Ayurveda 101 – An Introduction


WHAT IS AYURVEDA? Ayurveda is the 5,000 year-old Indian system of medicine and natural healing. It’s based on the idea of achieving holistic health and creating balance by proactively using diet, herbal remedies, and lifestyle routines, rather than fighting disease. Ayurveda recognizes the importance of finding harmony between our physical, emotional, mental, environmental, and spiritual aspects to achieve total health. Ayurveda is the only system of medicine that recognizes ten different metabolic types, and utilizes lifestyle routines and diets based on these differences, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

HOW DO YOGA AND AYURVEDA RELATE? Yoga and Ayurveda are interrelated sister sciences that originate from Vedic knowledge and are a means to improve overall health. Ayurveda is the science of medicine and yoga is the spiritual practice, and when combined can bring well-being to the body, mind and spirit. The combination of the two adds a spiritual dimension to health and healing, and assists in our understanding disease and disease prevention. Yoga is the ideal ayurvedic exercise that rejuvenates the body, improves digestion, and relieves stress; and at the same time a yoga practitioner can benefit from incorporating an ayurvedic daily routine into their yoga practice in order to prepare the mind and body.

WHAT ARE THE DOSHAS AND PRAKRITI? – The doshas are pairs of the five elements, and are like little energy centers that govern physical and mental processes. The doshas are dynamic and change in response to our actions, thoughts, emotions, diet, seasons, life stage, etc. There are three doshas – Pitta, Vata, and Kapha; and every person has a proportion of each dosha, which determines one’s physiological traits, personality traits, general likes and dislikes. This unique combination of doshas is called Prakriti, also known as mind-body type, metabolic type, or constitution. Your Prakriti is set when you’re born and your original constitution will not change throughout your life. Due to the dynamic nature of the doshas, they can easily get out of balance. The goal is not to have equal parts of each dosha in your constitution, but rather to create diet and lifestyle routines based on your dosha combinations to maximize your overall health, and bring you back to your balanced and natural constitution.

 HOW DO I DETERMINE MY PRAKRITI? There is a questionnaire in the beginning of the book to determine which is your predominant dosha. There are also an endless supply of quizzes online, and can be easily found by searching for “dosha quiz” or “prakriti quiz”. You may want to take more than one as some are more general than others, and you may find your results vary depending on how detailed the questions are.

Ayurveda is fundamentally about finding balance and being in tune with the cycles of nature. Generally speaking this can mean rising and setting with the sun, basing diets on the season, eating in-season fruits and vegetables, and avoiding excess heat or cold. In addition to the included book, there are many resources online and a search for “general health tips for (your predominant dosha) type” can result in some amazing tips for diet, exercise, herbal remedies, and lifestyle routines. 

Continue reading to learn more about Dinacharya – the Ayurvedic daily routine, and ways to incorporate Ayurveda in your life.


DISCLAIMER: Please check with your health care professional before starting any exercise or yoga program. The information provided within is intended to be used under professional instruction and guidance. It is not a substitute for medical care and attention. Please use common sense and walk the middle path as you develop your spiritual practice. We are not responsible for the consequences of the exercises and practices. The same applies to all the other material provided here, it is provided as is with no warranties or guarantees. We are not responsible for, and will not compensate in any way, for loss or damage related directly or indirectly to the information in these pages.

Ayurveda Ashi Box Unboxing


January’s box was an introduction to Ayurveda and included an Ayurvedic toolbox to help begin to incorporate Ayurvedic practices into daily life. Below is everything that was included in the box. Continue reading the new posts to learn more about this ancient Indian healing science.

Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by Dr. Light Miller and Dr. Bryan Miller – This book is a collection of healing experience using aromatherapy and ayurveda. It includes a self-diagnosis questionnaire to determine your prakriti (metabolic type), descriptions of essential oils, and recipes for the use of essential oils for common problems.

Copper Tongue Scraper– Tongue Scraping or Jihwa Prakshalana is an ayurvedic technique used to support oral hygiene. Copper is used for its antiseptic antimicrobial properties, and scraping before brushing everyday can remove the coating that leads to bad breath, improve taste sensation, and decrease toxins and bacteria. Scrape your tongue a few times from back to front, rinsing the scraper each time.

Dry Body Brush – This 100% Vegetable Body Brush is perfect for Garshana or dry brushing your skin. Benefits of dry brushing include stimulation of the lymphatic system, skin exfoliation, increased circulation, and reduced cellulite, among others. It’s advised to practice on dry skin before showering every morning, and it only takes about 5 minutes. Start at the feet and brush in long sweeping motions towards the heart. Continue with the arms, again working towards the heart. Then brush the back, abdomen and chest in a circular motion. Brush each area several times. The skin will likely be sensitive at first, but will become less sensitive the more you brush.

Dosha Bar –Dosha Bar balances and heals mind, body and spirit by harnessing the power of Ayurveda. The Kapha Bar will help you feel invigorated, light and motivated as we head into the Kapha season. Visit http://www.doshabar.com to learn more and try out the other flavors.

Turmeric – In addition to adding a warm flavor to your food, turmeric is among the most widely studied plants due to its medicinal and healing properties. The active ingredient, called curcumin, acts as an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Begin incorporating turmeric into your diet with the two recipes at the end of this card.

Coco Luxe Coconut Oil – 100% organic, unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil is perfect for Abhyanga or ayurvedic self-massage. It’s also great to use after dry brushing and showering. Other top uses include: skin moisturizer, oil pulling, face and body wash, makeup remover, massage oil, hair conditioner, breath freshener, pet health, and more. Visit cocoluxeorganic.com to learn more.

Recycled Varanasi Silk Sari – Repurpose as a headband, sew into a coin purse, or use it to brighten your sacred space.

How to Use a Mala

Japa or Mantra Meditation – Japa involves using the repetition of a mantra. Japa can be practiced aloud or silently. It can be combined with using a mala (or rosary) to further develop concentration and keep count of your mantra repetitions, but it is not required. image-61 2

Picking a mantra – A mantra is a sound or vibration that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation. Generally, a teacher gives a mantra to a meditator. In lieu of a teacher-given mantra, you can pick anything that resonates with you. Sanskrit is often recommended to help keep the mind from focusing on any particular meaning or outcome. It can be one word or an entire phrase, and it’s advised that once a mantra has been chosen to stick with it for some time to reap the benefits.

image-60Using a mala – A mala usually consists of 108 beads plus an additional “guru” bead. Holding the mala in the right hand, with it dangling over the middle finger, begin repeating the mantra and “counting” the beads with the thumb. Start with the bead next to the guru bead, and count each bead as one repetition of the mantra. When you get back to the guru bead don’t count it and don’t pass it, take a moment and give respect to the guru, then flip the mala and go back the other way. The index finger is the “pointing” or “accusing” finger and generally doesn’t touch the mala.

Meditation Ashi Box Unboxing


The busy holiday season seemed like the perfect time to do a meditation box. It was designed for anyone wanting to develop a quiet practice in their lives, and came full of tools and information to help inspire a practice and discover what works for you. It included tips on how to use the tools as well as a variety of techniques to help tune in. The box included:

Mandala Coloring Book – Intricately beautiful and colorful mandalas have been used since ancient times to induce states of relaxation and meditation. The mandala is a sacred symbol that can help focus the mind and connect us to our innermost being. Focusing on a task like coloring pushes aside worries and stressful thoughts, and helps develop the one-pointed concentration of meditation.

Eucalyptus and Lavender Silk Eye Pillow – Relax your mind and relieve stress with a hand-made eye pillow filled with rice and lavender, and lightly scented with eucalyptus and lavender essential oils. Use over your eyes or forehead to relieve tension headaches and mental fatigue, and to calm the mind.

Tulsi Mala – Tulsi is a wildly grown plant in India and is considered the most sacred wood. The Tulsi Mala is believed to have incredible spiritual and physical healing powers and can aid in focusing the mind during meditation. It’s also said to improve devotion and love, and bring good luck and fortune to the wearer. The more you wear and use it, the more the color will change as it absorbs the oils from your skin.

Tingsha Chimes – Traditionally, these chimes are used to clear the mind and focus attention. When the two chimes strike each other they produce a clear cleansing tone, which helps bring awareness to the present moment. They are used both before and after meditation, and can also be used for opening energy and clearing space. To use, hold the strap with both hands, keeping the cymbals apart, then lightly tap them together to produce a smoothing tone.

21 Drops Essential Oil Therapy Focus Blend – Stop. Inhale. Transform. The focus essential oil blend promotes clarity and concentration, allowing you to stay on point. Apply to wrists, temples and inhale deeply throughout the day.

Recycled Varanasi Silk Sari – Perfect for repurposing or use in your sacred space.

We still have a couple sets of chimes and tulsi malas available. Check out the Ashi Box at http://www.ashibox.com if you’re interested in purchasing these items separately.