The Ancient Healing Bath

The Ancient Healing Bath

People find different ways to beat back the blues. Some listen to music, others seek solace in natural beauty, and still others comfort themselves with food. And then there are those who simply take a bath. It cleanses their body, they say, and lifts their spirits every time.

Ayurveda, too, sees bathing as a therapeutic activity. A leisurely bath relaxes tense muscles, irons out a creased brow, opens clogged pores, restores moisture to the tissues, and adds a healing dimension to your day.

If preceded by a luxurious all-body massage, your bath can be a truly divine experience.

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Greens, Vegetables, and Ayurveda

Greens, Vegetables, and Ayurveda

No longer just a frilly garnish, kale is taking the culinary world by storm. Along with it, leafy greens like spinach, chard, and even collards and turnip greens are gracing plates everywhere from fine dining hotspots to fast food restaurants across the country.

These nutrient-packed veggies have long played a starring role in Ayurvedic cooking, and with good reason. They’re hydrating, nutrient-rich, and when prepared while fresh, they contain prana, or life-supporting energy. Below, we’ll share both Ayurvedic and nutritional insights on leafy greens, along with tasty ways to incorporate them into your daily diet.

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Super Fruits: An Ayurvedic View on Fruits

Super Fruits: An Ayurvedic View on Fruits

According to Ayurveda, when fruits are ripe and eaten in the proper season and climate, they are pure nectar. They immediately turn into rasa (nutritional fluid) — the first of the seven body tissues. Fresh, ripe fruit requires practically no digestion and helps to increase Ojas, the finest by-product of digestion that enhances immunity, happiness, and strength.

Sweet, ripe, super fruits provide valuable nutrients to the body. You will notice more energy and happiness from eating fresh, organic fruits on a daily basis. In Ayurveda, super fruits are also valued for their ability to cleanse the body of toxins.

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Boost Your Energy with a Spring Cleanse

Boost Your Energy with a Spring Cleanse

When gentle spring breezes start to blow, it's time for spring cleaning — not only for your house but for your body, too!

Toxins tend to accumulate all year round, due to improper digestion and high levels of stress—not to mention the chemicals in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the foods we eat. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, toxic build-up can eventually manifest as a health disorder. And as we grow older, the body's mechanisms for eliminating impurities tend to be less efficient, making it even more important to cleanse every season.

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Allergens: The Ayurvedic Solution

Allergens: The Ayurvedic Solution

Millions of people cringe when they see ragweed and goldenrod bloom in the fall and blossoming trees, flowers, and grasses in the spring, because they know they will soon be fighting allergies. According to the U.S. News & World Report, allergies are assuming epidemic proportions in the United States, with up to 30% of adults and 40% of children now suffering from hay fever symptoms—nasal congestion and itchy, watering eyes. Allergy now reportedly appears regularly in the top 10 reasons for visits to doctors' offices.

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Ayurvedic Walnut Veggie BrainBurgers

Ayurvedic Walnut Veggie BrainBurgers - Mapi

The English walnut has a rich, expansive history and the respect of modern science. Here's a veggie burger featuring the walnut from Chef Domnick Mason at the Raj Ayurvedic resort and spa in Fairfield Iowa. The Raj, for the last 25 years has provided a full range of authentic panchakarma treatments to clientele worldwide as well as meals for guests and the community that feature organic foods - much of it local.

This is the recipe for the famous Raj veggie-burger featuring the brain-nourishing, health-supporting walnut. Nuts are considered an important part of the vegetarian diet as they supply fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They contain beneficial phytochemicals. Some contain many different forms of plant sterols, which are believed to help moderate blood cholesterol. Some of the volatile oils in nuts contain antioxidants that help counter free radical damage. Tree nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans contain no cholesterol. Most of the calories in nuts come from fat, but mainly unsaturated fat, and fat performs some essential functions in the body. 

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

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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.

When thinking about resolutions for the new year, I encourage: "make it simple." Yes, let’s set goals that are achievable. Many times, we are so excited to set a higher benchmark that we often forget what our limitations and soft corners are. So, the most effective way to start out is to make resolutions that are simple and achievable. And, once we are actually able to keep up with our promise, think about the amount of fulfillment and joy it will bring to our lives.

I’ll offer one simple resolution to start the new year: bring attention to your diet.

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Warm, Nourishing Foods: Balancing Vata Dosha

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Every season is associated with a dosha in ayurveda — spring with Kapha, summer with Pitta and fall and winter with Vata. Each of these doshas has a tendency to increase within the physiology during its season. Thus, the heat of summer tends to aggravate the Pitta in us, while a dry, cold and windy winter tends to increase Vata.

These seasonal fluctuations of the doshas within us can be balanced by eating appropriately for the season. Desh (place) and kala (time) are important considerations in choosing what you eat. If you reflect, some of these choices come naturally to most of us — we head for cool beverages on a hot day and yearn to wrap our fingers around a steaming mug of soup on a chilly evening.

Vata dosha is composed of the air and space elements, and it governs all movement in the body. According to The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians, Vata is the dominant seasonal dosha from mid-October to mid-February. Even for those with less Vata in our makeup, it is important to take steps to keep Vata in balance during this time because of its seasonal influence.

Signs of an aggravated Vata include an irregular digestion, gas, constipation, intestinal cramps, poor assimilation and fatigue.

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Understanding Vata Dosha

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Are your hands and feet always cold? Do you have a hard time gaining weight? Do you often feel scattered and “spaced out,” or suffer from occasional sleeplessness and constipation? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you might have a Vata dosha imbalance—or, you might be a Vata dosha mind-body type.

WHAT’S A DOSHA?

According to Ayurveda, the five natural elements (ether, air, fire, water, and earth) are present in your mind and body, too—in form of the doshas: Vata (ether, air), Pitta (fire, water), and Kapha (water, earth). These elemental energies influence everything from your physical shape and digestion to the way you process thoughts and emotions. Find out your Dosha here.

Everyone has all three doshas present in their mind and body, but most of us tend to have one or two doshas predominating.

WHAT IS VATA DOSHA?

Vata dosha is the Ayurvedic mind-body element associated with air and space. It’s light, cool, and dry in nature, and it governs all movement and processes in your mind and body—including processes like blood flow, elimination, breathing, and the movement of thoughts in your mind.

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The Ayurvedic Understanding of Emotional Imbalance (Part 1)

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In Ayurveda, the inability to process emotions in a timely manner is seen as the main cause of emotional imbalances. So the Ayurvedic emphasis is on efficiently processing emotions.

Occasional low moods can take many different forms. This list includes: frequent feelings of anxiousness or emptiness; a loss of interest and pleasure in activities; fatigue; irritability; social withdrawal, acting-out behaviors, family conflict; occasionally feeling blue, down, sad or simply emotionally bogged down; difficulty sleeping; loss of appetite; weight gain; feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or pessimism; declining school grades or job performance; and poor concentration.

Seasons can bring on moodiness. So can major life changes, such as a divorce, major financial problems, an illness, death of a loved one, or any challenging, stressful events in life.

Occasional low moods affect more than 19 million adult Americans yearly. (Women are twice as likely as men to experience this, and are vulnerable after the birth of a child, before menstruation and during menopause.)

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Ayurveda for Stress: 11 Ways to Find Your Calm

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There’s no way around it: everyone experiences a little stress now and then! Over time, though, high levels of stress can cause an excess build-up of free radicals in your body and can lead to premature aging and disease. Fortunately, the ancient science of Ayurveda offers many helpful ways to combat day-to-day stress and enhance your body’s natural ability to throw off its effects. 

Below, you’ll find some of our top recommendations on finding stress relief through Ayurveda.

1. START YOUR DAY STRESS-FREE

When you begin your day with a good routine, it sets you up for a stress-free day by helping to keep Vata dosha in balance.

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The Ayurvedic Take on Tea and Caffeine

drink by Maharishi AyurVeda Staff & Amy Reyes, AV HP

A comforting, well-spiced cup of chai. A fragrant lemongrass blend. There’s nothing like a warm pot of tea to soothe the senses and press pause on the daily hustle. Generally speaking, Ayurveda recommends caffeine-free, herb-and-spice blends (or tisanes) rather than high-caffeine teas, which can leave you feeling jittery and scattered. That being said, different dosha types respond differently to caffeine; some people actually benefit from a little boost now and then! 

As with everything, a little bit of moderation goes a long way. If you’re a fan of black, green, and white tea, here are some helpful Ayurvedic tips to keep in mind when sipping.

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Staying Cool: Balancing Pitta Dosha

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Pitta is one of the three psycho-physiological elements that govern the different activities of mind and body. Composed of fire and water, Pitta dosha governs metabolism and transformation in the body, including digestion. Pitta is associated with heat, and its effects are especially felt during the hot summer, from July to October. Whether you have a lot of Pitta in your constitution or not, you need to pay attention to pacifying Pitta during the summer.

Signs of an aggravated Pitta include excess stomach acid, heartburn, skin eruptions and irritability. Following a Pitta-pacifying diet can help keep this fiery element in balance.

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How Ayurvedic Herbs Work

herbal-treatment By Christine Tara Peterson, PhD AHP and Deepak Chopra, MD

From being unknown in the West, the past twenty years have seen a rise of popularity in the West for Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India. From an Ayurvedic perspective, disease originates in the digestive tract. A potential disorder is identified during the first stage of imbalance as it develops in the gut.  Considering the huge interest that has developed around the microbiome, Ayurveda has for centuries looked to the digestive tract as the root cause of disease, and the location of prevention and cure.

Medicinal herbs play a key role in the Ayurvedic treatment plan. They’ve now caught on throughout integrative medicine, but how do they work? Herbs might promote therapeutic benefits via a variety of mechanisms, not all of them known or even discovered yet. The known mechanisms are already quite intriguing. They include the direct absorption across the intestinal lining into the bloodstream, taste receptor signaling on both the tongue and intestinal walls, bacterial metabolism in the gut, and secretions of various health-promoting products called postbiotics by the intestinal microbes upon breaking down the herbs.

If you are attracted to the herbal applications of Ayurveda, looking into how they work is fascinating. It is also chemically complex, much more than the word “herb’ usually implies—Ayurvedic herbs potentially yield a host of medicinal properties with far-reaching effects on multiple targets and body systems. Their complexity stands in stark contrast to drugs that affect single targets. Therefore, many herbs commonly used in Ayurveda are adaptogens: they have the chemical“intelligence,” based on their complexity, to perform multiple services for the body.

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10 Ayurvedic Hacks for Getting Grounded and Relieve Stress

Forestbathing

The phenomenon of being grounded involves being centered, focused, embodied, and in better control of all of your faculties. It is a helpful state of being for reducing anxiety, dealing with depression, and addressing trauma.

Walk in the Grass in Bare Feet

Take off your shoes and allow the soles of your feet to come in contact with the sand, grass, rocks, or soil.

People who talk about the phenomenon of earthing describe the electron transfer between living systems and the electromagnetic field of the earth. That may sound a bit esoteric, but research does confirm the antioxidant effects of walking barefoot on the earth. Some of the additional benefits include stimulation of reflexology points on the feet as well as articulation of the joints of the foot and the benefits of the massaging action of walking barefoot on the fascia and other tissues of the feet.

Forest Bathing

The Japanese name for this practice is Shinrin-Yoku. Distinct from hiking, forest bathing is the practice of simply spending time in nature without any agenda. You can be in a remote area or even a park or urban forest to experience the benefits. Find a spot you love that is easy to access and just go outside. Refrain from text messaging.

Proven stress relief comes from spending unstructured time in nature. There is a growing body of research that confirms the benefits, which include: stress reduction, improved immune system function, and a reduction in anxiety and depression.

Gardening

Just like it sounds, gardening (called horticultural therapy) has benefits in addition to eating the fresh tomatoes you have grown.

Gardening is shown to reduce depression, uplift mood, and improve memory. Some of this may be related to the effects of being outside in the sunshine and fresh air, as well as enjoying the benefits of moving and getting exercise. There is also a body of research that reveals that being exposed to soil microbes actually has a similar effect on the brain and nervous system as some anti-depressants.

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Zoomed Out? How to Create Balance in the Age of Screens

stressed-business-woman-working-from-home-on-laptop-looking-worried-picture-id1226896173 by Linda Egenes

I’m perfecting my yoga these days with a weekly class on Zoom. My professor husband spends hours teaching classes and attending department meetings in front of a screen. And for many people during the Covid-19 crisis, online video chatting has been a lifeline—a way to connect with family and friends.

If there’s one common denominator in the country right now, it’s our new dependence on screens. According to Clockwise, the creator of an online calendar assistant, employees are spending 29 percent more time in online group meetings and 24 percent more time in one-on-one meetings than before the lockdown. And whether you love it or hate it, it’s likely that this trend is not going to go away even after schools and gyms open up and we can travel to see family again.

I personally love it that my favorite yoga teacher now visits me in my living room, even if she’s only on the screen. One of my friends who attended her class reunion online thought it was the best one yet, since every person had a chance to share how they were doing. And one mom wrote that she was thrilled to meet her friends for a Zoom dinner party without having to dress up or hire a babysitter. These are new and creative uses of technology that have changed our lives for the better.

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9 Ayurvedic Hacks for Getting Grounded and Relieve Stress

barefoot-woman-walking-in-park-picture-id187597594 By Beth Shaw, founder of YogaFit and author of Healing Trauma with Yoga

You don’t need to practice yoga to bring the healing benefits of Ayurveda into your life. The phenomenon of being grounded involves being centered, focused, embodied, and in better control of all of your faculties. It is a helpful state of being for reducing anxiety, dealing with depression, and addressing trauma. Here are nine things anyone can do today to begin a journey to wellness.


Walk in the Grass in Bare Feet

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The Basis of Strong Immunity is Balance - The Ayurvedic Perspective

herbal-treatment-picture-id173877738 The Basis of Strong Immunity is Balance - The Ayurvedic Perspective

Ayurveda is the science of balance. The focus on symptoms or particular illnesses circulating at any given time is not the primary focus of Ayurveda. It is certainly concerned with these, but rather it addresses the core of health, that which allows illness to take place in the first place – imbalance. Ayurveda encourages daily, life-long attention to maintaining balance. When our body is in balance, when our doshas are in balance, we naturally respond in the most powerful way to our environment, whether it be stressful situations, environmental pollution, or pathogens. Ayurveda talks of the “seed and land theory” – if the land is fertile the seed will grow. If the body is out of balance, stress, or pathogens will have a place to take root.

How is balance achieved?

First, digestion. The best place to start is with digestion. Strong digestion is the underlying foundation for good health and strong immunity. Try our Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus). This traditional formula, thousands of years old, is a daily detoxifier and rejuvenator for the colon. It supports the assimilation of nutrients and thus helps make all other herbals you may be taking more effective.

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Was the Virus Predicted 5,000 years ago by an Indian Seer?

India Was the Virus Predicted 5,000 years ago by an Indian Seer?

A few weeks ago I shared with you my personal experience having Nadi readings (Deepak Chopra first introduced me to them) and I was surprised to learn that there are Nadi leaves for the world as well as individuals, I am sharing with you today a link to a fascinating one hour video of a psychic/researcher/Nadi expert named Craig Hamilton Parker who reveals the predictions found on a variety of Nadi leaves as it relates to Corona Virus and the Kali Yuga (the period of time we are now in that has been predicted for millennia).

In this video he provides some “remedies” to prevent the virus and some to use if you get it and they include an Ayurvedic medicine, Hamas (rituals) to do, a chapter of the Ramayana to read for physical healings, as well as chants and prayers and more.

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Respiratory and Immunity Concerns - Now is the Time to Boost Your Immunity

washinghands Respiratory and Immunity Concerns - Now is the Time to Boost Your Immunity

You’ve probably read the warnings to wash your hands, avoid shaking hands with others, and cough into your sleeve during colder weather or when you are not feeling well.

Yet taking precautions can go much farther. For instance, have you taken steps to boost your immunity? After all, a healthy immune system is your best defense.

“Strengthening and maintaining immunity is a vital part of any wellness program or approach,” says Chris Clark, M.D., former Director of the Raj Ayurveda Health Center, and author of Ayurvedic Healing. “You want to give yourself the best opportunity for health, and for that you want to optimize your immune system.”

According to Dr. Clark, immunity is weaker during the seasonal transition from winter to spring. As temperatures fluctuate, so does our gut health, causing toxins to overwhelm the digestive system. At the same time, sleep cycles and other biorhythms are disrupted in the days after Daylight Saving Time begins.

“So there are two factors happening at the same time: the change of seasons and the disruption of normal circadian rhythms due to Daylight Saving Time,” Dr. Clark says.

Fortunately, Maharishi Ayurveda offers a wealth of health tips to fortify immunity no matter what your age. Here are five simple ways to shore up your immune power.

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Weekday Personal Support

Join Panache Desai each weekday morning for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.

Designed To Move You From Survival and Fear to Safety and Peace. Available Monday - Friday. Meditation begins at 9 AM.  Access early to hear Panache's monologue -  around 8:30 AM.