How your Dosha can help you Keep your New Years Resolution.

For a lot of people New Years resolutions can be an eye opener as to what they are striving for, and can be a good kick in the pants fMP900309664or Kaphas to get motivated. 

One of the top 3 things people put as a new years resolution is weight loss so I am going to use this as the example for how each Dosha can use the recommendations I have listed below.

Vatas can have a lot of resistance to repetition and making things a habit due to their air and ether qualities.

Make your resolution stick:

1.Make a plan of action and break it down into 30 steps or more.

2.Place one step, directly into each day in your calendar.

3.Give yourself options of ways you can reach your goal exmp. different choices of exercise, an assortment of healthy foods you enjoy eating to choose from.  Or even the option of eating healthy or exercising.

Pittas can tend towards anger, burning themselves out from overworking themselves, and have an all or nothing type of attitude because of their fiery nature.

Make your resolution stick:

1.Make a plan of action. Now lessen the end result a notch or break it up into a plan that may go the entire year.

2.Only strive to reach the goal at the time you have written down to achieve it, you do not need to rush this and accomplish a 3 month goal in 1 month.

3.Remember you are the only one doing this resolution.  There is no need to try to convince anyone else they should be doing this with you, and there should be no blaming of others if something doesn’t go according to plan.

Kaphas can tend towards resistance of the new, sluggishness and lack of motivation due to the water and earth qualities.  But once Kaphas are motivated they can have the longest endurance, physically and mentally.

Make your resolution stick:

1.Find a fitness partner to help you stay motivated and committed.

2.Kaphas tend to stick to plans that help others, especially family and friends.  (Train for an event that supports an organization or issue that you feel strongly about.)

3.Don’t strip yourself of comfort, you can still relax and enjoy your favorite home cooked dinner after working out.

What is your new years resolution?  Did one of these tips stick with you?  Let me know in the comments below.

Ayurveda and Weightloss

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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.

How to Read Your Tongue

Traditional Medicine has known for some time that the tongue is a tiny map of the body’s organs.  By knowing a couple of things to look for you can get a rough idea of what you need to focus on to get healthy.  Here is a simplified version of how to read your tongue.IMG_3240The tongue is one of the only places on the body you can physically see ama/toxins.

1.  Ama on the tongue shows up as a sludgy type of mucous that will coat an area of the tongue.  Ama will show up as 3 different colors:

Yellow is Pitta.

Grey is Vata.

White is Kapha.

(Ama is usually a sign that there is stagnation in the area of the tongue it is covering.)

Tongue scraping is a great method whenever there is ama on the tongue to help remove toxins from reentering the digestive system, it also helps remove bacteria that causes bad breath.

2.  Cracks in the tongue are a sign of dehydration.  Deep cracks are a sign that someone is severely dehydrated in the tissues for a long period of time.  (Cracks are considered overall as a sign of Vata imbalance.)

Make sure to stay hydrated properly which I talk about in my post Is Water Drying you Out?

3.  Scalloping (which looks like your teeth indented your tongue) is a sign of malabsorption.  Malabsorption can come from:

Not eating enough nutrient rich food.

Fecal matter staying in your digestion for too long (Vata).

Fecal matter eliminating too quickly (Pitta)

Low digestive fire.

The one tip that can help the last three is eating and cooking with neutral spices such as fennel that help bring the digestive fire back into balance.

The best time to check your tongue is before brushing your teeth in the morning.

Do want more information on reading your tongue?  Check out Dr. Lad’s Book, Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing: A Practical Guide.

 

Don’t forcet to check out the Upcoming Events!

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Is your Digestion a Pain in the ***?

IMG_3104Is your digestion a pain in the leg?  What three-letter word were you thinking?

As we near summer your  digestive fire continues to grow stronger.  You may start to notice a pain in the back of your calf.  A lot of people think it is caused by dehydration or pulling a muscle, but this is actually a Marma Point (Ayurvedic Pressure Point) that correlates with digestion.

The Indrabasti pressure point is found on the center line of the calf almost 2/3rds the way between the ankle and knee.

Three ways to Activate this Point to Relieve Soreness and Improve Digestion:

1.  Gently massage the marma point or arround it.

2. Add  essential oils, diluted with a carrier oil to the point if you have:  Loose stools (Pitta-Fennel, Mint), Constipation (Vata-Chamomile, Lavander, Lemon Grass ) Slow stools (Kapha-Ginger, Black Pepper)

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3.  Yoga poses like  Downward Dog and Warrior one with back heel lifted help gently stretch the point.

Have you noticed this yoga pressure point before?  Let me know in the comments below.

Check out the upcoming Yoga and Ayurveda Events click here.

Interpreting Nature to Allow Healing (Summer Prediction)

MH900438097Snow on May 1st in the high elevation desert here in Fort Collins, CO was not something I would have guessed, but mother nature knows how to take care of herself, and you.  Wet snow is one of the most affective ways of hydrating the desert without causing a flash flood. 

“Our bodies mirror the changing seasons.” -Shiva Rhea

Just like in our bodies we need hydration, but not chugging a bottle of water.  Drinking smaller amounts of fluid through out the day is much more affective and making sure you are getting plenty of healthy oils and fats to keep the hydration in your cells.

The snow also gets rid of weak trees and branches, to help reduce kindling, for possible upcoming fires.  The random snow also causes the trees to have to rebud allowing them to be stronger, work harder, and produce more resilience. 

Two things can be taken away from this for us: 

1.  The snow is allowing us to be more resilient at fighting off viruses, and allowing us to calm down, take a break and regenerate  from all the effects of the fires that increased  respiratory issues, before spring allergies truly start.Bean Sprout

2.  The animals are eating a lot of extra sprouts and roots, which we should copy.  *Sprouts are common for the spring but the continued snow and then regrowth has caused even more.  The cold has caused the tubers/potatoes and winter vegetables to be sweeter and knocked out the beginning of fruit season.  (Spring is usually marked as a Kapha season, but the overall  crazy change in weather is considered Vata.)  The sweet root vegetables allow Vata to ground and the dense sprouts help counteract the Kapha and increase prana.

Fresh Gourmet Salad

*You can buy sprouted pumpkin and sunflower seeds  and dahl at the store, or try sprouting on your own.

Let me know in the comments below how you are dealing with the weather?

Spring into Energy and Good Digestion

MP900227568Spring is almost here (March 20th), there have been tiny glimpses of the warming weather.  Spring is Kapha (Earth and Water) when the ice thaws and causes mud and built up pools of water draining off the streets.  Everyone has at least a little Kapha in them, the more Kapha traits you have the more Spring will affect you, causing mucous (mud), lethargy, melancholy and water retention (excess water).  All of these Kapha symptoms cause a dulling of the digestive fire because of  the excess water and earth quality.

10 days before Spring, March 10th marks daylight savings.  The increased sunlight, allows us to be more active to counteract the spring, but it can also cause a disturbance in your digestive system as well.  As the time change sets into effect, your meal time automatically becomes out of alignment, with no fault of your own, shifting forward an hour.  That means that if you normally eat at 5pm your digestive fire is now strong at 6pm.  But don’t worry your digestive fire will figure this out, but it may take up to a week.  This may feel like a sluggish digestion, or feeling your food after you eat it.

Move into Spring with ease:

Roasted Fennel Seeds– Eating this neutral spice before meals helps stoke digestive fire.  If you have more Kapha symptoms you can use dry ginger instead, to remove ama (toxins) and congestion.

Cooked greens, especially Kale- Greens are a natural source of fiber removing ama (toxins) and keeping bowels moving.

Fish Pose/MatsyasanaThis pose is great decongestant for the lungs, increasing oxygen flow and enhancing your mood.  Start laying on your back.  Place palms under sit bones or next to hips palms down.  Push through the forearms, hands and elbows as you lift your heart towards the sky, as if you were being poked with a broom between the shoulder blades.  Feel the biceps rolling outward allowing the shoulder blades to engage down the back.  (This action also activates Marma Points, (Ayurvedic pressure points) at the crease of the arm, where the shoulder and body meet, increasing lung capacity and oxygen absorption.)  Engage the legs pointing through the balls of the feet.

yoga fish

Modification:  Start Sitting with legs extended.  Place palms on the floor 8-10 inches behind you, fingertips pointing towards toes.  Push down through the palms of the hands, shoulders away from the ears. Lift your heart towards the sky, as if you were being poked with a broom between the shoulder blades. Feel the biceps rolling outward allowing the shoulder blades to engage down the back.  Engage the legs pointing through the balls of the feet.

 

Want more Ayurveda right now check out this post I wrote for the Yoga Connection about Kitchari and Cleansing click here.

Are you a runner?  Check out the 31 miles in 31 day challenge and learn how you could win a FREE Yoga Coaching for Runners session. Click here.

5 Natural Tips for Avoiding and Getting Rid of the Flu

Woman with tissue and hot drinkI recently happened to watch a little of the news, which is rare for me and I saw a map showing the worst to least affected by the flu in North America.  It was pretty obvious to me after seeing it that the places worst affected had recently had a lot of trauma, such as the fires in Colorado and New Mexico, as well as the states that had the smoke drift into them and the North East with the Hurricane.  Trauma/stress can lower the immune system which then opens people up for a more likely chance of getting sick if they don’t take time to recuperate.  Stress lowers the digestive fire and dehydration causes the body to dry out.  Ayurveda always looks at the digestive system and what the digestive fire is doing, when someone is out of balance.  When your digestive fire is low it increases your chance of becoming sick because you are not able to burn up the infection and if you are not digesting and breaking your food down properly, it weakens your body’s ability to fight back as it is not getting the proper nutrients.

Keep the Flue at Bay by:

1.  Spicing your food with spices good for your dosha increases the digestive fire– coriander (Pitta), black pepper(Kapha), cinnamon(Vata).  More spice choices by dosha click here.

2.  Keep your bowls evacuating properly by drinking warm water with lemon in the morning before your first meal.

3.  Stay hydrated- even though it is cold out it is also dry.  Think warm teas especially ones that increase the digestive fire.  Honey is a natural germ killer and can be added to tea , sandwiches with nut spread and in oatmeal.MP900309578

4.  Diffusing essential oils with anti microbial properties -Thyme VK- P+, OreganoVK-P+, LavenderPK-V=, CinnamonVK- P+, Eucalyptus KV-P+, Clove KV-P+, GeraniumPK-V+.  Caution don’t put these directly on your skin without diluting as most are heating.

Lucky you! Here is a little peek at the 5 Week Sensory Cleanse Click here to see Video 2 which talks about the importance of smell, how to heal your stuffy, runny nose and using your nose to keep your digestive fire strong.  Video 2 the Sense of Smell.

Stay healthy this Flu Season!

How do you avoid or fight off the flu?  Let me know in the comments below.

Want some more Ayurveda right now?  Check out my guest post on Jessica Drummond.com Learn to calm your Vata and stress less this winter click here.