Here's a sweet and simple ojas-building complement to any meal.
About to take flight for the holidays?
The ability to travel long distances at high speed is a gift, however it can cause imbalance in our system if we donʻt take action to counter the movement.
Although Ayurveda preceded the airplane by a few thousand years, its healing principles can certainly be applied to recovering from air travel. We simply need to consider the elements, the qualities and the doshas.
Joint health is an important part of your ability to move freely and enjoy life. When prana is absent in your joints, you may feel pain or discomfort, or experience limited mobility.
This short sequence, called Namaste to the Joints, is designed to bring prana to these places where bones intersect and move each joint in its optimum range of motion. You can do most of these exercises in a chair, making this a wonderful sequence to bring to the office or practice while traveling on an airplane.
Watch the video below to say "namaste" to your joints:
One of the great benefits of Yoga asana is that it brings prana, or life force, to the body. When prana flows, life is easy and you understand your purpose.
However, you don’t need to master natarajasana or bakasana to feel the flow of prana throughout your body. A simple sequence, such as in the video below for Prana Namaskar, will build strength and move energy throughout your body.
This three-minute sequence may seem simple, but it will provide great mental and physical challenge. As you build pelvic floor strength, you will get in touch with your body and create connection within.
What an incredible gift it is to be able to visit faraway places all over the world. In just a few hours, we can find ourselves immersed in new surroundings. Traveling allows us to learn much about how connected we are to one another despite our differences.
However, outside of opening our eyes to new ways of life, the ability to travel globally has also increased vata imbalance. If you’ve ever come home from a trip feeling spacey or depleted, that is excess vata at play.
Everyone loves hummus. So many people are enjoying this creamy Middle Eastern speciality that it is showing up in the prepared foods section at many supermarkets. Picking up one of these containers might seem convenient, but you’ll feel much more satiated with our Ayurvedic homemade version -- no cans needed.
Making your own hummus is easy, and it’s a great way to become familiar with one of our favorite kitchen tools: a pressure cooker. But before we talk about how to use a pressure cooker, we want to share why homemade hummus made from dried chickpeas is so much better. There’s one big reason -- prana.
If you find you are feeling scattered or more anxious during this vata season, it’s time to use some food as medicine to calm and ground. What’s a better way to nourish your body and mind than a batch of freshly baked cookies?
The sweet taste is calming to vata dosha, and these “everyday cookies” can be enjoyed as the augmenting part of a meal (they’re also great to include in a child’s lunchbox).
Cookies can calm vata?
One of the greatest investments you can make in your health is committing to eating home-cooked meals. This doesn’t need to be a complicated process. In fact, it takes little more than a quality rice cooker to create a simple Ayurvedic meal. Our favorite meal to make this way is a basic combination of split mung and rice. Try this nourishing meal when you are traveling (just pack a rice cooker and all the ingredients to make it in your hotel room). You could also buy a rice cooker to keep in your office to take the place of take-out lunches. Or toss all the ingredients together to eat well on a busy day.
We love making Ayurvedic versions of familiar foods. And we also love sharing ideas for lunches away from home. That’s why these empanadas are such a wonderful treat to share with you this month (and just in time for back to school season!). This handheld meal is grounding and nourishing, perfect for the transition to vata season and great to include in a child’s lunchbox or to bring to the office.
Think of these Ayurvedic empanadas as a blank canvas and vary what you put inside. Try these empanadas with a mix of cooked augmenting and extractive vegetables or split mung inside. As you enjoy this lunch, remember how easy it is to incorporate Ayurveda into every aspect of your life. All it takes is a little planning and you’ll enjoy much greater health.
By Shannon Wianecki
I love traveling, but I also love maintaining a balanced, sattvic routine. Over time, I’ve developed a packing list that makes hopping a plane, train, ship or subway a nourishing, rather than depleting, experience.
Commitment to continuing my meditation and asana practice on the road. I learned to connect to my innermost self (and calm vata dosha) by establishing a routine: waking at the same time each morning, meditating for a set time, practicing asana and starting my day with a strong spiritual foundation. I do an abbreviated version of this while traveling.
By Lisa Akesson
I had been dreaming making a trip to India for years when spontaneously my friend and I made the decision to go. It was an overwhelming experience, full of positive and colorful memories that gave me hope and joy! But it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
On our third day I started to feel sick. I thought it just was car sickness, but as the day went on it was clear it was more than that. After days of treating the bacteria with various medications that I would never consume at home, I finally got better. Later on during the trip when I got sick again, I knew better than to take such extreme measures.
By Lisa Akesson
It can be tricky to find time to eat well when on a full schedule. I used to sacrifice real food and just have snacks. But really, everything goes so much smoother and easier when we're well fed at regular times. Freshly prepared food gives us more prana, or life energy, and supports us to make better decisions. We simply function on a higher level.
When you prepare your food yourself (or when a dear one does it for you) you know that it's been made with love and care. This is crucial for the quality of the meal. Try adding that bit of extra sweetness and good intentions next time you cook and see how you feel!
No garlic, no onion, no nightshades please: How I enjoy an Ayurvedic meal at (almost) any restaurant
By Stephanie Stillman
I love cooking. But sometimes I’m invited to dinner at a restaurant or simply want to enjoy a meal outside of my home. When I first came to Ayurveda I felt it was impossible to eat well off a menu, but now I’ve got tricks that help me to enjoy an Ayurvedic meal at almost any restaurant.
Hot days, after asana, during travel or after illness – there are plenty of times we can use some natural rehydration. This recipe is tasty, simple and instantly hydrating.
Traveling? Make up this recipe in bulk and store it in airport-friendly three-ounce bottles. Just drink one bottle every four hours of travel to balance the drying effects of air travel.
1 Tbsb. honey
10 drops fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 tsp. mineral salt
Thoroughly mix ingredients with 8 ounces of warm water.