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

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-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-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-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.

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.

Healthy Living With Ayurveda

Healthy Living With Ayurveda

“Samadosha, samagnischa samadhatumala kriyaha
prasanna atmenindriya manaha swasthya ityabhidheeyate”

Acharya Susruta has described the features of a healthy person in the above quote. It follows that the doshas must be in equilibrium, the digestive fire must be in a balanced state and the tissues (dhatus) and malas (wastes) must work in a normal state. The sensory and motor organs and mind, atma must be also in a pleasant state. Such a person is called a healthy person or "Swastha".

The doshas that are present in the body and mind, namely vata, pitta and kapha, must be in a balanced state in order to keep a person healthy. When the balance of the doshas is disturbed, either aggravated or decreased (vitiated) it produces a state of Dosha Vaishamya, which is called disease.

Organic Teas
To Help Balance The Doshas

In order to keep an individual healthy and digestive fire (koshtagni) and dhatuagni (tissue enzymes) must be in a proper state. When agni is less in quality (Mandagni) it will cause many diseases (“Rogaha Sarvepi Mande Agnou”). It is a well known that the health of an individual depends on the proper strength of his digestive power.

Ayurvedic Digestive Supplements
Good health depends on strong, efficient digestion.

Sama dhatu mala kriya:
(Balanced state of dhatus and malas): According to Ayurveda there are seven Dhatus namely Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Medas, Asthi, Majja and Shukra. And the excreta or Malas – purisa (faeces), Mutra (urine), Sweda (sweat). The dhatus of the body must function properly and so also the malas of the body.

 Ayurvedic Detox
11 Ayurvedic herbs to gently cleanse the liver & colon of impurities.

Prasanna Atmendriya Manaha:
In Ayurveda, the functions of the sensory and motor organs along with the mind have been given special importance. When these are not in equilibrium and not performing their functions properly, it will lead to a state called disease. Even when the bodily systems function properly the bodily activities must not vitiate or disturb the nature of the mind. The state of mental health is more important than that of physical health of a truly healthy person.

Stress Free Emotions
Powerful formulation with arjuna, amla & ashwagandha

"Swastha" - The Healthy State
"Swastha" or the healthy state maintained from birth along with the three doshas remaining in a balanced state, allowing the person to achieve a well-balanced constitution, attractive appearance, good muscular strength and complete peace of mind. Good health can be maintained until death. For this one should intelligently follow all the rules laid down according to the science of Ayurveda. Only then will a person enjoy an optimum life span of a hundred years without contracting disease. He will also gain recognition in society, friendship with people and honour and wealth as he has the energy and ability to achieve all the goals in life.

How Ayurveda Classifies Food - by Dr. Neelesh Korde

In this video, Dr. Neelesh Korde advises that before choosing a diet, we must understand how the foods we eat will affect our body. Ayurveda  is based on the qualities of the food that are passed on to the person consuming that particular food.

"The aim of Ayurveda is to prevent illness,
heal the sick and preserve life."


The Aim Of Ayurveda

This can be summed up as follows:
Swasthyas swasthya rakshanam - to protect health and prolong life
Aturasya vikar prashamanamcha - to eliminate diseases and dysfunctions of the body

And both these are aimed towards the promotion of health on three levels:

• Mentally
• Physically
• Spiritually


How can Ayurveda help you to remain healthy?
Specialized Ayurvedic remedies such as Panchakarma chikitsa, Shirodhara or following an Ayurvedic diet, basically endeavor to restore the harmony of the tridoshas. The purpose of all Ayurvedic remedies and herbal medicines is to keep the doshas or the humors in equilibrium, since an imbalance indicates a disease condition. Samsodhana (cleansing process), samsamana (palliative measures) and nidanaparivarjana (treating the causes) are the three main stages through which Ayurvedic remedies usually progress.

About The Author:
Dr. Gaurang Joshi, B.A.M.S. (Gold Medalist, Gujarat Ayurved University) is an international Ayurveda consultant, expert Ayurveda skin specialist, Ayurveda Oncology expert and the Director of the Atharva Multispeciality Ayurveda Hospital, Panchakarma And Skin Care Hospital, Rajkot. He is President of the International Psoriasis Foundation and has been in practice for the last 19 years. Gaurang Joshi has published more than 12 papers in national and international conferences on Dermatology and Oncology research.

  • B.A.M.S., M.D.(Alternative Medicine),M.E.T.C.
  • M.D.(A.M.) from IIAM
  • Consulting Ayurved Panchkarma Physician
  • Expert In All Chronic Diseases
  • Ayurveda Skin Specialist
  • Expert In Ayurveda Oncology
  • President-International Psoriasis Foundation

Three Phases Of Life - According To Ayurveda + Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe


The Three Phases Of Life
Ayurveda relates the five elements to three phases of life — Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The five elements dance through time and space and become the biological medial terms of Ayurveda: Vata, made up of ether/space elements; Pitta, the combination of fire with water; and Kapha, comprised of water and earth. These three “doshas” are describing qualities, tendencies, characteristics and attributes relative to the phases we all go through.

The first phase begins with Kapha, the “Spring Type.” We all begin in the womb, a womb of sorts, and this environment is very watery. We establish the solidity of earth known as immunity. This happens from in utero and until the onset of puberty — traditionally from birth and until 15. The word “kapha” means to grow, to create form. It is anabolic. “Mother’s milk” is the primary substance that nurtures the body and mind, establishing immunity. Kapha governs immunity.

The next phase is Pitta, the “Summer Type.” Pitta begins with puberty, where testosterone and estrogen further transform the body and mind. Pitta means “that which transforms and digests.” The average age used to be 15, but now is much earlier and lasts until between 45-50. Testosterone is high in men and estrogen is prominent in women, and appetites and metabolism increase. Pitta is about metabolism and governs the endocrine system and digestive system. Sex drive increases. Pitta phase is about establishing and exerting oneself in the world through identity, like the sun wanting to be seen more.

The last stage is Vata, the “Fall Type.” Vata begins when the processes andropause and menopause initiate. Andropause is the decline of testosterone in men, with an increase in estrogen, and menopause is the decrease of estrogen and an increase in testosterone in women. The poles reverse here. Sex drive slows down. Appetite diminishes. Vata governs the nervous system and sleep quantity and quality changes. This is a more delicate and sensitive time. This time ends when the last breath is taken.

The Quality Of Health - Vata, Pitta, And Kapha Symptoms 
It is also during this phase that the quality of our health can be observed and we can see through symptoms, or the lack thereof, how well the first 45-50 years of life have been properly managed or mismanaged. Vata-predominant people will show more symptoms, i.e., arthritis, dementia, Parkinson’s, insomnia, constipation, dryness, joint issues and more. Pitta-predominant people will have possible alleviation of Pitta symptoms since they are no longer in their Pitta phase, and Vata can show up but in different ways, depending on how imbalanced Pitta was during its earlier years. Kapha will have less symptoms but if Kapha is out of balance then it can affect Vata negatively, by what we call “blocking Vata”; Alzheimer’s may be an example, and even thyroid health and memory issues can be clearly observed. Keep in mind that Ayurveda speaks volumes to how Vata-predominant types are prone to more Vata conditions, Pitta to more Pitta and Kapha to more Kapha.

Ayurveda is a preventative system of medicine and health care but also a guide to support you in optimal living. How we choose to live our lifestyle will determine if we will incur disease or redirect it. Our lifestyle should be a reflection of our life, and our life should be supported by choices that enliven us versus enslave us. As we live according to the daily cycle, seasonal cycle, annual cycle, lunar cycle and life cycles, we can recycle the breath over and over again with more joy and less sorrow but ultimately more peace and ease. 

Sweet Potato Pancake/Waffles Recipe
As we enter into Vata Season (cold and dry time of year) we naturally do what the animals do in that they begin to store food. For us as humans, though we may go into semi-hibernation, we go inward and store food in the form of High Fat and Protein to insulate us from the cold. This recipe helps to give us adequate nutrition in alignment with the season. This recipe is best for Vata and Pitta types. Kapha may increase in more Kapha.

8 oz. of sweet potato (either freshly boiled or out of an organic can)
1 tbs. of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup of almond milk
1 cup of spelt flour
1 tbs. of pecans or other nuts
1/2 cup of ghee
1 tbs. of raw sugar (optional)
3 eggs
1/4 cup of maple syrup

Mix dry ingredients together and wet ingredients together. Then combine both.
Heat a  a grill/pancake pan, then add a teaspoon of butter or ghee.
Take a ladle worth of batter and add it to the  pan.
When you see a significant amount of bubbles forming that's when it is time to flip the pancake.
Cook until golden brown. Remove.
Add pecans or other nuts. Apply maple syrup and serve.

Note: you can also use this recipe to make pumpkin pancakes/waffles.
Simply switch out the sweet potato with pumpkin. Just as good.

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

Want More?
INTERESTING: Increasing Your Vitality Through Ayurveda - Susan Weis-Bohlen 

In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means "knowledge for long life." The 5,000-year-old Indian science of health, Ayurveda is the oldest known medical system in the world. Susan Weis-Bohlen, a Chopra Center certified instructor of Ayurveda, introduces foundational principles, which include nutrition, meditation, and yoga, as well as the three primary mind-body constitutions (doshas).
Contact Susan Weis-Bohlen at BreatheAyurveda.

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.


Ayurveda & The Wisdom Of The Doshas


Ayurveda & The Wisdom Of The Doshas
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.

“Health results from the natural, balanced state of the doshas.
Therefore, the wise try to keep them in their balanced state.”
- Charak Samhita

The Wisdom Of The Doshas
Each of the three doshas are present throughout the body. They govern our physiology and all activities of the body, mind, and emotions. Not only do the doshas govern our bodily functions but from a more truer perspective - they are the governing principles of Nature. The ancient science of Ayurveda understands the doshas as being a direct expression of Nature’s intelligence and therefore seeks to find balance by understanding the doshas.

Movement, motion and flow are always occurring in all parts of our body at every moment. This movement is thought to be under the guidance of vata dosha.

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.

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.

Discovering The Ayurveda Concept Of Dosha


A Balancing Act

We all have a unique state of balance which signifies a state of good health. We can say that when all your doshas are balanced this illustrates a balance in all bodily reactions, metabolism, flow and communication of all systems of the body. However, what does it mean when a dosha is out of balance? Very simply, an unbalanced dosha represents a subtle imbalance within the body. For example, if vata dosha is increased this can lead to increased dryness of the body [i.e. dry skin, constipation] and increased lightness or ungroundedness of the mind [i.e. anxiety, worry]. Likewise, if pitta dosha is increased, this can lead to an increased fiery aspect to the digestive fire [called “Agni” ] and result in heartburn. Finally, if kapha dosha is increased this can cause increased mucous formation, congestion and/or heaviness to the body. These are all very simple examples to illustrates how physiological changes of the body occur due to subtle changes in the three doshas.

The Balancing Of Doshas
Before we can explain how to correct any underlying doshic imbalances it is important to introduce two very simple  principles common to the science of Ayurveda. These two principles are:

  • The Principle Of Similarity: like increases like
  • The Principle Of Opposites: opposites restore balance

The Principle Of Similarity

This principle of ‘like increases like’ clearly explains that if one of your doshas [vata, pitta, or kapha] becomes imbalanced then it’s likely that you will experience symptoms which directly reflect that particular quality which belongs to the imbalanced dosha. For example, if one eats hot and spicy food [which is fiery like pitta] on a hot [fiery-pitta] summer day while being forced into an aggravating  [fiery-pitta] heated discussion - it is then likely that the hot-fiery quality of pitta may manifest itself within the body such as an inflammatory condition [i.e. heartburn, skin rash, urticaria, etc.].

The Principle Of Opposites

Now, let us assume the above mentioned hot-fiery pitta individual comes to see you for an Ayurvedic consultation. Using the law of opposites, we would want to consider the opposite quality of hot [which is cool and/or cold qualities] to bring the pitta dosha back into balance. Therefore, as a very simple example, we would first suggest avoiding such aggravating factors and next consider opposing qualities - such as cool qualities of aloe vera, amalaki, neem or other soothing elements such as ghee [clarified butter] to help pacify and balance pitta dosha.

The Governing Influence Of The Doshas
The concept of the three doshas is not only limited to our body but also describes the changes involved in the hours of the day, the days of the year, and the entire span of our lives. In other words, the three doshas [vata, pitta, and kapha] influence everything.

- To Learn More About The Doshas


It's International Yoga Day and Summer Solstice! Stay Cool with Coconut Oil

Happy 1st International Yoga Day!  It happens to fall on Summer Solstice.

The celebration of Yoga Day usually includes some sun salutations or Surya Namaskar, 108 of them to be exact. With the sun being at its highest arc in the sky, even one Surya Namaskar can set the heart racing.  To make this International Yoga Day truly a celebration not a "heatabration". Take the usual measures to stay cool and hydrated. Make sure you get plenty of electrolytes. Coconut Water is a good way to get hydrated and get some electrolytes while you are taking a break from today's festivities. Using Coconut Oil internally and externally is also a great way to get the benefits of Coconut's cooling powers. Here's a little article we wrote that explains the Ayurvedic perspective of the Coconut's Super Powers.

Light on Coconut Oil  [Reprinted by Permission.]
Here's our take on Coconut oil ... IT"S GREAT!  We've heard of people using it for all sorts of things, some unmentionable! It is clearly one of the best "kitchen home remedies" available.  This is our take on Coconut Oil from an ayurvedic perspective.

Many people are suffering from being too dry, which is evident in the skin, even more evident in chronic constipation. Many people are suffering from inflammation and acidity.  Too many people suffer from both, coconut oil helps. To someone just learning about Ayurveda this seems like two opposing conditions.

Let's illuminate coconut oil.
From an energetic perspective coconuts are Rajasic to Sattvic in nature.  On their own they are considered to moderately pacify both Vata and Pitta and may aggravate Kapha if used in excess.

- Taste: - Sweet
- Virya: (effect on digestion) - overall cooling.
- Vipak:  (long term or post digestive effect) - overall sweet.

There are many other qualities (gunas) to consider when evaluating the nature of a food from an Ayurvedic perspective.  We consider texture, taste, drying, heating qualities, how the food is cooked as well as what it is cooked with. Environment and growth patterns tell us that the flesh of the coconut is hard, heavy and oily with a watery center.  It is the fruit of a tropical tree.  Native plants and fruits will always provide an antidote to the environment they exist in.  Meaning the fruit's cooling qualities provides an antidote to hot summer and hot environment.  The qualities of hard heavy and oily can contribute to the aggravation of kapha, and are essential for vata stabilization. Pitta people just need the excellent cooling quality.   The color white suggests that it is connected with the 7th or Crown Chakra.  It is used on the top of the head as a hair tonic/oil as well as to cool down someone who is hot headed.

Coconut oil is excellent for external use.  Use on skin for burns and sunburn for relief.  If hair is thinning and/or falling out apply coconut oil to the scalp.  Try using coconut oil for fungal infections of the nails.  Coconut water, meat and shell have many uses as well but we are focusing on the oil itself.

Coconut oils is one of the healthiest oils we can use for eating and cooking.  Unfortunately, it has been given a bad reputation in the past and over hype in the present.  In the past, as Mary Enig points out, "The problem for coconut oils started when researchers fed animals hydrogenated coconut oil, which is completely devoid of any essential fatty acids.  Coconut oil is classed as a medium-chain saturated fatty acid (MCFA) The body does not store it as fat, it metabolizes MCFA in the same way it metabolizes short-chain saturated fatty acids (SCFA) to produce energy.

Research has determined that MCFAs are easily broken down by saliva and gastric juices and are therefore readily absorbed from small intestine into the liver without calling for more digestive enzymes. Easy digestibility creates many health benefits providing a quick source of energy to promote healing. It is sited as helpful in conditions of excess wight, heart disease, high cholesterol, bowel conditions, candida and giardia, diabetes, chronic fatigue, thyroid and skin properties.

This is one of our favorite ways to use coconut oil with organic rainbow carrots.

Wash, cut off ends. Slice organic rainbow carrots

  1. Steam Carrots - about 5-10 minutes -
  2. Top with coconut oil - that's it!  or
  3. Make Sauce - Stir, organic powdered ginger and organic lemon juice into coconut oil then stir into steamed carrots.  This sauce would add pungent and sour to the sweet tastes of coconut and carrots which balances out the sweet flavors for Kapha and the cooling effects for Vata.

Namaste everyone.  Everyday is Yoga Day.