Many superfoods, according to Ayurveda, should be used and consumed properly according to one’s specific dosha or constitution.
Basmati rice is considered as one of those foods that are sattvic in nature which means it is excellent for all type of people and Ayurvedic constitutions. Basmati rice is healthy and healing for the mind and body.
Basmati Rice is often consumed with various legume and Ayurvedic dal recipes to help cleanse and nourish the tissues of the body.
Below is a more detailed explanation of basmati rice in terms of its benefits and nutritional properties.
Basmati Rice is sweet and balanced in nature – neither too hot nor cold. According to Ayurveda, it balances all the doshas because it is easy to digest and builds healthy cells and tissues.
Basmati rice is a tonic as it is strengthening, energizing and nutritive. It is also a demulcent as it can relieve pain and inflammation while healing the lungs and stomach.
Nutritional Properties: Basmati rice contains mostly carbohydrates, which we all need, but also some proteins, a small amount of fats & fiber and a few vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of energy composed of thiamine and niacin.
As far as the fiber content of basmati rice is concerned, the brown variety has more fiber than the white variety and so it is often considered to be more nutritious. However white basmati rice can be more easily digested and suitable for some people. White basmati is often used as a digestive cleanse due to its unique nature and the ability to help draw out toxins.
Healing Properties: Basmati rice helps to build and strengthen all tissues of the body and is good for convalescence, debility (loss of strength) and for those who practice yoga and meditation as it is nourishing to the brain and helps maintain focus.
Basmati rice also helps to support normal appetite and growth, and is very important for the normal functioning of the heart, muscles and the nervous system.
According to Ayurveda, basmati rice when taken with mung beans (kitcheree) is one of the best staple food for health maintenance and treatment of diseases.
When it comes to superfoods the Ayurvedic diet includes an abundant and a variety of different foods which are considered extremely healthy and healing.
Many of these superfoods, according to Ayurveda, should be used and consumed properly according to one’s specific dosha or constitution.
Mung beans are in a category of their own because they are considered sattvic in Ayurveda which means they are excellent for all type of people and constitutions. They are harmonizing for the mind and body.
They are best used and prepared in dishes as whole mung bean which are green – these can be soaked for 8 hours or as split mung beans which are yellow – these generally do not need to be soaked. Soaking and/or sprouting the beans helps create digestive enzymes and supports the digestion process.
Below is a more detailed explanation of mung beans in terms of their benefits and nutritional properties.
Mung beans are sweet, astringent and cool in nature. They are balancing for all the dosha types and are considered a complete food consisting of protein, fat, carbohydrate and dietary fibre especially when they are mixed with rice such as basmati. They are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates which aid in digestion and stabilize the body’s blood sugar levels.
Nutritional Properties on Mung beans: Mung Beans are very low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. They are a good source of thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin C, riboflavin, folate acid, copper, manganese, pantothenic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Healing Properties of mung beans: Mung beans are good for convalescence – the gradual recovery of health and strength after illness, especially from febrile (feverish) and infectious diseases.
Mung beans are also really good for the liver, spleen and bleeding disorders. They are an excellent food used for alcohol, drug and smoking detoxification. They are also good for people who suffer from diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer and other immune deficiency diseases. Mung bean tea is excellent for heat stroke and fevers.
What is contentment? The oxford dictionary defines contentment as a state of being satisfied, and also as a state of tranquil happiness.
In Sanskrit, contentment is referred to as Santosha and is one of the key practices required in Yoga and Ayurveda.
So, an important question to ask yourself is, “how would you define contentment? And, are you content?”
Contentment for me is a state of being in acceptance from which comes inner joy, peace and harmony. These are not dependant on any external events or things.
Contentment allows me to just be rather than having to be or become someone else. I am not always content, but the development of contentment is a part of my spiritual practice.
I have had times were I have felt completely content and during these times I felt free from the agony of dissatisfaction.
We each have equal capacity to be content and the seed of contentment is buried within us. We were born to experience joy, happiness and tranquillity.
Somewhere along the way we lost our connection to our inner joy because we started looking at things outside of us for a sense of fulfillment.
From a young age happiness starts to elude us. We become dissatisfied with what we have, always thinking someone else is happier because they have a bigger and better toy.
As a mom I see this with my own kids. They get treated the same but still one of them always looks to the other and wants what the other has.
They develop the syndrome of “I want what he has because it will make me feel better.”
By doing this over and over again our reserve of contentment dries up, leaving us to think that we have to look outside of us for bigger and better things to get replenished.
This same lack of content follows students into a yoga class. I observe students in class comparing their flexibility to that of their peers.
As a result the gratification from their yoga practice is lost to thoughts of competition and comparison with others. Continue reading
Everyone can practice Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy and reap the joyful benefits it gives.
It doesn’t matter what your age or health level is. All you need is the willingness to explore with an open mind.
Practicing Yoga postures with Ayurvedic yoga principles is generally a safe practice, providing you use proper techniques.
The Ayurvedic yoga postures should begin gradually under the guidance of an experienced and competent teacher; someone who has training as an Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist.
The teacher whether it is you or someone else needs to understand the student’s nature or constitution and look at their constitution from an objective point a view.
The teacher or therapist needs to understand the student’s nature on all levels which includes their physical, functional, emotional and psychological constitution. That’s why in Ayurveda yoga therapy, an Ayurvedic assessment is done on the person or oneself.
In yoga therapy, you should never push or strain for immediate results, as doing so could cause injury. One has to apply the principle of Ahimsa – non–violence restraining from hurting or injuring another or oneself. It is essential to be patient, disciplined and prepared.
It is important to surrender your ego – your competitiveness for a deeper, healthier and holistic practice. For example, you may really want to practice an advanced headstand for 5 minutes but if you have an excess of Pitta (lots of fire), it would be best to practice headstand for only 10 breaths and then move into a strong cooling posture.
Practicing Ayurvedic yoga therapy is systematic, designed to calm, balance and regulate the systems of the body. It is a vast science that can help heal conditions of the mind and body. Continue reading
How is gem therapy used in Ayurveda?
Gem therapy uses the color properties of the gems and the corresponding planets (to balance out their influences) for the healing process. Specific gem stones both “precious” and “semi-precious” can be worn as rings (on the appropriate fingers) or as pendants.
In fact Ayurveda considers all rocks, stones and gems to contain prana or life energy which when tuned into your vibrational energy and used with specific intentions or mantras can be very healing for the the mind, body and emotions.
Gems can also be placed on certain areas of your body during meditation or healing sessions. In addition one can carry a gem or stone in their pocket to help heal certain conditions or create positive conditions and environments.
Gems work well and in relation to Vedic Astrology to reveal a wide vast of characteristics and traits that can help you on your yogic path and journey. In Vedic Astrology one gets their chart done and analyzed by an astrologer to determine what gems are beneficial for them.
In Ayurveda, some gem preparations can be taken internally – only under a complex process and should be recommended by an experienced doctor or Ayurvedic specialist with knowledge of in internal gem therapy.
In relation to both Ayurveda and Vedic astrology, gems are used to treat physical, mental and spiritual disorders. Their main action is on the level of life-force affecting the subtle and mental energies and help to balance all 3 doshas.
Below is a list of some gems that are good for Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha. Continue reading