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The Ayurveda Glow Podcast
19 minutes | Mar 25, 2020
009: Essential Ayurvedic Herbs To Boost Immunity
Herbs are revered in Ayurveda, and have been used around the world for thousands of years. They have tremendous healing capacity—providing phytonutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Immunity is top of mind for many of us at this time. You may be seeking to strengthen your immune system, protect yourself from virus or the flu or support your loved ones, especially those with a weaker immune system. In this two-part series, learn how you can boost your immunity and prevent or fight a virus, flu or cold through diet, lifestyle and powerful Ayurvedic herbs. In Part One, I shared seven diet and lifestyle practices to strengthen immunity. If you missed that episode, please see the link to that episode below. In this episode, Part Two, you'll learn about some go-to Ayurvedic herbs known for providing powerful immune support. By supporting the immune system, these Ayurvedic herbs can help you to prevent a virus, flu or common cold and help you stay healthy and well. Tune in to this episode to learn: Top Ayurvedic herbs to boost immunity Two powerful vitamins to take right away at the onset of feeling unwell 5 antimicrobial and antiviral herbs known to fight a wide variety of viruses, bacteria, fungi and microbes and help you stay well The medicinal plant used by Hippocrates, the ancient Greek known as the “father of medicine”, for its healing abilities Soothing herbs that provide comfort and relief if you have a cough Lung-loving herbs that can support your respiratory system Links mentioned in this episode: Immunity Boosting Recipes E-Book: https://katrinah.com/immunity/ Part One: How To Boost Your Immunity Instagram: @katrinaheppler Facebook: @katrinaheppler Subscribe on Apple Podcasts References, Resources, Link & Transcript: https://katrinah.com/ayurvedic-herbs-immune-support
16 minutes | Mar 18, 2020
008: How To Boost Your Immunity, According To Ayurveda
Immunity is top of mind for many of us at this time. Most of us know that our immune system is designed to fight pathogens and infection. Many of us are seeking to strengthen our immune system and protect ourselves, as well as our loved ones from virus, a cold or a nasty flu. In this two-part episode, I'll share practical ways you can boost your immunity, according to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. In Part One, you'll learn seven everyday habits you can start implementing into your daily life right now to boost your immunity and stay healthy. In Part Two, I share proven herbs known to boost the immune system and support your body's powerful natural ability to fight pathogens and infections, according to Ayurveda. Tune in to this episode to learn: The difference between bacteria and virus and why viruses are more difficult to treat 7 urgent steps you can take today to support your immune system in fighting a virus An easy way to tell if you are getting a variety of nutrients in your diet Why digestion plays a key role in enhancing your immune system How your thoughts can be wreaking havoc on your body's ability to fight dis-ease Why it's a smart idea to limit your media consumption if you want to stay healthy Links mentioned in this episode: Immunity Boosting Recipes E-Book: https://katrinah.com/immunity Instagram: @katrinaheppler Facebook: @katrinaheppler Subscribe on Apple Podcasts References, Resources, Link & Transcript: https://katrinah.com/how-to-boost-your-immunity-according-to-ayurveda
12 minutes | Mar 5, 2020
007: Better Than Coffee: Ayurveda's #1 Morning Detox Energy Drink
What's the best morning beverage to jumpstart digestion, help lose weight and flush out toxins? What does Ayurveda, one of the world's oldest holistic health systems, recommend that you drink first thing in the morning when you wake up to boost energy and metabolism? How can you enhance the flavor – naturally – to make this beautiful drink tastier and infused with even more health benefits? Tune in to this episode to learn: Why starting your morning with a tall glass of this drink will support your body's optimal function Why not drinking this beverage will leave you feeling fatigued How this beverage can support your liver's natural detox process to eliminate toxins from your body How to lose unwanted weight by drinking more of this one beverage Links mentioned in this episode: My Newsletter: katrinah.com/subscribe Instagram: @katrinaheppler Facebook: @katrinaheppler Subscribe on Apple Podcasts References, Resources, Links & Transcript: https://katrinah.com/better-than-coffee-ayurveda-morning-detox-energy-drink
9 minutes | Feb 25, 2020
006: Healthy Gums, Mouth & Teeth (Ayurvedic Oral Care Ritual)
What’s an easy, inexpensive – and natural – way to keep your gums healthy, prevent gum disease and cavities, and freshen your breath? Can this oral self-care practice also whiten your teeth? Tune in to this episode to learn more about the ancient Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling. What you’ll learn from tuning in: How oil pulling works What kind of oil to use The easy steps to put oil pulling into practice What modern science reveals about this ancient practice Links mentioned in this episode: My Newsletter: katrinah.com/subscribe Instagram: @katrinaheppler Facebook: @katrinaheppler Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Resources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19336860 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21911944 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198813/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25838632 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408265
14 minutes | Feb 20, 2020
005: The Perfect Meal Timing To Optimize Sleep, Energy & Health
Welcome back to The Ayurveda Glow Podcast, a place to discuss how the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda can be applied to your modern, everyday life to help you feel vibrant in mind, body and spirit, enjoy optimal health, and glow from the inside out. I’m your host, Katrina, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor & plant-based nutrition advocate based in Santa Monica, California. Through this podcast, I’ll be sharing with you what I’m learning in the areas of plant-based nutrition, sleep, yoga, meditation and a variety of holistic mind-body approaches to optimal health. I aim to explore each of these areas through the lens of Ayurveda. In this episode, I want to share an Ayurvedic practice that has been a game changer for me. Specifically, the practice of aligning with the rhythms of nature. And, even more specifically, the daily practice of having an earlier, lighter dinner and making lunch the main meal of the day. An earlier, lighter dinner can help you to sleep better at night, feel more energized and lighter when you wake up in the morning, and feel better overall throughout the day. So in this episode, I want to go more in depth on these two areas. Here’s what we’ll cover: Why staying in sync with the rhythms of nature is important when it comes to optimizing your health. Ayurveda was founded on this principle and an exciting new branch of science called Circadian Medicine now supports this as well. Also, you’ll learn why an earlier, lighter dinner can help you to align with nature’s rhythms and support your overall energy, quality of sleep and ideal weight. Finally, I’ll share a few quick and easy dinner ideas to help you shift to an earlier, lighter dinner. Let’s dive in! #1: Align with the rhythms of nature to optimize your health and longevity Okay – so as mentioned, one of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda is that we can support our optimal health and longevity by aligning with the rhythms of nature. This is something that Ayurveda has been teaching for thousands of years and the good news is that an exciting new branch of science called Circadian Medicine has emerged that supports Ayurveda’s ancient wisdom. In fact, in 2017 the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to two scientists “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythms", otherwise known as our biological clock. Circadian Medicine reveals how the light and dark cycles of the day affect our digestion, sleep, hormone production, cardiac function, innate immunity, neurophysiology, body temp, activity and rest. All living organisms on Earth have an internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm. In humans, this is why we are awake during the day and sleep at night. Our biological clock also helps regulate eating habits, hormone release, blood pressure and body temperature. The biological clock responds to darkness by triggering the brain’s production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. When the sun goes down, our brain begins to produce melatonin. In our modern world, we’re no longer limited by the setting of the sun for light. We can simply turn on lights when the sun goes down. Many of us spend time after sunset watching movies, reading books, working or Facetiming via a variety of screens whether it’s a laptop, tablet or phone. It’s important to be aware that the bright light we’re exposing ourselves to suppresses melatonin production and this can disrupt our ability to experience quality sleep. Circadian Medicine also explains that an imbalance between lifestyle and rhythm can lead to increased risk for a number of diseases including metabolic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. Ayurveda and the 6 Periods of the day As mentioned, Ayurveda has long recognized the importance of aligning with daily, monthly and seasonal cycles to create ease and flow in our lives – as well as a way to support optimal wellbeing. In a previous episode, I explained the concept of the 3 doshas in more detail. If you missed that episode, check it out to learn more. I’ll be sure to drop a link in the show notes below. The 3 doshas are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata – which is characterized by air and ether elements – is dominant from 2 - 6 am and 2 - 6pm. The afternoon Vata hours are a time of creativity and expansive thinking. The early morning Vata hours of 2am - 6am, however, are a peaceful time of day. It’s a time of receptivity, an ideal time for meditation, prayer or spiritual practice. Pitta – which is characterized by the elements fire and water – is dominant between 10pm – 2 am and 10-2pm. The Pitta time of day is a time of digestion, productivity and transformation. During the midday hours of 10am - 2pm the sun is at its highest in the sky and there is more heat in the natural world, as well as in our bodies and minds. Our body metabolism is strongest during the midday hours. Kapha is dominant from 6am – 10 am and 6pm – 10pm and characterized by water and earth elements. So the morning period of 6-10am has a heavier energy, as does the 6pm – 10pm timeframe which is a time of day when the body’s metabolism begins to slow down as it prepares for sleep. Okay, so that’s #1. We’re a part of nature and we can optimize our health and wellbeing by aligning with nature’s rhythms. #2: Why an earlier, lighter dinner is a wise move if you want to align with nature’s rhythms and support your overall energy, quality of sleep and ideal weight. So why does Ayurveda teach that it’s important to make lunch your largest meal of the day instead of dinner? And how can an earlier, lighter dinner help you to experience more energy, more clarity of mind, a higher quality of sleep and even support your ideal weight? According to Ayurveda, our digestive fire, also referred to as “agni” in Sanskrit, is strongest in the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak. It’s for this reason that Ayurveda recommends lunch to be the largest meal of the day. When our digestive ability is strong, we're able to create healthy tissues, eliminate waste efficiently and produce a subtle energy called ojas which influences immunity, physical strength and clarity of perception. In the evening, however, our digestive ability slows down, as the body is getting ready to go to sleep. Ayurveda suggests it's best, therefore, to eat dinner at least three hours before going to sleep so that our body can fully digest the food. If you have trouble going to sleep, eating earlier may help. When we fully digest everything before going to sleep, the body can direct energy to all its other important nighttime functions like flushing out toxins from the brain, digesting the events of the day and repairing and growing brain cells. When we align with the rhythms of nature, including when we eat and when we sleep, we support our optimal health. Eating an earlier, lighter meal at least 3 hours before you go to sleep ensures that digestion is complete. Your body is now free to focus on all the restorative and healing processes that happen during sleep. And, when the body can focus on repairing itself during the night, as opposed to digesting a big meal right before bedtime, you’ll wake up feeling more energized and lighter. The takeaway is that we are a part of nature, so it makes sense that we optimize our health when we align our lifestyle and diet with the daily, monthly and seasonal rhythms of nature. By knowing how the different energies of the day flow and how this impacts our health, we can adjust our activities so that they’re in sync with the day. Simple changes in our daily routine and eating habits can make a huge difference in how we assimilate the nutrients we take in. After all, as Ayurveda teaches, it’s not just about what you eat, but also, more importantly, about what nutrients you absorb. When you make lunch the most substantial meal of the day, you support your body's ability to absorb nutrients. #3: A few quick and easy dinner ideas and tips to help you shift to an earlier, lighter dinner So what are some quick and easy ideas for an earlier, lighter dinner? When we think of the word “supper”, the words “supplemental” or “soup-er” come to mind. A delicious soup, a light salad, a warm, cooked and spiced curry are good options. Or, you may want to consider other light foods that are also easy to digest. Lightly cooked or sauteed veggies are easier to digest, for example. Meanwhile, it’s best to avoid eating heavy foods at night like meat, dairy, pasta, or beans because these foods are more difficult to digest and require more time to digest. To shift to an earlier, lighter dinner, the main thing that has worked well for me is to plan ahead. I try to plan meals ahead of time when I shop for groceries or go to the farmers market. But a number of times during the week I may be eating out for various reasons. No matter what the day brings, when I know in advance that I want lunch to be my primary meal of the day, I make sure it’s nutrient-dense and has enough healthy fats to keep me fueled and satiated until it’s time for dinner. As long as I have a substantial, nutrient-dense lunch with healthy fats, I usually don’t need to snack in the afternoon and I’m not ravished later in the day either. As a result, I personally find it easy to have a lighter, earlier dinner. That said, the best way to find out what works best for you is to experiment. See how you feel when you make lunch your primary meal of the day. Try it out for a week and see how you feel when you have an earlier, lighter dinner. Do you feel more energized in the morning and throughout the day? Do you feel lighter when you wake up in the morning? As a side note, research also shows that a “high-calorie breakfast with reduced intake at dinner is beneficial and might be a useful alternative for the management of obesity and metabolic syndrome.” Okay! So this brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed this episode and have an even deeper awareness of the powerful impact that aligning with nature’s rhythms can hav
22 minutes | Feb 11, 2020
004: The 6 Tastes of Ayurveda – Your Guide To Ultimate Nutrition
Welcome back to The Ayurveda Glow Podcast, a place to discuss how the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda can be applied to your modern, everyday life to help you feel vibrant in mind, body and spirit, enjoy optimal health, and glow from the inside out. I’m your host, Katrina, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor & plant-based nutrition advocate based in Santa Monica, California. Through this podcast, I’ll be sharing with you what I’m learning in the areas of plant-based nutrition, sleep, yoga, meditation and a variety of holistic mind-body approaches to optimal health. I aim to explore each of these areas through the lens of Ayurveda. In this episode, you’ll learn how the 6 tastes of Ayurveda can balance your nutrition and help you to curb food cravings. Specifically, you’ll learn how each of these 6 tastes impacts your mind and body. And, I’ll also share with you two genius food hacks to ensure you’re getting all 6 tastes in every meal. Let’s dive in! First up, let’s start with the basics. Did you know? A well-balanced meal includes all 6 tastes – sweet, sour, salty, astringent, bitter, and pungent. The reason for this is because taste is more than just a sensation of flavor that you experience when you eat or drink something. Different tastes activate chemicals in the mouth, triggering a series of messages to nerve cells and stimulating organs. Everything you eat has a specific taste and that taste has specific actions on the mind and body. In addition, if you don’t have all 6 tastes represented in a meal, your body responds to this lack with cravings, usually for the most satisfying taste – the sweet taste. So, to stay healthy, a well-balanced meal which includes the full spectrum of the 6 tastes is essential. And, if you’re trying to curb your cravings, especially cravings for sweet or salty foods, it’s even more important to make sure that the 6 tastes are represented in your everyday meals so that you feel nourished and fully satisfied. Let’s take a look at how each taste impacts your mind and body. Sweet: First up is the Sweet taste, which Ayurveda teaches is made up of the earth and water elements. For many of us, the sweet taste is considered to be the most pleasant taste. In our modern culture, we love our sweets, whether they come in the form of a juicy watermelon, a breakfast scone, an artisan gelato, dark chocolate, baked goods or just about any other sweet variation under the sun. There’s absolutely no shortage of options to choose from when it comes to enjoying something sweet. Many of us associate the sweet taste with sugar. However, it’s important to note that the sweet taste of sugar has an unusual intensity of sweet flavor that is not usually found in nature. So, I want to be clear that when I share this foundational principle that Ayurveda teaches – which is that a well-balanced diet includes all 6 tastes, I’m not suggesting to go out and load up on foods that have a sweet taste resulting from refined sugars. Sorry friends, Ayurveda does not give a green light to devour a pint of gelato or a bag of Girl Scout Cookies to satisfy the need for including the sweet taste in your diet! On the contrary – the sweet taste that makes up a well-balanced meal needs to be from real food or herbs provided directly from Mother Nature – not from refined, processed sugar. Specifically, Ayurveda advocates a diet made up of whole foods that are abundant in prana or life force energy. In Ayurveda, we call food that’s abundant in life force energy Sattvic Food. Processed food in packages, boxes, cans or jars, often has sugar and a bunch of other additives and the prana or life force of the food has been lost. Modern science is now revealing that these processed foods, especially processed foods with refined sugar added, are contributing big time to our global epidemic of chronic illness. We now know that sugar is at the root of many chronic illnesses and I’ll go into this in more depth in a future episode. So where can we find the Sweet taste? We can find the sweet taste in starches and complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Foods with a sweet taste profile include fresh fruit, flaxseeds, almonds, grains like rice, pasta or oatmeal, legumes like beans and lentils, root veggies like sweet potatoes or carrots and dairy products like ghee, milk or eggs. A number of tasty herbs and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, basil, mint, nutmeg, and vanilla also have a sweet taste. So now that we’ve identified some foods with the sweet taste, you may be asking, “what does the sweet taste actually do for your mind and body?” How does the sweet taste support a healthy, balanced mind and body? This is a great question. Of all the tastes, the sweet taste is the heaviest and the moistest, making it the most nourishing and tonifying of the tastes. A sweet taste is often a sign of nutrient-rich foods. The heavy quality of the sweet taste helps build tissues. The moist quality of the sweet taste hydrates the body. The sweet taste enhances our energy, immunity and strength. In the mind, the sweet taste enhances mental clarity. Ayurveda is all about balance. That’s why all 6 tastes are needed for a well-balanced meal and diet. The sweet taste is especially important for people who experience weakness or dehydration or for those who need to gain weight. Too much of the sweet taste though can damage the pancreas and spleen, leading to diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses. Again, it’s all about balance. That’s why it helps to include the 6 tastes in each meal so that you feel nourished and satisfied. So that’s the Sweet taste. Next up is the Sour taste: The Sour taste is made up of the fire and earth elements and has a hot, light and oily/moist quality. Examples of sour foods include lemons, tomatoes, and fermented foods like yogurt or tempe. Here’s how the sour taste has an impact on the mind and body: In the body, the sour taste increases circulation and boosts our digestive ability. This is why it’s so helpful to sip on a cup of hot water with sour lemon before a meal. The sour taste fuels the appetite, increases salivation, and activates the secretion of digestive enzymes. To start your morning off with a healthy, nourishing practice, it’s a good idea to make time for a cup of hot water with lemon at least a half hour before your first meal of the day. In addition to aiding digestions, sour foods can also help move stagnation in the liver and encourage the liver to work effectively. In the mind, it’s said that the sour taste awakens the mind and improves our ability to exercise good judgment. Too much sour taste though may make a person overly critical. Whereas, too little sour taste can make a person gullible. Salty: Next up is the Salty taste. Ayurveda teaches that the Salty taste is made up of water and fire elements and has moist, warm and heavy qualities. The most common go-to for a salty taste is salt itself – but not refined, processed white table salt which is devoid of minerals and laced with aluminum based anti-caking agents. Instead, in Ayurveda the best salt is unrefined mineral salt like Celtic Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan Salt. Other foods with a salty taste include celery, seaweed, and tamari. So what impact does the salty taste have on our body and mind? The salty taste enhances the flavor of food, that’s #1. But equally important, the salty taste increases salivation and improves digestion. The salty taste also helps the body to retain water, lubricate tissues and maintain electrolyte balance. And, because the salty taste is moist, it hydrates the body and nourishes the tissues. Another important action of the salty taste is that it has a unique ability to calm the nervous system. In the mind, salty foods provide a sense of confidence and zest for life. For people with weak digestion or who have anxiety, the salty taste is important. Too much of the salty taste though will weaken the kidneys, increase swelling or water retention and aggravate skin conditions. As always, balance is everything. For optimal health, a nourishing meal will include the salty taste. Just be sure, the salty taste comes in the form of a high-quality source like Pink Himilayan Salt or from salty whole foods like celery, artichoke, seaweed or kelp. Salty spices like oregano, soy sauce or chutneys are also a great option. Pungent: Next up is the pungent taste which is made up of fire and air elements and has the dominant qualities of being hot, light, mobile and dry. Most of us are familiar with sweet, salty and sour foods. But what is the pungent taste? The pungent taste is found in all hot, spicy foods and many herbs and spices. Healthy pungent foods include ginger, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, cardamom, chili peppers, jalapenos, mustard, and onions. Here’s how the pungent taste acts in the body and mind: Healthy foods, herbs and spices with the pungent taste can help improve metabolism, aid in digestion and absorption, and dispel gas. Because the pungent taste is stimulating and invigorating, it also helps reduce congestion, clear the sinuses and improve circulation. And – the pungent taste encourages sweating and detoxification and helps kill germs and parasites. Ayurveda teaches that in the mind, pungent foods can help one to be more extroverted, outspoken, and bold. Astringent: Next, we have the astringent taste. The astringent taste is made up of earth and air elements. Healthy astringent foods include apples, unripe bananas, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, raw carrots, most raw veggies, most beans and legumes, cranberries, pomegranate and pears. Grains like wheat, rye and quinoa also have an astringent taste. Some well-known herbs and spices with an astringent taste include: basil, coriander, dill, fennel, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, rosemary, turmeric, and vanilla. So here’s how the astringent taste acts in the body and mind: The astringent taste is dry, so absorbs excess moisture. Internally, dry astringent herbs are very useful for reducing diarrhea and excess sweating and absorbing mucus. The astringent taste is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial and aids in the healing of the
18 minutes | Feb 5, 2020
003: Ayurveda 101 – What Are The Doshas & The 5 Elements?
Welcome to The Ayurveda Glow Podcast, a show dedicated to helping you live your healthiest, happiest life, stay balanced in mind, body and spirit, and glow from the inside out by applying the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda to your everyday, modern life. I’m your host, Katrina, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor & plant-based nutrition advocate based in Santa Monica, California. Through this podcast, I’ll be sharing with you what I’m learning in the areas of plant-based nutrition, sleep, yoga, meditation and a variety of holistic mind-body approaches to optimal health. I aim to explore each of these areas through the lens of Ayurveda. If you are new to Ayurveda and wondering what it’s all about, be sure to check out episode 002, “What is Ayurveda?” where I shared the origins and core concepts of Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest holistic health systems that originated in India and has been practiced for over 5000 years. One of the things I appreciate most about Ayurveda is that it’s all about personalized wellbeing. It’s for this reason that in Ayurveda, there’s no one-size-fits-all diet, fitness plan, nutrition plan, lifestyle plan or health or healing plan. Everything must be personalized because no two people are exactly the same. In this episode, I want to share three core concepts that support Ayurveda’s personalized approach to well-being. These concepts can help us to keep our mind and body in balance, stay healthy and achieve our highest potential. Specifically, I want to talk about the doshas, the five elements, and the Ayurvedic principle of “like attracts like”, which teaches that we can restore balance in the mind and body by applying opposing qualities to a condition. Let’s dive in! First, let’s talk about the doshas. You may have heard the word dosha. Dosha is a Sanskrit word that means energy. In Ayurveda, there are 3 doshas or energies within the body called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The doshas also represent unique mind-body types and we can use our understaning of the doshas to better understand ourselves. This understanding gives us the insight we need to keep our mind and body in balance so that we can stay healthy and thrive. Speaking of the doshas, Vata dosha is known as the Wind Energy. Pitta dosha is known as the Fire Energy. And, Kapha dosha is known as the Earth Energy. I’ll circle back on each of these doshas in more depth in a moment. For now, I just want to share that you can think of the doshas as being a mind-body type that is unique to you, determined at conception and provides a blueprint for optimal health that stays constant throughout your life. The more you understand your dosha or mind-body type, the more you’ll understand how to take care of your mind and body so that you stay in balance and thrive. Okay, so there are three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Again, I’ll circle back on each of these in a moment. Next up is the concept of the five elements. Ayurveda teaches that everything that exists is made up of the five elements that we experience all around us. The elements are: earth, water, air, fire, and ether (or space). Like everything, the doshas are also made up of the five elements. It’s important to note that the five elements refer to more than just the tangible elements in their physical form. The five elements also represent ideas – they are symbolic metaphors that help us to understand the building blocks of everything that exists. EARTH: Earth, for example, is dense, heavy and grounding. It’s the idea of stability and solidity. A rock, a piece of wood or metal is infused with earth energy. In the body, earth represents our physical structure. In the mind, earth represents mental stability. WATER: Water is fluid and cool. It represents the idea of flow, liquidity and cohesion. In the body, water represents fluids. In the mind, water represents gentle, loving and compassionate emotions. FIRE: Fire is hot and powerful. It represents the idea of transformation. In the body, fire governs digestion. In the mind, it governs perception. AIR: Air element is also referred to as the Wind element – it’s light, and moving, like our breath. Air is the energy behind all motion. In the body, air element represents the movement of nerve impulses and movement of the breath and limbs. In the mind, air is the energy that moves thought. ETHER: Ether is the idea of Space or connectedness. It’s the space within us when we meditate or still our minds. In the body, ether represents the empty spaces that exist. In the mind, ether represents consciousness. So that’s a quick overview of the elements. Everything in nature, including each of us, is made up of all five elements at once, but the element that is most dominant determines the characteristics that will be expressed. This is where the doshas Vata, Pitta, and Kapha come in. One person may have a dominant Vata dosha with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual characteristics that characterize Vata dosha, and someone else may have a dominant Pitta dosha with characteristics unique to Pitta. No one is entirely one dosha. We all have all three doshas but one dosha or more may dominate. Ayurveda teaches that optimal health occurs when the doshas are in balance. For this reason, the dosha that is out of balance is always the one that’s treated. Okay, so let’s talk about the three doshas or mind-body types called Vata, Pitta and Kapha! And, most importantly, how you may be able to recognize these doshas in yourself so that you can give your body what it needs to stay in balance, optimize your energy, and thrive. First up is, VATA. Vata dosha is made up of air and ether elements and is often called the Wind dosha because it’s just like wind – cold, dry, light, mobile and moving. Vata is the energy in the body that is responsible for all motion. When Vata energy is in balance, the movements of the body are graceful, unimpeded, and controlled. If you have excess vata, it means you have too much wind energy. A few signs of excess vata in the body are: gas, excessive bloating, constipation, tremors or twitches or a tendency to feel cold. In addition, excess Vata shows up as dry skin, frizzy or dry hair or dry, cracked nails. The doshas also reveal themselves in the mind. For example, a vata imbalance may show up as having racing thoughts, feeling easily overwhelmed, not being able to stop worrying, having a hard time falling to sleep, or anxiety. To counteract any of these conditions or tendencies, Ayurveda teaches that you can help bring Vata back into balance by introducing the opposite qualities of Vata into your lifestyle or diet. For example, if you recognize the characteristics of Vata dosha in yourself, you can help yourself stay in balance by infusing practices that provide more grounding energy into your lifestyle. Introducing grounding activities is helpful because they oppose the Vata qualities of being cold, light, dry and mobile. If you recognize Vata dosha in yourself, some grounding activities to keep you balanced include spending time in nature, eating meals at regular times throughout the day, going to sleep and waking up at the same time and committing to moderate exercise like yoga or a walking each day. All of these activities help ground Vata’s light, airy, mobile energy and can help you stay balanced and healthy. Also, because Vata dosha is characterized as being cold, light, dry and mobile, the best foods keep Vata dosha balanced are foods that are warm, oily, and moist. Foods that are sweet, sour or salty are also best to keep Vata balanced. Think grounding foods like warm soups, root vegetables like sweet potatoes, avocados, or warm stews. And sweet, heavier foods like mango, dates, squash or pumpkin. Okay, so that’s a brief overview of Vata dosha, how it shows up in the mind and body and a few ways to keep yourself in balance if you recognize Vata dosha in yourself. Next up is Pitta. PITTA: Pitta is known as the Fire dosha – it’s hot, fiery, transformative and responsible for digestion and metabolism. Pitta is made up of fire and water. If you have excess Pitta in the body, you have excess heat. An example of the signs of a Pitta imbalance in the body include experiencing a fever, heartburn, ulcers, skin rashes, acne or red, bloodshot eyes. In the mind, someone with a Pitta temperament is ambitious, driven and gets things done. This is great when Pitta dosha is in balance. An excess of Pitta energy in the mind, however, shows up as impatience or anger. If you recognize the characteristics of Pitta dosha in yourself, one important way to stay balanced and keep Pitta in check is to stick to a regular eating schedule throughout the day. Pittas stay in balance with consistent meal times, preferably eating at least three square meals a day, and preferably in a calm, peaceful environment. This one lifestyle hack of eating consistently is key because Pittas have a strong, fast metabolism. Hunger is a way our body signals us that digestion and metabolism from the previous meal is complete. If you recognize yourself as having a tendency to become “hangry” – hungry and angry – when you skip meals, it’s a sign that your digestion is strong which is a characteristic of Pitta dosha. If being “hangry” sounds familiar to you, you can use this insight to plan ahead and make sure you eat regularly or, if you’re on-the-go or traveling, be sure to always have some healthy, Pitta-pacifying snacks on hand. You may want to consider bringing some almonds, fresh fruit, coconut energy balls or another healthy, Pitta-pacifying snack with you so that you’re never stuck without something to eat and you can bypass the uncomfortable “hangry” experience. Keep in mind, that because Pitta dosha is characterized by heat, foods that will aggravate Pitta dosha are those that are hot, spicy, extremely sour or overly salted. For this reason, the best foods to keep Pittas balanced are foods that have the opposite qualities. For example, the best foods for Pitta dosha are cool, soothing, and hydrating. Also – foods that are sweet, bitter and astringent will similarly counteract the ex
8 minutes | Jan 14, 2020
002: What Is Ayurveda? (& how can it help you optimize your health?)
Welcome to The Ayurveda Glow Podcast. I’m so happy you’re here! I’m your host, Katrina, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor and former web developer turned full-time holistic wellness & plant-based nutrition advocate based in Santa Monica, California. This podcast is focused on how we can optimize our health and our lives holistically, glow from the inside out, and experience our full potential. I’ll be sharing with you what I’m learning in the areas of plant-based nutrition, meditation, exercise, sleep, emotions, and holistic mind-body approaches to optimal health. I aim to explore each of these areas through the lens of Ayurveda. If you are new to Ayurveda and wondering what it’s all about, this episode is for you. Let’s dive in! Okay, so what is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is one of the oldest holistic medical systems in the world, originating in India over 5000 years ago. For thousands of years, Ayurveda has acted as a preventive medicine, offering a body of wisdom designed to help us stay healthy so that they we may realize our full human potential. The word Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words "Ayur" which means "life" and "Veda" which means "science" or "knowledge". Ayurveda, therefore, is a science of life. A fun fact to know is that Ayurveda is also known as the “sister science of yoga”. Yes, Both yoga and Ayurveda share the same foundation, both having come from the Vedas, the oldest books in the world. In the West, we often think of yoga as a practice designed to support the body and physical wellbeing but as I learned years ago during my yoga teacher training, the purpose and aim of yoga – which means “union” in Sanskrit – is oneness. Yoga was created to help us access our Higher Self and cultivate higher consciousness. Meanwhile, the science of Ayurveda was developed for healing purposes with the aim to keep the physical body healthy so that we can pursue our dreams and experience our full potential. After all, we know that when we’re sick, lacking energy, or feeling unwell, it’s challenging to focus on anything else other than simply getting better. A question that often comes up is, “How is Ayurveda different from modern Western medicine?” This is a great question. The main difference is that the Western medicine approach is to focus on treating the disease instead of the whole person and treats the symptoms of a condition instead of the root cause. Western medicine is focused on alleviating the symptoms so that we feel better as soon as possible. Ayurveda, on the other hand, considers the whole person - mind, body and spirit - and aims to address the root cause of the disease or imbalance. In addition, Ayurveda recognizes that: Mind-Body Connection: The mind and body are connected. And – one of the most powerful ways to transform the body is through the power of the conscious mind. We are each unique: Every individual is unique and there is no diet or lifestyle routine that works for everyone. Prevention is key: Prevent the disease (don’t just treat the symptoms). Fix the root of the condition. We are connected to nature: We thrive when we align with the rhythms of Nature. This understanding that we are each unique – in body, personality, lifestyle, environment and other factors – is one of the things I appreciate most about Ayurveda. There’s no one-size-fits-all diet or one healing treatment in Ayurveda. Instead, Ayurveda promotes personalized treatment, based on the unique constitution of each individual and the unique nature of the illness. Treatment plans in Ayurveda are tailored to each person so that balance can be restored. When it comes to treatment, another difference between modern, western medicine and Ayurveda is that Western medicine often relies on surgery or prescription medication. Treatments in Ayurveda, on the other hand, focus on restoring balance by engaging all five senses. An Ayurvedic treatment approach may include diet and herbalism, aromatherapy, color therapy, sound therapy, and touch therapy. Among the most powerful tools used to restore mind-body balance in Ayurveda are: Meditation Yoga Nutrition Movement & daily exercise Abundant, restful sleep Herbal medicine Color therapy Oils for internal and external use (essential oils, massage, healthy cooking oils, etc.) So how do you know when to embrace western, modern medicine and when to embrace Ayurveda? The good news is that we can tap into both western medicine and Ayurveda, depending on each situation. There’s a place for both and for this, I’m so grateful. Western medicine is ideal when there’s an emergency or life-threatening crisis. In these cases, modern medicine can save your life. Ayurveda is best practiced as daily preventative medicine. With Ayurveda, we’re empowered to take wellness into our own hands through choices we can control like diet, lifestyle, exercise and thoughts. I'm excited to share more in future episodes. For now, I'll sign off with these inspiring words from humanitarian and Ayurvedic pioneer, Maya Tiwari, who wrote, “Ayurveda is not just about nutrition or herbology, it has a unique tool for diagnosis, diagnosis of understanding the human constitution is different from person to person. Each one has a unique metabolic system.” Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed this episode. To get the latest episodes, please subscribe and if you find this podcast helpful, please share with anyone you think may benefit from it. Also, if you’d like to support this podcast, please rate and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Your rating and review will help more people to find this podcast. Thank you so much for your support. Together, we can spread the message of holistic healing and co-create a healthier, happier world. I’d love to connect with you on Instagram and you can find me there @katrinaheppler. If you have any topics you’d like me to cover on a future episode, please use the hashtag #theayurvedaglow. If you’d like to learn more about my programs and upcoming workshops, please visit my website at katrinah.com. I’ll drop links in the show notes below. Thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you so much. Wishing you a beautiful day.
5 minutes | Jan 9, 2020
001: Welcome to The Ayurveda Glow Podcast with Katrina
Welcome to The Ayurveda Glow Podcast. I’m so happy you’re here! I’m your host, Katrina, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor and former web developer turned full-time holistic wellness & plant-based nutrition advocate based in Santa Monica, California. I’m so excited to launch this podcast! It’s my way to share with you the amazing insights and wisdom I’ve been learning as I immerse myself in Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest holistic health systems which originated in India over 5,000 years ago. There are so many things I love about Ayurveda and I’ll go into this in more depth in the next episode. However, for now, I want to simply share that Ayurveda, which has been time-tested for thousands of years, is a Sanskrit word that means “the science of life” – it provides us with a blueprint on how we can live in harmony with our unique individual nature and the cycles and rhythms of Mother Nature to prevent illness and bring the body in balance. In our culture today, chronic illnesses have become an epidemic and are preventing millions of people from feeling their best and living their best life. It’s all too common for many with a chronic illness to seek a remedy to their condition and be given a pill or a cocktail of pills which they need to take for the rest of their life – without ever getting to the root of the imbalance. Ayurveda was designed to prevent illness and, if an imbalance does occur, Ayurveda seeks to identify the root cause of the condition. Ayurveda also recognizes that each individual is unique, therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all diet or healing plan. At the same time that chronic illness has become an epidemic in our culture, modern science, including the rapidly growing field of epigenetics, reveals that genes are not our destiny and that we can significantly influence the expression of our genes through diet and lifestyle choices. In essence, modern science is beginning to catch up with what Ayurveda has been teaching for thousands of years. I truly believe that feeling amazing is key to living our dreams and experiencing our full potential. After all, we know that when we’re sick, lacking energy, or feeling unwell, it’s challenging to get things done, let alone help others or make an impact. I created this podcast to empower you to take your health into your own hands – naturally – so that you can enjoy vibrant energy and live your healthiest, happiest life. I’m so eager to contribute to the shift in our culture that is well underway – one in which we are moving from a “pill for every ill” approach to dis-ease, to an understanding that we have more control over our health and wellbeing that we ever knew. In fact, with every lifestyle and diet choice we make each day, we are our own best self-healer. In this podcast, I’ll be sharing with you what I’m learning in the areas of plant-based nutrition, meditation, exercise, sleep, emotions, and holistic mind-body approaches to optimal health. I aim to explore each of these areas through the lens of Ayurveda, infusing the latest discoveries in modern science in each episode as well. This podcast is focused on how we can apply the ancient wisdom of Ayurvedic Medicine to optimize our health and our lives holistically – in mind, body and spirit – glow from the inside out, pursue our dreams and experience our full potential. Please subscribe to get the latest episodes and if you find this podcast helpful, please share with anyone you think may benefit from it. Also, if you’d like to support this podcast, please rate and leave a review on iTunes. Your rating and review will help more people to find this podcast. Thank you so much for your support. Together, we can spread the message of holistic healing and co-create a healthier, happier world. I’d love to connect with you on Instagram and you can find me there @katrinaheppler. If you have any topics you’d like me to cover on a future episode, please use the hashtag #theayurvedaglow. If you’d like to learn more about my programs and upcoming workshops, please visit my website at katrinah.com. I’ll drop links in the show notes below. Thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you so much. Wishing you a beautiful day.
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