Ayurveda

Yoga and Meditation Techniques for Balance

Meditations are most effective when consistently performed. For this reason I believe, one minute meditations for all individuals is best. Everyone can meditate for one minute! Early morning upon awakening is best. If unable to meditate upon awakening, choosing the same time each day to meditate is best. After the habit is established I would increase the meditation and possibly change the time to suit proper doshic dinacharya. (Daily Routine based on doshas)

Vata in Satva is creativity and Joy. Meditation to deepen the expression of joy – Mantra – I am Ananda

Vata in Rajas is anxious and fearful. Meditation with mantra – Om Tara tu tare ture soha -to promote idea of speech, body and mind free of fear.

Vata in Tamas is Sadness and Grief.

Meditation with mantra –

Lokah samasta sukhino bhavantu.

May all beings everywhere be happy. To keep mind centered on others. Ultimately happiness for all will include person with Vata in Tamas. Can use Vanilla aromatherapy during meditation to dispel grief.

Pitta in Satva is spiritual and logical. Meditation, that includes alternate nostril breathing to keep balance of Ida and Pingala and maintain Pitta in Satva.
Pitta in Rajas is aggressive and competitive.

Meditation with mantra – I am Samtosha – I am content. In order to dispel rajas and induce feeling in mind of non-competitiveness because all is ok as is. Can use lavender aromatherapy during meditation to dispel aggression.

Pitta in Tamas is anger and Jealousy. Meditation with pranayama focused on Ida nadi to reduce pitta and Tamas. Cooling energy that flows through Ida will help dispel anger of Pitta.

Kapha in Satva is Love and compassion. Meditation with Kapalbhati to help promote drying and lightness in kapha and maintain Satva.

Kapha in Rajas is Greedy and sentimental. Meditation emphasizing practice of releasing greed. Mantra - I am Aparigraha (greedlessness).

Kapha in Tamas is depressed and lethargic. Moving meditation (Hatha Yoga) emphasizing practice of releasing the physical body. You are not the physical body. The physical body is merely a vehicle for the meditation. Can use Ylang Ylang, aromatherapy during meditation to dispel depression.

Ultimately, meditations for each dosha can be simple as long as:

Satu dirgha kala nairantarya satkara asevitah dridha bhumih

The practice is attained to for a long time with great effort, no interuption and with consistency and devotion. (rough translation)

To learn Meditation and Yoga, you can contact Susan at Haven Yoga in San Diego.

Please note that these are the personal views of the student, and, does not necessarily reflect the view of the college.

By Susan Connor, RYT, AWP(Haven Yoga)
Teacher- Yoga Therapy, Ayurvedic Nutrition, Meditation

The Three Doshas in Ayurveda

By Dr. Nandini Daljit,

Student- San Diego College of Ayurveda

At the cosmically determined time when Parusha meets the destined Atman our Prakruti is determined. Our individual Prakruti is our unique combination of the Pancha Mahabutas within our constitution - that is to say each of us as our own unique combination of the five elements of the Pancha Mahabhutas - those being ether, air, fire, water and earth. "Doshas are bio-energies composed of two of the great Five Elements (Pancha Mahabhutas) that govern our mind, body and spirit" (San Diego College of Ayurveda, Block 1 Module - Ayurveda 101, p.5/56). The three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

There are seven combinations of the doshas i.e., Vata-Pitta, Vatta-Kapha, Pitta-Kapha etc. The three Doshas can be considered as the three 'models' of body structure. In class we learned that dosha means fault and that our prakruti is our 'fault-line'. From a strengths-based perspective I would said our dosha or Prakruti is our state of natural balance and any deviation from that natural balance will result in dis-ease.

The Vata dosha (Vaya & Akasha) offers energy through movement and thus holds the Pancha Mahabhatus of Ether and Air. From the elements of ether and air the body is empowered with the energetic force of movement. Vata moves blood through the body (circulation), movement of the limbs and organs (mobility, respiration, pulse) and the movement of communication (nervous system, thought, perception). In terms of communication Vata informs the Tanmatra speech.

The Pitta dosha (Teja & Apa) brings transformative energy to the body through the Pancha Mahabhatus of fire and water. Pitta assists the body in converting raw energy and is tied to metabolism. Pitta brings fuel to the digestive fire through this conversion. Pitta informs the tanmatra of taste through the saliva and conversion of food to digestive enzymes.

The Kapha dosha (Prithivi & Apa) brings cohesion to the body and is resonsible for the buliding of muscle, connective tissue and fat. Kapha brings the Pancha Mahabhuta elements of earth and water to the body which contributes to form and mass. The Tanmatra of Kapha in terms of action is excretion which allows the body to elmininate those solids that no longer solve the body.

All bodies are in fact Tridoshic. We all hold elements of all of the Panch Mahabutas in our natural constitution of our Prackruti. The Vedas teach us that there are three potential sources of disease and suffering: Klesas (mind/body), Adhyatmakika (suffering caused by other living things) and, Adihidaivika (seasonal changesa and natural disasters). In maintaining balance of our Tridosha it is advantageous to consider all of these sources of imbalance collectively.

Often the quest for Tridoshic balance involves identification of obvious stressors that are external. As Vata is the primanry dosha of life - often it is through deep internal self-reflection that our doshas can acheive balance. In this regard

Yoga is an important part of Ayurvedic practice. "Yoga views of anatomy, physiology and psychology were originally formed by doshas (Frawley, 1999, p. 39). As we understand our doshas we also come to understand the specific practices of nutrition, sleep, physical activity, climate, nature, interaction and spirituality that connects our dosha and prakruti as a microcosm to the the universal macrocosm.

What is Ayurveda and the best lifestyle?

By Monica Bhatia, PhD
Students of San Diego College of Ayurveda

We asked our students to give their interpretation on the four types of lifestyles described in Ayurveda, as well as the three types of sufferings described in Vedas. These four 'lives' are:

Ayurveda is the knowledge of 'life'. There are four life paths that we may choose to live -- Hitayu, Sukha-ayu, dukhha-ayu, and, Ahita-ayu. I will mention them later in this article.

1) hit-ayu: A Life with righteous living, truthfulness, living in harmony with nature
a-hit-ayu: A Self absorbed life, conservative , not living in harmony with nature, other entities and environment
3) sukh-ayu: Good Health with sound body and mind, life with comforts. Partial consideration to the nature.
4) dukh-ayu: Disturbed mental and physical state. Negative Karma Accumulation. Harming the Balance of Nature, environment and other entities.

Vedas, as well as the Bhagavat Gita describe three sufferings -- for all living entities -- caused by environment, caused by other entities, caused by physical and mental suffering.

So, if we look at the above four kind of lives, we can actually say that Ayurveda is the systematic knowledge of life.

A student answered, "We have learned that Ayurveda literally translated means life knowledge. This is fascinating to me as the word Ayurveda brings together two words or concepts that independently each hold definitions that are both quantitative and absolute and qualitative and interpretive. In this way the term Ayurveda can represent both the finite and the infinite depending on the balance of the elements and knowledge being considered at any given moment. In this way Ayurveda encapsulates our level of being by interpreting our level of consciousness with what we understand to be our live environment and the knowledge we access to construct that understanding at any given time.

With this in mind, my understanding of Ayurveda is that it is a way of engaging life that embraces a constructivist approach to engaging our presence through a dynamic interplay with the universe - not through an adherence to structure laws of nature but rather through our adaptive capacity to our metaphysical environments. In this regard I was drawn to Ayurveda for it's dichotomous connections with both systems theory and chaos theory two elements that assist me in understanding disease through Ayurveda.

What is most compelling about an Ayurvedic approach to health is it's acknowledgement of the body beyond it's mechanics and form. Emotion, stress, over attachment, lack of attachment, resistance and even persistence all impact our health. Sun, rain, snow, wind all inform our cell structures. Most strikingly - balance in ourselves lies beyond ourselves in our appreciation of that part of ourselves that we see in others (positive or negative). This initiates the connection between the internal cosmos of humans and collectively amongst human beings and the universal cosmos. More concretely - in order to heal ourselves we can support that in those around us that we have nurtured within ourselves.

Response # 2. Ayurveda, defined as the science or the study of life carries with it a description of 4 different types of Life. These types of life are based on the lifestyle of the individual, and takes into account our existence as mulit-dimentional beings.
I have interpreted the text in the passage as a way of describing causes of illness and disease based on these four types of Life's or "Ayu".

According to Ayurvedic Science, our karmic balance of our exsistance (on all levels), determines our likelyhood to develop disease, as well as the type of disease we will likley develop.

For example, if an individual has a life of Hit-Ayu they are less likely to develop disease of any kind. While a person who has a life of A-Hit-Ayu may be more likley than most to develop mind and body illnesses (Adhyatamika). A person who is more Sikh-Ayu may be at risk to develop diesases caused by other living things (Adibhautika). While a person more on the Dukh-Ayu side may be more likely to experience seasonal or environmental diseases (Adhidaivaka).

This is my understanding of the quoted text. I Believe that it describes very well the connection of our exsistance (Physical, Soul, Energetic, Mind and Intellect) and how it comes into play with our lifestyle and finally the diseases we are likley to encounter throughout that exsistance.

Based on the above statements, Ayurveda, as a holistic philosophy, teaches us quite simply that every thing that we do affects our health. From our life styles to the food we ingest, to the good or ill works we do towards others and the planet.

Response #3. These separate parts of our being; physical, spiritual, intellectual, as well as our behaviors, are often seen by western society as statically separate from one another. Ayurveda, like TCM and other Asian philosophies teaches us that these components of self are deeply interconnected and interdependent on one another.

You cannot possibly be physically well if the mind is out of balance. You cannot be emotionally well if the body is unbalanced and so on.

There is much to be said in this earthly life for the laws of attraction. It can be associated with the Vedic viewpoint on karmic balance. If one is consistently thinking negative thoughts and doing negative deeds, they will in fact create and be more susceptible to disease and negative consequences, whether immediate or in the distant future.

Conversely, if one focuses on balance of body, mind, and spirit, strives to do good works and stay positive, the majority of the time good health and wealth is bestowed upon this person. This is not necessarily because we are being rewarded by some cosmic power but rather because our entire universe responds to this energetic law.

That being said, we still suffer, obviously from things that are outside of our control. No one chooses to be affected by earthquakes or to be accidentally hit by a car. No one wants to be infested by a parasite or even to have allergic reactions to their household pet. Most of these things are outside of our power and have little to do with karmic balance. We can, however, influence the healing process with Ayurveda and return once more to homeostasis to the best of our abilities.

All of our being, physical, mental, emotional wants to work toward homeostasis. When we eat foods that are “anti-doshic”(yes I just made up that term), when we are too sedentary or too stressed, when we think ill thoughts of ourselves and harbor hate, grief, and pain, when we do not forgive, when we are unkind to others, when we do not breath and allow in new experiences and love, when we use drugs or become dependant on mood altering substances, when we ignore divinity; these are all contributors to disease.

Regular Bowel Movements (Mala) are the secret to Health

Regular Bowel Movements are the secret to Health

By Monica B Groover, PhD, PK

A chiropractor friend recently told me, that he recently did muscle testing for a patient, and, found out that constipation and irregular elimination increased their symptoms. When his patients have regular bowel movements, their back pain seems diminished.

Ayurveda believes that balanced elimination is KEY to good health.

The definition of Health according to Ayurveda is 'Sama Dhatu (Balanced Tissues), Sama Dosha (Balanced Doshas), Sama Agni (Balanced Digestive Fire) - hence, Balanced Elimination or Mala.

Ayurvedic text books talk about two kinds of Eliminate or Waste Materials.

i Ahara mala or wastes from food
ii Dhatu mala or wastes from the tissues

Ahara Mala:

Ayurveda believes we are not just what we eat – we are also what we digest! Digesting and eliminating whatever we put in our bodies is referred to as Ahara Mala

Ahara Mala is further divided into three types in Ayurvedic Medicine:

Purisha (Faeces) – According to Ayurveda, Purisha or faeces are the elimination of Earth, and, Water element. For a healthy BM(Bowel Movement), we need to eat the earth element(Fibre from whole grains), as well as drink warm or hot water. Cold water is not suggested. Appearance of the stools differ according to the imbalance of dosha, and, dhatus. For example, if the stool is hard, it may suggest a vata imbalance. It may suggest a variable Agni or digestive fire. Constipation or less than 1 BM a day is also suggestive of Vata imbalance. 3-5 Bowel movements that are loose along with acidity and acid reflux may suggest a pitta imbalance. For vata imbalance, and, constipation -- Triphala Ghee for Vata imbalance. For Acidity, Ayurveda suggest avoiding sour foods including fermented foods and drinks, salt, and, as going very easy on hot spices like cayenne pepper, ginger, pungent foods like onions or garlic. Cumin, Coriander and Fennel tea, whey probiotic lassi drink or eating pomegranates is excellent for pitta imbalances with more than 3 or 4 bowel movements, and, acidity.

11 Mutra - Urine – Ayurvedic texts talk about balanced elimination of water element. Drinking regular herbal teas like tulsi tea, vata, pitta or kapha tea, rose tea, or simply drinking warm to hot water is suggested to have a balanced mutra.

111 Sveda – Sweat- If a person is not sweating, or, their sweat is toxic or smells – then this may be a sign of Ama. Sveda or Sweat is induced through regular exercise, walking in the Sun (shade), as well as Steam therapy.

Now, let's move to Dhatu Malas.

There are seven Dhatus and seven Dhatu Malas.

Rasa Dhatu (Plasma)
Rakta Dhatu (Blood)
Mamsa Dhatu (Muscles)
Meda Dhatu (Fat)
Asthi Dhatu(Bones, Teeth, Cartilage)
Majja Dhatu (Bone Marrow)
Shukra Dhatu (Reproductive Tissue)

Each of these seven dhatus have elimination or Mala as well.

Secretions of the nose including nasal crust, tears in the eyes, was in the ears are Mala or waste.

When we exercise and produce lactic acid, or, exhale carbon dioxide, – that is considered a mala as well. Hence, breathing deep and pranayama is suggested in the morning time.

Hair and nails are considered Mala or waste of Asthi Dhatu. Sweat is a waste of Meda or Mamsa dhatu.

Elimination through regular bowel movements, as well as sweating, is key to good health according to Ayurvedic principles.

To be considered healthy – Ayurvedic practitioners check the quantity (pramana), qualities (gunas), and function (karma) of all the above waste products.

When body does not produce enough Mala – it causes imbalance, and Ama. Ama are fat soluble and water soluble Ahara Mala that have not been digested or eliminated by the body.

Just like a compost bin filled with organic waste when not cleaned may start smelling and start producing germs, undigested food particles or Ama gives rise to toxins.

Signs of Ama may include, but, are not limited to waking up tired even with a full nights sleep, low energy, lethargy, fatigue, bloating, flatulence, constipation, or diarrhea, pain while urinating, strong odor in stool, urine and sweat; dark yellow urine, skin breakouts, abnormal discharges, white coating on tongue, colored mucous, congestion.

If you would like to reprint or use this article, please email us at info@ayurveda-california.org. Please give the entire hyperlink, as well as school name – San Diego College of Ayurveda the credit.

The protein myth

By R Mason
G Robinson
(Ayurveda Counselor Students)

My friend, it's time to give up the meat. I know you've heard negative things about red meat in the media, and I also know that you grew up in the same pro-meat culture I did, but let's take a serious look at what these messages mean.

The only pro-red-meat argument is cultural. There's not a scientist or doctor I know of today who is actively advocating the consumption of red meat, so let's first take Western science into consideration. Doctors have officially acknowledged that red meat leads to more health problems than health solutions, especially in modern animal agriculture, so let's make that easy decision to eliminate all the extra fats, cholesterol, and hormones from our diet to get out ahead of diabetes.

But let's also examine meat as a source of protein in general. The only reason meat gets a "pass" socially is that we've conditioned ourselves to believe that meat is the only good source of protein, but that belief is designed to sell you more meat rather than make you healthier. According to nutrition experts, the human body needs .36 grams of protein per pound of mass daily. This comes to 56 grams per day for the average man and 46 grams per day for the average woman, and this requirement is met in a single meal that includes meat. This protein intake should be spread out throughout the day, and too much protein gets stored in the body as excess fat. To ward off diabetes, you need to make protein choices that are more beneficial for the body and reduce meat proteins.

Besides being simply too much protein, let's examine the energetics of meat-based protein. Energy affects us all--we've all been in a room in which the energy changes with the addition of a single person--and food is no different. Plant-based proteins come from positive, "growth" energy in nature and are sattvic to the consumer. Animal-based proteins carry all the negative energy of the process by which they arrive on our plate, from the inhumane treatment of the animals in their agricultural environment to their inhumane slaughter and subsequent dismemberment and delivery. When we consume meat, we consume all that negative energy and deplete our prana, thereby making it harder for our bodies to heal and find balance.

So let's beat this diabetes threat and find a food plan that meets your protein requirements in a way that promotes the natural healing your body is capable of.

In Ayurveda we believe food has the power to heal. Food can be medicine. There is a life giving energy that flows through you and throughout the rest of creation that connects us to the Divine, and that same Supreme Intelligence also manifests through Mother Nature and all her bounty. By living in communion and harmony with your soul and nature, God provides everything you need to live a balanced, satisfying and healthy life. It is your choice to make whether who want to live in sync with the natural flow or in opposition to it, but if you have some faith and determination, a higher power will offer further clarity and also help grace your efforts. I can attest from personal and shared experience, you can live and function and do so quite well without eating meat.

If you do not want to give it up entirely, I assure you that you do not need to eat it everyday and if you do this, you will also feel better overall. It may take some time and experience to fully realize for yourself that the need to eat meat regularly for sustenance is a lie perpetrated collectively, in large unconsciously, by the society in which we live and sustained by a pattern you have followed your entire life, but there is another way, and if it means furthering your life rather than diminishing it, I hope you are willing to try something fresh.

You are what you eat and also how well you are able to digest it. Food that is life giving and full of the nutrients you need comes straight out of the earth. When you consume meat, you are attempting to gather all those nutrients but through a dead animal that already digested and assimilated a plant’s vitality, so your body is really doing a lot of extra work for scraps. Meat also takes a lot longer to digest than plant based food and the longer food sits in your GI tract, the more prone you make yourself to sickness and the more sluggish you’ll be feeling overall, because energy you could be using to live you life is tied up in extracting nutrients from dead flesh. Think about it.

What feeds your craving to eat more meat is that you’re eating too much meat, and now you have become prediabetic. If you can taper the meat, you will not have to crave it in the same way. Give your mind and body something new to expect, it is possible, and with that some of the sentiments you hold onto tightly will dissipate as well.

So if we can start preparing more plant based food that is rich in prana, the life giving energy I’ve been alluding to, we can try to correct the digestive impairments in your body that have surely arisen from over consumption of meat and processed foods causing toxins to accumulate and making you prone to chronic illness. In essence, you are not a meat eater, you are not a sick person, but you are a divine soul in an organic vessel, and nature’s whole ingredients have the power to heal your body.

Ayurveda and the Feminine- Book

Ayurveda and the Feminine book has been published both in printed and ebook format via Kindle in April 2020.

A practical guide to ancient rituals and practices of Ayurveda, Vastu, mantras, meditation and creation of altars to invite healing and balance to a woman's life. Written by Monica B Groover, director of Narayana Ayurveda and Yoga Academy in Austin, Texas, who has been helping women as an Ayurveda Practitioner for over a decade.

Would you like to read a preview of my book Ayurveda and the Feminine for Free? Here's a link. #ayurvedafeminine

https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_nzyTEbV...

Creation of Ayurveda Formulas (Bhashajya Kalpana)

By Dr. Mithun Baliga
(Ayurveda Practitioner Student)

Bhaishaja Kalpana, Creation of Ayurveda Formulas is the art of processing of different therapeutic compounds together as a formulations. It is one of the most important aspects of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic dravya and “herb” as in western herbology are very different things although the general public think the word herb encompasses all non-allopathic/ CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) compounds.

Dravya includes not just plant-derived herbs but also animal derived substances like honey, milk, horn etc and inanimate products like metal ashes, mineral products like Shilajit etc. Not just the source as seen above but the journey that the dravya undergoes from its source until it enters the client’s body is very different in ayurvedic terms compared to western herbology.

Let’s look at the western perspective first. The focus is on extracting the active compound from a herb. This was mainly a way to preserve the degradable flowers and leaves. Either alcohol or oils were used for this as needed. This progressed on to specifically extracting the compound responsible for the therapeutic action, from the herb. The extracted ingredient could then be standardized and marketed and made accessible easily (due to standardization). Eg: turmeric. The active compound cucurmin can be extracted and purified, and standardized and sold. On the surface, this makes perfect sense. If cucurmin is the ingredient that gives turmeric its demonstrable benefit, then let us take that ingredient, concentrate it and ingest it for maximum benefit.

In contrast, Ayurveda takes a very different view. Ayurveda believes that the effects of a herb does not come from any one single ingredient that it contains but rather from the many different substances that are present in the herb. Some cause the main effects, some others potentiate it, others help in its absorption, yet others work synergistically with the body by helping in related conditions etc etc. So, Ayurveda will try to transform the entire turmeric root (the whole herb) into a product that can be consumed. This is the fundamental difference between Ayurveda and western herbology and all further differences stem from this in one way or another.

One of the results of this difference is that it is extremely difficult to prove the effectiveness of Ayurvedic herbs/preparation in clinical trials and studies. The inability to accurately list and quantify all the active ingredients and their individual and interactive actions (both good and bad) has been and still is a stumbling block when it comes to publishing studies. This lack of robust studies in Ayurveda will always be a problem when we try to compare it to western herbology. It is far easier to study/prove/publish about a single extract in in vitro, in vivo and human studies than it is to study/prove/publish about a whole herb product that might have many known and as yet unknown ingredients responsible for the herb’s overall effect.

Another big difference is that Ayurvedic herbs and kalpanas do not stand alone by themselves like a “one size fits all” solution. The very science of Ayurveda takes into account the individual’s dosha, state of agni, dhatus and srotas and the gunas and karmas of the dravya before picking the right dravya for the client. The concept of the 5 mahabhuta makeup of all things, the 10 opposing gunas of things play a very important role in matching dravya to client. Along the same lines, the delivery of the dravya using what is called an anupana is another key aspect of therapy. This again is not included in western herbology. Eg: Turmeric capsule has no specific instruction on how to take it whereas the turmeric recommended by an Ayurvedic practitioner will include instructions to take it in milk or to add it in the hot oil while cooking.

Bhaishaja Kalpana can be used as extensively as one’s practice allows. We should start by from the very first step. Proper sourcing of the dravyas, which is again an aspect of Bhaishaja Kalpana should be used by us all. Even though we are not personally collecting the herbs, checking and making sure that the companies we recommend do their sourcing according to recommendations of the scriptures is our first step. The production of the individual kalpanas have to be according to the “recipes” recommended in the appropriate texts. This is our job as the practitioner to check. We can extend the use of Bhaishaja Kalpana in our practice by making for ourselves some of the simpler products according to the proper guidelines. With enough knowledge and experience, by using Bhaishaja Kalpana, we can recommend the right anupanas and combinations to match our individual client’s prakruti and needs

Ashwagandha-how to take it

In my practice as an Ayurvedic Practitioner, I have noticed almost everyone who is listing their supplements on the intake forms, mention Ashwagandha.

A part of me is delighted Ashwagandha has become so popular in USA, that even nutritional supplements, smoothie mixes are adding it in.

The practitioner in me is a little concerned because Ashwagandha is heating and has indications and contraindications just like any herb. I have heard students say Ayurvedic supplements have no contraindications. This is absolutely untrue.

Ayurvedic supplements can harm when taken incorrectly. And, yes, there are definitely contraindications.

It is better to take a supplement after visiting a Practititioner.

Problem is when people buy things online they either have no idea of doses, or, anupana (see below), or what time of day to take it.

They take Ashwagandha when convenient with food.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, supports Thyroid, energy, stress, anxiety, respiratory tract AND aches and pains.

It is also used in conjunction with other dravya for other imbalances.

However, for each of those situations doses differ, anupana differs, time of day differs and there are certain dietary restrictions also.

Anupana means vehicle that helps deliver the herb and helps in its absorption.

I have listed how Ashwagandha has to be taken with different anupanas at different times below. Please visit your Ayurveda Practitioner before you start taking any Ayurvedic supplement.

1. Supporting Respiratory tract--Ashwagandha with Honey and Tulsi Tea.
Time of day - 6-10 AM, 6-10 PM.
2. Supporting Stress/Anxiety-Aswagandha with Tulsi tea (Not suggested for Pitta. For pitta add Brahmi also)
Time of day 2-6 PM (1-2 hours after meal)
3. Generalized aches and pains-Ashwagandha Ghrtam (ghee), topically as Ashwagandha tailam. (Ashwagandha cooked in sesame)
4. Supporting Neurological imbalances- Not given alone. Can be suggested in conjunction with Jatamansi and/or Brahmi.
Anupana- Tulsi Tea
5. Supporting Thyroid- Ashwagandha with Kanchanar Guggulu before meals
6. Supporting Menstrual Imbalances-Ashwagandha with Shatavari and Turmeric golden milk
7. Supporting Arthritis-Ashwagandha boiled in milk twice a day
8. Supporting low energy- Ashwagandha boiled in milk. May be given with Shatavari.
9. Supporting insomnia-Ashwagandha, Bhringaraj and Brahmi with warm Golden milk(with turmeric, nutmeg, poppy seeds) one hour before bed.

You can contact Monica Groover at Ayurveda South Austin.
https://www.ayurveda-wellness-center.com/

Disclaimer: Ayurveda is a complimentary health system and NOT recognized in the West. Ayurveda practitioners are NOT allowed to prevent, treat or cure any disease. Please contact your physician if you have any health issues. The article above is for informational and educational purpose only.

Sanskrit for Ayurveda practitioners

By Dr. Mithun Baliga (Ayurveda Counselor Student)
and Lori Black

Sanskrit is the spoken language of the Devatas or Demigods, according to Vedas. Samskrtam is said to be the oldest language known. Sanskrit is such a language rich in meaning, oftentimes there is no equivalent translation of the depth in which a word or sentence may be expressed through its context. Any student who is interested in Ayurveda will inevitably turn to the Briyat Treya.

Once we realize how simplified modern translations are of the ladened meaning meant to convey, we find a desire to understand the classics a bit more. We decide to dig into what Sushruta was trying to say; or how Patanjali could say so few words by present a meaning so in-depth. Not to mention the mantra of Sanskrit traditionally is what has supplanted the classics when there were no written versions available.

We look at the history of Ayurveda and see how there was a time when Indians were precluded from possessing the texts for fear of political retribution. Therefore, memorization was often accomplished through mantra; teaching was accomplished through mantra. As it seems so appropriate that any student who is serious about Vedanta, Ayurveda or any of the amazing Indian philosophies once must embark on the quest of deepening their preliminary understanding to even peek at what is revealed from the heart of the Gods.

Ayurveda is an ancient science believed to have divine origins. The language of the time was Sanskrit. Hence all the original texts are written in that language. Of course, we now have a translation in various languages. So we can ask certainly as the question: what is the importance of Sanskrit to Ayurveda practitioners? since everything is now available in English. It is important for many reasons.

1. The arrangement of information is the texts are in poetic form. This was to facilitate memorization which is easier why set to rhyme and meter. This poetic way of delivering information has to be interpreted correctly in the original language it was written(as in all poetry). Otherwise, errors can occur.

2. Sanskrit is an original stand-alone language, meaning it has no borrowed words. So, many times it is not possible to find exact equivalent words in other languages like English. Eg: the word dosha. The closest translation could be "a fault" but we know that "a fault" is not what we mean when we say dosha in Ayurveda. For this reason, Ayurvedic practitioner has to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the language so that they can use those Sanskrit words correctly and with confidence.

3. Some aspects of Ayurveda involve invoking mantras and or salutations. Although these can also be translated, again their inner meaning is lost. To recommend these forms of adjuncts to therapy, the practitioner may find the knowledge of Sanskrit helpful.

4. As a diagnostic tool: Although not used nowadays, in the past the ayurvedic practitioner would ask the patient to read out the syllables of the Sanskrit language. By observing the pronunciation and speech patterns, they would diagnose the patient's issues.

5. At a higher level, the Sanskrit language has divinity in itself. The syllables have a deeper meaning and specific combinations have different effects and strengths. Chanting Vedic and other hymns are known to bring about profound changes in the physical body as well as the mind and for spiritual progress.

Ayurvedic Herbs are different

(Submitted by a student)

We dont call study of Ayurvedic Herbs- Herbology. We use the word "dravya". This means any substance therapeutic whether plant, mineral or rock. (example shilajit is a substance that oozes out of a rock).

Energetics of Ayurvedic Herbs include five things. These are called Rasa panchadi.

1. Rasa (Taste)
2. Virya (heating or cooling)
3. Vipaka (after taste)
4. Guna and Karma (Qualities and action)
5. Prabhava (ultimate effect)

Rasa

The six tastes are called the rasas

sweet-amchur (dry mango powder)
sour-Amalaki
salty-shilajit
astringent-haritaki
pungent-ginger
bitter-kutki

Virya

The heating or cooling quality of a dravya is called virya.
Heating: Ginger
Cooling: Cardamom

Guna and Karma

Here are examples of some karma or action based on their qualities.

1. Dīpana action stimulate the main Agni in the small intestine.
They may help in metabolism of ama. Examples: Trikatu, and chitkrak.
2. Pācana action digest ama and strengthen agni. (As long as it is not fat soluble ama). Examples include muśta, kutaja, garlic, ginger.
3. Śamana action pacify doshas. Honey is best shamana for kapha, haritaki for vata and amla berry for pitta.
4. Śodhana action cleansesand remove aggravated Doṣas from the body. Examples include Castor oil and Madanphala.
5. Staṃbhana action that absorb excess water. Examples include Dravya with astringent tastes such as Kutaja and Pomegranate.
6. Grahi action add bulk and solidify stool.
7.Anulomana action works as mild laxatives. Examples include warm organic milk (non homogenized), ghee, haritaki and triphala.
8.Sraṁsana acts as a mild purgative. (virechana)
9. Bhedana act as stool softeners. Examples Aloe.
10. Lekhana These dravya have a scraping action on the Dhātus, Dośas and Malas. Examples include Guggulu, and turmeric.

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