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Tag Archives: vata

Dinacharya: How Daily Routine Connects us to Life

Sometimes freedom reveals itself in our ability to choose NOT to do something even more than in our ability to choose to DO something.

The practice of hatha yoga aims to deepen our experience of connection to the reality of the universe. The path of hatha yoga uses the tools of our senses to perceive our life and the world around us as it changes, expanding our sense of familiarity with Nature. When we “practice” asana or meditation we have the opportunity to practice becoming more and more embodied, more and more sensually connected to our life. The longer and more attentively we practice, the more this embodiment carries over into other parts of our life. Read more »

Recipe: Pea Soup with Fresh Mint and Parsley

Peas are in season again and we can’t get enough of them! Last spring I wrote a simple recipe for a green pea puree that makes a great side-dish (or baby food). This recipe is a bit more sophisticated and can hold it’s own as the center piece of a meal. Read more »

Of the Sun and the Moon: Ayurveda, Exercise and Yoga

Ok, it may be true that spring started a month and a half ago, but now we’re finally starting to feel the heat of the sun. And, it turns out, there is a good reason for that.

Saumya and Agneya

Ayurveda texts talk about 2 halves of the year: one more associated with the sun (when there are more than 12 hours of daylight) and one more associated with the moon (when there are more than 12 hours of night). The first half, when the sun dries the moisture of the atomosphere and heats the air, is referred to as agneya (“of agni”). The second half, when we are graced by the cooling, moist gaze of the moon, is called saumya (“of soma”). You could say that agneya and saumya are the ayurvedic equivalent of the “ha-tha” of yoga and the taoist concepts of yang and yin.

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Sprouted Mung Bean Dosas with Coconut Chutney

After my most recent trip to India, I found myself very inspired to try making Dosas at home.

In the south of India, dosas are made with something called Urid dal and rice. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to find Urid dal here in France (although I know that it is definitely available in the states and probably also in England, Canada and Australia).

So, that left me needing to experiment.

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Wind Element: The Source of All Power

Space – Wind – Fire – Water – Earth

This is the second of a series of posts on the 5 elements of Ayurveda and yoga. My last post was on space element.

Wind Element

As the potential within space element moves into action, wind element is born.

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Space Element: The Place Where Things Happen

Space – Wind – Fire – Water – Earth

These are the names of the 5 elements of the manifest world as taught to us by Ayurveda. Their combination and interaction with each other provides all things their unique expression. The elements themselves are unseen, but they are the source of the qualities, or gunas (there’s our word gunas again), that we can perceive.

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Understanding Your Constitution: Vata Dosha

In my last post, I talked about how to start to tune in to your unique experience to discover your constitution. This post is the first in a series of three in-depth discussions of each of the three building blocks of Ayurveda: dosha.

There are a two ways of understanding dosha: how it expresses when it is healthy and in balance, and how it expresses when it has gone out of balance.

Vata dosha is made up of space and wind elements.

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Easing Transitions: Recommendations for Fall

What Happens When Fall Comes? As the air begins to cool and the wind picks up, there is no denying that the days are getting shorter and fall is well on its way.

The qualities of cool, dry, mobile and rough are starting to creep in to the world all around us. Autumn is the season governed by the energy of Vata dosha. As summer stretches into its last days, it is a good idea to prepare for the transition to fall.

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Ayurvedic Travel Tips

I have been a traveler for a long time. When I travel, I am inspired by new sights, sounds, flavors and ideas. I feel renewed by shaking my old routine. I’ve always loved meeting new people and being surprised by what the world has to offer.

But, why do I sometimes feel like I need a vacation to recover from my vacation?

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Relaxation in Action: Full Yogic Breath

Yet another way we can align with cycles of nature is to pay some attention to our breathing. A lot of us have mind and body health symptoms that would be soothed to some degree with proper breathing. In fact, breath is one of our most important forms of nourishment.

The breath is a wonderful tool on our path because it is always available to us. By learning to trust it, we can find a less effort-full way of moving through the world. By becoming more sensitive to its changes we can also recognize subtle ways we try to control it.

There are many practices for working with the breath, but we always need to start with just remembering how to take a full breath. In yoga we call this “Full Yogic Breath”.

Full Yogic Breath helps us become accustomed to deeper breathing as a regular habit. Bringing the breath into the belly helps to soothe anxiety or pain caused by being overstimulated. Resting your awareness on the process of breathing cools intensity and irritability caused by heat and stress.

Full Yogic Breath

Here’s a 5 minute audio of the practice:

To Practice:

Lie on your back on a bed or the floor.

Feel your body relax into the support of the earth.

Imagine your body is like a hollow vessel that you are pouring the breath into. Inhale, filling that vessel with the breath, from the base of the pelvis to the pit of the throat. The belly inflates first, like a balloon. Then the breath moves upwards, filling the sides and back of the ribcage.

As you exhale the breath back out, the vessel empties from throat to base. The navel relaxes back toward the spine.

In the beginning, it can be helpful to place one hand over the navel and one over the sternum. As you breathe, remind yourself to fill the belly first and then the chest. When exhaling, empty the chest and then the belly.

Stay connected to the full, deep breath and continue breathing like this for as long as you like. Try 5 minutes at first, but you might want to stay longer.

Once you are able to comfortably practice the breath lying down, try it sitting up and then standing. Before long you will find that you are breathing in this way more and more of the time without having to think about it.