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 Healthcare - Holistic and Modern
 Ayurveda simplified
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587 Posts

Posted - Dec 10 2018 :  8:16:19 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Gaining perspective

In order to use Ayurvedic tools effectively, we will need to be flexible and creative in our approach. We may frequently need to reprioritize and override mistaken assumptions. Self honesty is not only helpful, it is essential. In the learning process, our once fixated perceptions will loosen up and shift perspective when pragmatic to do so. Ayurveda suggests to us what may (or may not) be the crux of our problem. Ama in our bodies is a challenging problem. We will want to do whatever it takes to improve our condition, in a natural and effective manner.

Garlic is supposed to be good for Vatas, but not all the time, not every day ... because pungent has an effect that, over time, is too drying. For Vatas, therefore, pungent is a medicinal, it is not a food. Kaphas, on the other hand, can eat garlic and hot chili peppers every day if they like, because pungent is the best taste for balancing Kapha dosha. That same pungent diet would undoubtedly make Pitta very unhappy, miserable and sick. But the textbooks may not tell us exactly how to put Ayurvedic information in perspective. That is often left up to us to determine. It is left up to us to provide the perspective that makes sense.

Buttermilk is supposed to be okay for Kaphas. Honey is the best sweetener for Kaphas. But when there is abundant mucous and phlegm discharging from the body, common sense indicates those two foods may not be appropriate. Dairy has the same qualities as ama and sweet - heavy and wet. Kapha Sama then is dealing with a problem which can be defined as predominantly stagnant. Energy isn't moving, it is stuck. Nevertheless, a Kapha may have good results with lemon and honey tea. They can see if it helps break up phlegm and relieve coughing.

Pittas are frequently too intense, they love intensity, and are often addicted to beverages like coffee that make them even more intense. It may become an indulgence that leads to serious illness. Unless the root cause of this craving is investigated and balanced, they may not be able to properly heal... no matter what remedial measures are employed. But for Pitta (as well as Kapha) bitter is a food, not a medicine. This is an important distinction to make. Usually Pitta can consume as much bitter as they like. Bitter, in general, is the best taste for balancing Pitta dosha. But not coffee with the caffeine that drives their intensity.

Vata Sama must create routines for relaxation. They may find it very difficult to heal, no matter the remedial measures employed, unless they can at least occasionally - stop treating life as a speed race. Pungent, if employed too often, will drive them to go even faster. Which may be why they are sick (going too fast). So discretion in the application of both bitter and pungent for Vata, as both tastes are medicinal, not food.

Illness may provide the fertile ground for important realizations. Due to taking stock of our dilemma, we may have very rich insights regarding the purpose of our lives and how we are pursuing that purpose. Often it is helpful to simply be with the symptoms of illness and remain open/ sensitive to whatever messages our bodies reveal to us. I think Ayurveda encourages this kind of curiosity, as opposed to indulging misery over being ill.
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587 Posts

Posted - Dec 13 2018 :  10:41:12 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
10. Perseverance required for unleashing the healing magic of Ayurveda

As real life intruded...from mid-February to late November little opportunity was available to delve further into this discussion. I hadn't expected to do so, but feel the topic merits continuation, time permitting. Holiday season may afford bit more time (we'll see) for developing the study and application of Ayurvedic theory. Apologies for rambling/ verbosity...

Ayurveda is science of life, meaning of life, sanctification of life... something like that. Vedic Science - in all its eloquent ramifications - is divine science; teachings from the Rishis who are considered akin to Hindu prophets, in that they are believed to have passed on instruction/ messages from God.

In order to unleash the healing magic of Ayurveda - which is the sanctification of life - we must have patience and faith to persevere. In other words be motivated and committed. Please stay with it. Over the years every book I could find on Ayurveda was either read or skimmed through. Thus it is well known how there are a veritable multitude including myself encouraging and wishing you well in your continued study - notwithstanding the Rishis themselves!

After 25 years investment in Ayurveda there is full awareness of the difficulty. Once again, please stay with it. As previously stated... balancing the doshas with ama is a great deal more complicated than balancing without ama. Much thought went into the tutorial which was designed and targeted at providing readers a concrete-like foundation upon which to build.

Go slow and review the basics as needed. Implement whatever has been learned and it will help you. Whenever illness manifests in our lives, whether it be our own or that of a loved one, it is a crisis. The worse the illness the worse the crisis. And the crisis more or less demands a response from us. We can go to an allopathic professional or we can use natural healing in one form or another. I passionately advocate for the latter whenever possible.

The potent healing magic of this science really has to be experienced to be understood. Ayurveda challenges us to learn in depth about our particular function and about the precise nature of our existence. We ordinarily look at sickness as trash, to be gotten rid of and the sooner the better. However in all sickness, there is something old being discarded/ destroyed and something new emerging/ coming into existence. Death of the old clears the way for birth of the new.

While we insistently cling to that which is passing away, we prolong the agony of birthing that which is demanding to come into existence. That which we ourselves (or whoever is ill) is requiring. When this factoid is thoroughly comprehended, then we find in ourselves the capacity for midwifing that transformation.

In order to ease the process of transformation we intelligently cooperate with it, are no longer fighting it. We shift our priority from desperately wanting to rid ourselves of an unpleasant manifestation to inquiry/ curiosity about our condition. As our perception and focus shift, the turbulence inherent in ilness subsides, calms down. And a specific pathway to healing reveals itself. Maybe not all at once, but it becomes clear where to start, where to begin making adjustments. It is like we are juggling a dozen variables and hoping they somehow come into alignment the right way. Miraculously they do.

We become increasingly more open to loving ourselves into wholeness and happiness. We embrace this illness for its vital message, its significance and contribution to self understanding, its precious insight.

As we continue in our study of the various Ayurvedic tools and suggestions, they come together in a plan of action... and we may not always be conscious how that is happening. But it is! We are beginning to see what measures to combine and in what order they are to be employed step at a time. We wake up in the morning and realize that unconsciously while sleeping, it has come together and now we know what to do. We experiment and keep on refining the results until our objective is achieved.

We begin to accept how our patterns of thinking have caused this distress called illness. We see how we have more or less created the necessity for transformation. And so, in quiet assureance that we possess the skill and ability to improve our condition, we continue to facilitate that self knowledge which alone ensures wellness.

Over the years so many notes have accumulated and thus it is unknown from whom this excellent advice originated. I believe it is from Dr. Vasant Lad, but not sure. It is important to understand this intermediate level advice when attempting to balance doshas with ama:

A regimen of bitter and pungent can cure almost any ailment. But in cases where the patient is weak, great care must be taken to proceed very slowly in alternating cycles of building up strength and discharging toxins. The two phases or two cycles are separated until the point where a relatively good and strong state of health is achieved.
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587 Posts

Posted - Dec 14 2018 :  12:50:05 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Mind over matter?

This is at least partially my opinion... evaluate and see if it resonates for you.

It has been observed that natural healing is occasionally summed up as 'mind over matter'. Somewhat to the contrary, I have found it frequently necessary to consciously decrease certain unhealthy patterns of thought that cause problems in day to day functioning. In other words, less mind and more balance between mind and body, or balance between mind and matter. Examples to illustrate the point:

1) Kapha Sama may not be able to get out of bed in a timely manner. They may go to bed at 10 or 11 pm, then remain in bed until noon the next day. At that point, they are probably sick, but even so ... do they really need 13 or 14 hours in bed? Probably not. Yet should some family member suggest they don't need that much sleep, they may shrug it off, reverting to a habitual response of stubborness.

They may reply that it feels okay to them, and so they continue as they were - oversleeping. The reason they are resistant to a wise suggestion is because they have become rigidly set in their ways. But if they are Kapha, there was always the potential, the tendency toward that stubborness manifesting. This is because in their thinking, resting is almost always preferable to moving about. When ill, they may not even want to move from the bed to the couch. So they make excuses for staying in bed. Their problem cannot be solved without investigating the core issue in their thinking.

Kaphas need more regulation in terms of overdoing rest and relaxation. In order to do that, they will probably need to change their thinking and their preferences. Unless extremely congested or uncomfortable, they probably won't bother.

Another example
2) Vata Sama is burning the candle at both ends. They don't go to bed until after midnight and then wake up at 3 in the morning tossing and turning. So they get up, go to the refrigerator and help themselves to a rather large meal (cold, straight from the refrig). At which point they go back to bed until 6 when they have to get up. 5 or 6 hours is not nearly enough for Vata; it's generally not enough for any of the doshas. Vatas normally need at least 7-8 hours sleep and that's when healthy.

When Vatas are ill, they require even more rest. Getting up at 3 and eating a meal (especially a cold meal) isn't good, unless they have a swing or graveyard work shift or some other reason for doing so. That cold meal (even if it were warm which would be a lot better) won't digest properly if they immediately go to bed after eating. If Vata is already ill, then they need more than ever sufficient rest and to employ regularity in their meals.

The really sad thing here is that it is most important for Vatas to eat enough - even if they can't be regular in their meals, or heat up their meals. Priorities need to be appropriate. First Vata must be eating enough before they can get themselves to stop eating in the middle of the night (or cook their food).

Vatas are moving so fast, they often don't want to be bothered interrupting their very enjoyable spontaneity. Their thinking patterns are geared toward acting first and considering later. This tendency will need to be confronted. Vata's tendency to become rough and ragged through over-exertion is derived at the mental level. They think fast and act faster. This pattern has to be intercepted and best to do so where it originates, at the level of their ingrained thinking patterns. (Vatas can refuse themselves proper rest until they are thoroughly exhausted... for health & happiness, their priorities may need to be straightened out.)

The mind over matter idea is being challenged because to me, it doesn't explicitly place enough importance on balance. Mind is more often the problem than the solution. And even if we manage to correct our thinking, if we are too attached to our new thinking, it can still be problematic. Mind needs to be balanced and at peace with matter, not in conflict with it. When mind dominates matter, matter may suffer. It is reasonable that the only way to authentically correct this situation is for mind to be more open, pliable, resilient, observant, listening and responsive to what the body is trying to tell it. Then the mind is not overly controling at the expense of the body.

Edited by - parvati9 on Dec 14 2018 6:06:57 PM
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587 Posts

Posted - Dec 15 2018 :  11:35:37 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply

25-I. Suggestions for Balancing Doshas w/Ama (revised)

1) Integrate mind and body, do not allow mind to be rigidly set, rather aim for balance and flexibility, applicable all doshas.

2) Use bitter and pungent to destroy ama.

3) Ama feeds on sweet, minimize accordingly.

4) When necessary, alternate cycles of building up strength and discharging toxins until there is relatively good strength, and then the two cycles can be combined.

5) Vatas may use garlic as medicinal, careful with bitter; eat enough, keep warm, more relaxation.

6) Pittas may reduce intensity, use mostly bitter, careful with pungent.

7) Kaphas may use lemon with honey to break up congestion, eliminate dairy.

8) Remain alert/ sensitive to changes in the condition.

Edited by - parvati9 on Dec 16 2018 1:07:19 PM
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587 Posts

Posted - Dec 16 2018 :  12:57:18 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
26-I. Shared Characteristics

Refer to Section 23, List of Dosha Attributes (McIntyre p.77)


Note that for Vata-Kapha, cold is the only shared attribute.

However for Vata-Pitta, there are several shared attributes, not only light. List of shared attributes for Vata and Pitta: light, mobile, subtle, clear, sharp, and flowing.

For Pitta-Kapha, there are three shared attributes, not just oily. List of shared attributes for Pitta and Kapha: oily, smooth, soft.

It may (or may not) prove helpful at some point, to be aware of the expanded more accurate list of shared characteristics between the dual doshas. With this Intermediate Level, it's mainly up to readers to sort/ organize the data for applicability to their current level of comprehension.

Ayurveda is prone to simplification whenever the need for clarification of a basic principle is deemed more important than precision. Ayurveda refers to Vata as the "Air" dosha when it is literally the "Air-Ether" dosha. Okay we get that, right. We understand why Ayurveda simplifies whenever possible. Because Ayurveda is very complex, and simplification often improves understanding.

We will soon begin to appreciate the exquisite interrelationship between twelve attributes, three doshas, five elements and six tastes. This information may, at some point, prove useful for efficiently healing oneself or a loved one. It is promoting a much deeper understanding of the subject matter. But that may not, at first, be obvious. Furthermore the information may prove effective at an unconscious level, which sorts itself and comes together during periods of deep sleep.

27-I. Elements Comprising the 6 Tastes

SWEET..............Water + Earth
SOUR................Fire + Earth
SALTY...............Water + Fire
ASTRINGENT......Air + Earth
BITTER..............Air + Ether
PUNGENT...........Air + Fire

Commentary on the above
There are general rules that conform to this information. However as with most rules, there are exceptions. We can see from the above that bitter is comprised of the same elements as Vata, and therefore would increase or aggravate Vata. Sweet has the same elements as Kapha, and thus would increase or aggravate Kapha. All three hot tastes - sour, salty and pungent - possess the fire element, which would therefore increase Pitta. Sour - as fire and earth - is useful to Kapha as medicinal, not food. Sour is the taste of cutting through; it is extremely sharp in terms of energetics. Sour is the most aggravating to Pitta, even more than pungent.

28-I. Power of Tastes to Aggravate Doshas (Frawley, p.18)
"Each taste differs in its power to aggravate humors [doshas]."
Number 1 is the most aggravating, number 6 the least. Number 1 "Bitter is the most aggravating in small amounts, as it is most depleting."


This is true for all the doshas, so covers a wide range.. please keep that in mind. We will be looking at more specific information along the same lines, for each of the doshas separately. The above indicates for all the doshas, we need to be careful in the administration of bitter and then salty.

Salty is very difficult for me as my body/ mind seems to hate it. Sour too but not as much as salty. Whereas my mind hates salty, it adores sour which has proven to be damaging for me. As we age, the effects of our bad choices begin to manifest, often in unpleasant ways. So it is highly recommended that you make wise choices. In the past I've been foolishly addicted to a number of very bad choices.

Edited by - parvati9 on Dec 16 2018 3:42:09 PM
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587 Posts

Posted - Dec 16 2018 :  4:03:06 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
29-I. Elements and Doshas

Ether and Air share most qualities with only two differences: Air is hard and rough, whereas Ether is soft and smooth. Otherwise they appear by quality to be identical. One may therefore assume that Ether is perhaps more ethereal, refined and sattvic than air. As well as slightly more difficult to ground.

Earth corresponds to physical body, water to emotion, air to mind. Fire corresponds to will, energy, spirit, heat ... whichever is appropriate.

Salty taste
The taste I have a hard time with is salty. Salty is composed of water and fire. What would that translate to? Energized/ zesty emotion? Emotional will? Emotional spirit? Spiritual emotion? Possibly any of these. But what is the most obvious meaning of fire and water? Anger isn't it? Hot emotion is anger. If you know you have anger issues, then salty is apt to only make it worse. We know anger is a Pitta problem.

Salty is the taste which most pacifies Vata. Why would that be? Anger requires staying with it, adding fuel to get it intense/ smoldering. Anger isn't usually a problem for Vatas; they don't stay with anything long enough to get it smoldering. After a few minutes, they're off to something new and interesting. But they can be aloof, cold, detached, uninvolved. Salty then gives them staying power, warms them up, helps get them involved a little longer, gives them a bit of needed zest. Salty is zest for life (Svoboda p.23).

Pittas have plenty of zest, they don't need any more. Too much zest or passion is also a Pitta problem. Well then. What if you are Vata-Pitta or Pitta-Vata? What do you do with zest, with anger, with getting warmed up and committed to something? Remember the shared attributes of Vata and Pitta: light, mobile, subtle, clear, sharp, flowing. Do they offer a clue in balancing the dual-dosha? The light, clear, mobile and sharp characteristics sound fiery to me. Only the subtle and flowing attributes seem more airy. With this information, it would appear that salty is not a very good taste for pacifying this dual-dosha.
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