Fall is a time of transition. It is evident everywhere around you. Many trees and shrubs are quietly undressing in preparation for the winter. There is a subtle browning of the earth. Temperatures, which, just a few weeks ago were raging with the intense heat of summer, are beginning to hint at the telltale crispness of autumn. And there is the wind: slowly gathering strength, carrying the tides of winter on its breath. The autumn harbours a certain emptiness that can leave us feeling exposed and a little raw, but it is also filled with possibility-a time when we, too, can strip down to a quiet essence of being and savour the simplicity.
Ayurveda considers a seasonal routine an important cornerstone of health, year around. Balancing the nature of your local climate with lifestyle choices that offset the potential for seasonally-induced imbalances is one of the simplest ways that you can protect your well-being. Therefore it is more important than ever to create a ritual that will benef...
Vata season moves to centre stage in August - one of the most challenging times of year to keep healthy. As the air dries out the August sun seems shrill and blindingly bright, heavier, cooler, more soothing herbs are needed. August herbs should moisten the body and balance the dry heat.
If you tend towards weakness, low immunity, or scattered emotions in the fall, earthyashwagandha, ashwagandha ghee and delightful chyavanprash can strengthen your body and mind in preparation for a challenging season. Chyavanprash is Ayurveda's number one tonic for children, given lovingly by parents for generations every autumn.
Sweet, affectionate herbs such as Shatavari are vidari are ideal ojas (immunity) building herbs to nurturing your body at the start of fall. Liver nourish and support nourishes your liver, which may be dry, weak and deficient from several months of summer heat.
Nerves and muscles often become tense and delicate in August as the dryness of f...
“He who uses takra daily does not suffer from diseases, and diseases cured by takra do not recur; just as amrita (divine nector) is for the gods, takra is to humans.” Bhavaprakasha Chpt 6.7
According to Ayurevda, digestion is the root cause of many disease! We now see this in modern science studies...now we know more than ever, how important the gut bacteria is! The bacteria inside of you is ultimately responsible for all you digest, all the nutrients that flow in your bodily channels (Srotas) and in the end this bacteria is simply you and your emotions.
In addition to this Ayurveda teaches us that our bodies are made up of over 33,000 channels (Srotas). Some of these channels are big like the heart arteries and some are very fine like the micro blood veins, however, they all are meant to hold space for substances to flow through them, the problem occurs when things get stock in the Srotas. In Ayurveda we call this Ama or toxins. Ama is a white, sticky, heavy and gross substance th...
As the winter months come to an end, we move from the mobility and dryness of air and ether element or Vata dosha to heavy qualities of water and stable qualities of earth or Kapha dosha. This is therefore a natural time to cleanse all that we have accumulated in the winter months.
Because of the presence of Kapha dosha in the environment we more often find ourselves feeling heavy and sluggish, like a cranky bear reluctantly coming out of hibernation. Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science and the world’s oldest surviving system of healing, shows us that the key to feeling in step with the seasons is to harmonize with nature. The idea in Ayurveda is that we are nothing but the 5 great elements or the Puncha maha bhutas and therefore as our environment changes, so should we.
In old traditions usually we see some sort of celebration for this season as the nature around us comes back to life! Where I was born, we have been celebrating the first day of spring or spring equinox for 3000 years as ou...
Ojas is one of the three vital essences that together promote and sustain our physical vitality, mental clarity, and overall health. The three vital essences—prana, tejas, and ojas—are the positive forms of vata, pitta, and kapha doshas, respectively. Whereas an increase in the doshas has the potential to create disease, an increase in the vital essences tends to support wellness. So increasing, balancing, and paying attention to these wholesome, subtle forces is worthwhile.
In Ayurveda, there is 7 bodily tissues. It is believed that the nutrition travels through these bodily tissues, from plasma to the blood then to the muscle, fat tissue, bone, bone marrow and finally after 30 days of traveling, whatever nutrition is left becomes our Ojas or vitality in the form of the reproductive energy. Ojas is a very important and powerful part of who we are, how much energy we have, our vitality, immunity and the source of our joy! This is specially important in the winter months becaus...
The quiet solitude of January makes it a perfect month for deep thought, rest, and contemplation. The dark, introspective winter seems to bury all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, bringing the previous year to a complete rest. As the earth becomes frozen solid, all the animals are in deep sleep, trees and pants pull all their energy inwards and many birds have migrated to a warmer place, it is from this frozen place that us human beings can root down by also turning our energy inwards as we are not separate from all that is "nature". From this grounding and solid place then we can set our intentions for the next year.
Ayurveda teaches us that we are in fact a part of this natural environment, therefore any qualities that exist outside of us will in fact affect us on the inside and out. The rule of ayurveda is like increases like, opposites decrease. So what this means is when it is bitter cold outside everything dries out even water itself seems to have the dry qualities of...
Kitchari, traditionally made of yellow mung dal and basmati rice, along with digestive spices and ghee, is used as a cleansing and detoxifying food in Ayurveda.
A simple, porridge-like blend of beans and rice, kitchari is often referred to as the Indian comfort food. But perhaps contrary to the western idea of comfort food or even health food, kitchari has many nourishing and cleansing benefits. Every ingeredient in Kitchari is considered to be super Sattvic. Sattva is the balance of the mind, in ayurveda it is believed that anything we eat creates the same qualities in our mind and our body, so yes "you are what you eat"! And Sattva is the balance quality of the mind. If you consume food that is not fresh, cold, frozen, left over or processed, this food has lost its "life-force" or what we call in Yoga and Ayurveda, Prana and therefore this food can not add any more of the good qualities of Prana to our minds. Our emotions are created by what we eat. Kitchari is all made out of balanc...
This recipe is so warming and hearty, perfect for a chilly winter evening. As winter arrives, vata or air element becomes dominant in our environment, so choosing opposite qualities such as warmth and unctuous helps ground the vata. It’s full of warming spices, garlic, chickpeas, mushrooms, lemon juice and carrots which simmer in a beautiful coriander infused tomato sauce. I love serving this with quinoa or brown rice to make it extra satisfying but it’s delicious just on it’s own too as it’s bursting with flavour!
-- 8 carrots
– 3 boxes of mushrooms (about 30 mushrooms/850g)
– 3 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
– 2 400g tins of chickpeas
– 600ml of boiling water
– 7 tablespoons of tomato puree
– a big handful of coriander, about 50g
– 2 lemons plus 3 more to serve
– 4 teaspoons of turmeric
– 4 teaspoons of cumin power
– 3 teaspoons of ground chilli
– 3 cloves of garlic
Start by peeling the carrots, then chop them into pieces. Cut the mushrooms into thin slices.
This lightly spiced drink (which is similar in flavour to chai) is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, thanks to a dose of peppery turmeric. A touch of honey adds just the right amount of sweetness, while the ginger and black pepper add a little heat.
Makes 2 cups
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, preferably coconut milk beverage or almond milk. Traditionally cow milk is used, but, please make sure the milk is non-homogonized and from the happy farm if you use.