Practices to Balance Pitta Dosha

Practices to Balance Pitta Dosha

(How to Beat the Summer Heat!)


The summer heat has really began to kick up here in SoCal; and with this rise in heat, we are also experiencing a rise in Pitta energy. In Ayurvedic Medicine, the sister science of Yoga, Pitta  is fire, heat, and transformation.

And just like we need the warming heat of Summer, we need the warming heat of Pitta. Balanced Pitta is joyful, energetic, clear, concise, vital, and productive. And when in balance, it properly controls and regulates digestion, metabolism and energy production in the body.

Pitta out of balance (in excess), on the other hand, can lead to dehydration, high acidity, inflammation, heartburn, irritability, anger, and impatience! So, you can see why keeping our fire in balance is so important!

It’s not “good” or “bad”… It’s all about balance!

Just like a good fire, we want our Pitta to remain steady, bright and smoldering… Too hot, your fire will burn up all of the energy it needs to sustain itself. Too cold, energy will remain stagnant and sluggish.

 

Don’t know your Dosha? Use this easy to follow guide to find out!! 

How to balance Pitta Dosha:

In Ayurveda, opposites are used to heal and bring balance to areas of imbalance. So, to balance Pitta- the energy of fire- you would want to use the cooling energy of water – the Kapha Dosha. This could look as simple as taking a cool shower, going for a dip in the ocean or a cool lake, or drinking a big glass of water!

Movement, breath and conscious consumption are all tools to call upon in your healing. Whatever you preferred method, there is a way to keep your Pitta in balance.

MOVEMENT and BREATH:

Cooling Asana: Very gentle backbends which shape the thoracic spine, like Cobra Pose, Cow Pose, and Fish Pose are cooling for the body and nervous system.

Breath: Practicing the Sitali Breath is exceptionally cooling. In this practice, you can literally feel the cool breeze coating your lungs. It’s as simple as rolling your tongue into a “taco” and inhaling. If you can’t roll your tongue, breathe in gently through your teeth. You can release your air through your mouth or your nose.

COOLING WATERS:

Stay Hydrated! This is perhaps one of the most important steps to take in calming Pitta. Drink lots and lots of water (slightly chilled or room temperature), especially in the summer months. On days you know you’ll be active, drink even more water than usual.

Take A Dip: If you have a cool body of water close by, take a dip in the evening when the sun isn’t so intense. You can also try doing a Cold Rinse after your shower. Just turn the knob all the way to Cold, and soak your head and full body in the chilly water for 30 seconds – 1 minute. (This is also a great trick for calming inflamed, sore muscles)!

AYURVEDA:

Cooling Tea: There are many blends you can choose from, but Pitta balancing teas often include fennel, peppermint, cardamom, cilantro, coriander, hibiscus flowers, rose petals,  and chamomile flowers.

Food Is Medicine: Eat more foods that are astringent, sweet and bitter. Cold foods like salads, veggies, fruits and coconut oil! Avoid foods that are spicy, sour, salty, hot and dry, like coffee.

There you have it! Easy practices to bring your fire-water energy back into balance.

May your summer be balanced and bright!

Namaste,

Stacy McCarthy

YogaNamaStacy

 

The Three Doshas of Ayurveda

The Three Doshas of Ayurveda 

What is your Dosha?


Before we dive into the Doshas, let’s talk a little bit about where they come from- the science of Ayurveda. 

Like Yoga, Ayurveda comes through the teachings of the Upanishads & the four Vedas. The ancient science constitutes the oldest and longest medical texts in the world! There are specific branches of Ayurveda, similar to Western Medicine; Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Eyes, Head & Throat, Toxicology, Psychology, Rejuvenation and even Aphrodisiacs!

Ayurveda uses the Pancha Mahabhutani (The Five Great Elements) as its guiding force. Each of the five elements can be thought of as principles of density, manifestations of ideas, and fields of expression.

Pancha Mahabhutani: Air, Ether, Fire, Water, Earth

When combined a certain way, the elements create different, unique constitutions- which we call The 3 Doshas.

The Doshas can be applied to all physical life- from the ocean to animals, the change of seasons, and even our own bodies. Each season, life form, and person usually has one dominant Dosha.

The three Doshas:

VATA (Elements Air and Ether)

PITTA (Elements Fire and Water)

KAPHA (Elements Water and Earth)

To find out your primary Dosha, just fill out the questionnaire below!!

 

Note: This post and quiz is meant to act as an initial guide to your discovery. This is not a substitution for a true Dosha screening by an Ayurvedic doctor, nor is it meant to act as medical advice. To learn more about Ayurveda and the Doshas, research a local Ayurvedic practitioner in your area.

 

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Be Your Own Valentine

A Day of Self Love

Be Your Own Valentine


 

I am passionate about helping people create lifelong rituals which ensure their success, wellbeing and sustaining ability to thrive. Establishing healthy habits takes practice, persistence, and patience- whether it’s taking on a new diet, exercise regime, or adopting a new mindset.

The process of gaining lasting Self Love is no different. It takes time, practice, and many ups and downs to test if we’re really doing our homework.

Yes, love is work. Sometimes. But what better work could there be?

Honing the ability to love ourselves fully – no matter the external circumstance – is priceless. Self Love breeds contentment, joy, health, ability to be of service, and the ability to love others fully. It is only from offering ourselves love that we can offer it to others.

Remembering the importance (and vitality) of Self Love is especially important in times when society asks us to show our love with boxes of chocolates and flowers. Not that these things aren’t lovely… but they’re not L-O-V-E, Love. To truly experience Love, we must go past the image of love, and dive deep into the embodiment of love.

This state is cultivated from deep within, and only from within. To me, loving self is akin to looking within through eyes of love, a gentle heart, and a nurturing mind.

Below you’ll find some of my favorite Self Love Rituals. These are the practices that help me nurture myself, that give me care when ego says I’m not worth it, that nourish me so that I may nourish my family and students. They are by no means the only way to cultivate Self Love, but they are a few.

Feel free to take a full day going through all of these practices together; or just add in one per day, and feel how even a moment of offering yourself love makes such a world of difference.

1. Loving Kindness Meditation

My go-to, always, everyday. Love of any kind starts with Self Love. This meditation, practiced in three parts starts with self, then extends to an individual of choice, then to all beings. The order is not to create a hierarchy, but to validate the importance of giving within before giving abroad. I like to begin each morning with this meditation.

May my heart be filled with Loving Kindness.

May I be well.

May I be peaceful and at ease.

May I be happy.

(Repeat 2x, replacing “my/I” with “your/you” and then “our/us”)

2. Abhyanga + Hot Bubble Bath

Your body is your temple, and showing it a little love will go a long way. Taking a moment to clean your body and pamper yourself with pleasure is a beautiful act of Self Love. Immerse yourself in a hot bubble bath, with candles, your favorite calming music and essential oils. Then, for a few minutes, slather melted coconut oil over your entire body- don’t miss an inch! Tend to the spaces that normally don’t get looked at. Massage away tension. I promise you’ll feel good… and your skin will love it.

3. Take Time to Do Your Practice

Rid of what is not serving you, and make space for what you love. If you have four appointments scheduled in a day, but aren’t taking 10 minutes to care for your body and mind- rethink how you’re prioritizing your Self Love. Reschedule an appointment, and instead go take a yoga class, call a girlfriend to have lunch, close your eyes and listen to your breath… When we are over scheduled and overwhelmed, we simply can not offer our best selves. Quality over Quantity. Work can wait, but habitually not taking care of your body will eventually mean that you can’t work at all.

4. Nourish Your Body

Eat well. Feed your body beautiful foods. Feed yourself lovingly. Be aware of what you consume. Have a sensual experience with your food by eating slowly, and savoring all the flavors, textures and subtleties of your cuisine. Don’t eat on the go. Eat purposefully, graciously, and with ease. Your body will better assimilate the nutrients of your food, your digestion will improve, and you’re weight will very likely balance out on its own.

Try this little something extra for you sexy food loversBeaming Cafe’s Sexy Mayan Smoothie! I was more or less obsessed with this smoothie when it was first launched. It’s perfectly rich, a little spicy, gives a nice boost to your heart health, and invigorates the senses! Blend all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix- Savor and Enjoy!!

 

Sexy Mayan Smoothie:

1 cup almond milk – homemade sprouted or organic boxed

1 date

1 T Beaming superfood plant protein (with or without greens)

2 T cacao powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 cup frozen banana

1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)

1/2-1 cup ice

(GF, V)

 

 

Ok. There you have it. A few of my all time favorite Self Love Rituals. Now it’s up to you to make space for Self Love in your heart by doing your practice.

Sending you all lots and lots of love.

Namaste,

Stacy

 

Turning Morning Habits Into Healthy Rituals

Every New Year, my yoga classes become overcrowded with new members who have made new resolutions to lose weight and transform their lives- but less than 3 percent will actually make this reality sustainable. When the New Year’s buzz dissipates, the commitment to these resolutions will typically follow suit; and every year, I find that this cycle repeats itself over and over. Sound familiar? I have a solution. 1474927712078-ughrzxykbgg-81c56b0e5cd7fa575bf7b46fee2827ae
The most sustainable way I have found to create healthy habits is to turn your habits into rituals.  Habits are just actions that we do over and over again until they are so engrained, we don’t even think about it anymore. Instead of thoughtlessly, repeating habits, create rituals that are more mindful and meaningful to the end goal you want to achieve.
You can then take your rituals and create a creed in which you live by. It’s the sum total of all the daily rituals we do that becomes who we are physically, mentally, financially and spiritually.
The single most powerful time of the day to honor my rituals is morning. Daybreak is a remarkably abundant time, ripe with consciousness, creativity insight and tranquility.
Here is how I tap into the magic of morning. It is a personalized version of powerful Ayurveda practices called Dinachariya, a word from the ancient Rig Veda text meaning, “all intelligence awakens with morning”.
Start with Gratitude – Immediately after waking, before you’ve left your bed, say a prayer of thank you. With gratitude in your heart, then form an intention, or sankalpa, related to your day.
Bed Yoga – Practice 3 very simple stretches of your choice without getting out of bed.
Drink Warm Water with Lemon – Prepare a warm glass of water and add a squirt of lemon.
Nauli-Kria – then personal waste removal…aka bowel movement.
Tongue-Scraping – Add tongue-scraping to your tooth-brushing routine. After brushing as usual, use a metal tongue scraper or the back of a spoon to remove toxins, bacteria, and other debris from the tongue. Scraping the tongue also stimulates the digestive system and can reduce bad breath.
Oil Massage (Abhyangha) – Massage Organic Coconut or Sesame oil for 10-20 minutes on your entire body no time just apply oil and shower, but avoid washing off the oil.
Asana, Pranayama and Meditation –How will you greet the rising sun? I include Sun Salutations.
 Breakfast – Big, green smoothie, a Beaming protein bite and a cup of tea.
Walk in nature with my dog 🙂
I get up at 6am and my morning rituals take about 90 minutes. This ritual adds such a powerful, positive, upward spiraling energy to my life. It shapes the trajectory of my entire day. I can’t imagine not giving myself this morning gift.
To learn more about creating rituals that will guarantee your success in mastering the Big Three – How you eat, How you move and How you think, join me for A Day of Namaste. We’ll enjoy a single day Lifestyle Cleanse from Beaming, practice yoga, create mindfully and learn how to incorporate our creative sides into our daily routines- so we can craft the lives we want to live.

A Yogi’s Creed for Living a Beaming Life

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines health as “the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially: freedom from physical disease or pain”. How progressive this statement seems in a quick-fix physical world of flash diets and high intensity workout programs. This description truly captures the essence of health- soundness in mind, body and spirit.

This way of thinking of health, while radical and progressive compared to the mainstream approach, is actually rooted in ancient traditions. The sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda have sought to bring balance to mind, body and spirit since their inception into the human experience. The practice was built to inspire and restore the practitioner into healthful balance, by offering deep insight into imbalances through earnest deep-looking, dedicated physical routine and sincere effort to move past Self.

Though this method of gaining and keeping good health is ancient, it is invariably relevant to our lives today. We are busy as ever, high on stress and buried by duties, making it so easy to fall into imbalance. The practice of Yoga offers us the tools for us to use to feel good- for immediate and lasting health. As the great Yogi B.K.S. Iyengar so eloquently said, “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”

Whether you consider yourself a Yogi or not, a regular yoga practice can teach us all a thing or two about living a healthy lifestyle. From the food we eat, to our work schedules, to how we handle our relationships and even to the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, Yoga promotes health and balance in all areas of our lives.

Inspired by the ancient practice and shaped for the present, this is my creed to living a healthy, thriving and Beaming life:

Take excellent care of your body.

It is the only place you have to live! Your body needs to be a good support system for the mind and spirit. If you take excellent care of it, your body will take you wherever you want to go, with the power, strength, energy and vitality you will need to get there. Make your movement mindful and meaningful so you get the most from it. Buy the best quality food possible that includes organic, superfoods that will keep your engine running smooth. Give yourself time to rest.

Create healthy rituals.

A daily Yoga Asana practice is a great way to keep your body and mind in balance and available for use when you really need it. Not only does this practice create a strong and lean body, but it conditions our breathing to take in more oxygen, which we need for all vital functions. A great morning ritual is to break your overnight fast, with a low glycemic, high protein drink. I love combining Beaming’s Pure Green Juice with fresh almond milk which makes it both cleansing and protein rich.  If you find you easily fall off track from a daily practice, try inviting a seasonal ritual into your schedule to help you reset. Whether it’s practicing 108 Sun Salutations at the change of the seasons or participating in a Seasonal Cleanse, sometimes all you need is a reminder to get back on track.

Research and Study YOU.                                              

Studying ancient traditions and methods of introspection (Yoga, Astrology, Ayurveda) or more modern Personal Development methods can help the mind to cultivate and maintain deep awareness. The greater your personal awareness grows, the more likely you are to do things that are of benefit to yourself.

Contribute.

You have to have a life that has more meaning than just making money or running your business. Giving back, paying it forward, and contributing beyond yourself reminds you of what life is truly about- building others up and growing healthful communities. The act of giving transforms your self identity into one of compassion, love and gratitude. The latest research from the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine shows that people who give more are actually happier.

Let your light shine.           

We all have a responsibility in life to be something more than ourselves, to achieve a higher purpose. Never stop trying to make yourself the BEST version of you. You deserve to be great- let it empower you to grow your light and shine! Share it with the world.

Find your tribe.

You become like those whom you surround yourself with, so choose the company you keep wisely. The people around you should offer support and encouragement, and delight in everything about you.

Magnify your meditation.

If sitting still is challenging, choose to focus on powerful thoughts and emotions as your meditation. Some of my favorites are, “My body is perfect, whole and healed”, “All I need is within me now”, and “I love my life. I am so blessed”.