Posts Tagged ‘Ayurvedic Routine’

Cultivating a Harmonious Body with Ayurveda

This past month has been incredibly challenging. Our survival mode has kicked-in and there is a rise in global consciousness.  We are all doing our best to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by taking care of ourselves, family, friends, and our communities.

As an Ayurvedic healer, many of my clients reached out asking for tips on improving their immune system during this time of crises.  Before I start talking about Ayurveda is important to remind that the CDC and the WHO have a lot of online resources and are the authorities on the prevention and safety measures for the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). Be informed so you keep unnecessary fear and anxiety away. 

Ayurveda is an ancient healing system that focuses on the prevention of diseases. Fundamentally Ayurveda believes that our bodies are free of “dis-ease” when we are in harmony and aligned with nature.  On the other hand, when we stress our bodies and don’t pay attention to the environment around us, we begin creating disharmony and eventually “dis-ease”.

Below are a few “tips” that I want to share on supporting your immune system for overall health and well-being.  

Food as Medicine

The health of your gut is important for your overall health and immunity.  During Kapha season (late winter/spring) eat warm, cooked, light and easy to digest foods to support overall digestion. Avoid fried, heavy, dairy and mucus producing foods (ex:bananas, milk, cheese).  Avoid refined sugar and carbs! Cook with spices such as ginger, mustard seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic and clove.

Water

Drink warm liquids avoiding cold beverages and ice as it creates constriction, stagnation and congestion. Ginger tea, CCF tea, Turmeric-ginger tea, Tulsi tea and sipping on plain warm water are wonderful choices to keep your body hydrated and to support digestion.

Breath

Our breath is vital!  It is our first action when we are born and our last action before we leave this world. Pranayama is one of my favorite practices as it eases the mind, helps balance your body’s energetic channels, and strengthens your lungs. 

Sleep

Get enough sleep and rest.  When we sleep 7-8 hours per night, our bodies have the opportunity to repair, regenerate and digest not only food, but also emotions and the overload of information from our day. Your metabolism is more prominent at this time and a complete night of sleep is essential for good health and strong Ojas (vitality).  Avoid late nights by going to bed around 10pm. 

Exercise

Regular physical activity early in the morning increases stamina and stimulates the immune system while promoting circulation and burning accumulated fat.  Choose grounding and outdoor exercises that are enjoyable. Avoid over exerting and depleting exercises.  

Meditation & Positivity

Cultivate happy thoughts! In difficult times a clear, steady and positive mind is essential to maintain a healthy immunity system. Meditation is a wonderful practice to lower anxiety levels and bring you a sense of calm. If you are new to meditation, there are many APPs that can guide you on starting a daily practice.  Start with a 5-10min practice each day slowly increasing to 15-30min.  Some of my favorite apps are Calm and Insighttimer.

Dinacharya

Having a self-care routine is essential in creating a harmonious rhythm between your body-mind and the nature around you.  If you don’t have a daily routine yet refer to this article on Dinacharya and consult an Ayurvedic Practitioner that can guide you on creating a unique routine just for you. 

Herbs

Ayurveda has many wonderful herbs and ancient formulas to strengthen your immune system.  Because Ayurveda believes in bio-individuality and each person’s unique constitution, is extremely important to consult your practitioner if you are interested in taking ayurvedic herbs.  Is also important to consider that Ayurveda uses ancient vedic formulation, or a combination of herbs with a carrier instead of a single herbs as listed below. The list below is to get your curious about this wonderful science. 

Ginger – clears phlegm, expectorant, diaphoretic.  Using ginger in teas or everyday cooking is very helpful in aiding a sluggish digestion and clearing ama (toxins) from your digestive system.

Turmeric – antiseptic, antibacterial, antioxidant, aids digestion, cough. Turmeric is great for cooking, seasoning and should be consumed in small doses. 

Clove – cold, congestions, cough, increases agni and improves digestion, toothache and gum infections. Clove is used in traditional ayurvedic preparations such as Sitopaladi and Talisadi. Is also a great addition to your morning oatmeal and cooked spiced fruits because of its distinct flavor.

Guduchi – anti-inflammatory, fever reducer, immune system support, infections.  In low grade fevers guduchi is given with mahasudarshan and a pinch of pippali (long pepper).

Tulsi – antipyretic, decongestant, antibacterial, expectorant.  A tea of tulsi with cinnamon, cardamom and lemon grass can be used in the first signs of cold. 

Pippali – kapha reducer, low agni and sluggish digestion, immunity, mucus, rejuvenative for the lungs. A tea of ginger with a pinch of pippali can be given for weak lungs.  

In positivity, 

Luciana AWC, CHC, RYT, AYT

Resources: Sahasrayogam – Dr.G. Prabhakara Rao; Bhavaprakasa Vol.1 – Prof. K.S. Srikantha Murthy ; Ayurvedic Medicine – Sebastian Pole; M.A,Sc.; Texbook of Ayurveda, General Principals of Management and Treatment Vol. 3 – Vasant Lad,

All material and information presented by Blueberry Bunch by Luciana Ferraz is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made about products, supplements, or treatments have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information on bluberrybunch.com is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner before making changes to your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle.

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5 Ways to Stay Cool as a Cucumber This Summer With Ayurveda

Beach Setting - Staying Cool This Summer

Long days. Outdoor fun. Travel. Relaxation. Summer certainly has its perks. But the heat of summer can also throw you off balance, aggravating your mind and body in many ways. According to Ayurveda, the ancient “science of life,” there are reasons for that—and some helpful practices to keep you calm and cool.

What summer has to do with Ayurveda

Before we dive into Ayurvedic practices for restoring your balance, it will help to have some background. To put it simply, Ayurveda can show you how your body reacts to the elements around you and within you, plus what you can do about it.

The season of pitta/fire

All five of the primary elements (air, fire, water, earth and ether) and the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) exist in everything and everyone, but in different proportions. That means each season—and person—have elements and a dosha that are predominant, making them unique.

Summer aligns with the pitta dosha and the element of fire because of its hot, penetrating, sharp and oily qualities.

How pitta can affect you

The pitta within you is closely related to your digestion, metabolism, body temperature, thoughts, emotions and more. These can be prone to imbalance as you’re exposed to summer’s heat and other pitta qualities. This is especially true if pitta is your primary dosha.

When your doshas are aggravated, there can be many physical and emotional signs.

Signs of excess pitta

  • Uncomfortably warm
  • Acid reflux or heartburn
  • Skin irritation and rashes
  • Loose stools and diarrhea
  • Red, inflamed or light-sensitive eyes
  • Inflammation
  • Infections
  • Impatience and intolerance
  • Irritability and anger

Even if you experience these already, they may show more often when pitta is aggravated.

5 tips to help balance pitta in the summer

In Ayurveda, it’s believed that “like increases like.” So things that are hot, penetrating, sharp and oily (pitta characteristics) can aggravate your body and mind during the summer. Try to cut back on them and increase what’s opposite of pitta—calm and cool—to keep your body and mind in harmony with this season.

1. Choose cooling foods and drinks.

This is the most effective way to balance pitta. Good choices include:

  • Sweet fruits like pears, melons, mangos, apples, grapes, dates, figs and prunes (Avoid citrus and other sour fruits.)
  • Sweet or bitter vegetables like peas, sweet potato, cucumber, leafy greens, celery, zucchini, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower (Cut back on pungent varieties like onions, chili peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.)
  • Cooling or astringent spices and herbs like neem, shavarti, amalaki, burdock, cilantro, parsley and fennel (Avoid cayenne, garlic, chili pepper, mustard seeds and dried ginger.)
  • Cool (not iced) beverages like water, coconut water and coconut milk. Teas like chamomile, mint and coriander seed can be good if room temperature or cool. (Avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially beer and wine.)

2. Cool down your exercise.

Adjust your physical activity during summer for optimal balance.

  • Time of day: ideally early morning when it’s not as hot, especially if exercising outside, otherwise in a cooler environment
  • Intensity: no more than 50 percent of your maximum capacity
  • Refreshing activities to consider: swimming, gentle yoga like moon salutations (instead of sun salutations), walking, hiking and cycling

3. Limit heat exposure.

In addition to being mindful of exercise timing, you should also:

  • Minimize all sun exposure during the hottest part of the day.
  • Wear sunscreen if you go outside when the sun’s rays are the strongest (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to avoid a pitta-aggravating sunburn and other effects of the sun. Sunscreens are definitely not created equal, so check out EWG’s guide to safer sunscreens.
  • Avoid hot tubs or steam rooms.

4. Take it easy.

To balance pitta, it’s especially important to prioritize self-care, calm your mind and slow down.

  • Go inward. Meditate or practice personal prayer or reflection, daily.
  • Be mindful of your emotions. Observe your feelings and how you react. Try to be patient and tolerant, and turn your focus toward positive thoughts.
  • Take deep breaths. Whenever you have to wait, deal with an unpleasant situation or simply want to enjoy more calm, try to take long, slow, deep breaths.
  • Relax. Make time each day for rest and relaxation. Listen to peaceful music, or enjoy silent moments. Lie on a blanket and take in the beauty of the moon and stars.

5. Follow an Ayurvedic daily routine that’s pitta pacifying.

Another powerful way to harmonize your mind and body is with a daily routine that’s in alignment with the natural rhythms of day and night. Check out my previous blog post for 11 day-starters that promote overall balance and health.

Start to experiment with these cooling suggestions and you’ll be on your way to harnessing all the wonderful qualities of summer with fewer pitta-related aggravations.

Until next time, here’s to a cool, calm and balanced summer!

Luciana

All material and information presented by Blueberry Bunch is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made about products, supplements, or treatments have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information on bluberrybunch.com is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner before making changes to your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle.

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