Essence of Ayurveda

Take time each day to quiet your mind (meditate).
Eat a colorful, flavorful diet.
Engage in daily exercise that enhances flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular fitness.
Sleep soundly at night.
Eliminate what is not serving you.
Cultivate loving, nurturing relationships.
Perform work that awakens your passion.

5 tips for helping winter metabolism

  1. Drink warm herbal teas during the day. Try ginger, lemon tea.
  2. Eat 2-3 warm meals per day. Include: lots of grains, vegetables, and split beans or light proteins; moderate amounts of healthy oils like sunflower, or ghee, or coconut; and light amounts of dairy and heavy foods.
  3. Eat on a regular schedule, get adequate sleep, and exercise on a regular basis. Erratic schedules and inadequate sleep lead to a cortisol response which leads to the body hanging onto fat reserves especially in the belly region.
  4. Try to eat only when truly hungry, and eat until your first soft burp.
  5. Spice it up. Add any combination of spices that delight you. Try cumin, coriander, fennel, turmeric, fenugreek, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg,black pepper, garam masala, curry, basil, oregano, parsley, coriander.  Ayurvedically, all of these help to enkindle your digestive fire. Spice up your life too. Try new classes,a new yoga class, new activities, see what lights you up.

5 Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

5 Cool Ways To Stay Cool This Summer
1. Drink cooling herbal teas such as cumin, coriander, and fennel tea.
2. Eat cooling and more easily digestable meals such as kitchari and salads.
3. Consider applying cooling essential oils to the body, such as sandalwood and khus.
4. At bedtime, consider applying coconut oil to your scalp and feet
5. Perform a daily oil massage with cooling oils such as sunflower or coconut oil
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10 Tips for Healthy Digestion

1. Eat wholesome food.
2. Eat your meals at regular times.
3. Do not rush meals.
4. Appreciate your meals [i.e. the smell, taste, feel and appearance of the food].
5. Chew your food properly.
6. Start your meals with an appetizer like soup and end it with a sweet dish [i.e. payasam].
7. Avoid too much liquids just before and during meals.
8. Eat food with a pleasant and positive mind.
9. Consider eating while sitting in a cross-legged position [i.e. sukhasana pose].
10. Walk a few steps after finishing the meal.

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Facial Marma Points

These special points on the face not only promote agelessness, but also bring balance to the mind and emotions. They are special points that allow vital energy to enter the body, and enhance the energetic flow within the whole being. Many of facial marma points in particular allow for the release of deep seated sadness and grief.

Yoga, Feeling, Detachment

Yoga is about detaching from and ending self-identification.  By doing this, we move into our greater capacity for love, joy, and compassion.  Yoga is not about detaching from feelings or pushing them away. On the contrary, it is about getting closer to the positive aspects of our self and moving deeper into feeling.

What is the Essence of Yoga?

Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind such that our true Self or Purusa can operate freely and without obstacles. Yoga provides many tools to aid this process of quieting the mind. Some of the tools are: asanas (postures), pranayama (breathwork), kriyas (cleansing practices), mudras, meditation techniques that may involve visualization or a particular focus on an area of the body or breath or chakra,  recitation of mantra.  All types of yoga and all paths of yoga  boil down to this essence of quieting the mind.

Meaning of Yoga

According to Desikachar, yoga is ” to attain what was previously unattainable.” Yoga is when we find the means to bring a desire into action.  Every change we make is yoga. Another interpretation according to him, is that yoga is our “attempt at creating a state in which we are always present – really present – in every action, in every moment.” To attain that which was previously unattainable and to be completely present in our attempts may occur at the physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual level. So yes, attempting a new pose is yoga, but so is being more discerning, positive, and loving.

Yogic Diet Vs Ayurvedic Diet

kitchariAccording to Dr. Frawley in his book, “Yoga and Ayurveda”,  there is a difference between Yogic and Ayurvedic diets.  Ayurveda brings about health and balance to the physical body through diet and lifestyle. An Ayurvedic diet aims to reduce all the doshas and consists of mainly cooked foods which are sattvic (balanced and pure) and a small amount of raw foods. A sattvic diet consists of natural, vegetarian foods grown in harmony with nature and cooked with love.

A yogic diet also consists of a sattvic diet, but  it contains more raw foods and has a different purpose.  “Yoga aims at helping us transcend body consciousness. … Yoga helps us move beyond bodily limitations. For this reason, most traditional yogic disciplines are ascetic in nature, including fasting, and light diet, raw foods, and detoxification measures as well as sensory deprivation, pranayama, and meditation.”  Raw foods especially fruits and nuts contain more air and ether elements and those foods bring about more lightness in our being.

So if you are trying to incorporate both into your life, how would one know if they should aim more for an Ayurvedic diet, or for the Yogic diet?  If you are mostly balanced in your Vata, Pitta, and Kapha energies and express mostly the positive qualities of those energies, and you have good agni (digestive power), then you can incorporate more raw foods and more of the Yogic aspect.  If you are experiencing low agni and doshic imbalances then you would seek to incorporate more of the Ayurvedic diet.  Check back soon at this website  for more information on specific foods and the pranic energies associated with those foods.