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.

 

 

Top 3 Essential Oils for Cramping and PMS

PMS can show up as mood swings, fatigue, irritability, tender breasts, food cravings, and depression a week to two weeks before your periodcropped-mp900427759.jpgor during it.  PMS is not something you have to have, it is often caused by toxicity in the liver, which can be eliminated by gentle cleanses (such as increasing greens and decreasing junk food, or stopping eating after dinner is also considered a gentle cleanse). over a month or two.  It is best to stop the cleanse during your menses because it will stress the liver more than necessary.

Moon Cycle Blend:

Geranium (PK-V=) 10 drops Geranium is one of my favorite essential oils.  It is an amazing hormone balancer and can help with Menopause as well.  This amazing oil also helps with minor depression and is an anti-inflamatory.  If you find yourself tending towards anger you can swap this for Rose which is one of the best essential oils for Pitta.

Lemon (PV-K=) 6 drops  Lemon is great for uplifting the mood out of minor depression and anger.

Peppermint (PK-V=) 4 drops   Rubbing peppermint on your stomach, helps relieve the pain of cramping (because of its analgesic qualities), which is a sign of a Vata imbalance.  You can swap out for Wintergreen if you are strongly Vata, tend towards back pain or have a genital infection (gently rub on low back).

Have you worked with these essential oils?  Do you have other suggestions?  Let me know in the comments below.

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.

 

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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.

Is Water Drying You Out?

a toddler drinking water from a garden hose

It is a fact that we need water to survive, but why have you been drinking the alloted 62oz. of water, and you still feel thirsty?

If you think about it when water is referenced from a Spiritual or religious standpoint the literature speaks of water as being purifying and cleansing.  Purification reduces body mass.   Water removes toxins as well as some of the good things like healthy oils, vitamins and minerals if your cells are unable to retain moisture.  This means the 62oz. of water rule only works if your cells are properly hydrated.  Keeping your cells healthy can be even more difficult in Pitta and Vata aggravating climate, such as places that are  dry, windy or hot.

Are My Cells Healthy?

To keep your cells healthy, you need to eat *healthy oils and omegas as well as externally applying healthy oils in the form of Abhyanga.  Healthy cells allow water in and out and retain the proper amount of moisture/suppleness in your skin.  If you try to rub oil into your skin and it doesn’t sink in , or you have post nasal drip, your cells need more moisture. (Note:Keeping your cells hydrated is not the same as bloating.)

*Healthy Oils and Omegas – avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Ghee, Sesame Seed Oil, Salmon, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds.

Beverages for Staying Hydrated:  

(These beverages are recommended for people with Pitta and Vata who have trouble staying hydrated. )                                                                                                                                                                            

Recharge is a natural Gatorade you can make your own by diluting juice and water, and add a pinch of salt.

Herbal Tea– helps your cells stay hydrated  Mint is cooling. Hibiscus is great for helping you feel quenched.  Chamomile is grounding and a natural antihistamine (helps with allergies).

Coconut Water-is not only a demulcent, but it also helps as an anti-inflamatory.

What do you use to stay hydrated?  Let me know in the comments below