The Power of Resolution: 3 Healthy Habits to Cultivate in the New Year

(As published in “Staff Picks” & “Popular Lately” on Elephant Journal)

The New Year is always an exciting invitation for transformation and new beginnings.

In Sanskrit, the word “Sankalpa” means “resolve or intention,” and “Shakti” is power.” Sankalpa Shakti is, therefore, the power of resolution—which can be utilized at any moment we are seeking a more mindful approach to the unfolding of our lives.

Oftentimes, at the start of a new year, we are full of excitement at the prospect of setting often more generic resolutions, such as exercising more or eating healthier food, only to quickly discard these intentions. I myself have gone through that experience of setting generic resolutions that have soon fallen to the wayside.

I’ve learned that, for a Sankalpa to really have power, it must be thoughtfully contemplated first—as it really must come from that deepest space within ourselves, from the quiet voice of the soul, which often speaks in a whisper, when we are silent enough to listen to and heed its inner knowings.  Continue reading

5 Ayurvedic Spices Every Kitchen Should Have

(As published in the “Popular Lately” section of Elephant Journal)

I recently met an accomplished, Indian-born, western-trained Gastroenterologist at a graduation party I attended for my sister.

After sharing a little about how amazing it has been for me, as an American-born Indian, to not only discover, but have the opportunity to study Ayurveda, she was keenly interested to learn more.

“I work with the GI tract. We have so many complex procedures we take our patients through, but I so often find myself reminiscing back to my childhood days and all the simple, yet powerful solutions my grandmother used to possess to treat so many digestive ailments,” she confided.

Indeed, one of the most incredible discoveries for me from Ayurveda is how many tools it provides us to take our health into our own hands.  Continue reading

Ayurveda’s 5 Tips for Healthy Skin

(Originally published as a “Featured Today” Highlight, in the “Popular Lately” Section & Top 10 Blogs of the Week on Elephant Journal)

Do you ever feel like you’ve tried every skin-benefiting lotion and potion known to man, and yet, do not see any benefits to your skin?

Are you sick and tired of spending tons of time, money and energy on complicated 10-step skin care regimens that are yielding no results?

Ever feel like giving up altogether on the possibility of healthy skin?

Fret no longer. Thanks to the ancient science of Ayurveda, which is the sister science of Yoga, it is possible to not only have healthy, but glowing skin, which really radiates from the inside-out.  Continue reading

Staying Healthy this Fall: 4 Seasonal Tips from Ayurveda

(Originally published as a “Featured Today” Highlight, in the “Popular Lately” section and Top 10 Blogs of the Week on Elephant Journal)

One of the most inspiring things about the ancient science of Ayurveda to me is how it not only equips us with tools to transform disease, but also to actively promote real, abiding health.

Ayurveda is the sister science of Yoga. It is a full system of medicine, which is believed to have been revealed to Rishis (seers or sages) over 5,000 years ago in the ancient Indian civilization.

Ayurveda is still practiced all over India. These days, Ayurveda is in danger of becoming merely another prescription-writing medical practice in which more attention is increasingly given to treating disease than to preventing it. I am therefore so grateful to have been able to study the science of Ayurveda from a traditional Gurukula style of school, where the teachings of this ancient science have truly come to life in an amazing, experiential way.

One of the ways I have learned to really live by Ayurveda’s wisdom is by following its seasonal health protocols, called Ritucharya. “Ritu” means “season” in Sanskrit, and “charya” signifies “to follow.” Through following the specific seasonal regimens of Ritucharya, Ayurveda empowers us to live in greater harmony with the cycles of nature.

In Ayurveda, there are three fundamental constituents of the body, called doshas. These doshas are made up of the five great elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. Whereas many modern Ayurveda resources indicate that Vata dosha (made up of ether and air) is increased during the Autumn season, the ancient, traditional texts of Ayurveda, like Charaka Samhita and Ashtanga Hrdayam, inform us that it is actually the Pitta dosha (comprised of fire and water) that is dominant in the atmosphere at this time.

What does it mean for us to stay healthy in a practical, day-to-day way this fall?  Continue reading

This One’s for the Ladies: 5 Natural, Ayurvedic Tips for Pain-Free Periods

(Originally published in the “Popular Lately” Spotlight and as one of the Top 10 Blogs of the Week on Elephant Journal)

It was not until relatively recently that I really believed that a pain-free, normal period was possible.

Having popped various pills to mitigate the excruciating pain I used to feel during each and every cycle, I made a firm resolution at age 22 that I would no longer take any kind of painkiller during my periods; I decided I would simply take the pain.

It was not until encountering the amazing science of Ayurveda three years later that pain-free periods became not only a perceivable possibility, but rather a reality for me.  Continue reading

5 “Healthy Habits” that Can Actually Be Harmful

(As published in the "Popular Lately" section of Elephant Journal) 

As members of our modern, globalized society, we are continuously exposed to a variety of magazine articles, television and radio shows and other forms of online media that bombard—and often confuse—us with contradictory information.

One research report negates what another confirmed to be proven true, leaving us in quite a quandary as we seek to form and follow healthy habits.

I, too, was once lost in the quagmire of modern media when it came to health.

Having encountered, studied, practiced and then taught Ayurveda, however, I now feel certain about how we can not only obtain, but sustain, amazing health.  Continue reading

You Are What You Eat: 3 Ways Food Impacts Your Mood

(As published on Elephant Journal)

“You are what you eat.”

How often have we heard this phrase in regard to health, nutrition and wellness?

We read it in books. We hear it on TV. Maybe our own mothers remind us of this from time to time, too.

It might even make sense to us, on some level. And yet, what in the world does this phrase really mean, and how do we start to actually eat what we want to be?

Ayurveda, the ancient sister science of Yoga, holds the answers to this question and teaches us three potent ways that food can profoundly impact our mood.  Continue reading

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