Want to know how to begin each day? Give this a try. Straight from The MAN himself, Dr. Vasant Lad. He's the all-time athority on all things Ayurveda in the Western World!
I've been studying for my upcoming training. So very excited.
THE DAILY ROUTINE
by Vasant Lad, B.A.M.&S., M.A.Sc., Ayurvedic Physician
A daily routine is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one's constitution. It also regularizes a person's biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.
1. Wake Up Early in the Morning
It is good to wake up before the sun rises, when there are loving (sattvic) qualities in nature that bring peace of mind and freshness to the senses. Sunrise varies according to the seasons, but on average vata people should get up about 6 a.m., pitta people by 5:30 a.m., and kapha by 4:30 a.m. Right after waking, look at your hands for a few moments, then gently move them over your face and chest down to the waist. This cleans the aura.
2. Say a Prayer before Leaving the Bed
"Dear God, you are inside of me, within my very breath, within each bird, each mighty mountain.
Your sweet touch reaches everything and I am well protected.
Thank you God for this beautiful day before me.
May joy, love, peace and compassion be part of my life and all those around me on this day.
I am healing and I am healed."
After this prayer touch the ground with your right hand, then the same hand to the forehead, with great love and respect to Mother Earth.
3. Clean the Face, Mouth, and Eyes
Splash your face with cold water and rinse out your mouth. Wash your eyes with cool water (or one of the eye washes mentioned below) and massage the eyelids by gently rubbing them. Blink your eyes 7 times and rotate your eyes in all directions. Dry your face with a clean towel.
Tridoshic eyewash: try triphala eyewash -¼ tsp. in 1 cup water, boil for 10 minutes, cool and strain.
Pitta eyewash: use cool water or rose water from organic rose petals - most commercial rose water has chemicals in it that will sting the eyes.
Kapha eyewash: try diluted cranberry juice, 3-5 drops in a teaspoon of distilled water.
4. Drink Water in the Morning
Then drink a glass of room temperature water, preferably from a pure copper cup filled the night before. This washes the GI track, flushes the kidneys, and stimulates peristalsis. It is not a good idea to start the day with tea or coffee, as this drains kidney energy, stresses the adrenals, causes constipation, and is habit-forming.
Sit, or better squat, on the toilet and have a bowel movement. Improper digestion of the previous night's meal or lack of sound sleep can prevent this. However the water, followed by sitting on the toilet at a set time each day, helps to regulate bowel movements. Alternate nostril breathing may also help. After evacuation wash the anal orifice with warm water, then the hands with soap.
6. Scrape your Tongue
Gently scrape the tongue from the back forward, until you have scraped the whole surface for 7-14 strokes. This stimulates the internal organs, helps digestion, and removes dead bacteria. Ideally, vata can use a gold scraper, pitta a silver one, and kapha copper. Stainless steel can be used by all people.
7. Clean your Teeth
Always use a soft toothbrush and an astringent, pungent, and bitter toothpaste or powder. The traditional Indian toothbrush is a neem stick, which dislodges fine food particles from between teeth and makes strong, healthy gums. Licorice root sticks are also used. Roasted almond shell powder can be used for vata and kapha, and ground neem for pitta.
To strengthen teeth, gums, and jaw, improve the voice and remove wrinkles from cheeks, gargle twice a day with warm sesame oil. Hold the oil in your mouth, swish it around vigorously, then spit it out and gently massage the gums with a finger.
Chewing a handful of sesame seeds helps receding gums and strengthens teeth. Alternatively, chew 3-5 dried dates and an inch of dried coconut meat. Chewing in the morning stimulates the liver and the stomach and improves digestive fire. After chewing, brush the teeth again without using toothpaste or powder.
10. Nasal Drops (Nasya)
Putting 3 to 5 drops of warm ghee or oil into each nostril in the morning helps to lubricate the nose, clean the sinuses, and improve voice, vision, and mental clarity. Our nose is the door to the brain, so nose drops nourish prana and bring intelligence.
For vata: sesame oil, ghee, or vacha (calamus) oil.
For pitta: brahmi ghee, sunflower or coconut oil.
For kapha: vacha (calamus root) oil.
11. Oil Drops in the Ears (Karana purana)
Conditions such as ringing in the ears, excess ear wax, poor hearing, lockjaw, and TMJ, are all due to vata in the ears. Putting 5 drops of warm sesame oil in each ear can help these disorders.
12. Apply Oil to the Head & Body (Abhyanga)Rub warm oil over the head and body. Gentle, daily oil massage of the scalp can bring happiness, as well as prevent headache, baldness, graying, and receding hairline. Oiling your body before bedtime will help induce sound sleep and keep the skin soft.
For vata use warm sesame oil.
For pitta use warm sunflower or coconut oil.
For kapha use warm sunflower or mustard oil.
Bathing is cleansing and refreshing. It removes sweat, dirt, and fatigue, brings energy to the body, clarity to the mind, and holiness to your life.
Wearing clean clothes brings beauty and virtue.
15. Use of Perfumes
Using natural scents, essential oils, or perfumes brings freshness, charm, and joy. It gives vitality to the body and improves self-esteem.
For vata the best scent to use is hina or amber.
For pitta try using khus, sandalwood, or jasmine.
For kapha use either amber or musk.
Regular exercise, especially yoga, improves circulation, strength, and endurance. It helps one relax and have sound sleep, and improves digestion and elimination. Exercise daily to half of your capacity, which is until sweat forms on the forehead, armpits, and spine.
Vata: Sun salutation x 12, done slowly; Leg lifting; Camel; Cobra; Cat; Cow. Slow, gentle exercise.
Pitta: Moon salutation x 16, moderately fast; Fish; Boat; Bow. Calming exercise.
Kapha: Sun salutation x 12, done rapidly; Bridge; Peacock; Palm tree; Lion. Vigorous exercise.
After exercise, sit quietly and do some deep breathing exercises as follows:
12 alternate nostril breaths for vata;
16 cooling shitali breaths (curling up your tongue lengthwise and breathing through it) for pitta;
100 bhastrika (short, fast breaths) for kapha.
It is important to meditate morning and evening for at least 15 minutes. Meditate in the way you are accustomed, or try the "Empty Bowl Meditation". Meditation brings balance and peace into your life.
19. Now it is time for your breakfast!
Your meal should be light in the hot months or if your agni is low, and more substantial in the cold. Enjoy your day!
Have you ever listened to Alan Watts? If not you are in for a half an hour treat. I love this man's lectures. His words are very profound. He explains a bit of philosophy in to the types of yoga that I enjoy.
I hope you enjoy it too. You can spend days listeing to him. Reading his books. Very enlightening.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could be more present? Deal with the fact that there is no past, there is no future (as we see it). When you can let all that go away. You can be in the here and now. Glimpses of this in life are amazeballs.
Try this on for size.
What are your actions upon the universe? Who's in charge? Who controls what happens next? Karma mucho? Hmmmm.....
"So long as you can be pursueded that there's something more that you ought to be than you are, you've divided yourself from reality, from the universe, from God..."
Spiritual greed? Hot damn, Some good stuff baby.
Deep yoga baby. Deep yoga.
When someone asks me about yoga, especially if they want to do some work in the begining on their own at home. I refer to this lovely lady. Esther Ekhart. Her pace is gentle and her words explain positions well. I use her in my YTT's as a reference. One of many teachers I enjoy learning from. One day I hope to travel to take some workshops with her.
Youtube is a great source.
Hola Yogis! I've been asked to teach a Yoga Teacher Training Intensive Basics course of approx 100 hours. This will be mostly Asana and sequencing.
Going over the most used asanas
How to sequence a class
Finding your voice
Vinyasa/Hatha w very basic Yin.
Things of that nature.
What are your thoughts on this?
We are a Yoga Alliance Registered School and this can be CEU hours that will be about one week (6-7 days) in length here in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
This will be just before our 200 hour course in Nov.-Dec if there's interest.
Join us for the fun.
I just adore this man. He makes sense in this short video about cellullite, treatment, society and fascia.
A video from youtube explains the basics of the Bhagavat Gita. There are lengthy and complex books written by experts explaining this interesting and deep subject. So for those of you who want a quicky simple explanation, here it is:
I'm gonna be honest here: I couldn't even stand a warm shower. I want it hot. HOT AF I say! But I'll try dang near anything in the name of health.
So I am in total shock here. I am giving it a shot, this whole shower thing. It's crazy. Painful. Oddly, I love it. I freak out for a few minutes then it's all over. I can't do it for very long, but I am trying to go a little longer each time. Here's what getting stronger.org has to say about the cold shower thing.
Want to experience the benefits of hormesis very directly? Take a cold shower! And don’t just try it once, make it a habit and take cold showers daily. I have been doing it daily for the past six months and am loving it!
As one form of hydrotherapy, the health benefits of cold water therapy are numerous. Cold showers provide a gentle form of stress that leads to thermogenesis (internal generation of body heat), turning on the body’s adaptive repair systems to strengthen immunity, enhance pain and stress tolerance, and ward off depression, overcome chronic fatigue syndrome, stop hair loss, and stimulate anti-tumor responses.
Some people advocate starting with a warm shower, and switching over to cool or cold water only at the end of the shower. This is fine, particularly if you are afraid that a pure cold shower would just be too uncomfortable or intolerable. But I prefer just jumping right in. When you start with cold water, you will experience the phenomenon of cold shock, an involuntary response characterized by a sudden rapid breathing and increased heart rate. This in itself is very beneficial. The extent of cold shock has been shown to decrease with habituation, and exposure to colder water (10C or 50F) appears to be more effective than just cool water (15 C or 59F) in promoting habituation. The habituation itself is what is most beneficial, both objectively and subjectively. There is an analogy here with high intensity resistance exercise and interval training, both of which elevate heart rate and lead to long term adaptations to stress, with improved cardiovascular capacity and athletic performance.
Cold showers provide a different and probably complementary type of habituation to that which results from exercise. A study of winter swimmers compared them with a control group in their physiological response to being immersed in cold water: Both groups responded to cold water by thermogenesis (internal production of body heat), but the winter swimmers did so by raising their core temperature and did not shiver until much later than the controls, whereas the control subjects responded by shivering to increase their peripheral temperatures. The winter swimmers also tolerated much larger temperature differences and conserved their energy better. Other studies confirm that the benefits of habituation show up only after several weeks of cold showering. For example, adaptation to cold leads to increased output of the beneficial “short term stress” hormones adrenaline and thyroxine, leading to mobilization of fatty acids, and substantial fat loss over a 1-2 week period.
So regular cold showers, like high intensity exercise, and intermittent fasting, appear to provide similar, but not identical hormetic benefits.
But now I’d like to focus on the subjective experience of taking cold showers, something not commented on in many of the studies I’ve read. If you follow my approach and plunge right into a cold shower, you’ll get the initial “cold shock” mentioned above: a quickened pace of breathing and a pumping heart. Often I find myself involuntarily smiling or even laughing. For waking up, this beats caffeine. I start with a warm (not hot) shower nowadays and sloly turn off the hot, keeping the water cold the rest of the time. Go in head first and alternate from back to front to make sure you are getting cold all over, including your hands and arms and any sensitive zones. After about a minute, you’ll find the cold water starts to become more tolerable, and after 2 or 3 minutes you’ll start thinking you will live through it. This is thermogenesis. I make a point of staying in the shower until I’m no longer so uncomfortable. It's a process, that's for sure kids.
These effects are apparent with the first cold shower. If you continue the practice for several weeks, you’ll find the psychological benefits are even greater. First and foremost, cold showers appear to have improved my stress tolerance, by buffering emotional reactions. What I mean by this is that bad news, surprises, arguments, or events that would have previously caused a brief surge in adrenaline or an emotional flush, no longer have that effect, or at most have a very attenuated effect. I think this is a consequence of becoming acclimated to the the adrenaline-producing effect of the cold shock.
You can experiment with the intensity of cold, duration, and frequency of cold showers to improve your tolerance. If you find that your heart is beating uncomfortably fast or you are going numb or experiencing pain of any sort, that’s a good reason to ease into the routine more slowly with water that is not so cold. Check with your doctor first if you have a heart condition, migraines, or pain. But don’t sell yourself short and rush through a cold shower, because you may find that extending a few more minutes provides the greatest benefits in adapting your body to tolerate stress. Not just cold stress — but physical and emotional stress in general.
If you like this sort of thing, please look up a wild-man named Wim Hoff. Try his methods. It's awesome.
I adore this site. check out the video on the sciatic nerve. Guess how big it is?
Let us begin from the ground up. From the base to the top of the head. These seven energy centers are very interesting and much has been and will be written and discussed about them in yoga and other areas. I find them very interesting and am always learning more and more about them. What clears them, how to eat to create balance, and of course what blocks them.
The Root Chakra (red) is concerned with keeping us grounded and our lives constant, stable & secure. It controls the fight-or-flight reaction, putting us into survival mode. It is the chakra that anchors us to the earth when we are positive, patient & open to possibilities allowing for stability & inner strength.
The Sacral Chakra (orange) controls our physical health, well-being and is the center of sexuality, pleasure and procreation. It is important to honor the body, giving it what it deserves and what it needs to thrive. Discipline and maturity are important to keep this chakra balanced and healthy.
The Solar Plexus Chakra (yellow) is the center of our personal identity that defines who we are. Self-worth, self-esteem, confidence and personal power are all qualities of this particularly fabulous energy center. When in balance, we feel good in our own skin and know who we are and that we are worthy of love, kindness and respect, allowing us to make good choices in life.
The Heart Chakra (green, pink) guides us to accept the oneness of all life. It is concerned with unity, love, peace, and purity. Through love we radiate joy, peace, and unity.
The Throat Chakra (light blue) is the gateway for communication, creativity, truthfulness and integrity.
The Third Eye Chakra (blue) is known as the control center. It focuses on cultivating a strong, uncluttered and independent mind. It is the chakra that helps us to see the "bigger picture" so that we can make educated decisions. It is the seat of intuition, wisdom, imagination and knowledge.
The Crown Chakra (crystal clear or violet) reaches the heights of spirituality. The chakras act like a ladder to peace, spirituality and healing, from the base of the Root Chakra that anchors us to the more spiritual energy of the Crown Chakra. The Crown Chakra opens when we have attained psychological maturity and spiritual development. Through the choices we make, our life lessons, we find a greater sense of what we are capable of and what our purpose in life may actually be about.
There's a discount for classes until the end of the month. Awesome news!
The discount code is SC2018
Enjoy a great AP course in Maine.
Thomas has several great books out on the subject and his classes are tops! Remember the code is only good until the end of the month.
Debbie Krejci E-RYT 500
Yoga Teacher Training Mexico, Costa Rica, 2019
become a yoga teacher