What is Ayurveda?
Born in the region of present day India over 2500 years ago, Ayurveda translates to "life knowledge or wisdom". The ancient texts or scripts like the Ashtanga Hridayam, Charaka Samhita, Bhavaprakasa and much more contain valuable details on the makeup of nature and ways humans can stay balanced as well as heal disease through various methods. At one point in time this information was only spoken and passed down through chanting the verses or shlokas, as a way to memorize- just like today's children are taught the ABC's. It is a very effective way to learn! Ayurveda and yoga are both spoken and written in one of the oldest, and most beautifully vibrational languages of Sanskrit.
Ayurveda and yoga teach us that with clarity, awareness and an understanding of who we are, we are all capable of making the correct choices that lead us on the best path and most amazing journey of life. Practitioners, vaidyas or doctors can bring light to those in search of a way to better health but always the power is within each person to follow what their heart and soul speaks! This is very exciting because we are all capable of healing by our own hands and actions. In Sanskrit, ultimate health can be defined as swastha: one who possesses strong digestive strength, balanced breathing, balanced energies and tissues and sparkles with luster and glow and has a calm and peaceful mental state as well as attitude.
We can take a closer look at how Ayurveda describes the energies in nature that create different physical and mental constitutions as doshas. As you awaken your consciousness and develop a deep-rooted understanding of your mental and physical attributes it will play a significant role in how you choose to tailor your life through the choices you make to remain in, or obtain balance and harmony.
~The Gunas~ 10 pairs of contrasting properties
1. sheeta--ushna | cold--hot
2. laghu--guru | light--heavy
3. snigda--ruksha | oily--dry
4. sthoola--sukshma | gross--subtle
5. sandra--drava | dense--liquid
6. mrudu--kathira | soft--hard
7. sthira--sara | stable--flowing
8. manda--teekshna | dull--sharp
9. slakshna--khara | slimy--rough
10. pichila--vishada | sticky--clear
~The Elements ~
1. Akasha * vast space acting as a container and place of possibility. When I think of akasha, I am transported to the cosmos and the infinite capacity. For me it is forever, unfolding itself and collapsing in itself. The never ending idea of expansiveness can bring the quality of fear bhaya, or it can bring the quality of bliss or ananda depending on your perspective.
2. Vayu * movement of air and particles; the whimsy and grace. Wind flow is unpredictable and varying in it's form. It is the organic movement that spirals, jumps, circles, spins and is like jazz music; one doesn't know what is coming next. To some people the 'unknown' is scary but to others anticipation is the sweetest form of pleasure. Energy behind wind is spontaneous, adventurous, magnetic and expresses as art in all forms.
3. Tejas * heat and fire energy creating transformation and change. The sun and all stars in our universe express tejas. Tejas is the 'life-giving' source providing rays of heat for plants to grow and humans to remain in homeostasis via controlled temperature. Scientists believe the core of the earth is made of solid metals surrounded by hot, semisolid magma. With the introduction or depletion of fire we can always expect change and transformation to take place on all levels.
4. Aap * water, the life giving element which moisturizes, supports growth, smoothe movement and alkalinity. Our earth's surface is comprised of about 71% water and the average human body reflects a similar 60% water. After inception humans grow in the fluid-filled amniotic sac which provides stable housing and cushioning. Humans require varying amounts of water intake on a daily basis. Humans can go weeks without food but a lot less time without water. Every cell requires it. Given that humans are so dependent on water it is so important that we not dirty our natural resources and keep our earth clean!
5. Prithvi * earth, the heaviest element providing foundation, stability and grounding. The earth element is reflected in cell walls, tissues, organs, muscles, ligaments, tendons and much more. The earth element is more solid and dense.
Doshas consist of a combination of 2 elements and several gunas.
1. Vata * Elements: akasha + vayu | Gunas: sheeta, laghu, ruksha, sukshma, sara, khara, vishada
2. Pitta* Elements: tejas + aap | Gunas: ushna, laghu, snigda, drava, sara, teekshna
3. Kapha* Elements: aap + prithvi | Gunas: sheeta, guru, snigda, sthoola, sandra, mrudu, sthira, manda, slakshna, pichila
Each person has a unique identity with a combination of certain doshas that are more prominent in their makeup. This is called prakriti. Each dosha has characteristics, gunas or properties and those are expressed through body size, shape, color, texture. Besides physical makeup we also have characteristic traits and mental energies. All of these are examined to determine prakriti.
90 minutes with Dayna Holli
Ayurvedic Wellness Consultation
What is your true nature? What are the energies and elements that are expressed in your unique identity? Do you desire a healthier, energized life in full connection to your self, family, community and of course, nature and our planet? Ayurveda is for everyone! I have seen many people with chronic disorders including myself, heal from living an Ayurvedic lifestyle, practicing yoga and meditation, taking the proper herbal formulations and receiving regular bodywork treatments.
Here is what your personal Ayurvedic Wellness Consultation consists of:
~A guided 10 minute vedic meditation
~An in-depth assessment of your primary energies, or prakriti
~Discussion of your top health concerns, energy imbalances, or vikriti
~A creative personal plan for balancing mental, physical and spiritual health.
~Ayurvedic recipes, spices and nutritional recommendations according to the 6 tastes.
~Suggested Ayurvedic herbs or herbal formulation(s) to help balance and support your energies.
~Suggested pranayama (breathing exercises) yoga and meditation
~Suggested Ayurvedic therapeutic treatments or panchakarma (Ayurvedic cleanse)
I'm available for an Ayurvedic Wellness Consultation at the following locations:
2. Your Home in Connecticut
*****************************AYURVEDA SUPPORTS ALL IMBALANCES****************************
allergies and immune health
back & spinal support: herniated disc, sciatica, spondylosis, scoliosis and more
bacterial and viral infections
chronic disorders and diseases
diabetes type 1 & 2
digestive disorders: crohn's, leaky gut, diverticulitis, constipation and more
hormone health: thyroid, adrenals and more
men's & women's fertility health
mental health: depression, anxiety, grief, fear, anger, sadness, adhd
skin disorders: acne, psoriasis, eczema, rashes
women's health: endometriosis, pcos, moon cycle support, menopause, infertility, pre and postnatal care
Ayurvedic Wellness Consultation
With your Ayurvedic Wellness Consultation you will receive a unique plan with nutritional suggestions that are specific to you! Incuded is a list of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, fats/oils, herbs/spices, and meats or dairy products that will be best for your energies and also which foods to reduce or avoid for a certain period of time. In Ayurveda food can provide energy to the physical body and mind, support immune health and the body's natural defense mechanisms and also it can help to build specific dhatus, or tissues. Your intake of proper foods will either sustain health, wellness and vital energy or potentially create disease and imbalance. You become what you eat! Your body is an insanely amazing creation!
We are to choose foods based on our prakriti or doshic energies and also foods that help reduce our vikriti, or imbalances. A good rule of thumb is to include a little of each taste in every meal creating satisfation to the taste buds and support the replenishment of all tissues. Eating a well-balanced meal with all 6 tastes can help to reduce cravings.
The 6 Tastes ~ Shadrasas
Sweet ~ Madhura | Contains water & earth elements
Sour ~Amla | Contains fire and earth elements
Salty ~ Lavana | Contains fire and water elements
Bitter ~ Tikta | Contains ether and air elements
Pungent ~ Katu | Contains air and fire elements
Astringent ~ Kashaya | Contains air and earth elements
All of the impressions we take in from our sensory experiences to the food and water we ingest and the breath that flows in. Ahara is what we receive in our physical bodies.
In Ayurveda agni is described as our digestive fire or capacity to break down the foods we eat and transport those nutrients to the correct place. One of the most important aspects of human life according to Ayurveda is the strength of our digestion and how we assimilate the food we put into our body. One of my teacher's always says we must not only digest our foods, but also our thoughts and experiences!
According to Ayurveda, waste products need to be effectively removed regularly and this is part of the digestion process. Any disturbance in the process for extended period of time can create chronic imbalances.
All 3 doshas vata, pitta and kapha are involved in the digestive process.
Vata~ (air) There are 5 subdoshas of vata energy and those involved in digestion are samanavayu and apanavayu. Vata energy subdoshas both move food particles down the digestive channel or koshta, and then out of the body. Waste products including urine and feces are called malas and are directed down and out by apanavayu.
Pitta~ (fire) There are 5 subdoshas of pitta energy and those involved in digestion are pachakapitta and ranjakapitta. Pachakapitta is located in the stomach and small intestines helping to create hunger and thirst and properly break down food. Ranjakapitta is located in the liver, spleen and small intestine aiding in absorption of food, giving color to blood, urine, feces.
Kapha~(earth) There are 5 subdoshas of kapha energy and those involved in digestion are bōdhakakapha and kledakakapha. Both provide alkalinity to balance pH levels. Bōdhakakapha is located in the oral cavity, moistening and lubricated the mouth supporting the breakdown of food as soon as it's ingested. Kledakakapha is located in the upper stomach moistening and enhancing the movement of food and breakdown of food particles.
Turmeric is also know as haridra in Sanskrit.
Clove is also known as lavanga in Sanskrit.
Rose, shatavari, fennel & cinnamon
Ayurvedic Wellness Consultation
With your Ayurvedic Wellness Consultation you may receive suggested herbs and custom or traditional formulations. My products are 100% organic. The traditional formulations I use from India are from a top-rated company called Kottakal.
I love plants! Herbalism is one of my favorite areas in the study of Ayurveda. When I was in India in 2013 we visited an Ayurvedic Herb Garden which also had a center for cleaning and processing what was harvested. There were hundreds of plants, shrubs and trees all used for medicinal purposes.
Ayurveda pharmacology is called "dravya guna shastra karma", translating to herbs and their properties, actions and teachings. All parts of the plant can be used in Ayurveda: root, leaf, bark, stem, and flower. Some formulations have over 40+ herbs and take a long time to create when you take into account growing, harvesting, processing and cooking. The earth provides all of us ways to help us heal. Nature has all of the answers.
The many ways we can take in herbs and herbal formulations:
1. Choorna ~ mixed herbal powder sometimes requiring boiling to make more potent.
2. Ghritham ~ herbal ghee
3. Gulam ~ herbal jam
4. Gulika ~ herbal tablets
5. Kashaya ~ concentrated liquid herbal decoction
6. Kwath ~ concentrated liquid herbal decoction
7. Lehyam ~ herbal jam
8. Thailam ~ herbal oil usually with sesame base. Thailams can be applied externally or some taken internally.