Tag Archives: Ayurveda

why I love my morning routine

This world is crazy and life isn’t any less. With the fast-paced lifestyles most of us are living these days, it’s tough to get a 5-minute breather in ever just to calm down and ground ourselves. But who wants to slow down? The craziness of life is what makes it fun and interesting; it’s what gets us up in the mornings. And that’s where you have to start…the mornings.

Having a morning routine is the perfect time to ground yourself and prepare your mind, body, and soul for the rest of your day. Life is crazy, and a lot of things happen that are out of our control and unplanned. Give yourself something to expect at least once a day, this will help ground your mind and get you prepared for life has to offer you. The mornings are great, because who doesn’t want to start the day with the right attitude?

The key to a morning routine is doing things that you love and make you feel good. My morning routine consists of a daily abhyanga or oil massage, meditation and prayers, journaling and reflection, and ending it with some pranayama and a short yoga sequence. Of course, life happens and I have to tweak my routine more times than not, but even then, I’ll try to do at least 2 of the above mentioned, because I know it will help me begin my day.

I love my morning routine because it lets me have my “me time”, that time to yourself that we are always seeking, yet never seem to squeeze in to our hectic days. It gives me time to be grateful for all of the wonderful things I have in my life. It gives me the space to be reflective and ponder the small and subtle intricacies of life. And most importantly, my morning routine prepares me to have the best attitude and perspective to start my day, because I wake up and do things that I absolutely love doing.

I never realized how essential a morning or daily routine is until I started studying Ayurveda a year ago. In Ayurveda, a dinacarya (daily routine) is key to help give your body and soul exactly what it needs to bring regularity and balance your health. It is one of the best ways to nurture and nourish yourself. With all of the incredible benefits you can reap from a simple routine, it’s bound to bring you happiness and an amazing start to your day.

Creating a morning or even a daily routine is super easy to do. Start the day doing things that make you feel good and appreciative. Some ideas to incorporate could be:

  • Journaling
  • Meditating
  • Writing 3 things you’re grateful for
  • A short yoga sequence
  • Breathing exercises or Pranayama

Of course if you want a more traditional guide of what a routine looks like from an Ayurvedic perspective, check out this awesome guide from Banyan Botanicals.

Just remember, don’t overwhelm yourself. Having a 5-minute morning routine just to take a few deep breaths before you walk out the door is better than nothing. Whether you’re spending 5 minutes or 3 hours, you’re taking the time out to care for you, and that’s the most important thing.

So, have at it! And have fun! What things are you going to incorporate in your day to nourish your mind, body, and soul?

why Ayurveda?

I guess that I can officially announce to everyone that I will be attending the Ayurvedic Institute for a second year this year. My second and final year at the school. I couldn’t be more excited to continue to learn and gain knowledge on both Ayurveda and Yoga this next year, and to immerse myself in this alternative medicine system even more.

Starting school last year, little did I know that I would fall in love with this education just as much as I did with Psychology. But this ancient system of health and medicine has captured my interest and opened my eyes to a world of knowledge that I would never have been exposed to if it weren’t for Nandan.

The question always gets asked, why Ayurveda? And my answer is always, why not? Let’s start with the basics.

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian form of medicine that targets diet and lifestyle as its treatment (along with a plethora of other treatment forms including yoga, sound therapy, color therapy and so much more). I believe that the thing that got me most hooked was the fact that all treatment is individualized to each and every person. There isn’t a general sweep of prescription given to the masses to treat the same disorder or disease. Just because you have a cold, doesn’t mean it’s the same cold manifesting in your sister or friend. It reminds me a lot of psychology in that each mind is so different, each person is so different…there’s no way that the same treatment that works for me is going to work for you. I really love how Ayurveda respects this idea and nurtures each individual as an individual.

The other thing about Ayurveda that I really love is the simplicity of treatment. They say that a really good practitioner can treat even the craziest things with only a couple of recommendations, as simple as changing diet and tweaking your lifestyle. For example, if you have a cold, drink warm liquids and stay away from dairy products as it increases the snotti-ness in your system! It’s so simple. Ayurveda looks at the simple qualities of all material and matter and treats with either similar qualities or opposite qualities.

The whole concept of your body is a temple is taken to a whole new level with Ayurveda. Your body is cherished and nurtured using treatments like body massages, journaling, and really helping people reconnect with themselves on any and every level. Ayurveda supports the natural healing process.

Ayurveda is a journey unlike any other. The intimate relationship you build with the science, the different treatment protocols, the various herbs, and ultimately yourself is incredible. It really encompasses the nature and definition of holistic healing.

I’m excited to share this next year with you all and talk about all of the different things that I am learning and experiencing as I dive deeper into this science and lifestyle.

one in the same

I’ve been reading Kabir at night before I go to bed (remember, I stopped opening email/facebook/twitter/instagram/any other thing that doesn’t send me positive vibrations before bed. read here!). I stumbled upon a really amazing poem yesterday. I want to share with all of you!

1. 16. santan jot na pucho nirguniyan
IT is needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs
For the priest, the warrior, the trades-man, and all the thirty-six castes,
alike are seeking for God.
It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be ;
The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter
Even Raidas was a seeker after God.
The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste.
Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that End, where remains no mark of distinction.
-Kabir

We are all on some sort of path, trying to grasp for something bigger than this body we live in. Whether we know it or not, want to believe it or not, we are all walking some journey seeking something. None of us are different, and at the end of the day, there are no separations between you and me.

In Ayurveda, we talk about the life force as prana. Prana is the living energy within people and things and objects. It’s also the tying factor that binds us all together in this world and what binds us to the greater universe and whatever higher thing you believe in. We put so much emphasis on the differences and purposely separate ourselves. In retrospect, we are all one in the same. We are all connected by some energy that is pushing us on our individual paths. Once we begin to accept this, the boundaries can be broken. We can start putting aside our ego and jealousy and desires and aversions, and start living a more pure, a more humble life.

The saint has no caste, the barber has no caste. We all have reached the goal at some point or other, and then, nothing matters.

There is no such thing as difference, only uniqueness.

something about octobers

Thinking back, I can’t believe that one year ago today, I was sitting at my grandparents’ house in India studying Sanskrit and Yoga. It’s crazy thinking that it’s already been one year since I decided to start this journey in life, and tried my best to be open to what the world and universe sent my way.

Well, here I am one year later, starting a new journey with new relationships, and a somewhat new perspective and outlook on life. My husband and I (that still sounds funny) got married about a week and a half ago, and made the trek from Memphis to Albuquerque to study all those things that I started in India, but on a much deeper level. We are at the Ayurvedic Institute, and I find myself just as excited, if not more, to be back in the groove of studying Sanskrit and Yoga and Ayurveda.

Our classes officially started yesterday, and it was awesome to have all of my old memories and things that I remembered from India flood back to me. But, I think the coolest part of it all was that I now have my best friend to share this exciting time and new journey with, as well as 38 other fellow classmates. Everything is just a whole lot better when you have incredible people to share it with.

I know I’ve said this again and again and again, but it’s really crazy how life works out, and it’s crazier what happens when you let the universe give you what you need at that point in time. But, you have to be open to it, and really truly let your heart talk to you.

In class yesterday, we were talking about dharma, and what the true meaning of dharma is. It’s a really hard word to translate into English, but I like the definition that was given to us; and it was along the lines of being aligned with your true nature, true self, and when your soul and your heart is doing what it’s meant to be doing in life. As I was meditating yesterday, I was trying to just clear my mind, and when I was able to do that, even for that brief period of time, there was a sense of peace. I know that this path isn’t easy, but it brings me a sense of joy and peace, because I know that I’m doing something that I love, and not what someone else wants for me.

Once we let our insecurities go to the side a little, and realize that we have the capability to be open and loving, we can let the universe talk to us. It’s scary as crap, but totally worth it in the end.

I can’t wait to share this new journey with all of you, and tell you all about the different things I am learning! I guess Octobers are a good month for me…

Yogi Tea #1: green tea blueberry slim life

Screen shot 2013-05-07 at 10.22.02 PMOkay folks! I have my first tea to blog about! Wahoo. I am so excited! So, the first Yogi Tea I will be blogging about the Green Tea Blueberry Slim Life.

Alright, so this tea serves as a dietary supplement to energize and support a diet program. It is supposed to aid in maintaining an active lifestyle. It is supposed to help with stamina and just overall give you a boost so that you don’t feel tired from your diet.

 

The ingredients for this tea include:

  • Green Tea: green tea is essentially the unfermented version of black tea; it’s packed with a ton of antioxidants (and antioxidants fight the free radicals in your body)
  • Bilberry Leaf aka Huckleberry: fights those free radicals baby
  • Hibiscus Flower: again, hibiscus is packed with antioxidants, but after I did a little research I found out that this plant has been used in different regions of the world for thousands of years to serve different purposes including maintaing a normal body temperature and fluid balance, supporting heart and upper respiratory health, and regulating bowel movement and urination.
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract: see Green Tea
  • Ginseng and Eleuthero Root Extract: promotes long term stamina
  • Amla Fruit aka Indian Gooseberry: amla is a superfruit in Ayurveda; it’s packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants. Not only that, but amlas are great for your skin and hair (one of the reasons I regularly put amla juice in my hair when I was in India). It also helps with digestive function…literally a superfruit
  • Belleric Myrobalan Fruit (Bibhitaki): another superfruit in Ayurveda folks! Bibhitaki is known to support digestion, water balance, and the urinary and respiratory tracts
  • Chebulic Myrobalan Fruit (Haritaki): haritaki is great for detox as it cleanses your GI tract. It supports digestion and elimination, and is referred to as “the king of herbs” in Tibetan medicine.
  • Garcinia Cambogia Fruit: great for stamina
  • Stevia Leaf: used as a natural sweetener for this tea

So, all of the herbs that are used for stamina are going to be the energy providers. The herbs that support digestion and elimination and cleansing are also key. A good digestive tract is key no matter who you are. It keeps you going, and will help you from feeling sluggish. Am I personally on a serious diet? No, not really. I am tracking my caloric intake on the “Myfitnesspal” app on my phone. But, generally I’m just trying to have a healthier diet all together (guys, today I turned down the invitation to go to Taco Bell for lunch. that never happens).

As far as feeling the effects of energy and stamina, to be completely honest, I forgot some days to really observe how I’m feeling during and after drinking the tea. But, the days I do remember, I remember feeling a burst of energy a little while after finishing my cup. The other issue comes in, is that usually I drink my tea in the morning, and I am naturally a morning person. And finally, the box suggests you drink the tea throughout the day, but I really only had one cup a day. Either way, I definitely did feel the effects of the energy and felt more alive, for lack of better words.

For taste, I give it a 10 out of 10 with a little honey added to it, and without the honey, I give it a 7.5 out of 10.

Definitely go out and grab a box of this. See if it helps supplement your diet program, or if you just want a tasty tea, this one is great.
Up next: Berry DeTox

 

References:
www.yogiproducts.com, www.banyanbotanicals.com, www.gaiaherbs.com, www.care2.com

just keep your heart open

In the beginning of February (it’s really weird to say that by the way, considering that this Friday will be March 1), I went to an Ayurveda seminar in New Mexico on spiritual healing through Vedic rituals. There was a lot I came back with after that weekend, and I could literally go on for a few posts about it. But that’s not what I want to do in this particular post.

In one of the first few sessions we had, Dr. Lad said something that caught my attention. And the reason I’m bringing it up now, is because I was going through my notes, and I saw it written down and underlined, highlighted, all caps, whatever, and it re-caught my attention, and brought back the things I was feeling and thinking at that moment.

“JUST KEEP YOUR HEART OPEN” (not read in a scream-like way, but in the sweetest, old man, loving, and sincere way). And, something about this just really resonated in me. I feel as though this journey I’m taking in life can be perfectly summed up into these 5 words. Everything that I’ve been experiencing these past 10-11, maybe even more, months was perfectly stated in these 5 words. It was as though these words, “just keep your heart open”, were meant for my ears, and quite seriously, my heart.

I can’t recall right now, any other sets of words that have moved me so much, that have really hit a chord for me. Just keep your heart open.

Just keep your heart open, and let the love that surrounds you to fill you. Let the positivity of this universe permeate your being, your essence. Just keep your heart open.

Just keep your heart open and let life happen. Don’t worry about the past or future, just be. Let your faith in whatever you have faith in take over, and truly surrender yourself to the will of the Ultimate.

It’s so hard to do just that though. To not keep a guard up, to not worry, to not micro and macro manage. For me it is at least. I have a problem with living in the moment. I have a problem of worrying too much, of trying to control everything in my life. But, I’m becoming more confident in myself and braver in who I am to witness these things happening, and not be ashamed or scared.

I feel as though you can truly live life to its fullest if we understand this idea of keeping our heart open. Be a lover, a dreamer, a well-wisher, a believer, and just keep your heart open. I think I’ve found my new mantra.

it’s time for the goodbye

Well, this is officially my last post from my 3 month long journey here in what I call the motherland-India. I am so excited to be hopping on a plane in less than 24 hours, and finally be heading to my home. But, a part of me hasn’t accepted that reality yet.

The past 3 months have literally been a roller coaster of emotions, experiences, thoughts, etc. I’ve learned so much about life and who I really am. I was lucky enough to have 4 amazing gurus to teach me as much they can in a short period of time about classical music, Sanskrit, Yoga, and Ayurveda. I’ve gotten so much closer to my family in India, and I can finally say I don’t feel like I don’t belong here.

I’ve eaten so much, I don’t want to see Indian food for at least 3 weeks after I get home (except for this one punjabi shabji my aunt is bringing me today!). I’ve literally shopped ’til I dropped. I’ve been in a car here more than I can say I wanted to. I rode on a train in India (from Ahmedebad to Mumbai). I did touristy things and took cheesy pictures. I partook in Navratri festivities, Diwali festivities, and Sharad Poonam activities. I’ve witnessed and experienced every range of social economic status–I saw what it is like to be extremely wealthy, and I’ve seen what extreme poverty looks like. I saw how ridiculous election time is here in Gujurat, and how angry people get when their candidate doesn’t win. I watched riots and protests on TV in Delhi after a young girl was gang raped on a bus. I visited beautiful temples that really represent what our places of worship should be like, and I’ve visited not so amazing temples.

I learned how to work a riksha and travel in the city all by myself. I know the streets of Ahmedebad and can find my way home if I get lost. I stayed in a village with no internet, a city that is growing faster than anyone can think, and in a megacity that is running out space. I saw the rivers and lakes of this country and more fruit trees than I ever have in my life. I saw that there are more animals roaming the streets of India then there are in the zoos of India. I watched Bollywood movies and memorized Bollywood songs that I can’t wait to bring back to the States. I talked in Gujurati, English, and shaky Hindi. I learned that the final price is never the final price here, and that you can always shave off at least 200 Rs at the end.

I found out that I am a very impatient person. I get aggravated easily. I learned that the only way to live life is to constantly be open to what your environment and surroundings are throwing at you. I realized that the Universe is always, always, giving you signs about where your life is going. And when those signs are being thrown in your face, grab them as quick as you can. I learned that the most unexpected people walk into your life and can make such a huge impression. I’ve made friends that I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t come.

I felt excitement, homesickness, loneliness, happiness, extreme heat, annoyance, over indulgence, pain, flexibility, and love.

Most importantly, I am content and at peace with myself. I’m ready to come home.

one month report

woah hey folks. it’s been a week since my last post! what’s up with that?! sorry, I’m losing track of time here like it’s my job. My mom got in yesterday, which officially marks one month of being here. I have a lot of posts I’m going to be publishing/posting in the next few days, so hope you guys are still enjoying reading about my experiences of my life in India. But, in the meantime, I wanted to do an update post on how I am faring as far as my goals go. (In case you missed my first post about why I’m here and what I want to accomplish, check it here!)

So, goal numero uno: to become a yoga fean. man, let me tell you guys, I am having so much fun learning about yoga and the different asanas and everything. I can definitely see growth here. I used to make fun of my my mom when she would sit in the house and do pranayama, but now here I am, spending 20ish minutes each morning practicing it. I am beginning to appreciate my body more and more. I’m realizing that I do need to take care of it, physically, emotionally, and mentally. There is a whole new meaning for me that “your body is a temple”. There is so much truth to that, and I need to start literally treating it like a temple. By taking care of it, not putting toxins in my body, etc. I’m really learning this from my daily yoga practice. And, it’s awesome!

Goal numero dos: an understanding of sanskrit. My classes have become a mix of philosophy and Sanskrit and it’s amazing. I’m learning so much about the complexities of life and what our ancestors and how they wanted us to live our lives. I think everyone should take the time to study their roots. It’s filling a void in my life, and you begin to appreciate who you are a lot more.

Three: traveling. Though, I haven’t traveled outside of Ahmedebad yet, I’ve been doing a lot of sight seeing within the city, and am learning a lot about the history and culture of this city. I can’t wait until we travel outside of the city.

So overall, things are going great, and I’m proud of myself for having the guts to decide to come here and really work on my personal growth. I can’t wait to see what the next 2 months bring. 🙂

Mosquito Bite Count: 1 I think | Serious Craving: Apparently it’s Free Taco day at Taco Bell on Tuesday.

 

Here’s a heads up on my upcoming posts: my trip to Gandhi Ashram (Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashram in Ahmedebad), Sharad Purnima and our relation with nature, and much more!