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Ayurveda for Summer

Ayurveda for Summer

Summer is the season of Pitta. Pitta Dosha represents the elements of fire and water. The qualities are hot, light, sharp, oily, pungent, penetrating, intense, acidic. Pitta controls digestion – it is the fire of metabolism (representing how we digest food) and the fire of the mind (how we digest information). It is the dosha of transformation, of summertime, of the hours of the day between 10 and 2. Pitta governs the eyes, the skin, metabolism, and assimilation, desire and spirituality.

If you are a person with a Pitta constitution you generally have a medium, athletic build, you may have red or bald and thinning hair, a healthy radiant complexion, strong appetite and digestion, abundant energy, ample drive and motivation, a powerful intellect and a fiery personality.

If you are experiencing feelings of impatience or irritability, a demanding or critical nature, perfectionism, skin rashes, ulcers, thinning hair or hot flashes you may have a Pitta imbalance.

As summertime is the season of Pitta, it is coming for this Dosha to become imbalanced. To counteract an abundance of Pitta, we want to invite foods, activities, and environments that are sweet, cooling and stabilizing. Here are a few simple lifestyle tweaks:

Wear:

  • Cool colors such as white, light blue, light green, light gray.
  • Essential oils such as jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, lavender, peppermint, sandalwood.

Play:

  • Spend time in nature.
  • Be by water.
  • Bathe in the moonlight.
  • Keep plants in your home.
  • Make equal times for rest and play.
  • Do not overwork.

Eat:

  • Foods that are cooling and sweet such as: Cucumbers, mint, grapes, melon, avocado, asparagus, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, mint and fennel.
  • Avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and coffee.
  • Replace coffee with CCF tea (equal parts cumin, coriander, and fennel).

Practice:

Perform:

  • Daily Abhyanga or self-massage with coconut oil.
  • Nurture friendships.
  • Laugh often.

I hope this helps <3
Prakriti (your true nature)
Vikriti (your imbalance)
This is a great site: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/prakriti-quiz/

For more information on Ayurveda for your Dosha Schedule Your Free Discovery Call Now!

 

Namaste,

Jeanette

 

Stay Safe, Stay Sane

Stay Safe, Stay Sane

How are you, really?

I feel like it’s been a bit of a roller coaster here – fear, joy, sadness, hope, frustration – all the feels. Besides, there’s a strong collective sense of anxiety right now, and I don’t even watch the news. This collective fear makes me want to share some info about the way our nervous systems work. So grab a cup of tea and come geek out with me.

 

 

Nervous System Basics

As you may know, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is broken into two parts – sympathetic and parasympathetic. The ANS regulates those functions which happen automatically without thought and intervention like breath, heartbeat, and digestion. Sympathetic is the fight or flight response and parasympathetic is the rest, digest, and freeze response. When we feel anxious or stressed it is our sympathetic nervous system that is activated.

Polyvagal theory, developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, goes even farther to say that the parasympathetic NS breaks down into two additional parts, the dorsal vagal complex and ventral vagal complex, which are inhibitory for the PNS. Now I know that‘s a mouthful, but to break it down – the more tone your vagus nerve has – the greater ease you find returning to baseline after a stressful event. This tone is measurable by checking heart rate variability – the difference between heart rate when you inhale and when you exhale. The more significant the difference, the higher the tone. 

Porges also theorizes that the evolution of the autonomic nervous system has created a social nervous system or social engagement system. This is the place where we take cues from the world around us, our interactions with others, and our relationships to create a sense of safety in the body.

 

I riff about it here in my Facebook group here.

Social Nervous System

(If you’re not already a member, this is your invitation).

Polyvagal Theory

As described by Bessel van der Kolk, professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine:[9]

The Polyvagal Theory provided us with a more sophisticated understanding of the biology of safety and danger, one based on the subtle interplay between the visceral experiences of our own bodies and the voices and faces of the people around us. It explains why a kind face or a soothing tone of voice can dramatically alter the way we feel. It clarifies why knowing that we are seen and heard by the important people in our lives can make us feel calm and safe, and why being ignored or dismissed can precipitate rage reactions or mental collapse. It helped us understand why attuning with another person can shift us out of disorganized and fearful states. In short, Porges’ theory makes us look beyond the effects of fight or flight and put social relationships front and centre in our understanding of trauma. It also suggested new approaches to healing that focus on strengthening the body’s system for regulating arousal.

 

 

So when I am in the grocery store and picking up on the collective anxiety I feel the panic rise, I use the breath to create calm and soothe my nervous system. My favorite breath, which I share in the video above, is the 1:2 ratio breath. Inhale to a count of 4 – exhale to a count of 8. If 8 feels difficult, try 6. It isn’t that important how many seconds you inhale and exhale, what matters is that you create a steady rhythm and lengthen the duration of the exhale. Not only is this wonderful for developing vagal tone, it also increases lung capacity. Try it and let me know how it feels!

 

 

Here are a few other evidence-backed ways to increase vagal tone, relieve stress, and calm anxiety:

1. Deep, slow belly breathing
2. Splash cold water on your face
3. Give someone a 20-second hug #hugsforvagaltone
4. Sing, hum, or chant
5. Practice loving-kindness meditation
6. Regulate your circadian rhythms with sun exposure early in the day and again before the sun sets
7. Widen your gaze to include an entire landscape instead of focusing in on a small aspect or view
8. Practice Yoga, Meditation, Qi Gong, or any other contemplative healing practice that you love

And in all of this, remember most of all – have self-compassion. Whatever you are feeling is normal.

 

So, here’s an invitation for you to join me for some online classes and self-love. All classes are free for essential workers. Also, previously purchased gift cards will be honored. Promo Code: Gratitude

 

And here’s a poem I love that seems especially poignant right now:

 

The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

Because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

— Jalaluddin Rumi

 

 

Sending you love and warmth. I look forward to seeing you.

 

xo,

Jeanette

 

 

 

Yoga For ElderCare

Yoga For ElderCare

Yoga For ElderCare

Yoga for ElderCare

You may not know this, but you don’t have to be young and flexible to practice Yoga. As a Yoga Therapist, I love to share the practice for its healing benefits. In fact, it is an integral part of my self-care and helps with the entire aging process. Yoga has been proven to increase and promote balance, mental clarity, stress reduction, restful sleep, decreased inflammation and improved mood.  This simple sequence is designed for healthcare practitioners, Yoga Teachers, and loving caregivers. It can be adapted for a variety of needs, levels, and abilities.

 

Click Below To Receive Your Free Guide

Ayurveda for Winter

Ayurveda for Winter

Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word, combines the words Ayu for Life and Veda for science. It is the sister science of Yoga. Ancient practitioners designed this wisdom practice to offer precise and individualized support to care for your physical body. Ayurveda begins with the principle that we are a microcosm of the macrocosm. Our entire bodies comprise of the five elements – ether, air, water, fire, and earth. These elements represent in all things in the natural and human-made world. For example, imagine you are holding a glass of water. The glass begins as the sand, which is earth. Fire turns it into the glass. The water in it is, well, water. And notice how much air is a part of the whole. To break it down further, this is a typical way that the elements show up in the bodily form: Ether – hearing, intuiting, space Air – touch, breath, movement, life Water – taste, protection, nourishment, blood, plasma Fire – light, warmth, metabolism, vision Earth– scent, structure, muscles, bones One primary Ayurvedic principle is that each of the five elements is present in everything. The seasons, the times of day, the phases of life, and our physical and psycho-emotional bodies tend to be grounded in this principle. The five elements come together in different “imbalances” to create the 3 Doshas, Vata, Pitta, Kapha. Vata contains both air and ether. It is very much like the late fall and winter – cold, windy, dry, and quick. Vata is also the season of old age. The time of day where Vata is most prevalent is 2-6 (am and pm). We will talk more about Vata dosha as we are now in winter, and knowing how to keep Vata in balance is especially helpful. But first, let’s continue to explore the rest of the doshas. Pitta is comprised of fire and water. This combination makes it hot, oily, light, sharp, penetrating. It associated with summer and young adulthood. Pitta time of day is 10-2 (am and pm). Kapha is made up of water and earth. It is cold, moist, heavy, and dense. Kapha season is spring and early fall and is most present in childhood. The time of day associated with this dosha is 6-10 (am and pm). Vata Dosha  As we are in the heart of winter in the northeast, you may notice an abundance of air and ether and the qualities of Vata dosha all around. People whose constitution is predominately Vata may move and act more quickly than other doshic types as well as tire more easily. They are creative, and their appetite, digestion, and elimination may fluctuate. If you notice you are experiencing feeling cold, dry skin, worry, insomnia, restlessness, or difficulty focusing, you may want to pacify Vata dosha. 10 Ayurvedic Tips for Winter:
  1. establish a supportive daily routine. Wake and sleep at the same times every day, ensure you eat regular meals, and stick to a schedule of rest and play
  2. meditate on a word or a sound to focus and calm the mind
  3. eat warm, dense, moist foods such as stew or porridge
  4. sip warm water throughout the day
  5. enjoy warming spices such as cinnamon, clove,
  6. add bitter and astringent tastes to your diet
  7. eat high-quality fats
  8. perform daily abhyanga or warm oil massage with organic sesame oil
  9. enjoy going to bed early, ideally by 10 pm
  10. remember, Vata needs stability, warmth, and regularity to be balanced. Incorporate these qulaities throughout your life as much as possible.
Enjoy these simple, pleasurable self-care practices that help you remain balanced and serene during this chilly season. Let me know how it goes. xo, Jeanette
Yoga for People with Trauma

Yoga for People with Trauma

With the coming of Veteran’s Day, I can’t help but reflect on the time I spent at Omega for a Veteran’s Retreat hosted by the Venerable Claude Anshin Thomas.  He is a brilliant, compassionate monk and Vietnam Veteran. Here are some Yoga suggestions for working with peope with trauma.

  1. Encourage Dirga Pranayama and Ujjayi to soothe the nervous system
  2. Use touch sparingly and only with enthusiastic verbal consent. Do not approach from behind or surprise. Enter the student’s space mindfully and slowly.
  3. Avoid deep backbends. Think of containing prana. Instead practice grounding, face down backbends like salambasana, bhujangasana, salamba bhujangasana.
  4. Standing strength poses for stability and empowerment – tadasana, virabhadrasana I and II.
  5. Sprinkle in balance postures such as vrikasana and garudasana.
  6. Apply gentle supported forward folds. Use lots of props. Be mindful of low back injuries or too much introspection.
  7. Close with Yoga Nidra.

Yoga heals. Those who have experienced trauma benefit from contemplatve healing practices and somatic therapy. Yoga offers both. I hope you enjoy this and would love to hear from you.

Namaste,

Jeanette's signature