Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

I often get quizzical looks when I start an introductory lecture on Ayurveda with the comment that “the three doshas are not body types.” Vata, Pitta and Kapha are certainly foundational to every aspect of Ayurvedic theory and practice and understanding them starts with the fact that we are made up of all three doshas, just as everything in nature is made up of the five great elements ether, air, fire, water and earth. These concepts are quite similar to Yin, Yang and Chi in Traditional Chinese medicine, and knowing of their qualities, expressions and functional integrity or interrelationship is the key.

7 Constitutional Types

Constitutional “types” relate to the unique, individualized expression of each of the 3 doshas within an individual, not to simply identify with one. Ayurveda’s practical method identifies 7 basic constitutional “types,” based on our doshic make-up, but each of these types have infinite expressions. For example, someone may be single dosha predominate- Vata, Pitta or Kapha, while others dual-doshic- VP, PK, VK and some are tri-doshic/VPK=. Identifying where we fall along this constitutional spectrum isn’t an end game that culminates with a simple “one size fits all” list of how to live our lives or what types foods we should or shouldn’t ever eat based on our “dosha type.”

Knowing which dosha or doshas that are predominate in our unique constitution helps us to better understand long-term trends relating to our personal health as well as patterns of imbalance that might present themselves due to

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Acceptance

In both Yogic philosophy and practice, developing equanimity of mind is central to the practice of meditation. Through our practice we can observe that the mind is either constantly attracted towards the objects of the senses, or it has aversion to them. Everything is being weighed on the scales of pleasure and pain, lose and gain, good or bad and so on, and a great deal of energy is spent seeking pleasurable experiences, while avoiding others that are painful. If we become too attached to something, we may no longer even enjoy that which we have obtained because we start to fear of losing it. This clouds the joy of experiencing life as it is. One of my teachers puts it like this, “we eat the banana of pleasure, only to slip on the peel of pain.” The slip isn’t in the experiencing something, but the attachment to it in the mind. In our constant search for comfort, or a sense of safety, it is easy to mistake the temporary satisfaction felt by having certain experiences for the true lasting contentment that is our very nature. My guru uses the analogy here or a thirsty man mistaking a mirage in the dessert for water.

When we seek the view of a mountain vista, or to stand on the shores of the sea and look out into the vast expanse of water, we are in a very real sense, seeking that infinite peace within. Humanity is constantly in search for

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Life undoubtedly will present us with many challenges, but it seems that over time, we learn to accept things. The resiliency of spirit somehow gives us the ability to accept almost anything, in time. When we make an effort to show up everyday to practice meditation, we are training ourselves in a deeper way, to accept things as they are, in that moment, no matter how we feel. Meditation is an act of deep surrender that spreads out into all aspects of our life. Conversely, what arises during practice, often relates to our dealings in day-to-day life, one reflecting the others.

At times we may feel enthusiastic about sitting for meditation, and at other times we may feel like it is the last thing we want to do with ourselves. In my practice, when I’m distracted and preoccupied with the daily list of things to do, I make a note of what it is that needs attending to afterwards, and then resolve myself to the practice as earnestly as I can by saying to myself, “There is plenty of time for all of “that,” after “this.”

Often the mind will make every excuse in the book to not take the precious time out to sit. This is precisely where our practice of meditation can really start bearing fruit. When the river of emotion is swollen and ready to breach its banks, if we can bring ourselves to the meditation cushion, withdrawing the mind away from the pulls of the world,

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Panchakarma ~ Detoxification & Rejuvenation

by Vishnu Dass

Ayurveda, the ancient “Science of Life,” is one of the oldest forms of health care in the world. It is a holistic science that places great emphasis on prevention and aims at bringing about and maintaining harmony of body, mind, and consciousness. It encompasses diet and lifestyle guidelines, herbal formulas and preparations, yoga and meditation practices, as well as various therapies that support and enhance individual Ayurvedic programs.

Panchakarma~Dexoxification & Rejuvenation Ayurveda Medicine

Ayurveda defines health as the state where every aspect of our being is working properly and in harmony with all its other aspects. That is, the digestive fire (agni) is in a balanced condition; the three doshasvata, pitta and kapha— are in equilibrium according to the individual constitution; waste products (malas) are produced and eliminated normally; and the mind, senses, and consciousness are working harmoniously together. When the balance of any of these systems is disturbed, the disease process begins.

Basically, any aggravation of the doshas affects agni (the digestive fire) and produces toxins or ama. Other factors play a role in the formation of ama, as well. Some of these factors are poor digestion of food, improper food combinations and choices, poor drinking water, pollution, pesticides in food, emotional and physical stress or trauma, and so on. These toxins accumulate and spread throughout the body and eventually deposit themselves into the deeper tissues, organs or channels, creating dysfunction and disease.

One of the most

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

Self-Inquiry Meditation – Atma Vichara

Healing the Spirit

Everyone can heal, no matter what the state of physical state of health and the practice of meditation is one of the most valuable medicines. Some might say that that goal of meditation is already our natural state, so there is no need of effort to attain it, but without knowing that from direct experience, it may be just another thought in the mind. To truly know that state, which is our very nature, we need to plum the depths of our hearts and minds to uncover that gem of pure consciousness that is always shining from within. If we’re already in direct contact with this natural state, then we have no need for self-effort, but for those that are not aware, practice is a gift.

Self-Inquiry Meditation - Atma Vichara Ayurveda Medicine

Regular Sadhana (practice)

In this form of Sadhana (practice) we can suggest to the mind that the goal of meditation is already in the palm of the hand, and that all we need to do is gently, and continuously redirect it back to that simple sense of being. At first, the mind will start to buck like a wild horse, but in time it will naturally settle down. If we try to force the mind, it will rebel even more. The tendency is to give up if the mind proves to be stubborn in its desire to run wild. But if the sadhana is continuous and preformed on a daily basis, we start to experience a

Ayurveda - Herbal Medicine - Nutrition - Self Care - Yogic Healing - Meditation

One of the most powerful and simple pranayama methods (breathing practices) is Nadi Shodhana. It is designed to balance the right and left sides of the brain, thus bringing balance to the solar and lunar pathways of the metaphysical body. It also helps to purify all nadis or subtle pathways of the body, so vital life force can freely move throughout the body.

There are three major nadis, or pathways in the body, two running on either side of the spine in a spiraling motion, and the third in the center that follows the same pathway as the spinal cord. The left side represents the Ida Nadi is lunar, female, and cooling, while the right side is named Pingala Nadi and represents the solar, male and heating energy. When these two forces of the sun and moon within the body are harmonized it allows the prana, or life force energy to more easily enter the central channel know as Sushumna Nadi. The Kundalini Shakti, the serpant like spiritual force, moves along this pathway form the Muladhara chakra at the base of the spine, to the crown of the head, Sahasrara chakra.

Practicing this technique is easy, but it should be done with enthusiasm and concentration. If the mind wanders while performing it, gently redirect your attention back to the practice. Below is a simple hand gesture called Vishnu Mudra that can be used to help block the nostrils while preforming this practice.

Benefits of Nadi Shodhana - Alternate Nostril Breathing Ayurveda Medicine

Instructions of Nadi Shodhana

Gently exhale all