Why you need a digital detox?

Do I need to digitally detox?

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What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Read the news? Check your emails? Scroll through social media? Now, imagine your phone’s not in the room. If that makes you feel aimless or uncomfortable, it may be time for a digital detox. Depending on who you are, and how much you use technology in your daily routine, a digital detox might seem either insane or too easy. It’s not until you begin to experience the highs and lows of a digital detox rollercoaster that you realise just how addicting social media and television is.

Why should I do a Digital Detox?

1. Start using your time for things that need it!

When was the last time you completed your tasks and/or to-do lists on time without procrastinating? The digital world is a distraction that easily gets in the way of managing our time. We are wasting too much time on something that doesn’t matter in the long run. It’s time to gain back control of your sleep patterns, your work schedule, and your free time.

2. Regain your love for yourself!

With so much comparison going around, it’s no wonder that self-love is strange to understand. Every picture on social media gives a new meaning to the word “perfect,” and “beautiful.” When your reflection in the mirror doesn’t add up to the images you see on social media, your self-esteem goes down. When we’re constantly comparing, there’s no way we live the life we were always meant to be. It’s time to put down that smart phone and invest that time in developing self-love.

3. Get back to your creative self!

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With all the energy the digital world drains from us, there’s less time to feel motivated to create, to complete our goals, and to chase our dreams. By taking time back for yourself, inspiration has room to rise again. It’s time to remember what it feels like to accomplish something, to dream outside of the box, and to chase the life you actually get to live. When you have time to reflect, pause and observe you have a chance to see patterns and connect dots. Patterns are the insight necessary to have ideas both big and small. 

4. Don't miss those moments!

Memories are always being created, and if we are constantly checking our phones, we’re bound to miss something. It’s simple pleasures that make life more fulfilling. It’s time to stop letting life pass us by and start experiencing all the real world has to offer us–instead of looking for it in a TV series or an Instagram account. When your phone is down, your eyes are up and you’re looking around noticing things, talking to people, listening to those around you and receiving information from all your senses, you are topping up your creative fuel. As Alfred Hitchcock says, "Ideas come from everything". But you have to be present to notice things.

5. Positive relationships!

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Nothing kills meeting a friend for a catch up when they spend their time with you updating their instagram with photos of their cup of coffee.  Being present is one of the key but basic elements of positive relationship building. Being on your phone makes this next to impossible. We touch our phones 80 times a day. It’s a staggering number that most likely makes you cringe. It’s truth that we’ve become slave to our devices. Which gives better hugs? Your partner/friend or your phone?

 

Simple steps to start today!

- Ban phones at night, sleeping with it outside of your bedroom (just buy an alarm clock!)

- Go phone-free entirely on the weekends

- If you establish a maximum daily time allowance for your devices then you will be more likely to it and you will probably notice the need for daily allowance decrease

- Make sure you turn all screens off at least two hours before bed - that means no phone, no laptop, no iPad. "Your bedroom is for sleeping - so don't turn it into a cinema, a shopping centre, a bank or a casino.

How long should I detox for?

A week is typically a good time for a digital detox. However, if you’re enjoying the process, why not extend it? Pick what works best for you, but be sure to challenge yourself.

Moments are passing us by, and there’s a life out there that’s waiting for you to explore!

On our retreats:

On our health retreats, it has been a subject we have battled with! Do we ban phones?? Do we turn off the wifi?? etc etc. We never want people on retreat to feel like they are in school but yet there is an overwhelming need to digitally detach from our technology. Normally on retreat, this happens naturally over the course of a couple of days - being in the right environment surrounded by healthy interventions, time off etc.,  allows a natural process of digital detachment to happen, however this is not so easy back in our normal lives. The break from this on retreat is invaluable for our guests, to realise, firstly, how addicted they are to their phones/laptops and most importantly to another world of social media, that is in fact not the real world you are living in. Secondly, how wonderful it feels to let go of technology...Even for just a few days and break into your own reality...Just you and create that time and space for you....

We have decided to 'digitally detox' our next two retreats in Mallorca. Maybe sometimes people do need a helping hand. We will let you know how we get on. If you need a digital detox ~ see our next two retreats:

 

AUTUMN REJUVENATION ~ DIGITAL DETOX
MALLORCA, SPAIN // SEPT 22ND - 29TH 2018

&

PRE-WINTER IMMUNITY BOOST
MALLORCA, SPAIN // NOV 1ST - NOV 4TH 2018


 

Come Away with Us & Escape your Routine

 

What can I tell about my health from my tongue?

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Why does my acupuncturist look at my tongue?

In Chinese Medicine, it is believed that the appearance of your tongue is a reflection of your health and can be a powerful diagnostic tool. Tongue diagnosis is a very traditional and effective method, which has been used to diagnose diseases for over two thousand years. Knowledge of tongue diagnosis is one of the unique treasures of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

What do they look for?

  • Body of the tongue: The normal tongue body should be flexible, shape of the tongue should

    be suitable to mouth size (not too puffy or narrow)

  • Coating: The tongue coating is the layer over the tongue. A normal healthy coating should

    be white, thin and allow the tongue body to be seen through the coating.

  • Colour. A fresh red (not too dark, too red or pale)

  • Have suitable moisture (not too dry/wet)

  • Cracks in the tongue body can be an indicator of disease progression

    A Chinese medicine practitioner will look at each of these areas and any imbalances seen can further confirm diagnosis. Tongue diagnosis will be done in conjugation with pulse taking and a full consultation.

How do I look at my tongue?

Make sure you have good natural light. The tongue body needs to be relaxed so only stick your tongue out for short intervals at a time. Make sure you haven't eaten or drank anything recently that will effect the colour of coating on tongue.

What if my tongue looks like one in the picture?

It is important to work alongside a trained acupuncturist when you notice an imbalance but there is a lot you can do for yourself too!

Top tips for each imbalance:

1. Qi deficiency

What it means - qi is the life force that drives every activity in organic life forms, according to TCM. It’s thought that a sufficient amount of qi is required to maintain the yin and yang of your body. When a person’s qi is balanced and in harmony, they’ll benefit from health, well-being, and contentment. When one’s qi is deficient, pain, suffering, and illness may occur. Dependant on where the qi deficiency is, individuals have different symptoms related to that organ, foe example, Lung qi deficiency - shortness of breath

- Diet

The majority off a person’s qi comes from the foods they choose to eat and the air they breathe, so we would obviously look at an individuals diet and make nutritional recommendations. Typically, a Chinese medicine practitioner would reduce/eliminate raw and cold food. Utilising heat to cook foods by steaming, grilling or roasting can build qi. It will also be recommended that junk food, fried foods and dairy be dramatically decreased or removed. Warming and qi nourishing foods such as grains, pumpkin, chicken as well as spices like cumin, cayenne and ginger should be consumed frequently

- Slow down!

While Western culture tends to reward and admire people who are always on the go and constantly busy, TCM advocates for the opposite. Slowing down one’s lifestyle and not doing many things at once, or multitasking, is often recommended to get one’s qi in balance.

- Regulate sleep!

Sleep is as important as diet and exercise. Our bodies need sufficient sleep in order to maintain or build qi. Sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of qi deficiency

2. Heat

What it means:

In very simple terms Chinese medicine as too wet/too dry, too hot/too cold. If we liken our bodies to the engine of a car, because effectively our bodies are engines. Our cars needs certain aspects of hot and cold to work effectively, for example the spark to start the car, cooling fluid, water, oil etc. If one of these aspects are absent over a period of time, the car can over heat. This analogy can be used in our bodies, we if we have lost or are depleted in the cooling aspect of our bodies, our bodies can start to over heat and create an imbalance of heat in our system

1. Diet

Eat foods that are good for moistening and cooling bodily functions. Foods to tonify Yin include;
Grains: Barley, millet
Vegetables: Alfalfa sprout, artichoke, asparagus, kelp, mung bean sprout, pea, potato, seaweed, string bean, sweet potato, tomato, water chestnut, yam, zucchini
Fruit :Apple, apricot, avocado, banana, lemon, lime, mango, mulberry, pear, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, watermelon Beans Adzuki, black beans, black soya, kidney, lima, mung

2. Herbs/spices and supplements
Herbs and spices: Marjoram, nettle Oils and condiments Honey, malt, Common supplements: American ginseng, royal jelly

3. Lifestyle
A Chinese Medicine practitioner will always look towards the root cause of the imbalance, so for example if there is a consumption of excessive alcohol or smoking etc, then advise will be given around practical ways to reduce or eliminate

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3. Damp Retention

What it means: Dampness represents a condition existing within the body that is a reflection of dampness as it occurs in nature.
Dampness arises from the body being affected in several ways. It can be due to either a problem arising from the inability of the digestive system to transport and transport fluids, or from the body being overwhelmed by external damp from the environment, (damp weather, damp living conditions, damp- producing foods). It can also arise from as a response to an illness, or from the overuse of medication that promotes dampness, such as certain antibiotics. Phlegm is seen as a condensed form of dampness.

Diet:
Foods to resolve dampness include;

Grains: Corn, barley, basmati rice
Vegetables: Alfalfa sprout, button mushroom, caper, corn, pumpkin, radish, turnip,
Fruit: Papaya, lemon, umeboshi plum
Beans: Aduki, lentils,
Fish: Eel, tuna,
Herbs, spices: Aniseed, garlic, horseradish, marjoram, nettle, parsley, white pepper
Beverages: Green tea, raspberry leaf tea, jasmine tea


Foods to avoid in cases of dampness
It is essential that those prone to dampness avoid excessive amounts of food that will contribute to promoting dampness in the body these include:
• Dairy products: milk, cheese, ice cream and all foods that contain high amounts of dairy products such as dairy milk chocolate. It is important to read food labels as some food (such as muesli) may contain high levels of milk powder. Yoghurt is perhaps the exception to the dairy food rule. Sheep and goat products are regarded as less prone to causing dampness. In dampness and phlegm, it is important to nourish the Spleen, which means that the consumption of raw, cold and processed sugary or fatty foods need to be limited to aid the spleen’s essential digestive function. 

4. Qi Stagnation

What it means:

When Qi congests, flows improperly or moves in the wrong direction (called rebellious Qi), it stagnates. This is just like rush hour stop-and-go traffic, or cars piling up in a traffic jam. One of the most common disharmonies in the body, it affects not only the Liver, but the other Organs and the Seven Emotions as well.

  1. Exercise. Within Chinese Medicine the organ that typically is affect with stagnation is the liver. The liver is responsible for the free flow of qi around the body. When it stagnates, we need to move our bodies. You know that feeling when you are really stressed and you need to go for a run. All the bent up energy..thats your liver asking to be moved

  2. Massage Liver 3. This is one of my favourite acupuncture points. We all need it needled. It is widely used point on the liver channel to help keep energy flowing smoothly. To find it, place your foot flat in front of you. Palpate in the space between your 1sta nd 2nd metatarsal bones. Find the sore spot close to the junction where the two bones meets and massage this point daily

  3. Manage stress: Emotional stress affects all organ systems. The liver however is where it starts. Stress and blocked emotions are the most common causes of “stagnated Liver qi” in our fast paced society. Anger, frustration, sadness and depression can all result from stuck liver qi and when not expressed or health with appriorately, can also cause our Liver qi to stagnate further and lead to other symptoms such as migraines, menstrual irregularities

  4. Beware of the false live movers. Alcohol, for example, will temporarily free up your liver energy. A drink here and there, for most of us, feels good and is not a problem. But overuse of alcohol nd drugs is a common way for people to feel relief from emotional symptoms of liver stagnation. This relief is temporary and instead of treating the body at the root of the issue, it is merely putting a plaster on it and eventually making it worse

5. Blood Deficiency

What does it mean:

The concept of blood in traditional Chinese medicine shares a close relationship with the western concept in that it has both a nourishing and moistening function. However, with the concept of blood deficiency there is also emphasis placed on your body’s qi. Blood is seen as a condensed form of qi with qi playing a vital role in helping the blood to circulate to where it is needed. Attention is also focused on the strength of your digestive system’s ability to successfully obtain the nutrients from your food necessary for the production of blood.

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1. Diet
Food to build blood includes;
Grains: Barley, corn, oats, rice, sweet rice, wheat, bran
Vegetables: Alfalfa sprout, artichoke, beetroot, button mushroom, cabbage, celery, dandelion leaf, dark leafy greens, kelp, shiitake mushroom, spinach, watercress, wheatgrass
Fruit: Apple, apricot, avocado, date, fig, grape, longan, mulberry
Beans: Aduki, black soya, kidney
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, black sesame
Fish: Mussel, octopus, oyster, sardine, tuna Meat
All red meat especially bone marrow and liver (beef, pork, sheep)


Examples of every day western foods that can be used to build Blood include:
• Rice porridges with Soya milk, apricots and almonds
• Dark leafy green salads with avocado and grated beetroot
• Scrambled Eggs with parsley
• Mussel Chowder with calamari
• Snacks of dried apricots and almonds
• Kidney bean and mushroom lasagne with a spinach salad
• Any red meat dish. (Note that in traditional Chinese medicine meat is viewed as a strong tonifing food to be eaten in small amounts so that serving sizes are based around two to four ounces per serving, taken several times a week depending on individual energetic patterns).

2. Supplements
Common supplements: Algae, dongui, pollen

3. Lifestyle. The majority of causes of blood deficiency come from our lifestyle choices. At work we spend long hours that demand our attention and energy to go beyond their healthy limits. We skip meals, eat badly and push our mind and body to the edge to get done what has to be done. This in turn will have a knock on effect on our internal system as it further depletes it. An individual with blood deficiency needs to really address these areas of their life.

4. Activities that relax and calm
- meditation, gentle yoga , Tai Chi or Qi gong, Cooking, reading, walking or whatever works for you

6. Damp Heat 

What does it mean?

Heat and dampness, have opposite effects on the body. While heat increases activity, dampness brings stagnation to our system. These two imbalances can easily combine and cause a variety of symptoms Signs and symptoms: allergies, skin problems such as acne, eczema urinary infections, clammy skin, sluggish bowel, vaginal discharge

  1. Acupuncture

  2. Herbal medicine - Ba Wei Dai Sia Fang, Ba Zheng Wan, Chen Xiang Hua Qi Wan are examples of some

    commonly used Chinese Herbal medicine prescriptions. Herbal medicine is medicine and needs to be

    taken under the supervision of a qualified practitioner

  3. Lifestyle and diet as above

7. Blood Stasis

For the body to remain healthy, it must be constantly moistened, nourished and detoxified by an abundant supply of clean, fresh blood. When blood does not circulate freely, know in Chinese Medicine as blood stasis, the body begins to show signs of disease.

  1. Acupuncture. The practitioner may use electro acupuncture dependant on the area and what is causing the stagnation

  2. Chinese Herbal Medicine. 

  3. Chinese Medicine believes that a certain amount of physical exercise is necessary to maintain one’s health and prevent disease. Exercise speeds up a sluggish metabolism and increases production of qi and blood. Aerobic exercise from twenty to thirty minutes every other day increases circulation and body temperature, and aids digestion, appetite, mood, energy and sleep. Exercise greatly reduces the severity of any endometriosis symptom or symptom associated with stagnant qi and blood stasis.

8. Yin and Yang Deficiency

What does it mean?

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Yin and Yang are relative or complementary opposites. They cannot exist without the other and are mutually dependant. They are interconnected by virtue of the fact that they are opposite aspects of the same phenomenon. For instance the inside of the body, which is yin cannot exist without the outside, which is yang. Where there is balance between yon and yang, there is health. As we get older these two fundamental aspects begin to decline and can become imbalanced.

Yang deficiency: feel cold easily, pale complexion, back pain, tendency to panic, emotionally low, fertility problems
Yin deficiency: hot flushes, sweat at night, insomnia, irritable, ringing in the ears, menopause , irregular menstruation

Yin deficiency

Yin represents the energy that is responsible for moistening and cooling bodily functions. When this energy is depleted your body begins to show signs of “heating up”. This is not a true heat but rather a lack of the moistening and cooling functions that are necessary to maintain a healthy balance.

1. Diet
Foods to tonify yin

Grains: Barley, millet

Vegetables: Alfalfa sprout, artichoke, asparagus, kelp, mung bean sprout, pea, potato, seaweed, string bean, sweet potato, tomato, water chestnut, yam, zucchini

Fruit: Apple, apricot, avocado, banana, lemon, lime, mango, mulberry, pear, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, watermelon

Beans: Adzuki, black beans, black soya, kidney, lima, mung

Nuts and seeds: Coconut milk, sesame seed, black sesame seed, walnut

Fish: Fish in general but especially clam, fresh water clam, crab, cuttlefish, oyster, octopus, sardine Meat Beef, duck, goose, pork, pork kidney, rabbit

Dairy: Cheese, chicken egg, cows milk, duck egg
Herbs and spices: Marjoram, nettle
Oils and condiments: Honey, malt

2. Herbs/supplements

A trained practitioner would consider yin tonics that are lubricating and cooling (anti inflammatory), oils such as fish liver oils, olive oil, borage seed or evening primrose oil could be considered a yin tonic in a treatment protocol

3. Lifestyle advice

An excessive use of alcohol can cause an imbalance of heat in the body. Individuals generally feel this themselves, too much red wine and you get a red face, start sweating etc.

Yang deficiency
Yang represents the energy that is responsible for warming and activating bodily functions. When this energy is depleted your body begins to slow down, displaying signs of under activity and sensations of coldness.

1. Diet
Foods to tonify yang include;
Grains; Quinoa, sweet (glutinous) rice, wheat germ
Vegetables: Leek, mustard greens, onion, radish, scallion, squash, sweet potato, turnip, watercress
Fruit: Cherry, litchi, logan, peach, raspberry, strawberry
Nuts and seeds: Chestnuts, pinenuts, pistachio nuts, walnuts
Fish:Anchovy, lobster, mussel, prawn, shrimp, trout
Meat: Chicken, lamb, venison, kidneys (both beef and lamb)
Herbs and spices: Basil, black pepper, caper, cayenne, chive seed, cinnamon bark, clove, dill seed, fennel seed, fennugreek seed, garlic, ginger, horseradish, nutmeg, peppermint, rosemary, sage,
savory, spearmint, star anise, tumeric, thyme, white pepper
Beverages: Chai tea, jasmine tea

Common supplements: Algae, brown sugar, Korean ginseng, malt sugar, vinegar

Herbs / spices: basil, clove, rosemary, chive leaf, fennel seed, fennugreek seed, horseradish Beverages jasmine tea
Supplements: algae

2. Dont skip meals. The body relies on you to feed it regularly. It then uses that food to create energy. If you are irregular with your diet habits the digestive fire (a yang function of the spleen warmed by the kidney yang) will burn out. Your metabolism slows and weight will creep up. The digestive fire is at its peak from 7-11am in the morning, so eat a good breakfast

3. Keep the body and kidneys warm. Its essential to give the body the aid it needs in keeping warm with this disharmony. Don’t challenge the weather and dress appropriately until your energy recovers. Kidney 1, located on the ball of the foot is a significant source for yang energy in the body. If your feet are cold, you run the risk of decreasing the body’s overall yang

4. Get appropriate rest - constantly going, working and moving are all yang qualities, without resting and restoring (yin qualities) will lead to a collapse of yang which takes time to recover from. Yang and Qi are replenished when we partake of Yin activities–that rest, gentle qigong and t’ai qi. This can be quite the task for some clients that work and play hard. I often ask them to schedule in at least on PJ day a month. A day to just rest–remember when the norm used to be that you took one day a week to rest or take it easy? Pop in naps every now and then too.

 Escapada Health Retreat ~ Mallorca

Escapada Health Retreat ~ Mallorca

8 reasons to get on the mat

8 reasons to get on the mat

Historically yoga was more than just a method of teaching; it was a way of life. You dedicated yourself to a lifestyle and culture that surpassed meditation techniques and included healthy eating habits, bathing habits, social interaction and work. Its philosophy is rooted in a physical culture of health and well-being that is still emphasised today at our Health Retreats. 

The Importance of a Seasonal Routine ~ Spring Cleanse Time!

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Vasanta Ritucharya

(Seasonal Routine For Spring)  

Why is it Important?

Physicians have been seeing increasing symptoms of toxicity in their patients over the last few decades. Hormone imbalances, obesity, mental fog, memory loss, fatigue, lack of vitality, metabolic syndrome, sleep disturbances are all manifestations of a toxic body. Spring is upon us, a perfect time of year for detoxification. As the seasons change, many of us are motivated to do ‘spring cleaning’ in our homes and gardens. The same need applies to our bodies. When the body is detoxified, it can function more efficiently and gain resilience.

It is important to follow the Ayurvedic Daily Routines, it is equally important to follow the Ayurvedic Seasonal Routines or Ritucharya for us to stay in good shape and health. Seasons change… and our eating habits, lifestyle, physical activity and everything else needs to change accordingly. Simply because, our body is built in such a way that it responds to every season in a unique fashion. And we need to aid our body in doing so by adapting according to the needs of the season. When we fail to do so, that is when diseases come knocking.

As we move from Winter into the Spring season, you may have noticed feelings of invigoration within you, with an urge to exercise and reconnect with nature, spending time outside in the sunshine, working in the garden. With the changing seasons, it is important to understand the natural changes which occur inside our body in response to the outside seasonal change. In Ayurveda, health is considered to be good when a balance between mind, body and the environment is maintained. To do this it is very important to adapt ourselves to the seasonal routine/regimen suitable for each season (diet and lifestyle changes). Spring is a season of energy, vitality, and celebration, but the changing environment creates changes in one's constitutional balance that should be addressed via diet and lifestyle changes. Also, the season change can affect some of us differently than others, e.g., though blooming flowers make vata and pitta individuals happy, the resulting pollen exacerbates allergies in kapha constitutions. Accordingly, kapha types should be especially mindful of integrating some of these seasonal recommendations into their routines.

Consider a detox.

Winter, being a season of vata, tends to favour more eating at a time when the body's digestive fire actually burns lower than usual, leading to a buildup of toxins. There's no better time than energetic spring to get rid of them! Up your intake of warm fluids such as herbal teas and walk more—skip the car and walk your child to the bus or school, or skip the elevator to take that flight of stairs—whenever you can. You may even want to try a juice cleanse (apple, pomegranate, or berry juices are best), and to favor bitter, strong flavors. It's also important during this season to avoid all heavy, oily foods and to cut down on dairy intake—these foods are kapha-genic and tend to slow you down. Pick grains such as millets, quinoa, or couscous that help your body cleanse naturally, and add triphala (an ayurvedic herb available at most health food stores) with a cup of warm water at night to gently enhance your detox.

Join us on our 4 day Spring Cleanse.

Spring Cleanse 2018

 Ses Set Case ~ Mallorca location

Ses Set Case ~ Mallorca location

Diet and eating habits

During this period, one should consume easily digestible foods. Food items tasting bitter (Tikta),  pungent (Katu), and  astringent (Kashaya) are to be consumed more. Besides them, honey is to be included in the diet.

Include barley, wheat, rice, bitter vegetables, mango in your diet.

Spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fennel helpful stimulate the digestion and detoxify the skin. These spices pacify the aggravated kapha in the body. They stimulate the digestive fire or agni and this restores optimal digestion.

Eating times:

Kapha is predominant during the time 6:00 am to 10:00 am so avoid excess eating during this period. Stick with a light breakfast. During this season, let lunch be the biggest meal of the day as pitta dosha is predominant around noon. It will aid in proper digestion of the food.

Drinks:

Drink fresh ginger tea with honey to balance kapha.

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Drink warm lemon water with a little salt in the morning to stimulate elimination of kapha.

Foods to be avoided:

Foods which are hard to digest are to be avoided.

Avoid heavy, oily, sweet & sour foods and drinks. As these foods are naturally increase kapha, they will aggravate the present symptoms of kapha.

 

 

 

Plan your Dincharya (Daily Routine)

Start your day with the Glass of warm water infused with Lemon juice & honey.

Self massage with Warm raw sesame oil or get regular Ayurvedic Massages. Regular Ayurvedic massages helps to improve the energy flow throughout the body.

Exercise in the morning to boost your immunity and increase the circulation. In other words any heavy physical work or sport try to schedule it in the morning.

No computer use after your dinner as it will stimulate your doshas. Instead of watching TV read your favourite novel or simply sit and talk with your loved one!

Make sure you are getting enough Sleep during the night and optimising your sleep pattern. Optimal sleep doesn’t mean you can go to bed late and wake up late... So make sure you are in bed before 10pm and up before 6. This will maximise your natural propensity to cleanse.

Simplify your skin care.

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During the winter, we tend to pile on the heavy creams because of the dryness cold winter air causes. Most creams are made up of waxes, water, and synthetic fragrances with a little oil mixed in. Wax is used to create a layer over skin to help lock in moisture. Over time, however, this wax build up can lead to clogged pores, preventing active ingredients from penetrating the skin and delivering nutrients. Start your spring routine with a gentle exfoliation two to three times a week—I like powdered nuts and honey for a wonderful DIY exfoliant. 

Spring is a great time to switch to an ultra-absorbent face oil that delivers nutrients deep into your epidermis but without clogging pores. Contrary to traditional thinking that oils can cause you to be oilier, natural oils are an excellent way to deliver all the benefits of antioxidants and vitamins quickly into the skin without the downsides associated with wax and synthetic fragrances

Aloe vera and turmeric (also add these to your diet!) can be powerful inflammation fighters in a face mask while tea tree, clove, and neem help eliminate bacteria without excessively drying the skin. Also add iron and magnesium to your diet if you're acne prone as it can help prevent flare-ups.

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Ayurveda ~ Doshas. What Dosha am I & how do I Balance it?

 We are simply the microcosm of the macrocosm.......

We are simply the microcosm of the macrocosm.......

Starting to understand what dosha means?

The three Ayurvedic doshas

Vata, Pitta and Kapha —collectively known as the doshas — are one of the most foundational concepts in the tradition of Ayurveda. But what are they, exactly? In essence, the doshas are energetic forces of nature, functional principles that help us to better understand ourselves, and the world around us. 

According to Ayurveda, there are five elements that make up the universe ( macrocosmos) and we have this universe inside of us (microcosmos): space, air/wind, fire, water and earth. They all reflect certain qualities that we experience through our senses system (seeing, touching, smelling, tasting, hearing). 

Air who is like the wind, constantly moving, a bit cold, drying and light; on the other hand, fire is hot, steamy and fierce; whereas water is wet, a little cooling and heavy. Inside our bodies, these five master elements combine together and exist as three primary energy patterns.

These energy patterns – or doshas, - to use the Sanskrit word – are present in every tissue, every cell and every organ in our body, thereby they govern all of the body’s processes, from bodily functions to our thoughts and feelings.

The three primary energy patterns in our body, or doshas, are: wind or vata – with the attributes, cold, dry and light – is the force that controls our movement, regulates the nervous system, and oversees elimination of waste; fire or pitta – with attributes, hot, wet and combustive – is the force that controls our digestion and metabolism; and water or kapha – that is cold, wet and heavy – is the protective force which governs stability, structure and moisture in our mind and body.

Understand your dosha

Some people have a tendency or nature of vata, pitta or kapha types, others people have more then one nature who is dominant, like a mix of vata-pitta, vata-kapha or pitta-kapha . More rarely, but possible, is an equal balance of all three doshas in one person – vata-pitta-kapha.

Because we all have all of the elements in our bodies, we all have each of the doshas as well. But every one of us is born with a unique, individual balance of these doshas. So, no two of us are alike! Typically, every person has one dominant form of dosha that makes up his or her personal Ayurvedic constitution. 

Every activity and function of our mind and body is dependent upon the balanced or unbalanced state of our doshas. And it is these ‘Dosha’s constituting your biological set-up that play a role more critical than you can imagine.

Once you understand what dosha combination makes up your Ayurveda constitution, you can start keeping them in balance through the right diet, exercise, and lifestyle.

Vata:

Vata embodies the energy of movement and is therefore often associated with wind (and the air element). Vata is linked to creativity and flexibility; it governs all movement—the flow of the breath, the pulsation of the heart, all muscle contractions, tissue movements, cellular mobility—and communication throughout the mind and the nervous system.

Pitta:

Pitta represents the energy of transformation and is therefore closely aligned with the fire element. But in living organisms, pitta is largely liquid, which is why water is its secondary element. Pitta is neither mobile nor stable, but spreads—much as the warmth of a fire permeates its surroundings, or as water flows in the direction dictated by the terrain. Pitta is closely related to intelligence, understanding, and the digestion of foods, thoughts, emotions, and experiences; it governs nutrition and metabolism, body temperature, and the light of understanding.

Kapha:

Kapha lends structure, solidity, and cohesiveness to all things, and is therefore associated primarily with the earth and water elements. Kapha also embodies the watery energies of love and compassion. This dosha hydrates all cells and systems, lubricates the joints, moisturises the skin, maintains immunity, and protects the tissues.

Because we all have all of the elements in our bodies, we all have each of the doshas as well. But every one of us is born with a unique, individual balance of these doshas. So, no two of us are alike! Typically, every person has one dominant form of dosha that makes up his or her personal Ayurvedic constitution. 

Every activity and function of our mind and body is dependent upon the balanced or unbalanced state of our doshas. And it is these ‘Dosha’s constituting your biological set-up that play a role more critical than you can imagine. If the proportion of doshas in your current state is close to your birth constitution, then your health will be vibrant. A divergence between these states, however, indicates a state of imbalance.

What makes a dosha unbalanced?

The doshas are dynamic energies that constantly change in response to our actions, thoughts, emotions, the foods we eat, the seasons, and any other sensory inputs that feed our mind and body. When we live into the fulfilment of our individual natures, we naturally make lifestyle and dietary decisions that foster balance within our doshas. When we live against our intrinsic natures, we support unhealthy patterns that lead to physical and mental imbalances.

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We are most susceptible to imbalances related to our predominant dosha. If you’re a Pitta type, for example, you may experience heartburn (a common Pitta disorder) after eating spicy foods. The key to remember is that like increases like, while opposites create balance. By simply choosing cooling or more alkalizing foods, you can avoid heartburn, while also supporting your underlying

make-up.

Ayurveda offers specifically tailored recommendations for every individual, ranging from general lifestyle changes to the treatment of dis-ease (literally, an imbalance within our natural state of “ease”). For this reason, Ayurveda can truly be called a system of individualised health care, something remarkably different from the Western model’s “one-pill for all” approach. Since the doshas are used to detect imbalances before the manifestation of dis-ease, Ayurveda is also a complete system of preventative medicine

Imbalanced Vata

When out of balance, vata tends to cause fear, anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and exhaustion. It can lead to both physical and energetic depletion, disrupt proper communication, and cause all sorts of abnormal movements in the body, such as tics, tremors, and muscle spasms.

Imbalanced Pitta

When out of balance, pitta causes fiery, reactionary emotions such as frustration, anger, jealously, and criticism. Imbalanced pitta is often at the root of inflammatory disorders, which can affect organs and tissues throughout the body.

Imbalanced Kapha

When out of balance, kapha triggers emotions of attachment, greed, and possessiveness and can also create stubbornness, lethargy, and resistance to change. Physically, kapha tends to invite stagnation and congestion in organs and tissues throughout the body—including the mind.