Yoga’s Sister Science to me

Yoga and Ayurveda go together like macaroni and cheese. It just makes sense. When I first started practicing yoga I fell in love pretty quickly. I initially loved the idea of movement. Obviously I love to move my body but what really intrigued me was the lifestyle it provoked. Aside from showing gratitude everyday for the physical opportunity to practice asana, yoga’s philosophy is basically centered around the idea to just be a good person. If this world needs more of anything it’s good people. I thought why wouldn’t I want to live this way.

I had practiced yoga on and off for a few years, having always been passionate about exercise I just looked at it as such, like most people do. When I first learned about Ayurveda I immediately started practicing yoga almost everyday. Something just clicked, I felt like I was choosing to worship my body in all the ways I always wanted.

Yoga consists of 8 limbs or chapters we can call them. These chapters give detailed descriptions on how to follow the path of Dharma and find your truth, enlightenment, soul’s purpose. People have many different names for it but to me it always meant I would believe in the world I was living in and let it guide me. It meant never overthinking or second guessing if I was in the right place, or making the right decision. Yoga became my prayer as I started devoting my practices to what I believed in. “Please allow me to speak only words of kindness, think only good of others and gain all the knowledge of the universe”.

Ayurveda showed me how to bring these vows off the mat and into my kitchen, my job, my friendships and my mind. By nourishing my body and living with all that nature intended I felt the connection I had long been seeking. I’m not sure if this makes sense but to me, Ayurveda has brought the ability to see the whole world into everything I do. Everything. When I think of how I want to live my life it is only to give thanks to the creators of this magical science. When brought together Yoga and Ayurveda are my Karma, my Bhakti, my Jnana and my Raja in one.

When you give to the universe, the universe always gives back. 108 sun salutations in paradise 💛

Recognizing and balancing Kapha

Hey all! Let’s talk about the wonder of Kapha dosha. Kapha is the elements of earth and water. They are the structure that holds us all together, physically, mentally and emotionally. When we think of Kapha qualities we want to think cool, stable, thick, unctuous, steady, and smooth. Those who resonate with Kapha are usually on the thicker side, struggling to lose weight and easy to gain. They often have soft skin, strong bones and caring personalities.

When in balance Kaphas are nourishing, patient and warm human beings. They are the caretakers, the mothers, the good friend. We all need a Kapha best friend in our lives. They carry earth as their main element and so they give off a naturally grounded essence. They are very good at sticking to a routine, keeping up with work and planning for the future. At times Kaphas can be so grounded they can stay in one place for too long. They find a comfort zone and often struggle to break free. When out of balance Kapha is lazy, needy, emotional and prone to weight gain. They can often struggle with respiratory issues because from the chest up are the main parts of the body where Kapha resides, leading to excess mucous. It’s very important to stay on top of our Kapha nature because when left out of balance too long can lead to overeating, diabetes, obesity or depression.

Keeping an active lifestyle is the best way to balance out our earth element. Higher intensity hobbies such as bicycling, jogging, ashtanga or vinyasa yoga are all great places to start. Traveling is especially good for Kapha because it not only keeps them moving throughout the day but also stimulates the mind. Kapha can become too content staying still so it is important to stay engaged and motivated through friends, sports, or other stimulating activities. Try joining a dance class or kickboxing to balance out your Kapha side.

Food is our next balancing factor. Since Kapha is cool, thick and unctuous (oily) it’s best to aim towards food that is warm, light and on the drier side. Of course raw vegetables and salads are great when balancing Kapha. Not only are they light but also invigorating creating long lasting energy Kapha so desperately craves. Spices are also a great way to stimulate their slow, sluggish digestion. Spices aid in digestion and speed up the metabolism, adding cumin, fennel, black pepper or pretty much any other spice is going to fire up their slow system.

If you wake up feeling sluggish, slow or feel yourself leaning towards weight gain try to incorporate more raw vegetables and spices in your meals this week. Aim to get out and active at some point throughout your day and start planning your next holiday away! Your nourishing, loving Kapha side will thank you for it.

To learn more about ways to balance Kapha dosha please don’t hestitate to get in touch!

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients- Serves about 3

2 tbsp ghee or high quality oil
1 medium butternut squash- peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium sweet potato or 2 large carrots- peeled and chopped
1 large onion- diced
2 large garlic cloves- smashed
1 inch piece of fresh ginger- finely chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp turmeric
2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Coriander or Parsley to garnish

Directions

Melt 1 tbsp ghee/oil in a large, deep sauté pan. Add squash sweet potato and onion. Saute, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes or until golden brown.
Reduce heat to low and add garlic; continue cooking about 10 minutes until vegetables turn a rich caramel color.
In a separate pot, add 1 tbsp ghee/oil, the ginger and the rest of the spices except turmeric. Sauté until fragrant.
Add vegetables, turmeric, 2 cups water and 1 cup coconut milk. Bring water to a boil and reduce the heat. Reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes, partially covered, until squash is tender.
Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Return to pot and pour in enough coconut milk so the texture is smooth, rich and hearty. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish to serve.

Recognizing and balancing Pitta

Pitta is our medium dosha, our middle ground and because most people identify with two doshas Pitta is often somewhere in the mix. Which means we can all relate to those pesky pitta imbalances.

The elements of fire and water dominate in Pitta and can often be the reason we feel hot, sweaty or a bit short fused some days. When in balance Pittas are motivated, direct, extremely intelligent with excellent memory and carry a strong ability to concentrate. They are the go getters of our world, the entrepreneurs, the speakers, and the decision makers. But Pitta is a tough cookie to crack, you do not want to come across them when they are out of balance. 🔥 Out of balance they are angry, frustrated, arrogant and self-centered. Not really the type of person you like to spend your lunch break with. That’s why it is soo important for us to keep our Pitta power under control.

Pitta rules our metabolism in our ability to digest not only food but also emotions. How we handle the outside factors that come at us throughout the day depends on our ability to keep our inner fire (pitta) in balance. The qualities of Pitta are hot, light, intense, liquid, of foul smell and sharp. As glorious as all that sounds some of these adjectives may not be part of your daily vocabulary. When we break it down and see how these adjectives actually describe symptoms we can recognise it all starts making sense.

  • Hot– high body temperature, acidic digestion, hot headed.
  • Light– light features, hair, eyes, skin.
  • Intense– direct, argumentative, confrontational, outspoken. Digestive fire is strong.
  • Liquid– often sweating, oily skin
  • Of foul smell– often sweating… And smelly. Toxins accumulating in the body
  • Sharp– sharp mind and memory, witty. Sharp vision.

When looking to balance out our inner fire the best thing to do is look for calm environments to surround yourself in. Go for non competitive sports like swimming, running or walking and pastimes such as kayaking, reading, gardening or yoga. Getting away from a busy lifestyle is so important in balancing Pitta.

As far as a diet to balance pitta we want an abundance of root vegetables, leafy greens and fruit. Letting the vegetables bring out a grounded side of Pitta with leafy greens and fruit to nourish and keep the digestive system cool. Avoiding nightshade vegetables as they contain higher levels of toxins and acidity that Pitta does not handle well. Increasing intake of antioxidants with different berries and decreasing the use of excess spice. Spices are used to speed up and often heat up the digestion to bring a bit of digestive aid. Pitta dosha contains plenty of digestive fire and doesn’t need much help in that department.

If you are feeling your Pitta energy is a bit high this week try to focus in on one activity that brings an extra essence of calm into your day. Stay away from any acidic food like tomatoes or citrus and limit the spice used in your food to help recover balance.

For more information on how to balance your specific mind body time, send me a message 🌸

Recognizing and balancing Vata

Where my Vatas at!? I’m talking about those people who always have 10 things on their to do list, who keep moving until they can’t move anymore and who no matter how hard they try they cannot remember what they went in the other room for.
Vata is the elements of air and ether and with that comes the qualities that make up this energy; cold, light, mobile, subtle, dry, rough and erratic. Let’s take a closer look as to how these qualities show up in those with Vata dominance or Vata imbalance.

  • Cold: Poor circulation, usually having cold hands and feet.
  • Light: Slim body type, easy to lose weight but when gaining weight shows first in face and belly.
  • Mobile: Very active, body is rarely still and the mind is often filled with many thoughts.
  • Subtle: Non confrontational, avoiding conflicts and often feeling worried, anxious or stressed.
  • Dry: Dry skin, hair and bones, resulting in cracking joints and colon resulting in constipation.
  • Rough: Curly unmanageable hair, irregular digestion
  • Erratic: Irregular habits, needs daily routine to be productive and easily getting bored.

These qualities help to define common issues or habits Vata is prone too. By recognizing them in yourself you can easily find ways to avoid them by practicing a Vata balancing lifestyle.
Implementing a morning routine and regular eating times help to create a sense of stability and grounding. This will help to slow erratic thoughts and over stimulating lifestyles. Vata’s often overexert themselves by running around and trying to get multiple things done at once. Taking rest and allowing the body and mind to calm is so important when looking to balance Vata energy.
Abhyanga; self oil massage is so so essential when it comes to Vata body type. Vata is prone to dryness in all parts of the body, inside and out. By taking 10 minutes out of your day for some specific self care we can stay on top of this dryness in our skin, joints and hair. Sesame oil is a great oil to reduce this cold, dry nature. It also helps to strengthen bones when heated and massaged into the joints. Abhyanga improves circulation, warms the body, strengthens bones and naturally moisturizes the skin. Not to mention calms the nervous system, improves immunity and reduces hypertension. Vata types should never skip a day of self oil massage because their bodies are basically drinking this moisture and can never get enough.
Try to bring these few tips into your life if you are experiencing any of these Vata tendencies and see how it improves your daily wellbeing.

Another way we can balance these Vata tendencies is through food. The best way to show our bodies we care is to nurture it with foods that give it exactly what it needs. Vata needs the opposite qualities than what they already possess. So if they are cold, dry, mobile and light, let’s give them foods that are warm, moist, grounding and dense. Well cooked root vegetables are the perfect example, by eating foods that grow underground we can find these grounding, stable and nurturing qualities Vata needs. Grains are also a great way to get these attributes and fruit. Fruit naturally sweet tastes offer a nourishing and building platform for the often weak Vata types.
Try implementing more sweet potato, beetroot or squash into your lunch or dinner over the next week. Grains are a great source of energy to add to your lunch and keep you moving through the afternoon. Try basmati rice, wild rice or quinoa to start. If you do feel hungry in the afternoon reach for some sweet fruits like mango, ripe bananas, berries or oranges to help find nourishment.
If you want more information on how to balance Vata through food and lifestyle practices, send me a message!

What the heck is Ayurveda?

Most of us have probably never even heard of this word before. If you have heard of it before maybe you’re just picturing a giant pile of turmeric or a bunch of leaves you don’t know how to use. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of medicine. It was created over 5,000 years ago and is still practiced in most Indian households today. Ayurveda emphasis prevention over cure and uses food and selfcare as the main sources of medicine.

We all love our “me time” and we all love food so why not get to know yourself better so you can give your body exactly what it needs. Ayurveda uses the panchamahabhutas or 5 natural elements; earth, water, fire, air and ether (space). These natural elements exist inside of everything living and nonliving, and they exist inside of us! It is believed that by learning about ourselves and the levels of these elements we possess we can find daily wellbeing and prevent disease.

The 3 doshas (energies); vata, pitta and kapha are our main source of intel when it comes to who we are. Vata is the elements of air and ether, it dictates all movement in the body from from breathing and circulation to the digestion in our gastrointestinal tract aka pooping. Next we have Pitta, the elements of fire and water. Pitta controls all metabolisms of the body from our main source of digestion to the balancing of hormones. Lastly we have Kapha, the elements of earth and water. Kapha exists in our structure and lubrication of the body. Kapha rules our muscles, bones and everything that holds us all together (physically and mentally). We love you Kapha.

So now you have the base, the 3 doshas and what they control in the body. We all contain all 3 doshas in varying amounts, finding out which dosha you hold as your dominant energy is the first step. Once you’ve discovered that you’ll start to put the pieces together and understand how everything about you connects. After learning about the connection you’ll be able to educate yourself on the food and lifestyle choices that bring you to the best version of yourself.

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