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Ayurveda is the wisdom of life and longevity.

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Exploring Auyervedic Healing

Certainly not all people are the same, so why should health and well being be approached in a one size fits all manner? Let us introduce you to a deeply intimate and wonderful process of discovering your body.

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This Holiday Season, Give Healing. Give Ayurveda.

Half moon ayurveda gift cards are here.

With a Half Moon Ayurveda gift card, the recipient will be able to choose from a variety of classical Ayurvedic treatments, acupuncture, Thai bodywork, or traditional massage.

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Gift cards are available in any amount and can be used for any product or service.

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 **Please note, when you purchase a gift card online, you will receive a printable gift card OR a link to email to the recipient. You will be given the option to personalize a note to include with your gift card at check out. **

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Emotional Indigestion

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Think of the mind as having two main facets: manas – the thinking, acting mind and buddhi – the remembering mind.

Let us take a moment to think about emotional digestion.  Digestion is happening at a biochemical, cellular, and energetic level in every aspect of our being.  We digest every experience and every emotion. Perfect health depends on perfect digestion. Perfect digestion depends on clear energetic and physiological channels, or srotamsi.  There are srotamsi for the digestion of all substance and experience.  The mind channel, or mano-vaha-strotas is the complex channel responsible for the digestion of all sensory information including mental and emotional experiences.  There are two parts to the mind: manas and buddhi.  Manas includes perception, thinking, and emotion.  Buddhi includes the intellect and the ego identity.  Buddhi is based upon past experiences which can be accumulated genetically, or experientially in this life or in a past life.  Just like we experience indigestion of incompatible foods, the mano-vaha-srotas is prone to emotional indigestion caused by trauma.  Traumas can be deep seated from past experience, or it can be experienced everyday depending on lifestyle factors such as occupational or relationship stressors.

How Trauma Blocks Mano-vaha-srotas

It is the buddhi that becomes affected in deep seated traumas, which can lead to impaired daily experiential perception.  Think of buddhi like this: all your memories (far reaching and recent) and how they affect you on a daily basis.  You are who you are, in part, because of your memories. Negative past experiences can be re-lived every day via our world-view.  Recent psychological studies reveal significantly altered states of agency, or “feeling in charge of your life,” in individuals with a history of trauma (Van der Kolk, 2015).  This is demonstrated in everyday statements of, “he made my skin crawl,” or “you broke my heart.”  A past experience of powerlessness due to trauma leads one to constantly give away their sense of agency.  Consider “I statements” as a way to take back your agency.  The statement, “I’m feeling very upset,” actually gives you the power to choose your emotions.  Accusational language gives away that option. Give yourself adequate time to feel upset after an incident, and then give yourself the same permission to choose to move on.     

Each strotamsi has a root, a passage, and and opening.  Mano – Vaha – Srotas, or mind channel is rooted in the heart, it’s passageway is the entire body and opening is the  sense organs.

Signs and symptoms of afflicted mano-vaha-srotas include recurrent episodes of insecurity, criticism, and comparison.  In other findings, neuroscientists noted the activation of primitive areas of brain functions responsible for self protective behaviors like cowering and startling in patients with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) during everyday socialization.  In the traumatized individuals, there was an overwhelming absence of activation of social engagement related neurons.  The constant veil of negative thoughts furthers the buildup of “emotional toxicity” within the mind channel and prevents us from social connection and presence.  We become paralyzed with fear and insecurities, leading to an inability to cope with the repeated trauma of daily life.  The cycle reinforces itself.  

Without awareness, we may find ourselves in a constant trance of fear based reaction

We must investigate the depths of these harmful behaviors, which may be subconscious in origin. Vedic tradition teaches us that we cannot stop the wheels of karma (the sum of one’s actions based on their history), but that our everyday activities and choices can actively contribute to slowing its effects.  What I mean here is simple.  We cannot change our past experiences.  However, our habitual patterns of emotional response to stimuli can either liberate or further block the mind channel.

So, how do we liberate a toxic mano-vaha-srotas?  Ayurveda tells us that there is no one size fits all method of healing for any condition. Here are some dosha-appropriate signs, symptoms and healing therapies for your consideration:

Pitta  

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Social anxiety is real. Keep your mind channel open and clean with Ayurvedic therapies.

Pitta individuals might manifest their emotional indigestion as anger, judgement, criticism. It can be directed toward the self, or others.   They are prone to a “negativity bias.”  Try journaling as a way to reflect on negative interactions.  A simple, mindfulness based meditation can help in noticing and re-directing negative thoughts.

Vata   

The ether and air qualities of vata dosha make one prone to uncertainty, fear and insecurity.  It can be disabling and permeate every interaction and life experience.  My favorite vata therapy is to take care of something.  If your circumstance allows, consider adopting a pet, engaging in childcare, or even tending to plants.  Chanting, and heart-felt meditations may soothe feelings of loneliness. Yoga is absolutely integral in maintaining a healthy vata constitution.

Kapha  

Behind the jolly, joyful kapha individuals can lie deeply rooted attachment.  Since kapha tends to hold and stagnate, I also find intense pranayamas like kapalbhati (breath of fire) or agni saar (mula lock with stomach pumps) helpful in releasing.  Vigerous yoga including sun salutations is recommended. If communication about emotions or past experience is difficult, start by opening up to an already trusted confidant.   

To find out your own Ayurvedic constitution, or for personalized Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle counseling, email Katelynn at halfmoonayurveda@gmail.com.

About the author:

Katelynn Ingersoll is a an Ayurvedic practitioner with a background in education and a passion for the science of caring.  She is the director of Hot Yoga Philadelphia, a practicing collective member at Half Moon Ayurveda, and an eternal student.

References:

Lad, Vasant.  Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda.  Albuquerque:  The Ayurvedic Press.  2002.

Van der Kolk, Bessel.  The Body Keeps The Score.  New York:  Penguin Books. 2015.

Glazed Carrots, A cookbook review, and a recipe for love by Katelynn Ingersoll

This recipe comes from the first vegetarian cooscreen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-05-46-amkbook I’ve ever owned, Lord Krishna’s Cuisine, The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, by Yamuna Devi. It’s a beautiful book filled with so much more than thousands of vegetarian recipes.  It is one of my favorite books.  And yet, I admit, that I have only made a few dishes.  Each preparation I’ve made has been complicated and detailed.  Things I don’t really have time for.  These days, when it comes to food, we are obsessed with convenience and speed.  But the recipes in this book are very different. Each one involves beautiful, detailed interactions with each ingredient.  The use of spices and unfamiliar vegetables are demystified. The book teaches that food preparation is a meditation of love and should always be done in the mood of  service and gratitude.

And then there’s reality…which is why I have not tried so many of these recipes.

BUT! With the holidays around the corner, I suspect that maybe there’s going to be an opportunity for us to prepare just one dish with this mood in mind. It doesn’t have to be this dish.  But if you’re looking for that stand out side dish, try this recipe.  It combines the crowd pleasing baby carrot with the flavor of digestion enhancing spices.  After several holiday meals, I think I’ve perfected the recipe…

30 baby carrots, about 1 pound, sliced in half lengthwise

3 tablespoons ghee, or coconut oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup

¼ teaspoon turmeric

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Make it mindful: when you chop vegetables, just chop vegetables.

½ teaspoon coarsely crushed cardamom seeds

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ cup orange or apple juice

⅔ cup still or sparkling mineral water

½ teaspoon salt

⅛  teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Place the carrots in a single layer in a skillet or saute pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil or ghee. Add the sweetener, turmeric, cardamom, coriander, and juice.  Boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer on low for 20-40 minutes, until the carrots are nice and tender.  

When almost all of the water has evaporated, bring the pot to a rapid boil until all the liquid boils away.  Shake the pan to prevent sticking and turn off the heat.  The carrots should be nice and shiny glazed by now.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee, the pepper, and the parsley.  Shake the pan again.  Just before serving, add the lemon juice.

Offer with love.

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