Mudra: The Sacred Secret to Draw Energy & Bliss From Within | Indu Arora #087

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The ancient Vedic science of mudras is one that I’ve been inclined to explore for some time now. 
Mudras are much more than mere positions of hands or body parts that one can use to evoke a feeling or state of mind during meditation or yoga.
They are intricate and deeply significant “body holds” that allow us to draw forth different energies from within ourSelves that ultimately lead us to our natural & innate state of bliss (sat chit ananda).
For this episode I had the absolute pleasure to converse with Indu Arora. She is a powerful yogini and Ayurvedic Practitioner who has extensively studied and written about this ancient science of mudras. 
Get ready to explore with us a different and fresh side to Yoga; a side that is very rarely explained and presented in such a graceful, thorough & accessible manner.

About our guest: Indu Arora

Indu Arora is a student for lifetime.
She shares the Yogic and Ayurvedic wisdom which brings simplicity to our complex lives.
Indu is an author and public speaker who has been sharing simple, effective, practical, grounded ways of living life through Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Meditation and Ayurveda since 1999 and she is going to do that for the rest of her life.
Indu Arora

In this Episode we Discuss:

Daily Contemplation or “Atma Vichara”

Atma Vichara is a yogic practice rooted in ancient yogic scriptures, and is also known as “ātma tattva avalokanam”.
  • It consists of the idea of being in touch with the essence or substance of the Self or ātma
Practicing atma vichara is a powerful daily practice that not only grounds the Self, but also creates space for sustainable spiritual & emotional growth and self-accountability. 

The Name “Indu” & It’s Relationship with The Moon

The letter “i” represents shakti - divine feminine energy in the cosmos. 
The word “Indu” means “moon” 🌕 - the calming & soothing energy of the moon. 
Other names for the moon are Soma (alluding to the divine nectar of the moon) and Chandra (alluding to its bright and glittering light). 

An Introduction To Mudras

Mudra
Mud - mudita = delight.
dra = draw forth.
“That which draws forth from within the natural state of bliss or delight. It is a becoming.”
Mudra is a state of mind expressed through the body. Every time we practice a mudra we are opening up that pathway for the mind to become that. 
Whenever there is an energy that takes the form of a shape or sound, that is a mudra.
  • Any asana, kriya, mantra chanting or even sitting in meditation is a mudra. 
Every mudra leaves a unique signature on the breath. 
There are many types of mudras: eye mudras, hand mudras, mouth mudras, sound mudras, internal mudras, full body mudras (asanas). 
  • Hand mudras are just the beginning of mudras, much like asanas are just the beginning of yoga.

What Exactly Makes a Mudra

In short: awareness & understanding. 
Any expression of energy can be a mudra, as long as there is awareness being directed to the source energy. All asanas can be a mudra, but not all are. 
  • If you are practicing them robotically without bringing awareness to the underlying energy of that posture, then you are not doing a mudra, just exercise. 
To become mudra, there first needs to be deep awareness, followed by bhavna (sentiment or emotion) & sankalpa (intention). 

The Gyan Mudra (Meditation Mudra or Wisdom Seal)

Probably the most well known mudra of all. 
This mudra represents the totality of samkhya darshan (the philosophy of duality). 
  • Samkhya states that the human experience is constituted by two independent ultimate principles: puruṣa ('consciousness' or spirit/soul); and prakṛti (cognition, mind and emotion, also known as nature or matter)
The three extended fingers represent the three maha gunas (sattva, rajas & tamas), the three doshas (vata, pitta, kapha), the three states of consciousness (awake, dream & dreamless sleep) and the bondage of time (past, present and future).
The index finger represents the prakṛti and the thumb represents the puruṣa
  • When the index finger (prakṛti) moves towards the thumb (puruṣa) for yoga (unity or union) we are beyond all of these sets of three. We are in (or moving towards) the field of transcendence.

How To Properly Approach Mudras

The Importance of Eating With Your Hands

It is the natural way of humans to eat with our hands. 
  • When babies are born their natural tendency is to eat with their hands using the pincer hold. 
Then we are taught otherwise by our parents and told what is civilized and what isn’t.
  • The same thing applies to many other natural (and healthy) tendencies of the body - we hold our flatulences, our need to urinate, our need to burp, we sometimes even apologize after sneezing! All in the name of being more “civilized” or conforming to certain societal norms. 
In Ayurveda we say that you should not suppress any natural urge. 
Eating with one’s hands allows for a full sensory experience that unquestionably leads to satisfaction and contentment.  
When you eat with your hands, you bring all of your fingers together to hold a piece of food - this is in itself a mudra called samana mudra.
  • This mudra enhances digestion and assimilation of food, by means of the samana prana
The five fingers also represent the 5 elements or mahā bhūtas (fire, water, earth, ether & air).
The thumb represents fire 🔥, the pinky represents water💧, the ring finger represents earth 🪨, the middle finger represents space ✨ and the index represents air 💨.
When using all 5 fingers, you are sending a message to your body saying: “may whatever it is that I’m eating bring balance to the 5 mahā bhūtas (and the three doṣas) that reside within me”.

To learn more on this topic read Drop the Utensils, rather: Eat With Your Hands!

The Namaste Mudra

It is done by bringing together the palms of both hands with the fingers all close to each other. 
  • Represents the duality of ida & pingala, of opposing points, with an intent of gentle gratitude, surrender & appreciation.
There are many forms of the namaste mudra:
  • When we’re keeping our hands in front of the chest we’re recognizing the other being with our heart. 
  • When under the nostrils, that is us doing namaskar to our own prana (life-force).
  • When we keep them in front of the forehead, that is something we do in front of teachers or gurus

Recommended Mudras to Practice At Home

  1. Samana mudra to enhance digestion of food
  2. Gyan mudra to bring balance to the body and allow for greater transcendence
  3. Namaste mudra to bring gratitude and humbleness into our consciousness.

Resources

Indu's Website HERE

Indu's Instagram (@induaroraHERE

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📕 c.

Mudra Training 2022 (October 12-16 at @devanadiyoga) Will be offered hybrid: particularly can join In-Person or Livestream based on convenience and availability.


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Hollywood to the Himalayas: Deeper Connections & Euphoric Love | Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati #082

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Sometimes, the commitment and joy associated with the path of liberation or enlightenment is so strongly rooted in Absolute Stillness that the seeker may become what is know as a “sanyasi” or renunciant.

By taking vows of renunciation, one fully and wholeheartedly commits to commune with all of creation in a loving and intimate manner.

While the path of a renunciant (sanyasi) is less common and generally less relevant than the path of a householder (gṛhasthī), there’s a lot we can learn from surrendering ego and desires, and there’s a lot we can learn from this episode's very special guest: best-selling author, Himalayan yogi, renunciant & social activist, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati.

Based on the banks of the Himālayas in Rishikesh, India, but originally born in LA, California, Sadhviji renounced her life in the West at age 29 after a career at Stanford University and has now become one of the premier female authorities in the Yoga-Vedantic tradition in the world.

Her wisdom and light exude from her as she elevates us with stories and insights on how to find purpose in life & how to live in harmony with our Selves and the world that surrounds us.

About our guest: Sadhvi Baghawati Saraswati

Sadhviji is a renowned spiritual leader and motivational speaker, based in Rishikesh, India. Originally from Los Angeles, California, and a graduate of Stanford University, Sadhviji has lived on the banks of the sacred Ganga river, in the lap of the Himalayas for nearly 25 years engaged in spiritual service, wisdom teaching, sacred action, and deep spiritual practice.
At Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, where she lives most of the year, she gives daily spiritual discourses (satsang), teaches meditation, provides spiritual counselling and mentoring, and oversees myriad charitable and humanitarian projects and activities.
She is President of Divine Shakti Foundation, a charitable organisation bringing education and empowerment to women and children.
She is Secretary-General of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, the first alliance of religious leaders for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

In this Episode we Discuss:

The Meaning of The Name: Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati

Sadhvi - renunciant (the female form of the word “Sadhu”)
Bhagawati - divine mother
Saraswati - the goddess of creation, wisdom & music. It is also a signature of her lineage (Shankaracharya tradition).

Doing a PhD in Stanford and Leaving to India

She was seeking something different, something that resonated with the strict vegetarian lifestyle she was living. 
Experiencing major consciousness shifts while in India and tuning into a higher calling - her true dharma

Becoming A Sanyasi (Renunciant)

What motivated her to take vows of renunciation.
Her view on materialism and the mainstream path re-enforced by capitalism.
How celibacy and renunciation impacted her life and why she continues to keep her vows.

Spirituality and The Importance of Having a Spiritual Practice

How spirituality enhances our lives and helps us feel more fulfilled and blissful. 

Ganga Devi (a.k.a. The Ganges River)

The story of Ganga explains how she was a goddess, long before she became embodied in the river that we today know as Ganges. 
She came down from heaven onto earth to bring about liberation. 

Our Relationship to Nature and Ecology

The decrepit state of affairs of the ecology in India.
Sadhviji’s ecological start-ups. 
How us as humans have a serious responsibility to maintain and take care of nature, the source of all life.

Resources

Sadhviji's Website HERE

Sadhviji's Instagram (@sadhviji) HERE


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Creating Your Own Reality & Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind | Bruce Lipton #081

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Understanding that our bodies are energy and emit energy is a foundational fact in reclaiming our state of perfect health.
Health that not only resides within the boundaries of our own clothed bags of flesh and bone, but health that is simultaneously dependent on the reality of the environment that surrounds us.
Internationally recognised leader in bridging science and spirit, stem cell biologist, bestselling author and recipient of the Goi Peace Award, Dr. Bruce Lipton has the outstanding capacity to break down the relationship between the health of our body, spiritual Self, and our surrounding environment.
Learn how to powerfully influence the reality that you experience. It is truly one of the most empowering abilities that one can pursue.
Dive deep into the journey of re-discovery and come out the other end with the tools and wisdom to take a grip on your own reality and better life for yourself and those around you.

About our guest: Bruce Lipton

Bruce H. Lipton, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. Stem cell biologist, bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences.
Bruce Lipton

In this Episode we Discuss:

Re-Conceiving The Concept of Self

Understanding ourselves not as humans trying to have a spiritual experience, but as spiritual beings having a human experience. 

The analogy of the screen: our bodies and minds act as T.V. Screens that display the broadcast that our souls emit. When the T.V. perishes, the broadcast certainly doesn’t die with it, these are two separate things. 

Even on the surface cellular level, there is an indistinguishable self that is expressed in the form of “Self Receptors” which act as cellular ‘antennas downloading a signal’.

  • The cells in each person’s body have a distinguishable set of different Self Receptors. 
  • There was an experiment done where it was proven that cells remain connected to their original host even after being separated from 100 miles. The cells were harvested and put into a petri dish, then taken 100 miles away from the subject. When the subject was subjected to emotional stimuli which triggered a certain response, the cells that were 100 miles away activated in their electrical activity. 
    • The cells still have the same ‘antennas’ as the cells in your body, and the ‘broadcast’ is not coming from the host body but from the soul/spirit, thus they are still receiving that signal.

The Relationship Between One’s Consciousness & Disease In The Body

“The field is the sole governing agent of matter” - Albert Einstein. 

It is not our genes that trigger or even predispose us to have certain diseases (e.g. cancer), but it is our energy field (our consciousness) and the environment that that field creates around us that leads to the disease.  

An MEG (Magnetic Encephalogram) machine allows scientists and doctors to map brain activity from outside your body, by recording the magnetic fields produced by the electrical currents in your brain (your consciousness). 

  • Since your consciousness generates the electromagnetic field, which in turn is the governing agent of matter, it is your thoughts that condition the material reality that you are experiencing. 

It is fundamental to understand that we (our mind & our spirit) are the creators of absolutely everything that becomes manifest in our lives, be it good or bad, be it health or disease.

The Conscious & Unconscious Mind

The conscious mind is the one that engages in creation & novelty, in broadening and expanding our boundaries. 
The unconscious mind is the one that engages in habitual action, the auto-pilot that allows for base-line functioning & survival. 
Studies indicate that for the average person, 95% of the day is spent engaging the world through the unconscious mind (habitual actions & conditioned thinking). 
  • For this reason it is that even though we might have good ideas while engaging in conscious thinking, they don’t end up translating to reality. 
The unconscious mind starts to be developed during the last trimester of pregnancy, even before one is born, and it is mostly (not entirely) developed during the first 7 years of life. 
  • An infant is constantly ‘downloading’ or imprinting the behaviors and thought patterns of the surrounding environment. 
  • Then it gently starts to move deeper into conscious creation.
The problem with unconscious thinking is that, on average, the thought patterns that govern that area of the mind tend to be disempowering, self-sabotaging and limiting. And 95% of your time & energy is greatly conditioned by those thought patterns!

Genetics & Epigenetics and Their Relationship With Our Health

Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.

Our genes don’t trigger or cause disease, it is our reality & environment which triggers the disease. 

Genes are merely a blueprint for the proteins that make up our tissues. But blueprints cannot be turned on and off, blueprints can only be read. And what reads the blueprint? The mind! Our state of consciousness alters the readout (expression) of our genetics.

A 2016 peer-reviewed study in the Nature Medicine Journal showed that 90% of cancers are environment and lifestyle related and not linked to genetics. 

The Importance of Preconception Practices

Ancient cultures demanded that before approaching the reproduction of offspring (sometimes even before marriage), the two partners cleared their consciousness & bodies of the negative characters acquired during this lifetime. 
  • The point is to make sure that the seeds (that will eventually develop into a human being that will live for many centuries) is the purest and cleanest it can possibly be. 
  • To make the blueprint for that human being the cleanest and purest to allow for the best possible epigenetic readout and so that our own samskaras (impressions caused by our past actions) don’t pass down to him/her.

How To Override The Subconscious Mind

There are three ways:
  1. Bring the mind to less excited states of consciousness, below the subconscious level, and allow for your body to process, assimilate and let go of the thought patterns that are no longer of use to you. This can surely be attained by means of meditation, and possibly by means of hypnosis or self-hypnosis. 
    • You can find a Vedic Meditation teacher near you HERE
  1. Practicing the repetition of new behaviors and/or thoughts
    • The subconscious is all about habits, and habits are only established when there has been a long-lasting repetition of a certain behavior or thought. 
    • Do or say something over and over, every day, for a long-lasting period of time, and that will surely become a part of your reality for life. 
  1. Energy psychology.
    • This is a new frontier of psychology that engages “super-learning”. 

Resources

Bruce's Website HERE

Bruce's Instagram HERE


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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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Brāhma Muhūrta: The Time of Totality & Potent Part of Each Day | Dylan Smith #067

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The Brāhma Muhūrta, also known as the "time of totality" is the period of the day where creative intelligence is at its peak.

Being able to understand and harness these energies is a fundamental aspect of the Ayurvedic daily routine (dinacharya).


In this Episode we Discuss:

An Introduction to The Brahmā Mūhurta

Brāhma in Sanskrit means totality. 
  • It is the field of creative consciousness from which everything springs. 
Muhūrtha is a unit of time. Vedic tradition divides the day into 30 muhūthas of 48 minutes each. 
The brāhma muhūrta is the time of totality. 
These are the names of the 30 muhurtas:
  1. Samudra-muhurta
  2. Brāhma-muhūrta
  3. Dyumadgadyuti-muhūrta
  4. Viṣṇu-muhūrta
  5. Jīva-muhūrta (also known as Amṛta-muhūrta)
  6. Aditi-muhūrta
  7. Kaṇḍa-muhūrta
  8. Agni-muhūrta
  9. Vidhātṛ-muhūrta
  10. Yama-muhūrta
  11. Aśvinī-muhūrta
  12. Puṣya-muhūrta
  13. Ahirbudhnya-muhūrta
  14. Ajapāda-muhūrta
  15. Girīśa-muhūrta

16. Bhaga-muhūrta,
17. Aryaman-muhūrta,
18. Varuṇa-muhūrta,
19. Vāhinī-muhūrta,
20. Naktanakarā-muhūrta,
21. Puruhūta-muhūrta,
22. Sutamukhī-muhūrta,
23. Viśvedevā-muhūrta,
24. Vidhi-muhūrta,
25. Varaha-muhurta,
26. Vasu-muhūrta,
27. Pitṝ-muhūrta,
28. Mitra-muhūrta,
29. Āhi-muhūrta,
30. Rudra-muhūrta

The shloka (Vedic hymn) that introduces the aspect of Dinacharya in Ayurveda states the following:
Brahmī Muhūrta Uttiṣtha Jīrṇajīrṇa Niru Payan
ब्राह्मी मुहूर्त उत्तिष्ठ,जीर्णाजीर्ण निरु पहन
Brahmī comes from the Sanskrit word brahmīk - which is the verb form of brahmā
  • Therefore meaning “that which has Brahma”. When placed before to the word mūhurta, it is saying “The time period that has the value of Brahma, or of creation”. 
Utishta means “get up” + Jīrṇa and Ajīrṇa mean “digestion and indigestion” + Nirupayan means “to judge”.
What this shloka is saying is: wake up in the brāhma muhūrta (the time of totality) & judge your state of digestion or indigestion. 

The Benefits of The Brahmā Muhūrta

The brahma muhurta is the time period before sunrise.
  • Generally speaking, it is said to go from 3:30 am - 5:30 am, but the cusp of the energies available during this period lies on the last 48 minutes before sunrise
One should ideally wake up every day during the brahma muhurta.
The brahma muhurta is also considered in Ayurveda to be the part of the day with Vata dominance
  • Ayurveda divides the day into three parts pertaining to the three doshas.
      • Vata (space & air elements) - from 3am to 6am. 
      • Kapha (earth & water elements) - from 6am to 10pm. 
      • Pitta (fire & water elements) - from 10pm to 3am. 
  • The Vata part of the day is where the air & space element become the most dominant; where subtle movement and actions start to occur
    • The stars are still shining and very much visible. 
    • It is the time period where dreams often occur. 
Brahma Muhurta
    • It is the time when movement starts to happen; some animals begin to wake up & activity is about to start back again.
    • Curiously, it is also the time when people usually wake up to go to the toilet.
According to Ayurveda, the most important aspect when it comes to sleep is when one sleeps, rather than how many hours one sleeps for
  • One should be asleep between 10pm & 3/4am.
    • The pitta (fire + water) part of the day is where the various metabolic processes occur within the body (like digestion of food). Still being active and doing things (even if it is watching a movie or series on your phone in bed) during that time period takes away from our capacity to properly metabolise, which can, in turn, perpetuate various types of ailments in the body. 
    • To learn more about the optimal guide to sleep listen to Optimal Sleep: The Ultimate Guide | Dylan Smith #045
The vata time of the day is also characterized by the quality of gandhana which means “knowledge perception” & sometimes "manifestation". 
Woman doing Yoga during the brahma muhurta
  • During the Vata part one is able to perceive and absorb more knowledge and wisdom
  • According to Ayurveda, this is a great time to study & to do those activities from which we want to make the most out of
Another quality of this Vata time is gati which means “motion” or “movement”.  
  • Waking up during this time period allows one to feel more energized for the rest of the day, you carry on that gati aspect with you for the rest of the day.
    • You feel more energised, creative & light-minded. 
    • On the contrary, if you sleep in and wake up during the Kapha period, that earth & sluggish element will be carried forth the rest of the day.

  • Another aspect of this gati quality is bowel motion, the elimination of waste (a.k.a. mala kriya), which should be carried out early in the morning - before any coffee or breakfast is ingested.
Waking up during the brahma muhurta will promote the creation of sama dhatu (healthy tissues). 
Advice: if you wake up at any time after 3am, to go to the bathroom or whatever reason, start your day right then and there. 
  • Brush your teeth, scrape your tongue & do your dinacharya
Special circumstances:
Cases like infants. the elderly, sick people & night workers are exceptions to these guidelines. 
If you had a celebration/event, went to sleep later than usual and in the morning feel the need for some extra hours of sleep: 
  • Still wake up during the brahma muhurta, do your dinacharya and once you are done with that, judge what your needs are. If needed, then go back to sleep. 
    • BUT, when going back to sleep, sleep for half of the time that you lost
      • i.e. if you went to sleep 3hs past your bedtime, you can ponder sleeping up to 1.5hs extra in the morning. 

"Waking up and not feeling the need to snooze and stay in bed is an indicator of proper health."

In Ayurveda there is a concept called sama dosha which consists of our capacity to both rapidly fall asleep at night & waking up energized and full of vitality. 
The concept of perfect health in Ayurveda is explained in one shloka of the Sushruta Samhita:
“Sama dosha sama agnischa sama dhatu mala kriyaaha
Prasanna atma indriya manaha swastha iti abhidheeyate”
This means: one is in perfect health when the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), the digestive fire (digestion, assimilation and metabolism) all the body tissues & components (dhatus), all the excretory functions (the physiological functions of urination and defecation) are in perfect order with a pleasantly disposed and contented mind, senses and spirit.

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


Epidemics and Pandemics According to Ayurveda

A world map showing infection hotspots
Thousands of years ago Ayurveda shared detailed information regarding epidemics thus, applicable to pandemics.
Epidemics were documented in the great Ayurvedic text Caraka-Saṃhitā, likely complicated between 4th century BCE and 2nd-century CE.(1)

The Nomenclature

Epidemics in Ayurveda are known as Janapadod Dhvaṃsanīya जनपदोद्ध्वंसनीय.
  • Janapad जनपद = “nation”, “country” or a “mass population of people.”
  • Dhvaṃsa ध्वंस = “destruction.”
  • The preverb “ud” in between the above two words, means “highly”.

Janapadod Dhvaṃsanīya translates to “highly effective means of destruction to mass populations of humans.”

So what wisdom and advice can we obtain from the “Mother of Medicine” and its millennia of experience?
Plenty…
Ayurveda is celebrated for understanding the root cause disease, and treating it at the root level.
Caraka, a great Ayurvedic Sage
Ayurvedic Sage Caraka
While the wording I am quoting may sound abstract, it is actually extremely relevant for the current pandemic we are in.
Take your time to read these causes and recommendations and ponder how this is demonstrating today and relevant for you…

Factors Responsible for Epidemics (Causes)

  1. “Sins of the present life or the misdeeds of the past life are at the root.”
  2. “Intellectual blasphemy” - not recognising that a Greater Intelligence underpins all life.
  3. “When the rulers of states, towns, cities and countries transgress the righteous path and rule by sinful means.” (Government corruption).
  4. Accordingly, the “subordinates”, the general population, and merchants that are under the jurisdiction of that government add to this sinful situation.
  5. “The collective prevalence of “adharma” (sins/unrighteousness/injustice) makes dharma (righteous acts) disappear.”
  6. “Because of the disappearance of dharma, even the gods [celestial upholders of life] desert the people living in these places. Such are the places where epidemics and pandemics effect.”

Line of Treatment of Epidemic Diseases

  1. Pañcakarma (premier Ayurvedic detoxification program) is the best.
  2. Proper administering of rejuvenation therapy after Panchakarma.
  3. Behaviors that enhance longevity and spread essential biological fluids in the body (“Arcaryā Rasayanas”). Specific behaviors mentioned are: truth-fullness, compassion, charity, surrendering preferences and invoking Greater Intelligences (praying/intentions/ various practices etc.).
  4. Adoption of preventive measures.
  5. Enhancing a state of calm and tranquility.
  6. Protection of the self by mantra (primordial sounds) and other measures.
  7. Implementing things that are good for the self (quality of life).
  8. Taking residence in auspicious localities.
  9. Mastery over sexual energy (brahmacharya).
  10. Studying and discussing scriptures that study the laws of nature.
  11. Serving and associating with “learned persons”, pure (sattvic) people, and those who have mastered their own energy (brahmachārins).
“These can easily save the lives of individuals, provided the death of a particular individual during the period of epidemics is not predestined.”

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How does this ancient wisdom on epidemics and pandemics correlate with today's pandemic? Comment 👇


Resources

  1. Meulenbeld, Gerrit Jan (1999-01-01). "Caraka, his identity and date". A History of Indian Medical Literature. Groningen: E. Forsten. IA, part 1, chapter 10.
  2. Caraka Samhita, Vimana Sthana, Ch 3, (19-20)
  3. Caraka Samhita, Vimana Sthana, Ch 3, (12-18)

Introducing Solid Foods to Babies (The Ayurvedic Way)

Baby looking at food
When you introduce solid foods to your baby in a methodical and harmonious way, this will help promote digestive health and prevent food intolerances for that whole child’s future.

Ayurvedic medicine holds profound wisdom for post-natal rejuvenation for a healthy baby and mother.

The baby’s overall health is mainly treated and attended to via the mother’s health: post-natal rejuvenating herbs, nutrition, massages and other Ayurvedic post-natal interventions. 

For the baby, there are other interventions like natural Ayurvedic immunisation herbs, baby abhyanga massage, and other interventions mentioned in our Ayurvedic Post Natal Care Plan.

How long to Breastfeed for

Ayurveda recommends breastfeeding for up to anywhere between 1-3 years.
2-3 years is ideal, but consideration is given to the mother's energy levels.
Note, you should not breastfeed while pregnant, and if pregnancy manifests while breastfeeding, Ayurveda advises to stop breastfeeding so as to not take away nutrition supplied to the fetus.

When to introduce solid foods? (Auspicious Ritual: Anna Prāśana)

The very first time you feed your baby solid food is a very special and auspicious activity that is considered a rite of passage according to Ayurveda.
Introducing solid foods, known as “Anna Prāśana” अन्न प्राशन is one of the 16 Purificatory Rites of Passage (“Ṣoḍaśa Saṃskāra” षोडश संस्कार)
The very first time you should feed your baby IS at an auspicious time: when the baby is 6 months and 6 days or 5 months and 5 days; either suffice when it comes to auspiciousness for this rite of passage.
You can also find a specific muhurta (auspicious time period) for your baby, by contacting a Jyotish Vedic Astrologer.
sitting baby looking and smiling at food

What food do I first feed my baby?

The very first food to feed your baby at an auspicious time is cooked rice with a tiny bit of raw sugar (optional), milk and ghee.

First Food Recipe: Smooth Rice Porridge

  1. Add ½ tsp of ghee in a pot and let it melt and warm.
  2. Add 1 cup of rice or rice ground* (better because more fibrous) and fry/toast in the ghee.
  3. Add 1.5 cups of water and cook well for another 5 minutes or so.
  4. When the rice is cooked well, add 1.5 cups of non-homogenised full-cream cow’s milk and bring to a “milk boil” (not a strong boil like water, milder so that the milk is boiled).
  5. Add a small pinch of quality raw sugar or organic jaggery (ensure it has no salt) and mix in (optional).
  6. When it starts becoming thick it is ready to eat.
This makes a big amount. Baby should only eat a tiny amount on their lips. Parents should eat also and enjoy.
sitting baby looking and smiling at food
Which rice to use?
Use rice that is old (at least 6-12 months) and that grows as local to you as possible. White or red rice is ideal for this initial feeding.
*First soak the rice for 30 mins and then lightly dry roast the rice on a fry pain and then grind into a coarse powder to make a coarse rice flour.
Administering Instructions for Rice Porridge
  1. Dip a gold ring or silver spoon (these metals boost immunity) in the porridge and give to baby to suck with your right hand.
  2. Even that one little feed is enough.
  3. This can be a regular food for the baby.
  4. Parents or family can have the rest of the rice porridge.

General Notes About Solid Food Introduction for Babies

No/Very Little Salt and Sugar
Preventing habitation to these tastes will prevent blood sugar, diabetes and blood pressure issues. All vegetables and fruits have all the tastes, so no need for high concentrations of salt and sugar. A very little amount of salt and sometimes sugar in cooking is fine.
Ghee is So Important!
Ghee promotes the intelligence and intellect of the baby. It is also very important for the post-natal rejuvenation of mum. 
One Food at a Time: Take it Slow
Start one food at a time give that for 10-15 days before any other food is introduced. Do not combine many new foods together.
First, Soft Foods – Start with soft foods like porridges, banana and soft fruits, carrots, pumpkin and soft vegetables.

What If I Have to Feed My Baby Before 5 Months and 5 Days or have Insufficient Breast Milk?

If you are not getting enough breast milk, refer to our Ayurvedic Post Natal Care Plan and take the recommended herbs and protocols.
If still milk supply is inadequate, you can gradually introduce warm (but fully boiled) cows and goats milk in an appropriate way as well as formula if necessary to supplement breast milk.

First Two Weeks of Solid Food

  1. Grains and Legumes – Lightly dry fry on a pan and then grind into a powder to be ready to cook. Grinding the rice/legume rather than buying powder maintains the fiber.
  2. Little fruit – One fruit at a time. Soft fruits like banana, cooked apple or cooked pear. Whatever is in season, local and organic.
  3. Spices – Add a very little amount of cumin, ajwain and very very little salt.
  4. Ghee – A lot of ghee is the most important.

Baby Food Mix - Best Stable Food Recipe

Give at 6 - 12 months of age or longer. Provides strong bone and bodily tissue formation.
It's fine to make the initial dry mixture in batches that last for 10-15 days.
Ingredients:
Measure 1/2 cup each of:
  1. Split yellow mung dahl
  2. Toor dahl
  3. Urad dahl
  4. Ragi (red finger millet) (optional, more cooling).
  5. Rice
Preparation method:
  1. Wash these legumes/grains and soak each one separately in water for one hour
  2. Drain well and wash again
  3. Dry roast them in a pan all together till lightly browned, along with a teaspoon of cumin and ajwain seeds.
  4. Grind the mix in a blender into fine granules (may need to use a sieve to remove and re-grind larger pieces).
  5. This mixture can be stored and then cooked as needed for each meal.
Cooking method:
    1. Boil a small amount of water in a pan and add the dahl/grain mixture gradually, stirring well to remove any lumps.
    2. Cook on low heat for a minimum of 10 minutes or more, stirring frequently till the mixture is smooth and well-cooked (add more hot water as needed).
    3. Stir in a little ghee at the end, before serving.

7 Months – Solid Food Introduction

  • Now is the time to start introducing vegetables.
  • Whatever you give the baby at 7 months, he will not dislike now or in the future. This is why you must give them all the healthy vegetables (e.g. greens, bitter gourd/melon, cabbage, etc.) and healthy fruits
  • Continue rice and dahls made into a porridge.
  • Vegetables: zucchini, squash, carrot, snake gourd, bottle gourd, bitter melon.
  • See below for more recipes to introduce at 7 months.

8 Months – Solid Food Introduction

  • You can introduce quinoa and more vegetables.
  • Mash carrots, beetroot and spinach are good.
Vegetables and Fruit slices

Animal Milk - Food Introduction

Cow's Milk (Introduce after 1 year old):
Prepare milk according to this recipe Hot Milk Elixir.
Animal Milks for Baby:
Goat's milk - goat eats every leaf - all medicinal values, boil and spices, once every 2 months (also this often for adults).
Donkey's milk once in a lifetime before 1 year to remove Kapha doshas. Boil milk with an equal quantity of water like all kinds of milk.

If Your Baby is Experiencing a Cold, Flu or Any Immune & Respiratory Symptoms:

  1. Boil ½ cup of non-homogesnised full-cream cow's milk + ½ cup of water
  2. Add a tiny pinch of turmeric powder
  3. Chop 4-5 garlic cloves, keep aside for 15 minutes (allow rasayana and beneficial components to release) and tie into bolous.
  4. Dip the raw garlic poultice into the milk to infuse some garlic in the milk (improves immunity a lot) - only add if baby likes the taste as nausea might come. Baby will probably get used to it.
  5. Crush some ajwain seeds in a poultice and also dip for immunity.
  6. Add one baby-sized pinch of swasakasantak yog, mix well and drink.

Herbs for Baby

These are ancient natural ayurvedic herbal remedies for babies:
1. Pusya drops - To be given every month of pusyami naksatra (constellation).
  • 2 drops once/day. Can give to the baby for 3 days from the day of birth.
  • Then give once a month on Pusya naksatra for 3 days.
  • Dosage for one year and above: 10 drops on pusyami naksatra once a day and then continue for 7 days each month.
2. Swasakasantak yog – helps prevent disease, strengthen immunity and prevent allergies.
  • Can give from 6 months. 1 (baby-sized) pinch in the mouth.
3. Samadhi - if the baby can’t sleep well, night terrors or anxious.
  • From 6 months. A tiny pinch in the baby/child's mouth.
4. Dhatu - to further develop tissues. A tiny pinch in the baby/child's mouth or in warm milk.

More Baby Food Recipes

Semolina Porridge (start around 7 months)

Ingredients:
  1. 1tsp coarse semolina
  2. 1/4 tsp ghee
  3. 2 glasses of hot water
  4. 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
  5. Pinch of quality jaggery
Method:
  1. Heat the ghee in the bottom of the pan
  2. Add the semolina and stir while on medium heat
  3. Roast for a few minutes until it becomes light brown in color then add the 2 glasses of hot water and the cardamom and continue cooking.
  4. When it starts becoming thicker, take it from the heat and it's ready to eat.
*Using more water is very important while cooking porridge for babies.

Stewed Apples (around 7 months or before)

Ingredients
  • 1 finely chopped apple
  • 1 glass of water (enough water to soak the apple)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon cardamon
  • 1/4tsp of ghee
Method:
  1. Boil the water and add the chopped apple on a medium heat until the apple becomes soft.
  2. Add cinnamon and ghee and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  3. Mash the apple until it makes a smooth past and serve.

Baby Kitchari

Ingredients:
  1. 2 Tbsp of Rice (washed then soaked for 2 hours)
  2. 1.5 Tbsp of split yellow mung dhal (soaked for 2 hours)
  3. 1/8-1/2 tsp ghee
  4. 1/8 tsp turmeric
  5. 1/8 tsp cumin powder
  6. 2 cups water
Method:
  1. Heat the ghee on a medium heat and add the pre-soaked lentils and rice and infuse the ghee in the rice and lentils for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add turmeric and cumin powder and then add the water.
  3. Cook until the lentils and rice become tender.

Lentil Soup

Ingredients
  1. 2 Tbsp split yellow mung lentils (washed then soaked for 2 hours)
  2. 1/4 Tbsp Ghee
  3. 1/8 tsp turmeric
  4. 2 glasses of water
Method:
  1. Heat the ghee over a medium heat and cook (stir) the lentils in ghee for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add 2 glasses of water and start boiling.
  3. Add the turmeric.
  4. When the lentils become tender, strain them. Keep the water & this is ready for the baby to have.

Balancing Baby Pancakes

Ingredients:
  1. 2 parts semolina
  2. 1/2 part wheat flour
  3. 1 part rice flour
  4. 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  5. 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  6. 1/4 tsp fennel powder
  7. 2 times of total quantity of water
  8. Little salt according to taste
Method:
  1. Mix all the ingredients together with water and stir until it becomes a good past with no lumps.
  2. Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Heat the pan and add 1tsp of ghee
  4. Spread the pancake mixture in a thin layer on the pan.
  5. On a medium heat, let it cook for a few minutes on one side and turn over adding a little more ghee.
  6. It is ready when the other side becomes light brown.
  7. Serve to the child. This is a delicious, nourishing and easily digestible meal.

Constipation Remedies for Babies

It is very important for the baby to have bowel motions every day. This allows the entire system to build for later on.
If constipation is there, please look at the foods the baby is eating and assess the overall health of mum.
Below are some remedies for constipation if it comes in children:
  • Tamarind stick - Inside a bunch of raw tamarind you will find a soft, flexible stick the size of a finger or bigger. With a tiny bit of tamarind on the end (like a match stick), stick it up the anus (very shortly, less than half an in deep). The baby will immediately have bowel motion.
  • Slowly massage clockwise circulate coconut oil in the navel.
  • Fibrous food for mother and child.
  • If still not working – 1 very small pinch of shodana vati powder in hot water before dinner with or without sweet lime.

Remedies for Babies with Digestive Problems

  • “Ajwain breath” - When crying because of stomach/colic pain, the mother must chew ajwain seeds and blow “ajwain air” into the child's mouth. Gives immediate relief to the stomach.
  • Janamghati (herb) - till 1 year - digestive problems.
  • Bonnissan (herb) - after 1 year, you can give forever. For digestion and to increase appetite.
RELATED ARTICLE: AYURVEDIC POST NATAL CARE PLAN

Menstrual Wisdom & Womb Care with Ayurveda | Nidhi Pandya #063

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Ancient women honoured the menstrual blood as the essential life generating material willed by Mother Moon to cleanse and purify their inherited Shakti energy so that new and fragrant life could blossom.

Ancient wisdom for a healthy menstrual cycle and caring for the wombs of all women on earth: the seat of creative intelligence in all areas of life.

About Our Guest: Nidhi Pandya

Nidhi Pandya is a New York based third generation Ayurvedic practitioner working globally. She was indoctrinated into Ayurveda at birth, as her grandfather was an Ayurvedic healer. 
In 2002, she founded a value development school called Vyaktitiva to counsel young adolescents and help them find purpose in whatever they do.
Now, she is a practitioner, blogger, educator and a faculty at the Shakti School of Ayurveda.
Wellness to Nidhi means aligning your body and mind to only consume what nourishes you on both levels. This can only happen when you truly understand your body and are able to tune in to your mind.

Nidhi Pandya
After an in depth study of the scriptures and contemplation, Nidhi came to the conclusion that the ecosystem of the human body is warm and moist. Any deviation from this climate leads to imbalance. She therefore teaches people how to understand this climate; what may take it off balance, and how to bring it back to homeostasis.

In this Episode we Discuss:

Nidhi's Daily Routine (Dinacharya)

How Nidhi's relationship with Ayurveda originated

Being raised within a family of Ayurveic Healers in Mumbai, India.
Moving to New York and realizing the practice of Ayurveda is her true calling.
Eventually practicing and teaching all over the world. 

An introduction into the wonderful power behind menstruation

One of Dylan’s first lessons in his Ayurvedic journey was that one of the greatest blessings a woman has is her menstruation - the cleansing and purification of her Shakti (divine feminine energy).

The wisdom of the menstrual cycle

A woman has the capacity to be a fertile ground - taking the potential that lies within the seed and with her Shakti creating something much bigger and powerful. 
The many variables that play a role in the preservation of this fertile ground that is the female reproductive system. 
The female cycles affecting the doshas and the entirety of the female physiology. 
Why the menstrual cycle is fundamental for the preservation of female fertility. 
How a woman deals with her menstrual cycle determining how she will reach menopause later in life
The menstrual cycle and the preservation of fertility not only being linked to the capacity to birth children but also to the essential qualities of Shakti - birthing creativity and individual expression in the world. 
Lowe half of a female body with the vagina covered by a plant

Menstrual phases according to Ayurveda

1. When a woman has had her period then the body enters the Kapha phase - it starts to build the structure needed to initiate conception (thickening of the lining and building of the fluids) in case a sperm cell happens to be invited into the womb any time soon. 
2. When ovulating the woman undergoes the Pitta phase - the phase of transformation that allows for the sperm cell to fuse with the female egg and transform that into a Zygote.
  • During this phase temperatures increase inside the womb to the optimum levels for that transformation to take place. 
  • The enkindling of that reproductive agni (fire) also leads to an increased libido. 
Diagram of the dosas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha)
3. If fertilization doesn’t occur during the previous phase then the woman enters the Vata phase - the decline. Here the body realizes the structures it has created were not used and therefore destroys them in order to be able to create the optimum conditions again in the future. 
      • The wind/air element in ayurveda is that which destroys - so it’s like a little tornado charged with heat hits these structures and then the lining is destroyed and everything is pushed downwards through a period. 

Ayurvedic Protocols for menstruation

It is of upmost importance during this phase to ground the vata:
  • Very important to avoid exercising, since that wind element will be scattered throughout the body by excessive movement and the cleansing will not properly take place. 
  • Allow yourself to rest; not excessive napping, but slow down.
      • Try not to use your mind as much - avoid studying, overthinking and stress since that will move the Prana (life force) upward instead of downward.  
  • Eat cooling and grounding foods like rice-based dishes, milk (can be warm due to its nourishing properties) and coconut-based dishes. 
  • Avoid hot foods like eggplant, tomatoes, and excessively spicy foods. Also excessively cold foods and raw foods since all of these will only increase that which you are already feeling.
Melting Strawberry ice cream
  • Mainly eat easy-to-digest foods since that will allow for the blood to concentrate in the pelvic floor and to enliven the cleansing process instead of being massively sent upwards to the digestive system in order to take care of a heavy meal. 
  • Generally, any foods that balance out the dry and hot qualities of this period will promote wellbeing.  
  • Sleeping the closer you possibly can to the earth - this is a grounding technique. 
      • Traditionally a grass bed has been used so that a degree of comfort is there, while still being as close to the ground as possible. 
By following these easy protocols many women that had lost their fertility (in terms of having regular periods) have successfully regained it. 
Copulation or engaging in any sexual activity is contraindicated during this period.
Women in their menstrual period should try and avoid cooking for two main reasons:
  • Rest should be primordial during this time. 
  • There is a special warmth and sliminess women experience during their period that needs to be preserved. When physically interacting with food, these properties are going to embed themselves into the food and affect its properties & qualities. 
      • Test this yourself: buy organic rice, handle it with your bare hands and leave it to rest. In a short period of time you’ll see some of the rice grains will hatch. 
When on their menstrual periods, women should avoid visiting the temple and the chanting of mantras
  • All mantras carry a specific energy - some are more heating and some are more cooling. This energy will surely affect the temperature within your body and that will alter the inner body chemistry and possibly trigger certain undesired consequences.
  • Spiritual practices imply the upward movement of the subtle Prana & the subtle vayu (wind), which allows for the elevation of the soul within the individual. 
    • But during this period of menstruation, you are not supposed to be working on the upward movement of the subtle prana but instead the gross body is working on the downward movement of Prana/Vayu

Avoid bathing, Abhyanga and any other activities that stimulate several parts of your body
  • They are naturally vata aggravating → they’ll send that wind to all directions within the body.  

Menstrual Pain

If you are properly taking care of your body health having menstrual pain shouldn’t be normal; there shouldn’t be any. Only heightened sensitivity should be present.
  • The pain is an indication of imbalance.
Three main causes of cramps:
  • A too sluggish environment that is not allowing for the vayu (wind) to move freely
  • Too much movement that leads to excess wind aggravation that in turn causes vayu to go to undesired parts of your body (a part of your back, cervix, pelvis, etc.) and generate cramping.  
  • Excess heat and inflammation due to an over-enlivened agni usually caused by an improper diet
What a woman does between two cycles is also of relevance. 
  • The menstrual cycle is there to cleanse, so if there’s a lot to cleanse then the period will take rougher qualities; but if women take proper care of themselves then there will be less to cleanse and the period will be painless (that’s how it naturally should be). 

Menarche

It is the first occurrence of menstruation
The first 13 years of life are of assimilation - both physically and mentally.
  • The exponential expansion, growth and maturity of a woman’s physiology. 
  • The various types of learning and creation of memories and an individual psyche.
When menarche arrives, that’s when heat increases in the body and the transformation phase begins. 
  • The fire sets in and all of that which was assembled in the previous 13 years is taken into action, into creation - that is the rise and amplification of Shakti (divine feminine energy).
Ayurvedic tradition:
During the first 12 days the girl goes through a very introspective process, either with an elder-woman or alone. On the 13th day there is a celebration honouring the blossoming of this bud. 
A turmeric paste is made and spread all over the body to maintain the menstrual heat and to further purify.  
How parents should address their children’s needs and educate them during menarche:
It is important that the communication is good with their children and that they clearly educate them as to what is helpful and what is not; what enlivens their health and what will act as a detriment to it. 
Making these things clear early in life is better than having to fight these battles later, when non-healthy habits have already been assimilated as “normal” and the consequences start to appear (missed periods, acne, PCOS [PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome], etc.).

Menopause

Menopause is supposed to be asymptomatic
The degree to which you have honoured your periods will determine how rough or mild your menopause will be.

Ovulation Pain

Pain during the ovulation is very often related to low digestive fire. When that digestive agni is debilitated, ama (toxic undigested waste) is created and it blocks the tiny channels within the reproductive system. That blockages will not allow for the prana vayu to flow freely. 
To dissolve this ama you can do several things: a good body cleanse, panchakarma (Ayurvedic cleanse composed of five separate procedures), eating light foods, Laṅghana (Ayurvedic deprivation therapy) and fasting.

Piercings according to Hindu Tradition

Piercings are usually put in stimulating points called marmas. These points are related to different parts/systems within the body. 
Ear piercings are traditionally done when the child is 6 to 8 months old and they support brain health.
The nose piercing (particularly on the left nostril) has more to do with menstrual and reproductive health. For women suffering from pms and other menstrual issues, this is the piercing you should consider. 
  • There is a particular point within the left nostril that is the most auspicious and effective for this cause. It is believed that if done right and in precisely the right place, the piercing will not get infected.    

Other tips and insights that can help with female reproductive health

Warm Castor Oil applied on the lower abdomen and pelvic region will allow for Prana Vayu to be invited downwards with ease.  
  • It is also recommended for women right after they give birth. 
Organic Tampons dipped in Oil - preferably Dhanvantaram Tailam - are very good especially for older women that are already experiencing dryness in their vaginas. 
  • You can even do it once a month and wear it for 2-3 hours and that will help strengthen the whole vaginal environment
  • Our Yoni Ghee or Special Phala Ghee are also very good and can be used in the same manner and for the same purpose. 
  • The more frequently you apply them the better. 
Yoni Ghee
Avoid harsh diets and raw foods while on your period since they enhance the menstrual cramps and related pains.  
Wearing white and smelling jasmine aroma are recommended ayurvedic practices for women on their periods.       

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


Dandelion Leaf Efficiently Blocks C-19 Spike Proteins From Binding to Human Cells

Hand reaching for the sky
A German university study found that the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), which is probably growing organically very close to you right now, blocks Covid-19 spike proteins from entering your body.
Your body has little “keyholes” (receptor sites) that are the landing entrances for spike proteins (SPs) that are attached to the Vaccines to enter into your body.
One way you can help put up a “No Entry Gate” is by eating dandelion. 

How does it work?

Researchers found dandelion to block protein-to-protein interaction between human ACE2 cell surface receptors and a variety of five Spike Proteins.
The fact that it blocks a variety of SPs is very valuable since the virus is continually mutating (thus new Vaccines need to be continually released, to keep up with the natural and intelligent process of mutation).
Researchers showed dandelion blocked not only the Virus in its original spike D614, but also for its mutant forms (D614G, N501Y, and mix of K417N, E484K, N501Y) in human HEK293-hACE2 kidney and A549-hACE2-TMPRSS2 lung cells.

Become adaptable to the every-changing environment, just like a dandelion (they can grow through concrete!).

“Infection of the lung cells using SARS COV-2 spike pseudotyped lentivirus particles was efficiently prevented by the extract [of dandelion] and so was virus triggered pro-inflammatory interleukin 6 secretion.”
Don’t solely expect the dandelion leaves to protect you against Covid-19 and Spike Proteins that are shed from those who receive the Vaccine, implement other measures to boost immunity and thrive (diet, lifestyle, sun, vitamine D, abhyanga, nasya, meditation etc.)
Hit up a local foraging workshop near you and learn to identify edible weeds (in Sydney check my man @theweedyone), or if you can’t forage, you can buy dandelion from farmers' markets or Asian groceries.
Dandelion growing through wooden pole

Dandelion leaves: a close acquaintance of mine

Leaves like the tooth of a lion (“dent de lion”) are available all year long (perennial).
As bitter as you choose (cooking more = less bitter) but I do suggest keep dandelion leaves bitter to pacify your pitta  , clean your liver and make your bile flow like a river.
Freshly foraged leaves provide more Prana (life-force) to deliver this weed winner into your body so you can glimmer.
A tip: Forage sustainably as always and know where you are foraging (is it sprayed?)
Dylan Smith carrying dandelion leaves after foraging

How to consume dandelion leaves

First, wash the leaves.
I like to add the leaves to my food - at the end of cooking, just before I turn off the flame.
Then I mix the leaves in with the hot food and that lightly cooks them, maintaining the bitterness (but not too intense for the taste buds).
The root was not researched here, but the root is medicinal in other ways, it's very tasty, like a more fulfilling and nutritious potato - that you will have to add in much earlier in the cooking process.
You can also have the leaves in tea, though that seems odd for me as it is more of a leafy green vegetable.
A reminder that Dandelion is not the be-all-end-all treatment for anything mentioned here. It may be one (tasty, easy, very cheap/free. fun) way to help protect your organism 💚.

Do you forage dandelion? Where do you get it from? Comment 👇

Honouring Our Ancestors for Celestial Support in Life | Dr. Robert Svoboda #062

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According to the Vedic tradition, ancestors have a sole role - to support their descendants (you!) so you can perform your most evolutionary (dharmic) action.
But for them to give energy and attention from their realms (lohkas), they require energy and attention to flow back to them in a reciprocal manner. 
When this flow of consciousness is reciprocated, their presence and support is enlivened.
Furthermore, us on earth actually have a profound responsibility to assist our ancestors with their evolution.
Robert Svododa and Dylan share ways to connect with your ancestors so that you can utilise their energy. These techniques and practices can promote your physical energy levels as well as increase the ability for cosmic intelligence to operate through you so that you radiate life for all to enjoy.

About Our Guest: Dr. Robert Svoboda

Dr. Robert Svoboda is the first Westerner ever to graduate from a college of Ayurveda and be licensed to practice Ayurveda in India.
During and after his formal Ayurvedic training he was tutored in Ayurveda, Yoga, Jyotish, Tantra and other forms of classical Indian lore by his mentor, the Aghori Vimalananda.
He is the author of over a dozen books and has served as Adjunct Faculty at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM, and at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. 

In this Episode we Discuss:

Dr. Robert’s Daily Routine (Dinacharya)

The Relevance Ancestry has had Historically

Up until the 20th century, ancestry had always been of major importance all around the world, with some communities even considering their ancestors as deities.
The hindu point of view regarding ancestry.

Getting in touch with our Ancestry & fulfilling our duty towards them

Repaying the ancestral debt we have with them by helping them evolve past lingering desires they might have had before dropping their bodies, so they are not drawn back to said desires in future incarnations.  
The dangers of falling victim to the unfulfilled cravings of our ancestry when summoning them. 
The general manner by which this whole process should be approached.

States of Being in the Afterlife

Preta (someone who recently dropped his/her body) - they need to let go and advance. 
The personal Sadhana (spiritual exercise) of one’s lifetime playing a role in the afterlife.  
Souls getting to Pitru Lokha (Pitru = forefather/foremother).
Bhutas or Ghosts (Bhuta literally meaning past / was / has been) are souls who dropped their bodies and are still clinging to that previous existence - not letting go & trying to return.

Rituals to honor our Ancestors

Sūtaka period - (10/15 days after the body drops) is the time in which the ancestral world is the most open for us to get in touch with a Preta
  • Śhrāddha Ritual (Śhrāddha = faith - from the root Hrd, meaning heart). 
      • You want to put your heart into it. Let your ancestors know that you are keeping faith in them and supporting them in this journey.
  • Pinda Dhana (Dhana = donate) 
      • You donate a Pinda - lump (ball / ladhus). - symbolic way to try and assist the individual soul to regain another body.
  • Tarpana - you can also perform a ceremony yourself with various degrees of simplicity that will allow you to honor them and support their journey to Pitru Lokha.
Pindas for Pinda Dhana ritual
Pindas (or Laddhus) used for the Pinda Dhana ritual
Ritual for Pitru
Say “Tripitam” - meaning please be satisfied, satisfied. Then say “Swada”.
Invoking the names of your ancestors up to 7 generations back, after the 8th generation less than 1% of your genetics is related to them so the genetic connection with them is not as strong. 
Explain that “Visnu will become your guide”.
To finish say “Swastana Gatcha” - meaning please go to where your own personal place is.

Dealing with Ancestor Karma according to Hindu tradition 

The relationship between mental health and family karma.  

Mehandipur Temple - Hanuman temple in Rajasthan.

Chottanikkara Temple - Devi temple in Kerala 

Native Religions

The alienation of native cultures and their externally induced detachment from the natural world. 
American, Australian and Brasilian natives.
Candomblé - religion of Brazil - has imported Gods and Goddesses from Nigeria.
Caboclo - a figure that is respected and represents all the indigenous people of Brazil that have been brutalised, violated and suppressed.
Preto-Velho - old black man represents the slaves that are brought over. 

Dr. Robert doing Tarpana every year

Doing the Ritual for those who might not be direct ancestors, but who’s sacrifice directly impacted our very own existence to this day. 
Dr. Robert’s & Dylan’s experience visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.

Other Practices to honor different things

Pañcayajña (पञ्चयज्ञ) - when eating, feeding a crow, dog, cow, the fire, and another human.
Offering water to Trees (especially Ficus Religiosa a.k.a. Peepal tree, Ashvattha tree or Bodhi tree) given that they hold spirits within themselves and also embody Shanni Deva (Lord Saturn).
The importance of honoring all existing & already deceased life forms. 
Ficus Religiosa Trees
Ficus Religiosa trees (a.k.a Bodhi Trees, a.k.a. Ashwattha Trees, a.k.a. Peepal Trees)

About Robert's Lineage and his Guru (Vimalananda)

Born in Mumbai, lived as a Sādhu (renunciant) he did a ritual for the Mahavidya Tara and consequently got connected to the Astral world in a very particular way. 
Vimalananda had 3 Gurus.
Guru Maharaj (a.k.a Sri Rama Viswambharanadh (Jatala Sadhu)) was born around A.D. 1550 and he dropped his body on 05/06/1993 after living for 440 years or so.
  • He was Vimalananda’s Guru, and was once found around A.D. 1800 by arquelogers in Samadhi (meditative absorption) inside the ruins of a temple in Puri. He held the certificate that testified to that.  
  • After healing a blind person he was forced to flee from Puri to Simhachalam - 20km to the west of Vishaka Patnam (biggest city between Chennai and Kolkata) in India’s east coast. 
  • Stayed in the Varaha Narasimha Temple.
Jatala Sadhu Ram Vishwambardas
Jatala Sadhu Ram Vishwambardas (a.k.a. Guru Maharajj)
  • Guru Maharaj possessed a lot of unusual capabilities (Siddhis): he didn’t eat regular food but lived off chewing Tobacco leafs since he sustained that there was no point in eating because by doing so you wear down your teeth and digestive system.
      • He instead suggested the best option was to eat something very poisonous and with inner alquemy turn that substance into nectar. 

Resources

Dr. Robert's New Course HERE

In this course, Dr. Svoboda talks about Ganesha, the elephant-headed god who is the remover of obstacles, and his relationship to the Earth Element, our senses, and more.

This course contains 5 hours of content, including an hour-long talk about the Atharvashirsha, a Vedic chant to Ganesha, and its meaning. You also will get access to links and the words for the Atharvashirsha.

The website in honor of Sri Rama Viswambharanadh (a.k.a. Jatala Sadhu, a.k.a. Guru Maharaj) HERE

Dr. Robert's Instagram account (@drrobertsvoboda) HERE

Dr. Robert's website HERE

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