Pushya Nakshatra Dates & Times for Sydney 2022

In Pushya Nakshatra the soul flourishes like this lotus flower

Pusya / Pushyami / Pushya Nakshatra (Nakṣatra in Sanskrit) is one of the most auspicious constellations according to Vedic Astrology (jyotish).

Pusya Nakshatra occurs during specific dates & times of the year and it presents an auspicious opportunity to start taking any new Ayurvedic herb, particularly certain Ayurvedic herbal immunisations for babies, such as Pusya Drops.

Suggested Use of Pusya Drops:

For babies up to 1 year old - 2 drops 2x/day anytime, once a month on Pushya Nakshatra.
For children over 1 years old - 10 drops once a day . For 7 consecutive days starting on Pushya Nakshatra.

Another powerful Ayurvedic formula that is particularly taken during Pusya Nakshatra is Jyotishmati. This concoction promotes spiritual evolution, kundalini energy, mental and overall health.

The dates & times below are for Sydney, Australia. We recommend searching the time for your city using the Drik Panchang website. 

We recommended leaving a good gap before/after the time given to be well in the muhurta (time period).

January 18 & 19: begins at 10:07am (18th) | ends at 12:12pm (19th)
February 14 & 15: begins at 5:23pm (14th) | ends at 7:19pm (15th)
March 14 & 15: begins at 01:36am (14th) | ends at 03:38am (15th)
April 10 & 11: begins at 09:01am (10th) | ends at 11:21am (11th)
May 7 & 8: begins at 04:48pm (7th) | ends at 07:28pm (8th)
June 3, 4 & 5:  begins at 11:35pm (3rd) | ends at 2:25am (5th)
July 1 & 2: begins at 5:37am (1st) | ends at 8:26am (2nd)
August 24 & 25: begins at 06:09pm (24th) | ends at 08:46pm (25th)
September 21 & 22: begins at 01:37am (21st) | ends at 04:17am (22nd)
October 18 & 19: begins at 10:43am (18th) | ends at 01:32am (19th)
November 14 & 15: begins at 6:45pm (14th) | ends at 09:43pm (15th)
December 12 & 13:  begins 2:06am (12th) | ends at 5:06am (13th)
 

Related Listening


Vedic Astrology Forecast 2022 + Great Truths of Light (Jyotish) | Laura Plumb #076

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Laura Plumb
An experienced Vedic Astrologer like our guest Laura Plumb can clearly see the planetary influence that manifested a chain of pandemic events in 2020 and 2021, specific to each country.

What is in store for 2022?

Understanding the influence that planetary bodies have on us not only allows us to embrace and utilise our full potential and highest Self, but also guides us on what the future inevitably holds for us.
Vedic Astrology, also known as Jyotish or “The Eye of the Veda”, is the science that allows us to perceive and interpret messages of the cosmos.

Why is it that things unraveled in this or that way?
What are the lessons that nature wanted us to learn?
What is coming up in the horizon for us?
For all of these are questions, Jyotish suggests answers, and in this episode, acclaimed Jyotishi and Ayurvedic practitioner Laura, gracefully breaks down the power of what is coming up.

About our guest: Laura Plumb

Laura Plumb is the Founder and Director of VedaWise, and lead faculty for the Ayurvedic Integrated Nutrition 200 hour Professional Training, author of the best-selling book Ayurveda Cooking For Beginners, creator/presenter of the online video course The Medicine In Your Kitchen: Introduction to Ayurvedic Cooking hosted by Spirituality & Health, host of the 53-part television show CleanseVeda, and the 12-part series called Divine Yoga.

Formerly the General Manager of The Discovery Channel Europe, Laura offers clinical services in natural medicine for whole person wellness, and health practitioner trainings in the Vedic sciences. She leads many online courses, and gives classes and consultations in Ayurveda, Jyotish, Yoga Therapy, Whole Food Cooking and Nutrition. Additonally Laura has served as a contributing Ayurvedic educator at the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine, is an Ambassador for Banyan Botanicals and runs The Sophia Camp for Girls  – a week every summer dedicated to cultivating self-esteem, self-care and self-regulation through Yoga, Ayurveda, mentoring and creative play.

Laura Plumb

As a graduate of the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, the American Institute of Vedic Studies, and decades of study into Yoga, Meditation, Vedanta, Jyotish, herbal medicine, nutrition, health and healing, Laura is an international educator on the power of the Vedic sciences to promote radical health and sacred, sumptuous living.


In this Episode we Discuss:

The Planetary Arrangements That We’ve Experienced On The Last Few Months of 2021

The lunar eclipse on the 26th of May 2021 in Scorpio & solar eclipse on the 10th of June in Taurus.  
Mars and Ketu are in tight conjunction in the sign of Scorpio. 
We started the Rahu-Ketu Antardasha and will be inside “the serpent” for a few months. 

Sri Yukteswar, Paramahamsa Yogananda & The Wisdom of the Vedas


The lineage of Paramahamsa Yogananda, and a story from "Autobiography of a Yogi"
The concept of “Truth” and our capacity to move towards it or away from it. 
Jyotish as “The Eye of The Veda”. 
The divine siddhis of the ancient Vedic rishis & how they cognized this all-embracing wisdom. 

The Astrological Blessings of the Pandemic

In December 2019 there was a major Solar Eclipse that also involved Mercury, Jupiter & Saturn.
Jupiter has been for a long time trapped by the grip of Saturn, so both teacher planets were together in the sign of Capricorn until November 2021. 
  • The lessons of Saturn usually come in the form of constriction, of letting go of certain things, of turning within. Saturn is the Yogi, the ascetic. He teaches the lessons of Shiva. 
When COVID First came we had Rahu in Gemini and Khetu in Sagittarius. 
  • We had an air Sun and an Air lunar node, causing a lot of vata. 
  • The Khetu in a fire sign was causing a lot of fire (literally wildfires), flu, infection, anger and general chaos. 
Rahu and Khetu moved around September 20th 2020 into Taurus and Scorpio respectively. 
  • These shadow planets are exalted in these signs, so they stoped being as damaging as they were on the year prior.  

Jyotish Forecast for 2022

In November 2021, Jupiter moved into the sign of Aquarius and it will stay there until April 13th.
  • Jupiter becomes here much more hopeful, optimistic & expansive in terms of scientific & technological breakthroughs, cutting-edge science. 
  • Jupiter in Aquarius fosters a great capacity for spiritual growth. There is great room for spiritual & humanitarian advancements. 
After April 13th 2022, Jupiter moves into Pisces, its own ruling sign. 
  • It brings the invitation for those who did not find a meditation practice yet, to embark on that journey.
  • Since Pisces is a feminine sign, it’ll bring out the most feminine qualities of Jupiter. It’ll be more embodied, touching & heart-centered.
  • Jupiter stands for wisdom, growth, expansion, connection, union amongst humans, hope, faith, and compassion.
  • Pisces is very related to the medical sciences because it brings in the compassion to help others heal and restore wholeness. 
In May 1st 2022, Saturn will leave Capricorn, after two and a half years there, and will move into Aquarius. 
  • Saturn loves structure. Shanni will help lay the foundations to all of that which Jupiter in Aquarius helped envision. 
  • This is a time for us to have a clear understanding of what we want to build or materialize in our lives. This time holds the promise of fulfillment of said plans if the proper intention is there. 
  • Saturn when in Aquarius and Capricorn is empowered. And Saturn represents the people, the common folk. This placement of Saturn allows for the light to shine over the will of the people. It turns the tables and gives them the power to choose for themselves, where to live, how to live, what job to do, etc. 
In March 2022, Rahu and Khetu are moving into Aires and Libra respectively. 
  • This is very relevant, especially for those who have their lagna (ascendant/rising sign) or chandra (moon) in these signs. 
  • During this time there might be some restlessness, some shadows may start to appear, or already existing ones may be revealed to us. 
  • We may be feeling more hunger and desire for material gain. 
  • It is important that we don’t let these influences eat our minds. Remember Ganesh, remember the light of consciousness. Unbind yourself from these influences. 
    • It is important to do the upāyas, the remedies. 
      • For more information on what upāyas are good for you and the afflicted planets in your chart, reach out to a quality Jyotish practitioner. You can find one close to you here.
  • The lunar nodes determine the signs in which the eclipse happens. The next lunar and solar eclipses will happen in these two signs. 

Resources

Laura's Website HERE

Laura’s Instagram (@lauraplumb) HERE 

-

Hanuman Chalisa by Maxiji HERE

Hanuman Chalisa by Govindas and Radha HERE


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The Super-Nectar Ayurvedic Beverage that is Beyond Divine & Simple to Make: Takra | Dylan Smith #075

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Takra / Thin Lassi
There is a certain beverage in Ayurveda which supersedes “superfood status” and offers an impressive spectrum of therapeutic benefits. This simple beverage is even categorised with “divine status.”
And the awesome part? This beverage is ridiculously simple to stir up.
The beverage is called “Takra” in Ayurveda, which refers to buttermilk or “thin lassi.”

In this Episode we Discuss:

What is Takra?

Takra is the liquid that is left over from churning the butter out of fermented or cultured cream or yogurt.  If cream is left out for a while the naturally occurring lactic acid-producing bacteria will lower the pH, making it more acidic, which then allows the fat/butter to separate.
Butter-milk is of 3 types:
  1. From which fat is completely removed; - kapha, mandagni, low strength.
  2. From which half of the fat is removed; - good for pitta, moderate power of agni, and if the patient has moderate strength.
  3. From which fat is not at all removed. – vayu, strong agni, patient has enough strength.
Takra’s Tri-Doshic Effect
Thin lassi is known as one of the only foods that pacifies all doshic combinations (various body constitutions).

The Vedic Mythology of Takra / Thin Lassi

The Story of Lord Indra, Ahalyā and Maharishi Gautama:
  • Lord Indra impersonating the rishi to be able to lay with his wife, Ahalyā.
  • The vile curse of Maharishi Gautama, and how the Ashwini brothers declared takra to be the cure for it. 
Takram śakra Durlabham | Lord Indra can’t even get Takra.
Other Devatas missing out on Takra:
Painting of Indra and Ahalyā
Indra, impersonating Gautama, and Ahalyā
  • Lassi is the antidote to the poison in Shiva's throat (Nīla Kantha)
  • Ganesh wouldn’t have a belly if he drank lassi (it would help him digest, lose weight and be less bloated).

The Recipe for Thin Lassi

Mix one tablespoon of yoghurt with a cup of water, mix it with a fork, and drink.
The exact ideal ratio of yoghurt to water should be 1:14.
  • Those looking to make the takra a bit more thick can do a ratio of 1:6 or even 1:4.
    • Thick Lassi is great for those suffering from loose bowel motion/loose stools or diarrhoea.
Yoghurt used:
  • Homemade yoghurt - to learn how to make your own yoghurt check out the reel we posted on our Instagram page (@vitalveda).  
Different ingredients to add:
  • Dried mango + cumin seeds roasted in ghee + buttermilk - best drink.
  • Milk and Lassi are always better to have with spices.
  • Anything but sour or fruit. Cocoa or carob.
  • Amla (Indian goose berry) or honey added to the yoghurt will counter the channel-blocking qualities in yoghurt.
      • Amla pickle - wait a year till they turn black
      • Rice + blended yoghurt + Amla pickle.

Thin Lassi for Dairy Intolerant People

Food intolerances are the product of an imbalanced digestive fire, also known as Agni 🔥. 
  • To decide that one is going to stop eating a certain type of food merely because it cannot be digested properly is not a solution to the root problem. 
  • The Agni needs to be enlivened in such a way that allows for the proper digestion of that food and then one can gradually re-introduce said food. 
    • To read more about the Ayurvedic view on how to overcome food intolerances click here.
    • To learn more about how to use Ayurvedic principles to bring your Agni back to balance, check out our online course: “The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition”.
Takra, or Thin Lassi, is actually an excellent way to reintroduce dairy once the Agni has been brought back to balance. 
  • You can prepare the lassi very thin and even add a pinch of salt. 
  • Another option is to make the lassi, let the yogurt simmer to the bottom of the glass, and then drink only the water. 

How Often Should One Drink Takra / Lassi

Lassi is described as Nitya Ahara | Nitya Sevaniya Ahara Dravya 
  • Lassi is one of the foods that can be had every day. 
Some Vaidyas even say it is mandatory to be had daily.
Contra-indications: Perhaps not for those with aggravated kapha, suffering of sinus congestion, or with strong dairy intolerance.
When to Drink it:
Especially during the summer, avoid during dinner, with lunch or as a snack.

The Difference Between Yoghurt and Thin Lassi

Yoghurt:
  • Atyanda (more) Abhishyandi (blocking).
  • One can eat it until 16-20 years old, past that point it is not advised.
  • Amla (Indian goose berry) or honey added to the yoghurt will counter the channel-blocking qualities in yoghurt.
      • Amla pickle - wait a year till they turn black
      • Rice + blended yoghurt + Amla pickle.

Benefits of Takra / Thin Lassi

“Those who daily take takra do get sick not have diseases, and any disease cured from takra will not return. Have no doubt that what Amrita is the Nectar of the Devata, so Takra is the Nectar to Humans.”
~ BhavaPrakash Nigantu

“Pharmacy in a glass”
~ Vaidya JR Raju.
Eyes:
Good for itchy eyes, sore eyes, tired eyes; even for those suffering from degenerative eye diseases. 
Skin:
Good for eczema, psoriasis, general inflammation, dermatitis, acne and several other skin diseases.
It brings a moist glow to the skin.
Pitta Shamaka:
  • Very hydrating & cooling. 
  • Protects against heat strokes, hot flashes & other heat-related ailments. 
Digestion:
Lactic acid bacteria:
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) help ‘pre-digest’ your food and also add the bacteria’s digestive metabolites to the food. Pre-digestion makes the foods digestion much easier and brings far more nutrients into the body.
And the bacteria metabolites, which is basically bacteria poop has incredible health benefits since it includes enzymes, antibodies, vitamins, exopolysaccharides, and more!
  • Detoxifies the GIT.
  • Alkaline drink.
  • Increases absorption of nutrients.
  • Good post surgery / pancakarma / rehabilitating gut 
  • Adoption of this procedure will promote and maintain his energy, maintain the kāyāgni and promote his strength, plumpness and complexion.
Helps regulate optimal weight.
  • To loose weight - drink takra
  • To put on weight - add sugar, rose water, cardamom and make it sweet.
    • Spoon off the foamy stuff (part that clogs peoples body, like the foam of ghee).
            • Leave the foam in for weak/debilitated or emaciated people.
Buttermilk cleanses the srotas as a result of which rasa reaches appropriately. 
More benefits:
  • Hair health - good for thinning hair, greying of hair and baldness.
    • In this cases, pitta (fire element) is burning the hair follicles. 
  • Keeping veins and arteries clear
  • Kill viruses
  • Hemorrhoids / piles
    • “There is no medicine, better than butter-milk, for the cure of piles caused by the predominance of aggravated vayu and kapha" - Caraka, Cikitsa Sthana
  • Asthma: add to the Takra mostly fenugreek (also mustard seeds + cumin seeds) cooked in ghee or mustard oil in an iron pot.

Takradhara Treatment

To read all about this treatment click here.

Resources

Book a consultation with Dylan HERE

The Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition Course HERE

Article: How to Overcome Food Intolerances HERE

Recipe for Sweet Lassi HERE

Recipe for Digestive Lassi HERE

Recipe for Cooling Lassi HERE


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Health Benefit of Having a Pet Dog (and kissing it) – Microbial Diversity

House dog licking a baby's face
Not only are your* reproductive organs becoming sterile, but your whole physiology as well.
You* are becoming a hyper-sensitive organism that lacks basic resiliency to the ever-changing and developing dynamics of life, which include bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and fungi.
You eat, work, sleep, defecate, and perhaps even exercise in these sterile cubicles, while artificial blue light (screens & lights) aggravates your hormones and mental state.
The only things your bare-feet touch are socks + rubber shoes, chemical floor cleaners and carpets, toxic tap water on your shower tiles cleaned with chlorine or bleach, and your dioxin rich 100% (non-organic) cotton bed sheets.

*By You/Your I exaggeratedly refer to the average of today’s collective. While this is an extreme end of the spectrum, sadly it is the truth for too many people, particularly those living in concrete jungle over-sanitised cities. 

Our microbiome, which makes up most of the human physiology and performs all the vital biological functions, is frailer than ever before.
There are a bunch of ways to enhance microbial diversity and performance, but one way is getting a pet dog!
  • A dog goes outside, gets dirty, and licks everyone.
  • They dump the dirt everywhere in the house.
  • The kids lick the dog.
  • The kid slobbers all over the parents and siblings.
This is a terrific way to get the microbes from outside into you.
Studies overseen by Dr. Brett Finlay were able to identify which families had a dog in the house by detecting (dog) microbes in the children’s feces.
While the contrary may occur (pets bring in infections), we need to drop the “good/bad” microbe/bacteria mentality and enhance our microbial diversity and resilience.
Golden Retriever Dog

How do you enhance the health of your microbiome? Comment 👇


How to Be Vital & Healthy In The Second Half of Your Life | Dr John Douillard #074

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Dr. John Douillard
The lifespan for today’s era according to Ayurveda should be around 120 years old.
This doesn’t mean living into old age feeling frail and in a state of cognitive decline, it means feeling vital and able to share your wisdom and joy with full cognitive function for all to enjoy.
At 65, Dr. John Douillard is an exemplar of what it means to be healthy in the second half of life.
Dr. John is a globally recognised leader in the field of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine and practices what he preaches.
He has personally been a significant inspiration to me (Dylan) and has taught me a lot in my years, along with thousands of other practitioners of Ayurveda.
Dr. John’s specialty is integrating ancient Ayurvedic wisdom with modern science, which he shares generously through Lifespa.com - the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web.

About our guest: Dr. John Douillard

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda, and sports medicine. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com, the leading Ayurvedic health and wellness resource on the web with over 9 million views on YouTube and over 130 thousand newsletter subscribers. LifeSpa.com is evolving the way Ayurveda is understood around the world, with thousands of articles and videos joining ancient wisdom with modern science.

Dr. John is the former Director of Player Development for the New Jersey Nets NBA team, author of 7 health books including his newest Amazon bestseller Eat Wheat, a repeat guest on the Dr. Oz show, and newly released Yoga Journal video course Ayurveda 201 on Ayurvedic Psychology. 

He directs LifeSpa Ayurvedic Clinic, the 2013 Holistic Wellness Center of the Year in Boulder, CO.

Dr. John Douillard

In this Episode we Discuss:

Dr. John’s Journey of Adopting Ayurveda in the Early Days

Studying with the Raju Vaidyas
His own personal journey as a practitioner & how his relationship with Ayurveda evolved to what it is today.

Blending Ancient Wisdom With Modern Science

The fine balance between surrendering to a higher intelligence that appears to be less tangible and more unknown, while striving to intelligibly cognize the How’s and Why’s behind the ancient principles of Ayurveda. 

The Promise of The Second Half of One’s Life

“The Wisdom Years” or the Vata stage of life. It’s a time to apply the wisdom attained during one’s lifetime. 
Approaching life with a more mature and self-aware perspective. Knowing what our purpose is, what serves that purpose and what doesn’t; and acting accordingly. 
Having more time to be fully immersed and devoted to one’s own sadhana, dinacharya and ritucharya.

The True Purpose of Ayurveda

Allowing not only for the physiology to be in optimum condition, but to also achieve a still & fulfilled state of mind that empowers one to engage with life wholeheartedly.
Aligning one’s actions not only with mother nature, but with the essential nature of the Self (atma), so that the inner light that each of us hold comes to the surface for all to enjoy and thrive upon.

Ancient Techniques That Refine Our Capacity to Live Life to The Fullest

Using pranayama, mantra, asana, meditation, nasya and other techniques to cleanse & purify the mind of the different samskaras or impressions that have been imprinted on us during our life, especially our childhood.

The Often Overlooked Benefits of Nasya Therapy & Panchakarma

The Nasya technique was not only intended to heal the sinuses on a physiological level, but rather to cleanse the mind and heal it on a higher vibrational and spiritual level.  
Panchakarma cleanses the body of gross impurities and samskaras, so that it can have more clarity on the subtlest levels of perception - allowing for the letting go of patterns of deep-rooted emotional behaviour.

The Science Behind Pranayama

The relationship between oxygen assimilation and carbon dioxide levels. 
Why it is essential for us to practice intermittent hypoxia. 
To learn more about the science of breath & its therapeutic applications, listen to "Just Breath: Science of Breathing for Optimal Health | The Breathing Diabetic (Nick Heath) #072"
Recommended breathwork techniques:
  • Kumbhaka
  • Pratiloma (a.k.a. Inspiratory Muscle Training). 

Seasonally Drinking Cow's Milk

In Spring cows are having their calves, so during the spring & summer their milk should be for them. 
During the fall & winter there is a window for the dairy farmer to step in and take some of that milk to drink, make ghee, etc. 

Food Intolerances & The "Gluten Free" Concept

It is not advised to stop eating gluten. 
The hard-to-digest foods (wheat, dairy, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, nightshades, etc.) are irritants to the intestinal lining, and one of their many benefits is that they significantly stimulate gut immunity, which in turn represents 70% of your immune response. 
If intolerant to some type of food, there’s work to be done so that you can overcome the intolerance and allow your body to properly digest said food. 
  • To stop eating certain foods is never the solution; the underlying imbalance that prevents you from eating them is still going to be there. 
  • To read more about how the Ayurvedic view on food intolerances & how to overcome them click HERE

Resources

Dr. John's Website HERE

Dr. John’s Instagram (@lifespa) HERE 


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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Ayurveda Is Not Indian, It’s Universal | Dylan Smith #073

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Ayurveda Is Not Indian, It's Universal
Ayurveda is erroneously dubbed “Indian medicine” or “traditional Indian medicine.”
Ayurvedic medicine certainly has pronounced prescence throughout India and has so for the past millennia, but Ayurveda is not “Indian”. It is universal.
But why does Ayurveda seem to be so active in India?
This is true and an interesting point…
Although Ayurveda has been in the past and has the potential today to express itself fully in any country in the world, Ayurvedic wisdom and practices are well rooted and expressed throughout India. 
We will explore in this podcast episode why Ayurveda lasted and continues to flourish in India, compared to other countries.
But at the true root and heart of Ayurveda are universal laws of nature that are not “owned” by any country, culture or tradition.
These are fundamental laws of nature that are divinely designed to be applied and utilised for every culture, habitat, country, season, each and every unique individual. Ayurveda is for the enormous variety of circumstances that manifest in life.

In this Episode we Discuss:

Ayurveda Appearing in Other Parts of the World

Ayurveda was strongly utilised in Greek medicine and the time of Hippocrates.
Buddhist and Jain religions utilised it.
Tibet, Persia and Mongolia. 
Even through to modern science, where a few of Nobel Prizes in Medicine were awarded to modern scientists in the past 25 years for discoveries that are basically Ayurveda 101!
Ayurvedic principles permeate throughout ancient Greek medicine and the time of Hippocrates – which follows a similar model of the biological humours.
Indian culture became diversified and spread into different areas, particularly Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Ayurveda was adapted by different religions, like the Buddhist and Jain, who added their own insights to the system.
The Buddhists also followed Ayurveda, except for its surgical portion. The great sage and siddha Nagarjuna (c. 100 CE), who is probably the most important Buddhist teacher after the Buddha was also an Ayurvedic doctor. He wrote a commentary on Sushruta Samhita and developed many Ayurvedic alchemical preparations used to the present day. 
Tibetan Ayurveda developed after Buddhism manifested in Tibet in the 8th C.
Persian times of Ayurveda were a source of traditional Chinese medicine as well as corresponding with homeopathy.
Caraka Samhita Spreading Across the World
Caraka Samhita was so popular that it spread beyond religion, race and philosophical views:

Illustrator of a doctor working on a patient over a Greek vase
Tibetan Illustration showcasing the chakras and the channels of the energy body
  1. Translated into Arabic at the beginning of 8th Century A.D.
  2. As “Sharaka Indianus,Carakas name appears in the Latin translations of Avicena (significant physician, astronomer, thinker and writers of the Islamic Golden Age), Razes (genius physician from Iran) and Serapion. 
  3. Translated from Sanskrit to Persian and from Persian into Arabic in (980 A.D.).
  4. Used by the Barmakids (an Iranian influential family who were originally hereditary Buddhist leaders and subsequently came to great political power in Baghdad.
  5. Alberuni’s (Iranian scholar and polymath- a person of wide knowledge) chief source of medicine was the Arabic edition of Caraka.
  6. Translated into Tibetan language and subsequently into Mongolian and other related languages.

Why is Ayurveda so Strong in India?

1. The Cultural Alignment to Kala (Time) and Charyas (Routines):
    • Dincarya
    • RtuCharya
    • Pakshacharya
    • Jyotish Maintenance (through festivals and rituals).
2. Festivals and ritual
3. India is the land of the Ved. 
4. The food and diet principles of Ayurveda are maintained in India (to some degree at least).
  • “Ayu” without the Ved is being taught today in many Ayurveda degrees in Indian universities.

It's important to honor South Asia - as the Vedas are strong there: India, Burma, Nepal.

Resources

Book a consultation with Dylan HERE

Essence of Ayurvedic Nutrition Course HERE

Introductory Self Pulse w/ The Raju Family Course HERE

Learn Self Pulse Level 2 w/ The Raju Family Course HERE


Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Building Your Child’s Wellbeing

By Amelia Donnelly
Illustration of Durga Devi
Protecting the emotional safety and wellbeing of children is a fundamental concern of every parent. 
Currently, we are experiencing challenges in different ways: lockdowns, school closure, remote learning, rising mental health issues and uncertainty to name the most obvious. Navigating situations like extended lockdown can trigger a range of responses and reactions in children and prompt parents to ask questions about how to support the mental health of their children. Now, more than ever, do we need to engage in conversations that uphold and highlight solutions and strategies so we can transition as a community with greater ease, flow and confidence in the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of fostering resilient kids.  

How can parents support their children during these difficult transitions?

It is vital that parents and educators have language and tools to help not only support their own wellbeing, but nurture their child’s, too. With Google and the internet providing a plethora of information and resources to go to, parents can sometimes feel overwhelmed about where to turn and what information or guidance to follow. 
As a Vedic meditator, primary school teacher of twelve years and an author, I approach wellbeing inspired by Ayurvedic wisdom and knowledge: that what you focus your attention on, grows. 
To delve deeper into this knowledge, if ‘like increases like’, then how can we incorporate this wisdom into how we foster resilience and wellbeing in children? 
The solution? It’s quite simple: let’s bring our attention and awareness back to the present moment and anchor our daily routines in habits that nurture and nourish mind, body and soul. 
How does this connect to the ‘why?’ 
Taking the principle of ‘like increases like’, parents can begin daily conversations around: what does love look like? Feel like? Sound like? What does kindness look like? Feel like and sound like? What does respect look like? Feel like and sound like? Children are naturally intuitive and make connections between everything they see, say and do. 
Establishing values that are consistent with this Ayurvedic principle, will ensure that parents are living and role modelling values and virtues aligned to ‘increasing’ more of the same.
Parents with children outdoors
If we want to create more love, let’s focus our attention, language, emotions and thoughts on enlivening love within ourselves, our relationships and then with children.
Conscious parenting by no means ignores or devalues challenge or adversity; rather it accepts the present moment in all its fullness, and seeks to provide expression and meaning to the depth and beauty of human emotion and experience. This approach defines the ‘why’ – the pinnacle of establishing resilience is the ability to accept and acknowledge the present moment; to surrender to the Now and to gravitate towards fostering deeper connection to truth, being and purpose. 
Resilience is an ‘inside’ job. It’s how we feel. It’s how we think. It’s how we behave. It’s the choices we repeatedly make; it’s the way we communicate to each other, and it’s the values and beliefs we foster with children. 
If love is the most robust emotion, then enlivening this with children is paramount to maintaining safe, positive relationships. Children naturally absorb their parents’ approach to life; as such, they are constantly mirroring with the behavior of their parents and learning first hand by what is said and done. When stress and change take place, parents need to come back to ‘what you focus your attention on, grows.’

Establishing and maintaining daily routines for children include 3 M’s: movement, mood and meditation. 

Movement is vital for encouraging children to get outside, learn new skills, to engage in sports and activities. Fresh air, connecting to nature, exploring new places are all incredible ways to increase wellbeing.
Maintaining mood involves daily routines that work in accordance with nature’s rhythms: getting to sleep at the same time and up every morning, eating healthy, nourishing meals and being creative. Learning to express emotions in a meaningful way; singing, dancing, learning an instrument, cooking, writing, reading all help enliven and move emotions through the body.
Meditation is the corner stone of how I maintain my wellbeing and I have also shared mindfulness practices with my students. Children as young as 5, are able to learn how to breathe deep into their belly and learn how to notice the change in breathing as a response to changes in physical reactions and perceived stress. From breath awareness, mantras, chanting, belly breathing and visualisations, there are so many wonderful techniques and teachers out there who help empower children to learn how to meditate. 
Mom and daughter meditating together

The Golden Thread

In 2018, I wrote a picture story book called, The Golden Thread. Inspired by Vedic wisdom that ‘we are all one’, the golden thread is a thread of pure love that connects anyone to someone they miss or are separated from. The book is based on my own personal experience of losing my brother to a hit and run incident when I was 17.
If children are at home separated from their school, teacher and friends, they can use the golden thread as a framework to help visualise them and imagine thread of love connecting them together.
Again, this approach includes ‘like increases like’ and ‘what you focus your attention on, grows’. Ayurvedic knowledge is activated through action, intent and being; now is the time for parents to remember their nature and inspire a cascade of love in their daily routine, interaction and living.
The Golden Thread book by Amelia Donnelly

www.ameliadonnelly.com

Author of: The Golden Thread available at: www.dymocks.com.au

Content creator of: Zen Zoo Mindfulness Range available Australia wide at www.kmart.com.au


Just Breath: Science of Breathing for Optimal Health | The Breathing Diabetic (Nick Heath) #072

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Nick Heath, aka The Breathing Diabetic, is utilising simply breathing techniques to manage and improve his type 1 diabetes - a medical condition that requires 24/7, 365 days/year attention.
But simply shifting your breathing mannerism has other health benefits beyond just healthy blood sugar levels. 
Nick is a breathing nerd. He’s hooked on breathing. And the beautiful thing is that he’s not an extremist, but rather shares very practical interventions and subtle adjustments to your way of living (breathing) that has the potential to significantly heal and prevent imbalance + and optimise overall health.
We dispel the myths of oxygen is good and carbon dioxide (C02) is bad.
We explore the Nobel prize winning panacea molecule that is freely available to you, how to optimise your exercise, sitting and walking practice + much more!
Take a deep calm belly breath through the nose and get ready to dive deep into the realms of oxygen, breath and our fundamental life-force. 

About our guest: Nick Heath

Nick Heath Ph.D., a.k.a. The Breathing Diabetic, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11.
At age 30, he began practicing simple breathing exercises that helped improve his blood sugars, improve his sleep, and increase his energy levels, all of which helped him better manage his diabetes.
Having a background in scientific research, Nick wanted to understand the inner workings of breath to not only be able to explain the reason behind the changes he was experiencing, but to exploit and push the boundaries of breath therapy.  This curiosity led him on a deep quest to understand the science behind breathing its implications on the human physiology.
Nick Heath, a.k.a. The Breathing Diabetic
By means of the The Breathing Diabetic platform he generously shares and breaks down complex pieces of wisdom for all to understand and make use of.
Nick’s formal education is in atmospheric science, and he is also a certified Oxygen Advantage instructor.

In this Episode we Discuss:

Nick’s Early History with Type 1 Diabetes

He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 11 years old.
At the age of 25 he started wondering what habits he could implement that would positively influence his capacity to regulate blood-sugar levels. 
  • Little by little he started changing his nutrition, and his energy levels and long-term averages of his blood sugars started to improve. 
After that he was intrigued by the lengths to which meditation, yoga and breathwork practices could allow him to attenuate and/or eradicate his diabetes. 
Up to this point he has managed to reduce his insulin injections in 40-45% while keeping stable blood-sugar levels. 

Why Put In The Effort When There's Insulin Out There?

Diabetes is not merely a nuisance in terms of having to inject insulin, but it also often turns into a liability due to its proven relationship to various long term complications, and emotional/mood instability (since blood sugar tempers with your brain chemistry therefore severely affecting mood & emotional health).  
Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
According to the World Health Organization: 
  • Adults with diabetes have a two-to-three-fold increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Diabetes is the cause of 2.6% of global blindness.
  • Diabetes is among the leading causes of kidney failure.
Being able to have a grip on your health and taking some control back from the disease is very empowering and allows for an increased wellbeing & peace of mind. 

The Relationship Between Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide In The Body

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the molecule that indicates to our body it is time to breathe. 
  • The inhaling of air is triggered by the body sensing high levels of carbon dioxide, not low levels of oxygen
Carbon dioxide loosens the bonds between the oxygen molecules and hemoglobin in red blood cells, which allows for the assimilation of those oxygen molecules into the cells of our tissues. 
In breathwork techniques such as pranayama (प्राणायाम), we are tough to reduce the volume of our breaths, which causes an increase in CO2 levels, which in turn allows more oxygen to enter the cells.
Intermittent hypoxia
This practice consists of a person or animal going through alternating periods of normoxia and hypoxia.
  • Normoxia is defined as exposure to regular oxygen levels and hypoxia as any oxygen levels lower than those of normoxia
This practice teaches your body how to withstand higher levels of CO2, which is going to allow you to breathe less air and more effortlessly in your everyday life.
Although holding your breath for too long can lead to a lowering of oxygen saturation, when done in a controlled manner it can be very therapeutic.
  • It can help with insulin sensitivity.
  • It can help with immune function.
The spleen contracts and triggers red-blood cell production to increase oxygenation, which in turn increases oxygen assimilation and energizes you.
There is a type of breathwork in which people take light inhales with deep exhales and then hold their breath while walking or jogging. This increases carbon dioxide levels to extremes and gets their body in a very acidic state which induces a lot of stress in the body and mind.
  • Many athletes practice this to increase their level of performance.

The Wim Hof Method

It basically consists of hyperventilating the body, which increases your pH to alkaline levels & severely reduces carbon dioxide concentration in the body.
  • Since high carbon dioxide levels are the triggering stimuli for breath, lowering these in that manner allows for an extended period of time in which the body doesn’t feel the need to breathe. 
What happens then is that oxygen-blood saturation in the body plummets to about 50% due to a lack of carbon dioxide
Wim Hof sitting bare-chested on ice

The Many Benefits of Nasal Breathing

Nasal breathing reduces your breathing volume naturally, so by teaching yourself to breathe through your nose consistently you will be able to breathe less and more efficiently
The turbinates in your nose filter out pollutant particles and cilia (microscopic hairs) move said particles out of your sinuses and back into your nose so that they don’t make it down into the lungs; as opposed to the mouth which doesn’t have such a complex filtering system.  
Nitric oxide is a gas that’s released in your nasal cavity.
  • It not only has antibacterial & antiviral properties, but also acts as a vaso-dilator when the air enters your lungs (opens up blood vessels and improves blood flow, thus oxygen assimilation [which in turn leads to higher energy levels]).
Nasal breathing can be of great help to those suffering from ailments such as acidity, reflux, or any other upward-moving condition (Ūrdhva ऊर्ध्व in Sanskrit).

Meditation & Breath

When meditating your body enters into a hypometabolic state, where there’s a reduced oxygen concentration & an increased carbon dioxide levels. 
  • Experiencing this regularly teaches your body how to adapt to low-oxygen availability and high carbon dioxide levels, basically allowing your physiology to do more with less resources.  

Mouth Taping

It is a life-altering practice for those who are chronic mouth breathers. 
It forces you with very little to no inconvenience, to breathe nasally during the night, which allows you to harness all the benefits of nasal breathing. 
Mouth taping assists entering deep sleep. 
Couple sleeping in bed with their mouths taped
It decreases the incidence of obstructive sleep apnea. 
Breath becomes much more regular and consistent when happening through your nose, as opposed to through your mouth.

Treating Asthma With Breathwork

Nick’s mentor and world renown author and breath practitioner, Patrick McKeown, was asthmatic and yet by the power of breath he taught his body to tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide, which helped him quit inhalers and all the asthma-medication he was taking.  
The Buteyko Method, originally formulated by the Soviet doctor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, consists of the use of chronic repetitive breathing exercises to correct hyperventilation and hyperventilation-related conditions (such as asthma).

Treating Diabetes With Breathwork

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is composed of three main branches: the sympathetic (in charge of fight-or-flight responses), parasympathetic (in charge of rest and digest responses) and enteric nervous systems. 
  • In most cases of diabetes, the sympathetic nervous system is substantially more active than the parasympathetic
    • This causes blood sugar to fluctuate a lot, stress to be heightened,  sleep quality to be poor and cardiovascular complications, amongst many other possible ailments. 
      • Breathwork reduces the level of activity of the sympathetic nervous system, hence severely contributing to returning the autonomic nervous system to balance.
The stress alone of merely being concerned by one’s own diabetes every single day, all day, is long-term very straining for the body. 
  • It is therefore important to be equipped with tools and techniques that allow one to take back some control without needing to depend on any external source/context for relief or sustenance. 
Diabetes-related ailments mainly surge from a poor regulation of blood-sugar and improper blood circulation, and those two health fields are the ones breathwork practices manly affect. 
Tissue oxygenation being one of the main issues that lead to diabetic complications. 
  • Theory is that diabetics get less oxygen delivered to their cells, which leads to insulin resistance & chronic sympathetic (fight-or-flight) activation
  • By practicing breathing techniques that optimize gas exchange, carbon dioxide levels, and give you nasal nitric oxide (which improves oxygen assimilation into the cells), you are preventing many of these possible diabetes-related complications

Simple Breathwork Practices

Slow Breaths: 4 seconds inhalation, 6 seconds exhalation, through the nose only. After two minutes you should get a feel of how it starts to affect you.
  • This is a good place to start for anybody, even children.
Then there’s simple pranayama techniques such as alternate-nostril breathing.
Phone apps you can use:
  • iBreathe
  • Breath Wrk
    • Details on the giveaway of a 1 year-subscription down below in “Resources”.
“Breathwalking”: Counting your steps with your breath is a common easy-to-apply practice for starters on breathwork.
  • e.g. 4 steps during inhale, 6 steps during exhale (or whatever number feels comfortable)
  • For diabetics, walking after meals helps with blood-sugar spikes.

Resources

Nick’s Website HERE

Nick’s Instagram (@thebreathingdiabetic) HERE 

Nick’s email (nick@thebreathingdiabetic.comHERE

-

Buteyko Clinic HERE 

To access the giveaway (these are cumulative):

  • Post in your IG Story the IG post related to this episode & mention one takeaway.
  • Comment one takeaway on the IG post related to this episode.
  • Leave a review on any podcast-listening platform, screenshot it and email the screenshot to media@vitalveda.com.au

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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Kārtika Pūrṇimā – Wild-Pranic Shakti Moon melds with Calm-Warrior Shiva 🔥

Kārtik Pūrnimā full moon
This full moon may be the second most important day for your inner Yogi to connect to Śiva consciousness (rooted in Absolute stillness, master of Prana, easily generates full power), second to Mahā Mahāśivarātri (“The Great night of Shiva”).
A special full moon, Kārtika Pūrṇimā कार्तिक पूर्णिमा , occurs during the holiest month of the Vedic calendar, the month of Kārtika (November-December).
It is also known as “Deva Diwali” (Diwali for the Gods 🪔), as on this full moon, Soma (divine flow of consciousness), is emitting from the moon with such mother-divine-warrior, wild-pranic power that it allows the celestial Beings to return “home” to Mother (the baseline of consciousness).
It is the ṇight when a 3500kg ghee lamp is lit on the top of the Shiva Lingam mountain Aruṇācalam in Tamil Nadu, (see my blog post on this).
Legend has it that on this day Lord Shiva transformed and expressed himself as a tall phallus of fire, an endless column of light bright as a billion suns.
The merging of Shiva (divine masculine, Pure intelligence) and Shakti (divine feminine, exalted dynamic creativity) on this day offers people the opportunity to allow the column of light in their spine (suṣumṇa) to flow with kuṇḍalinī (dynamic creative pranic-energy).
THIS FULL MOON is a great time for Śiva consciousness practices like yoga, pranayama, meditation, yajña, fire ceremony, light ghee lamps, mantra, honouring ancestors, silence, introvert, alone time and be in nature - generate the power to reabsorb yourself into the Oneness you and I are.
Shiva Lingam

Greater cosmic detail about this full moon

The following is my slight adaptation of Yogini Shambhavi.

It occurs on Krittika Nakṣatra, which is the constellation where the fire aspect of Shakti/Durga (Skandamātā) prevails.
This fire form of Mother Divine did Tapasyā (penance) in order to attract Shiva (the ultimate ascetic so deep in meditation and not interested in progeny), as her husband.
She won him over, and after their unification, she gave birth to a boy named Skanda in the form of Agni 🔥.
Hence her name, Skandamātā (mātā = mother).
Skanda is the youthful form of Shiva (Dakṣiṇāmūrti दक्षिणामूर्ति) who sits beneath the vaṭa (banyan) tree and through mere silence enlightens those around him, even elderly great Rishis.
Krittika is the Pleiades open star cluster in the constellation of Taurus, AKA “The Seven Sisters” in western astronomy.
Skandamātā
In this special area of the heavens stars are born.
These seven sisters in the Vedas are said to be the wives of the seven Rishis (seers) who are associated with the seven stars of the Big Dipper.
Vedic mythos share that the wives of the seven Rishis left their husbands and took refuge in Agni or the Fire God, with the exception of one – Arundhatī. the wife of Vasiṣṭha the most powerful of the Rishis.
She remained with her husband, which is why there are only six visible stars in the Pleiades.
The seventh star is said to be Alcor (Arundhatī), the dim companion of the second star in Big Dipper, Mizar, which correlates with Vasiṣṭha.
Krittika is a Nakshatra which imbues the energy of preparing food and represents the power of agni 🔥  fire to ripen, transform or cook food for proper nourishment.
It is located in the sign of Taurus, the sign of the bull.
But Taurus can express itself as a cow in its feminine aspect.
Krittika here enhances the nourishing power of the sacred cow. It also correlates with ghee, the essence of the cow’s milk and the prime nourishing and enhancing sustenance for Agni, or the sacred fire.
It is auspicious to make ghee offerings to the fire on Kārtika Pūrṇimā.
Krittika is governed by Sūrya (Sun ☀️) - the planet providing light, warmth and prana. 
Katrika Full Moon
Krittika also means armour and is a good Nakshatra to generate protection against negativity and burn that negativity in the sacred fire.
It also refers to a razor, and offers the capability to cut through (sharp discrimination) impulses from the intellect vs. impulses from the heart (buddhi puruṣa khyati).
Illustration of Durga Goddess
Krittika marks the point of exaltation for the Moon, so the full Moon in the Krittika represents the strongest lunar energy. But this is more a fiery, martial or warrior energy of the moon or Dūrga, Mother’s protective role.
The deity of Krittika, Skanda the Fire God, is also the overriding shining being of the planet Mars.
Mars has a martial energy and power of the warrior, giving strength and endurance.
Skanda is the second son of Shiva and Parvati after Ganesha.
While Ganesha holds the power of speech, Skanda holds a kind of spear weapon which destroys demons (negativity and destructive actions that bind).

As well as yoga, pranayama, meditation, yajña, fire ceremony, light ghee lamps, mantra, silence, introvert, alone time and be in nature, Kārtika Pūrṇimā is also a good time to honour our ancestors and departed souls, the seven rishis, light ghee lamps and propitiate the planet Mars to enhance these vibrations of Infinite Pranic Silence with the potential to win a war with an effortless yawn.

The Ayurvedic View on Asthma (Śvāsa)

Man standing on a cliff with his arms stretched to his sides
The name for Asthma in Ayurveda sounds just like someone finding it difficult to breath - “Śvāsa” श्वास , pronounced “Shvaa-sa”.
Śvāsa is closely related to other respiratory ailments that are also exemplars of Sanskrit’s unique expression of naming a word based on the sound that which it is describing (onomatopoeia). Namely, these other two ailments are hiccup (“hikkā”) and cough (“kasa”).
Ayurveda’s detailed understanding of the pathology and treatment of Śvāsa goes beyond just asthma, but also dyspnoea (difficult or laboured breathing).

In this article we discuss

The Seriousness of Asthma

There are five main types of asthma in Ayurveda.
According to Ayurveda, asthma, dyspnoea and hiccup are actually very serious diseases that can be deadly, thus need to be attended to at all stages with great care.
"If these are not properly treated at the appropriate time or if the patient indulges in unwholesome regimens, these diseases being exacerbated become fatal like the deadly snake-venom."
~ Caraka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Ch 17, 8-9
But do not fear! 
These diseases are classified into various varieties, which range from mild to serious.
For example, you would be familiar with the odd and harmless hiccup, but there are people who have painful hiccups that wake them up throughout the night every hour, everynight, which can get very serious.
Furthermore, Ayurveda has an extensive treatment protocol for these respiratory ailments.
Taking action on your health, especially with a preventative approach, is key.
Let’s start with understanding the root causes of asthma.

Causative Factors (Hetu) for Asthma

Causative factors that aggravate vāta dosha then specifically may lead to asthma

  1. Exposure to dust, smoke, environmental pollutants or wind;
  2. Residing in cold places and use of cold water for bathing and drinking;
  3. Exercise, sex and walking beyond one’s capacity;
  4. Habitual intake of drying foods, e.g. organic crisps, organic corn chips, chickpeas, millet, caffeine.
  5. Intake of food in deficient or excessive quantities,
  6. Eating meals at irregular times,
  7. Vitiation by āma (undigested food products).
  8. Constipation associated with flatulence (ānāha);
  9. Dryness of the body, (e.g. from electro-magnetic fields, lack of oil application, residing in air-conditioning etc.);
  10. Fasting in excess;
  11. Weakness and injury to vital points of the body (marmas);
  12. Incompatible food combinations (Viruddha Ahara);
  13. Excessive “cleansing “procedures (shodana cikitsa);
  14. As a consequence of diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, coryza, phthisis, consumption, hyper-acidity, upward movement of vata (udāvarta), cholera, alasaka (intestinal torpor), pāndu (anaemia) and poisoning. (1)

Causative factors that aggravate kapha then specifically may lead to asthma

  1. Habitual day-time sleeping (nispāva)
  2. Excessive sesame oil in the diet;
  3. Heavy food;
  4. Excessive intake of fish and meat;
  5. Intake of yoghurt and unboiled milk;
  6. Intake of kapha-aggravating ingredients (heavy, cold, unctuous or greasy food)
  7. Injury to the throat and chest;
  8. Different types of obstruction to the channels (srotas)(1)

Causative factors that aggravate kapha then specifically may lead to asthma

  1. Habitual day-time sleeping (nispāva)
  2. Excessive sesame oil in the diet;
  3. Heavy food;
  4. Excessive intake of fish and meat;
  5. Intake of yoghurt and unboiled milk;
  6. Intake of kapha-aggravating ingredients (heavy, cold, unctuous or greasy food)
  7. Injury to the throat and chest;
  8. Different types of obstruction to the channels (srotas).

Pathology of Asthma

Let’s understand what is (generally) going on:
  1. Vāyu (air) located the chest after afflicting the channels carrying life-force or prana (prānavaha srotas) gets aggravated.
  2. This aggravated vata means biological systems, including respiration, are moving in an agitated and aggravated way.
  3. This stimulates kapha.
  4. Now we have a complex situation of vata, predominantly associated with kapha, (complex because these doshas/biological elements are both opposites) are obstructing the respiratory and water channel (pranavaha and udaka-vaha srotras),
  5. Due to this obstruction, these vitiated doshas re-route off course to circulate all over the body,
  6. This aggravated vāyu being obstructed itself (in the circulatory course), causes śvāsa.
  7. This leads to asthma (śvasa) and hiccup (hikkā). (2)
Sāmānya-Samprapti (General Pathogenesis) of Hikkā and Śvāsa:
1. They both originate from the upper site of pitta sthana (āmāśaya or stomach), (this does not mean pitta is involved)
2. These disease are caused by the simultaneous aggravation of kapha and vāyu.
3. They adversely affect the hrdaya (heart) and all the sapta dhatus (seven main biological tissues).

5 Types of Asthma

There are 5 types of asthma, according to the classical treatise Caraka Samhita:
  1. Mahā-Śvāsa - great respiratory difficulty leaving one feeling intoxicated
  2. Ūrdhva-Śvāsa - prolonged expiration and inability to have inspiration
  3. Chinna-Śvāsa - affliction of prana-vata-srota (respiratory channels) with great distress. Deadly type of asthma.
  4. Tamaka-Śvāsa - vāyu (air) moving in the reverse order pervades the prana-vaha-srota, afflicts the neck and head, and stimulates the phlegm to cause rhinitis. Difficult to lie down. Lungs are weak. This includes two types of śvāsa called Pratamaka and Santamaka Śvāsa
  5. Ksudra-Śvāsa - vāyu mildly aggravated in the GIT leading to mild dyspnoea.

Pre-Symptoms of Asthma (Purva-Rupa of Śvāsa)

1. Constipation with flatulence;
2. Pain in the sides of the chest;
3. Pain in the cardiac region;
4. Reversion (vilomatva) of the respiratory functions (prana). (3)

TREATMENT (CIKITSA)

Foods to Include in Your Diet

1. In general, ingredients which reduce vata and kapha, which are heating (usna virya), and which cause downward motion of vata (vātānulomana).
2. Pippali (long pepper / piper long), good fried with ghee and added to food as a spice
3. Ginger
4. Black pepper
5. Mung beans
6. Moringa leaves - can use as a leafy green. Can used dried if fresh is not available.
7. Neem leaves - can add a little bit with mung dahl. Use dried leaves if fresh not available.
8. Old rice, old wheat or old barley (old grains do not increase kapha as much as new).

Tulsi

Tulsi is known as the “Queen of Herbs” in Ayurveda. It is very effecting for regulating Prana and respiration in the body.
Drink tulsi tea with fresh tulsi leaves or quality tulsi tea bags 1-2x/day.

To read more about the wonderful healing power & benefits of tulsi click HERE.

Foods to Avoid

  1. Cold foods and drink - e.g. cold water or cold milk.
  2. Yoghurt and cheese
  3. Cold fruits, such as fruit straight out the fridge.
  4. Pumpkin without spices.
  5. Bread and pasta in excess.
Pumpkin

Lifestyle Recommendations

Home environment:
  • How is the ventilation in your home? Open your windows more.
Exercise:
  • Ensure you are nasal breathing, not mouth breathing. This way, you are getting oxygen to the lower lobes of the lungs and not stressing out the chest. Learn more about the power and importance of nasal breathing HERE.
  • Swimming - Swimming is one of the exercises where you can mouth breath. Also beware that swimming in cold water or chlorine will aggravate asthma.
Pranayama:
Pranayama is a yogic body of knowledge of breath-work practices to “administer prana (life-force)” to the physiology.
This is very helpful for a variety of diseases, especially asthma.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
There is a bunch of pranayama practices that can be practiced. One of my favourite pranayama practices for a variety of applications is Nadi Shodana, AKA Alternative Nostril Breathing or Anulomana Viloma.
  • Administer Nasika before your pranayama practice for a greater effect.
Nasya:
Nasya is the daily practice of sniffing medicated oil up the nose.
This is included in the Ayurvedic daily routine as a regular practice to lubricate and strengthen the brain and respiratory system.
Sniffing Nasika regularly up prevents asthma and respiratory challenges from escalating.
It can be used to help treat asthma, dyspnoea and other respiratory conditions.
For those with chronic or severe asthma or dyspnoea, start with Nasika oil and once you get the hang of this practice, switch to Special Nasika Oil as this works more on the lungs.
Chest Treatment:
You can massage a pungent medicated oil like MGP Oil into the chest, followed by a heat pack or hot water bottle.

Herbal Remedies Helpful for Asthma

Swasananda Leham:
Improves "rasa and prana" health. Rasa is the plasma, dhatu or tissue, that comes before blood; and prana means "life force" which comes from proper oxygenation.
It is particularly effective for helping coughs and congestion problems.
Prandhara:
Literally meaning “flow of life,” Prandhara helps take care of some of very common problems like headaches, cold-like symptoms, asthma, nasal congestion + much more.
A full steam inhalation with Prandhara can be used during acute respiratory difficulty, at a time when one would usually use a puffer or inhaler. This is not a substitute, and you need to examine your self with the guidance of a quality health practitioner.
For those suffering asthma or respiratory difficulty can regularly inhale + sip prandhara in hot water throughout the day.
Swasakasantak Yog: 
- great for kids + prevent allergies and respiratory difficulties.
Swasakasantak Yog helps support the upper respiratory system and very helpful in nasal congestion, coryza, excess mucous, blocked nose, hay fevers, asthma etc.
Dasmoola Katu Trayadi Kashayam:
A very well known classical Ayurvedic medicine in liquid form. It is widely used in the treatment of respiratory conditions. Particularly good for upper respiratory tract infections. Specifically works on the lungs rather than the upper respiratory system.
Anand Sid Yog:
Anand Sid Yog (Nutritious Immune Boosting Bliss) promotes bala (vital strength), that helps the body fight back disease. It is useful to boost immunity. It enhances overall vitality and helps prevent disease.
It is a powerful anti-oxidant formula that helps strengthen the lungs and helps in cough.
Shodana Vati:
Shodana Vati is one of the best Ayurvedic elixirs to help scavenge   free-radicals, purify toxins out of the body and regulate the metabolism and digestion.
It thus has the potential to play a significant role in gradually eradicating asthma.
Even keeping a shodana vati tablet in the mouth and letting it dissolve can be used as a remedy during respiratory difficulty.
Nasika / Special Nasika:
As stated above.

Food Recipes

Eggplant soup (vārtāka):
Prepared with ginger, long pepper (pippalī), black pepper and ghee. (5)
Medicated Rice or Barley Gruel (Yavāgu):
  1. Boil old rice with hing, rock salt, cumin seeds. You can also use old barley or old wheat.
  2. Boil with 8x water to the amount of grains, and reduce to half.
  3. If you have these therapeutic herbs you can add these while boiling for stronger medicinal effect - pauskara (inula racemose), ativisā (aconitum heterophyllum), citraka and karkata-śrngī (pistacia integerrima / zebrawood). (6)
Rice or Barley Gruel (Yavāgu) with Dasmula:
Dasmula is a classical Ayurvedic preparation meaning “10 roots.”
Cooking rice gruel with the decoction of dasmula is useful in bronchitis, hrdaya roga (heart disease), pain in the sides of the chest, hikkā and śvāsa.
  1. Boil with 8x water to the amount of grains, and reduce to half. (6)

Panchakarma (Purification Therapy)

Pachakarma is Ayurveda’s premier detox and rejuvenation therapy.
Firstly fomentation therapy is administered to loosen up the toxic blockages (ama).
As snow melts over the creepers in the mountain range, on account of hot rays of the sun, so does the stable kapha in the body gets dissolved on account of the heat generated by these fomentation therapies. (4)
Then certain purification procedures are to be administered to eliminate the doshas out of the body.
These Panchakarma procedures are not for everyone, and have to be done under expert Vaidya guidance.
“If the flowing water of a river gets obstructed on its way, then the level of water rises further. 
Similarly, if the channels carrying mobile vāyu (in the chest) get obstructed, then the vāyu located at the point of obstruction gets very much aggravated.
Therefore, the srotas (channels) of vāyu should always be cleansed [by panchakarma]." (7)

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Resources

  1. Caraka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Ch 17, (10-16)
  2. Caraka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Ch 17, (17-18 1/2)
  3. Caraka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Ch 17, (18 ½-20)
  4. Caraka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Ch 17, (70 - 76)
  5. Caraka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Ch 17, (94 - 100 1/2)
  6. Caraka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Ch 17, (100 1/2 - 104)
  7. Caraka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Ch 17 (121-122)