By Myra Lewin
It’s September, and about midway through the month marked the transition to vata season. Even here in Hawai’i, I can feel the warmth of the summer pulling away as the days become just a bit shorter. Where you live, the first frost might already be on the ground.
This time of year is when nature begins to turn inward, a natural response to balance the moving quality of vata. It makes sense that you also want to follow suit. You may find yourself wanting to stay in a bit more and focus on taking care of yourself. You may be inspired to pull out your roasting dish to bake pumpkin until it is tender and delicious. Follow your inner wisdom to relax and welcome nourishment.
When prana is flowing without interruption, your body has everything it needs to heal itself (see the first in this series on pain relief to learn more about prana). Pain, whether mental or physical, cannot take hold in a body with an easy flow of prana. When prana is blocked, pain can become so much to bear that people often look to drugs or surgery to cope. But these methods of pain relief dull your body’s natural intelligence and further disrupt the flow of prana that is the key to healing. On the contrary, herbs and Ayurvedic treatments work with the body to address the root cause. As prana comes back into the body, the doshas regain balance and health follows.
Pain, whether chronic or infrequent, mental or physical, is a greatly misunderstood part of the human experience. Most people want more pleasure and less pain, but when you tune in to the messages that pain is attempting to show, it can become a tool to reach moksha, or liberation in life.
The practice of Ayurveda offers a fresh perspective on how to manage pain in your life. By seeing yourself as a holistic being, you’ll see how the mind, body and spirit work together to create pain, and how you can use all these parts of you to heal from the inside out.
This is the first in a three-part blog series on how to reframe your perspective on pain and natural pain relief. In each, we’ll share Ayurvedic wisdom on pain and offer simple techniques to help you feel better for your entire life.
The things you do in any part of your life affect all parts of your life. This includes the choices you make about what to eat, what you do for entertainment, the company you keep -- each of these causes has an effect. So if you are trying to change the way you feel, you must look holistically at what you are doing to bring about the results you are getting.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and what happens on the outside reflects what is happening on the inside. While people often seek to address skin issues with external remedies, Ayurveda suggests healing them from the inside out.
By understanding the doshic imbalances behind common skin issues, you can make changes to bring whole-body health. Addressing the underlying imbalance will bring a calmer mind, healthy digestion and an improved relationship with the God of your heart. You certainly can’t get that from a prescription cream!
Here’s a look at three common skin ailments, their root causes and ways to bring your skin to its natural state of health.
Have you ever wondered why oil is such a significant part of Ayurveda? From the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet, the oil treatments recommended in the Ayurvedic texts provide healing benefits inside and out. Here’s a quick look at why Ayurvedic self-care and treatments recommend oil for health and healing.
By Rachel Saum
For most of my life, I’ve struggled with skin problems. I was teased for having acne in elementary school, long before kids my age even understood what a zit was. I grew up believing that I had inherited oily, acne-prone skin that could not be helped. As a teenager, I spent years going to a dermatologist, trying every cream, cleanser and pill they had to offer. Some were effective for a time, but before long the skin on my face, back and chest would break out again, now a lot more dried out from the harsh medications. It was an expensive cycle and I grew increasingly frustrated and self-conscious the longer it went on.
By Shannon Wianecki
I wouldn’t have believed it if it hadn’t happened on my own head. Reducing an imbalance in pitta dosha had dramatic results—some of my gray hairs returned to their original reddish-brown color.
Long before I knew anything about Ayurveda or doshas, I was wrestling with my friend’s five-year-old son. He had me in a headlock when he stopped. “Shannon, I see a grey hair,” he said gravely. “Pluck it out,” I laughed. “I can’t,” he said. “There are too many.”
I was 23 years old. Already, numerous grey hairs sprouted around my temples. They weren’t just lacking in melanin, either. They were disobedient little wires poking from my scalp: coarse and hard to smooth down. Sigh. I didn’t want to use toxic hair dye, but I didn’t feel quite ready to rock life as a lady silver fox.
We're joining the #30daysofgratitude campaign (we are a few days late because we were so busy counting all the things we are grateful for).
For day 4, we're grateful for warm herbal oil for abhyanga. This nurturing daily practice makes vata season as calm as any other. Join us on Facebook and Instagram (@hale_pule) and tell us what you're grateful for.