Delicious Chutneys

 

Delicious & Wholesome Chutneys
Chutneys do more than add taste to a meal. When used correctly, they can aid in digestion, kindle agni and promote health. There are numerous types of chutneys incorporating the six tastes and using many different types of fruits and spices. Fruits are revered in Ayurveda, as they are one of the purest foods that enhance ojas (think vitality, immunity and strength). They are a superb source of nutrients and vitamins, not to mention their antioxidant properties. When used in chutneys with a combination of spices, these fruits can provide a delightfully tasty, yet healthy, accompaniment to dishes. It is important to consider the spices and types of fruit to use in chutneys, in conjunction with one’s constitution and current season.

Ayurvedic Supplements For Digestion
Good health depends on strong and efficient digestion.

Typically, chutneys are rather easy to prepare. In general, the fruits and spices are blended together and served. In some cases, the spices are roasted first and then added to the blender alongside the fruits.

With that said, here are three tasty and healthy chutneys tailored for Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Enjoy!

 

Raisin Date Chutney For Vata

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped pitted medjool dates
  • 1 ½ cups raisins

 

Steps

  1. Simply place all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired texture!
  2. Some of the spices can be roasted first if desired
  3. Enjoy with your main meal!

 

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

 

Ginger Honey Chutney For Kapha

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup of chopped fresh ginger
  • ½ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Honey to taste

 

 

 

 

 

Steps

  1. Place the ginger, lime and orange juice in a blender and blend until desired texture.
  2. Add a tablespoon of honey and mix well. Add according to taste
  3. Enjoy with main meal!

 

Organic Kapha Stimulating Spice Mix
This Spice mix contains the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance which includes ginger, coriander and turmeric.

 

Cilantro Mint Chutney For Pitta

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup of fresh mint
  • 2 apples
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice

 

 

 

 

Steps

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until desired texture is reached.
  2. Enjoy with main meal!

 

Organic Pitta Cooling Spice Mix
This spice mixture satisfies the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance and features coriander, cardamom and turmeric.

 

  • Ingredients and amounts can be modified according to one’s constitution and season. For example, during winter seasons, onions and black pepper can be added to cilantro chutney to ensure it is not too cooling. 

LOVE - Mind, Body & Soul

 

LOVE – Mind, Body & Soul
By Priya Singh

The vast magnificence of Love is a power that has never been fully understood or explained. It is an idea, a feeling, an ethos, a concept - and it is not tangible. Even though it is one of the most powerful emotions on the planet – it is not quantifiable. Not in actual scientific terms where a chemist could put your ‘love’ in his test tube and weigh and measure the love you feel for your partner, child, parents or anyone. You own your love. And that is why, even the person you profess to love has no idea of how much you love them. You own your love. It is your sorrow, your joy, your suffering and your delirium. It is your dragon to fly. It is your unicorn to ride.

Where does this love come from? Where does love exist in our body? Is it in the cells, tissues, muscles, nerves, organs, brain, skin? Where is it that I feel the impending loss of my daughter as she leaves home to start her own young beautiful life? Each morning I wake up and a different part of me is hurting. This morning was an ache in my chest, yesterday was my lower back; the day before that was muscular weakness all over my body, and so it goes.  Am I just manifesting all these crazy symptoms because my mind is subconsciously telling me that I am untying trillions of knots that bind me to my baby girl? Each knot that is made of cells, tissue, blood and memory; it hurts even to approach the mammoth task of getting my hands bloody and starting the process of unraveling these ties that bind … my chest begins to hurt and my eyes begin to water.

Nothing prepared me for being a mother; I have just fumbled my way through this complicated labyrinth successfully and many times unsuccessfully by sheer luck. And more than the primal instinct of keeping my little cubs safe, I have been confounded, soaked, seared and stunned by the magnitude of the Love I feel for these creature that I birthed. There is nothing that I would not do to keep my babies safe and healthy. Personally for me something solidified when I became a mother, it’s a role that has let me explore the depth, height and width of this emotion being discussed – Love.

I have read enough Khalil Gibran and Rumi to be even romantic about the concept of my babies flying out of the nest. In the same spirit it is my unending love that wants my little girl to go out into the world and find her place, her identity. How do I quantify my limitless love for her? I want her to learn the ways of the world, explore her potential and become the woman I know lives in that young person. The woman I know I helped shape. I know she will be kind, savvy and magnificent. How do I explain to her that her she carries me along with her - that unconscious turn of her head, the thoughtful gestures she makes, and her smile - I am always there within her.

"It is a rite of passage – this leaving, this separation."

For me it just reinforces that I am going to wake up each morning and feel a vacuum in my home, mind and body. The physical emptiness of the presence of my lovely young girl with her long limbs sprawled about the home, or those middle of the night raids for a snack, walking into my room and regaling me with stories about her day, shopping with me for my make-up and clothes, advising me on ‘mom, ummm…maybe the other shoes’, correcting my use of current teen slang, reaching over and silently fixing the glitch on my laptop, or introducing me to my Bitemoji Avatar… just her presence that gives me my identity as her Mama - to date my favorite.

And as she goes off to join this world of bigotry and natural disasters, I wish I could protect her from every negative experience.  However, both she and I have to learn. We have to understand that only out of change will there be growth; every new experience - good or bad - is going to reshape ideals; adversity will build character and failure will motivate; creating and maintaining new friendships will enrich; loneliness will enable the search within; curiosity will break boundaries - anything she wants to achieve is possible; there will be times of extreme joy and freedom, and there will be times of and sadness and isolation - both for her and me. And that is life. And this letting go is Love.

 

About The Author

Born and bought up in India, Priya has been entrenched in the practice, study, and teaching of classical Hatha and Kriya yoga for the past 30 years. Her passion and interest in Yoga encompasses the allied study of Ayurveda, Yoga therapy, Applied anatomy and Homeopathy. Priya is also a trained Integrative Health Coach from Duke University, NC, where she had the privilege of teaching yoga at some seminars. In addition, she has been teaching yoga fundamentals and anatomy at Yoga Teacher training programs in the Bay Area. Priya owes her love for yoga and healing to the blessings of all her teachers, mentors and Guru.   

With an interesting blend of Eastern roots and Western sensibilities, Priya is uniquely qualified to engage her students in a style which empowers them to take steps towards achieving personal goals. She practices a synergetic approach to healing, taking into consideration the complete history, current health and long-term health targets of her clients. 

The individual sessions begin with an assessment, and are personalized to the client’s preference; and can include a combination of Health Coaching, Asana, Pranayama, meditation, lifestyle conversation and nutritional guidance. The group classes are taught in an easy, non–competitive environment, keeping individual needs and constitutions in mind.

To contact Priya Singh please visit: 
www.PriyaSinghYoga.com

 


Masala “Spiced” Chai + Ayurvedic Tips For Winter

 

Masala "Spiced" Chai ... 
Winter is a time when nature’s energy withdraws back unto herself as nature’s many expressions begin to slow down. According to Ayurveda, a person is a miniature reflection of nature and winter represents a time for much needed restoration. Even more reason to treat yourself to the warming qualities of delicious and yummy masala “spiced” chai.

INGREDIENTS:
– Ginger, 1 TSP finely shredded
– Cardamom, 7 whole seeds
– Clove, 1/2 whole clove
– Cinnamon
– Milk, 1.5 Cup
– Sugar, 1 TSP
– Orange Pekoe Tea, 2 TSP

~Winter Tips~
Generally, the food we eat during winter season should be warming, nourishing, and mildly spicy. Likewise, we should avoid cold food and flavors which are excessively sweet, sour, or salty as these are all considered “kapha provoking” and will therefore further increase congestion.

Amrit Kalash 
Keep Your Energy & Immunity Intact ...

Amrit Kalash in the morning is great to help keep your energy and immunity intact and is especially beneficial during winter season. Amrit Kalash is a traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E

Full-spectrum antioxidant: targets mind & nervous system

  • 1000x more effective in eliminating free radicals (the root cause of aging) than vitamins C or E1
  • powerful food for the brain
  • significantly boosts immunity & vitality
  • best taken with Amrit Nectar
  • vata, pitta, kapha balancing (vpk®)

 

Winter Nights
As the winter nights get darker earlier, it’s wise to go to bed earlier. Before heading off to bed you may want to consider a delicious cup of hot spicy milk. Spices such as nutmeg are calming and help to promote sound sleep.

Blissful Sleep
Natural sleep aid for falling asleep faster and enjoying deeper, more refreshing sleep; balances, and nourishes.

Deep Rest
To support sleeping through the night; helps in falling asleep more easily, and in returning to sleep when awakened.

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.


Making Health Happen: 5 Simple Steps To Accomplishing Your Health Goals

 

Making Health Happen
There are ideals and there are realities when it comes to health. We almost all know how profoundly different our lives could be if we ate right, exercised regularly, and rested when required. But life happens. We have soaring, sparkling goals but our ability to follow-through can fall short – the realities of social gatherings, packed work schedules, and life-long less-than-ideal living habits make health a true hurdle.

So the question stands, how do we make health happen without making ourselves inflexible or insane in the process? How do we find balance between holding ourselves accountable for necessary growth and transformation, and simultaneously allow space for spontaneity and enjoyment. Our reality is that what we set out to do isn’t always as easy to accomplish as we might think. In effect, we must find balance in the search for balance itself. Let’s explore some simple steps to making health happen in your life!

1. Commit: Intentions & Accountability 
How would you feel if you were to accomplish your health goals? What is it that you’d like to cultivate in life in general and what are the smaller goals you have to do to get there? Is it a sense of physical strength? Peace of mind? Focus and clarity? You create your reality. Let your mind dream of the beauty you yourself can create with right intention and focus. Draw, write, or confide in a safe person to help hold you accountable if you hit a rough patch down the road.

2. Organize: Get Detailed, Get Crafty
How many of you have run out eagerly for a new supplement, spice or herbal product only to find it unopened in the back of your cabinet months later? Our set-up for success is almost as vital a component as doing the practice or taking the product itself! Here are some simple execution tips to propel you towards your goals:

~ THE GAME PLAN
Decide on each component of your health plan and write it up! Even a detailed chart, specifying what time you plan to do each aspect of your health regimen can be vital when you start out. Committing to this kind of structure at first will make things easier later on. If art is your thing, let it be a craft project, and enjoy the practice of planning!

~ IN PLAIN SIGHT
Out of sight out of mind? It can be an unnecessary hurdle to achieve our health goals if our tools are hidden away. Keep your supplies at the ready! If it’s an awareness/meditation/breathing routine, carve out a small, quiet space to practice. If it’s an herbal protocol, keep a basket of your daily herbs/products out in plain sight! If you’re working with new ingredients and food choices keep those in immediate view in your cabinets, while your treats or junk food of the past get tossed or moved to the back! The power of suggestion is great – let the eyes feast on what the body needs.

~ IT’S ABOUT TIME
So many of our health imbalances originate from a simple lack of time given to our own care. Sit down with The Game Plan you or your practitioner have laid out and schedule in time to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. Does it take 15 minutes to do that brief yoga sequence? Or 10 to brew and sip your herbal tea in the morning? Make sure to factor this in to your morning routine. Set alarms, on your computer or phone for those tasks, especially the hard-to-remember ones.

3. Routine: Your Home Away From Home 
In Ayurveda dinacharya, is one’s daily routine, and according to Dr. Vasant Lad of the Ayurvedic Institute is “absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind and consciousness.” Routine “regularizes a person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.” Dinacharya creates a container in which you can factor in each of your new health routines – anything from herbal protocols, spiritual practices, and exercise to ‘free time’ or ‘creative time’. The best part? Our routine can travel with us anywhere, giving us the comfort of home in the encasement of ourselves.

4. What’s Flex? What’s Fluid?
When we embark on a new health journey it’s important to hold ourselves accountable to our most influential goals. Which of our tasks are NON-NEGOTIABLE for the rest of our objectives to fall into place? Start simple. Is it that 10pm bedtime? Taking our herbal formula first thing in the morning? Can you be flexible about your diet on the weekends if you’ve remained committed during the week?  Decide what is absolute and what is fluid. When you’ve paved a firm foundation, you can always layer on additional goals.

5. Clean Body, Clear Focus
Sometimes the mere thought of change is enough to send us into a panic. “What if we fail?”, “I’m not ready”,”It’s too hard.” Doubt prevails. The truth is that the mentality itself can be quickly shifted with a few basic cleansing measures. Our tools? Triphala. Nasya. Journaling. Hydration. Sleep.

Let’s Explore:
Triphala is a detox herb in Ayurveda that can be used safely for nearly anyone – it promotes regularity in elimination, supports healthy digestion, and is a natural antioxidant. It’s a gentle detoxification measure that can create a profound shift in our everyday energy and clarity.  More info on triphala here.

Nasya is the nasal administration of medicated oils. It delivers its mind cleansing and rejuvenating properties directly across the blood-brain barrier to nourish the brain. Taking a nasya oil in the morning helps open and clear the mind, allowing for the successful follow-through of your health goals. Learn more about nasya options here.

Journaling helps expose your hopes, fears, hesitations, excitements and miscellaneous thoughts on paper. Simply “detoxing” our minds through the written word can be a fantastic way to understand ourselves and move our mental road blocks aside. Sometimes the simple expression of thought through writing can be enough to rid them from our reality. After writing, rip it up and throw it away.

Hydration. There’s no simpler way to detox than drinking the appropriate amount of water. Depending on your body-type, activity level and environment you should be sipping anywhere from 6-10 cups of water/day.

Sleep. Rest is our most neglected path to health and rejuvenation. Are you sleeping during the hours that most help your body to reset? Ayurveda says that Pitta (the fire element of our constitution or metabolic capacity) is most active from the hours of 10pm-2am. If we don’t rest during this period we risk blowing out that fire. So get to bed! Commit to at least 7 hours of sleep/night and shift those hours to the earlier evening.

According to a 2007 NHIS survey, 83 million U.S. adults spent $33.9 billion on out-of-pocket visits to Complementary and Alternative Medicine practitioners and purchases(citation), each with a simple question in their hearts: How do I find health? As we’ve explored, the question is mosaicked in execution yet unified in its singular answer.

We must ask ourselves, outside our newly birthed health routines: Who am I? It is a question one we can only hope to answer through delving deeply, slowly, and quietly within ourselves. Allow for space, reflection, and solitude and our answers cannot help but surface under still waters.

Photo Credit: http://www.hgtv.com

About The Author
Emma Landau
Emma is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner with over 1500 hours of training at the Ayurvedic Institute, the leading school for Ayurvedic medicine in the US. She holds a BSc from Cornell University, is a member of the National Ayurvedic Medicine Association and is a certified AyurYoga® instructor. By addressing the root cause of imbalances and disease through diet, lifestyle, herbs, yoga, meditation, and subtle energy therapies, clients are able to reconnect with their optimum health. Emma currently practices in Albuquerque, NM, and is available for distance consults via Skype, and facilitates classes and workshops on various topics.
For more information on services provided by Emma, please visit Hamsa Ayurveda.


Sustainability In Ayurveda: Essential Principles & Guidelines

 

Sustainability In Ayurveda
Essential Principles and Guidelines By Sarah Devi Otto­-Combs

While words like “sustainability” and “Ayurveda” have become increasingly popular in recent years, there has been little conversation about what it really means to practice Ayurveda sustainably. As Ayurveda has taken hold in the West, there has been a corresponding surge in use of herbs from the Ayurvedic Apothecary. Aushadhis, or medicines, such as ashwagandha and triphala that were once foreign commodities are now commonplace and readily available in most cities in local co­ops and natural food stores. This in addition to the plethora of products available from India directly online has vastly changed the face of this market. While this has a been a boon for many reasons, there is a side of this industry that hasn’t been talked about as much, namely the environmental impact of ordering herbs from halfway around the world. How can we practice Ayurveda sustainably for both ourselves and our clients in a globalized marketplace, and what does that really mean?

To understand this question requires that we step back and take a look at the history of Ayurveda. Though Kerala is often referred to as the birthplace of Ayurveda, this science has been practiced across the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years, with varying expressions based on the climate, culture, and substances available for medicinal use. These regional differences were integral in shaping the differences seen in treatment, especially in terms of herbs. The underlying principles of treatment were and are the same, but the substances used for treatment were not. People were not importing herbs from across the globe, they were using what was available in their own backyards.

Environmental Sustainability - We Have Choices

 

Essential Principles & Guidelines ...
It is precisely this notion that must be imported with the rest of the glory of Ayurveda. Many herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousand of years are now endangered due to over harvesting, and should not be purchased. Such stories are a result of demand as much as they are of supply; let us be impeccable in our choices as consumers, purchasing only that which has been verifiably sourced as organic and sustainable. We must also consider that even when organic and sustainably harvested, these medicines are travelling thousands of miles to get to us, contributing to fossil fuel emissions in addition to often being shipped in plastic packaging and containers. By seeking out what is available locally or growing our own herbs, we are supporting sustainable practices and getting fresher product to boot!

How else does practicing Ayurveda sustainably translate practically? Remember that Ayurveda is vast in scope, and that herbs are in fact only a small portion of what we use to treat ourselves and clients. By following these simple guidelines, we can help ensure that Ayurveda is practiced effectively without putting unnecessary strain on precious resources like herbs and fossil fuels.

 

1) Diet & Lifestyle First.
Always use diet and lifestyle first and foremost to treat yourself and your clients! Ayurveda teaches us that all diseases begin in the g.i. tract, caused primarily by wrong foods, poor food combining, food at the wrong time, and eating food in the wrong way. If we give and take herbs without addressing this, then we are using herbs irresponsibly and unsustainably. This is a very different paradigm from what we are accustomed to in the West, and requires that we are personally accountable for our actions and how they impact our state of health. Don’t just blindly take herbs without addressing the foundation of what sustains you, namely your daily routines and what you digest!

 

2) Act Locally.
Get to know herbs available locally! This could mean using yarrow or elderberry instead of sitopaladi to support yourself in cold and flu season, or becoming familiar with the medicinal properties of your spice cabinet. Many locally available herbs have actions parallel to what we import from India, and when administered with with the precision of Ayurvedic preparation and administration can yield greater potency and efficacy due to the freshness of the plant.

Common spices such as cumin and turmeric also have profound healing properties, and are powerful allies in our arsenal of medicinal substances. Tulsi is an herb easily grown in a pot indoors, and is said to bring blessings simply by having it in your home! These are just a few examples of the many ways we can augment our health without importing herbs unnecessarily.

3) Be impeccable with sourcing!
Be impeccable with sourcing! If you or your practitioner determine that traditional Ayurvedic compounds are the best option for treatment, make sure that your herbs are organic and sustainably harvested. Be aware of what herbs are endangered, and of what herbs are appropriate substitutes for such medicines. Companies like Banyan Botanicals and Organic India are great resources for herbs from India, and many Ayurvedic practitioners grow their own herbs for client use. Herbs like jatamansi and sandalwood are highly endangered, and should not be used lightly. Though wonderful medicines, we have a vast array of other medicines to choose from that are not endangered, and in fact should do so.

The Takeaway ...
The takeaway is that to practice Ayurveda does not require use of only the Indian pharmacopoeia. Ayurveda is a science based on a universally applicable set of principles, adaptable based on what you have access to, and does not require knowledge of traditional Ayurvedic formulations. To practice Ayurveda is to practice a philosophy of awareness of the impacts of the choices we make on a daily basis. The resources of our planet are precious and to be cherished as dearly as we cherish our own lives, for without them there is no us. It is through our cooperation and oneness with Nature that we are able to flourish, and to live this way is to embody our fullest capacity as human beings. This is the ultimate expression of Ayurveda.

About The Author 
Sarah Devi Otto-Combs

Sarah Devi Otto-Combs
 uses the Ayurvedic paradigm of constitutional analysis to help her clients achieve the foundation of good health that we all deserve and desire. Using Ayurvedic principles, she helps her clients to rectify both recent and long lingering imbalances, that they may live life to its fullest and with joy.

“There is so much to be gained through understanding ourselves through the lens of Ayurveda, and I am here to guide my clients through that process. My hope is that the aforementioned may serve as a guide to deeper understanding of this paradigm, as this is also the foundation of how we treat clients as Ayurvedic practitioners.” In addition to practicing and studying Ayurveda, Sarah Devi is a student of Odissi classical Indian dance.  She is also the co-proprietor of Keeper of the Ink, an all natural tattoo aftecare product made in the Pacific Northwest.  Feel free to contact her with any questions or comments.


You Are Only As Healthy As Your "Agni"

 

You Are Only As Healthy As Your Agni
Agni is the fire of transformation. It is responsible for the digestion, absorption, assimilation, and transformation of what we take in (food and experiences) into energy. The well-known ayurved Dr. Lad, defines "Agni" as:

Awareness Governing Nutritional Intelligence.
Your agni can be balanced, too low, too high, or irregular.

Ayurvedic Digestive Supplements
You are only as healthy as your digestion!!

What we feed the agni, and as David Frawley says, "Everything in the universe is food", determines how our agni burns. Imbalanced agni can mean weakness, poor digestion, poor elimination, internal coldness, compromised immunity, fatigue, or generally a lack of bright, shiny, vitality. Balanced agni looks like strength, vitality, immunity, clarity of perception and mind, proper digestion and elimination, normal body temperature, and a healthy glow that permeates all parts of your being.

The Ayurvedic Connection Between Agni & Ama

So, what are the things that balance and imbalance Agni?

What balances agni:

  • meal times according to the ayurvedic clock
  • dosha appropriate foods
  • warm, well cooked, well seasoned foods
  • fresh, whole, seasonal foods
  • warm beverages, digestive teas
  • adequate rest
  • healthy energetic/emotional expression
  • spinal twist asana
  • agni sara

 

What imbalances agni:

  • over or undereating
  • eating at the wrong time of day
  • snacking
  • inappropriate food for your dosha
  • incompatible food combining
  • cold beverages
  • toxins, intentional or unintentional (drink, smoke, other)
  • seasonal shifts
  • sleep not aligned with the ayurvedic clock
  • energetic/emotional imbalance

 

Ayurveda is clear, if you're experiencing the symptoms of imbalanced agni, there are many practices available to you to rekindle and balance your fire. Someone versed in ayurveda can help you determine how to best bring your agni back into balance. Make your choices an offering to your fire, swaha!

About The Author
Kara Aubin

Kara Aubin was called to the path of yoga in 1998, and has been a dedicated student and practitioner since. A lifelong lover of movement, she was drawn in by the intention and pranic wisdom of yogic movement, and the profound and challenging nature of yogic stillness. As a ParaYoga Certified teacher and NAMA Certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor based in Kalamazoo, MI and Albuquerque, NM she weaves the teachings of yoga and Ayurveda into group classes, private sessions, workshops, and retreats. Her mission is to guide students toward their bright inherent potential, as well as their right to radical wellness and balance.

Want an Ayurvedic consultation with Kara Aubin? 
Contact her at Kara Aubin 


Making Ghee On A Full Moon + Mantra For Immortality

“Auspicious Ghee” - Making Ghee On A Full Moon
Every thing around us has an effect on something within us. Everything in the Universe - the stars, planets, satellites, and even the moon have a certain frequency. For example, the frequency of the moon affects the mind and influences our feelings, emotions, and desires. In ancient times, it was common to make ghee as the moon developed into a full moon. This practice of making ghee on a full moon is considered auspicious because the moon is thought to influence “Soma” - the source of nourishment, nectar, and bliss. Soma is a Sanskrit term which is derived from the root word “su” which means ‘to energize, stimulate, expand, and grow’.

“Soma is the nectar of immortality.”

Soma is also called “amrita” which means nectar and is considered the nectar of immortality. Soma is that which nourishes all things and making ghee during a waxing or full moon provides for an increase of this nourishing quality of ghee. In a practical way,  we can say developing Soma is a way of influencing our own brain chemistry and promoting the secretion of positive chemicals and hormones that keep our nervous system calm, content, and blissful - full of bliss!

Increasing Ghee’s Potency
The ancient science of Ayurveda has long revered ghee as an elixir for health and longevity. Honoring the Moon in our lives and understanding the place of the Moon helps us to develop the Soma within. The Mahamrtunjaya mantra also known as the “Great Death-Conquering” mantra was traditionally used to make ghee. According to ancient myth, the moon was once in trouble as she was cursed by King Daksha. A Rishi named Markandeya provided the secret mantra to help protect the moon. This mantra is said to bestow longevity and immortality for it provides physical and emotional wellbeing. Ancient vedic culture instructs to chant his mantra 108 times, which is considered an auspicious and significant number.

The Mahamrtunjaya Mantra
Om Try-Ambakam Yajaamahe
Sugandhim Pusstti-Vardhanam
Urvaarukam-Iva Bandhanaan
Mrtyor-Mukssiiya Maa-[A]mrtaat ||

Translation:
1: Om, We Worship the Three-Eyed One (Lord Shiva),
2: Who is Fragrant (Spiritual Essence) and Who Nourishes all beings.
3: May He severe our Bondage of Samsara (Worldly Life), like a Cucumber (severed from the bondage of its Creeper), ...
4: ... and thus Liberate us from the Fear of Death, by making us realize that we are never separated from our Immortal Nature.

How To Make Ghee From Kerrygold Unsalted Butter

3 Simple Steps For Making Ghee ...
1. Place two pounds of cultured butter [preferably grass-fed, organic, and unsalted] into a heavy yet medium sized pot and turn the heat to medium.

2. Heat the butter until the butter melts making sure not to burn the butter. Once the butter has melted, turn down the heat and continue to cook to a very light boil typically for 15-20 minutes. After about 15-20 minutes you will notice the most amazing aroma of buttered popcorn and the beautiful golden color of ghee.

3.  White-colored curds will begin to form as the butter continues to lightly boil. Once these white-colored curds turn into a light tan color, carefully remove the pot from the heat source. Your ghee is now ready to cool until it is just barely warm. Once the ghee is warm strain the clear ghee into a clean container using a cheesecloth and discard the curds which are left on the bottom of the pot.

* Two pounds of butter generally creates 1 quart of ghee
* Always keep a clean storage of ghee to prevent contamination
* Ghee does not require refrigeration
* Health benefits of ghee are thought to increase with age

Buy Organic Ghee Online 

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:
This is strictly for educational purposes only and NOT to be considered medical advice.
Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.


The Breath, Poop & Weight Test

 

The Breath, Poop & Weight Test
It’s hard to be sexy when you’re sick. Though our noses are not nearly as sensitive as those of many animals, humans are still wired to sniff out when people are not well… and to avoid them. But the reverse is also true: radiant health is very attractive, to both men and women, and it make sense to cultivate it if for nothing else but to attract a quality partner. There is an aphorism that says:

“The root of dharma, prosperity, enjoyment, and freedom is good health.
Diseases take this away, as well as goodness and life itself.”

This reminder of how important health is not only to love and romance, but practically every area of life comes from the āyurvedic author Charaka. Health stands as an asset and disease is a liability to achieving our goals, which is why even in a book on sex, love and dharma, we must consider health one of the greatest aphrodisiacs. Lucky for you, the most important step to achieving it is summed up in two words: eliminate āma.

If humans are wired to find health attractive, then āma is the destroyer of attraction. There is no equivalent for this Sanskrit term in English, but it amounts to “toxic sludge,” or “morbid mucoid plaque.” Āma can be gross, like the whitish mucus you see if you stick out your tongue in the morning, or it can be subtle, circulating systemically, causing inflammation, cell toxicity and congestion. You can bet that if you have it on your tongue, it’s also in your body spawning all kinds of mischief! In fact, according to Āyurveda, āma is the root cause of all disease. Modern research is catching up to Āyurveda’s wisdom in recognizing the deadly effects of āma, though it is still a long ways from knowing what to do about it. Āma creates tolerable problems like bad breath and flatulence, but also serious issues like heart disease, auto –immune disorders, alzheimers, and even cancer. Needless to say, romance is dampened when your body is full of sludge, and real delectable lovemaking becomes impossible. So how do you know if you have it?

Great Video - What Your Poop Says About You - Mama Natural 

The Breath, Poop & Weight Test
If you wake up in the morning with foul-smelling breath, it is a sign of putrefication, which means you have āma in your system. More than likely, you will also have a whitish coating on part or all of your tongue, which you should scrape off immediately using a tongue scraper. Āma on the tongue means there is āma in the body. But if you wake up with fresh smelling breath and no āma on your tongue, then you are nirāma– without excessive toxic sludge, and your body is better prepared to respond to stress. Āma is the reason some people get sick when exposed to a stimulus like stress or a cold virus, while others do not. Āma is inflammatory, compromising your immunity and the body’s ability to resist external and internal threats. And, as we shall learn later, it is a key factor in aging.

The Breath Test
If when you wake up you can burp and taste last night’s dinner, then your digestion is sluggish, and āma is probably present. If this is the case, skip breakfast and allow the body to finish digesting your last meal before giving it a new challenge. In fact, this is a simple way to know if you are ready to eat- if you can still taste and burp your last meal, then wait a little while, or try some of the herbal remedies outlined below.

Ayurdent Toothpaste
All-natural ayurvedic formula with neem (azadirachta indica) extract helps cleanse deep toxins from the teeth and mouth. Works effectively to promote tooth and gum health and helps protect against tooth decay.

Silver Tongue Cleaner
If you wake up with "morning mouth," check your tongue. That white film is loaded with bacteria and impurities. Our traditional Sterling Silver Tongue Cleaner is designed to easily and efficiently remove the film, leaving your mouth feeling fresh and clean.

The Poop Test
The poop test is simple: if your bowel movement floats, it is a sign that you are relatively āma free and getting enough fiber. Because āma is sticky, cold, and heavy, it makes fecal matter sink. On the other hand, healthy digestion will promote the float. Other signs of low āma are: almost no smell to the feces, they come out easily shaped like bananas, and very little toilet paper is needed afterwards. All of these indicate good flora in the gut and adequate fiber intake. Research now tells us that our prehistoric ancestors ate up to 100 grams of fiber per day. We are lucky to get twenty grams in our Standard American Diet. Get your fiber and promote the float!

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

Ayurvedic Detox Program
For people who want a gentle whole-body cleanse and who may be prone to mild occasional heartburn, stomach acid or acne.

Dr. Lad is fond of saying that the greatest happiness is waking up to the call of number two. If you easily go every morning without need for coffee, food, or laxatives, it generally means your GI tract is functioning well.  If you’re not quite ready for a movement first thing in the morning, make it a point to drink a tall glass of room temperature water (16 oz) after scraping your tongue. That serves two functions. First, it hydrates your body since you’ve been waterless for at least the past eight hours. Second, it encourages peristalsis and the flushing of remaining toxins from your system. This first glass of water in the morning is the most important drink of the day. Even if you forget to drink the rest of the time, at least you’ve started well by hydrating your body and brain to function optimally at work, school, or at play.

The Weight Test
The next test is most interesting. To do it, weigh yourself before eating, then thirty to sixty minutes after food weigh yourself again. You will need a precise scale for this. If your weight goes up after having food then your body is not making the most of its nutrition. If your weight stays the same, then you are metabolizing and burning your meals properly. If your weight goes down, that might be a sign of hyperthyroidism or an overactive metabolism…or it’s time to get a new scale.

Rejuvenation For Men
Helps the body resist the effects of aging, correcting imbalances and repairing damaged cells; supports natural immunity; aids cellular regeneration.

Rejuvenation For Ladies
Rejuvenation for Ladies helps restore that youthful glow. It promotes cellular regeneration, which slows both biological and psychological aging. The benefits continue to grow and accumulate over time.

Amrit Kalash Ambrosia
Traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E.

About The Author

Simon Chokoisky, the author of Sex, Love and Dharma is a former teacher of both Sanskrit and Medical Jyotisha at the renowned Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. He is known for making difficult concepts easy to understand, and simple concepts profound. His Decoding Your Life Map With Vedic Astrology and Sanskrit Without Stress DVDs have been hailed as user-friendly and insightful by students at every level. He is also the author of Transcending the Gunas- a DVD and book on Ayurvedic Psychology. Simon has written for Namarupa, and is a regular contributor to Ayurveda Today, as well as writing the Philosophy section in UK's Yoga Magazine.


Sex, Love, and Dharma

Sex, Love, and Dharma - Ancient Wisdom For Modern Relationships
Sharing ancient Vedic secrets of sex, love, health, and dharma, Simon Chokoisky explains how to prepare your mind, body, and spirit for the right partner and how to determine if a potential mate is a good match for your unique chemistry. He provides self-tests to determine your dharma type and outlines unique ayurvedic diet, exercise, detox, and lifestyle tips for each type to reclaim your health and vitality and, by doing so, your sexiness.

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.


Holistic Ways To Improve Your Relationship

Holistic Ways To Improve Your Relationship
Relationships can be challenging — there's no arguing that one. From minor disagreements to seemingly insurmountable differences, keeping a partnership happy, healthy and mutually fulfilling takes commitment and work, but it's certainly possible. Knowing your partner's predominant dosha(s) and tendencies can help take much of the mystery (and dare I say frustration?) out of relationship woes. Knowledge allows for insight, and insight for patience and compassion.

Vata
Vata-dominant types are quick, creative and expressive. They are quick to learn, quick to forget, and may get cold easily. When in balance, they are stimulating company — they have amazing intellects. Out of balance, they can become stressed out, nervous, worried — almost manic.

Pitta
Pitta-dominant types are fiery and passionate. They need and want to accomplish. In balance, they love a good challenge; they can be unsurpassed in creativity and fun. Out of balance, however, they can be combative, controlling and competitive, and may try to out-perform their partner. Pittas can be quick to anger, but with patience, compassion, and a little space they can easily cool down.

Kapha
Kapha-dominant types are soft, sweet and nurturing when in balance. Their laid-back demeanor makes others around them feel at ease and comfortable. Out of balance, they tend towards lethargy, weight gain and feelings of sadness or apathy. They need gentle motivation and reminders to stay on track in their desires and goals.

Here are some tips from an ayurvedic perspective on keeping relationships healthy and balanced for both partners:

1. Take Care of Yourself First
As is the case in all areas of life, when things are in balance, they tend to harmonize better. Therefore, the first tip for maintaining healthy, happy relationships will always be to take care of oneself first. I can personally attest that when we fail to take care of ourselves first, everything suffers: friendships, partnerships, domestic life, our health, self-confidence, happiness and general quality of life. Be sure to prioritize your well-being above all else — in fact, schedule it in, just as you would plan meals or activities for the week. Regular exercise or yoga; making sure you have time to meditate, and have down time to relax; perhaps even going to the spa, or getting a massage when you can… pamper yourself.

A few more tips to practice daily self-care:
- Rest: First and foremost, stay rested. A routine that prioritizes rest brings stability to our emotions and to our relationships. Aim to be in bed by 10:00 p.m. when possible. Eat a lighter, well-cooked dinner at least three hours before turning in. Eating a late or large meal can interrupt sleep or compromise the quality of sleep.

- Abhyanga
: Ayurvedic self-massage is a wonderful practice to incorporate — Garshana Gloves, Organic Sesame Oil, or our vpk Massage Oils are perfect for the job. Take time for whatever makes you feel refreshed, nurtured and balanced.

- Herbals for Emotional Balance: Stress Free Emotions and Worry Free are really good for maintaining calm and serenity. Worry Free helps manage stress and worry; and Stress Free Emotions quells anger. Organic Digest Tone is excellent to take every day to maintain strong and healthy digestion, which is the foundation of good overall health.

2. Practice Presence
There's nothing like earnestly being in the moment to clear one's head and heart. Put away all distractions (here’s lookin' at you, smartphone-o-philes) when you and your partner are in the midst of a conversation, or even an argument. The simple act of presence can have a hugely positive effect on relationships. Practice active listening — listen to and empathize with what the other is saying without planning a response ahead of time. That way each party knows that they're being heard, and that they're respected enough to have the other's full and unbiased attention.

This next tip is not contrary to the tip above…

3. Practice Reminiscence
Consider this: one could reasonably make the argument that relationships pass through stages much like doshas themselves. The early stages perhaps could represent Pitta: full of fire, desire, intensity, chemistry and vitality. The Pitta stage of life is when we're most likely to meet someone, start a family, and/or create a career for ourselves — we're ambitious. Likewise, the early stages of relationships are full of hope, goals and ambitions as well. Look forward several years. Now that relationship could be compared to Kapha dosha: routine, predictable — possibly a little lazy, but pleasant and comfortable. Later on that same relationship might take on the qualities of Vata: "dry," "cracked" and "brittle" are ways to describe it; all can be accurate, depending on the nature of the relationship. So how do you keep your relationship from "drying out?" Here, we come to the title of this tip: reminisce! Go on a date night; spend time together and enjoy each other's company; go out for a meal and talk about wonderful/funny memories of times you had together. Organic Youthful Mind, Mind Flex and Mind Plus will help keep those memories alive and vibrant. Laugh together. There's nothing like laughter to boost positivity and love.

4. Cook Together
Cooking a meal with a loved one (no pressure — Pittas: relax, relax, relax) can be enormously beneficial. Everything from meal planning (here are some of our great ayurvedic recipes to make with a partner), to washing and preparing ingredients, to adding the perfect spice... it's no coincidence that the advice of "Spice it up!" has been doled out for generations. Check out our vpk Organic Churnas if you want to add some serious — but balancing — spice to your life!

5. Pamper Each Other
There is little that compares to the heartwarming thrill of coming home from a long day of work (or driving the kids a million places and doing a trillion errands on top of that) only to find that your partner has lovingly prepared a meal for you; or has offered to give you a massage; or has run you a warm bath resplendent with bubbles, essential oils and an atmosphere of candlelight — all to express their genuine appreciation for you and all you do. Enough really cannot be said about how powerful such simple but thoughtful gestures like that can be for boosting affection along with feelings of being loved and appreciated, and increasing overall happiness and optimism. Youthful Skin Massage Oils for Men and Women are excellent for showing your partner how much you love them. And for that bubble bath, adding a few drops of any of our aroma oils will help surround your partner in relaxing bliss.

Find out what makes your partner feel loved and appreciated. If it isn't something that comes naturally to you, but means a lot to them, it may be worth exploring. You could both be surprised by the effect this has! At the end of the day, a balanced and loving relationship is entirely achievable. It requires self-love first and foremost, and a willingness to continually improve communication skills. Gently remind yourself (especially in times of frustration or stress) of the really good qualities your partner possesses — those qualities that made them so lovable and desirable in the first place. Here's to love.

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.