Category Archives: Doshas

6 Ayurvedic Tips to Balance the Time Change

Time_change

Oh man, our clocks changed! Just as we got used to the glow of the sun waking us, it’s pitch black again when the alarm goes off. The reward is a longer day, which, “Hooray for daylight!” but the time change can still throw us off. Time change in Ayurveda affects vata because, well, we’ve made a fast change. *Poof* just like that, we gained an “extra hour.” It can take some of us weeks to adjust but hopefully the tips below will help you slide back nicely into nature’s rhythm quickly.

6 Ayurvedic tips to balance the time change

1. Wake up before sunrise. Ha! Easy enough to do now, ’cause you kind of have no choice. My point is, just because it’s dark at 6:00 a.m., don’t go hittin’ the snooze until the sun comes up. We already know waking up during vata time (before sunrise) gives us a daily boost because as we rise in the energy of movement. So keep doing that! Yes it’s dark, but you’ll have more energy than if you pull the covers over your head until sunrise. Not only is sunrise kapha time and therefore slow time, but you’ll be late for work (pssst, ’cause work still starts at the same time).

2. Cook at home, with fresh ingredients. As always in Ayurveda we strive to put the best foods in our bodies, always. During the time change, it’s especially important. Best is to make sure foods are made at home with fresh ingredients including plenty of fruits and veg. Not too much dairy!

food ideas!
• Instead of Chinese take out, make fried rice at home, use extra veggies and less soy sauce (salt).
• Instead of delivery pizza, pick up some pre-made pizza dough (Trader Joe’s has it), brush some olive oil onto the crust (bonus if you want to infuse the oil with garlic) or a little sauce. Add a wee, thin layer of cheese. Then load up the crust with all your favorite vegetables like kale, zucchini, peppers, whatever you love.
• Do I even need to tell you a nice batch of kitchari will help set you straight?
• Instead of sit-down Mexican, grab all the supplies including beans, meat (if you choose), avocado (yes please!), peppers, corn tortillas (bonus if you make them yourself), rice, fresh cilantro and all the fixin’s. You will have far less salt and sugar in what you make at home. I advise skipping the taco seasoning and make your own mix with cumin, chili powder, and other spices.Or, a little salt & pepper is all you might need. Choose the fresh-made salsa in the produce isle instead of the room-temp stuff in the chip isle. Below is a pic of my dinner last night: homemade spanish rice, homemade tortillas, avocado, bell peppers, cilantro and hot sauce. mm!

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3. Limit salts & processed sugars. Tons of excess salts and sugars lurk in foods especially from chain-restaurants, pre-packaged foods or frozen foods. Eating those foods at any time can make it extremely challenging to wake up in the morning (cue the, “I’ve feel like I’ve been hit with a baseball bat” wake-up). Salt holds water and creates heat so it’s great for vata-types in winter, but no bueno for kapha season. So again, keep foods as veggied and fruitied and grainy-ed as you can! Fresh fresh!

4. Oil Massage! “Yeah yeah, Monica B. You and your oil massages.” Dude, but since time change is a vata change and we calm vata directly through the skin, now is a perfect time not to slack on oil massages. Plus your skin will feel like a baby! Trust me.

5. Water. Drink plenty of it — not too cold and no ice (vata-imbalancing). You might be drawn to choosing extra coffee or stimulants to keep your peeky eyes awake since you got up early, but try not to have any more (if any) than you normally would. Choose extra water since water flows…it will help you go with the flow

6. Normal bed time. It’s only been one day since the time change, so you might still look at the clock at 10:00 p.m. and think, “Pah, it’s really only 9:00…I can stay up for another hour.” No, it’s really 10:00 p.m. ;) So get your lil’ booty to sleep on time so you can wake up in the dark easier (hehe).

7. So Hum. As you prepare for sleep, lay in your right side and do “so hum” mantra and meditation for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you fall asleep before you’re done with the 10 minutes, bonus!

If you adhere to these things for 3-5 days in a row, you won’t even notice the time change, I promise.
Hint: You can use these same tips for air travel!
Double Hint: You can do these things daily and change your entire life! <—10% off with code 6ZE83B8R thru 3-31-16.

XOXO!

Seasonal Bloom – Kapha 2016

HEYO! Ayurveda promotes living according to the season. Here is a freebie 2016 Kapha Seasonal Bloom, just for you. mmmwah!

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Bit o’ Wisdom {53}

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A Life For Creating

 

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On the 12th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me

A LIFE FOR CREATING!

What a GIFT! We have a LIFE! And we can do anything we want with it! We can customize it to our liking. We can use our body and mind as they work together to keep us healthy and happy. We have the opportunity to make the very MOST of what we are given, every single day.

So. Did you go through Day 11 and make a list of what you were thankful for and what you need to let go from 2015? Yay! Then you are ready to move forward into 2016 and start CREATING.

Yay but…where to start? In Ayurveda, we start with the most simple yet consistent changes — those make the biggest difference. The foundation of my book, In Your Elements, makes Ayurveda relatable and easy to apply. When we add digestible, bite-sized changes, they are easy to fold into our life because they become part of us.

Here are some ideas to jumpstart your new year:
• Download the Vata Seasonal Boom
• Remedies for cabin fever
Ayurvedic New Year’s Cleanse
• Work on a Dosha-lution
• Write up a New Year’s Wish List
• Create your own Ayurvedic path with my book, In Your ElementsGet your copy here.
• Join me for a FREE webinar for an “Ayurvedic Tune Up” on Wednesday, January 13 at 9PM EST/6PM PSTReplay here.

Alrighty…if you sing the whole thing, it goes a little something like this (if you send me requests, I might just make a video of myself singing it. But only if you ask)…

On the 12th day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me…

12 A life for creating
11 A moment for reflecting
10 Appreciating simple things

9 Phew, I found my grounding
8 Time and space for breathing
I might be over-spending
6 E-gads I’m overeating
5 Oops, too many cocktails!
4 Wisdom for right choices

3 Staying in the present
2 A path for evolving
AND

1 Permission for my authenticity

The 12 Days of Ayurveda

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Ayurveda encompasses mind, body and spirit, right? Yep! We probably spend the most of our time trying to nurture, improve, or heal our body as we focus on, “What should I eat?” and “What is the best exercise for me?” Our mind usually comes in second place like, “How can I relieve stress?” or, “I should probably meditate sometimes…” But how often do we focus on truly living through the spirit? Not as often. And spirit is important. Spirit is our pure essence, our infinite being, our light. It is the answer to, “Who am I?” I am spirit (so hum).

So in thinking about the holiday season (since we are totally in the throes now), I noticed a thread of commonality weaving through us. During this time of year more-so than any other, we actually talk about spirit! The word “spirit” is used all the time as we feel “spirited” and “get in the spirit.” We have a “spirit of believing” and the “spirit of giving.” We are even prone to drinking too many “spirits“! With the flip of a switch during the holiday season, our spirit begins to soar through kindness, love, celebration, compassion and generosity as all of these awesome positive emotions become the focus. Whether we are religious or not religious, spirit transcends as we want to join in the spirit with everyone else — because it feels awesome. Our spirit tells us so.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the holidays can bring physical and emotional challenges that affect our spirit too. The holidays can add a laundry list of extra things to do, might include stressful travel schedules, and bring out a rollercoaster of emotions. Gah! And then you shake your fist and say, “Arg, the Holidays!” So, it’s not all roses and we know that. But if we asked our spirits, I think they would love to believe in magic that brings us all closer.

In light (yes, pun!) of Hanukkah starting and Christmas around the corner, I would love to honor our spirits during the holidays this year with a little somethin’ special.

Tomorrow will start The 12 days of Ayurveda. And it goes a little somethin like this, “On the first day of Ayurveda my spirit gave to me…” Whee! So for 12 days there will be a little something special for you to use in your life and, especially during the holidays.

Now, if you want, you can sing to the tune of “The 12 days of Christmas.” It works (and yes, I sang them all out loud. If you are good maybe I’ll do a video). Or, you don’t have to. This is spirit, people! No rules and anything goes as long as it’s full purity of heart. LOVE YOU! I hope you have fun with this! *blowing kisses*

10% off my book, In Your Elements, thru 12/13 (Sunday)! Use the code: MC8RC2WV

 

In Your Elements Launch Party

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If you missed it, you can catch the recording!

Ideas to par-TAY:

• Gather your yoga peeps and listen online at the studio
• Get together with friends or family, huddle around the computer online together (take turns sharing the chat box!)
• Put on your fanciest dress or comfiest head-to-toe fleece
• Get your fingies ready to type at me to share insights and ask questions
• Put on fuzzy socks, turn on the computer and dance-skate across your hardwood floor (triple bonus: listen, workout, clean the floor. That’s for you, vatas)

Buy_book_here

Super Itchy Skin Season

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Hoooo. Welcome to “Super itchy skin Season” I mean, well, that’s probably not the official name of the season. Most would call it vata season or, fall. Anywho, if we have not already started practicing daily oil massage by now, our skin is probably letting us know it. We know it’s dry when our skin starts to show it’s texture and we can write the word “Dry” on the back of our hand with our fingernail (who remembers that commercial?). We know it’s dry when lotion buurrrns our skin (Why? Cause alcohol is one of the first ingredients in most skin lotion which dries it out further and makes it sting!). We might also wake up in the middle of the night with itchy-itchy dry scratchy legs like I did couple years ago and almost went nuts!

Most of you guys know by now that it’s time for OILS. Maybe we should rename it “Oil Season.” That sends a better message. Oils soak into our skin (especially warm oil – it’s heavenly) and also create a barrier to the outside cold, dry air. If we use oils daily, we won’t get super-itchy-skin or wake up in the middle of the night with itches. As a bonus, applying warm oil massage promotes sound sleep and can be used as a relaxation technique to unwind before bed.

Here are some ways to sneak in oils each day:
• Daily Oil Massage (yes, even for busy people), ideally in the morning before shower.
• Keep a small bottle of oil at your desk. Use like you would lotion and apply to forehead, cheeks, hands, arms, shins (if you start rubbing oil above your knees at work, people will think it’s just weird). Make sure it’s rubbed in really well.
• If you didn’t do massage in the morning then apply warm oil to your bod in the evening. Dump some oil in a pot on the stove and heat it (careful! It heats very fast and will continue to heat in the pan even when removed). Apply with strokes up and toward the heart.
• Rub warm sesame oil on hands and feet before heading outside in the cold.
• Eat oils too. Our skin is dry because our insides are dry. Favor vata-balancing diet with plenty of healthy oils this time of year.

And below are some of Monica B’s Favorite Oils (Confession…I have a lot of favorite oils, but these guys are tops).

It’s important to choose oils that benefit your dosha the best. Our friends at Banyan Botanicals have a nice variety of oils to choose from.

Vata-balancing oil. Warm, nourish and ground.

Pitta-balancing oil (will nourish but also cool). Calm, sooth and cool.

Kapha-balancing oil. Invigorate, warm, revitalize.

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Another one of my favorite luxurious brand of oils are from Boditonic. These would make awesome gifts or a nice bit of pampering for yourself. The baby scent is my favorite (it’s a calm, very light ylang ylang). The original scent is also good — it’s more lemongrassy. If you order from Boditonic, say hi to Adam and tell him Monica B sent you. It will make him smile.

 

 

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Made in small batches with care by Adam at Boditonic.com

 

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!

recipe_life

 

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

 

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 super hot*) 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!

*Super hot 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

namaste

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

favorite_summer_foods

 

I asked ya’ll on Facebook, “What is your favorite in-season summer food that shouts, ‘YAY! Summer!’ when you eat it?”

Examples of your favorite summer foods

 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! 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?

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

kapha_costco

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

Ayurvedic_cleanse

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!