Monthly Archives: March 2014

Brag Letter

brag_letter

You guys inspire me all the time with your awesome Ayurvedic self-healing success stories and ideas. Here’s one that I wanted to share with you. One gal was having trouble “seeing” what was ahead. She felt quite stuck and a bit sad in the present, so I encouraged her to make a vision board. Just a simple vision board of photos and words that resonated with her – and I told her to put it on a board so she could see it. She did that and said it was really life-changing! It highlighted what her favorites loves in life were so she could start to incorporate that into her world.

But then…she took it a step further.

Here is an excerpt from her email: By the way, I did make my little vision board and bought the “Write it Down” book. Game changing! It did change my outlook and made situations easier for me. I even wrote myself a brag letter (think those letters you get in Christmas cards from people listing all the wonderful things they did the past year:) I dated it January 1st 2015, hopefully it will be a self fulfilling prophecy of all the great things that have happened to me in 2014:)

How brill is that idea?! Another tool from one of your brilliant minds; write a note from your future self to say how great the journey has been and be sure to include plenty of details! I just thought that was so smashing. Has anyone else done anything like that? What were your results? Brag away!! XO!

Karnapoorna

karnapoorna

Karnapoorna! Or Karna Purana. And there might be a 3rd or 4th spelling or 5th spelling, but no matter, it’s important to know that it exists. Do you know what it is? For the seven of you raising your hands, awesome! For the rest of you, let me happily share.

Karnapoorna is one of the many therapies in Ayurveda that is done with oil. It means, putting oil in your ears! Now, not only is it a therapy, but it’s also used as swastha vritta (mmwaahahaa..I love throwing in sanskrit sometimes just to keep you on your toes), which means preventative medicine :) You can do karnapoorna as needed or once a week as part of your routine to stay healthy.Karnapoorna is best for vata imbalances including:
• Insomnia
Ringing in the ears
• Headaches
• TMJ
• Anxiety or worry
Jet-lag and ears popping/crackling in airplanes

Other benefits are:
• Improves hearing
• Loosens ear wax (who doesn’t want that?!)
• Strengthens the bones in the ear
• Prevents neck stiffness

Intrigued yet? Give it a try. It might tickle at first, but stick with it for about 30 seconds, then you should feel calm and happy. ***Do not do karnapoorna after a shower or swimming. Oil and water do not mix and it could do bad things. Mmkay?!***

Here’s what to do:
Warm some sesame oil or ghee and put in shallow bowl
Use a cotton ball to soak up the oil
Lay on one side and squeeze the oil out of the cotton ball into your ear (it will tickle)
Massage your ear lobe and bones gently for a couple minutes
Lay for 20 minutes (even 10 minutes does some good), bonus points if you so hum
Put a towel over your ear, tilt your head so the oil drizzles out
Repeat other side
Aaaannnnd, goodnight ;) You will probably want to sleep.

Spring in your step

Friday afternoons are meant for inhaling deeply, giving gratitude for a productive and great work week, and jamming to some good tunes while looking forward to the weekend. Get a spring in your step with my groovy Ayurvedic spring playlist (also found in the kapha seasonal bloom!). A bonus? In Ayurveda, music is considered a therapy. Break out into therapy song and dance! GROOVIN!

spring_in_your_step

Oil-Pulling, You Ask?

Oil-Pulling

Oil-pulling is getting all kinds of attention. This particular post has been all over facebook and several folks ping’ed me to find out what the dealio is on the pullage of oilage. Now, this gal has a lovely blog but she’s not a trusted Ayurvedic source so it can be hard to know what to believe.

Ok, I’ll make it simple and trusted.

There are two daily practices in Ayurveda to help nourish and purify the mouth, called gandusa (filling the mouth with oil and holding it) and kavalagraha (swishing oil slowly between the teeth and gargling = oil-pulling). The ancient texts call for sesame oil, but you can also use ghee or coconut oil for high pitta types. I searched online and ALL I see is to use coconut oil (from non-Ayurvedic sites)…and that worries me because it might not be the best for everyone. And if everyone tries it and it doesn’t work, they are going to blame our lovely Ayurveda, when it was just incorrect instructions.

Since I was concerned about wrong messaging and also certain that sesame is the oil of choice (I like to worry and be right=vata-pitta), I emailed my dear trusted teacher to be sure. My dear trusted teacher (I can’t share his name cause last time ya’ll started emailing him. Nice going.) said this: The best oil or ghee treatment is arimedas. It is a formula specific for this. You cannot get it in the States :( Sesame: very rich and heating…good for vata and kapha and okay for pitta except high pitta imbalance then use coconut which is also good but may not be that good for vata except in mid-summer. You can also use olive or sunflower for most people. And yes, sesame is traditionally the oil of choice unless you can get “arimedas” — Monica’s Teacher Ji

Mwaahahaha, I was mostly, kinda right. So, please: Vatas use sesame oil. Kapha use sesame oil too. Pittas can also use sesame unless their pitta is very high, then they should use coconut oil or ghee.

Got that? Easy? Ok good, carrying on.

How do you oil-pull as a daily practice?

• Wake up
• Scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper seven times to get off any night crud, check for ama. If there is ama, do not put oil in your mouth. Head straight for warm water and ginger tea. Drink up and do not eat until your tongue turns pink, try again tomorrow.
• Brush teeth
• 1 Tblsp sesame oil in your mouth.
• Slowly swish between the teeth 10 minutes and do not swallow any of it. Note: It’s not vigorous mouthwash swishing. Think of it like sucking and spitting between your teeth.
• When done spit in sandwich baggie or toilet
• You might use your finger as a fingerbrush to get any remaining out, wash hands well afterwards
• Quick rinse/one swish with water

Benefits include:

• Really white teeth
• Strong, healthy gums and teeth
• Strengthens bones of the face and jaw (may help TMJ)
• Better breath
• Prevents dryness of the mouth and lips
• Purification of the mouth, if sesame is used
• Gives richness to the voice
• May help to relieve sinus pressure/aches
• May help relieve neck tension and headaches (cause it’s all related: tight face, tight neck, tight head. see?)

All this said, there are many, specific herbal mixes practitioners cook up with the different oils and use it as medicine! But that’s unique to each person and each condition just like everything else in Ayurveda. One size does not fit all. At all, at all. Ok? There is lots of magic in Ayurveda, but there are no blanket statements. And not really magic either, it’s really logical actually. But it’s so logical that it smacks you in the face with magic. I digress…

Other reliable resources

1) If you are the sciencey type and curious about text-book info about oil-pulling, check out this post from Todd Caldecott. He just posted this so he’s probably trying to clear up misconceptions too.
2) Dr. John Douillard has a great video and article about it.
3) The most trusted and ancient text of Ayurveda, Charaka Samhita, says (from Dr. Douillard’s article): Keeping of oil gargle provides strength in jaws and voice, development of the face, maximum taste and relish of food. One does not suffer from dryness of throat, lip cracking and teeth become firmly rooted. The teeth do not ache or become sensitive and can chew the hardest food items.

See? Traditional oil-pulling does not claim to do anything crazy. It’s just a part of Ayurveda’s daily health practice for prevention – which is AWEsome! **waving pom-pons for prevention** But maybe not newsworthy. Or maybe that is newsworthy?* I don’t really know. I will say that your teeth get SUPER white. And heck, if you are going to either oil-pull or buy whitening strips, save your dough and your poor sensitive teef and go with the sesame pull! :)

HOHkay. Who has all kinds of questions? What do you want to know? Btw, I’m totally not answering any questions about cancer or chronic illnesses, mmmkay? LOVE YOU and your swishy teef.

*If you have a suggestion that would be newsworthy, do let me know and I’ll write about it. I want Ayurveda to be in the news! Ok thanks.

Seasonal Bloom: Kapha

kapha_2013_iconHAPPY 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!*

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE KAPHA SEASONAL BLOOM HERE

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!

No Excuses

 

no_excuses

In Ayurveda, 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!