Monthly Archives: March 2009
Spring is a natural time to cleanse our our bodies, our homes, our minds, but don’t forget about emotions. Stale, negative emotions can lodge themselves in our psyche, which lodges them in our subtle channels, which then lodges them in our bodies! Everything is connected. By negative, I mean emotions like envy, worry, jealousy, fear, selfishness, frustration, even the need to maintain constant control. Basically any emotion that feels even a bit “off” is something we should pay attention to because it can create deeper, often times physical imbalances if we don’t.
Most likely, it’s not really about the person we are jealous of, nor is it the million things that keep us worried. It is more about how we perceive that person and those things. Once we bring those thoughts to the forefront, we can let those neggy thoughts go. It sounds easier than it is. When we are really honest and downright raw with ourselves about our own thoughts and perceptions, we will feel it. It might feel uncomfortable and make you want to run away from yourself – but ahHA! – that’s when we’ve found the right button.
So, go ahead and press the uncomfortable neggy emotions button. After acknowledging your own raw emotions, they will clear and you will be set free.
A new-comer to HeyMonicaB had a great question about a neti pot and allergies and I thought, “Really? Did I ‘blah blah’ about allergy tips and forgot to mention the infamous neti pot!?” Yep, I totally forgot. Well, let me fill you IN! Really important for colds, hay fever, seasonal allergies, along with other kapha imbalance in the sinuses, is the Neti Pot! (I just googled “neti pot” images and some of the pics are soooo funny...)
Chemicals, polution, dust, pollen, and other junk from the environment gets stuck in our noses from all the breathing we do…so we should clean it out! We clean out our eyes, mouth, and ears – our nose needs some TLC too. The salt is warming, while the water is also warming and liquid. The excess kapha (snot) is then loosened and can escape through the opposite nostril.
It’s not the most attractive excercise (for a little laugh, google images), but it works like magic! And it’s easy! And when you get hang of it, you will feel SO GREAT! Here’s how to do it:
1. Get a neti pot (any pharmacy or drug store – they are cheap)
2. Fill the pot with warm tap water (not hot, not cold)
3. Add 1/2-1 tsp salt water to the pot and dissolve completely
4. Put the spout in one nostril, tilt your head to the side and slightly forward
6. Breathe through your mouth (relax!), and then the water will flow from one nostril thru the other
7. Water should not come out your mouth. If it does, tilt your forehead down
8. When you’re done, blow your nose
That’s it! I tried it and gagged a little bit at first, but then I got the hang of it – totally relieved my cold. I will do it again for the rest of my life. It’s MUCH better than over-the-counter drugs riddled with side effects AND it’s much better than suffering. A lovely alternative, give it a try! And, let me know what you think.
To help alleviate allergy symptoms, strictly avoid fried or oily foods. They are too heavy and will further aggravate kapha. Also avoid dairy for the time being, especially in the mornings when it is kapha time. You could do a juice fast for a couple days of pomegranate, berry or apple juices. Spices will help move the sticky kapha through and loosen it up, so drink ginger or cinnamon tea with honey. And! Most of all, exercise! Kapha is heavy, sticky, and static, so get it moving. Even if it’s a brisk walk, make sure you break some kind of sweat.
One of the most important things to flush out allergies is the neti pot! Do it. Just use it and you will thank me forever.
If you try these tips and they work, let me know. If they don’t work, let me know. If you want to know more, let me know!
We sprang (I’ve been told that’s not a word) ahead last night as our clocks went forward and…what does that mean!? Spring has almost sprung (I’ve been told that’s not a word either)!
Spring is a time of renewal where we usually do some spring cleaning in our homes and maybe a spring cleanse for our bodies. If you do those things already, right on! You are right on track with nature. Flowers bloom and trees get new buds – it’s natures way of waking up after a long sleepy winter and we tend to do the same.
Just as doshas govern a certain time of day, the energies also govern certain times of year (see chart above). Mid-winter thru Spring is Kapha time. This is the time we are prone to colds with heaviness in the chest, maybe a cough and the sniffles. In spring we also tend to get allergies with similar problems. This is because wetness and heaviness (melting snow, rain, humidity) is dominant in the atmosphere and those with kapha constitutions, will feel similar effects in their bodies.
To keep balanced during spring, we can follow some tips to stay healthy and enjoy the renewal of spring! It may help to review what balances kapha.
• Do a spring cleanse, or panchakarma if you have access (and time and money)
• Drink warm liquids like spicy teas
• Avoid cold foods and drinks, no ice cream until summer!
• Favor dry & light foods: warm veggies with spices, cinnamon toast, legumes, greens, spicy liquid soups, salsa
• Break a sweat! Exercise regularly to keep your inner fire stoked
• No yogurt
• Let go. spring clean your house, bedroom, closet, or work space – you need to lighten the load because kapha attaches to things
• Scents like eucalyptus, cloves, lavender or patchouli are kapha balancing. Either in essential oils, aromatherapy or incense.
Energy in our food either helps or hinders digestion. In fact, our state of mind or mood can create physical indigestion just as much as it creates mental indigestion. To help keep positve energy flowing, remember to eat with peace of mind and with thanks. When cooking, be happy! Play some nice music or sing, take pride in your work and enjoy the process. You will be feeding your family/friends more than just food…and they will be able to taste the positive difference. Maybe your grandma’s cooking tasted soooo good? That’s because she cooked with pure love :)
In Ayurveda having a balance of the six tastes in our diet creates harmony in the body and mind. Each taste has contains certain elements (space, air, fire, water, earth), so depending on what you are made of, there are tastes that will be more balancing for you than others.
For example, if you are a vata person (made of air and ether) in general sweet, salty and sour foods will be your best bet because they are grounding and warming (earth and water and fire elements). If a vata person tends to eat too many raw veggies, salads, or dry foods (air and ether elements) there are not enough grounding elements to the food, which will increase vata causing constipation and/or an unsettled mind.
See the chart for more detail on which foods increase or decrease each dosha. Remember, what ever dosha(s) we are naturally, we want to choose foods that decrease that dosha. Increasing could cause the dosha(s) to aggravate and overflow into a state of disease. So for a rule of thumb, choose the tastes that decrease. Also! If you are balanced, you will crave foods that balance you. If you are imbalanced, you will crave the foods that continue to imbalance you.
Your next question probably is, “How do I know which foods are which tastes?!” I will tell you. This is an overview – there are entire books written on this (a great one!), so for now I will stick to bite size chunks for easy digestion ;)
Sweet: carbohydrates/grains, rice, bread, sweet fruit, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, milk, oils, meats, nuts
Sour: citrus fruits, yogurt, alcohol, vinegar, cheese, tomato, raspberries, strawberries
Salty: all salts; sea, black, rock
Pungent: garlic, onion, ginger, wasabi, black pepper, cloves, cayenne pepper, horseradish, salsa, jalapenos
Bitter: coffee, rhubarb, tumeric, most green and yellow veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, leafy greens, cabbage
Astringent: fruit peels, unripe banana, leafy greens, blueberries, cranberries, beans, legumes, peas, green tea