Archiv für den Monat: Februar 2017

Have a Happy Spring

By Vishakha Moghe

 

Picture Credits: Kaustubh Surve
Picture Credits: Kaustubh Surve

One of the biggest changes as winter comes to an end is the rising temperature and the increasing body heat that follows. The transition from winter to spring and spring to summer is one of the most interesting and important one.  Spring is said to be the season in which Kapha dosha dominates in our body. As the accumulated snow begins to melt with the rising heat, the accumulated Ama (undigested food) in the body also begins to slowly liquefy. The increased Kapha too that melts, clogs the ‘Srotas’ (micro circulatory channels) in the body. This leads to a lot of Ama-related diseases which are a result of diminished Jatharagni (digestive fire).

Winter is the healthiest season of the year owing to the favorable weather conditions. The cold usually keeps the Pitta dosha in control thus preventing Pitta-related disorders. The Kapha dosha begins to accumulate in the body with the increasing cold without causing too many problems. The aggravated Vata however, causes Vataja Vikara like Joint and Muscular pain, Dry Skin and Arthritis. As spring arrives, all the winter-related disorders come under control and the diseases caused by liquefying Kapha take over. The most common spring problems are allergies, rhinitis, sinusitis, indigestion, asthma, cold and cough.

Spring Allergies
Spring Allergies

Annually, millions of people fall prey to seasonal allergies or seasonal allergic rhinitis which is most common with the onset of spring. People cannot enjoy spring due to constant sneezing and sniffling. Fortunately, Ayurvedic scriptures already have a mention of the solution to all such problems. It is brilliant, how carefully this science was designed ages back bringing forth the most intricate details that hold relevance even in today’s age.

As per Ayurveda, the duration from mid March to mid May constitutes the Vasant Ritu or Spring season. The body’s natural tendency is to flush out the toxins by liquefying the Kapha. Hence, we must assist in helping the body get rid of the toxins by taking measures that can keep us healthy and happy for a long time. When spring sets in, Ayurveda advises certain lifestyle modifications that can keep the seasonal ailments in check.

 

1. Honey should become an integral part of our daily routine. It should be consumed early in the morning on an empty stomach as it helps in controlling Kapha dosha.

 

Picture Credits: www.stevenaitchinson.co.uk.
Picture Credits: www.stevenaitchinson.co.uk.

2. Kick start your mornings by performing Jalaneti with moderately warm, saline water. This clears the nasal passages and sinuses and further prevents accumulation of mucus.

3. Oil massage followed by Udvartan (dry powder massage) with Chandan, Aguru ensures protection of the skin from Kapha-related skin disorders. It also improves the immunity by strengthening the body.

4. Asava, Arishta (Ayurvedic self-generating alcoholic preparations), Sidhu, Mardvik should be consumed on a daily basis in moderate quantity. It’s best to consume them during the Kapha time which is from 6 am to 10 am. People who have a hot constitution should consume them in limits and with caution.

5. Grains that have been stored for a long period of time should be consumed. The older they get, the richer and lighter they are to digest. Intake of Jowar (Hordeum vulgare) and Barley also has been proved to improve immunity.

Picture Credits: www.curiouscuisiniere.com
Picture Credits: www.curiouscuisiniere.com

6. Moderate to heavy exercise is advisable for those with good strength. Exercise helps the body to get rid of excess Kapha dosha and it also eliminates toxins from the skin through sweat.

7. Sipping on warm water occasionally throughout the day is highly recommended as this helps the body digest excess Ama and Kapha.

8. Day sleep is strictly contraindicated as this could lead to an increased Kapha dosha, thus leading to further aggravation of Kapha.

9. Vasant ritu is the season for periodic body cleansing as the body’s natural tendency is to do so. Ayurveda recommends body cleansing during Vasant in the form of Vaman (Emesis) or induced vomiting under expert supervision to eliminate body toxins. The other procedures to be performed are Dhumapana (Herbal Smoking), Gandusha (Oil Pulling) and Nasya (Nasal oil therapy), all under an Ayurvedic practitioner’s guidance.

10. Generous use of spices like dry and fresh ginger, turmeric, garlic, onions that can help digest Ama should be made.

Picture Credits: Shutterstock
Picture Credits: Shutterstock

With some wise modifications in diet and lifestyle, everyone can dream of living a disease-free spring.

Ayurvedafinder wishes all its readers a “Happy Spring”!

 

 

About The Author

 

dsc_0440-11Vishakha is an Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga counselor and a passionate traveler. She lays emphasis on living a healthy life by nourishing the body and mind with wholesome and natural food, meditation and yogic techniques. An Indian at heart, she aims at propagating the goodness of the Indian culture across the seven seas and stimulating thoughts by creating a hunger for knowledge.

The Importance of Vata

By Bindi Shah

 

I came into practicing and teaching meditation through my interest in Vayu and how this element affects our everyday life. I learned during my Ayurveda studies that there is a major force which governs our mind and therefore our body. This major force is called Vayu, or the vital function of life. The great sage, Acharya Charaka, likened Vayu to God, so great did he see its importance to the world.

Importance of Vayu in Charak Samhita.
Importance of Vayu in Charak Samhita.

Vayu can be translated from the Sanskrit to mean ‘movement’. In the natural world Vayu is present in the flow of rivers, burning of fire, rain, movement of the planets and stars, the formation of clouds, the growth of plants and the climate. An imbalanced Vayu leads to fierce winds, earthquakes, natural disasters, and climatic changes.

Effects of Vata in Nature
Effects of Vata in Nature

In the individual, Vayu is the binding force behind the dhatus, the structural form of the body; it stimulates the agni, the digestive fire; it expels the waste products of the body; it is responsible for the sense organs and for the happiness and energy of the person. The Vayu in the body is known as Vata and an increase or imbalanced vata does not make a happy person. Too much vata in the person can lead to a reduction in strength of the body; an irregular appetite and digestion; a feeling of being unrooted and not stable; depression, anxiety, fear and general mental instability.

There are four ways in which this state of Vata can be balanced.

1. Changing the quality of food taken.

2. Purvakarma therapies of oleation (oil therapies).

3. Undertaking a regime of yoga and pranayama (breathing techniques).

4. Meditation and adopting a positive outlook of life.

The qualities of vayu or vata are dry, cold, and light. This means that the quality of food we intake should be less dry and cold foods, such as salads and we should eat more more warming foods, such as soups.

Nourishing, Warm Foods
Nourishing, Warm Foods

Purvakarma therapies in the form of oil therapies should be regularly taken in a person where the Vata has become imbalanced. The main oil therapy in Ayurveda is Abhyanga, or the full body oil application. Warm oil is applied to the body and downward strokes given. The qualities of oil are unctuous and warm so the opposite of dry and cold. These qualities along with the downward stokes, which move the  Vata away from the mind and towards the feet therefore grounding the person, effectively balance the Vata. In fact the oil therapies are so effective that the person can feel the benefits of the decrease in Vata after the first treatment.

The third main way in which Vata can be balanced is by undertaking a practice of yoga and pranayama. The ancient science of yoga goes hand in hand with the teachings of Ayurveda. Yoga asanas or postures work deeply with the breath of the person thus directly with the prana or vital life-force of the person. Each posture focuses on the breath to come into or come out of the posture, and this helps the person control their breathing. By deep breathing we are automatically relaxing the body and balancing our prana or the Vata which has become increased.

A simple breathing technique or pranayama is deep breathing with a longer exhalation than inhalation. This is excellent to relax the body and great to do before any stressful situations, such as job interviews or exams.

Sit as relaxed as possible and start to listen to the breath. Then inhale to a count of five and exhale to a longer count of ten. Do not worry if your exhalation seems too short to begin with and you cannot last the full count of ten. This will improve the more you practise and the main objective is to exhale longer than you inhale so even if you reach seven or eight counts, that is fine.

Another essential life breathing exercise which can be learnt by anyone and the effects felt almost immediately is Nadi-Sudhi.

Again try and sit in a relaxed state, and start to listen to your breath. Inhale deeply through the left nostril by closing the right, then close the left nostril and exhale the air out of the right. Then inhale from the right nostril and exhale out of the left. This is one round. The first stage of Nadi-Sudhi is not to worry how long you are inhaling or exhaling but to just inhale and exhale to your maximum capacity.

Both of these two breathing techniques will decrease Vata and help bring about calm.

The fourth way to balance Vata in the body is by Meditation. In my opinion this ancient art in your daily routine, will allow you to bring more joy into your life. Meditation works by changing the mindset of the person. Being in the moment, allowing positive thoughts in, expressing gratitude are all aspects of a meditative practice and will help you grow and maintain a positive outlook.

In combination these four techniques of eating differently, oil therapies, yoga and meditation can greatly benefit the vayu by regulating it and not letting it become imbalanced. This will in turn balance the mind and thus the body.  In our overly busy and rushed world, we all need to decrease our increased Vata. Try one of the methods today, your body and mind will love you for it.

 

About the Author

 

Bindi-Profile-Pic1

Bindi’s journey to her soul offerings started in 2001 with a visit to an Ayurveda retreat in India. After discovering how good it felt to receive deep natural health-care and what a difference this made to her life, she embarked on a course in India to learn more of this ancient art. The year-long study in India included theory from the ancient scriptures, learning the poetic language of Sanskrit, Vedic-astrology, Yoga, Meditation and Herbs. It was an amazing experience and on returning to London, she set up her business helping people with the knowledge she had gained. Bindi has wonderful soul offerings in her online school and is writing her first book based on life coaching techniques which have helped her and her clients.

www.bindishah.com