Tuesday, March 24, 2015

This is an amazing material. I stumbled on to this, as I was for searching furiously for answers....the material given here kind of connect everything to our food.....whatever is happening to us day in day out, physically and otherwise, it says is intimately connected to our food....even what we think!.........read on....


​PRAKRITI:

We all come into this world with our unique “blueprint” which is pre-installed in us at birth
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This blueprint creates “who we are” – our unique personality, our mental and physical characteristics
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It makes us 
​literally 
one of a kind. You may ask what is this blueprint made up of ? It is made up of the same five elements ( fire, ether, air, earth, and water) that our universe is built upon and these five elements are represented in our bodies as three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
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Each one of us is made up of the combination of these three doshas. Most of us have one or two doshas to be dominant, with third one
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 to be passive. This makes up our unique blueprint or 
prakriti (constitution) by ayurveda.
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As we grow older and life starts to happen, the proportion of our prakriti starts to fluctuate in response to our inner and outer environment. This gradually creates imbalance in our constitution, which in turn starts to affect our physical and mental health.

Vata Logo

What is Vata?
The two elements that make up vata are Air + Ether.Vata is called the “king of doshas”. It is responsible for every movement in the body. Pitta and kapha cannot move without vata, it is considered the leader or the king of all doshas. It’s very important to keep vata in good balance. The key to balancing vata dosha is regularity.

Pitta LogoWhat is Pitta?
The two elements that make up pitta are Fire + Water. Pitta is considered to be “enthusiastic and fiery” of all the three doshas. It is responsible for digesting everything we take into our bodies – food, emotions. The key to balancing pitta dosha is cool down and let go!

Kapha 2

What is Kapha?
The two elements that make up kapha are Water + Earth. Kapha is the “motivator” for the rest of the two doshas. It is responsible for the lymphatic and the immune system. The key to balancing kapha dosha is motivation.



Being healthy in Ayurveda - 
One whose all three doshas are in balance, appetite is wholesome, digestion is strong, all body tissues are functioning favorably, excretion is regular, and mind is in a state of bliss, in tune with the spirit.
Sadhaka Pitta is the subdosha of Pitta responsible for balanced emotional health. Balanced Sadhaka Pitta is crucial in discrimination between Truth and Falsehood, (ability to see reality AS IT IS instead of jumping to wild conclusions and reacting based on limited/inaccurate subjective perception that skews and distorts things) Sadhaka Pitta is also integral to analysis of information, creativity, contentment,motivation,self esteem and self confidence. At the highest level balanced Sadhaka Pitta is the direct channel to experience lasting Bliss and spiritual unfoldment. It is the communicating force between brain and heart. Imbalance can show up as a domineering,controlling and arrogant personality,intolerance,manipulative hyper critical nature, manically energetic and pushing oneself and others to impossible limits, insomnia, inflammatory conditions (allergies,skin, acidity) and so on. Regularly taking in cooling foods (coconut milk, dates, bitter greens) (pears and coconut milk are especially good for pitta) and herbs (gulkand, sandalwood,amla,yasthi madhu etc),application of coconut oil and other pitta balancing herbal thailams , keeping a calm lifestyle including appropriate meditation, sheetali pranayama practice and having access to proper spiritual guidance from a trusted source is very essential in these cases or deranged Sadhaka Pitta can wreak havoc and be very disruptive to one's own health and that of others it interacts with.
In the Bhagvad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna “Surrender to me your mind and understanding(Bhagvad Gita, 8:7)”. It is here we see the Ayurvedic distinction of the mind as “that aspect of consciousness which receives impressions,  the mind takes in prana and nutrients to sustain itself. ”.
According to Ayurveda the mind is a conscious flow of energy that originates in the heart and flows to the brain which creates thought and pervades the body which facilitates sensation, perception and experience. When the mind receives the impression the energetic experience of the event evolves from the heart. 
In the Bhagvad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna “Such is My lower nature (Aparaprakriti). Understand now, O Mighty-armed (Arjuna)! that My other and higher nature (Paraprakriti) sustains the soul (jiva), which is individual consciousness, and sustaIns also the life-principle of the universe.” (Kriyananda, p. 305)
When prana and vyana vata (the subdosha located in the heart that supports circulation) together are disturbed, it affects not only the mind, but the communication between the heart and the mind, thus creating mental and emotional stress simultaneously. Emotional stress is usually associated with an imbalance in sadhaka pitta, the subdosha of pitta that supports the emotions and is seated in the heart. When feeling stressed, a person with one of these imbalances may have a tendency to blame the boss, the economy or co-workers for his or her problems.
Are you feeling positive with your friends and family, or are you also blaming them? if the blaming pattern is repeated in other non-work-related relationships, that’s a good indication that you need to that supports mental functions, gets disturbed, the coordination between dhi, dhriti and smriti breaks down. Mental stress results. Do something to balance your doshas.
If you are unable to perceive the reality of life, which is blissful, that is an indication of pragya-aparadh, or mistake of the intellect. Charaka samhita, a major ayurvedic text, defines pragya-aparadh as the lack of coordination between dhi, dhriti and smriti. pragya-aparadh is the source of all disease, because disease originates when the heart, mind or body becomes loses its connection with nature’s intelligence. When we lose the memory of bliss, the connection with our own true nature in pure consciousness, this is the source of disease, stress and ill-health in the body.
The recommendations of ayurveda aim to restore the balanced functioning of the doshas, of mind, body and emotions–and thus to restore the connection of every part of life to bliss consciousness, which is our true nature.
PRAKRITI
One of the four fluids of the body, blood, phlegm, choler, and black bile, whose relative proportions were thought in ancient and medieval physiology 
i. to determine a person's disposition and general health.
ii. the ability to perceive, enjoy, or express what is amusing, comical, incongruous, or absurd: "Man's sense of humor seems to be in inverse proportion to the gravity of his profession" (Mary Roberts Rinehart).
1. Physiology
a. A body fluid, such as blood, lymph, or bile.
b. Aqueous humor.
c. Vitreous humor.
2. A person's characteristic disposition or temperament: a boy of sullen humor
3. An often temporary state of mind; a mood: I'm in no humor to argue.
4. a. A sudden, unanticipated inclination; a whim.
b. Capricious or peculiar behavior.
i. Anger; irritability.
ii.One of the four humors of ancient and medieval physiology, thought to cause anger and bad temper when present in excess; yellow bile.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, there are three main principles which comprise the human physiology. These three energies are referred to as doshas and they include Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha is comprised of a combination of two of the following elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. In Ayurveda, it is believed that these five elements make up the earth. Vata is comprised of space and air; Pitta is comprised of fire and water; and Kapha is comprised of water and earth. When combined, these three doshas are responsible for all activities occurring within each of us.
At conception, each of us inherits an original combination of the three doshas known as prakriti. For most of us, there are two doshas that are more or less equal in dominance with the third dosha being the least dominant. There are rare exceptions in which the three doshas are nearly equal in proportion or where one dosha is very predominant.
In order to maintain good health and well-being, it’s important that one balance the three doshas within them and maintain their original prakriti as much as possible. This balance can be effected in a variety of ways through dietary and lifestyle choices, climate changes, environmental changes, work, relationships and the simple passing of time, all of which can cause each of the doshas to increase or decrease from their original levels. This results in an imbalance known as vikriti which, when left unchecked, can lead to poor health. Balancing the doshas is central to the ayurvedic approach to health.
A program for balancing the doshas can be obtained by visiting an ayurvedic healer and undergoing an ayurvedic pulse assessment and questionnaire. The following link is for a questionnaire that you can take online: http://doshaquiz.chopra.com/
Vata
Vata is the dosha comprised of space and air. In the Charaka Samhita, which is the most respected ayurvedic text, the characteristics of Vata are described as follows:
  • Rookshaha, or dry and rough
  • Sheetoha, or cool
  • Laghuhu, or light in weight
  • Sookhshmaha, or very tiny, penetrating molecules
  • Chalota, or constantly moving
  • Vishadaha, or broad and unbounded
  • Kharaha, or rough
Individuals with a greater amount of Vata are typically thin and slender framed with delicate, dry skin and dry, voluminous hair. Their thoughts, speech and actions are generally quick and lively and there is a lightness in their laughter. The qualities of air can be seen in their step. These people tend to make friends easily. They are light sleepers and are typically drawn toward warmer environments. Change is common for those with greater Vata. When Vata is balanced, creativity and enthusiasm are characteristic.
Those whose prakriti has a greater amount of Vata in it will have many of the characteristics mentioned above. However, these characteristics can become excessive, which may be representative of an imbalanced Vata. Increases in Vata can result from a diet of too many dry or raw foods and ice-cold beverages, exposure to cold and dry winds, a varied day-to-day routine, excessive travel, and excessive mental exertion.
Signs that the Vata dosha is in need of balancing include the following: constant worry and anxiety; feelings of fretfulness and being overwhelmed; feeling tired yet unable to relax; difficulty falling asleep at night; restless sleep; dry, taut or flaking skin; brittle hair with split ends; raw, chapped lips; dry throat; irregular digestion and abdominal gas; inability to relax and a need for constant motion; a “spaced out” feeling; decreased memory and attention span; infrequent bowel movements.
To restore Vata to its original level, one can follow a Vata-balancing diet and lifestyle. In general, Ayurvedic philosophy follows a principle of opposites for minimizing an aggravated dosha. Thus, to balance Vata dosha, one must incorporate the opposites of dryness, coolness, roughness, lightness and constant motion into their diet and lifestyle.
Vata-Balancing Diet
Dryness can be balanced with foods that are liquid or unctuous, lightness can be balanced with heavy foods that offer substance and sustenance, roughness can be balanced with foods of a smooth texture, and coolness can be balanced with warm or hot foods. A Vata-balancing diet should include some clarified butter or olive oil, hot or warm cooked foods, nuts, and lots of warm water drunken throughout the day. Other good Vata-balancing foods include Basmati rice, wheat breads, and foods that are sweet, sour and/or salty in taste. The best vegetables are asparagus, beets, carrots, summer squash, sweet potatoes and tender leafy greens, all of which can be cooked with sweet, sour or salty spices. Avoid fat-free diets, dry foods like crackers and cold cereals, raw foods, nightshades, large beans, and tastes that are bitter, astringent or pungent.
Vata-Balancing Foods
Grains
amaranth, oats, quinoa, rice, and wheat (cooked until tender)
Fruits
avocado, berries (all kinds), cherries, coconut, fresh figs, grapes, lemons, limes, mangoes, oranges, papaya, peaches, pineapple, plums, soaked raisins, and stewed apples
Vegetables
asparagus, carrots, green beans, lauki squash, parsnips, peas, sweet potatoes, tender greens, white daikon, and zucchini (all cooked)
Lentils
masoor dhal, mung beans, mung dhal, red lentils, toor dhal, urad dhal (all cooked until soft)
Dairy
butter, cream, cottage cheese, fresh paneer cheese, fresh yogurt (cooked into foods), lassi, and whole milk 
Oils
cold-pressed nut oils such as walnut, ghee, olive oil, and sesame oil
Herbs
cilantro, curry leaves, fresh basil, fresh fennel, fresh ginger root, mint, and parsley
Nuts and Seeds
almonds (soaked and blanched), cashews, hazelnuts, pecans (soaked), pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts (soaked)
Spices
ajwain, asafetida (hing) in small quantities, basil, black pepper, black salt, cardamom, Chinese cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, dried ginger, dried mango powder, fennel, fenugreek, lemon and orange zest, oregano, mint, mustard seed, nutmeg, pomegranate seeds or powder, rock salt or sea salt, rosemary, thyme, and turmeric
Other
poppy seeds, raw honey, rice milk, soy milk, sucanat, tofu (in moderation, diced and cooked with spices), and turbinado sugar.
Vata-Balancing Lifestyle
Again, because ayurveda recommends opposites for minimizing an aggravated Vata dosha, you will to seek out the opposite of dryness, coolness, roughness, lightness and constant motion for your lifestyle. A regular routine can combat restlessness and constant motion. Ayurvedic massage can help to soothe dry skin, enhance circulation, and tone the muscles and nerves. The body should be massaged every morning prior to bathing using almond or jojoba oil, and the scalp should be massaged with warm oil two to three times per week prior to shampooing. Moisturizer should be used after showering or bathing to combat dryness.
Eat regular, nourishing meals, taking the time to sit in a peaceful atmosphere and pay attention to your food. Keep yourself warm and protect against cold and wind by layering clothes and wearing a hat and scarf. Walk for twenty minutes each day early in the morning, and meditate for about thirty minutes each day. Go to bed early, taking a cup or warm milk beforehand to help you sleep. Daily elimination is important for balancing Vata, and regularly taking Triphala Rasayana can help.
Kapha
Kapha is the dosha comprised of water and earth. In the Charaka Samhita, the characteristics of Kapha are described as follows:
  • Guru, or heavy
  • Sheetoha, or cold
  • Mridu, or soft
  • Snigdha, or unctuous
  • Madhura, or sweet
  • Sthira, or fixed and steady
  • Tikshila, or slippery
Individuals with a greater amount of Kapha are typically of larger proportions, having a robust frame and padded joints. Their skin tends to be thick, smooth and oily, and their hair wavy and rich. Their thoughts, speech and actions are calm and stable. In their relationships, they are supportive and easy-going. Loyalty is a common characteristic for those with greater Kapha. They are often described as calm and sweet. They generally sleep heavy and long, and dislike damp environments. 
Those whose prakriti has a greater amount of Kapha in it will have many of the characteristics mentioned above. However, an imbalanced Kapha can cause these characteristics to become extreme or more pronounced. Increases in Kapha can result from too many deep-fried, sweet or heavy foods in the diet, an excess of ice-cold food and drink, overexposure to cold and damp, a lack of exercise, and daytime sleep.
Signs that the Kapha dosha is in need of balancing include the following: easy weight gain; exhaustion not caused by physical activity; difficulty waking despite long hours of sleep; feeling unrefreshed and tired after waking; oily skin and breakouts; oily hair; congestion in the throat, head and chest; slow digestions with feelings of heaviness after eating; feeling withdrawn; resistance to change; and feeling unmotivated.
To restore Kapha to its original level, a Kapha-balancing diet and lifestyle can be followed. Given the Ayurvedic prescription of opposites for minimizing an aggravated dosha, balancing Kapha dosha can be achieved by incorporating the opposites of heaviness, softness, sweetness, cold, stability, and unctuousness into the diet and lifestyle.
Kapha-Balancing Diet
Dry foods can balance the oily nature of Kapha, including dry cereal, salt-free crackers and rice cakes. It’s best to use only very small amount of ghee when cooking but otherwise avoid too many oily foods. Light but nourishing foods can balance the heaviness of Kapha and these may include clear vegetable soups with beans and vegetables, stews made with Kapha-balancing vegetables, bean casseroles, dhal soups, light grain and vegetable combinations. Avoid using too much salt, sticking with fresh herbs and spices instead. Good Kapha-balancing spices include asafetida (hing), black pepper, cayenne, cloves, coriander, cumin, dried ginger, fenugreek, and turmeric.
The best vegetables for balancing Kapha include asparagus, bitter gourd, bitter leafy greens, carrots, daikon radish, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. These are best chopped and cooked with Kapha-pacifying spices like fresh green chili peppers and fresh ginger root. Grains are best eaten in moderation with the best grains being light whole grains like barley, buckwheat, couscous and millet.
Keep snacks to a minimum and avoid sugary snacks. Warm foods with a bit of spice can balance the sweet and cold nature of Kapha. The best tastes for Kapha are pungent, bitter and astringent. Avoid salty, sweet and sour tastes. Honey makes for the best sweetener but should be used in small quantities. Be sure to drink lots of warm water throughout the day.
Kapha-Balancing Foods
Grains
amaranth, barley, basmati rice (in small amounts), buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, and sago (all cooked until tender)
Fruits
apples, apricots, berries, cherries, dried figs, lemons, limes, peaches, pears, pomegranates, prunes, and raisins
Vegetables
artichoke, asparagus, beets, bitter gourd, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, greens (all kinds), daikon, green beans, kohlrabi, lauki squash, and radish (all cooked)
Lentils
black beans, garbanzo beans (small portions), lima beans, mung beans, mung dhal, red or brown lentils, and toor dhal (all cooked until soft)
Dairy
cottage cheese (in small amounts), fresh paneer cheese (in small amounts), lassi, and whole milk (diluted with water)
Oils
ghee and olive oil (both used in small amounts)
Herbs
cilantro, curry leaves, fresh basil, fresh mint, fresh oregano, fresh thyme, neem leaves, parsley and sage
Nuts and Seeds
pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
Spices
black pepper, cardamom, cayenne, Chinese cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, dill, dried ginger, fennel, fenugreek, lime zest, mace, marjoram, mint, mustard seed, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, rosemary, saffron, thyme, and turmeric
Other
crackers (used in moderation), raw honey (used in moderation), tofu (small quantities diced and cooked with spices), and unsalted unbuttered popcorn
Kapha-Balancing Lifestyle
Given the ayurveda prescription of opposites, an aggravated Kapha dosha can be minimized by seeking out the opposites of heaviness, softness, sweetness, cold, stability and unctuousness for your lifestyle.
One of the best recommendations for balancing Kapha is to increase your level of  exercise. Make sure that you do some form of exercise every day but be careful not to overdo it. Great forms of exercise for balancing Kapha include aerobics, jogging, racquetball and tennis (singles).  It’s best to exercise early in the morning. Also be sure to meditate for thirty minutes each day. Another recommendation is to challenge yourself mentally by taking a class or solving puzzles, and to welcome new people and new relationships into your life. Add variety to your life with new experiences like travel and new hobbies.


Eat regular meals consisting of a light breakfast, sustaining lunch, and a light dinner. Do not fast or skip meals. Amalaki Rasayana can be taken to enhance metabolism and aid in digestion, while Triphala Rasayana can be taken to promote regularity and daily elimination. Protect against cold and damp by drinking lots of warm water (this can be steeped with spices like dried ginger, turmeric and black pepper). At-home steaming can also be great. Oily skin should be cleansed twice each day with a deep natural cleanser, and you should exfoliate the skin once a week. Use a gentle natural shampoo on the hair and cleanse the hair at least every other day. Perform an ayurvedic massage with oil each morning prior to bathing. When the Kapha dosha is unbalanced, feelings of exhaustion are common despite getting good sleep. To combat this, make sure that you go to bed early and rise early. Avoid naps during the day. 

Pitta
Pitta is the dosha comprised of fire and water. In the Charaka Samhita, the characteristics of Pitta are described as follows:
  • Sahasnehamushnam, or hot and a little unctuous
  • Tikshnam, or sharp and burning
  • Dravamlam, or liquid and acidic
  • Saram, or flowing unbounded
  • Katuhu, or sharp and pungent
Individuals with a greater amount of Pitta are typically of medium proportion, being neither heavy nor petite. Their skin is typically warm and either very fair or ruddy. The skin may also be sensitive. The hair is typically fine with a tendency toward premature graying or thinning. Their thoughts, speech and actions are typically sharp and determined. Their step is purposeful and their voice intense. They are ambitious by nature with a particular self-confidence and entrepreneurial spirit. Those with more Pitta are usually drawn toward cooler environments. They are moderate sleepers.
Those whose prakriti has a greater amount of Pitta in it will have many of the characteristics mentioned above. However, an imbalance in Pitta dosha can cause these characteristics to be extreme or more pronounced. Increases in Pitta can result from a diets with too many hot or spicy foods, skipping meals, fasting, excessive sun or heat exposure, and emotional trauma.
Signs that the Pitta dosha is in need of balancing include constant impatience and irritability, a continually critical nature, an obsession with work or projects, rising early in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep, increased irritation or sensitivity of the skin, increased hair loss, heartburn, decreased tolerance for other people and situations, increased temper and frustration, feeling hot, increased thirst, red eyes, biting and sarcastic speech, and being argumentative.
To restore Pitta dosha to its normal levels, a Pitta-balancing diet and lifestyle can be followed. Following the Ayurvedic principle of opposites, Pitta dosha can be balanced by incorporating the opposites of sharpness, heat and acidity into the diet and lifestyle.

Pitta-Balancing Lifestyle
Given the Ayurveda prescription of opposites, an aggravated Pitta dosha can be balanced by seeking out the opposites of sharpness, heat and acidity for your lifestyle. Staying cool physically and emotionally can combat the heat of Pitta. Do not go out or exercise in the heat of the day and steer clear of situations that make you feel angry or heated. Protect yourself from heat by wearing loose cotton clothing in warm weather, along with a hat and sunglasses. Engaging in water-based activities like water aerobics can help you to remain cool while exercising. Walks after sunset, particularly along the water, are also great. And be sure to drink plenty of room temperature water.
Ayurvedic massage with coconut oil performed each morning before bathing can help to soothe sensitive skin, tone the muscles and nerves, and balance the emotions. The scalp should be massaged with warm oil two to three times per week before shampooing. After bathing, apply a gentle, pure moisturizer or use a pure rose or sandalwood water spray to cool the skin.
Eat regular meals, keeping your largest meal at lunchtime and having a lighter meal for breakfast and dinner. Avoid fasting, skipping meals, and waiting until you’re very hungry before eating. Sweet fruits are great snacks. Amalaki Rasayana can be taken to improve digestion and balance stomach acid. Daily elimination is important for balancing Pitta. Triphala Rasayana can be taken to aid regularity and tone the digestive system.
Balance work and play which, for most of us, means taking time for play and rest. Meditate for thirty minutes each day. Make sure that you go to bed early each day. Drinking a cup of warm milk with cardamom before bed can help.
 Pitta-Balancing Diet
Dry foods can help to balance Pitta’s liquid nature and may include dry cereal, crackers, granola bars, cereal bars and rice cakes. Foods that are considered heavy can provide substance. Cool foods can counteract Pitta’s fiery qualities and may include sweet juicy fruits, milk, coconut, and sweet rice pudding. Milkshakes made with mangoes and either almond or dates are also very good. Moderate amounts of ghee, a cooking oil, can help to balance Pitta by cooling the mind and body. Foods that are sweet, bitter and/or astringent are good for balancing Pitta, while salty, sour and pungent tastes should be avoided. Good Pitta-balancing vegetables include asparagus, bitter leafy greens, carrots, fennel, green beans, bitter gourd, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. These vegetables are better chopped and cooked with spices that are good for satisfying Pitta dosha. Basmati rice, wheat, oats and amaranth are good grains for balancing pita. Rather than drinking ice-cold water, sweet lassi should be drunken with lunch to provide a cooling effect while also aiding digestions.

Signs & Symptoms of Increased Pitta

You may be experiencing some of the following signs or symptoms:
  • red, inflamed rash, acne, cold sores
  • acute inflammation in body or joints
  • acid reflux, gastric or peptic ulcers, heartburn
  • nausea or discomfort upon missing meals
  • loose stools
  • uncomfortable feeling of heat in the body
  • frustration, anger, irritability
  • judgment, impatience, criticism, intolerance
  • red, inflamed or light-sensitive eyes
  • excessive perfectionist tendencies
To decrease pitta, Ayurveda has given us dietary, lifestyle and herbal treatment strategies. Here are a few underlying concepts that these strategies are based on:
  • Cooling
  • Surrendering
  • Moderation
General Guidelines for a Pitta-Pacifying Diet 

Enjoy:

  • Foods that are naturally sweet, bitter and astringent.
  • Cooling foods, both energetically and in temperature.
  • A balance of whole, freshly cooked foods and fresh, raw foods.
  • Most beans.
  • Cooling herbs and spices like coriander, cilantro, fennel
    ​ (perun cheeragam)​
     and cardamom
    .
  • Dairy, if you digest it well, but avoid drinking milk with your meals. It is best to have it at least an hour before or after other food.
  • A moderate amount of high-quality olive, sunflower and coconut oils or ghee in your daily diet.
  • Routine times for your meals.
  • Taking a deep breath after swallowing your last bite and heading off for your next activity.
  • Eating your meal in a peaceful environment.
 Avoid:
  • Foods that are pungent, sour and salty.
  • Warming foods, both energetically and in temperature.
  • Chili and cayenne peppers.
  • Highly processed foods (like canned or frozen foods, “TV” dinners or pastries).
  • Eating fresh fruit or drinking fruit juice within 1/2 hr of any other food.
  • Caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants.
  • Red meat.
  • Deep fried foods.
  • Alcohol, except for an occasional beer or white wine.
 

​​
Enjoy:

  • Surrendering rather than controlling.
  • A regular, daily routine with regular times for eating, sleeping, working, etc. Make sure you have time to play and to relax as well as to work.
  • A 10-20 min. self-massage daily with 1/2 c. warm sunflower or coconut oil before bathing. Click here for more information on abhyanga.
  • A moderate exercise routine that includes a challenging form of yoga, swimming or biking, about five times per week. Avoid exercising during the hot part of the day.
  • Keeping yourself cool, mind and body.
  • Sweet and soothing music, smells, scenes and company.
Managing a Pitta Constitution
Pittam sasneha tikshnoshnam laghu visram, saram dravam 
Pitta is oily, sharp, hot, light, fleshy-smelling, spreading and liquid.
- Ashtanga Hrdayam: Sutrasthana I:11

The Qualities of Pitta

This Sanskrit line lists the main qualities of Pitta and provides a key to understanding what it means to have a predominantly Pitta Prakriti.
The main qualities of Pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, fleshy smelling, spreading and liquid. So, having a Pitta -predominant Prakriti means that these qualities express themselves generously throughout your mental, emotional and physical make upYou may find them reflected in your strengths and weaknesses.
  • The oily quality allows for softness of skin but, in excess, can manifest as oily skin, acne or perhaps the quality of being a "snake oil salesman"; manipulating situations to your advantage.
  • The sharp quality may manifest as a sharp, bright intellect or, in excess, as a sharp tongue.
  • "Hotness" can manifest as a warm, rosy complexion, warm body temperature, strong metabolism and appetite or, in excess, as ulcers, heartburn or a hot temper.
  • The light quality may lead you to have a slender body or to get light-headed if you miss a meal.
  • The "fleshy-smelling" quality may manifest as a strong body odor.
  • The spreading quality may manifest as a tendency to spread your name or influence or opinion around the local or global neighborhood. This quality can also manifest as a spreading rash.
  • The liquid quality may manifest as excess sweating; when it's combined with the hot quality it can present as excess stomach acid.

Six Tastes of Ayurveda
Long before we had heard of carbs-fats-proteins,or came to know of nutrition, food pyramids, RDA’s (recommended daily allowance), ayurveda came up with a list of six distinct tastes to formulate a balanced diet. As ayurveda originated thousands of years back, the wisdom and knowledge was shared in an oral communication (communication language was not written) and was passed on by one person to another. It was much later that the vedic scholars compiled them into ayurvedic texts/vedas.
Incorporating all these six tastes in our daily meals, leads us to eating a balanced diet. I call this the “vedic taste chart”!
Vedic Taste Chart
The sadhaka pitta:


The sadhaka pitta is a subdosha of pitta, which regulates the emotions, and the functions of the heart and mind. It connects the heart and mind together so that the two can communicate with each other. Each dosha (vatapittakapha) has five subdoshas, which involve different organs and perform different functions in the body. Sadhaka pitta dwells in the heart and the brain, and includes the nervous system and the senses.
The sadhaka pitta has an inward movement, which essentially sorts out our external experiences into an internal ‘felt’ experience. It distinguishes truth and reality from the information from the senses. This subdosha is responsible for things such as desire, drive, decisiveness, discrimination, intelligence, contentment, motivation, self-confidence, memory, emotional balance, and even spirituality. The sadhaka pitta helps us fulfill both our material and spiritual goals in life.
In anatomical terms, the sadhaka pitta subdosha includes the neuro-transmitters responsible for dopamine and serotonin. It is responsible for homeostasis (regulating body temperature) and regulating the hypothalamus (which controls important hormones and the nervous system) in the brain. An unbalanced sadhaka pitta essentially means umbalanced hormones.

Inside the heart, according to Ayurveda, there are two main energies – agni (sun energy) and soma (lunar energy). These need to be kept in balance. If agni is too strong, through emotional and mental stress, it will burn away soma, and lead to reduced ojas, or vitality.
Like our agni, sadhaka pitta is an internal “fire” that mentally “cooks” our experiences for us. If it’s too low, our experiences will take a long time for us to come to terms with. If the sadhaka pitta fire is too high, it can explode and makes a person behave in crazy, irrational ways.
When your sadhaka pitta is in balance, you will feel blissful. You will have a balanced, even temperament.
When your sadhaka pitta is out of balance, due to emotional stress or excess pitta, you will experience wild mood swings, from irritability to moodiness to anger, and to sadness. You may also have pitta-style depression, which includes being domineering, controlling, intolerant, critical (of self and others), intolerant and having the inability to concentrate. It may affect your relationships. There may also be pitta insomnia (waking up early in the morning with lots of energy), or inflammatory conditions, such as allergies, dermatitis, heartburn or diarrhoea.

The sadhaka pitta can be especially out of balance for women during menopause – resulting in the characteristics wild mood swings and hot flushes. A long-standing pitta imbalance can lead to early menopause.

To help balance the sadhaka pitta:
Herbs and oils
·         Rose. Rose is cooling and balancing for pitta. It enhances the coordination between the heart (sadhaka pitta) and the mind (prana vata). Rose has traditionally been used to help depression and anxiety. Rose petal conserve or rose water can be taken, or cooked with. Use rose water spritzer for the face to cool down. Perhaps this is why the rose is a symbol for the heart – the two are intimately connected. Rose enhances positive feelings, especially love. It is especially good in summer when pitta is high.
·         Amla
·         White sandalwood
·         Brahmi oil
·         Ashwagandha
·         Gotu kola (vallarai)
·         Coconut oil
·         Bringaraj (karisalankanni)
·         Arjuna (marutham)
·         Shatavari (thanneer vittan kilangu) தண்ணீர்விட்டான் கிழங்கு (asparagus)
Sadhaka pitta-pacifying diet
·         Eat sweet things to help balance out the emotions (especially sweet fruits, like pears)
·         Avoid spicy, pungent foods, salty foods, and sour foods
·         Avoid white sugar, red meat, alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine
·         Drink lukewarm herbal teas such as peppermint and chamomile
·         Drink coconut milk with rose water added
·         Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast
·         Drink lots of water with lime or rose syrup
Sadhaka pitta-pacifying lifestyle
·         Speak sweetly to others, do activities that are calming
·         Nourish the emotional heart
·         Listen to soothing music
·         Avoid overworking, allow time for rest and fun
·         Avoid the sun and being out in hot weather
·         Have a gentle stroll in the early morning or evening
·         Go to bed before 10pm.
·         Seek calm, quiet places, like the forest/bush, parks, gardens
·         Avoid emotional confrontations
·         Massage your body with cooling coconut oil before a shower
·         Meditate, do pranayama
·         Choose people who are calm and nurturing to be around
Some interesting sadhaka pitta links:


Pitta: Balanced Temper • Healthy Hair • Decreased Acid

Pitta governs all heat, metabolism and transformation in the mind and body. It controls how we digest foods, how we metabolize our sensory perceptions, and how we discriminate between right and wrong. Pitta governs the important digestive "agnis" or fires of the body.

Do you need to balance Pitta?

Pitta dosha governs metabolism and transformation in the body. Answer these questions to see if you need to balance Pitta.
  1. Do you tend to be demanding or critical?
  2. Are you often frustrated, angry or intense?
  3. Is your skin ruddy and prone to rashes and eruptions?
  4. Are you often irritable or impatient?
  5. Is your hair prematurely gray or thinning?
  6. Do you wake up in the early hours and find it difficult to fall asleep again?
  7. Do you feel discomfort in hot weather?
  8. Are you a perfectionist?
  9. Do you experience hot flashes?
  10. Do you have excess stomach acid?
  11. Do you experience loose bowel movements?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you need to balance Pitta.

Tips for Balancing Pitta

  • All Pitta products: drink Organic Pitta Tea and season meals with Organic Pitta Churna; practice cooling aromatherapy with Pitta Aroma Oil.
  • Keep cool. Avoid hot temperatures and food.
  • Favor cool, heavy, dry foods and sweet, bitter and astringent tastes.
  • Reduce pungent, sour, salty tastes and warm, oily and light foods.
  • Moderation; don't overwork.
  • Allow for leisure time.
  • Regular mealtimes, especially lunch at noon.
  • Abhyanga (ayurvedic oil massage) with a cooling oil such as coconut.

Pitta-Pacifying Diet

  1. Dairy. Milk, butter and ghee are good for pacifying Pitta. Reduce yogurt, cheese, sour cream and cultured buttermilk (their sour tastes aggravate Pitta).
  2. Sweeteners. All sweeteners are good except honey and molasses.
  3. Oils. Olive, sunflower and coconut oils are best. Reduce sesame, almond and corn oil, all of which increase Pitta.
  4. Fruits. Favor sweet fruits, such as grapes, cherries, melons, avocados, coconuts, pomegranates, mangos, and sweet, fully-ripened oranges, pineapples and plums. Reduce sour fruits such as grapefruits, olives, papayas, and unripe pineapples and plums.
  5. Vegetables. Favor asparagus, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, okra, lettuce, green beans and zucchini. Reduce hot peppers, tomatoes, carrots, beets, onions, garlic, radishes and spinach.
  6. Spices. Cinnamon, coriander, cardamom and fennel are all right. But the following spices strongly increase Pitta and should be taken only in small amounts: ginger, cumin, black pepper, fenugreek, clove, celery seed, salt and mustard seed. Chili peppers and cayenne should be avoided.
For a more detailed chart of specific food dos and don'ts for pacifying Pitta.
Pitta Governs
Alochaka Pitta: Functioning of the eyes.
Bhrajaka Pitta: Healthy glow of the skin.
Sadhaka Pitta: Desire, drive, decisiveness, spirituality.
Pachaka Pitta: Digestion, assimilation, metabolism for healthy nutrients and tissues.
Ranjaka Pitta: Healthy, toxin-free blood.
Pitta out of Balance
Alochaka Pitta: Bloodshot eyes, poor vision.
Bhrajaka Pitta: Skin rashes, acne.
Sadhaka Pitta: Demanding, perfectionist, workaholic.
Pachaka Pitta: Acid stomach.
Ranjaka Pitta: Early graying, anger, toxins in blood.
- See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/doshas/pitta.html#sthash.ky6fZBKe.dpuf

Beating the Blues: Ayurvedic Insights into Emotional Health

Depression affects more than 19 million adult Americans each year. Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression in their lives, and are especially vulnerable after the birth of a child, before menstruation and during menopause.
Depression can take many different forms: frequent sad, anxious or "empty" mood; loss of interest and pleasure in activities; fatigue; irritability; social withdrawal, acting out behavior and family conflict; insomnia; loss of appetite or weight gain; feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or pessimism; declining school grades or job performance; and poor concentration. For some, the winter season can bring on a low mood, for others depression is caused by major life changes, such as a divorce, major financial problems, a chronic illness, death of a loved one and other life stresses.
Maharishi Ayurveda has much to offer in the field of emotional health. Here our ayurvedic expert from The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians gives us the ayurvedic understanding and practical guidelines we need to stay happy and healthy throughout life.
Note: If you have a clinical condition, or you are under the care of a health professional for depression-related problems, we recommend that you consult your physician for appropriate advice and treatment. Information provided in this newsletter is educational only.
Q: What is the cause of emotional ill-health from an ayurvedic perspective?
A: From the ayurvedic perspective, emotional imbalance is caused by lack of coordination of an individual's senses, emotions and thoughts. The heart and mind are intimately connected, because the heart is the "seat" of consciousness. In the Charaka Samhita, a major ayurvedic text, it is said, hridaye chetana sthanam, which means, "the seat of consciousness is in the heart."
The main cause of emotional imbalance is the lack of ability to process emotions in a timely fashion. Some people are able to process an emotion quickly, which means they are able to let go of it and move on with their lives. For others, the processing or "cooking" of thoughts is slow, so the negative impression remains with them for a very long time and impacts their current thoughts and emotions, resulting in depression.
Q: Can you give our readers an example of this?
A: To understand how this works, let's look at the functioning of Sadhaka Pitta, the subdosha of Pitta that is associated with the heart and the processing of emotions. You've probably heard of the digestive fire, or Agni, that is responsible for "cooking" or digesting food. There actually is an Agni, or metabolic mechanism, in every cell of your body, and there is one associated with each subdosha as well. The Agni associated with Sadhaka Pitta is responsible not for cooking food, but for cooking or processing emotions. This Agni is called Sadhaka Agni.
To use modern terminology, Sadhaka Agni is related to the neurohormones that are located in the brain and all over the body, including the heart. The neurohormones located in the heart send signals to the brain to register depression or happiness, depending on how the individual processes an experience.
So a person with low Sadhaka Agni may suddenly remember a negative situation that happened ten years ago. She'll think, "Why did this happen to me?" If the "why" has not yet been answered-in other words, if the stress is still lodged in her heart and mind-the memory will cause that person to experience the same trauma she felt ten years ago, and this will cause her to feel depressed. This delayed reaction happens because her Sadhaka Agni is low, and she has not been able to properly "cook" or process that experience.
People may not have problems in the present, but in the past they may have had real problems and those past thoughts can traumatize them and make them feel depressed.
A person who has a high Sadhaka Agni, and thus processes negative emotions quickly: he also may have a memory of a negative situation from ten years ago but this person will think, "That was in the past, and now I'm a different person. This person is not affected by the memory because he has a sharper Sadhaka Agni. Even right after a traumatic event, that person is able to think, "Whatever has happened has happened, and I'm going to be all right. He processes the experience quickly and is able to let it go.
Q: What causes low Sadhaka Agni in the first place?
A: Some people are born with low Sadhaka Agni, others with high Sadhaka Agni, and still others are born with variable or imbalanced Agni, which means that sometimes it is high and sometimes it is low.
Another cause of low Sadhaka Agni is eating the wrong foods, practicing Sadhaka-aggravating behavior or living in a negative environment, such as being continually exposed to electromagnetic radiation or being surrounded by people who are not supportive.
Q: You've discussed how low Sadhaka Agni can cause emotions to be cooked too slowly and emotional imbalance to develop. What are some of the symptoms of mental and emotional ill-health caused by a low Sadhaka Agni?
A: If a person has trouble making a major decision, or takes a long time just to make simple decisions, this also is due to having a slow-acting Sadhaka Agni. In this situation, if the mental channels are also blocked, it can lead to depression.
Another symptom related to this is when someone loses the ability to judge the positive and negative merits of a situation. For instance, let's say you need to decide whether another person will make a good friend. If Sadhaka Agni is slow and the mental channels are blocked, you might think, "Oh, this person is very bad for me," and completely ignore the person's positive characteristics. Or conversely, you might blindly believe he is all good, and totally disregard any negative qualities. When Sadhaka Agni is low, your precise ability to judge anything can suffer-whether you're buying a car, buying a house or choosing a friend. This problem can also affect children, who cannot answer questions correctly in school if they have lost their power of discrimination due to a slow Sadhaka Agni.
Yet another situation occurs when people have trouble sitting quietly without feeling extremely restless. Nearly everyone feels restless sometimes, but if that problem persists, it indicates there is a problem with cooking the thoughts quickly enough.
Lack of perseverance is another situation that can come up due to slow Sadhaka Agni. If a person has trouble keeping commitments or performing his or her day-to-day tasks, and is unable to achieve their goals, this also can be a result of slow Sadhaka Agni. One example of this is people who procrastinate, never completing their work and therefore are not successful.
Another symptom that is caused by low Sadhaka Agni is the inability to enjoy normal pleasures. A person may feel that he or she can't go to a social event because he is not funny enough, not outgoing enough, or somehow inferior to others. For such a person, even activities that used to bring pleasure now are painful. If this situation goes on for a long time, then the coordination between dhidhriti and smriti breaks down, and the person no longer feels normal happiness at the small pleasures of life. They may pursue more and more pleasurable activities, but feel less and less joy. If left untreated, this lack of coordination between heart and mind can lead to a serious type of depression, such as bipolar disease, where the person loses control not only of their emotions and thoughts but of their actions.
Q: What is the ayurvedic solution to these problems of emotional imbalance, all of which are caused by a slow Sadhaka Agni? Is there some way to turn up the heat, so to speak?
A: Whether a person was born with a low Sadhaka Agni or whether they acquired it through inappropriate diet, lifestyle or behavior, the solution is the same: to restore balance by adopting an ayurvedic diet, routine and lifestyle.
Sattva Vijaya is a Vedic term that means literally, "winning over the Sattva," or "triumphing with Sattva." By Sattva is meant the positive, pure qualities of the transcendental Self. The more you are in touch with that infinite field of bliss within, the more you will feel uplifted, blissful and emotionally stable. So Shrotas refers to the protocol, the ayurvedic therapies, which restore the connection between heart, mind and Self. They are the dietary, behavioral and environmental choices that allow you to become more self-referral, more aligned with your cosmic, infinite potential rather than remain caught in the small, narrow boundaries of emotional stress.
The most important of theseis practicing Meditation. It is a tool to release stresses in the mind and heart. It dissolves stresses from the past and also allows you to become more resilient to stresses that you encounter today. Through meditation, you contact the source of pure intelligence, pure bliss, pure Sattva within. Once you do that, even when you are confronted with the changes and losses of life, you are able to identify more with the eternal, unchanging state of the Transcendental Self, known as Atma.
Yogash chitta vritti nirodhah is a famous aphorism from the Yoga Sutras, and it means literally, "Yoga is the complete settling of the activity of the mind. The ultimate goal of Yoga, which means "union," is to become united with the transcendental state of the mind, a state completely untouched by the changing fluctuations of daily life.
It is the habit of returning to this blissful state again and again, which allows one to let go of emotional stress and return to the positive flow of life. In other words, it allows you to process emotional stress more quickly and helps prevent depression.
Modern research has shown that meditation is the most effective self-development program for treating anxiety, depression and other emotional imbalances. Here is a list of ayurvedic guidelines to create Shrotas and banish depression.

15 Steps to Emotional Balance


  1. Go to bed before 10:00 p.m. Earlier is even better. Getting enough rest is essential for emotional health, and falling asleep during the Kapha time of night generates a deep, restful sleep that truly refreshes mind and body. 

  2. If you stay up beyond 10:00 p.m., after the Pitta time of night starts, you are likely to feel hungry and give in to cravings to eat "junk" food. Even eating healthy foods at this hour disrupts digestion, which needs the night time to cleanse impurities and rest. Falling asleep after 10:00 p.m. produces a more restless sleep, and you will be more likely to wake up in the night with emotional distress.

  3. Wake up with the rising sun. Waking up early is critical to preventing depression, because sleeping during the late morning, after 6:00 a.m., causes the Shrotas or channels of communication to be clogged with impurities, leading to dullness of mind, depressed moods and slow communication between heart and mind.

  4. Walk outdoors when the sun is rising and breathe deeply. Daily exercise is essential to combat depression, because exercise helps moved blocked emotions and hormones out of the body. It increases the power of Agni and helps improve processing power. Exercise also releases positive neurohormones, elevating mood and positive thoughts. 

  5. The early morning sun adds an extra boost, because you become infused with the positive energy of the sun when it is at its most saatvic and benevolent for all body types. Walking in the early morning sun helps open the channels, stimulates digestion and elimination, clears the impurities from the previous day, and is an overall tonic for ideal health.

  6. Make sure you eliminate each morning. Constipation can cause headache, dullness, fatigue and depression. If your elimination is sluggish or blocked, start your day with cooked apples, prunes and figs. Take two Herbal Cleanse tablets at night before bed. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Eat your meals at the same time each day, with the main meal at noon and a lighter meal in the evening. The early morning walk will go a long way toward making your elimination regular as well.
  7. Don't resist natural urges. According to Charaka Samhita, it is unhealthy to suppress urine, bowel movements, semen, gas, vomit, sneezing, belching, yawning, hunger, thirst, crying, sleep and accelerated breathing due to exertion. The Charaka Samhita states, "The above natural urges should not be suppressed when already manifest and they should not be forcefully stimulated when non-manifest. In other words, don't suppress them and also don't try to force them to happen. Resisting or artificially stimulating natural urges causes an imbalance in the doshas, and can contribute to anxiety and emotional imbalance.
  8. Eat intelligent foods. Foods that are natural, unprocessed and contain more of nature's intelligence are digested quickly by the body and create OjasOjas is the product of good digestion that creates bliss, stable emotions and good health in the body. 
    Ayurvedic Buttermilk
    Ingredients:
    • ¼ c. fresh cold yogurt
    • ¾ c. purified cold water (the temperature must be cold for this recipe to work)
    • ¼ t. cumin powder
    • ¼ t. coriander leaf (cilantro)
    • 1 pinch of rock salt or sea salt
    Directions:
    Place the freshly-made yogurt in the blender and blend for three to five minutes. Add the cold water, and blend again on low for three to five minutes. You will notice that a fatty foam has collected at the top of the yogurt. Skim it off with a spoon and discard. Repeat the blending and removing of the fatty foam if the yogurt remains thick, white and solid. When the yogurt has become watery but still cloudy in color, you have made buttermilk. Add the spices and stir by hand briefly to mix the spices evenly. Serve at room temperature.
  9. Intelligent foods are milk, clove, walnut, pear, and coconut. Eat intelligent proteins such as soaked seeds and nuts with raisins and dates; panir (fresh cheese); and Ayurvedic buttermilk rather than yogurt or lassi, as this lighter drink does not increase Kapha and is better for lightening emotions. To make buttermilk, follow this simple recipe. Please note that ayurvedic buttermilk is not the same as the buttermilk you buy in the store. This recipe helps restore the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract, thus helping digestion and assimilation.
  10. Spices such as black pepper help to enhance Medhya Agni, which means they improve coordination between different functions of the mind. Other spices enhance digestion and balance the emotions.
    Spice Mixture for Emotional Balance
    Mix the spices together and store in an airtight container. Sauté small amounts in ghee to spice vegetables and grains.
  11. Avoid eating "dumb" or junk food if you want to uplift your spirits. Avoid all leftovers, canned, frozen or packaged foods, as these are not fresh and cannot create Ojas. Rather, they create ama, the sticky waste-product of incomplete digestion that blocks the channels. Ama slows Sadhaka Agni and blocks the communication between heart and mind, causing negative emotions to be stored in the body instead of being released. If the Shrotas, or channels, are clear, negative emotions and stress can be processed more easily and released quickly. Another type of food to avoid is the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and green, yellow and red peppers. These vegetables cause clogged Shrotas and therefore should be avoided.

  12. Give yourself a daily Abhyanga (Ayurvedic oil massage). Massage has many benefits: it increases circulation, allows toxins to be cleared from the tissues, invigorates the body, calms the mind and soothes emotions. The sense of touch is associated with emotions, and even if you are massaging yourself you are giving your skin the tactile stimulation needed to balance Vatadosha and calm anxiety and stress. For your massage oil, use 50% Youthful Skin Massage Oil and 50% Moisturizing Massage Oil. The Shankapushpi herb in the Youthful Skin Massage Oil makes it suitable for people of all ages, as this remarkable herb has a calming effect. Follow your massage with a warm bath to flush out the toxins that have been pushed out from the cells with the massage.

  13. Do moderate exercise such as Yoga Asanas. In addition to your half-hour walk in the early morning sun, it's important to include Vedic exercise such as Yoga Asanas in your schedule. Yoga Asanas enhance digestion, stimulate the Sadhaka Agni, cleanse toxins from the channels and cells of the body and improve overall balance and health. They are excellent for clearing away the toxins that lead to depression.

  14. Do gentle breathing exercises such as Pranayama. Prana is the life force, and Pranayama opens the mental channels, the tiny, microscopic channels that convey oxygen to the brain. It balances the solar and lunar energy in the body: the element of Agni, or heat, and the quality of Soma or OjasPranayama clears away impurities, creates clearer thinking and balanced emotions.
  15. Take Maharishi Ayurveda RasayanasRasayanas are elixirs for bliss and rejuvenation, and are the cream of the herbal kingdom, prepared according to ancient methods that can take weeks. Maharishi Amrit Kalash is the most powerful of all the Rasayanas, and it has the ability to create bliss, contentment, and ideal health. Like any true rasayana, Maharishi Amrit Kalash has the ability to enhance medha, or the coordination between the mental functions of learning, retention and recall. This kind of coordination is important for balancing the emotions and helping to prevent depression.
  16. Practice Achara Rasayanas, or behavioral Rasayanas. According to Charaka Samhita, if you practice these positive behaviors on a daily basis, you will gain in overall health and well-being. You'll be interested to see many of the suggestions we have already discussed listed here.
    Achara Rasayanas
    • Truthfulness
    • Freedom from anger
    • Non-indulgence in alcohol
    • Non-violence
    • Avoiding overexertion
    • Calmness
    • Sweet speech
    • Engaged in meditation
    • Cleanliness
    • Perseverance
    • Charity
    • Respect toward teachers, parents and elders
    • Love and compassion
    • Balanced in sleep and wakefulness
    • Using ghee regularly
    • Knowing the measure of time and place with propriety
    • Lack of conceit
    • Humility
    • Control of the senses
    • Keeping the company of the wise
    • Positive attitude
    • Self-controlled
    • Devoted to Vedic scriptures
  17. Create a loving environment. It's very important to surround yourself with positive, loving people who support you emotionally, and who also support you in leading a saatvic life. Choose friends or co-workers who also are interested in following a healthy routine and eating healthy foods. You'll also want to choose the company of people who respect you and who create an uplifting feeling.
    A description of suitable and unsuitable company is outlined in Charaka Samhita. Those who are considered suitable company are mature in wisdom, learning, conduct, patience, memory and the practice of meditation. Also recommended are those who are acquainted with human nature, devoid of anxieties, well-behaved with everyone, peaceful, and who advocate right conduct and follow a righteous course of action.
    Those who are considered unsuitable as friends or associates are negative in thought, speech and conduct; those who are quarrelsome by nature; and those devoid of compassion. Also not recommended are people who habitually speak ill of others, cruel or greedy people, those who envy the prosperity of others, those who indulge in sarcastic remarks about others, and those who do not follow a virtuous course of life.
Q: Are there any herbal food supplements specifically designed to help balance the emotions?
A: Yes. Blissful Joy is an excellent nutritional support for emotional balance. Blissful Joy helps balance three subdoshas: Tarpaka KaphaPrana Vata and Sadhaka PittaTarpaka Kapha governs fluid balance in the brain, healthy brain tissue, and communication between brain cells. When in balance, it contributes to a stable personality. Prana Vata-which governs energy, creativity, perception, growth of consciousness and self-realization-is also nourished by Blissful Joy. Finally, Blissful Joy supports Sadhaka Pitta, which is responsible for balanced emotions, self-confidence, healthy desires, motivation and a feeling of fulfillment.
Blissful Joy also improves metabolism and clears away toxins from the microcirculatory channels (Shrotas) that deliver nutrients to the cells. Blocked Shrotas deprive the cells of energy and vitality and slow down cell regeneration. When your body has more old cells than new ones, fatigue and depression can result. Blissful Joy improves metabolism and helps revitalize cell growth.
One of the herbs included in Blissful Joy is Arjuna Myrobalans, known to strengthen the heart and emotions. Ashwagandha and Holy Basil assist the body's natural resistance to stressful situations. Ashwagandha is also effective in balancing Prana Vata and improving emotional stability. Finally, Ailanthus Excelsa and Arjuna Myrobalans help strengthen the body's natural rejuvenative mechanisms, hastening the replacement of dead or weak cells with fresh, vital ones.
If in addition to fragile emotions you also feel overwhelmed or mentally fatigued, it's recommended that you also take Worry Free.
Q: Arjuna Myrobalan is included in Blissful Joy--what are the special qualities of this herb?
A: I'm glad you asked that. Arjuna Myrobalan is a special Vedic herb for uplifting the spirits and promoting emotional stability and strength. There is an interesting story associated with it. In the great Indian epic of the Mahabharata, of which the Bhagavad Gita is a small section, the greatest warrior and hero of the times was Arjuna. He was faced with a dilemma: whether to fight on the side of good even if that meant fighting against his own cousins and teacher. Unable to decide which the path of virtue was, and faced with wavering emotions, he was literally paralyzed with fear and anxiety. In ayurvedic terms, you could say he was having a severe imbalance of Sadhaka Pitta.
The entire Bhagavad Gita is about the teaching of Lord Krishna, who explains to Arjuna how to come out of the field of change, of indecision and depression, and to think and act from the changeless field of the absolute. Only by establishing his mind in the eternal field of pure consciousness does Arjuna finally master his emotions and is able to take the most evolutionary action.
Now Lord Brahma was watching this discourse, and he realized that if Arjuna, the most highly developed man of his times, was weighed down by deep depression when confronted with adversity, then how would the common man survive in the future age? In his compassion, Lord Brahma created a huge tree to give mankind a long lifespan and emotional strength, and he named that tree with all the names of Arjuna that Lord Krishna used in the Bhagavad Gita.
Now in this modern age, when stress is a problem for so many people, this herb Arjuna can help restore emotional balance. It is a main ingredient in Blissful Joy.
Q: Is there a reason why twice as many women suffer from depression as men?
A: Part of the reason is due to changing cycles in a woman's life, such as menstruation, menopause and even childbirth and postpartum. After a baby is born, for instance, Vata dosha is aggravated and the digestive fire goes so low during the exertion of giving birth that in some cases it's almost gone altogether. This can lead to fluctuating emotions, anxiety and depression. That's why Maharishi Ayurveda advises women to eat Agni-enhancing spices such as ginger and fennel during this time. These heating herbs help enhance the mother's ability to process not only food but also emotions. This is also the reasoning behind taking Emotional Support. It enhances metabolism and supports Sadhaka Pitta at the same time.
There is another reason why women are more susceptible to depression. Women by nature are governed by lunar energy and thus possess more of the nourishing, cooling qualities of Soma. Men, on the other hand, are governed by solar energy and contain more of the fire or Agni element. The naturally cooling Soma quality of the woman's nervous system is a positive thing because it makes women in general more nourishing, more motherly, more spiritual. However, if out of balance, it can make the cooking or processing of thoughts slower, and thus women are more prone to depression. It's interesting to note that menstrual cycles are also related to the cycles of the moon, or to the ebb and flow of lunar energy.
Q: Doctors are reporting an alarming growth in childhood depression in America and other developed countries. What is the ayurvedic explanation for this phenomenon?
A: The main reason is that with both parents working and with the fast pace of life in general, parents often do not have adequate time to talk to their children and answer their questions. Childhood is the Kapha time of life, and thus children naturally take longer to process or cook thoughts, due to the slower quality of Kapha dosha. Yet they are curious and open-at no other time in life is the heart and mind so eager to learn. So they have questions about nearly everything they encounter. If the mother and father are not there to answer their questions, or if they cannot take the time to talk regularly with their children, then the child's heart remains unsatisfied. An emotionally imbalanced state then develops more easily.
The diet of children in America can also cause emotional imbalance, because so many children today eat "junk" food or "dumb" food, which clogs the channels, slows the metabolism, and leads to frustration, dullness and depressed emotions.
Q: Thank you. You've certainly given us some unique insights into the problem of emotional imbalance and low mood states. Do you have anything to add--perhaps some words of advice for those of us who have friends or loved ones that suffer from emotional imbalance from time to time?
A: If you process emotions quickly, you may think that someone who takes a long time to process them is a little imbalanced emotionally. But it's important to realize that to the low-Agni person, a high-Agni person like yourself may appear to be a little too high-energy! It's good to suppotr your friend or loved one with loving thoughts.
The important thing is to gain the knowledge to help your friend, wife or husband who may cook their thoughts more slowly, and therefore may need more time to process a traumatic event than you do. As we have seen, mild emotional imbalance can be counteracted with simple guidelines for creating a more profound connection between the heart, mind and consciousness.
Of course, it is always recommended that you and your loved ones talk to a qualified Maharishi Ayurveda physician, who can do a pulse assessment and tailor a program for the unique emotional make-up and needs of each individual at a given time.

These articles provide a great resource from The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians on the knowledge, practices, products, and applications of Maharishi Ayurveda.
- See more at: http://www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/emotional-support/ayurvedic-tips-for-emotional-health.html#sthash.RERwkWV4.dpuf

Rose

Are There Herbs for Low Self Esteem?

Anne McIntyre FNIMH AyurHC (as published in Positive Health )
Low self esteem may not be a “disease” but it can certainly be crippling. It stifles creativity, self expression and the joy of simply being oneself. Associated feelings of inferiority, comparing oneself negatively with others, can put sufferers at a disadvantage socially and even prevent them from socialising for fear of not being funny enough, clever enough, pretty enough and so on. If such feelings persist or become exacerbated they can lead to a sense of failure, despair and depression. The question is, are there herbs that can help with this problem?
The Ayurvedic system of analysing people according to their constitutions is very helpful when it comes to answering this question. From an Ayurvedic perspective low self esteem is the province of Pitta. Those with a predominance of Pitta in their constitution are naturally intelligent, methodical and organised. They can be quite fiery, rather obsessive about time, tidiness, cleanliness and getting things right. They tend to set themselves lofty goals; they are the campaigners for world peace, striving to make the world a better place, idealistic politicians, angry animal rights campaigners or charity workers helping and needy and they can be workaholics. Nothing short of perfection is good enough for them, and this drives them to be better, often not appreciating their positive attributes but concentrating on their shortfalls. They are highly competitive if not with others with themselves, and their main fear is of failure. They are highly sensitive to criticism as this confirms that they are not perfect and even worse, that their imperfection has been spotted by others.
Our emotional health is affected by a sub-dosha of Pitta called Sadhaka Pitta, which is located in brain and heart and functions through the nervous system. It governs mental energy, creativity, beliefs and emotions, our powers of analysis and discrimination, and is responsible for motivation, self-confidence, and feelings of fulfilment. When Sadhaka Pitta is out of balance we may be prone to mood swings, anger and irritability, we can be domineering, critical, self critical, intolerant and do not suffer fools gladly. We can be easily hurt and suffer from low self esteem, and feelings of hopelessness which can lead to despair and depression. Pitta type depression is not one to be taken lightly. It can be deep, long lasting and is associated with a deep sense of failure.
Hot weather, getting overheated, hot spicy food, excess alcohol, white sugar and red meats can all increase Pitta. Living or working in a violent or abusive environment or in an inflammatory situation can disturb Sadhaka Pitta.
To balance Sadhaka Pitta drink plenty of water, avoid hot temperatures, spicy foods and foods that taste pungent, sour and salty. Eat cooling foods, ie. those that taste sweet (but not white sugar), bitter and astringent. Try to avoid emotional confrontations and go to bed before 10:00 p.m., Pitta time of night, so that you sleep well. Massage the body regularly with cooling, relaxing oil such as Brahmi oil or coconut oil with oils of rose, chamomile or sandalwood.
There are several herbs which can help to balance Sadhaka Pitta. Rose and chamomile tea, a little rosewater in coconut milk drunk regularly, rose essential oil used as a perfume or in a burner and rose water sprinkled on the face can be helpful.
Arjuna (Arjuna Myrobalans) is an excellent remedy for calming Sadhaka Pitta. It has a reputation for strengthening the physical as well as the emotional heart. It is used for angina, heart failure, arrhythmias and high blood pressure and useful when we feel disheartened, downhearted or even heart broken.
Bringaraj (Eclipta alba) has a particular affinity for Pitta in the head, calming mental agitation and alleviating insomnia. It is calming and soothing emotionally and a good remedy for headaches and anxiety.
White Sandalwood (Santalum album) is famous as a brain tonic and for its ability to balance Sadhaka Pitta. Its wonderful aroma can quickly calm an overactive or anxious mind, enhance concentration, lift the spirits and cool the fire of Pitta in heart and mind. It can be a great support for balancing the emotions and restoring inner strength and is well worth using in formulae for depression and low self esteem.
The sweet cooling properties of Sariva (Hemidismus indica) are also specific to Sadhaka Pitta. This delicious herb calms and nourishes the nervous system and is used for irritability, anger, over ambition, feelings of inferiority and low self esteem disturbing the inner equilibrium.
Shankapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) has an affinity for the nervous system and balances all 3 doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It calms the mind, reduces inner stress and turmoil, lifts the spirits and inspires confidence.
Gotu kola (Centella/Hydrocotyl asiatica) is the most important herb for treatment of Sadhaka Pitta disorders. It is an excellent herb for promoting brain function, for poor concentration and for calming an angry or agitated mind. Oil prepared from coconut oil and Gotu kola can be massaged onto the soles of the feet and the head to calm the mind.
Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) or Indian Valerian is the source of the essential oil spikenard, as it is highly aromatic. It has a balancing effect on all three doshas. It is an excellent sedative and brain tonic, enhancing concentration and memory. It is one of the best herbs for stress related headaches, low self esteem and depression. It is on the CITES list of endangered species and hard to come by as the Indian government is not allowing export of the raw herb. It is still possible to obtain the essential oil and the formula Sarsvati, which contains Gotu kola, Jatamansi and Vacha (Acorus calamus root).

Amla or Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis )
 is another excellent herb for balancing Sadhaka Pitta and nurturing the physical as well as the emotional heart. It lowers cholesterol and protects the arterial system and is rich in antioxidants. It forms the main part of a famous tonic for debility and weakness called Chayawanprash. It promotes a calm and clear mind and enhances confidence and self esteem.
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is another excellent herb for nourishing and calming Sadhaka Pitta. It acts as a brain tonic, promotes energy and vitality, eases insomnia and helps to relieve pain.

Balancing Mind and Emotion through Ayurveda

listed in ayurveda, originally published in issue 185 - August 2011
In Ayurveda the mind and heart are one and the same.  The mind is said to reside in the heart and this means the physical heart as well as the heart of our pure awareness. All 3 doshas also reside in the heart, along with Prana, Tejasand Ojas, the subtle forms of the doshas and the Gunas, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. This means that our mental and emotional state can be influenced by the balance of all of these and likewise the mind has the power to substantially influence our physical health. Every experience we have, each thought and feeling, has its impact on the doshas and subsequently on our health and vice versa. Mental health is a state of sensory, mental, intellectual and spiritual well being. 
The 3 Doshas and the Mind
The three main subtypes of the doshas that relate to our mental and emotional state are:
Prana VataConnected to higher cerebral functions Prana Vata governs the movement of the mind, thoughts and feelings, and is correlated with the brain’s neuro-electrical activity. It promotes enthusiasm, inspiration, mental adaptability, the ability to communicate and coordinate ideas in the mind.  Prana Vata is considered the most important aspect of Vata and directs the other 4 sub-doshas of Vata. Since Vata leads the body as a whole, keeping Prana Vata in balance has significant ramifications on our health as a whole.
When Prana Vata is disturbed we may feel restless, anxious, ungrounded and spacey, disorganized or overwhelmed; it can cause fear and insecurity, insomnia (waking between 2 and 6am), nightmares and physical neurological problems including palpitations, tremors, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and dementia. Long term disturbance of Prana Vata can lead to exhaustion, chronic anxiety, panic attacks, and depression that can be changeable and yet intense.
Sadhaka Pitta governs biochemical substances i.e. neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin and is responsible for the blood flow through the heart and emotions connected with it. It is the aspect of Pitta that digests and metabolizes experiences, analysing our experiences and determining our emotional reaction to them. When in balance,Sadhaka Pitta promotes self-confidence, healthy desires, motivation, passion and feelings of fulfilment.
When out of balance it can cause negative emotions including self criticism, low self esteem, jealousy, mood swings, getting easily upset or angry, being overly analytical or judgmental, aggressive, over-ambitious, snappy or sharp. Pittatypes are highly competitive and fear failure and can be aggravated at times of pressure, before exams and interviews. They tend to suppress their emotions until the point that their anger explodes. They may get headaches, burning sensations in head and eyes, palpitations, insomnia (lying awake between 10 and 2 am). They can be easily hurt and suffer from feelings of hopelessness and failure, which may lead to depression that can be deep and long lasting. Left untreated, it can lead to bipolar disease, suicidal tendencies or self-destructive behaviour such as drug and alcohol abuse.
Tarpaka Kapha provides nutrition, strength, protection and lubrication to the nerves, and promotes storage and recall of sensory input, ie memory. It composes the myelin sheath, the meninges and the cerebro-spinal fluid that circulates round and protects the brain and spinal cord. Tarpaka means contentment; it slows neural activity, inducing relaxation, contentment and emotional stability. Its inward movement helps us to experience the inner joy of being ourselves. In deep sleep or meditation Tarpaka Kapha becomes active, representing the awakening of the Saksi, the witness of consciousness. It protects the mind from excess heat (Sadhaka Pitta) generated by critical thinking and heated emotion, and from too much mental activity (Prana Vata). Meditation promotes its secretion 
Kapha people are generally placid and resilient, slower to react emotionally. Excess Tarpaka Kapha causes them to become lethargic, withdrawn, unmotivated, possessive, and overly attached to people or things. They might comfort eat, put on weight and are reluctant to take exercise, sitting for hours doing very little. This creates a platform for prolonged depression and letting it go further and deeper into the system. Deficiency of Tarpaka Kapha can cause nervousness and insomnia and symptoms of excess Prana Vata, including memory loss, lack of contentment and problems such as MS, and dementia.
Balancing the Doshas
Balancing the doshas in a general way will help to remedy imbalances of specific aspects of the doshas that relate to the mind and heart.
Prana Vata:
  • Walk outdoors in the early morning and breathe deeply to open the channels (srotas), stimulate digestion and clear ama;
  • Don't resist natural urges as this can imbalance Vata and contribute to anxiety and emotional imbalance;
  • Give yourself a daily abhyanga (oil massage). Follow with a warm bath to flush out the toxins;
  • Yoga Asanas calm Vata and cleanse toxins that contribute to mental ama;
  • Inhalations of oils: Jatamamsi, vetiver, calamus, frankincense, jasmine, rose and sandalwood
  • Pranayama (breathing exercises).
Herbs: Tagarah (Valeriana Wallichi), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Rose, Vacha (Acorus calamus), Jatamamsi (Nardostachys jatamamsi), Shankapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Bringaraj (Eclipta alba), Saffron, Nutmeg, Licorice, Black cumin (Nigella sativa), Kapikacchu (Mucuna pruriens), Bala (Sida cordifolia)
Sadhaka Pitta:
  • Drink rose or chamomile tea regularly;
  • Avoid mental and physical over-exertion; 
  • Spend time outside in nature by water, in the early morning or evening;
  • Daily massage with coconut or sesame oil with essential oils of rose, chamomile, sandalwood, coriander or lemongrass;
  • Listen to soothing, relaxing music. Talk to others, perhaps a counsellor, about your feelings;
  • Go to bed before 10:00 p.m.
Herbs: Rose, Chamomile, Amalaki (Emblica off.), Shatavari, Bringaraj, Aloe vera, Manjishta (Rubia cordifolia), Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia, Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri), Gotu kola (Centella asiatica), Jatamamsi, Shankapushpi, Sandalwood, Saffron, Licorice
Tapaka Kapha:
  • Wake early. Waking after 6:00 am causes the channels (srotas) to become clogged with ama, leading to lethargy, mental dullness and low spirits;
  • Avoid sleeping in the daytime and late into the morning;
  • Take plenty of vigorous exercise, do different things, try to be open minded;
  • Nasya – nasal administration of oils including: Eucalyptus, Nilyadi, Vacha oil;
  • Practice meditation.
Herbs: Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Rose, Vacha, Pippali (Piper longum), Gotu kola, Bacopa, Frankincense (Boswellia serrata), Shankapushpi, Saffron


Stress results when the mind, body or emotions receives an overload of stimulus, whether good or bad. Workplace stress occurs when the mind is not able to handle day-to-day events and challenges. Some people seem to handle daily challenges without any evidence of stress, while others are stressed by the normal changes that the modern workplace presents.
This lack of ability to handle daily stress is due to an imbalance, or lack of coordination between the three main mental functions of dhi (learning), dhriti (retention), and smriti (long-term memory). Ayurveda offers many recommendations for strengthening these mental functions, and thus gives the person more resilience to stress.

Another cause of stress is people misusing or overusing their minds, which creates an imbalance in prana vata, The subdosha of vata involved with mental functions. for example, when someone takes a job that doesn’t suit them or their abilities, or if they use their minds for something that they know is wrong, that is misuse. Overuse simply means working too many hours, which is a common cause of workplace stress today.
If left uncorrected, the misuse or overuse of the mind also results in disturbed coordination between dhi, dhriti and smriti.
There are many different types of stresses facing the worker today.
Let’s start with mental stress. When prana vata, the subdosha of vata
When prana and vyana vata (the subdosha located in the heart that supports circulation) together are disturbed, it affects not only the mind, but the communication between the heart and the mind, thus creating mental and emotional stress simultaneously. Emotional stress is usually associated with an imbalance in sadhaka pitta, the subdosha of pitta that supports the emotions and is seated in the heart.
These imbalances come into play when people are under pressure at work. When feeling stressed, a person with one of these imbalances may have a tendency to blame the boss, the economy or co-workers for his or her problems. While it may be true in some situations that someone’s boss is having a negative influence, many other times this blaming pattern is due to an imbalance in prana vata, vyana vata or sadhaka pitta imbalance. Due to these imbalances, the mental functions of dhi, dhriti and smriti do not work together in a coordinated way, or the mind and heart do not communicate normally. Unable to solve his or her own problems due to these imbalances, the person blames others.
Unfortunately, the tendency to blame others doesn’t help solve the problem, and in fact, only worsens the situation by breaking down relationships on the job. If left unchecked, this imbalance of the doshas sets up a vicious cycle that could even lead to the employee getting fired or laid off.

If you find yourself blaming your boss or your co-workers for problems on the job, it’s a good idea to look at how you are feeling in other relationships. Are you feeling positive with your friends and family, or are you also blaming them? if the blaming pattern is repeated in other non-work-related relationships, that’s a good indication that you need to that supports mental functions, gets disturbed, the coordination between dhi, dhriti and smriti breaks down. Mental stress results. do something to balance your doshas.
If you are unable to perceive the reality of life, which is blissful, that is an indication of pragya-aparadh, or mistake of the intellect. Charaka samhita, a major ayurvedic text, defines pragya-aparadh as the lack of coordination between dhi, dhriti and smriti. pragya-aparadh is the source of all disease, because disease originates when the heart, mind or body becomes loses its connection with nature’s intelligence. When we lose the memory of bliss, the connection with our own true nature in pure consciousness, this is the source of disease, stress and ill-health in the body.
The recommendations of ayurveda aim to restore the balanced functioning of the doshas, of mind, body and emotions–and thus to restore the connection of every part of life to bliss consciousness, which is our true nature.
It is simply not true that you have to stress yourself in order to achieve. no one can produce or be creative if their dhi, dhriti or smriti is out of balance.
It is true that some people thrive in more fast-paced, stimulating jobs. But it’s important to understand that for these people, a high degree of challenge and stimulus is not a stress. If someone has 100% balance of dhi, dhriti and smriti, they won’t feel stressed no matter what the environment presents to them. This is the ideal, to always feel blissful no matter what the challenge.
There are two things that determine how much stress you can handle and still feel blissful on the job. One is your body type. It’s not realistic to think, “i can handle any stress,” because the amount you can comfortably handle may be less or more than your co-workers, due to differences in your constitution and make-up.
As an analogy, you can think about the stress test that is used to test steel. A certain amount of weight is applied to the steel, to test how much stress the steel can handle. Different types of steel have different degrees of strength. in the same way, different people have different abilities to handle stress.
But it’s also important to increase your capacity to handle stress, since stress is a feature of modern life. No matter what your body type, ayurveda offers practical ways to increase the coordination between dhi, dhriti and smriti so anyone can pass the stress test at work, at home, or in meeting the challenges of life.
It’s important to be aware of your set point of comfort, and at the same time to increase coordination of dhi, dhriti and smriti so you are able to handle more stress. There should always be a cushion there, so you are able to feel blissful throughout the day.
A person’s doshic makeup gives us insights into the types of stress they can handle. for instance, if a person has more vata dosha predominating, he or she may be more susceptible to mental stress. While many vata types do well in creative or mental jobs, it could create too much stress if the mental workload is intense. Vata types do best if they have moderately relaxing jobs, without excessive mental or physical activity.
Pitta types should avoid jobs that make excessive demands on the emotions, since they are more susceptible to that type of stress. And both pitta and vata types should avoid doing jobs that require working at night, as night work imbalances both vata and pitta.
Kapha types can thrive on jobs that involve intense mental, physical or emotional activity, and even though it’s not desirable from an ayurvedic viewpoint, they can handle night work. What is not healthy for a kapha type is a job that is too relaxing or laid back, because kapha types need stimulating activity to keep kapha dosha in balance.
Having said this, it’s important to realize that you can do any job if you take care to keep your doshas in balance. for instance, many people with vata body types have very active, demanding jobs, but they are able to main tain their balance through the recommendations of ayurveda. It all depends on how much you are able to implement the suggestions for maintaining balance. It’s best to start today, rather than reading about it and thinking, “that’s a good idea. i’ll start tomorrow. For many people, tomorrow never comes.
Mental, physical, emotional and environmental stress be neutralized through the holistic practices of ayurveda.
actually, all of these types of stress are interconnected, which is why the methods used to correct them must be holistic and address the source of stress.
Herbs to relieve stress
To balance emotional stress blissful joy balances sadhaka pitta, and improves the coordination of heart and mind. stress free emotions is another powerful formulation for emotional health. if you are feeling emotional stress, negativity toward your boss or co-workers, or sadness, try
arjuna, winter cherry, shankapushpi, mica bhasma, pearl bhasma and holy basil to help improve coordination of mind and emotions. arjuna, mica bhasma, pearl bhasma, cabbage rose and leptadenia help support emotional stability by improving self-confidence, positive thinking, motivation and feeling of fulfillment. All of the herbs together create the synergistic effect of supporting resistance to emotional stress.
Calcium is very important in nourishing the brain and fortifying it against stress. As we discussed earlier, the brain can only use high-quality nutrients. leftover calcium that is not absorbed will only become ama
It doesn’t matter how many calcium supplements you take. unless the calcium is of high quality and includes the herbs for proper absorption by th (toxins), and inhibit the normal functioning of the brain. The brain and the body, they are not going to help you.
The Indian tinospora plant aids metabolism and helps clear the channels between the tissues, thus increasing the flow of nutrients and energy to the cells. Remarkably, along with hemidesmus indicus it also purifies and balances the fat tissue, which is the raw material for building healthy bones, teeth, hair and nails. Amla boosts the bioavailability and absorption of calcium, and in combination with lemon, supports the neutral nature of the formula. Phyllanthus is a rasayana, or healing elixir, for the liver, helping to strengthen and purify the body’s ability to digest calcium instead of turning it into ama.
About diet
Foods that increase the ability to handle stress are soaked walnuts, soaked almonds and sweet, juicy fruits. these are medhya, or enlivening to the connection between dhi, dhriti and smriti. milk also is medhya, as is ghee.
These foods supply the brain with intelligent, easily digestible protein and glucose. To nourish the brain, it’s important to combine the best quality glucose and protein together in a balanced way. For example, soak nuts and seeds overnight and then blend them in a drink with dates and raisins. This provides a balance between glucose and protein.
Panir (a fresh cheese made from milk), lentils, and other split beans and pulses are also excellent sources of protein for the brain, but because they are naturally a bit heavier, they should be cooked with spices to make them easily digestible. Always use olive oil or ghee for cooking, and sauté spices such as turmeric, black pepper and cumin. These common spices are excellent aids for nourishing the brain and fortifying it against stress. Turmeric has been found to help prevent alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases. black pepper enhances the ability to absorb more nutrients from food, thus helping to supply the brain with nutrition and oxygen. Black pepper also has the property of increasing medhya agni, the agni or digestive process existing in the gap between dhi, dhriti and smriti, which enhances the transformation of thought. Cumin opens the channels of the brain, thus improving coordination. Ginger also helps the brain absorb more nutrients by burning ama, or toxins, from the digestive tract.
Eating intelligent foods is extremely important for feeding the brain. If you eat something less intelligent, such as dead, old, packaged, canned or frozen foods, the brain cells are not going to be able to use the food, creating leftovers, or waste-products such as ama. If the situation continues for some time, the more reactive toxin called amavisha can form, which can lead to alzheimer’s and other problems related to the brain.
Ama and amavisha also block the channels of communication and flow of intelligence between dhi, dhriti and smriti; between the heart and the mind; and between the brain and hormones throughout the body. If ama is blocking this natural communication, what happens is that people feel fatigued without even working hard. This starts a chain reaction, where brain fatigue causes a worker to make mistakes and wrong decisions on the job, which in turn invites more stress and fatigue.
The tendency when this kind of syndrome sets in is to blame others, when in fact, the problem is malnourishment of the brain due to eating foods that are not intelligent and create ama.
How to relieve stress at job
Stretch and breathe deeply even when indoors to energize the body and bring more oxygen to the brain
Drinking warm fluids throughout the day also helps in detoxifying and the body. warm, non-caffeinated fluids also help reduce vata dosha and mental stress. many times people experience fatigue and headache on the job due to simple dehydration. This is especially a problem in windowless office buildings that rely on dry, forced air for heating and cooling.
If you feel hungry during the workday, eat healthy snacks instead of junk food from vending machines. If you feel at all angry or emotionally stressed, eating a sweet, juicy pear can reduce pitta dosha and have an immediate effect in balancing your emotions.
To relieve computer stress
keep an indoor plant next to your computer. the plant will provide some cooling, nourishing lunar energy, to counteract the hot, active, solar energy of the computer. Stretch and looking away from the computer every half-hour, to give your eyes and back a rest. breathe deeply.
It also helps to invest in an ergonomic keyboard, which is designed to prevent your back and shoulder muscles from becoming so tense. an ergonomically designed desk and chair also can help, and your company may pay for this. Be sure to sit up straight and avoid hunching over at the computer, as this certainly increases mental and physical stress. Good posture lessens stress on the body and increases the flow of oxygen and energy to the brain.
At home, yoga asanas on a daily basis will help relax muscular stress, strengthen the eyes, and promote good posture. make sure your home activities provide a break from the computer. It’s not a good idea to spend your free time watching a screen by playing computer games, doing e-mail, shopping on the internet or watching tv. At the very least, stop using electro-magnetic devices such as computer or tv by 8:00 p.m.
Instead, take a walk in the moonlight, visit a friend, sit under a tree, play a game outdoors with your children, or listen to soothing music. Engage in real conversations and real interactions.
There is an interesting phenomenon growing in this country, where some people are basically depriving themselves of real sensory experiences and contact with real people. Instead they engage in virtual reality by working at a computer all day at work, and then when they come home, they continue to watch tv or use the computer.
Where are the hours of blissful engagement with nature, with real people and family members in such a lifestyle? It’s possible to even become confused as to what is real and what isn’t, and to allow tv characters or e-mail correspondents substitute for real friends, real relationships. this is not a healthy situation, and will not lead to real bliss or the growth of enlightenment. And it certainly causes mental, physical and emotional stress.
You may notice that the therapies of ayurveda engage the senses. Aroma therapy, whole foods, natural supplements, massage, music therapy and lifestyle recommendations involve the five senses and connect us with the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space in some way. we use the senses as a way to create balance and prevent stress, and our whole lifestyle should reflect that kind of balance. Even the technique of transcendental meditation uses subtle sound to enliven all of the senses.
Relationship between sleep and stress
There is a very strong connection between sleep deprivation and stress. if you don’t sleep right, you actually lose 200%. This is because healthy sleep creates ojas, the biochemical equivalent of good health, bliss, and a balanced, stress-free body, heart and mind. So if you don’t sleep well, or you don’t get enough sleep, you will miss out on the benefits of creating ojas. But worse, lack of sleep will create ama, or toxins, which block the channels and destroy communication between dhi, dhriti and smriti; between heart and mind; and between self and mind. ultimately that means lack of strength to handle day-to-day stress.
Stress and sleep are so interconnected that stress almost always is associated with lack of sleep in some way. Sometimes people habitually stay up past 10:00 p.m., and thus create stress in their lives. As stress accumulates and ama continues to destroy the communication between the brain and heart, and the different aspects of the mind, the person finds that they can’t sleep even when they want to.
The key is to maintain an ayurvedic routine, going to bed well before 10:00 p.m. and rising before sunrise , practice deep breathing exercise in the morning, and meditation.
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Dietary Guidelines for Pitta

NOTE: Guidelines provided in this table are general. Specific adjustments for individual requirements may need to be made, e.g., food allergies, strength of agni, season of the year and degree of dosha predominance or aggravation.
PITTA DOSHA
Pitta's properties are hot, sharp, oily and light.
PITTA PACIFYING FOODS:
General : you can balance excess pitta with foods that are cool, dry and heavy with a mild, naturally sweet, bitter or astringent taste. For example, milk, rice, beans, steamed vegetables and fruit are good for pitta people. Mild spices like cumin, coriander and cilantro are particularly beneficial for pitta. Sweet, bitter, astringent; cold, heavy, dry. Moderation, coolness, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, green coriander (dhaniya), coriander seeds, cardamom, sprouts and raw foods.
Vegetables & Fruits: can eat most vegetables and fruits. Exceptions are given below.
Grains : Barley, oats, wheat, parboiled rice.
PITTA AGGRAVATING FOODS:
General : pungent and oily foods such as curry, fried foods and spicy condiments, as well as spices such as cayenne, garlic and dry ginger, should be avoided by pitta constitutions. Pungent, sour, salty, hot, light, oily. Stimulants like smoking, alcohol, coffee, pickles, vinegar, fried foods, spicy foods, fermented foods, curds, almond, corn, til, mustard oil.
Vegetables : Beets, carrots, brinjal, garlic, hot peppers, onions, spinach, tomatoes.
Fruit : Sour and unripe fruits. If there is aggravated Pitta avoid grapefruit, papayas, peaches, bananas, apricots.
Grains : Brown rice, corn, millet, rye.

To keep pitta in balance, favor the sweet, bitter and astringent tastes and avoid salty, sour and hot spicy foods. Sweet foods include rice and bread, milk, butter and ghee (clarified butter).
Avoid sugar and sugary foods. Ripe, sweet, juicy fruits like melons, cherries, grapes, pears and mangoes, and vegetables such as cucumber, broccoli, zucchini and asparagus are pitta-pacifying.
Minimize yogurt, sour cream, citrus (sour) fruits, tomatoes, hot peppers, radishes, onions, garlic and spinach. Salads, cucumbers, leafy greens, fresh, raw, sweet, ripe fruits (especially pears) and aloe vera juice will help to reduce excess pitta.
Favor cooling spices such as fennel, mint and coriander, and reduce hot spices such as dried ginger and mustard seed. Favor foods that are liquid rather than dry, and cool or lukewarm rather than hot. Fresh fruit juices and milk from young coconuts are great on hot days.
Don’t skip breakfast and eat lunch as close to noon as possible. Lunch should be your heaviest meal of the day. Include two or three servings of vegetables, whole grains and beans.
Pitta balancing diet:
  • Dairy - All dairy products are okay except aged cheeses. Choose fresh, soft cheeses like cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and panir (milk curd). Avoid milk with meals and never drink it ice cold.
  • Sweeteners - Minimize or avoid all sweeteners.
  • Grains - Wheat and basmati rice are best.
  • Fruits - Red grapes, raisins, tangerine, pomegranate, coconut, apricot, peach, melon, guava, kiwi, mango, papaya, banana, apples, melon and persimmon. Make sure all fruits are ripe and sweet. Pears and coconut milk are especially good for pitta.
  • Vegetables - Zucchini, fennel, artichoke, asparagus, lettuce, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, chard, kale, cucumber, fresh corn, squash, bell pepper.
  • Spices - Cardamom, mint, cinnamon, fennel, cumin, coriander and fresh basil. Avoid salt and hot spices.
  • Nuts and seeds - Avoid all nuts except almonds that have been soaked overnight and have the skins removed. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are good for pitta.
  • Beans - All beans are good.
  • Oils - Olive oil, coconut oil and ghee (clarified butter).
Foods to avoid:
  • Hot, pungent foods and ice cold drinks.
  • Corn, barley, millet, rye, buckwheat, wild rice
  • Grapefruit, limes, lemons, pineapple and any sour, unripe fruits
  • Radishes, spinach, cucumber, tomato, eggplant, onions, garlic, hot peppers
  • Honey, sugar, maple syrup
  • Salty snacks and alcoholic drinks
For more info: mapi.com.
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