As our population ages, declining mental faculties can take first place on the list of one’s health concerns. Alzheimer's disease and other forms of senile dementia affect some 25 percent of all people over 80. Research, though, is revealing Ayurvedic approaches in helping to support the natural strength of the mental faculties.
Fall is the season for transition and change. In keeping with this phenomenon in nature, the Ayurvedic dosha that is predominant at this time of the year is vata. As one becomes more familiar with Ayurveda, as a practitioner or otherwise, it is easy to give only a passing thought to the doshas, forgetting how integral and central an understanding of the doshas, their key qualities, and the subdoshas can be in an Ayurvedic perspective of health.
Anointing the body with oil and massage is the most effective therapy to strengthen immunological function and free emotional states of the mind. Therapeutic touch (received from ourselves or from a practitioner) is a beautiful blessing, a necessary nurturing that we need in order to be able to thrive and succeed. In this fast paced hectic and demanding world where people have often become brusque with one another, the tenderness of touch therapy is of utmost importance.
Vrinda Devani's advice to qualified health practitioners planning to run an Ayurvedic cleanse for clients. This article is not intended as medical advice.
The body’s reaction to allergens, pollutants, and other irritants can be discussed in Ayurveda through the concepts of asaatmya, vitiated doshas (especially kapha), low agni, and the build up of ama, or toxic undigested material.
Alakananda Ma's Ayurvedic insight on the topic of seasonal allergies. Please note that this information does not necessarily reflect Banyan Botanicals' views.
For years the experts have encouraged us to exercise because of its pronounced health benefits. But how much exercise is too much or not enough, and how do we know? There can be no standard answer to this question. Understanding your Ayurvedic body type can help you determine how much exercise you need as well as the type of activity that would be best suited for you. Furthermore, exercise can either incur stress or alleviate it depending on the quality of the breath. Learning how to breathe while exercising will create a natural calming influence that stays with you all day.
The wisdom tradition of Ayurveda offers a healthy and discerning approach to wholeness that can help to illuminate the complex and often overwhelming subject of hormones. Grounded in a wise understanding of the natural world, Ayurveda provides a roadmap for navigating imbalances that is comprehensive, manageable, and meaningful. Below you will find a practical and personal approach to balancing hormones using Ayurveda as an Elder.
This March at Hale Pule Ayurveda & Yoga was marked by a blessing: Our team members Robin and Sonja welcomed their baby girl, Leonie, into the world and embarked on a new path as parents.
This event offered us a good reminder that childbirth (and the pregnancy) is a significant event for the body and mind. How a new mother spends the weeks directly after the child arrives lays the foundation for how the family functions for many years to come.
The age we live in is unparalleled. We have access to the deepest wisdom from ancient times and modern science. Our understanding and the depth of our approach to health can be more profound and more effective than ever before. For this to be the case, though, we must overcome the assumptions that go into our approach to understanding. Even something as concrete as the liver has many implications when we look at the ancient tradition and the classical writings of Ayurveda.
A young client comes to you wanting help getting back to balance. She has late nights either studying or spending time with her friends and has a poor diet. You note bags under her eyes and more wrinkles than you’d expect for a nineteen-year-old. What one herb would be most beneficial?
Prana, the energy from breathing, is preeminent in Ayurvedic and Yogic thinking. The breath, along with food, supplies almost all of the energy to run the body, and without prana, nothing happens. Prana, a sub-dosha of vata, flows inward, but, of course, that inward breath must be balanced with exhalation. Our body wisdom takes care of this pretty well, and we pay it no mind—until something goes wrong. Then it’s a crisis.
If you find you have an affinity and a desire for both Yoga and Ayurveda, and if you are already practicing either or both, it may be time for you to consider boosting your practice. The payoff is the health of your clients and students when you combine the practices of both Yoga and Ayurveda.
Pain is an odd thing. It is the body’s warning system, and when the pain is not visible to the outside world, we often try to ignore the call that pain is sending us until the pain is screaming and we must respond.
Ayurveda has been practiced for so long that there is a dazzling array of useful remedies. In fact, there are so many remedial possibilities that we often overlook some real gems. Just for a moment, let’s take the road less traveled and immerse ourselves in some jewels we usually find at the bottom of the treasure chest.
We often look at our hair as a beauty statement or as a way to express our personality. We may want our curls to bring on a fun and adventurous look, or gloss our straight hair for a clean shine. But Ayurveda would encourage you to look deeper at your hair, as it can say so much about what is going on inside your body, particularly the bone tissue (asthi dhatu).
In Part 1 we reviewed the yamas, using them to help us view ourselves and the world. Let us now explore the niyamas—the personal practices that help maintain a clear window— preventing us from falling back into old habitual patterns.
Do you ever have those days (or periods of time) when everything seems a bit foggy? When you can’t think clearly, can’t figure out right from wrong, can’t remember things, get upset over things you know you shouldn’t be upset about, or feel down for no reason? Those times when your perception of reality just doesn’t seem to match up with actual reality?
Introducing clients to dinacharya is one of the most important parts of Ayurvedic healing. Too often, people allow their days to be defined by external factors, missing the opportunity to define it for themselves.
A woman who recently attended my Ayurvedic chef training on Kaua’i reminded me once again of the power of yoga and Ayurveda as combined treatment techniques. Over the past three years, this woman had been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, which set in after the birth of her second child. She had typical symptoms of joint pain, extreme morning stiffness, fatigue, a foggy mind and a feeling of overwhelm. She had removed most of the junk food from her diet and saw some improvement, but sought out an Ayurvedic consultation during her time at the training to find her next steps toward healing.
Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia) has beautiful heart-shaped leaves, giving it the Latin suffix “cordifolia” and demonstrating its affinity to the heart and circulatory system. The leaves have a deep green color. The vine grows on the western side of the Himalayas and other mountainous regions.
Anantamul, also commonly called Sariva, is one of those herbs that you just fall in love with the more you learn about it and experience it. It even has a smell that is soothingly sweet, granting it the nickname, sugandhi, or “the fragrant one.” It carries this sweetness and its cooling quality throughout the body, pacifying heat anywhere it travels to through the blood and waters (i.e. the lymph, plasma, urine) of the body, including the skin, reproductive organs, and urinary system.
Healthy sugar metabolism requires optimal functioning of numerous organs and tissues. Bringing Ayurveda into the picture, kapha must primarily be balanced, supplying relief to any imbalanced vata and pitta, allowing for proper digestion, usage, and production of glucose in the body.
The body uses sugar, in the form of glucose, as a key source of energy, and particularly for certain tissues such as the brain. While there can be multiple nutritional sources for the body’s glucose, what we want to focus on in this article is the body’s optimal ability to process and use the glucose.
Triphala, one of the most widely used Ayurvedic formulations, is quite well known for its use in keeping bowel movements regular and healthy. In this article, we will look at the benefits of Triphala related to one of its other major functions: rejuvenation.