Archive for the ‘Ayurveda’ Category

Sep 28

Ease into Autumn

Posted by Melanie in Ayurveda, Uncategorized

Fall is here on the calendar having just passed the Autumn equinox this past week. The weather man is promising that we will soon be feeling the relief of cooler days soon as well. In the farmers market apples, pears, squash and pumpkins are replacing tomatoes and berries. Transitions are underway with students going back to school and particularly here in DC, politicians preparing for elections.

In Ayurveda the ancient indian science of wellness, Autumn is the Vata Season.  Vata is associated with the elements of air and space. Autumn is a yin season and is associated with physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation. It is a time for letting go and releasing the things that are not serving you. Vata is aggravated by feelings of fear and insecurity. This makes fall an excellent time to turn inward, create a space for stillness, seek balance. Fall is a good time to undertake a dietary cleanse to eliminate toxins in the body and mind.

As the weather becomes cooler and dryer characteristics of vata increase for all doshas. You might notice your skin getting drier, your mind may become more scattered. The seasonal change may bring on more instances of cold and flu.
The cooler drier fall days should be balanced by a warming, oily and nurturing diet and daily routine.

As the weather turns cooler, Ayurveda tells us that we should eat less iced and cold food and drinks and less dry foods like dried fruits, crackers and bread. Warm grounding foods like soups and stews and root vegetables are recommended. Steamed greens are preferred over salads. Cooked foods are preferred over raw foods in the fall.
Warming spices like cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cumin, cloves and corriander should be used in your cooking.

Specific yoga asanas are recommended for the fall as well. Grounding poses Inverted poses, including down dog, twists, slow sun salutations will soothe a scattered mind. Ayurveda suggests holding poses longer than you are normally inclined to.

I am embracing the fall by catching up with needed health appointments, clearing clutter from my home and office trying to reestablish an outdoor running habit and making sure to include at least one weekly yin yoga practice.

Do you have a particular autumn ritual? Please share how you greet the shifting seasons.

Photo by Catchesthelight on Flickr via CC license

Aug 03

Ayurveda: Yoga’s Sister Science

Posted by Melanie in Ayurveda

I have been doing a lot of reading lately on Ayurveda and I’m beginning to adopt diet and lifestyle changes based on my dosha or constitution. I am just beginning this journey and thought it would be fun to share what I’m learning and experiencing on the blog and welcome you to ask questions or share what you know in the comments. So let’s start today with a few Ayurveda basics.

Ayurveda, known as the “Science of Life”, is the sister science to yoga. It is an ancient Indian system of healing that takes a holistic appraisal of one’s physical constitution, emotional nature and spiritual outlook to recommend a set lifestyle practices—diet, exercise, self care, daily habits — unique to each individual’s constitution.

Ayurveda is based on the idea that we are all made up of a unique combination of the three energies or doshas. Your individual make-up is known as your prakriti or nature. The doshas are known as vata or air element, pitta or fire element and kapha or earth element. The dosha—or doshas that are most prevalent in your body will determine what steps you take to keep your doshas in balance thereby maintaining optimum wellness in mind and body.

So determining your dosha is fundamental to beginning your journey in ayurveda. There are a number of websites that offer quizzes that will help you determine your dosha.  You may want to try more than one just to compare results.

Here are a few of my favorite Ayurveda sites:

Hey MonicaB

Chopra Center


Next time, we’ll talk about the characteristics of each of the doshas.

If you have a favorite Ayurveda resource or know a great local practitioner won’t you please share them in the comments.

Photo by Prakhar on Flickr via CC license


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