Tag Archives: herbs

Simple and Effective ways of Ayurveda for Hair Loss and Premature Graying

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In Ayurveda, hair fall is referred to as ‘khalitya’ and premature graying of hair is termed as ‘Palitya’. Both khalitya and Palitya are considered as pure paitik (arising out of ‘pitta’) disorders. It means, when you continuously disturb ‘pitta’ (heat in your body), it can gray your hair. So, according to Ayurveda, if you consume pitta enhancing substances, your pittaaggravates and cause gray hair. From ayurvedic point of view, good hair growth is linked to one’s physical and mental health. When one is cheerful, the hair looks lively, alternatively when one is feeling depressed and pessimistic, the hair acquires a fallen and lifeless look.

According to Ayurveda, hair is a byproduct of bone formation and the tissue responsible for building bones is also responsible for the growth of hair. Early hair loss is related to body type and the balance of the mind-body constitution (doshas). Any problem with the hair will always indicate a dosha imbalance as well as a disequilibrium in the activities of your mind. People who have excess Pitta in their body are likely to lose their hair early in life, or have prematurely thin or gray hair. Excess Pitta in the sebaceous gland, at the root of the hair, or folliculitis can also lead to hair loss. Ayurveda recommends specialized home remedies to prevent as well as manage the gray hair all over the body. According to Ayurveda physiology the digestive essence (Rasa element) is responsible for healthy hair both color and structure. Any pathology affecting this leads to white hair. Correction of the causes with Ayurveda therapies and medicines, bring back the normalcy. Ayurveda says that the white hair after the middle age that is 82 is not reversible.

How to Look More Beautiful as You Age

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No matter what your age, you can keep your skin looking like a teenager’s by paying attention to the four pillars of youthful skin:

  • Nourish your skin all year round, both from the inside and from the outside.
  • Rehydrate your skin internally and externally — maintaining moisture balance is crucial for skin health and appearance.
  • Detoxify from both the inside and outside to prevent the build-up of toxins and help keep skin clear and radiant.
  • Practice stress management — stress is the number one enemy of youthful skin.

Paying attention to these four pillars increases prabha, the natural luster and glow of the skin, and it is important to address all four aspects from the inside and the outside.

Nourish Your Skin

To nourish your skin from the inside, The Council recommends following the ayurvedic dietary guidelines for the season and your skin/body type. In addition, try adjusting your diet to become more skin-friendly:

  • Eat plenty of sweet, juicy fruits, including a stewed apple or pear for breakfast, to enhance skin suppleness.
  • Include multiple whole grains in your diet (quinoa, couscous, millet, barley, amaranth, rye and wheat) to provide a variety of minerals and the full range of nature’s intelligence to your skin.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables, cooked with skin-friendly spices such as turmeric, cumin and small amounts of black pepper (see recipe below). Green leafy vegetables provide fiber and nutrients such as iron and calcium, which help to nourish the blood and skin tissue.
  • Eat light, easily-digestible proteins such as milk, lassi (yogurt blended with water and a dash of cumin and fresh mint), and panir (freshly-made cheese), as well as nourishing proteins such as mung dahl, which is helpful for all skin types.
  • Take Youthful Skin Tablets and Premium Amla Berry tablets daily to support your skin with herbs, which represent the concentrated intelligence of nature.

Skin-Friendly Spice Mixture

  • 3 parts turmeric
  • 6 parts coriander
  • 6 parts fennel
  • 1 part fenugreek
  • 1 part black pepper

Sauté the spices in ghee (clarified butter), add steamed vegetables and stir. Cook for a few minutes to allow the spices to be absorbed.

Turmeric is the greatest friend of your skin because it is deeply purifying and is also a potent antioxidant. Cumin and fenugreek purify the blood and fat tissue, and black pepper and turmeric do the same, plus cleanse rasa (nutrient fluid) and sweat (the waste product of fat tissue). All of these factors have a direct link to the health and appearance of the skin.

Rehydrate Your Skin

For internal rehydration, drink more pure water; eat sweet, juicy fruits; and include moderate amounts of high-quality fats such as ghee or olive oil in your diet. A completely fat-free diet is unhealthy for the skin, and diminishes both luster and aura. But always cook fats with skin-friendly spices to improve digestion and absorption.

Vata skin-types require more fat content in the diet because their skin tends to be naturally dry, and Kapha skin types require less because their skin naturally has relatively higher oil content.

For external rehydration, massage daily before your bath or shower with the Youthful Skin Massage Oil: this oil includes herbs such as Sacred Lotus, Sandalwood, and Ashwagandha. The Youthful Skin Massage Oil is formulated for enhanced absorption, has an anti-aging effect, and increases glow and luster. It is the most effective oil for youthfulness, and incorporates new processing techniques that result in faster absorption and more satisfying aroma.

Facial skin can benefit from the deep-layer lipid support offered by the Youthful Skin Oil. Here’s a tip for fast, even, light application: barely moisten your hands, then pour 3-4 drops of the oil onto one palm. Rub your palms together to spread the oil, then pat your palms on your face to apply the oil. Gently massage it in with your fingertips, using even, upward strokes.

Royal Milk Anti-Aging Skin Bath

This time-tested beauty aid was recommended by traditional royal physicians for the queens of India to enhance glow and luster of the skin:

  1. Mix a large quantity of 70 percent rolled oats, 10 percent Indian Sarsaparilla, 10 percent Marshmallow Root and 10 percent Rose Petals.
  2. Place two tablespoons of this mixture in the middle of a small square of cheesecloth, gather up the ends of the cloth, and tie with a string.
  3. Dip the cloth into warm milk and pat the entire body with the herbal sachet to deeply moisturize your skin.
  4. Make enough mixture for one or two months and store in an airtight container.
Detoxify

The number one detoxification target should be the colon. If you have a problem with Apana Vata and are constipated, for instance, your skin will only become dryer and duller. Take daily walks, eat more fibrous foods, and drink plenty of water. If you still have irregular bowel movements, take Herbal Cleanse.

To seasonally detoxify from within, take Elim-Tox-O along with Organic Genitrac for 45 days whenever the seasons are in the process of changing: in the transition weeks between summer and fall, fall and winter, winter and spring, and spring and summer.

http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/ayurvedic-beauty/ayurvedic-aging-secrets.html#gsc.tab=0

KATI VASTI ‘You are as young as your spine is healthy’- Ayurveda

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The term kati refers to low back region. It is procedure where by medicated oil is retained for a certain period of time in the low back area. A completely sealed walled boundary is made with the paste of black gram powder or wheat powder in the kati (low back) region. The medicated oil is heated till it becomes lukewarm. This lukewarm medicated oil is then poured in to the space inside the walled boundary in a constant and continuous stream. It is retained there for a particular period of time. The medicated oil is soaked up, heated to becomes lukewarm and poured back again by adding fresh oil in it. This repeated during the whole procedure. It helps in strengthening the muscles especially those in the low back region. It helps in alleviating neuronal complaints, lumbago and sciatica. The treatment is also effective in muscular spasm and inflammations in the low back region. Dhaanwantaram tailam, Sahacharady thailam, kottomchukkadi thailam, murivenna, karpoora thailam etc. are some of the medicated oils used for the treatment. The ayurvedic oils for the treatment are selecting depending up on the conditions of the patient or direction of the physician. The duration of the treatment varies from 30 to 40 minutes depending up on the condition of the individual. The course of treatment depending up on the directions of the physician or the conditions of the individuals.

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Benefits of kati vasti are relieves occupational tension build-ups, stiffness, spasms, pains and aches, and is very effective for sciatic pains and scolyosis.

http://www.ayurvedasopanam.com/kati-vasti.html

7 Simple Ayurvedic Beauty Tips for Your Face

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Mother Nature has in its store some of the best solutions for all kinds of beauty-related issues. All we need to do is tap into nature’s immense potential to keep our skin beautiful all round the year as well as prevent premature ageing. Ayurveda, our very own science of medicine, hailing from ancient times, is a storehouse of a number of herbal remedies which can naturally enhance the beauty of our skin, preventing and doing away with several common skin concerns such as pimples, acne, spots, dark circles, scars, wrinkles etc. Although inexpensive, the effectiveness of Ayurvedic remedies is immense.

Let us look at some simple Ayurvedic beauty tips for face which can help you acquire naturally glowing, problem-free skin:

Ayurvedic Beauty Tips for Face:

To cleanse the skin and pores: Raw Milk

One of the known basic ayurvedic tips for face glow is using raw milk. Raw milk helps remove unseen dirt and impurities from the face as well as the pores of the skin. It also adds a subtle glow and acts as a natural moisturizer. Use raw milk with a cotton ball to gently cleanse your skin. You may even mix a little lemon juice with raw milk for this purpose.

To acquire a smooth complexion: Orange

Applying fresh orange juice to your face on a daily basis will help bring about an improvement in the texture of your skin as well as the skin tone. This fruit is rich in Vitamin C which enables our body to fight ageing and it also acts as a good skin toner, especially for oily skin.

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To control acne:

Pack 1: Sandalwood and turmeric

Make a paste using 1tsp each of sandalwood powder and turmeric with water. Apply on your face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes, followed by rinsing off with lukewarm water. Do this daily.

Pack 2: Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is one of the wonders of Nature that has a number of skin and health benefits. Break open a leaf, take out the fresh gel, apply on your face and massage in. Once dry, wash off with lukewarm water. Aloe Vera cannot exactly cure acne but it has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, thus helping to reduce the swelling and redness of pimples and acne. Noticeable results can be seen in a week’s time. Moreover, drinking Aloe Vera juice can enhance the vitality of the skin and also be useful in case of stomach ailments.

To reduce pigmentation, blemishes and dark spots: Potato

Potato is a very good natural skin lightener and one of the best ayurvedic remedies for glowing face. Rub a slice of raw potato daily on your skin to lighten pigmentation, blemishes and dark spots. Alternatively, onion, lime or cucumber juice may be used for the same purpose.

To naturally moisturize skin to avoid wrinkles and fine lines:

Pack 1: Olive Oil

Olive oil is a wonderful natural moisturizer loaded with antioxidants and fatty acids. Smooth on a thin layer of it onto your skin before bed every night to rejuvenate your skin and prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Pack 2: Honey

Honey, an excellent natural humectant (a substance that promotes retention of moisture), can help you get soft and supple skin. It is extremely useful for avoiding wrinkles, flakiness and dryness.

Ayurvedic beauty tips for face have been used since many centuries to get naturally beautiful skin. Therefore, you too can start today!

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/5simple-ayurvedic-beauty-tips-for-your-face/

The Ayurvedic Path to Rejuvenation

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Rejuvenation

Rasayana, or the science of rejuvenation, is ancient; for around 5,000 years Ayurveda has been reputed to increase the body’s resistance to disease and slow down the ageing process. Scientific evaluation of plants and Ayurvedic treatments have borne out the fact that Rasayanas can protect the body against the ravages of age by enhancing its ability to fight pathogens by non-specifically activating immunity. Many Rasayana herbs contain antioxidants which prevent damage caused by free radicals. According to Ayurveda, Rasayanas bring about proper nourishment, growth and function of all seven tissues (Dhatus).

Rasayana therapy is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda. It is recommended for the elderly, pregnant women, post partum, for children, those who are debilitated, emaciated, convalescents, for anaemia, nervous exhaustion, and Vata conditions. It is contraindicated in conditions associated with ama (toxins), for obese people, during colds and flu, fevers, infectious diseases and allergies.

Ojas – the Subtle Essence of Life

A substance known as Ojas is central to the discussion of rejuvenation. It is said to be the eighth tissue, or the essence of all the body tissues, the ultimate product of nutrition and digestion, and the prime energy reserve for the entire body. It provides the energy, vitality, and joie de vivre that gets us through life. Our immunity, strength and resistance depend on the quality and quantity of Ojas; when depleted it predisposes us to lowered immunity, low spirits and ill-health. All rejuvenation therapies are, therefore, targeted at improving Ojas.

There are many Rasayana herbs and foods, but for these great healers to have their fullest rejuvenating effects we need to prepare ourselves first by optimizing digestion, cleansing toxins from the system and resolving imbalances of the doshas.

The Digestive Fire

Agni, or digestive fire, is central to health, enabling food to be transformed into nutrition that can be metabolized by the body to keep us well. Low agni can result from eating badly, stress, over-eating, and the resultant poorly digested food particles ferment and produce toxins, lowering vitality and predisposing to ill-health. It is always important to detoxify the system using, for example, massage techniques, diet and herbs for two to three weeks before using Rasayanas. Cleansing diets, such as a kitchari fast, are recommended, as well as herbs/formulae such as guggulu, ginger and Triphala.

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Rejuvenating Foods and Herbs

Kitchari is one of the best tonic foods and is easily digested. Milk (including cow, sheep, grain and nut milk), oils, ghee, nuts and seeds restore vitality, nourish the nerves and increase Ojas. Grains (wheat, oats and brown rice are said to be the best) and sweet tasting fruits and vegetables, such as dates, raisins, figs, pomegranates, grapes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions, cooked in ghee, improve vigour and help re-build tissues. Spices like garlic, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, cloves, fennel, cumin, coriander and asafoetida are warming and strengthening, they stimulate the digestion, and can improve vigour especially when cooked with ghee. Raw sugar, particularly jaggery, is considered to give strength and help to build body tissues. Adequate salt intake is important, especially rock salt.

Ashwagandha: Withania somnifera, Winter cherry

The most highly acclaimed Rasayana, Ashwagandha is a famous tonic, particularly recommended for adults to increase physical and mental stamina and vitality. Taken daily, it is particularly good for balancing Vata,  and strengthens both the muscle and reproductive tissues. It is helpful for insomnia, poor memory and concentration, depression, lethargy and anxiety. Research has demonstrated that Ashwagandha has immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It enhances leucotcytosis with predominant neutrophilia.

Shatavari: Asparagus racemosus, Wild Asparagus

Another excellent tonic and rejuvenator, Shatavari root has immuno-modulatory and antioxidant properties, and acts as an adaptogen, enhancing resilience to stress, whether physical, environmental, mental or emotional. It is used for general debility, hyperacidity, urinary problems, infertility, and more frequently to balance female hormones, for PMS and menopausal problems. Shatavari is one of the main Rasayanas for Pitta.

Pippali: Piper longum, Long pepper

With its pungent taste and heating effect, pippali increases agni and clears toxins. It is excellent for catarrhal congestion, and is the main Rasayana for Kapha. It increases circulation, particularly to the lungs, and has a beneficial effect on the immune system. It has been found to significantly increase macrophage migration inhibition and phagocytic activity.

Triphala

A famous compound composed of three fruits, all rich in antioxidants: Haritaki, Amalaki and Bibhitaki. This helps to maintain overall health by harmonizing the digestive functions, and working on all three doshas as tonics and Rasayanas.

Gotu kola: Centella/hydrocotyle asiatica, Brahmi

A rejuvenative tonic for the nervous system, Gotu kola balances all three doshas and helps improve memory, mental clarity and concentration. It is widely used for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, learning and behavioural problems, fatigue, chronic skin conditions and non-healing ulcers. It improves blood flow, thus enhancing tissue repair.

Amalaki: Emblica officinalis, Indian gooseberry

Amalaki is the main constituent of the famous Ayurvedic jam, Chayawanprash, a superb rejuvenator for all three doshas, the lungs and the reproductive system. It is also one of the ingredients of Triphala. It has cardio-protective effects, and reduces serum cholesterol levels as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. With its high vitamin C content, it is an excellent antioxidant and is the Rasayana for Pitta.
NB. Tonic herbs are best taken as powders and cooked in milk. To enhance their tonic effect add one to two teaspoons of ghee/raw sugar, and a little spice, eg. ginger or cardamom.

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Behavioural Rasayanas

There are many activities that promote health and happiness by engendering positive emotions and experiences, which in turn promote the production of Ojas. It is suggested to:

  • Discourage negative emotions, such as anger, hostility, and cynicism, and promote positive thoughts and actions that increase happiness;
  • Choose to be with wise people who uplift and inspire;
  • Always speak the truth with kindness and compassion;
  • Maintain personal integrity which helps to inspire confidence and self-esteem, as well as cleanliness, both mental and physical. Keeping a clean harmonious environment will uplift and inspire;
  • Be charitable and generous;
  • Cook for your family with love and respect;
  • Follow your own spiritual beliefs, devoting time for spiritual practices;
  • Do what you love to do and experience joy, for example singing, painting, being in nature;
  • Avoid work and activity (physical and mental) in excess, and get plenty of rest and relaxation.

http://www.positivehealth.com/article/ayurveda/rasayana-the-ayurvedic-path-to-rejuvenation

Ayurveda Hair Treatments for gorgeous hair

These Ayurveda hair treatments nourishes and strengthens the hair

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Ayurveda treatment with herbal oil:
Use herbal oils to treat hair problem as well as promote healthy hair growth. Massaging your roots with ayurvedic hair oil like neem oil or amla oil that works not just to improve blood flow to your head but also to nourish roots.
Massage 2-3 tablespoons of oil onto your scalp for 5-10 minutes. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on overnight. Shampoo and condition as usual the next morning.
Try the best hair oil spa treatment at home for faster hair growth >>

Ayurveda treatment with herbal powder:
Mix amla or fenugreek powder to coconut oil or aloe vera gel for a hair mask. The hair growth herbs strengthens the shaft and helps prevent breakage. Apply this to your hair and scalp and massage gently. Leave it for 30 minutes. Massage the treatment into your scalp, let it work its magic over the next couple of hours then shampoo and style your hair as usual.

http://www.indianbeautyspot.com/2014/05/ayurveda-hair-masks.html

7 Ayurvedic Skin Care Tips for Healthy & Glowing Skin!

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Beautiful glowing smooth skin is desirable by every woman and appreciated by every man. Genetically, we are wired to be attracted to people with clear skin and a glowing complexion because it’s a sign of good health. Ayurveda has some time-proven tricks to make your skin clear, soft, and radiant without spending a fortune or loading up on chemicals.

First, let’s see why our skin tends to become rough, dry, and irritated during certain seasons and with age. According to Ayurveda, it happens due to the accumulation of Vata in the body. Vata predominates in the Fall and early Winter, and in people over the age of 50. When there is excess Vata, we are prone to dry skin, cracking joints, thinning dry hair, and brittle nails. Vata can also show up in the body earlier if you’re really stressed, have a Vata disturbing diet or live in a Vata inducing climate (cold and dry). The secret to staying young is keeping Vata at bay.

Here are some Ayurvedic tips that will slow down Vata accumulation in the body and will help you stay young and keep your skin beautiful.

1. Don’t Skip the Veggies – Stick to high-water content vegetables that are easier to digest, such as lettuce, carrot, cucumber, daikon radish (which is revered by Ayurvedic healers for its purifying properties), fennel, and tender asparagus tips. These vegetables are tridoshic: they are good for all types of skin. Combine at least 3 and enjoy with a simple olive oil-lemon juice dressing.

2. Eat Like a Bird – Both traditional and Ayurvedic medicine agree that adding seeds and nuts into your diet will improve the condition of your skin. Vata is drying by nature so all foods that have natural healthy fats in them will prevent this imbalance. Nuts and seeds are a perfect food — they contain Omega-3s, healthy fats, and fiber to help a weakened Vata digestion. My favorite snack is GoRaw Sunflower Flax Snax. You can also try adding almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and other nuts to your oatmeal (or having them as your afternoon snack, when Vata naturally predominates).

3. Sip Some Tea – Vata is dry and cold by nature so your skin will stay younger looking longer, if your keep these two qualities at bay. Stay hydrated throughout the day and give preference to warm liquids, such as herbal tea. Making some spicy tea with fresh ginger and lemon will wake you up in the afternoon and keep your digestion healthy, which is important for glowing skin.

4. Pump It Up – Exercising is necessary in preventing cold Vata from accumulating. Modern doctors advise exercising to keep your muscles and joints healthy and toned, while helping you sweat out toxins. Exercise will also improve blood circulation, digestion, and give you a healthy blush! Choose the type of exercise that makes you feel good and gives you energy without exhausting you. Whether it is walking, jogging, dancing, yoga, or boxing — you should enjoy it and have fun moving your body.

5. Breathe In and Release – High levels of emotional and mental stress is one of the major reasons why Vata gets aggravated (Not good!). It literally sucks out all the vital juices from your skin making it dehydrated. Meditation and breathing can be very effective stress busters that you might want to consider. To get started with yogic breathing, lie on your back or seat comfortably, place one palm on your belly, and another one on your chest. Start inhaling into your belly, letting it slightly rise, then keep inhaling into your ribs, expanding the ribcage up and out, letting the air completely fill up your lungs by inhaling all the way up into your chest. Mentally keep track of your breathing — your belly, ribs, and chest. On your exhales, let the air move in the opposite order — chest, ribs,and belly sinking in. Do this simple yet very effective breathing technique for 5-10 minutes when you need to calm down whether it is before an important meeting or right before you fall asleep.

6. Doze off with Sunset – Aggravated Vata often causes restlessness which can lead to insomnia (Not good for your skin!). Any skin care professional or Ayurvedie doctor will agree on the fact that getting at least seven hours of sleep is a good thing when it comes to having a healthy and glowing complexion. If you have trouble falling asleep, try a full yogic breathing described above or use this one before going to bed.

7. Take Skin Moisturizer to a New Level – Staying hydrated on the inside is important but you shouldn’t forget about taking care of your skin from the outside, as well. Cleansing and moisturizing are the most crucial to keeping your skin healthy and young. An oil massage is the best remedy for dry skin. For the best absorption, anti-aging oil massages should be done at night. Apricot oil applied 2-3 times a week at night makes my skin feel very smooth and healthy. Once a week give yourself (or ask your partner to give you) a full body massage with oil. It stimulates healthy blood circulation, lymph drainage, reduces water retention, and keeps your romantic relationship exciting! Abhyanga, a full body oil massage, calms the mind, leaving you feeling grounded yet focused and alert, and balances emotions. Using natural organic oils is also a lot cheaper than chemical-loaded lotions found at a pharmacy. Try these Ayurvedic oils for your specific dosha: Kapha, Pitta, or Vata.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-1302/7-Ayurvedic-Skin-Care-Tips-for-Healthy-Glowing-Skin.html

MAKING LOVE WITH THE COSMOS WHILE PUKING MY GUTS OUT! An Ayahuasca Adventure :)

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I’ve just returned from a stay in a beautiful slice of jungle paradise, nestled somewhere in the South American rainforest.

Over the course of seven days, I drank the ancient brew named ayahuasca five times, was whipped with a prickly jungle leaf called Ortiga twice, vomited more than I have in my entire life, and was completely reborn.

I was led to plant medicine when I became fed up with being incredibly bored by the life that I was living and sick of my repetitive, isolated culture. I was deeply disappointed with my prospects of adulthood and I couldn’t bear the thought of living in a world devoid of magic.

I began to surround myself with nature—a place where I had always been able to find serenity and connection.

Much to my surprise, the Earth began to speak to me, comforting my depression with mountain air and rolling thunder. She gave me gifts of plants that could teach and people who could help me to understand them. I was a lost child, and she took me by the hand and led me home.

I heard about ayahuasca through whispered rumors among my group of “tripping buddies.” I was told stories of her healing powers, but I did not ever expect to drink the medicine. I was terrified by what I had heard about the intense visions and the prospect of the grueling, infamous purge.

Yet, less than two weeks ago, by a chain of mysterious and magical events, I found myself sitting before three shamans in a circular hut at 5 a.m., my shaking hands holding a small bowl filled with a thick brown liquid that smelled like really gross wine.

I gulped the brew, thanked the shamans and returned to my mat. Although I didn’t know what to expect, I was certain the plant would be gentle with my delicate self.

Within an hour, I was face down in the dirt, completely puking my guts out. I have never felt more sick in my entire life. The jungle was swirling around me as my mind lit up with beautiful images and brutally honest lessons.

I was completely lost in a psychedelic world, and the voice of ayahuasca made it very clear that I was cleansing my body and mind from years of self-doubt, hatred and ignorance, but was absolutely certain I was about to die.

Yet, even as I experienced this miserable state, I felt like a baby in the arms of her mother. There was no punishment, only consequence for the decisions I had made and the paths I had taken.

For hours I lay outside on beautiful, grassy knoll. Trees bent over me, laden with flowers, and I began to stop resisting the purging that continued to come. I had asked to connect with nature, and I saw that I was being connected to all of her aspects: The disgusting, painful, harsh, beautiful and complete reality of my own mortality.

Everyone else left for lunch, except one shaman who coaxed me back inside and sat patiently while I lay on my mat, slipping in and out of lucidity.

After 20 minutes, like magic, I felt perfectly fine. I sat up, and she came over to help me stand. My arm around her shoulder, we walked to the kitchen where I ate enough of the delicious, homemade food to feed a small army.

Still seeing geometric patterns and slightly tripping out, I was told that we would be having another ceremony in seven hours.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t wait to have my ass kicked again.

That night, I did not expect that I could possibly need to purge more, but 20 minutes after I drank from the cup, I was outside kneeling on the ground.

Yet this experience was entirely different. I was transported to the stars, while still aware of my body. As I purged, I felt new spaces opening up in my being. They were filled with the purest love I had ever felt. I began to see that as I gave up my attachment to old beliefs, patterns and stories about myself, I made room for the connections that I had been asking to find. The only way I can describe that night is to say that I made love with the entire universe for eight hours. I was transformed into a jeweled star goddess, crowned with grace and divinity.

I remember saying, “My third-eye is wide open and I’m never closing it” as I saw crystalline geometry and danced without moving a muscle. I laughed and sighed as one lesson after another fell into place. Mother Ayahuasca turned my cheeks to velvet and my eyes to galaxies. I lay in the hut, just feeling my skin and seeing all the ways I had not been loving my beautiful body. I felt one with the cosmos and saw the exquisite beauty in the duality of our world. My mind kept singing, “I forget so I can remember.” And the remembrance of this Love was beautiful.

The next three ceremonies unveiled to me different aspects of myself that I had been ignoring, suppressing and denying. I realized that I had been going to everything—books, articles, videos, fellow humans and even drugs, but never to myself for guidance.

I was shown that in my fear, I had created a safe shell around myself and filled it with a dreamworld, convincing myself that it was reality. I had been given everything that I had ever asked for, but my shell had not allowed me to receive these gifts. I did not want to feel pain and so I wouldn’t let myself grow.

But that day, beneath the warm sun, I began to hatch into something more complete.

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It is easy to love light and beautiful things, I realized, but I had been focusing so much on this light and beauty that I had allowed my dark side to fester in the shadows. There were ugly pieces of me that I was denying while professing to accept myself. This made me believe that I had to be beautiful to be loved and resulted in me spending hours in front of mirrors, criticizing and trying to hide my imperfections.

At one point during my fourth ceremony, right after a bout of purging, a friend walked by and asked how I was doing. With vomit and dirt covering my face, I smiled and said, “Amazing. I am learning how to be ugly” He smiled and said, “At last.”

During the final ceremony, it began to rain. I cried with the downpour and let it wash away all of the lies I had been telling myself. Here I am: naked, confessing that I have lied, stolen, cheated, inflicted pain and shattered beautiful things.

And I love myself anyway.

I am being taught how to hold a space of balance for myself. Allowing all of my facets to be loved is a constant choice for now, but I am committed to surrendering to this love over and over again. “I am finished fighting this endless battle against myself,” I scrawled in my journal. I meant it.

On the plane home I wrote:

“I think the most precious thing I have been given is the ability to love and be loved more deeply. It was like being carried home to the nest, held under my mother’s wing, against her heart, then set free to fly away again and become lost in the world. We have forgotten how to be unconditionally loved and it is the wound we are all trying to hide. Thank you, mother, for breathing me into life and then drawing me back to death. I get lost so you can find me, forget so you’ll remind me: I’m a child of the dark and light.”

I’ll be returning to that magical paradise again, but first I have some things to do at home. I am going to spread this love as far and wide as I can reach. I am going to stop wasting my precious life through laziness and start blazing my own path through this jungle of existence. I will rise with gratitude, fall with grace, and above all, keep falling in love with this glorious, wild ride.

~http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/04/making-love-with-the-cosmos-while-puking-my-guts-out-an-ayahuasca-adventure/

ANXIETY AND AYURVEDA

IS.33-2006 Painting Vishnu as Vishvarupa (cosmic or universal man); Vishnu as Cosmic man, watercolour on paper, early 19th century, Jaipur. Jaipur Ca. 1800-1820 Watercolour on paper

Since I began doing consultations as an Ayurvedic practitioner,

I’ve noticed one common element in which 4 of out 5 patients seem to all have in common. They all seem to be suffering from anxiety, anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Common symptoms in Ayurveda are: tremors, uncontrollable thoughts, spasms, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, a feeling of emptiness, every sound seems more intense and people feel very sensitive to energy. It’s as tho they have become a sponge for all the energy in the world.

We already have enough to deal with our own lives and our own health, it becomes even more difficult to feel everything, sound, sight, touch, energy, like a waterfall of bricks falling over you.

It becomes harder to go to work, to go do groceries and to even see friends for some of us. We slowly start allowing our fear to manage our life by avoiding mundane habits and social settings that we usually thrived in and enjoyed. Everything is taken more personally, we feel as tho everyone is looking at us and judging us. It can even become difficult to eat in front of other’s or to simply say hello to our best friends. Depending on the type of anxiety level you have or the type of anxiety you developed.

In Ayurveda this is called a Vata unbalance. It can be triggered by many things. A post traumatic stress that was not dealt with or noticed, a heartbreak, a burn out. To many ignored emotion’s kept inside which created a blockage of your energy from circulating properly, everything becomes stuck.

Sometime’s the thoughts are so uncontrollable and negative that we would love to cut our heads off to calm the noise and to simply stop feeling and living in a constant state of fear. The hardest thing is to have the knowledge and the logic to know that we have no reason to be fearful but the fear is still present.

It feels like some fear mongering monster has taken over your brain and your body, reacting with different manifestation’s of fear and not even knowing why? For me this was the hardest thing.

In ayurveda Vata is considered the dosha air and space. Air and space are beautiful, they connect with creativity, communication, fluidity, being open to change, feeling like a social butterfly, joy, clarity and so many other wonderful gifts. Vata is also responsible for physical movement, movement of thoughts, feelings and nerve impulses, movement of the organs for ingestion to assimilate and absorption of nutrients. Vata governs the mind, sensory perception, motor functions; including speech and muscular coordination.

When there is to much Vata, we are drying out our nervous system which is one of the primary sites of Vata. The colon is a primary site of Vata as well and when there is derangement we tend to become constipated, the mucus membrane diminishes. We have difficulty focusing or have difficulty sleeping and feel a sense of breathlessness when we feel anxious. My personal experience was feeling my heart and my chest cramped up with difficulty breathing from morning until night. This was constant anxiety and don’t get me started on my panic attacks :).

As someone who has suffered from anxiety, it was a relief to know that I was not the only one. That this seems like an epidemic, to my 50 year old male clients, to my 22 year old female clients. There is a consistency going on with the way people are responding to stress and their environment in our society.  Everyone is different and has a different body type. I will give you general information to bring you back into balance. Things that I practice everyday or almost everyday :).

Pranayama was a great help to me, the practice of Aloma Veloma, alternate nostril breathing and Kapalabhati, shinning skull. Do not practice these exercises with breath retention since the goal is to push the air out of the body not hold more in. These exercises are going to re-build your gray matter in the brain and your white coating of myelin sheath; white coating around your brain.

To put it in a simple way, are nervous system in our brain is like a room full of electrical wires all plugged into each other. Vata dry’s out the matter, the protection surrounding the electrical cord. When this is gone, you lose control of your nervous system and it’s natural functions.

Fight or flight a natural instinct for survival becomes very sensitive and the brain gets confused and feels the urge to flight.

Be mindful of not watching to many action or horror movies. Try taking in healthy impressions, being receptive to positive things and going for silent walks in nature to breath and ground yourself. The brain is primarily a Vata organ and there are factors that damage the brain and strips it from it’s cerebrospinal fluid. Excessive sensory stimulation, too much thought, too much worry, stimulants like coffee, sugar and drugs. A derangement in the brain will manifest as; insomnia, poor motor function and sensory function, spasms, tremors.

Yoga: Very soft and slow yoga, grounding poses and heart opening poses. Try to practice with your eyes closed and soft music alone. Be very soft and gently with yourself. When you do heart opening exercises try to exhale deeply. If you feel like letting out an animalistic noise, go for it. This is expelling the extra air and the negative emotions that need to move out of your body and your mind! Developed a harmonious routine, practice letting go and end the day with a beautiful gift to yourself of an Abyanga! Self-Massage!! Almond oil in my teachings and apricot oil is fine for all body types. The smell of jasmine, rose and sandalwood is soft and bring up emotion’s of love, softness and relaxation 1 or 2 drops is enough, essential oils are very concentrated and you do not want to put to much. Sometime’s less is more. Apply the base all over your body and simply send yourself love and be present. You can apply oil in your nose, your ears, under you feet and deeply massage your head with circular motions to help the nervous system replenish itself.

Slowly slowly sleep will become better, cultivating relaxation is an art. We are in a world where everyone is over stimulated. Try to turn your cell phone off before bed and take your time before you open it in the morning. Sing and allow your energy to flow, cultivate presence and mindfulness. Enjoy your LIFE! Not everyone else’s threw a screen. Moderation in anything in life is the key.

Allow yourself to listen to soft music and simply chill 1 hour before bed. Without constant television and stimulation, just be in your body and be in your thoughts. If you are not connected to yourself, no one can do it for you. These are the tools and if you practice for 1 week, you will already feel a difference.

Do not push to hard and listen to yourself. If you need to stay home because of a long stressful day at work. Stay home, there will be many more occasions to go out but your health is priority. When you have your health the rest will come.

Last but not least 2 magical herbs for every body-type,ashwaganda andtriphala.

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

Author: Melika Emira Baccouche