Shirodhara & Svedana  ~ An Ayurvedic Treatment

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old science of natural and holistic healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. According to Ayurveda, the center of the forehead, or Third Eye, is the seat of intuition, spirituality and healing.

Shirodhara

This is a simple, yet profound treatment that works specifically on balancing and stabilizing the activity of the mind. Warm, herbal oil is continuously streamed over the Ajna Chakra or Third Eye, taking the participant on a journey deep within.

Benefits Include:

  • Bring balance and harmony to body, mind and spirit
  • Generates a profound state of relaxation in body and mind and relieves stress
  • Rejuvenates and opens up the flow of energy in the body
  • Stabilizes the nervous system and can help to reduce anxiety, tension, deshirodharapression and mental disorders.
  • Eliminates imbalances of the head affecting the neck, eyes, ears, and nose
  • Treats insomnia
  • Turns on the body’s healing mechanisms
  • Nourishes hair, scalp, and strengthens hair follicles to prevent hair loss and premature graying.
  • Replenishes skin oils, regaining natural luster and youthfulness.
  • Softens lines and wrinkles on the face by clearing the mind, dissolving stress and relaxing face muscles.
  • Activates the pituitary and pineal glands, as well as the hypothalamus, which organize and regulate all hormones in the body.
  • Enhances concentration, mental clarity and comprehension.
  • Heightens the senses and helps produce endorphins
  • Stimulates cognitive memories and increases intuition

Svedana

Svedana or Swedana means to “sweat” or “perspire”. This treatment is a process of inducing sweat with an exquisite hot herbal steam treatment that will leave you feeling clear, rejuvenated and deeply moisturized. Medicinal herbs like Lavender, Chamomile, Bay Leaf, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Lemongrass help to clear the channels, relax the muscles and nurture the senses.

 Benefits include:

  • Makes Your Skin glow and healthy
  • Relieves body aches
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Helps in reducing weight
  • Drains toxins from deep tissues

Contact us via email or phone to schedule your appointment.

How to Practice & Benefits of Self Massage ~ Abhyanga!

Ayurveda enriches our lives with its natural health benefits and numerous practices of self-care and self-LOVE. To care for yourself by cooking, meditating, keeping a clean home, and exercising is an act of self-love that takes time and effort. The time you take to care for yourself will keep you from prescription drugs, visits to the ER and many health challenges.

One of the most rewarding Sadhana practices Ayurveda has to offer is Abhyanga!

What is Self Abhyanga?

The word for “oiling the body” in Sanskrit, is Snehana, which means “TO LOVE”. Self Abhyanga is a warm herbal oil massage that has amazing benefits:self-massage

  • brings nourishment to the tissues
  • deep relaxation to the muscles
  • calms the nervous system
  • reduces anxiety, anger, and depression
  • promotes a restful sleep
  • increases circulation and reduces cellulite
  • helpful for managing weight
  • moves toxins to the digestive tract for elimination
  • opens chakras or energy channels that are blocked
  • decreases common skin irritates such eczema, psoriasis, dry, flaky, itchy, hot, oily skin. 

What type of herbal oil should I use?

I recommend using a herbal infused oil that is customized for your body type or season that will create the desired action. I sell customized oils, so stop by our clinic and pick up an 8oz bottle.

During the vata season (Late Fall and Winter) use sesame oil which is warmer. During the kapha season (Spring) I recommend using a lighter oil such sunflower. And, during the pitta season (Summer) coconut or sunflower oil is nice. Add essential oils to bring in beneficial aromas that lift your spirit!  

What do I need to do a Self Abhyanga?

  • Personalized oil
  • Pot or warmer to warm oil
  • Dedicated clothing and towel
  • An open heart and awareness
  • Devotional music 

How do I perform a Self Abhyanga?

  • Warm your oil using a small crock pot or pot/stove. You can also place your oil in a sink of hot water.
  • Massage oil in fast vigorous motions over long bones, circular motions over joints, in an upward and down motion on abdomen, and inward/outward motion over breasts.

Kapha: Start from the feet and move upward (*less oil is needed)

Pitta: All motions to the heart and center of the body

Vata: All motions from head downward

  • Try to do your Abhyanga before yoga and meditation in the morning and allow the oil to stay on your body as long as possible.  

* Enjoy this time with your Self!

* Embrace positive thinking while performing your Abhyanga!

* Repeat positive affirmation!

* Smile and love your Self up!

* Embrace the existence of Mother Earth and the Divine within you!

10 Reasons To Go On A Yoga Retreat

I went on my first yoga retreat this past April and it was truly a gift from Divine Mother. I knew immediately that I wanted others in my community to experience this opportunity to let go of old habits, to … Continue reading

The Ayurvedic 6 Tastes: SWEET

In Ayurveda, every food is put into one of the 6 taste categories; Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Astringent, and Bitter. Each taste feeds our mind, body and spirit in its own unique way.  It is said that if a person has all six tastes in a meal, that person will lose their cravings and leave the table satisfied without overeating.

The six tastes are combinations of the five elements of nature. For instance, sweet results from the combination of water and earth. Sour is composed of earth and fire; salty taste is fire and water; bitter taste is air and ether. The pungent taste is fire and air, while the astringent taste is air and earth.

In the US we have three major tastes: sweet, sour and salty. We often have meals that are much too salty. Or we eat too many sweets after the meal, which leaves us unbalanced, and very soon we will be craving one of the tastes that was left out of the meal. Nutritional imbalance is a primary cause of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.  Balance and proper nourishment coming from nature is the key to overall good health and well-being.

The primary reason that so many individuals experiences excessive sweet cravings is due to the lack of a good source of healthy, nutritious whole grains in their diet. Whole grains provide many benefits:

  • proper digestion6 tastes
  • calming the nervous system
  • encouraging sleep
  • satisfying hunger tastes
  • reduce cravings
  • promotes energy and endurance
  • promotes good elminiation
  • improves memory
  • improves reflexes
  • promotes clear thinking.

Breakfast is an important meal of the day. For many of us, we either skip this meal or we choose to eat foods that are dry, (breakfast bars), light (dry cereal), or cold (cold milk with cereal). All in which increase the qualities of Vata.  Taking in whole, warm grains, like quinoa, steel cut oats, and rice are the best way to start your day. They will sustain your energy throughout the day and boost your metabolism.  Whole grains help your body burn more fat because they take extra effort to break down than processed grains and carbohydrates. Whole foods that are rich in fiber, like rice and oatmeal, are best. Processed carbohydrates like bagels, breads, even processed packaged oatmeal spikes up your blood sugar and stress hormone levels which will leave you crashing later.

Best Grains for Kapha:

  • Amaranth, Basmati Rice Barley, Buckwheat, Corn Flour Products (except corn chips), Couscous, Granola, Millet, Muesli, Oat Bran, Dry Oats, Polenta, Quinoa, Rye, Spelt, Sprouted Wheat, Tapioca, Wheat Bran

Best Grains for Pitta:

  • Amaranth, Barley, Basmati Rice, Couscous, Granola, Oat Bran, Cooked Oats, Pancakes, Pasta, Quinoa, Rice Cakes, Spelt, Sprouted Wheat, Tapioca, Wheat Bran, Wheat

Best Grains for Vata:

  • Amaranth, Basmati Rice, Cooked Oats, Pancakes, Quinoa, Sprouted Wheat, Wheat

Get your energy boost for the rest of the day with these power recipes and skip the calorie-laden convenience foods that leave you hungry before lunch! Any of these can be adapted with the doshic appropriate grains of your choice: stewed fruit with quinoa cereal, yummy oatmeal, rice cereal, warm cinnamon maple quinoa cereal.

Ayurveda Home Remedies – for the kiddos!

Last week one of my very best friends contacted me because her 11 month old son had been diagnosed with Gianotti-Crosti Syndrom (it’s not as bad as it sounds!) and she wanted to know if I could recommend a home remedy. The pediatrician said that this virus was not something that could be treated and that it would go away on its own within 15-60 days. It wasn’t as bothersome to her son as it was to her. If you’re a parent, you know how difficult it is to just “wait it out” and not try to do something to help, right?!

DAY ONE:
ben 2

At the time I had never heard of Gianotti-Crosti Syndrome but after much research I found that it is very common in children as young as 1.5 months. It is a reaction on the skin to a viral infection and is harmless and oral antihistamines can be given for symptomatic relief of itching.

After much research it was very clear to me what I would do if I were treating my own child using Ayurvedic principals. To reduce the Pitta in the rakta dhatu and to balance the excess pitta in the liver. I suggested she reduce all foods that are pungent and that she try a cooling herbal juice or shake for her son consisting of the following herbs: one large bunch of fresh cilantro, cumin, fennel and coriander powder. She added a banana (go mommy!) to this and gave it to him once a day for 3 days. The results are amazing!

This photo shows day one, day two and day three!

IMG_9318

Remarkable difference and this is why I LOVE practicing Ayurveda!  Thanks Jenny for letting me share! Your little sweet Ben is so precious! I love ya’ll dearly! Isn’t he the cutest – you gotta love his hair!

10 Ayurveda Routines in 10 Days!

One of the reasons I fell in love with Ayurveda was because of its simplicity. Hence, I named my practice, SimpleVeda. The word Veda means knowledge or science – this Simple Knowledge makes sense for even the most common individual. Ayurveda is a way of living in harmony with Mother Nature and thrives on prevention of dis-ease.

Living an Ayurvedic lifestyle isn’t only about eating foods that are right for your body type but it also consists of implementing simple Daily Routines – Dinacharya, that are appropriate for your body type.

Ayurveda reminds us what our ancestors did without thinking, naturally – to follow theimages222Z36RB rhythms of nature. When the sun goes down, time to go to bed, when the sun rises, time to get up! Seems pretty simple, right? Wrong! With the modern age of electricity, ipads, phones, microwaves, television, and fast food restaurants open 24 hrs a day, we’ve completely lost touch with our true nature as Spirit.

Within the body there is a natural rhythm that governs our natural urges. Our natural urges are food, sex, and sleep. In Ayurveda, these are referred to as the three pillars of life. They can also be seen as digestion, creativity, and rest. While we all have unique rhythms based on our unique body types, our basic rhythms need to be in harmony with nature for our more subtle (mental, emotional, spiritual) rhythms to manifest.  The first step toward getting back in touch with these rhythms is to create a routine!

Through daily dinacharya (routines), we can begin to bring balance to the doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) and re-create a life of balance, health and happiness.

For many, Ayurveda can be overwhelming at first. Start SIMPLE by beginning with ONE dinacharya from the list below, adding a new one each morning or day. By the end of 10 days, routine will settle in. Remember, Ayurveda encourages a lifestyle that is unique for you. While these practices are generic, choose what feels good for you or talk to an Ayurvedic Practitioner for personalized guidance.

10 Daily Routines in 10 Days!

  1. Rise with the sun (or as close to the sunrise as possible) to allow the body to harmonize with the rhythms of the sun. Sunrise varies according to the seasons, rising earlier in the summer and later in winter. In general, the Vata dosha should wake around 6 AM, the Pitta dosha around 5:30 AM, and Kapha around 4:30 AM.
  2. Scrape your tongue each morning with a copper tongue scrapper. These can be purchased at our  office or on Amazon. Begin at the back of the tongue and move to the front, scraping 3-5 times to stimulate the digestive fire, agni and aid in the removal of toxins (ama).
  3. Oil Pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that dates back to over 5,000 years. The term ‘oil pulling’ refers to the way you move the oil  around in your mouth by pulling, pushing and sucking it through your teeth. This supports killing bacteria. I personally love to use coconut oil with a drop of peppermint essential oil. Sesame oil is a good option too.
  4. Neti/Nasya. The nose is the pathway into the mind, sinuses, and lungs. When Neti,images64R9980Q or nasal irrigation followed by the use of nasya oil is performed, it enhances mental clarity, cleanses the sinuses and respiratory,  prevents dryness, protects against pollens, pollutants and pathogens and maximizes the absorption of Prana, life force energy.  If you suffer from allergies this is life changing! Start by practicing 1-3x a week. Use a neti pot with slightly salty, warm distilled water (should be as salty as your tears; ½ tsp salt per ½ cup water), followed by nasya – place a drop of herbal (can be purchased at our office) or plain sesame oil in each nostril with the tip of the little finger. self-massage
  5. Abhyanga. The word for “oiling the body” in Sanskrit, is Snehana, which means “TO LOVE”. Self Abhyanga is a warm herbal oil massage that has amazing benefits if practiced 3-5 times a week! Read my blog post on the benefits and how to practice this ancient therapy!
  6. Drink a glass of warm water upon rising. This cleans the digestive tract, encourages a morning bowel movement and stimulates agni, our digestive fire or metabolism. If the bowels don’t evacuate naturally at first, don’t worry, the warm water and tongue scraping will eventually send you into this rhythm.
  7. Yoga/Exercise. If you don’t already have a regular routine around exercise, keep it simple. Begin with 5 rounds of sun-salutations or light stretching. If the weather is nice spend time in nature by taking a short but brisk 20-30 minute walk in your neighborhood. Being in nature also provides better immunity, ojas.untitled
  8. Meditate. A few minutes of quiet time after movement is beneficial for reducing stress, anxiety, depression and anger. It’s a time to listen quietly, read or journal. You could also use an app like Headspace for a guided practice. Eventually, try a self-guided meditation by following the flow of your breath, inhale and exhale. Then, begin coordinating  your breath with a mantra, inhale – ‘joy’, exhale – ‘love’. This will support the mind from drifting off. An Ayurvedic practitioner or meditation teacher can support you to deepen your practice.
  9. Eat your breakfast (never skip breakfast; even the name suggests that it’s the ‘the break of the fast’ and therefore very important). Eat lunch, which should be the most substantial meal of the day, between 12-2PM. Eat dinner before the sun goes down, which is later in the summer and earlier in winter. In general by 7PM is a good habit. Short walks after your meals are beneficial.
  10. Go to bed between 9:30-10:00 PM to insure adequate rest. Avoid stimulating activities right before bed such as watching TV, using your phone, etc. Curl up in bed with a warm cup off chamomile tea and allow your body to rest easily and effortlessly.

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What is Ayurveda? Prakruti and Vikruti

Ayurveda is considered to be the oldest healing science, the “Mother of all Healing.” In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The science of life.” Ayurveda originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and was taught in oral tradition from masters to their disciples. Many natural healing therapies that exist here in the West have their roots in Ayurveda: Polarity Therapy, Chinese Medicine, and Homeopathy, just to name a few.

Prevention is Ayurveda’s greatest emphasis and promotes right thinking, right dieting, and proper lifestyle choices. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables you to understand how create balance of body, mind and consciousness according to your own individual constitution.

Just as you have a unique fingerprint, you have a unique pattern of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics – your constitution. Your constitution is determined at the moment of conception – this is your state at it’s purest & healthiest form. In Sanskrit this is your Prakruti. Many internal and external factors can disturb your constitution, such as food, the seasons and weather, and your relationships. When we move from our balanced state, Prakruti, to an imbalanced state, this is called, Vikruti.

How to find your Prakruti andVikruti:

Your Prakruti and Vikruti can only be identified by visiting a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. Your practitioner will obtain your health history and current state of well-being along with taking your Ayurvedic Pulse and complete a Tongue Diagnosis to determine your Prakruti and Vikruti.  From there your practitioner may recommend many therapies to help bring you back into a state of balance such as: herbal therapy, diet and lifestyle choices, aromatherapy, yoga, and meditation.

In today’s world, there is no doubt that everyone could use Ayurveda. As individuals we are inundated with daily stress, anxiety, and fear. We live in a world where too much is available at our fingertips. Many of us have digestive and mental disturbances that we call “normal” like gas and anxiety. By understanding your constitution you can create balance, minimize the impact of stress, and improve your digestion.

Ayurveda is simply taking your yoga practice off of your mat and into your home, kitchen, and bedroom. It is conscious living that reminds you of the simple things in life that you already know but that you’ve forgotten!

Visit me online to learn more and to schedule a consultation!