Ayurvedic Practices

Bedtime Treat That Helps You Sleep

AyurvedicSleepSupport

This Ayurvedic Ojas Rasayana is a delicious drink easy to do at home. It can help ensure a deep and restorative sleep. The recipe makes about two servings and can be diluted with water if it is too thick for your liking.

  • 10 almonds, soaked for 8 hours
  • 1 cup whole milk (dairy, almond or rice)
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 4-5 dates, preferably Medjool
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp of cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • A pinch of cumin
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • A pinch of nutmeg

Liquefy all the ingredients in a blender until it reaches a smooth consistency then pour into a pot on the stove on medium heat and bring it to a very gentle boil. Stir and serve.

If you haven't pre-soaked the almonds, you can simply blanch them in boiling water for 1 min. Drain and run them under cold water, then remove and discard their skins.

For a delicious dessert, stir in 1 cup of natural yogurt after removing mixture from heat, spoon into small bowls and drizzle maple syrup over each serving.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

 

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

Healing Music for Your Ayurvedic Type

HealingMusicDosha

Each of us has a unique connection to music. Most of us experience the affects music has on our mind and body daily. Its a joy to think that we are all inherently musicians who can play the rhythms of life and spirit through music, we must only find the rhythm that we most connect with. Ayurveda teaches that using music according to our"type" gives us a deeper ability to impact our balance state of health and wellness. The Ayurvedic types, or doshas govern all the physiological and psychological functions of an individual. Determining your inherent dosha is important in finding the right music for you to play, create or simply enjoy. Once you have determined your particular dosha, you can follow these guidelines to select the kind of music that is best suited for you in healing.

Music for a Vata Type: In general a Vata person or someone who is experiencing a Vata imbalance is good to listen or play instruments with soft, low and mellow tones, such as music with the guitar, mandolin, bass, violin and wind instruments such as chimes and didgeridoo. Learning to play Himalayan singing bowels and the harmonium can be very healing and meditative to a Vata type.

Music for Pitta Type: Focus on rhythmic soft music with a middle tone. This includes instruments such as flute, clarinet, saxophone and mouth organ. String instruments that are balancing for Pitta are the violin, dulcimer and mandolin. All types of percussion that are gentle are also very balancing

Music for Kapha Type: Kapha wants to focus on energizing music with a solid bass and higher tones. All types of drums such as the Indian dholak and tabla, African Congo and water drum. Bells, chimes, Incan panpipes, accordion, electric keyboard and piano are all great instruments for a Kapha person to learn to play.

 

 

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

 

Marma Points of Ayurveda

In every science there are two aspects: the theoretical and the practical (applied). In medicine and the healing professions, it is the day-to-day practical application that rests on a body of knowledge and foundation of solid principles. Marma chikitsa or Ayurvedic marma therapy is an essential hands-on practice of Ayurveda, based on ancient, field tested knowledge. Its benefits and affects are often profound. 

Marma chikitsa is the precise action or art of touching an individual in exactly the right place at a critical moment of time, for the purpose of balancing the body's systems and promote healing. The mama points, which are similar to those acupoints of Chinese medicine, are the vital energy point located on the surface of the body. In sanskrit the word marma actually means mortal or vulnerable point, suggesting access to areas that may be tender, weak or sensitive. They are located at anatomical sites where veins, arteries, tendons, bones or joints intersect. 

Throughout Ayurvedic history these points have been used to support a communication between cells, serving to maintain their functional activity and coordination. As prana (life-force) flows through the marma points the nadis (panic pathways) within the body, it transmits information, linking healing between the mind and body by facilitating communication between deeper internal organs and tissues. The action of this also has a great response in the mind, helping it calm, leading to increased clarity of perception and more effective communication. 

Stimulating a marma in relation to a particular tissue helps maintain its normal functions and addresses a specific imbalance if it is present. As it relates to the doshas, marma chikitsa can either be used to stimulate or pacify a dosha. It can promote a healthy response of the dosha and is used in balancing prakruti and vikruti and supporting to restore it to its natural state. Often these points are used as a mechanism of pain relief. Pain is generated by an impeded flow of prana resulting from tension and stagnation in the body. Mama chikitsa alleviates this pain by stimulating the flow of prana to the area, pacifying the accumulated dosha. 

There are 117 primary marma points that are classified according to location, elemental associations, dosas, dhatu, mala, corresponding organs, srotamsi and degrees of vitality. The vitality of marma is intimately related to ojas, tejas and prana, because they are the basic support of the vital essence of life. Marma chikitsa is rarely used alone as a practice, it is utilized as a part of a comprehensive, multi-faceted program treatment program. It is important that the Ayurvedic practitioner has a broad and in-depth understanding of etiology, symptomatology and the stages of pathogenesis as well as a sensitivity and skill in Ayurvedic diagnosis in order to design and integrated approach of marma chikitsa. However, it can be used effectively for immediate pain relief, long term pain management and for first aid. Though using mama therapy in these conditions may not eradicate the pathogenesis completely, it can give temporary symptomatic relief that may prevent serious complications from arising. 

Marma locations are in accordance to their region of the body and their relationship to the internal and external features of the doshas and their sub-doshas. Sushruta, an expert surgeon of Ayurveda, describes mamas according to the six major parts of the body: the four extremities, trunk, head and neck. He also divides the points in reference to the five Ayurvedic principals of the body's physical structures: mamsa (muscles), sira (veins), snayu (ligaments), asthi (bone) and sandhi (joints). 

The marmas located on the scalp are immediately connected to the brain and distally to the other organs as well. On the chest and upper back, the points are connected with the heart and lungs. On the lower back, the points are connected with the kidneys, stomach, the digestive organs and so forth. Each of the five elements of Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth is also associated with a particular region of the body. Each mama located in these regions activates the energy of its associated element. 

The language of the doshas is absolutely key in understanding the Ayurvedic view point of health and disease. Knowing how energy points affect the dosha is crucial to achieving excellent therapeutic results. In this, mamas are also classified according to the seat of a dosha. For example, chest and lung marma points stimulate Kapha, umbilical points affect Pitta, and colon points will influence Vata. 

There are eight great marma points that are essential to life. These are considered to have the most vitality of all the points. Sushruta also described how injuries at these marma points, whether superficial or deep, can disrupt the panic energy, flow and decrease vitality. These points are known as the Sadyah Pranahara Marmani: Murdhani (crown), Brahmarandhara (anterior to crown), Shivarandhra (posterior to crown), Ajna (third eye), Shanka (right and left temple), Hrdayam (heart), Nabhi (umbilicus), Guda (anus). There are so five extra vital points that can cause death or serious injury when traumatized: Kantha, Griva, Basti, Vrushana, and Yoni Jihva. 

Sadyah Pranahara Marmani

 

  • Anja to benefit the eyes and nose, regulate hormones, and function of pituitary. 
  • Shivarandhra to stimulate memory, calm the mind and balance emotions.
  • Hridayam to enhance the energy of love to the heart.
  • Nabhi to directly enkindle the gastrointestinal agni.
  • Murdhani to enhance cerebral circulation and circulation of the cerebral spinal fluid.
  • Brahmarandhra to relieve headache and facilitate optimal pituitary gland functions.
  • Shankha to strongly pacify pitta, relieve stomach pain and decrease acidity, influence speech.
  •  Griva to enhance circulation of plasma and lymphatic fluid, benefit the throat and thyroid. 
  • Guda to balance over strength, vitality and to be grounded. 

In general, stimulating the mama enhances the flow of prana locally and for mild and shorter condition, mama therapy alone can be quite effective. As the complexity of a disease increases, other Ayurvedic therapies become essential. These may include herbal or dietary recommendations, panchakarma, and exercise and lifestyle changes. 

 

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

Why and How to Perform Daily Self Oil Massage (Abhyanga)

Ayurveda is a natural approach to health and wellness that originated in India. It is a traditional form of medicine that utilizes herbs, nutrition, yoga, lifestyle routines and body treatments to provide balanced health. Ayurvedic massage is an ancient practice that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine and can provide you with a multitude of benefits. Understanding these advantages will allow you another choice when it comes to your long-term approach to health and wellness.

Abhyanga (warm oil application) serves to calm the nervous system, strengthen the joints and connective tissue, and stimulate the internal organs. One of the best things about Abhyanga is that by doing this healing practice several times a week, you are paying close attention to your physical body lovingly and attentively.  We all could benefit from more self-love, and this self-massage is an excellent way to practice this and reap some serious health benefits as well.

Daily self Massage helps increase the flow of blood and vital nutrients to joints, restoring fluids to areas requiring motion, such as the ankles, knees, hips, and wrists. It relaxes your muscles and relieves stress and tension at the same time, help improve range of motion and flexibility in joints, and helps increase the flow of blood and vital nutrients to joints.

Ayurvedic massage improves blood circulation to all areas of the body, and increases the number of red blood cells and helps injured tissues to heal. Increased blood circulation also contributes to lower blood pressure and increase the effectiveness of heart function. Ayurvedic massage may also help increase metabolism by eliminating waste products from the body and increases the flow of lymph fluids through the body; it is also known to help relieve symptoms of hypertension in some.

Abhyanga helps you relax and offers the pampering that many of us enjoy after a hard week at work, or during stressful situations. In addition to providing relief of tension, it gives you a sense of calm as blood and lymph fluids flood through the body, strengthening your mind and immune systems. Helping you over come fatigue Abhyanga nourishes and soothes the nervous system and promotes undisturbed sleep curing insomnia, leading to increasing vigor and vitality in your everyday life.

Ayurvedic oils massage loosens the deep seated toxins from joints and tissues and releases them into the system where they are eliminated. Besides this, accumulated toxins from the skin are also released to give you healthy and clearer skin. In Ayurveda, application of oil through massage can be looked at as an equivalent to injecting "medicines" into the body. The massage helps the blood to absorb most of the oil content directly to the blood stream and support overcoming illness.

It's best to choose the type of medicated oil that is appropriate for your Ayurvedic constitution or imbalance. An Ayurvedic Practitioner can suggest this, or you could only use raw sesame oil. Apply the warm oil all over your body 15-30 minutes before a hot bath or shower, allowing the oil to penetrate into the deeper tissues and joints quickly.

  • First begin by running hot water over the bottle or set the bottle in a bowl full of hot water, gently warming the oil.

  • Squeeze about a tablespoon of the warm oil into your hand and apply to the scalp, vigorously working the oil in the scalp. Use your fingertips in small circular motions to massage the head and scalp.

  • With the same oil on your head, move to your face and ears, massaging with a lighter touch.

  • Move to the neck and with an open hand, massage both the front and the back of the neck, more rapidly, creating friction.

  • Apply more oil and use this same technique and vigorously massage your arms straight up and down.

  • At the shoulders, elbows and wrists use a circular motion and then continue with the whole arm straight up and down to tie it together.

  • Then move to your chest and stomach, apply more oil if needed and use gentle circular motions, when covering the breastbone use straight up and down motions.

  • After applying a bit more oil to your hands gently reach around to the back and spin and massage them without straining.

  • Move to your legs and buttocks and repeat the same as your arms, long rapid up and down strokes over the whole leg and small circular motions at the hips, buttocks, knees, and ankles.

  • After massaging your legs, it is important to spend more time on your feet. Using the open part of your hand massage vigorously band and forth over the soles and the top of your feet. Then use your finger tips and create small circular motions all over the foot.

  • Let the medicated oil at least sit for 15 minutes, but no longer than 45 minutes. Rinse off in warm bath or shower.

  • Remember to practice self-love through out the massage, allowing the body to absorb nurture and care.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

 

3 Ayurvedic Practices for Longevity

Longevity is something most humans wish for. Its a constant battle. From the time of birth to until the time of death, the body is in a struggle with the aging process. Each day the body breaks down tissues and organs at a cellular level causing deterioration and degeneration. It is also at the cellular level that longevity can be support and rejuvenation must take place.

Each dosha plays a very important role in our health and longevity. The functions of all our billions of cells that constitutes our body are governed by the doshas. For example Vata is closely related to pranic life energy and governs all the bodies functions and movement. Pitta governs digestion, nutrition and transformation to a cellular level and Kapha maintains longevity and the structure in the cells. 

On a deeper level, to combat aging it is necessary to also balance the three subtle essences within the body. In Ayurveda, Prana is the first subtle essence is the life. It is the energy that governs respiration, oxygenation and circulation. Prana is closely related to the Vata dosha. It also governs all the motor and sensory function, natural intelligence of the body, functions of mind, memory, thoughts and emotions. The physiological functions of the heart is governed by prana, and from the heart the blood enters the body and oxygenates all the dhatus and vital organs. Prana governs the biological functions of the two other subtle essences, ojas and tejas. 

Ojas is the essence of the seven dhatus or bodily tissues. It is the related to Kapha and is the vital energy that controls the life-functions with the help of prana. It contains all five basic elements and all the vital substances of the bodily tissue. On a psychological level, ojas is respnosible for compassion, love, peace and creativity. Because ojas is related to Kapha, aggravation of Kapha displaces ojas and vice-versa. This pertains to all the doshas and its related subtle essence. Decrease ojas will create Vata-related reactions such as fear, general weakness, inability of the senses to perceive, loss of consciousness and death. Balanced ojas is necessary for biological strength and immunity. 

Tejas is the subtle essence of the fire that governs the metabolism through the enzyme system. It is related to Pitta dosha and angi, the central fire in the body that promotes, digestion, absorption and assimilation of food. Tejas is the further transformation of the ingredients of nutrition and is necessary for the nourishing and transformation of each dhatu. When tejas is aggravated, it burns away ojas and reduces immunity and overstimulates pranic activity

Just as it essential for health to ensure balance among the doshas it is just as important for longevity that prana, ojas, and tejas remain in balance. To create such balance, the Panchakarma rejuvenation process of Ayurveda is most effective. Rejuvenation must take place on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level to be most effective. A yearly Panchakarma can create astonishing effects and is suggested to those who want to maintain health and longevity.

Ayurveda also provides simple techniques that can be used daily to support prana, ojas and tejas that can be incorporated into your lifestyle. When creating longevity it is importantto first avoid smoking, overexertion, cold drinks, most dairy products and hydrophilic substances, excess sexual activity, fried foods, red meats, excess alcohol staying up late or sleeping in. Its best to eat a nutrient rich plant based diet, primarily cooked foods with the balance of sweet, sour, pungent, salty, astringent and bitty tastes in each meal. 3-4 small meals a day with lunch being your biggest meal and daily light exercise is important. 

Supporting Ojas can be simply done with Ghee. Ghee is a product made form unsalted cultured butter and is an excellent appetizer en-kindling agni and enhances the flavors of foods. It helps digestion because it stimulates the secretions of digestive juices. It enhances intelligent, understanding and memory. It does not increase cholesterol as do many other oils and it has anit-Vata, anti pitta and anti- Kapha properties. Thus it aids in the balance of the Tridosha. It is a rejuvenate for all the tissues.

Incorporating ghee into your diet is easy, you can start with replace your cooking oils with pure ghee. If you would like a more direct effect take a teaspoon of ghee each morning followed by a cup of warm water on empty stomach.  Another way to support ojas, is to eat daily a date that has been soaked in ghee. Please make sure you are using organic grass-fed cultured ghee.  A lot of the ghee you find in Indian markets is not the medicinal ghee and will not be effective. 

Prana is best managed with pranyama and by eating an organic nutrient rich freshly cooked plant based meals. Pranyama is a yogic breathing exercise that brings healing and balance. As with yoga, there are different types of Pranyama. Ayurveda indicates which is suitable for a person based on their constitution. A pitta constitution should perform left nostril breathing. For this exercise, inhale through the left nostril and exhale through the right using thumb and middle finger to close and open alternate nostrils. A person of Kapha constitution should do right nostril breathing, inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left. For a vata person, they should perform alternate nostril breathing, start by exhaling out of one nostril and then inhaling with the same nostril, then switch and exhale and inhale with the alternate nostril. Practice for 10-20 mins a day.

Tejas is the root of our digestive fire, it is believed in Ayurveda that the digestive system is the root of all imbalances. Improper diet, bad living habits and overuse of drugs will cause an imbalance in tejas. Substances that are hot, sharp and penetrating directly enhance tejas. Any tejas disorder can affect either prana or ojas. A great practice to enhance your tejas daily is to drink a warm glass of turmeric tea first thing in the morning. Ayurvedic turmeric paste with honey is an easy way to make tea.  

For paste use 1/3 cup  or 80 ml good, raw honey 2 1/2 teaspoons dried turmeric. Work the turmeric into the honey until it forms a paste. You can store this in a jar. For each cup of tea, place a heaping teaspoon of the turmeric paste in the bottom of a mug. Pour hot (but not boiling water) into the mug, and stir well to dissolve the turmeric paste. Add a big squeeze of juice from a lemon, and a good amount of black pepper. (pepper is invigorating and helps support the digestion of the turmeric).

 

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

 

Benefits of Ayurvedic Massage

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Ayurveda is an approach to health, wellness, and medicine that originated in India. A traditional form of holistic medicine that utilizes herbs, yoga, nutrition and massage techniques to support symptoms of illnesses and for health maintenance. Ayurvedic massage is an ancient practice enjoyed today in all parts of the world, providing a multitude of benefits to recipients. Understanding the benefits of Ayurvedic massage will offer you another choice when it comes to your long-term approach to health and wellness.

Muscle Relaxation
 It relaxes your muscles and relieves stress and tension at the same time while receiving an Ayurvedic massage. An Ayurvedic massage can help ease tension from the shoulders and neck, eliminating or reducing tension headaches. Those experiencing migraines or pain from joint illnesses, such as rheumatism or other forms of arthritis, also enjoy some pain relief and reduced stiffness after an Ayurvedic massage.

Flexibility
Ayurvedic massage utilizes gentle muscle and joint manipulation heating techniques that help improve range of motion and flexibility through out the whole body. It loosens up stiffness and blockages of tight muscles, ligaments, and tendons.  Individuals diagnosed with back injuries or forms of chronic back pain may also benefit from these massage techniques with the use of herbal oils specific for your condition.

Enhance Joint Function
Ayurvedic massage helps increase the flow of blood and vital nutrients to joints, restoring fluids to areas requiring motion, such as the ankles, knees, hips, and wrists. This is especially valuable for individuals diagnosed with arthritis or those healing from joint injuries or surgery. Ayurvedic massage is also believed to help flood the joints with nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus, all essential minerals vital for the healing of bone fractures, according to Ayushveda.

Increase Circulation
According to the Ayurveda Encyclopedia, Ayurvedic massage improves blood circulation to all areas of the body, and enhances the number of red blood cells and help injured tissues to heal. Increased blood flow also contributes to lower blood pressure and increase the effectiveness of heart function. Ayurvedic massage may also help to increase metabolism by eliminating waste products from the body and enhances the flow of and provides efficient use of lymph fluids through the body. Ayurvedic massage is also known to help relieve symptoms of hypertension in some.

Emotional Relief
Massage helps you relax and offers the pampering that many of us enjoy after a hard week at work, or during stressful situations. In addition to providing relief of tension, Ayurvedic massage offers you a sense of calm as blood and lymph fluids flood through the body, strengthening your mind and immune systems.

Detoxification
Ayurvedic oils massage loosens the deep seated toxins from joints and tissues and releases them into the system to be eliminated. Besides this, this accumulated toxins from the skin are discharged, giving you healthy and clearer skin.

Insomnia
Supporting you to over come fatigue Ayurvedic massage can nourishes and calms the nervous system and promotes undisturbed sleep providing relief of insomnia, resulting in an increase in vigor and vitality for your everyday life.