At work we use a little phrase called, “WOWs!” It’s basically a sharing of really cool things we did to “wow” a client, a talent or a teammate. I recently got an email from one of you and all that came to mind was, “WOW!”
You guys send me lots of notes and I do my best to respond to every one of them. While they all touch my heart, this one in particular needed to be shared immediately, and with all of you. When I read her note, instantly my heart swelled, tears came to my eyes and quickly plopped out. It’s a pretty incredible story and proves how fast Ayurveda works. We have all the power within ourselves to change. We innately have all the tools we need to live our best lives. Ayurveda shines a light on that. Please share this with…heck, everyone. This is amazing. Proud of you, J, for your progress and for sharing your story with us. Thank you. Love, Monica B.
I hope you don’t mind me contacting you, but I just wanted to write and thank you for the information that you have provided on your site. I read almost every article on your site last weekend and have been following your advice for 5 days. As a result, I have already experienced a dramatic improvement in many aspects of my health and wellness which I have been struggling with for years. Some of what I am about to tell you is maybe a bit personal, or ‘too much information’ for most, but I think you can handle it!
My prakruti is Kapha-Pitta, but I now realise that I have long been battling a seriously aggravated Vata. About 6 years ago I started to suffer with an eating disorder and, whilst I haven’t ever been in any significant medical ‘danger’, I have never really recovered a healthy mindset towards food (my eating behaviour is still very disordered), and was also left with some medical problems as a consequence of the stress I put on my body. In particular, and this is where it gets a bit ‘T.M.I’, I don’t remember the last time I was able to go to the bathroom without taking excessive amounts of stimulant laxatives. As you can imagine, that was pretty horrible, plus my tongue was coated in a thick grey and black coating from all the toxins building up in my colon, my appetite was virtually non-existent, and my stomach was bloated and uncomfortable for 7-10 days at a time until I could do my weekly ‘laxative purge’.
As well as this, my Kapha dosha was also a bit out of balance – whilst I am quite content spending time alone, I had become quite reclusive, and if I was invited out with friends, I would usually find a made-up excuse at the last minute and not go out. I also know that my natural tendency to hoard things had also become worse in recent weeks.
So, last weekend, when I stumbled across your site, I noticed what I had been doing wrong with regards to my diet and general behaviours: I was living on up to 2lbs of RAW broccoli a day; I ate at irregular times (if I was eating at all); I quelled hunger pains with LITRES of diet cola; after work I would come home, where I would be alone all evening and just watch TV or surf the internet mindlessly; the only real exercise I was taking was my 10 minute walk to and from work; and all that caffeine in my system had led to terrible insomnia. No wonder my Vata was out of whack – I was doing everything in the world to make it worse!
After reading your blog, I made the following changes to my diet and lifestyle:
· Lemon juice in water on waking in the morning
· Ginger & lemon tea 30mins – 1hour before each meal
· Practicing yoga daily – sometimes morning AND evening
· Eating, sleeping, etc. on a regular schedule
· Eating soft, well cooked foods – soups, scrambled eggs, fish, cooked foods and NO raw veg (broccoli!!!) – with spices such as cumin, ginger, cinnamon
· Significantly cut down on intake of caffeine and diet sodas
· I made a small portion of ghee and cook my eggs and veg in it – eating fats is something that I particularly struggle with, so I have been using teeny amounts and getting used to it. I’m gonna make more this weekend!
· Decluttering my wardrobes and cupboards (hello, eBay!), cleaning and tidying my flat
· Bought jasmine scented incense sticks
As a result I have been able to use the bathroom in the morning when I wake up without laxatives for the first time since I can remember, the coating on my tongue is almost gone, my stomach is less bloated and painful, I have been going out and socialsing with friends, I feel calmer and happier, and I no longer live in a cycle of starving and binging on food.
There is still a long way to go, but I already feel much more like ‘me’ than I have done in the last 6 years, and that is largely down to you sharing your knowledge of Ayurveda. I’m sorry this has turned out so long and so detailed, but I really wanted to extend a heart-felt ‘thank you’, because in less than a week I am starting to feel happy and well again.
Hi Sam! Sad! Schedule is drowning me. 11-hour work days are consuming me a little bit. Trying to find my balance so I can still write. The good news, is I am answering emails with your questions and doing some mini buds as well. I’m here! I will try to do better and write more stuff…on the train or something…it’s making me sad! Hugs, Monica
Now, Sam’s question could have meant something else, like where in the world do I live? But interpreting his question from my own perception, shined a light on the fact that I’m neglecting my site. I crave more time in my day/life and I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve tried writing on the train, which works, except for when I take the bus (way too jiggly). Work days are long from 5:45am to 6:00pm and then kiddo time until 8pm. Then more work. Then bed by 10. *scratching my head* No end in sight and not sure what to do. I’ll figure it out though and it won’t be long – cause I am not usually stuck for too long. Maybe HeyMonicaB needs to take a slightly different form. But! I’m here – reading and responding to your emails. Perhaps someone can make a clone of me? Oh wait…that’s not Ayurvedic. The answer is out there and I’ll figure out a solution that works for all of us! Meantime, keep asking questions so I can help you!! XOXOX!
I’m a Vata-Kapha, and I seem to be more Vata mind (anxiety, lots of thoughts) and Kapha body (I don’t lose weight easily, etc.) I know I need vigorous exercise and to cut down on Kapha foods, but how can I balance Kapha and not aggravate Vata?
Fabulous question!! If you are a person who is vata/kapha doshic combo, don’t worry your pretty or handsome head, it’s not as complex as it seems! Let me break it down for you. The qualities that vata and kapha have in common is that they are cold. So they both tend to have weak or varied agni, which means their digestive fire is unreliable (vata) or low (kapha). The fire element is missing in both of these doshas, so they miss out on the heat! So the key for the vata/kapha combo is to keep warm and spicy!
The vata/kaphas will do better with consistent (daily) exercise rather than vigorous exercise. Don’t go crazy with the intensity of your workout, instead, do cardio (fast walk or jog) for 20-30 mins OR do yoga. One or the other. Yoga is great for all doshas! Overexercising will mess with the vata mind and could also injure a supple kapha body! Also, my advice is to eat lots of veggies and some carbs – all veggies should always be warm and well seasoned. When it’s fall and winter, veggies and foods should be moist either in a light sauce or ghee. In spring when it’s more wet outside, favor roasted veggies or veggies from the grill! As a habit for these vata/kaphas, foods and drinks should be warm or room temperature to keep your agni going! Another agni tip, make sure that dinner is your lightest and smallest meal of the day.
Also, limit meat and sweets. Meats are very hard to digest (pittas can digest them because they have so much fire!) and sweets will make kapha gain weight while making the vata mind scattered. Keeping a consistent and reliable routine is important, especially heading to bed by 10 pm and waking just a smidge before sunrise. Zoning out to the tv before bed for hours ain’t no way to wake up like a spring chicken (I know you, kapha… ;)!
Hopefully this sheds some light! Holler with questions, suggestions or anything you want to share! xo.
Happy Earth Day!! It’s one of my favorite days because of the awesome reminder that we are just a small piece of this big world. And in Ayurveda, we know that nature is made of all of the same things we are (space, air, fire, water, earth). As a tribute to our mother earth, I would like to share a personal story of celebrating our earth and each other.
Perhaps I’m a big dork, but almost nothing makes me happier than The Muppets. Ayurveda might make me happier than The Muppets, but they are pretty much neck and neck. I grew up with The Muppet Show and would wait with anticipation every Saturday night. Each show seemed to last a whopping 5 minutes before it was over – it would go by so fast! Then I’d have to wait a whole week before I could see the flying zucchini brothers put another chicken in the cannon (that is not Ayurvedic, btw, but I thought it was a riot).
One episode, in particular, left me completely awestruck as I sat glued to the tv with all hairs standing on end and tears in my eyes. I had to have been, maybe five years old. It was the one with Harry Belafonte as the special guest star where he sang a song with dancing African masks. I’ve never forgotten it. Even when I was in my 20s, I rememberd that episode and told friends that it was by far my favorite. I recalled the song was, “Turn The World Around.” You know how something that seemed so magical when you were little, doesn’t seem as magical when you’re older? Well, I assure you this is completely opposite of that.
I knew my husband had The Muppets dvds, but didn’t know he had the Harry Belafonte episode, so with great excitement, we put it on. Keep in mind, I didn’t discover Ayurveda until I was 32, but somehow the root of what Ayurveda is (I finally see this now) has been with me forever.
(Here’s where, at the age of 37, Monica B’s mind explodes. Cue the goosebumps. I can barely write this – my fingers want to move so fast to stay with the stride of my brain, heart, and soul.)
Mr. Belafonte talks about a storyteller, referencing an ancient tradition in Africa, who told him about the fire, which means the sun. And about the water and about the earth. ”And he [storyteller] pointed out that all of these things put together, turn the world around. All of us are here for a very very short time. And in the time we are here, there really isn’t any difference in any of us, if we take time out to understand each other…cause if we do, together we can…turn the world around.”
I leave you with my favorite song of spirit, authenticity, love, and all that is this great nature called earth. Thanks to Harry Belafonte & The Muppets.
Water make the river, River wash the mountain, Fire make the sunlight Turn the world around Heart is of the river, Body is the mountain, Spirit is the sunlight Turn the world around We are of the spirit, Truly of the spirit, Only can the spirit Turn the world around
Do I know who I am, do you know who you are? See we one another clearly, do we know who we are? WhooaaHO, so is LIFE…
From my spirit to yours, let’s honor ourselves and each other. And turn the world around.
Namasté and love to all, Monica
About 5 years ago when we were moving from San Francisco to LA, my friend got me a card — on the outside was a big glazed donut* with lots of colored sprinkles. The inside read, “Keep your eye on the donut, not the hole.” When we were moving back to SF, I found the card in a pile of “special stuff.” Over the past months, with constant busy-ness, scheduling challenges, a new role at my job, and other challenges that life brings, that lil’ donut saying keeps running through my head.
Isn’t it true? That lil’ donut gives such a great reminder to stay focused on all that is good and yummy about life, because when we do that, the hole doesn’t matter. In fact, we don’t even notice a hole! Practice that enough and the hole will shrink. In my job, I teach my team to focus on strengths of the self and others. We choose to pull out the positive in seemingly impossible orders so that we can fill them. We work on getting to yes rather than giving an immediate no. “What can we do?” My point is, don’t worry about the garbage that drives you nuts or what’s missing in your life. Focus on the donut and life will be much sweeter :) xo.
*Donuts are not Ayurvedic. Well, if you made them with mung dahl and rice they might be. ;P
Last week my boss, Susie, came to San Francisco to work with myself and my team. One of the busiest, hardest working people I know, she’s also an awesome teacher, a positive coach, and tireless cheerleader. She’s a mom and wifey too. In an after-work dinner convo, I turned into her Ayurvedic counselor (cause I am) and suggested that she take more time for herself because she gives so much out! We started yapping about time (or lack of), momhood, work priorities and we both griped that we didn’t have enough time to exercise as much as we would like. It bummed us out because we love to do it, but our time is so limited (jee, sound familiar to anyone else?). I have a couple DVDs that I do, but only a couple times a week, not daily.
She said, “There were two times I can think of when I was in really good shape. One, was right before my wedding (when I trained her and taught fitness classes in our office – ha!) and the other, was years back when I just did 10 minutes of cardio a day. Just 10 minutes…and I ate less too.”
Inspired, this weekend I took my dog Blossom on a quick run instead of a walk. And by quick run, it was 10 minutes. Her doggie face was happily panting and I actually had some sweat beads on my nose. I told Susie on Monday that I did 10 minutes of cardio the past two days, and would she like to join me on my crusade to cardio? She accepted, but then she threw in 10 push ups too. Dang it! Overachiever. Ok fine, so 10 minutes and 10 pushups a day.
I have to say, I LOVE IT! It’s not hard AND it gives me a warm up in case I have to sprint to the train! The point of all this is, take baby steps, but CONSISTENT baby steps toward your goal. If all I can muster is 10 minutes and 10 pushups, then I’m going to do it. Without fail, daily. The other thing that is helpful is to have a buddy. We know that when we have a buddy, we are more likely to be accountable for new habits we are trying to form. So now we send IM chats at work, “10 and 10! Done!” or “10! and I still have to do 1o.” or “I did 10 sets of squats 10 times and sometimes held my daughter…does that count for cardio?” To which I responded, “Yes and you will probably not be able to walk tomorrow (overachiever.)” ;)
What do you think about our little crusade to cardio? Do you have any mini crusades you can take on? We would all love to hear your creative ideas to life-enhancement! xo
Raise your hand if over the past weekend or two, you just had get in a good deep clean around the house. Raise your other hand if you felt a strong desire to start a new fitness regime. Raiser your…big toe if you are also in the mood to toss, recycle, or donate items that make you feel heavy or cluttered. Look at all those hands and toes!
Know why? It’s kaphaseason! Kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure. It’s a builder for our body-minds, which is heavy and sticky in nature. As we know, to balance the doshas we use the opposite qualities of that dosha. So it’s no wonder why in heavy, sticky, wet spring we feel the need to move our bodies, clean our homes, eat lighter foods, lighten our cluttered load, and possibly take a little vacation to a warm, sunny climate! Lots of folks do spring cleanses around this time too. It’s not really because we’re worried about bikini season, it’s because nature is telling us to! Don’t forget, we are a part of nature and we flow with it in perfect rhythm.
I invite you to read Seasonal Bloom: Kapha, from last year. It has a ton of information about kapha-types, kapha season and has lots of tips to stay healthy during spring. You can download (free!) and share. Bring it to brunch as a little gift to your girlfriends, leave on your coworkers desk (it will make their day!), email it to your mom or auntie – there’s lots of things you can do to help get the good word out about Ayurveda! Please enjoy. If you read it last year, give it another read because information you were not ready to receive last year will pop out at you this year :) xoxo!
You ready? Ready for kapha’s vices? If you haven’t read about vata’s vices or pitta’s vices, I recommend doing so. Unless of course, you are a kapha. Then you can skip those and read on because the spotlight is on you, baby. By vices, I mean stuff that you reach for that is opposite of what you need for optimal health. You see, when a dosha is increased (imbalanced), the person will crave the foods and habits that keep increasing that dosha! Meaning, they will crave the completely wrong things. When we analyze our sweet kapha friends they are happy-go-lucky, inviting, generous, the best listeners (and huggers!), able to handle a lot of work with grace, peaceful minded, and a curvy goddess-like physique. Kaphas can also be stubborn and impossible to move, can gain weight easily, have depression (though you probably wouldn’t be able to tell), tend toward emotional eating, and if pushed to far they will hold a grudge.
When I see a kapha person who’s skin looks dull/gray, their normally graceful gait has turned into a slow saunter, and their large sparkling eyes have lost their luster, perhaps hiding behind some extra weight, it tells me a lot. In that case, our gracious beauties, our treasured precious kaphas, have an imbalance. Kaphas are very private and don’t often let their vices or weaknesses show, so observing their habits is not as easy as with a vata or pitta. However, when a kapha looks lifeless, we know there’s a problem.
Please note! Just because someone is overweight does not mean they are a kapha! They might have a kapha imbalance, but are not necessarily kapha by nature.
In my observation, an imbalanced kapha craves: Heavy “comfort” foods, very sugary sweet foods, high salt and high fat foods. They will also watch a lot of TV (or play online games) and spend lots of time alone. They also…collect things.
The kapha vice-rites (vice favorites) all increase heaviness, wetness, and slow them down. Notice the foods have no spices? Imbalanced kaphas will crave meals like mac n’ cheese, pasta with cream sauces, cheesecake, which all increase the damp and heavy qualities. Kaphas are also self-proclaimed couch potatoes and will watch tv for hours and hours. Because kaphas are so giving, they tend to put themselves dead last which leaves them feeling emotionally depleted. To make up it, they might fill up on the wrong things which includes wrong foods and wrong entertainment. Kaphas love to watch others and live vicariously a little bit, so television and online games allows them a peek inside other fascinating worlds from the comfort of their own couch (they don’t like to move or take risks!). If kaphas spend too much time alone, they will get depressed. They thrive off the energy of others and need buddies to keep them uplifted! If you have a kapha friend (or if it’s you) who’s a bit blue, take them for a walk in nature and they gain back the happy spring in their step. Now, another thing, the kaphas…they also…collect things. They will buy stuff in multiples even if they don’t need it. They can be hoardy! They like to shop and they like to have things, but it’s way better for them to live light. Physical heaviness creates mental, emotional, and spiritual heaviness as well.
Okay! Now that we understand what kapha’s vices are, let’s love up some of their virtues!
In my observation, a balanced kapha craves: Spicy foods, fresh home-cooked meals, an evening or morning walk, the company of others.
When kaphas eat the right foods and are in total balance, they are the hostess with the mostess. They cater and cook for others but it doesn’t drag them down because they also know to take time for themselves. A balanced kapha will crave spices because fire heats the up and gives them gusto! They love it! Their thick hair shines, their skin radiates in perfect dewy fashion, they smile all the time (aaall the time), and move like a graceful swan. By listening, they inspire others to follow their craziest dreams while kaphas watch with admiration and anticipation. They enjoy a simple diet full of fresh foods and despite popular belief, they don’t eat a lot. Balanced kapha realizes they feel lighter with less food, they might even skip dinner or breakfast sometimes, which allows their sluggish digestion to catch up from the last meal. If I saw a curvy gal with apple cheeks, thick wavy hair, big sparkley teeth, eyelashes that go for days, and dressed to perfection, I would know she’s a balanced kapha.
What do you think, kaphas? Does this sound like you? I know you’re shy, but we would love to hear from you :) xoxo!
Amazing site, really! We have been reading and studying on Doshas for a while now. I am a pita and my wife a kapha. This is a struggle at times and seems to more so since the winter solstice. My energy levels seem to be a bit higher lately and I feel she kind of resents this. I don’t want any more chaos around and the different levels of energy seem to disrupt the peace in the home. ANY ADVICE?
Thank you for reading and I’m so glad you and your wife are learning all about Ayurveda together :) That said, great observations! Also note that since it’s nearing spring, her kapha levels will be higher and your pitta will continue to feel calm, smart, and invigorated by the cool weather. Usually, kaphas are inspired and smiley at the energy that surrounds them from pittas and vatas. So first question, do you know for sure she resents your energy or are you just presuming by the way she reacts? Can you ask her? Pittas love to ask questions to understand facts for themselves. However, they sometimes lack asking “touchey-feeley” or emotional questions. I encourage you as a pitta, to gently ask. Don’t push her (if she’s feeling stuck, you can’t push her – cause she’s kapha – and static), but try instead to touch her heart :) You will find your answers there.
At the same time, maybe try inviting her to do inspiring things with you. Again, don’t push, just invite! Whether your invigorating pitta energy includes activities or new ideas or new strategies, keep it light, fun and inspiring. What you want to avoid is giving her a “challenge” or encouraging her to “compete.” It’s not in her nature and will likely turn her off. Gentle touch, gentle approach (not a sharp approach), speak from your heart not your head! And! Perhaps embrace some of her slowness too! Rest is necessary to grow and get stronger (which pittas love, yes?). I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes and thank you for your question!
(Welcome to the 2nd version of this. The first one was magically fun and it took me 1 1/2 hours to write. I enjoyed it so. Anyway, with excitement I hit “publish” and it disappeared. I want to punch the Universe in the face. It’s now it’s 11 p.m. and I’m up way past my 10 p.m. Ayurvedic bedtime. I will try again tomorrow to achieve another “pitta vices” post. Love you and sorry for the delay. Note: Ayurvedic people don’t normally want to punch anything in the face, especially the Universe, but so far this week needs a serious technological spanking.)
Alrighty! It’s 22 1/2 hours later since I posted the above. I’ve let it go, the first post is gone and I no longer want to punch the Universe in the face. I did get a funny and accurate comment though – check out what Joey said (below). Ha! I also know that when you lose a project a) it’s meant to happen and b) the reincarnation of version two gets done better and faster than the first.
I digress! We’re talking about pitta here, which stemmed from the previous post on vata’s vices. Remember, when a dosha is increased (imbalanced), the person will crave the foods and habits that keep increasing that dosha! Meaning, they will crave the completely wrong things. Taking a look at pitta, we know pitta people are sharp-minded and sharp-tongued. They are direct, focused, witty with a great sense of humor, hyper-organized, detailed, play by the rules, ask a ton of questions, and are usually found in leadership roles.
So when I see a pitta person with a big burger on their plate, copious glasses of wine or cocktails, pouring extra tabasco sauce on their nachos with jalapenos, and following it all up with a piece of chocolate lava cake (with ice cream), I know they have a pitta imbalance. Why? Because a balanced pitta would not eat that much or crave those things. By the way, that there pitta would be running for the heartburn medicines to calm that craziness down! ;)
In my observation, an imbalanced pitta craves: very sugary sweet desserts and chocolate, spicy foods, red meat, alcohol, and they tend to eat large portions of food.
The vice-rites (vice favorites) all increase heat, with the exception of the sweets. Pittas are already hotsie-totsie due to their fire nature, so having heated foods and drink will make the fire stronger. Hello heartburn, high blood pressure, loose poop, and that sparky lil temper! Pittas have a naturally strong agni (digestive fire) and when it increases above their natural state (called tikshna agni) they will want more food than they really need. So they have strong hunger, but weak digestion and this causes weight gain. Pittas tend to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and appreciate any release from stress they can find, which is part of the reason they turn to alcohol or food to relax. Sweets are cooling* which is normally good for pitta, but eating highly processed sweets and chocolates will give them a sugar high. Then they’ll crash and be upset they are unproductive. See? I know people sometimes :)
Now that we understand what pitta’s vices are, let’s end on a positive note and highlight some of their virtues.
In my observation, a balanced pitta craves: lots of fruit, veggies, healthy carbs, lots of water, and pure proteins like lentils, organic meats, and red meat only on occasion
When pittas eat the right foods and are truly balanced, they are chronically witty (these are the people that make you spit milk out your nose) and make the best out of being focused and present. They don’t let worries or stress shake their consistent stride toward their goals. They make inspiring leaders with a loyal following. If I saw a smiling, glowing, fire-goddess eating a hearty rice bowl with protein, vegetables and aromatic mild spices, with a cooling mint tea, I would think she’s pretty close to her natural pitta self. And she might even enjoy a piece of dark chocolate for dessert.
Okay pittas, do any of these vices sound familiar? If so, yay! Because now you have the knowledge and root cause behind your behavior and you can fix it. If you have other vices, do share with us! We’re in this together, one big healing hug at a time. X!
*Pittas tend to have a sweet tooth because the sweet taste is cooling. Sticking to fruits with natural sugars is best, but a piece of dark, slightly bitter chocolate is okay too as a treat and would be enough to satisfy them.
When giving hugs, hug people over their left shoulder instead of their right. Then you will be heart to heart!! It feels totally different, better. Try it! Afterall, two hearts are better than one!! (Anyone have Stacey Q in their head now?!)
Sometimes people think I have magical powers because I can often predict peoples’ diet and lifestyle habits even if I don’t know them very well. The way someone behaves (and eats!) gives me a lot of insight into their doshic make up. And not only that, but also gives glaring information about the dosha that is imbalanced. In Ayurveda, when a dosha is increased (imbalanced), the person will crave foods and habits that will keep increasing that dosha. Meaning, they will crave the completely wrong things!
Let’s take vata for example. Vata people talk a lot, move a lot, do a lot, lose focus, forget things, skip details, are creative, are dramatic/moody, love to be spontaneous, and are naturally bubbly. My brain automatically says, “Vata.” Now, when I observe one of these vata people drinking a lot of coffee, skipping meals yet eating candy as a food group, drinking lots of diet Coke or carbonated beverages with ice, I say to myself, “Vata imbalance.” Why? Because a balanced vata would not crave those things.
I swear it. I’ve seen it too many times and these are the vice-favorites (Vice-rites? Anyway…). They all give a fast and false jolt of energy, which vatas have enough of naturally, so these vices put them into manic over drive. Buzz, buzz, buzz!!! In addition, anxiety, racing thoughts, insomnia, extra cardio (because they are worried about weight gain), constipation, and dramatic changes in mood are all common and often arrive together. No bueno! It’s all too much movement, too much activity, too much cold.
If you are you thinking, “Um, this is me,” then welcome to holding the power of change in your own hands. :) And if you are thinking, “Naw, I like soup and yoga.” Then great! You are on the right track. Since I’ve given you vatas biggest vices, I will also give you some of their greatest virtues
In my observation, a balanced vata craves: warm food and drinks, a whole foods diet, early bed and early rise, craves a scheduled routine and downtime.
When vatas follow what balances them, their positive qualities will majorly outshine the qualities they need to work on. If there was a bubbly, dramatic, unfocused person in front of me, and they grabbed a cup of herbal tea while enjoying their morning oatmeal, I would guess that they are much closer to their original balance. Unless they just read HeyMonicaB last night and are putting their learnings into practice. ;) So there’s the secret and I’m not magical, just observant (watch, I’m going to get a bunch of pittas asking for what their vices are…just watch).
And yes pittas and kaphas, I’ll do your vices next. But while we are still on vata, any vatas out there have other vices they want to share? We won’t judge. Maybe we can give you an alternative to help you shine like the sparkly ball of energy you are! X!
OK, so whatever cold bug I had, it didn’t last long. And I’m 99% sure it wasn’t the flu. I had it for 2 days when I felt like pure junk and the other 2 like mild junk. For the past 4 days, my voice has been almost gone/scratchy/low, but I feel fine.
Anyway, you are wondering how I got better, so let me share. It’s super detailed and requires the utomst precise adherance to the plan. You cannot waiver from the plan and you must follow it to a tee. You ready? Ok here’s what I did to get better.
I took one day off work and slept as much as possible.
Super complicated, I know I know. But do your best. :) Ha, but seriously I slept and slept and slept. Our bodies need a chance to fight the problem without being taxed with other responsibilities, so we need to let it rest. You can mix up Ayurvedic home remedies, eat the right foods, even take over the counter medicines but if you do not sleep (a lot!), you will stay sick for much longer.
Okay and let’s be real. Sleep is not the only thing I did, but I do believe it’s the most important thing. As promised, here is a list of things I did to get better quickly. Practicing Ayurveda is not going to make us immune to absolutely everything. But! If we use the tools, we will get sick less often, we will have mild cases of the sickness, and the duration will be much shorter. Cross my heart.
Here’s what I did to get better:
• Slept a lot: 12 hours at night and took two 2-hour naps. Sleep is way better than tv or chick flicks when you need to heal!
• Neti pot. Or, “hose your nose” as one of our readers commented on the first post.
• Cough tea. I made a batch each day and drank it warm. A
• Steamy shower. Good to balance vata (aches) and loosen mucus.
• I took some ibuprofen to relieve the aches. Even Dr. Lad said that we can take something to relieve the pain (no sense in suffering!), but then we must discover and treat the root cause holistically.
As always, Ayurveda has a focus on disease prevention. Living according to who we are, being aware of warning signs, and taking time to rest before our sickness is full blown is key to avoiding more severe sickies, like the icky flu! And if you end up getting the flu, please just take a load off and don’t push yourself. Turn off Judge Judy and sleep. Sleep I say!
Hi. I was in Boston last week. Boston. You know, that place where they declared a health emergency because of the flu outbreak. I was there for a work conference and everything was held in our hotel. I wasn’t sure if I should breathe on my coworkers (since most were not from Boston either) or if I should get outside and breathe. And then I remembered germs don’t really exist in Ayurveda, so what was I worried about? I was an Ayurvedic champ! Invincible. Totally gonna skirt this flu – watch me! Then on Friday, I got sick. It’s not terrible by any means but my throat burns, my nose is running, and my skin hurts when water touches it. And my knuckles ache.
I don’t know if it really is the flu or not, but what I do know is why I got sick. If any of the below sounds familiar and you have these as frequent habits, you will want to adjust your schedule immediately. The following habits deplete our best friend, ojas. Ojas is our life vitality, immunity, and strength in fighting off disease.
Why I got sick:
• Two long flights.Air travel very vata increasing which dries us up, makes us cold and shrivels warm, gooey ojas. People get sick on flight not just from germs but because our immunity goes way down on the flights and we can easily catch what people are sneezing. Gross.
• A packed schedule. Days went from 8am-10pm, nonstop. Well, there were pauses, but I didn’t want to miss out on anything so I just kept going and talking.
• Limited fruits and veggies, and too many muffins, croissants, rolls, and potatoes. Not enough vitamins, digestive spices, or healthy fats in the food.
• Coffee, daily because I wasn’t sleeping. Coffee is very dehydrating and gives a false sense of energy.
• Wine, nightly. If there’s a way to instantly deplete ojas, combine wine + flying + packed schedule + not sleeping. Hello, sick.
• Insomnia, only getting about 5 hours of sleep each night. I was so amped when I hit the pillow! Insomnia was a result of high vata from travel, busy activities, and dehydration.
Some of you might be thinking, “You wuss, MonicaB! You can’t even handle 4 days of a busy conference!?” To that I will say, “No, no I can’t. Not me. I have high vata to begin with and this sh*t wears me out.” Because I know myself, I could see that I was in trouble with this schedule. So, now I encourage you to do the same. Does your schedule include any one (or more) of these on the list? If so, do you get sick often? It’s a fun puzzle once you understand what influences (besides germs) can make you sick and so many of it is within our control.
Next up is part 2 and I’ll tell you how I made it through the sickness. :)
Happy 2013!! In the spirit of the new year including resolutions, dosha-lutions and even wishlists, it takes a certain amount of discipline to stick with any new plan. By reading that word, ‘discipline,’ did you feel your energy droop a little? Like, a touch of wind was taken out of your free-blowin wishlist sails? I mean, discipline is punishment, right?! Boo. Discipline is being held tightly, not allowing us to do whatever we want. And, discipline…sucks!!
Not exactly :) I like to think of discipline as adherence. Adhering to a passion. Adhering to a practice. Adhering to habit you know will enhance your life. There now, does that feel a little better? Discipline is actually quite positive and only thing that will get you where you need to be! As you sit now with your new health/life plans for the year, it’s important to remember that they aren’t going to come true just by wishing for them. Well, sometimes that happens (and it’s always cool when it does!), but to make real change in your life, you have to DO something. You have to change. And with that, you need to stick to the rules. Not because rules are rules, but because you know in your heart of hearts that you will achieve positive results.
In Ayurveda, there is a part of your mind called your Buddhi. It’s the part of your mind that is, wisdom. Buddhi is the innate voice that helps you conduct right action. It says things like, “Step away from the computer because it’s 9:00 pm and you need to wind down so you can sleep well because when you sleep well you have a better day and a better week.” (Buddhi also likes run-on sentences) Or Buddhi might say, “I know how much you dread exercising, but you always feel amazing after yoga. Now go get your mat.” Buddhi would say, “If you procrastinate, you’ll have to cram for the meeting in the morning and then you’ll feel panicked. Just get everything done now instead of going for afternoon coffee with your coworkers.” It’s not all work, Buddhi also says awesome things like, “Make time to write in your journal because you know how much it nourishes your spirit.”
Buddhi is not scolding you, rather, your Buddhi is helping you adhere to the habits that will best advance and improve your life! What a cool thing, that Buddhi, hey!? It’s like a life coach and you don’t even have to pay for it. Your personal Yoda, spoutin’ wise stuff perfectly customized just for you. It’s right there, all the time! Jackpot.
So here’s my challenge. Visualize the heck out of your wishlist and know it to be true. Be inspired by your resolutions. Let your creativity and imagination fly free to no bounds. But also adhere to the steps necessary to reach your goals. That is true discipline and when we do it, it feels SO good!! Don’t diss it, it’s there to help. If we want our lives to be different, we have to DO something different! Life is a practice and a discipline in itself. Adhere to the tasks and practice that will make you better. Adhere to health. Adhere to forgiveness. Adhere to good sleep. Adhere to whole food. Adhere to making the best of your time with this life, right now. Ready, set, GO! And be sure to tell us how your disciplines are working for you!! xoxo.