Friday, July 3, 2020

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, Book Review




“You are a great being who has been given a tremendous opportunity to explore beyond yourself. The whole process is very exciting, and you will have good times and bad times. All sorts of things will happen. That’s the fun of the journey.”
           
I chose the quote above to be the base of my report because it stood out to me while reading this book. This journey we call life is an opportunity that everyone has the chance of experiencing, but it’s truly the perspective we have on life itself that affects us day to day. Everything is a choice; at any moment you can choose to be filled with love and happiness or sadness and anger. I chose to review The Untethered Soul because this book helped to drastically broaden my perspective on life and it helped me take a baby step in aligning myself spiritually and mentally, especially during these bizarre times.

“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.” Simply put, you are not the thoughts/voice in your head. It is important to take a step back and observe this voice. Observe how quickly “it” can react to a situation and enhance emotions that drain your energy. 

Mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, arise from perceiving yourself as your thoughts and in an instant, you can be convinced you are your emotion. Yet, once you free yourself from this voice in your head, all stress and problems are released. 

A huge takeaway from Chaya’s yoga teacher training program is how it has taught me the importance, role and value of emotions. Emotions arise from pre-conditioned patterns from birth or developed over the years. When one appears, it shows an opportunity to embrace, feel, and release the emotion from your attention and it’s hold in the body and mind. These emotions can arise at any moment in life. You could be driving your car, journaling, practicing yoga, or even simply breathing and all of a sudden, the feeling appears. Cry, laugh, yell, dance. Let the emotion speak to you and naturally release it.

The year 2020 has been filled with an array of situations that have changed the perspective of “normal.” With a global virus pandemic and civil unrest and a revolution is occurring, and the universe itself is shifting. It has been a time to realign and truly reflect with oneself and the world. 

Change is hard and uncomfortable. It brings up anxiety and a cluster of emotions that have been waiting to be released. “The alternative is to decide not to fight with life. You realize and accept that life is not under your control. Life is continuously changing, and if you’re trying to control it, you’ll never be able to fully live it. Instead of living life, you’ll be afraid of it.” The Untethered Soul emphasizes that change is a part of life and denying it only makes life more difficult. Instead of dreading on the fact that everything around us will never be normal again, it is a time for inner growth. Change is where growth flourishes.

A powerful lesson I acknowledged from The Untethered Soul was accepting death. To this point in my life, I gratefully haven’t had to experience death of a close friend or family memeber. By all means death is inevitable and I know I will face it in the future. As stated in the book, “Learn to live as though you are facing death at all times, and you’ll become bolder and more open.” Realizing death is real helps individuals understand you truly only have the present moment, so live fully now. It is a time to reflect on what gives meaning to our lives and what we want to achieve with our experience here on Earth.

Do I want to live in a state of bliss and happiness? Do I constantly want to believe the thoughts in my mind that lead to stress and unhappiness? Everything is a choice; we as humans have the beautiful opportunity of choice. As Michael Singer stated in his book, “As you let go and willingly release the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of your being, Spirit becomes your state.” Releasing these from your mind and body ultimately leads to a state of bliss, nirvana, or enlightenment. 

There was a constant correlation between the insights I have gained from Chaya’s yoga teacher training and The Untethered Soul that truly enhanced my yoga practice, allowing me to dive deeper into understanding and working constructively with my emotions. Appreciating, loving, and accepting them as separate from myself. I choose happiness.

Reviewed by Alexis Hall
ChayaVeda Intern and Yoga Teacher Training Student



Saturday, June 27, 2020

Book Review; The Science of Breath

Science Of Breath
A Practical Guide
by
Swami Rama, Rudolph Ballentine M.D.,
and Alan Hymes


Reviewed by Trina Perdue
ChayaVeda YTT Student

I had so many moments of “aha!” while reading this book, For example, I've always wondered why houses seem to fall in on themselves or go into disrepair so quickly when no one lives in them. It's like they know no one is inside breathing! The answer is prana! How can we be walking, talking, laughing, growing, blinking, etc.. one minute, and boom! Something can happen that stops the  breath, and it all stops-the heart, the “animation” is gone and we decay. Prana no longer occupies that body.

This book states that “prana is the link between the body and mind”. It's what animates us and it flows through the universe. Our breath is how we connect to it.

In the very first chapter, first page, in fact it says many of the amazing “feats” a yogi can accomplish or perform are done by first controlling the breath. By the end of the book it made perfect sense!

From our western view, most of our day to day dealings are with the material things. Yoga sees us as multifaceted, beings. In this lies that “power”. Our breath is the only thing that can be either voluntary or involuntary. If we can take control of that, we can open that window to control of things we didn't know we had control over! Our breath changes with our emotions and physical condition, so doesn't it make sense that if we can take control of our breath, it will in return affect our emotions and even our physical condition?

Physically, there are so many things about how and where the breath goes that will govern what we see and feel as the outcome of  taking a breath. The nose is much more than just something to hold up glasses on our face. It has many jobs- preparing the temperature and humidity of the air are just the first things. The nose is centrally located so that new air comes into contact quickly with the brain, nervous system and pituitary gland. Then there's the first cranial nerve, which is how we process scent.  There are 3 types of breathing- clavicular, thoracic and diaphragmatic. Diaphragmatic is the most efficient. Because of gravity, the blood is already in the lower lungs. This will give the blood the highest amount of oxygen. We tend to be shallow breathers today, which is obviously not the ideal scenario. Negative emotions (fear, jealousy, rage, and sexual issues etc...) are held in the lower chakras. We tend to hold our diaphragm tight and not breath fully. We lock those emotions down and pile them up, not letting them be released through the breath.

We don't always breath the same volume of air through both nostrils. The coordination of this is called the “infradian rhythm”. We can even use this to our advantage depending on what task we are trying to accomplish. This has to do with the left/right brain, the nervous system, and the Ida, Pingala, and sushumna nadis. Here is where we get into pranayama. Ideally, with control of the breath, practicing and focusing, we can learn to let those held emotions, negative beliefs, and judgments release. We can get prana, first flowing up and down through the Ida and pingula, then up the sushumna

This book gives the processes you can use, but also warns that some of them need to be taught by experienced yogis. In getting the prana to rise through the sushumna, we are given a feeling of extreme joy. I believe also, that this leads us to genuinely see our true nature, which is being one with each other, the universe and all things. 

Once we see that, how can we not love each other?  


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Out Of Many, One

Guest contributor Sierra Kantamneni
ChayaVeda Intern and UF College of Journalism
The past few weeks have been nothing short of surreal. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and thousands of other Black Americans have changed the world. Protests internationally for Black Lives have ignited the much-needed conversations and steps to create permanent change. 

As a first-generation Indian immigrant, I have witnessed the rampant anti-blackness in my own household. From the colorist roots in the Indian caste system to the infamous Model Minority stereotype, Indian culture perpetuates anti-blackness and ignorance. The conversations I have had with my family since the inception of this movement have been poignant and visceral, and most importantly, transformative. We recognized our privileges as non-Black people of color and how we directly benefit from the systems that continue to terrorize Black Americans. Our presence in the US is thanks to the efforts of those who fought during the Civil Rights movement. The passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965; which lifted restrictions on immigration into the US, was a direct product of Black-led activism. Staying silent is complacency. We must use our privilege and voices to seek justice for the Black community.


As the protests gained momentum, my social media flooded with resources on how to aid the Black community and ensure the movement generated long-term change. It is easier than ever to educate yourself and learn about the systematic racism in the US and be an informed ally. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have not participated in the protests as my father is imuno-compromised. If you are in a similar position as me and cannot protest, do not fret! There is still much you can do. There are thousands of virtual petitions you can sign to open old cases or investigate those where the system simply failed in seeking justice. If you have the financial means, you can also donate to relief organizations, victims, Black-owned businesses, etc. Another method, and arguably the most imperative, is education. I have been reading books and watching documentaries regarding the Black experience in the United States, and the systems in place since the slavery-era that continue to oppress Black Americans. There is simply no excuse for ignorance. I urge you all to truly take the time to learn, listen, and understand the injustices rampant in our country. 

I commend those who are on the front-lines of the movement despite the risks, and for all the change these protests have brought. People from all backgrounds have united for this cause, and have already generated substantial change. Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY) recently released several reforms to the state in regards to police brutality and racism. From banning chokeholds, outlawing racial 911 calls, and only allowing independent prosecutors to represent in cases against the police to eliminate bias, Cuomo has facilitated the incentive stages of permanent change. Furthermore, several Confederate statues across the country have been toppled, the most recent being the fall of Confederate Gen. Williams Carter Wickham in Richmond, VA. Atlanta Chief of Police Erika Shields recently resigned after the murder of Rayshard Brooks, and is now evaluating methods of reform and rebuilding trust in the community, And lastly, Minneapolis has committed to dismantling its police after George Floyd’s murder. In the words of his six-year-old daughter Gianna, “Daddy changed the world.”

All in all, it would be foolish of me to say we could undo centuries of systematic racism in a week, but this is a promising start. Now more than ever, we need to unite and take a firm stand against the racism, police brutality, and flagrant oppression Black Americans face each day. We must speak up for them, and ensure that the justice our country promises to all of its citizens is served. Our country’s motto preaches inclusivity, 
E Pluribus Unum”, meaning out of many, one. Out of many states, one country. Out of many people, we are all the American people. 


Link to petitions, donation sites, and other resources:


Books:


Movies:


Black-owned businesses in Gainesville:


Black-led LGBTQ+ Organizations accepting Donations:


Innocence Project:

Saturday, June 6, 2020

The Innocence Project



ChayaVeda is founded upon six core values; community, empowerment, healing, respect, passion, and honesty. Now more than ever, it is important to honor our values and stand together as one as we fight for the ones whose lives were lost due to racism and years of injustice in our society.

The other night, I was watching America's Got Talent with my family. A man with the name Archie Williams performed the song "Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me" by Elton John. The lyrics took on a whole new meaning as he told his heart-wrenching story. Archie spent 37 years of his life in jail due to a false accusation of rape. Archie was a poor African American kid and did not have the means to fight for justice. His fingerprints were not found at the crime scene, and three people testified that he was home, but that was not enough. He spent 37 years of his life in jail. More than half of his life was taken from him. About ten years into Archie's imprisonment, the Innocence Project took on Archie's case, and 37 years later, DNA freed him.

This story does not end with Archie. According to the Innocence Project, it is believed that 20,000 people in our nation are falsely convicted. That is 20,000 innocent people who are not able to experience the full beauty of life. To this date, the Innocence Project freed 367 lives. 61% of the wrongly accused people were African American.*

This is a problem.

We, as a nation, need to do better. We can do better.

How can you take action?


Donate to the Innocent Project:

Educate yourself on Wrongful Conviction (Movies and TV Series):

Donate to the George Floyd Memorial:

Support the National Police Accountability Project:

Donate to the Bail Fund Program:

*The demographics of the 367 people are the following:
225 (61%) African American
110 (30%) Caucasian
28 (8%) Latino
2 (1%) Asian American
1 (<1%) Native American
1 (<1%) Other

Guest Contributor: ChayaVeda Intern, Alyssa Alalouf,
UF Anatomy, Physiology and Applied Kinesiology Major



Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Key To Success During Uncertain Times

People all across the world have been subjected to unprecedented circumstances amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This has created and exacerbated stress and anxiety for many people during these uncertain times. Stress and anxiety present itself differently for different people. Some may experience minor symptoms, such as discontent, racing thoughts and feelings of unease. For others, these feelings of anxiety may be more severe. Symptoms may include, shortness of breath, fast heart rate, sweating, nausea, and an impending feeling of dread or doom. 
It is important to remember that during these uncertain times, you are not suffering alone and many people across the world are experiencing exactly what you are feeling. Another important thing to remember is that there are at-home strategies you can implement. One of those strategies, which is an important aspect of holistic health and the Ayurvedic practice is mindfulness.
Awareness is the key. If with curiosity and wonder, we can become acutely aware of all of the aspects of our mind and emotions, we can develop an openness towards them, a compassion and an understanding that will allow them to rest comfortably within our wisdom mind.
Mindfulness can be defined as the practice of being present in the moment and doing it intentionally and with non-judgement. Mindfulness is a component of meditation. Mindfulness meditation refers to the deliberate act of regulating attention to the present through the observation of thoughts, emotions, and body awareness. Mindful activities include, awareness of breath, body, feelings, emotions, and thoughts, typically in a meditative state. Mindfulness works to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as make you more aware and present in your current state. It transmits the thoughts and emotions into wisdom and connects us to the ever present peace and stillness that is the background of all thoughts. As we begin to identify more with this unchanging background, without struggling against the thoughts in the foreground, intuitive wisdom emerges from that source of stillness. This intuitive wisdom allows us to understand that all thoughts are pointers back to the ground of stillness which is unity.
Chaya~Sharon Heller stated “when we are one with ourselves, we are one with the world around us”. Mindfulness allows you to become one with your thoughts, feelings and emotions, helping you become present with yourself. This, in turn, helps you become present in your environment, making you one with the world around you. 
The Ayurvedic practice emphasizes self-awareness and mindfulness as a key to meditation and living a healthy life. Five thousand years ago, in the north of India, the oldest and most sacred texts were written: the Vedas. It was in these texts that yoga and mindfulness were expounded upon. Yoga was, and still is, a spiritual experience that sought to train the mind to help alleviate suffering and achieve enlightenment, awareness or self-realization. The ancient medical system of Ayurveda was first recorded in the Vedas, that states that our thoughts heavily impact our realities. By implementing mindfulness during this time of uncertainty aids in awareness and stress relief for those suffering. 
In a recent live stream with Chaya, she demonstrated the practice of specific breathing and relaxation techniques that create the stillness for greater awareness. When we are mindful, we focus on the present moment and become aware of our feelings and thoughts. When we do this, we begin making more conscious choices that foster our greatest well-being. In Chaya’s live stream, she exhibited how to properly develop your breathing and mind for deep relaxation. Like Chaya demonstrated, implementing these practices, promotes relaxation and stress relief. 
You can introduce mindfulness in your life using several techniques. First, try to be quiet or meditate for at least five minutes a day. This allows you to distance yourself from your troubling thoughts and feelings, centering yourself in the present. Second, take a mindful stretch break. Instead of checking social media on your work break, try mindful stretching instead. Follow your body cues; slowly and intentionally stretch the parts of your body that need to be stretched. Finally, implement healthy eating practices and eat without distraction. Chaya has compiled some of her own Body Intelligence Tips (BITS) about healthy eating and lifestyle practices. Some of these include eating in a calm, settled atmosphere; never eat when you’re upset, always sit down when you eat, and sit quietly for a few minutes after your meal. Although there are more BITS Chaya has listed, these are imperative to implementing mindfulness while eating, which while improving your digestion will also improve your mindfulness practice. 
In these uncertain times, it is hard to not let anxiety and negative thoughts control you. When you do find yourself feeling this way, it is important to remember that you are not alone and practicing mindfulness can aid in relieving a large portion of the stress you endure. To help get your started, set small achievable goals, like 5 minutes a day or at a meal, making the commitment to show up for it on a regular basis, and through practice and implementation, achieving this small, achievable goal, can bring the mindfulness and stress reduction needed to continue. 
How we respond to these unprecedented times, will play a part in the next steps or outcome of our lives. Many want to escape this reality and diminish fear, however, when we attempt to remain present and mindful, we may no longer wish to escape our uncertain reality, rather, accept that life is always changing, and our present for a vehicle for growth, being grateful for what we have and what it will teach us and contribute to who we become and the legacy we create.  
By: Guest contributor, Sarah McWilliams, ChayaVeda Intern and UF College of Journalism and
Chaya~Sharon Heller


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Real Life Story


Guest contributor Sierra Kantamneni
ChayaVeda Intern and UF College of Journalism
                                     

Never in my life would I have imagined my freshman year of college ending with an international pandemic. Within days, my once loud and lively dorm floor became painfully quiet and vacant. My college experience, life, and the world as I knew it had turned upside down with no clear end in sight. 

As the virtual school year came to a close, I was blessed to receive a remote internship position at ChayaVeda for the summer. In the few weeks I have been an intern, I have already learned so much about the importance of wellness and self-care. I now practice daily yoga and meditation and have found a sense of escape from the chaos and uncertainty of the world. For the first time in a long time, I am putting myself first. From our centering activities before each meeting, to Chaya always checking in on how we are doing, ChayaVeda has become an immense source of stability and growth in my life. Here I have learned valuable lessons about professional and personal growth, and am excited for all that is to come.

Each one of us has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to some capacity. We must recognize the importance of our mental and physical health, and use this time to properly care for ourselves. Self-care is something many of us neglect in the busyness of our lives, myself included. As we navigate this time of uncertainty and fear, I encourage you all to remember the positive things in life and remind yourself that this too, one day, shall pass. 


Saturday, May 2, 2020

Resiliency and Our Response To Life



                                         Who Are You When You’re Strong?

We often get caught up in thinking about what’s not working or what needs improving in our lives, especially when we face difficulties.

Today is an invitation to look within for hidden treasures and discover the amazing gifts we already have.

Signature strengths refer to those strengths that are organic to us. We each have capabilities that enable us to move through life from a place of authenticity, which directly affects our quality of life and over-all health and well-being. We all know someone who is authentically generous, compassionate, courageous or loyal, or is an appreciator of beauty. Each of these is a strength, and each of us possesses core sustaining strengths that are an important foundation to healthy change. We just have to remember them and actually use them, either when we seek positive change or when life throws us challenges.

Take a few breaths and then take a moment to choose one or two words that describe your strengths that ring true to you about yourself. Some examples could be kindness, optimism, creativity, faithfulness, playfulness, determination, etc.

                                               How Do You Respond To Life?
Resiliency is when we can sustain healthy transformations from leaning on our strengths in moments of stress. We can choose our actions and ways of being based upon our natural tendencies and the capacities that can move us forward. This doesn’t mean that we are not vulnerable, and often, we are often raw and exposed under stress, but what it means is that we won’t waste time punishing ourselves for who we are not, or ruminating about the gifts we don’t have. We take the moment of rawness as an opportunity to use the strengths we do have, while being open to what the moment has to teach us about growth.

Our energy follows our attention, so if we put our attention towards our strengths, we develop them and move forward with this writing the blueprint for our lives and perhaps, our new normal.

The next step is learning how to apply your knowledge of your strength.
Once you’ve identified your strengths, when a difficult or uncomfortable moment comes, center yourself and take out your list. Choose one of your strengths. Just one and apply that strength to your daily life for the next week, even if you only do it for a moment.
No matter what life brings, remember that you have more than one strength to bring to the table and you can apply it in the present moment, becoming the change we seek.
Who can we become when life pulls the rug out from under us? Our fullest selves, gifted with the qualities that enable us to rise. We simply must remember what they are and choose to go toward them.

As you practice focusing on your strengths, you may have your own insights into your behavior and how to handle difficult and uncomfortable situations skillfully and authentically, according to your nature. This is a peak experience, providing you with not only insight and stress reduction, but also improved energy levels, focus, productivity, happiness, personal and professional growth, attitudes and relationships, cultivating  a new and authentic response to life for total well-being and unlocking your highest potential.

To learn more take our Wellness Challenge, group experience May 12th or One-On-One anytime.






Monday, April 13, 2020

Breathing Into Spontaneous Calm


Zoom Breathing Practice with Chaya, Thursday, April 16th at 10:30am
For the link like our Facebook Page and join our Zoom Group

                  "Breath is central to yoga, because it is central to life, and yoga is about life."

Benefits of Regular Breathing Practices Include:

Relieve Stress, Calm and balance the mind and nervous system
Regulate the systems and functions of the body, mind and emotions
Develop core strength
Purify the body, mind and senses
Reduce obstacles to clear perception
Increase focus, clarity and energy

Posture Clinic; Mountain Pose


Zoom Posture Clinic Thursday, April 16th at 10:00am
For the link please like our Facebook Page and join our Facebook Group 
A+P:
Neck elongated in a neutral position with gaze remaining forward 
Shoulder-blades are pulled back and relaxed away from the ears
Chest is lifted and the abdominal muscles are engaged by drawing the belly towards the spine that lengthens the tailbone towards the earth
Quadriceps are engaged and rotated slightly inward pulling the thighs and kneecaps up, while externally spiraling the femur bones aligning the legs, hips and pelvis
Big toes together; toes spread apart making sure there is an even weight distribution between the feet
Arms straight and fingers extended; palms facing inward 


Tips:
Imagine a string pulling you up (shoulders, hips, and ankles should all be in the same line); stand up straight
Put a block in between your thighs to engage your legs muscles 
Practice against a wall (Heels, butt, back of head, and shoulder blades should be the only things touching the wall)
Feeling grounded, while extending towards your highest aspirations

Benefits:
Helps improve posture and balance
Reduce sciatica pain 
Free flow of energy, creating more focus, attention and vitality
Reduces stress and strain
Maintains the integrity of every pose



Sunday, March 29, 2020

Ayurvedic Nutrition & Food Fundamentals; Ama~Metabolic Waste



     Ayurvedic Nutrition & Food Fundamentals 

Includes: 6 Stages of Digestion, 5 Nutritional Disorders, 4 States of Agni, 3 Doshas, 2 Potent Energies & 1 Moment

Ama ~Metabolic Waste

When our digestive capacity, also referred to as, our digestive fire or agni is disturbed, incompletely digested food forms an internal, toxic, morbid, substance known as ama. This undigested, unripened, undigested, glue-like, sticky substance may accumulate, putrefy, ferment, and lodge anywhere in the body, with a tendency to begin at it’s weakest place (kavaigunya). Thereby, ama is the end product of poorly digested food and forms due to weak, dull or variable agni, clogging the channels, such as the blood and lymph, giving rise to diseases, such as arthritis, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, thyroid conditions, diabetes, allergies and more.

Ayurveda’s verbiage of clogged channels and accumulation of ama, is saying the same thing as the new age verbiage, leaky gut syndrome, and is associated with the current popularity of conversations about disorders of the microbiome by vitiating our gastrointestinal tract, but Ayurveda takes it further to state that this digestive process occurs in every cell of our body, determining the healthy replication, growth and development of each cell, tissue and organ, contributing to the over all health and vitality of a person.

We can see the early signs and symptoms of ama begin to accumulate, at what we should consider the early stages of disease, and take steps at this preventative stage. Just as current research suggests that diet and lifestyle affects the outcome of one’s genetic storyboard, Ayurveda provides the same road map in an easier, more accessible and user friendly road map to do this appropriately, recognizing that it’s not one size fits all, and taking a truly holistic approach in adjusting one’s diet and lifestyle, that most often would suffice to return to a healthy condition.

To read more about the specific signs and symptoms of Ama per dosha, a health questionnaire to determine your own body and mind impurities and an ama reducing recipe, access our resources here



Sunday, March 15, 2020

ChayaVeda In Unprecedented Times and the Ayurvedic Perspective of Coronavirus



We understand that public concerns around the spread of coronavirus (renamed COVID-19) may affect your future planning, and we are closely monitoring news regarding the virus. The situation is evolving rapidly with new information available daily. This includes information about our programs and services, and below you will also find useful Ayurvedic information to help keep you healthy and relaxed during this unprecedented time.

Due to the nature of our work and the distance many of our clients and students travel, we are postponing the upcoming Ayurvedic Massage & Bodywork; Garshana & Abhyanga course, at our retreat center to a future date, likely July 18 & 19, 2020 (waiting to hear back from everyone currently registered to secure the date).

Since most of our work in our Gainesville studio is one on one, we have decided to screen, clean and be seen. While we are postponing courses at the retreat house, our healing arts studio is open, where we continue to be a place of healing and balance for all who seek it, with up-leveled hygiene for everyone’s safety and are also available for Ayurvedic Health Consultations in person, virtually or by phone.

We first and foremost care deeply about the health and well‑being of our clients, staff and community, and ask that you read through the following.

At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and related government agencies have said that we can continue with our daily routines, and we believe that it’s important to stay vigilant and do what we can to provide the best environment at our studio so you can enjoy your session and visit with peace of mind.

I am closely monitoring official guidance from local governmental and health authorities and the World Health Organization in order to support the health and well‑being of our community.

We are actively encouraging staff to stay home if they have recently traveled out of the country or been in contact with someone who has or if they present any symptoms and our UF Intern team continues to meet virtually.

For our cleaning procedures, which are already very comprehensive, we are taking additional measures to sanitize all surfaces before and after each client.

For up‑to‑date information on COVID-19 please consider this source as provided by the CDC.

If you present with any symptoms of the flu, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, or have been in contact with or have recently traveled to any of the affected countries and/or states and regions please stay home.
In addition, if you have a compromised immune system, take extra precautions.

The CDC has also made available a list of suggested prevention tips. Please take steps to protect yourself and others and use this as a time to up level mindful practices that could make others sick or uncomfortable. 

We will continuously evaluate and monitor the situation and share pertinent information with our community as it becomes available. 

This is taking a hard financial hit to me and our company, and the ability to cover our expenses during this unprecedented time. We ask everyone for their patience, prayers and support, and please visit our shop and consider purchasing a ChayaVeda Gift Certificate for later use, a book-Yoga of Action; Holisitic Lifestyle and Adaptive Yoga for People with MS and Similar Conditions, ChayaVeda Inspirational Greeting Cards or ChayaVeda T-shirt, or if you are able to make a contribution for our ongoing existence, Thank you for considering!!

We also have 2 free yoga nidra/relaxation recordings, kitchari recipe and dosha questionnaire here

We are here to help you remain balanced, relaxed and healthy.


Management of Viruses from the Ayurvedic Perspective: 
Firstly, An Over-all Ayurvedic recommended regimen (Pathya) includes:
Keep yourself warm. Even though its spring and we all want to shed the jackets, Keep it! The constant fluctuation of the temperature, as well as the rainy days, makes it harder for your agni to resist infections. 

Don't keep your head wet or cold. If you're going to wash your hair, plan to blow dry it as well. Any undue moisture on your head during this time allows for more building of kapha. A pinch of Rasnadi churnam on the top of your head (fontanel) really helps with that. 

AVIOD the cold beverage at all costs! If we're trying to limit our risk, then we need to cut out the cold which promotes stagnation, suppression of the agni and so much more. But you already know this. 

Light incense that is pure and preferably ones that are more stimulating such as Naga Champa, or patchouli. It helps to purify your surroundings but also acts as a mild dhumapana (smoke inhalation) to clear your nasal passages. AVOID Neti and Nasya at this time. It can be too much moisture when the environment already has moisture. We are trying to keep things hot and dry, so the dry heat is preferred. In saying that, a sauna would also be beneficial whenever you have the chance.   

For Apathya (things to avoid) use your better judgment. You all know what factors aggravate kapha and suppress the agni, so all those factors should be avoided.  

I hope this information is helpful and that you all stay healthy and safe. Don’t forget to focus on the positive and that state of your mind matters.

For deep relaxation please use this link to access my yoga nidra recordings.
https://chayaveda.com/resources
For more continue reading below and for specific Ayurvedic education that supports health and wellness, please contact me to schedule an Ayurvedic Consultation, available in person, virtually or by phone.

As you may all be inundated with information about the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to look at things that we do know and reflect on past experiences in the management of similar conditions. 

Yes, all viruses are unique, however there is a pattern as to whom is more susceptible as opposed to others who can resist such infections. 
In Ayurveda, we know that it is those with problems of: Agni and Kapha
Excess kledata (moisture/ stagnation) 
As well as it being Spring (kapha season), it makes for an ideal breeding ground for a host of external pathogens including viruses. 

In China, where the outbreak first began, they are incorporating TCM in the management of coronavirus cases. More than 50% of the cases are being managed effectively with TCM, because not all cases are fatal. 

High Risk Groups include those with Pre-existing conditions of Diabetes. As per Ayurveda, we can expand on this list by including all chronic Kapha predominant disorders, digestive disorders especially with chronic ama and manda agni and disorders with circulation (Sroto Rodha, especially in the Kapha Sthana or the respiratory tract). 

Management options in Ayurveda focus on Maintaining the health of the healthy (Svastsya Svasta samraksana).

AGNI! Dipana pacana methods are key because only the Agni has the ability to make the system strong and reduce as many of the systemic risk or excess kapha build up.  What keeps the agni nice and strong? Cooking with SPICES!! 
You can use your usual kapha blends or opt for other prophylactic measures like Sitopaladi (for vatas and pittas) or Talisadi (for Kaphas). 

Another method of keeping the agni nice and strong as well as preventing kapha build-up is ginger tea, tulsi tea, ginger tumeric tea, cinnamon tea etc. 

Reduce Kapha: Now this also comes with an "it depends". Reduce kapha ONLY IF you have excess kapha to reduce! If you don’t have excess, then the normal healthy kapha is required to keep you stable and healthy! 

Follow the normal Spring protocol. Avoid dairy primarily cold milk and cheese. If you have to, have yogurt in the form of takra with spices. SMALL quantities of ghee might be okay. Use only if needed. 

Enhance immunity (Vyadhiksamatvam):  
Things that boost immunity such as Amla (my favorite is amla candy/ sweet amla). Tulsi will also have this effect along with those listed above. Tripahala can also help here. 

Guduchi (tinospora cordfolia) does ALL of the above. It increases Agni, enhances circulation, clears the srotas, is a rasayana AND has an affinity towards the respiratory & cardiovascular system. 

Managing ailments of the diseased (Aturasya Vikara Prasamana):  
If someone does get sick, then we would follow the protocol for fever (jvara), that includes asthmatic symptoms (svasa)

Dasamoolakatutreyam Kasayam (10 mL + 30 mL warm water 20 mins before a meal) 
Amritottaram Kasayam (includes Guduchi) 
Vasa Arishtam (30 mL after a meal) 
Abhaya Arishtam (includes haritaki, 30 mL after a meal) 
Agastya Rasayana once the Agni is back. 
Proprietary Formulations:
 Septalin (1 -2 tabs twice daily) 
Trishun (by Zandu) 1 tab after food 

If the case is more severe, then it would be based on the individual requirements and you may need to contact your medical doctor for further support.