Ayurveda – the Science of Life

Ayurveda is often referred to as the Science of Life. It is the knowledge and wisdom on how to live that originated in India over 5,000 years ago and is still used today. It is considered the sister science to Yoga and these two modalities together offer a holistic approach to balancing the mind, body, and spirit.

On July 13th, Hemma is hosting Madhuri Phillips, from Vancouver, who is an internationally known Yoga teacher (E-RYT), certified Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist (CAS) and Pancha Karma Specialist (PKS). She has been one of my teachers for many years and I am  excited for her to offer her gifts with our community here in Victoria. If you register by July 5th, you catch the earlybird price!

Read her most recent published article Tame the 5 Ayurvedic Fires for a Cool and Easy Summer.

Tame the 5 Ayurvedic Fired for a Cool and Easy Summer
by Glynnis Osher and Madhuri Phillips

Did you know that Pittahas five fires? In Ayurveda, the pitta dosha—being the elements of fire and water—has five fires or functions. These five forms of agni or fire all serve to provide or promote active transformation on some level in mind and body. These five fires are called Sadhaka (intelligence/light of the mind), Alochaka (sight/visual perception), Pachaka (digestive fire), Bhrajaka (lustre/glow of the skin) and Ranjaka (imparts healthy color to blood/liver/excretions).

These are the functions of pitta in the body and keeping the fires burning bright means keeping them from consuming everything in a blaze, or from becoming extinguished and lacklustre. So we need to keep the pitta fires in balance with practices that contribute to the overall health of body and mind, especially in the summertime.

5 Cooling, Soothing Practices for the 5 Fires of Pitta:

1. Balance Sadhaka Pitta: The Mind. Incorporate soothing meditations for the mind. Five minutes is better than none at all. Avoid negative, critical thoughts. Chant Om Namah Shivaya (I bow to my highest Self, my Innate Perfection). Pitta can be super critical of self and others and is always striving for perfection. This mantra brings peace to the mind and encourages self-acceptance and love.

2. Balance Alochaka Pitta: The sight. Cooling colours, gemstones and visual scenery—waterfalls, meadows, lakes, rivers, ponds. Think greens, blues, aquas, and white. Use or wear gemstones such as moonstone, chrysoprase, serpentine, jade, opal, pearl. Avoid harsh, violent films and garish visuals and colours.

3. Harmonize Pachaka Pitta: The Digestive Fire. Keep the digestive fire balanced with cooling foods in the summer such as: cucumbers, salads, fennel, coriander, coconut water, dandelion, rice, sweet fruits. Avoid spicy, pungent, sour, salty, processed and oily foods. Eat for your body type.

4. Soothe Bhrajaka Pitta: The skin. Nourish the skin with aloe; coconut oil; Pitta face/body oil with mentha, artemisia, and rosewood; aromatic spritzers with rose, orange blossom, lavender, peppermint. Avoid sunburn, excess heat, oily foods and remember to drink enough fresh water.

5. Detox Ranjaka Pitta: The liver and blood. Enjoy liver tonics and elixirs of bitter greens; fresh juicing; herbal teas of fennel, coriander, rose, dandelion, and neem. Avoid heavy, oily foods and processed, refined and chemically preserved foods.

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