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31 Aug

5 Reasons to Love a Dosha

5 Reasons to Love a Dosha

Each dosha has its own unique qualities, some of which are absolutely amazing!  Here’s what I’ve found to be five reasons to love each one:

5 Reasons to Love a Vata

Cool hands, warm heart.

Always lots to talk about.

Fun, fun, fun!

A flair for fantasy.

Vatas are amazing!

5 Reasons to Love a Pitta

Can talk you into anything

A predictable stomach clock

Passion, passion, passion!

Great at problem-solving.

Pittas are HOT!

5 Reasons to Love a Kapha

Who could resist those eyes?

One word: Stamina.

Hugs, hugs, hugs!

Your best friend.

Kaphas are lovable!

Five Reasons mugs, shirts and more in each of the dosha shops!

http://www.cafepress.com/coffey_talk/6755688

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31 Aug

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is often referred to as a “miracle plant” in Ayurveda.  Aloe Vera is a succulent, and it’s leaves contain a liquid that is made up of 96% water and the rest is a combination of amazing healing ingredients like Vitamins A, B, C, E, calcium, amino acids and enzymes.  The Aloe Vera gel can be applied to the skin to help heal cuts, insects ites, bruises, and skin conditions such as eczema and poison ivy.  Aloe Vera has both antibacterial and antifungal properties.  It can help the skin manufacture collagen, and it is absorbed into the skin four times faster than water making it extremely moisturizing.  Aloe Vera can also be taken internally.  Drinking Aloe Vera juice aids digestion and the absorption of nutrients.  It can also helps to control blood sugar, increase energy, improve heart and liver health and boost the immune system.  Children under the age of five and women who are pregnant should not take Aloe Vera internally.

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31 Aug

Fatigue

Who among us doesn’t feel stressed out these days?  We have plenty of reasons to!  Ayurveda says that fatigue comes from on overuse, misuse, or non-use of the mind, emotions, or body.  Overuse is overwork, and we do this a lot.  Misuse is when we know something is bad for us, but we do it anyway – this can happen with relationships that engage our emotions in a strenuous way.  And non-use also causes fatigue because our whole physiology is equipped for “use it or lose it.”  So if we don’t engage our muscles, our minds, and our emotions, they can fade away.  We need to remember that the “stressed out” feeling is not the way we are intended to live.  Instead, we are living in our true nature and expressing ourselves fully when we experience a flow of calm energy in the mind and body.  So, the first step is to figure out what you’re doing to cause your fatigue, and then cut it out!  Meditation is good for both preventing, and overcoming, any kind of fatigue.  Also, eliminate caffeine and work to set your body clock into a natural cycle of rest and activity.  Ayurveda has further recommendations for us to deal with fatigue:

-Mental fatigue is caused by an excess of Vata through mental activity, worry, anxiety.  Follow a Vata lifestyle routine to help recover.

-Emotional fatigue is caused by an excess of Pitta through anger, guilt, ambition, desire.  Follow a Pitta lifestyle routine to help get over it.

-Physical fatigue is caused by too much Kapha.  Make sure you balance rest and exercise, work and play.  Follow a Kapha diet and lifestyle routine.

 

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31 Aug

Allergies

Here in the northern Hemisphere, April showers have brought May flowers – and along with them, some seasonal allergies.  Ayurveda says that in the springtime, when the weather starts to get warmer, toxins in the body “melt” and can clog up our overwhelmed system that is trying to deal with the pollen, dust, and mold in the air.  The good news is that the body has its own natural defense against allergens, and that we can help boost up these defenses so that we can face the season strong.  Here are some tips:

-Add allergy-fighting spices to your diet.  Turmeric, sage, red pepper, cumin, and coriander are all know to help with allergies.

-Keep digestion strong.  Choose fresh foods, rather than packaged, canned, or leftover foods.  Drink warm water throughout the day – avoid iced and carbonated beverages.

-Follow the Kapha balancing diet, avoid dairy products, and fried foods.

-Wherever possible, use hard flooring rather than rugs or carpets in your home.  Hard flooring is easier to clean and doesn’t collect as much dust.

-Keep windows closed during pollen season.  Change clothes after spending time outside.

-Use a Neti pot to soothe dry nasal passages and rinse away dust, pollen and other irritants.

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31 Aug

Incense

Ah, incense!  It all goes back to our primitive origins, with the discovery of fire.  When wood was burned, people discovered the amazing aromas that came from the wood, and the effects that these fragrances had on our emotions.  Then we started experimenting burning different materials, leaves, herbs, fruits.  As the smoke carried the aroma towards the sky, toward heaven, we saw that as a spiritual experience.  Burning fragrances became a part of religious and spiritual rituals, seen as both a gift from the gods, and an offering to the gods.
 
In both the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, incense is offered as a devotion.  It is also used to accompany meditation and is often burned daily on home altars.  

According to Ayurveda, there are five elements – and the different types of incense fall into these five categories and are burned to help balance energy.  Here is an example of each:
Air: (leaves) – Patchouli
Space: (fruit) – Anise
Fire: (flower) – Clove
Water: (stems and branches) – Sandalwood
Earth: (roots) – Ginger

The practice of burning incense can be an art – you can burn one fragrance at a time, or a blend, depending on what effect you want to have.  

Incense was the beginning of aromatherapy.  Aromatherapy is the science of using the fragrance of essential plant oils in healing treatments.  Aromatherapy is an energetic healing technique that uses the vibratory energy of various aromas to shift energy and bring relief from physical symptoms.  The aromas used are distilled directly from plants and placed in an oil base, forming what is called essential oils.

We connect to the physical world through our five senses. Aromatherapy has many benefits – it can be calming, relaxing, energizing, or soothing. It can help us to get to sleep, or help us to wake up! Here are the fragrances which help to balance each the doshas:
Vata- vanilla, orange, lavender, pine
Pitta- rose, jasmine, sandalwood, peppermint
Kapha- cinnamon, basil, eucalyptus, musk

Here’s my video about Aromatherapy on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQLtHn-sWOU

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31 Aug

Garlic

Whenever someone I know gets a cold I tell them to “eat garlic!”  Garlic has powerful anti-viral properties.  Ayurveda has known this for centuries!  Many people who use garlic on a regular basis claim that they have immunity from any cold and flu viruses.  There are garlic capsules available now, and the upside is that you don’t get the odor associated with this root.  But there is no substitute for the real thing.  Garlic has hot, bitter, and pungent tastes.  It stimulates digestion and helps with overall rejuvenation.  Garlic can be added to sauces, or salads, or you can bake it and use it as a delicious spread on crackers or bread.  I recently saw an episode of “Dr. Oz” where they showed how we can help prevent, or even heal, an ear infection by putting a peeled clove of garlic in the ear.  Just place the clove in the ear (not far down of course!) and put a bandage over the ear to keep the clove in place.  Sleep with it in this way, and in the morning you will notice a big difference!

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31 Aug

Ayurvedic Psychology

Mental health is an important aspect of Ayurveda.  Everything is connected, mind-body-spirit, so one aspect affects all the others.  Ayurveda recommends certain techniques to keep mentally fit so that we can function optimally.  Remember that we have the freedom to choose our mental states, so we can practice keeping our minds in good shape.

-Meditation.  Meditate regularly.  Every day, twice a day, for 20-30 minutes each time. 

-Cultivate a constructive mental attitude.  Develop optimism, cheerfulness, and the habit of possibility-thinking.  Remember that challenges are temporary, so don’t let them get you down.

-Use your powers of intelligence.  Pay attention to your intuition, and look for synchronistic events; there are no coincidences.  Choose your words with the best of intention, and speak constructively.  Act with purpose to support ordered thinking.

-Keep memories in perspective.  There is a difference between the information that we garner from memories and the emotions that are attached to those memories.  We can access our memories without having to be influenced by feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, or regret.  We can allow memories of success to remind us of the goodness of life.  We can let memories motivate us to make better choices in the present moment.  Live in the moment, and not in the memories.

-Witness your emotional and mental states rather than becoming identified with them.  Remember that these states come and go, so focus on thinking rationally and being emotionally balanced and mature.

-Live with purpose.  Have intention behind your actions, and develop constructive habits.  Focus on what is important, and what is real.  Live the knowledge that you learn.

Soul of Healing DVD

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002CHIAQ?ie=UTF8&tag=brightideaspr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0002CHIAQ

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31 Aug

Guided Meditations

There are many different types of meditation, which serve many different purposes.  Sometimes it is difficult for us to settle the mind down on our own, so a guided meditation is a useful tool to have.  Davidji is the Chopra Center’s lead meditation teacher and has he taught thousands of people all over the world to tap into the stillness and silence that rests within.  Lucky for us, davidji has created a wonderful collection of his Guided Meditations, so that we can have his wisdom with us at any time.  Imagine if you could be the peace amidst the chaos – the calm inside the storm.  These Guided Meditations are for everyone who has an interest in bringing more wholeness into their life.  Whether you are new to meditation, or have been practicing for many years, you will find that these meditations are a profound partner in your personal empowerment and transformation.  Included are meditations for peace, emotional healing, physical healing, awakening, gratitude and much more. 

Davidji: Guided Meditations – on amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035MLIC4?ie=UTF8&tag=brightideaspr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0035MLIC4

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31 Aug

Navaratri

“Navaratri” is also known as the Nine Nights of the Goddess.  It is a series of nine nights celebrated 4 times a year, when creative energy is at its peak.  In India, the two most celebrated times of Navaratri are in the Fall and in the Spring.  The first three nights are for the Durga, who represents the power to destroy negativity, fear and evil.  To honor this energy, do some spring cleaning, open up the windows and let in some fresh air, and get rid of old “stuff” you have laying around the house.  The next three are for Lakshmi, who embodies the energy of luxury, wealth and power.  Invite Lakshmi into your life by dressing up, sprucing up the house, and entertaining your friends.  And the last three nights are for Saraswati, who engages inspiration, motivation, knowledge, and both arts and science.  To invoke Saraswati’s energy, take a class, read a book, go to a museum.

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31 Aug

Ganesha Goes to Lunch

Every culture has stories that are passed down from generation to generation.  Myths, fables, and tales are one way that we are taught lessons, and preserve tradition.  I have found a delightful book called “Ganesha Goes to Lunch.”  Author Kamla K. Kapur has assembled a collection of classic Indian myths that reflect both the mystery and the magic of this beautiful country.  Besides the title story, the book includes such gems as “How Brahma Created the Dream,” “The Toad Who Didn’t Croak,” “From the Eyes of Stars,” and “The Snake Who Lost His Hiss.”  Here’s an excerpt from her preface:

“Life is infinitely more marvelous than our day-to-day business and work, money and illness, family and bosses would make it seem.  It is precisely the function of myth to thrust us out of the quotidian into the miraculous.  One lives life more deeply, with greater peace and joy, when one lives with the enigmas that permeate it.  These stories warp our minds, and allow us a perspective on life, on its incredible, enmeshing, magic web of Maya, and the dreamlike nature of our experience on this planet.  These myths are reminders from spaceless eternity of the stuff of which our bodies, minds, souls, and spirits are made.  They wake us up, and help us live with, and within, the mystery that is the matrix of our being.”

Ganesha Goes to Lunch: Classics from Mystic India

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1601091028?ie=UTF8&tag=brightideaspr-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1601091028

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