Modern research is exploring ‘how’ aging happens with some fascinating research coming out about the ability of DNA to repair itself. Some question if the DNA have the ability to repair itself ad infinitum then why with age is the process of DNA repair less effective? Ayurveda explains that we age because we see others aging. The ancient Ayurvedic texts describe aging as a natural process whose effects can be reduced through the taking of rasayana - special formulas like the powerful Maharishi Amrit Kalash, along with a good daily routine. It surprised me to learn that Ayurveda also suggests a healthy life expectancy for this age to be 120 years!
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.
With more heat waves predicted over the next weeks, it may be helpful to consider how to optimise your food choices to help cool and soothe your mind and body. In addition, let’s consider the Ayurvedic approach to nutrition.
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.
Summer was always Maggie’s favorite time, but with two preschool children, temper tantrums were the order of the day during the hot season. There would be times when Maggie was sure the number of daily tantrums moved in perfect synchrony with the thermometer reading outside. Finally, Maggie discovered if she took her kids swimming once a day, peace was dramatically restored. She made it through the entire summer without a single incidence. Swimming is one of the activities that is very effective at soothing Pitta dosha...
Are you thriving or surviving? "I used to really push myself with 7 day weeks and no real downtime. It wasn't long before the crunch came. I started to experience extreme fatigue, panic attacks, low blood sugar, feeling empty, tearful and depressed. All coping mechanisms gone, I returned to NZ and had to exit the plane in a wheelchair. Learning how to balance my life, body and mind and having fun again have been very important lessons for me. Learning to respect my body's needs helps me to stay well." Louise, 38 years of age. When you read the story of what brought Louise to seek help, did you relate to the story in some way for yourself? Would you say Louise was thriving or surviving?
Has the increased heat at nights caused you to sleep more fitfully? Some people have noticed changes in digestion with occasional heartburn or hyperacidity in the stomach. Others have commented on their skin becoming more parched, or have an increase of acne or skin rashes. What effect has the extreme heat had on you? A heat wave can also effect your mind and emotions causing an increase of fiery or controlling tendencies.
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.
Have you noticed that as the weather warms up you naturally desire different food and drink than you did during winter? You may like to try the Cooling Cucumber juice or Tropical Sensation recipes below. The change in your appetite and food choices during summer is guided by the increase of heat within you causing an increase of the qualities of Pitta dosha.
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.
As the days get longer and warmer, do you find quite naturally the desire to be more physically active arises? Physical activity is a great way for the body to burn off the richer diet of winter, to celebrate the energy that comes with Summer providing increased vigour and to protect your health and wellbeing. Exercise helps to clear congestion and strengthen the metabolic channels (srotas) in the body while providing ‘sthiratva’, or stability to the body, mind, emotions and intellect.
These days the emphasis in nutrition has been placed on protein and whether we are getting enough. The truth is that individuals are more likely to suffer from excess of it than the converse... ...So now I will get to the real issue, which seems to have languished somewhat since the food industry has focused on protein. This is the amount of fibre in our western diet, which is sadly lacking.
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.
Summer Solstice Great! Summer the warmer time of the year when Pitta the fiery dosha is strongest, is just around the corner. If you follow the guidance of a Meteorologist the hottest months of the year in Great Britain are June, July, and August. Some like to follow the movement of the sun through the sky and say Summer really begins when the sun is at its highest point in the sky on Friday, June 21st this year at the Summer solstice. How Does Ayurveda Mark the Change of Season?
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.
Just as the kiss of a mother brings joy to the child's heart, so too the glimpse of the beloved creates a flow of appreciation within the lover's heart. A kind word of appreciation can lift a persons day into a great day. A walk with your family dog or time spent stroking your cat also cultures finer feelings.
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 one’s age and stage feeling well resourced to meet the day when we wake and as we start our day, be it at home or in the office, really does make a difference. This I call being ahead of the game. Maharishi AyurVeda has a question that identifies if you are ahead of the game. In the morning do you wake feeling rested, clear and alert?
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...
Kate smiled at me with bright eyes, self-assured and at ease. She looked healthy, vibrant and was very different from the anxious, frightened, overwrought young woman who for 6 months had slept 2-3 hours a night at times (and sometimes not at all). I asked her if she would be okay to share her story so that her experience may in some way serve others, and she was happy to do so.
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.