Ayurveda Farro Bowl

Farro, Mushroom, & Walnut Bowl

By Diana Bellofatto
October 24, 2018

Ayurveda Farro Bowl

Featuring farro for winter warmth

As we head into winter (Vata season), the elements of air and space become more abundant. Vata’s qualities are cold, light, dry, rough, mobile, and erratic. Applying the opposite qualities offers support for staying in balance throughout the winter season. Therefore, you may find yourself in need of heavier, more warming, and grounding foods.

 

If meat is not on your menu, “old world” or “ancient” grains, such as farro, are a good staple to have in your pantry. Farro is known for its high fiber, zinc, B vitamins, iron, and impressive amount of protein.

 

Soaking grains before cooking them is always important to re-hydrate the grain from its dry state. This reduces gas/bloating and improves the nutritional bio-availability by removing anti-nutrients that inhibit optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

 

In Ayurveda, there are three qualities (Sattva, Rajas, Tamas) known as the gunas. The tamasic quality tends toward inertia, darkness, and heaviness. Mushrooms possess tamasic qualities because they grow in the dark, with an inward and downward flow of energy. Medicinally speaking, mushrooms stimulate immunity, are nervine and grounding to alleviate anxiety and promote sound sleep, as well as bolster bone/joint health. This is a huge bonus at a time of year where many of us may suffer from insomnia, aching bones/joints, and colds or flus. “Boning” up on these foods now will help thwart imbalances later on in the season as we insulate and arm ourselves just prior to the height of winter.

 

The walnut takes credit for being known to build stamina. Shaped like a brain, it is also a tonic for the brain and ojas (think strength, immunity, life sap) enhancer. With a slightly bitter taste and crunchiness, it pairs well with farro and mushrooms for a nicely varied flavor and texture profile.

 

Farro, mushroom, & walnut bowl

  • 1 cup farro, soaked for 8 hours and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups thinly sliced cremini or button mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • Himalayan pink salt & black pepper to taste
  • Ghee for sautéing
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
 

Directions

1. In a medium-sized pot, sauté the onions until translucent.

2. Add the mushrooms and sauté until their water evaporates and they become more firm and slightly brown.

3. Add the farro, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

4. Turn down to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes with the lid on, until the water has evaporated.

5. Remove from heat, transfer to serving bowl, and garnish with walnuts.

Serves 4. 

 

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

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , diet , farro , gourmet food , organic food , Recipes , weight-loss
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!

 

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TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , ayurveda cleanse , ayurveda detox , Ayurvedic diet , dosha , wellness
Thyme Ayurveda Bowl

Shallot, Fennel, Thyme & Quinoa Bowl

By Diana Bellofatto
September 26, 2018

Thyme Ayurveda Bowl

“Thyme” for the seasons to shift

Eating seasonally is very important, and there are still plenty of delicious herbs and vegetables coming in fresh at this time of year. Take advantage of the deliciousness before “thyme” runs out, and the selection of herbs and vegetables diminish in winter.

 

A pungent herb, thyme is beneficial to pacify overabundant vata (space & air) and kapha (water & earth) qualities that can result in intestinal distress symptoms such as gas, bloating, or nausea. Thyme can increase pitta (fire) qualities due to its heating nature. So, if it is very warm where you live or you are experiencing a pitta imbalance, use it more sparingly or substitute fresh cilantro for it. Thyme is wonderfully aromatic and infuses this dish with a flavor that pays compliments to its culinary counterparts.

 

The shallot belongs to the allium family. It imparts a more refined, yet onion like flavor. Shallots are grounding, so they balance out the stimulating effect of thyme. Cooking shallots diffuses their heating nature and increases their sweetness.

 

You may know fennel as the vegetable with a mild licorice flavor. Sautéing or braising fennel softens the licorice flavor and brings out its sweetness. Fennel acts an amazing agni (digestive fire) enhancer without increasing heat in the body. It is diaphoretic and diuretic, so it can flush excess heat and fluid from the body. This comes in handy post-summer. Fennel is also known to help increase mental and visual clarity.

 

We tend to lump quinoa in with grains, but it is actually a seed. There are many varieties of quinoa, with the white, red, and black varieties being the most popular. You can often find all three mixed together, which reminds me of the three constitutional types of Ayurveda (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). Quinoa offers a protein punch and is tri-doshic (beneficial for Vata, Pitta, Kapha). If you tend to lean toward vata imbalances, be more generous with the amount of ghee you use in this recipe.

 

Shallot, fennel, thyme, & quinoa bowl

  • 1 cup quinoa, soaked in water overnight and rinsed
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced (reverse the wisp-like dark green fronds for garnish!)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • Ghee for sautéing
  • Pink Himalayan salt & white pepper to taste
  • Generous handful of freshly-chopped cilantro leaves
 

Directions

1. In a medium-sized pot, sauté the shallots in ghee for a few minutes, until clear or slightly browned.

2. Add the fennel and sauté until soft.

3. Add the carrot, quinoa, salt, pepper, and about 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and cover.

4. Cook about 15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.

5. Remove from heat, transfer to serving dish, and garnish with cilantro and fennel fronds.

Serves 4. 

 

Interested in incorporating vibrant, delicious Ayurvedic cooking into your health and wellness goals? Check out the Ayurveda Culinary Retreat, hosted by renowned Ayurvedic chef Nalini Mehta at the Art of Living Retreat Center from November 2-4, 2018!


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

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , cleanse , diet , food , healthy lifestyle , recipe , weight-loss
The Best 10 Minute Kale Salad

The Best 10-Minute Kale Salad

By Amie Valpone
September 4, 2018

The Best 10 Minute Kale Salad

 

This is one of the best kale salads I’ve ever made and that says a lot because I’ve made hundreds of kale salads. This raw kale salad is not only quick to toss together but it’s simple, can be whipped up in 10 minutes and uses a few basic ingredients. You can serve this vegan kale salad with apples, cranberries or any other fruit you’d like if you can’t find fresh figs.

 

Kale Salad:

  • 1 head dinosaur (flat) kale, finely chopped and stems removed
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, extra-virgin
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 head Swiss chard, finely chopped and stems removed
  • 1 medium purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 large fresh figs, halved
  • 2 tbsp. walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
 

Tahini Dressing:

  • 4 tbsp. tahini, well-stirred
  • 6 tbsp. warm water
  • 1 tsp. chickpea miso paste, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • chili powder, pinch
 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Kale Salad: 

  1. Massage the kale in a large mixing bowl using your hands with the lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt, to taste. Massage for two minutes, or until the kale is very tender and dark green.
  2. Add the Swiss chard, cabbage, figs, walnuts, mint, and lemon zest. Set aside.

Tahini Dressing: 

  1. In a small mixing bowl, mix together all the dressing ingredients until it forms your desired dressing consistency.
  2. Add more water or lemon juice, if needed. Drizzle this dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Discover the missing pieces keeping you from optimal health, weight, and happiness at my upcoming retreat at the Art of Living Retreat Center, The Whole Body Transformation. This retreat is designed for anyone who wants to transform their life beyond medical care. The entire retreat will be a very safe space for women to open up and heal the deeper issues that are going on inside their bodies that medicine does not address.

 

This article is excerpted from TheHealthyApple.com, and is used with permission from the author.

 

Amie Valpone, HHC, AAP is a chef, nutritionist, and the author of the best-selling cookbook Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation & Reset Your Body. She is the founder of TheHealthyApple.com, where she discusses how she healed herself after 10 years of chronic illness from lyme disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism.

 

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

 

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TAGS: Amie Valpone , art of living retreat center , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic food , cooking , Detox , diet , food , kale salad , Recipes
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!

 

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TAGS: Ayurveda , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , beet , healthy diet , healthy eating , kale , organic food , salad , summer
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!

 

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TAGS: Ayurvedic diet , clean eating , collard wraps , diet , greens , seasonal eating , seasonal food , Spring
Ayurvedic Recipes - Sauteed Greens

Ayurvedic Recipes: Sauteed Greens

By Diana Bellofatto
February 22, 2018

Ayurvedic Recipes - Sauteed Greens

Ayurveda calls collard greens sattvic.  This implies that they support peacefulness and purity of body, mind, and spirit. Collard greens possess bitter, astringent, light, dry qualities.  Their digestion is aided with spices, healthy fats, and substances rich in digestive enzymes and stomach acid boosting abilities.

 

Enjoy collards as a side dish, a main dish with protein rich nuts, seeds, and beans or, in a soup. Read on to discover more about the greatness of these greens and the ingredients by which they are accompanied in February’s recipe.

The ‘personality traits’ of the ingredients

  • Collards Greens are packed with fiber and are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins A , C, E,  K, folic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium.  Their bitter taste aids in de-stagnation of the liver and enhances bile flow.
  • Tamari contains digestive enzymes and provides that “umami” taste.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar will give your stomach acid a boost and supports healthy blood sugar.
  • Ginger enkindles the digestion fire, keeps us warm, and detoxifies unhealthy fat from the body.
  • Ghee-the butyric acid in ghee nourishes the gut and provides a great source of healthy fat.
  • Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds provide protein, are mineral rich and protect against free radicals.

Sauteed Greens with Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds

  • 1 cup water
  • About 10 cups washed, dried, and chopped fresh collard greens
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped ginger
  • 1.5 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1/4 c. toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions

1. In a large deep skillet, on medium heat, sauté the ginger until soft and slightly golden.

2. Add the collard greens and mix well.

3. Add the water, cover and reduce the heat to low and cook until the collard greens are tender.

4. Turn off the heat and stir in the tamari and raw apple cider vinegar.

5. Transfer to serving bowl and stir in the sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Serves 4

 
 

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

 

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TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , ayurveda cleanse , ayurveda detox , Ayurvedic diet , Ayurvedic Recipes , cleanse , greens , sauteed greens , winter
pitta-winter

Wellness, Naturally: Balancing Pitta in Winter

By AOLRC
February 8, 2018

pitta-winter

 

In Ayurveda, there are three types of energy, including pitta. Pitta is a building block of the world, and can be found in everything and everyone. It’s closely related to digestion and intelligence, and is regarded as “fire energy.” Pitta individuals are typically athletic and tend to gain weight evenly. The pitta individual is typically success-oriented, energetic, quick witted and has a great capacity for achieving balance. However, an excess of pitta can overheat the body and mind.

 

Signs of pitta imbalance

There are typical manifestations of pitta imbalance that can signal as an imbalance of the mind and body. These manifestations include anger, irritability, overall discontent, acid indigestion, heartburn, inflammation and heartburn. Pitta can become imbalanced when one doesn’t get enough rest or eats spicy foods.

 

Here are three easy ways to bring pitta back into balance.
1. Drink a cool glass of milk. Milk cools the fiery energy of pitta.
2. Stay hydrated. Make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day.
3. Take regular breaks. When pitta is high, there is a tendency to focus and dive in. This can be useful, but it must be balanced with occasional breaks. This will help refresh your spirits and keep you cool and relaxed. This way you can work without letting the work overwhelm you.

 

Understanding how to feed your fire

If you have a pitta constitution, it’s wise to avoid pungent, salty and sour foods. Reduce sour fruits like grapefruits, and stick to sweeter fruits like mangoes, pineapples, grapes and melons. Avoid veggies like tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers. Instead, favor veggies like cucumbers, green beans, potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli.

 

Pitta individuals should use seasonings that are cooling and soothing. These include clove, cilantro, cardamom and fennel. Hot seasonings, such as cumin and mustard seed, should be used sparingly. And if you’re a non-vegetarian, chicken and turkey are better than beef and seafood. Dairy can help balance the heat of pitta and should include things like butter and milk.

 

Keep your cool

Balancing Pitta also includes lifestyle. Allow for some free time every day, so you can balance rest and activity. Don’t skip meals and wait till you’re famished. Spend time in nature. Take a stroll in the woods and keep plants and fresh flowers at home. Most of all, make sure to laugh a lot every day. You may even want to consider performing a daily massage with cooler oils like coconut. Take in some aromatherapy with mint, lavender or sandalwood.

 

At the Art of Living Retreat Center, we provide guidance on how to keep your pitta in balance. We offer a sense of connection, inner peace and rejuvenation. Nestled on scenic mountaintop in the Blue Ridge Mountains, our center is the ideal location for Ayurveda and personal transformation. Everyone is cared for like family.

 

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

 

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TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , ayurveda cleanse , ayurveda detox , Ayurvedic diet , cleanse , Detox , healthy lifestyle , pitta , winter
kapha-winter

Wellness, Naturally: Balancing Kapha in Winter

By AOLRC
February 1, 2018

kapha-winter

When you learn to look at the world from an Ayurvedic perspective, it won’t be long before your view on achieving and maintaining your own personal sense of wellness will become not only clearer, but also attainable in ways that you may not have thought possible. In this post, we’ll be focusing on the various techniques for balancing Kapha through the cold months of winter.

 

Know your dosha

One of the first steps toward gaining clarity and control over your own health is understanding the three dynamic energies known in Ayurveda as doshas. These are Vata, Pitta, and the one we’ll be focusing on specifically in this post, Kapha. Doshas are, put very simply, the biological energies that make us who we are as individuals. They are not one size fits all! Your dosha is not only as unique as you are – it is what makes you so unique.

What does it mean to be kapha?

Each of the three doshas project both mental and physical attributes that will reflect the elements related to them. The elements related to the kapha dosha are earth and water. This manifests in people who are thought to have a dosha balance dominated by Kapha as both a solid physical frame, as well as a strong, calming presence and grounded personality.

 

Kapha in winter – losing your balance

When you fail to take care of yourself properly, your doshas can become imbalanced. This will be noticeable both in the way you feel physically and mentally, but also in the way that you interact with others and even how they respond to you. If you find yourself feeling “off” or “unsteady”, chances are good that your doshas have gotten out of proportion.
Kaphas who allow themselves to be too sedentary in the winter months will suffer the consequences, and often find themselves experiencing some of the following negative effects:
● Weight gain
● Depression and lethargy
● Poor circulation
● Respiratory issues
● Oily skin

 

Balancing kapha: 3 easy ways to feel lighter in winter

Ayurveda is all about keeping your doshas balanced. Fortunately, when you become aware of an imbalance, there are a lot of ways to make balancing Kapha again a cinch.

1. Get Moving! – Regular physical activity is key for balancing Kapha . Bundle up and take an invigorating winter walk around your favorite park or better yet, use the chilly months to give hot yoga a try!

2. Keep Your Diet Light – It’s easy to fall into a routine of eating more in cold months, no matter what your dosha is, but Kaphas often tend to have a slow metabolism anyway. Be mindful of your portions and don’t let yourself go overboard, especially on rich, heavy foods. Which brings us to…..

3. Avoid Kapha-Rich Foods – Foods that increase Kapha will tip your balance, so you’ll want to take a pass on that big slice of gooey pecan pie, and anything else that is overly salty or sweet. Heavy foods will only weigh you down, but try taking inspiration from the pitta dosha until spring comes, with lots of warm, light veggies (think green beans, yellow squash, or zucchini) and oats, quinoa or basmati rice. And be sure to have lots of ginger and lemon hot tea!

 

If you’re new to Ayurveda, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by information – but don’t forget that intuition and self-awareness about how you feel mentally and physically play a big part in living an Ayurvedic lifestyle. It will soon become second nature and the benefits to your overall health are worth it!

 

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

 

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TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , ayurveda cleanse , ayurveda detox , Ayurvedic diet , cleanse , Detox , healthy lifestyle , kapha , winter
Vata-Winter

Wellness, Naturally: Balancing Vata in Winter

By AOLRC
January 25, 2018

Vata-Winter

 

Seasonal changes affect our lives in many ways. They play a role in a person’s very nature, something known as a dosha in Ayurveda. The winter season can affect and imbalance a vata dosha, or constitution, so balancing vata is important during this season.

Vata is one of the three constitutions in Ayurveda. Associated with the air element, it expresses itself in attributes like cold and dry skin, feeling restless, having a thin body, talking a lot, and gravitating toward a warm climate.

 

It’s important to be mindful of how a dosha imbalance happens. Once you understand this, you can focus on preventing it or bringing yourself back into a state of balance. Some factors that imbalance vata include sleep problems, high-pressure work situations, a lot of worry and stress, and an abundance of talking or traveling. During the winter season, cold and windy climates can throw off a vata constitution. Winter is generally hard on a vata type, because of their cold and dry skin, cold hands and feet, and overall difficulty handling cold weather.

 

These problems are particularly pronounced when a person’s vata is unbalanced. Some things that indicate an imbalanced vata include problems with the joints, body pains, restlessness, and trouble sleeping.

 

Balancing vata

A vata constitution will feel much better when in balance. You’ll feel healthier and happier, with a more calm state of mind. You’ll sleep better, feel less pain, and have a more stable and focused mental state. And throughout the winter, you’ll feel warmer and experience healthier skin and circulation. While there are numerous steps you can take to balance vata, try these three methods this winter:

 

Follow a daily schedule

Create a better routine that provides balance. Your schedule should help manage your workload and personal responsibilities by breaking them down into smaller steps and allocating enough time. This way, you can reduce stress and still remain productive. Plan ahead of time for personal care and meditation. Make an effort to get to sleep earlier by making your nighttime routine more calming. Try to find motivation in getting more sleep, such as noticing the difference in how you feel, both mentally and physically, when you go to sleep earlier.

 

Reduce Stimulants

Help yourself achieve a better state of calm by cutting down on stimulants. This includes caffeinated beverages like coffee, as well as processed sugar that creates a quick sugar high and then an energy crash. Instead, find more stable sources of energy through complex carbohydrates and healthy fats and proteins. Meditate and use other methods to calm and rejuvenate yourself, rather than reaching for stimulants.

   

Follow a vata diet

Rejoice in winter comfort foods. Foods that are cooked, warm and soft will be good for you, so enjoy stews, macaroni and cheese, and similar comfort foods. Take in healthy oils and a lot of moisture through foods and beverages. Some ideal vata-balancing foods include olives, dairy products, avocado, nuts, seeds and wheat. Also, choose salty, sweet and sour tastes like fruit, yogurt and kimchi instead of bitter, pungent and astringent ones like radishes, kale and legumes. Fried dishes and overeating can cause problems to vata, while rich yet nourishing meals help balance this constitution’s lightness.

 

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

 

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TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , Ayurveda , Ayurveda 101 , ayurveda cleanse , ayurveda detox , Ayurvedic diet , cleanse , Detox , healthy lifestyle , vata , winter

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