Monthly Archives: January 2013

How I Got Better.

Welcome to part 2! If you missed part 1, check it out.

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!

Why I Got Sick.

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. :)

Dissin’ Discipline

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!!

Well.

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.