Back in 2005, after graduating from college and working multiple jobs to save up money, I embarked on a 10-month trip abroad. This journey took me to New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, and India. And it was on this trip, while traveling in India, that I first immersed myself in the practice of Yoga.
I went to an ashram in northern India, and spent two weeks living an ashram lifestyle. Waking up before the sun, beginning each day with meditation, chanting, breathing practices, and yoga. In the afternoons we attended teachings to learn the yoga philosophy behind the practices, followed by a second yoga practice. And in the evenings we sang, chanted, and celebrated together. This experience transformed my life. It was there, at this ashram, that I discovered the healing power of yoga, and became committed to sharing this wisdom with others. [click to continue…]
Cleansing has become very trendy in recent years, and for good reason. The benefits of a good cleanse can range from improved energy and weight loss to decreased pain and improved digestion. But not all cleanses will have these effects. Some will leave you feeling depleted and can even weaken your digestive fire, making it hard on your body to go back to “real” food. This negates the effects of the cleanse altogether, as returning to your regular diet only increases toxins more quickly!
That’s why I feel so fortunate to have discovered Ayurveda, and with it the cleansing process that has been used successfully for thousands of years to help people heal from a wide variety of illnesses—some that are even thought to be incurable. This form of cleansing is an effective way to prevent disease later in life.
So what are the signs that you could use a cleanse?
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Disease takes a long time to manifest. You don’t just wake up one day with cancer or arthritis or diabetes. If you do receive a disease diagnosis, it’s because the disease has been progressing over a long period of time, often decades.
Ayurveda defines disease as occurring when the dosha (vata, pitta, or kapha) enters a particular bodily tissue or dhatu. According to Ayurveda, there are seven bodily tissues: plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, nerve, and reproductive tissues. When a dosha enters one of these tissues, due to a weakness in that particular tissue (often from trauma or family history), the dosha begins to affect the physical structure of the tissue and cause disease.
Ayurveda describes six distinct stages in the development of a disease. Unfortunately, western medicine often doesn’t recognize the early symptoms of the disease process. How many of us have felt “off” in some way and gone to our doctor, only to have him tell us that everything is perfectly normal? Fortunately, Ayurveda can offer us some answers where western medicine falls short. If we can learn to recognize the warning signs, we stand a much better chance of reversing the progression of disease before it begins to damage our body’s tissues. [click to continue…]