Monthly Archives: August 2011

Free Time

Bit of Widsom {35}

Health isn’t something you “achieve.” Rather, health needs to be maintained daily, forever! So, don’t be in a race to achieve health (fad diets, short gym memberships) because there is no finish line. :) xo!

Hidden Doshas

“What are the best ways to balance? Can you appear to be more kapha or vata if you are out of balance? I am much more pitta naturally and very much out of balance.”

Oh boy oh boy. I think this is the question I get most frequently, the question of the “hidden dosha(s).” Miss Reader posed this question beautifully. As she’s been learning more about herself, she realizes that naturally, she’s mostly pitta. However, the personality and physical traits that stand out to her currently, are more like a kapha and vata combination. I like this question for two reasons.

Reason numero UNO: This reader is beginning to know herself, which is absolutely KEY to healing in Ayurveda. She has been confused about what her prakruti or natural balance of her doshas really is (sound familiar?). It seems now after some learning, self discovery and time, she is beginning to find out what her natural balance is and therefore what she needs to do to stay healthy! Yay for discovery!

Reason numero DOS: She brings up the point of  doshas that are shining bright, doing a little dance for everyone to see on the surface, but at the same time are masking our natural state. Ah HAH! It’s like removing a costume! Realizing that what is on the surface, may not be our authentic selves is also KEY to healing in Ayurveda. It’s also the part where everyone gets confused and sends me sweet little notes of dosha confusion :)

This is getting juicy. OKAY! So, there are three doshas. Your prakruti (born-in balance) will be one or two of those doshas (having all three is extremely rare so I’m not going to go there). But then life happens. Maybe we acquire bad eating habits or move to a different climate or have emotional trauma or we too much exercise that is not good for our dosha or we have a really stressful career. And so on! All these factors start to form the costume…they begin to change our natural balance and turn us into someone we might not recognize over time. This is when we start to feel, not like ourselves and might have some physical indications that we are off. It happens slowly, so unless we have really managed our health closely (or already know Ayurveda) and accurately according to who we are as an individual, we most likely have picked up some of these “life happenings” and might not recognize it until we’re pretty far off.

Here is an example of how a pitta person might be masked as a kapha.
Mr. Pitta has a stressful career which causes his pitta to increase, but to manage his stress he skips exercise (kapha increasing) because he has taken on too much responsibility and he’s exhausted. Mr. Pitta reaches for comforting foods to manage his stress (kapha increasing). Deep down he knows this has nothing to do with his hunger or stomach, but it’s for a different reason, to calm him. Then because he is overfull, he can’t get up in the morning and sleeps too late (kapha increasing) therefore not following the daily routine, so he has low energy for the day (kapha symptom and kapha increasing). He will reach for caffeinated beverages to get through the day, which gives false energy, causing him to crash and then need another caffeinated beverage in the afternoon. The result is, the naturally pitta person gains weight, has low agni (metabolism), carries too much stress, gets sick often (clogged channels and low quality ojas) and has no energy. Thus resulting in a kapha imbalance. This specific scenario I see tooooo frequently in our American society!!!

Finally answering the question…so what do you balance?! You always balance the dosha(s) that is out of balance, first. SO! If Mr. Pitta has a kapha increase, we manage kapha. We keep pitta in mind of course, but we work on reducing kapha to get Mr. Pitta back to his natural state. From there, he can live a pitta balancing lifestyle. It’s a little more complex than that because we have to keep in mind all the qualities of the doshas, but in a nutshell, that’s what Ayurveda does. This is one example, but this can happen with all doshas when we’re imbalanced. Kaphas can seem like vatas, vatas can seem like pittas, pittas can seem like kaphas, and as many other combinations as you can think of. Did I confuse you more? I hope not. When you break it down it’s easy.

Get to know yourself. Take the dosha test and remember to take is according to who YOU are NATURALLY, not necessarily today. Take your time and let your discoveries unravel. In all honesty, it’s not as simple as a dosha test. You know yourself better than anyone. Ask yourself questions, learn about the doshas and begin to absorb this wonderful knowledge to make it work for you! :) Namasté!

Summer Colds

Hey! Summer is hot so why do we get colds (hehe)? There are a few reasons why we get colds in the summer.

Reason 1: Ritusandhi.

During the start of summer, the accumulation of kapha from spring starts to “melt.” You see, in the spring (kapha season) kapha builds and builds. Then once summer starts, pitta comes in and because of internal and external heat, it begins to loosen and shed the built up kapha. We might get kapha-like symptoms (runny nose, congestion, allergies, mucus cough) during summer, which makes us go, “Hey Monica B? How come I have a cold in the summer!?” If we don’t transition (ritusandhi) from one season to the next properly, that could be one reason. So treat your summer cold as you would any other kapha cold (since the imbalance is kapha, we treat kapha) like drinking warm liquids, having spicy liquid soups, and staying away from cold, goopy things like yogurt.

Reason 2: Quick changes in temperature.

Raise your hands if you live in a place where summer can be 95+ degrees with high humidity? Okay. Now keep your hands up if you have your air conditioning at 75 degrees or less in your house? Okay. Now keep your hands up if you have air conditioning on in your car, at the grocery store, and at restaurants where the AC is often at 70 degrees or lower (and causing you to freeze and put on a sweater?). Ah HAH!! That’s a lot of you! And that might be why you’re getting a summer cold. The fluctuations in extreme temperatures and humidity (air conditioning is dry) causes the body to become confused. It doesn’t know what the heck, which season it is because our bodies can’t get into a groove! Flip flop, flip flop. Hot cold, hot cold. While the body is trying to adjust to one or the other, we get sick. We are better off to keep the air conditioning much warmer or open the windows to even out the inside and outside temperatures.

Reason 3. Low immunity.

Several things affect our immunity including, lack of sleep, improper diet, improper exercise, stress, to name a few. Your diet should suit your dosha and the season. Follow the daily routine to a tee to ensure you are flowing in the right direction along side nature. Make sure that your exercise is appropriate for your dosha. And! Take time to destress completely each day. Super important. Our bodies need a break! Overload is a surefire way to break down our immunity and quickly.

Of course, each situation will differ per the individual and per their habits over time. That’s why we heart Ayurveda! Because it sees the individual person and circumstances! So these are not the end-all be-all reasons behind why we get summer colds, but if you work on these three things you will have a stellar chance at dodging a cold during the next change in seasons :) xoxo!

What’s YOUR job?

By now I think ya’ll know that I had a baby 5 weeks ago. And, you know what I thought? I thought that once I had my wee baby girl, that I would be able to focus more on HeyMonicaB and writing cool posts and creating fabulous new radio shows (even if they are podcasts rather than live radio) for you. And I thought I would have more spare time, afterall I’m at home now and not at the 40-hour a week grind. And babies sleep! Sounds so simple! Yes indeedy, I set my sights on creating so many more resources and fun things for my readers and listeners during my maternity leave. And soon everyone would take small bits and put them into practice…and then slowly the world would heal. And the time was…well, now. That was my vision before I had my daughter.

And now that she’s here…yeah RIGHT!!! And now I think to myself, “Bloom, what were you thinking!?”

Hoooo doggies, this baby needs so many things! And even when she doesn’t need anything, she likes to sleep…on me. (I finally got a moby wrap, which, if you are a new mom and don’t have one, I highly recommend it! A mother of three recommended it to me and I heeded her advice. It’s a lifesaver!) And with all these ideal plans in my head, I got a little down about it. I said to my husband that I felt useless because I wasn’t “doing anything” during the day. And he said, “You are anything BUT useless! You are raising a little life, what could be more useful?” Shoot! DANG! *slap* Apparently I was missing it. Here I am, as LIFE-FULL as life can be, and it was happening right now! And I was worried about not doing enough blog posts?! Are you flippin kidding me?!

Yep, I’m raising a life and what could be more Ayurvedic than that? Ayurveda, the science or knowledge of life, as it’s defined. Dude, I am a lifelong student and promoter and I was missing it! Since then, I’ve had less anxiety about my new job as a mom because I realize it’s what I’m supposed to be doing and this too is, lifelong.

So let me ask, what’s your job right now? It might not be what you think it is. Is it really the day job you have that pays you dough? Or do you have another job that you should be focusing on for the betterment of your LIFE. Maybe your job means leaving your day job on time to get to yoga class. Maybe your job means getting home at a decent hour to make a nice meal for the family. Maybe your job is to help a sick family member. Maybe your job is to support your girlfriend who is going through hard times. Maybe it’s putting YOUR health, fitness, nutrition FIRST for once!!

I think sometimes the job that is most important is sort of hidden. In our U.S. society, we tend to think of our day job as the most important job we have. And many of us choose it above all other things, including going for an evening walk, shopping for fresh food, and spending an evening with people we love. And, I think we need to start thinking differently. There is nothing wrong with a career nor is there anything wrong with striving to do our best. But, when the result is a stressed out mind and body, that is not balance.

So, what is your job right now? I challenge you to look deeper and find what that job is – the LIFE-filling job. Go ahead, find it. And share with us!! In the meantime, I’m not going to stress about blog posts or radio shows. I’m just going to feed my daughter, carry her around in the moby, change her diapers, try to ease her little vata gas bubbles  (I ordered gripe water…I hope it works!), give her almond oil massages, and watch her sleep. This is time I’ll never get back and this is LIFE. Yeah!! Lovin it!! xoxo