Category Archives: Doshas

Recipe for Life!

We create our recipe for life everyday! A little of this, a little of that and it shapes our day. What are you currently filling your day with? What does your recipe look like? The key is to fill your days and life with the things that make you feel BEST and do it often. Enjoy this little article on a Recipe For Life. xo!

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If you make a big pot of tomato sauce from scratch, do you taste test it to make sure it’s good? Sure. And if it’s not good, you adjust right? Add a little more salt, pepper or garlic. Maybe a smidge of sugar or extra basil. Perhaps it needs oregano! And you putz around adding things and testing until you have your pot o’sauce exactly how you like it! You might write it down as a recipe and use it for future.

For those pittas who will write to me because they can’t stand tomatoes —-> What about a guacamole? Maybe a little more lime or salt is needed to make it taste just how you like it. And tomato-free, of course!

My point is before you make a large batch of anything, you will test it. If you absolutely love it and look forward to having it again, you might even craft a little recipe.

The SAME THING relates to our life! You’ve heard of recipes for happiness, so how about a recipe for life! Your recipe for life, that is, because everybody is different ya know. In Ayurveda, we try things — a dash of this, a dabble of that, but the base (like the tomatoes or avocados) should stay the same, which is the daily routine and balancing our dosha(s). Added “ingredients” are various ways to exercise, all kinds of food choices, and ways to manage our stress. When we put together ingredients that work for us, we feel it! So maybe we add our favorite exercise, our go-to meals and daily meditation to our life’s recipe. We know that when we do those things, we will feel awesome.

Conversely we might test some things out that might not work for our happy life recipe. Like, “Do red peppers really give me heartburn? Lemme try and see…Yes, yes they do give me heartburn.” But with every miss, there is a learning behind it.

So don’t be afraid to test things out as you craft your recipe. This is life-long learning! Try some things and if they suit you, write it down so you remember! My book In Your Elements is FULL of stuff you can refer back to. It helps you craft your life and build your recipe for healing and happiness.

Do any of you have a “go-to” life recipe that you use? I’ll share mine – here it is: morning walk/jog before sunrise, meditation on the bus, light yoga in the evening, write gratitude list before bed. If I miss any of those things daily, I feel a bit off. If I miss those things for a week, I feel very off. If I miss those things for a month (it has happened), I feel completely out of my skin, I am easily irritable, I cry a lot and feel overall saddness. The beauty is, I know exactly how to get out of it — the recipe!

Now YOUR TURN! Tell us some stories about what’s in YOUR recipe of life! You go! I’ll hang out while you do compile your list… xoxo!

A warm welcome to In Your Elements

IN YOUR ELEMENTS is here!

IN YOUR ELEMENTS IS HERE! 

 

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EEEYAAAH!!!!! THE BOOK IS DONE!

Who’s going to hold hands and jump up and down with me?! Who’s coming over to my house? Where are you people when I NEED you!? ;) You guys, after 1 1/2 years, my Ayurvedic book is COMPLETE! READY FOR THE WORLD! *high kick* *clap hands* *shake booty*

BUY IT HERE.

In Your Elements: A Blooming Ayurvedic Guide to Creating Your Best Life is a vibrant mix of Ayurvedic wisdom, humor and practicality all rolled into one book. In Your Elements was created for those of us who believe in the power of the individual and that true health stems from within.

My lovely book walks you through fundamental Ayurvedic foundations and includes over 70 questions, exercises and oodles of tips to help you along the journey. The whole book is a customized look at your life including, your daily routine, dosha quiz, menus, recipes, home therapies, exercise recommendations and more! As a bonus, Yoga teachers and Ayurvedic practitioners will LOVE this book for their classes and clients, respectively.

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So Monica B, what’s next?
We are going to have a proper launch party webinar in October with yours truly as the host. I’ll do a little chat, we will have book give-aways, I’ll answer any questions and we will have a PAR-TAY together online. That is coming SOON so keep your peepers out and be ready to “woohoo!” Oh! And if you have not signed up for my newsletter yet, definitely do that.

For now, go buy the book! Love it up. Share with friends. There will be SO MUCH MORE very soon! XOXOX! Monica B

 

Ayurvedic Shopping

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Ayurveda touches every part of our lives, right? So it would make sense that Ayurveda even touches on shopping! Is that the best news you’ve heard all day? Ayurvedic shopping! Permission to shop. Healthy, personalized shopping?! Yep, you betcha.

As you are learning more about the doshas, it’s super fun to watch them in action. People-watching is one of the most fascinating things in life, so toss in some Ayurvedic knowledge and you’ve got entertainment for years.

You remember our doshas right? Vata, pitta, and kapha are the three doshas that govern our personalities, physical builds, emotional tendencies, and the nature around us. Let’s take a peek into the shopping world of the doshas.

How they spend

Vata shopping: Vatas will spend money as fast as they make it. Like the windy beings they are—*whoosh*—cash goes flying out of their fingers as soon as they walk out the door. Vatas are most prone to impulse buys, which may result in buyers remorse, because they didn’t think through their purchases first. Or, maybe they just changed their mind. They will promptly return the item to get the cash back, and then buy something else just as quick. A vata wardrobe has a lot of variety so they can look like a different person any time they wish. Vatas have the hardest time deciding what to wear in the morning and will try on several outfits (often making a mess) before they settle and head out the door in the nick of time, or even a teensy-bit late.

Pitta shopping: Pittas don’t love to shop. They only shop out of necessity and they usually know what they want to buy ahead of time. So, a pitta person will show up at the store, have someone help them find what they need (if they don’t call ahead and put it on hold first), pick it out, and go home. They do not lurk, browse, or window-shop. Nada. They just want to get what they need and move on with their day. Pitta wardrobes tend to be the least creative and they might wear the same thing often. They like to rely on simplicity in their wardrobes so they don’t have to have to think about it too much—their time is better spent on other things. Plus, reliable clothes keeps them punctual—a pitta’s favorite thing.

Kapha shopping: Kaphas love to shop. They love to saunter, browse, touch, linger, and enjoy. They also really like stuff (kaphas are the sticky dosha, and like to collect things). Kaphas are inspired by the creativity and loveliness of items in stores–it brings them lightness and happiness. Once a kapha finds something they love, they will buy the same thing in navy, khaki, red, and black. Even if multiple colors are not available, they might buy an extra piece just in case. They have elegant tastes and will spend on high-quality items. Just the same, if there’s a sale, it’s a kapha-extravaganza and they will buy all the multiples of things at the sale to keep them in a closet (for a rainy day that never comes) or give them away as gifts.

Now, you might be curious to know what kinds of clothes these specific doshas will buy? Just as different as their spending and shopping habits, their clothes will be different, too.

What to buy

Vata: Vatas are almost always cold, so they like anything fuzzy, puffy, fleecy, sweatery, hooded, and thumb-holed (it keeps their little wrists covered). Vata’s clothes will likely have a baggy fit, which makes them look bigger than they are (for them that’s good because vatas tend to be small-framed) and more importantly, allows for movement, so they can continue to wiggle around in true vata fashion. Vatas like to wear layers because they tend to get cold and change their mind. Colors that are best for vatas include warming colors that absorb heat like black, charcoal gray, chocolate brown, reds, oranges, purples, corals, and hot pink. These colors also compliment their olive skin and are “autumn” colors, which is also vata season.

Pittas: Pittas will look for clothes that compliment their muscular build, are well made, a good fit, and of good value. Because pittas run hot and sweat easily, they do best in soft, breathable, natural fabrics with a proper fit. In the heat, pittas will opt for loose, flowing clothes. However if clothes are too loose, pittas will feel “sloppy,” and if clothes are too tight, pittas will get hot and crabby. Colors that are best for pittas are cool spectrum colors found in nature like teal, sky blue, cobalt, pale blue, emerald green, sea foam green, white, and yellows. These colors also compliment their naturally pink skin and are “summery” colors, which is pitta season.

Kaphas: Kaphas always look put together. They accessorize with jewelry, shoes, purses, and head ensembles (as if their awesome looking hair isn’t enough). Kaphas will wear clothes that usually hug the lower body and are blousy on top. This shows off their rockin’ curves and gives their upper body room to breathe (for their big chests—to hold their big hearts). If anything around the chest or stomach is too tight, they will not feel good. Kaphas feel best in dark and warm colors but the fabrics should be lightweight, so they don’t weigh down kapha. Colors that are best are oranges, purples, reds, pinks, blues, and greens. Any colors that evoke vibrancy are great for kapha, since these colors are “spring” colors, which is also kapha season.

Lotus Turkey

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Gobble Gobble! Lotus Turkey is here to remind you how to have a simply divine Ayurvedic Thanksgiving!

1. Morning exercise. Start the day with a little sweat to release toxins and stoke agni.

2. Write gratitude list. Super important! Write a list of 10 things you are grateful for. Then write 10 more.

3. Put on good music. Cause, yes!

4. Prepare a dish to share. Contribute to the feast, enjoy making it and put love in the food!

5. Have a glass of wine. Wine stokes agni and prepares for digestion. Yes in Ayurveda wine is actually used as medicine in some cases!

6. Bless the turkey. With sincerity say a little blessing (even if it’s to yourself), “Thank you turkey, for giving your life to me so that I can be nourished.”

7. Have potatoes with ghee. Potatoes (sweet ones are best!) are grounding ghee is awesomely nourishing.

8. Don’t over-stuff yourself. You know you’ll feel like crap so don’t do it. Eat to 1/3 capacity and leave room for the food and liquid to mix.

9. Help clean up. Don’t let the hostess do it by herself. Lend a hand to give back for all he/she has done for you.

10. Take a post-meal walk. Grab the crew and go for a leisurely walk around the block for fresh air.

11. Snuggle and cuddle. That’s what the end of Thanksgiving is all about. Cuddle with those you love (even if it’s your animals) and tell them why you love them so much.

*SMOOCH* Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Oil Massage for Busy People

 

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Oil Massage for Busy People?! Yessssss. In Ayurveda we love the benefits of a good daily oil massage. Great. Now, raise your hands if you are thinking, “Yeah awesome for the people who who have time for luxury but pssshhht, there’s no WAY I can do that daily! I’m so busy — I can’t even remember to bring my lunch much less do a massage before work. Monica B, you are crazycakes with this suggestion!” Um. Perfect! That’s why we are talking about oil massage, or abyhanga, for busy people! Because that’s you—and that’s me! In my busy world with my job-job and hideous 3 hour commute, I still do it and I’ll tell you how.

YOU’LL NEED

Sesame oil (for vata)
Coconut or Almond oil (for pitta)
Sunflower oil (for kapha)
{Psssst…if not from Banyan, you can get these oils from any grocery store in the oil section! Get the organic cold/expeller pressed kind.}
1 small plastic squeezy bottle. Like a travel size shampoo bottle or a mini ketchup bottle with a tiny cap
1 towel you don’t care about

HERE WE GO

1. Put your oil in the squeezy bottle
2. Keep the oil in the bathroom near your shower
3. Stand on the towel you don’t care about.
4. Apply the oil from toe to head. We want absorption, not an oil slick, but also no tugging on the skin. Should take 3-5 minutes. Start with your feet and legs. Use long strokes on the bones with some pressure up toward the heart, then go back down with less pressure, then back UP toward the heart. Clockwise circles around the joints. Clockwise circles around the belly and belly button with some pressure. Don’t forget your booty. Get your back the best you can, upward toward the shoulders. Long strokes on arms up and toward the heart/shoulders. Get hands starting from the base and Clockwise again around joints. Upwards on the neck. And don’t forget your face.
5. Get in a nice warm (not scalding*) shower.
Wash your hair (optional), pits, bits, and feet. Don’t scrub anything!

6. Get out and DAB yourself off. The oil will be absorbed into your skin, leaving it super soft!
7. Finish getting ready with your busy self :)

Your bod will feel really smooth, warm, and you’ll be calm in the mind! It will set the tone for your whole day, I promise! Even if you are super busy, you will really benefit from this simple practice as it tells our entire being that we CARE enough to nourish it, daily. Try it for a week and I bet you’ll LOVE it! Let me know how it goes. XOXO!

*Scalding water is very drying to the skin.

If you want MORE about Ayurveda for a busy life, I wrote an awesome book! Check it out In Your Elements: A Blooming Ayurvedic Guide to Creating Your Best Life.

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Benefits of Massage (Abhyanga)

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to injury or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.” Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89

It’s winter, vata time. Vata time is windy, cold, light and dry. Brr. Don’t forget your oil massages in the morning! Before your shower, warm some sesame oil and give yourself a head-to-toe massage for about 15 minutes. Daily in winter time is ideal, but at least do it once a week.

Benefits of applying warm oil to the whole body
• Brings strength, tone, and suppleness to the body and all tissues
• Makes our skin more elastic so we look younger (anti-aging!)
• Strengthens and improves vision
• Gives the body nourishment inside and out
• Increases longevity
• Helps us have sound sleep!
• Strengthens our ojas
• Tones our tissues, bringing vigor and vitality to the body
• Improves circulation to extremities and internal organs
• Calms vata and pitta while helping kapha flow

Benefits of applying oil to the scalp
• Helps hear become soft and glossy, sometimes thickens it
• Works directly on the sense organs to soothe and stimulate
• Lessens (even removes!) facial wrinkles

I mean, why would you not do it? ;)

What are doshas, exactly?

Hello Lovelies!

For those of you NEW to Ayurveda this might help answer your question, “What are doshas, exactly?” :)

For more, grab a copy of the dosha snapshots!

Ayurveda Life Series

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To those of you who have found your way here through prAna or Banyan Botanicals, WELCOME! Namasté! *high kick!* And for those oldie moldies who have been reading for years, Heyo! Glad to see your shining face! *smooch!*

You guys I’m kinda beside myself. A couple months ago, totally out of the blue, I was invited to be a contributing author as part of a project prAna and Banyan Botanicals were working on together. UmlemmethinkYES! It’s been a hard secret to hold in! So now that I can flap my gums (pun intented) about it, let me tell you what’s going on. Banyan and prAna partnered to create a blog series called “Ayurveda Life” where they will be sharing loads of articles with their audience on Ayurveda. I believe it will be for a full year and they’ve selected a handful of fresh, new articles I wrote to share as content. I am humbled to the core to be part of this elite group.

Please enjoy the first article I wrote for the “Ayurveda Life” series on the doshas. You’ll recognize the art :)

I am excited for 18 million reasons, but the biggest reason is between prAna and Banyan and myself, we should be able to reach MANY more people. SHINE that light on Ayurveda!!! It brings tears to my eyes that this came out of the blue—I never could have planned it. I could not have dreamed up something so perfect. Here are two of my most favorite companies with such large hearts and pure intent to make it a better world. And I get to rally with them!? I could not be more lucky. Thank you prAna and Banyan–Squishy warm hugs and tons o’love!

I will share more articles as they post. Meantime, send me good book-writing vibes (115 pages now!). Back to it!

Ayurvedic Summer Guide

Please enjoy my ayurvedic summer guide or as I like to call it, Pitta Seasonal Bloom! :) Wondering how to stay balanced for summer? An oldie but GOODIE…a super-mega charged GOODIE, in fact! :) It’s not new. But it’s a GREAT refresher for you. And a good introduction to Ayurveda for your friends and family. Especially the ones who have no idea what that Aaaayyyyurrr stuff you talk about really is :) Share among the people! Let’s keep improving how people LIVE! Thanks and love you! xo! (And yes, still working on the book)

Click on le photo to download this lovely little ayurvedic summer guide, Pitta Seasonal Bloom.

Ayurvedic summer guide

 

 

Favorite Summer Foods

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Something totally mind-blowing occurred on accident (don’t you love it when that happens?!). On facebook yesterday I asked, “What is your favorite in-season summer food? The one that shouts, ‘YAY! Summer!’ when you eat it?” I got a bunch of great responses and then had a teeny epiphany.

Examples of what you said were your very favorites: Mangoes, watermelon, cucumbers, all sorts of home-grown tomatoes (<–lots of people said that one!), cantaloupe, peaches, fresh basil (w/fresh mozzarella), corn on the cob, cherries, berries, asparagus, nectarines and ice cream!

**Monica’s MIND BLOWN here**

Um. Kay. Notice anything about these foods? Like, what they have in common?

ALL these foods are fruits and vegetables!! Almost ALL these foods are pitta-balancing! It’s pitta season and isn’t it amazing (in the true sense of the word) that nature perfectly makes available the VERY best foods for the season! On top of it, we actually CRAVE and APPRECIATE those foods! **is your MIND BLOWN yet?** Perfect by design, these foods are all wonderfully light and cooling, which keeps our pitta levels down (in all of us) and balanced so we don’t overheat and get cranky.

One food that is not pitta-balancing are tomatoes. But vatas and kaphas can have them, and love them! Pittas can have tomatoes in small amounts, but they should be small and sweet like cherry tomatoes. Overall, tomatoes are heating and can be a bit too acidic for pittas and in the hot weather (like, don’t inflame your eye like my ma did once). Tis why it’s good to balance hottie tomatoes with cooling cilantro (like in fresh mild salsa) or cooling fresh mozarella (like a caprese salad). See how nice they go together?

I also couldn’t help but notice what didn’t make the list: bread, rice, mac n’cheese, grilled cheese, meats, potatoes, root vegetables, pumpkin, chili, stews, pasta. Those foods make us feel heavy and hot this time of year and are therefore more balancing in the winter to keep us grounded and warm :)

Tip: The more red in color the tomato is, the more of the fire element it has in it. So if you are a pitta, you might want to pick the cute yellow or orange ones for a sweeter taste.

For those of you who weren’t on the facebook party, you’re not left out! What are YOUR favorite summer foods?? Tell us! It would be quite a most awesome party if we all showed up with our fruits and veggies together! Under a sun umbrella of course. And with good music. And the vatas would dance. Party on! XOXO!

A Kapha Goes to Costco

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A Kapha Goes to Costco, an Ayurvedic Story.

My kapha husband wanted to disappear last night for an evening of carousing, by himself. Do you know where he went? Costco. Yes, Costco because there are BIG things in multiples there and in BIG discounts (kaphas love shopping, sales, and multiples). Kaphas are all about the accumulation and care-taking for everyone around them (cause they are so sweet). In a nutshell, Costco is kapha’s heaven and vatas want to run screaming.

So check it out. My jolly kapha husband comes home with a 5lb bag of kettle corn. Cause we need that. Popcorn is the snack of choice for kaphas and toss in some sugar (a kapha vice), they are in total bliss. Now we have 5 fluffy pounds of…bliss for the husband. He also got a 6-pack of electric toothbrush heads because we need 6 of them for 2 of us. Yes, yes we do. Six. He also got a 4-pack of sunscreen for just $9 (“At Target, these are $17 for only 2!”). And a big box o’ tupperware.

We live in a 900 sq ft apartment without many closets. Costco was not made for us. BUT my kapha husband was made for me, so I’ll just take this with humor and grace. Don’t think my pitta didn’t try to control the situation. Before his journey, I asked if he could take my car and get me gas (of course he’ll do it, he’s a kapha) in my Mini Cooper. BOOYAH! Mini Cooper + Kapha + Costco = Can’t buy all THAT much stuff ;) Mwwaaahahahaaaa (evil, yet loving laugh).

The end.

Ayurvedic Cleanse

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Heyo! I’ve been getting a string of questions from several of you around a common theme: An Ayurvedic Cleanse.

Let me ask, do you know why a cleanse is important? {have a think}

It’s important because we use our bodies every single day and without taking time to clean it and nourish it, it will start to break down in places. It’s kind of like a car. If we don’t give our cars oil changes, tune-ups, and repair small problems as they come up, the damages later would be very costly (and much worse). Same with our bods! We breathe things, see things, smell things, our skin absorbs things, we eat things, we get emotionally affected by things…and over time all those “things” stick on us and clog our bods and minds. As a daily habit, sleeping is good to restore the body and so is eating the right foods. But even with those two things in place, we still need to take time to cleanse at least once a year and/or as the seasons change because our body is in constant use!

The biggest reason for cleansing is to get rid of any ama that has built up over time AND to rebuild our agni (digestive fire) to a powerful state. Remember, mal-functiong agni is reponsible for 90% of all disease! That’s a mighty statement and GOSH is it true! Ama is – sticky, thick, white goo – a blockage which hinders our bodies, minds, and emotional well being. It’s basically a collection of old food-stuffs (old emotional-stuffs too!). We want to make sure our energy is running smooth and clear from head to toe so we can be our very best and brightest selves.

Time to clean it out. Alright, let’s do this. Below are instructions for a light kitchari cleanse and then a deeper kitchari cleanse with herbs, detox tea, and warm oils for massage.

Cleanse 1) A kitchari cleanse. This simple kitchari cleanse can be done any time you need it! Simply commit to 3-7 days of eating a monodiet of kitchari. How do you know if you “need” it? Are you feeling any ickiness in your mind, body, guts, joints, mood, etc.,? Eat some kichari for a few days and you should start to feel better. Any anger, irritability, anxiety, worry, sadness, should start to lighten and dissipate. Any feelings of heaviness, bloating, indigestion, or constipation will go away. Any cloudiness of mind, confusion, uncertainty, or indecisiveness will start to gain clarity. Hooray!

How to do it?
• Make a nice batch of kitchari <—recipe! If you want one-stop shopping, you can buy the Ayurvedic Cleanse Kit from Banyan Botanicals
• Sip ginger tea in the morning. If you are hungry, have some kichari. If not, sip ginger tea and/or hot water (can add lemon) until you feel hungry.
• Have kitchari for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
• If your tongue is pink, add ghee to the top (vatas and pittas can have a nice amount of ghee, kaphas have less). If your tongue is not pink (yet, it will be soon), wait to add extra ghee until your tongue is pink.
• You can sip herbal (caffeine free) teas during the day and have as much water as you like
• If you are very hungry between meals, have a piece of fruit (banana, peeled apple or pear, berries) and some tea
• Be sure to fill up during meals and have as much kitchari as you like.
• Do this for 3-7 days. You can journal how you feel along the way!

After the cleanse (just as important as the cleanse itself!)
It is important to slowly rebuild agni to be good and strong. So don’t say, “Yay! My cleanse is over! I’m going out for steak and wine and chocolate cake!” No no no, don’t do that ;) If you eat normally right after the cleanse, agni won’t be strong enough and you will start building up ama right away. I suggest to have liquid soup with veggies the next day. Next day have soup with rice or noodles. Next day have rice and veggies. Next day you can start eating normally. See that? A little step-by-step process to eating normal again. HINT: Do this with ANY cleanse, even if it’s not this one. It’s really important!!

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Cleanse 2) The deeper cleanse is not quite panchakarma (more on that soon, too much for this post), but it’s about as good as you can get by doing it from home. For this one the Deluxe Ayurvedic Cleanse Kit has everything you need. You can even download their little booklet on Ayurvedic Cleansing too. Or, you can compile your own items for the cleanse. This cleanse includes detox tea, herbs, and daily head to toe self massage with sesame oil.
• Follow the same instructions as above (they also have instructions) but you’ll be including massage, herbs, and the tea

When you are doing cleanses (even just a short one for 3 days), remember to RELAX. Make time and space for it. This is a cleanse for the mind and spirit and emotions just as it is for the body. If you cannot take off a day or two from work, be sure to unplug, unwind, and spend some time relaxing. Walks are good. Yoga is good. Intense exercise is not good. No tv or computer, books instead. Nice music, candles, warm socks, incense, sunsets, windows open…are all good things. NOURISH.

Yeah? What questions can I answer for you about cleansing? HAPPY AYURVEDIC SPRING CLEANING! XOXO!

Karnapoorna

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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.

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!

Local Flavor

 

 

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question_mastheadIs Ayurveda applicable for other people who are not geographically in the same area it’s origin is from? Making story shorter :), may a person from Europe, born in Europe for example, have more or less the same constitution as people from Asia? Different climate, different way of life, usage of eating foods available to the country but not others, different cuisine, etc.,?

GREAT question about Ayurveda and different ethnicities/regions. There is truth to that! For example, Germans at first glance might seem more of a hearty build than Asian people. But that doesn’t mean that all Germans are kapha/pitta OR that all Asians are vata. SO we have to take in account the ethnic group they come from, and what the doshas look like within their group. There are vata Germans, just as there are vata Asians, but they will look very different. So the measure is based on the group and from there, the doshas can be determined.

Regarding the region, an example would be people who live in warm climates are not necessarily pitta people, but they have a higher likelihood of a pitta imbalance because of their surrounding nature of heat. If you notice, people in warm climates have LOTS of fruit (coconut!) available to them and lots of water too. People who live in cold climates have more potatoes and meat and “stick to your ribs” foods – fresh fruits are not found there, but then again, fresh fruits would not balance them either. So…in a way, nature is perfect.

Overall, doshas are the same whether climate or ethnic group, but the climate will determine which dosha may go out of balance fastest (so we need to pay careful attention to balance those) AND the doshas are measured considering the ethnic group the person originates from.

Raise your hands, who’s confused!? Send questions if you have them! XOXO!

Cabin Fever

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For many of you, it’s winter and it’s not going away any time soon. A former midwesterner myself, I understand winters can be very very very long. Once holiday celebration and football season is over, winter can be a drag. Worse, it feels like it should be almost spring (Target doesn’t help by displaying the bathing suits immediately inside the front doors), but in reality, spring is at least four months away. Until at least April. And sometimes even in April you can’t wear short sleeves…which sucks. I’m not trying to be a downer, I’m empathizing and anyone in the midwest or east coast knows I speak the truth. Sledding is really only appealing until January and then…we want to wear shorts. I get it. Cabin Fever.

So let’s talk about something that might catch us while we are in the “cabin,” a little thing called S.A.D. (Seasonal Affected Disorder). Do you know what it is? It basically means that because of the cold, dry air, lack of light, too much time spent indoors, and nature that isn’t exactly “alive” and…we get depressed. This is the reason so many snowbirds get out of dodge by leaving for a couple months and so many others take a good vacation between January and March. We are governed by the nature around us and when that nature is lifeless, we often feel the same.

Now, there is nothing we can do about the weather, but there are some things we can do to make ourselves feel a bit better in the interim. Afterall, nothing lasts forever, even an ultra crappy winter. Chin up, that’s the good news! Other good news is, you have a bright light inside, so don’t forget to use that as your utmost power while in the cabin.

Here are some ideas to stay HAPPY instead of S.A.D.:
Go to the sun. Plan one good vacation and at least one long weekend between January and April so that you have little things to look forward to. It’s imperative to get to the sun and relax. This is life, use your vacation time.
Light it up! Fireplaces and candles bring heat and light.
Eat foods for your mood.
Oil massage. Warm oil and touch keeps our vata calm, giving us a sense of peace. Not to mention, oils are completely nourishing for winter skin. Best if used before a shower so the water doesn’t dry the skin out even more. You’ll feel like a bebe! Use almond (pitta), sesame (vata) or sunflower (kapha) oils from our good friends at Banyan Botanicals!
Keep your hands and feet warm! If they are cold it will make the rest of you cold, ankles too! Tip: put your socks over the end of a blowdryer, warm them up, and quick put on feet!
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes. Knees and toes. Literally! Breaking up the day with short bursts of exercise or just some good deep breaths will increase prana (life breath) and that’s what you need!
Aromatherapy. It can be any scent that makes you happy but some ideas are: lavender, sandalwood, jasmine, gardenia, grapefruit, ylang ylang. Put on your wrists, drop on the floor of your shower, add to baths, add in a diffuser.
Vitamin D supplements. Those can be helpful.
Sit in a warm bath, hot tub, steam room, or sauna. Baths are good for all doshas. Hot tub and steam rooms are best for vata. Sauna is good for kapha. Pitta…feel these out, they all might be too hot for you.
Buy fresh cut flowers or plant bulbs in a colorful pot indoors. Paperwhites, hyacinths, or tulips bring nature indoors.
Play great music. Harry Belafonte is fun music for dreary days.
Take classes in something you love. You have the time! It will give you something to look forward to each week for a certain amount of time, making the dregs move by faster and get you out of the cabin.
Be with friends, family and loved ones. Your heart will light up and stay warm when you have love in your life.

Vata Menu Question

question_masthead

I happened upon your site through way if your oatmeal recipe so I decided to explore some other pages. I am very excited about what you’re doing and enjoy your zest. I am just wondering about your recommendation for dried fruit and nuts as a snack as I have heard (or read, I think in one of Dr. Vasant Lad’s books) that dried fruits are no good for vata since the constitution lends itself to dryness. Could you please explain this? Also, your site is the first place I have read that brown rice is no good for vata. I thought it was classified as part of a sattvic diet and therefore compatible with all doshas. Finally, I had read that beef is good for vata yet I find here that not to be the case. All of the information I’ve gathered is pretty much from dr.lad. He is a higher up at the ayurvedic institute and even some if the info they have posted conflicts with his earlier work. Like I said earlier I love what you’re doing and I am not looking to criticize I am simply looking for clarity. I will be overjoyed once I’m back in school learning it for myself.

Yes, would love to lend some clarification based on the vata menu you are referring to. Dried fruits are indeed dry, but some are also sticky and sweet. Dates, raisins, prunes are all good for vata. A vata person could pair these with warm tea and/or warm water to “fluff” them up – to give the water quality back. For example, constipation is a dry problem, but prunes w/warm water and tea (on an empty stomach) will help. NOW! Prunes ideally should be soaked in water (raisins too) for best results, but having them with water can help. Keep in mind, vatas are usually a) picky eaters not wanting to soak anything in water and b) they are usually grab-and-go types, hence my trying to make life easier for them by saying, “eat dried fruits and nuts!” See? I got your back.
As far as meat goes, vata does need some meat for strength. Think of them like a bird. They have mostly grains and fruits, but sometimes they need a good worm :) That said, beef is rajastic/tamasic (depending on where it comes from) and too much meat can easily affect the sensitive vata mind. And yeah, brown rice is very hard to digest. Pittas can usually handle it (and sometimes not) but the others should steer clear.
And all this said, there are several sources/books that contradict each other with Ayurvedic foods/menus, even by teachers who have been doing this a long time. So much depends on the individual and situation. A bit of advice though: if we look at our foods as WHOLE foods rather than individual pieces, we will fare just fine :)

And please let me be clear, I LOVE DR. LAD! He makes me cry (in a good way). Every time I see him my heart lights up and tears plop out without even trying. He’s so wonderful. I wish I knew everything he does :)

Vata Windmills in Your Mind

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This poor vata guy. Does anyone else feel like him with a whizzing and whirling of the mind? We are in the midst of vata season, afterall. Just a little funny to lighten your wintery, vata selves. ;) xo!

 

Snacky.

 snacky

question_mastheadI’m a vata/pita girl. Vata is most present. I eat as following: breakfast (8.00) mostly oatmeal with fruit, raisins, spices and nuts. lunchtime (13.00) I eat my diner and @dinertime (18.00) I eat soup with one slice of bread. In between (10.30 and 15.30) I try to eat as less as possible, fruit with some nuts but I notice it’s not enough because @ 16.00 I’m mostly very, very hungry. And because of that the change is higher that I eat not so healthy things like chocolate in the evening. What should I do?

Great question! First of all, whenever you are hungry, eat. The body is telling you it needs food. Now, there are guidelines. For a vata-type person, they could easily spend the day snacking away, which is not good. So! Make sure you are eating enough lunch, remembering it should be the biggest meal of your day. If you are having a nice, hearty lunch and are still hungry at 4:00, then have a snack. If you eat dinner in super-starvation mode, you will likely overeat too late at night or have munchy chocolatey things :) It takes 4-6 hours for us to digest a meal and it sounds like you are doing that in about 4 hours. No problem, just honor that hunger by having a substantial, hearty lunch and/or a snack around 4:00pm to tide you over. Does this help?