Cultivating Tapas to Evoke Tejas

Cultivating Tapas to Evoke Tejas

The Yoga of Inner Fire

Beautiful ones, today I want to share with you the concepts of Tapas and Tejas. Through the study of Yoga Philosophy, you can cultivate vibrant living and inner radiance.

In Yogic and Ayurvedic philosophy, there is the concept of humans as the microcosm of the macrocosm. Everything in nature presents within us and everything within us presents within nature. We are the little world in which the universe is reflected. Look around and you may see this to be true.

Agni is the Sanskrit word for fire. It represents the Vedic god of fire and illuminates, transforms, creates warmth and energy. In Ayurveda, Agni is the fire of digestion and metabolism. It is present in the body in the form of Pitta Dosha and has its origins in Tejas.

Tejas is illumination, radiant splendor. It represents intelligence, illumination, energy, and vitality. It is the superfine essence of Pitta (one of the Ayurvedic Doshas) and can be seen as a melting heart that draws others in.

How does one build Tejas?

Through Tapas – tap is the Sanskrit word for “burn”. Tapas, which means austerity is purification through discipline. Tapas is related to Agni, the element of fire, and it can be perceived as burning enthusiasm.

It purifies samskaras, deeply ingrained habits, and ways of being that no longer serve us. For instance, Tapas builds character and strengthens our will. It also helps us hone our intention so that it is stronger than the obstacles we encounter.⁠⁠
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⁠With a steadfast dedication to Yoga practice, we can turn Tapas into the more refined Tejas. ⁠⁠
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As a result of my own evolution through Yoga practice and all the benefits it brings, I am inspired to rededicate my heart to daily Sadhana. I already feel the burning fire of discipline ignited in my soul. It feels good.⁠⁠

Here is a little look at my daily practice:

  • 7:00 am: Wake-up and meditate. Get some exposure to sunlight.
  • 7:20 am: Perform oral hygiene that includes oil pulling, tongue scraping, and brush teeth.
  • 7:30 am: Drink hot water with lemon or lime if you have a fiery nature. This will hopefully stimulate elimination. Sit and plan out my day.
  • 7:45 am: Move my body/ care for kids. In the first part of the day, I like to get in the bulk of my exercise. I vary my workouts but usually, they include rebounding, Yoga sun salutations), pranayama (breathwork), dance, and sometimes Agni Sara.
  • 9:00 am: Perform abhyanga (warm oil self-massage)/ shower/ eat something warm, light, and noruishing.
  • 10:00 am: Begin Work. I try to get the bulk of my work done during Pitta (fiery) time of day 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. You will notice this is the time the sun is highest in the sky – it is also the time when the fire is strongest in our bodies.
  • 12:00 pm: Lunch – eat your largest meal of the day in this time of fire and digestive strength. Eat in silence if possible and try to stay off screens.
  • 12:30 pm: Take a walk in nature.
  • 1:00 pm: Finish up any computer tasks or work that requires a lot of focus.
  • 2:00 pm: This begins Vata time of day which is the most creative time. I love to use this period for creative projects, meditation, communication, and things like restorative Yoga.
  • 5:00 pm: Dinner prep food and eat. Choose from local – whole foods – close to nature and filled with Prana so nothing with a long shelf life and freshly made if possible.
  • 6:00 pm: Commit to completing any work tasks by now and turn work off. Be fully present with my family, and invite play and pleasure. As a person who tends toward overwork, making this commitment to myself is supremely important.
  • 6:30 – 7:30 pm: Catch evening sunset – view outdoors if possible. (More on this from the brilliant Dr. Huberman)
  • 8:00 pm: Turn off all electronics by this time. Ideally two hours before bed. (Or get blue light glasses)
  • 10:00 pm: This is the ideal time for bedtime.

I hope this sample routine helps you! It is a way to cultivate the power of discipline which has innumerable benefits. When we build Tapas – we increase our pure potential and authentic power to show up in the world as who we are meant to be.

Here’s a beautiful video from Rod Stryker on turning Tapa to Tejas.

https://yogainternational.com/article/view/tapas-into-tejas-building-character

Join me on Wednesdays for small group Yoga Therapy classes. This month our focus is cultivating Tapas.

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

 

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

Ayurvedic Wisdom for Spring

Understanding Kapha Dosha

Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, is a critical part of the practice. It is based in the premise that we are a microcosm of the macrocosm. There there is an intelligent organizing principle to the universe, and we are an integral part of the fabric of life. It teaches us to respect nature and look for the natural world within ourselves. It shows up as the 5 elements – air, water, fire, earth, and space. As we enter into springtime, we enter the season of Kapha Dosha. this is the imbalance of water and earth. Think of melting snow – which has the qualities of heavy, slow, cold, smooth. Kapha governs stability and structure, and is the substance of the human body, from the bones to the organs to the fatty molecules (lipids) that support the body. When balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness, and loyalty. When excessive, Kapha can cause weight gain, congestion, and resistance to healthy change. 

“We can’t talk about our own health without understanding our place in our environment, because in order to fulfill our potential we have to live in the context of our surroundings.
We have to know our place in the ecosystem of which we are a part, and this means living ‘consciously’: being aware of nature and how it affects us and how we, in turn, affect nature.”
 Sebastian Pole

Aligning with the Rhythms of Nature

Now that we understand Kapha a little, let’s talk about creating balance in the body and mind. It is important to practice Dinacharya and Ritucharya – daily and seasonal routines. One of the prevalent tenets in Ayurveda is the fact that like increases like. For example, if you are suffering from allergies with an abundance of mucus (often a Kapha imbalance or abundance of ama or toxins) and you eat a bowl of ice cream – you will see more mucus. The same goes for feeling sluggish or dull and eating a couple of slices of pizza. Think how differently you feel if you eat a light meal of quinoa or sauteed kale. That may sound awful to you, but you get the idea. If the qualities of Kapha are cold, heavy, dense, think of counteracting that with warm, light, and heating. This goes for foods, drinks, activities, really everything!

Here is the way I integrate Ayurveda into my life.  My routine for Spring would look something like this:

  • Rise with the sun
  • Meditate/ Journal
  • Drink a glass of warm water perhaps with a little lemon or lime
  • Scrape Your Tongue – with a metal tongue scraper (a spoon is a good substitute)
  • Eliminate
  • Perform Garshana – dry skin brushing
  • Perform Abhyanga – warm oil massage with organic sesame oil. Use long strokes on the limbs and circular motions on the joints.
  • Shower (no need to use soap on the oiled parts)
  • Perform vigorous exercise preferably outdoors
  • Eat a light, nourishing breakfast – something warm and add a little spice like cinnamon or clove
  • Perform your most intensive tasks between 10 am and 2 pm
  • Eat your largest meal between 10 am and 2 pm
  • Go to bed by 10 pm

    This simple routine will soother your nervous system and create more balance in your body and mind. Adding on simple dietary and .lifestyle changes that align with the seasons will benefit your well being beautifully. It is truly a gift to know and share this ancient wisdom. Try it and let me know!