Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring Ayurveda

Within the art of Ayurveda, there will never be one remedy or one sequence that brings everyone or their dosha back into alignment. The response to every inquiry about your health should be “It depends, as my teacher, Dr. Robert Svoboda, was so fond of saying. The mantra of “It depends” teaches you to see the interconnectedness between you and your lifestyle, how changing one facet of your routine will affect another. It’s a friendly reminder that humans in general are complex, and it’s wise to look at or diagnose the body/mind/soul from many angles.

To start early spring cleaning, consider adding the following pranayama practices from Art of Sequencing – Volume Two, to your daily routine:

· Kapala bhati—also known as “skull shining”—to reduce weight gain, bring heat to the chest, and to promote strong agni and mental alertness. (Do not do this if you are menstruating. Menstruation is considered a natural cleanse for women.)

· Agni sara, to prevent stagnation in the organs and promote blood circulation. From a standing position, separate your feet hip-distance apart, and bend your knees while resting your hands on the lower part of your thighs. Exhale completely to create Mula bandha (root lock) and Uddiyana bandha (upward flying, diaphragmic lift). After your exhale, quickly pull your pelvic floor muscles inward and upward towards your diaphragm until you feel your deep core muscles. Keep holding your breath while your diaphragm, abdominal organs, and pelvic floor pulse quickly back and forth away from your spine. Relax all of your muscles before you take your next breath.

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