Defy the Aging Process with Abhyanga

Ahh-bhyangha.

Ahh-bhyanga.

Ah, youth. In the kapha time of life, which occurs from birth to puberty, synovial fluid is there to lubricate our joints, collagen makes our skin plump, and moisture in our eyes keeps them bright.

But as we age, vata increases and saps moisture and lubrication from our bodies which creates cracking in joints, wrinkles, and dry eyes, to name a few symptoms.

A practice called abhyanga (or self oil massage) can help us by replacing some of the lost moisture, lubricating joints, and keeping skin looking radiant–especially in winter.

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How to Define Health in Ayurveda

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You are what you eat — literally.

Modern medicine simply defines health as a lack of disease, injury, or pain, but it’s much more than that.

One of the reasons that Ayurveda still inspires me to this day is its broad definition of health, which is:
“Samadosha Samagnischa Samadhatumala kriyaha
Prasanna atmenindriya manaha Swasthya ityabhidheeyate”

That Sanskrit phrase is quoted from one of Ayurveda’s ancient texts the Sushruta Samhita, which was written by India’s first surgeon in 600BC.

It defines a healthy person as someone whose doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) are all in equilibrium, the digestive fire (agni) is in a balanced state (sama), in addition to the body’s tissues (dhatus) and wastes (malas) also being in balance. The quote also states that the mind (mana) and sensory organs (indriyas) as well as a person’s spirit/soul (atma) must be also in a pleasant state (prasanna). When a person is balanced in all of those areas, he or she is considered healthy by Ayurvedic standards. Continue reading

For the Ladies: Relief for That Time of the Month

Embrace your lady vacation.

Embrace your ladies vacation.

Ladies vacation. Lady times. The crimson wave. That time of the month.

Whatever name you use for menstruation, Ayurveda offer lifestyle, diet, and exercise tips that will bring relief. If it wasn’t obvious, this one is for the ladies out there.

Minimal exercise

This is one of the most important bits of advice I learned during my studies. I used to hike, run, do handstands, and never take a break when that time of the month came. And I paid the price.

Apana vayu is the body’s downward energy that moves urine, feces, sperm, and menstrual blood out of the body. Exercise during your period increases vata dosha and disturbs this downward flow. By not honoring your body’s need to rest, increased vata can cause cramps, pain, clotting, and more serious lady disorders.

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