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.
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.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Ayurvedic Massage & Bodywork

Massage and Bodywork Course, CEU

Massage is the most ancient techniques used for relieving pain. 

Still a valid and thriving art and science in most areas, Ayurvedic massage and bodywork is used to manipulate and correct dosha disorders, especially of the vata kind; to cure orthopedic injuries, to relieve swollen tissues, and to promote regeneration of the tissues and organs as well as the internal functioning of the body.

Massage stimulates skin, muscles, veins, arteries, the circulatory systems and the nervous system. It improves the skin, strengthens the lungs, intestines and bones and regulates the digestive system.
Massage increases bodily heat and the flow of life-supporting oxygen; it also improves circulation, causing the body to flush out its waste products more efficiently. 

Promoting vitality, strength, stamina and flexibility, it also improves concentration, intelligence, confidence, esteem and youthfulness.

Especially excellent for the aged and the infirm, massage therapy benefits everyone.

                                                                                                                         Ayurvedic Massage

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Our Human Condition

Today I paid over 50% more for Tupelo Honey at the farmers market. When I was told the price, which had gone up, to what I at first thought was a ridiculous increase, instead of reacting, I paused, and then asked, why is there such a big price jump? What happened since the last time I bought this? What’s the world coming to with this? When she explained the rarity and difficulty they were having in harvesting this plant in Tallahasse and all that went into being able to bring it to the market, I was moved by their commitment to do it anyway, and I also thought, if we don’t support it and buy it, it will no longer be available, and for the relatively small amount of additional cost, we will all lose out on having a superior, health promoting product available. 

I see superior products being squeezed out of the market and inferior cheaper variations being accepted by the mainstream masses, and some of these are not health promoting and even health depleting.

As a small business owner in a small town I hear people repeatedly squawk at the price of things, without understanding the cost of delivering it and if you don’t value and support it, it will at some point, not be sustainable or available for you. If you are inclined to squawk at a price for something valuable and the money you spend on cheap, insignificant things that you prioritize instead, by doing so, they continue to make more of that. What you spend money on, is what will be available and next time you squawk, perhaps ask some different types of questions about what went into making that service available to you and how it can be beneficial to have around and are you coming into right relationship with it, to use it properly in order for it to have the best outcome for you, since you may also not realize the true purpose and how it all works without de-conditioning yourself, investing, surrendering and realizing you are on the outside looking in, rather than going in. You may be coming into relationship with something, using it in a wrong way due to conditioned ways of thinking and being that got you sick in the first place.

Ultimately, healing is an inside job, and when people are sick or not balanced, it’s hard for them to see clearly the way to healing. I often see them start searching outside of themselves, even to strangers on facebook and google, non educated, impersonal, mixing and matching and drawing their own conclusions from their conditioned mind and body. This is like the blind leading the blind and for many people they wander this way for years, if not their whole life, since getting skillful and truly supportive healing is beyond what they are ready to understand and embrace, often due to their conditioning, which is what got them in the state they are in, in the first place, how can it get them out of it?

Realize, Human nature is, people don’t like being told what to do and don’t like being told who they are and so then the ego will go out of its way to take a stand and block the relationship needed for healing. Many people are sick because they have not accepted themselves for who they are. They don’t accept their human condition and are looking to healers or others to make them beyond human, and so they go to healers who don’t heal humans, but treat diseases. They identify with and become their disease and want someone to get rid of it. This is an illusion, when the root cause of the disease is coming from not accepting ones human condition, so they become like an animal in over running, we have to run like a deer, rather than like a human who is not designed to run like a deer, over exercising, over efforting to become something that they’re not, they over work, over achieve, over exercise, over spend, over drink, over eat, over think, over spiritualize, over analyze, etc, and become imbalanced and lost to what it is to be a human being. 

Realize, the true nature of a Human being is not wanting to be a human being, and we are rebellious, not content with our identity and think just being a human being is a waste of time. 

That’s how we get into trouble, valuing things that we think will improve us, though that pattern is the actual problem, and not valuing those who recognize the root cause of disease and try to help others decondtion and get well by creating the opportunities for them to wake up, for their self realization of their own self sabotage and free them to reach their potential by realizing who they truly are and that the trendy diets, exercise programs, fads, trends, medications and hoopla are often making you all worse off by hiding the truth until you  just can’t avoid it any longer! But even then, people keep looking in the wrong places, even valuing doctors who may offer a form of relaxation practice, but don’t actually believe self realization is possible, when the goal of contempletive practices is not relaxation, that is the side benefit, with the goal being self realization, to know who you are is important to come into right relationships with life, healing and knowing anything valuable, and this is part of the definition of health and why contemplative work with someone who has reached that state, which is available to everyone, is part of a holistic healing program, along with the physical work.

Humans are the only species that don’t accept themselves as they are and life as it is. That’s how people organize into groups, running groups, exercise groups, cults and pseudo spiritual communities, and join all sorts of things that give them something to aspire to, since they aren’t happy with who they are. 

We have to be doing and achieving 24/7 and in the process are making a mess of ourselves and our planet, but that’s what most people think we are here to do. Start asking some new questions, shift your relationship to life, learn how to shift yourself and gain new awareness at the cellular level through deep relaxation and focus, and put your energy and your attention on higher values than you ever did before or we all are going to suffer from the loss of superior, health promoting resources and what it really means to live an extraordinary life that comes from knowing life beyond ordinary perception.

Getting started requires some faith in the fact that you will heal and the right person or wisdom to help you see where to be willful and where to surrender. We often get this backwards, and to continue on, in order to make an impact, requires conviction and conviction comes w hen you are convinced of something or someone's value, so taking a hard look at your values, which is sometimes difficult to see through conditioned values, beliefs and perceptions, and that is why the first limb of yoga focuses on them. They provide the foundation of integrity that most practitioners slosh over if even address at all and are important for any physical and energetic practices to help you to know who you are and to keep you focused to continue with the appropriate effort, attitude, relationships and faith, even when you don't see what the next step may be yet.

To get there, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, " Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the stair case." and "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that."