AYURVEDA: Ayurvedic Advice for eating out over Christmas
It is fun and enjoyable to eat out with friends over Christmas but restaurant food is often designed to entice and stimulate the taste buds rather than support long term health goals. At restaurants, food usually has to appeal to a broad range of individuals and may not support your unique constitution. Sometimes as a result we may experience gas, bloating, heartburn, sometimes constipation, sleep disruption and a little weight gain or puffiness from the excess use of salt.
However we can still make some right choices when eating out and maintain our Ayurvedic eating principles. If you can, have your meal at lunch time, or in the early evening, followed by an evening walk to help you digest the food. Your body is better able to digest food earlier in the day, process toxins and burn off any excess calories.
Choose a healthy restaurant, if you can, that is known for freshly prepared, seasonal, local food. Eat lightly and simply in the meals both before and after your restaurant meal and don’t let yourself get too hungry before you eat out. At the restaurant, eat a responsible portion of food and order vegetable side dishes or incorporate a salad. The roughage of the salad helps elimination, the bitter taste increases bile production and flushes the gall bladder, helping you digest heavy fats, and the sour taste of vinegar in the salad dressing helps in fat metabolism by stimulating bile production. Chew your food well, as saliva has digestive enzymes. Order hot water with lemon as it cultivates digestive fire and the sour taste of lemon improves digestion. Don’t drink ice water, cold or carbonated drinks as they extinguish digestive fire, disrupting the digestive process. Favour simpler foods with fewer ingredients that are easier to digest, and avoid the complimentary bread and butter. Minimize cream sauces, excessive cheese, carbs, fried food and too much salt especially if you are trying to lose weight. Black pepper and ginger will help digestion, as will the parsley garnish.
It’s also important to focus on being thankful for the food provided and enjoy the quality time spent with your loved ones and friends, have fun, laugh a lot and don’t worry excessively about the food. Food is an important way to build relationships, and having friends and socializing is also excellent for your health and happiness. Enjoy the lead-up to Christmas.
THE POWER OF REIKI
Reiki is a natural and simple healing method that allows you to absorb more life force energy. The Reiki method vitalises your life force and balances the energies in your body. This natural healing energy flows in a powerful and concentrated form through the hands of the Reiki Therapist. In “laying on” of the hands directs the healing energy into the body of the receiver.
The Reiki Therapist is used as a channel to conduct the Universal Life Energy. As a result the therapist is simultaneously charged and strengthened, not at all being drained of the therapists personal energy.
Reiki energy is regarded, as life force energy at it’s most effective. With maximum vibration it is considered to have an almost divine quality and as such includes everything, in a world where problems and disorders are deemed to be due to the feeling of detachment from the world.
Reiki used regularly can promote a more joyful life and lively feelings in the receiver, energy enhancement, peace and calm and existing conflicts within a person are broken down, producing clarity and greater vitality. An improved renewal of the natural processes within the body and removal of toxins are also enhanced and rendered more effective. Energy blockages are removed allowing flow of life force energy throughout the body. As toxins and other waste products are removed from the body’s vital processes, body organs and functions become more highly tuned. When the body takes in more and more life energy, it is said that its frequency becomes higher, facilitating contact with the Universal Spirit and generating trust in the universal life force energy.
Reiki also gives you courage to change the things in your life that you would like to change. Reiki gives you more power and the energy to act and think more responsibly in your life. It will speed up your physical, mental and emotional healing and also increase your spiritual growth.
This ancient art developed in the nineteenth century in Japan is as ever useful now in our more complex and busy world as it was in the time of its conception.
There is no right or wrong way to use Reiki. Reiki can do no wrong, it is beyond this. The Reiki energy has no conditions, or right or wrongs with it. If you become confused with all the conflicting information about Reiki, remember one thing, it is our humanness that is confusing and conflicting, not the energy, the energy just is, it is pure, knows no competition, no comparison and love all equally.
Just for today,
Do no worry
Just for today,
No not anger
Just for today,
Earn your living honestly
Just for today,
Count your blessings
Just for today,
Be kind to all living things
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is a practice that has been explored by the worlds meditative and wisdom traditions as well as various Western sciences, including medicine and psychology. It is a universal tool for cultivating self-understanding and healing and is not dependent on any particular belief system or ideology.
Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”.
The Chinese character for Mindfulness means, “heart presence”.
HOW WILL IT HELP ME?
Benefits of practicing mindfulness include:
- Mental clarity, focus, and improved concentration.
- Increased self-awareness and emotional intelligence, assisting us to relate to others and one’s self with kindness, acceptance and compassion.
- Greater confidence in our ability to know, understand and act on our own inner wisdom.
- Improved physical health via relief of stress; lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain, improving sleep and alleviating gastrointestinal difficulties.
Mindfulness Coaching sessions at Aspects of Healing involve learning about the mind both theoretically through practical Yoga psychology, and experientially through a range of simple mindfulness practices. Mindfulness coaching allows you to find personal ways to practically bring the art of mindfulness into everyday life, moment to moment.
“Knowledge does not mean mastering a great quantity of different information, but understanding the nature of mind. This knowledge can penetrate each one of our thoughts and illuminate each one of our perceptions.” Matthieu Ricard
DINACHARYA (SANSKRIT: दिनचर्या “DAILY-ROUTINE”) is a concept in Ayurveda that looks at the cycles of nature and bases daily activities around these cycles. In Sanskrit, the word ‘din’ means day or daily and ‘charya’ can mean activity, behaviour, conduct, practice, performance, custom or routine. Embodied in the word, dinacharya, ‘acharya’ refers to following the inherent wisdom of nature by being close to the natural cycles of the day.
In Ayurveda, the activities of dinacharya are synchronized with the natural daily cycle of the sun and performed on a regular basis, because it is believed that daily routine can bring about radical change in the body, mind and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in your individual constitution, it regulates your biological clock, helps with digestion, absorption, assimilation and elimination, and it generates self-esteem, discipline, a peaceful mind, happiness and longevity. As human beings we are naturally a part of nature, and need to be in tune with the rhythms of nature so that we become closer to our true selves.
The sequences of dinacharya are daily activities that are performed at optimal times of the day, dominated by the energies of Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. The heavy and stabilizing qualities of Kapha affect us between 6-10 in the morning and evening, the dynamic and transforming attributes of Pitta affect us between 10–2 during mid-day and mid-night. The light and inspiring potential of Vata has affect on us between 2–6 in the evening and morning. In Ayurveda’s dinacharya we make small and gradual changes to establish a routine that is suited to our unique doshic nature, and because this is done everyday it has an accumulative and lasting effect.
There are routines around waking and sleeping, cleansing and eliminating, practices for body, mind and spirit, practices for eating, work, creative play and relaxing activities, which are created to suit your individual needs and dosha or constitutional type. These routines are easy to introduce into your daily life and can make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing.
TRUSTING THE BODY – KALARIPPAYAT
Kalarippayat is an ancient Indian martial and healing art-form that evolved alongside Yoga and Ayurveda and shares elements of both.
The tradition aims to bring peace to worldly conflict – inner and outer. Both Kalari practice and treatments holistically develop an individual; beginning from physical health, mental balance and progressing to the unification of the mind, body and spirit.
Kalarippayat is still relatively unknown because the British banned the practice whilst occupying India. However, Kalari continued as it had for thousands of years as a closed oral tradition. It is now re-emerging around the world as people are re-discovering the benefits of this ancient science.
Kalari treatments follow the fundamental principles of Ayurveda, but are also influenced by Siddha medicine and other regional Indigenous knowledge systems of India. Like Chinese and Tibetan medicines, Ayurveda and Kalari view a human being as a microcosm of the natural world. Treatments work on curing the root cause and not the symptoms of an imbalance. Therapists assist the body to return to a state of balance so that it can ultimately heal itself.
What distinguishes the Kalari therapist’s medical expertise from that of other specialists is their psychophysiological training as a martial artist. Before a practitioner can begin their studies in the healing arts they must spend several years in intensive physical and meditational training. This gives the practitioner extraordinary control over their body and mind and thus control of the vital energy or wind (prana vayu). The efficacy of treatment is based on this ability to control and channel prana (energy) while giving treatments.
Being tantric in origin, Kalari places great trust in the wisdom of the body to heal itself when given the chance;
“Slowly you renew yourself, you are regenerating yourself. If you can have this generation of energy, that is the real meaning. That you can generate energy from your body, you begin to become radiant. You are conscious of the flow of blood, the flow of breath, the taste of water and the feel of air after movement. Your whole body is vibrant. The body can be reclaimed as a source of energy and strength.” Chandralekha
Is your body absorbing required nutrients from your diet?
It is important you look at, how your body absorb and assimilate the nutrients, even if you take the healthy organic diet. Some of my clients used to tell me their experience that they don’t feel enough energy even after taking ‘huge’ plate of meal. On the other side, some clients complains that they feel heavy and puffy even if they drink water. They also complaints that they find it hard to lose body weight. Yes, one of our biggest problem is overweight and feeling of heaviness and this can be corrected only by changing to a better diet and lifestyle and unfortunately no other shortcuts.
Here is the importance of Ayurveda practice in daily life. Ayurveda is an ancient natural system of body healing. The word meaning of Ayurveda is knowledge for long life. Ancient teachers of Ayurveda throughout explains in their writings, the long life is depending on health which required proper diet.
What is your life expectancy?
Have you ever thought about why our life is complicated and shortened even though our science and technology developed well enough? It is interesting that the lifespan and health of rural people in several developing states are better than many of ours. When we look into the reasons, we will find out that they are giving primary importance to their own health and everything else is secondary. Sadly we often forget our personal health because we are ‘busy’L.
Ayurveda proclaims that dietary requirements for each person is different. The unique personal constitution, physiological and emotional aspects needs to be considered for defining what nutrients we actually needed. Six dietary nutrients explaining in Ayurveda. They are Sweet like carbs & protein, Acidic like tomato, Alkaline – Salts, Hot– Spices, Bitter– greens and Astringent – teas.
It is very common that clients tell me that they have cravings. Have you ever felt ‘Craving for Sugar’? Have you ever thought that when this is happening and why this is happening? Yes, our mind need ‘heaviness’ of sweet taste when it became overly light and anxious. But this same heaviness can cause overweight if the tendencies are not corrected on time. Learning the characteristics of our own body and each ingredients in our diet helps to identify what our body really need!!
Our body always balance by changing our tendencies to opposites of its own characteristics. In this way we need heavier food when the body is light, cold when we are hot, and oil when we are dry.
Sweet is not only sugar or carbs in Ayurveda, it also includes fats and animal protein too. Sweet taste increases the heaviness and oiliness in our body. This easily reduces the hunger and good source of energy and this is why in all part of the world our bigger portion of meal is sweet.
Sour is acidic, which create the warmth in our body. But over use of savoury, makes our systems hyper acidic which later on causes inflammation. Increased acidity of the blood is one of the reasons for reduced immunity and increases the chances of cancer.
Salts makes you thirsty and include minerals and alkalis. It makes your food tastier and enjoyable. Over use of salts can adversely affect the blood pressure and functions of heart, liver and kidney health.
I love Spices like many of you. They are hot and makes my digestion easy. But over use of spices can create heat within the body and digestive health problems later. So I sauté spices in ghee or in oil and reduce the potency of spices before I use them in my curries!
Vegetables when they are raw, mostly Bitter in taste. Now a days we train our kids to eat more green than anything else which helps to reduce their heaviness and make them more active. But uncooked green vegies makes the process of digestion difficult and this causes the stomach bloated. Due to this reason Ayurveda recommends stir-fries, for lighter Vata constitution
If this is the case what is the best diet for me? Ayurveda doesn’t force us to follow any particular diet but your constitutional diet. Only you know youself better than anyone else. So learn your body type and follow a constitutional diet.
Dr Bosco Paul
WELCOME TO OUR BLOG
Often times we look for answers outside of ourselves when they really reside on the inside. In our blogs, we want to bring you ‘gems’ of inestimable value that will help you find who you are and live a healthy, peaceful and happy life. We will look at how to nurture our mental, physical and spiritual aspects of ourselves. Remember, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. First health comes from the inside before it manifests on the outside.
This is one of my favourite articles about LOVE for surely LOVE is the secret we are all looking for to plant in our hearts to begin our journey to wellness.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Then said Almitra, “Speak to us of Love.”
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his opinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.