Ayurvedic Info

Here you will find the many articles I have written related to ayurveda,as well info on ayurveda from other valuable resources that are out there in our amazing world.

this is a really good short description of what ayurveda is, this woman is also able to express the potency of where this tradition comes from. Enjoy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is Ayurveda? Well, it is pronounced I-yur-vay-duh and can be translated as the knowledge (veda) of life (ayur), or as “Science of Life”. It is an ancient holistic medicine from India, said to be well over 7,000 years old. Some even say it is the mother of all medicine. The Rishi’s (sacred seers) of India transmitted what they observed from nature through meditation and prayer. From this wisdom we get a simple yet vast paradigm of health and balance, how to maintain, preserve, regain, and attain ultimate well - being. Using the five elements ether, air, fire, water, and earth to describe the basic foundation of everything that exists in our everyday lives, one can come to understand the nature of all things, as the rishi’s did. You and I are created and made up of the 5 elements, yet we all have a unique blend of them, which is what creates our prakruti (constitution). When the elements get out of an orderly balance, this is when we experience imbalance of all kinds, what we have been taught to believe as disease (dis-ease). Regaining balance within the elements is the main science of Ayurveda. This divine wisdom aims at finding and healing the root cause of disease rather than treating symptoms. In fact, there is NO treating disease in Ayurveda, only balancing of the five elements. There are many therapies used to bring balance to the elements, which are mostly applied through the five senses. Taste with food, smell with aroma therapy, touch with massage and oil application, sight with color therapy, sound with music and other vibrational healing therapies. Other therapies include yoga, meditation, spiritual practice, spending time in nature, spiritual study and self study, lifestyle habits and daily routines. “There is no end to learning Ayurveda, you should carefully and constantly devote yourself to its study. Increase your skill by learning from others without jealousy. The wise regard the whole world as their teacher, while the ignorant consider it to be their enemy.” - Charaka ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ NETRA BASTI Its Spring Time, I know your eyes and nose are feeling it…. Have you ever spent 10 minutes just rubbing your eyes because they are so irritated and itchy, just to realize it made them itch even more???? Did you ever wish you could take your eyeballs out, rinse ‘em off and put ‘em back in??? No??? Am I the only one??? I know I’m not…… Aanyways, Netra Basti is just that. Well, we don’t take your eyeballs out though…. Living in southern california, in the age of technology, where everyone is staring at cell phones and TV’s (Whether its at home, in line at a supermarket, the doctors office, the bank etc….) or working/playing at the computer all day and night, we are left with a society of dry, itchy, irritated and red eyes. And not to mention all the pollution infesting the air we walk around in all day. (my eyes are itching just thinking of all that!) Netra Basti is the traditional Ayurvedic eye treatment that involves bathing the eyes in plain or medicated ghee. The ghee is retained within a dam made of dough consisting of chickpea flower (or wheat flower) for approximately 15 minutes on each side (give and take 5 minutes given your constitution and present health). This is a specialized Ayurvedic treatment for the eyes and nervous system. As the ghee is retained it oozes all around the eyeball, down the eye socket and optic nerve and penetrates deep into the nervous system and brain tissues that lie behind the eyes. Leaving a nourishing and satisfying feeling not only in the eyes, but throughout the whole body and mind. Our brains can be compared to a car engine; when in use, it produces a lot of heat, and that heat needs some kind of lubrication to be contained in, or else all the parts dry out and burn out, leaving you with a non-functioning engine/brain. Hence, some kind of oil is required…..Ghee in this case, for your brain that is! There are many benefits to this therapy. The ghee helps to eliminate dryness, itchiness and irritation of the eyes. This includes redness of the eyes. This therapy also improves the sight, heals stiffness, pain and roughness around the eyes, it strengthens the eyes and protects them against the sun’s sharp ray, This therapy is also very helpful for serious eye disorders, such as glaucoma, ulcerated cornea, or inflamed lesions surrounding the eyes. Other conditions this treatment is good for: Loss of vision: blurred vision: eye injuries: pain in the eyes: darkness around the eyes: paleness around the eyes: dry eye syndrome: headaches and migraines: overactive mind In addition to relieving all the symptoms listed above, this treatment aids gradual improvement of serious eye diseases, and has the added benefits of bringing about clarity of the mind. This eye treatment takes only a few moments, even doing both eyes at the same time for 5 minutes gives great relief, even if your eyes are not bothering you, this is still a great therapy that tremendously calms and soothes the mind and body as a whole!!!! The Ghee creates a settling affect on our fried nerve endings, leaving us feeling grounded and in control rather than under the control of this chaotic world! Find your local Ayurvedic Practitioner for your Netra Basti...(FYI: I am trained in providing this treatment) Namaste ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ayurvedic tradition honors the body as whole, this also includes the mind and its subtle energies that so often feel more than just subtle. Shirodhara is one of the most powerful treatments to relieve Vata (wind) from the mind. When Vata (wind) is in excess the mind can easily become overstimulated. Preoccupied by swarming thoughts, the mind has a difficult time slowing down. This can lead to an inability to handle stress, creating nervousness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, psychological disorders and much more. Shirodhara is the specific treatment for these disorders and any other stress related disorders. With 80 percent of all diseases in the west now attributed to stress, Shirodhara becomes one of the most helpful body therapies gifted to us by the great rishis (sages) of India. Shirodhara works mainly with the manomaya kosha, or the mental sheath of the body. It is here in this sheath that the mind holds on to past impressions and emotions that create imbalanced desires (vasanas) and habitual patterns of behavior (samskaras) These impressions are held captive in the limbic system or emotional cortex of the brain. As warm medicated oil is gently streamed onto the forehead, the nervous system is deeply stilled. Affecting the brain waves and slowing the mind down, the body begins to function better on a chemical level, allowing more oxygen to circulate deep into the brain and nervous system. This stimualtes and improves cerebral circulation, which in turn reacts with receptors to stabilize the moods.The result: better brain function, mood stability, and improved stress handling abilities. In addition, with this increase in circulatory function the mind has greater access to the limbic system where the deep seated stressors that cause emotional distortion and repetitive patterns of behavior are stored. With each successive shirodhara the mind acheives an even deeper state of silence and stillness. Once the body becomes aware (because of the still mind) of the psychological problems as a problem, the healing is spontaneous. When you cut your finger, you dont have to think Scab! Scab! Scab! The healing by the body is automatic. In the same way when the body and mind are stilled, the mind can recognize the underlying imbalances and naturally elicit a healing response. As the mind is stilled, its protective layers are disarmed, giving access to stored stress, traumas and impressions. As the brain centers open, the mind is gracefull purified, and the stress, trauma and tension are replaced with peace, calm, and consciousness. Instead of having to relive each and every traumatic event in your life, the stress is simply softened, disarmed, and released. This often happens without specific cognitive awareness of the traumatic event but with a clear experience of a wieght being lifted off the nervous system. This process is soemtimes described as the soul moving through the personality. The mind, which once controlled all the thoughts, actions and desires, is gracefull replaced with the feelings and impressions felt deep in the chambers of the heart. The thinker of the thought is no more based on trapped emotional stress and and resultant patterns of behaviors, but reflections of the soul expressing itself through feelings of love and compassion from the heart. Imagine how much consciosness would shift if just the people here in the US would treat our stress with these types of therapies rather than treating with harmful toxic pharmaceutical drugs. I can only hold the vision and do my part in spreading not only the info but also the actual experience to those open to receiving. Give thanks for the knowledge and ability to take our health back into our own hands. Om Namah Shivaya ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Abhyanga: an application of oil. Massage or Self Massage Give yourself a full body oil massage on a daily basis. It is nourishing, pacifies the doshas(energies), relieves fatigue, provides stamina, pleasure, and perfect sleep, enhances the complexion and the luster of the skin, promotes longevity and nourishes ALL parts of the body. Here are some of the benefits traditionally associated with regular performance of this pleasant daily routine: • Increased circulation, especially to nerve endings • Toning of the muscles and the whole physiology • Calming for the nerves • Lubrication of the joints • Increased mental alertness • Improved elimination of impurities from the body • Softer smoother skin • Increased levels of stamina through the day • Better, deeper sleep at night. So how is this ayurvedic abhyanga done? Use comfortably warm massage oil. (store your oil in a plastic flip top and warm it by holding it under running warm water for a few minutes) Pour some of the warm oil into the palm of your hand and apply it to the entire body. As you apply the oil you can massage it into your skin, applying even pressure with your whole hand –palm and fingers. Apply light pressure to sensitive areas such as abdomen and heart. Use more oil and spend more time on areas where nerve endings are concentrated such as the soles of feet, palm of hands and base of fingernails. Circular motions over rounded areas such as your belly or joints and straight strokes on straight areas such as your arms and legs works best. Rub the oil into your skin real good as if applying moisturizer (as this is a natural moisturizer with no toxic chemicals). After you are done, relax for 10 – 15 minutes, letting the oil and the massage do their magic! The longer the oil is on, the deeper it penetrates the tissues. During this time you can meditate, read something relaxing or uplifting, rest, shave, cut nails and get ready for the day. After 10 – 15 minutes, you can dab excess oil off with paper towels if you would like (although it is not necessary). Then follow with a warm bath or shower. The oil is a natural soap and does not need to be soaped off, unless you feel super greasy, then by all means soap yourself off. If your schedule does not allow for a daily massage, try and squeeze it in at least three or four times a week. You will find it is worth it! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The aroma of ghee being made is so sooothing to the soul. You can smell the benefits of ghee as it intoxicates the olfactory with its scent of buttery delicious popcorn! MMmmmm…. In the temples all over India ghee lamps are lit on a constant basis as an offering to deity(a divine representation of some force of nature), since ghee is considered to burn as the purest flame!!! A unique feature of ghee is a healing property not found in other saturated fats. According to Ayurvedic teaching, ghee enhances ojas, an essence that governs the tissues of the body and balances the hormones. Ample ojas ensures a strong mind and body, increases resistance against disease and is essential for longevity. Ghee helps to promote the healing of injuries and gastro intestinal inflammations such as ulcers and colitis. Ojas is the most refined tissue the body makes, it is not even detectable by science, yet it is so essential for vitality and wellness. Feeding your tissues ghee by consuming it with your food is one of the simple things you can include in your life for optimal health. Ghee also helps to increase or maintain healthy agni, which is also vital for good health. Agni is your digestive fire, ghee is like fuel to that fire, but be careful, don’t soak the fire in too much ghee, you dony want to extinguish the fire!!! Ghee also helps with absorption and assimilation, improves memory, lubricates the connective tissues and makes the body more flexible and supple. Even those of you who are lactose sensitive or intolerant can have ghee regularly. Ghee is purified butter, which means that all the lactose, milk solids, cream and bad cholesterol has been boiled out and removed. Those of you who might have high cholesterol can also have it in moderation. It actually helps to combat high cholesterol by coating all the passageways with a nice oily lining making it difficult for plaque to stick and build, which clogs your channels. Not only is it wonderful to consume, you can also use it externally for dry itchy and aggravated eyes as well as burning or painful irritation of the eyes. Netra Basti treats alochaka pitta, which is the fire that dominates the eyes, giving us clarity and insight. So what does it do for each dosha??? It is pacifying for both Vata(air) and Pitta(fire) but can aggravate Kapha(earth) if taken in big quantities. Vata : a must have for vata people, something to be consumed on a regular basis, in your cooking of veggies, rice, breads, etc. also a warm glass of water with a spoonful of ghee every morning can usually assist in the symptoms of constipation, and dryness. Pitta : Ghee helps to keep pitta people from burning holes through themselves. The oil helps to carry the heat and intensity of a fired up pitta, it provides a nice coating for the insides, it is a very pacifying oil for pitta. Kapha: In moderation only, kapha helps to keep things lubricated and kapha generally does not need help in this area (kapha is mucous) but it is ok for kapha to have this oil in moderation and most likely in the winter, during a drier time of year. Please note : People who have high cholesterol or who suffer from obesity should be cautious about using ghee, as mentioned earlier, it should be used in moderation. How to make it??? You have two options : Cooking, which will take 20 minutes Baking, which will take 40 minutes Stove Top: In a sauce pan boil 1 box (4 sticks) of Unsalted Organic Butter. You want the butter to be at a low bubbling boil for 20 minutes, it will be making a crackling sound as the ghee separates. You will see white cream at the top as well as the bottom, when the white stuff on top separates and you can see golden ghee and it smells like popcorn it is done! Remove it from the heat and let it cool for 10 – 15 minutes and then strain with a fine strainer. If you can see white floaties in your pure golden ghee then strain it a second time after it cools another 5 minutes or so. Oven: Preheat oven to 425. Place butter in a small casserole dish (preferably a clear one so you can see the butter separate). Place dish in oven, check on it in 30 – 35 minutes if it is brown on top than remove it, otherwise let it sit for a full 40 minutes. You will know its done because it will separate just as described above. Let sit for 10 – 15 minutes to let it cool and then strain. Ghee does not need to be refrigerated, keep sealed in an airtight jar and it will last forever. As long as you do not contaminate it with water or other food particles it will never go bad! It’s a medicine that gets better as it ages. You can also find it at your local Whole Foods Market and other Health Food Stores. Hope you enjoy making your ghee and eating it too! Try it with your oatmeal, toast, rice, veggies, pan fry your tofu or paneer….any way you like, it adds a wonderful flavor and nourishes you down to your deepest essence…. Blessed Love ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To purchase this oil, go to: www.floracopeia.com Clary sage has a very characteristic and unmistakable aroma, sweet and herbaceous, it is soft with a bitter undertone, yet it would be difficult for someone other than a trained “nose” to accurately describe its multilayered wine-like complexities. For those who wake clear-eyed after a night of refreshing sleep and healing dreams, it is the aroma of contentment. Clary sage encourages vivid dreams and clear inner visions The name “clary” sage came from the nickname “clear eyes”; given in the Middle- Ages for it’s ability to cure every eye condition! Clary sage produces rejuvenation as a result of its calmative, antispasmotic, and relaxing powers. It blends very well with lavender as they have many of the same properties. Science now confirms what people have known about clary sage for centuries. A recent study conducted by the nursing department of a Korean university found that atmospheric diffusing of clary sage and lavender helped nursing students by decreasing not only their anxiety and stress, but the physical symptoms, which they produced as well. The conclusion of the study was that “Aroma inhalation could be a very effective stress management method.” The report went on to state that, “Nursing educators should play an important role in contributing to their college students' physical and psychological health by helping enhance their recognition of stress management, and effectively relieving their stress by using essential oils.” Imagine the positive effects throughout society if stress-reducing fragrances like clary sage were used not just in occasional medical studies, but in every school, nursing home, and office. If you are one of the many people who are finding themselves increasingly sensitive and more easily overwhelmed by stressful circumstances, sprinkle a few drops of clary sage essential oil in the bath and on the pillow before sleep; it is a renowned tonic that increases physical and psychological strength. By relaxing tension and supporting vitality, it boosts confidence, lifts fatigue, calms anxiety and panic, and overcomes depression. A small amount in a diffuser will help pacify hyperactive children. Clary sage is anti-diabetic, helps reduce high cholesterol, it is estrogen-like and supports hormones, it is anti-infectious, antifungal, antibacterial, may help with epilepsy, menoapause and PMS…Ladies, this is an essential must-have in your kit of oils. What could be more precious in this age of mental unrest than an essence that produces euphoric elevation of the spirit while simultaneously bringing tranquil balance to the emotions?