Is your digestion a pain in the leg? What three-letter word were you thinking?
As we near summer your digestive fire continues to grow stronger. You may start to notice a pain in the back of your calf. A lot of people think it is caused by dehydration or pulling a muscle, but this is actually a Marma Point (Ayurvedic Pressure Point) that correlates with digestion.
The Indrabasti pressure point is found on the center line of the calf almost 2/3rds the way between the ankle and knee.
Three ways to Activate this Point to Relieve Soreness and Improve Digestion:
1. Gently massage the marma point or arround it.
2. Add essential oils, diluted with a carrier oil to the point if you have: Loose stools (Pitta-Fennel, Mint), Constipation (Vata-Chamomile, Lavander, Lemon Grass ) Slow stools (Kapha-Ginger, Black Pepper)
3. Yoga poses like Downward Dog and Warrior one with back heel lifted help gently stretch the point.
Have you noticed this yoga pressure point before? Let me know in the comments below.
Check out the upcoming Yoga and Ayurveda Events click here.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Ayurveda at a Glance, Digestive Health, Downward Dog, healthy-living, Indrabasti, Kapha, Marma Point, Niight Wind, Pitta, Vata, yoga and ayurveda | Leave a Comment »
It is a fact that we need water to survive, but why have you been drinking the alloted 62oz. of water, and you still feel thirsty?
If you think about it when water is referenced from a Spiritual or religious standpoint the literature speaks of water as being purifying and cleansing. Purification reduces body mass. Water removes toxins as well as some of the good things like healthy oils, vitamins and minerals if your cells are unable to retain moisture. This means the 62oz. of water rule only works if your cells are properly hydrated. Keeping your cells healthy can be even more difficult in Pitta and Vata aggravating climate, such as places that are dry, windy or hot.
Are My Cells Healthy?
To keep your cells healthy, you need to eat *healthy oils and omegas as well as externally applying healthy oils in the form of Abhyanga. Healthy cells allow water in and out and retain the proper amount of moisture/suppleness in your skin. If you try to rub oil into your skin and it doesn’t sink in , or you have post nasal drip, your cells need more moisture. (Note:Keeping your cells hydrated is not the same as bloating.)
*Healthy Oils and Omegas - avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Ghee, Sesame Seed Oil, Salmon, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds.
Beverages for Staying Hydrated:
(These beverages are recommended for people with Pitta and Vata who have trouble staying hydrated. )
Recharge is a natural Gatorade you can make your own by diluting juice and water, and add a pinch of salt.
Herbal Tea- helps your cells stay hydrated Mint is cooling. Hibiscus is great for helping you feel quenched. Chamomile is grounding and a natural antihistamine (helps with allergies).
Coconut Water-is not only a demulcent, but it also helps as an anti-inflamatory.
What do you use to stay hydrated? Let me know in the comments below
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Ayurveda at a Glance, Chia Seeds, Healthy Lifestyle, healthy-living, Natural Health, Niight Wind, Olive Oil, Omegas, Pitta, Vata | Leave a Comment »
Snow on May 1st in the high elevation desert here in Fort Collins, CO was not something I would have guessed, but mother nature knows how to take care of herself, and you. Wet snow is one of the most affective ways of hydrating the desert without causing a flash flood.
“Our bodies mirror the changing seasons.” -Shiva Rhea
Just like in our bodies we need hydration, but not chugging a bottle of water. Drinking smaller amounts of fluid through out the day is much more affective and making sure you are getting plenty of healthy oils and fats to keep the hydration in your cells.
The snow also gets rid of weak trees and branches, to help reduce kindling, for possible upcoming fires. The random snow also causes the trees to have to rebud allowing them to be stronger, work harder, and produce more resilience.
Two things can be taken away from this for us:
1. The snow is allowing us to be more resilient at fighting off viruses, and allowing us to calm down, take a break and regenerate from all the effects of the fires that increased respiratory issues, before spring allergies truly start.
2. The animals are eating a lot of extra sprouts and roots, which we should copy. *Sprouts are common for the spring but the continued snow and then regrowth has caused even more. The cold has caused the tubers/potatoes and winter vegetables to be sweeter and knocked out the beginning of fruit season. (Spring is usually marked as a Kapha season, but the overall crazy change in weather is considered Vata.) The sweet root vegetables allow Vata to ground and the dense sprouts help counteract the Kapha and increase prana.
*You can buy sprouted pumpkin and sunflower seeds and dahl at the store, or try sprouting on your own.
Let me know in the comments below how you are dealing with the weather?
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Ayurveda, Ayurveda at a Glance, earth medicine, Health Tips, Healthy Lifestyle, healthy-living, Kapha, Niight Wind, Spring, sprouts, Vata, weather | Leave a Comment »
Choosing not to eat gluten is becoming more and more popular. “Faddish,” even. Celebrities are doing it. Chelsea Clinton is doing it. Olympic athletes are doing it. Even Keith Olbermann is doing it.
The thing is, you can’t know something is a fad until it’s passed as a fad. By definition is short lived. Given how many people feel better on a gluten-free diet, it’s hard for me to imagine that it will be a fad. And just because something’s a fad doesn’t mean that it’s not good for you.
So how do you know if Gluten Free is right for you?
I had been off of wheat for years, intermittently off of gluten. Cutting out gluten on top of being off of wheat didn’t really make a difference….. until it did. I decided to do an anti-inflammatory diet for a chronic shoulder condition I’d developed. My shoulder pain? No change whatsoever. But lo and behold I had another effect I never would have imagined. My state of mind changed profoundly. My little one had just turned five and I was still a bit of a mess on the heels of becoming a mother. I was anxious and irritable more often than I really cared to admit. It wasn’t until I was off of gluten for a month that the cloud lifted and I realized just how much my state of mind was not where it should have been.
In my practice I had always been on the lookout for Celiac Disease for my patients with gastrointestinal issues. I had diagnosed it many times, but after my own experience I started recommending a gluten-free diet to more of my patients. The results have been remarkable. Chronic neurological issues, migraines, digestive disturbance, mood issues, inflammation..…were all vastly improved if not eliminated from cutting out gluten.
Is it the answer for everyone? Absolutely not. There are people for whom it does not make a lick of difference. Some people do fine eating whole wheat and other gluten grains, and it may be the healthier choice for them. But is it worth a try to see how you feel? As a rule I’d say yes, but swapping out an unhealthy gluten filled diet, for an unhealthy gluten-free diet may not be a fair trial. Be assured there are scads of unhealthy things out there that are gluten-free. For instance, packaged foods that have always been gluten-free but are now being labeled as such for commercial purposes. Take gummy bears for example, or Spam.
If you do decide to give it a try, make sure you work with someone to help you understand what your diet should look like to make it a healthy choice. Avoid processed foods, even if they are gluten-free. Eat plenty of vegetables. Eat plenty of protein. Make sure the food you eat is food. And give it some time. You’ll know if it’s right for you.
Dr. Samantha Brody is a licensed naturopathic physician, acupuncturist, and owner of Evergreen Natural Health Center in Portland, OR. When she’s not seeing patients or blogging, you can find her cranking out her upcoming class series on healthy and easy gluten-free living. She’s a powerhouse speaker and has been a featured in numerous print and online publications including the Wall Street Journal and Shape. Connect with Dr. Samantha on Facebookand Twitteror sign up for her newsletter here.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Ayurveda at a Glance, Dr. Samantha Brody, Gluten Free, healthy, Healthy Lifestyle, healthy-living, Natural Health | 1 Comment »
Almost a month ago now, I spoke at Ignite Fort Collins on a subject that I think is very important, Anorexia. Anorexia is sweeping across the nation in a tragic silent war taking the lives of children, teens and adults. Anorexia is not something to be glorified, but to be stopped in its tracks, through health, empowerment and living your life’s passion. In my talk, I dispel some myths of Anorexia while sharing my own story. Please watch and share with someone that this could help.
On a lighter note here is the second Asana of the month:
Reverse Sitting at Your Desk Pose/ Legs up a Wall Variation
*Increases Circulation *Prevents and Reduces Varicose Veins
*Rejuvenating and Energizing *Heart and Lung Opening
This is a perfect rejuvenating pose for after work, or as a pick me up in the morning or before lunch.
- Start by getting a yoga blanket or bolster and a block or pillow. (For the blanket fold 2x and then roll it up like a burrito.)
- While sitting sideways bring your tailbone as close to the wall as possible, lay back and lift legs up. If this doesn’t feel comfortable, scoot back 4-5 inches, alow a gentle bend in the knees.
- Place the blanket beneath the shoulder blades, allowing the heart and chest to lift up as arms drape open above the blanket with shoulders relaxed. (You can allow the head to rest on the floor or support the neck, by placing a block under the back of the head.)
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Anorexia, Earth Ayurveda Clinic, Gentle Yoga, health, Health and Lifestyle, Health Tips, healthy-living, Legs up a Wall, Niight Wind, yoga | Leave a Comment »
Spring is almost here (March 20th), there have been tiny glimpses of the warming weather. Spring is Kapha (Earth and Water) when the ice thaws and causes mud and built up pools of water draining off the streets. Everyone has at least a little Kapha in them, the more Kapha traits you have the more Spring will affect you, causing mucous (mud), lethargy, melancholy and water retention (excess water). All of these Kapha symptoms cause a dulling of the digestive fire because of the excess water and earth quality.
10 days before Spring, March 10th marks daylight savings. The increased sunlight, allows us to be more active to counteract the spring, but it can also cause a disturbance in your digestive system as well. As the time change sets into effect, your meal time automatically becomes out of alignment, with no fault of your own, shifting forward an hour. That means that if you normally eat at 5pm your digestive fire is now strong at 6pm. But don’t worry your digestive fire will figure this out, but it may take up to a week. This may feel like a sluggish digestion, or feeling your food after you eat it.
Move into Spring with ease:
Roasted Fennel Seeds- Eating this neutral spice before meals helps stoke digestive fire. If you have more Kapha symptoms you can use dry ginger instead, to remove ama (toxins) and congestion.
Cooked greens, especially Kale- Greens are a natural source of fiber removing ama (toxins) and keeping bowels moving.
Fish Pose/Matsyasana- This pose is great decongestant for the lungs, increasing oxygen flow and enhancing your mood. Start laying on your back. Place palms under sit bones or next to hips palms down. Push through the forearms, hands and elbows as you lift your heart towards the sky, as if you were being poked with a broom between the shoulder blades. Feel the biceps rolling outward allowing the shoulder blades to engage down the back. (This action also activates Marma Points, (Ayurvedic pressure points) at the crease of the arm, where the shoulder and body meet, increasing lung capacity and oxygen absorption.) Engage the legs pointing through the balls of the feet.
Modification: Start Sitting with legs extended. Place palms on the floor 8-10 inches behind you, fingertips pointing towards toes. Push down through the palms of the hands, shoulders away from the ears. Lift your heart towards the sky, as if you were being poked with a broom between the shoulder blades. Feel the biceps rolling outward allowing the shoulder blades to engage down the back. Engage the legs pointing through the balls of the feet.
Want more Ayurveda right now check out this post I wrote for the Yoga Connection about Kitchari and Cleansing click here.
Are you a runner? Check out the 31 miles in 31 day challenge and learn how you could win a FREE Yoga Coaching for Runners session. Click here.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Ayurveda, Ayurveda at a Glance, Daylight Savings, Digestion, Digestive Fire, Health and Lifestyle, Health Tips, healthy-living, Kapha, matsyasana, Spring, yoga, yoga and ayurveda | Leave a Comment »
Every day seems like the perfect day to focus on our hearts and the healing process. But there is one day a year that there is a holiday to celebrate the heart and love, what perfect timing. We are in the middle of the Vata time of year. Vata’s tend to have traits of fear and self blame. Do you know what the opposite of those traits are? Love and self compassion, everything that Valentines day stands for (at least to me.)
3 Simple ways to Promote Love and Compassion for yourself:
1. Bring your attention to your heart, imagine the energy expanding with joy. Closing your eyes imagine a bright white, pink or gold light emanating out.
2. Take time to gently massage your heart with a clockwise motion. The traditional number is 108 times, but any amount is better than none.
3. Diffuse or use these essential oils rose, geranium, rose geranium, neroli, and lemon.
Self care over all is good for healing your heart. Here is a short gentle Heart Opening Yoga Vinyasa Flow I made for you. Happy Valentines:)
Click here to watch Gentle Heart Opening Vinyasa Flow.
Find out about upcoming events click here.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Ayurveda, Earth Ayurveda Clinic, healthy, Healthy Lifestyle, healthy-living, Heart Chakra, Niight Wind, Self Care, Self Love, Valentines, Vata, Yoga Video | Leave a Comment »