Would you say you are naturally a happy person? Or do you find people who are merry and happy a little intense or over the top? Modern psychology groups people into two groups optimists or pessimists and say that optimists tend to be happier than pessimists. Maharishi Ayurveda takes it a little deeper and looks towards the doshas and mental qualities of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas for further understanding of how to increase happiness.
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.
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.”
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...
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.
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.
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?
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.
A Guide to the Doshas. Discover your individual body-type and which Dosha you need to balance most – Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Identify your individual health needs by reading our Dosha guide and test booklet.
Blissful sleep for better health with Ayurveda (video + transcript) GalleryAnxiety, Brain, Consciousness, Detox, Digestion, Dr Donn Brennan videos, Drinks, Emotions, Fatigue, Food, Heart, Kapha, Meditation, Mind, Obesity, Pitta, Sleep, Stress, Vata, Weightloss
In truth, we need more sleep than we think we need. All the research is pointing to a minimum of eight hours sleep that people actually need for the work that the brain needs to do overnight to be accomplished. Less sleep leaves us less capable, even if we don’t know it. Even an hour’s lack of sleep [each night] over a 10-day period leaves us as incompetent and incapable cognitively, as if we had missed a whole night’s sleep for one night. The only difference is we don’t recognise it. We don’t know it.
I’ve recently been helping an Australian friend in her quest to find a decent café latte up here in the North West of England and it’s not been easy. While Sydney seems to be chock full of expert Baristas who can serve up the perfect café lattes at the drop of a hat, many of our British versions don’t seem to quite hit the mark.My friend’s obsession with [...]
Even during the summer, hot weather can come as a surprise to those of us in the UK. One day it can be overcast or raining and the next it can be clear skies and swelteringly hot. Below is a transcipt of the video Dr Donn Brennan has recently made on how to deal with hot weather, especially if you have a Pitta body-type. Following this are some [...]