Tag Archives: Vata

Vata Empathy

empathy

Empathy.
How does a vata express empathy? Vatas are a total split on the spectrum — either insensitive or hyper-sensitive. Other people’s feelings might not register on their radar at all (me, me, me). Or, vatas can be rocked to the core by another person’s pain because they feel SO much empathy.

Practice healthy empathy by listening, offering help and following through with it (if you are not going to follow through, don’t offer). But don’t letting someone else’s struggle consume your thoughts and emotions. Instead, send a blessing like this, “I send you blessings that all will be well soon and you learn the lessons needed to evolve.” Then let it go like a sparkly mylar balloon in the blue sky. Their struggle is not yours to keep.

This little insight couldn’t fit in the 14-page seasonal guide, Vata Seasonal Bloom. Let’s use our empathy in this world, just not so much that it takes us down. 

2017 Vata Seasonal Bloom

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I’m EXCITED for you to have these Vata Freebies!
You get Vata Season Webinar + Vata Seasonal Bloom (14-page health guide)!

Let’s talk about vata + the weekend for a sec.
Computers make us feel anxious, so why don’t you print Seasonal Bloom and read it by the fireplace or in your favorite chair. Print is more balancing than the screen, plus it is so lovely you will want it in your hands.
*inhale* *exhale*

We live in a HIGHLY imbalanced vata world with things like computers, smart phones, traffic, and social media. We get anxiety over what we think we should be doing and who we think we should be. *breathe* You are perfectly aligned on your path. You are already doin’ it. The world is just moving faster than ever (hyper-vata) and you can feel that zippy energy, which can create an internal panic.

Let’s slow it down and use this weekend to disconnect from all that stuff.

Find a pumpkin. Cook a meal. Sink into a long bath. Free flow on a bike ride. Catch views from your favorite hike (even if it’s urban). Bust out your paints. Go to the high school football game. Say hello to the yarn basket. Savor a magazine. Power walk with your favorite person. {insert your ideas here}

Let’s bring it down. You are perfectly as you should be, perfectly on your path.
You don’t need to move faster, just trust and slow it down.
*inhale* *exhale*

BIG LOVE! (it’s not you, it’s just vata!)

 

 

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!

Ayurvedic Rules

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All right, Monica! Two questions for you. First, I was thinking of trying to practice this Ayurveda way of life you’ve been talking about. My dad has had a lot of health problems lately and I’ve been thinking it might be time for me to try to fight these things before they start with me. Could you point me in the right direction on where to start…a book, recipes, how to take small steps at first? And second, if I’m a Kapha, do I need to follow those Ayurvedic “rules” all year long or do they change with the season. I’ve been reading your posts for a while and I’m a little confused. If it’s vata season, do I follow vata “rules” or do I follow Kapha all year long? 

All right, Jen! :) Thank you for your questions. First of all, check out this article on where to get started. That should help guide you in the right direction! To sum it up briefly:

1) know your dosha(s), or at least somewhat close. You will discover more about yourself as you go! That is to be expected.
2) read the seasonal bloom that sounds most like you a) vata b) pitta c) kapha
3) eat good foods that come from a good place.
4) follow the daily routine

Second, super awesome question. Seasonal rules do apply to everyone to some extent, but you will mostly follow the kapha rules all year long. Your “go to” Ayurvedic rules will be to use the kapha-balancing lifestyle and nutrition guidelines (in the seasonal bloom) because YOU are a kapha person. Yeah? Make sense? The reason why seasons are important is because of the “like increases like” rule in Ayurveda. In spring (kapha season), the likelihood that your kapha will increase (allergies, sniffles, congestion, weight gain, etc.,) is much higher because the surrounding nature is very kapha-like too. So, kapha nature + kapha Jen = too much kapha. See what I mean?

That said, during summer (pitta season), you won’t have to worry about your kapha increasing, but your pitta will increase (which warms and balances your kapha) because it’s pitta nature time. Everybody’s pitta increases in summer which is why we crave ice cream, fresh fruits, cool water, etc., Same as, everybody wears warm coats in the winter to add another layer of warmth. Now, you might be thinking, “Okay but what if my pitta goes really high in the summer!? How would I know?” If you are naturally one dosha, it’s not likely that another dosha will overtake your entire being based on seasons alone. If you follow the diet and lifestyle guidelines according to your dosha(s), you will be mostly on track. Adjust to the seasons by eating seasonal foods and that’s all you really need to worry about…at least for a beginner :)

Does this help? Anybody have more questions on this? Happy to clarify if I’ve left something out. Miss you too, Jen!! Love you! xoxox

It’s a Cinch

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Have you heard of a ‘liver roll’ or an upper belly roll that signifies liver strain? I am a thin vata, but I always have a little fat roll right under my bra. When I gain weight, it tends to go to my stomach first. I have a desk job, so I sit all day and I slouch at my computer. What do you think of wearing a waist cincher at work to improve my posture and perhaps activate my abs?  I’m confused about whether these things help strengthen your ab and back muscles, or weaken them by doing the work for you? A few more details are that I am 31, a little bit of a partier/drinker sometimes, and my diet is pretty irregular.

Okay SO! If you are a vata, a waist cincher would actually help you feel more…snug. Some new moms use them post-baby because it “holds” everything together since organs have moved and there is a lot of leftover space. It calms vata (space!) down immediately which can actually help new mommies not get the blues.  However, you have an irregular diet, party/drink too much and are also not doing yoga. Um…those are some things to definitely work on to get rid of the pooch AND reduce vata! I wish I had a magic cure my friend, but I think following a vata diet, reducing the drinkies and incorporating some yoga will do wonders for you!!

And! I have not heard of a “liver roll” exactly but if you are not eating the right foods, exercising too much and also drinking too much, those things will put strain on your liver. Sounds like your bod is trying to tell you something by giving you a little pooch. More than a cincher, work on the root causes. So…it’s a cinch? :) Vata Seasonal Bloom will help a lot!!

Vata-Kapha = Cold

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I’m a Vata-Kapha, and I seem to be more Vata mind (anxiety, lots of thoughts) and Kapha body (I don’t lose weight easily, etc.) I know I need vigorous exercise and to cut down on Kapha foods, but how can I balance Kapha and not aggravate Vata?

Fabulous question!! If you are a person who is vata/kapha doshic combo, don’t worry your pretty or handsome head, it’s not as complex as it seems! Let me break it down for you. The qualities that vata and kapha have in common is that they are cold. So they both tend to have weak or varied agni, which means their digestive fire is unreliable (vata) or low (kapha). The fire element is missing in both of these doshas, so they miss out on the heat! So the key for the vata/kapha combo is to keep warm and spicy!

The vata/kaphas will do better with consistent (daily) exercise rather than vigorous exercise. Don’t go crazy with the intensity of your workout, instead, do cardio (fast walk or jog) for 20-30 mins OR do yoga. One or the other. Yoga is great for all doshas! Overexercising will mess with the vata mind and could also injure a supple kapha body! Also, my advice is to eat lots of veggies and some carbs – all veggies should always be warm and well seasoned. When it’s fall and winter, veggies and foods should be moist either in a light sauce or ghee. In spring when it’s more wet outside, favor roasted veggies or veggies from the grill! As a habit for these vata/kaphas, foods and drinks should be warm or room temperature to keep your agni going! Another agni tip, make sure that dinner is your lightest and smallest meal of the day.

Also, limit meat and sweets. Meats are very hard to digest (pittas can digest them because they have so much fire!) and sweets will make kapha gain weight while making the vata mind scattered. Keeping a consistent and reliable routine is important, especially heading to bed by 10 pm and waking just a smidge before sunrise. Zoning out to the tv before bed for hours ain’t no way to wake up like a spring chicken (I know you, kapha… ;)!

Hopefully this sheds some light! Holler with questions, suggestions or anything you want to share! xo.

Vata’s Vices

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Sometimes people think I have magical powers because I can often predict peoples’ diet and lifestyle habits even if I don’t know them very well. The way someone behaves (and eats!) gives me a lot of insight into their doshic make up. And not only that, but also gives glaring information about the dosha that is imbalanced. In Ayurveda, when a dosha is increased (imbalanced), the person will crave foods and habits that will keep increasing that dosha. Meaning, they will crave the completely wrong things!

Let’s take vata for example. Vata people talk a lot, move a lot, do a lot, lose focus, forget things, skip details, are creative, are dramatic/moody, love to be spontaneous, and are naturally bubbly. My brain automatically says, “Vata.” Now, when I observe one of these vata people drinking a lot of coffee, skipping meals yet eating candy as a food group, drinking lots of diet Coke or carbonated beverages with ice, I say to myself, “Vata imbalance.” Why? Because a balanced vata would not crave those things.

In my observation, the most common vices for vata are: icy and/or carbonated beverages, coffee, candy, fake sugars, and gum.

I swear it. I’ve seen it too many times and these are the vice-favorites (Vice-rites? Anyway…). They all give a fast and false jolt of energy, which vatas have enough of naturally, so these vices put them into manic over drive. Buzz, buzz, buzz!!! In addition, anxiety, racing thoughts, insomnia, extra cardio (because they are worried about weight gain), constipation, and dramatic changes in mood are all common and often arrive together. No bueno! It’s all too much movement, too much activity, too much cold.

If you are you thinking, “Um, this is me,” then welcome to holding the power of change in your own hands. :) And if you are thinking, “Naw, I like soup and yoga.” Then great! You are on the right track. Since I’ve given you vatas biggest vices, I will also give you some of their greatest virtues

In my observation, a balanced vata craves: warm food and drinks, a whole foods diet, early bed and early rise, craves a scheduled routine and downtime.
When vatas follow what balances them, their positive qualities will majorly outshine the qualities they need to work on. If there was a bubbly, dramatic, unfocused person in front of me, and they grabbed a cup of herbal tea while enjoying their morning oatmeal, I would guess that they are much closer to their original balance. Unless they just read HeyMonicaB last night and are putting their learnings into practice. ;) So there’s the secret and I’m not magical, just observant (watch, I’m going to get a bunch of pittas asking for what their vices are…just watch).

And yes pittas and kaphas, I’ll do your vices next. But while we are still on vata, any vatas out there have other vices they want to share? We won’t judge. Maybe we can give you an alternative to help you shine like the sparkly ball of energy you are! X!

Vata Season!


Listen to the vata HeyMonicaB radio show episode here: http://bit.ly/pLxW08

Kind peoples! Tis vata season! It’s getting chilly and blowey outside. Leaves are falling and we might crave warm drinks while we add an extra layer of clothes. I created an entire booklet focusing solely on Vata! Please download and share Seasonal Bloom Vata so that you know what to expect and how to manage the energy of vata in fall and early winter. XO!

Does My Dosha Change

I am now 58 yrs. old with many, many more life experiences and health challenges than in my 30’s. I have a definite vata dosha now but if I had taken the quiz in my 30’s the results would have been different. Does a person’s dosha change generationally? -Deb

Ahh…”Does my dosha change?” is a great question. A person’s prakruti (natural balance of doshas) never changes. It’s innate from the time of conception. BUT what does change in our life are…seasons, jobs, relationships, food, eating habits, exercise, daily routine, emotions, etc., All these things can alter our doshas and that is where we get imbalanced. So it is safe to say that if you maintain your prakruti throughout life, you do not have any imbalances or health issues. That is perfect health. So in Ayurveda, we need to figure out your prakruti first, to understand where you started and who you are naturally. Then we examine where you are today and in how you’ve shifted from your natural state. THEN we begin to advise food, lifestyle, herbs, treatment, etc., to try and get you back to where you started. So! While your natural doshas stay the same as when you were in your 30s, you have added many more life changes which could sway your doshas from your natural state. Also, after menopause, we all enter vata stage of life, which is where you are now. So you will feel much more vata-like than you may have when you were younger. Does that help?

Need a Lift

I am a Kapha/Vata, I have been experiencing depression for a long time, I have read a book about Depression and Ayurveda, this books explains that my Depression is a Vata (a lot of anxiety) Type depression. I also have a fair bit of weight to lose, I’m not sure what to do, should I follow diet for Kapha or Vata, I’m soooo confused!  – Rebecca from Australia

This is a great question Rebecca and thanks for bringing it up. What to do when you have two doshas that are out of balance? How do we know which one to balance first? Well, remember that it all goes hand in hand. So if we balance vata depression, chances are we’ll feel better and will want to get moving to relieve some of the kapha. And, if we relieve the kapha heaviness, we will feel better and the depression will start to lift. Does that make sense? They go together, so if you treat one, you will be affecting the other as well. So since it encompasses more than just diet, I’ll expand on your question a little bit.

Let’s get into specifics. If you have vata type depression you will want to work on several things specifically for vata.

Some things to help relieve vata depression are:
• Incorporate a consistent routine/schedule. Anxiety tends to happen when we have no plan. Once we have a plan, it provides a sense of security and reliability so that our brains don’t have to reinvent the plan each day.
• Breathe. So hum so hum so hum, a lot!! Daily! Nightly! This is a beautiful reminder that we are all we need! We have everything within us to  feel peaceful and harmonious. It’s a good reminder to let everything on the outside melt away for a bit. And physically the nose is the quickest passage to the mind so when we breathe easy through the nose, the mind feels easy too.
• Eat clean. Keep your diet free from meats (we carry the energy of the animal,  however it was treated), alcohol, refined sugars (big jolt, then crash & burn) like candy, soda, and sugar drinks. These foods carry no prana and are highly processed. Eat foods that arrive close to the source.
• Exercise. Yoga and walking are best. Yoga for sure because it touches on the subtleties of the body and stimulates marma points to open channels and promote flow. Walking will get you outside in nature and will bring in nice prana (and a little sweat!).
• Nature. Get outside and enjoy some nature. Even if you are blue, going outside will give you a nice lift.
• Herbs. Some herbs will help but talk to your Ayurvedic practitioner first :)
• Kindness. The best thing you can do is be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like a child and be extra nurturing and nice. No judging, no “shoulds”, no bad talk about yourself.
• Gratitude. Make a list each morning of what you are grateful for. It could be small things, like having a great hair day. Or it could be big things like having a loving family. Seek out the positives and highlight them so they become more of your focus than the negative things.

• Keep Good Company. Don’t hang around with people who make you feel like crud! Consider releasing bad relationships. You deserve to be surrounded by people who love and support you, and no less!

Obviously the treatment is going to depend on the person and the root cause of the depression, but incorporating some of these will definitely help lift the cloud! That said, even a kapha type person (or pitta for that matter) can follow these guidelines! Definitely kaphas should be exercising every day. Yoga and walking are perfect for kaphas (and pittas!) too.

Ok so let’s talk diet. The common link kaphas and vatas have is they both need warmth and digestive spices. Choosing warm foods like soups, stews, cooked and spicy vegetables, baked apples or pears, will be great for kapha and vata. Keep a regular schedule with meals at set times (3 meals for vata), but if you are not hungry for dinner, then skip it (this balances kapha). Both vatas and kaphas have low agni, so they should have foods with nice spices digestive spices like garlic, ginger, black pepper, cumin, ajwan (caraway), and cinnamon. If you have kapha weight gain, be mindful of oils we suggest for vatas. You will not need as many oils because it could make you feel heavier. If you get your digestion jump started, your agni will grow, therefore lifting kapha and clearing channels for your vata’s positive qualities to shine through :)

Important!!! I highly recommend a kitchari cleanse for 3-5 days for depression. It’s a mono diet of the finest stuff and it’s easy to digest. It clears the body and mind of toxins and will leave both vata AND kapha feeling lighter and more clear. It works pretty fast and in just three days, you should start to feel much better.

Hopefully this helps, Rebecca!! Thank you so much for your question. It’s easy to think that kapha and vata are opposites and in a lot of ways they are. But remember that it all goes hand in hand. Once you place one piece of the puzzle, the rest gets easier and easier :) Namasté.

Hidden Doshas

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m a vata craving exercise!

I got this great question from one of my lovely readers and I thought it was important enough to share with all of you. Below is his question and below that is my answer.

I am quite disappointed to finally realize I am a vata. I get sick whenever I train more than 3-4 days a week. What can a vata do if their passion is exercise? Even now at 40 I have re-discovered road cycling and like to get out for 40-60km. I find the runners high addictive and being out in beauty almost meditative. I feel alive out there yet the cold wind whistling by my ears….I can tell it’s not good for my dosha. Seems a little cruel that it is ultimately not good for me? Perhaps I am being immature about it. Any suggestions? Maybe overcompensate when home with nice warm slippers, quiet night etc.?

AH! Thank you so much for your question. It’s a beautiful question because…pittas often crave really spicy foods (not good for them) and kaphas really crave to be mostly sedentary and often cannot kick a sweet tooth to save their lives (both not good for them).

In a nutshell, when our dosha is imbalanced, we crave imbalancing habits. So, vatas will crave more intense exercise if their vata is increased. I don’t know if you can relate, but it feels like constant motion…and the only thing that satisfies that craving of motion is more motion. Do you ever feel like that? That said, there is a balance. You can still do nice cardio exercise, but I would suggest you balance that with yoga a couple times a week. That will help. Also, make sure your food is very grounding, warm and well oiled. I might even suggest trying a week or two of “feet on the ground” exercises (elliptical trainer, stationary bike, power walking, yoga, pilates, weight lifting) instead of having too much “air” under your feet. See if that urge to keep moving calms down.

Overall, an awesome question. I feel like I need to address this on a larger level because you are not the only one to ask this. Don’t be disappointed you are a vata…vatas are wonderful. Please remember to embrace you. Namasté, Monica

Ama and my dosha

I got this question last week on my radio show when we were talking about ama and how to avoid getting sick. If you missed it, check out episode 9 to catch up! I missed Karen’s question and promised that I would answer in a blog post. Thanks for your question Karen!

Karen D. asked: You may have answered this already, but does the location of ama depend in part on one’s primary dosha?

To recap (although I highly suggest listening to le show), ama is toxins in our body-minds. Karen’s question was brought up because I was talking about when we have ama in our bodies, it seeks out weak tissues and based on who we are (doshas) ama will lodge in those tissues and create disease. I used examples of a vata person might find that ama settles in their bone tissue which might cause dry joints, causing cracking or stiffness. A pitta person might have ama in their blood tissue which may cause acne, rashes or herpes. A kapha person might have ama in their fat tissue which can cause low quality but high quantity fat, causing weight gain.

SO! Now that you’re all caught up, let’s answer Karen’s question. She is correct, it does in part have to do with one’s natural dosha(s) balance AND it may also have to do with a dosha that becomes imbalanced. They key here is to look at the tissues not the doshas. Uh oh, did I just confuse you? Let me simplify. Knowing what type of dosha(s) you are will help HUGELY in preventing ama in the first place, so then you don’t have to worry too much about where your ama goes…cause you shouldn’t have any :D

So yes, based on what your dosha is, you can anticipate where ama might go if you have an issue. I say, leave figuring all that out to your Ayurvedic Practitioner should you get to that point. YOUR job is to a) recognize ama b) clean it out when you know it’s there c) pay attention to what you’re made of (take the test!) and d) Follow the daily routine and lifestyle recommendations for your dosha.

Thanks for the question Karen!! I hope this helps! xoxoxo, MonicaB.

Embrace YOU.

‘Elo! So, understanding this dosha balancing thang can be a little confusing. I get lots of emails and questions that my readers have about their own unique balance. Sometimes I even get vatas saying, “I wish I was a kapha!” Doesn’t everyone? ;) Just kidding. Oh come on now, kaphas have their problems just like every other dosha, but sometimes we do wish we could become something we are not. Maybe we wish we were more organized like pitta. Or maybe we wish we had more creativity like vata. And of course, we all wish for more peace of mind and compassion like a kapha.

Friends I have some news…YOU are always going to be YOU. You cannot become a different dosha if it’s not in your nature. I’ll break it down for you. Quite simply the doshas can be represented by animals :)

The lovely, light, free-spirited, often anxious (and bumping into windows) vata can be represented by A BIRD.


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The competitive, muscular, leader (king!) of the jungle, meat-eating, and sometimes ferocious pitta, can be represented by A LION.

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The slow-moving, gentle, never-forgetful, vegetarian, most peaceful and yet the strongest dosha is kapha, which can be represented by AN ELEPHANT.

Back to my point, none of these animals are wishing they were something else. They all embrace who they are and live by focusing on their strengths and positive qualities rather than their weaknesses. So remember that. While you are discovering who you are, embrace the way you are unique. XOXO.

Seasonal Bloom VATA!

WOOOHOOOOO!!!! I’ve finally finished Seasonal Bloom for Vata. Yippee! Seasonal Bloom is an 18-page guide for each season and since we are now in vata season…let’s gooooo!!! You can DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY HERE just in time for Thanksgiving weekend. Make a fire in the fire place, kick up your tootsies in a pair of warm socks, make a cup of my chai or c.c.f. tea (what are those? read on to find out!), read Seasonal Bloom and relax! I create Seasonal Bloom with lots of love, so please share with three people you love. Let’s share the FREE gift of tools for a good health and a sensational LIFE! Namasté.

Falling for Vata

Crisp air, crunchy leaves, apple cider, Halloween costumes, and Sunday football games all tell us that it’s fall! And in Ayurveda that means it’s vata season! We exited pitta season (summer) about a month ago (sorry for the delay!) and now there’s a whole new set of rules to follow to keep us balanced for fall and winter.

Rather than repeat myself from what I wrote last year, I wanted to explain a little bit more about why so many of us feel the effects of vata energy so often. We live in a very vata imbalancing society. As we know, vata is the energy of movement so anything that moves within us or around us will increase that energy. Our world has become so fast and so filled with “instant gratification” that we are all racing at the speed of light. Whether it’s battling traffic on our commute or not having enough patience to stand in line at the grocery store because our meter will run out, these anxieties and constant rushing only increases the vata within all of us. It happens whether or not vata is part of our natural balance.

Take for example, the internet. How much stuff is thrown at you daily? We have personal email, work email, calender notifications, IM/chats, ads on websites, flash animations, facebook (emails here too, things to respond to), twitter (links to check, things to read, people to connect to), daily news…and that doesn’t even include what you’re doing for work! There are SO many things to look at and respond to that we sort of get this internal buzz (vata!) happening. Right!? Do you ever feel that? For some of us, it is fun to look at all of these blinking, dinging, flashing things as part of our to-do list. But over time it can be a constant annoyance of information overload. We become easily distracted, fatigued, and anxious as our heart races out of panic at seeing how large our inbox is. Am I wrong?

Those feelings my friend are 100% vata imbalance. This is a perfect example of how we are affected and governed by the energy around us. That’s why, we really have to learn how to counterbalance the fast, cold, rough, dry, light qualities of what vata season brings. We have a lot of these qualities in our daily lives, but now add on top of it Mother Nature. That said, a lot of us are NOT naturally vata, but we might feel these effects. If you are a pitta or kapha feeling a vata increase, follow the vata balancing tips below. You should balance out fairly quickly and then return to your normal routine.

AND!! I am in the works of creating Seasonal Bloom for vata season, so do not fret. It’s in progress (not making deadlines is typical vata behavior. I got married so I’m trying not to be hard on myself :) xoxo!

Tips for everyone for fall!
• Turn off the computer at least one hour before bed. Vatas are prone to insomnia and this is a great way to avoid that
• Enjoy a vata-balancing diet which includes warm teas, warm meals, cooked veggies, oils/fats, nuts, squashes, bananas, warm apples & pears
• If you are feeling out of whack, enjoy kitchari for a few days until you feel like yourself again
Balance your dinner plate so that it’s vata-balancing (if you are a pitta or kapha, follow those plates)
• If you get gas or bloating, eat a small piece of raw ginger and you’ll feel better instantly
• Stay well oiled inside and out. If you have dry skin, use oils instead of lotion! Or you can pick up some lavender salt scrub from Trader Joe’s!
• You may want to put a layer of oil on your skin before showering. Put it on your full body and let it sit 5-10 min. Then shower. The oil will absorb and act as a barrier since water dries out our skin
• Stick to your routine. Doing the same thing at the same time every day will bring a steadiness to vata. It will reduce anxiety, stress, and you will be more productive
• Cover your ears when outside in the cold! Wind (vata in nature) gets in the ears (where vata lives) and can cause vata imbalances like overall chilliness, headaches, ear aches, anxiety, and panic
• Fill your ears with soothing, calming music
• Light plenty of candles. Warm light will counterbalance cloudy skies and our shortened days. You will feel warm, happy and cozy

Vata Blows in for Fall

vata_2013_icon

Oooo. Didja feel the breeze? Let’s give a round of applause for vata’s first appearance in 2014 (vatas really like applause)!!

<Pause so vatas can bow>

OK! Today marks the first day of fall and that means that vata moves in to govern nature for the next few months. While pitta was around for summer, we ate fresh fruits, veggies and salads. Vata however is much cooler and dryer and we must adjust accordingly! Because vata energy is dry and cold, things like salads (dry and cold) won’t balance us in this season, rather things like root vegetables, soups, and warm foods will suit us much better.

Vata is made of air + space and it’s the energy of movement. In addition, the qualities of vata are dry, cold, rough, mobile, light and subtle. A dried up leaf blowing around, upside down and flippy in the wind is a perfect example of vata.

During fall and early winter, the vata dosha has a tendency to increase in all of us because what is most inherent in nature, is also most inherent in us. So above all things, we need to pay close attention to the nature that surrounds us. We cannot keep the same habits all year round. Eating watermelon in Wisconsin during Christmas is not only tastes like junk, but it’s imbalancing. It’s cold and wet just like nature at that time, which will increase those qualities in our bodies and could give us a cold (hellooooo). In addition it’s not in season which means that it’s not natural. Going against nature is a great way to make us sick.

It’s not hard to go with nature, just LISTEN to what your body is asking for. Comfort foods are great for this time of year because it calms and soothes the windy and cold qualities. Suddenly those goopy stews, hearty soups and breads are just what we need. We don’t feel heavy, we feel nurtured like someone just wrapped our insides in a fleece blanket.

In preparation for vata season, start drinking warmer liquids now. Start laying off the salads now. Begin incorporating more oils now. Start making warm foods for dinner. Swap out the fruit for breakfast and try oatmeal. And there’s more tips too in this VATA SEASONAL BLOOM – FREE DOWNLOAD.

In doing these simple things, you will prepare the body (and mind!) for when things get windy and chilly and it won’t be such a shock to the system. Remember to eat foods that are warm, goopy and heavy (but that doesn’t mean eat a whole ton). You will probably use more chapstick, lotion or oil to lubricate dry skin – good! See, we already know how to respond to nature in many ways. Use your logic. Listen to your gut and most of all, use your BUDDHI. You will be better off listening to yourself than anyone else.

And if you get a little lost, then ask me! Cause I probably know some things you don’t :) I’m here to help you figure it all out.

And one last thing. I’d like to thank the Vatas in the room for gracing us with their beautiful, stunning, presence (vatas like drama) as we embark on the winds of change for fall! Hooraaaay!! Bravo!!!
<Pause so vatas can bow>

Seasonal Dosha Chart

Hey! I just wrote about pitta season but I realize I’ve never mentioned the rest of the year and how it is governed by specific doshas. And that’s really important! So, voila! Below is a crash course of the doshas, what seasons they relate to, and how they affect the body and mind. If you would like to download a .pdf of the dosha chart, here you go!

Dosha Chart

Tip: Dry Winter Skin

Winter skin can have many of us itching and scratching. I recommend putting the lotion aside and giving oils a try. If you are high vata (naturally dry all the time), use sesame oil. If you are a pitta, use almond or coconut oil or ghee (but you’ll smell like buttery goodness). Kaphas are naturally oily and cool but if they have a problem with dryness in the winter, sunflower oil would be best because it is not too heavy.

Oils are natural and will do a fine fine job of absorbing in quickly to your skin. Plus, it’s natural!! No perfumes or alcohols to get in the way, so your body receives all the nourishment it needs. Speaking of nourishment, remember your skin is an organ. And everything you put on it, gets absorbed and digested by the body. Rule of thumb, if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!

The ideal thing is to use oil in the morning routine. Best is to warm the oil in a container in boiling water. Then massage the body head to toe and let the oil soak in for 10-15 minutes. Then shower it off.

However! Most of us don’t allow extra time for sitting around with oil on ourselves in the mornings. If you do, great. If not, apply the oil at night instead. You will sleep like a baby!

You don’t have to go on a wild goose chase for these oils either. You can find them at your grocery store (I get mine at Whole Foods). Get the cold pressed/expeller oils. Apply daily and your skin will be smooth as butta in no time!

The Five Senses | 3 | Touch

The 3rd of the five senses is the sense of touch. If you haven’t read the first or the second senses, you may want to check those out first.

Our skin is our largest organ. It is both our buffer, our receptor and our absorber of the outside world. Whatever touches it, touches our heart, our mind and signals (good or bad) are sent to our entire being. It is no wonder then that we spend plenty of money for an hour or even better, a 90 minute massage. It’s a luxury for us because we are rarely touched or pampered like that. Touch is connected to vayu (vata, air and space) and the heart chakra, so it makes complete sense that this massage is the most nourishing therapy in Ayurveda. The warm oil brings grounding to the chilly air and space of vata and since vata is connected to the skin, this therapy makes sense.

When babies cry, we pick them up, hold them, rock them so that they feel safe and comforted. Well, I suppose it’s no new news (maybe just forgotten) that adults need the same thing! Have you ever hugged someone and they say, “oh, I needed that!” or you hug someone who’s having a rough time and they begin to cry? It’s because we’ve touched their hearts through the sense of touch. We may not notice how needed touch is until we get an unexpected hug or massage and remember how good it feels.

There are also nifty little things called srotas, which are subtle channels running through our bodies from head to toe. And through massage, we can help improve flow through the srotas, which affects ALL mind, body and soul. Since our skin is our body covering it is imperative that it gets just as much attention and nourishment as our insides.

When I get stressed out at work my manager sometimes puts her hand on my arm or shoulder. That simple gesture is so calming and helps me remember that I’m not alone in my problem. I recommend that to really connect with people (when appropriate), remember the sense of touch. If someone is telling you a secret, maybe grab their hand across the table so they know you are empathetic. A good “pat on the back” let’s someone know you are proud of them. A little rub on the upper back helps to relieve tension and conveys support for the other.

There are tons of ways you can lightly (not creepily) convey your feelings, thoughts and emotions through touch. So be creative and sincere.

A super simple recommedation is to give more hugs. Hugs don’t cost anything and a hug can change yours or someone else’s entire mood for the day. You directly connect to someone else’s heart energy. So give them freely and often to open your heart, and those around you.