HAPPY Kapha Season! Kapha season goes from late winter through spring, and the time is now! If you have already read the seasonal bloom in the past, maybe take another look! And then pass it along to a friend :)
NEW inside this one, I created a kapha playlist! That’s right, music to shake your booty to while spring cleaning. Nothing better to get a kapha moving than some great tunes! *shake it!*
I also ask that in return for reading, absorbing and hopefully loving the information, that you share this with at least three of your friends or family. We ALL need more Ayurveda in our lives. It’s my passion, it’s my life’s work and I am grateful I can share this with you. Please share with more people so my reach gets larger!
As we start to discover who we really are, remember that understanding our dosha does not excuse our behavior or “character flaws.” Instead, we learn what we have to work on. The knowledge we have of our virtues and vices is powerful to help us pay extra attention to what does not come naturally to us and, get better at it :)
If you know you are always late, make it a point to be on time. If you know you have a sharp tongue, soften your delivery. If you are eating poorly, consciously make better nutritional choices. There are ga-zillion examples, but you catch my drift. No excuses. Be the very BEST at your strengths (they come easily!) and work on your weaknesses so you can blossom even more into your beautiful, soulful self. XO!
Is Ayurveda applicable for other people who are not geographically in the same area it’s origin come from? Making the long story shorter :), may a person from Europe, born in Europe for example have more or less the same constitution as people from Asia? Different climate, different way of life, usage of eating foods available to the country but not others, different cuisine, etc.,?
GREAT question about Ayurveda and different ethnicities/regions. There is truth to that! For example, Germans at first glance might seem more of a hearty build than Asian people. But that doesn’t mean that all Germans are kapha/pitta OR that all Asians are vata. SO we have to take in account the ethnic group they come from, and what the doshas look like within their group. There are vata Germans, just as there are vata Asians, but they will look very different. So the measure is based on the group and from there, the doshas can be determined.
Overall, doshas are the same whether climate or ethnic group, but the climate will determine which dosha may go out of balance fastest (so we need to pay careful attention to balance those) AND the doshas are measured considering the ethnic group the person originates from.
Raise your hands, who’s confused!? Send questions if you have them! XOXO!
Ok kids, for many of you, it’s winter (a wallop of a winter at that! Who’s got a snow day again today?) and it’s not going away any time soon. A former midwesterner myself, I understand winters can be very very very long. Once holiday celebration and football season is over, winter is a drag. Worse, it feels like it should be almost spring (Target doesn’t help by displaying the bathing suits immediately inside the front doors), but in reality, spring is at least four months away. Until at least April. And sometimes even in April you can’t wear short sleeves…which sucks. I’m not trying to be a downer, I’m empathizing and anyone in the midwest or east coast knows I speak the truth. Sledding is really only appealing until January and then…we want to wear shorts. I get it. Cabin Fever.
So let’s talk about something that might catch us while we are in the “cabin,” a little thing called S.A.D. (Seasonal Affected Disorder). Do you know what it is? It basically means that because of the cold, dry air, lack of light, too much time spent indoors, and nature that isn’t exactly “alive” and…we get depressed. This is the reason so many snowbirds get out of dodge by leaving for a couple months and so many others take a good vacation between January and March. We are governed by the nature around us and when that nature is lifeless, we often feel the same.
Now, there is nothing we can do about the weather, but there are some things we can do to make ourselves feel a bit better in the interim. Afterall, nothing lasts forever, even an ultra crappy winter. Chin up, that’s the good news! Other good news is, you have a bright light inside, so don’t forget to use that as your utmost power while in the cabin.
Here are some ideas to stay HAPPY while in the cabin:
• Go to the sun. Plan one good vacation and at least one long weekend between January and April so that you have little things to look forward to. It’s imperative to get to the sun and relax. This is life, use your vacation time.
• Light it up! Fireplaces and candles bring heat and light.
• Eat foods for your mood.
• Oil massage. Warm oil and touch keeps our vata calm, giving us a sense of peace. Not to mention, oils are completely nourishing for winter skin. Best if used before a shower so the water doesn’t dry the skin out even more. You’ll feel like a bebe! Use almond (pitta), sesame (vata) or sunflower (kapha) oils from our good friends at Banyan Botanicals!
• Keep your hands and feet warm! If they are cold it will make the rest of you cold, ankles too! Tip: put your socks over the end of a blowdryer, warm them up, and quick put on feet!
• Head, shoulders, knees, and toes. Knees and toes. Literally! Breaking up the day with short bursts of exercise or just some good deep breaths will increase prana (life breath) and that’s what you need!
• Aromatherapy. It can be any scent that makes you happy but some ideas are: lavender, sandalwood, jasmine, gardenia, grapefruit, ylang ylang. Put on your wrists, drop on the floor of your shower, add to baths, add in a diffuser.
• Vitamin D supplements. Those can be helpful.
• Sit in a warm bath, hot tub, steam room, or sauna. Baths are good for all doshas. Hot tub and steam rooms are best for vata. Sauna is good for kapha. Pitta…feel these out, they all might be too hot for you.
• Buy fresh cut flowers or plant bulbs in a colorful pot indoors. Paperwhites, hyacinths, or tulips bring nature indoors.
• Play great music. Harry Belafonte is fun music for dreary days.
• Take classes in something you love. You have the time! It will give you something to look forward to each week for a certain amount of time, making the dregs move by faster and get you out of the cabin.
• Be with friends, family and loved ones. Your heart will light up and stay warm when you have love in your life.
I happened upon your site through way if your oatmeal recipe so I decided to explore some other pages. I am very excited about what you’re doing and enjoy your zest. I am just wondering about your recommendation for dried fruit and nuts as a snack as I have heard (or read, I think in one of dr.vasant lad’s books) that dried fruits are no good for vata since the constitution lends itself to dryness. Could you please explain this? Also, your site is the first place I have read that brown rice is no good for vata. I thought it was classified as part of a sattvic diet and therefore compatible with all doshas. Finally, I had read that beef is good for vata yet I find here that not to be the case. All of the information I’ve gathered is pretty much from dr.lad. He is a higher up at the ayurvedic institute and even some if the info they have posted conflicts with his earlier work. Like I said earlier I love what you’re doing and I am not looking to criticize I am simply looking for clarity. I will be overjoyed once I’m back in school learning it for myself.
And please let me be clear, I LOVE DR. LAD! He makes me cry (in a good way). Every time I see him my heart lights up and tears plop out without even trying. He’s so wonderful. I wish I knew everything he does :)
Hey! Did you know that the food you choose directly affects your mood? Maybe you did, cause you are so Ayurvedically smart (if so, permission to *high kick* with pride!). You should know that every morsel we put into our body has energy connected to it. That energy is what we ingest and therefore what we become. If foods we eat are made from bummer ingredients, we are going to feel like the world is one big bummer. Flip that and instead if we eat lively, fresh foods, we are going to feel lively and fresh. You might be thinking that’s a really literal way of assessing food, but man, it’s totally true.
Do you remember our friends sattva, rajas and tamas? In Ayurveda, these are the trigunas or three qualities, of the mind (download the chart). A quick recap, sattvic foods are pure harmony and help us make right choices. Rajasic foods create turbulence, competition, and are goal-oriented. Tamasic foods create darkness, stagnation, and lifelessness. Download this handy dandy list of sattvic, rajasic, and tamasic foods for reference. Just as important as foods right for your dosha, are the trigunas of the foods. Our food MUST be high quality – it’s essential!! We are built of the stuff!
Foods that are highly sattvic are veggies, fruits, and grains. Notice anything these foods have in common? They all come from plants! Plants are always happy, they have no emotions or stresses. They know that the sun will come out, rain will give them a drink and they grow while they reach for the stars. Pretty great, right? Wouldn’t you like to be like that too? Me too. Happy and reachin’ for the stars, I say!
Now! Let’s look at the other side. Foods that are highly tamasic are red meat, alcohol, canned, stale foods. These foods have no life. They have never seen sun, or if they have, the prana they had originally has been processed-to-death. Literally to death. For a second, let’s look at meat. Are animals always happy? Not necessarily. Do they live in the sun? Mmmm…they might, but not guaranteed. Animals have emotions, fears, stresses, anxiety and panic. Whatever life that animal lived, we eat it. True for us, if we eat those animals that lived under stress, we will become the same. Please make sure your meat comes from happy animals. And if you aren’t sure, don’t eat it.
SO! What foods create good moods? Plants! Veggies! Grains! Fruits! Ghee from happy cows (<– like from my man Sandeep! They’ve been making grass-fed ghee for generations!). AND, dairy if it comes from a good place. Always buy full fat and local organic dairy, if possible. In addition to foods, make sure to drink plenty of water. Plants wither and animals throw their water dish around when there’s not enough! Your body withers too, but your mood will be affected first, as a warning sign. Aren’t our bodies so smart to give us warning signs? Love the bodies. So, be thankful for being an evolved being who gets moody enough to know that you’re not eating the right things :) Incorporate more happy foods, full of sun, nourished by water and nature will give you peace, happiness, and innate knowing that all is well.
Who has questions!?!? xoxoxo!
I’m a vata/pita girl. Vata is most present. I eat as following: breakfast (8.00) mostly oatmeal with fruit, raisins, spices and nuts. lunchtime (13.00) I eat my diner and @dinertime (18.00) I eat soup with one slice of bread. In between (10.30 and 15.30) I try to eat as less as possible, fruit with some nuts but I notice it’s not enough because @ 16.00 I’m mostly very, very hungry. And because of that the change is higher that I eat not so healthy things like chocolate in the evening. What should I do?
Great question! First of all, whenever you are hungry, eat. The body is telling you it needs food. Now, there are guidelines. For a vata-type person, they could easily spend the day snacking away, which is not good. So! Make sure you are eating enough lunch, remembering it should be the biggest meal of your day. If you are having a nice, hearty lunch and are still hungry at 4:00, then have a snack. If you eat dinner in super-starvation mode, you will likely overeat too late at night or have munchy chocolatey things :) It takes 4-6 hours for us to digest a meal and it sounds like you are doing that in about 4 hours. No problem, just honor that hunger by having a substantial, hearty lunch and/or a snack around 4:00pm to tide you over. Does this help?
It’s Saturday night and I’m creating my first newsletter! LOOK! I only need ONE MORE subscriber to get 100! Who’s going to be the 100th newsletter signer-upper for HeyMonicaB? Just one more! Show me whatcha got.
Tip: Using a bit of sesame oil (not the toasted kind!) on your face in the morning will moisturize, smooth fine lines, and is also a natural SPF!
We love you, Ayurveda!
I don’t know about you, but resolutions tend to feel like some sort of punishment. Like, “Oooooooo, you ate too much cheese over holiday so now you must lose weight. Here are 7 tips for weight loss!” And then you think, “Ooooooo, I should do that! Cause I ate too much cheese and clearly, I suck!” And then comes the verbal confirmation of, “I resolve to lose weight since I thouest sucketh for eating thine cheese.”
Ok. That might be a little snarky. But really, why do resolutions feel like that? Maybe because the idea is coming from the OUTside instead of the INside. Someone in an email, commercial, facebook ad, or whatever is telling you that you have to do something radically different and make a change. And darn it, lose weight! Sheez. You had extra cookies afterall, so lose weight (I snark)!!
I say why not change that messaging to, “I will enjoy 5-10 more minutes a day of physical activity.” Or “I will bring my lunches to work 3 times a week.” Or “When I am stressed, I will allow myself to take a break for 10 deep, slow breaths.”
SEE how that feels different?! Nourishing, nurturing, and most of all something to look forward to! You can achieve the same goal of losing weight (if that’s truly what you need), but put the focus on what you are going to DO to get there. So much focus is on the result instead of the steps to achieve the result. I mean, only 8% of resolutions are actually adhered to anyway, making wads of people feel like they are failures very quickly into this lovely new year. What an instant bummer way to start the year! Let me tell you, you are not failures, lovelies. You have good intentions, just let your intentions and desires come from withIN not from withOUT. And make them bit-size, so you can fit them into your day. Extract them from your heart. And if you don’t have anything to change right now, FINE! You will adjust and evolve when you are ready…and that might be in May. :)
Whatever your outlook on resolutions, the new year is a delicious time to indulge in some reflection and intention-setting. This should be an enjoyable process, and might not even include …a scale! *gasp* (snark)
Fun, soul-filling, RESOLUTIONARY IDEAS!
Wishlists! - dream up your favorites, write them down
Dosha-lutions - resolutions for your dosha
Dissin Discipline – how to adhere to those juicy goals you set
New Year New You 2014 Tranquilosophy Seasonal Podcast – My girl, Kimberly Wilson‘s teleclass (recorded & at your own pace). It’s wonderful! She’s wonderful!
Happy New Year. Love you guys.
Um. Can I get an “AMEN!?” I found this card which induced a flurry of heart backflips while instant hot tears sprung to mine wee eyes. Ah, and that’s when you know it’s good. A real stunner for the soul.
In case you didn’t know what’s been happening, for over the past year I spend 3 hours a day commuting to my day job and then come home to my curly-toddler-spriteypoo only to fall on my face exhausted at 8:30pm…and start again in the morning. The days are long and I’m constantly running. Where is my yoga, my writing, my podcasts, my violin, my potion-making with aromatherapy (mmmwaahaha…evil laugh cause I love the potions)? Where is MY Ayurveda, my LIFE? Sheeeeat, a whole year has gone by…poof. I didn’t even let myself blink. But, I have an Ayurvedic job to do and life to live, so here we go…
It’s a new year, people! NEW YEAR as in clean slate, blank canvas, and ready for all little life buds to start unfurling into bloom. My heart and soul has done some may-hay-hay-jor explorations even over the past 24 hours and I’m DANG excited for 2014.
What about YOU? Any of this resonate? Did you let anything slip past your awareness last year? Do share. We’ve all done it and might have some ideas to get you back on track.
Don’t let a year go by without blinking. Better yet, don’t let a MINUTE go by without blinking. Bring your mind and heart into what you are doing, eating, breathing, sharing, communicating, all of it. Stay present, soak it in, this is YOUR life and it is to be LIVED. Your way. And no less.*BURST!!*
Guys, don’t go nutso over New Years resolutions. Pick ONE thing in your life to do better. One. There, see? No pressure and totally doable.
A reminder to pull gifts from the heart, not the pocketbook. Give presents because you know the receiver will love it. Don’t buy gifts to spend a certain amount of money on someone to make the exchange “even.” Sometimes we do that, hey? But here’s the thing, buyers’ remorse will hit in January when you get those credit card bills so remember to use your buddhi (wisdom!) when shopping so you don’t feel bad later! Nobody wants you to go broke on gifts, and you can do a lot with a little. One Christmas when I was struggling with money, I bought my family a case of Two-Buck Chuck wine from California and brought it back to WI as my carry-on. For $24 I had presents for all my family, I also included home made San Francisco cookies (a bridge, cable car, city-scape, victorian house, etc.,) that I decorated and gave with the wine. Combined, I had fun cookies, a bottle of wine, and cute wrappings for 12 people. My family LOVED it. Give experiences, give homemade, give small (don’t give someone else clutter), give from local shops/artists, give something you can do with your receiver – remember, they love YOU.
Once Thanksgiving commences many folks until the new year as they are bombarded with food, busy-ness, no time for exercise, and tons of holiday treats in the office. Gaining an extra 10 lbs seems inevitable, simply because we don’t adhere to right choices. So let me remind you that this is not a time to say, “F-it!” (As in, “forget it”…get your minds out of the gutter.) as far as living an Ayurvedically managed life during the holidays. This is a time to tap into our Buddhi and get a little wiser to stay a little healthier. Because when we feel healthier we also feel happier.
Standing around, eating, talking, drinking, all at the same time is a quick way to completely lose our minds while eating. And we know that Ayurvedic nutritional guidelines say, our mind and hearts should be on the lovely meal in front of us. We should chew enough so that we can digest the food properly (our stomachs don’t have teeth…), we should taste the food, appreciate the food and thank the food. Now, do you do all that when yapping with friends at a holiday party? My guess is no because e-gads there’s a party goin’ on! Chitter-chatter chitter-chatter, drink, chew twice, gulp, chitter-chatter…then “Wait, did I even eat?” Right! So…
Instead try this:
1. Serve yourself one glass of your favorite beverage. It should not be too cold or have ice.
2. Take a plate and have your favorite samplings of foods (yes, even if it’s small appetizers). One plateful.
3. Find a person you really enjoy
4. Sit down with that friend and eat together, enjoying the food and the company.
5. You should be full and happy!
6. Now you can chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter til your heart is content, because your belly is content :)
7. If you are having cocktails, don’t have more than 2 and space it out. More than 2 and your better judgement and wisdom goes out the window, so you are likely to overeat AND overdrink. Better still, have mocktails and you’ll feel awesome all night and even in the morning ;)
Don’t cry. I’m not telling you these things to bum you out. No way. My intent is to SHOW you exactly what’s going on during this time of year. You are not crazy or lazy, so that’s the good news. Hurrah! These natural forces (dark, cold, shorter days) flow against our desired rapid pace of Christmas completion. During the flurry, I have some quick Ayurvedic tips to keep the holidays happy and I will trickle them in over the next couple weeks.
Alrighty! Show of hands, who ate too much yesterday? Ohhhh, that’s a LOT of hands! Ok. If you ate too much on Thanksgiving, today is an awesome day to eat much much less. I know it sounds un-fun when there are leftovers calling your name, but this is the key to eating in a balanced way. Most likely you didn’t wake up hungry, right? Good, so take that as a clue that your body is not finished digesting yesterday’s feast yet. The goal is to make sure all food is digested, used, and the rest pooped out. Then you’re ready for another meal! Until then, drink ginger tea in the morning and/or warm lemon water, but don’t eat anything. Around lunch time (only if you are hungry), enjoy your leftovers with reasonable portions. Either skip dinner or if you are really hungry, have something small like a glass of milk or some fruit.
That’s it! Keep it lean today, folks! You’ll feel better. ALSO, it changes our mind so that we don’t just say, “F-it! It’s the holidays now so I’ll just keep on snacking and gain 10lbs.” No no no no. You already know that’s a bad idea, so don’t let it happen. Use your buddhi (wisdom!) to keep you adhering to right choices!