Why is it important that we keep a healthy weight? And, what exactly is a healthy weight? These are both important considerations for our well-being. Ayurveda has an interesting perspective that doesn’t quite match our popular western standards or beliefs.
It’s April and spring is in full swing here in Northern Arizona. It’s a great time for an uplift and nothing says uplift more than a spring cleanse. Now I know what you are thinking, a cleanse…isn’t that where you drink lemon juice all day? But no! Ayurveda has a wonderful plan for a spring cleanse that purifies and clarifies by removing all the heavy buildup of the prior months without starvation and sacrifice. A spring cleanse will refresh and boost your physical being and your spirit so that you can feel invigorated, more cheerful and inspired as you move into this new season.Continue reading “Reasons for a Spring Cleanse”
Ayurveda says that spice enhances an individual’s health. Yet, most of us just use salt or pepper to spice our food. And, while the use of salt can enhance the flavor of foods and black pepper has a lot of healing properties, there are so many more spices to incorporate into our diets. Just think of the old saying, “Variety is the spice of life.”
In general, adding spice to your food can enhance its flavor. But, a pinch of seasoning can add wonders to your life. In my last blog, I spoke of the reason for incorporating all of the six tastes into your meals. Choosing particular spices to cook with is one way to get all of those tastes included in your diet.Continue reading “Spice Up Your Life!”
According to Ayurveda, taste is more than a flavor or sensation on the tongue. There are six tastes, called the sad (six) rasa (tastes): sweet, salty, sour, pungent, astringent and bitter.
Each rasa or taste is connected to a combination of particular elements: space, air, water, fire or earth. Each taste can also have a specific effect on a dosha (Vata, Pitta & Kapha) by either aggravating or pacifying these energies.Continue reading “Do You Have Taste?”
According to Ayurveda, choosing the right food to eat is personal. Although there are many examples of healthy foods out there, Ayurveda believes that foods should be selected based on their natural qualities, compatibilities, modes of processing, quantities and timing.
Let’s take a deep dive into the quality of foods…Continue reading “Are You Eating Quality Food?￼”
Food is our medicine. And, when it is taken at the right time, in the right quantities and is full of prana or life force, it will provide us with the fuel that can be appropriately digested so as not to leave behind any uncooked or undigested food. Undigested food can build up in our systems, cause aggravation and ultimately lead us to a state of dis-ease.
“No disease can be cured unless supplemented by the right diet. 90% of the disease can be prevented by the right diet alone.”– Dr. Everett Koop
“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”– Hippocrates
Ayurveda states that there are three pillars or supports that we need to build and preserve in our lives to foster our wellbeing for our physical, mental and spiritual bodies.Continue reading “You Are What You Digest!”
In general, of course it is.
But, it depends on when you are drinking it, how much you are drinking and the temperature of the water.Continue reading “Is Water Always Healthy?”
This phrase is a simple way to state that what you put into your body truly creates the individual you will become. What you eat (and drink) not only affects your physique but your outlook, your productivity and how you relate to those around you. It is especially significant when you are trying to establish a steady yoga practice.Continue reading “You Are What You Eat”
This past week, I completed a wonderful detox diet that I discovered in Yoga Journal several years ago. Because the reference is difficult to locate on the web nowadays and I have had so many requests, I will link it here as I address this week’s subject of detoxification.
Tool #1: Diet
Scott Blossom, practitioner of Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and yoga has developed an effective and balanced cleansing diet that I have tried numerous times over the years. It was originally presented as part of a Fall Detox program. Since summer is officially winding down, now is the perfect opportunity to share some of his recipes with you.
When I chose to focus on purification as a theme for my classes and the blog this month, I really had no idea that the word February (in Latin februare) meant “to make pure.”
Now, what do I mean by purification?
In general, I view purification as a method for letting go of the old and unnecessary to allow space for nourishing breath, clean food, and new energy. Purification is a way to rid the body of irritation, congestion and toxins so that you can regenerate.
We have transitioned from our month of restoring, resting and reflecting in January. Now is the time for replenishing and energizing.
Here is your challenge this week. Get started on the road to freshening up with these daily practices:
Clean up your diet
Try to eliminate caffeine, sugar, alcohol and any extreme aspect of food intake. Drink clean water, green tea and take in more vegetables and fruit in your diet. This is not a cleanse but an awareness exercise. Try this for one week if you can and evaluate your energy level on day 7.
In my experience with caffeine withdrawal, it only takes a few days to transition. I went to an organic water processed decaf and feel that I have more energy than ever before! I hope to use this opportunity to transfer my morning cup to tea – the cleansing qualities of tea would be much more beneficial.
Clear the Mind
Start a Meditation Practice. Keep it simple and find a technique that invites you to your mat each day. Meditation can be done at any time so choose a segment of your day when you will have no interruptions. Last week, I posted the Hong-Sau technique. Its simplicity will be enlightening.
Filter Your Toxins
Incorporate a twist into each yoga practice this week. The Supine Revolved Belly Pose will serve to squeeze out the unwanted toxins and provide room for fresh nutrients and oxygen to enter the body.
If you are looking for additional ways to purify this month, the Shat Kriyas or yogic purification techniques might be appropriate. You may have heard of Jala Neti (nasal cleansing) and Chandra Dhauti (tongue cleansing). These are important methods for vanquishing toxins and clearing energy channels.
And finally, some purifying food for thought on the practice of yoga from this translation of an ancient Sutra of Patanjali:
“Effective practice of yoga produces physical purity so that attachments to toxins and corruptive forces disappear naturally…allowing both internal and external purity (saucha) of the body, psychic environment… through the removal of the occlusions of consciousness, there is achieved balance, cheerfulness, one-pointedness, harmony of the senses, and yogic vision. Here one is no longer attracted by corruptive influences because one has established (and is happily rooted within) an inner energetic freedom.”