The Positive Traits of the Doshas

When it comes to talking about the Doshas I  think the positive traits are often overlooked.  Often when talking about someone’s Dosha we are talking about their imbalance, but there are two ways to look at the traits people have. One is their imbalance and the other is their balanced state.  Both are important in finding health.

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The road to health can feel like hard work sometimes, so it’s good to also spend time enjoying yourself, to make the process worth it.

Positive Vata Traits :

Enthusiastic, Artistic, Creative, Tend to be good Dancers, Great at starting projects

Positive Kapha Traits:

Strong Endurance, Good at finishing up tasks, Jovial, Deeply care for family and friends

Positive Pitta Traits:

Good at task management, Good at completing tasks, Driven, Logical ideas, Show up on time

Fun things to keep the Doshas Balanced

Vata: Art is grounding and focusing.

Pitta: Being in nature especially wood and water areas.

Kapha: Any movement, walking, hiking, even reading about activities help create momentum to take action.

The thing to remember is that everyone has all three Doshas but in different percentages.  So you may have qualities from any of these lists.  It’s important to understand that the way the Doshas go out of balance affect how we act, more than you realize, but that also means that you have the power to change them. Ayurveda helps pinpoint what to work on and incorporate into your diet and lifestyle to make life seem smoother and you can be the person you want to be.

What topics would you like me to write more about?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Fall is Here are you Ready?

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Fall is here!  For a lot of places that means cold weather, but here in the Colorado desert we have been having a lot of different types of weather, heat wave to snow, to 60’s.  Which is why  Ayurveda is a day to day science.  It is not just a set formula, sometimes we need to adapt rather rapidly paying attention to how your feeling and what the weather is.

If it’s cold where you are now, think warming oils like sesame for Abhyanga (self full body massage) and Nasya (oil in the nose) if you are Vata and pittas can switch from coconut to a little less cooling oil like grapeseed or avocado oil.  Yes this is a great time to start Nasya if you don’t practice it regularly to help with post nasal drip.

If you live in a place where it’s still warm during the day keep paying attention to staying hydrated during the day and eat more grounding foods and healthy fats at night as it cools down.

If you are have trouble with digestion as the sun sets earlier try spicing your food for your dosha.  Some neutral spices are Coriander and Fennel.     Or eating less for dinner and more at lunch.  You can also try some digestive tea like mint in the evening.

 

5 Things you Need to Know about Essential Oils Before You Put Them On

A lot of people don’t take essential oils seriously, they just think they’re something that smells good, like perfume.  Here are 5 things you need to know before you put them on, especially #1.

1.  How to Take off Essential Oils-  Just because Essential Oils are natural doesn’t mean your going to like the smell of all of them.  Sometimes they smell good at first and the as it fades or mixes with your natural oils,  you don’t like it anymore.  Or worse, it gives you a rash, makes you feel sick or heated.
Apply a carrier oil, preferably olive oil.  Then wash off with soap and water.  Only oil attracts oil which helps draw it off your skin.

2. Essential oils can affect medications you are taking.-  If you are taking a medication, Essential Oils, like herbs can affect the the medicines affectiveness.  Don’t use an essential oil that does the same thing as your medication without consulting your doctor.

3.  Just because it smells good doesn’t mean it’s right for you.-  Ayurveda says a body in balance craves things to keep it in balance and a body out of balance, craves things that keep it out of balance.  So test an essential oil before you buy it, and see how you react to it as well as look up what the negatives and positives of the essential oil are.

4.  Not all essentials are created equal.-  Be aware of where your essential oils come from.  Are they Organic, sustainably harvested, and fair trade?  Are there only essential oils in that bottle?  This is important because your skin is your largest digestive organ and what you put on it goes into your blood stream.

5. Some essential oils are on the Endangered and Vulnerable- list, yet are still being sold, a couple are: Sandalwood, Frankincense and Rose Wood.

What do your Dreams Say about Your Dosha?

I wanted to write this post, because the other night, I had a dream in sepia tone.  What’s crazier is that I was going to meet Orson Wells in the dream, you know the old-time radio drama writer and actor.

Diagnosing your Dreams with Ayurveda

Vata’s dream in bright vivid color.  There is usually a lot of movement and things morfing into other things.  Flying dreams and stress dreams are often associated with Vata as well.

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Pitta’s are the ones who get to dream in Black and White.  When I heard this I didn’t believe it, I hadn’t even considered someone not dreaming in color, but it’s true.  A woman I worked at a coffee shop with, said her dreams were usually in black and white, and she had blond hair, blue eyes and rosy red cheeks and angular face, definitely a Pitta.  Pitta dreams may also contain blood or feeling warm, like a desert ext.

Kapha’s tend to have slower dreams that may look like movie stills.  Dreams of being stuck, can also be associated with Kapha.

Ayurveda says that dreams that happen before 2am are your body breaking down things that have happened throughout the day, and that dreams after 2am are the ones that have a better chance of being prophetic.

Dreams would be considered a part of the diagnosis for your Vikruti or imbalance.  As a practitioner, we do not look at just one thing in a person’s life we look at many things going on and their interactions to determine a Dosha.  But keeping track of your dreams and if they change in appearance could give you an upper hand on if your Vikruti (Doshic imbalance) has changed.

How to Stress Less this Holiday Season: Interview with Jen Straiting

As we enter winter, Vata starts to increase, with signs of flightiness, stress, and overwhelm.  But I had the opportunity to speak with Jen Strating, Biofeedback Therapist in my shortest interview yet (4min. and 50sec.) We discussed biofeedback, a non invasive therapy that allows you to visually see your stress levels and consciously practice reducing them, as well as a simple but effective tip for reducing stress that you can do any where.  Watch the Video now.IMG_5873

Find out more about Jen Strating and Biofeedback at http://www.FortCollinsBiofeedback.com

Let me know how you stress less in the comments below. 

Is There a Recipie for Getting Rid of Gas?

Did you know in Ayurveda, how you eat is actually considered more important than what you eat?  You have been trying to eat “right” cookingbut the parties, unexpected snacks and stress are starting to catch up to you.  Even though you may not always be able to eat what you want, how you eat can help make up for it.  Giving the digestive system time to digest your food properly can reduce or even eliminate many common digestive problems.

Digestive Times Guidelines:

Snacks, 30-60mins.

Vegetarian Meal, 1-2hrs

Meal that has meat (including fish), 2-3hrs.

Stuffing yourself (not recommended), 3-? hrs.

**It is recommended that you leave a 1/4-1/3 of your stomach empty when eating to allow enough space for your stomach to digest food.  (Your stomach is roughly the size of your hands cupped together, in a beggar bowl.)

It can be tricky, finding exactly the right waiting times and may take a little trial and error, but it could be what is standing between you and a life free of gas and bloating.  It may take up to a week for your digestion to get on track, so don’t give up after day one.  If you miss a couples of days, there is always tomorrow.

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Do Your Doshas Change

I often have new clients who move to the area and say, “When I moved, I felt like certain Doshas increased and others decreased.  Is that possible?

The simple answer is yes.

Determining your Dosha is broken down into two categories.

Vikruti (your imbalance) are easily changed by *different life factors, based on symptoms of your mind and digestion.

Prakruti (physical characteristics) are hard to change and would usually involve: illness, injury or plastic surgery which includes braces to change.

* Common Factors that Influence  your Doshas to Change:

The seasons- in the summer you find yourself tending to be more Pitta.IMG_2775

Time of Day- in the evening after the sun goes down, you may feel cold and less hungry, which are signs of Vata imbalance.

Food you eat- the food you eat can increase or decrease a Dosha quite rapidly.  For example if you eat spicy food you may feel more Pitta and if you eat dairy alot you may tend toward Kapha.

Where you live- A person with a lot of  Pitta (fire and water) moving to Colorado (Fire and Air) may see an increase in anger and increased digestive fire. To find out more about how where you live affects your health click here.

Your stage in life- Children have an overall tendency towards Kapha imbalance, 14-40 have a greater tendancy towards Pitta imbalance, and those over the age of 50 have a tendancy towards Vata.MP900216125

While these can increase your dosha, these factors may also bring a dosha into balance, and are taken into consideration when placing an estimate on how long it will take someone to find health.

Which of these factors affects you the most and what do you do about it?  Let me know in the comments below.