Ayurveda

Having 2 days off in a row is considered a weekend in my muggle mind, so last night as I prepared for bed, I readied myself for the ‘work week’ ahead…except tomorrow was Thanksgiving Saturday! The bonus weekend was about to begin so my yogi mind took over - the message was clear - selfcare time was mandatory.

You, too? Then let's try this:

  1. Additional meditation and pranayama time
  2. Candle-lit abhyangha (oil massage) with a playlist dedicated to self-appreciation

Ayurveda enriches our lives with its natural health benefits and numerous practices of self-care and self-LOVE. To care for yourself by cooking, meditating, keeping a clean home, and exercising is an act of self-love that takes time and effort. The time you take to care for yourself will keep you from prescription drugs, visits to the ER and many health challenges.

One of the most rewarding Sadhana practices Ayurveda has to offer is Abhyanga!

What is Self Abhyanga?
 

Everything you see around you, and everything you don’t, can be described by 10 pair of opposites. In Sanskrit they are called gunas (qualities, or attributes).

  1. Heavy/Light
  2. Dull/Sharp
  3. Cold/Hot
  4. Oily/Dry
  5. Smooth/Rough
  6. Dense/Porous (or liquid)
  7. Soft/Hard
  8. Still/Moving
  9. Gross/Subtle
  10. Cloudy/Clear

Look around you to find examples. No recall how these qualities have been present in you, across the majority of your lifetime.

Most of us have been asked our astrological sign. This most often means our Sun sign. Have you ever been asked “What is your Star?”

Chances are if you go to India or meet someone who has a knowledge of Jyotish or Vedic astrology that they could ask you this question. They are asking not only what sign your Moon is in, but also the nakshatra or lunar mansion which is specific to the fixed star system within the ecliptic (path of the sun and other planets from the perspective of the Earth).

Breakfast is an important opportunity to set the tone of our day and nourish our senses and tissues, yet we usually don’t make time, or choose easy and quick over simple and healthy. Try an option that's easy, quick AND healthy!

Used as an herbal pharmaceutical for centuries, this aromatic, green (and brown) spice turns your coffee into a medicinal treat to counter negative effects of caffeine, while boosting digestion, increasing energy, and reducing pain. It brings light, dry, clear and pungent qualities to life.

A member of the Ginger family, Cardamom has been used in Ayurveda for over 5,00 years – the ancient texts laud its ability to break down difficult-to-digest foods, and enhance taste, turning ordinary into exceptional.

Ayurveda doesn’t say ‘no’, it says when and how. Local yogi Katherine Clapner uses asafoetida, black cardamom, apricot and rose hips in her recipe for Soraya 3.0 – The Soft Butter Toffee. What does Ayurveda say?

The life science of Ayurveda explains that we are born perfect creations, with a unique balance of space, air, fire, water, and earth – the 5 basic elements of all things. This is our Prakruti. Then life happens, - the food we eat, coupled with our activities and environment skew that perfect balance. This is our Vikruti. Imbalance leads to illness, and when we can’t curb the illness, it can lead to chronic disease that we are taught to live with, such as arthritis, allergies, thyroid problems and inflammation.

The Bhagavad Gita tells us that humans, as well as all other things in Nature, have a mixture of Sattwa, and its companions, Rajas and Tamas. These three Maha Gunas (qualities) determine our behavior, actions, thoughts and emotions.

Sattwa is clarity, light, purity and wakefulness. It is stability, essence, compassion and love. Sattwa is required for our mental and physical health, and is the path to personal evolution and spiritual maturity. 

Ojas is our "inner sap", our vitality, consciousness and immunity. It is the basis for physical and mental endurance, the internalized essence of digested food and thought.

Ojas is responsible for protecting the body from physical harm and provides emotional stability. It grounds us and supports our mental, physical and spiritual growth. It protects us against high levels of stress and provides mental stability and peace.

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