Yoga and Ayurveda for Fall

Fall is here.  Yay, my favorite season!  Below are a couple of poses, great for helping you stay balanced during the changing seasons and some Ayurveda tips.  Make sure to warm up before you start.


Sit in a comfortable position and place one hand on top of the other over the heart.  Take 5 deep breaths as you bring your attention into the heart center.  This is great for calming Vata fear and Pitta Anger.  VPK=


Kneeling with heals in the glutes and toes tucked under.  Take 3 -5 deep breaths depending on pain tollerance.  This is great for opening the sinuses, to relieve allergies and improve digestion.  PK-V+ in excess.


Ustrasana-Camel Opens the chest to relieve any Kapha stagnation. (Detoxing)VP+ in excess K-


Matsyandrasans– Lord of the Fishes Pose increases circulation and digestion.  Stay tall and take 3 belly breaths. VPK-


Pashimotanasana-seated forward fold (1 or two legs) good for grounding and digestion.  Make sure to hinge from the hips not the back.  VP-K+


Balasana-Childs pose variation. Make fists and place them in the crease of the leg by the low belly.  Fold forward, head to floor or place a prop to support head.  Take 5 deep breaths.  Great for stimulating the peristaltis/ bowl movent.  (Do this on an empty stomach)

Vata’s start increasing an intake warm, moist, grounding foods, so you don’t blow away as the days become increasingly Vata.  Don’t forget healthy fats for your diet like sesame seed oil for cooking and abhyanga.

Pitta’s time to decrease the heat with bitters and leafy greens, before that heat gets trapped by the cold.  Maybe even a liver detox.

Kapha’s time to increase that circulation so you don’t accumulate more toxins as the cold sets in.  You can try some ginger or spicy teas.

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)

IMG_3105

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.

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.