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Yoga and Vegetrarianism

Yoga and Vegetrarianism

YOGA AND VEGETARIANISM – Ayurveda classifies food not as proteins or carbohydrates etc. but according to its effect on the body and mind. It classifies food based on three qualities or gunas that governs human life – sattva, rajas and tamas.

Tamasic food creates lethargy or sluggishness ex- meat
Rajasic food creates activity or restlessness
Sattvic food, which consists of vegetarian fare, creates lightness, energy and positivity
These three qualities are present in our body in varying degree and have a direct influence on us, our moods, emotions and consequent health. There is an ancient Ayurvedic proverb which sums it up- “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”

Yoga says that our system is a seamless blend of the body, mind and spirit. An irregularity in the body affects the mind and unpleasantness in the mind manifests as an ailment in the body. It has been observed that the practice of yoga, accompanied with a sattvic diet, can truly create wonders. This is because when one does Yoga, pranayama (breathing techniques), and complements it with sattvic food, the prana levels in the body increase. This creates a lighter, positive, happy and harmonious state of being. In fact, many yoga practitioners have experienced that one of the major impacts of yoga is an increased awareness of their body and mind. This allows for their natural progression towards sattvic high-prana generating food choices. It is almost as though the body desires to return to its innate mechanism which is attuned to a vegetarian diet . in the patanjali yogsutra there is limb called niyama – Ahimsa (Harmlessness) The word ‘ahimsa’ literally means not to injure or show cruelty to any creature or any person

In Yoga tradition, we call the different organisms one as Jeevaraasi. It means a single life in different dimensions with its own life energies. The food that you eat, should be from the earlier evolutions of life. And so which plants are the best always. If you want to eat meat, we suggest you fish foods because they are the early dimensions of organisms with flesh. In this evolution, the closest on to the humans are mammals (that gives direct birth).Of all the organisms, human body is the most complicated. In the course of evolution, the structure of memory becomes more detailed. If you eat animals that has the similar body structure as yours, you would find almost impossible to completely digest the food. But in case of plants you can digest it 100 percent. This is because it leave all its remembrance and imposes your own.

 

Source: Facebook — Yoga-Philosophy


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Five Poses For Kapha — Spring Time

Springtime is kapha time of year. It’s cool, wet and heavy. You might be feeling more sluggish and congested during this time of year and perhaps a little less motivated emerging from the cold, heaviness of winter.

Yoga for this time of year should focus on stimulating and energizing, building heat and boosting circulation. Here’s five poses that’ll help you do just that!

 

 

1. Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)

Sun Salutation SequenceOne of my personal faves, this series of poses relax the nervous system while energizing and toning the entire body. Kick them up a notch by synchronizing the breath with the movement and focusing on creating internal heat and a sensation of lightness in the mind and body. Try ten rounds as a short morning practice or include three to five rounds at the start of any longer yoga practice.

 

 

2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Chair poseOtherwise known as “Fierce Pose”, it turns up the heat in the large muscle groups and will strengthen your body and your resolve (I like to call it the “Seat of Power”), especially if you throw a little “Victorious“ ujaiyi breath into the mix! See if you can hang with it for ten or more breaths and be sure to direct your energy upward (look up) and focus on creating a sensation of buoyancy from the knees up.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Bow Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)

Integral Yoga Bow PoseHello backbends! Backbends are synonymous with energizing and stimulation, this pose works on the internal organs (digestive, endocrine and respiratory) and ups the kapha-reducing factor by massaging the belly and chest (two popular kapha hang outs). Try a couple or three rounds and keep the breath moving!

 

 

 

 

 

4. Crow Pose (Bakasana)

Crow Pose YogaWhat better pose for feeling “floaty” than one that practically dares you to fly away! The real secret to this pose is that it not only looks pretty, it also builds core strength (a lot of it) and heat (a lot of that too!).

 

 

 

 

5. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana C)

How-To-Do-Warrior-III-PoseHas energy written all over it. If you’ve ever practiced this pose you know that it can feel like a standing dance party. Lots of muscles come into play to make this pose work, and the secret to sticking it?… Let go of what holds you back and don’t forget to breathe!

 

 

 

Source: DoYouYoga

 


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Five Poses for Vata — Autumn Time of Year

Autumn is vata time of year. The drying wind brings the promise of cooler temperatures and might leave you feeling anxious, dehydrated, disorganized and disconnected.

Yoga for this time of year should be warming and grounding. It should focus on building strength, heat and connection in a way that isn’t too stimulating or dynamic. Try these five poses!

 

1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Love this pose for bringing me back down to earth. This one releases the back and opens the hips (both areas where vata energy likes to hang out). Bending the knees slightly, rooting through the feet and focusing on creating a sensation of heaviness and stillness is great way to boost the vata-reducing qualities of this pose.

 

2. Triangle (Trikonasana)

There are so many ways to do this pose. The best way for vata time of year is to focus on the energy in your feet and legs. Ground the pose by intensifying your connection with the earth. Take a half or full bind if that’s available to you and turn your focus inward to create a sensation of warming stillness.

 

3. Hero Pose (Vajrasana)

It’s impossible to feel flighty in this pose (if you do, put something under your hips to stabilize them and take the pressure off the knees). If the sensation in the hips isn’t enough to bring your focus to your body, then the deep, penetrating stretch to the knees and front of the legs will do the trick. Either way it’ll warm you up and settle you down the way a good vata season pose should.

 

4. Downward Dog (Adhomukha Svanasana)

To me this pose feels like home. It’s a great pose for vata time. It’s all about strengthening, opening and creating a refuge from the agitation (of life or even the rest of the yoga practice). Add to it a full, balanced, warming breath and you’ve got yoga’s version of comfort food. Child’s pose is also a suitable alternative.

 

5. Warrior II – (Virabhadrasana B)

Ready to feel strong, centered and connected? This is your pose. For my money it’s one of the few poses that never feels awkward or unsure (pretty much no matter how you do it). Kicking up the stability factor in this pose is just a matter of grounding through the feet and creating a sense of balanced heaviness from the hips down. Add that warming breath and you’re sorted!

 

Source: DoYouYoga

 


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Ayurvedic Approaches to Help Stop Allergies

‘Tis the season … for sneezin’! As plants start to bud and flowers to pollinate, and we throw open our windows for spring cleaning, we find ourselves confronted with seemingly benign substances floating through the air, spelling discomfort for those of us who suffer from allergies.

What exactly are allergies? Why do we have them at some points in our lives and not at others? Why is it that one person can gleefully play with their dogs for hours on end, while others can’t get within 200 meters of a puppy without developing itchy eyes and a fit of sneezing and coughing?

Three types of allergies can trigger these unpleasant reactions: food allergies, airborne allergies, and contact allergies. In each case, the body recognizes something that’s typically non-harmful as harmful. The immune system boosts into overdrive to try to eliminate this faux pathogen.

Some primary causes of allergies, according to Ayurveda, are genetics; weak agni, or digestive fire; a person’s state of vykruti, or imbalance; and/or the presence of ama, undigested or poorly digested food that turns toxic and interferes with processes in the body.

 

Here are 10 Ayurvedic approaches to help stop allergies in their tracks.

1. Use a neti pot daily, or twice a day, with a weak saline solution and distilled water, to loosen up the heaviness of kapha, or earth and water energy, in the sinuses. This also helps clear out allergens that may be sticking to the mucus membranes.

2. Practice nasya: Dab a little bit of sesame oil spiked with eucalyptus or camphor in each nostril about an hour after using your neti pot.

3. Take the Ayurvedic herbal compound trikatu, a combination of black pepper, long pepper, and ginger, before meals to heat up the agni and improve digestion.

4. Avoid cold, heavy foods and drinks, including dairy, wheat, meat, sugar, processed foods, leftovers, and iced beverages, as they can slow down the digestion and dampen the agni.

5. Go on a kapha-reducing diet: Eat warm, light, natural, cooked foods that are easy to digest. Focus on fresh, organic vegetables and fruits. Cook the vegetables with a little bit of ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil to soothe the mucus membranes.

6. Use warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne in your cooking.

7. Enjoy ginger tea throughout the day, as it sparks digestive fire.

8. Take triphala tablets at night to help rid the body of excess toxins that can cause slow digestion. The Ayurvedic trio of amalaki, haritaki, and bibtaki, derived from fruits, works to cleanse and strengthen your system.

9. Develop a daily pranayama routine that includes Dirgha (Three-part Breath), Ujjayi (Ocean-Sounding Breath), Bastrika(Bellows Breath), and Kapalabhati(Skull-Polishing Breath).

10. Exercise daily, for 30 minutes or so, to help stimulate agni and eliminate ama. This can be a brisk walk, a fun fitness class, a vinyasa yoga class, a hike, a bike ride, or a dance class.

 

 

Sarajean Rudman is the Kripalu School of Ayurveda Intern.

The post 10 Ways to Beat Allergies with Ayurveda appeared first on Thrive: The Kripalu Blog.


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Ayurveda Tips To Live In Harmony With Nature

Living in harmony with nature is an expression we hear so much in the health and wellness sphere. But what does this expression really mean, and how can we actively start to do this in our daily lives?

Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, and a full medical system of healing from ancient India, can greatly help us in our quest to be one with nature.

The word “Ayurveda” stems from the root words “Ayush,” which means “life,” and “Veda,” which means “the study of.” Ayurveda, therefore, is the study of life. Unlike many modern means of study, however, the way Ayurveda was learned was by living it. As a spiritual science, Ayurveda is believed to have been ‘revealed’ to the revered Rishis (sages) of lore, in the depths of their profound meditations in the forests and mountains of ancient India.

These Rishis studied every aspect of nature. They spent time learning from animals, plants, trees, and the sun, moon, wind, and stars – and generously shared the knowledge they acquired with anyone fortunate to encounter them and/or read their words in the various sacred texts they recorded.

 

Dinacharya – Your Daily Self-Care Rituals

One of the discoveries these Rishis have carefully penned down for the benefit of humanity is a set of daily self-care rituals called Dinacharya. “Dina” means “day” and “charya” means “to follow,” so Dinacharya literally translates as “following the rhythm of the day.” The rhythm of each day is closely connected with the natural cycles of the sun, moon, earth, and other planets. Hence, we learn through Dinacharya how to keep our own daily cycles in sync with the natural world around us.

In Ayurveda, we learn that we are a living composite, or microcosm, of the entire universe. What goes on around us has a great influence on what goes on within us – and vice versa.

Part of the brilliance of the medical science of Ayurveda is that it provides incredibly detailed protocols for not only how to counteract disease, but also how to actively protect, promote, and increase our health. There is a beautiful Shloka (poetic verse) that defines the purpose of Ayurveda as:

“Svasthasya svasthya rakshanam
Ayurasya vikara prashamanam cha”

Ayurveda protects the health (Svasthya) of the healthy (Svasthasya), first and foremost, and also effectively treats diseases (Vikara). The reason for Ayurveda’s effectiveness in treating diseases is that it addresses the root causes of why ill health occurs in the first place.

 

Harmonizing With Nature

Dinacharya is considered one of the best ways to protect the health of the healthy. Not following it is often a causative factor for disease. The Ayurvedic Rishis discovered that one’s daily routine is a much more powerful source of healing and well-being than even the strongest medicine a doctor could possibly prescribe. And while it may seem intuitive that one’s daily routine is a good medium for disease prevention, what’s even more amazing about Ayurveda is that it provides such detailed descriptions in its traditional scriptures of what this daily regimen entails.

I have been grateful to learn many of these practices, and to now teach them to beginner Ayurveda students. Here are some of the ancient Rishis’ discoveries to live in greater harmony with nature:

 

1) Wake Up Early

We are all solar-powered creatures. In Ayurveda, the sun is deeply respected and regarded as the source of health, power, strength, and spiritual well-being. Awakening between 4-6am gives us the opportunity to greet the sun, appreciate it, and welcome its amazing qualities into our lives.

The time between 4-6am is also known by Rishis and Yogis since time immemorial to be a spiritually elevated and charged time, during which it is very auspicious to meditate and develop a more positive mindset. I can speak from personal experience in saying that I have seen a great positive change in my overall state of mind from waking up early.

 

2) Develop A Morning Practice

Wonder what to do once you start waking up earlier? There are many morning practices recommended by Ayurveda to help ground you, and give you more strength and clarity to go through your day. Having been a rather ungrounded person in the past, these morning practices have really changed my life and provided me with a greater connection to my inner source of wisdom and peace.

One of my favorite morning practices is gazing at my hands immediately upon waking up. It is amazing to consider just how much our hands allow us to do; we use our hands to work, create, and connect with others through writing, typing, gardening, cooking, shaking hands, and much more. By living according to the wisdom of Ayurveda and Yoga, we have the opportunity to really take our health and lives into our own hands, and so I always acknowledge the power, possibility, and freedom that resides in my very own two hands as soon as I wake up each morning.

Other morning practices ideas include taking a walk, doing Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), other Yoga Asanas (postures), meditation, journaling, chanting mantras, and repeating positive affirmations.

 

3) Make Lunch Your Biggest Meal

We often hear about the merits of breakfast, and how it’s the most important meal of the day. According to Ayurveda, however, lunch is actually the most important meal of the day. The sun is at its peak between 12-1pm, and so is our digestive fire, which is called Agni in Ayurveda.

We learn from Ayurveda that we are not just what we eat, but what we actually digest. The health of our entire body is greatly reflected by the health of our digestive fire, and therefore, we are advised to eat the most when we have the most capacity to digest the food we’ve eaten. Having grown up making dinner my heaviest meal, and having struggled for many years with digestive challenges, the practice of making lunch my biggest meal has greatly improved my digestion.

Following Ayurveda’s Dinacharya recommendations has made me a healthier and happier human being. I encourage you, too, to try one or more of Ayurveda’s daily routine recommendations and feel the joy of living in greater harmony with nature.

The post 3 Practical Ayurveda Tips To Live In Harmony With Nature appeared first on DoYouYoga.com.


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9 Ayurvedic Resources

9 Ayurvedic Resources You Need To Know About

Ayurveda can be just like M&Ms — once you get started, it’s nearly impossible to stop! It’s a vast and varied subject that offers advice and solutions for every aspect of living. It’s a deep pool of ancient wisdom that provides refuge and relief from many of the challenges of modern life.

Its age and practical nature have inspired countless scholars, practitioners, and believers to share their knowledge and experience of its practices and benefits. The Ayurvedic approach to living and healing has been beautifully captured (and explained) in a number of colorful, fun and informative ways across the spectrum. The only thing is…you have to know where to start!

 

Our Love Affair with Ancient Wisdom

Although its history is long, Ayurveda is relatively new in the West but its popularity is significantly increasing for two main reasons: 1) it works, and 2) it’s simple and practical.

Two other things Ayurveda has going for it are that it’s enduring (heck it’s over 5000 years old!) and inspiring (self awareness, self love and self healing are its key themes). So it’s no surprise that I get a lot of people asking where or how they can find out more about it.

 

The Basics Beautifully Explained

And so here, in my humble opinion, is where to start: my list of 9 juicy resources for the Ayurvedic enthusiast. Whether just a beginning or long time lover of Ayurveda, this list will have something for you. And although these resources focus primarily on the fundamental and most basic concepts, they provide a look into the heart of Ayurveda which will no doubt inspire you take a look within your own.

 

Books

Essential Ayurveda by Shubhra Krishan – This is one of my favorite books on Ayurveda. It’s SUPER easy to read, covers all the basics and includes recipes (what more could you want). I also really like the language and metaphors she uses to describe some of the more esoteric concepts and principles.

Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Vasant Lad – Once you’re ready to dive just a little bit deeper, it’s time to introduce you to Dr. Lad. This book is also easy to read, well laid out and chock full of remedies and recipes. It touches on the philosophy behind Ayurveda and hints at its connection to yoga. This one’s also a quick go-to reference for Ayurvedic solutions to common issues (allergies, insomnia, colds and flu, etc.).

Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra – I love the way Deepak Chopra talks about Ayurveda (or anything really). He is a story-teller of epic proportions and he dispenses with the jargon and cuts right to the heart of things. This book is a classic that covers all the basics and then some. It even touches on things like music, sound and marma (pressure point) therapies which most books don’t really get into.

Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur – Even thinking about this book makes me feel good! The writing is poetic and practical, its content beautifully invaluable. The focus is on skin and body care, feeling, looking, and being beautiful from the inside out. It also includes recipes for homemade Ayurvedic skin care treatments and remedies for specific skin issues (acne to wrinkles) – this is good stuff!

Eat, Taste, Heal by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, and Johnny Brannigan – Speaking of good stuff, this cookbook-cum-Ayurvedic primer has become a standard must-have book on Ayurvedic eating. More than just a collection of recipes, the first section of the book is a pretty comprehensive introduction to Ayurveda that could hold its own against any of the other books in this list. It gives you a straightforward footing in the fundamentals before tantalizing your taste buds with fantastic recipes and yummy pictures, and includes substitutions to make each dish suitable for your dosha.

Food As Medicine by Todd Caldecott – The focus of this book is, as the title suggests, food. It keeps details of Ayurvedic principles to a minimum and provides an in-depth look at the therapeutic application of food and diets (including Paleo, Raw food and Ayurvedic). It’s a “soup to nuts” look at medicinal cooking that highlights the food itself, cooking methods, tools and best practices. There are sections on detoxification, food, and herb-based remedies for common ailments. There are also recipes and profiles on all types of foods including fats, grains, nuts, vegetables, herbs, meats and more.

 

Websites

tHey Monica B – The lovely Monica Bloom has been educating us on Ayurveda since 2008. Her blog introduces us to the principles of Ayurveda in the most beautiful and endearing way. She has all the compassion, practicality and humor of your best friend, mother and therapist rolled into one. On top of all of that, she uses gorgeous graphics to teach and dazzle us into loving Ayurveda as much as she does.

The Joyful Belly – A destination site for recipes and information on eating Ayurvedic. A feature of the site is a recipe and remedy finder that supports searches by symptoms, ailments, ingredients, dosha, seasons, and even qualities of the ingredients (i.e. hot, cold, heavy, light, etc.). There’s a lot of info on this site (a lot of it for sale) but if you’re looking for a treasure trove of Ayurvedic goodness and wisdom, Joyful Belly fits the bill.

Lifespa – Dr. John Doulliard is an Ayurvedic practitioner and director of LifeSpa Ayurvedic retreat in Colorado. He mixes his knowledge and expertise of Ayurveda, sports physiology, and various healing modalities to provide a unique and compelling voice on the subject of natural health and wellness. His Lifespa website is chock full of uber-informative articles and videos on all manner of issues from allergies to weight loss.

Oh there were SO many books and beloved teachers, authors, and websites that I left off this list! The fact that I’ve only got one cookbook listed feels almost criminal. But these resources are just a start. They present a terrific variety of information in an easily digestible way that, unlike M&Ms, will fill you with insights and inspiration and motivate you to get happy, healthy, connected AND keep you coming back for more!

Got a favorite book or Ayurvedic resource that I missed? Tell us about it in the comments below!

The post 9 Ayurvedic Resources You Need To Know About appeared first on DoYouYoga.com.


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Balance in Yoga

balance_yoga

by Sarajean Rudman

Does this sound familiar? The alarm clock rings, and you hit the ground running. You speed through a frenetic morning routine, and on to your rushed commute. At work, you just make it to your first meeting, and then you skip lunch to meet a deadline.

Finally, at the end of your work day, your multitasking mind says, “If I take a vigorous, hot, power yoga class, then I’ll be getting a workout, a sauna, and deep relaxation!”

Perfect solution, right? Well, that depends.

If you continue your day in fight-or-flight mode, and allow that state to push you into a fast-moving, effort-driven yoga class, you’ll continue on your overstimulated path to burnout.

I’m not here to tell you to avoid power yoga class. On the contrary, I’m a power yogini who loves nothing more than to dive into a sweaty, stimulating vinyasa class. But it’s essential to find healthy balance in life, and to give our bodies and minds the opportunity to manifest the relaxation response—a key to optimal health, as it can help lower the risk of heart disease, obesity, anxiety, depression, and other stress-related diseases.

Kala, langhana, and brahmana

The science of Ayurveda is based on five elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth.  Certain combinations of these elements are described as doshas: Vata is air and ether, pitta is fire and water, and kapha is water and earth. Think of vata as mobile, cold, dry, light, and rough; pitta as hot, light, subtle, sharp, and oily; and kapha as slow, dense, heavy, dull, and cold. These doshas give us ways to describe any and all things, and certain doshas dominate in certain seasons: Vata rules the fall, kapha rules the spring, and pitta rules the summer. This is the concept of kala.

Choose a practice for the season that will pacify its predominating qualities instead of aggravating them. For example, in the vata season, particularly in a busy, fast-moving, city, choose a calming class in a warm room. In pitta season, the height of summer, avoid a heated room or a competitive atmosphere that can enhance stress. And in kapha season, the damp, heavy springtime, choose a class that will get you moving and motivate detoxification; this is the perfect time to take that hot yoga class.

Another concept to remember is that of langhana and brahmana. Langhana translates as “that which lightens,” and brahmana as “that which builds.” Ayurveda invites us to balance by applying opposites—much like the concept of yin-yang in traditional Chinese medicine. Let this be true for how you choose your yoga class. If you’re feeling high levels of anxiety and are in need of nourishment and building, choose relaxation. If you’ve been sitting all day and need more mobility, go to a faster-paced class. Really listen to your body, and ask yourself, “How do I feel? What do I need?” We are the experts on ourselves, so we can rely on intuition to steer us in the right direction for our well-being.

10 suggestions to help you find balance in your yoga practice

  1. If you’re a dedicated power yogi, try trading just one class per week for a restful experience. Experiment with yoga nidra, gentle yoga, yin yoga, restorative yoga, and meditation. You may find that you love both the permission and the opportunity to slow down and relax.
  2. If you tend to practice power yoga in the evening, try switching to the morning. In the evening, replace this activity with a 10- to 30-minute silent walk or meditation to help you wind down from the day.
  3. Create a sacred space at home where you can practice yoga. A teacher’s guidance and the energy of others can be motivating; however, you can receive similar benefits (with less stimulation) in the peace and quiet of your own home.
  4. Practice at the same time every day. Routine creates a calming effect on the body and mind.
  5. Experiment with working at 65 to 75 percent of your capacity. What would it feel like to be gentler with yourself? Allow your yoga class to be a place where you don’t have to perform at top levels.
  6. Focus on your breath, taking deep, slow inhales and more complete exhales. This soothes the nervous system, and allows you to systemically relax.
  7. Practice with your eyes closed whenever you can, and bring an eye pillow to use during Savasana. Our eyes are particularly stressed from working on computers and other screens. Pratyahara, the withdrawal of the senses, can offer healing and the freedom to go inward to feel the emotions and sensations that arise.
  8. Don’t leave before Savasana; stay and revel in it. It’s the only time all day that you get to “play dead”! Take that idea to heart: Lie there and do nothing. Give your entire body a break from all that it does, and just be.
  9. Bring socks for Savasana. Covering the feet during relaxation can ground the vata dosha, the elements of air and ether, and calm the mind by lowering anxiety and creating safety and warmth.
  10. After yoga class, don’t immediately rush to check your cell phone. Let the e-mails, texts, and calls wait as long as possible. Even 15 minutes of cell phone–free time can be the most liberating 15 minutes of your day.

Sarajean Rudman is the Kripalu School of Ayurveda Intern.

The post 10 Tips for Finding Balance in Your Yoga Practice appeared first on Thrive: The Kripalu Blog.


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Thirty Magical Fitness Tips

Willow Rockwell

So i first mentioned Multiple Sagittarius World Champ Trail bike Rider, self-proclaimed Jaguar, mother (it’s a Shamanic thing)  & Mega Mystic subscriber Willow Rockwell here, when she reviewed some  super googoo witchy drops. Now she is blazing a new path for herself as sort of a super athletic modern witch and has volunteered her top ten fitness/nutrition tips. They have a magical edge, of course.

“Much of this is from my own research on myself, as well as studying fellow athletes charts in relation to their body composition and performance at any given time.”

 

Source: Mystic Medusa

 

1)    Check out your rising sign. I often find that a person’s rising sign influences the body’s disposition as well as physical appearance.  Certain types of exercise are more beneficial to certain body “types”.  Fire rising for example can pretty much out cardio anyone else.  Water rising signs need more yoga and meditative exercises such as hikes in nature etc.  Planets conjunct the ASC are equally important to take into consideration as they change the nature of the rising sign considerably.

 

2)    Transits to the ascendant and the progressed rising sign are equally important in determining the correct method of exercise and lifestyle for THE NOW.  For example, in the past few years Neptune not only crossed over my Piscean ascendant, but my progressed ascendant changed from Aries, the amazon warrior woman, into Taurus the earth mother goddess.  These two astrological factors literally made it impossible for me to be the heroic warrior anymore.  I retired from cycling to care for my newborn daughter and have been practicing being more Neptunian and also more goddess like.  This has been THE biggest body transformation of my life, and it has all been extremely important for me to not struggle against it, but rather go with the energy that is now being transmitted to my body.

 

3)    I think it is very important to not force your body into some kind of “mold”. Yin rising signs are especially prone to having that kind of discipline backfire and then their bodies hold more stress, which equals more weight. I know Demi Moore is going through a tough time right now, but I do like her, and I know she is Pisces rising.  I heard an interview where she said that she finally came to have the ideal body she had always wanted by quitting the extreme exercise and diet programs and just LISTENING to her BODY.  Not a guru or trainer outside of the self, but the BODY.  I  always say that “my body is my guru and my pussy is my psychic”.  Neither will ever lie to you!!

 

4)    Check out Mars.  Mars in Yang signs have a quicker metabolism and a need to “burn” off steam. Yin Mars signs have a slower metabolism and tend to hold onto stress.  This requires a fine balance between release stress through exercise but not increasing cortisol levels through doing too much.  As I mentioned before, the body will go into fight or flight and then the weight will stay on to get you through the “troubled times!”

 

5)    It is very important to actually choose exercise that feels good to you while you do it. No amount of exercise that you hate doing is going to bring you the results you want!  Your body doesn’t lie, and if it hates doing what you are forcing it to do you will end up paying the price: either through injury, a foul mood or metabolic confusion.

 

6)    Switch it up.  Rotate the things you love doing so your body is always a bit surprised: I alternate :30 minute trail runs with warm Vinyasa flow yoga, Tracy Anderson DVDs, walks and Pilates.  If I had a Barry’s Bootcamp around I would do that too!

 

7)    Diet: Organic Coconut oil is the real deal.  It balances cholesterol levels and gives a good long burning fuel.  It really does help you lose weight!  They discovered this after feeding it to pigs to help fatten them up but all the pigs lost weight!

 

8)    1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar before meals will help kick start your metabolism.

 

9)    Cinnamon is a great spice to add to anything.  Metabolism booster yet again!

 

10)Ayurvedic diet principles.  I highly recommend seeing an Ayurvedic Practioner to determine your Dosha and to help you with a specific diet plan. Many of the Ayurvedic principles correlate with the changing of the seasons and the incredible stress these times of year put on our bodies.

 

11)Don’t do fads: Raw foods, juice fasts etc.  Many of us are too sensitive to digest that much raw food and you will just end up bloated and gassy. Here again is why I feel that a specific Ayurvedic plan just for you is highly beneficial.  Spices, herbs and types of food are recommended according to your pulses and if you are deficient or over-active in certain organs of the body.  There is a pulse for each organ and a skilled practitioner can help balance you out in as little as one session.

 

12)Adaptogens.  Nature’s anti-stress helpers.  Stress makes you fat. Period!  No matter if it is coming from your job or over-exercising.  Holy Basil Teas, certain mushrooms, Maca Maca and many other herbs are great for maintaining balance.  I love acupuncture for this reason as well.

 

13) If you tolerate mushrooms, a room temperature Kombucha  tea (the sparkly kind in a bottle) will suppress your appetite and support your digestion.  Drink on an empty stomach.

 

14)Infrared Biomat.  Okay this is expensive, but it is a health life-saver.  It is an infrared mat full of amethyst crystals and tourmaline crystals in the pillow.  The heat wards off all kinds of infections and also increases your metabolism. I use this as my doctor for the most part!  Perfect for listening to Binary beats!

 

15)Fish oil.  For anti-inflammatory properties. So much excess “weight” is really inflammation”

 

16)No coffee. Green tea or chai tea.

 

17)Cacao is magic, especially when combined with Maca Maca.

 

18)Red wine in limited qualities is also a gift from the earth mother!

 

19)No gluten, even if not allergic.  Elanaspantry.com has great gluten free and Paleo recipes.

 

20)Remember that today is not the last day you will ever eat again.  You can always have some more tomorrow!

 

21)Kate Moss quote “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels”  or something like that….I replace thin with healthy and I think it is actually quite an accurate quote!

 

22)I don’t eat cow dairy but I find that goat and sheep products are amazing and satisfying.  Especially manchego cheese!

 

23)Identify what you love and find healthy ways to incorporate it into your diet.

 

24)Natural Calm at night…it is a fizzy magnesium powder that helps you sleep and improves elimination.

 

25)5000 mg Vitamin D. Seriously helps your mood! Happy people are healthier!

 

26)Bach Rescue Remedy spray. I mean, it is the Zap Zone! We need all the help we can get!

 

27)Citrine crystals help get rid of cellulite. You can buy a tiny one and wear it in your bra. This really works. I love crystals in case you can’t tell!

 

28)Dry brushing. Yes, the models all do it!

 

29)Make sure your water is filtered. The water you drink and the water you shower with!

 

30)SLEEP!!! Melatonin 1mg will get you there if stress is keeping you awake. I believe that sleep is our best friend, now more than ever!


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Eight Ayurveda Tips

In a society that constantly inundates us with the next best diet, it can be difficult to stay focused and know what’s actually beneficial and effective. Stress is one of the most significant causes of weight gain in our society, so the last thing we need is to stress out about extra weight! Is there a way to lose weight and keep it off—without losing your sanity and jumping from diet to diet, only to relapse and start the cycle again? There is—and it has been road-tested for the last 5,000 years.

Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine developed in India, is the sister science to yoga. It seeks to prevent disease and promote health, balance, and longevity through simple guidelines that follow the natural rhythms of the universe, the seasons, and the time of day.

Here are eight Ayurveda tips that can naturally and gently guide you toward holistic and healthy weight loss, without the use of chemicals, processed food, or extreme diets.

  1. Drink a large glass of warm water with organic lemon in it upon waking to stimulate the bowels. This boosts the entire digestive system and gives you a fresh start.
  2. Exercise before eating your first meal of the day. Exercising enough to break a sweat is suggested as a daily morning practice for healthy weight loss; 45-60 minutes is ideal, but even 30 will do. Find an activity that you can do for the rest of your life, or at least for the foreseeable future.
  3. Find five to 10—or more—minutes of peace and relaxationex in the morning. Mind/body practices like yoga, meditation, and qi gong elicit a relaxation response in the body. This helps to alleviate stress, one of the main causes of weight gain. It also puts us in a more mindful and present state of mind, allowing us to be better decision-makers as our day proceeds.
  4. Eat three meals a day, no snacks, making lunch the biggest meal and dinner the smallest. Food is a fast-burning fuel, and when your body is given a constant fuel line, it forgets how to burn fat. Have breakfast, a medium-sized meal, between7:30 and 9:00 am. Have lunch, your largest meal, between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Have dinner, your smallest meal, between 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm, when your digestion is weakest.
  5. Eat with the season, and preferably the region. Through the long, hot days of summer, Mother Nature offers us high-carbohydrate fruits and fresh vegetables to keep us cool and energized. In the fall and winter, the bounty consists of root vegetables, stored nuts, seeds and fruits, heavier meats and cheeses, and stored grains to insulate us from the cold. In the damp days of spring, nature brings us berries, green leafy vegetables, and sprouts to cleanse us from the heavy and acidic winter diet. When we eat as much organic and local food as possible, and feast on seasonal, whole foods, our bodies naturally digest and assimilate nutrients.
  6. Eat all six tastes. In Ayurveda, we recognize six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Be sure to incorporate all six tastes in your daily diet. Sweet, sour and salty tastes are anabolic, or building, in nature and need the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes, which are catabolic, or burning in nature, to balance them out. Too many sweet, sour, and salty tastes, as seen in the standard American diet, can cause fast weight gain. Foods that are bitter, like leafy greens; pungent, like spicy chili peppers; and astringent, like pomegranate seeds, offer healthy counterpoints to the building nature of the sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
  7. Move a little after each meal. Going for small walks after each meal stimulates peristalsis and digestion. It’s most important to go for a walk after lunch, preferably 10 to 20 minutes at a moderate pace. If possible, lie on your left side after walking for 10 minutes to further aid in digestion.
  8. Go to bed with the sun, and rise with the sun. Tapping into the natural circadian rhythms of our diurnal bodies causes a major hormone-balancing effect. Anthropologically speaking, our ancestors had no reason to stay up late at night. They would have slowed down when the sun went down, and maybe sat around a fire or a candle for a while before calling it a day. The screens that we stare at late at night cause stimulation in the brain that keeps us awake and wired after our body naturally wants to slow down. Two hours before bed, start to limit your screen time. Go to bed before 10:00 pm, when we get our second wind. Obtaining a proper seven to nine hours of sleep a night gives the body time to detoxify and reset for the next day, and helps maintain healthy levels of cortisol (a stress-response hormone that causes weight gain).

These eight steps towards natural weight loss can have profound effects on your life. However, it’s vitally important to meet yourself where you are, in order to maintain sanity and not create more stress. Decide if this plan is something you want to take on full throttle, or if just a piece or two could be incorporated into your life at this time. It’s okay to begin with small steps. Slowly but surely, the age-old magic of Ayurveda will lead you toward stress-free, healthy weight loss.

 

Source: Eight Ayurveda Tips for Weight Loss by Sarajean Rudman via Kripalu.com


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