Posts Tagged ‘ayurveda’
September 5th, 2012by Michelle Muttart
The fall and winter months often prove to be more difficult to handle for some and for others they sail through what they’ll often refer to as their ‘favorite time of year’. I fall into the first category often beginning to struggle sometime during the transition into fall.
For many years I wrestled with seasonal depression. Of course, in my younger, more naïve years I’d visit my family physician and start taking an anti-depressant. That never ended well. Once yoga philosophy came into my life and I learned about Ayurveda I realized that what was actually happening was an imbalance in the elements that composed my body.
When the transition out of Summer (Pitta) and into Fall (Vata) began I would usually have more fire energy in my body but it didn’t take long to swoop right into having too much air, the result was feeling cold, restless, anxious, indecisive, my body hurt, my stomach would swing from constipation or dysentery, I would feel irritated and loose my temper, I’d overeat or not eat enough, and soon I would be sleeping too much causing fatigue and ultimately depression.
Through an analysis I learned that my body is made of a lot of air with ether (Vata), equal fire with water (Pitta), and a smaller amount of water with Earth (Kapha pronounced Ka-Pa). More importantly, there were actions I could take to help improve how I felt.
What I now change or implement at the beginning of fall:
- Eat warm foods like soup, stews, and casseroles
- Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables especially rooted ones to help keep me grounded
- Not eating frozen, processed foods, or cooling foods like melons, cucumbers, or grapes
- Not using ice in my drinks and drinking more hot teas and warm water with lemon
- Doing yoga everyday and meditating more often
- Travelling to warmer climates whenever I can
- Eliminating things that cause me to move at a hectic pace, doing less and nurturing myself more
- Coconut oil massage and moisturizing with it daily, even eating it
- Adding more omega 3 to my diet
- Adding spices to my foods that help warm me from the inside out (in moderation)
- Soaking in the sunlight whenever I can
- Wearing warm clothing to ensure that I’m comfortable, opting for layers
Many things stimulate the Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The saying is true; “Like attracts like,” and I am no different. We all are naturally attracted to what speaks to us most, good or bad. To further understand the Doshas, I’ll tell you a little more about how they work in my life.
My Vata expresses by:
- Exploring mystical ideas
- Creative pursuits
- Having many pursuits
- Being somewhat thin and of low weight
- Having small teeth and eyes
- Loving change and travel
- Dry skin
- Exploring spirituality
- Loving warm weather and sunlight
- Sensitivities to noise
- Getting restless at times
- Joints that pop often
- Under stress my body hurts
- Loving to counsel or teach
My Pitta expresses equally by:
- Often striving for perfection
- Sometimes having digestive issues
- Having lots of moles
- Having owned my own business
- A slight athletic build
- Having equal proportions
- Color coordinating my closet
- Working well under pressure
- Sensitivities to heat
- Loving be next to the lake or ocean
- A love of learning
- Getting irritated at times
My Kapha expresses too by:
- Having blue eyes and blonde hair
- Having softness physically (no six-pack here, Kapha is a voluptuous creature!)
- Get melancholy at times
- Allergies in the spring
- Wanting to help others
- Not liking to be rushed by others
- Feeling a connection to nature
- Sensitivities to smells
- Cold, damp weather bothers me
You might see similar characteristics in each list and that in natural. We are all made of all three Doshas; it’s the amount of each one that varies for the individual. Once you realize what you are made of, you can learn to lean more to what really balances you and not just what feels best, because sometimes what seems right isn’t always. Sometimes we have to look at the whole picture.
I realized that some of the things causing chaos for me were things that ‘society’ said were normal. I pushed through for many years, but in yoga we are taught not to push but to look for the path of least resistance. I found that I couldn’t participate in the normal and remain balanced. I had to make some major lifestyle adjustments in order to honor my family and myself more.
One of the things I chose to do was to take my children out of public school and bring them home. I realized several years ago that the change into the school year made the pace of which our family flowed turn into a type of stress vortex! Between the schedule, work, homework, and sports we were all tapped out by the end of the day and there was no time for any of us to nourish ourselves. Sometimes it would be weeks before we had a chance to balance.
Not finding time for balance results in dis-ease; so some major changes had to be made. The result has been rewarding. It wasn’t easy, however, we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor now. Each change we make brings us closer to where we need to be, a place of perfect health and peace. A place where our spirit can remain connected with those closest to us, to others who need us, to ourselves, and most importantly, to our source.
Honor yourself this fall and make the changes big or small!
If you or a loved one are interested in having your own analysis, I will be scheduling appointments now through Oct. 1 for a discounted price of $55. Please see the services page for a detailed description.
September 20th, 2011by Michelle Muttart
Awareness is the best and sometimes the worst part of a yoga lifestyle, because with knowledge comes responsibility. So once the product junky who often thought the pricier and prettier the package, the better, is now the long-word on-the-label identifier and “can’t use it, it say’s fragrance” type shopper. Some might see it as a hinderance, however I’m invested in living as long as I can with as little problems as possible. It also helps to limit consumption (another lesson that comes with the lifestyle)!
It’s a Process…
My first moment of clarity came when I used to purchase Bath & Body Works products. I like most of the girls I knew was so excited when they moved into the local mall and soon owned an array of smelly good lotions and soaps. One day, I noticed that the smell was so generic that I looked at the label which of course was filled with words I can’t spell, pronounce, and surely had no idea what it was. I decided to look it up and stumbled onto a database that listed more than I ever intended to find out. Horrified of what I was potentially creating in my body, namely CANCER, I decided it was time for a change. A change in consciousness equalled a manifested change in how I was living my life.
Remember, as you set out on any journey of change that it is a process. I found that it was easier to start small when cleaning up my products and to buy as I needed a particular product vs. trashing everything I already had and going gun ho…and it’s cheaper too. Over the years, I have tried different products, some have worked and some I didn’t care for. There are a few that have passed the test and some still in transition. I’ve listed a few products that I use daily:
Chandrika Ayurvedic Soap – I love this soap for washing my face. It’s made with pure vegetable oils. The formula features coconut oil to moisturize, wild ginger to soothe, lime peel oil to refresh, orange oil to cleanse and sandalwood oil to cool skin, which is great for anyone who has blotchy skin or prone to breakouts. Now my face is dry so I only use it once per day and follow with moisturizer.
Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant Body Spray– I love the Lavender and White Tea blend. It’s the only natural deodorant that I’ve found that works for me. I do have to re-apply after yoga, but I love that I don’t have to worry about stains and even better, I don’t have to worry about it causing breast cancer! It’s made with water, natural mineral salts and essential oils and smells fantastic. Works for even the profuse Pitta perspiration.
Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil– Absolutely could not survive the winter without this product. Coconut oil is a wonder in itself, there are so many uses. I use it for lotion, for massage, for eye make-up remover, for a mouth rinse (Yes, really; swish and spit to reduce germs and to whiten teeth!), its great for cooking, and two teaspoons taken orally can ease constipation. Rubbing the soles of the feet before bed can calm you and helps to soothe Vata’s restless mind. Miracle oil!
Cell-food Oxygen Skin Care Gel – Just started using this aloe vera based gel that is packed with amino acids. You can really feel the tightening of the skin, one of the benefits claimed by the manufacturer. It softens fine lines and restores moisture balance for all skin types. I like to think of it as ‘youth serum’!
Neutrogena Oil Free Sunblock– Still on the search for something safer, but have been using this sunblock that has a low percentage of the common ingredients found in sunscreen. It’s easy to find locally. I’ve always worn sunscreen everyday, I think it’s an important part of reducing fine lines and wrinkles as well as sun protection.
Change is Possible…and Affordable!
So, what is your beauty drawer filled with? With the availability of choices today it’s time for all us to become more aware of what we are ingesting through our skin. After all, everything we put on absorbs into our blood. I think it’s important to support products that are attempting to move in a conscious direction, in turn large bath, body, and hair product suppliers will realize that it’s time to put the health and not just consumerism first.
There are resources to help you start your natural beauty process. Skin Deep is a cosmetic safety database easily accessed online and even from your smart phone while out shopping. This website is genius! They list products of all kinds, even perfumes, with a safety rating of 0-10. There are over 65,000 products currently in the database each with the rate and issue of concern listed. Trust me, it’s worth checking out! When it’s time to purchase, local health food stores are great. For right now, safer products are slightly pricey, I have found through my own transition that the quantity of product I’m purchasing is less and therefore I’m spending close to the same and probably less.