Everyone loves practicing ásana (physical positions); they are amazing; they make your body strong, supple and definitely healthier. But why does almost every style of yôga practice ásana in a different way?
I can not tell you much about the others methods, as I don’t practice them, but I can explain ours and why is so effective.
India is, historically, one of the most invaded countries in the world. Every great emperor in the world passed through there, including the Aryans, later Alexander the Great and most recently the British invasion. You can be sure that every single colonizer somehow changed and influenced the Indian culture and, consequently, Yôga. The most recent, and significant, change that happened in Yôga was the introduction of repetition of the ásanas.
Ásana was traditionally practiced with permanence, but when the British army landed in India the yogins of that time seemed to like the Western idea of working out the body with repetition and this new habit got stronger when Yôga was exported to United States.
So, what do we lose by practicing ásana with repetition? First of all, ásana should not be categorized as “gymnastic”. Ásana has not only the aim to make your body healthier, but, mainly, to achieve body-consciousness and self-knowledge. Body and mind being closely interrelated, the practice of ásana aims at mastery over the body with a view to securing corresponding mastery over the mind. Control of nervous and vital energies produces control of mental functions. The mind-body complex is brought under perfect control, the indwelling Self shines out and the higher self is realized.
I think it is only possible to achieve such delightful results with permanence of ásanas, never with repetitions.
When you stay in the position for a good time it acts deeply on the muscle fuses, the receptors inside the muscle cell that are connected with muscle tone, and with the protection against the risk of strain. The position, combined with focused attention and coordinated breathing, affects the muscle fuses, stimulating them to lower their defensive control over the muscle. The fibres of the muscles decrease their level of contraction and effectively stretch.
” Ásana is any firm and confortable position”
Yôga-Sutra of Patañjali
Written by Paulo Pacifici
Visualisation meditation is a form of meditation that involves communicating with either spiritual guides, your higher self / subconscious mind or Supreme Being. The other form of meditation is object-focused but this one is a form of visual meditation that is subjective. Practitioners preach that meditation visualisation is a powerful tool for transforming one’s inner being and conduct.
Visualisation meditation is subjective but at the same time it involves a high level of action from the person who wants to benefit from it. The reason some people have never realised the benefits of visualisation meditation is because they often confuse it with daydreaming. To the observer, a practitioner of this technique may appear to be daydreaming but in actual sense the latter is involved in an engaging and powerful self-transformation exercise.
The Power of Visualisation Meditation
As noted earlier, visualisation meditation is regarded highly because of its powerful ability to transform lives. The following are some of the ways in which practitioners have benefited from using this technique:
- Relief from pain. People who have experienced chronic pain have reported to feel significantly better after this particular practice.
- Acceleration of healing: Individuals who are recuperating after undergoing treatment attest to the speeding up of the healing process after engaging in visualisation meditation.
- Dealing effectively with anxiety and stress: After practicing visualisation meditation repeatedly, practitioners report significantly decreased levels of tension and the increased ability to focus the mind on other productive activities.
- Generally, people are using this technique as a substitute to or to complement contemporary medicine.
- Did you also know that if people practiced this technique, they would reduce their visits to the doctor by 90% because the majority of illnesses we suffer from can in fact be cured through visualisation meditation?
- Last but not least, if you have a problem concentrating on a task, lesson or routine this technique can drastically help you to reverse the trend.
Getting Down to Business:
- Begin by looking for a quiet place and time, preferably a quiet room or at night before you sleep. However, don’t limit yourself – ensure you have enough time and will not be interrupted during the session.
- Like all meditation, visualisation meditation begins with the practitioner adopting a comfortable meditation posture.
- The next course of action is to shut your eyes. This helps you to concentrate your mind on the task at hand.
- Now breathe deeply from you diaphragm and relax your muscles gradually.
- Visualise yourself in a place where you are surrounded by a glowing white light.
- Imagine that that light is filled with peace and happiness.
- Concentrate on imbibing the light every time you breathe.
- Allow that feeling to infiltrate into your body, reaching each of your cells, organs, atoms and every other part of your being.
- Now visualise yourself getting rid of negative energy. Think of all negativity as a black smoke. Release the thick stuff from your body as you breathe out.
- After getting rid of negativity, focus on the positive. Think about that thing or state you desire and how you will feel when you eventually achieve it. With that image in mind, inhale deeply, as if allowing the dream to become a reality.
- Remember to create as clear an image as possible, complete with all the senses.
- Once the process is over, go through the normal procedures of concluding a meditation session.
- Don’t forget that visualisation meditation should be repeated regularly until it becomes a normal practice. The desired image must be called into the mind as often as possible in order to make it some kind of an obsession you must achieve.
Which kind of scenario is conducive for Visualisation Meditation to endure expected results?
- To begin with, your visualisation should involve smaller moments and not vague gigantic amounts. In other words, you cannot dream the world in one setting. You know what you want. Break it down into smaller goals and objectives. Remember the dream will be realized piece by piece, not all in one go.
- You also need to have a clear plan. Like your dream, your plan must be broken down into achievable parts. You might want to create daily, weekly or monthly tasks that contribute to the overall goal. You also need to be realistic when making your plans.
- Now put your plan into action. Be faithful to the plan you have made. You are your own supervisor. Have a To-Do list for each day.
- It will not be easy. You must have self-belief. There may be many times you will feel like giving up. You need to have self-confidence. Nothing will be achieved without your efforts. You will find obstacles throughout your journey. Let the expected outcome work as an incentive for you.
- It is the sum of small efforts that will culminate in the dream. Always see the bigger picture in the smaller effort.
Is there a Recommended Frequency?
Visualisation meditation is not about the time you spend doing it but the level of concentration and result. At the onset, it is advisable to spend between a quarter of an hour and half an hour in the exercise. This is especially when you are new to the technique.
As you become more experienced, you may want to concentrate for longer periods of time. In other words, the duration of time spent by different people depends on experience.
How many times should you do it in a day, week, month etc.? Again this is a decision to be made by the individual. Some do it twice a day while others visualise only once every week. It is only you who knows how desperately you need to make your dream come true. However, you should be careful not to overdo the exercise to the extent of it become mundane and ineffective.
Despite this, if you make it a routine and it works for you, then go ahead and practice it. For example, there are people who engage in it before going to bed or after waking up. Your bed will often provide enough comfort to visualise and meditate. This is especially effective for people who find it difficult to sleep.
Why people fail to gain from Visualisation Meditation
Visualisation meditation has been criticised by people who do not understand the rationale behind it. In recent decades, the debate on the law of attraction has attracted widespread acceptance and rejection / skepticism in equal measure. This is especially true when it comes to attracting the things, people and circumstances that one wants in his or her life.
The reason I am talking about the law of attraction is because it teaches a form of visualisation meditation that many use for material gain at the expense of their spiritual, emotional and mental development. Visual meditation acknowledges (like the law of attraction) that everything begins as an idea before it matures into reality. Everything your senses can perceive was once an idea in the mind of another person.
However, many beginners of visualisation meditation stumble when the ideas they hold in their mind do not come to achievement. What they forget is that even the best idea must be backed up by a parallel action of the technique in order to produce the desired results. As one anonymous individual said, building castles in the sky is commendable but the dreamer must go ahead and lay the foundation if the dream are to become a reality.
In essence, you must go beyond visualising what you want and create an action plan for achieving your desires. There must be some form of physical effort towards achieving the dream. Unless you act towards your goal you will be like the person who dreams he or she had won the lottery and wakes up to search for the money in the bed, only to realise it was merely a dream!
Nature has rules and laws that do not change to suit our needs. It is us who need to change to be in tandem with nature. In the case of visualisation meditation, nature demands that we align our attitudes and actions with the desired outcome. A seed that is planted but not watered will die. An idea that is visualised during meditation but is not planned for eventually becomes a distant dream or a fantasy.
Some people also fail to realise the fruits of visualisation meditation because they fail to back up the dream and action with belief. You must believe that you will achieve your dream. There are many who have an idea, create a plan for achieving the dream but fall along the way because they do not have self-belief. You need confidence and self-assurance that you are equal to the task and that the universe will help you to achieve your desires.
Another barrier to visualisation meditation is over-indulging in the exercise without the backing of common sense. Creating a mental image of what you desire is the first and very important step towards your target. However, creating mental images for the sake of it or simply because you want to escape your current position ASAP is detrimental to your efforts.
Think about it this way. If you visualise yourself getting out of poverty or some form of misfortune tomorrow yet you don’t have the means to back you up, you will be disappointed. It is important to remember that visualisation meditation is not magic. There can be no miracles if you don’t expend any efforts towards making your idea a reality. Wishful thinking is not synonymous with visualisation meditation!
I hope you do not think that I want you not to be ambitious. No. Ambition is crucial for personal success. However, your dreams must be in tandem with the universe and its workings. There are laws of cause and effect; laws of planting and harvesting, and laws for rewarding effort and not mere fantasising. To emphasise: that is how nature works and it cannot change to suit your whims.
Many of the people you will hear disparaging visualisation meditation are those who were looking for quick fixes and instant riches, contrary to rationality and common sense. They came with high hopes. They wanted a miracle. They were not willing or prepared for the mandatory effort and self-belief. When the natural and rational outcome of their meager efforts came to fruition (here I mean when they failed) disappointment and disillusionment set it and they started blaming the technique and not themselves.
The process we have discussed here is just an example. Come up with one that fits your need. Make sure the atmosphere and experience you visualise is one that brings you into the right state of mind to expel negative energy and imbibe positive energy. Make sure you do this as often as you feel you are functioning optimally.
Finally, an idea / dream, coupled with the right plan and a determination to succeed are the main ingredients for effective visualisation meditation.
Your Grace Guru
One of the most renowned experiments on the close connection between the body and the mind is the placebo effect. Simply put, the placebo effect holds that when a sick person is given a counterfeit pill or one that resembles an actual pill but has zero effect, the patient will be cured, not because the medicine has any effect, but because of the patient’s unreserved belief in the efficacy of that pill.
The Starting Point
That will form the starting point as we seek to understand the powerful effect the mind has on other faculties of the body. Dr Lissa Rankin, a physician and researcher established in a study that the prevalence of diseases and concomitant expenditure was almost as high in poor neighbourhoods as they were in posh California areas.
The Poor And The Rich, Alike, Get Sick
While everybody would expect poor folks to have higher risks of falling sick due to poor dietary practices, lack of exercise, smoking and drug abuse among other practices, people in wealthier areas were also at risk, to the surprise of many. This study brought to the fore the fact that contrary to the teachings of conventional medicine, it was important to unleash a holistic approach to treatment of illnesses, especially to embrace the marvels of the mind.
The Law of Attraction
Another important issue to consider when pondering how strong the power of the mind is lies within the law of attraction. Over the years, philosophers, theologians, quantum physicists and other professionals have come to the conclusion that when the mind consistently holds on to a thought pattern, whatever is being thought about comes to pass.
There have been many reports of people who have transformed their financial fortunes as well as other spheres of life by using the law of attraction. Some terminally ill patients, who had been informed by physicians that they would not live for long, have been known to walk out of their hospital beds into flourishing wellbeing.
Now, To The Immense Powers Of The Mind
These and other developments in the study of the mind illustrate just how powerful this organ is. However, in order to understand, to a greater depth, the powers of the mind, let us delve into the specifics.
1. Healing Of Diseases: For many years, faith healing has been practiced but is always dismissed by most medical practitioners. The field of medicine or conventional healing has been aided to an extent by the discovery of the power of the mind. According to experimental studies carried out at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine, located in Massachusetts, patients who underwent a number of mindfulness techniques (e.g. meditation, and mantra) demonstrated significant gene changes, which helped to decelerate ageing, improve metabolism and relaxation, and regulate insulin in their bodies.
The practice of mindfulness created changes in the DNA that led to remarkable health improvements for participating patients. In essence, the power of the mind was called into action to aid conventional medicine and what resulted was more than could have been accomplished through common therapeutic means. With more experiments, we could witness a decrease in global expenditure on medicine and healthcare. The irony is that this power has always been with us yet medical practitioners did not find it prudent to try it on human beings.
2. Assuaging Of Physical Pain: The study of the mind has also led to interesting findings that have impacted the way we understand and deal with pain. To begin with, the placebo effect indicates that the mind actually has control over the body. While pain is real and cannot be wished away, it is evident that the human body has its own healing mechanisms which are domiciled in the mind. It is possible now to understand how faith-healers work, whether they (faith-healers) understand the rationale or not. The moment one believes that they are going to be healed, the mind starts to work towards the healing of that person.
The connection between the mind and the body, though unseen, is very powerful to the point of bringing relief from pain. This discovery has led many to believe that what we call ‘miracles’ of healing are merely the manifestations of the healing power of the mind on body maladies. Again, if such a discovery is actualized people will spend less on medicine and healthcare systems will not be as strained as they are today.
3. Emotional Healing: Did you know that emotional pain is as excruciating as physical hurt? The fact that people who hurt emotionally may not exhibit physical injuries does not mean that they are hurting less. Studies have established that the same mechanisms that work in emotional throbbing are the ones involved in physical pain. The brain is created in such a way that it does not differentiate between sources of pain. When people lose a loved one or go through a breakup, the aching they feel has the same potency as if they had been hurt physically.
But there is something that should worry you more. While physical pain lasts for certain duration and disappears, emotional pain stays for a longer time. Every time a person is reminded of the hurtful event that stung their feelings, chances are that the wound will become fresh again and pain even more. It takes time and deliberate acceptance of circumstances for the mind to bring about healing. Need we be careful about the emotional pain we inflict on other people? We should.
4. Managing Stress: Another important area of medical research that has benefited a lot from understanding the power of the brain is stress management. One fact about the brain is that it cannot differentiate between real threats and those that don’t exist. We all know the reality of stress even when it emanates from genuine issues that put the lives and comfort of those we love and ourselves at risk. And life has so many of these, many of which emanate from the people we interact with daily.
However, we need to understand that even imagined stress can have a devastating effect on our lives because the brain considers it stress. Whatever we imagine that can bring pain into our lives eventually hurts us. The solution, thankfully, lies in the same mind. We can visualize ourselves doing away with both real and imagined stress and it will be gone as simply as it came. The moment we realize that we can change our thinking and change our circumstances, we rid ourselves of negative stress that can easily destroy us.
5. Learning Through Visualisation: The mind is so powerful that we can use it to learn without actually being in a learning environment. The brain has a capability called neuroplasticity, which implies that it devices new pathways on a continuous basis. By repeating a routine when learning a skill, we strengthen the pathways which carry the respective action. That happens when you are in a classroom trying to learn a skill. However, the brain does not differentiate between what you actually perform and what you visualise.
According to the great Albert Einstein, you are better off with imagination than with knowledge, if you were to choose between the two. In essence, if you imagine carrying out some action using your brain, the mind will react as if you are in actual practice. Visualization is, therefore, a very important aspect of learning. This should be of great interest to educationists.
6.Goal Achievement: Now, this may shock many because it is unprecedented. Did you know that when you speak about your goals, your brain believes you have achieved them? Wow! Your mouth may be your downfall, after all. Experts have established that the moment you start telling others of the goals you intend to achieve, the brain confuses your talking for action, thus depriving you of the motivation to achieve an ‘already attained’ goal.
Talking about your goals gives you satisfaction and sends the signal to the brain that you don’t need any more inspiration and inner strength to reach out. Methinks we should keep quiet about our dreams and wait until we have accomplished them. Once again, a goal in mind tells the brain to give you the resources you need to achieve it. What a discovery!
7. Boosting Your Mood: Put a smile on your face now because there is good news. Did you know that your facial expression affects your emotions? The brain (how “confused” this organ is) cannot differentiate between a fake and a genuine smile. This means that the moment stress engulfs you, you can laugh your way out of it. A fake smile has the same effect on your brain and relieves stress the same way a real smile does. When you facial muscles move to form a smile, the brain interprets it as a positive emotion and stress takes a flight.
Something is the matter and you are stressed? Laugh at your problems. Hide from people and smile your way out. Someone is stressing you out, pretend not to be upset and smile instead. Don’t frown because this will strengthen bad moods. Make it your reaction to always meet stress with a smile because you have a brain that is so powerful that it does not realize you are pretending you are happy!
The Parting Shot
This space is not enough to elaborate exhaustively just how powerful the mind is. However, with this knowledge, you can live a better life because you can handle physical and emotional hurt as well as ubiquitous stress.
Hopefully, scientists and other interested parties will continue to discover other marvellous capabilities of the brain that would help us live happier and longer lives. Until then, let us toast to the most powerful computer ever created – your brain!
Your Grace Guru
Obsession with Veggies!
Hello gorgeous ladies, I have written this article just for you!
It is not possible to talk about the human body without mentioning the word hormones! Many people do not understand about these chemical secretions and reactions, but all of us have to deal with hormonal issues every now and then. Hormonal imbalance is a serious health complication for many people, especially to women in all stages of life.
Owing to the complex lifestyles and dietary choices we make today, we have compromised the composition of hormones in our bodies. Incidentally most of the illnesses wreaking we have in our lives emanate from hormonal disproportion. It is important that you understand exactly what it means to have hormonal imbalance.
Vitamin D in Riviera Maya
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, then your body is having problems balancing your hormones.
1. Lethargy: If you are the type that feels weary most of the time and needs to have some snack to make your body active, it is likely your hormones are not well-balanced. Is it becoming common for you to feel exhausted, befuddled and lazy? Have yourself checked for hormonal inequality.
2. Bloating and other digestive complications: Many a times when you experience problems of the digestive track, you tend to associate them with poor dietary habits. However, it is also possible that your digestive hormones are not being secreted normally.
3. Uncontrolled weight gain: One of the main problems facing women today is excess weight. It is true that most of this is caused by excess consumption of carbohydrates and processed foods. However, if your hormones are not working optimally, this problem will persist.
4. Depression: A dip in mood and emotions is often a sign of hormonal imbalance. It happens when we don’t get enough rest, are stressed, or when the body has a large number of toxins.
5. Poor sleep patterns: Hormonal imbalance may also manifest itself through erratic sleeping patterns. Insomnia tends to affect every faculty of the human body. Unless you align your body to the natural sleeping order, you are going to experience interruptions in your daily routines.
6. Low libido: Sex is controlled by hormones. The moment your hormones don’t work exactly as they should, you will experience lack of or low sexual drive.
7. Hot flushes and night sweats: If you are starting to experience increased temperatures and unusual sweating at night, it is time you were checked for hormonal disproportion. Don’t just dismiss it as any other complication.
The best way to deal with such health complications, then, is to balance your hormones. There are a number of ways you can do this. The most popular (but unfortunately not the best) is hormonal replacement therapy (HRT). Considering hormonal imbalance is a problem for many people, especially women, HRT practitioners are making a kill. The actual problem with HRT is that it does not treat the cause of the problem but deals with the symptoms only.
Despite this, we should not be fast to condemn HRT. Many perimenopausal women will tell you that when they begin to experience hot flashes and night sweats, the fastest method to relieve the pain and discomfort is to take respective pills. What we are saying though is that it is better to use more long lasting methods, most of which are natural and less expensive compared to HRT.
Natural Strategies of Balancing Hormones
1. Ensure that you have healthy weight: The level of oestrogen in your body increases with increases in adipose tissue, the latter being as a result of excess fat. This is because the adipose tissue performs a similar role as the endocrine glad at this point. To avoid unnecessary secretion of surplus hormones, therefore, you need to have healthy weight. Know your BMI and always live by it. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Remember having the right weight is also good for your general outlook and health.
2. Include cruciferous veggies in your diet: Indole-3-carbinol is the element in cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and related plants that generates diindolylmethane (DIM) after metabolism. With these two elements, the secretion of oestrogen in your body is regulated thus preventing hormonal imbalance. In addition, it has been proved that eating cruciferous veggies helps to prevent cancer, especially the type that affects the breasts. Stock up on these vegetables and find ways of including them in as many as your foods as possible.
3. Introduce phytoestrogens in your food: This is one of the best approaches to dealing with hormonal imbalance since it happens naturally. Instead of buying expensive HRT medication, simply eat food rich in soy and also consume generous amounts of seeds such as sunflower and flax as well as beans sprouts. Other foods rich is phytoestrogens include peas and garbanzo beans. By simply eating such food, you will regulate hormones in your body without experiencing negative side effects. And you don’t have to worry because these seeds are found in abundance in areas close to you like grocery stores.
Healthy Food Choices Inspiration
4. Consume avocados and coconut oil: Another relatively inexpensive way to curb unusual fluctuations in body hormones is to consume foods that contain fatty acid chains of varying lengths. The best examples of these are avocados and coconut oil. This category also includes salmon derived from natural habitats and butter from grass-fed animals. Apart from having your hormonal levels restored to normal you will experience improved metabolism and increased loss of weight. Instead of using expensive drugs, look for these food products and eat them as often as possible.
5. Reduce your intake of caffeine: Coffee and tea are favourite beverages for many, but herein lies a problem for those with hormonal imbalance. When you take caffeine, especially before you sleep, you tend to lose sleep, but more significantly, the hormonal level in your thyroid is interfered with. This is the moment you experience all sorts of chaos in your body since hormonal activity is significantly altered. We are not intimating that you avoid these beverages altogether (although this is advisable for those with critical hormonal imbalance problems) but reducing intake, especially before going to sleep is important.
6. Sleep adequately: Your hormonal imbalance problem is likely to be as a result of not getting enough sleep. If you are not getting between seven and eight hours of quality sleep every day, your hormonal activity will be affected negatively. Your body is designed to have reduced activity at night and this is when sleep sets in. The moment you disturb this order, you also interfere with your hormonal activity. Make sure you sleep by around 10 pm as this will ensure you get quality sleep. Make sure you have lie on a comfortable bed and that your room is dark enough. Avoid watching television or gazing at smartphone screens before you sleep.
7. Practise deep breathing: To deal with night sweats and hot flashes, you don’t have to resort to HRT all the time. The simple routine of breathing from the belly two times every day with each session lasting fifteen minutes will bring you natural relief from hormonal discrepancy. Deep breathing helps your lungs to imbibe enough energy to be fed to the blood, which ensures the blood that reaches your cells is clean. When your blood is clean, you will have not only stronger immunity from illnesses, but your hormonal activity will also be balanced correctly.
8. Herbal remedies can help: There are herbal medicines that have been proven to deal effectively with hormonal imbalance. Shatavarim, an Ayurvedic herb, is known for its ability to reduce mood swings and irritability that comes with menopause. There are even herbs that are known to deal with the physical pain and psychological distress associated with hormonal imbalance. However, it is important to talk to an expert before you begin using herbal remedies for this problem.
9. Avoid conventional birth control: While this may not be a popular kind of advice when dealing with hormonal problems, it is important to consider the rationale behind it. Did you know that birth control pills are essentially hormonal therapies that alter how your body works? More importantly, these pills make you more vulnerable to breast cancer, migraines, weight gain, nausea, mood changes, high blood pressure and breast tenderness, among other issue that should worry you. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to look for more natural and harmless ways of controlling child bearing than to interfere with hormonal activity and expose you to some much pain?
10. Get vitamin D and lots of It: This vitamin is known for its ability to boost mode and general wellbeing. To this end, vitamin D helps to control hormonal activity. This implies that you need to get enough time in the sun, though you should take care not to be harmed by the sun’s rays. Bask in the early morning and late evening hours. If you do not have this privilege, look for vitamin D supplements. This is especially true if you live in an area where you don’t have adequate exposure to the sun.
So now you have it! HRT may work over some time but it is not sustainable for hormonal imbalance problems in the long term. Go the natural way and you will never suffer from painful side effects or have to worry about the possibility of contracting dreadful illnesses again!
Your Grace Guru
Most of us often suffer from symptoms; strange symptoms and we don’t even know what the reason behind it is! Do you have symptoms such as mood swings, sinus infections, intestinal distress, brain fog, hormonal imbalance, yeast infections, headaches, chronic fatigues, and itching? However diverse these symptoms may sound the cause is often a fungus, known as Candida Albicans. This disease is often misdiagnosed, but in this article, I will explain what Candida actually is, its symptoms and how it can be treated.
What is Candida?
Candida is a type of fungus that affects the intestines. Any imbalance in your digestive or immune systems can have adverse consequences to your gut often leading to a leaky gut. Stress and certain antibiotics lead to an imbalance of this particular fungus. Often when you are stressed, lots of Candida Albicans are rapidly produced and released into your intestines. Large amounts of this fungus are toxic because it produces a range of by-products that include uric acid and a neurotoxin called acetaldehyde.
Acetaldehyde is a harmful by-product, it is known to cause brain fogs and chronic headaches. This has also recently been listed as a possible carcinogen. It’s a pathogen that can have a dangerous effect on the human body. Uric acid on the other hand, when in large amounts, can lead to gout or joint pains. Any change in the balance of your intestines can result in oral thrush, yeast infections, and various duodenal problems.
Here are some things you may do that can lead to Candida overgrowth within our bodies:
High sugar diets
The amount of sugar you consume can lead to Candida imbalance in your system. Unhealthy sugary foods taken over a long period causes Candida overgrowth.
Take a walk in your local restaurant, convenient store or mall. All these stores sell foods with added sugars. It is almost virtually impossible to ignore these sugars. Whether, its pasta sauce, meats, bread, cereals, margarine they all contain added sugars in them. These sugars are the exact kind of foods that Candida needs to proliferate. – In other words processed food!
It’s important to note that eating healthy foods and having a bar of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream once a week will not lead to increase in Candida amounts. Sugary diets consumed over longer periods of time will lead to Candida imbalance.
I know you have probably suffered from stress in the past. It’s a tough world we live in. The bills are increasing and your pay might not necessarily balance out right with your daily needs. Some of these issues sometimes lead to stress. Always worrying about what lies ahead of you can result in changes to your body. Stress sometimes leads to depression and it is often seen as one of the leading causes of ailments today.
There are different ways in which stress can lead to a Candida burst in your body.
The first thing that stress does is raise sugar level in your body. In biology, the increase in sugar levels is commonly referred to as the fight or flight effect. A state of constant worry will make your body build up lots of energy in preparation for any sudden occurrence. To boost energy levels and be ready for anything, the sugar levels in your body will have to be high all the time because it’s this sugar that broken down to form energy. And as we already know, high sugar levels will then lead to high Candida levels in the body.
The second thing is that your immune system will deteriorate once your body is under stress. Once it’s weakened, your body won’t be able to form defenses against any Candida growth in your body.
They are the most common cause of increased Candida levels. The importance of antibiotics shouldn’t be ignored, but unfortunately, they have adverse side effects. Yes, I know there are times that your body would need antibiotics to heal properly but sadly, most doctors often give antibiotics even for the commonest body diseases such as flu or the common cold. They don’t give much thought to them.
One particular type of antibiotics known as broad spectrum antibiotics can have serious effects on your immune and digestive systems. All that broad spectrum antibiotics does is to kill all bacteria in your body. However, as its common knowledge, not all bacteria is harmful to the body. We actually can’t live without certain types of bacteria.
A fully grown human has more than 400 different types of bacteria and more than 90 trillion single bacteria. That’s a lot. It means it’s almost impossible for us to eliminate all bacteria from our bodies.
Broad spectrum antibiotics and other various types of antibiotics kill most of these beneficial bacteria in our bodies. This eventually leads to digestive and immune systems complications. Once these bacteria are eliminated, one particular bacteria takes advantage of this. And yeah, you guessed it right, it’s the Candida Albicans. This bacteria won’t feel the pressure of fighting for space and food in your intestines. There won’t be any competition for the resources, and this would, therefore, mean that Candida will flourish and expand their colonies. There will be a surge of this bacteria leading to an imbalance in your gut.
Mercury in the tooth fillings
Some tooth fillings such as silver amalgam contain up to 40%-50% mercury which can have adverse effects on the Candida levels in the body. When you grind or brush your teeth, the fillings may dissipate in your mouth and consequently in your gut.
Once the mercury is absorbed into the bloodstream, your immune system will be weakened, and it can lead to serious health complications. One of these health problems can be Candida. After the mercury reaches your gut, it kills the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system allowing Candida to flourish.
There are no acceptable levels of mercury permitted in the body. If you have tooth fillings that contain even the smallest amounts of mercury, make an appointment with your dentist and have them replaced.
Fluoride and Chloride.
Chlorine is a common chemical almost like added sugars that I have named above. It’s commonly found in drinking water. This means the water you cook with, drink, bath and wash your clothes with has this chemical. It is a powerful disinfectant that ensures the water you drink is free from all pathogens.
However, sometimes chlorine kills the useful body bacteria which might eventually lead to high Candida levels in the body. Fortunately, there are ways of reducing the amount of chlorine intake in the body. You could switch to natural friendly products for your laundry needs. Another thing you can do is install filters in the water system your household uses to ensure your body takes in fewer amounts of this chemical.
Fluoride is another chemical commonly used by toothpaste manufacturers. It’s preferred because of its disinfecting nature. It kills germs found in the mouth and sometimes some of this fluoride may kill the good bacteria leaving the Candida bacteria to flourish.
Diabetic people are more susceptible to Candida because diabetes leads to fluctuating blood sugar levels. When the sugar levels are high, especially for the women, the Candida bacteria will surge in the body. High Candida yeast levels can lead to body imbalance which can eventually cause health problems.
Recent scientific research has it that Candida outbreak can be attributed to the use of the contraceptive pill. The human body is made up sensitive parts especially the stomach. To digest foods in the stomach, we need to have just the right amounts of yeasts, microorganisms, and bacteria. The right balance of these digestive chemicals is critical, but this delicate and important chemical equilibrium can be thrown off by improper hormonal balances triggered by the contraceptive pill.
Such imbalances give room for the Candida to flourish and outnumber its competitors in the digestive tract. Estrogen, commonly found in the pill leads to yeast infections.
Copper IUD is another contraceptive that leads to yeast growth in a similar manner that estrogen found in the pill. Be wary of such problems when choosing your contraceptive method.
Other common causes of Candida outgrowth include
- Drinking lots of alcohol
- Consuming fermented food products such as pickles and kombucha.
- Eating diets with lots of refined carbs
As mentioned above, candidiasis can sometimes be misdiagnosed due to the similarity of its symptoms to other diseases. It’s also quite difficult to diagnose due to the different effects it has on people. The way it can affect me may not be necessarily the same way it will affect you.
Sometimes patients diagnose themselves because of the confusing symptoms. Due to such unclear effects, it’s a common consensus that the number of people suffering from candidiasis is way more than those who are correctly diagnosed.
Common symptoms include:
You may feel the following
Poor coordination, panic attacks, poor memory, low libido levels, insomnia, sweets and alcohol cravings, dizziness, irritability, hyperactivity, anger and bitterness, and brain fog.
The gastrointestinal tract
Itching anus, constipation, bloating, constantly burping after meals, gassiness, nausea, mucus in the stool, acid reflux, diarrhea, stomach upsets, stomach cramps, and hemorrhoids.
Hives, body odor, dermatitis, acne, eczema, athlete’s foot, fungal infections on the nails, psoriasis, and cysts.
Tongue with cracks and thrushes, metallic mouth taste, canker sores, enlarged lower lip, bleeding gums, halitosis, and bad breath.
The respiratory system
Asthma attacks, persistent cough and sore throat, mucus in the throat, sinusitis, flu and hay fever-like symptoms, and the congestion of the sinus.
Itchy eyes, bags under the eyes, blurred eyesight and light sensitivity.
Ear infection and ringing ears.
The urinary tract
Persistent urinary and yeast infections. Others include fungal rash, bladder inflammation and menstrual abnormalities.
The immune system
Allergies and sensitivity to particular diets or chemicals. The common cold being a little bit more frequent, and the flu.
The body retains lots of water and weight loss.
Other common symptoms include the following:
Muscle aches chronic joint pains, heartaches, and joint stiffness.
Doctors are human, just like me, and you and they can misdiagnose Candida for some other disease due to its varying symptoms. The reason being, candidiasis can manifest itself using a combination of any of the named symptoms often leading to misdiagnosis.
Listed below are some common misdiagnoses that doctors do depending on the symptoms your body is exhibiting.
Gastroenteritis, IBS, and Crohn’s disease – Symptoms include indigestion, abdominal pains diarrhea, gas and bloating
Athlete’s foot – Fungal infection on the toenails
Arthritis – Recurring joints pains
A misdiagnosis of Candida can have adverse repercussions on your body health. To avoid such, ensure you tell your physicians all the symptoms you are feeling. Don’t leave anything behind because he may prescribe medication that may lead to Candida overgrowth.
The Healing Process
Healing from candidiasis isn’t such a long and painful process as some would imagine. There are some things listed below that you have to keep in mind as you begin the treatment plan.
First try some Detox supplements:
What should be avoided…
This is the first thing you should switch as you begin your treatment plan. There are some foods you will have to reduce so that the amounts of Candida in your body can be lowered to tolerable levels
The first being, reducing the sugar diets you consume. As I mentioned earlier in this article, sugar supports the expansion of Candida colonies so a reduction of sugars will support your healing process as the Candida will be deprived of the nutrients they require to expand. Avoid consuming candy, lots of chocolate, flours and drinking alcohol.
Consider beginning your treatment process with the cleansing of your body off Candida toxins.
Also, avoid eating fermented diets. These foods support the growth of yeast in the body leading to increased Candida. A complete elimination of such products is recommended for you to heal completely.
Reduce the amount of fresh, canned and dried fruits you consume. Fresh juice should also be reduced as it contains high amounts of natural sugars which feed Candida. However, fresh fruits have their advantages to the body, and should, therefore, be introduced in small portions when the Candida amounts in the body are in control.
Nuts such as peanuts and cashews should be reduced as they contain high amounts of mold.
Dairy products except ghee, probiotic yogurt, kefir and butter should be avoided when healing from a Candida overgrowth. Yogurt and kefir are preferred to milk because the lactose that promotes yeast growth is eliminated during the fermentation process.
Most fish contain high levels of toxins and metallic products. These toxins and metallic products suppress the immune system which may lead to an expansion of Candida. However, fish such as sardines and wild salmons can be consumed.
Meat products especially pork should be avoided as it contains retroviruses that survive the cooking process which can be harmful to you if you have a weak digestive system. Processed meats, on the other hand, contain added sugars and sulfates which aren’t good for your body
What should be consumed…
In place of sugar, use sweeteners such xylitol and stevia. They have a lesser effect as compared to ordinary sugars, but only if necessary. I am not a big fan of sweeteners at all!
I know the foods I mentioned above are the kinds of dishes and diets you enjoy cooking at home or having at the local restaurant you like visiting with your family. So you probably think there is nothing left for you to eat. However, don’t despair as there so many other delicious foods that you can consume to ensure you live a healthy life.
Consume non-starchy vegetables and reduce complex carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, yams and pasta. Only steam, grill or eat your vegetables raw
Kefir and probiotic yogurt contain nutrients that will repopulate the good bacteria in your body and hence restore balance in your body
You can consume eggs, turkey, chicken, lamb, and beef. They should, however, be organic and fresh. Processed meats should be avoided.
For the beverages, drink licorice tea, peppermint tea, cinnamon and ginger tea as they contain useful antifungal properties.
Season your foods using sea salt, black pepper, organic raw vinegar, and apple cider.
Spices and herbs such as dill, ginger, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and cinnamon contain antifungal and antioxidant properties that are great if you are suffering from a Candida overgrowth.
What should be reintroduced…
Beans such as black beans and azuki beans, grains, e.g., lentils, chickpeas, split peas, navy beans, can be slowly reintroduced into the diet because they contain some antifungal advantages and fiber which are useful for those suffering from candidiasis.
Have small portions of fruits as you recover from a Candida overgrowth. Consume fruits e.g. blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries a maximum of four times a week.
It’s recommended that a fully grown human being should have at least a pound of bacteria in their body. Anything more would be detrimental to your system and would cause a system imbalance.
Candida is a fast growing yeast, and the main purpose of antibiotics is to kill bacteria. Certain types of antibiotics can kill useful bacteria giving room to Candida to flourish leading to an overgrowth.
Probiotics are beneficial to the body as they will help reintroduce the useful and supportive bacteria to your system. They will also crowd out the Candida colonies and ensure you have the right amount of acidity in your stomach.
Start taking your probiotics as soon as you begin your strict anti- Candida diet mentioned above. You should avoid taking them and antifungals at the same time.
They come in either powder or a capsule form. However, tablets are recommended as they will ensure the introduction of bacteria into your digestive system without too many getting destroyed in the process.
It’s also suggested you take the soil based probiotics instead of the conventional regular lactic based solutions because these organisms colonize the digestive system more efficiently and are more likely to reach the small intestine tract.
My favorite ones that I use are from: ParaGone
Buy yours here today!
Anti-fungals are the last essential element of a Candida healing process. There is a variety of antifungal products you can add to your diet. Antifungals will destroy the walls of the Candida yeast and reduce the colonies in your system.
The most popular antifungal treatments include grapefruit extract and caprylic acid. Others include nystatin and eraxis.
Natural anti-fungal remedies include the following
- Oregano Oil
- Olive Leaf Extract
- Grapefruit Seeds
- Black Walnut
- Aloe Vera
- Golden Seal
Cook using coconut flour instead of the standard baking flour. Coconut bread is a great substitute for the wheat bread you consume every morning as wheat bread supports the growth of yeast in the digestive system.
Coconut oil, which can be added to your cooking, is an inexpensive type of anti-fungal remedy. Take a maximum of two tablespoons of coconut oil. Consuming too much of it might lead to diarrhea and stomach cramps. Apart from inhibiting Candida growth, coconut oil is also great for your skin and hair and will enhance your immune system. Another Coconut oil benefit is that it doesn’t break down into fats when cooked at high temperatures
Use coconut vinegar and aminos to make some delicious dressings instead of using the standard soy sauce. You can also use coconut vinegar to make marinades, as it is packed with nutrients and is also great in reducing the growth of Candida in the digestive tract.
This is it about the bad, bad, bad Candida disease! I hope this article is useful to you and you can start applying changes to your everyday diet and make a life changing progress. We all suffer from some light Candida effects and to make a detox and cleansing ones or twice a year is recommended for everyone.
With Love Your,
According to Vedanta philosophy, there are two categories of happiness. The first type of happiness is the one that is a result of things turning out the way we want them to be. For example, we can say we are happy because of our friends, family or even children. We are happy because of certain resources that are affecting us, resources that can be taken any time e.g. they aren’t permanent by nature – You could lose your job or wife, so reasons for this type of happiness can be lost any time.
The second category of happiness isn’t as a result of something we achieve or something we do but it’s a state of being. It doesn’t depend on the outer circumstances or our moods. As a result of this state our inner self tends to become calm and exuberant. Pure joy, in this case, is a result of a connection in our deepest state of unbound awareness.
Listed below are keys that will ensure lasting happiness in your life.
- Listen to your body’s behaviour and needs…
What are you comfortable doing and what are you not comfortable doing? When you are undertaking a task, ask yourself, “Do I like doing this?” If your body displays signs of distress and agony or anguish don’t proceed with the work. However, if you feel comfortable and eager to do the chore, please continue. Know what you love doing and what you detest doing then follow what your body says.
- Pay the most attention to the present…
Live and enjoy the present and always keep in mind it’s the only time you have. Accept what comes your way, maximize whatever it is and learn from it. Keep attention to what is on the table at the moment. The infinite laws of nature should be left the way they are, and life should be enjoyed to the fullest the way it is. The present is the way it is. The current moment is as it is because the world and universe are at is.
Ignore what others have to say about you. People may say all sorts of things because of how you look, the way you dress but you should ignore all the negative comments. Discover the infinite possibilities that you have on your hands. Look at life positively.
- Eat healthy…
Avoid alcohol and other fermented foods. Expose your body to safe and clean environments, nourishing foods, and happy and comforting experiences. Consider your life to be a life support system. It is like a transport system that will take you to where you desire to be. For you to arrive safely at a particular place, you need a road worthy vehicle. The same way, you should keep your body healthy. Avoid contaminating your body with toxins such as cigarettes, or liquor. Desist from alcoholic drinks. The human body is made up of cells that contribute to the state of comfort and well-being. Therefore, keep every single cell in your body in its purest form.
- According to psychology, the natural state of us humans is a state of love. Fear, hate and distress counter the state of love…
You should, therefore, build a “wall” that will shield all the hate and negative statements from your family and friends. Take part in undertakings that will have a positive impact in your life such as team building exercises. Take any fears you have and come up with ways of countering them with compassion and love. Instead of fearing exams, why don’t you study hard and work hard for them so that you won’t have to fear the outcome of the results. Once you read and revise, you will be happy when you receive your results. You can face threats because your inner self is invulnerable and impenetrable to fear.
- Create time for meditation and relaxation of the mind…
Meditation can be explained as the gateway to high levels of self-awareness, linking the mind to our inner power and eventually to self-worth. Look for space and release your feelings, breathe in the clean air, and discover your inner happiness and peace. You could start short e.g. with a ten-minute meditation either by listening to calming music or just relaxing over something that works for you. You could eventually lengthen the time you meditate by staying for longer periods every week.
How about you start each meditation session with a short prayer. Don’t ask for stuff, instead, connect your higher self and your source of light. Make it a habit, a daily practice. Pay a lot of attention to your inner life and shun external interpretations that aren’t good for you such as animosity and deception.
- Find a place in your heart to forgive…
Avoid reacting to opposition or anger with hatred, because through that, you will stressing yourself. You will make things worse because you will end up filling up your heart with disgust, and you will end up being furious. How about, you relinquish your anger as, through that, you will be cooperating with the universe flow of peace and tranquility.
- Show me who are your acquaintances and I will describe your character…
Such are wise words that we should always remember so as to remain happy. Your world “out there”, replicates your reality “in here”. Persons who you react with abhorrence and revulsion project your inner world. Be nice to those close to you. Whatever you love and care about most is what you wish for yourself. If you love someone and care about them, it means you would want the same for yourself. The key objective here is self-knowledge.
What Will Affect A Peaceful Mind?
- Special attachment is dangerous…
What we all call love is nothing but special attachment to someone or something. Such kind of attachment isn’t recommended.
If there is love, I will be at your service. Whatever you need, I will provide.
If there is attachment, I will look at you and ask myself, “What kind of service do you provide?”
One partner states: I deserve this because I married you.
The other half says: I deserve this because I married you.
This form of special treatment often passes off as love, because both the husband and the wife think that life is all about rights and not duties.
Affection + Egotism = Attachment | Attachment – Egotism = Affection.
Understand the statements written above. I don’t dispute love and its existence. I am just a firm believer that attachment isn’t something that should be approved.
Attachment is all about how many times you will see your partner and, therefore, there is no space for anything to blossom between the two of you. With love, you are open with each other, and there is a chance for discovery of new things between you two. Just like when flowers bloom during the spring season, your relationship will blossom, and you will be happy when there is love.
- Control your desires…
Uncontrolled feelings and desires cause mayhem. We are humans, and as humans, we can’t live without desires, needs and wants. However, the tricky part is, can we control our feelings? What happens once we let our emotions rage?
Feelings can be uncomfortable at times. Controlling what you feel doesn’t necessarily mean repressing or ignoring them all together. It means keeping them in check, the same way that thermostat keeps the room temperatures in your house in check. Doing so will help you become emotionally stable as well as bettering your health.
The best way of keeping your emotions in check is to focus more on your physical senses. For instance, is your heart beat rate faster? How are muscles behaving? Are they tense or tightened? Is your breathing shallow or rapid?
Acknowledge your emotions instead of suppressing them. Once you know they are there e.g. sweaty palms, and a faster heartbeat, you will be able to relax and heed what your body is communicating.
If you have heightened muscles, you could try PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation). PMR will enable you to identify any muscular tension in your body
Look for a quiet and relaxing environment and calm down. Relax for about 10-20 minutes.
Ensure you are always comfortable. Wear clothes that you like. Try to wear loose fitting clothes. Cleansing and deep breaths will help calm your mind and muscles.
Curl your toes as tight as you can for 5-10 seconds. Relax your muscles for around 20 seconds, and then move to the other foot. Do the same for all the other muscles in your body including those on your stomach, buttocks, lips, eyes, forehead, upper arms, hands, hips, thighs, feet and the forehead.
If you are always working, or if you are always busy, focus on the facial muscles. Engaging in such activities will help you relieve any stress you may have.
You could use visualization methods to relax. Picture yourself in a safe place. That place should be soothing and relaxing. That calm place could be quietest park you know, your bedroom, the spa, your worship place, or the beach. Create as much detail as you can. What do you smell, hear, feel, or touch?
You could imagine yourself as that pebble that’s thrown in the ocean. The pebble will drift away as the waves rise. Picture your problems to be that pebble. Imagine all that negativity, hate and animosity are drifting away just like a pebble. Comforting, isn’t it?
Visualization often seems weird in the beginning, but once you practice it, you will find it normal and comforting.
- What do you operate on? If they are likes or dislikes, be ready for consequences…
We are all unique in different ways. What I desire, might not be what you desire. For instance, a person might find pleasure in smoking, but another guy might not stand it. Some guy may look forward to selling his condo; another, on the other hand, can’t wait to buy it. Such happens everywhere.
What might be happy for someone may end up being sad and sorrowful for another. Therefore, it’s not a being or thing but how you relate and share with it. It’s not the external world that wrecks your peace but rather how you relate to it.
When you are operating on the mind level, it’s all about what you like and dislike and that is dangerous. For example, if you go to a certain country, and you find whatever food you like isn’t part of the menu, so what next? You will end up furious. And that will dent on the level of happiness you intend to achieve.
You should, therefore, operate on the intellect level instead of likes and dislikes as that will help you choose the correct path.
- The mind has a tendency of wandering…
Sometimes the mind rambles when you are talking to someone. It’s a little bit tough to concentrate 100%, even if you really want to. Lots of things are always running through our minds. The haunting past, anxieties about the future often affects our concentration.
Such worries tire us and tire our minds. Take time off and relax.
Avoid working on the weekends. Relax your mind, take a walk at the beach or spend your Saturday at the park. Children are most of the time happy. You have ever asked yourself why? Because they never worry about the past or future. Their minds are always relaxed and therefore, they are always joyful and happy.
Once You Change, You Will Be Able To Change The World!
Be the change that you want to see on the planet. Do things that you would want to see happen on the earth. If you decide to change your thoughts, your actions, the world around you will change.
View your environment with new lenses. I know everyone would like to see a clean and airy environment free from all filth and waste from non-biodegradable goods. I know you love it when the air is clean. Since you like it that way, then why would you want to engage in practices that will be detrimental to the environment such as unclean energy sources e.g. coal energy. Isn’t that going against what you would want the world to be? If you want a clean earth, green, use clean energy sources such as solar power. Avoid littering the environment. The main problem of changing the world without changing yourself is that you will still be you even after you change the environment that you dwell in. With all your negativity, hatred and flaws, you will stain the world with your sabotaging tendencies.
With you being in such kind of situation, you will not achieve whatever you intended because your mind is full of all that negativity.
Avoid spending so much time on other people’s mistakes e.g. “I wish he didn’t walk like that”, “I wish he didn’t drink that beer” Sometimes we end up forcing our closest friends or family members to change. The truth of the matter is, it’s a little bit challenging to change a person for who he or she is.
Instead, be an example, a beacon of hope. If you wish your spouse to be more positive, allow your positivism to permeate your relationship.
Your Grace Guru
Ayurveda is an ancient type of medicine that originated from the Indian subcontinent. The modern world has slowly accepted this traditional system of medicine, and it’s seen as an alternative to modern medicine. In most Western European and American hospitals, this traditional form of medicine has been integrated into general applications as well as in the medical field.
Ayurveda has been in use for more than two millennia and has varied and evolved over the years. It’s said that the classical Ayurveda began with the transmission of the medical expertise from the Gods and then knowledge was passed to the sages, and finally to the human doctors. These therapies are based on complex compounds of herbal products, metals, and various mineral substances. Ayurveda also involves complex medical techniques that include surgical procedures e.g. perineal lithotomy, extracting foreign objects, suturing wounds, and rhinoplasty.
Medical scholars have asserted in the past that Ayurveda originated in the prehistoric periods, and some concepts of this traditional form of medicine were discovered since the times of Vedic period and Indus Valley Civilisation or even earlier. However, most of the medical expertise was developed in the Vedic period, with systems that include Jainism and Buddhism having some practices and concepts appearing in the Ayurveda medical system.
Under Ayurveda is three fundamental substances called the doshas.
Doshas according to the Ayurveda system are three humors that constitute the body of a human being. The dosha teachings are also commonly referred to as the Tridosha theory.
Ayurveda mainly exists because of a delicate but key balance between the three doshas or bodily humors called Kapha, Vata, and Pitta.
The three named doshas above are present in every human being, but the teachings of Ayurveda proposes that we all have at least one dominant dosha since our birth date. Ayurveda also recommends that there should be a balance between the other two doshas. Once the doshas are well balanced, we will live a healthy and disease-free lifestyle but when they aren’t, we develop diseases that are often as a result of various causes. Such causes may include:
- Poor eating habits
- Poor digestion
Most of the Eastern Asia countries have fully integrated the three doshas into their schools of medicine. Ayurveda physicians will even undertake evaluations of your body such as checking your pulse, evaluating your appearance, taking your temperature and asking questions to see how you will handle them and also how you respond to certain scenarios.
There are three doshic states…
Decreased: In this case, a certain dosha is present but in a lower than normal proportion also known as a depleted or a reduced state
Balanced: All the 3 stated doshas are present in their normal equal proportions also called an equilibrium state.
Increased: One of the doshas is present in a greater than normal proportion also known as an excess or aggravated state.
Of the three states above, the aggravated state or increased state leads to the highest number of imbalances, which often come from a range of influences such as stress in life, or a dosha aggravating budget. You could initiate a reinstatement of balance, but it would need a lot of dedication and effort. You would first need to understand your body makeup then complement the needs of your external environment with the needs of your internal environment. Ayurveda medical system offers various specific recommendations for every individual ranging from a general lifestyle change to the treatment of diseases.
Vata’s definition is derived from the elements of air and space, which translate to ‘’that which moves stuff’’. It is considered as the most significant dosha because it the greater life’s force and it controls Kapha and Pitta doshas.
Some Vata qualities include mobile, light, subtle, rough, dry and cold. A Vata person may display the mental and physical individualities in both an imbalanced and balanced condition.
Vata Pyschical Characteristics
Vata individuals have a sense of excellent adaptability, light frame and are thin. As mentioned above, the Vata influences other doshas. Energies in Vatas come out in bursts and, tend to experience unexpected bouts of fatigue. They have cold feet and hands. Their digestion is sensitive, and they sleep lightly as compared to the other doshas.
Vata persons are always on the go with energetic, creative body and minds.
Imbalance Of A Vata
When a Vata is imbalanced, it exhibits anxiety and certain disorders that may include either one or some of the following; constipation, dry skin, arthritis, pains, aches, loss of weight, weakness, and skin dryness.
A Vata individual becomes imbalanced as a result of
- Sleeping late at night and for fewer hours
- Eating while on the run
- Smoking cigarettes or shish-a
- Drinking tea, coffee or alcohol
- Eating while anxious or depressed
- Having an irregular routine
How Can Vata’s Stay Balanced?
A balanced Vata is enthusiastic, creative, lively, balanced, and gifted with a natural ability to communicate and express him or herself effortlessly.
Listed below are some guidelines a Vata can undertake to ensure they are balanced:
- Follow the dietary steps listed below
- Have enough sleep and always keep warm
- Vatas should avoid certain climatic weathers such as dry climates, windy and cold conditions
- Avoid very noisy places such as clubs and bars
- Reduce traveling and keep your movements to a minimum
- Avoid inconsistent routines and engage in exercises that are regulated and gentle in nature
- Create time for rest, having breaks between heavy and complex tasks.
- Live in a safe, peaceful and calming environment.
A Vata is known to be dry and cold and, therefore, require nourishing warm foods, of reasonably heavy texture. Fat and butter are recommended for stabilising a Vata.
Always choose satisfying, sweet, soothing and salty foods. Other diets common for Vatas include warm milk, hot cereals, butter, cream, nut butter, raw nuts, baked bread, warm soups, and stews. Sugary fruits are preferred to the sour and bitter ones. Vatas are advised to wait till fruits are extra ripe so as to consume them.
You should also have hot water and warm drinks regularly. Drinks such as hot herbal teas ought to be taken in the late afternoon.
Spices that a Vata can use in their foods include garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, and cloves.
What Types Of Food Should A Vata Reduce?
Vata should desist from drinking drinks with a lot of caffeine such as sodas and coffee. Sweets should be avoided. Cold drinks and foods such as raw vegetables, and greens, iced drinks, and salads will lead to a Vata imbalance as stated above. Avoid having unripe fruits as they deemed to be too astringent.
VATA FOOD PLAN
Stated below are steps that a Vata should undertake to ensure dosha balance and restore Vata balance if there is any imbalance.
The best fruits include grapes, avocados, lemons, fresh figs, plums, pineapples, papaya, mangoes, coconuts, berries, sweet lemons, cherries, stewed, sour oranges, plums, grapefruits, apricots, and bananas.
The fruits listed above should be well ripened.
Some fruits should be taken in moderation, and they include pears, cranberries, and pomegranates.
Dried, unripe fruits should be avoided.
The best grains for a Vata include cooked rice and cooked foods such as oatmeal cereals.
Note that the cereals should be cooked and not dried.
Grains to be taken with moderation include millet, dry oats, barley, corn, buckwheat, and wheat.
All forms of dairy are allowed.
The best meats for a Vata include chicken, turkey and sea foods all in small quantities. Generally speaking, the best meats are white meat.
Types of meat that to be taken in moderation include red meat, e.g., beef and pork
The best type of beans includes the following: pink lentils, chickpeas, tofu and mung beans. However, tofu should be taken in small quantities unlike the other listed type of beans.
Beans such as black beans, kidney beans should be taken in moderation.
The best oils for Vatas include ghee, sesame and olive oil. Olive oil is the best oil and is highly recommended due to its nutritional value and health benefits.
Spice & Herbs
Vatas should avoid having spices in large amounts. They should also desist from astringent and bitter spices and herbs that include thyme, fenugreek coriander seed, and parsley. Herbs such as turmeric and saffron should be taken in moderation.
All vegetables listed below should be cooked.
The best vegetables include the following: turnips, garlic, carrots, radishes, asparagus, onions, beets, cucumber, green beans, and sweet potatoes
Vegetables that should be taken in moderation include broccoli, cauliflower cabbage, eggplant, celery, mushrooms, sprouts, green leafy vegetables, peppers peas, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts
Desist from consuming raw vegetables.
Seeds & Nuts
Almond seeds are considered the best for a Vata. However, all nuts and seeds are acceptable.
All sweeteners are allowed.
Pitta is related to the elements of Water and Fire and roughly translates to ‘’the one that cooks’’ It refers to the energy of metabolism and digestion in the body that functions through substances such as enzymes, bile, and organic acids. The liquid nature of the named elements above accounts for Pitta’s element of Water make-up.
Locations of Pitta in the body include stomach, spleen, eyes, sweat, pancreas and the small intestine. Psychologically, they govern courage, joy, jealousy, mental perception and anger. Physiologically they provide the body with energy and heat through the breaking down of complex molecules.
When you feel like your body is “overheating,” Pitta is usually the cause. Internal body temperatures should always be kept in check to avoid such scenarios.
The qualities of a Pitta include acidic, pungent, penetrating, intense, light, hot, and sharp. This dosha controls metabolism, energy production, and digestion. A Pitta’s principal function is conversion and transformation of foods into energy.
The qualities listed can be reflected in either an imbalanced or balanced state.
Emotional Features of a Pitta
Pittas have a strong ability of concentration and are powerful intellects. They are excellent speakers, good decision makers and teachers. Other characteristics of Pittas include direct, sharp-witted, precise and, ambitious, outspoken and practical. They love challenges and taking adventurous trips.
Imbalance of a Pitta
When they are imbalanced, they exhibit certain behaviours such as being argumentative, short-tempered, and emotional outbursts.
What Causes the Imbalance of a Pitta?
- Eating while furious
- Smoking cigarettes.
- Drinking alcohol, tea or coffee
- Consuming Pitta-aggravating diets
When Pittas are imbalanced, they suffer from disorders such as burning sensations, indigestion, skin rashes, peptic ulcers, and heart burns.
How Can a Pitta Stay Balanced?
- Follow the food plan listed below
- Engage in calming exercises every day such as walking, tai chi, yoga, and swimming.
- Participate in activities that relax the mind like spending time in the park enjoying the picturesque nature
- Avoid climates with high humidity, excessive heat, and steam.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid conflicts
- Avoid stimulants especially those that are artificially made
What Are The Favourable Diets?
Pittas need to have warm or cool foods with reasonably heavy textures. Pittas should desist from having hot, steaming foods. Ideal tastes include astringent, sweet and bitter tastes. Consume cool foods in the hot weather such as ice cream, salads, and milk. A good breakfast for a Pitta may include apple tea, cinnamon toast and cold cereal. Red meat should be avoided as it tends to generate heat for the body. Vegetables are best for Pittas. They should consume high amounts of vegetables, grains and milk.
Foods a Pitta Should Reduce
Pittas should avoid all alcoholic drinks. A Pitta should go slow on the consumption of fatty foods i.e. they ought to use less added fat and butter. They should skip hot drinks, nuts, honey, egg yolks, hot spices, cheese, pickles, and sour cream. They should avoid deep-fried foods that are too oily. Pittas ought to use lemon juice as a dressing instead of vinegar. Fermented diets should also not be taken by Pitta persons.
PITTA FOOD PLAN
Stated below are steps that a Pitta should undertake to maintain balance and restore balance in case of any imbalance.
The best fruits include apples, sour cherries, berries, grapefruits, pineapples, peaches, raw papaya, dark grapes, and persimmon.
A vital point to note is the fruits named above should be sweet and ripe.
Avoid any fruits that aren’t ripe and sweet especially plums, oranges, grapes, and pineapples.
The best grains include white basmati rice, oats, barley, and wheat.
Grains such as rye, corn, millet, and brown rice should be taken in moderation
The best forms of dairy for a Pitta include milk, egg whites, butter, not sour fruit sorbets and ghee.
Cheese, ice cream, egg yolk, sour buttermilk, cream & yogurt should be taken in moderation.
The best meats for a Pitta include; shrimp, chicken, turkey, and river fish. All the listed types of meat should be taken in small amounts.
Meats such as seafood and red meat should be taken in moderation
Mung beans, tofu, red lentils, and chickpeas.
Beans such as black lentils, black gram, and Ar har Dal should be taken in moderation.
The best oils for Pitta include sunflower, soy, grape seed, and olive oils.
Oils such as coconut, corn, safflower, almond and sesame oils should be taken in moderation.
Spices & Herbs
Pittas should avoid all types of spices as they too heating. However, some herbs and spices such as cumin, mint, black pepper, dill, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seed, saffron, fennel, and turmeric can be consumed in small amounts
The best vegetables include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, radishes, asparagus, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, okra, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, sprouts, squash, zucchini, parsley, green beans, and spinach.
Some of the vegetables that ought to be taken in moderation include onions, beets, tomatoes, eggplant, hot peppers and chilies
Seeds & Nuts
The best seeds and nuts for Pitta include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, and coconut seeds
All sweeteners are allowed except for molasses and honey.
Kapha dosha is related to the elements of water and earth and roughly translates to “the one that sticks” It refers to the energy of lubrication and constituents of the body with its physical and structural form and the smooth functioning of all human parts. In general terms, it can be referred to the body lubrication, glue and cement of the areas of the body all rolled in one.
Kaphas tend to weigh heavier as compared to the other doshas. They also possess earthier bodies than the other two types. As a result of being heavier, they can easily store fats and fluids. Their speech is slow and melodically. They are attached and naturally calm. Sometimes they have watery dreams and have heavy and thick elimination.
Locations of Kapha in the body include the following: tendons, lungs, fatty tissue, ligaments, connective tissues, chest, throat, lymph, and the head. Psychologically, they govern greed, mental inertia, forgiveness, attachment, and love. Physiologically they store energy, moistens food, and they relate to bodily fluids such as mucous, water and lymph
The fluids in a Kapha may be stored in the body and leading to a dampened system which will eventually cloud the mind and weigh down the body leading to fatigue. This accumulation of fluids in the body leads to other body disorders that include sinus congestion, obesity, and mucous related diseases. Such body disorders often, in the end, cause depression, attachment, and lethargy.
The qualities of a Kapha include steady, slow, heavy, oily, cold and soft. It governs the body structures. It is the principal that holds together cells and forms the bone, muscle, and fat. Kapha also provides immunity to the body. The core function of Kapha is safeguarding the body from diseases.
Kaphas have an excellent stamina and a strong build. Their skin is radiant and smooth. Their digestion is regular, and they sleep soundly. However, once a Kapha adds a lot of weight, he or she tends to retain lots of fluids, which eventually manifests as allergies in the body.
What Are The Emotional Characteristics Of A Kapha
They are naturally loving, thoughtful and calm. They tend to be comfortable with routine and enjoy life. Kaphas are also supportive, loyal, steady, patient, and strong. They love listening to music, relaxing and reading.
Imbalance Of A Kapha
What causes an imbalance of a Kapha?
- Eating to get rid of emotions e.g. eating sweets when stressed.
- Not engaging in any physical activities.
- Avoiding intellectual tasks.
- Spending a lot of time in cool and damp climates.
- Spending lots of time indoors especially on the TV, laptop or computer.
When imbalanced, Kaphas become lethargic and overweight. They sleep excessively. They suffer from diabetes, depression, asthma, and depression.
Kaphas also hold onto jobs and relationships when imbalanced. They show excessive attachment and are resistant to change. They are also quite stubborn.
How Can Kaphas Stay Balanced?
- Follow the food plan below
- Exercise every day.
- Engage in activities that will energise, stimulate the body and mind.
- Allow for variety in life, challenges, and excitement.
- Break off from old ways of thinking, and stagnation.
- Always keep dry and warm
- Take part in introspective activities such as writing and meditation
- Have a boundary between being taken advantage of and being nice.
What Are The Favourable Diets?
Kaphas need to have dry foods, light, warm or cooked light meals. They also do best with raw vegetables and fruits. Spicy foods are such as Indian or hot Mexican foods are good for Kaphas. Dry methods of cooking that include broiling, baking, sautéing, and grilling are preferred to moist methods of cooking such as poaching, steaming or boiling. Preferred spices include turmeric, cumin, sesame seed, and fenugreek. Tonic water, endive, and romaine lettuce are some of the foods that are good for a Kapha.
Foods Kaphas Should Reduce
Kaphas should go slow on the consumption of fatty and sweet foods, and should reduce salt consumption as this often leads to fluid retention in the body. They should avoid deep-fried foods that are too oily. Kaphas have a tendency of overeating.
They should have the main meal during the day with less heavy, dry foods in the late afternoon or night. Kaphas should desist from consuming fats, sugars, dairy products, chilled drinks, and foods. They ought to use oils and ghee in small proportions.
KAPHA FOOD PLAN
Stated below are steps that a Kapha should undertake to ensure balance and restore Kapha balance if there is any imbalance. These foods mainly affect the moist and heavy aspects of the body.
The best fruits include grapefruits, cranberries, apples, pears, prunes, papaya, berries, cherries, and pomegranates, and apricots
Dried fruits including figs, apricots, raisins, prunes, and are great for Kaphas.
Some fruits should be taken in moderation, and they include mangoes, bananas, fresh figs, dates, and coconuts.
The best grains for a Kapha include basmati rice, buckwheat, barleycorn, millet, oats, and rye.
Grains, for instance, rice and wheat, should be taken with moderation
Kaphas are also advised to avoid steamed grains and hot cereals because they are too damp for the body.
Small amounts of whole milk, warm skim milk, camel milk, goat milk, and soy milk are good for a Kapha. They can also take eggs, but they shouldn’t be cooked with butter or fried
Eggs yolks should be taken in moderation.
The best meats include the following; lean fish, chicken, and turkey which should be taken in small amounts.
Meats such as red meat and shrimp should be taken with moderation
All legumes can be consumed.
Beans such as kidney beans and tofu to be taken in moderation.
The best oils for a Kapha include sunflower, grape seed oil, almond, and olive oil.
All oils should be used in small quantities.
Spices & Herbs
Kaphas can have all types of spices and herbs. However, the most preferred include sesame, cumin, ginger, and fenugreek. Spices and herbs are good because they improve digestion.
The best vegetables include broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, garlic, radishes, asparagus, onions, beets, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, okra, potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, sprouts, peas peppers, and spinach.
Vegetables to be eaten in moderation include zucchini, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
Seeds & Nuts
The best seeds and nuts for Kaphas include flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
All sweeteners are allowed but in small quantities.
Your Grace Guru
Insomnia – that monster that befriends you just when you need sleep most – has reached alarming levels. There is an epidemic of sleeplessness. None of us is immune from this condition. It is important for us to find out what causes insomnia and how to overcome it if we really want to sleep like the babies we once were.
When sleep avoids you…
When was the last time you had a restful night and enjoyed it for two to three consecutive days? With all the cares of this life, you go to bed expecting that you will doze off as soon as you slip under the blanket. Unfortunately, many are the times you will roll and roll on your bed hoping and wishing that sleeps will come your way but in vain.
Melatonin and the science of sleep
Let us first understand the science behind insomnia. There is a neurochemical that is secreted in your brain that controls your sleep patterns. Melatonin, once released into your blood, makes you drowsy, relaxed and sends you to dreamland. This chemical is there in your system during the day but in low quantities. As the evening wears, on melatonin increases until about 2 am, when it peaks.
Interfering with melatonin flow
In essence, sleeplessness is a result of interfering with the natural flow of melatonin in the body. The solution lies in exercising mindfulness. You should know when the body is telling you to sleep. You must stop interfering with the natural cycle of melatonin in the blood. By now you know that taking caffeine drinks is one way of ensuring you don’t sleep when you expect to.
More importantly, you need to time your sleep to coincide with the melatonin wave. One way of doing this is to come to terms with your day shortly before you go to sleep. While sitting on your bed, shut your eyes and reflect on the issues that you have not resolved, then simply allow them to go. Now breathe deeply and lie down.
You can also lie on your back, concentrate on your breathing and relax your body and mental faculties as you breathe in deeply. Try as much as possible to be at ease in this position and sleep will encroach gradually into your territory. When this happens, turn to your favourite side and enjoy restful sleep.
Watching television before going to sleep
The blue light rays that come from your television, laptop and desktop computers, smartphones and other electronic screens, interferes with the secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland. Consequently, if you use such gadgets and immediately go to sleep you are likely to take some time before sleep catches up with you.
For this reason, the best time to go to sleep if you have been using these gadgets is after one hour. Ensure you finish working with these devices early enough such that you have time for other activities that will take at least one hour. How about arranging your clothes or washing dishes before you sleep?
Sleeping in a cluttered bedroom
Your bedroom should be a sacred place. The moment you allow this important room to be disorganized and cluttered you send away sleep. Avoid distracting your sleep by all means. For example, watching TV or working on the computer in the bedroom will expose you to blue light and we have already analysed the consequences of such action.
Have as few extras items in the bedroom as possible. Let every item in the bedroom be related to sleep. Ensure your beddings are clean and well-spread. Let the mattress be flat and comfortable. The pillow should also prop you up based on your body and should be comfortable enough.
Lack of exercise and relaxation
Your body needs to be relaxed before you go to sleep. You can achieve this by engaging in yoga. Begin with meditation to bring your body, mind and soul into harmony. Sit comfortably on your bed and prop you body up with a pillow or other comfortable material. Cross your legs, close your eyes and begin to stretch your body using any of the less-involving yoga exercises.
Among the recommended yoga exercises to induce sleep include seated twist, corpse pose cross-legged bend, forward bend, knees-to-chest pose, reclining twist, reclining big-toe hold and half happy baby. Regardless of the posture, make sure your mind is relaxed and that you feel every part of it. Remember to practice mindfulness as this will promote body immunity and regulate your blood pressure too.
Other reason for insomnia
Lack of sleep can also be caused by chronic pain, allergies, anxiety, depression, some types of medicine and neurological diseases. Ensure you seek medical or psychological help as the case may be because some of these issues are beyond your ability.
To sum up, you need to deal with the causes of insomnia in your life because you really deserve to sleep like a baby as this is an important step towards making yourself productive the following day. Sleep is vital; pursue it at all costs!
Your Grace Guru