Friday, February 5, 2021

Go Red For Women

                                                          National Wear Red Day

Today is National Wear Red Day. National Wear Red Day is celebrated globally on the first Friday of February. Around the globe we unite to wear red to raise awareness, become educated, and support women suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women. 1 in 3 deaths in the US are caused by cardiovascular disease, this is too many. According to the CDC, there are 200,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke per year, due to lifestyle changes. They are preventable, so let’s make a change and make our hearts healthy!

                                                     What is Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for coronary heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, and stroke. Coronary Heart Disease is responsible for half of cardiovascular related deaths. Coronary Heart Disease includes acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks), unstable angina pectoris (chest pain), and sudden cardiac death. In the United States, every 42 seconds someone suffers a heart attack. Warning signs for a heart attack include tightness or pain in the chest, shortness of breath, flu like symptoms, arm, back, or neck pain, abnormal heartbeat, fatigue, lightheadedness, and/or nausea. A stroke occurs every 40 seconds and is the second leading cause of death among cardiovascular disease. Two of the more common symptoms of stroke include memory loss and paralysis. Paralysis occurs on the opposite side of the body of where the brain damage has occurred. Patients with right brain damage may experience vision problems and/or may behave impulsively or inappropriately. Patients with left brain damage may experience problems with their language or speech. 

                                                       Ayurveda Heart Healthy Tips:

1. Manage Stress: It is important to reduce daily stressors in your life. Stress is a component in 5 out of 6 leading causes of death in the United States. Did you know 75-90% of doctors’ visits are for stress related issues? The Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy (AYT) perspective of stress illustrates that tension is created in the natural play of opposites that exist in nature. Stress is our experience when these natural polarities are out of balance (IYT YTT Manual: 8.2)

a. Take a yoga class

b. Practice a form of Meditation, guided imagery, progressive relaxation or Yoga Nidra

c. Focus on your breath 

d. Read your favorite book

e. Step outside and breathe in the fresh air

2. Stay Active: Part of being heart healthy includes daily exercise. Cardiovascular risk factors include obesity, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle, dyslipidemia (elevated cholesterol), family history, cigarette smoking, and age. A majority of the risk factors can be avoided with weight management and a healthy lifestyle. As little as 30 minutes a day of exercise can make a huge difference! If you feel like you’re too busy to exercise for 30 minutes, split it up! You can take a 15 min walk in the morning and 15 min walk in the evening. There are plenty of ways to get in your daily dose of activity.

a. Go on a nature walk

b. Make it either a competition or cooperation with coworkers, friends or family for most miles/ steps walked this month

i. Download the app charity miles! Track the miles you walk while donating to your favorite charity

c. Have a dance party, maybe virtually for now, or safely with your pod

d. Take an online exercise or dance class 

e. Bike or walk around the neighborhood 

f. Take a swim

3. Eat Healthy: Nutrition is key, an Ayurvedic diet focuses on balancing the energy within your body. Everybody has a dominant dosha and the ayurvedic diet focuses on keeping the doshas in balance. There are specific food guidelines for each constitutional type which will support digestion and improves one’s overall health.

a. Eat according to your constitutional type; take our doshic questionnaire to find out which dosha you are

b. Follow the DASH diet (dietary approaches to stop hypertension)

c. Limit sodium and refined sugar

d. Cook; home cooked food is healthier than eating out, especially fast food

e. Eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats

f. Swap unhealthy fats for healthy fats; unhealthy fats are fats that are hydrogenated or high in saturated fats (butter, corn oil, margarine, soybean oil)

i. Healthy Fats: ghee, olive oil, avocado, nuts, salmon (do not consume avocado oil, when it’s heated, the omega ratio becomes unbalanced)

ii. Ghee: In Ayurvedic cooking and baking we use ghee rather than butter. Ghee is easily digestible and helps improve absorption and assimilation. Ghee is acceptable for Pitta and Vata and can be used in moderation for Kapha.

g. Add spices to your dishes to stimulate and strengthen your enzyme production that enhances digestive strength.

4. Get a Good Night’s Rest; it is recommended to sleep 7-8 hours a night. Not getting an adequate amount of sleep each night can lead to many health problems, including cardiovascular diseases.

a. Rise with the sun and go to sleep by 10:00 pm

b. Trouble sleeping try reading before bed or listening to a sleep meditation

c. Turn off your electronics at least 30 minutes before falling asleep

d. Take your Medications and Keep Track of your Doctor Appointments

                                               Herbal Remedies for Heart Health:

1. Arjuna: promotes healthy functioning of the heart muscle, strengthens the circulatory system 

2. Cinnamon: lowers bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and can lower blood pressure

3. Garlic: lowers blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and increases HDL (good cholesterol), and may reduce risk of heart attack and stroke (not advised for pitta dosha)

4. Ginger: increases excretion of cholesterol, increases circulation, burns ama (toxins)

5. Turmeric: lower bad cholesterol (LDL), reduces inflammation, and helps prevent blood clots

                                                   Heart Healthy Muffin Recipe:

Who said muffins couldn’t be healthy? A basic tridhoshic recipe, intended to be altered to create your own original muffins.


1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached white flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda

3⁄4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

3⁄4 cup buttermilk or yogurt

3⁄4 cup water

1⁄4 cup melted ghee


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter 12 muffin cups.

2. Mix the dry ingredients together.

3. Mix the buttermilk, water, and oil. Pour over the dry ingredients.

4. Beat until just barely mixed, about 15 strokes.

5. Pour the batter into the muffin cups. Bake until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.


Date-Nut Muffins: Add 2/3 cup chopped dates and 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans in Step 3.       (Yields to 1 to 2 additional muffins.)

Orange Muffins: Add 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest and replace the water with orange juice in Step 3.

Spice Muffins: In Step 2, add 1⁄2 tsp each: ground cinnamon, ground allspice, and ground ginger; 1⁄4 tsp each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves.

Banana or Pumpkin Muffins: Add 1 cup pureed ripe bananas or pureed cooked pumpkin in Step 3. Reduce the buttermilk (but not the water) to 1⁄2 cup.

Replace no more than 1⁄2 cup wheat flour with non-wheat flours such as barley, buckwheat, cornmeal, or bran.

Replace buttermilk or sour milk with nondairy milk or fruit juice mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Add 1 cup drained grate carrot, zucchini, apple; reduce the buttermilk to 1⁄2 cup.

                                   How can you celebrate National Wear Red Day?

1. Wear Red

2. Promote Wear Read Day by posting on Social Media, creating a blog, posting a selfie of you doing your favorite heart healthy activity, and using #WearRedDay

3. Donate to the cause- American Heart Association

a. Donations are being matched!!

4. Become educated on cardiovascular diseases and ways to prevent cardiovascular disease and death

5. Decorate your office with red decorations or change your virtual background on zoom (wear red virtual backgrounds provided in first link below)

6. Get active

7. Create your favorite heart healthy recipe

8. Global Virtual Dance Party at 12- 12:30 pm ET!! 

9. Register:





Saturday, January 30, 2021

Keeping Up with Your New Year’s Resolutions; Ayurvedic Tips For A Life of Balance


We are officially one month into the new year, 2021. Have you asked yourself recently if you are proud of the progress you’ve made thus far? With the new year, comes new goals, resolutions, aspirations, and a new lifestyle for some. 

Setting goals, whether big or small, is only the easy part of the new year; the hard part comes later when the motivation starts to get lost in the stressors and chaos the new year brings. Chaya Integrative Healing Arts is here to give you some helpful Ayurvedic tips to keep the motivation alive and keep you on track to conquer whatever you have set your mind to. The first step in any healthy lifestyle is facing your obstacles with realistic strategies and structure. 

                       Below is the Ayurvedic Beneficial Daily Routine that will help you stay on track:

Rise with the sun

Clean your face, mouth, nasal passages with neti pot and nasya oil, and gargle with warm water with some sesame oil

Drink one cup of warm water with a few drops of fresh lemon

Yoga practice appropriate for your dosha and condition, coordinating breath and movement, incorporating pranayama (breathing), mantra and meditation or contemplation

Eat 3 meals per day according to your dosha and condition

Eat breakfast by 8:00am

Make lunch your largest meal around noon

Take some time after lunch for digestion

Go outside and appreciate nature

Eat a light dinner around 6:00pm, and not later than 7:00pm Relax and wind down after dinner

Offer gratitude

Go to sleep by 10:00pm

This is a great daily routine to follow to keep you focused on your whole person. By applying an Ayurvedic approach into one’s holistic life, there is a strengthened understanding of one’s makeup, and the affects that the outer world, environment, diet, and lifestyle choices make on our constitution and our daily lives. Taking this Ayurvedic approach will keep you balanced and give you a deeper relationship with yourself and the world around you. 

Along with the daily routine, here are 5 more secrets that the ChayaVeda team has put together for you to keep up with your New Year’s resolutions and have a successful and purposeful 2021:

1.      Start Small, Plan Well: It’s easy to get overwhelmed with big plans or resolutions. To avoid being overwhelmed with big, unreasonable or unattainable goals, start with small, an attainable plan. Include specific micro goals, within a given time frame, location, activity, etc. Make a list of your steps, consider obstacles and develop strategies to overcome them. Maybe try something familiar and get back on track with a lost hobby. For all our yoga teachers and practitioners and Massage Therapists out there, consider brushing up on your knowledge and skills with a Ayurvedic Yoga Immersion, YogaTeacher Training or our Ayurvedic Massage & Bodywork Course at ChayaVeda!

2.      Document Your Progress: Sometimes when we are working towards a goal, we don’t see the progress we’ve already made because we are comparing ourselves to the end product or image of what the end product will look like, rather than where we started. Keeping a journal or notepad to write down your milestones or thoughts you have along your journey. Writing down your goals and getting to cross them out will help you stay focused and motivated. It is important we observe our own progress and start from where we are now.

3.      Don’t Beat Yourself Up: Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart and lose precious energy and focus for your goals and dreams.  We are often our own worst critic. If you are having a bad day or wanting to give up on your goals, take a step back and reflect on the positives you have accomplished and contemplate on gratitude for what you have in your life. It is important to remain patient and forgiving with yourself throughout this process and the journey of life.

4.      Build A Support System: It is important to create an inspiring and supportive environment to keep you on track with your goals. This environment may include friends and family members who will hold you accountable and positive and inspiring resources to encourage you along the way.

5.      Treat Yourself: Don’t forget to reward yourself for milestones, no matter big or small.

Always focus on your well-being. Find Freedom – Live purpose and have fun!

Contact Us to Schedule your personalized Ayurvedic Health Consultation or Program


Monday, November 16, 2020

International Day for Tolerance

In 1996 the UN General Assembly proclaimed November 16th as International Day of Tolerance. This is the day for recognizing the true beauty, power and magic within each other and in ourselves.

Many people try to be nonjudgmental, or nonviolent. We may have recognized how our judgments separate us, and it’s painful. In trying to be tolerant or nonjudgmental, though, we’re cutting off the part of ourselves that is judgmental and intolerant. We can’t make it go away. It’s a defensive reaction that has to do with something we’re afraid of, something that we don’t understand yet, or the times when we haven’t expressed ourselves in some way.

Trying to be tolerant, nonjudgmental or non-violent, is just a way of repressing a part of yourself. You are actually being judgmental of your judgmental self and violent to your non-violent self!

Instead, recognize and accept the judgmental part of yourself, then look underneath it to see what’s causing it to come forth.

“I accept my judgmental self as a part of me”

Mindfulness practice:
Get comfortable. Close your eyes, relax and take a few full breaths.
Picture or imagine your child or your own inner child in front of you.
Look into their eyes and sense the powerful being within them.
Take enough time to receive feelings, ideas or impressions about who your child really is. Communicate to them your respect and appreciation.
Imagine that your child is communicating respect and appreciation to you.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Ayurveda & Breast Cancer Awareness Month


What is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated worldwide every October to raise awareness and support people affected. 

According to The World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular diseases and a growing health issue globally, and breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. In the United States, 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. 

Designating a whole month to breast cancer awareness for women and men to learn the importance of education about the signs and symptoms, how to perform breast self-exams monthly, and annually receive a clinical breast exam. Of course, prevention is always preferable, and according to The American Cancer Society, early detection has been shown to have a 99% 5-year relative survival rate. 

Educate yourself and others because you can save a life. Take this month to become informed, spread awareness, and share hope, as we celebrate the survivors, pray for the fighters, and remember the ones who lost their lives.

Prevention + Treatment in Ayurveda

Ayurveda, the science of life, focuses on preventing and maintaining one's health through personalized lifestyle and diet, and Ayurvedic Practitioners offer a wide range of treatments to help patients manage symptoms and side effects of traditional therapy, that may also include many healing techniques to create balance in our lives.


Ayurveda defines health as one with a balanced constitution (doshas), who's waste products eliminate properly, tissues are well formed, and having a bright and shining soul or energy through experiencing one’s natural and true selves.


It identifies 3 root causes of disease as stemming from not living according to one’s constitution and their true nature, along with circadian rhythms, natures rhythms and laws and disconnection or wrong relationships or misuse of people and things, through wrong thoughts, ideas and beliefs, causing us to make choices that will adversely affect the free flow of energy through our body and mind, toxins to accumulate, causing aggravation to the health of our tissues and organs, resulting in a variety of health issues, including cancer.

Studies on the effects of circadian rhythms have shown a 30% increase in cancer in night shift workers, along with the "circadian fog" that results when we are awake at night rather than sleeping, and coinciding with the fact that light is coming into the eyes and affects brain chemistry and inhibits melatonin production.


In addition to traditional medical treatments, Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy are complementary interventions that can decrease the side effects and negative impacts of chemotherapy and radiation that are often prescribed. Ayurveda can help restore the bodies' natural healing mechanisms by removing accumulated toxins, improving diet, implementing healthy daily activities, and offering a wide range of treatment options such as massage therapy and body treatments, yoga therapy, yoga nidra, deep relaxation and herbal therapies, to improve all the systems of the body as well as supporting the mental and emotional stress associated with cancer and helping women be mentally and physically healthier and stronger.


Someone living with breast cancer or recovering from treatment can benefit from a diet rich in easily digestible foods, according to their constitution.  Cold foods should be avoided as they tend to be hard to digest and can weaken the body's ability to transform food into energy, causing accumulation of ama or toxins. Sugar, along with processed foods should be avoided and a diet rich in plant-based foods, that are cooked well to help the body digest and assimilate them.


Choosing the right foods can aid digestion, build strength, and improve the immune system. According to Ayurveda, one of the causes of disease is improper food and an Ayurvedic Practitioner can create a diet plan that will restore balance.

In addition, estrogens play a major role in promoting the proliferation of normal breast cells as well as neoplastic breast epithelium. Hence, blocking the estrogen receptor for the treatment and chemoprevention of breast cancer is one of the significant approaches. Plant-based estrogen-like compounds or phytoestrogens were originally proposed as cancer-protective agents.

Soybean and soy products are a rich source of isoflavones. Other phytoestrogen classes are legumes and lignans found in seeds, nuts, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. Historically, the rate of breast cancer occurrence in the United States is 4–7 times higher than that of the Asian population where the consumption of dietary isoflavones is comparatively as high as 20 to 80 mg/d. In addition, epidemiological observations also revealed a modest 30% reduction in breast cancer risk for women with a higher percentage of dietary lignan intake. Therefore, consumption of phytoestrogen-rich diet is one of the many potential protective lifestyles against breast cancer.

Such foods as flax seeds, sesame seeds, soy beans and their products like tofu, edamame and tempe, dried fruits such as apricots, dates and prunes, garlic, peaches, berries, cruciferous vegetables and wheat bran contain phytoestrogens, which may reduce the risk of breast cancer, though Ayurveda’s personalized approach would need to adjust these recommendations according to one’s constitution and current imbalance.


 A healthy diet and lifestyle are vital to prevention, treatment and a recovery plan. It is shown that yoga can help improve breast cancer patients' quality of life by boosting their self-esteem and motivation throughout treatment, enhancing their coping strategies and capacity to heal, and engaging them in physical activity as well as deep relaxation, where the body and mind can rebalance and reduce the production of harmful inflammatory stress chemicals that affect hormones and all of the organs and tissues. For more information on the benefits of yoga and breast cancer, check out the studies linked below or contact us for a yoga therapy program.


Ayurvedic Massage and Bodywork treatments can address lymphatic drainage, which is helpful at some stages of treatment, and is used as both prevention as well as rejuvenation. Combined with shirodhara treatment that works with the brain and the nervous system, one can reduce harmful stress hormones that contribute to disease. (We also offer courses to learn these modalities).


Lastly, Herbal therapy has been shown to boost the immune system, relieve pain, fatigue, and remove toxins. 

Traditional herbal medicines are popular because of their cost-effectiveness, abundancy, and less or no side effects. In recent years, global emphasis on plant research has increased to find drug-like substances from traditionally used medicinal plants. Moreover, several naturally occurring plant-based compounds like curcumin, resveratrol, quercetin, and many more showed promising anticancerous effects and are gaining interest as an adjuvant chemotherapeutic agent. Besides, naturally occurring compounds cause less toxicity to healthy cells and in certain cases show selective toxicity against abnormal or diseased cells. This might be the reason that today a large number of drugs being marketed are structurally similar to the structure of naturally occurring compounds, and some are actually being used in chemotherapy treatments (see the chart on page 9 in Herbal Remedies for Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment, in the resources below).

Herbal compounds show a variety of anticancer activity mainly antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, and apoptosis-inducing activity that may help prevent cancer development in the early stage. Dietary consumption of adequate quantity of these herbal products may help in prevention and treatment of breast cancer by cell cycle arrest, induction of apoptosis, regulating carcinogen metabolism and oncogenic expression, inhibiting cell adhesion, proliferation and migration, and blocking signaling pathways that are essential for cancer progression. To read more about herbal therapy, and the link between herbal remedies and cancer prevention and treatment, check out the research study below.


For more personalized recommendations, a live online Ayurvedic Consultation with Chaya is only a phone call away. Contact us for more information.



Breast Cancer Resources from the National Breast Cancer Foundation  


Herbal Remedies For Breast Cancer Prevention andTreatment

New Approaches in Breast Cancer Therapy Through Green Nanotechnology and Nano- Ayurvedic Medicine

Yoga Therapy and Breast Cancer

Yoga for Patients with Early Breast Cancer and its Impact on Quality of Life- a Randomized Controlled Trial


Yoga: Benefits and Precautions for People with BreastCancer

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Inhale and Exhale; The Benefits of Yoga


What is the "experience" of the breath known as prāna? 

Have you ever noticed that every yoga class begins and finishes in stillness, except for the movement of your breath? 

This is no coincidence, but rather a key step to ultimate connection between oneself and the universe that happens through the feedback loop of the breath, our thoughts and the nervous system that determines our perception of our experience of ourselves and our world. 

A balanced breath leads to a balanced mind and leads to a balanced life. Yoga is a vehicle for wellness because of its ability to promote health and healing through integration at physical, energetic, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels simultaneously. Though popularized as an exercise and relaxation tool, the fullness of yoga extends further, to also include self-realization and how to embrace the whole human experience.  

The physical aspects of yoga have powerful healing effects. By maintaining a consistent yoga practice one can increase flexibility and muscle strength. Scientific studies have been researching the effects of yoga and finding promising results for a wide range of applications, including, people with back pain, migraines, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia, ADHD, and overall chronic pain. In addition, yoga can help increase your immunity attributed to a reduction of stress hormones produced, fewer toxins lodging in the body and mind, and the free flow of energy through the body and mind complex that boosts our immune capabilities. 

When the breath is balanced the parasympathetic nervous system known as “rest and digest” is dominant. When the mind is nervous and tense, the breath is strained and erratic and the autonomic nervous system known as “fight or flight” is dominant. The autonomic nervous system stimulates chemical changes creating toxins and inflammation, putrefying and dulling our senses so that they are unable to perceive directly or interact with life skillfully. In a chaotic overstimulated world it is easy to become overwhelmed and remain in “fight or flight”. As you may have experienced this way of life leads to stress, brain fog, and lack of energy. 

When we can balance the prāna in our system by improving our lung capacity, and attune to the breath as a tool for understanding our relationships and responses to life, learning how to regulate the breath to affect a clear mind and balanced nervous system, with parasympathetic dominance, we receive it's benefits of health and harmony to the physical, energetic, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of ourselves, as well as integrating all of these layers of ourselves so we can live in this experience of oneness and create a better world for ourselves and our communities.  

Yoga is a special teacher and opens the door for everyone at any mental or physical level. Yoga begins with the breath and can lead you down a life path of fulfillment. The clarity yoga brings infuses determination that is no longer something of the mind, but rather about being authentic and true to your nature, to yourself and those around you.  

Choose your yoga teacher wisely. Yoga has become popularized by those who do not teach its core roots to meet the perceptions of the general public and teach from their own limited or skewed experiences and pass that on. Yoga is a practice unique to each individual. Learn all the aspects of yoga in our next yoga teacher training, for an immersion with Chaya, diving into the depths and whole yoga spectrum to bring valuable clarity to your life and support you in your personal and professional endeavors to unlock your highest potential.   

Register during National Yoga Month and save an additional $50 off of the extra early tuition.

For more information about our Yoga Teacher Training






Monday, September 21, 2020

Experience the Peace Of Stillness Within


In the west, many people think meditation is something they need to do, this is a symptom of our culture and misappropriation of contemplative practices. Meditation changes the state of our mind. It brings awareness, harmony and natural order to human life and happens spontaneously under the right conditions.

We want to create those conditions on a regular basis and the science of yoga, specifically combining specific movement and breathing practices, help to still the mind and prepare you for deep concentration and ultimately spontaneous meditation. There are many methods of meditation. Choose one that feels appropriate and comfortable for you and try to practice it regularly.

 When we concentrate and are so still that we can focus our attention on one thing and hold it there for a period of time we become the masters of our mind and are liberated from the fluctuating thoughts, recognizing them as condition patterns to be released. This transformation improves concentration, mental and emotional stability, clarity, improved communications, relationships, and the mind’s ability to observe with equanimity. It helps us to be present in our body, use energy efficiently, increase self-esteem, self- knowledge, peace of mind, ease of well being and unlock our healing and creative potential.

 Meditation is a form of stress reduction that also dilates blood vessels, relaxes muscles and creates rhythmic blood flow. The brain requires less oxygen and a state of tranquility is created. Once you are relaxed you will remain relaxed until the next stressor. Other habitual things one might reach for to offer an immediate fix of relaxation could have a rebound effect of constriction and increased stress, creating a roller coaster ride for all of our functioning. True tranquility from meditation happens through the expansion of consciousness at the cellular level, tissue level and systemic level. There is a difference between the brain being made quiet versus being quiet. 20 minutes of meditation is as rejuvenating as 2 hours of sleep and provides vagal nerve stimulation that governs all the functions and rejuvenation of the body, mind and emotions to return to our natural state of integration.


Select a time, twice a day is optimal at dawn and dusk, or if only once a day is possible try for the early morning and following your Asana and Pranayama practice is best. 

It is important to begin with a relaxed body so some preparatory Asana and Pranayama are helpfulUjjayi and Nadi Shodhana are quite effective for meditation. 

The body will become accustomed to regular time and allow the meditation to deepen. 

Choose an amount of time to begin with, even if you can only devote 5 minutes, it is worth it, and increase to 15 minutes or more. 

The environment you meditate in should be clean, comfortable, well ventilated and quiet without stimulants like sound and bright light. 

Sit either in a straight back chair or in a comfortable position, with the spine extended. If on the floor, sit to the front edge of a cushion to tilt the pelvis slightly forward, or if in a chair place a small cushion behind your back, which helps to support the spine. 

Meditation on the Breath (physical)

To begin, sit quietly and observe the natural flow of your breath without trying to change or control it in any way. Observe subtle sensations and then focus on one place where you feel the breath. 

When your mind wanders away from the breath be compassionate with yourself and return your concentration to the breath again and again. Be reassured that this is the nature of the mind and a way to build the muscle of concentration and stillness. 

Once you’re still, you can direct your mind further with one of the following meditation practices: 

Metta Meditation

Also called loving-kindness meditation is the simple practice of directing well-wishes towards other people. Here's How to Do It. The general idea is to sit comfortably with your eyes closed, and imagine what you wish for your life. Formulate your desires into three or four phrases.

May (I) you be peaceful
May (I) you be happy
May (I) you be healthy
May (I) you be safe
May (I) you be free from fear
May (I) you take care of yourself joyfully
May (I) you have ease of well-being

The idea with Metta Practice is to connect with the true meaning/feeling behind the phrases. Feel free to modify the words in any way that will enhance your experience.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

A Comparative Approach To Health and Healing and the Role of Ayurvedic Massage & Bodywork


Ayurveda, in Sanskrit terms, means the “science of life,” and is both, a first and second person approach to healing, that is personalized and a holistic. 

Ayurvedic Massage & Bodywork is a second person approach, which means health and healing arise from the activity or energy of a practitioner in synchrony with the receptivity, energy and activity of the client- “WE”, that creates the conditions for the client to also experience the powerful benefits of first person approaches, where the health and healing arise directly from a person’s inner experience, and tend to naturally cultivate and include the effects of second and third person approaches-“I”. 

In Western medicine, treatment is a third person approach, meaning health and healing arise from the knowledge, skills and technology of the practitioner. The passive patient only needs an open and receptive attitude. The assessments and treatments are typically fragmented and individuals are treated for parts of the body, managing their disease symptoms rather than getting to the root cause of the problem, keeping them in a cycle of disconnect- “You They”. 

Traditional western medicine may tend to overlook a person’s lifestyle, past experiences, conditioning and belief system as contributing factors to their symptoms. However, in Ayurveda, we focus on the person as a whole, in relationship to their environment and nature, balancing the “Five Great Elements” of nature to keep our mind and body healthy and in harmony, and through this, come to see ourselves and our relationship to life in a new and improved way to support our highest potential. 

Health and illness exist at physical, energetic, psycho-emotional, intuitive and spiritual levels. The human being is multifaceted, and unity and separation occur at many levels. Deep awareness and listening at all levels of being is a key to health. Lack of awareness and its subsequent disconnection and fragmentation are primary factors in illness.


Regular Massage

Ayurvedic Massage

Third person approach- You They

First and Second person approaches- I, WE

Fragmented, focusing on parts of the body

Wholeness, focusing on the whole person

Body Focused

Body/Mind Integration and the practitioner considers the mind, body, spirit connection

Practitioner centered, adaptations according to the practitioners training

Client centered, adaptations according to  constitution and needs of the client

Practitioner is trained in and focuses on the physical body and addresses physical symptoms

Practitioner is trained in and focuses on all levels of being and integration

Focus on relieving physical tension and injuries

Focus on integration, reducing emotional stress, balancing the mind and nervous system and either removing toxins or adding nourishment and rejuvenation, according to the client’s needs, resulting in alleviating physical tension, healing injuries and creating the space for the client to gain self-awareness into their own healing mechanism

Oil acts as a tool or aid

Oils, herbs or other substances are part of the therapy

Price range can vary from $ to $$$ and

Price range is usually higher due to the cost of equipment, products and specialized training of the practitioner $$-$$$

Duration of treatment may vary according to the client’s schedule and budget, usually from 30 to 90 minutes

Duration of the treatment may vary according to the actual needs of the client usually from 60 to 150 minutes


Physical health naturally corresponds to personal integration. Healing is not always synonymous with physical health or curing, but is always synonymous with the experience of unity. Therefore, the focus of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Massage and Yoga Therapy is to focus on creating the conditions for unity and integration and allowing physical health to be a natural reflection of integration and evolution. 

Why become an ChayaVeda Ayurvedic Massage & Bodywork Specialist?

As a ChayaVeda Ayurvedic Massage & Bodywork Specialist, you will be equipped to offer your clients treatments in eleven modalities and learn how to adapt each modality to best support the individuality of each client. Each modality is different and will provide your client with a uniquely beneficial experience. 

For example, Pinda Swedana focuses on the balance of bodily doshas by the use of heat along with a specific substance suitable for the client’s condition. The heat causes vasodilation, which contributes to the overall movement of returning the excess doshas to their respective domains. Pinda Swedana is especially useful for clients who have asthma, arthritis, sinusitis, or Vata or Kapha disorders, though may be used for Pitta conditions in some instances. Specific procedures are dependent on the client and their current state and condition. 

After an ayurvedic massage or bodywork treatment, the client will experience a transformation of rejuvenated mind, body and spirit, with a reduction of stress, and improved overall well-being. This, in turn, will help support the re-balancing of all the systems of the body, including their immune system and reduce most medical problems. 

If you are interested in becoming a Certified Ayurvedic Massage and Bodywork Specialist, we offer six modules to teach you eleven ayurvedic modalities. We offer a promotion that allows you to take five modules and get one day free! We offer the flexibility to start any time and to complete any sequence of modules in 6 to 12 months! If you don’t want to take all the modules, you can register for as many or as little as you would like. All courses include handouts, certificate of completion and CEUs where applicable. We are CEU providers for NCBTMB #1192 for LMT and PACE for NAMA. 

Modalities include:

Garshana, Abhyanga, Vishesh, Shirodhara, Udhvartana, Nadi Swedana, Pinda Swedana-3 types, Dry, Leaves and Wet, Basti-3 types: Kati Basti, Uro/Hridaya Basti, Janu Basti, Full Body Steam, and Sinus/Sans including Pranayama.

For our schedule, to learn more about each modality, detailed information, pricing, and registration, click here.

We are offering our classes live online with excellent reviews and student feedback. 

“Solid 5! This was a full day of learning through handouts, visual guidance and hands on application. It was a well put together training that allowed all participants to interact, well-paced with plenty of time for questions and was presented in a way that made us leave wanting to learn and know more. I learned the types of Pinda to use for each dosha, how to make them, as well as massage techniques.” Kelsey Shuler, Ayurveda Practitioner Student, Lexington, KY 

I feel there is such a plethora of information it is so hard to narrow it down. Chaya is so knowledgeable I enjoy her sharing her knowledge with us and try to soak it all like a sponge . I enjoyed learning different aspects of Ayurveda and the benefits of Basti. 5 stars!! Feel very blessed to have this opportunity. Kristen Tyree. LMT, RYT-200, Fremont. OH 

“Lovely, educational and interesting. I am confident that I could successfully choose which basti for which client, run on time and use this during a massage. For acute joint issues or low back issues, I can add this to beginning of massage to nourish the tissue before I do my treatment. Chaya is wonderful, knowledgeable, encouraging.” Heather Welch, LMT, NMT, YT20, Sarasota FL