrong messaging and also certain that sesame is the oil of choice (I like to worry and be right = vata-pitta), I emailed my dear trusted teacher to be sure:
My dear trusted teacher (I can't...
Toxins are created by old food but not solely food. As with all things in Ayurveda, emotions, stressors, lifestyle and environment (all connected) also play a huge role in how we digest. Digestion is food, yes. But digestion also includes all information we absorb with the five senses, taste being only one of them. When doshas are imbalanced due to lifestyle, diet, negative emotions, etc., agni’s function becomes weakened or disturbed and it leaves undigested food behind.
This undigested food turns into ama (AH-muh), which is a toxic, sticky, cloudy and smelly substance that can spread from the gastrointestinal tract to other parts of the body. From there it can lodge itself into crevices causing clogs in channels, blood vessels and cell membranes. Yum!
It sounds complicated and difficult to get ama, but it’s kind of easy if we’re not paying attention. How many times have we eaten on the go, while working, during an intense conversation, or while nervous? How...
Let's kick this off first by understanding that agni is our digestive fire. A properly functioning digestive fire is super important because if our digestive fire doesn't function right (too hot, too low, too variable), it can create imbalance in our bodies and minds very easily. In fact, it is said in Ayurveda, 90% of all disease is caused by malfunctioning agni.
Agni is a little fire that burns behind our belly button. It rises and sets with the sun. When we wake up in the morning, Agni is quite small, it's just waking up like we are (it's got its little outstretched arms and it's yawning and it is getting ready for the day).
For breakfast, it's important to have just a little something to eat. Think about when a fire is small, like a little matchstick. Would you put a log on it? No, because the fire would go out. Would you dump a bunch water on it? No, the fire would go out. It is best to have...
And, all of a sudden it's chilly outside! The wind changed, the lighting has changed, the air is less humid. We are entering vata season and right quick. Note: If it hasn't happened where you live just yet, stay mindful. The weather will change pretty rapidly (like the wind!) when it's time.
Summer is pitta season, which is ruled by the elements fire and water. In summer we favor cooling fruits and vegetables and choose exercise that will cool us down.
Fall and early winter is vata season, which is ruled by the elements space (ether) and air. The energy of fall and winter is completely different than summer and so, our diet and lifestyle needs to adjust accordingly. The change of seasons is when we are most likely to get sick and it's important to make a nice transition from one to the other.
QUESTION FROM YOU!
Monica B, I don't know how to make an Ayurvedic meal for my entire family when we all have different doshas. I'm so confused!
Many of you have confusion around this and I think you will be happily surprised with the answer.
Here's the secret that will ease your mind. You don't. You don't make meals considering everyone's unique doshas. You make one meal that includes all six tastes so that each person can build their plate differently according to their doshas.
The six tastes and a few examples of each are:
Sweet - carbs/grains, root vegetables, meats, milk, butter, oils, sweet fruits
Sour - pickles, fermented foods, sour cheeses, sour cream, yogurt, citrus fruits
Salty - salts like himalayan, sea, black
Pungent - black pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, sriracha, wasabi, chili flakes, hing, cumin
Bitter - coffee, black tea, green leafy veggies, bitter chocolate
Astringent - chickpeas,...