Fall marks a time of coming together and tending the hearth if you allow the season to draw you inward. Fall brings new reverence for the familiar, and to re-establishing routines. You may experience a sense of nostalgia as fall's immanence dances in the air. If you resist this inward pull, you may feel scattered and anxious (Vata season) as you ease your way back into the world of responsibility. The winds of change are blowing. And keeping in mind where we live, you might begin thinking about winter preparations. Traditionally, fall is a practical time of year to line up your ducks in a row before the long, hard winter. Healthwise, supporting your body in September is essential to strong immunity and resilience all winter long.
September comes as a surprise and shock to your system as winds pick up and temperatures fluctuate. The days are noticeably shorter, with less humidity in the air. Change is in the air, which always aggravates Vata. Altogether, these have the characteristics o...
The summer has definitely begun! This year in Ontario, it took a long time to see it coming but finally it is here. The heat outside is unbearable!! So how do you take care of yourself beyond the iced lemonade?!
The heat and humidity of early summer is especially challenging to Pitta Kapha individuals (like myself). As muggy as it is outside, your body is experiencing the same "weather" internally. The heat and moisture naturally present in Pitta and Kapha constitutions leads to swelling and puffiness in June. Heat dilates blood vessels, causing water retention in Kapha individuals. Fungal and parasite infections thrive in this climate. Read on to find out how to address this.
End of spring, beginning of summer purges the last bit of water from the body as the weather really heats up. While Vata's dryness leaves them especially prone to dehydration, everyone needs to be mindful of water intake and electrolyte balance. Though there's lots of heat and moisture in the air, sweat easily pour...
March's weather is unpredictable. You might step out to find wind, rain, snow or sunshine - anything can happen. There's enough warmth and sunny days to spawn the big yearly melt of snow externally as fat "melts" internally. As rivers begin gushing with ice cold water, your chest and sinuses begin oozing with phlegm. Everything feels wet. The earth is soggy and fertile, rich with possibility. You may notice moisture and puffiness in your skin, even your forehead feels cool and moist. As hibernating animals come back to life, so should you. The longer and brighter days beckon you to enjoy the sunshine. Catch it when you can - heavy clouds might be on the horizon!
The wateriness of March has emotional repercussions as well. Psychologically, March is a month of lamentation, sadness, grief and release of deep seated emotions. Breathing exercises (pranayama), such as bhastrika and kapalabhati can flush out heaviness from the chest.
For those of you who know basic Ayurveda, you know what Dosh...
When I was in my 20s, I had goals, life goals that I was going to make reality no matter how hard I would have to work or whom I would have to convince to help me along the way. Later in life as I reached my 30s I started realizing that putting my attention where I wanted to direct my life was so important and was working perfectly but the outcome of that was completely out of my hands. I was planting the seeds and every time I would go to a direction I wasn't supposed to, I would so very clearly hear the messages of the universe trying to warn me, and if I kept going the results were harsh, heartbreaking lessons, it however always led to where I was supposed to be, something much bigger, magical and beautiful that I had ever imagined!!
I learnt if I let go of what I thought things must be like, that they became what they should be. I learnt that there is this mysterious, magical force in the universe that conveys everything, it connects everything together and only if it knows tha...
Nasal Cleaning with Neti pot is one of the tools used in Ayurveda as part of basic daily hygiene for thousands of years. Simply put, it cleans out the nose and sinuses with salt water and ensures they stay clean. It is such a simple technique that I sometimes forget how impactful it is until I need it again. The cold season has begun and my sinuses have been acting up and my lungs have been filled with excess mucus so I reached for my Neti pot again and the magic of watching it clean me out reminded me of the importance.
On a deeper level, though, the function of nasal irrigation has to do with maintaining balance in the kapha dosha. A dosha is an energy pattern, and according to Ayurveda each day the body moves through a series of dosha changes, from predominance in kapha (earth/water) in the morning, to pitta (or the fire element) at midday, to vata (air) in the evening. The kapha-predominance of each waking morning often results in sluggishness and congestion res...
In the west, Prana, or what the Chinese call Chi and the Japanese call Ki, is often looked at as an impossible force. The truth is, for those of us who grew up being taught about this force, feel it, understand it, study it in ourselves, and call it by name, it is strange to understand why the concept could be so foreign.
As my teacher Dr.Svoboda puts it,
"Prana is the life force, it is the most important relationship we have. If Prana is not circulating, obstruction happens and when things can't flow they promote ill-health.
Air element carries Prana and in its more refined form is called Prana. Life is all about movement, Prana is that movement that causes things to cohere well"
How could we ensure the flow of Prana?! Read on to find out!
The Ayurvedic classical texts describe the fascinating versatility of nasya karma. The most well known form of nasya karma is lubricating nasya drops. Less familiar forms include:
One of the many reasons why I started studying Ayurvedic psychology in the first place was because I had hit a dead-end in my marriage! My ex-husband became really ill after the birth of our daughter. There would be good days and then many, many bad ones!! I constantly walked on eggshells around him. With a newborn baby, managing his mental health became intolerable and dangerous for my daughter and I. At this point, I tried to get help from any source I could possibly think of - only to quickly realize there is actually not that much help, support and understanding out there for mental health issues. Things became so bad, that within 5 months of my daughter's birth we were homeless. I lived with bags in my car, and drove from shelter to shelter while he lived in our home. We survived. But needless to say, my marriage ended and his mental health is in a very fragile place. What I realized and learned through this experience is that dealing with mental illness doesn’t have to be like...
The ancient Indian science of Ayurveda classifies the seasons according to their predominant dosha: Vata, Pitta, or Kapha.
Late fall and winter are mostly Vata, specially in the northern hemisphere. Summer is a Pitta season as the sun is the strongest, the sun is associated with the fire of Pitta Dosha. Early spring is associated with Kapha Dosha, the dampness and heaviness of rain season goes with the damp and heavy qualities of Kapha dosha, Kapha is also present during late parts of our winter as the snow melts.
Each dosha tends to increase during its own season. This is particularly so for people who have the current seasonal dosha as their predominant dosha, i.e., Kapha predominant people tend to accumulate more Kapha in the winter and spring time. By following Ayurvedic winter remedies, we can avoid this accumulation.
Ayurvedic practitioners attempt to prevent dis-ease before it happens.
When you can anticipate the kinds of illness and imbalance that you are likely to have, you can t...
Bitter gourds are good source of vitamins, minerals especially vitamin A, B1, B2, C and iron and has dietary fiber. It is low in calories and has lot of medicinal properties . It is said to be very useful in case of diabetic and also helps in treating blood disorders. Ayurveda always looks at the base cause of any disorders, so any skin problems is because of impurity in the bloodstream. It helps to improve the immune system and increases body's resistance against infection. So do not ignore this vegetable because of its bitter taste. Now to the simple recipe - Bitter gourd curry. It tastes great with chapatti, roti and goes well as a side dish for rice.
Autumn has arrived. Trees are turning colors, daylight is waning, and the nights are becoming cooler. Summer’s sun and heat are surrendering to the cool, soft embrace of fall weather. If you have decided to join us for the simple, healing, Ayurvedic cleanse you know that there are 4 stages. This post should help you make sure stage one is either complete or on its way to completion!
Autumn from An Ayurvedic Perspective
In Ayurveda, each season is associated with a dosha, with autumn being linked to vata dosha. The qualities of fall weather and vata dosha are dry, mobile, subtle, and cool. Plants and leaves dry up and turn color. The sun’s light is more subtle. Temperatures become cooler.
In the body, excess vata manifests as dry skin, cracking joints, irregular digestion/elimination, and stiff muscles. In the mind, brisk winds and shorter days create feelings of restlessness and spaciness. It is important to understand the qualities of Vata Dosha and try to balance them with th...