Balancing with Ayurveda

60c69375a17a4513ce5a6ef052dbf17c_1 Yes, we are all saying it. In Ayurveda our moods, thoughts and actions can be determined, for better or worse, by the weather. Spring time can be a combination of cold, wet and windy days, but with our prayers and thoughts vying for a warm sunny day. so not only does the actual quality of the weather pull us out of balance so does our longing to be somewhere else. The Doshas are 3 main types of energies in the world and make up ‘us’. All of them are derived from the elements each of us has a bit of the element or a lot of the element in us. Vata Dosha is like the wind it actually means ‘Air’, Pitta Dosha is fire and Kapha Dosha is Earth and Water.
The change of season can uproot us on many levels. Spring is a time of new growth, graduations marriages and many events of transition are sprouting up. The wind that creates Vata creates change. Hence “winds of change”. Besides being a time of innovation and inspiration it can create a sense of instability and insecurity. On the other hand Kapha is a cold damp day that makes you want to curl up on your couch and feel heavy and withdrawn. Navigating our way through this combination of weather can be confusing and disturbing. But we have a few tools that can help us to warm up and use the inspiration of Vata and the groundedness of Kapha to help us to be ‘strong and move forward’.

*A warm sesame oil ‘bath’ can help to ground and warm you. It is also very nurturing and loving which, for some of us, is very important to bring into our daily lives. It is not really a bath, but called a bath because it is done before you bathe or shower. Massaging the warm sesame oil into your skin, circling the joint areas and massaging the oil towards your heart. Your whole body can be oiled including your head, but its ok to skip that if you don’t want to get your hair oily. Leave on for 5-10 minutes before the shower. allow this time to be a few minutes that you meditate or just notice the flow of your breath. Check the link to see of a video of how to apply the oil here.

*Breath of Fire is a great way to warm up and get the blood flowing. Sit in a comfortable position either on the floor or in a chair. Close your eyes and sit up straight and take a few deep breaths noticing the flow your breath. Then begin a rapid inhale and exhale through your nose. You are not hyperventilating. The inhale and exhale are even just rapid. This may get faster over time as you become more comfortable with it. Here is a link to help you understand it. After 3 minutes relax your breath and focus on 3 things that you have to be great-full for. Really feel it in your heart and send love towards the ones or the events, things that you have thought of.

* A warm cup of Chai either with Black tea or Decaf or Rooibos. Heating up cardamon, cinnamon and ginger about an eigth of a teaspoon should be enough in 2 cups of liquid, half milk, half water. Using any type of milk you like, almond, soy or coconut.

* A few herbal and flower essences can also be helpful to help you balance. Vata types who might feel anxious and unstable try: Basil, Orange, Rose, Geranium, Clove, Patchouli, and Vanilla.
* To balance Kapha who might be feeling heavy, dull and sluggish try: Camphor, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Marjoram, and Clove.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like a personal consultation to determine your Dosha and ways to help balance your body, mind and spirit.

Mary @ 267-252-2389

Sesame oil Bath for anti -stress and a good nights sleep

Sesame oil is used to detoxify, and nourish the outer and inner tissues of the body, and also lubricate the joints and muscles .  Our bodies have some naturally occurring enzymes, some of which are Catalase, which is similar to antioxidants like superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase. When applied to the skin sesame oil works with catalase to break down the hydrogen peroxide that has been known to create oxidative stress. Sesame oil creates an environment that is optimal for the catalase to thrive in and inhibits the production of nitric oxide an xanthine oxidase. This allows the enzymatic defense system catalase, and superoxide dismutase to continue to break down the hydrogen peroxide in the body.  Not only is this good for overall well being in the body and mind, but done before bed can induce a nice deep sleep.
Ayurveda uses other herbs such as withania somnifera dunal otherwise known as Ashwaganda. Ashwaganda has enzymes such as catalase in the leaf and using the herb brings extra enzymes into the body to fight off disease and toxins.

Application:  Although it is called a bath its actually not done in the ‘bath’ Apply Sesame oil before taking a shower and leave on for a few minutes to let it soak in.  Then once in the warm shower you can scrub off the oil with a cloth or sponge using a soap of your choice, but I find Dr. Bronners Peppermint soap works very well.  After the shower you will find that your skin feels soft and clean and vibrant.

 

REFERENCES

*James Po-Jung Chiang, Hsu, D., Jui-Chen, T., Hamm-Ming Sheu, & Liu, M. (2005). EFFECTS OF TOPICAL SESAME OIL ON OXIDATIVE STRESS IN RATS. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 11(6), 40-5. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/204831068?accountid=3784
*Wang, H., Luo, J., Huang, X., Lu, M., & Yu, L. (2014).Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 41(3), 555-61. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10295-013-1392-1
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/vegetarian-sources-catalase-3693.html
*Jaleel, C. A. (2009). Antioxidant profile changes in leaf and root tissues of withania somnifera dunal. Plant Omics, 2(4), 163-168. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/230007642?accountid=3784

 

WORKSHOPS

 

Mysore style Ashtanga Yoga  and Led Intermediate series

Where: Alex @ Magu Yoga in Mount Airy PA call Mary to register at 267-252-2389
2 days only August 1 and 2 Saturday 12:30-2:30 Mysore practice Pranayama and meditation to follow from 2:30-3:00. Sunday 12:30-2:30 Led Intermediate series
cost: $25 for Saturday and $35 for Sunday.
Mysore style is a self practice that is guided and coached by the teacher. Mary is an Authorized level 2 Ashtanga Yoga teacher . In 2007 she was authorized by Pattabhi Jois in Mysore India and level 2 authorized by his grandson Sharath Rangaswam in 2010.
Mary is also an Ayurvedic counselor and all be available for private consults on Saturday after the class. Please email for an appointment. www.mysoremary.com

Intro to Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga.

In Baltimore; contact Maura @ Baltimore Yoga Village

June 13 1:00-3:00
Ashtanga Yoga is a sequence of flowing postures that focus particularly on the movement of the breath, the gaze and the places where you gather strength or focus on called bandhas. It is a method that cleanses the body and helps you to concentrate and clears your mind. Although the postures seem difficult , over time they become very natural and easy. But until that time we will find modifications so that you can practice the system safely and correctly. All levels are welcome, but be prepared for an athletic practice.

Teaching private classes in Baltimore and Philadelphia. $120 per session

 

Peach Pie Yoga

I am baking a pie. Lately, besides Asana my tools for Yoga practice have been making things. In the fall I get a hankering to make pies. One summer I traveled for 2 weeks in late august visiting people on the east coast and baking pies for them. It was a great trip! Today I start mixing the fruits and I realize that every thought I am having is being absorbed into the pie. The work of Masaro Emoto (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAvzsjcBtx8 ) is a clear example of how thoughts create a certain type of crystallization in water. Certainly the thoughts we are having while making a peach pie will reflect the molecules in the pie. With this in mind I put on some music that uplifts me. Many times it is Yoga chants and music but it can also be music that I love. And then similarly as I do when I focus my attention on Yoga or painting I bring this awareness and attention to my pie! Full attention and awareness with out judgement equates LOVE. Not the possessive passionate love we feel for one another, although it is part of that. That has a different spin and is a wonderful thing, but this LOVE comes from being present and receptive to what it is you are focusing on. Whether it is a person who you are listening to or a pie that you are making. I took one of my blueberry and peach pies to a party last week and everyone was asking what was in it and I replied “ I made it with LOVE” , (I actually stole that line from ‘Like Water For Chocolate’, a very passionate movie about cooking and love).
This kind of Yoga practice is not the deep kind of quality one can get while sitting in meditation or practicing breathing exercises, but it is a way to ‘still the mind’ (Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodhaha) http://www.yogajournal.com/article/philosophy/intro-to-yoga-philosophy-sutra-school-1-2/
This is the second quote from the ‘bible’ of sorts for the Yoga practice. The next verse goes on to explain that with this quieting or cessating of the mind one can experience the vastness of our consciousness. For me that takes a quiet seat in meditation or in nature walks, but this conscious listening of sorts helps me to bring more love and acceptance into my world. With a tool like a creative practice or an asana practice we can make the molecules more beautiful in the world and perhaps make someone else’s meditation a little easier to step into as the quality of happiness and love expand throughout the neighborhood and ultimately the universe!
Happy Pie making!

I am Loved/ We are loved

Upon waking in the morning instead of giving into the voices that are constantly tugging away at our energy think to yourself “I am Loved”.  All the way until you brush your teeth.  As the day goes on and you find yourself thinking some anxious thought about someone or something that distresses you fill the space with “I am Loved”  or try “We are Loved”.  Both are good and have different sensations.  “I am Loved”  Fills you from the inside out and “We are Loved”  fills you from the outside in.  The more you feel ‘love’ inside the more you can share and give.  Try it!

 

Creating Love

When we create and develop an artistic language whether it is a yoga flow or painting or music, we are using that medium to dive into a flow of creativity and ‘love’.  We usually need some sort of vehicle to access this creative potential. Once the language of our craft is developed we are able to access our creative space. It is like our surfboard on the waves of ‘love’. This love is always everywhere, but is sometimes easy to miss. Listen deeply, watch closely and observe fully.  Once it is established you will no longer need the tool.  The flow is always there.  If you are not an artist you can use the arts as your vehicle. Experience the awe in watching an Olympic game, Look closely to paintings and the language in the markings and flow of color and light. Read poems with time to reflect and absorb, listen deeply to the music that you love. This love is in every breath you take. Feel it, experience it.