Ayurveda

Essential Guide to Ayurveda: A book by Monica B Groover

A Textbook called Essential Guide to Ayurveda: A Textbook for Students and Counselors , is soon being released by me. Here is an excerpt.

Essential Guide to Ayurveda is a culmination of twelve years of teaching Ayurveda for me. I have been in the business of Ayurvedic Education for quite some years.

As the director of a school as well as a teacher, I get constant feedback from my clients and students.

My regular clients who had been practicing Ayurveda for many years wanted more depth in their Ayurvedic informational material. Many people who practice Ayurveda as a lifestyle want to dive in deeper as a student of Ayurveda.

We found that there was a lack of a beginner textbook specifically for Ayurveda Health Counselors. Many of my students plan to take the Certification exam and are not able to find Counselor-focused Ayurveda resources to help them study.

As an Ayurvedic Counselor, you are expected to serve the community with support and counsel using Ayurvedic concepts. A consultation provided by an Ayurveda Counselor may focus on dosha pacifying diet and lifestyle interventions which can be be adjusted seasonally. You may need one or two credits of college-level anatomy and physiology or equivalent to take your Counselor exam.

This book can be used as a reference guide to learning the essentials of Ayurveda Counseling, not how to become an Ayurvedic Counselor. To become an Ayurveda Counselor you would need to study and graduate from an Ayurvedic school.

You will be learning the ancient principles of Ayurveda from teachers that have mastered these teachings in your school.

However, this book contains some time-tested effective strategies, authentic knowledge, tips, and foundational tenets. These are essential to an Ayurveda Counselor, & or any counseling or coaching profession that integrates principles of Ayurveda.

In the last twelve years, I have found myself continually writing curriculum, then updating it again to fulfill the changing needs of my students.

In 2017, we released Essential guide for Ayurveda Part 1 as a beta version to our students. This beta test version enabled us to get very direct and personal feedback from my students about what other information they wanted and needed in a counselor specific textbook.

We will be offering this textbook in a Kindle format, making it easier for my international students to obtain the information without having to pay for shipping costs. We will also be providing a Soft Copy paperbook.

If you are an Ayurveda Enthusiast, then this book is for you too. The book should benefit both the Ayurveda Enthusiast, as well as a potential or current Ayurveda Counselor Student. It can also be suggested for someone practicing an Ayurveda lifestyle who wants to dip their feet in the water, before committing to a school which can be a big chunk of time and finances.

This book should give you an idea of the informational content you would be learning if planning to enroll in an Ayurveda school, or have already done so.

Be prepared to dive in deeper. Open your heart to the philosophy and tenets from inside out. There is a Sanskrit glossary section in each chapter, followed by a review section by popular demand. My students love the breakdown and etymology of where the Sanskrit is coming from.

If you are interested in PRE-ORDERING, simply add your name to the EMAIL List.

Preface-Essential Guide to Ayurveda
Copyright@2020 Monica B Groover

Monica Groover is the author of Ayurveda and the Feminine, and, Essential Guide to Ayurveda, A textbook for students and Counselors. Ms Groover is the director of Narayana Ayurveda and Yoga Academy in Austin, Texas.

Creation of Dhatus in Ayurveda

By Cagan Cinmoyii Gun Isikli -

We need to eat food everyday to grow, to be strong, to be healthy and to live a long life. Whatever we eat, it can be helpful for the creation of our dhatus in a positive or negative way in the body. Dhatu means construction elements as tissues for the structure, and growth of the body. There are 7 types of dhatus (Sapta Dhatus) in the body ; rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, ashti majja, and sukra . All these need time to be formed respectively. Each of them takes 5 days. For instance, the food that we eat becomes ahara rasa and it can transform as the last dhatu, i.e. reproductive tissue after 35 days.

Digestion process starts in Bodhaka kapha in oral cavity. Then Udana Vata helps to masticate and Prana Vata sustains to swallow the food. Kledeka kapha provides moisture in Amasaya (stomach). Pachaka pitta also helps and Samana vata press and sustain agni to function properly. They work together to continue breaking ahara rasa down with digestive enzymes. Now, jatharagni on duty to break down the Ahara rasa into Chyle for digestion which is a milky white fluid including lymph and fats.

In the meantime, to clarify the object in a better way, I should cite that there is 3 stages of Gross Digestion. Briefly,

1-Madhur Avasthapak (Sweet Stage) with the symptoms of reduction in activity, having earth and jala mahabhuta, started in mouth and stomach and related with the Kledak Kapha Dosha.

2-Amla Avasthapak (Sour Stage) with the symptoms of thirst and perspiration, having fire mahabhuta, located in small intestine and related with Pachak Pitta Dosha.

3- Katu Avasthapak (Pungent Stage) with the symptoms of desire for movement, having Air and Ether mahabhutas, placed in large intestine and directed by Saman Vayu.

After processed through gross digested, food is divided into 2 parts; one is Sara (essense), which will form different dhatu elements later and other is Kitta (refuse) which will be divided as urine and stool as mala, waste product of the body.

The nourishment of dhatus occurs with Sara in stages. Sara is pure essence and the pure stabilized mature tissue. Each of the tissue functions properly. Every dhatu is precursor of the next dhatu working with their own Dhatu Agni. In other words, unstable dhatu is always digested by the next dhatu agni. As a result of this, each dhatu has a potency to receive its nutrients properly. At this point Acaryas have put to subject into the light to understand thoroughly with the help of 3 different laws.

1- Kshir -Dadhi Nyaya -Law of Transformation –Milk curd theory

Kshir means milk and dadhi means yogurt. Milk has a great potency to transform step by step from inside to out. In this example first milk could be transformed as yogurt, then buttermilk, butter and ghee. To succeed this, physical and chemical changes take place when turning milk into yogurt, cheese, butter, ice cream, whip cream and other dairy products. The processes for making many dairy products can only start with milk “curdling”. Although there are different ways to start milk curdling, the simple technics are to add some previous yogurt or specific acid or to heating as well as by letting the milk age long enough, with specific enzymes (which are proteins that perform a specific chemical reaction).

With the help of this perspective we can imagine that how ahara rasa and chyle transform as different dhatus in the body. At first Ahara rasa completely changes to Rasa Dhatu, following this is the changing of Rasa Dhatu to Rakta Dhatu and so on. This is one of the ways of nutrition of different Dhatus.

2- Kedar -Kulya Nyaya - Law of Irrigation / Transmisson

Kedar means parts of lands and kulya means drain. Crops in the field get irrigated by creating Kulya (drain) and Kedar (small pieces of land). The Kedar get irrigated one by one through Kuliya in sequence. Like wise different Dhatus of the body get nutrition one by one in sequence through vessels.

3- Khale – Kapot Nyaya - Law of Selectivity- Pigeon Picking Theory

Based on requirement each dhatu get nourished through Chyle. They pick from Chyle according to their need. Chyle, milky alkaline product is the precursor of all dhatu formation. It is carried from the intestine through the lympatic system and in the blood stream.

Food Processing and Prana

By Veero Kanda (Student Post)

When I think about Western nutrition, what first comes to mind are nutrition labels, which break down the food into scientific parts, including the percentage of fat, carbohydrate, and caloric content, which are heavily underlined in our society. What I’ve come to notice, growing up in the Western world, is that traditional scientists and doctors alike, tend to focus their energies on breaking things down and isolating them from the rest of the unit in attempts to understanding the whole.

Allopathic doctors want to isolate and treat a specific organ vs. looking at an individual’s whole body and health. Traditional scientists, like a nutritional scientist for example, will break down foods to their vitamin, mineral, fat, and caloric content. They then use a combination of these parts to determine the nutritional value of the food, rather than looking at it from a holistic perspective.

A famous quote by Aristotle once said “the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts”, and I believe this wholeheartedly to be true. I believe that traditional Western doctors and scientists have inadvertently done humanity a disservice by not acknowledging this to be true through the work that they do. Western nutrition approaches food as being equal to the sum of it’s parts, similar to the way that many Western practitioners approach the human body to be equal to the sum of it’s parts.

The truth is, that everything in the universe is energetically and spiritually more than the sum of it’s parts. Ayurvedic medicine emphasizes the importance of holism, looking at the entire picture, whether it be the human body or the food that we eat.

Ayurvedic nutrition seeks to achieve balance and heal your body, mind, soul, and karma. Those who study, and practice Ayurvedic medicine, whether familiar with Aristotle or not, recognize that the whole is more than the combination of it’s parts. The more, in Ayurveda refers to prana, which is life force energy, known also as chi or qi in Chinese Medicine.

In the human body, “the seat of prana is in the head and prana governs all higher cerebral activities. The functions of the mind, memory, thought and emotions are all under the control of prana. The physiological functioning of the heart is also governed by prana, and from the heart prana enters the blood and thus controls oxygenation in all the dhatus and vital organs” (Lad, 1984, p. 109).

It is not just us as human beings that have this life force energy, but all living organisms have prana. In Ayurveda, the nutritional value, quality, and health benefits of foods are based first and foremost on the prana they contain.

“Prana in food is a concept of life, vitality and qi in plant based foods” (San Diego College of Ayurveda, Ahara 101, p. 8). Foods vary on the amount of prana that they contain, so we seek to eat those that have the most prana, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, especially ons that are grown locally and organically, without the use of chemicals. Food that is freshly cooked, as well as whole grains and fresh dairy products and foods that are not highly processed have more prana.

The second major consideration in Ayurvedic nutrition is on how foods are processed, both during the preparation of the food, and once they enter our bodies. How foods are processed and prepares can greatly affect the prana of a food.

Some examples of food processing are cooking, drying, freezing, canning, pickling, refining, fortifying, pasteurizing, and adding preservatives or chemicals.

Foods that are highly processed, especially those that are frozen, canned or microwaved foods, foods that have been refrigerated for a long time, foods that are not grown in our area, and foods that are grown using pesticides, chemicals or that are genetically modified do not contain much if any prana after these processes take place. We should avoid foods that are processed in this way, in favor of higher prana options.

Ayurveda seeks to process and preserve foods in ways that simultaneously preserve the prana of the food. This is often done by preserving the food with sugar, salt, or ghee, or pickling and sun drying foods, as opposed to preserving them while chemicals or by freezing. Additionally, those seeking to maintain the prana of their foods should cook them over a woodstove or in a natural oven, as opposed to less natural cooking methods such as the use of microwaves and other electric appliances.

Ayurveda seeks to view the foods we are eating, as well as our bodies, in their entirety, in order to determine what will most benefit our health and well being. Western nutrition may say, for example that microwaved conventionally grown vegetables are healthy for us, based on it’s vitamins, minerals, and low fat and calorie content. Ayurvedic nutrition, however recognizes that that those vegetables were grown using pesticides and chemicals as well as prepared in a manor that greatly reduce it’s prana and thereby it’s health benefits. I think that it is definitely worth taking a closer look at some of our dietary and nutritional choices, to view the foods we’re eating more holistically, and discern how much prana remains in the foods we are choosing to nourish ourselves with.

References:

Lad, V. (1984). Ayurveda : the science of self-healing : a practical guide. Santa Fe, N.M: Lotus Press.

San Diego College of Ayurveda. Ahara 101: workbook.

Ayurvedic Perspective-Food Allergies

By Veero Kanda (Student Post)

An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction of the body when it comes into contact with a substance. An individual may experience a slightly uncomfortable feeling to a fatal anaphylaxis in an allergic reaction.

The most common allergens causing allergies are dust, pollen, foods, certain medications, cosmetics etc. every individuals’ immune system reacts differently to the allergens causing these sensitivities. Therefore, for example an allergy causing allergen for one person, maybe completely normal for another individual.

Ayurveda considers allergic reactions as the imbalance of the doshas, with in particular the Vata dosha. A weakened Vata leads to a number of systemic and local hypersensitivities. Vata and Pitta weakened can cause for example rashes, hives, burning, and fever.

An imbalanced Vata and Kapha causes blockages in the bronchi, excessive secretions and asthma attacks.

From an Ayurvedic perspective each person has a unique constitution. Ayurveda describes how certain diets that are not compatible with our Ayurvedic constitution are more likely to result in reacting with out body, thus resulting in an allergy.

This is primarily due to poor digestion and elimination lead to the buildup of ama- undigested food particles. The accumulation of ama (undigested food particles) further leads to toxin buildup and impurities in tissues, which predisposes them to an excessive allergic response.

Moreover, Ayurveda also gives an emphasis regarding the seasonal and daily regimen and lifestyle. For example, an Ayurvedic practitioner will not only take into consideration the individuals Ayurvedic constitution, but also seasonal environment, lifestyle, and person’s emotional, mental and spiritual well being. Moreover an Agni assessment would determine the Digestive Fire imbalances that may possibly lead to ama formation. By following these recommendations one can avoid allergies and learn to prevent them. Therefore, following this holistic approach and eating a diet compatible with your Ayurvedic constitution that is natural, organic and full of prana is ideal and important to avoid and prevent sensitivities.

Eating fresh, organic, full of prana, seasonal fruits that are appropriate for the season is preventative for allergies. A lot of the foods that are processed, canned, not natural, consisting of preservatives, dyes or other chemical additives are a cause of allergic sensitivities.

Thus they should be avoided. According to Ayurveda, Yoga and Pranayama strengthen the natural defense system, thus being an excellent way to prevent allergies. Mothers who breastfeed, should avoid foods with chemicals, preservatives, and additives to avoid the transmission of such chemicals to the child.

Children breastfed from mothers who eat a diet primarily consisting of chemicals, additives and preservatives are more likely to pass on these harmful substances through their breast milk, thus leading to the development of sensitivities in the child.

In conclusion, following a diet that is compatible with our ayurvedic constitution, seasonally compatible, full of prana, natural, organic is the ideal way to prevent food sensitivities.

Agni should also be strengthened to aid in optimum digestion and avoid the accumulation of ama (undigested food particles) that can lead to buildup of toxins.

References

http://www.ayurvedainstituut.com/en/allergie-basis-ayurveda

http://www.muditainstitute.com/articles/ayurvedicnutrition/dairyfree.html

Note: These statements are for informational purposes only. These statements have not been reviewed by FDA. Ayurveda is a complimentary medicine system and not meant to treat, assess or diagnose any disease.

Ayurvedic Food Rules

Food Rules by Laurel Byrne (Student)

Here in the United States, we’re inundated with a wide variety of dietary protocols and food rules. These diets and rules often contradict each other, and it seems like almost every time you turn around there’s a new “best diet” fad taking the place of the last. From 3 meals a day to 6 meals a day, from low fat to low carb, It can get confusing. If you’re anything like me, you may have found yourself wondering, how should I actually be eating to optimize my health and wellbeing?

Many of us grew up hearing mainstream statements telling us things like “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and that in order to be healthy and lose weight, that you should opt for low-fat and non-fat options whenever possible, and that your main energy source should be through carbohydrates. However, over the years, we’ve been introduced to various diets that have conflicted with what we were originally taught about healthy food choices.

Some of us may have recently be introduced to some of the latest popular dietary protocols, the Ketogenic and Paleo diets. Both of these diets emphasize the restriction of carbohydrates, and but the Ketogenic diet emphasizes the consumption of more high quality fats while Paleo emphasizes the consumption of more high quality protein.
Another popular dietary protocol touts the benefits of utilizing intermittent fasting to promote health, as well as weightloss. Many promoters of dietary protocol recommend skipping breakfast in order to put your body into a fat-burning state. This was a stark contrast to everything that I was originally taught about what and how I should be eating.

So, should we be eating high carb, high fat, or high protein diet, or something else entirely? Should we be eating a square 3 meals a day, 6 smaller meals, or implementing intermittent fasting and skipping some meals altogether? Lets get back to the core question, what food rules best promote optimal health and wellbeing?

To answer this, let’s take a step back from the diet centered approach of the Western world, and venture East, to uncover the wisdom of Ayurveda. For anyone who is unfamiliar, Ayurveda originated in India, and is the multi-modality approach to health and wellness which holistically seeks to balance the mind, body, and spirit of the individual through understanding their unique constitution.

The food rules of Ayurveda have two specific considerations. First, what I will be discussing here, are specific rules and guidelines for meals that are recommended to be followed by everyone, as they take the basic science of our human bodies into consideration. Secondly, there are a great number of additional food rules recommended for your specific constitution and body type, so the full scope and emphasis of your dietary recommendations based on Ayurveda are not a one size fits all approach.

The basic Ayurvedic Rules for meals are in alignment with the natural rhythm of our bodies. There is just as much consideration into how we are eating as there is into what we are eating. Eating should be considered a ritual that you bring your mindfulness and attention to your meal and nourishing your body. It is recommended that you do not eat while you may be distracted by conversations or by watching tv. (Svoboda, 2003, p. 55) It is recommended to chew each morsel slowly and many times as this “allows the digestive enzymes in the mouth to their work properly and, in addition, it gives the stomach time to prepare for the arrival of the masticated food” (Lad, 1984, p. 85)

Rather than following a rule for eating a certain number of times per day, Ayurveda recommends that we should eat when we are hungry. We have different rates of digestion and metabolism, so it is important to be in touch with our bodies and nourish it when we are hungry. If we eat when we are not hungry, our previous meal may not have had time to digest yet. Subsequently, not eating if we are hungry can cause imbalances in our doshas. It is recommended that we eat until we fill satiated but not overly full. It is also recommended to not drink a lot of water, especially cold water during a meal, as it can decrease the body’s agni, or digestive fire.

Ayurveda recommends that lunch be our heaviest meal, around noon, as our energy is higher at this time of day, and that we have a lighter dinner, as our energy for digestion is lower as we approach nighttime. Ayurveda does not recommend that raw and cooked foods be eaten together in one meal, as they require different digestion processes. For example, Ayurveda recommends that most melons should be eaten alone. This is because “in combination with other foods, they create clogging and may prevent absorption by the intestines” (Lad, 1984, p. 81) This can create imbalances within the doshas, and therefore within the body.

I hope that these Ayurvedic food rules help you to be begin to understand how the way you eat affects all levels of the self. However, this is just a starting point, and I would strongly encourage you to learn more about your own unique Ayurvedic constitution, as that understanding can help you truly optimize your health and wellbeing through your food and dietary choices.

References:

Lad, V. (1984). Ayurveda : the science of self-healing : a practical guide. Santa Fe, N.M: Lotus Press.

Svoboda, R. (2003). Prakriti : your ayurvedic costitution. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus

Spring festivities in Russion and Vietnam

By Tatiana Burke and Sarah Patterson, AC students

Spring celebrations in Russia, and Ayurveda

The spring celebrations in Russia can be divided into three distinct parts: The Passing of Winter (Maslenitsa), Lent and Easter. Maslenitsa has been around hundreds of years before Christianity but Lent and Easter are relatively new traditions that were introduced together with the religion. Eventually it too became adapted to suit the Christian religion. Food is a key element in all three events.

In the pagan times the week long Maslenitsa celebrated the passing of winter by honouring the sun god. Pancakes were made to resemble and honour him. In addition a lot of meat, fish, kaviar, butter, honey and other fatty and sweet food was eaten in great amounts. Nowadays almost every household still makes thin pancakes (crepes) often with fillings such as meat, kaviar, curd, eggs etc.

Lent begins when Maslenitsa ends. During the Russian Orthodox lent food is eliminated gradually during the length of the 40days. It starts with the elimination of meat, then fish, butter, cheese, milk, eggs, sweets etc with the diet of the last week consisting of only bread (without yeast) and water. The most religious individuals hold a fast on water on the last day (Saturday).

As the first star appears on Saturday night the fast is broken and the Easter celebrations begin. There are three main ingredients in a Russian Easter celebration which are always blessed in the church before consumption. As all over the world eggs are coloured, boiled, stuffed and so on. Kulich is baked from many eggs, lots of butter, raisins and yeast, topped with a sugar icing. Lastly Pas’ha (a sweet spread) is made from fine curd, boiled egg yolks, butter and raisins. It is traditionally formed into a pyramid but can take any shape today.

Maslenitsia is usually during the rather dry, cold, possibly windy and very snowy part of winter (before spring starts). Thus this is still Vata season and meat and butter should be digested well due to high digestive power during this time. When spring actually starts to emerge a Kapha pacifying diet in the form of lent is observed. It is true that Easter itself is Kapha aggravating but it lasts only two days as opposed to the 40 day lent.

Bitter taste is eaten in the form of buckwheat and pungent taste is eaten in the form of garlic and onion. Astringent taste consumed in the form of different herbal teas and lately black tea. These products are consumed daily and even more so on festive occasions

Spring in Vietnam
Vietnamese food has had a nice time in the culinary spotlight over the last few years, so most people in the US at this point are familiar with the Vietnamese baguette sandwich called "Banh Mi". The word "Banh" really just refers to something baked or cooked or processed to form something that holds something else. "Banh mi" means "bread", while Banh Tet refers to a dish made of glutinous rice that has pork and mung bean in the middle. Banh Tet, aka Banh Chung, is a food that is traditionally sold, given as gifts, and eaten during the lunar new year.

The story of Banh Tet is that King Hung (one of the many), asked his six sons to present to him a dish that represented the sincerity of their ancestors (Vietnamese, like Chinese culture, traditionally worships ancestors as religion and spirituality) and the Lunar New Year. The dishes would be judged, and the best dish would make it's creator the next king. What a way to choose your successor huh. The princes searched for the rarest delicacies available, but one of them, Lang Lieu, was quite poor and could not afford anything very extravagant. So he used the most readily available ingredients to him- Rice, which was a staple of the diet, mung beans, which were also prevalent in the culture's diet, and pork, the most common and inexpensive meat available. He made glutinous rice and formed it around a mixture of pork and mung bean paste, and molded one portion into a perfect square to represent Earth, and one portion into a perfect sphere to represent Sky. He presented these to the king, and though all of the other dishes that were presented were much more rare and extravagant, none of the others held up to the real sincerity that Lang Lieu's dish brought- Ingredients that the ancestors cultivated and ate, true to their culture and history, and representing the physical world in which we live. Since the competition was indeed about sincerity, Lang Lieu won, became king, and the dish became a staple of Lunar New Year.

This is said to be around 1630 BC, so it's definitely a LONG held tradition.

To go a little further with this, rice as a staple has permeated the language used around food too. The phrase that one says when greeting someone near a meal time, after saying hello of course, is the question "an com chua?". They're asking "have you eaten yet?" but it literally translates to "eat rice yet?" the word for "food" and the word for "rice" are virtually interchangeable, but the word for "rice" is always used when talking about eating something, even if that meal doesn't even contain rice. Though it almost always does in some form, whether its rice noodles, rice paper, rice flour, rice gluten, or whole rice grain.

Also Banh Tet is kinda icky. A lot of people really don't like it but they eat it anyway because of tradition

Use of milk (dairy) in Ayurvedic Medicine

Manjulali

In the last decade, especially with studies on casein, and, many people developing sensitivity to Lactose, a sugar found within milk, or, problems digesting milk proteins; milk has developed a bad reputation in United States.

I get asked constantly in my Herb class, if Almond milk, or, soymilk is okay to substitute for dairy when using as an anupana for delivery of herb. The answer is NO. It is not the Ayurvedic way.

When I am talking about using milk as an anupana (a vehicle that increases the efficacy of the herb, and, delivers it deeper into the dhatus, increases kapha, decreases vata and pitta) then only actual dairy will do. This usually means cows milk.

First the amount of milk we are using for delivery of herb is 24 ml, or less than an oz. Perhaps 2 oz. If someone cannot digest dairy, then we suggest ghee instead. (All milk solids which include casein and lactose have been removed!)

By the way, how can a nut milk be milk? By definition, a milk is produced from a mammary gland? And, if god didn't attend humans to drink milk then he/she wouldn't have provided those to the feminine gender, I think!

Ayurvedic texts like Bhavaprakasha mention benefits of milk not just from cows, but, also from sheep, camel, buffalo and goat to name a few.

Another question I get constantly asked is do we like milk raw or boiled?

Answer is boiled. Pasteurized. But--how??? Ayurveda is all natural? How can it not advocate raw milk. Because, my dear, raw milk can give rise to diseases. It can carry DANGEROUS bacteria.

Ayurveda does not like bacteria and krimi. Our ancient seers talked about boiling milk when everyone had a cow in their backyard, everyday and once a day.

In ancient times, we got rid of bacteria, and, all kinds of krimi by constantly boiling our water, milk, and, all fluids.

I grew up in our household boiling our milk every single day, sometimes twice a day (If it was too hot, as we didnt have refrigeration).

First lets understand what is the difference between different types of pasteurizing and boiling?

Batch pasteurization-Milk is heated to 155 degrees Fahrenheit for half an hour. (Stirring constantly is a must. We grew up getting up early in the morning to get to the cowshed and getting milk directly from the cow dairy in Delhi. Then, we would come home and we would boil the milk,and, as soon as it reached boiling point, we would turn the flame down and boil it further for another 10-15 minutes. I had to stir it, and, stir it, and, stir it. Okay in Ayurveda, in my opinion.)

Flash pasteurization- High temperature 162 Fahrenheit for 15 seconds. Okay in Ayurveda, in my humble opinion.

UHT (Ultra Heat) -Milk is heated to 280 degrees-and every good thing about it is pretty much destroyed along with the bacteria
Not okay!

(http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/pasteurizatio...)

Boiling the milk for some seconds is advised in Ayurveda. Just not ultra pasteurized.

We boil herbs like Ashwagandha in milk. We add turmeric or poppy seeds, or nutmeg to this boiled milk. We add saffron.

We drink it with herbs.

We even boil water that is already sterile in Ayurveda. Boiling water causes the agni, or, fire element to be present and changes the energetics of the water to a lighter and easily digestible.

Local, Grass fed organic milk pasteurized milk is the best I found in California, and, now in Austin.

HOMOGENIZED MILK

What Ayurveda doesn't like is when the chemical structure of the milk is changed by homogenizing it. Homogenezing involves playing with the chemical molecular structure of fat particles in milk that rise up. (We called it cream growing up!)

And, these fat particles are broken up so they mix with the rest of the milk - so no cream would be formed.

Ultra pasteurized means it is first pasteruized, then pasteurized again to make it ultra sterile and that kills off the nutrients. Then, Vitamin D (Read Fish oil) are added.

This is why we use this milk from California that is lightly pasteurized, you see the cream floating on the top and it has not been altered by changing chemical structure.

Next, I shall write about goat milk

Cooking for your own Dosha

Ayurvedic Nutrition is easy and simple, yet, quite complicated.

Unless you are well, and, quite healty, it is not possible to just read a book and start using recipes indicated for your dosha-Vata, Pitta or Kapha.

For those who are unwell, suffering from vitiated agni (digestive fire), or other dosha related imbalances, it is advised you visit an Ayurvedic Practitioner.

Ayurvedic Nutrition considers the following items:

Rasa-There are six tastes. Ones food and diet must have all the six tastes when one is well. When unwell, it is suggested to focus on the rasas, or, tastes suggested for your dosha. For example, for pitta and high heat sweet (naturally), bitter and astringent (green beans, plantain) are suggested.

Virya-Heating or Cooling Potency

Protein Source<-Animal based, Plant Based (always preferred)

Sattva, Tamas, or Rajas-Affect on the mind.

Prana- Local, organic and full of Prana

Ojas- If the food item supports ojas or bodys natural immunity.



Image: Michael Puma, Ayurvedic Counselor Student

San Diego College of Ayurveda offers online courses in Ayurvedic Nutrition, Ayurveda Counselor and Yoga Teacher Training.

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Challenges and Best Practices of Ayurveda in USA

Stacy Gonzales

Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old science and throughout the course of time there has been little or no change in the practiced form.

While it can be said the overall principles of Ayurveda is timeless; the reality is that today’s society demands modern treatments which combine both science and technology to not only assess and understand the body, but to treat diseases as well. As scientists continue to discover and analyze diseases, modern technology allows them to determine the root cause down to the DNA level.

In turn, this allows the research and development of modern drugs to also be done at the molecular level. This allows for a very comprehensive and dynamic understanding of cause and effect of pharmaceuticals on the body as well as the disease. Unfortunately, while this may be beneficial in the treatment and cure of some diseases, from an Ayurvedic perspective, it does not take into consideration the concept of the fundamental principles.

If the fundamental principles were proactively considered as function for optimal health and maintaining the balance and harmony of the tridoshas, disease may be prevented altogether. While technology does offer some benefits, it is not without its faults.

Just as technology creates opportunity for cures, it also fabricates new disorders. A primary example would be diseases resulting from GMOs. Food that has been genetically altered at the gene level is not compatible with the body at the genetic and cellular level thus resulting in new disorders.

It can then be argued that Ayurveda, while “old-fashioned” in nature is based on clean, organic foods that the body can naturally metabolize as intended via the fundamental principles.

Without dramatic lifestyle changes, a few Ayurvedic best practices -example DAILY ROUTINE PRACTICES can help improve overall health. In fact, while at the root of Ayurvedia, many of these are well known best practices that are suggested time and time again.

These are some of the DAILY ROUTINE RULES:

 Eat your largest meal midday. This is when Agni is at its peak.
 Choose whole foods and make sure your meals have a rainbow of colors. This variety of colors will help ensure you use the six tastes in every meal and lead to overall satisfaction.
 Don’t eat while overly emotional. This can lead to poor diet choices as well as poor digestion.
 Take the time to enjoy your meal. As you chew, digestive enzymes are produced by your salivary glands that assist in breaking down your food
 Practice mindful meditation. This includes anything from breath awareness to yoga as it helps to reduce cortisol levels which relates to a reduction in stress and weight gain both which if not kept at bay results in illness. A little you time never hurt anyone.
 Get enough sleep. This is when the body repairs and heals itself and the mind and emotions become balanced.
Simple practices that yield a lifetime of benefits.

Organic, or, local-GMo or NON GMO--Ayurvedic Perspective



By Monica B Groover

Today we will talk about organic, local foods.

Ayurveda propogates fresh, local and Organic, plus, it should be compatible with the dosha, the season, the country and terrain we live in and our age and strength. Whew!

Its a long list. How can we hope to remember this.

Lets just focus on Prana in the Food.

Prana is the vitality of the food.

One of my students asked me recently, "My question pertains to fruit that is organic, from a local farm, picked at the height of ripeness, but then frozen (but without any additives or preservatives).

In the West, I have often heard that frozen fruits and vegetables can be more nutritious than fresh, because they are picked when they are ripe, and then flash frozen which retains most of the nutrients."


Image: Wikipedia. Creative Commons by Erdbeere_Senga_Sengana

My student asked this question after our class, in which we talk about frozen food being depleted of prana.

So, I answered leading with the Ayurvedic concept of Rasa. There are shad rasa or six tastes mentioned in Ayurvedic Texts. (Naturally sweet, sour, naturally salty, bitter, astringent and pungent--a topic for later study!)

How does a fresh fresh picked organic strawberry from a field--taste? It has the following rasas--sweet, astringent, a little sour--and it is juicy and full of PRANA and vitality.

Try to taste the same organic strawberry after freezing it for one month. You will notice that all the beautiful rasas or tastes have disappeared and there is practically no prana. (You can taste it!!)

How can a frozen strawberry have the same energetics as a frozen one? (Even if organic). Answer is no--it cant. If it is not how nature intended, and, it tastes different--how can prana be intact.

Take an example of a squirrel that died in winter--and it snowed.

The squirrel's body was perfectly preserved along with nutrients, proteins in the very cold snow for the entire winter. When the snow melted--squirrel was PRESERVED--but it was a DEAD BODY!!!!

Frozen, canned, tinned---is food that has died. It is dead. It has no prana from an Ayurvedic perpsective...yes, it has nutrients-some of it.

If something organic is frozen--yes the nutrients are preserved--but PRANA is not! However, when it is sun dried

Some of the prana is preserved--because seeds retain prana when dried. (Strawberry has seeds on the outside that will be preserve prana when sundried--but when frozen may not)

There are some seeds that will retain prana when frozen--but they are few and far in between.

It is always better to eat something local--even if not organic--then organic, frozen that has travelled from a long time.

However, we are bound by time, convenience, cost and availability depending on where we live.

1. Best foods that retain prana and therepeutic and healing to body and mind are

LOCAL, ORGANIC, NON GMO

2. Second best--foods that can be stored--in winter in very cold places.

Sundried organic foods, organic seeds, organic nuts, legumes. Whole grains (not ground into a flour) can stay for a longer time and will retain maximum prana.

3. Third best.

Better to eat fresh food, plants, veggies and fruits that are not organic, but LOCAL--compared to fresh food that is frozen and organic. Or, local dried fruits and vegetables--can be used in soups--if fresh vegetables not available.

4. Best choice

Mix and match--depending on your budget and availability.

More to come on...GMO FOODS and Ayurveda.

If you have any questions feel free to post it on our Facebook Page SDCOA

https://www.facebook.com/AyurvedaYogaTraining

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