The Ayurveda Dosha Clock - A Healthy Daily Routine [Dinacharya]

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All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.

THE DOSHA CLOCK
According to Ayurveda, the rhythm of life is governed by cycles and in order to maintain health and balance we need to learn how to live in accordance to nature’s daily cycle. Ayurveda speaks about biological time as a function of three doshas [vata–pitta–kapha] in relation to chronological time with each dosha being more active at a particular time of day and night. To help bring us in tune with nature, and rather our own intelligence, following a dinacharya [daily routine] is essential for establishing great health and regularizing our own biological clock.

Not only is timing of importance but how we approach life is essential. For example, waking up to a jolting alarm clock is enough to set off a cascade of alarming stress responses which is obviously not the ideal way of starting off the day.

Similarly, waking up during the late and lazy time of the morning can create a slow/sluggish feeling throughout the day. Let us now take a closer look at the "Dosha Clock" and see how we can use it to our best advantage in order to harness the natural influences of nature.

VATA TIME ...
Early morning before sunrise is the time of vata. The qualities of vata are expressed with brisk coolness in the air and the beginning of increased activity of nature as birds begin to sing and people begin a new day.


“Brahmamuhurtha – “Time Of Brahma”
Brahmamuhurtha is considered 1 hr 36 minutes before sunrise and thought to be an auspicious time for meditation. This period of time is a junction point between night and early morning and is considered a time of heightened awareness. Therefore, Brahmamuhurtha is considered an auspicious time of day best suited for praying, meditating, and contemplation.

THE MORNING ROUTINE

Whilst this is not an easy task for some, arising early is beneficial in starting the day. The pure and subtle qualities of nature that is present at this time of the day will bring peace and freshness to the mind and senses. People who have more of the earth and water qualities should arise between 5-5.30AM. Those who have more of the fire element should arise between 5.30-6AM and those who have more light, air and space constitutions should arise between 6-6.30AM. After arising it is beneficial to say a little prayer or mantra before getting out of bed.

Elimination
Elimination is one of the three pillars of health according to Ayurveda. If there is proper daily elimination, good health is simpler to attain. When food is not properly digested toxins can build up, creating sluggish digestion. It is important to train the body to have a daily elimination. According to Ayurveda if one misses a daily bowel movement, then the person is said to be constipated. In today’s medical world, constipation is classified as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. To ensure that daily elimination is taking place, one must follow a proper diet and lifestyle for their constitution. Keeping hydrated and the use of herbs, such as triphala, can also help with regulation of bowels.

Washing the face with cold water will bring alertness to the mind. It is a good idea to also wash the eyes and rinse the mouth with cool water. There are a few ayurvedic eye washes that are recommended based upon ones constitution. Triphala tea, rose water and even diluted pomegranate juice are effective eye wash solutions.

Tongue Scraping
An important part of the dinacharya is scraping the tongue. Scraping the tongue can aid in digestion, absorption and assimilation as it stimulates the internal organs. It also removes bacteria. There are a variety of tongue scrapers available on the market today – gold, copper and silver ones. However, stainless steel tongue scrapers are generally suitable for all.

Oral Care
There are many health benefits of oil pulling. This is a technique where a tablespoon of oil (usually sesame or coconut) is swished in the mouth for 10-20 minutes. From promoting dental hygiene to detoxifying the body and increasing energy, oil pulling is an ancient yet current health benefit. However if time is a factor, even a few minutes of oil swishing is advantageous. After spitting out the oil be sure to massage the gums and brush thoroughly. In Ayurveda this practice is referred to as ‘Gandusha’.


Nasya
Administering ghee or oils in the nasal passages can help with lubrication, cleansing and enhancing mental clarity and improving vision. Making sure that one is lying down with their nostrils parallel to the ceiling, add 3-5 nasal drops into each nostril and sniff deeply but gently. It is advisable to lie for a few minutes to allow the nasal drops to nourish prana. There are a variety of nasal drops recommended, such as brahmi ghee, calamus oil (medicated, not the essential oil) and regular ghee or sesame oil. It is important to note that nasya should not be done an hour before or after showering, or after exercising. It is also recommended to do nasya on an empty stomach. The health benefits of nasya are extensive.

Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Massaging oil on the body is a great way to keep the skin soft, supple and wrinkle free. It is a rejuvenating technique that improves circulation and, when done at night, induces sleep. Massaging the scalp can prevent hair loss and graying. In the evenings, massaging the scalp and soles of the feet with bhringraj oil can help in achieving a calm, restorative sleep.

It is advisable to start with the outer extremities and work towards the heart. One should massage in a linear fashion along the limbs and with circular motions on the joints. Some popular oils used are coconut, sesame, sunflower and almond. According to one’s natural constitution, one should pick an oil that is appropriate to their state of balance.

Bathing should follow abhyanga to remove any excess oil left on the skin. Bathing is not only cleansing and refreshing, but also an activity that improves mental clarity and revitalizes the body. Using natural and chemical free soaps are recommended. During the summer months it is advisable to shower with cooler water than the winter months. This helps the body to keep in tune with nature and the surrounding environment.

Practicing yoga daily is recommended for all body types. There are various postures and poses that can help to alleviate many conditions and diseases. Yoga is a vital and important daily activity that brings balance and serenity into life.

There are many types of breathing techniques that have various uses for the body. From lowering blood pressure to reducing weight and cooling the body, it is important to know which pranayama would be indicated for personal use. Pranayama increases the vital energy force in the body and therefore is recommended for health and longevity.

Exercise is an important part of life. Walking daily, particularly in the early mornings, maintains good health and balance. Although many people practice vigorous exercise, this is not always recommended. Ayurveda advises stretching and breathing whereas straining is to be avoided.The profound health benefits of meditation are staggering. A simple technique, it allows one to connect with the divinity within oneself and should be a daily practice. There are a few methods that one can choose from simple breathing to mantra based meditation. Amongst many benefits, meditation brings peace, harmony and clarity into one’s life.

Breakfast
When kapha is high, digestion is often slow or diminished. Therefore, it is wise to avoid heavy meals first thing in the morning. Instead, we should consider light and warm meals which can be more easily digested.

Activity
Mid-day is when the day heats up as the sun becomes stronger and reaches its peak. It’s the fire element of the sun which brings about light, warmth, and dryness to the day. It’s during this period when the internal and external heat is at its height and therefore is not the most ideal time to exercise or become overly active. Pitta types who predominantly have a fiery element should especially make sure not to overly exert themselves at this time.

Lunch
During mid-day, kapha decreases while pitta increases. As pitta continues to increase you will notice an increase in appetite reflecting when the power of digestion is at its peak. Generally, the largest meal of the day should be eaten at this time when the metabolic digestive fire [“agni”] digests and assimilates food optimally.

During this time of day the air element of vata increases as we notice the day soon becomes cooler and more windy. Vata energy brings about lightness to the mind which makes it more challenging to focus. Instead of struggling with focus, this may be a good time to reorganize your desk, revisit your 'Things-To-Do' list and consider brainstorming new ideas. Also, due to the lack of focus - instead of refilling on coffee it may be more worthwhile to meditate in order to regain focus during this vata time.

Time For Reflection
Sunset is a junction of day into night and is when the daily cycle repeats itself for the latter half of the day – meaning from 6 pm -10 pm kapha predominates as it did during the morning hours of 6 am- 10 am. Just as the early morning kapha times was a time of meditation, so true – kapha time during the evening is an ideal time for reflection. According to vedic philosophy, spiritual activities are amplified when performed at junction points. Therefore, this is a opportune time to meditate, chant, or do a calming yoga practice. Finally, as the suns energy begins to fade, and the cold and heavy energy of kapha dominates we soon begin to feel tired after a long and lengthy day. Relaxation is essential before bed – but first, dinner.

Dinner
Generally, dinner should be eaten early [between 6-7pm]. Eating too late in the evening may lead to undigested food remaining in the digestive tract and thus resulting in the accumulation of undigested food material – toxins [“ama”] in the colon. Similarly, a heavy meal during kapha time of the night can result in excess kapha qualities of heaviness and therefore result in weight gain and/or other kapha-related conditions. That said, pitta types may be able to eat slightly later due to their stronger digestive ability.

Sleep
In order to ensure restful sleep, relaxation is essential before bed. The aim is to be asleep before 10pm. Normally, the qualities of kapha accumulate throughout the evening and the body will naturally be tired. If we are in tune with these natural rhythms of life the body will naturally seek to experience deep and restorative sleep by this time.

Mid-night [10pm – 2am]
There is often great emphasis regarding falling asleep by 10pm because if one stays awake after 10 pm the active nature of pitta can prevent sleep. Pitta continues to increase during these late hours and its primary function is for repair and transformation of bodily tissue. However, if one remains awake during these late hours you will notice an increase in appetite i.e. “mid-night cravings” due to the fiery nature of pitta. Eating during these late hours is not conducive to health because pitta at night is not intended for digestion but rather repair and transformation of bodily tissue. Lastly, sleeping on a full stomach can result in the buildup of partially digested food [toxins] in the gastrointestinal tract and also thought to cause disturbing dreams; preventing restful sleep.

Individual – Unique Needs
The above mentioned influences of vata-pitta-kapha are basic guidelines to help align the individual with the natural rhythms of life. Depending on geographical and individual variations there will naturally be differences throughout the year in regards to dosha influences, the time of sunrise and sunset and seasonal-related influences. Therefore, as we become more in-tune with these rhythms of life we will also be able to develop a knowing on how to adjust our daily life accordingly.

Disclaimer:
All content included on this website (including, but not limited to,  images, photos, graphics and text) is the property of ‘Healthy Ayurveda’ and ‘Vedic Sage’ and as such is protected by US and international copyright and other intellectual property laws.


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.


Sacred Rituals - The Daily Routine ["Dinacharya"]

 

Sacred Rituals - The Daily Routine
Within time and space we humans exist here on a planet surrounded by unspoken graceful poetic moments like when we witness the rise and setting sun, the moon waxing and waning on a crisp lucid night and a baby's first steps.  We are part of this eternal poetry where planets cycle around each other dancing in the sky and stars are birthed and reduced to ash after thousands of years. We are part of an infinite cosmos and within is exists a timeless inherent cosmic consciousness. Ayurveda takes all this into account as we traverse this terrain as spiritual beings in a human body.  Ayurveda, known as the "Science of Life, Art of Living and Science of Longevity" invites us all to really look at ourselves as a configuration of the five elements manifest in each and every one of us. The dance of the five elements creates unity and harmony.

The Five Elements & Doshas 
The universe contains all these five elements to various degrees. These five elements are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space/Ether. In order to further understand Ayurveda we come to learn its language as being a beautiful way to relate to the elements as part of the elements. Ayurvedic medical terminology suggests that when we look at the qualities of the elements they fall into what we practitioners call Vata, Pitta and Kapha.  Vata involves the combination of space and air elements, which primary qualities are dry, cold and light. Pitta involves the fire and water elements, that are primarily hot, light and moist. Though, Pitta can share drying as heat can be drying. Kapha is the overlap of water but also earth elements. Kapha primary qualities are heavy, cold and moist. Vata, Pitta and Kapha are what we call Doshas, or biological humors. Dosha is defined as that which is prone to decay and deterioration. Vata is the principle that governs the nervous system and the word Vata translates to basically "that which moves."  Pitta governs the digestive system and the word Pitta refers to "that which transforms and digests, governing the endocrine/digestive system. Kapha governs the immune system and translates as "that which molds or creates form."

The Rhythm Of Life - Cycles
These elements/doshas, fluctuate through time and space as part of their own ritualistic cosmic practices. We add to this, the biological rhythm/circadian rhythm, the biological clock; the clock being that which tends to proceed as part of the phases of our lives such as the Kapha phase that starts from birth until the onset of Pitta which is puberty and adulthood, to Vata phase which is when the hormones change and we are seniors. We have the cycles of the moon, solar cycle, seasonal cycle, daily cycle and the rise and fall of the ocean tides. All of this being the play of elements to some degree. As we are aligned with the daily cycle we are essentially aligned with the rhythm and ritual of the day. With this, Ayurveda calls daily practices "Dinacharya."  As far as seasonal practices, Ayurveda defines it as "Ritucharya", which we will talk about in part two of the article. Dinacharya, is when we follow the flow of the day, per say.  I'm doing so, we set up ourselves for optimal health which is our divine right. With dinacharya we can observe the phases in which Vata, Pitta and Kapha govern the day.

  • Kapha Time From 6am-10am
  • Pitta Time From 10am-2pm
  • Vata Time From 2pm-6pm

 

We then progress from 6pm - 10pm with Kapha, 10pm - 2am Pitta and 2am - 6am being Vata.  Each aspect of the day correlates to different physiological functions and activities which the dinacharya practices support. Primarily, this is how the day unfolds. We rise during the earlier time of Kapha in the morning, having a light breakfast. We make our way to lunch which is the peak time of day when the sun is prominently in the sky and we are productive, also having the main meal of lunch. Then, winding down the day with productivity as we end the day with Vata and then having a supplemental supper a few hours before bed, during Kapha time. Pitta thereby takes over and reorganizes the body while organs such as the liver clean up. We enter into a deep pristine rest (usually) during Vata time and then come back full circle to Kapha time of morning.

It also important to note to significant auspicious times of day which are the periods of transition known as Brahma muhurta, which occurs around sunrise and sunset. Generally, the timing is approximately 45 minutes before and after, but this window overall. During this time, vedantic/yogic/Ayurvedic practices emphasize at least acknowledging this time with either some natural tendency as in walking mindfully in nature or simply focusing on the breath and meditating.

With Ayurveda, it is important to create a foundation of our health with how we follow this daily cycle. Vamadeva Shastra (Dr.David Frawley, internationally known Vedic Scholar and practitioner) says "To create a healthy tree, one must first nourish the root. The root of our lives is our lifestyle." By following the below routine we can begin to invite in good health. These are recommendations that I've suggested to my patients and have found much transformation in their lives by simply implementing these practices. There are various reasons that justify the why of these practices and that there is an overall alchemy that is sparked. You'll see for yourself as you start taking these steps. You'll feel better, more balanced and more connected to the bigger picture of life. How great is that?!

 

The Daily Routine ... 

Morning Rituals
I consider this one of the most important times of the day because we set the tone for how the rest of the day will unfold. It is the spring step forward. The cleansing time of day is the morning Kapha time. The body is generally ready to defecate and urinate. We have some mucus accumulated and the body releases it as we spit it up and release it from the oral cavity. We rinse/brush We bathe ourselves to cleanse the body from when the night caused us to become stagnant. Showering stimulates us because of the rapid force of water hitting the body. Though, showers can also deplete us due to its cleansing nature and nutrients are washed down the drain. Ideally, it's best to shower after we do our workout so we can wash the sweat that has internally caused a detoxification. It is also best to work out in the morning because we move lymphatic and energize the body. After showering we can then have breakfast and continue to work.

Here's an overall outline of how the morning is structured:
1) Awaken by 6:30/7am.
2) Tongue scrap
3) Brush your teeth
4) Rinse the face with cool water
5) Neti pot and/or Nasya oil administration
6) Take hot water (various forms)
7) Take some constitutional based herbs/vitamins
8) Exercise/yoga
9) Breathing techniques as per constitution
10) Meditation
11) Bathe
12) Breakfast (light meal)
13) Work

Ayurvedic Oral Care Products
All-natural ayurvedic formula with neem extract helps cleanse deep toxins from the teeth and mouth. 

Ayurvedic Herbal Cleansing Soaps 

Note: This may seem like a lot at first but when it becomes routine you'll see how second nature and fluid it becomes. Take your time implementing and over time it all comes together efficiently and easily. It may seem like a while in the morning at first but it gets quicker. I promise.

Afternoon Rituals
The next time of day that is most important, in its own way, is lunch time. Which is to be had between 10 and 2. Ideally around noon when the sun is at its peak and when digestive enzymes are the strongest. If we miss lunch, skip lunch or have lunch later, we eventually will notice mood issues and blood sugar imbalances, along with usual cravings. Cravings can also be an indicator of poor hydration. This is the one meal that we absolutely can not sacrifice. This is also the heaviest and main meal of the day. Bulk of proteins, especially meats, are especially digested this time of day. More so than dinner since digestion is stronger at lunch than at night. Proteins/carbohydrates/fats are consumed first. Followed by veggies. Approximately 30% of the food is protein and 10% is carbs. 60% are veggies. There is a not of variation from winter to summer where we increase proteins some due to climate demands. Cooked or raw based on seasonal considerations and constitutional. It is also important to sip hot water/tea. NO guzzling as this suppresses enzymatic activities. Sipping acts as a buffer and encourages the digestive juices to function better. Sipping feeds the fire but guzzling puts it out.

Ayurveda Spice Selections 
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance.

Snacking is generally avoided throughout the day because it can offset metabolic functions. Hot water or tea is recommended instead. Though, there are considerations to be made as per constitutional needs and based on how balanced digestion is. Sipping hot water or teas throughout the day encourages metabolism. Additionally, napping after a meal is contraindicated because it disrupts metabolism and slowly causes heaviness in digestion to increase. This begins to form Ama, which is toxin built up from undigested food. A good walk post lunch is good for supporting metabolism. Liquids or snacks, if this happens to be the case, shouldn't happen for at least an hour after lunch. Last sip and last bite is the last until an hour or so after. (This goes for dinner too!)

Here's the general outline for lunch:
1) Sit down to eat.
2) Take around 15-20 minutes to actually eat.
3) Largest meal preferably around noon.
4) Sipping tea/hot water with meal
5) Short walk
6) Eat the meal with minimal distraction. This includes not being on the phone or computer or even eating on the go. (No mindless eating.)
7) Return to duties.

Dinner Rituals
Dinner time is a supplemental meal, hence, called "supper time." The meal should be light. Proteins, Like eat, should be less this time of day. Grains and simpler proteins are fine. Heavy meals should be avoided.  I usually say half of what lunch is in portion and generally eaten around 6/7pm. This is because we are in Kapha time again and the digestive activities are generally less than lunch, significantly. This is because the body is preparing for rest. Cortisol is strongly surging earlier in the day gives rise to melatonin, around 2pm, that peaks around 10pm and this is the sleep chemical that helps us to fall asleep more gracefully and naturally. Therefore, going to bed with a full stomach only causes the meal not to be fully digested and allows for toxicity/Ama to build up and lymphatic issues which contributes to overall accumulation of symptoms like weight gain, to say the least. We feel heavy at night which isn't the desired heaviness we are seeking that aids us with sleep. Again, sipping hot water with the meal us recommended. Sipping hot water aids in the flushing of our lymphatic drainage system that is also responsible for our overall immunity. We sip hot water or tea with meals unless it consists of a soup or broth and then we have enough liquid at this time.

Ayurveda Herbal Digestion Products 
Good health depends on strong, efficient digestion.

Outline for dinner is as follows:
1) Sit to eat.
2) Eat with minimal distraction.
3) Light meal around 6/7.
4) Sip tea/hot water with meal.
5) Do the dishes and/or walk about for 10 - 15 minutes.

Note: Generally, on the rare occasion that a heavy meal can't be avoided, Ayurveda suggests fasting for breakfast and maybe just having tea or broth.

Sleep Time
Naturally and before the introduction of technologies that has not permitted us to be night owls, we would fall asleep not long after sunset. The body's innate tendency is to feel drowsy around 8/9pm. Anything outside of this is typically viewed as an imbalance in natures perfect design. We see in current research that staying up late adds to inflammation in the body. I've recently written another article on how sleep adds to inflammation. Inflammation adds to disease formation in the body and mind. Sleep time is outwardly passive time but inwardly active in the sense that the body is reorganizing itself and the mind can be less involved in worldly affairs. It is important to our overall health to ensure that sleep is regular and minimally imbalanced. Therefore, Ayurveda suggests being in bed around 10, ideally so we don't miss the window which then causes to get our "second wind", which really involves tapping into our liver energy that is meant to be inwardly metabolizing the entire days foods and activities so it can wrap everything up and send everything out through urine, feces and sweat. Known as the three Malas, or waste products. What isn't sent out is used by the body to rebuild and replenish itself. Sleep is vital. The bedroom should be a temple and silence, free of electronics is highly recommended as electromagnetic currents from such devices can negatively affect our nervous system and disrupt our quality of sleep.

Blissful Sleep
Blissful Sleep formula produce a calming, balancing effect on the body, mind and emotions. You’ll find sleep becoming deeper and more restful.

Post-dinner outline:
1) Unwind after dinner.
2) Prepare to go to bed by brushing the teeth and removing yourself from any engaging activities such as TV watching or stimulating conversations.
3) Maybe take a bath.
4) Maybe do some soothing breathing technique.
5 Lights out.

Note that if you are under the supervision of an Ayurvedic Practitioner, that if you are recommended to take herbs, take them accordingly. If there are herbs for lunch, take them as suggested. If there are herbs at night, take them as recommended. You'll be told where they fit into the above outlines.

Finally, Ayurveda has this template designed to help us realign with the subtle ritualistic experiences of the day.  Each day is a ritual in being alive and the day offers itself as part of it. As we integrate these suggestions we will notice great changes over time and on so many levels. Please know that this is a general guideline according to Ayurveda and of course adaptations are to be made because of our own individual lifestyles. For more information or support around tailoring a program that best fits your need it is recommended to schedule a consultation by a trained practitioner. The best protocol for you is available. Start incorporating some of these considerations and watch the changes in your health. You're worth it. Vamadeva Shastri shares this: "Sometimes clients tell me that they do not have the time for the Yoga or Ayurveda practices that I recommend to make them healthy. My answer is this: Does this mean that you have time to be sick?"  He further says "If we don't create a long-term wellness sustaining lifestyle for ourselves, nothing else that we do can be successful."

About The Author
Vishnu Om
Vishnu M.Ayu, BA Psy., LMT, CSP, E-RYT, CS2, is a licensed massage therapist with more than 15 years of experience and Master’s of Ayurveda/Yoga from Hindu University of America. He is the owner of ‘Hidden Health’ Center and offers Ayurveda out of a few locations. To learn more about Vishnu and his practice you can find him at Still Point Ayurveda
.

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.


The 5 Step Ayurveda Cleanse

 

The 5 Step Ayurveda  Cleanse 
Cleansing is perhaps the easiest, least expensive, and most important element of maintaining health. Health implies balance and research shows that the impact of good health on the quality of life is far-reaching, regardless of your age or sex. However, when impurities and toxins accumulate within the cells, the body as a whole suffers. Although, the health industry is a ‘disease and sickness’ industry - Ayurveda, on the other hand, is more than a mere system of treating illness. Instead, Ayurveda is a science of life which offers wisdom designed to help people stay healthy while realizing their full human potential. For example, Ayurveda provides guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, i.e. “panchakarma”.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

The word “panchakarma” comes from the the classic texts of Ayurveda, and means ‘five actions’. These five actions of panchakarma refers to a cleansing process used to remove impurities from the body. Panchakarma is a very powerful and effective cleansing program. Although a complete panchakarma cleanse should always be performed under the guidance of a qualified professional, in this post we will discuss a more simple and practical “home Ayurveda cleanse”. An Ayurveda cleanse is a wonderful detoxification program especially as a seasonal cleanse. This cleanse is beneficial as a routine preventative measure, helps reverse the buildup of toxins [“ama”], and is even helpful for specific conditions as we will discuss later.

Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma - Art Of Living

Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma is an initiative of the Art of Living Foundation, specializing in holistic wellness and rejuvenation through ayurvedic practices and alternative therapies under the guidance of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Sri Sri Ayurveda Panchakarma was established with a vision to bring the best of ayurveda to the world.

"Home Ayurveda Cleanse"
1. Preparation – Slowing Down
2. Internal Oleation
3. External Oleation 
4. Purgation 
5. Rejuvenation 

 

1. Preparation
Before considering a home Ayurveda cleanse, it is advised to gradually become less active at least a week prior to the cleanse. Likewise, dietary choices should become more simple. For example, a kitchari diet is often ideal. Also, evey night during the home Ayurveda cleanse it is advised to have 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of triphala. Tripala has many nourishing health benefits such as being an antioxidant and also has a mild laxative effective. Therefore, every night for the home Ayurveda cleanse, triphala should be taken about 1 hour after your evening meal which will help with both elimination and the cleansing process.

Triphala
Simply add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of triphala into a 1/2 cup of boiling water. Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes until warm, then drink.

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

 

2. Internal Oleation - [Days 1- 3]
We begin our home Ayurveda cleanse with “internal oleation”. This involves ingesting warm liquid ghee [clarified butter] on an empty stomach first thing in the morning - for the first three days. Ideally, consider having 2 tablespoons of warm ghee, either alone or you may prefer taking a few small sips of warm water after ingesting the ghee. The ingestion of ghee provides internal oleation and lubrication, which is necessary to bring fat soluable toxins [“ama”] from deep bodily tissue back to the G.I. tract. Our goal is to bring toxins from deep bodily tissue back into the intestinal tract which will eventually be eliminated; hence purification. Also, as a general rule, It is important to be observant making sure to eat only after true hunger has returned.

Special Considerations:
If not accustomed to having ghee first thing in the morning especially on an empty stomach, you may experience feeling nauseous. Therefore, a few simple considerations to help prevent this uncomfortable feeling.

Vata Types:
Considering adding a pinch of rock salt with your ghee

Pitta Types:
Considering adding 1/8th tsp of roasted cumin powder

Kapha Types:
Consider adding a pinch of trikatu with your ghee

 

3. External Oleation - [Days 4 - 8]
After completing the first three days of internal oleation - which is the ingestion of warm ghee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach - you are now ready for “external oleation” for the following 5 days. External oleation involves applying about 8 ounces of warm oil onto your skin. Gently massage the oil over your body for at least 20 minutes beginning with your feet and working your way up to your head. While massaging your extremities [i.e. arms and legs] make long strokes and while massaging your joints, consider circular motions. Similarly, while massaging your abdomen you should gently massage in a circular motion. Finally, apply oil to your head and hair making sure to include the external ear and this is very balancing and stress reducing.

Moisturizing Herbal Massage Oils
Personalize your daily massage with herbal massage oils.

Rest & Shower
After having massaged your entire body with warm oil for about 20 minutes, it is now a time to rest for about 5-10 minutes before taking a nice warm shower. While resting during this short duration before your shower, it’s important to stay warm. Therefore, in order to remain warm and avoid losing ambient heat, consider keeping your bathroom comfortably warm and stay wrapped in a towel.

A Nice Warm Shower
After having applied warm oil onto your skin and massaging it throughout your entire body - it’s now time for a nice warm shower. Consider, using a mild Ayurvedic herbal soap, for example neem soap and chamomile shampoo. It is also considered beneficial to allow some of the oil to remain on your skin even after having taken shower.

Herbal Body Cleansing Soaps
A special blend of ayurvedic herbs creating a light and fresh herbal soap bar which cleanses deeply.

 

4. Purgation - [Days 6 - 8]
Throughout the entire process of the home panchakarma cleanse, impurities from different parts of the body have been loosened and drawn into the intestinal tract. Now we are ready to eliminate these toxins through the process of purgation. Apart from the recommended evening use of triphala, as described above - the last three days of your home Ayurveda cleanse involves purgation by the use of a medicated enema called “basti”.

Basti
Consider making a dashamula tea for the enema mixture. Simply boil 1 tablespoon of the herbal mixture of dashmula into a pint of water for approximately 5 minutes. Let this dashamula tea cool, then strain, and then use it as an enema. Once the enema has been administered into the rectum, retain the liquid for as long as you comfortably can.

Ayurvedic Detox Program 
2-4 capsules of herbal cleanse before bed will cleanse the bowel.
2 tablets of elim-tox or elim-tox-o morning and evening will cleanse the liver, blood, sweat glands and the elimination system.
2 tablets of organic genitrac morning and evening will purify the urinary tract and assist the removal of toxins.

Note:
We recommend that after completing your cleanse, you continue with organic digest tone (triphala plus) to support healthy elimination and digestion.

A Word Of Caution:
It is always advised to have assistance from a qualified professional for therapeutic procedures such as “basti”.

 

5. Rejuvenation
For maintaining wellness, the purpose of this home Ayurveda cleanse is to purify the body by removing impurities. After completing this cleanse, it is important to begin rejuvenating the body once again so that you can enjoy good health while strengthening the body in order to prevent any future health conditions; i.e. disease. Ayurveda recommends rejuvenatives called “Rasayanas” which brings renewal to all the cells of the body resulting in good health and longevity. According to Ayurveda, “Rasayanas” build overall immunity while providing strength and vitality.

Amrit Kalash - "The Nectar Of Immortality"
Amrit Kalash is thought to be the ambrosial gift to bring about health and happiness for all of humanity. 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

 

Special Considerations:

Vata Types:
An excellent Rasayana for vata types is ashwagandha. Simply, mix 1 teaspoon of ashwagandha in a cup of warm milk and drink. Consider having this twice daily, in the morning and evening.

Pitta Type:
An excellent Rasayana for pitta types is shatavari. Mix 1 teaspoon of shatavari in a cup of warm milk and drink.

Caution:
If there is any lump in the breast or family history of breast cancer, it is best to avoid shatavari and instead consider substituting guduchi for shatavari as a rasayana for pitta types.

Kapha Types:
An excellent Rasayana for kapha types is punarnava. Therefore. mix 1 teaspoon of punarnava in a cup of warm water and drink.

 

Few Additional Suggestions:
While finishing your home pancharkarma cleanse, it is important to slowly and gradually resume your daily activities. Therefore, make sure to get plenty of rest and making sure to eat accordingly to your appetite making sure not to overindulge. Lastly, it is important to establish a healthy daily routine [“dinacharya”] which incorporates the activities of yoga, meditation, and pranayama.

 

Resource: 
This home Ayurveda cleanse is inspired by the teachings of Dr. Vasant Lad. Dr. Lad is both a physician and professor who is considered one of the foremost expects on the subject of Ayurveda. Each year, Dr. Lad travels throughout the world, consulting privately and giving lectures. Coming to the United States in 1979 and lecturing for over 30 years, Dr. Lad has influenced and touched the hearts of his students.

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.


How To Overcome Fatigue & Tiredness [CFS & Adrenal Fatigue]

How To Overcome Fatigue & Tiredness
We tend to blame fatigue on a “too-busy lifestyle” and much of the time we’re right. However, if you feel tired all the time, it’s not something to overlook. According to the CDC, chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. About one million Americans suffer from CFS. The challenge with chronic fatigue and extreme tiredness is that its root cause can often be challenging to trace. Due to its complexity, doctors often recommend a battery of tests to rule out possible causes; i.e. thyroid conditions, sleep disorders, depression, anemia, etc.  However, the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda has a practical approach to CFS simply addressing the three fundamental pillars of good health which are diet, sleep, and living a regulated balanced lifestyle.

Ancient Wisdom
“A person who practices regularly a wholesome lifestyle, eats wholesome food, is deliberate in all his actions, not involved in the objects of the mind, who is generous, just, truthful, forgiving in nature, who is service-minded and helpful to one’s own kin – will remain unaffected by disease.”
- Charak Samhita

How To Overcome Adrenal Fatigue - Dr. Josh Axe

“There are three steps you will want to take in order to get rid of adrenal fatigue for good. The first starts with your diet. Foods that you will want to get out of your diet are caffeine, sugar, and hydrogenated oils. Foods that are high in vitamin B12 and Magnesium are going to support your adrenal glands and blood sugar levels so you will want to add these foods into your diet. Foods like coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut, olives, olive oil, raw dairy products, grass-fed butter, organic meats, loads of vegetables, seaweed are all crucial to adding to your diet as well. Secondly, you will want to support your adrenals by taking supplements like adaptogenic herbs (such as ashwagandha, holy basil, and liquorish root), which will help your body to adapt and deal with stress. Additionally a vitamin B complex, magnesium, vitamin D, selenium will support in the healing of your adrenals. Lastly, you should focus on lowering your stress levels. Try getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, reflect and address your stressors, add fun activities into your routine, and exercise. If you follow these three steps, you will be well on your way to naturally healing adrenal fatigue.” - Dr. Josh Axe

Fatigue Free combines 19 herbs and minerals that help clear out the flow of energy and support the natural growth of energetic new cells. You'll feel revitalized and full of life. Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits. 

“Without proper diet, medicine is of no use.
With proper diet, medicine is of no need.”
– Ancient Ayurvedic proverb

Three Pillars Of Good Health:
The ancient seers of Ayurveda understood the importance of wholesome lifestyle and its importance to health and overall well-being. Likewise, when our lifestyle is not in accordance to the natural principles then this, too, is considered to be the root cause of disease and the aging process. Ayurveda has explained the three pillars to good health as follows:

– Food
– Sleep
– Regulated lifestyle

Food
Ayurveda reveres food as providing nourishment to the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of human life. Even further, if we do not follow the proper rules of eating then the consumption of food can generate ‘ama’ [undigested food material, toxins] and the absorption of these toxins can be a detriment to overall health and wellbeing. “Ama” is a concept of Ayurveda which can be best understood as the accumulation of toxic metabolic by-products at various levels of physiology. More simply, ama is the by-product of poor digestion and according to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda – ama is the root cause of nearly all diseases.

Annaha Brahmaha ... “Food Is Divine”

Quick Fix - Creating A Routine
Eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner on time, and do not compromise on the quality of your meals. Choose foods that are digested easily and nourish body, mind and spirit. They include fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, ghee, whole grains and light beans like mung dhal. When you eat such foods, you are sure to feel rested and yet energetic. Fatigue Free combines 19 herbs and minerals that help clear out the flow of energy and support the natural growth of energetic new cells. You'll feel revitalized and full of life. Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits.

Spice Selections To Improve Digestion:
Ready-to-use spice mixtures satisfy the six ayurvedic tastes considered essential for balance.
11 Simple Tips For Healthy Digestion

Food Combining 
According to Ayurveda, the improper combining of food items is a major cause of digestive conditions and poor nourishment. It is thought that by combining incompatible food items that this leads to a disturbance in the normal functioning of the digestive system and can even result in a form of toxicity [i.e. fermentation, putrefaction] which can lead to both and physical tiredness and mental fatigue; i.e. lack of clarity. 10 Golden Rules For Food Intake

“How you eat is as important as what you eat.”
– Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician

Improving The Quality Of Sleep
Sleep is one of the fundamental mainstays in Ayurveda. It is vital to sleep the appropriate hours at specific times in order to achieve balanced health. Sufficient sleep has tremendous health benefits including relieving stress, anxiety and restoring vitality. During sleep the body works to repair and rejuvenate tissues along with aiding protein synthesis and muscle growth. Sleep also promotes metabolic waste removal as well as assisting the immune system. In young children particularly, sleep is vital to the development of brain tissue. Adequate sleep also facilitates learning and memory skills and is therefore an integral part of the maintenance of health.

Before bed, try a boiled cup of milk made with a touch of ginger and sugar, Organic Vata Tea, Organic Rose Petal Spread, or raw honey. (If using honey, add it after the milk has cooled to a warm — not hot — temperature to maintain its beneficial qualities. Any heated or cooked honey, according to ayurveda, is considered to be very hard to digest and toxic.) Or try Slumber Time Tea to help disengage the mind from the senses and promote falling asleep easily.

Prepare for Sleep
Rubbing sesame or coconut oil on our feet, ears, and even head at bedtime can go a long way towards physically relaxing our bodies. It may sound strange, but give it a try! It has an amazing, calming effect that ayurveda recommends for improved sleep. Consider diffusing Calming Vata Aroma OilSlumber Time Aroma Oil, or one of our dosha-balancing formulas — whichever one smells the best to you that evening — as these will further soothe, relax, and assist in falling asleep.

Sleep Herbals
Support good sleep with the power of herbs, which enrich the natural functions of our bodies.
Deep Rest is formulated especially for those who wake up in the early morning hours and have trouble falling back asleep. Blissful Sleep is for those who have trouble falling asleep. Worry Free, taken a few hours before bed, can calm an active mind and soothe those of us feeling frustration at the end of the day. Taking Stress Free Emotions a few hours before bed is also a great choice.
8 Tips For Sound Sleep

Cultivating A Healthy Lifestyle
Knowing nature to be whole and complete, good health implies restoring that natural state of completeness and wholeness. According to the science of Ayurveda, health is a natural state when there is perfect balance of your body, mind, and spirit.

Daily Routine - “Dinacharya”
Daily routine is a vital and integral part of our state of health. A routine that is followed with care and awareness with respect to our individual constitution and balance will bring many health benefits. In Ayurveda there are certain steps to starting the day, and whilst these can take up some time, they are valuable in their relation to boosting vitality.
Daily Routine To Perfect Health

Daily Oil Massage - “Snehan”
The ancient Sanskrit word “Sneha” means compassion and the word “Snehi” refers to a loving friend. Daily oil massage [snehan] implies making a person loving by unfolding the healing qualities innate to the human body. In fact, Charaka – the ancient scholar of Ayurveda states that if you really want to bring happiness and joy to a client, don’t try to discuss their problems but do an oil massage and all the problems will simply dissolve.

A scalp-and-head massage during the week can be very helpful for stress relief. If easy, try to get one in a few times each week. Choose from our variety of vpk® massage oils formulated for dosha balancing. Gently warm a couple of teaspoons of the oil. Those with longer hair may need more, to cover all the hair as well as the scalp. The oil should be warm enough to be soothing, but not uncomfortably hot. Pour the oil on your palm and apply it evenly all over the scalp and the back of the neck close to the hairline. Using your fingertips, gently massage the oil into the scalp, working the oil in for about 4-5 minutes. If possible, the oil should be left on overnight (use a shower cap to protect your bed-linens) and shampooed off the next morning. If leaving it on overnight is impractical for you, leave it on for 2-3 hours, then shampoo your hair well to rinse it off.*

Rejuvenation – Renewing From Inside Out
By renewing and rebuilding your body at the cellular and tissue level, it helps to eliminate impurities and boosts cell regeneration required for complete wholeness. Therefore, it is beneficial to consider certain herbal formulas which are comprised of natural antioxidants and phytonutrients which provides nourishment to every layer of the body — especially targeting the blood, muscle, bone and reproductive tissue.

Rejuvenation For Ladies
Supports emotional and hormonal balance; helpful during the years before menopause; promotes overall health.

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

Special Gifts From Nature
Rasayanas are ancient nutritional formulas that have been passed down from generation to generation, in families of ayurvedic specialists and are natural supplements which actually allow the cellular intelligence within the cells to vibrate with bliss.

Amrit Kalash
Amrit Kalash is a traditional Ayurvedic formula of 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.

Premium Amla Berry
Supports the mind, eyes, heart, skin, and digestion; helps growth of muscle tissue by promoting nitrogen balance; promotes cellular generation; supports lungs and natural immunity; works as a powerful antioxidant for people of all ages.

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.


Ayurvedic Daily Routine: Oleation + Self Massage [Abhyanga]

 

Ayurvedic Daily Routine - Oleation & Abhyanga
Ayurveda takes pride in oleation therapy where we can apply oil to every part of our body, inside and out. As we enter into Vata Season we enter into a period of dryness and coldness. The quality is light and we can feel ungrounded. Due to the dryness and coldness the orifices, especially those that are exposed to the elements are susceptible to these qualities and become compromised causing various conditions and creating a forum for disease to start. The first line of defense of the body is the skin. It covers us from head to toe and lines all the orifices; eye, ears, nose, digestive tract from mouth to rectum.  Ayurveda suggests that we keep these areas lubricated throughout the winter for our protection and immunity.

Regular Daily Practice:
- a drop of warm oil can applied to each ear before bed. *Make sure to avoid hot oil.
- a drop of ghee can be added to each eye before bed. *Make sure to avoid hot oil.
- 3-5 drops of basic oil or medicated oil applied to each sinus in the morning, before showering.

Gandusha
We can oil pull (Gandusha) with 2 tbs. of warm oil. Which means swooshing and gargling every morning after brushing and before eating; for about 10-15 minutes. Make sure not to swallow the oil.

Abhyanga 
Before bathing or showering we can apply a layer of  warm oil on our skin and lightly rinse off with soap and water; allowing a residue of oil to remain on the skin.

Organic Massage Oil
Base oils infused with a decoction of one or more Ayurvedic herbs combine nourishing and soothing qualities of oil with the healing properties of the herbs.

Great Video: "How To Do Abhyanga, A Self Massage With Warm Oil 

A self massage with warm oil, known in Ayurveda as abhyanga, is a luxurious treat considered a must for health and longevity. Learn how to do it and the great benefits to your entire body and mind in this step-by-step instructional video by  Banyan Botanicals.

Cooking With Oil
Ensure that you are cooking daily with oils such as ghee/coconut, even drizzling food with olive oil. (never cooking with olive oil)

Basti/Enema - [Not Daily]
Once a month we can conduct a home enema using Fleets kit from the pharmacy. Replace the content with a slightly warmed oil. Clean the nozzle and exchange it with ghee/coconut oil. Insert and hold for several minutes; alternating sides (laying on the left side, right side and on all fours with buttocks elevated and chest descended towards the ground). Basti should be performed under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic professional. Always first discuss risk/benefits with your primary care physician regarding any new health regimen.

Which Oils For Who:

Vata Dosha
Vata predominant types can use Sesame oil.
For the body, ears, oil pulling and enema.
Nasya could be sesame, ghee or almond.

Pitta Dosha
Pitta predominant types can use Sunflower oil.
For the body, ears, oil pulling and enema.
Nasya could be coconut, sunflower or ghee.

Kapha Dosha
Kapha predominant types can use Canola oil.
For the body, ears, oil pulling and enema.
Nasya could be sesame, canola or ghee.

 

SCENTED OILS

For body massage you can add:

Vata: Tulsi (holy basil), rose, lavender or nutmeg.
Pitta: Sandalwood, geranium, lemongrass or mint.
Kapha: Cinnamon, myrrh, clove or eucalyptus.

Note:

Some oils are tri-doshic such as Tulsi, Rose and Sandalwood.
Clove and Myrrh are good for Vata as well.

Disclaimer:
This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

About The Author: 
Vishnu M.Ayu, BA Psy., LMT, CSP, E-RYT, CS2, is a licensed massage therapist with more than 15 years of experience and Master’s of Ayurveda/Yoga from Hindu University of America. He is the owner of ‘Hidden Health’ Center and offers Ayurveda out of a few locations. To learn more about Vishnu and his practice you can find him at hiddenhealthcenter.com.

 


3 Tips For Healthy Living - Finding Balance From An Ayurvedic Perspective

3 Tips For Healthy Living
The ancient science of Ayurveda has described health to be a state of perfect balance. Likewise, it’s very intuitive to acknowledge that this state of health and balance is brought about by maintaining a certain lifestyle in accordance with nature.

Cause And Effect
Although the world seems to be more unpredictable by the day - we know that disease often does not just appear from nowhere. Commonly, before any of the obvious signs and symptoms of disease appear there are often more subtle expressions of disease which are present - yet, unfortunately overlooked. In the same manner, if we were to come across a tree in the forrest we know with certainty that there was once a seed and fertile ground for that seedling to sprout and come to full bloom. So true with disease according to the teachings of Ayurveda.

3 Tips For Healthy Living 
1. Food and Diet
2. Seasonal Changes
3. Stress - Emotional Concerns


"If diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.

If diet is correct, medicine is of no need"
- Ayurvedic proverb

1. Food and Diet:
In ancient times food was considered medicine. This being the case, people valued food much differently then. For example, considerations such as from whom and where we buy our food, the state of mind when preparing and eating food all matters and has subtle effects upon our state of health and well-being. Therefore, always seek out locally grown organic sources of food and eat in a peaceful manner in order to help nourish your body and mind.

Likewise, from an ayurvedic perspective, the setting which one eats should be as clean and pure as a sacred temple. This same sense of austerity should also be projected upon oneself [i.e. state of mind] when eating. Also, when eating we should eat with a balanced state of mind in order to appeciate the nourishing qualities we introduce into our body. Finally, ayurveda considers the unique needs of each individual - such as “vata”, “pitta”, and “kapha” individuals. Therefore, in order to help maintain health and balance we should learn to eat accordingly to these very needs.

2. Seasonal Variation:
The teachings of Ayurveda explain that each person is a reflection of nature. Just as nature has seasonal variations of fall, winter, spring and summer - so too do we also reflect these same variations from within. More simply, as nature changes throughout the seasons - so too shall we adjust in order to stay balanced despite seasonal variations.

Below are simple examples on how to stay more balanced even despite seasonal changes. After all, we are a reflection of nature and the seasonal variations in nature also reflect within both our body and mind.

FALL:
Fall is often associated with qualities such as dry, light, cool, rough, and windy. Therefore in order to remain balanced and promote health during fall season we should consider introducing more warm, soothing, and easily digestible meals [i.e. warm soups] into one’s daily routine. This is the season to keep warm and avoid the gusty winds which can lead to increased dry qualities within. This dry and rough quality of nature may expresses itself within as constipation, dry and rough skin, and irritation to the eyes - these are just a few basic examples.

WINTER:
Winter, on the other hand, is known to be cold, damp, cloudy, and heavy. As mentioned above - according to Ayurveda, we are considered a miniature reflection of nature. Also, Ayurveda explains a concept of “like increases like” - which means the increased cold quality of winter for example will also increase the cold quality within; hence the tendency to catch a “cold” during winter. Therefore, in order to remain balanced during winter season we should consider something as simple as drinking more warming herbal teas [i.e. ginger and cinnamon tea] ... just like grandmother used to make. Yes, your grandmother was correct as she likely understood seasonal variation.

SPRING:
Interestingly, from an Ayurvedic perspective, spring is the king of all seasons because this is the season which Mother Nature seems to wake up and spring forth. The quality of spring is moist and full of energy. This is the season where snow of winter begins to melt, flowers develop a full range of color, and birds sing joyfully. Because of all this, spring is the season of allergies, “spring colds”, and hay fever. Therefore, during spring we should consider focusing on removing this excess quality of ‘moisture‘ [i.e. allergies, cold & congestion] from within. Just as we ‘spring clean’ our home during this season, it is advisable to consider spring cleaning the body with an Ayurvedic practice called “panchakarma”. Panchakarma is a purification cleansing process only to be performed under the guidance of a trained professional provider.

SUMMER:
Summer is well known for being hot, sharp, and bright and it is intuitive to balance these "fiery" qualities with something cool, soothing, and refreshing. Therefore, summer is a time to enjoy cooling herbal teas such as CCF tea [cumin, coriander, fennel] and enjoying cooling meals such as a simple salad. Likewise, you may also want to cool down with applying cool coconut oil as a daily massage.

3. Stress - Emotional Concerns:
With the world moving at an increasingly faster rate than ever before it is to no suprise that mental health is becoming more relevant in present day. It is well established in the science of Ayurveda that our health and well-being are centered around factors involving both the body and mind. It is becasue of this that Ayurveda recommends a daily routine [i.e. Dinacharya] which consists of consuming a nourishing diet, establishing positive and loving relationships, and devoting time for meditation and contemplation to help alleviate and prevent the occurence of stress.

Some Basic 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 …

“Sleep is the best meditation” - Dalai Lama
Although the above quote may not be technically correct, it does stress the importance for sound sleep.
Click Here: 8 Tips For Sound Sleep

 


Dinacharya - Daily Routine To Perfect Health [10 Important Tips]

Dinacharya - Daily Routine To Perfect Health
Daily routine is a vital and integral part of our state of health. A routine that is followed with care and awareness with respect to our individual constitution and balance will bring many health benefits. In Ayurveda there are certain steps to starting the day, and whilst these can take up some time, they are valuable in their relation to boosting vitality.

To help bring us in tune with nature, and rather our own intelligence, following a dinacharya [daily routine] is essential for establishing great health and regularizing our own biological clock. A proper morning routine can assist in digestion, absorption and assimilation as well as generating peace, discipline, happiness and longevity. It is important to assess any imbalances and your natural constitution before initiating a daily routine as it should be catered to your current state of health.  However, there are some general guidelines that are recommended from an ayurvedic perspective.

What Is Dinacharya?

 

10 Steps To Perfect Health

1.     Arising before the sun
2.     Wash face and scrape tongue
3.     Drink warm water
4.     Evacuate
5.     Oil gargle
6.     Nose drops
7.     Oil Massage
8.     Bathe
9.     Yoga
10.   Meditation

1. Awaken Early
Whilst this is not an easy task for some, arising early is beneficial in starting the day. The pure and subtle qualities of nature that is present at this time of the day will bring peace and freshness to the mind and senses. People who have more of the earth and water qualities should arise between 5-5.30AM. Those who have more of the fire element should arise between 5.30-6AM and those who have more light, air and space constitutions should arise between 6-6.30AM. After arising it is beneficial to say a little prayer or mantra before getting out of bed. This is a divine way of starting the day and induce positivity and light into your life.

Ayurvedic Oral Care Products
All-natural ayurvedic formula with neem extract helps cleanse deep toxins from the teeth and mouth.

2. Tongue Scraping
Washing the face with cold water will bring alertness to the mind. It is a good idea to also wash the eyes and rinse the mouth with cool water. There are a few ayurvedic eye washes that are recommended based upon ones constitution. Triphala tea, rose water and even diluted pomegranate juice are effective eye wash solutions.

An important part of the dinacharya is scraping the tongue. Scraping the tongue can aid in digestion, absorption and assimilation as it stimulates the internal organs. It also removes bacteria.  There are a variety of tongue scrapers available on the market today – gold, copper and silver ones. However, stainless steel tongue scrapers are generally suitable for all.

Tongue Cleaner
According to Ayurveda, cleaning the tongue is an important part of the daily oral hygiene routine, along with regular brushing and flossing of the teeth

3. Drink Warm Water
Although many use caffeine as a morning drink for stimulation, warm water is more preferable at promoting health. Drinking water, especially from a copper cup, can enhance peristalsis and also flushes the kidneys. Caffeine can contribute to adrenal fatigue and constipation and is therefore not recommended as part of a healthy daily routine.

4. Evacuation
Elimination is one of the three pillars of health according to Ayurveda. If there is proper daily elimination, good health is simpler to attain.  When food is not properly digested toxins can build up, creating sluggish digestion. It is important to train the body to have a daily elimination. According to Ayurveda if one misses a daily bowel movement, then the person is said to be constipated. In today’s medical world, constipation is classified as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. To ensure that daily elimination is taking place, one must follow a proper diet and lifestyle for their constitution.  Keeping hydrated and the use of herbs, such as triphala, can also help with regulation of bowels.

5. Oil Swish - Gargle
There are many health benefits of oil pulling. This is a technique where a tablespoon of oil (usually sesame or coconut) is swished in the mouth for 10-20 minutes. From promoting dental hygiene to detoxifying the body and increasing energy, oil pulling is an ancient yet current health benefit. However if time is a factor, even a few minutes of oil swishing is advantageous. After spitting out the oil be sure to massage the gums and brush thoroughly.  In Ayurveda this practice is referred to as ‘Gandusha’.

Daily Swish
Daily Swish is a combination of sesame and coconut oils infused with Ayurvedic herbs traditionally used to support healthy teeth and gums.

6. Nose Drops (Nasya)
Administering ghee or oils in the nasal passages can help with lubrication, cleansing and enhancing mental clarity and improving vision.  Making sure that one is lying down with their nostrils parallel to the ceiling, add 3-5 nasal drops into each nostril and sniff deeply but gently. It is advisable to lie for a few minutes to allow the nasal drops to nourish prana. There are a variety of nasal drops recommended, such as brahmi ghee, calamus oil (medicated, not the essential oil) and regular ghee or sesame oil.  It is important to note that nasya should not be done an hour before or after showering, or after exercising. It is also recommended to do nasya on an empty stomach. The health benefits of nasya are extensive.

Nasya
This Nasya oil is a balancing formula for all doshas and especially good for vata dosha.

7. Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Massaging oil on the body is a great way to keep the skin soft, supple and wrinkle free. It is a rejuvenating technique that improves circulation and, when done at night, induces sleep. Massaging the scalp can prevent hair loss and graying. In the evenings, massaging the scalp and soles of the feet with bhringraj oil can help in achieving a calm, restorative sleep.

It is advisable to start with the outer extremities and work towards the heart. One should massage in a linear fashion along the limbs and with circular motions on the joints. Some popular oils used are coconut, sesame, sunflower and almond. According to one’s natural constitution, one should pick an oil that is appropriate to their state of balance.

Daily Massage Oil
This Daily Massage Oil is formulated to balance all three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. This makes it a good choice if you do not know your constitution.

8. Bathing
Bathing should follow abhyanga to remove any excess oil left on the skin. Bathing is not only cleansing and refreshing, but also an activity that improves mental clarity and revitalizes the body. Using natural and chemical free soaps are recommended. During the summer months it is advisable to shower with cooler water than the winter months. This helps the body to keep in tune with nature and the surrounding environment.

Ayurvedic Herbal Cleansing Soaps
A special blend of light and fresh Ayurvedic herbs that cleanses deeply while balancing soft and smooth skin.

9. Yoga/ Pranayama (breathing exercises)
Practicing yoga daily is recommended for all body types. There are various postures and poses that can help to alleviate many conditions and diseases. Yoga is a vital and important daily activity that brings balance and serenity into life.

There are many types of breathing techniques that have various uses for the body. From lowering blood pressure to reducing weight and cooling the body, it is important to know which pranayama would be indicated for personal use. Pranayama increases the vital energy force in the body and therefore is recommended for health and longevity.

Exercise is an important part of life. Walking daily, particularly in the early mornings, maintains good health and balance. Although many people practice vigorous exercise, this is not always recommended. Ayurveda advises stretching and breathing whereas straining is to be avoided.

10. Meditation
The profound health benefits of meditation are staggering. A simple technique, it allows one to connect with the divinity within oneself and should be a daily practice. There are a few methods that one can choose from simple breathing to mantra based meditation. Amongst many benefits, meditation brings peace, harmony and clarity into one’s life.

These are considered general and basic guidelines for overall health and wellbeing.
This is strictly for educational use and not to be considered medical advice.

References
·        Lad, V. (1999). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies.
·        Sharma, H. (2011). Ayurvedic Healing. Singing Dragon
·        Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda. Albuquerque, N.M.: Ayurvedic Press.
·        Lad, V. (2012). Ayurvedic perspectives on selected pathologies
·        Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice