Are We More Than Just The Physical Body?

 

Are We More Than Just The Physical Body?
The science of Yoga and Ayurveda are not separate but rather an integrated study - a complete & total science. In fact, the science of Ayurveda was never meant to be fragmented just as ancient physicians were well versed in astrology and various other aspects of alchemy. The understanding of both Yoga and Ayurveda helps to better comprehend that life is made up of [multidimensional] realms. More simply, the mental, emotional, and spiritual realms comprise our human experience. At times, we mistakenly perceive ourselves as merely a physical body and other times we identify ourselves with random thoughts and/or feelings. However, the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda reveals that we exist within dimensional realms [of reality] governed by sheaths or “koshas” which create our individual experiences.

The Different Koshas & Living From The Heart!! 

 

“The Five Koshas”
We, as human beings, are not merely physical but instead an expansive energetic system organized by different layers of consciousness. According to this ancient thought, we are the summation of five layers or sheaths. These five sheaths are called “koshas” which are all connected. The koshas, which are connected and inter-related provides a model to help explain how our consciousness manifests itself as a physical, mental, and spiritual body.

 

1. Annamaya Kosha - The Physical Body
Anna means “food” and the physical body requires food for its very existence. Interestingly, maya means “illusion” and provides us a hint of our true identity. More simply, the body is not permanent nor is the physical body our true identity. Just as the wave is not separate from the ocean. Similarly, the human being [i.e. the wave] is not separate from all of existence [i.e. the ocean]. However, identifying strictly with the physical body creates the illusion that one is separate from all that is of the universe.

Nourishing Your Physical Body
Nourishing the body begins with a healthy daily routine otherwise known as "dinacharya". According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, health rests upon a foundation of balance – balanced doshas, balanced digestion, and restful sleep. If any one of these pillars of balance becomes weakened, then the overall health and well-being of a person will be affected.

Balanced Doshas
In managing any imbalance, Ayurveda determines which dosha [or combination of doshas] that may be out of balance and therefore takes steps to help normalize it, according to one’s unique tendencies. This process helps to seek out the root cause of any imbalance rather than treating mere symptoms.

Organic Herbal Teas
Organic Calming Vata Tea which is a sweet, soothing choice to help restore balance quickly whenever life gets too hectic. Organic Cooling Pitta Tea has fragrant rose petals combined with spices to help cool down mind, body and emotions. Finally, Organic Stimulating Kapha Tea is the perfect answer when you’re feeling sluggish or heavy — spicy tea!

Balanced Digestion
Ayurveda has described the underlying function of digestion and metabolism in our body as Agni [“Fire”]. Regarding the importance of Agni, the father of Ayurveda – Charak stated that when Agni of the individual is balanced then that person would be absolutely healthy and would lead a long, happy and healthy life.

Herbal Di-Gest
Supports improved digestion and balanced appetite; helps with gas, bloating, and discomfort.

Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus)
Supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits.

Practical Tips To Help Improve Digestion:
Although very simple these basic principles, if followed routinely, are often enough to improve your digestion and overall health. Often it’s the simple things that are most effective and oddly enough – overlooked. That said, let’s quickly take a look at the basics.

– All food should be freshly prepared, nutritious, and appetizing
– Food should generally contain all 6 tastes balanced to one’s needs
– We should leave 4-6 hours between meals with no snacking in between
– Eat your largest meal during the day when the sun it at its peak
– Relax and enjoy your meals in a calm soothing environment

Deep Rest & Blissful Sleep:
It’s nearly impossible to be healthy without adequate sleep. Sleep is essential for the maintenance and repair of the neurological, endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal and digestive systems. Rather, sleep is necessary for all systems of the body. Period. 8 Tips For Sound Sleep

Deep Rest
Deep Rest to support sleeping deeply through the night. This herbal formula is especially targeted for those who have difficulty staying asleep, waking up in the middle of the night. But it also helps those who have difficulty falling asleep and those who awaken early in the morning after less than six hours of sleep. The herbs in Deep Rest help you to sleep deeply throughout the night — and wake up feeling refreshed, ready to take on the day.

Blissful Sleep

The herbs in the Blissful Sleep formula produce a calming, balancing effect on the body, mind and emotions. You’ll find sleep becoming deeper and more restful. And you’ll wake up recharged, vitally alive, ready to take on the challenges of the day ahead.

 

2. Pranamaya Kosha - The Breath or Life-Force
Prana can be thought of as the subtle life-giving energy that flows in the air that we breathe. This subtle and unseen energy flows at the level of the nadis which channel throughout the body also known as the marma and chakra systems. “Prana” is breath or life-giving energy and “ayama” means control. Therefore, exercises such as “pranayama”, help to promote vitality by focusing on this life-giving force.

Taking Care Of Your Life-Force
Breath is essential to life. This demonstrates firsthand how the breath is directly connected to the mind. It’s the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do when we leave. The mind, body, and breath are intimately connected and directly influence each other. Our breathing is influenced by our thoughts, and our thoughts and physiology can be influenced by our breath. The ascetic yogis have known for centuries that the breath has amazing recuperative and rejuvenating powers. By controlling the breath, the yogis were able to alter their state of mind - rather, they were able to directly perceive the various “koshas” which create our state of being. For example, Nadi Shodhana, or “alternate nostril breathing,” is a simple yet powerful technique that helps settle the mind, body, and emotions. Nadi shodhana is particularly helpful to ease racing thoughts especially if you’re experiencing anxiety, stress, or having trouble falling asleep.

 

3. Manamaya Kosha - The Mind or Mental Body
Manas means “mind” and this includes all thoughts, feelings, and emotions from the common to mundane aspects of life. Often, we associate our mental state with the brain. However, according to Ayurveda and Yoga, the entire central nervous system meditates the mind which is further governed and influenced by an even further subtle energy system [i.e. nadis and chakra system] of pranamaya kosha; as explained above. We are now beginning to see how all the systems are inter-related and connected. Similarly, certain herbs have a higher vibrational energy which can influence the mind and our ability to think and experience emotions.

Herbs To Enhance The Mind
Ayurveda talks highly about a special class of herbs called “Medhya” herbs. Ultimately, by providing nourishment to the brain, these herbs are especially useful for the mind and helps to enhance learning while improving both the retention and recall of knowledge.

Intelligence Plus
Promotes natural intelligence; rejuvenates mental processes; supports attention span and concentration; promotes positive emotions and self-confidence.

Mind Plus
Stress and fatigue can diminish mental strength and clarity. Support mental functioning under stress and revitalize the mind with Mind Plus.

Organic Youthful Mind
Supports mental functioning as one ages; removes toxins that impede learning, memory, and recall; promotes the development of consciousness.

Taking Care Of Your Mental Body
Mantras are medicine for the Soul. The word “mantra” can be broken down into two parts: “man,” which means mind, and “tra,” which means transport or vehicle. Therefore, a mantra is an instrument —a powerful sound or vibration that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation.

 

4. Gyanamaya Kosha - Intellect, Wisdom & Intuition
Gyana means “intellect” and gyanamaya kosha provides the ability of discernment. However, the meaning is even more subtle in that it implies the ability to connect to the innate intelligence of the body and embodies the hidden potential of the higher mind. In a sense, this form of intellect is beyond thought and gives us the sense that something is right and rings true; i.e. intuition. Often, profound moments of clarity arise when gaining access and tapping into the higher mind through various acts of meditation, dreams, being in nature, or simply sitting quietly in contemplation.

How To Care For Your Gyanamaya Kosha
Spiritual understanding becomes the “food” which nourishes your intellect. For example, “Jnana yoga”, also called gyana yoga, explores the truth about who we really are and the full realization of this truth brings about enlightenment. In other words, Jnana Yoga uses the intellect as a tool to understand that our true Self is behind and beyond our mind. To understand this, the mind negates all preconceived ideas [i.e. dogma] of what one thinks one is - and simply asks the question, “Who am I?”. By meditating on this one question - wisdom naturally arises spontaneously.

 

5. Anandamaya Kosha - Bliss Body
Ananda means “bliss” and anandamaya kosha represents the highest realm of consciousness, which is bliss. In this state of being, one experiences joy and ecstasy and is the state of mind which our spiritual masters were inspired to speak from. It seems that research centered around the benefits of meditation have now been rolling in steadily validating the ancient wisdom common to both Ayurveda and Yoga. Ayurveda is an ancient science which literally means ‘the science of life’. A basic fundamental premise to both Ayurveda and Yoga is that – both a sound mind and sound body are integral to one’s overall health and well-being.

Stress Free Mind
Stress Free Mind supports natural resistance to daily mental stress and fatigue. This potent blend of whole herbal extracts, powders, and minerals nourishes and supports the immune system, which is often taxed by everyday mental stress.

How To Feed Your Anandamaya Kosha
Devotion and Bhakti Yoga helps to open our heart to the all-pervading consciousness.  By providing seva or “selfless service” in a loving state without the expectation of something to be returned is the nourishment of our bliss body.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you,
where there were only walls.”

- Joseph Campbell

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.


Health Is Wholeness - Is Health Really Just The Absence Of Disease?

 

Is Health Really Just The Absence Of Disease?
The concept of health is so familiar that many of us never really give much thought about what it really means. The most common response to such a question is - “the absence of disease”. Is health really just the absence of disease? The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda sees each person as not being a set of parts, but as a whole and for one to be considered healthy - the body, mind, and consciousness must be balanced. More specifically, Sushruta the father of surgery and teacher of Ayurveda explained health as being when the digestive fire [“agni”] is balanced; the bodily humors [vata-pitta-kapha] are in equilibrium; the three waste products [urine, feces, and sweat] are eliminated properly; the senses function normally; and the body, mind, and consciousness all harmoniously working as one.

“Health is wholeness.” - Mother Nature

From this perspective, health isn’t merely the absence of disease but rather a state of wholeness. In fact, the word “heal” comes from the Old English word ‘helien’ which means ‘to make whole’. In other words, health is wholeness. We are healthy only when we are able to fully “digest” and balance life as a whole; our food, our relationships, our job, and all our experiences of life.

 

Ayurveda - The Science Of Rightful Living. 

 

Balanced Digestion
Ayurveda has described the underlying function of digestion and metabolism in our body as Agni [“Fire”]. Regarding the importance of Agni, the father of Ayurveda – Charak stated that when Agni of the individual is balanced then that person would be absolutely healthy and would lead a long, happy and healthy life.

Herbal Di-Gest
Herbal Di-Gest is a blend of 10 ayurvedic herbs and spices that promotes healthy assimilation and elimination, so you won’t feel dull and heavy after meals.

Organic Digest Tone
Organic Digest Tone contains three remarkable fruits — amla, chebulic myrobalan and belleric myrobalan — and each possesses the superior rejuvenative and health-giving qualities known as a Rasayana. Because Organic Digest Tone contains three elixirs in one compound, it is considered one of the most valuable herbal preparations in the world. In addition, a fourth ingredient, cabbage rose, is added to support the synergy of the other ingredients and promote their effectiveness.

Ama - The Root Cause Of Disease
When the digestive fire “Agni” becomes impaired, metabolism and the body’s resistance and immune system becomes impaired. Even more detrimental, when digestion becomes impaired, ingested food remains undigested and accumulates in the intestines. This undigested material [“ama”] then clogs the intestines and other channels, such as capillaries and blood vessels due to its sticky nature which then retards the inner intelligence of the body - causing disease on various levels.

Elim-Tox-O
Elim-Tox-O is a gentle formula that helps cleanse your body’s natural purification systems without forcing, making it the recommended choice for people who have a tendency towards acne, heartburn, and excess stomach acid or who have a lot of "fire" in their physiology.

Herbal Cleanse
The Herbal Cleanse formula promotes normal, regular elimination and aids intestinal cleansing and efficient absorption of nutrients. It provides a healthy, long-term solution, unlike the harsh purge caused by drugs or constipation products. The herbs in Herbal Cleanse help promote natural, effective, regular elimination; aid cellular purification; balance cell moisture for smooth, clear skin; and improve assimilation and nutrition.

 

Health Is Balance
Knowing nature to be whole and complete, good health implies restoring that natural state of completeness and wholeness. According to the ancient teachings of Ayurveda, there are three doshas called vata, pitta, and kapha. We can think of these three doshas as the guiding principles that keep all our bodily functions balanced and healthy. Each of the three doshas are present throughout the body and govern our physiology and all activities of the body, mind, and emotions.

Balanced Doshas
In managing any imbalance, Ayurveda determines which dosha [or combination of doshas] which may be out of balance and therefore takes steps to help normalize it, according to one’s unique tendencies. This process helps to seek out the root cause of any imbalance rather than treating mere symptoms.

Vata
Movement, motion and flow are always occurring in all parts of our body at every moment. This movement is under the guidance of vata dosha. When imbalanced, vata dosha can make one vulnerable to worry, anxiety, nervousness and insomnia. Likewise, imbalanced vata dosha can create irregular digestion; meaning very hungry at times and at other times no hunger at all. This can create a “hard” digestive tract which makes one vulnerable to experience symptoms of abdominal distention, flatulence, and a tendency towards a “nervous appetite”.

Organic Calming Vata Tea
A few sips of Organic Vata Tea will help your whirling mind settle down and your body relax. Whether at work, at home, or on the road, sweet soothing Organic Vata Tea can help you stay calm and alert. Now certified organic.

Organic Vata Churna Calming Spice Mix
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance. Organic Calming Vata Churna is a blend of seven ingredients, including cumin, ginger and fenugreek.

Pitta
Pitta dosha is involved with metabolism at every level of the body. For example, all transformations at the organ, tissue, and cellular level are governed by the principle of pitta dosha. Due to the predominant fire quality, excess pitta dosha leads to proneness of acid indigestion and heartburn.

Organic Cooling Pitta Tea
A delicious combination of fragrant rose petals and refreshing spices, Organic Pitta Tea is the perfect answer when you're feeling intense or frustrated. Drunk warm or cool, it helps cool down your mind, body and emotions. Now certified organic.

Organic Pitta Churna Cooling Spice Mix
Organic Churnas are precise blends of spices and seasonings that include all six ayurvedic tastes. Sauté the Churna in ghee and add to your dishes; add some to soups, stews and sauces as they're cooking; or sprinkle over prepared vegetables or rice at the table. Convenient, and mouth-wateringly delicious!

Kapha
Every cell, tissue, and organ system are involved with providing structure to the body. The process of creating structure involves building, maintenance, and repair – which are all under the principle of kapha dosha. Excess kapha types leads to vulnerability at gaining weight. Since kapha is predominantly water and earth kapha can easily accumulate phlegm manifesting as bronchial or sinus congestion.

Organic Stimulating Kapha Tea
100% herbal Organic Kapha Tea is a caffeine-free alternative to coffee — great for early mornings or damp, cold days. Includes ginger, pepper and saffron. Now certified organic.

Organic Kapha Churna Stimulating Spice Mix
Stimulating Organic Kapha Churna is a zesty blend of ginger, black pepper, coriander and other spices.

 

"The Mind Body Connection"

Ojas - The Chemical Of Bliss

The relationship between the mind and body is complex as the body and mind are inseparable and inextricably connected. Everytime we have a thought, a cascade of chemical pathways are released which influences our body. For example, “Ojas”  is the end-product of perfect digestion which nourishes and sustains various tissues [“dhatus”] of the body. Ojas is said to pervade the body and can be said to be the most important biochemical substance mediating the influence of consciousness upon the body. According to Charaka, when ojas is in abundance, it gives strength, immune strength, contentment, and optimal digestion.

It is important to maintain optimum health and thereby strong Ojas by a suitable diet and lifestyle.  There are some practical ways to increase Ojas and it is also vital to be aware of activities that can deplete this vital essence of the body.

Ways To Increase Ojas:
·        Meditation
·        Moderate yoga suited to one’s constitution
·        Pranayama (breathing exercises)
·        Consuming fresh wholesome and balanced meals appropriate to ones state of balance
·        Following a daily morning practice incorporating walking in nature, nasal drops and oil massages
·        Certain herbs such as Ashwagandha and Shatavari can help in promoting Ojas
·        A restful and appropriate sleep is vital to building Ojas

Activities That Deplete Ojas:
·        Excessive sexual activity
·        Physical and psychological traumas
·        Intense and excessive vigorous exercise
·        Overexposure to bacteria, virus and parasites
·        Diseases such as cancer, chronic asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis, ulcerative colitis amongst others
·        Excessive stress and an intense work schedule
·        Excessive consumption of foods that have preservatives and additives and other chemicals
·        Overconsumption of incompatible foods for one’s constitution

Health Is Happiness - Inner Pharmacy Of Wellness
It is now well known that the body has its own ‘inner pharmacy’ within and our nervous system produces substances and neuropeptides that influence our immunity and sense of well-being. For example, laughter is thought to reduce levels of stress hormones and increase the activity of immune cells such as T cells, natural killer cells and even antibodies. The inner pharmacy of all experiences are dormant within us and the release of these neuropeptides affects the whole body, moment-to-moment.

Stress Free Emotions supports natural resistance to emotional stress and fatigue. Diet, daily habits and ongoing stress are key factors that can contribute to imbalances in mind and body, leading to feelings of sadness and physical fatigue.

Positive Emotions
Positive emotions like love. laughter and appreciation release beneficial neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin which helps to create a healthy immune system.

Negative Emotions
Negative emotions like fear, hate, and anger release stress hormones such as cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine which can [over time] lead to mental depression and even result in the suppression of our immune system.

5 Simple Tips For Slowing Down
Rasayana is an Ayurvedic concept which has several meanings. The most basic implication is to increase longevity while improving the quality of life. There are many forms of rasayana in Ayurveda – one being “behavioral rasayana” which recognizes the effect of mind upon health.

1. Do less. It’s often a struggle to slow down knowing there are a million other things to do. However, make the conscious effort to do less while focusing on what’s really important while letting go of all the rest. Letting go often creates the space to fully digest the present moment and helps to bring clarity to see the next necessity as it arises.

2. Be present. Not only does one need to slow down but what is of more importance is the sense of awareness that naturally arises as one lets go of all other distractions. Therefore, by letting do – there is a spontaneous arising of awareness to the present environment within and around you.

3. Appreciate Nature. Modern living often keeps us confined in our homes and offices or traveling about in cars and trains – rarely do we get the opportunity to be outside in nature. Therefore, make the opportunity and find time to go outside and truly observe the beauty of nature. Take a breath of fresh air, enjoy the serenity of the clear water amongst the background of greenery. You owe it to yourself.

4. Eat Slowly. Instead of rushing to eat – take time to appreciate the taste and flavors of your food. Again, according to Ayurveda, food is medicine and optimal digestion produces nourishment to both the body and mind. Therefore, let food be the delight of your senses. Eat calmly, peacefully and in moderation.

5. Find pleasure in the simple things. While slowing down, becoming more present, and appreciating nature you will notice that it’s the simple things which give the greatest sense of joy. With your newfound heightened sense of awareness, even the flower or a single blade of grass amongst the vast field will give immense joy.

Be Happy. Be Healthy.
Therefore, meditate & do yoga.

Deep Rest & Blissful Sleep 
It’s nearly impossible to be healthy without adequate sleep. Sleep is essential for the maintenance and repair of the neurological, endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal and digestive systems. Rather, sleep is necessary for all systems of the body. Period.

Just some of the obvious benefits of a great night sleep:

  • Enhances memory and mental clarity
  • Improves athletic performance.
  • Boosts mood and overall energy.
  • Improves immune function.
  • Increases stress tolerance

 

Deep Rest
Deep Rest to support sleeping deeply through the night. This herbal formula is especially targeted for those who have difficulty staying asleep, waking up in the middle of the night. But it also helps those who have difficulty falling asleep and those who awaken early in the morning after less than six hours of sleep. The herbs in Deep Rest help you to sleep deeply throughout the night — and wake up feeling refreshed, ready to take on the day.

Blissful Sleep

The herbs in the Blissful Sleep formula produce a calming, balancing effect on the body, mind and emotions. You’ll find sleep becoming deeper and more restful. And you’ll wake up recharged, vitally alive, ready to take on the challenges of the day ahead.

8 Tips For Sound Sleep

Transcending Stress
Stress management is perhaps the most important factor regarding health because no matter what diet you follow, how much you exercise and what supplements you take, if you’re not managing your stress you will still be at risk for modern degenerative conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism and autoimmunity.

What is stress?
“… any event in which environmental demands, internal demands, or both tax or exceed the adaptive resources of an individual.” – Richard Lazarus; Prominent Psychologist

Stress Free Mind
Stress Free Mind supports natural resistance to daily mental stress and fatigue. This potent blend of whole herbal extracts, powders, and minerals nourishes and supports the immune system, which is often taxed by everyday mental stress.

Just some of the effects of stress upon the body:

  • Raises your blood sugar.
  • Weakens your immune system.
  • Makes your gut leaky.
  • Makes you hungry and crave sugar.
  • Reduces your ability to burn fat.
  • Suppresses your HPA-axis, which causes hormonal imbalances.
  • Reduces your DHEA, testosterone, growth hormone and TSH levels.
  • Increases your belly fat and makes your liver fatty.
  • Causes depression, anxiety and mood imbalances.
  • Contributes to cardiovascular disease.

 

“Too blessed to be stressed.”
– Meditation 

Just Some Of The Potential Benefits Of Meditation:
– greater clarity and inner calmness
– increased creativity and happiness
– improved sense of emotional stability
– reduced level of anxiety and depression
– improved brain function and memory
– reduced level of stress
… the list can go on and on …

Learn More About The Benefits Of Meditation
The ancient science of Ayurveda has described health to be a state of perfect balance. Ultimately, to revolutionize healthcare we must seek a state of balance. The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda provides a time-tested approach to a state of perfect health.

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.