ayurveda, healthy living, stress reduction

About Ayurveda

I am always getting asked about Ayurveda and what the Doshas are and why it is important to know this information, so I decided to write an article explaining the Doshas and how this information can assist you.

Ayurveda assists the body in journeying back to optimal health by balancing the five elements in the body and mind through the use of herbs, diet, colors, aromas, lifestyle changes, yoga, and meditation along with other five sense therapies. The rejuvenative and cleansing therapies (Panchakarma) help nourish our bodies while calming our minds from the stresses of modern daily life.

imagesYour inner nature is called your constitution or prakruti, and is an individual blend of the three doshas, VataPitta, and Kapha. Your unique balance of these three energies was determined at the moment of conception and is with you the rest of your life. It determines what is in harmony with your nature and what will cause you to become out of balance, sick, and diseased. Knowledge of your constitution is essential to developing optimal health. Your constitution determines how you react to various foods, colors, aromas, and general life habits.

Recently, Ayurveda has had a profound impact upon the world of health care. Popular books by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and others have called attention to the potential of this ancient healing system. Along with the potential to heal chronic diseases, Ayurveda promises to improve health and increase longevity.

Ayurveda is considered the healing side of Yoga. Likewise, Yoga is the spiritual side of Ayurveda. Both Ayurveda and Yoga strive to help a person re-connect to their true nature through direct experience. Together, they encompass a complete approach to the well being of the body, the mind, and the spirit.

About the Doshas

Your constitution or Prakruti is the fundamental and unique balance of three basic energies called doshas. These are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The balance in each individual is different; hence, each individual has his or her own special set of challenges and gifts. For this reason no two programs are identical, and each person’s path toward optimal health is unique.

Vata

The Vata dosha is said to be made up of the air and ether elements. This means that it has qualities that are similar to these elements. Vata is very much like the wind – it is light, cool, dry and mobile. In the body those people with a Vata nature experience more of these qualities. Their bodies tend to be light, their bones thin, and their skin and hair dry. They often move and speak quickly. When out of balance, they may lose weight, become constipated, and have weakness in their immune and nervous systems.

These qualities are also reflected in the personality. Those with a Vata nature tend to be talkative, enthusiastic, creative, flexible, and energetic. Yet when out of balance, they may also become easily confused and overwhelmed, have difficulty focusing or making decisions, and have trouble sleeping. This becomes more apparent when they are under stress. They are challenged by cool emotions like worry, fear and anxiety.

In order to bring balance to Vata, programs are designed that emphasize the opposing qualities of warmth, heaviness (nourishment), moistness and stability. In the diet this is reflected in the consumption of cooked grains such as rice and cooked vegetables as well as the intake of warm milk with spices. Pungent herbs like ginger that increase internal heat and nourishing herbs like ashwagandha bring balance to Vata.

Pitta

The Pitta dosha is said to be made up of the fire and water elements. Fire is moredoha images predominant, and those people with a predominant Pitta nature have many of the qualities of fire within them. Pitta tends to be hot, sharp and penetrating. It is also somewhat volatile and oily. The oily nature of Pitta is related to the secondary component of water. People with a Pitta nature reflect these qualities. They tend to feel warm, have somewhat oily skin, penetrating eyes, and sharp features. They tend to have moderate weight and good musculature. When out of balance, they tend toward diarrhea, infections, skin rashes, and weakness in the liver, spleen, and blood.

These qualities are also reflected in their personalities. Pitta people tend to be highly focused, competitive, capable, courageous, energetic, and clear communicators, who get right to the point. They like to solve problems, and, when under stress, they dig in their heels. However, they can also become overly intense and speak with a sharp tongue. They make great friends but feared enemies. Emotionally, they are challenged by the heated emotions of anger, resentment, and jealousy.

In order to bring balance to Pitta, programs are designed to emphasize the opposing qualities of coolness, heaviness (nourishing) and dryness. Cool spices like fennel are recommended in the diet along with foods such as raw vegetables, cooked rice, and wheat as well as most beans. Sweet herbs like Shatavari are used to nourish the body, while bitters like dandelion root temper the fire.

Kapha

Within the Kapha dosha there is a predominance of the water and earth elements. Like these elements Kapha tends to be cool, moist, stable, and heavy. In the body these qualities manifest as dense, heavy bones; lustrous, supple skin; low metabolism; and large, stocky frames. In addition, those with a Kapha nature tend to feel cool. When out of balance, Kapha individuals are prone to gaining weight and tend to have weaknesses in their lungs and sinuses, where there is an accumulation of mucous. Those of Kapha nature are also most prone to non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

The elements of water and earth are also manifested in the personality. The heavy, stable nature of Kapha is reflected in a steady personality that is not prone to quick fluctuations. Those with a Kapha nature handle stress very well, often not even noticing that it exists. They don’t like change, are generally conservative, and would prefer to keep things just the way they are. Those with a Kapha nature are also comfort seekers. This relates to the soft, watery nature of Kapha. Too much comfort, however, can lead to a lack of motivation and a feeling of becoming stuck. When Kapha is out of balance, the heavy emotions of depression and lethargy result.

In order to bring balance to a Kapha nature, the opposing qualities of lightness, dryness, and warmth are recommended. Grains such as quinoa and amaranth are recommended as well as hot spices like cayenne pepper. Lots of vegetables and very little nuts or dairy are prescribed. Cleansing herbs like guggul and pungents like clove bring balance to Kapha. For more information on how Ayurveda can help you contact me at:

                                    info@healthhealingwellness.com

Wishing you much health, healing and wellness!

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

Rochele Lawson

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous
The Wellness Architect

www.healthhealingwellness.com
www.rochelelawson.com
www.blissful-living.net
www.facebook.com/rochelelawson
www.youtube.com/rochelelawson
www.freegiftsfromrochele.com
www.stressassessmentmagic.com

 

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ayurveda, health and wellness, healthy living

5 Steps to Wellness

Step 1 – Eat Wholesome Food – The Sattvic Way

An important concept in Ayurveda is how you eat. Eating is considered a major therapeutic tool and one of the most important things that you can do to help yourself from an Ayurvedic perspective.

A healthy diet not only boosts overall wellness but also helps prevent disease. In Ayurveda, the goal is to have healthy digestion and elimination and to be free of sickness and disease. It is believed that one way to achieve this is to have what we call in Ayurveda, a Sattvic diet. A Sattvic diet is a diet that promotes a clear and peaceful mind.

It consists of fresh foods and avoids fiery and / or spoiled foods. Sattvic foods are fresh and light. And it is important to note that fresh and pure foods are free of additives, preservatives and pesticides. As things that are similar in nature increase one another, the foods that make up the sattvic diet are themselves peaceful (non-stimulating) and clear (free from impurities). Sattvic foods are properly prepared according to traditional methods, which mean no “microwave cooking.”

It is believed in Ayurveda that a range of illnesses, including heart disease, arthritis, and some cancers, are caused by chronic inflammation in the body which can be caused by eating foods that are not Sattvic.

It is a known fact that, while genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors like stress and lack of exercise promote inflammation, poor diet and digestion; the main contributor is the consumption of unhealthy food. For instance berries, oranges, tomatoes, kale and spinach contain disease fighting antioxidants. Slow to digest whole grain carbohydrates like oats, whole wheat, barley and quinoa are ideal foods because they provide essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as fiber which aids in the elimination process. These are examples of foods that are naturally beneficial to the body. So don’t shy away from these foods, eat up and allow your body to enjoy the benefits that these foods naturally provide.

CocoStep 2 – Choose the Right Beverages

Hydration is the most vital thing that we can do for our bodies. All of our cells need to be properly hydrated in order to function properly. Although water is best, it is possible to have flavorful drinks that are natural beverages largely water based and free of artificial sweeteners. One drink that comes to mind is coconut water. Coconut water is a natural source of hydration that is high in potassium and is naturally sweetened. This natural source of hydration can be drank alone or added to other fruits to make a nice, healthy smoothie. Soda is an absolute no-no. It can deplete the body of electrolytes due to the diuretic effect that it has on the kidneys.

Green teas and herbal teas are another good source for natural hydration, however it should be noted that some green teas contain caffeine and may have a diuretic effect as well. As for a dairy nice healthy choice to try would by unsweetened almond milk. Although almond milk is not as nutrient rich as regular cow’s milk, almonds are very nutritive and thus makes almond milk an excellent choice for a low calorie, non-dairy alternative.

Step 3 – Boost Health with Essential Nutrients

Even if the majority of the foods you are eating are unprocessed or certified organic, you probably could use a little assistance in getting what you need. Supplements and medicinal plant ingredients can help bridge the gap. Some important supplements to take a look at are Omega-3 fatty acids for brain and heart health, Vitamin D to improve bone strength, mood, endocrine and cognitive function and magnesium to support the nervous system and promote muscle relaxation.

Step 4 –Work Out for Big Payoffs

No health and wellness regime is complete without some form of exercise. A good workout, whether it is a Bikram Yoga session, a power walk through the park, an uphill bike ride, an elliptical session or a good jog, can improve mood, strengthen the heart and lungs, reduce stress, and promote weight loss to name a few perks.

It is important to exercise at least 45 minutes, three times a week. For a balanced routine, include 20 minutes of resistance training twice a week, such as squats, core work such as Pilates to build muscle, maintain bone density and promote good posture. Reap additional benefits by exercising outdoors which helps to improve energy and bring clarity to your mind.

Step 5 – Calm the Mind with Meditation

Spiritual health is just as important as diet and exercise. Meditation in particular can lower stress and help regulate emotions. It is the best thing to calm the mind, nerves and emotions. Meditation relates to the spiritual aspect of life. According to Ayurveda the soul is the source of life and health. We must live according to the purpose of our soul in order to have peace and well-being. Disease generally indicates that we have lost contact with our soul and its creative force. To counteract this and to restore balance to our minds, meditation should be incorporated into your daily life. It has been proven to restore brain synapses and increase vitality.

There are many types of meditations to explore such as: seated meditation, mindful meditation, walking meditation, breath meditation and moving meditations (like yoga and tai chi). Both types are terrific for active people in search of stress relief and offer the opportunity to practice alone or in a group setting.

By incorporating the 5 Steps of Wellness into your daily life you will experience improvements in your overall health and wellness.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

Rochele Lawson

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous
The Wellness Architect
www.healthhealingwellness.com
www.rochelelawson.com
www.blissful-living.net
www.facebook.com/rochelelawson
www.youtube.com/rochelelawson
www.freegiftsfromrochele.com
www.stressassessmentmagic.com

For a free chat with The Queen of Feeling Fabulous AKA The Wellness Architect contact me at: info@healthhealingwellness.com

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health and wellness, stress reduction

How to Stay Blissful While Driving: Part 2

This blog post is Part 2 of a series on mindful driving. Last week, I shared three tips for being a cool-headed traveler (click HERE).

Focus, Focus, Focus

You might have started your trip by centering your mind, breathing deeply and securing any important objects that could fly away. But what if, after you’ve been on the road for a while, you and your spouse or kids get into an argument?

Keep your mind focused on the roadway to stay actively engaged with driving. It helps to deflect any distractions that come up. If at any point something chaotic (such as an accident) stresses you out, you can return to a deep breathing process (take three to five long, slow, deep breaths).

Outside Events Aren’t the Boss of You

When we need to get somewhere on time and are delayed by unexpected traffic or accidents, our energy feels sapped. Somehow we feel we should have been in control of it, should have known better or left earlier. If you’re feeling like this, just know that there’s some reason the Universe is asking you to engage in a slowing down process.

Unknown-1If you feel agitated by anything happening on the road that you have no control over, the best thing you can do is realize: you have no control! It is what it is. This mindset liberates us and helps release tension and pressure.

As long as you’re safe and sound in your car, everything will turn out fine. Arriving a little late is better than not arriving at all. Consider that there might be a reason for the delays that’s beyond your knowledge. It helps us relax and develop a keen sense of concentration. Let go of needing to be in charge, crank up the radio and actively absorb your favorite music.

Music Soothes

Many people listen to talk radio while they commute and if the topic is inflammatory, you may find yourself becoming tense. Change the channel to music you like! The mind will relax and when the mind relaxes, the body does, too.

Once you’ve passed through the traffic or roadside chaos, you can always come back to your talk show. Music taps in to the feel-good centers of the brain, which release more of those relaxing neurotransmitters.

Avoid Grumpy Fellow Travelers

There’s nothing worse than an angry driver doing something nasty that could injure you, themselves or both of you. Stay mindfully aware of those exhibiting aggressive behavior (such as speeding up near you, tailgating or flipping you off as they pass by).

If you see another driver getting visibly angry because you’re driving too slowly and they’re tailgating, move over if you can. Go ahead and let them race ahead of you. That will ease their stress and yours. You won’t change their driving behavior by being stubborn and letting them ride your tail – it’ll just make them angrier. Later you can always scoot back into the lane you’d prefer to drive in.

One final tip

Spray some citrus essential oils in your car to maintain a yummy, stress-free, loving environment. Happy driving!

Want to learn even more about staying blissful no matter what happens? Click HERE to receive my free bliss tips today.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

Rochele Lawson

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous
The Wellness Architect

www.healthhealingwellness.com
www.rochelelawson.com
www.blissful-living.net
www.facebook.com/rochelelawson
www.youtube.com/rochelelawson
www.freegiftsfromrochele.com
www.stressassessmentmagic.com

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health and wellness, stress reduction

How to Stay Blissful While Driving: Part 1

We all know that driving in a metropolitan area can be extremely stressful. It’s easy to take it personally when someone in front of us cuts us off, as if they were doing it intentionally!

Sometimes that might even be true, but for the most part, what people do in their cars has nothing to do with us; we’re all operating solo.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

During the day there can be anywhere from 500,000 to 600,000 drivers on the road across America who challenge the rest of us by using their electronic devices while driving.

Research studies have found that about 23% of drivers using mobile devices have been involved in accidents, and many of them get seriously injured. Drivers who feel stressed and get distracted become statistics on the roadways.

Normally when I’m driving I aim to stay as mindful as possible. I might have my radio on. Every now and then the phone rings, which is no problem because my phone operates hands-free. I happen to be horrible at texting, plus I’d never text while driving anyway. But we see all kinds of people on the road with varying levels of attentiveness.

You don’t have to live your life stressed out behind the wheel. Know that you can stay joyful even in the chaos of traffic. Here are some tips to help you stay in a mindful, more relaxed and peaceful state as you travel.

Yes, Hello?

If you’re someone who really needs to use the phone when commuting, first make sure your phone is outfitted to work hands-free in the car. Staying hands-free is obviously safer, and depending on where you live, it might also be the law.

Make sure your phone (or any tea, coffee or water for that matter) is positioned securely. Then, if you need to make a sudden stop or sharp turn, it won’t fly under the seat (or spill liquid on you or the upholstery!).

UnknownIntend Safety

Drive with a sense of purpose. Purposeful driving is being mindful not only of your own attitude about being on the road, it also means holding the intention to drive safely and stay aware of events around you.

You can even start out by declaring an intention such as, “I intend to drive to my destination as safely and mindfully as possible in order to arrive on time and fully present.” Setting this intention keeps you in a balanced state of mind.

In Through the Nose…

Try actively engaging in a breathing process while attaching your seat belt. As you buckle up, take three to five long, slow, deep breaths and continue consciously breathing as you adjust your posture and make sure the belt is comfortable.

Conscious breathing brings mindfulness not only to the act of driving your car, but it sets the tone to keep you more relaxed as you begin your journey. Another benefit of deep breathing is that it helps your body release serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that facilitates a relaxed body-mind state.

Of course, make sure you look behind you and both ways before you back up and take off down the road. Stay tuned for Part II for more happy traveling tips next week!

Want to learn more about staying blissful even when you’re feeling stressed? Click HERE to receive my free bliss tips today.

Wishing you much health and wellness!

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

Rochele Lawson

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous
The Wellness Architect

www.healthhealingwellness.com
www.rochelelawson.com
www.blissful-living.net
www.facebook.com/rochelelawson
www.youtube.com/rochelelawson
www.freegiftsfromrochele.com
www.stressassessmentmagic.com

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blissful living, health and wellness, stress reduction, Uncategorized

Allowing The “Psychology Of Change” To Help You Break Those Hard Habits

Once the holiday hoopla subsides, it’s time for the New Year’s resolutions. But before you make any, consider these tips to help you overcome some of the obstacles that prevent you from being successful.

Sin título1Obstacle #1 – You Aim Too High. To counter this, take Positive Action. To do this try adopting this new behavior, whether you want to reduce your stress, save more money, exercise more or spend more time with your family, pick one thing and work on it until it becomes natural. Then move on to the next thing on your list. If you need to adjust your goal, take the positive action and make the adjustment. This is the process of adopting new positive behaviors to replace those that do not serve us so that we can get the results that we wish to create.

Obstacle #2 – You Make Excuses. To counter this, Think Positive. It is one thing to accept the fact that thought creates action. It is an entirely different thing to perceive one’s own thoughts because our thoughts move quickly and are fleeting. Our words reflect our thoughts and feelings so when we make excuses for ourselves, what we are really telling ourselves is that we did not plan ahead and are not committed to ourselves. Instead of making excuses, make a commitment to yourself. Tell yourself to be conscious of when you feel you are about to make an excuse and instead say a positive affirmation to plant the thoughts of awareness into your mind. This will bring you back to being committed to yourself and in turn you will gain confidence and a peace of mind.

Obstacle #3 – You Give Up Too Quickly. To counter this, Positive Feeling. Success won’t happen overnight and setbacks and slip-ups are likely to happen. Instead of getting down on yourself when you have a set back, turn it in to a positive by remembering how you felt when you began your plan or when you accomplished a goal on your plan. Remembering this positive feeling will trigger the positive response center within you. Feelings motivate our thoughts and when we feel good, we think good thoughts and take positive action. Set interim goals for yourself, so that you will see progress. It could take 3 weeks to 3 months to change your habits but the key is to keep trying and to keep moving forward.

So you see by thinking positive you take positive action and experience positive feelings there by reinforcing the positive behavior you are now taking on as you break those hard to break habits.

The above tips are 3 of the 5 ways of how the psychology of change can assist you in your life.

Wishing you much health and wellness!

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.

Namaste,

Rochele Lawson

Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous
The Wellness Architect

www.healthhealingwellness.com
www.rochelelawson.com
www.blissful-living.net
www.facebook.com/rochelelawson
www.youtube.com/rochelelawson
www.freegiftsfromrochele.com
www.stressassessmentmagic.com

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