Archive | November 2014

Learning about Ayurveda


What is Ayurveda?
It is the science of preventive health (take care of health so that disease does not get a chance to get in) and the living habits that check over indulgence in physical senses, going against conscience and natural resistance to the call of the soul (refusal to enjoy the present moment) .

What if when someone is already ill ? It deals with internal medicine (kayachikitsa), surgery (Shalyachikitsa), Treating eye,ear,nose and throat (shalakyachikitsa), Pediatrics, gynecology and osterics treatment ( kaumarabhritya) and mental health (bhutavidya).

Body Elements & Constitution (Prakriti)

In Ayurveda we are taught that there are five elements of which the human body is made up of : akasha (ether), Vayu (air), Agni (Fire), Jala (Water) and Prithvi (earth) and when we live in accordance with these elements through our dosha our body feels more at ease.

Because of the above five elements, all human beings are constituted with a combination of two or three primary ones. Those are called body humours or Doshas: Kapha, Vata and Pitta. Any person is easy to treat with the identification of his/her category.

Vata category is combination of space and air elements : People can be fearful, illogical and sometimes insecure.
Skin is dry. They have thin hair. They have dark brown or grey eyes. Vata activates the nervous system, hearing and speech and the persons is a great enthusiast with creativity. However, the state of his/her mind can get imbalanced easily because of conditions like insomnia, cramps, and constipation. I fit into this category but sometimes fluctuate from Vata to Pitta. So does my Daughter and my Mother.

Pitta category is fire element : These people are achievers, intellectual, fiery, angry, judgmental, with clear voice and precise expression. They have soft and fine hair. Eyes are blue, grey and hazel. They are good leaders and warm personality when healthy. Because of emphasis on metabolism and anger, they suffer from acidity, ulcers and rashes and also thinning of hair occurs.

Kapha category is(water and earth element : They have thick lustrous hair. Eyes are blue or brown. People have great endurance capacity with calm and steady mind. They are capable of forgiveness and intense love. Sometimes they are greedy and possessive. Kapha is the lubricant that keeps the joints working, keeps the body vibrant and balanced with immunity. Too much of it leads to lethargy, congestion, allergies and weight gain.

After the Prakriti is decided, one should know the nature of the diseases(Vikriti). It is imbalance obviously, but there are tow extremes to every imbalance, either deficiency or excess. Those are heavy-light, slow-sharp, cold-hot, unctuous-dry, smooth-rough, solid-liquid, soft-hard, stable-mobile, subtle-gross, and non-slimmy. When corrected, Prakriti or original constitution is restored.
These characteristics with regards to one’s basic constitution will decide the treatment that is right for you. These may be caused by wrong foods causing improper digestion, wrong sleeping or lack of good sleeping habits, improper mindset, anxiety, fear, worry, anger Etc.

The other type of ailment is clogging or blockage (Ama) for life energy to circulate for vitality. When this is corrected, it produces energy, perfect immunity, physical strength, and hence a general sense of well-being and happiness which is summarized in Ayurveda in one word called Ojas. When our Ojas are strong we feel on top of the world. Ojas is a Sanskrit word which literally means “vigor”.

According to the principles of Ayurveda, it is the essential energy of the body which can be equated with the “fluid of life”. Those who practice Ayurveda say that Ojas is the juice of one’s life energy which, when sufficient, is equated with immunity and, when deficient, results in weakness, fatigue and ultimately disease.

Ojas (pronounced oh-jus) is the ultimate refined result of digestion, metabolism, absorption and assimilation. The substance that connects the mind to the body and consciousness, it is a wholesome biochemical substance that nourishes all body tissues and has a direct influence on the nature and quality of physical, mental and emotional life. Ojas’ primary location is the heart, from where it circulates to and pervades the entire body. Ojas is collected from the body’s seven tissues — plasma, blood, muscle, adipose tissue (fat), bone, bone marrow, and reproductive tissue (semen and ovum) — by the influence of enzymes (Agnis), similar to how a bee collects honey from the essence of many flowers. The purest substance in the universe and omnipresent in the human being, ojas is responsible for higher states of consciousness, purity of thoughts, perfect health, positivity in feelings, love, joy, better immunity, longevity, intelligence, creativity, memory, bliss, and thought process. When an individual’s inner consciousness awakens spontaneously, ojas increases. In a nutshell, ojas is the sap of the entire physiology and sustains the life of an individual.

After my accident, I discovered that I wasn’t as healthy as I thought I was. I felt terrible most of the time.

I suffered from arthritis, high blood pressure, low white blood cells, back and hip pain that bothered me so much I tossed and turned on the bed at night trying to find a comfortable position to be in so I could get some much needed rest.

That is when I joined a group of yoga leaders that had Yogi Bhajan in it. As I listed my complaints he was quick to ask more question of me and then more. After I was done I felt as if I had discovered a hidden treasure trove of information.

I know this may even sound like a cheesy infomercial but I don’t think my health would have ever gotten better if it weren’t for Yogi Bhajan. And although I exercised I had never tried yoga before. I thought it was just for real bendy people. And I wasn’t one of them due to severe back pain from a herniated and bulging disc. When he suggested some Ayurveda remedies I tried them and within a few short days I was feeling much better and much healthier. And I was able to sleep at night.

My friends thought I was nuts when I started getting more and more yoga equipment, clothing, videos, Yoga and Ayurveda training but it has been the greatest experience of my life but when I first started doing it I asked myself the question a lot of “Can I really do this????” it was something I always wanted to do but something I needed to complete to prove to myself that even in my pretty bad physical health and starting in mid life I could still complete something. Yoga helped to ease my physical pain and panic attacks that were caused from the accident and Ayurveda helped my internal body heal. I became more focused on healthy choices and took notice of when I was eating the wrong things in my diet; which happened more times than I expected it would. It took a lot of patience, honest, self respect, and self care for me to feel myself being healed. It didn’t just happen overnight..

Ayurveda, natural treatments, herbs, herbology