Digestion is the body’s main line of defense; it supports immune function, emotional balance, and overall vitality. It can also be the root cause of many health issues. And what is the best way to know the overall state of your digestive tract? Your poop!
Once early adulthood is passed we pass seamlessly as it seems, into our 30s and onwards as the process of wear and tear we call aging occurs. The ancient physicians of Ayurveda identified how this process of aging impacts us sequentially. As we traverse the decades there are key functionality that become challenged. This of itself is useful as it highlights the functionality to focus on strengthening during each decade.
Early autumn is a transitional stage, as we move from the height of summer’s ‘ heat’ in the UK to cooler weather. In Ayurveda, the change from summer to fall is known as Ritu Sandhi, the gap between seasons. This gap can present a delicate time for digestion, because the weather fluctuates—along with the doshas and digestive capacity.
Dr Nancy Lonsdorf discusses a more natural approach to easing the transition of menopause. With helpful insights from her book the Ageless Woman.
In this article, we’ll focus on the subdoshas of Pitta. “Pitta dosha itself is all about transformation, heat, and energy,” explains Dinesh Gyawali, PhD, a classically trained Ayurvedic Vaidya (Ayurvedic expert) and Assistant Professor at Maharishi University of Management. “Pitta represents all forms of metabolic activities that generate energy. It’s primarily composed of agni (fire) and jala (water) elements. Pitta represents that ever-changing and evolutionary quality of our physiology which may seem static at times but is going through transformation each and every second.”
Women’s bodies are complex - and powerful. From monthly menstrual cycles through pregnancy, early motherhood, and menopause, the female body is constantly changing and adapting to all that life brings. Whether you’re married and raising a family, retired and flying solo, or anything in between, Ayurveda offers a wealth of practical knowledge to help you stay balanced at every age and stage of life.
It's the most wonderful time of the year, a magical time of travel, special events, barbecues and holiday gifts. So why do so many people feel stressed when the holidays roll around? The mental pressure of spending too much money, making too many decisions, and having too much to do causes Prana Vata to go out of balance. Prana Vata is the subdosha of Vata that is concerned with mental functioning. Aggravated Prana Vata can cause excessive worry, anxiety and insomnia — thus making it difficult to remain calm and make healthy decisions. It becomes a snowball effect, with the person becoming more and more stressed and enjoying the holidays less and less.
Feeling the heat this summer? When the Northern Hemisphere tips toward the fiery sun, you may start noticing signs of increasing Pitta dosha in your mind, body, and emotions—especially if you have a Pitta-dominant constitution type. Excess hunger, irritability, impatience, desire to control situations and people, ruddy skin, acid stomach, loose bowel movements, and feeling overheated in general are all signs that Pitta may be out of balance in your body. Fortunately, with a little Ayurvedic TLC, you can stay cool as a cucumber this summer. Here are 7 of our favourite ways to alleviate a backlog of excess Pitta.
Aromatherapy, in the form of floral and herbal extracts and incense, has always been an integral aspect of ayurvedic healing. From sandalwood incense to enhance the benefits of meditation to water infused with holy basil for purifying the environment, aromas have been a pleasant way to infuse the human psycho-physiology with the healing wisdom of plants. Although single-aroma incense and floral waters are not uncommon in Ayurveda, it is more typical to see blends or combinations of several different aromas.
Holidays are a welcome break from the routine of work and daily responsibilities. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi often said that routines, though necessary to create order in life, tend to cramp our creativity. Our innate and infinite capacity for creativity becomes limited and narrowed by the normal routines of work and daily life. We have a deep instinctive longing to break the predictable and mind-narrowing activities we are often involved in, and the idea of travelling to a different place feeds into that instinct. After all, we have the saying that ‘travel broadens the mind’. Yet there is another side of travelling – it can be exhausting and stressful.
According to statistics, men live shorter lives and experience more chronic disease - simply because they don’t take care of themselves as well as they could. It doesn’t have to be this way. Maharishi AyurVeda offers simple, time-tested ways to stay fit, balanced, energetic, and healthy at any age. Here are ten easy-to-do Ayurvedic health tips just for men.
By harnessing all the senses, bath time can be used to heal body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda considers bathing more than just a simple cleansing ritual. The therapeutic ayurvedic bath offers a wide range of benefits — it enhances circulation; elevates energy levels; rehydrates the skin; relaxes tense muscles; promotes better sleep; and balances the emotions, the mind and the nervous system.
The "king of fruits" has been around for at least 6,000 years. Native to India and Burma, this sweet fruit was described in the ancient Sanskrit literature — for example, in Valmiki's Ramayana. The mango was also the fruit of the kings in ancient India, where princes used to pride themselves on the possession of large mango gardens.
Laughter heals. It reduces pain. It protects the heart. But despite hundreds of studies on the healing power of laughter, researchers still haven't answered a vital question. Does making an effort to laugh stop disease, or do people who are naturally happier enjoy better immunity? Maharishi AyurVeda answers that question by taking the concept of medicinal laughter to a deeper level, to the level of bliss. Laughter is healing when it is a spontaneous expression of bliss.
In this newsletter we talked to an expert on Ayurveda from The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians about the Ayurvedic approach to balancing cholesterol. Q: Can you begin by telling us about cholesterol from the perspective of Maharishi Ayurveda?...
According to Ayurvedic wisdom, our body and its functions are governed by a unique blend of the three doshas, or mind-body principles: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. “Kapha is that quality of our physiology which increases with close contact of water,” says Dinesh Gyawali, PhD. Generally speaking, Kapha has a binding quality in the body and governs structure, lubrication, and nutrition. It moderates things like weight, growth, lubrication of the lungs, and formation of the seven tissues: blood, fat, muscle, bone, marrow, nutritive fluids, and reproductive tissue. It also has a cooling influence, according to Gyawali. “Ayurveda compares Kapha with the Moon. It keeps our body nourished and cools it down just like the moon.”
Do your joints feel stiff or ache when you bend them? Or does the rainy, cool spring weather make you feel achy all over? More than 10 million people in the UK have arthritis or other similar conditions that affect the joints. Arthritus affects people of all ages, including children. Here is the ayurvedic perspective on maintaining the health of your joints as you age.
One of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda is that there are three different dosha (mind-body) characteristics and that you are a unique combination of each: breezy, enthusiastic Vata; fiery, impassioned Pitta; and earthy, easygoing Kapha. But did you know that each dosha contains five distinct subdoshas that govern specific parts of the body and their functioning? In this article, we’ll focus on the subdoshas of Vata.
No matter what your age, you can keep your skin looking young by paying attention to the four pillars of youthful skin... To nourish your skin from the inside, follow the Ayurvedic dietary guidelines for the season and your skin/body type. In addition, try adjusting your diet to become more skin-friendly...
According to Maharishi AyurVeda, there are three equally important aspects to mental performance: dhi — learning and comprehension, governed by Vata dosha; dhriti — processing and retention of knowledge, the realm of Pitta dosha; and smriti— memory or recall, controlled by Kapha dosha. For the best mental performance and realization of the fullest mental potential, each of these three factors individually needs to be at its peak, and, more important, the coordination among the three factors also needs to be optimal.
Ayurveda teaches that all six tastes should be eaten at every meal for us to feel satisfied and to ensure that all major food groups and nutrients are represented. Here's why. Each taste has an intimate relationship with the doshas and personal balance.
How does food affect our moods? 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. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, the digestive enzymes and metabolic processes are likened to a fire, called kaya agni in Sanskrit. How well we digest the food depends on the strength of our agni.
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.
According to Ayurveda, intake of appropriate and nutritious food is the first step to good health. Food is seen as a prime preventive medicine. And this is not just eating the right foods, but also eating them in the correct combination and quantity. Nutritious food helps us maintain the internal balance of elements. Herbs too, could be grouped into foods. Once the properties of various foods and herbs are understood, Ayurvedic principles can be applied to your daily diet as well as on those occasions when you feel unwell.
Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night, thoughts and worries from the day running through your mind like a movie reel? Worry and trouble falling asleep tend to go hand in hand, as both have their roots in Vata dosha. Vata governs movement in the mind and body. It controls your blood flow, your elimination, the rise and fall of your breath, and the movement of your thoughts and emotions. If Vata has fallen out of balance, which is easy in Vata season (late fall and winter), you might notice an increase in anxious feelings and difficulty sleeping.
Most of us rejoice when the cold of winter gives way to spring. Yet a large percentage of the population cringe when they see flowers start to bloom, as they know they will soon be experiencing spring allergies. Surveys show that allergy rates are increasing worldwide and will affect 30-35% of us at some stage of our lives. These increases, which were initially found in Europe and USA, are now being found in all countries un