health

Yoga Tune-Up Balls

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Bring the tune-up balls technique to your yoga practice

Created by Jill Miller, Yoga Tune Up is a head-to-toe health and fitness system combining yoga, calisthenics, body therapy and corrective exercises in a way that heals damaged muscle tissue, increases overall strength, and bolsters the immune system. Its restorative techniques create balance and flexibility in the body, while relieving painful injuries, improving coordination, and reducing stress. Yoga Tune Up brings a practical yoga philosophy into the nuts and bolts of healthy movement, challenging the body from every conceivable angle until breakthroughs occur – literally changing the nature of the tissues in the area being addressed.

 

yoga tune up balls in a studio space

 

Yoga Tune Up is built around the three P's – Pain, Posture and Performance. It helps eradicate pain, improve posture and enhance performance by helping to identify and target your "body blind spots"; areas that are most overused, underused, or misused, YTU heals damaged muscle, increases strength and establishes healthy movement patterns to help you live better in your body.

 

adapted from www.yogatuneup.com

 

 

yoga core workout with tune up balls

 

Yoga Tune Up Balls provide targeted self-massage trigger point therapy by using specially designed high grip rubber balls and focused movement routines that help penetrate through layers of skin and muscle to massage deeply into your high tension areas.

 

YTU Therapy Balls help relieve:

• Stiff Neck & Headaches • TMJ/Tight Jaw • Frozen Shoulder • Sciatica & Back Pain • Tight Hips & Hamstrings • IT Band Syndrome • Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Pain … and much more…

 

Yoga Tune Up Balls also help to improve:

• Flexibility • Strength • Pain Relief • Weight Loss • Stress Reduction • Increased Energy • Improve your existing Yoga Practice • Maintain a continuous Practice • Improve your performance in sports and other activities • Heal and Prevent Injuries

 


Join Kim Wilkinson at Yogalife Studios North for the Yoga Tune-up Balls Workshop

Saturday, November 21, 2:30-5:30 pm

register here!


Core Cleanse with Sarah Zandbeek

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sarahgaiatri  

The following post comes from Sarah Zandbeek, our friendly neighbourhood yogi, acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine magician.  Join Sarah this weekend for Core Cleanse, a two part-offering involving conversation and asana to understand and cleanse your digestive system more deeply.

 


Digestion, the actual breaking down of a whole into its parts so that the pure can be extracted and incorporated into the body and the impure can be expelled.

 


 

We tend to think of digestion as a physical act of our food being broken down and made into usable energy (ATP) for the body, which it is; however, we tend to forget that we are digesting everything all the time.  We digest emotions, reactions, life events, basically anything that is brought in to the body from the external and is internalized needs to be digested.

 

When we don’t slow down enough to allow the body to shift into our parasympathetic nervous system, rest and digest, we not only literally put our active food digestive system to halt, we don’t digest life’s events either, both of which get stored in the body in different ways, shapes, and forms, eventually bunging the body up and cause a reaction.

 

Typically IBS, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, indigestion, epigastric discomfort, etc are our digestive tract issues; emotionally we see a restless or dull mind, anxiety, and even depression from lack of glucose able to go to the brain.

 

How to cure digestive woes? It is a life style.  It is NOT a momentary diet, though these can be helpful to get the digestive system back on track.  If we want to truly nourish our health, it is through our food and it is over our entire life span from the moment we choose to be healthy to the moment we pass on.

 

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It is healthy living, it is choosing to love yourself so much that you only want to put good things into your temple/vessel/body.

 

People change their diets when they are pregnant so that the baby has a chance to come out healthy, but why do we ourselves not want to be healthy?  Marketing?  Corporations tell us otherwise?  If you are truly wanting to uplift your digestion, you must uplift your Self first, so  eating healthy comes from a place of truth and yearning for well being, not from a place that wants to be skinny so that other people will think you are perfect.

 

It is meditating so your mind is clear and free of desire, it is avoiding rag mags, tv, and general advertising that makes you think you need to be anything more than your truest self.

 

At the core of your being, you want to live a fruitful, healthy, happy life and I can guarantee you, that truth does not say ” I want McDonald’s.”

 

Amen, Namaste, Om Sarah Z

 


CORE CLEANSE:

The Conversation || Saturday, January 31 || 2:30pm The Practice || Sunday, February 2 || 3:30pm register here


Foundation Friday || Ujjayi Breath

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Our Foundation Friday series delves into the basics of yoga—looking at its postures (asana), breath (pranayama), philosophy, and all the other essentials—giving you the foundations upon which to build a solid practice.  

Find the balance of fierce grace with this essential yogic breath.

 


Foundation Friday || Ujjayi Breath


Ujjayi Breath Pranayama

"Ud" = moving upward, "Jaya" = conquest, victory fire breath, victorious breath, ocean breath

 

“Remember the connection between breath and movement: every movement comes out of breath. Rather than moving with and following the breath, the breath should initiate the movement. Practicing this way, we will be moved by the breath like the autumn wind picking up leaves.”

- Gregor Maehle

 

Ujjayi breath is a pranayama technique that allows you to focus and calm the mind.  Often coupled with asana, this breath will guide you deeper into poses, steady your intention and allow you to experience your yoga more fully.  In your practice, breath is regarded as the teacher; how you move and where you go is paralleled with the rhythm of your breath.  Ujjayi breath is strong, fierce, warming - your pranayamic partner to bring you out of fear, anxiety, or judgement.  Just as the intensity of your practice fluctuates, so does your breath.  You may choose to use this fiery breath throughout your practice, or switch it up with a more gentle nostril breath like sama vritti to adjust the tone of the moment.

* note that Ujjayi pranayama involves breath retention and Ujjayi breath is the steady rhythm, sans retention

 

Benefits of Ujjayi Breath

 

  • increases focus
  • calms the mind
  • builds concentration
  • creates internal heat
  • increases oxygenation
  • tones the lungs
  • facilitates the flow of prana
  • builds energy throughout practice
  • clears toxins
  • creates awareness, especially within transitions of asanas
How do you get there?

 

Ujjayi breath is done through the nose, travelling down deep into the belly and filling up the rib cage.  A hissing or "wave-like" sound is created upon exhale through the constriction of the back of the throat.  Breath is slowed by the diaphragm and by this constriction, resulting in an audible exhale.  The length of inhale and exhale is even and smooth, and intensity of this breath may increase in conjunction with the intensity of asana.  You may liken Ujjayi breathing to fogging up a mirror with your breath with the mouth closed.  Again, intensity can fluctuate but the principle of restricting the back of the throat is key.

 

 

 

 

Ayurveda with Ian Hayward

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Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge

 


Ayurveda is the traditional system of Hindu medicine that is rooted in the idea of balancing the body, mind and spirit to maintain health.  The wisdom in this science of life is drawn from an understanding of the laws and rhythms of nature rhythms and laws, based around the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth.


 

The following article comes to us from Ian Hayward.  Ian was first introduced to Vedic knowledge in 1984 as he searched for alternatives to Western medicine to aid his health.  He was initially instructed in the practice of Vedic mantra meditation. The profound effects of this effortless technique propelled him to learn more about this ancient health system. Over the next ten years Ian attended countless Meditation Retreats and Vedic Science Courses at home and abroad. He learned and regularly practiced Advanced Meditation Techniques including the Siddhi Yoga Sutras and eventually, in the summer of 1993, emerged from the Maharishi Vedic University in Valkenburg, Holland (Deepak Chopra’s training was in the same lineage) fully trained as a Panchakarma therapist offering an extensive range of bodyworks and elimination therapies and as an Ayurvedic Wellness Consultant offering pulse diagnosis and lifestyle solutions.

 

http://elementallifesolutions.com/pages/ian-hayward

 


 

Fall season is now well under way and this can be an excellent time to do a cleansing program. However any cleanse must be approached with a realistic attitude or the results could lead to a destabilization not just to the physical but to the mental & emotional levels as well. When you remove a physical toxin you also disturb the mental and emotional pattern that was involved in the forming of that toxin. This is why the experience of detoxification can be a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions.

 

Before you contemplate the level of detox you want to achieve take a realistic look at your present toxin level. If you are new to cleansing or have not been living a particularly pure lifestyle then you need to start gently. If you release too many toxins at once you can feel like you are being poisoned, this is disheartening, destabilizing and can set up a negative pattern towards purification. It is much more effective and positive experience to cleanse at a rate that leaves you feeling fresh and clean rather than sick and unstable.

 

It is also important to do a cleansing program that is right for your Elemental body type and dosha. Click here for more information and specific cleansing guidelines for different doshas.

 

Ian Hayward, Elemental Life Solutions Inc.

 


Join Ian at Yogalife Studios North on Saturday, October 18 from 11am to 6:30pm for 'Elemental Intro to Ayurveda', the first instalment of workshops geared towards building the key concepts of the Ayurvedic approach to health and wellness.


 

Register here and contact us (info@yogalifestudios.ca) with any questions!

Guest Teacher Lisa Cohen

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Yogalife Studios South is excited to welcome guest teacher Lisa Cohen, joining us from Arizona.  

Lisa will be leading Melissa's Ashtanga class this Sunday June 29th at 12:30pm.

 

A little bit from Lisa:

 


Yoga came into my life when my father and sister took me to their Ashtanga yoga teacher, Anthony "Prem" Carlisi, in 1998. I did Primary series, all of Primary series in my first class. I couldn’t move after class or the week after. I was humbled. I knew that I would practice yoga for the rest of my life. I didn’t know that I would teach, but Prem passed the torch to me when he moved away. After 15 years on the mat, I am still a lifelong student, still humbled  and still in-love with the Practice.

 

Yoga opened me up to many ways of seeing and learning, communicating and growing. Yoga is opening, loving and evolving. Yoga is an ego corrective experience. Finding yoga has helped me practice gratitude everyday in every way.

 

My class is appropriate for all students willing to try something new and step out of what they might think is possible, ordinary or routine. With guidance and love I try to challenge each student while nourishing the body with breath and awareness and clarity of alignment.


 

To learn more about Lisa visit her site  www.flowinwithcohen.com See you Sunday!

Cleansing Your Vessel

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I just finished my lunch and it was DELICIOUS.  I chewed slowly and enjoyed every single bite.  This was day one back on a regular eating schedule after a 9 day colon cleanse that included 5 days of no solid foods.  During this 5 days I only ingested a powdered combo of bentonite clay, psyllium husk, apple pectin and ginger shaken up in 8 ounces of organic apple juice followed by all the water in the world.  I dumped this stuff down my throat starting right when I woke up in the morning and then every 3 hours after, 5 times a day.  I would consider this an extreme form of cleansing but my conditions that led me here were also extreme and this was sort of my last resort.  We'll get back to that.


In hindsight this was one of the best things I have ever done for myself and will complete this same cleanse at least once a year.


Let's rewind a moment and start thinking about the idea of cleansing and restoring the body.  As we move into Spring (internally and on the calendar, not outside) we are entering a time of renewal.  After a long winter of hibernation and perhaps lethargy, it feels really good to start sloughing off some of the excess.


In winter we nourish and conserve our qi (life force) so we are ready to burst into this next phase of growth and awakening.


Various healing methodologies (Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine) know that  our energy mirrors that of the changing seasons.  Just as little green buds (eventually) pop from the trees and bring new life, our internal regeneration process is craving detoxification and cleansing so that we too can emerge with new buds.

So back to the colon cleanse...  I chose Blessed Herbs (available at Noorish or online) which comes with a shaker jar for my 5-times-daily concoction, all the little packets easily divvied up as well as digestive stimulator capsules (a fancy way of saying laxatives) and my user's guide.  This cleanse is intended to be simple and straightforward and I really appreciated the amount of positive feedback and testimonies (alongside some serious pictures of people's "success") available on their website.

In the past two weeks I have learned tons about my colon and have delighted in sharing this knowledge with others (perhaps against their will!).

In most vertebrates, the colon is the last part of the digestive system.  It is responsible for three functions: absorb sodium and water, incubate beneficial bacteria and eliminate waste.  Amazingly is it a little more than five feet long and hosts ten times the amount of bacteria in the intestines than there are cells in the human body.  THESE are the kind of facts your friends and family can't wait to hear!!!

The following is information that I found quite fascinating from my user's manual:

It is common after years of eating to build up mucoid plaque on the walls of our intestines.  This plaque greatly lowers our ability to absorb nutrition and makes our bodies much more toxic.  Mucoid plaque may be a layer or many layers of adhesive, hardened mucus lining the inner walls of the digestive tract.  It can be from less than one-sixteenth of an inch to several inches thick.  It is usually compacted with old fecal matter, bound up toxic waste, 'bad' bacteria, and/or unwanted guests.  The plaque can vary in length anywhere from a few inches to, amazingly, over three or four feet.

Even re-reading this information gets me so excited that this CRAP is out of me!  (I had to have at least one pun in here, come on.)

But seriously, better out than in.  My main personal reason for completing this cleanse and thus starting on the road to cleaner eating in general (including no wheat or dairy) is because I have suffered from eczema for years and years: 15 of them, on and off.  Often, the state of your skin is a reflection of what's going on in your digestive system and how well your body eliminates waste.  After this past few-month bout with eczema I am surprised I even have skin left on my arms to heal... but this body, just like yours, is an amazing vessel.  When you let yourself be healthy and give in to what actually needs to happen, IT WORKS.   I am ecstatic to report that my eczema is 95% GONE and I feel more energetic and alive than ever. When you make a commitment to health, you heal.

 


"I easily release that which I no longer need.  The past is over and I am free" - Louise Hay


 

If you have any other questions about colon cleansing, eczema, eliminative diets, cleansing in general, never hesitate to email me at caitlin@yogalifestudios.ca

 

Is there another cleanse you'd like to see featured on here?  Let us know!

The Hype About Cleansing

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Guest Post from Bianca Osbourne of Vitality Kitchen.

 

Have you ever wondered what all the hype is about cleansing? Or if it’s right for you? The craze seems to have swept the world, but it begs the question, why cleanse?

 

Truthfully, the human body is a well-oiled machine, that can do a great many things, including cleanse itself; but this is in a perfect world. With environmental factors such as pollution, lifestyle factors like our diet and the act of just being our bodies lose their ability to cleanse effectively; which leaves us feeling sluggish, foggy and desperately trying to shed weight. Which is why the human body benefits so greatly from cleansing.

 

What’s In It For Me, You Ask?

The health benefits of cleansing are so profound, in the form of glowing skin, lustrous hair and boundless energy- seriously; and if weight loss is your quest, this is also likely to occur. Usually whatever you need to balance out in your body will occur; that’s the beauty of cleansing, it allows the body to do what it is able to naturally do, uninterrupted. Some people lose weight, while others simply maintain. It all depends on what your body needs. When we get the proper nutrition, our system operates fully and this contributes to better overall functionality. Simply put, we feel better.

The main idea behind juice cleansing, in particular, is the internal systems become cleansed and the digestive system gets a much-needed break. As a result of this, we clean out the colon and intestines, which is the storehouse for much bacteria (good and bad) which may be blocking the immune system or causing other ill effects.

 

Who Isn’t Suited To Cleansing…

With that being said, not everyone is suited to juice cleansing, certainly if you live with diabetes. Diabetes is a blood sugar disorder, and juices are fruits and vegetables with the fibre removed; and despite how amazing the contents of the juice are, without the fibre, this can send blood sugar sailing- not good! Smoothie cleanses are best suited to diabetics, because we leave all the fibre in; and, although, the aforementioned digestive rest is not achieved, the digestive system gets a super sweep, that will unblock ANY block that’s getting you down!

 

Juice cleanses are also poorly suited to those with intensely physical lifestyles; fibre gives your body matter to use as energy, without it you simply cannot meet the demands you place on your body. Which is why a NOURISH cleanse is best for you. A NOURISH cleanse is comprised of juice, smoothies, soups and salads; and like a smoothie cleanse, this will give your digestive system a swift kick in the you-know-what!

 

Yoga and Cleansing

In the ancient yogic tradition, you can find texts of yogis performing kriyas and fasting to attain a level of subtle energy and clarity to enter deeper into meditation and connect with the Source more deeply.

A powerful way we can recreate such an experience for ourselves in modern times is through a cleanse- juice, smoothie or nourish.

 

So Yogalife and I would like to invite you to enhance your 30in35 yoga challenge experience with a Vitality Kitchen cleanse and feel for yourself the synergy between yoga and cleansing.

You will have the choice of joining the fun at the South Edmonton Yogalife studio or the North Edmonton Yogalife studio, starting at Yogalife South on February 24th and alternating each studio for the duration of the challenge. There is a maximum of 10 participants per studio per week, so don’t miss out!

 

What’s Included:

  • An opening information circle led by me Bianca Osbourne, detailing the importance of cleansing the body, and how to do it effectively.
  • 10% off a 3,4 or 5 day Vitality Kitchen cleanse of your choice
  • Support from yours truly, Chef and Culinary Nutrition Expert of the Vitality Kitchen, Bianca Osbourne.

I look forward to being your guide! For more information about cleansing, check out my “Why Cleanse” video here; or visit my website for more information about my cleansing programs and me! www.thevitalitykitchen.ca

Brandon Jacobs: Yogalife’s First Teacher Training

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As you all know from our announcement last week our first ever Teacher Training led by Yogalife's very own instructors will be commencing next summer, on June 30, 2014. We are extremely excited, and humbled to be guiding some of our studentship along a pathway that we know will be nothing short of epic.

 


"Ultimately [becoming a teacher]  is about reaching your pure potential so you can guide others." - Brandon Jacobs


 

Brandon Jacobs shares with us his experience searching for a yoga training, and gives advice to individuals considering doing a teacher training for the first time. Brandon's experience as a physical trainer and his background as a physical education instructor, as well as a massage therapist provides him a vast amount of knowledge in the areas of anatomy and alignment, which is why we felt he'd be perfect to lead that portion of our training.

 


"Teacher training is all about you connecting with yourself so that you can connect with people." - Brandon Jacobs


 

Check out our video below, where Brandon discusses his role, as well as his journey through yoga teacher training. Though we'd love for you to be a part of Yogalife's first training, as Brandon mentions, we want for you to find the teacher training that is best suited to you, which can provide you the opportunity to truly be yourself.

 

Brandon Jacobs Talks about Yogalife's Teacher Training for 2014 from Yogalife Studios on Vimeo.

To register for our teacher training or to find out more information, please visit our website here.

The Yoga Code - With Jackie Dumaine

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What is The Yoga Code™?  An incredible and thorough description is below.

 


Yoga is so much more than looking good in a pair of black stretchy pants!


 

The 10 Sacred Principles of The Yoga Code™ are based on the ancient wisdom found in The Yoga Sutras an ancient yogic text written approximately 2000 years ago by the Indian sage Patanjali. They have absolutely nothing to do with the physical postures.

 


REPEAT:  They have absolutely nothing to do with the physical postures.


 

In our body-obsessed Western world, we seem to simply focus on the postures, neglecting the true transformative powers of the yoga tradition. The 10 Sacred Principles are known as The Yamas & Niyamas in yoga philosophy and serve as the absolute foundation for the practice of living a yogic lifestyle.

Pantajali believed that before you even step foot on a yoga mat, these principles should by studied, practiced and applied into your daily life. Each principle is not independent of one another but rather weave together to form a beautiful tapestry.

 


“Even as education in the primary school level is important, since it paves the way for one’s further mental build, the Yamas and Niyamas are the rock-bottom of Yoga.


 

The tonic of Yamas & Niyamas will provide the power and courage needed to face all obstacles. The Yama-Niyama process constitutes the instructions in yoga psychology, which should give us sufficient warning on the path and make us vigilant pilgrims on the spiritual journey. ~ Sri Swami Krishnananda. What are the 10 Sacred Principles?  Here is a brief overview for you in both traditional Sanskrit language and translated into the Western meaning.

 

1. Ahimsa

Kindness and Compassion

Non-Harming towards all living things. In thoughts, in actions, in words.  This must first begin with ourselves in the form of self-love. Practice loving kindess towards yourself first and the energy of those around you becomes more gentle and kind.

 

2. Satya

Truthfulness

Living in integrity. Speaking your truth and living an authentic life without trying to be something or someone that isn't in alignment with your values.  Not lying to yourself or others.  Acknowledging that truth is not rigid, it flows and changes just as you do.

 

3. Asteya

Non-Stealing

Taking only what is yours. In a world addicted to consuming, we often take more than what we require which takes away from others who lack basic needs.  It also can lead to a negative effect on our environment.  Not stealing opportunities from yourself or others by not living up to your full potential.

 

 

4. Brahmacharya

Non-Excess or Moderation

Embracing life’s pleasures without reckless abandon.  Seeing the Divine in everything.  It allows you to indulge in the pleasures of life but having the awareness to know when you've had "enough".  By seeing the Divine in everything we can appreciate what we have and will experience unlimited abundance.

 

5. Aparigraha

Non-attachment, Non-Greed

Letting go of the need to control thoughts, people, situations and outcomes.  When you let go of things/people/circumstances that hold you down, you create space for lightness and unlimited opportunity.   In this non-attachment, you are also asked to not define  yourself by your possessions. If you attach your identity to your "stuff" who will you be if your "stuff" goes away?

 

6. Saucha

Purity and Simplicity

In all things: Body, Mind, Spirit & Surroundings.  Simplify the way you nourish your body, the way you consume information, the roles and responsibilities you take on,  the way you live your life.  Declutter your home and create a sacred space.   Become friends with silence and stillness to purify the mind and spirit.

 

7. Santosha

Contentment

Find true joy and happiness with where you are regardless of the external circumstance or challenge. Become fully accountable (and thus empowered) for where you are in your life.   Practice gratitude for what you have and embrace each moment exactly the way it is.  Stop wishing things were different than what they are.

 

8. Tapas

Burning Commitment, Self-Discipline

The determination to go on when faced with obstacles and challenges and welcoming the struggles that lead to growth and expansion.  Understand that the mind likes to give up before our spirit does.  Follow through with responsibilities and keep the commitments  and agreements you've made to yourself and to others.

 

9. Svadhyaya

Self-Study

Observe  your actions, your ego and continuously seek out opportunities to learn about your Self.  Live in a state of awareness to notice and question all of your decisions and behaviours (both positive and negative).  Read spiritual texts to continuously learn and grow while you develop the skill of self-inquiry and self-reflection.

 

10. Ishvara Pranidhana

Surrender

Acknowledge that there is a Divine force at work and have faith that it will lead you on the right path. Learn to live in the “Flow” of life rather than fight against the current. Surrender isn't about giving up or quitting, it's about the powerful freedom that comes with knowing we are all part of a bigger plan.

 


To learn more about The Yoga Code™ you can visit Jackie's page here


Ayurveda

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Ayurveda is a Hindu system of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. It is found primarily as naturopathic and homeopathic medicine and is an ancient medical treatise on the art of healing and prolonging life.  


In Sanskrit, ayur means life or living, and veda means knowledge, so Ayurveda has been defined as the "knowledge of living" or the "science of longevity." 


Ayurvedic medicine utilizes diet, detoxification and purification techniques, herbal and mineral remedies, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and massage therapy as holistic healing methods. Ayurvedic medicine is known to be the oldest surviving healing system. According to the original texts, the goal of Ayurveda is prevention as well as promotion of the body's own capacity for maintenance and balance. Ayurvedic treatment is non-invasive and non-toxic, so it can be used safely as an alternative therapy or along-side conventional therapies. Ayurvedic physicians claim that their methods can also help stress-related, metabolic, and chronic conditions. Ayurveda has been used to treat acne, allergies, asthma, anxiety, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, colds, colitis, constipation, depression, diabetes, flu, heart disease, hypertension, immune problems, inflammation, insomnia, nervous disorders, obesity, skin problems, and ulcers.

 


Ayurvedic physicians seek to discover the roots of a disease before it gets so advanced that more radical treatments are necessary.


 

Thus, Ayurveda seems to be limited in treating severely advanced conditions, traumatic injuries, acute pain, and conditions and injuries requiring invasive surgery. Ayurvedic techniques have also been used alongside chemotherapy and surgery to assist patients in recovery and healing. So, to understand Ayurvedic treatment, it is necessary to have an idea how the Ayurvedic system views the body. The basic life force in the body is prana, which is also found in the elements and is similar to the Chinese notion of chi. In Ayurveda, there are five basic elements that contain prana: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. These elements interact and are further organized in the human body as three main categories or basic physiological principles in the body that govern all bodily functions known as the doshas.

 


The three doshas are vata, pitta, and kapha. Each person has a unique blend of the three doshas, known as the person's prakriti, which is why Ayurvedic treatment is always individualized.


 

In Ayurveda, disease is viewed as a state of imbalance in one or more of a person's doshas, and an Ayurvedic physician strives to adjust and balance them, using a variety of techniques. The vata dosha is associated with air and ether, and in the body promotes movement and lightness. Vata people are generally thin and light physically, dry-skinned, and very energetic and mentally restless. When vata is out of balance, there are often nervous problems, hyperactivity, sleeplessness, lower back pains, and headaches. Pitta is associated with fire and water. In the body, it is responsible for metabolism and digestion. Pitta characteristics are medium-built bodies, fair skin, strong digestion, and good mental concentration. Pitta imbalances show up as anger and aggression and stress-related conditions like gastritis, ulcers, liver problems, and hypertension. The kapha dosha is associated with water and earth. People characterized as kapha are generally large or heavy with more oily complexions. They tend to be slow, calm, and peaceful. Kapha disorders manifest emotionally as greed and possessiveness, and physically as obesity, fatigue, bronchitis, and sinus problems.

 

Treatment:

Ayurvedic treatment seeks to re-establish balance and harmony in the body's systems. Usually the first method of treatment involves some sort of detoxification and cleansing of the body, in the belief that accumulated toxins must be removed before any other methods of treatment will be effective. After purification, Ayurvedic physicians use herbal and mineral remedies to balance the body as well. Ayurvedic medicine contains a vast knowledge of the use of herbs for specific health problems. Ayurvedic medicine also emphasizes how people live their lives from day to day, believing that proper lifestyles and routines accentuate balance, rest, diet, and prevention.

 


Ayurveda recommends yoga to build strength and health, and also advises massage therapy and self-massage as ways of increasing circulation and reducing stress. Yogic breathing techniques and meditation are also part of a healthy Ayurvedic regimen, to reduce stress and improve mental energy.


 

Of all treatments, though, diet is one of the most basic and widely used therapy in the Ayurvedic system. An Ayurvedic diet can be a very well planned and individualized regimen. According to Ayurveda, there are six basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Certain tastes and foods can either calm or aggravate a particular dosha. For instance, sweet, sour, and salty decrease vata problems and increase kapha. Sour, salty, and pungent can increase pitta. After an Ayurvedic physician determines a person's dosha profile, they will recommend a specific diet to correct imbalances and increase health.

 


The Ayurvedic diet emphasizes primarily vegetarian foods of high quality and freshness, tailored to the season and time of day.


 

Cooling foods are eaten in the summer and heating ones in the winter, always within a person's dosha requirements. In daily routine, the heaviest meal of the day should be lunch, and dinner should eaten well before bedtime, to allow for complete digestion. Also, eating meals in a calm manner with proper chewing and state of mind is important, as is combining foods properly and avoiding overeating.

 

Whew! That is a lot of information, but now you know a great deal about Ayurveda, it's roots, treatments options, and how it applies to you and your life!

The 7 Chakras

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The 7 Chakras are the energy centers in our body in which energy flows through.

The concept of chakra features in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Chakra are believed to be centers of the body from which a person can collect energy. They are connected to major organs or glands that govern other body parts. According to Tantric tradition, everyone has seven energy centers that serve as junction points between the body and consciousness, or between matter and the mind.

 


Blocked energy in our 7 Chakras can often lead to illness so it's important to understand what each Chakra represents and what we can do to keep this energy flowing freely.


 

The word chakra is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning wheel. If we were able to see the chakras (as many psychics, in fact, do) we would observe a wheel of energy continuously revolving or rotating. If the chakras are not balanced, or if the energies are blocked, the basic life force will be slowed down. The individual may feel listless, tired, out of sorts, or depressed. Not only will physical bodily functions be affected, so diseases may manifest, but the thought processes and the mind may also be affected. A negative attitude, fear, doubt, etc. may preoccupy the individual.

 


A constant balance between the chakras promotes health and a sense of well being.


 

If the chakras are opened too much, a person could literally short circuit themselves with too much universal energy going through the body. If the chakras are closed, this does not allow for the universal energy to flow through them properly which may also lead to dis-ease.

 


Here's our quick summary of the 7 Chakras:

 

1. Root Chakra (Muladhara) - Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded (associated with Earth, red) Location: Base of spine in tailbone area. Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money, and food.

 

2. Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana)Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences (associated with Water, orange) Location: Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel and 2 inches in. Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure, sexuality.

 

3. Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) - Our ability to be confident and in-control of our lives (associated with Fire, yellow) Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area. Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem.

 

4. Heart Chakra (Anahata) - Our ability to love (associated with Air, green) Location: Center of chest just above heart. Emotional issues: Love, joy, inner peace.

5. Throat Chakra (Visuddha) - Our ability to communicate (associated with Sound, blue) Location: Throat. Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings, the truth.

 

6. Third Eye Chakra (Ajna) - Our ability to focus on and see the big picture (associated with Light, indigo) Location: Forehead between the eyes. (Also called the Brow Chakra) Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom, ability to think and make decisions.

 

7. Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)  The highest Chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually (associated with Thought, violet) Location: The very top of the head. Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality, pure bliss.

 

It is most definitely worth noting that the odd numbered chakras, 1, 3, 5 are "masculine" in natureand the even chakras 2, 4, 6 are "feminine" by nature. Their pulsation means we have a built in nature yin-yang system that is striving for balance. It also means that usually (but not always) women need to boost their odd chakras and men need to boost their even chakras.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Chakras, you can check out Tasha's upcoming workshop March 15 & 22 at 7pm