My Birthday Wish for Clean Water

Barbara ChristmasThis is my quintessential birthday/Christmas photo from a very long time ago. I still shudder at the red dress and the wild upholstered chair and say “What was my mother thinking?” It was the fifties…

My plan for today’s post was just to drop in and say hello on my birthday, and let you know that I’ll be taking a break until the first of the year. But yesterday I opened an email from Marie Forleo and this video tugged at my heart – “How Water Changes Everything“.

I was so inspired by Scott Harrison’s story of going from Manhattan club promoter to leading a more heart-centered life and birthing the organization charity: water that I couldn’t turn away.

I learned that almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean drinking water. Every day, 1,400 kids die from water-related illnesses before they reach their fifth birthday. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are simple solutions like drilled wells, spring protections and BioSand filters that help provide clean water to communities around the world.

In my sixth decade of life I’ve never been without clean drinking water and I’m guessing that most of you haven’t either. Just think about how lucky we are!

We all have our favorite charities and causes and I don’t like to pester people about my own. But when I watched the video and saw that people were using their birthdays to help raise funds, well, I thought I would give it a go in hopes that it will resonate with many of you.

What impressed me so much about charity: water is that 100% of the money we donate goes directly to fund the water projects! You can even view photos and GPS coordinates that show how your money is being spent.

So, if you are so inclined, here is my birthday campaign to raise money for clean water. You can give $61.00 in honor of my 61 years :) or you can give $1.00. I know we are all weary of spending money right now. But I can’t think of a better birthday gift than to truly make a difference in the lives of people who are without the basic human right for clean water.

Thank you for letting me share this campaign with you.

And thank you from the bottom of my heart for inspiring me to write this year – by sharing my thoughts, feelings and what I have learned about holistic health with you. It is my greatest joy to pass on my love of Ayurveda, which has so profoundly changed my life.

I am signing off until the new year to give myself time to be quiet, reflect, and re-energize so that I can return with a rested spirit along with new ideas to bring to fruition.

Wishing you all a peaceful holiday season!

With love and gratitude,
Barbara

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Ayurvedic Tip of the Week: Use Your Senses to Stay Balanced

Vata qualities:websizedEach dosha is connected to one of more of the five senses:

Vata (air/space elements) = hearing and touch
Pitta (fire/water) = sight
Kapha (water/earth) = taste and smell

We obviously use all five senses, no matter what our constitution is, but a particular sense (or senses) will be stronger depending on which doshas are more prevalent.

Vata-types are very auditory and sensitive to loud noises. Music can be very soothing, or very unnerving, depending on the type of music. And no one loves a massage better (and perhaps benefits more from one) than someone with a lot of Vata in their constitution. They generally love to touch and be touched.

Pitta-types have very sensitive eyes and are also very visual – especially where beauty is concerned. Poor vision and irritated or bloodshot eyes often plague people with high Pitta and they need to strongly nurture and protect them. Moonlight is very soothing for Pitta eyes.

And as for Kapha-types with their strong sense of taste and smell, well, how many Kapha chefs are there out there? A lot! My partner Ralph was a chef and was pure Kapha. I could never understand why someone who was a chef could have such extreme reactions to certain smells and tastes. Now I know why! And it makes perfect sense. Perhaps you have a child with a lot of Kapha in their constitution – it might explain why they react so strongly to some foods. Of course, childhood is the Kapha time of life, so many children have this propensity.

Which senses are strongest in you? Paying attention to our own particular sensory makeup and honoring what’s best for us, can be a great tool to help us stay balanced in our daily lives.

Much love,
Barbara

 

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How the Doshas Play a Role During the Holidays

ChristmasTable:WebIt’s that time of year again and I am trying to keep the panic at bay. The holidays seem to be all about staying organized, time management, scheduling, and upsetting your regular routine. Finally, I understand why these holiday months have always derailed me - they went and put the holidays smack dab in the middle of Vata Season!

All of those qualities that help to make this time enjoyable and minimally stressful are, unfortunately, not characteristics of Vata dosha. Vata-types often tend to be disorganized, creative, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants types, and extremely prone to depletion.

The picture above was taken years ago of an Anthropologie store window at the holidays. While wildly inventive, it reminds me of the chaos that a Vata-type often feels inside.

Of course, there are exceptions, and most of us have constitutions that are dual-doshic or tri-doshic. But for someone with a lot of Vata in their constitution, this time of year can seem impossible to endure.

So, how do Pitta-types handle the holidays? Well, they are generally the most organized of the doshas. I was lucky enough to be invited to Thanksgiving dinner by a predominantly Pitta-type. He ruled the kitchen and whipped out the meal seemingly with ease. And he still had a smile on his face when he was finished. Cleanup was a snap – he had containers filled for everyone to take home – and turkey soup was already simmering on the stove. I was in awe and oh-so-grateful that I wasn’t the one in the kitchen!

Although Pitta-types can be overworked and overstressed (many Type A’s are Pitta) they at least have the skills to get through. They might have their shopping done months ago, cookies are baked and in the freezer and the tree is bought and decorated. They attack their to-do list with a vengeance.

And what about the beloved Kapha-type? Well, they might not be as motivated as the Pitta-type or disorganized as the Vata-type, but what is important to them the most is family. So the holidays can either elate them or depress them, depending on the state of affairs in their family. A Kapha-type can easily slip into depression if they find themselves alone at the holidays.

I wanted to write this article as much for myself and my loved ones as for all of you and yours. If we can understand each other better based on our constitutions, the holidays just might be a little less stressful and more enjoyable for all.

I admit that I feel a certain tenderness for my fellow Vatas during the holiday months. Being creative types we find ourselves in a dilemma – we love the twinkling lights, the music, the sights and smells of the holidays – but we often lack the energy or skills to navigate them successfully.

cactus3:webThanks to Ayurveda, once I recognized these differences for what they are (our constitutions never change) I was able to let go of unrealistic expectations I had put on myself. I now do just a fraction of what I used to. I will light up my beloved cactus again and adorn her with my mother’s precious ornaments and the handmade ones from my children when they were little. She traveled to Jersey City with me (the cactus) and seems to like her new home, as do I.

I will even go to a holiday party this weekend in my building. My new neighbors seem to be kindly and relentlessly nudging me out of my cocoon. I’ll travel uptown to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree and take pictures of the holiday windows.

And my Kapha-Pitta daughter, Amy, is coming to spend Christmas with me. She has thankfully considered these Ayurvedic principles and doesn’t think her mom is nuts (well, maybe just a little). Spoken like a true Kapha, she said “family is everything”. Her Pitta will keep me focused and on task and together we will have a tri-doshic holiday.

Please nurture the Vata-types in your life a little extra during the holidays. Cook for them, hug them, lighten their load, keep them warm and be understanding of their limitations during this challenging time.

If you have a Kapha-type in your life, make an extra effort to spend family time with them and be vigilant for signs of depression.

And Pitta-types, this quote is for you (Vatas too!). It came in my inbox yesterday from my dear friend and fellow wellness warrior (her term), Jen Bolus:

“The number one reason I hear each day that is causing too many of us stress is feeling like we have too much to do. In some cases, some of these things are necessary. In many cases, we take things on or convince ourselves the task is a must, when in truth no one will die if we don’t do it nor will you be liked any less. AND, as you let go of having to do it all, you create space for others to take on these tasks. Just remember, they may not do it exactly like you; that’s another topic for another day.”

Wishing you all a calm, stress-free and happy holiday season!

Much love,
Barbara

 

 

 

Posted in Ayurveda, Kapha, Pitta, Self-Care, Stress | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ayurvedic Tip of the Week: How to Manage Vata-Type Insomnia

Sleep2Vata dosha is to blame for the type of insomnia that results from waking up in the wee hours of the morning, specifically from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00. a.m. Makes sense, since these are morning Vata times.

Vata dosha is responsible for all movement in the body, including the nervous system and elimination. It’s called the king of the doshas because without Vata, nothing would move and we would die.

Anxiety and fear are signs of unbalanced Vata. So when 2:00 a.m. hits, it makes perfect sense that some of us bolt awake with hearts racing and fearful dreams.

Here are some tried and true strategies that have worked for me:

Before bed:

  •  Turn off all electronics (phone, TV, computer) by 8:00 p.m. (ideally!) Vata-types are especially sensitive to the energies emitted from these devices.
  • Give yourself a warm oil abhyanga massage before bed with an herbalized Vata oil.  At the very least, oil your feet, belly and ears.
  • A glass of warm milk with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger (add a little ghee if you’d like) can help you drift into la la land.
  • Aim for a bedtime of 9:30-10:00 p.m. Once Pitta hours hit (10:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m.) and the body begins its repair work, it will become harder to fall asleep, especially if Vata anxiety is high.
  • Adaptogenic Ayurvedic herbs such as tulsi and ashwaganda help to give you energy during the day and promote restful sleep at the same time.

 If you wake during the hours of 2-6:00 a.m.:

  •  Sit up in bed and meditate. This ALWAYS works for me and 99% of the time I end up falling back into a deliciously deep sleep.
  • If you don’t have a meditation practice (you should!) just do some relaxed deep breathing. Focusing on your breath can help you drift back to sleep.
  • Avoid looking at your phone or computer for comfort! This will only make it worse.

 A good night’s sleep requires a lot of energy. There’s a great deal of healing that goes on in the body during the night. We tend to think that we have too much energy and can’t fall asleep because of it (we’re wired) but in fact, it’s because we’re depleted of energy. And Vata is the dosha of depletion so Vata-types tend to suffer more from this type of insomnia.

There is nothing worse than not getting a good night’s sleep. And a chronic cycle of insomnia leads to all kinds of imbalances in the body. When I had fibromyalgia, I was desperate for a good night’s sleep and my lack of sleep only exacerbated the condition. It was only when I got a handle on my insomnia that I began to heal.

Much love,
Barbara

P.S. Here’s a Learn to Meditate bargain that ends today! It’s the method that I have used for several years.

Posted in Ayurveda, Sleep, Vata | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Ayurvedic Tip of the Week: How to Avoid a Digestion Nightmare on Thanksgiving

ginger:mintEven the healthiest among us knows the pain and regret from overindulging on Thanksgiving. We suddenly throw caution to the wind and begin eating all of the comfort foods from our past. And then the reality of what we’ve asked our body to do sets in.

Ayurveda is really big on digestion. Roughly 60% of our daily energy goes towards digestion. And every Ayurvedic practitioner will ask you about your digestion, no matter what your health concern is. It all starts in our gut.

Most of us today have compromised digestive systems. More and more people keep eliminating foods from their menu that they really should be able to digest. Their digestive fire (agni) is just not burning properly.

Today all I want to do is give you a few simple tips to help you feel your best on Thursday.

  • Try to plan your celebratory meal between noon and 1:00 p.m. Our digestive fire (ruled by Pitta) is highest between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. So eating your Thanksgiving meal at this time will give your body the best chance at digesting it. By the way, this should always be when your biggest meal takes place. Have a lighter, smaller dinner later, around 6:00 p.m.
  • Avoid eating lots of appetizers. Let your hunger build for the main meal.
  • 1/2 an hour before your meal (NOT during or right before) drink one of the following: a warm cup of ginger tea, a glass of warm freshly squeezed lemon water, a glass of warm water with lime juice and a pinch of salt,  or a  glass of warm water with a pinch of black pepper. These are all simple options and readily available. Doing this will both help activate your digestive juices and hydrate the stomach lining so the body can produce enough hydrochloric acid necessary for digestion.
  • Avoid drinking liquids with your meal, especially cold ones. A small amount of hot tea or water is okay. Remember, you’re trying to keep your agni (fire) stoked so don’t throw cold water on it!
  • Try to relax during the meal, eating consciously - truly. Ayurveda teaches that good digestion is dependent on how we eat just as much as on what we eat.
  • Lying down on your left side for 5-15 minutes after a meal can help quite a bit (unless you have heartburn, in which case you should remain upright). You might have to fight your relatives for the sofa!
  • Go for a leisurely walk around the block to get some fresh air and de-stress.
  • After the meal, ginger tea can help with stomach upset. Peppermint is also a good choice. Fennel can help with gas and bloating. Make a tea with it or simply chew the seeds. There are a myriad of other digestive teas you can buy. For heartburn, drink some coconut water or aloe gel/juice.

I hope some of these tips will make your Thanksgiving a little more comfortable so that you can truly enjoy the day.

I want to tell all of you how grateful I am that you take the time to read my posts, leave your wonderful comments and share the information with others. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Much love,
Barbara

Posted in Ayurvedic Tip of the Week | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

The Myth of the Perfectly Healthy Healer

LiveToShareI don’t know that I’ll ever feel completely comfortable referring to myself as a healer. After all, we’re all healers, aren’t we? We heal others with our love, our touch, our music, our art, our cooking, our mothering and fathering. We have the power to heal ourselves.

But for the sake of this article I’m talking about those healers who at some point in their lives answered the call to help others heal themselves.

Inasmuch as a good part of my day is spent either actively in a healing session with someone or writing about holistic health, I guess I fall into this category. And I seem to have an unquenchable thirst for learning more.

I am surrounded by hundreds of other healers with whom I interact almost daily. When I started studying energy medicine years ago my group of fellow students was small, like a little extended family. Now that family has grown large and we are scattered all over the globe.

We support each other, love each other, help heal each other and often just lend an ear to each other. It’s a powerful loving group that I am blessed to be a part of.

But we are not without pain or illness or conflict in our lives. We are on our own journeys of healing just like everyone else – in our bodies, minds and souls. There is no such thing as perfect health. There are days when we feel in perfect health and those days are precious and we are grateful for them.

In my own case, it was the dark, pain-filled challenging days where I learned (and continue to learn) the biggest lessons. In an intuitive reading given to me a few years ago I was told that my body would be my greatest teacher in this lifetime and truer words were never spoken. As difficult as that truth has been, I am grateful because it led me into this world of healers.

Every day I teach people about Ayurveda and how to live its principles. And every day I struggle myself to practice what I teach. I know the routine I should follow daily to keep me calm and centered. But my Vata always wants to roam and play, flitting from one thing to another! And my Pitta wants to keep my nose in a book or online 24/7, learning more and more and more. Insatiable learning – sounds like it should be a good thing – but it can unbalance you just as surely as any addiction.

But, boy, when I do practice what I teach and see the results – a calmer, clearer me – I want others to know the same feeling.

As I was ruminating about what makes healers want to help others heal I got up to make myself some ginger tea. Lo and behold, the wise little message on my Yogi tea bag read “Live to Share”. :)

I believe that most of us who chose this path of the healer do so not out of wanting a sense of power (although there are surely unscrupulous people like that) or an illusion of perfection, but out of a sense of wanting to share. By sharing our own stories of recovery, whether through words or visuals, or through our healing hands, we hope to effect healing in others.

And when that happens, there is no greater reward for the painful journey it might have taken to get there.

Much love,
Barbara

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Ayurveda, Energy Medicine, Healing | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

A Time to Turn Within

Squirrel HomeI love all the seasons, and following an Ayurvedic lifestyle by living in harmony with Nature has made me even more aware of the importance of each of them. But if I had to pick a favorite, fall would win – hands down.

It’s ironic that I feel this way because Vata Season always challenges me. Nonetheless, the artist in me is seduced by the beauty of the changing leaves every autumn and I spend a lot of time gazing up at the color-drenched trees.

This time of year often seems to be busier, but according to Ayurvedic principles and many ancient cultures, once November rolls around (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is), it’s time to slow down, go within a bit and deeply nurture yourself.

When I looked up the other day to photograph the tree above, I noticed the nest and the busy little resident squirrel scampering around readying him or herself for the cold weather soon to arrive.

With an awareness of the bleak landscape about to appear, I am always grateful for the one last burst of color before the trees become barren.

Autumn LeavesThe month of November also has spiritual significance. It’s said that the veil between our physical world and the spiritual world is thinnest at this time. You may notice that your dreams or meditations are filled with thoughts or memories of loved ones or deceased ancestors.

November 1st is Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in), an ancient Celtic holiday which marks the end of the harvest and the preparation for winter, and also celebrates our connection with the spirit world. Halloween was derived from this ancient pagan tradition which takes place on the eve before Samhain.

We are leaving behind the warm bright light of summer and early fall and headed towards the dark cold days and nights of late autumn and winter. We needn’t be afraid of the dark for there is beauty in the dark, as well. If the seed didn’t rest in the dark cool earth, there would be no blooming flower to greet us in the spring.

Just like Mother Nature, we need to honor our own cycles and rhythms. I have learned to love (or at least appreciate!) the cold dark winter months which are approaching here in the Northeast. I know many of you shudder at this thought and are perhaps frantically making plans to get out of town. But I like to burrow in, read and write, deepen my sleep, and concentrate on nurturing myself – body, mind and spirit. This year I hope to do a silent retreat somewhere deep in Nature.

At the very least, give this some consideration and plant the seed in your mind that there is a reason for man to be in sync with all of the seasons like the rest of Nature. Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Eat seasonal, local foods as much as possible. Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, provides us with just the right foods for our body.
  • Limit indoor lighting and computer/TV use at night as it interferes with our natural sleep rhythms. Light more candles and turn in early.
  • Favor gently cooked warm foods over cold and raw foods, especially if you have a lot of Vata in your constitution.
  • Exercise should be of a more gentle, nurturing nature rather than intense and excessive. Think yoga, t’ai chi, qigong, walking, etc.
  • Consider deepening your spiritual connection through a meditation practice.
  • Use a light box and supplement with Vitamin D if you are prone to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
  • Bundle up and take some solitary walks in Nature. Nothing is more deeply restorative.

The irony here is that so many of us get extra busy and things get chaotic as the holidays approach. I let go of that stress a few years ago and it has made such a difference in my life.

If slowing down and going within seems ridiculously impossible for you at this time, at the very least, set aside a few minutes each day to close your eyes (meditating is ideal), do some deep breathing and try to let go.

Sending you all some calming energy to help you during this seasonal transition.

Much love,
Barbara

Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Change of Seasons, Fall, Nature, root vegetables, Self-Care, Vata | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Art & Ayurveda (My Weekend Update)

Anticipation

Detail of “Anticipation”

Yes, art and Ayurveda really do go together.

This past weekend I participated in the Jersey City Art and Studio Tour. Hundreds of artists opened their studios and live/work spaces to the public. I was one of them.

Having just moved to Jersey City a couple of months ago, it was a leap of faith that I would be ready to show my work. As of a few days before the event I still had stray boxes to sort through and barely any light in my apartment. I had been living by candlelight at night (not a bad thing to do, btw!)

I’ve been in open studio events before but it’s been a while. And it’s a much different experience opening your home as opposed to just your studio. There can be a bit of a voyeuristic feel to it sometimes, but most everyone who came through last weekend was respectful and appreciative.

I had quite a lot of older work – huge panels that were like giant journal pages from a much darker time in my life. My angst and anxiety were written all over them. Turbulence, (my past fear of flying), Claustrophobia (self explanatory), Misadventure (a difficult trip to Europe), Lost and Found (my transition from married to single and relocating to NYC), and Slow Down! (my dislike of any kind of speed – the fast kind, not the drug kind!) were just a few.

So you can see how vulnerable and exposed I could have felt. More than a few people asked me how I felt selling work that was so personal to a stranger. It’s probably no coincidence that these pseudo-journal pages rarely sell.

Art3

Detail of “Misadventure”

When I first hung some of these pieces in my new home in anticipation of the Studio Tour I was a little startled and taken aback at my raw past that hung before me. Did I really want this on my walls?

But after a few days I had detached from the pain of them and was able to see them for what they were – representations of incredibly difficult times in my life that had strengthened me and made me who I am today. And so, I was more than okay sharing my stories with these curious strangers.

A couple of days before the show I decided to print out some photographs. After all, photography has been my creative expression of late. And interestingly, that’s what sold. Of course, they were more affordable than the large paintings but I have to wonder if people just don’t want someone else’s “journal” hanging on their walls!

Tulip

Tulip

Five minutes before the show started on Saturday I decided to print up a flyer for a class on Ayurveda – my other passion. I put it on the table along with the information on my artwork.

Ayurveda1I ended up having wonderful conversations about Ayurveda, energy healing and art. They are all connected and the beauty of this weekend for me was to be able to bring them all together.

I already have several people signed up for the class. They are super-curious and enthusiastic. I even met the most light-filled young woman named Sarah who wants to connect and learn these healing modalities from me. She’s one of those rare individuals who radiates pure JOY.

Click here if you would like details on the class. I would love for some of you to join us!

I’m not a party person. I don’t like crowds and loud noise. I’d rather share a cup of tea with you than have to compete with music and lots of people at once. But I’m proud of myself for pushing beyond my comfort zone (Thank you, my friends for your support and encouragement – you know who you are!) and not letting the fear and anxiety win over.

If there’s one important lesson I’ve learned over the past few years of my studies (and I’m still learning this) it’s that once we begin learning our life lessons on our path, we MUST share them with the world – as Joseph Campbell so wisely taught in The Hero’s Journey. No matter how shy or introverted or disinterested in attention we might be, it’s hurtful to ourselves and others not to share our gifts. And so I did just that this weekend. It felt good.

Much love,
Barbara

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The Arrival of Vata Season (Anxiety Alert!)

market

“When the seasons change, we experience a sympathetic internal shift. All life-forms open themselves up to receive cosmic redirection from nature during these crucial seasonal transitions, so we are likely to be more vulnerable and unsettled.”
Maya Tiwari, The Path of Practice: A Woman’s Book of Ayurvedic Healing

Here in the Northeast where I live, the heat of Pitta Season is slowly waning. Temperatures are fluctuating from day to day, turning cold and dry, and the wind is beginning to blow. Vata Season (fall/early winter) is making its appearance.

Autumn has always been my favorite season. It brings with it blue skies and crisp cool sweater-weather days, apple picking and changing leaves. But I have always been aware of feelings of anxiety and agitation, as well as a lack of focus, that would show up as sure as the apples falling from the trees. I am feeling it now.

This seasonal shift confused me for years, until I began to study Ayurveda. Now, even though it still shows up with the apples and the pumpkins, I’m prepared and better equipped to handle it.

As we begin this transition from Pitta Season to Vata Season, it’s important to note something that Ayurveda teaches.

“The Ayurvedic texts say that a disease can take root in the body only during the junctions between the seasons, when all nature is in flux. Because of the upheaval dominating these junctions, the body’s natural immunity becomes virtually defenseless against impending disease.” -Maya Tiwari

I have experienced this firsthand, many times, and am learning just how true this cautionary statement is. The most important lesson I have learned is to deeply nurture the Vata part of me.

A critical fact to bear in mind is that an excess of a dosha can build up over the months and it is important to address this before moving into the next Ayurvedic season. If your Pitta has been high all summer, you want to get the excess heat out of your body so that it doesn’t get trapped and lead to health issues. I addressed this issue in a recent post which you can read HERE.

Even if Vata is not your primary dosha, you may find yourself feeling a little anxious or scattered as the temperature drops and the wind begins to blow.

Remember, we are made up of all three doshas and their earthly elements. It is Vata dosha, which is comprised of air (think movement) and ether (space), that is responsible for racing thoughts and a pounding heart that create anxiety. Vata is the dosha most likely to get out of balance, but luckily can can come back just as easily. In a word, it’s changeable.

The attributes of Vata dosha are dry, mobile, cold, light, rough, clear and subtle. All of these characteristics are heightened during Vata Season as well as during the Vata times of day – 2:00-6:00 a.m. and 2:00-6:00 p.m.

Here are a few signs that your Vata dosha might be increased and needs balancing:

  • Feelings of heightened anxiety, nervousness and fear
  • Bothered by cold and wind
  • Sleep is interrupted and light
  • Excess worrying
  • Excess stimulation is bothersome–i.e. crowds and loud noises
  • Intestinal gas, constipation
  • Dryness–skin, hair, stools, eyes, etc.
  • Feeling disorganized and overwhelmed
  • Can’t sit still
  • Fatigue following bursts of energy. Crash and burn (this is typical of Vata energy)

So, what to do to ease this transition and stay healthy? Like increases like in Ayurveda, so think opposite to bring your Vata back into balance by:

  • Dressing warmly and keeping a scarf around your neck, especially if windy. The back of the neck is very vulnerable to wind.
  • Eating more warm, gently cooked seasonal foods. Root vegetables are especially grounding for Vatas.
  • Avoiding cold drinks. Opt instead for warm beverages like spiced herbal teas, warm spiced milk, or warm lemon water with honey.
  • Eating enough healthy fats and oils (especially ghee)
  • Avoiding over-exercising, which can aggravate already high-energy Vata. Gentle yoga, tai chi and qi gong are excellent choices.
  • Taking quiet walks in Nature is grounding for airy Vatas.
  • Meditation and pranayama (breathing practice) can help soothe Vata anxiety and fear.
  • Daily self-massage with warm grounding oils like sesame or almond oil is extremely calming to the nervous system. Or, try an herbalized Vata oil.
  • Try to stay away from loud, noisy environments and when you can’t avoid them, take a moment to breathe deeply and find your inner calm.
  • Keeping a regular routine with regards to sleeping, eating, working, etc. is imperative for Vatas, who love variety and can easily lose focus. An ideal bedtime is between 9:30–10:00pm.
  • Nurturing yourself as much as possible on a daily basis!
  • Determining your Ayurvedic prakriti (click HERE). Follow the food guidelines for your constitution and you’ll be on the right track.

On a positive note, there are so many wonderful things about Vata types. When balanced, they are creative, optimistic, joyful, forgiving, flexible, and full of enthusiasm. They thrive on change and love to discover and experience new things. It’s no coincidence that school starts back up in the fall, people get excited about new projects, and creativity is in full bloom.

A cautionary tale, however, to over-enthusiastic Vata-types is to not let ourselves get burned out during this season. The word to keep in our consciousness is nurture. Body, mind and spirit.

Much love,
Barbara

Posted in Anxiety, Autumn, Ayurveda, Change of Seasons, Doshas, Fall, Vata | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

After the March

March5Rev.Just a quick update on my experience at the People’s Climate March last Sunday. It has taken me days to feel fully recovered!

When I dragged myself on Monday to an appointment with my naturopath/acupuncturist/chiropractor, Dr. Gabrielle Francis, and proclaimed that I felt completely depleted, she laughed and said “You were in 400,000 people’s energy fields – of course you’re depleted!”

But it was such good energy! My day as a volunteer began at 7:00 a.m. It’s always fun (once you’re awake) to experience the city early in the morning on a Sunday. As the crowd began to swell, far exceeding the 150,000 people originally estimated to attend, the passion that everyone brought with them was palpable.

Climate change is a serious, real and imminent threat that affects every person on this planet. It was incredible to witness the dedication of people taking to the streets to let our world “leaders” know just how we feel about it.

I’ve included some links below in case you’re still in the dark about some of the issues people were marching about. Words like fracking, geoengineering, factory farming and deforestation should be household words by now, but unfortunately they’re not.

So how did I get so passionate about and involved with the issue of climate change? I think initially my love of nature sparked a deep awareness. But it was an email I received last April from Avaaz Executive Director Ricken Patel about attending their first offline meeting of Avaaz supporters.

Avaaz.org is a 34-million person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages.” Avaaz

It was at that meeting that Ricken and his fellow activists spoke about plans for a march for climate change. It was in its infancy stage and it has really been something special for me to witness the entire process from start to a HUGE successful finish.

This was not just a NYC event – it was global. Here are some amazing photos from around the world.

And a few of my own, from ground level!

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I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue!

Much love,
Barbara

Resources:

Dangers of Fracking
One Problem With Geoengineering
Factory Farming and the Environment
Deforestation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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