Who Went and Put the Holidays Smack Dab in the Middle of Vata Season?

Who went and put the holidays smack dab in the middle of Vata Season?

This year, armed with my ever-growing knowledge of Ayurveda, I am facing the holidays with a new sense of understanding, freedom, peace, and CALM. Usually, as soon as Halloween is over, I’m filled with panic and dread.

The holidays seem to be all about staying organized, time management, scheduling, and upsetting your regular routine. Learning about Ayurveda finally made me understand why the holiday months have always derailed me.

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Balance Restlessness

If you have ever experienced restless sensations or twitching in your body, arms or legs when you are relaxing, sitting down for meditation, or sleeping — you are not alone. Restlessness in the physiology is a common experience for many.

Ayurveda identifies this imbalance as related to Vata dosha — specifically Apana Vata, a subdosha of Vata that governs downward flow in the body. The movement associated with Vata is fast; it is the dosha that governs movement, after all. But with Vata imbalance, symptoms can be expressed as restlessness in the body, arms or legs. Ayurveda focuses on digestion as the primary source of balance and good health. When digestion is not strong due to weak agni (digestive fire), or environmental stress, our bodies can build up accumulated impurities or toxins, known as ama. These impurities lead to our doshas going out of balance, and Vata, being responsible for movement, will usually be the first to be affected. The result, in Vata-dominant people, can experience spaciness, occasional constipation, feeling cold in a temperate environment, worry and, for purposes of this article, restless limbs.

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Fall Pick-Me-Ups for Vata Dosha

Come October, change is in the air. Leaves turn color and fall. The air feels cool — and dry. Inside your body, Vata dosha, the dosha of the season, tends to increase, often commanding Pitta and Kapha doshas to play second, and third, fiddle. This is how it is likely to be till February, when the season both outside and within you will change once again.

When Vata dosha takes over for these few months, its restless, sweeping quality can throw your physiology — and psychology — completely out of balance. Constipation, dry skin, irregular appetite, lack of sleep, stress, fatigue — an out-of-sync Vata can cause all of these problems and more.

But in nature's scheme of things, the Vata environment outside is supposed to synchronize perfectly smoothly with changes within our bodies and minds. If, that is, we stay in tune with some simple rhythms of nature.

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Boost Your Mind & Memory this Fall: 7 Ayurvedic Tips

Autumn’s has arrived, and while that marks the end of summer, it’s also a time for exciting new beginnings. This September, you might be starting a new school year, a new career or project, or possibly even exploring post-retirement pursuits after decades in the workforce. Whatever new mental challenges lie ahead of you, Ayurveda can help you stay sharp, clear, and focused. Here are 7 Ayurvedic tips for boosting your mind and memory this fall.

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Your Best Foot Forward: Ayurvedic Foot Care

If there is one part of your body that works hard for you, it is your feet. Every day, walking and other activities bring the weight of your entire body to bear on your feet. And that workload may come with a cost — your feet are the area of your body most subject to injury.

Yet most of us pay little attention to our feet, unless of course there is an injury or imbalance. Here are a few tips to give your soles some love and avoid hot, tired, overworked feet.

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Where Does Wellbeing Come From? A Better Answer

It is much easier to understand what makes people unhappy than to understand what makes them happy. Happiness is undermined or destroyed by violence, poverty, illness, and other external factors, leading to the inner states of depression, anxiety, and misery. Here, the link between inner and outer poses no mystery. It seems common-sensical that by reversing the causes of unhappiness, happiness will result.

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Ayurvedic Medicine – Top 5 Herbs & Supplements for Self-Healing

Today more and more people are looking for alternatives to prescription or OTC drugs when it comes to taking care of their health. Herbal medicines have been used for thousands of years in the treatment and prevention of disease and ailments, and have specific meaning in Ayurvedic medicine. In this blog post, we’ll look at what Ayurvedic medicine is and the meaning of a number of common herbal medicines used in Ayurveda.

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Six Tips to Fight Stress with Ayurveda

"Brain cells create ideas. Stress kills brain cells. Stress is not a good idea," says a modern philosopher.

Whether our stress is caused from work, routine, or relationships, most of us, at some point in our lives, are faced with the uncomfortable symptoms of stress. These symptoms may manifest in a number of ways including worry, fatigue, increased anger, problems with relationships, inability to focus properly, stress headaches, trouble sleeping, and a variety of stress-related health issues.

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Dinacharya: A Routine to Align Our Natural Rhythm

From an Ayurvedic perspective, following a dinacharya, or daily routine, aligns us with nature’s rhythms each day. There is new evidence that demonstrates that our genes may have, over time, lost their ability to hear the natural circadian rhythms of nature. Doctors are only now beginning to understand exactly how important it is for the body to stay in rhythm with nature. In our modern high-tech world, it is becoming a challenge to align our body with the laws of Nature. Our priorities have shifted from being existential to being very concerned with to-do lists, work schedules, finances, etc. Many times, we are so bent on our daily activities that we ignore our health and well-being in order to achieve what we believe is of utmost importance at that particular moment. With social media and cell phones giving us instant access to anyone in the world, these “distractions” may take us out of balance and we lose alignment with the rhythms of nature.

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New Year Resolutions - Food! "We are how we eat."

The New Year brings new hopes, aspirations and resolutions. It is the time of the year when we set our goals to achieve for the next year. How many of us are able to actually act on our plans? Be it the promise to hit the gym every single day or make a schedule to socialize more often, even the best promise-keepers may find it hard to keep up with New Year’s resolutions. However, no matter how many times we’ve fallen behind, year after year, we never give up. And I say we shouldn’t! After all, the new year is all about starting new habits (good ones) and committing to the activities that lead to a more positive life — all leading in the direction of better health and happiness.

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Improving Mental Health with Ayurveda: The Meditation-Ayurveda Connection

Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural medicine from India. According to the ancient Ayurvedic texts, one of the eight major branches of Ayurveda is Mental Health.

Starting in the early 1980’s, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Vedic scholar who made Transcendental Meditation® available worldwide and founded Maharishi Ayurveda, met with Ayurvedic scholars, doctors and scientists for the purpose of restoring this ancient system of medicine to its full dignity.

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Food, Mood and Digestion: The Mind-Body Connection

Q: How does food affect our moods?

Vaidya Manohar: The food we eat has a significant influence on our minds and hearts. You could even say that the nature of our mind and feelings depends on the food we have eaten.

And conversely, the state of our mind, emotions, intellect and senses — and our overall state of contentment — all these, in turn, affect the digestion, absorption and elimination of the food we have eaten.

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Homeopathic Ayurveda

As a western physician, I practice a type of medicine often labeled as allopathic, trying to counteract disease . As a meditating yogi, I practice homeopathic healing, working with the energy of the suffering.

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5 Surprising Benefits of Abhyanga

It’s easy to understand the truth stated above; however, in our busy, modern-day lives, it can be a challenge to put these truths into practice. Oftentimes, for the person who tries to get it all done, every day, it can be a superhuman task, and prioritizing for ourselves is the last thing on our mind. We have to eat, so food must be shopped for and cooked; the kids have to be picked up, and they need help with homework and all their extracurricular activities; the house must be tidied, and the dog must be walked (for we know the consequences of making the poor thing wait too long); and then there’s that deadline at work…it is never-ending.

With the busyness of our day-to-day activities, how do we stop and make ourselves the center of our own lives again?

It starts with intention. You probably already have the intention, or at least the willingness to have intention, since you’re reading this. So let’s get started. Let’s cultivate the intention to prioritize our own well-being and start by giving our bodies some love with ayurvedic self-massage, known as abhyanga!

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Natural Relief from Everyday Tension

Are you one of the many people that finds yourself coping with, trudging through, struggling to manage, or recovering from occasional feelings of anxiousness or worry? You are not alone in your plight. Many of us experience worry and tension at some point in our lives. For some, it is a daily occurrence. Who knows — maybe the wind blew wrong that day; for others, it comes with travel; and for some, it’s a school exam or deadline at work that causes us to worry.

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How to Stay Healthy While Traveling in India Using Maharishi Ayurveda

India is a place of wonder, a place of adventure and spiritual awakening. It is the ancient birthplace of ayurveda, and it is the source of the high-quality herbs used in vpk® by Maharishi Ayurveda formulas. Staying healthy as a Western tourist in India can be a challenge. I know this from traveling there seven times over the past eight years. The first three visits I contracted dysentery and was cooped up in bed for at least five days each time.

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Ayurvedic Patterns, Children, & Chronobiology

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of vpk® by Maharishi Ayurveda, stated that orderliness in our bodies connotes health, and disease is a symptom of disorder. Nature's pattern, once disturbed, can create disease.

The whole-health approach of ayurveda works with nature to reinstate order and intelligence in the body, because when health is disrupted, it means that our natural rhythms are off. Circadian rhythms are the rhythms of nature (cyclical, seasonal, lunar, annual, etc.) that attune our bodies to a 24-hour cycle, driven by the circadian clock. This cycle has been widely observed in plants, animals, fungi and throughout nature. Understanding our circadian rhythm can be especially important for keeping our children balanced, happy, and healthy. How so?

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Ayurveda in the Workplace

Check out these simple ayurvedic tips, suitable for even the busiest of us, to help keep balance throughout our workday:

1. Start Your Day Right

Your “Today was a good day!” starts the night before…Allow yourself to gently unwind by eating a warm, well-cooked dinner at least three hours before bed; consider easier-to-digest meals at this time. Dim the lights in your home about an hour before you plan to lie down (this allows your body to align its sleep rhythms with the sunset); add some Slumber Time aroma oil to your diffuser. Turn off your TV, and put away your computer and cell phone. These intentional practices create a soothing environment which can aid falling asleep. Read more about The Evening Routine to Unwind and Recharge.

After feeling rested from your great night of sleep, it’s time to start the day, the right way! Ayurveda offers so many tips for us to wake up on the right side of the bed every day: abhyanga, yoga, Transcendental Meditation®, and a digestion-stimulating ayurvedic breakfast, just to name a few. When we take the time to start our mornings in a healthy, balanced way, we are investing in the tone of the entire day ahead. Read all the details about The Morning Routine to Kick-start Your Day!

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Finding Ayurveda

Alan Marks, CEO of vpk® by Maharishi Ayurveda, discovered Transcendental Meditation® as a teenager. And while Alan found the deep silence he experienced during his twice-a-day meditation life changing (despite his busy schedule of running two companies, he claims to this day he can count on only one hand the meditations he has missed), he was skeptical at first of going further. Further? In the early eighties, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of TM, began to bring out the knowledge of ayurveda as a practice for better health to enhance the wellness of meditators — but Alan wasn’t so sure.

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Milk and Fruit: Do They Mix?

The role of milk in ayurveda is one that is highly regarded and valued. It has a profound nourishing property for our bodies that is able to help regenerate and strengthen the tissues of the physiology as well as increase our subtle essence known as ojas. Ojas is responsible for maintaining our immunity, vitality, complexion, luster and strength of our entire body.

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