An important part of the Ayurvedic lifestyle is the morning walk. Ayurveda recommends a walk in the morning as one of the best ways to start your day, and as a safe and easy way to get some exercise. As we breathe in that fresh, morning air, we take in much-needed oxygen. As we notice the beauty around us, we connect with nature and nourish our creativity. Regular brisk walking can lower cholesterol levels, stimulate circulation, strengthen the heart, and reduce blood pressure. Walking is also a great way to charge up your circulation and boost your metabolism.
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The Family Guide to Natural Medicine has this version of Pranayam in its chapter on The Art and Science of Relaxation –
• Sit upright or lie on your back in a relaxed position with your spine straight.
• Breathe in slowly through your nose and imagine that you are pushing that air deep into your abdomen.
• Note how your abdomen expands and rises as the lungs fill with air.
• Breathe out slowly through your nose, contracting your abdominal muscles to press the diaphragm up and push the air out of your lungs.
• Continue breathing in this way, watching how your abdomen rises and falls.
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With Valentine's Day approaching, there are reminders of love all around us. Love comes easily, and often it comes abundantly! Ayurveda teaches us to love what is, rather than what we think should be. Keeping that in mind, here are some reasons to love people dominant in each of the doshas:
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Beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, sprouts are all great sources of protein especially when combined together in a tasty dish. But could you imagine dark leafy greens, like Kale and Chard, and cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower have easily absorbed protein too. Nutritional yeast (so long as you are not working to get rid of Candida) and the blue green algae family are excellent high protein supplements. But, among vegetarian options, maybe sprouts rule!
Sprouts are rich in almost every nutrient. They have an abundance of vitamins (especially fat soluble vitamins like A, K, D and E), enzymes, essential fatty acids, and minerals, (like iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and chromium). Sprouts are natural anti-oxidants that strengthen the immune response and protect the body from toxic chemical buildup.
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Anyone can gain weight and we all can lose it if we put our minds to it. One way is to find a form of exercise that works for you. Here again Ayurveda has some insights.
VATA – your fine frame and naturally weaker connective tissues means you need to temper your mind’s natural inclination to “push it”. When it comes to exercise, be satisfied to build strength and stamina gradually. The key words here are calm, slow, steady, grounded, strengthening and consistent.
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With the New Year comes at least the thought of making all sorts of strong resolutions to do better in so many ways. We may look at doing more in our community or improving our practice of yoga. But for many, the task of losing the few extra pounds gained over the holidays or even the tens of extra pounds gained over the years is high on the list.
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The Vata dosha is the most important of the three Doshas. If Vata becomes imbalanced for long enough and sufficiently enough, it can also cause the other two Doshas (Pitta and/or Kapha) to become imbalanced. In the northern hemisphere, during the months of November through February when the air is cold and dry, it is Vata season. During this time we all are likely to feel a little more spacey, and anxious than usual. Read more...
Neem is truly a “pharmacy tree”. Neem oil is one of the favorite medicinal oils used in Ayurveda. Neem is unique in that it has antiviral, antibacterial, and also antimicrobial benefits. The Neem tree is sometimes called the "toothbrush tree" because neem has many dental applications. In the past, a twig was removed from the tree and chewed to form bristles, making a natural toothbrush. Neem, added to toothpaste formulas, is very healing to the gums. Neem oil is great at repelling mosquitoes!
Modern lifestyles are often associated with constant worry and stress, lack of exercise, an absence of fresh air and sunlight. This leads to a buildup of toxins in the body. A lifestyle change is often not possible for many. Massage is the easiest remedy which can address these problems. Massage not only improves circulation of vital fluids, it also enhances pranic energy. Regular massage increases strength, stamina, virility, and vitality.
If you are just getting started with massage, here are some suggestions. Each dosha responds better to different type of massage. Check out our online dosha test on the home page to know your dosha. If you are mostly Vata, a gentle, slow massage .. Click to read more.
Knowing how each dosha manifests itself in the skin is key to analyzing your current skin condition and choosing the appropriate facial treatment. Remember that all 3 doshas are present within us at all times, with one particular dosha predominating at different times. Use our online dosha tool to check your dosha. Each dosha can be associated with a particular skin type, holding true to certain characteristics and conditions...Click to continue reading.