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Mindful Living, Mindful Being retreat

Mindful Living, Mindful Being retreat

Mindful Living, Mindful Being at Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary on the Gold Coast

10th – 13th April: Intensive Peace, noble silence, mindfulness and vipassana 
The retreat opens with the marvelous experience by cultivating the practice for Intensive Peace. Here 3 days are in silence (10th-12th), cultivating mindfulness, where the clutter of compulsive thoughts is cleared away, and the light of awareness becomes powerfully bright. When you turn this brightness turned inward, it allows you to access the immaterial realms that a cluttered mind cannot attain. When this brightness is turned towards materiality (the physical world) or mentality (thought forms), these can be perceived and experienced in their unconditioned form, without the overlay of conceptual, conditioned thought.

13th – 17th April: The Yoga Sutras
Then the silence lifts, and we proceed with Shantiji’s discourses on the original Yoga Sutras. Each day will include periods of meditation, yoga nidra (deep relaxation) and gentle yoga, and during the course of the retreat, we have short philosophical (dharma) talks and group discussions to deepen our understanding of our dharma (purpose) in the world. Together we establish a retreat environment that includes daily practice, noble silence, simple group meals and participation in food preparation and clean-up, in the garden and other tasks.

17th – 19th April: Body, Mind and Spirit and the Seven Spiritual Laws of Healing
We culminate the retreat with a wonderful weekend spent with a lovely body, mind, spirit understanding based on the Seven Spiritual Laws of Healing and conclude the retreat with a delicious Sunday feast before we head down the mountain back to our home.
Mindful Living, Mindful Being residential retreat program 5-14 April 2019.  9 to 19 April 2020

Bookings and enquiries: (07) 5531 0511
or book online at: www.shantiyoga.com.au

NIRVANA WELLNESS RETREATS
Include:-

  • Inspiring talks with discussion and Q & A
  • Loving your mind and body with daily meditation and gentle yoga
  • Delicious Ayurvedic vegetarian meals were you eat love, not stress
  • Detox medicines
  • Nature walks
  • Mindful art, and so much more.
  • Discover the tools you need to stay happy, healthy and whole, every day of your life.
  • Help your body heal and recover from stress, chronic illness, toxicity or poor nourishment, bad nutrition, digestive and eliminating issues
  • Align your energy centres with nature to improve your emotional and physical wellbeing
  • Experience a feeling of calmness, tranquillity and bliss

Return home with an upgrade in the quality of your life and work.

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Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

Bone is a dynamic living tissue. it is constantly being broken down and rebuilt, a process known as remodelling.

Peak bone mass is reached between the ages of 25 and 35 years. After 35, bone mass is stable until, in women, it starts to drop with menopause. 6-18% of women between 25-34 years of age have ‘abnormally low’ bone density. Hip-fracture rates for white women in the US and Britain begin to rise abruptly between the ages of 40-44 much earlier than menopause begins. This drop occurs more slowly in males.

Bones become porous, or less dense, with age. As we age, the mineral-rich, internal part of bone breaks down faster than it is rebuilt. It should not be treated as disease unless you experience one or following multiple symptoms over a period of time:

  • Bone fracture
  • A gradual loss of height
  • A rounding of the shoulders
  • Gum inflammation and loosening of the teeth
  • Acute lower backache
  • Swelling of a wrist after a minor fall or injury
  • Trouble with nail, hair, teeth, gums, joints, or back
  • Nocturnal leg cramps
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Restless behaviour,

The word osteoporosis simply means ‘porous bones’. Persons with osteoporosis suffer from a loss in bone mass and bone strength at a higher rate than expected with aging. Their bones become weak and brittle which makes them more prone to fracture. Any bone can be affected by osteoporosis, but the hips, wrists and spine are the most common sites.

Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

From the Ayurvedic perspective, any vata imbalance or disease pattern in the bods indicated by any one of the symptoms such as stress, anxiety, constipation, dry skin, hypertension, restlessness, insomnia, PMS or many menstrual disorders, Irritable bowel syndrome and Inability to relax and so on. Some of the behavioural patterns that can create a vata imbalance in the body are:

  • when a person is under stress or reacting to stress with anxiety
  • physical exhaustion; mental strain and overwork without giving the body a chance to relax and rejuvenate
  • addictive patterns
  • lack of sleep
  • suffering emotionally from grief, fear or shock
  • travelling (flying or long car journeys)
  • stringent diets
  • eating cold, raw or dry foods frequently
  • living in a cold, dry and windy weather.

Osteoporosis is one of the natural processes that occur with age, however, vata body type individuals or people in the vata stage of life, are likely to experience loss of bone density at a higher rate. Consequently the risk for osteoporosis will be higher in a person of vata body, old people and women after menopausal age. For women, a regular menstrual cycle is important for building and maintaining bone strength throughout a woman’s reproductive years.

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

Certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing and aggravating osteoporosis include:

  • Being female. Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. Though most women start to think about bone loss only at menopause, it often begins years before. 50%of the bone loss over their lifespan is lost before menopause even begins. The reasons could include:
    • Women’s bones are generally thinner and lighter.
    • They live longer than men.
    • They have rapid bone loss at menopause due to a sharp decline of oestrogen.
    • Natural menopause before age 40;
    • A hysterectomy which includes removal of both ovaries with no hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
    • A lack of, or irregular menstrual flow.
    • Oestrogen/ progesterone deficiency
  • Having a thin, small framed body
  • Heredity and Race – the risk increases if there is a history of osteoporosis and/or bone fractures in your family. Some races, for example Caucasians are at a higher risk than Asians and African Americans.
  • Lack of physical activity especially activities such as walking, running, tennis and other weight-bearing exercises.
  • Lack of Calcium and Vitamin D, Magnesium and other mineral deficiencies from a modern diet of processed foods.
  • Cigarette smoking and Excessive Alcohol – Heavy drinkers and smokers often have poor appetite and poor nutrition.
  • Taking certain medicines such as corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat asthma, arthritis, lupus, etc.) and aluminium containing antacids such as Rolaids or Di-Gel., anti-seizure drugs and overuse of thyroid hormones.
  • Hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, and certain forms of bone cancer, anorexia nervosa, scoliosis and gastrointestinal disease.
  • Malabsorption of nutrients as a result of antibiotic use
  • High Fat, high protein diet

Traditional Treatment includes:

  • Medical management, especially if you are at a high risk of getting the disorder. Doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and/or calcium. These are recommended to prevent fractures from osteoporosis if taken during or soon after the start of menopause and then on a continual basis. HRT does not rebuild bone, but it is supposed to prevent further bone loss. New research on HRT is bringing question mark on this method.
  • Surgery, such as hip replacement, if necessary.
  • Dietary and lifestyle measures.

Natural Dietary and Lifestyle Measures

Natural approaches to osteoporosis treatment are to focus on supporting the body’s dynamic, bone rebuilding process, and not on replacing the natural and healthy decline of oestrogen during menopause. To prevent or slow osteoporosis, take these steps now:

Consume a diet high in complex carbohydrate, and relatively low in fat and protein. 

If you are non-vegetarian, limit your servings of red meat to lean cuts, no more than three times per week (Red meat is very high in phosphorous, as is soda. High phosphorous intake extracts calcium from bones). To keep calcium/phosphorous levels in balance, concentrate on eating dark green, leafy vegetables.

Calcium

Plan to get enough calcium every day. If our diets were mostly whole grains, greens, beans and vegetables, our bones would be more apt to stay healthy on relatively less calcium, as long as we also exercised and got out in the sun for vitamin D. Some high calcium foods include: Milk, yogurt and cheeses. Soft-boned fish and shellfish, such as salmon with the bones, sardines and shrimp. Vegetables such as dark green, leafy vegetables, broccoli, kale, collards. Beans and bean sprouts, as well as tofu (soy bean curd, if processed with calcium). Calcium-fortified foods such as some orange juices, apple juices and ready-to-eat cereals and breads.

Vitamin C

is involved in collagen synthesis and repair and is found in Citrus fruits.

Magnesium

It is found in organically grown vegetables, whole grains, seaweed (kelp) and meats such as turkey. Over-consumption of processed food, such as refined grains or too few dark green leafy vegetables is usually the culprit in magnesium deficiency.

Boron

The minimum dose of boron needed per day is easily met with a daily diet rich in fruit, nuts and vegetables.

Beta Carotene

Vitamin A promotes a healthy intestinal epithelium and promotes strong joints, which is important for optimal absorption of nutrients. It is found in yellow and orange vegetables e.g. pumpkin, carrots, leafy vegetables and broccoli.

Exercise

The average Australian sits for 11 hours a day. This is what happens while you’re sitting:

  • Muscles deteriorate, fat loss slows and calorie burning drops to 1 calorie per minute
  • Blood flow dips, LDL and triglycerides clog your arteries and heart attack risk jumps by 125%
  • Sugar piles up in your blood, insulin skyrockets and diabetes risk shoots up by 90%.

Your body receives the signal that it’s time to shut down, so it starts preparing you for death. If we also sleep an average of 7 hours a day, that’s 18 hours of not moving. And since most of us are working those other 6 hours (or more), most of us can’t find the time to workout, burn fat, and prevent this bodily decay.
Yet, you must follow a program of regular, weight-bearing exercise at least three or four times a week. Beneficial examples include: walking, jogging, cycling, weight training, low-impact or non-impact aerobics, and anything that places weight on the bones, twenty minutes, five times per week, or thirty minutes three times per week.

Pay attention to your posture. Keep your back straight when you sit, stand and walk.

Take measures to prevent falls and injury to your bones.

Avoid

Do not smoke and limit alcohol consumption.

Smoking makes osteoporosis worse. Smokers, together with those who consume two or more alcoholic drinks daily, are at highest risk of osteoporosis. Smoking poisons the ovaries.

Avoid cola or soda and soft, fizzy drinks

These are too high in phosphate, which directly interferes with calcium absorption.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Osteoporosis

Ayurveda focuses on balancing the doshas, especially vata dosha, and ensuring that the tissues (dhatus) are free of toxcicity (ama), to enable the body’s homeostatic mechanisms more efficiently help our metabolism adjust to a natural aging process. When the body’s natural healing ability is strengthened, and causal and root imbalances in basic bodily functions are removed, the bone rebuilding process will be positively influenced.

Ayurveda recommends:

Detoxification and balancing the doshas, especially vata dosha, using Purvakarmaand Basti treatments.

The detoxification (panchakarma) treatment consists of internal oleation, namely snehana, fomentation, or bashpa swedana, lower back oil pooling, or kati basti, and a steady, thread-like stream of oil, poured on the forehead, known as shiro dhara. This is followed by an appropriate purge to remove all the offending, vitiated doshas from the body systems, then followed by basti with herbal oil to pacify vata (vata shamak or dashmoola) for the vitiated vata dosha.

Food supplements and rejuvenators such as Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Bala (Sida cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) should be taken in the powdered form in the dose of 2-3gm daily.

Shatavari and vidari mixed in equal parts, or just shatavari taken on regular basis (1/2 tsp twice daily)
with warm milk, help to make up for oestrogen in the metabolic cycle. These herbs are food precursors of oestrogen and progesterone.

Self massage or abhyanga, using sesame oil, for vata pacification.

Ashokarishta

Ashoka bark has silica, sodium, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, iron, and calcium among others. It is used for many uterine disorders and is a good herb during the time of menopause.

Dashamularishta

Dashmoola is used for vata pacification.

These preparations should be taken after consulting an Ayurvedic consultant.

Daily chewing a handful of sesame seeds in the morning provides at least 1200 mg of natural calcium. These seeds won’t clog arteries, as dependence upon calcium from dairy products may do. One part black or white sesame seeds, half part shatavari, with ginger and raw sugar added to taste is good for the bones.

The vata pacifying diet includes warm, heavy, moist and slightly oily food that give you strength.

Frequent small meals, mildly spiced and with only a few different types of foods per meal are recommended.

– Don’t eat when you are nervous or worried.

– If possible eat with your friends/ family.

Amalaki is a rejuvenator (rasayana) for the bones, nourishing the bones, strengthening the teeth, causing hair and nails to grow. Five gm powder in one cup of water, twice a day is used as a general tonic.

Triphala can be used on regular basis as a tridoshic tonic.

Few diet/ lifestyle aspects to complement the beneficial effect of Ayurvedic Medicines:

– Consume more of calcium-rich foods such as milk and spinach, avoiding red meat at the same time.

– Nourish yourself with whole, natural foods.

– Avoid fats such as margarine and saturated fats such as cheese. Instead use ghee, butter or unsaturated fat such as sunflower and corn oils.

– Make exercise a daily routine (after consulting your doctor) to keep yourself fit

– Limit your intake of tea or coffee to a maximum of one or two cups daily, but avoid completely if possible.

– Practise yoga and meditation for calming effects and mind control. If osteoporosis has begun to develop, yoga as exercises should be done gently, with care, to overcome a real danger of breaking a bone.

– Develop a positive approach towards menopause and life in general.

– Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.

– Excess Vata (air) may also be reduced to proper levels by having regularity of routine, providing the body adequate rest, meditation and using vata pacifying essential oils.

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Kledaka kapha

Kledaka kapha

Kledaka kapha is one among the five subtypes of kapha.

Kleda means ‘moist’. Kledaka means ‘that which causes moistness’.

Kledaka kapha is that kapha being located in the stomach, on receiving food, gets mixed with it and moistens it so as to prepare it into a bolus. This allows the food to be digested as a single mass.

Seat of Kledaka Kapha

Kledaka kapha is formed and located in the stomach. Formation happens in the first stage of transformation of food, namely madhura avastha paka. This includes all change occurring in the food from the mastication of food in the mouth to the chymification of same in the stomach.

The food we consume undergoes three stages of transformation at three different sites of the gastrointestinal tract. These stages are called avastha paka (avasthameans ‘stage’, paka means ‘digestion/cooking’).

Transformation of food taking place in the stomach after the masticated food enters it is called madhura avastha paka. Madhur means ‘sweet’. Here, in the stomach, during the stage of digestion, all foods, immaterial of their taste are converted into a chyme which carries a sweet taste. This rule is majorly applicable for foods which are sweet, sour and salty in taste.

At the end of this sweet predominant transformation of food, the kapha which is also sweet in taste and cold in quality is formed in the stomach. This is kledaka kapha. It is foamy in nature.

Owing to the sweetness, stickiness and moistness of food entering the stomach, the kapha which is sweet and cold in nature is formed in the stomach.

Functions of Kledaka Kapha

Anna sanghata kledana: moisten and produce unctuousness in the food entering the stomach.

We eat various kinds of food, such as solids, semisolids and liquids. These, on reaching the stomach come into contact with kledakamkapha located in the stomach, which makes the food mass moist, smooth and unctuous and brings it into a form which can be easily digested.

Bhinna sanghata sukha jaro bhavati:

The action of kledaka kapha on food not only moistens it but also breaks complex food molecules into smaller and less complex components. When the food is broken into smaller components, the food would be easily digested.

Shesha kapha sthana anugrahanam:

According to Sushruta, kledaka kapha, located in the stomach controls other kapha subtypes and their abodes by virtue of its inherent strength and power. Thus, stomach and moistening kapha are control stations of the activities of other kaphic subtypes and their abodes.

The balance of kledaka kapha would ensure the balance of other kapha abodes and the residing kapha subtypes, namely avalambaka kapha, located in the chest cavity, tarpaka kapha located in the head, shkleshaka kapha located in the joints and bodhaka kapha located in the tongue. Imbalance in kledaka kapha would create functional imbalance of the other subtypes of kapha too. It n ot only controls other subtypes of kapha, but also nourishes the entire body. This is possible because of udaka karma, or the water-like nourishing and refreshing activity of kapha.

However, contrary to Sushruta’s view, Vagbhata is of the opinion that it is Avalambaka Kapha, located in the chest cavity which is the chief governing kapha and it controls the other subtypes of kapha, being located in the chest cavity, owing to its nourishing property (ambu karma, or water like functions).

Counteracts the corrosive and burning effect of pitta:

The seat of kapha is understood to be located above the seat of pitta. In this context, the seat of kledaka kapha, namely the stomach is anatomically placed above the seat of pachaka pitta, namely the small intestine, or duodenum to be precise. This also means that a body of water is placed above a body of fire.

Kledaka kapha thus always checks on the hyperactivity of pachaka pitta. If pachaka pitta is hyperactive, it leads to the production of severe heat in the intestines. This will have an impact on the other pitta subtypes of the body, ultimately leading to increased heat and burning sensation all over the body. This will eventually lead to corrosion and inflammation, which is a dangerous situation.

The presence of avalambaka kapha, which is watery and cool in nature, above the hot and corrosive pitta will buffer the activities of pachaka pitta and thus keeps  it under control. This will also enable pachaka pitta not to go out of sorts and indulge itself in properly digesting food without causing complications.

This phenomenon of kledaka kapha acting as a buffer to pachaka pitta is a simple explanation. Just as the Moon, by its coolant property in nature, is positioned to counteract the heat of the Sun, kledaka kapha, owing to its coolant property in the human body, is positioned in the body, counteracting the heat of pachaka pitta.

Pachaka pitta is produced in the stomach too. By buffering the acidic behaviour of pitta, the kledaka kapha protects mucous membranes and the muscles of the stomach from getting damaged and eroded.

Pathology related to Kledaka Kapha imbalance

When there is kledaka kapha imbalance, many diseases of the gasgtrointestinal tract set in, particularly diseases of the stomach.

Excessive production of kledaka kapha produce diseases such as dyspepsia, indigestion, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, sinusitis and coryza. heaviness, laziness and lethargy, excessive sleepiness and so on.

Deficit production of kledaka kapha means a lack of protection of the stomach and intestines from the corrosive action of pitta. This leads to many diseases, such as gastritis, reflux oesophagitis, gastric erosion, peptic ulcers and so on.

Since kledaka kapha controls the other kapha subtypes, imbalance of this kapha would have an impact on the other kaphas too. This would led to pathological manifestations of other kapha subtypes in their respective seats.

Contemporary correlations

Seeing similarity in terms of anatomy and physiology of kledaka kapha, it can be closely correlated with gastric mucous secretions, that is gastric mucin. A description of mucin secreted by mucoid cells or cardiac and pyloric glands of the stomach resemble that of kledaka kapha. Gastric mucin, like kledaka kapha is secreted in varying quantities from what is known of its functions. It seems to serve three essential purposes, namely:-
– Buffers the strong acids
– Inhibits the action of pepsin
– Moistens the food by loosening molecules, especially the protein molecules before they are acted upon by pepsin.

Ayurvedic Treatment
Vamana, Virechana, cooling herbs such as Shatavari, Kaparda, Shankhabhasma and so on are used for treatment.

PLEASE NOTE: All the information in this article and the entire website is only for the purposes of education. They are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease. Self-medication can be dangerous. Always consult your doctor, or registered Ayurvedic practitioner for any health issue.

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Detoxification in Spring

Detoxification in Spring

Profound Healing. Sustainable Wellbeing
Transform into the new paradigm

Many years ago, when medical professionals prescribed a detox, it meant the patient needed to get clean from drugs or alcohol. Today, detoxing has become a popular trend that can mean just about anything. There are many diets and cleanses that claim to detox your body, help you lose weight, clear up your skin, give you increased energy, and more. But, many of these so-called detoxes lack scientific proof, and some are downright unhealthy.

That said, we are exposed to toxins in our environment now more than ever before, so there may be times when your body needs a little extra support. If you are interested in effective ways to detox in a safe manner, that helps you feel your best and keep your body functioning optimally you ahe come to the right place. Eating whole foods, eliminating refined sugar, supporting your body with high-quality supplements, getting enough sunlight, and taking care of your inner self are some of the best ways to keep your body, mind, and spirit truly flourishing.

Clean air and pure water are no longer the norm, and living in a modern world of manmade chemicals, toxins and pollutants, our environment has changed faster than we can evolve with it. Environmental toxins have become a major health threat. These toxins, lodged in cells, tissues and organs are linked with many of today’s chronic diseases, such as ADHA, Alzheimers, asthma, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, Parkinson’s, thyroid disease… Which is why purging your body of pollutants is more important today than ever.

Ayurveda is the healing system that has been used in India for over 5,000 years. It is known as the ‘mother of all cures’ from which have emerged many systems of health care.

The basic principle of Ayurveda is that each person has an individual mind-body constitution, known as Prakruti, which arises from the combination of their unique mix of bio-markers, or doshas. Each individual is unique and needs to follow dietary routines, physical exercises (yoga), detoxification and rejuvenation treatments that are specific to their body and lifestyle for exceptional wellbeing. At Nirvana Detox Retreats, we highly respect your unique individuality.

Detoxification is a natural body process that is compromised when the mind-body system becomes overloaded. Cleansing is not about magic pills, sitting on the toilet for days or starving yourself. Medicine, elimination and diet must work together with education to safely eliminate the toxins we all have stored in our body’s tissues and memories. To be effective and sustainable, detoxification according to Ayurveda needs to address your unique mind-body type (prakruti) and your imbalances (vikruti).

Nirvana Detox Retreats are highly specialised, customised, and tailored in-house, according to your current state of health and constitution, to enable you achieve the most benefits from the program. It is the starting point to pro-actively manage and improve your health and wellness. Personal attention is given to each participant’s specific needs. Ayurveda at Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary is practised in both its original form, together with contemporary practices and treatments that have been highly successful with both minor and chronic ailments.

The purification of the five elements within the human system – earth, water, fire, air and space – stabilises body and mind and is particularly beneficial for those suffering from physical ailments, a weak constitution, psychological instabilities, disturbed sleep and a constant sense of doubt and fear.  If these limiting forces can be dispelled from the mind, one can live life to one’s full potential. It is also supportive for the fulfilment of one’s ambitions.

If you’ve tried juicing for weight loss, the 24hr detox, 3-day detox, 5-day detox or even the 7-day detox diets you may not have given your body enough time to cleanse, detoxify and rejuvenate the bodies tissues. Nirvana’s 10-day, fully supervised, residential detox retreat is the only mind-body program that combines western and eastern healing modalities, designed to remove your physical and emotional roadblocks. It is totally unique, absolutely transformative, with proven results that actually work.

This is the best detox cleanse you will ever come across. It’s based on solid nutritional and behavioural sciences, about whole foods, changing habits, moderation, understanding yourself and being a better you! You will be glad you did, because it is not about a quick fix. It’s about building health and wellbeing for the rest of your life. You will feel your stress and tension melt away as our team helps you restore your balance and address your personal health and life concerns.

Join Nirvana’s outstanding program to explore the truth behind the illusions, and experience an integrated approach to rejuvenating the body, mind and spirit. We can help you start s positive and energetic lifestyle by de-stressing and detoxing through customised Ayurvedic and yoga therapy. Nirvana Wellness Retreat is a physically, spiritually and mentally rejuvenating and regenerating experience, which will return you healthy and totally renewed. The detoxification program needs a minimum stay of 10 days.

Health is not just skin deep. Outer radiance and beauty come from within. When an individual finds true equilibrium between their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self, their persona radiates with wholesome beauty and allure. To further enhance your benefits of detoxification, we use highly specialised oils and treatments unique to your mind-body type and specific to your imbalance. Herbs, decoctions, oils, teas, dietary additions and other detox medicine supplies are used in the program. We also provide you with pure, natural herbal cleansing supplies to use during your stay. These can all be taken home with you at the end of the program.

To make wise choices in life, you need to get in touch with your essence. This is best achieved during your moments of stillness, silence and solitude, which most people are afraid of. However, in silence we grow, in stillness we heal. Your soul is nourished through authenticity. In the silence you hear the voice of Truth and know your solutions. The answer lies within you, always, and your heart will show you the way.

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Seasonal Routines

Seasonal Routines

Seasonal Routines

Do you notice that you feel differently in the light and dark? day and night? summer and winter? That you crave different foods, have different sleeping patterns, and experience different moods?

We are circadian beings, which means our ability to survive and thrive as a species depends on our connection to the rhythms of nature.

We now know from the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribe, the Hunza, that our gut microbes are designed to change from one season to the next. We know that microbes in the soil change seasonally and they have interdependent relationships with plants and microbes in our guts.

We also know that carbohydrate-digesting microbes (Bacteroidetes) flourish in summer, when more complex carbohydrates are harvested, and fat-eating microbes (Actinobacteria) flourish in winter, when a higher fat, higher protein diet is available. Clearly, science points us in the direction of seasonal eating and routines as a primary tool to stay in circadian rhythm.

Emerging studies find that digestive efficiency, in particular digestive enzymes, change with seasons. Both starch-digesting amylase and the digestion-promoting parasympathetic nervous system increases as temperatures cool in the autumn and winter.

Because of the autumn harvest of starches and grains, it makes more sense that we produce more amylase. Ayurveda says that digestive strength is stronger during winter months, which would be needed to break down heavy and dense foods, such as nuts, tubers and meats.

It also makes sense that the rest-and-digest parasympathetic nervous system increases during colder months, when we need warmth and a stronger digestive fire.

Another difference is that receptors for neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and brain derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) are more receptive in the light-filled summer months and much less receptive in the darker, winter months. Which is also why we encounter more mood-related concerns and depression during winter.

Nature’s biohack for this is to harvest roots in the autumn to boost BDNF, serotonin and dopamine receptor activity with herbs such as ashwagandha, bacopa and turmeric, as well as foods such as fish oils.

Studies in both animals and human beings have both shown increased microbial diversity in the gut during winter and spring, with much less in summer and autumn. Opportunistic harmful bacteria also increase in winter and spring, so we need our immune strength most here. Greater microbial diversity has been associated with greater health and immunity, which is much needed during cold winter and wet spring.

Melatonin levels surge in winter, when daylight is less. This acts as a natural birth control agent for mammals. Conceiving in winter would render the baby premature to handle the cold the next winter. Melatonin is also the body’s most powerful immune-boosting, detox, and repair molecule, all of which we need more during darker, winter months.

The loss of circadian rhythms alters our microbiome with disturbed function of gut bacteria, most notably, masking normal feeding signals, placing us at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. According to Ayurveda, living in sync with natural circadian rhythms is key to health and longevity. Whereas the stress of living against these natural cycles is a fundamental violation of healthy living. We are healthier with we live in accord with the normal exposure to light-dark cycles of day and night, and seasonal cycles, which does not disturb our circadian clocks. Living in sync with nature’s cycles is a powerful lifestyle tool to de-stress the body and mind and begin to enjoy life.

Here is a start for what you can do towards harmonious circadian living and eating with the seasons, as nature intended.

• Eat whole, organic, non-GMO, unprocessed seasonal food. Eat local and organic foods (look for foods that are grown less than 100miles away), and focus on foods that balance that particular season.

Processed foods dump excess sugar into the blood stream that cannot be used right away and that is eventually stored as fat. The more processed a food, the more easily it is digested and the more rapidly sugars and fats are deposited into the blood stream – a process directly liked with obesity. We just have to feed the brain whole foods for a while and our desires and cravings for junk food will naturally dissipate.

Whole grains boost the body’s metabolism for the body to digest them, yet a significant amount of calories are not digested and pass out of the body through the faeces. Research has calculated that both of these factors add up to about 100 fewer calories per day being digested and being stored as fat or unused fuel. That one meals adds up to almost 7 pounds of weight loss per year.

• Eat more plants. You will gain more daily energy, experience less joint pain, have lower grocery bills and feel just lighter in general. You are also supporting a more sustainable food industry which helps the environment.

• Eat mindfully, and relax when you eat.

• Introduce changes in your diet slowly. Sudden changes in the diet can disrupt the elegant moulding of the rumen (layering of the stomach) community and its environment. If a deer is fed corn or leafy greens in the middle of winter, its rumen will be knocked off balance, acidity will rise uncontrollably, and gases will bloat the rumen. Indigestion of this kind can be lethal.

• Get to be early. Remember, early to bed, early to rise = healthy, wealthy and wise.

• Follow the Ayurvedic daily and seasonal clock.

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Patient Examination – Rogi Pariksha

Patient Examination  –  Rogi Pariksha

 

Shanti Gowans
Clinical examination of the disease and its condition (roga) and the diseased (rogi) together form the basis of a comprehensive protocol of examination and are critical for comprehensive treatment to be planned and administered.

The constitution of a person from conception is known as Prakruti. It is the balanced state, or state of health for a person. (more…)

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Food for Life

Food for Life

Food for Life is food for health, food as medicine and food to enjoy. Food for Life is a revolutionary cookbook that will help anyone who wishes to feel better, manage their weight and have more energy for living. With exciting traditional and inventive recipes that are so delicious you forget the purpose is good health and nourishment, Shanti Gowans’ philosophy is simple: a healthy gut leads to a healthy body and mind, and a happier you. However, changing the way you eat doesn’t have to involve deprivation. Food is celebratory and can be enjoyed everyday – whether you are home, work, with family or friends, or eating out. (more…)

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Events coming up at Shanti Yoga

Events coming up at Shanti Yoga

5-17 June 2018. .Ayurveda Cooking Retreat
COOK, TASTE, HEAL
Weekend Retreat. Cert IV & Dip Yoga
Retreat Facilitator: Shanti Gowans
Venue: Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary, Beechmont
Fee: $750 single room accommodation, shared facilities, for 2 nights, 6 meals, program.

16, 17 June 10am – 5 pm
SHIRODHARA, KATI BASTI  Practitioner training in Ayurvedic treatments for lower back pain, stress, migraines. Prerequisites: •Basic principles of Ayurveda. •A&P. •Ayurvedic A&P (Can be done on-line) •First Aid. Bookings essential. $1595

23, 24 June. Sat & Sun
CHAIR YOGA  FACILITATOR TRAINING
YOGA FOR HEALTHY AGEING FACILITATOR TRAINING
$2995

29 June. Friday 6:30-9:00pm
FELLOWSHIP AND VEGETARIAN DINNER
Spiritual food that brings people together.
$35. Course students $15

6-15 July EXCEPTIONAL WELLBEING
Experience an upgrade in the quality of your life.
– Heal your body. Help it recover from chronic illness, toxicity or poor nourishment and nutrition
– Align your energy centres to improve your emotional and physical wellbeing
– Experience a feeling of calmness, tranquility and bliss
10 days at Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary. From $2980 for twin-share, accommodation, 30 delicious Ayurvedic vegetarian meals, detox medicines, program including yoga, meditation, nature walks, art and so much more.

16 July – 17 Sept. Mon 6:30-7:15pm
BOLLYWOOD DANCE COURSE
10 week term. Includes complementary yoga stretch and tone class Mon 5:30-6:25pm
Fee $195 for 10 week term or $35 casual payment

19 July – 20 Sept Thurs 2-3:15pm
SPEAK, DRAMATISE, IMPROVISE
Build the confidence to free your voice and express yourself with drama games, public speaking and improvisation.
Facilitator: Louise Hall
Fee $295 x 8 sessions or $49 drop-in

20 July, Friday 6:30-9:00pm
FELLOWSHIP ANS VEGETARIAN DINNER
Spiritual food that brings people together.
$35. Course students $15

24 July – 18 Sept. Tuesdays 4-5pm
AYURVEDIC VEGAN-VEGETARIAN COOKING COURSE
$60 per session or $500 for 10 lessons.

27-29 July. Ayurveda Cooking Retreat
COOK, TASTE, HEAL: HEALTHY MIND, HEALTHY BODY
Weekend Retreat with Cert IV & Dip Yoga course students
Retreat Facilitator: Shanti Gowans
Venue: Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary, Beechmont
Fee: $750 single room accommodation, shared facilities, for 2 nights, 6 meals, program.

3-5 August 2018,. Fri-Sun. Residential weekend retret
7 POINTS IN MIND TRAINING in Relational intelligence
Silent meditation weekend retreat
Retreat Facilitator: Shanti Gowans
Venue: Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary, Beechmont
Fee: $750 single room accommodation, shared facilities, for 2 nights, 6 meals, program.

17-19 August. Fri-Sun. Residential weekend retreat
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE
Retreat Facilitator: Shanti Gowans
Venue: Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary, Beechmont
Fee: $750 single room accommodation, shared facilities, for 2 nights, 6 meals, program.

25-26 August
PRANAYAMA, THE NEXT LEVEL
Two days of intensive training in understnding and exploring Pranayama.
Fee $2995. Repeat attendance $1595

Sept 7-9, Weekend
FINDING MEANING, PASSION and PURPOSE in the pursuit of happiness
Weekend Retreat. Cert IV & Dip Yoga
Retreat Facilitator: Shanti Gowans
Venue: Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary, Beechmont
Fee: $750 single room accommodation, shared facilities, for 2 nights, 6 meals, program.

Sept 15, 16. Sat, Sun
YOGA NIDRA FACILITATOR TRAINING
Fee: $2995. Repeat stiudents $1595

20, 21 Oct. Sat, Sun 10am-5pm
CHILDREN’S YOGA TEACHER TRAINING
Weekend intensive workshop and tutorial offering all the one-of-a-kind education, methodology and Shanti Yoga resources you need to successfully teach children’s yoga. Learn tools you can use immediately with the children in your life. Tutorial and practicum is free for current Yoga course students.
200 hr course, consisting of 1 non-residential. weekend intensive + 6 months internship.  $2995

26-28 October, Weekend
EMOTIONAL WELLBEING
Weekend Retreat. Cert IV & Dip Yoga
Retreat Facilitator: Shanti Gowans
Venue: Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary, Beechmont
Fee: $750 single room accommodation, shared facilities, for 2 nights, 6 meals, program.

3,4 November. Sat & Sun,  10am-5pm  $2995.
THE POWER OF TOUCH:
Ayurvedic Relaxation Massage, Abhyanga.
Practitioner Training. Prereqsites: Basic principles of Ayurveda. A&P. Ayurvedic A&P. First Aid. Bodies wanted. Please donate to science. $2995

Your Indian Holiday of a Lifetime 2018
3-11 November 2018. 9 days, 8 nights.
North India Golden Triangle
Fee per person
US $2520 twin share accommodation
(approx AUD3340)
US $3528 single traveller accommodation
(approx AUD4671)

11-18 November 2018. 8 days, 7 nights
Kerala, God’s own Country, South India
Fee per person
US $2433 twin share accommodation
(approx AUD3225)
US $3654 single traveller accommodation
(approx AUD4838)
with Shantiji and Peter

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Constipation according to Ayurveda

Constipation according to Ayurveda
Constipation can be much more than just a slow bowel movement. According to Ayurveda, constipation is a signal of imbalanced Vata and blockage of channels. A patient with depression or rheumatoid arthritis usually has constipation as an associated symptom. A patient with migraine can also have constipation. Thus, in many cases, relieving constipation can contribute to relief of migraine and depression as well.
Even though constipation is a simple discomfort, if neglected and not treated in time, it may lead to a major problem. Digestion is like a highway. One wrong move, and everything gets backed up. Sometimes for years. So there is immediate need to look into this health discomfort, seriously.
A common understanding with constipation, is that waste products are stuck in the intestines with complications arising because of those lodged or blocked waste products. However, the reason is much deeper than that. The large intestine is designed to store feces for a certain amount of time, thus, holding it for some more amount of time is not a big task for it. The real problem arises when the lack of bowel movements for a long period of time sends wrong signals to liver, brain, immune system etc, leading to migraine and such other complications.
Vata dosha is responsible for constipation. Apana vayu is responsible for both holding the stool until it is ready to be expelled, and for the free flow and expulsion of stool. When the functions of Apana vayu are significantly affected, it results in constipation.
Causes of constipation 
The Ayurvedic terms for constipation can include: Vibandha, Vishtabdhata, Malabaddhata, Baddhavarchas, Stabdha Pureeshata, Varcho Vibandha etc.
The cause of constipation can include:
– The intake of food possesses dry, light, rough qualities. This includes any food that causes dryness of mouth, lightness in the body and roughness in skin.
– Excessive consumption of pungent, astringent and salt foods
– Night awakening
– Not enough intake of water
– Working in strong sunlight.
– Long walks
– A lot of travelling
– Sitting at a same place for a long period of time
– Lack of sufficient fibre in the diet
– Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease
– Excessive use of antacids
– Depression
– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Pregnancy: the fetus putting pressure on the intestines, causing lack of bowel movements
– Colon cancer
– Intestinal obstruction: structural problems such as twisting of intestines (volvulus).
Medicines that cause constipation
Allopathic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and imipramine, anti convulsants such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, Iron supplements, Antacids with aluminiummay cause constipation.
Ayurvedic medicines containing Guggulu and Sallaki as ingredients may contribute to constipation. In such patients, usually Triphala Churna is adminsitered to nullify the side effect.
Herbs that cause constipation
Ripe Falsa fruit, Grewia asiatica
Fox nut, Euryale ferox
Jamun fruit
Kupilu, Nux Vomica
Pathology of constipation
Arising from Vata imbalancing factors, Apana vata is aggravated and is blocked in the lower part of the large intestine, which results in constipation. Depending upon the grade of affliction, absolute constipation or hard stool are complained by the patients.
Complications from constipation
If the complaint is neglected, and causative factors are continued, complications such as the following arise:
– Hemorrhoids
– Fissure in anus
– Gaseous distention of abdomen, bloating
– fecolith – hard, stone like feces
– Headache, liver disorders and various metabolic and intestinal diseases may be originated
– Back ache
– In some individuals, reverse peristalsis can also occur.
Prevention of constipation
•Consider eating fruit and vegetable salad mix as part of your lunch or dinner.
•Consume lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole wheat, corn (bran), cauliflower, raisins, cabbage, berries, green leafy vegetables, celery, beans, guava, figs, dates, flax seed, spinach, orange, mushroom, and so on, which provide fibre in your diet.
•Drink good quantities of water throughout the day. Note that, in a normal person, Ayurveda advises to drink water only when thirsty. But in a disease condition, such as constipation, the patient can have good amounts of water. Water along with fiber rich diet softens bowels and prevents constipation.
•Avoid excess of coffee and tea. However, some patients do not get bowel movement urges unless they have their coffee or tea. Then this advice is not applicable to them.
•Avoid excessive spicy food, heavy non vegetarian food, and fried food.
•Exercise. Consider walking for at least 15 minutes in a day.
•Yogasanas for constipation: Pavana Muktasana, Uttana Padasana, Yoga Mudra, and those asanas and exercises that put pressure on the abdomen are very useful in its treatment.
•Do not hold the urge. The science of Ayurveda teaches that a natural urge is a signal to the person to act. It needs to be attended immediately. Regular holding of urge eventually will lead to constipation.
Tips for treating constipation
– Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day (unless fluid is restricted).
– Drink warm liquids, especially in the morning.
– Drink a cup of warm water in the evening.
– Consider getting an oil massage, or do it yourself.
Treat the underlying cause
– Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, where constipation is an associated symptoms, correction of digestion process should be given due importance.
– Treatment of depression, in addition to treating constipation, depression symptoms should also be treated.
– Treatment of migraine, rheumatoid arthritis associated with constipation, the disease should also be given due attention in treatment.
Simple remedies for Constipation
•Soak 10-15 raisins in water in the morning and consume it at night.
•1 teaspoon of cow’s ghee and 1 spoon of raw sugar (in non diabetic patients) dissolved in one cup (150ml) of warm water, taken at bed time. This is highly effective against mild constipation.
•For those who pass hard pellets, Gulkhand is administered at night along with milk.
•The fruit pulp of Aragwadha is taken (10grams) along with water or milk. This helps to relieve even chronic kind of constipation.
•2-4 tender leaves of Castor (Eranda) ground into fine paste, to which the pulp of Aloe vera is added. Consumption of this helps people, who frequently suffer from constipation.
•Regular use of aloe vera in diet prevents hard bowels.
Caution with laxatives
Overuse of laxatives for a long period of time eventually worsens constipation. Hence, when you are prescribed a medicine for constipation, be proactive to change your lifestyle and diet habits, as explained above, so as to prevent dependency on medications.
Treatment 
– Mridu snehana, mild oleation.
– Abhyantara snehana, internal oleation, e.g. administering 5-10 grams of ghee or medicated ghee such as Sukumara ghrita.
– Maha Narayana oil, or sesame oil massage for external oleation.
– Triphala, Rasagandha or Sukha sarak vati, which are some Ayurvedic examples of laxatives, for virechana and vatanulomana oushadha.
– Guda Varti, use of rectal suppository
Herbs useful in mild constipation:
Haritak, Chebulic myrobalan-Terminalia chebula
Aragwadha, Cassia fistula
Draksha, Raisins, Dry grapes-Vitis vinifera
Patola, Trichosanthes dioica
Katukarohini, Picrorrhiza kurroa
Castor oil. in addition to constipation, castor oil in combination with other herbs is used in many diseases. For example: Castor oil with Haritaki is used in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
Herbs useful in severe constipation:
Jayapala, Croton tiglium
Danti, Baliospermum montanum
Trivrit, Operculina turpethum

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Diseases in the ages of beings

Diseases in the ages of beings

In the beginning of the golden age of truth, Satya-yuga, also known as the Krita-yuga, human beings were endowed with divine vitality. Exceedingly faultless and unhampered in their powers, they had direct knowledge. These god-like sages knew the divine law, and the sacrificial rituals. They possessed bodies which were robust, compact and firm, and had clear senses and mind. Thye had good complexions and their speed, strength and power resembled those of the wind. They were free from desire, aversion, infatuation, greed, anger, pride, diseases, laziness, fatigue, languour and the spirit of aquisition. They experienced unlimited longevity. For the benefit of these people with heroic minds, qualities and deeds, their crops were replete with wonderful taste, potency, post digestive effects, specific actions and virtue, because the earth, during the sawn of the golden age was charged to the full with all excellent qualities.

During the latter part of the Satya-yuga, those whe were financially better off ate more and became obese. By over-indulgence this heaviness of body led to lassitude; lassitude gave rise to indolence, indolence created the need of accumulation and necessitated acquisition. The spirit of acquisition engendered greed. The qualities of earth also deteriorated gradually along with the qualities of human beings.

Thereafter, the bodies of human beings failing to receive nutrition as before from the progressively deteriorating quality of food, together with the lack of exercise and adverse effects of exertion, heat and wind, soon succumbed to attacks of fever and other dis-ease. Thereafter, in the second or silver age, known as the Treta-yuga, greed brought malice in its way and led to falsehood; falsehood bred lust, anger, vanity, hatred, cruelty, aggression, fear, grief, anxiety, distress and the like. Consequently in the second age, virtue found itself deprived of a quarter of its plentitude. From this quarterly loss in virtue, there followed a similar deterioration in the duration of the succeeding age and in the beneficial power of the earth and other elements. The consequence of this deterioration led to a corresponding deterioration in the purity, taste, potency, post-digestive effects, specific ation and quality of herbs. In this manner righteousness dwindled in each succeeding age by one quarter, and the proto-elements too suffered silimar deterioration till eventually the world would come to dissolution.

When a hundredth part of the length of an age period is past, then the life span of creatures gets less by one year. This is in reference to the normal determination of life span in a given age. Thus, not following the path of righteousness and not following the dictates of conscience are the root cause of all disease.

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