Earth Element - Art of Living Retreat Center

Ayurveda 101: The Nature of Earth

By Paige Reist
December 7, 2018

Earth Element - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

According to the ancient life science of Ayurveda, all of creation manifests in a unique combination of the Five Great Elements: earth, air, fire, water, and space. Everything in existence can be broken down into these elemental characteristics, and this diversity determines the flow of life and how the world interacts with itself.

 

In Ayurveda, understanding these five elements is essential for understanding your own health and well-being. You, too, are made up of the five elements, and the way that these energies interact and counter-balance one another in your body can have a significant impact on the way that you experience life.

 

As part of our Ayurveda 101 series, we’ll be looking at each of the five elements, beginning with stabilizing, grounding earth.

 

What is the nature of earth?

Earth, or prithvi, is perhaps the easiest of the elements to understand – it’s what you can touch, taste, feel, and perceive with your five senses. Earth governs the physical presence of your body, your bones and teeth, your muscle tissue, and your fat deposits. It’s what gives you form and weight, what grounds you in the tactile environment. Earth is primal, animal, the drumbeat in the symphony of life.

 

In a purely tangible sense, earth is heavy, dense, slow, cold, oily, and hard.

 

The energy of earth

Earth is the ultimate stabilizing influence. It’s slow and quiet, cool and stable, nourishing and steadfast, just like the soil beneath our feet. Earth’s supportive and steady nature presents itself in personal characteristics like loyalty, morality, and responsibility. Healthy levels of earth can be seen in those who have strong convictions, who work hard without complaint, and who have successful long-term relationships and steady, sensible career paths.

 

Earth in nature

Earth energies are abundant in the late winter and early spring, the last few months of slumber before nature begins to bloom into life again. This is a period of great rest and rejuvenation, where we have an opportunity to steady ourselves and prepare for all of the excitement ahead. Fasting or other purifying rituals are excellent undertakings in spring, because just as the earth begins to soften, so do our tissues, stirring up and loosening impurities.

   

Bringing earth back into balance

When you’re suffering from a lack of earth, you might find yourself:

  • Unstable and insecure
  • Anxious and flighty
  • Always cold, heavy, and easily accumulating excess weight
  • Ungrounded, with your head in the clouds
  • Unable to manage stress effectively
 

How to balance a deficiency of the earth element:

  • Eat earthy foods that ground you, such as grains, nuts, and root vegetables
  • Cook your fruits and vegetables, and avoid raw
  • Add some stabilizing postures into your yoga routine, like Paschimottanasana, or try Kapalabhati to stimulate digestion, elimination, and detoxification
  • Practice mindfulness in your daily tasks
  • Recommit yourself to your responsibilities: if you’re feeling scattered, make an organized checklist to follow!
  • Spend quiet time in nature
 

When you’re suffering from an overabundance of earth, you might find yourself:

  • Dull and depressed
  • Unmotivated and uninspired
  • Uncomfortable from poor digestion and difficult elimination
  • Hopeless and cynical
  • Overeating, not at your ideal weight, or accumulating excess weight
 

How to balance an overabundance of earth:

  • Eat light, energizing foods, especially fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid overeating, and drink lots of room-temperature or warm water. Try to drink half your body weight in ounces, at a rate of a half-cup every hour. Avoid copious amounts of water with meals to keep you digestive fire, your agni, strong.
  • Get your blood flowing with cardiovascular exercise or a more energizing yoga routine, and focus on twisting postures to help your digestion. Padma Sadhana is a great practice for energized grounding.
  • Leave your comfort zone behind and try something new and exciting!
  • Have fun with creative activities like journalling, painting, or dancing

Stay tuned for more posts on the doshas, elements, and other Ayurvedic wisdom!

 

Immerse yourself in Ayurvedic wisdom in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Take a look at our programs and retreats to see which one is right for you!

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda 101 , doshas , earth , elements , wisdom
Basics of Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

Ayurveda 101: The Very Basics

By Paige Reist
October 2, 2018

Basics of Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

We are passionate about the power of Ayurveda.

Our bodies, minds, and spirits are intimately interconnected. When the body is in good health, the mind and spirit thrive. We’ve seen the incredible ways in which practicing Ayurveda has changed lives over the years, and that’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves at Art of Living not only to nurturing your spiritual and emotional wellness, but your physical wellness, too.

 

Ayurveda isn’t as esoteric as it might seem at first glance. It’s actually a simple, logical system of health that you can easily incorporate into your day to day life. In this article, we’ll be exploring the basics of Ayurveda, demystifying this ancient way of life and bringing it home to the modern world. We want you to live your happiest, healthiest life, and through Ayurveda, you can!

 

So what is Ayurveda, anyway?

In the most basic of terms, Ayurveda is an ancient system of health and wellness, developed in India and practiced for thousands upon thousands of years. The word “Ayurveda” means “the knowledge of life”; “ayur” translates to “life,” and “veda” translates to “knowledge.” Unlike classical western medicine, Ayurveda seeks to help the practitioner achieve optimal wellness through balance and integration, and seeks to treat the root cause of illness, rather than the symptoms.

 

Ayurvedic philosophy doesn’t separate us from our environment, but celebrates and recognizes the importance of the cycles of the earth, the seasons, and the time of day. It places great importance on hygiene, plant-based medicine, and physical and mental wellness. Health, in Ayurvedic terms, is a state in which your thoughts, emotions, and body are in a state of thriving harmony with each other and with your environment.

 

The origins of Ayurveda

Ayurveda originated in India, and can be traced back to as early as the 4th century BCE; Ayurvedic wisdom was even included in the Vedas, which are the holy scriptures of Hinduism and the oldest surviving Sanskrit literature. Ayurveda has actually undergone very few changes over the centuries — advancements in medicine and science are often in line with what Ayurveda already knows.

 

How Ayurveda can improve your health

Ayurveda is all about balance. To start with Ayurveda, it’s important to understand what forces are at work within yourself and the world, and to learn how to bring those back into balance. Ayurveda focuses on streamlining treatment to every single individual, rather than prescribing certain things across the board. Through an Ayurvedic diet, living by an Ayurvedic clock, and developing a custom system of health for yourself, you can become the best you ever.

 

Stay tuned for posts on the doshas, elements, and other Ayurvedic wisdom!

 

Immerse yourself in Ayurvedic wisdom in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Take a look at our programs and retreats to see which one is right for you!

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , ayurveda cleanse , ayurveda detox , Ayurvedic diet , dosha , wellness
Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

Beet Apple Celery Kale (BACK) Salad

By Diana Bellofatto
August 29, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

Wow, some of us have experienced an intensely hot summer this year! The Ayurvedic way tells us to cleanse at the end of summer to rid ourselves of excess heat, and this salad is perfect for doing just that.

 

Excess heat can cause dryness in the body. In turn, the body responds by creating reactive mucous in order to lubricate itself. Mucous breeds bacteria that makes us sick. This response to dryness is one of the classic fall scenarios that lead to sinus infections, intense allergies, and more.

 

Beets contain B vitamins, calcium, iron, and have amazing antioxidants, too. The liver tends to harbor heat, and beets provide super support for the liver in its ability to release heat and function well.

 

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away…” How true it is! Apples have an affinity for scraping the body of ama (toxins) and heat with their pitta (fire) pacifying, astringent, and cooling qualities. Autumn’s apples are an ally for sure!

 

Celery stimulates the sweat glands to release heat, and reminds the lymph to move. It simultaneously scrapes mucous from the digestive tract as it aids in digestion and detoxification.

Another pitta-friendly pal, kale’s bitter quality cools as its fibrous nature aids in maintaining intestinal integrity.

 

This simple salad is a powerful panacea for fending off fall and winter woes and enabling you to take “BACK” your balance.

 

Beet, Apple, Celery, and Kale (BACK) Salad

  • 1 head kale, chopped (if you take this recipe further into fall, you can omit the kale)
  • 2 beets, grated
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped (the sweeter the apple, the more cooling it is. Try Gala, Honeycrisp, or Golden Delicious!)
  • Lemon or lime juice, to taste
  • Flax oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cilantro leaves, or about 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground fennel
  • pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt (go easy on salt, as it tends to be heating!)
 

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Mix well with flax oil and citrus juice.
Eat this salad at midday for optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Serves 4. 

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

 
TAGS: apple , autumn , Ayurvedic Recipes , beet , celery , cooling , kale , pitta pacifying
Mountain views expand your time at the spiritual retreat center.

Wellness, Naturally: The Magic of Panchakarma

By Kim Rossi
August 23, 2018

The Art of Living Retreat Center’s Panchakarma cleanses are magical, and it’s such an honor to be a part of that process. We heal people from all over the country who are seeking greater health, whether they’re already fit or at the beginning of their journey.

 

Panchakarma: the basics

We haven’t watered down the program to make it more comfortable. It’s much different than the average Westerner’s daily routine. Being out of this comfort zone creates incredible mental, physical, emotional, and energetic growth.

 

Throughout the cleanse, you’re supervised by an Ayurvedic doctor, who helps you determine what’s out of balance in your body. You might already know what’s keeping you unbalanced, or you might be completely surprised.  Either way, these daily check-ins monitor your progress and help us tweak the program to fit you best as the days go by.

 

During the Panchakarma cleanse, we eat an Ayurvedic diet to heal and nourish. There are incredible authentic Ayurveda treatments at the spa: Abhyanga, Shirodhara, Nasya, Marma. We do a very balancing yoga and meditation practice. My favourite part is that every day we hold a knowledge session hosted by an expert. Every day you’re learning practical tools of Ayurveda and how to integrate them into your life. You bring these experiences back into your life, and continue to improve your health and well-being and raise your vitality.

 

The benefits of Panchakarma

It’s so amazing to be with each person when they start this journey, and to see them daily in the process, and watch their results come to life. They always far exceed my wildest expectations of what people can get out of Panchakarma. Physically, they feel lighter and cleaner. They’re eliminating better. Their mind is clear, clean, focused, and balanced. They experience weight loss, pain relief, and more energy.

 

This program not only relieves physical imbalance, but mental imbalance as well. Our emotional health is deeply connected to our physical wellness. When we don’t have ideal digestion, there’s no way the mind can be calm. If we’re experiencing constipation or bloating, it can extend to anxiety, insomnia, and even depression. If we have acid reflux, that disrupts our sleep, and if our physical bodies are not functioning well, we might feel agitated, irritated, frustrated, and overly self-critical. We might feel lethargic, dull, slow.

 

Panchakarma’s emotional connection

Panchakarma helps with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and a lack of connection. During the cleansing process, emotions come up that no longer serve our highest best self.  We give you the support you need to dissolve those emotions and leave them behind. Ayurveda has known for 5,000 years that our digestion is intimately related to our state of mind, and that’s why it’s so important to eat a pacifying diet and cleanse at least once a year.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurveda, schedule a call with one of our Ayurveda ambassadors to talk about what your wellness goals are and how Ayurveda and Panchakarma fit into your journey. We can’t wait to speak with you!

 

We are honored to hold space for you to begin your journey to health, happiness, and balance with Ayurveda. The Art of Living Retreat center offers personalized consultations, retreats, and treatments – check out our catalog or call 800-392-6870 to find the right program for you.

 

Kimberly Rossi, director of Shankara Ayurveda Spa, has been studying, practicing, and teaching Yoga, Meditation, and Ayurveda classes and workshops for seventeen years. Kim is a Kripalu Ayurveda Counselor. A certified yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner, Kim believes these paths assist us in being the very best version of our self.

     

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , cleanse , diet , Panchakarma , retreat , spa
Cleansing with Ayurveda - the Art of Living Retreat Center

Wellness, Naturally: Cleansing with Ayurveda

By Kim Rossi
July 30, 2018

Cleansing with Ayurveda - the Art of Living Retreat Center

I first dipped my toes into Ayurveda as an extension of my yoga and meditation practice. I was looking for a complete experience of vitality, optimal health and well-being, and lots of energy. My first intention was to go into Ayurveda School for my own personal vitality, but as it turns out, I fell in love with sharing it with others, too.

 

Building a strong container

With Ayurveda, we have this container around us, or as I like to call it, our capacity. Without a strong container, the ways in which we take care of our health–exercise, meditation, yoga, and a healthy diet–just flow in for a bit of a boost and then flow right back out again, without much long-term benefit.

 

Without a strong container, we can do everything right and still find ourselves off-balance. We can rise with the sun, go for a walk, drink our lemon water, scrape our tongues, have a meditation session and perform asanas, but can get in our car and encounter traffic and still become completely disrupted and aggravated.

 

What Ayurveda does is strengthen our container. It extends our capacity, our radiance, and our potential, so that external factors don’t hit us as hard. Of course, we’ll always encounter inconveniences, but in the long run, they won’t throw you off and ruin the rest of your day.

 

Beginning your journey

Ayurveda is incredibly simple, and unlike so many other systems of health, it doesn’t demand perfection from you. You can incorporate Ayurvedic principles and practices four out of seven days of the week. We don’t want to be feverish and do everything every day! That’s not sustainable. Incorporating Ayurveda is as simple as finding a few practices that really resonate with you, and then building upon it as you continue your journey.

 

The basics of Ayurveda

The essential first step of Ayurveda is finding your dosha, or constitution, and beginning to incorporate the recommended diet habits associated with that dosha. Our diet is the foundation of our Prana, or our life force energy, and so much of imbalance, disease, and physical and mental unwellness stems from poor digestion. Start with three meals a day.Fine tune and tweak these meals to be more pacifying to your dosha, and you’re already off to a great start.

 

The second step I’d recommend is looking at your sleep habits. Make your bedroom a sanctuary–no computers, TVs, or cell phones; a comfortable mattress; curtains that close and create a nice dark room. Get a good night’s sleep and rise with the sun, and you’ll have more energy throughout the day. Just by incorporating these two basic things, you’re practicing Ayurveda.

 

Ayurvedic cleanses

Ayurveda recommends a seasonal cleanse every spring and fall, because wisdom dictates that it takes six months for disease to accumulate. During winter, we store toxins in our fat. When it starts to warm up, these toxins are released. That’s why so many people are more vulnerable to sickness in the springtime! A spring cleanse flushes these toxins out and bolsters our health. In the summer, we accumulate heat in the blood, which can also manifest in disease. We dispel that heat when autumn moves in, and a fall cleanse can help support your body in that process.

 

Each cleanse eliminates these toxins in a very gentle, nurturing, and highly effective way. We’re resetting our digestive fire, which is thrown out of balance from stress and a low-quality diet. Cleansing also gives you an opportunity to reset your relationship with food in your habits and behaviours. It’s gentle, nurturing, and nourishing to mind, body, and soul.

 

Ayurveda and weight loss

I do a lot of Ayurvedic consultations with predominantly women, and one of the major focuses for this group seems to be finding and maintaining an ideal weight. The media goes wild promoting the latest weight-loss fads, but many of these fads are counterproductive to our digestive system. Extreme diets actually diminish the digestive system’s capability to support and maintain an ideal weight. While we may lose weight quickly in the present, we’re destroying our body’s ability to maintain a long-term healthy weight.

 

Weight loss is actually pretty simple. We bring our weight into balance by eating the right foods at the right times and in the right quantities, and by doing the right amount of exercise.

 

There are, of course, some constitutions where eating lightly serves you, and other constitutions where a gentle diet of kichiri once a week to reset the digestive system is satisfying and nurturing. But that’s the wonderful thing about Ayurveda–your ideal health is always dependant on your individual needs and constitution.

 

Rewire your relationship to food

Ayurveda resets your relationship with food. Most of us deal with a lot of stress, and we tend to deal with it in two different ways. Either we skip meals and have no interest in eating, or we overeat out of a desire for comfort and groundedness.

 

Both of these cases are detrimental to the digestive fire. Ayurveda helps you learn how to manage stress and your relationship with food, to rewire it so that you perceive food for what it is: nourishment.

 

We are honored to hold space for you to begin your journey to health, happiness, and balance with Ayurveda. The Art of Living Retreat center offers personalized consultations, retreats, and treatments – check out our catalog or call 800-392-6870 to find the right program for you.

 

Kimberly Rossi, director of Shankara Ayurveda Spa, has been studying, practicing, and teaching Yoga, Meditation, and Ayurveda classes and workshops for seventeen years. Kim is a Kripalu Ayurveda Counselor. A certified yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner, Kim believes these paths assist us in being the very best version of our self.

     

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , Cleansing , diet , doshas , mindfulness , organic food , Panchakarma , weight-loss
Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

Stay Cool with these Summer Ayurveda Tips

By Diana Bellofatto
June 20, 2018

Summer Ayurveda - Art of Living Retreat Center

 

Like the changing tides of the ocean, the practice of Ayurveda encourages us to go with the ebbs and flows of the seasons. Ayurvedic wisdom has recommendations to help us maintain balance of body, mind, and spirit. These measures can be very simple but have profound results.

 

Reaching an imbalanced state from an over abundance of heat can make manifest a host of uncomfortable side effects. In summer you may feel irritable, judgmental, argumentative, have dry skin or skin eruptions, and experience diarrhea. These discomforts can be ameliorated or avoided altogether with these summer Ayurveda tips!

 

Avoid sun

Avoid being out in the midday sun. If you go outside to exercise, try to do it in the early morning or evening. Bathing by the light of the moon instead of the sun is preferred and wear sunglasses even if you are only going out for a few minutes.

 

Wear the right colors

Colors effect our moods and body temperature. If someone says something that makes us angry we might say, “That made me see red!”. The color red stimulates and can incite, thereby increasing heat so, steer toward cooling colors in your summer wardrobe with whites and pastels.

 

Massage yourself with cooling oil

When overheated, we sweat and can experience dry skin. Massaging the body with coconut oil can cool and moisturize. Coconut oil also has the ability to kill odor causing bacteria. Always choose high quality, unrefined, organic oils. “Keep your cool” by massaging your scalp and feet with bhringaraj oil at bedtime.

 

Know your dosha

Those of us with a predominance of fire element (pitta) in our bodies can tend toward being more intense and driven to succeed. Intensity and drive serve a purpose but when pushed to extremes (such as in a competitive nature while playing a sport in the hot sun) are the same qualities that can burn us out physically, mentally, and emotionally.

 

Ayurveda calls the passionate, energetic, movement oriented qualities of pitta, rajas. Rajasic qualities are necessary in our lives and must be kept in balance. You may notice that people who are predominant in these qualities can also have sharp mental acuity. Out of balance, rajas can damage the myelin sheath that protects the brain.

 

Exercise smart

When you practice yoga, favor a practice with moderate intensity and maintain a diffusive gaze (not sharp and penetrating). Exercise by swimming or walking in shaded areas instead of playing competitive sports.

 

Know your triggers

Avoid “heated” debates and “hot” topics that you know tend to rile you up. Meditating on the bija mantras (seed sounds) Shim (pronounced “sheem”) or Aim (pronounced “I’m”) can cool and clear the mind. A longer mantra is: Lokah Samastah Sukinoh Bhavantu (May all being be happy and free). This mantra promotes kindness and acceptance.

 

May you be happy and free!

 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , cooling , doshas , seasonal living , summer
Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet & Kale Salad

By Diana Bellofatto
May 28, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes: Beet Kale Salad

‘Beet’ the heat and build your blood

Ayurveda tells us that we begin to accumulate heat in the body just prior to the summer, so we want to stay ahead of the game by paying attention to the qualities of foods that can help us maintain balance.

 

Beets are nourishing for the liver. Cooked beets cool and cleanse the blood, strengthen the eyesight, and improve anemia, therefore increasing stamina by bringing more oxygen to the blood cells.

 

Kale is cooling as well. The fiber in kale prompts healthy elimination, while the bitter taste of kale and beets stimulate the flow of bile. This helps keep the gallbladder and liver from becoming congested. As the bile flows, it flushes toxins from the body and encourages healthy lymphatic flow, which detoxifies the body and fortifies immunity.

 

This recipe is proof that eating Ayurvedically does not require time-consuming cooking methods or obscure ingredients. The ease with which this salad can be prepared is very supportive to our modern lifestyles.

 

Beet & kale salad

  • 1/2 cup grated carrots, steamed until soft
  • 1 1/2 cups grated beets, steamed until soft
  • 1 head of kale, chopped, with spines removed and discarded, steamed until soft
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted or raw
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup flax seed oil
  • mineral salt to taste
  • large handful of chopped cilantro
 

Directions

1. Toss all ingredients together, and voilà, you’re done! You can’t ‘beet’ this for a fast, fresh salad that you can enjoy at home or take on a picnic.

Serves 4

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , beet , healthy diet , healthy eating , kale , organic food , salad , summer
Ayurveda for Psoriasis: The Art of Living Retreat Center

Healing Journeys of Ayurveda: Ayurveda for Psoriasis

By Sean K
May 24, 2018

Ayurveda for Psoriasis: The Art of Living Retreat Center

 

The condition

As though overnight, patches of my skin began to become flaky. Literally, I woke up and started finding patches of scratchy skin, more of them each day. What was worse, they grew. More and more of my skin, day by day, became a scratchy source of flaky consternation.

 

Not being in a relationship, I wasn’t so concerned about the look of it, but it was terribly uncomfortable. It had me worried, and in my worry, I wondered — what is this? Would it just go away?

 

It didn’t.

 

So I did what any self-respecting millennial would do: I researched online. Several vague, unanswered questions later, I sought out a real doctor.

 

The (mis)diagnosis

The first doctor gave me a misdiagnosis. The second did too. Here’s an approximate rehash of our conversation after the labs came in:

 

“The lab results came back, and I’m sorry, but it looks like it’s cancerous.”

“Excuse me?!”

“Your mole is cancerous.”

“… I didn’t have a mole tested.”

“… Give me one moment please.” A long pause. “Sorry, wrong person. Your test shows psoriasis.”

 

I was relieved not to have cancer, but troubled to have psoriasis–psoriasis is apparently an incurable issue. The dermatologist’s treatment options were bleak: There is no cure, but we can give you steroid injections to reduce the symptoms. Frustrated, I declined. Most of my online research at the time also suggested that there wasn’t a total cure or even a complete understanding of the cause of this skin condition.

 

The doctor who recommended Ayurveda

Discouraged, I saw a third doctor, a family friend, who referred me to Ayurveda. He said that Ayurveda has a great approach to dealing with skin issues.

 

While I was relatively familiar with Ayurveda, it was my first time relying on Ayurveda to help me manage an acute condition. While Ayurveda is not formally recognized as a medical practice in the US, abroad it has thousands of years of history of being used for preventative care and relief.

 

I saw an Ayurvedic expert who told me that the root cause of my skin condition lay in my digestion. He suggested that by altering my food habits and adding a few natural herbs and buttermilk to my diet, I could find relief.

 

Can Ayurveda help psoriasis?

I ordered the herbs and waited eagerly for them to arrive, trying desperately not to scratch all the while. It was winter, and it seemed to me that the cold climate only dried my skin further and worsened my condition.

 

But I waited.

 

Once the herbs arrived, I quickly started taking them. I also made a few key changes in my diet. I cut out pitta-inflaming foods, like tomatoes, oranges, chips, and spicy food. I started drinking more buttermilk and eating more fresh leafy greens, as I’d been advised.

 

The results

The results astounded me. Within a couple of weeks, the condition started clearing up. Not only did I feel lighter and more refreshed, but my skin looked more clear and less itchy.

 

The best part is that the results lasted.

 

Since then, I’ve continued learning about Ayurveda and incorporating it into my life, and I’ve done a few seasonal Ayurvedic cleanses to maintain my digestive health. I’ve also adopted many parts of an Ayurvedic nutritional plan that is tailored to my own personal constitution, or dosha.

 

For years now, I’ve had my psoriasis under control. Occasionally, it will still flare up, when the winter gets very cold or I don’t eat right, but it always returns to rest. I haven’t had to worry about the pain, the itching, or the look of flaky skin, as long as I take care of myself.

 

#ThankYouAyurveda

I feel extremely grateful to Ayurveda. If you haven’t explored Ayurveda yet, I encourage you to consider it, especially if the quality of your skin concerns you. Once understood, the principles are simple and useful, the cleanses feel amazing, and the practice supports an active, mindful lifestyle.

 

Disclaimer: This article is written from a personal experience. It makes no claims and is not designed to diagnose or treat disease or offer medical advice. 


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurveda , health , psoriasis , skin , winter , wisdom
Ayurvedic Recipes: Collard Greens

Ayurvedic Recipes: Collard Wraps

By Diana Bellofatto
May 2, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes: Collard Greens

 

Ready, Set, Spring!

When it comes to eating seasonally, green means go at this time of year! Verdant veggies vie for our attention as they burst up through the earth’s floor, beckoning us to savor their flavor.

 

If you follow Mother Nature’s lead, she signals us to leave behind the heavier, heating, acid-forming foods of winter that kept us warm, and asks us to focus our attention on the lighter, cooling, alkaline foods that help us to maintain balance as the season shifts and heats up.

 

Collard greens are the perfect host for the abundance of veggies that grow at this time of the year. Spices and the friendly bacteria on vegetables enkindle agni (digestive fire), and enhance assimilation and absorption of nutrients.

 

In this recipe, explore how the bitter, astringent, and pungent flavors of broccoli, radish, scallion, avocado, and cilantro team up with just enough of the sweet, sour, and salty tastes of lime and coconut to tantalize our taste buds.

 

Collard Wraps

  • 4 or more large collard green leaves
  • 1 very ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced or minced radish
  • A generous handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or 1/4 each
  • 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame or olive oil
  • Himalayan pink salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

*If you are experiencing feelings of heaviness, bloating, and lethargy (kapha dosha), use less avocado, seeds, coconut, and sesame oil.

 

Directions

1. At room temperature, combine all ingredients (except the collard green leaves) in a large bowl and mix well.

2. Lay the collard leaves out flat, and then spoon and spread some of the mixture evenly onto each of the leaves. Wrap them up and you’re ready to roll!

Serves 4.

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurvedic diet , clean eating , collard wraps , diet , greens , seasonal eating , seasonal food , Spring
Ayurvedic Recipes: Broccoli

Ayurvedic Recipes: Broccoli with Peppers and Herbs

By Diana Bellofatto
April 3, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes: Broccoli

 

What’s in your garden?

Spring is here, and what better way to celebrate than by reaping the benefits of an herb garden!

 

If you tend towards a vata tummy (gas/bloating) when it comes to broccoli, you’ll be happy to know that the warming herbs and ginger in this recipe will aid in digestion.

 

The herbs in this recipe have an affinity for helping to balance kapha (earth & water), which is abundant during spring. They are warming and stimulating, diaphoretic, nervine, and they improve memory and relieve depression, congestion, asthma, and insomnia.

 

You can enjoy plucking this mélange of herbs for the recipe if you do have an herb garden. It’s a great way to connect more deeply to your food and the earth. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs at this time, you may substitute about half the amount of dried herbs for this recipe.

 

Broccoli with peppers & herbs

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 5 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • mineral salt to taste
  • black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice
  • * Optional – toss in toasted nuts or seeds at the end for added protein.

Directions

1. Heat the ghee in a pan. Add the rosemary and ginger and sauté over low heat until the ginger is soft and slightly browned. If you are using dried herbs, sauté them at this time as well.
2. Add the broccoli and bell pepper, sprinkle lightly with salt.
3. Stir, cover, and sauté on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. You can add a little bit of water to the vegetables if they start to stick to the pan.
4. Turn off the heat, stir in all of the other herbs. Add the lemon or lime juice.
5. Sprinkle with toasted nuts or seeds of your choice.

Serves 4 to 6. 

 
 

Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!

 

Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Ayurvedic Recipes , broccoli , health , healthy diet , healthy eating , herbs

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