Blue Lotus Ayurveda Newsletter
Ayurveda offers guidelines and programs for cellular rejuvenation to promote health and longevity. In this issue of Blue Lotus News we present an overview of this important and unique aspect of Ayurveda.
Rasayana Chikitsa is part of Shodana, or detoxification. It is one of the post-purification measures taken to improve health and vitality after a cleansing program such as panchakarma. It helps to reestablish balance between the doshas, tissues (dhatus), waste products (malas), immunity (ojas), cellular intelligence (tejas), the vital force (or prana), and the mind and consciousness. In other words, it helps reestablish harmony within the whole organism.
Two Types of Rasayana
There are two types of rasayana: vihara (lifestyle modifications) and aushadha (herbal and mineral preparations). Both types of rasayana increase the lifespan, slow the aging process, and promote cellular intelligence and optimal health. Rasayana are commonly classified according to the tissues (dhatus) they affect. There are specific herbal rasayana and lifestyle modifications for each tissue. Rasayana can also be categorized according to the organs and bodily channels (srotamsi), they affect the most. People who have one or two dhatus that are weak can take herbal rasayana specific to those tissues. People with more complex disorders that affect many tissues can take rasayana herbs and do lifestyle practices that target all the dhatus, in order to increase overall immunity and vitality.
Kutipraveshika (" hermitage") is a rasayana done in India that consists of a retreat. The person doing this type of rasayana spends most of his or her time in total isolation, meditating and doing spiritual practices, follows a cleansing program, and takes certain herbs for overall rejuvenation. This process takes from three to six months, and all of the person's dhatus are strongly rejuvenated because there is no external stress.
Vatakapika rasayana is a more practical type of rasayana in the modern world. The person can walk, talk, exercise, and engage in some work (although reducing the regular work load will deepen the rejuvenation process), while following the techniques listed below:
Daily abhyanga (oil massage);
After following these treatments for a few days, the person undergoes panchakarma therapies at home. The most common panchakarma therapies used are virechana (purgation), basti (medicated enema), and vamana (emesis therapy), done with the use of herbs and medicated oils. These therapies need the direction and supervision of an Ayurvedic clinician, but they can be done at home for strengthening specific srotamsi (channels) and the dhatus (tissues) to which they relate. These techniques do not replace a full panchakarma program, but they are a good rejuvenating program to be done after panchakarma.
A specific diet and herbal program to build and nourish the tissues needs to be incorporated into these practices as well.
In later editions of Blue Lotus News we'll have a closer look at herbal and mineral rasayana. For now, let's just mention that rasayana are recommended according to the health issues at hand, but also depending on the season, and the prakruti/vikruti (constitution/doshic imbalance, etc.) of the person. It is important to remember that rasayana (rejuvenation), like anything else in Ayurveda, is not a "one size fits all" kind of thing, although there are many rasayana jams in the market today.
Since it consists of herbal and mineral compounds, or lifestyle and dietary modifications, it should follow a cleansing process such as a week long panchakarma. No rejuvenation procedure will go deep unless the organism is clean enough to receive it. Nowadays people take many vitamin and mineral supplements to stay healthy, but if their body is overloaded with toxins (ama) it will have a hard time absorbing those vitamins and minerals. Those supplements can easily become more ama and simply add up to an already clugged system. This is why Ayurveda considers dietary guidelines so important to avoid the formation of toxins, as well as periodic cleansing programs such as panchakarma to cleanse and rejuvenate all the systems, tissues, and organs.
Introduction to Ayurveda
Lecture with Vishnu Dass
August 28th 1 - 4:30 PM
Join Vishnu Dass in this introductory lecture on Ayurveda and discover a new approach to health and rejuvenation.
Ayurvedic Lecture & Light Dinner
September 1st 6:30 PM
Enjoy a light Ayurvedic dinner while you learn about the principles of Ayurveda and our educational programs! Space is limited, so please reserve. (This event is free, donations appreciated.)
Medicated Bala Millk
A nice rasayana for late summer & early fall to pacify pitta & tonify vata.
1 tsp. bala root powder 1 cup milk 1/2 cup water Boil the bala powder in milk and water for 5-10 minutes. Let it cool down and drink first thing in the morning.
Soak 1 tsp. of triphala in a cup of cool water overnight. Drink only the liquid, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, and leave the residual powder at the bottom of the cup. Refill the cup with water and let it sit until bedtime. Drink it before bedtime (just the liquid again) and discard the residue.
Fall Course 2004 - Level I Sept. 22-Dec. 15
Learn Ayurvedic principles and philosophy, as well as Ayurvedic approaches to nutrition, yoga, cooking, bodywork, herbology, and self-healing techniques. Payment Plans Available. Visa & MasterCard accepted.
Blue Lotus Ayurveda
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