Conscious Touch: Ayurveda Yoga Thai Body Massage Training

Sunday 11 Sept 3-6pm, The Yoga Lane studio, Sai Yin Pun

Energy exchange: Early Bird $450 per person, $800 for two persons joining together

Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata on Pexels.com

About this event

We are pleased and superbly excited to host this Ayurveda Thai Bodywork (MASSAGE) Workshop to share our learnt experiences and trained skills from Thai Vedic Yoga – we will guide you based on Thai Vedic Yoga bodywork principles in this workshop so that you will learn how to give and receive mindfulness massages. We will show you how to give massages with metta (unconditional love/ kindness for others) – it’s different from any other massages you’ve experienced but divine and purely therapeutic. 

To learn more about what we are trained, see video hereย 

Class outline: (Bodywork = Massage) – Introduction of Ayurveda vs Bodywork- Demonstrate Bodywork – half body (pair up) 

MUST Bring: A sarong or full sized towel

Optional: your own essential oils/ massage oils, eye mask or eye pillow

Dress Code: mask on, trouser that is loose, shirt with sleeves

Not suitable: pregnancy, age below 16s, post recent operation, critical injuries on limbs 

Instructor: April who received 200HR Ayurvedic Holistic Yoga Therapist, Thai Yoga Bodywork Level 1, 2, 3 certificates https://vatayogaretreat.com/home/teacher/

Language: English (Mandarin upon request)

To book, please contact directly The Yoga Lane by phone/ whats app

The Yoga LaneWhatsapp: 9339 9069Email: info@theyogalane.com

Demystify Ayurveda: Love vs Attachment, a Kapha dosha imbalance.

Love and Freedom are the foundation of our joys. True-love is to offer true freedom to someone you love, including yourself. What happens when your love is going out of whack?

I’ve been wanting to discuss about Love in the realm of Ayurveda. Like many of us, I have been searching for love all my life and only until recent years I began to understand what “True-Love” really means. Love is never limited to romantic kind of love; it includes all, from our national heroic kind of love to having empathy of every living down to the molecules beneath us. And the most important love is Self-Love, what you feed your body and mind will always return to you the way you give out. We cannot truly love anyone unless we start to love ourselves.

We cannot truly love anyone unless we start to love ourselves.

And what happens when our love is getting a little out of whack? What are the signs when our body is not digesting our Love experiences well? How do we manifest these in Ayurveda?

I want to use this opportunity to address a specific dosha imbalance called Kapha when it comes to Love. Kapha is the combination of Water and Earth. Visualise a clay-like, dense and heavy mixtures in your body that pulls you down to the ground, that is Kapha. Physiologically, Kapha is cold and wet. The flavor is “sweet.” Its animal symbol is Elephant. It sits in lungs and stomach. It moves slow and accumulate. Do you have a tendency to hoard? Do you feel heavy on your legs? And do you feel lazy these days with very little desire to do things? These are the manifestation of excessive Kapha dosha in you, as the first layer.

When we have too much Kapha dosha in our body and mind, it tells us one thing: we are unable to digest efficiently our current life experiences and food. When we have a separation from our loved one, a divorce, a break-up, a death, a job loss or a personal identity loss – Vata dosha increased then followed with Kapha dosah imbalances. Vata dosha is increased due to the trigger event but Kapha dosha is stored as grief, sadness, inertia and attachments. The inkling between psychological and physical is admitted by Ayurveda and Vedas. We must examine the 3 Gunas in all beings to pivot the human personalities: Rajas, Tamas and Sattva. Rajas means actions. Tamas means Inertia. And Sattva means harmony/ peace. Kapha is a form of Tamas, a manifested bi-product in the body from the mind. When we are going through a loss of relationship, our mind slows down to cope and our body craves for sweetness.

If you are reading this, you may have or know someone who have challenges with Love. It’s a good time to take a score on where you are if you have below symptoms during the past 2-4 weeks. Assess with true honesty to see if your Love event is causing you any degree of Kapha dosha imbalances:

  • Recent new craving towards sweetness, pastry, diary and bread
  • Start to eat more root food (potatoes, pumpkins, taros)
  • Enjoy snacking more than proper meals
  • Over sleep (more than 8 hours a day)
  • Thoughts are more cloudy, unclear and most related to past memories
  • Hard time to throw things away and start to hoard
  • De-motivate to move, exercise and go out
  • Cry for no reason
  • Dwell to past memories – with regrets
  • Feel more greedy towards money and affections
  • Become more needy towards family and friends
  • No desire towards sex, physical intimacy
  • Feel heavier on lower body, especially joints
  • Lower back pains increased
  • No motivation to make any change in life

Just notice how many ticks you have recently – this exercise is to assess any of your recent love & relationship event triggered your Kapha imbalances

Kapha imbalances manifest when we are having challenges with people relationship. And what we over look is those with Ourselves. Self-love is the most important loving relationship we have to develop in our life time as human beings. If we are too busy nourishing others, we easily forget about ourselves. This is very common in any motherly love to children relationship, which the mother gives it all to her children and family and eventually dismisses herself. When we neglect ourselves, Kapha also increases and manifests into the 2nd layer, diseases.

Why are we making ourselves immobile with pains?

Diabetes, arthritis, gouts, rheumatic disease, asthma, tumors, cancer, eating disorder (anorexia, obesity), to name a few. These are manifested for different purpose to serve our psychological and even spiritual needs. When we have too much Kapha, we become less mobile. It takes years of suppression emotions to confront of your true needs as an individual to manifest any above diseases. The single event triggered Kapha imbalances can be treated by creating a better life style habits and diet. A disease driven by Kapha that is a sign to go deep into your root of cause, that is your “heart.” Without tracing back to the original event historically, the experiences coming with it and the responded behaviours dealt with – you can only treat the symptoms not the whole.

We must be brave to start asking ourselves this important question: am I happy? if not, what is causing my unhappiness?

We must be brave to start asking ourselves this important question: am I happy? if not, what is causing my unhappiness?

And when Kapha is balanced. We are cultivating warmth, compassion, empathy, social work, charity and nourishment. Kapha has a quality of calming, security, rooting down and love. Kapha is like Moon, the gentle and unconditional love.

How do we shake Kapha off when we don’t need them?

Exercise, exercise and exercise. Sweating will do us good to pacify the heaviness muds.

Give-back. Helping other people will make us feel good, which also pacify Kapha.

Our body is a wonder and serves us with no exception. Pay attention on how your body feels today. Close your eyes, ask your heart: what do I need to heal today?

Your happiness starts when you start to love with freedom. Your love to yourself will be the greatest treasure.

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If you enjoy this write-up, please feel free to re-share to anyone who may need from the original source.

Thank you!

Demystify Ayurveda: What’s the difference between an Ayurveda Doctor and an Ayurveda Yoga Therapist?

A doctor and a therapist are very different in terms of training and practice, an Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist based on my trainings is to provide more hands-on approaches to clients. Offering a holistic & accessible set of treatments including guided Yoga practice, chosen meditation styles, Ayurvedic Thai massages on targeted body parts and more spiritually-led counselling to help you connect with your imbalances and find out the root of causes.

We start by going through your body type, imbalances, historical medical conditions, routines and your apparent concerns.

I prescribe my clients with wellness tools instead of medicines. Treating the mind will treat the body.

Undoubtedly COVID-19 has shaken our beliefs and dependency on Western medicines; therefore, I think it’s a right time to explain more about what an Ayurveda Yoga Therapist can do for you here.

Ayurveda is all about coming back to Mother Earth, the Nature.

close your eyes, and listen to the sounds.

As an Ayurveda Yoga Therapist, my role is more than an Yoga asana (pose) instructor but someone who facilitate your connection to the True Nature of your own. Imagine yourself as a complete Nature, there are 5 elements within your body: Ether (emptiness, a way to explain is Tao in Taoism), Air, Fire, Water and Earth. You have the quality of different combinations of these 5 elements. When you combine Ether with Air, it becomes Vata dosha. When you combine Fire with Water, it becomes Pitta dosha. When you combine Earth with Water, it becomes Kapha dosha. These 3 key doshas are throughout our bodies in a balance to maintain your longevity of life. Think of yourself as someone with Vata dominant body type, you have a bigger weather system in your mind and body – naturally you have a tendency to act out like winds. Winds are irregular and unpredictable sometimes, so with too much Winds, your mind can become too chattering and eventually lead to anxiety. With this concept, you then know which element can help you feel more grounded. And we look for the grounding quality in food, experiences, lifestyles, habits and relationship patterns in life to stay balanced. So I will help you see yourself through the lens of Nature as an Ayurveda Yoga Therapist. I am here to help you understand that you are never away from the Nature but within one of it.

If you recognise yourself and understand yourself as a marvellous eco-system of the Nature. You will start to know how to take care of yourself.

So what can you expect from a 1o1 Ayurveda Consultation? Think of yourself going to see a Chinese doctor + Therapist + Massage therapist and a Yoga teacher. I know it sounds vague so let me lay it down for you. In a 60-90 min session, we go over your Body Type & current imbalances first. Then to understand your intention and chief concerns. I will then go over your day routine from morning to bed time to get a glimpse of your lifestyle. A conversation based to lead to understand how your digestive (Agni) functions and the level of your Ama (tonxin) to be treated. Then we also touch base on any discomforts or beliefs to be elevated to help you find your balance.

A high level analysis will be shared with you on the spot in the consultation room with some tips. You will then receive your detailed report with suggestions within 10 days. If you wish to move forwards with treatment program, we’ll meet again to set goals and create a personalized programs just for you.

An example: what a treatment plan can look like for Vata imbalances

  • Vata Dosha Yoga Therapy
  • Guided meditation twice a week
  • Reiki hands-on treatment
  • Prana and Udana Vayus Ayurvedic Thai Massage
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – empowering questions to find out if any mis-beliefs
  • Create a practical routine of 14 days
  • And more…

Faith in healing is the key to health. In Ayurveda, we “uproot” and treat the root cause from body to mind then spirituality.

Due to the limited shipping and freight availability due to COVID-19, only needed Ayurvedic supplements will be given if the digestive system is badly disturbed. My offering is modern, practical and reasonable for anyone who wishes to explore an alternative healing therapy to support your well-beings. It’s important to ask yourself, what do you want to get out of this in any given experience.

Ayurveda opens a new door for me to become healthier and stronger. It also provides me a good foundation (body) to train my thoughts (mind) and eventually develop my connection (spirituality) to everything beyond. I hope this article helps you understand what you can expect from taking any 1o1 consultation. Please note that there will be variations on how every Ayurvedic therapist practice depending on their experiences and styles.

Send you healing vibes on your wellness journey. Thanks for reading. Feel free to forward and re-share this write-up if you find it useful.

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Demystify Ayurveda: What Does Your Personal Constitution Dosha Body Type Tell You About Yourself ?

In Ayurveda, Prakruti (or Prakriti) in Sanskrit means Nature. The “Nature of Your Own Body and Mind” is your innate and permanent constitutional body type. This is your first step into Ayurveda realm if you are curious and interested at this 5,000 years old ancient medical system originated from India.

We are all unique in our own little way ๐Ÿ˜‰ There are 8 possible Ayurveda dosha body types.

I have noticed that most modern people I have encountered, whether on the mat, in the classroom, or at work, rarely took time to understand about themselves. We are so accustomed to seek outside for help, like going to the western doctors when we feel ill for a “quick fix.” The symptoms are treated and we carried on with our old life style, eating preferences and behaviours towards life & relationship. Hardly do we know that Western medicines do not treat nor look for the causes. On the other side, Ayurveda and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) are taking a view of your entire system when you have an illness. When you have symptoms of shoulder/ neck pains, we could treat the heart first because it may be caused by over-stress. It takes more time to treat because it is less invasive and creating less side effects than western medicine. The effects are nourishing and long lasting. I grew up in a tradition of Chinese medicine, I was acquainted with the “cooling”, “heating” and “neutral” properties of the food we consumed. Nature works its wonders around us. Most of the seasonal harvests normally carry the balancing quality for the body. For example, Watermelon harvested in Summer is a cooling fruit. I inherited this common knowledge when I was little without knowing the roots of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) under the influences of my mother and grand parents in Taiwan. And I was told to be a “heating” person as I was always on-the-go and often in bad temperament when I was young. It feels natural and common to have that awareness of some simple TCM principles of what to consume and what not based on the season, the climate and how our body feels. Although I was not familiar with Ayurveda when I was little, but later on Ayurveda opened a bigger door to me to enter a world of how we should co-exist with Nature and how that can help us recover by owning our inborn healing power.

So I asked myself how much I can or I should explain about Ayurveda, from 5 Elements & 3 Doshas to individual body types to current imbalances of Agni (digestive fires) and Ama (half-digestive wasted toxins) without making people fall asleep. It’s a big and important topic and should not be spent on rushing through it. As I came to recognise that it is hard to convey the whole Ayurveda topic, even just high levelly, at the beginning of a Yoga therapy class, I have decided to synthesise the main principles starting from Ayurveda body type here, in a blog post, to help anyone who is new to Ayurveda or new to my Ayurveda Yoga Therapy class to have a glimpse.

And before you carry on reading, I suggest you to spend 15 mins now to take the free Ayurveda Body Type assessment form first.

Wonderful, congratulations on your first step into Ayurveda. This is what we assess as the first thing during a 1o1 Ayurveda consultation to understand your innate nature then 2nd step is to assess your current imbalances to work on (Virkuti). Read on to find out below typical personality traits from your scores: especially from your Mental (Deha Prakriti section from page2)

8 constitutional dosha body types – Personality Traits

Single Dosha Type Traits

Your body type never changes. It was determined when your parents of their conception based on the conditions of their bodies. Each type has its own inborn approach to managing its physical and mental energies. Below we are taking a glimpse on the Personality Traits of each bosha type: (Based on your result as a single dosha of Vata, Pitta, Kapha dominate type or dual Doshas type)

Your body type is decided by your parents

Pure Vata Dosha Type: sensitive, talkative, high-strung and quick to react to changes of environments. Very changeable, regularly resist in their lives because their minds need constant stimulations. They are over-enthusiastic when energy level is high but burn out easily once the energy is not kept up. They crave relationship sometimes and solitudes sometimes. They make friends easily but often short-lived. They are highly creative, fun, and love to travel for fun. They often find themselves hard to maintain focus on 1 subject for a longer time and hard to stick with what they work on consistently. Their faith often arises from insecurities.

What do they need: routine, self-development plan that is executable

Vata is highly creative and quick – they dislike rules and frames

Pure Pitta Dosha Type: strong, forceful and purposeful. A goal getter and like to have a to do list or a plan, highly practical, can be domineering, inherently courageous and fair-played, high tempered, impatient and yet warm hearted, can tend to be over competitive and jealous – make friends easily, especially those useful to them. Acutely intelligent but impatient with anyone who cannot equal up. Can be intolerant with people who are less capable. They are dedicated to own self-development, which can lead to ego-expansion if over-doing/ not practicing mindfulness, stubborn with own opinions, can fall into fanaticism if this will benefit their lives, natural born leader

What do they need: relaxation, slow down and go into nature

Pitta people love checklist

Pure Kapha Dosha Type: predominately calm, quiet, steady, grounded, serious and home buddy, loving, a typical giver not taker; they love to serve, to give back and work on causes but not always motivated as they tend to become lazy. They are very stable and so stable sometimes they lack that extra kick to move forwards to their goals. Excessive Kapha can lead to greed, attachment, passivity and possessiveness towards things and relationship. They can study each subject cautiously before committing themselves, once they do, it’s a marathon. They make friends slowly but long-lasting. They make less fanatics, but their faith in whatever they believe is unshakable. They are born to be more compassionate than other types and more maternal.

What do they need: think out of the box, play more, and leave the comfort zone

Kapha people need to step out of the known into unknown to understand their full potentials.

Dual Dosha Type Traits

Dual constitutions have personalities with a spilt of 2 key doshas. Most individuals are dual in body type nowadays.

Vata- Pitta Dual Dosha Type: VP people have poor circulations and enjoy the warmths. They love to eat but sometimes they have trouble to digest a larger meal. When VP is unbalanced, their angers manifest as a response to stress, which can lead to bullying and domineering. While V can get stressed and anxious easily, P will add extra fuels. They can have a internal conflicts and self-doubts when they have goals to achieve but worrying about not being capable enough. Internal compromise can happen when there are many uncertainties in life. A healthy VP can excel in application of a new theory/ idea in a creative way.

What do they need: stability, more Kapha elements in diet and life (earthy food like Potatoes, Taros and sweet flavors etc)

Pitta- Kapha Dual Dosha Type: PK is a great at adjusting to the ever-changing environment, such as COVID-19 currently, and irregularity and confusions. They tend to achieve all-round success as they combine K stability with P’s agility and adaptability. The K personality will calm the P fires when the temperament arises. They don’t hold angers too long and value mental health and try to maintain a good balance. The ease of success can sometime promote arrogance and over-confidence. They can be dwelling with indulgence in their own success. They tend to take flattery from criticisms, which can make it difficult to live with a PK personality.

What do they need: listen to constructive criticisms, practice on being humble and flexible, embrace changes and uncertainty as this will sharpen your skills and enhance your spirituality growth

Vata-Kapha Dual Dosha Type: VK people are zealous about what they do, and often over doing things by neglecting to use discretion. They can be open and airy and at the same time deep and secretive. They can be somewhat in self-conflict as they lack the P elements. They are those ones hard to understand and grasp. Once they are hurt, the traumas tend to linger and penetrate deeper and longer. They worry about jumping into conclusions or making decisions without investigating thoroughly. They need warmth more than anything else.

What do they need: 80/20 rule on most things, forgiveness, and self-nourishment and self-compassions

Tri-Dosha Body Type & Balanced

Rare and small number of VPK individuals need more disciplines in life to maintain balance

Vata-Pitta-Kapha Tridosha & Balanced Type: A very small group of whose three dosha energies are constitutionally out of balance are rarely healthy and must live a very disciplined life to remain disease free. And the Balanced one normally remain healthy , for they must be drastically stressed before any imbalances develop. These 2 groups exhibit a very small number of our total populations in current world.

What do they need: a disciplined lifestyle in everything, less is more, honour your differences and self-love

So now you know how Ayurveda explains who you are as Nature, a born-to-be. Whichever your body type is, or tend to be, shows what dosha type(s) will go out of whack most or easily. You can start to pay more attentions on how you feel when you notice an imbalance and reduce that Dosha property in diet and cultivate the opposite mindset/ attitudes towards the trigger event. However, this only weighs 25% of our Ayurveda assessment as we normally treat your “current” imbalances first regardless of your body type for you to receive the immediate relief (we called Virkuti in Sanskrit).

If you are interested in having a holistic view of your own Ayurveda assessment and find out the current causes of your imbalances and challenges, please reach out for an 1o1 Ayurveda Personal Consultation. This will give you a report in depth on your body type, current imbalances, Agni (digestive system) , Ama (toxins) and your life style and mental wellness (heart compass).

Thanks for reading and I hope you find this information insightful from a different philosophy. Ayurveda is a massive topic and everyday I am learning something new from my own practice as well.

Do feel free to share this post to anyone who may be interested and benefited. Subscribe to receive my latest story about Ayurveda in Modern World ๐Ÿ˜‰

Send you peace and love.

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Ayurveda and Meditation

Everyone is unique even for meditation style. Find out what is the best meditation style for you during COVID-19.

Life is like a spiral circle. Are you in or are you out? (illustrated and copied right owned by VATA YOGA this website)

“I cannot stop my thoughts,” this is the first thing people often said to me when I asked them about meditation. The truth is, as long as our heads are above our necks and we have physical minds, we will always generate thoughts. Meditation’s goal is not to “cease” thoughts but to “watch, observe and then let go” the thoughts based on my trainings, practices and experiences.

How did my meditation journey start?

My first connection to meditation was in 2003 when I walked past a second hand book store on Oxford Street in Sydney during my exchange student year. I remember that was a sunny, blue-sky kind of day and I saw a little book called “How to meditate for Kids” in one of the boxes outside the store. I took the book and paid. With a very small fee, I felt I had discovered some wisdoms that will eliminate my troubles in life and that I would have hit the jack pot living ever happily after. With excitement, I followed the instructions by first going crazy with my thoughts, then visualising them dissolving down and eventually hoping them go away. But they didn’t. I was truly disappointed with my very first experience with my meditation and felt I was not gifted. Then I put the book aside and moved on to other more fun and sensory events in my life. What I remember though, even till now, was the weirdness and what-the-hell-am-I-doing feelings when I closed my eyes and just let my thoughts wonder. “Phew, that was strange and foreign.” Because I never came across anyone who closed their eyes when they were not sleeping before then.

I love self-help books and started reading them since my high school days. So meditation has always been an urban myth to me. I was intrigued and yet scared of it. However, what brought me back to resume the search again was when I broke up with my first big love in my late 20s. I was out of balances all the time. I felt miserable and my monkey mind was going banana. I had been practicing Yoga but I needed more. Something powerful and sustainable to “stop” my crazy thoughts. So again, I was just like everyone else. I wanted to meditate to cease my thoughts and I started to explore all styles of meditations I could find.

I resumed again with guided meditations with light, colours, chakras, auras, angels, inner child, past life progression, I am that I am from Wayne Dyer, all different techniques from Hay House authors, self-love, soul purpose, higher self, Alantis, singing bowl, crystal bowl, Japanese Zen, Chinese buddhism, Ayurveda, Bija Mantra, Kundalini, other Yoga meditations..,etc. I tried everything but it never really hit that spot. I could sit with my eyes closed for 20 mins then I started to fidget. Then I was introduced to Vipassana, the infamous 10-day complete silence meditation training (laugh). And it turned out to be the best and life changing experiences I have encountered. 10 days of intense over 10 hours sitting each day is the most efficient way to train the mind. And I have been sitting daily now and it has become a part of me.

So what which meditation style should you try? Hereby I am borrowing Ayurveda dosha types to offer you some insights:

Image ยฉby VATA YOGA website

VATA Dosha People/ Imbalances: For anyone whose innate body type is Vata or have excessive Vata in the body (esp during COVID-19), the best meditation is “silence.” This means you want to sit in a quiet, but not too open and safe space with no disturbance from outer world. You want to practice the simplest techniques, best with your own breaths and body sensations. Focus on your gross sensations first (such as your in and out-breaths), then the subtle sensations throughout your body after some time. This is called Anapana meditation, the first phase of Vipassana. Ears are main organs for Vata people, so remove all audio stimulations will be the first step. Minimise the audio instructions and music when you practice. So-Hum mantra is also good for Vata.

PITTA Dosha People/ Imbalances: For Pitta, excessive heat and water within the body, the suitable meditation will be Cosmic Orbit Meditation or Taoism Orbit Meditation. Eyes governs Pitta. You want to sit in a darker room or best in the nature, under full moon. A moderate amount of verbal guidance is good for Pitta but be mindful of comparing. Visualisation of Green, Blue, White and Peach-Pink will help reduce Pitta. The Mantras for Pitta will be Srim, Klim, Aim that you can chant the single Mantras repeatedly while closing your eyes for few minutes. The theme to practice is: do not look for achieving anything in your meditation, let it happen not to make it happen.

KAPHA Dosha People/ Imbalances: For Kapha, the stagnation and over-storage of energies and emotions are what to be balanced. Kapha needs a little push to sit into the meditation to avoid falling asleep (me sometimes!). Started with a short pranayama before sitting would be very ideal. I normally practiced a short Kapalabhati or belly deep breathing before sitting and it helped me set into the meditation straight away. Krim, Hum, Hrim are Kapha mantras. Visualisation with colors of Red, Orange, Yellow and Purple also help. Community feel is important for loving Kapha people, find your loved ones to sit together or a community online to motivate yourself to meditate more.

If you don’t know about your Ayurveda dosha type yet, please go here for a free self assessment.

I hope you find these tips helpful to you. And my personal experiences will never be the same as yours. It is you who creates your own experiences and realities. Explore and find out what’s best for you, even for meditation. I also know people who can only meditate when lying down, then Yoga Nidra will help. Yoga is the prep for meditation, so I feel it’s my ultimate wish and goal to share more about meditation while teaching Yoga. It is also important for you to know that the first benefit of meditation is to bring you some calmness and peace afterwards and the more you practice that will eventually sharpen your focus and your mind. After practicing regularly, you will notice the thoughts (negative and positive) will stop lingering, which is what we want to practice “equanimity” as the essence of all teachings.

This will teach us to become less attached to worldly things, including ourselves.

I am still learning and unlearning each day. And my meditation feels also different each day. I do hope to share more about my experiences here and do look forward to hearing yours as well.

If you find this post interesting and helpful, please share it out and quote my site.

Good luck with your practice!

Ayurveda: Dealing with Loss during COVID-19

What does Ayurveda teach us about loss and grief and how can we cope with it?

“Whatever you feel is normal.”

During COVID-19, we are all experiencing a certain loss in various form. It can be a loss of a friend, a family member, a companion, a job, a business, a known life style, a relationship and so on. What does Ayurveda teach us about loss and grief and how can we cope with it?

Based on Ayurveda, when we experience separation whether it is physical or mental, we create Vata in our mind and body. Vata is composed of Ether & Air. Excessive Vata make us difficult to sleep, over-think, fidget, worry and lose focus. Vata creates pains in the body. As a result, we experience heartaches, stomach aches from anxiety and over-worries. Several circumstances include examples like female mensuration, menopause, death of love ones and moving away from home do create more Vata. COVID-19 has become a Vata habitat that everyone will naturally feel more Vata imbalanced.

It’s important to understand that whatever you are feeling right now is normal. We are all grieving at different scales, being forced to let go our old way of lives. If you are unfortunately losing someone close to you due to COVID-19, please remember that the only normal grieving process is the one we experience ourselves. I have gained tremendous help from the book by Dr. Kenneth J. Doka: Grief Is a Journey : Finding Your Path Through Loss. Understanding what you are experiencing right now will help you cope better with your emotions when you lose loved ones.

Hereby I’ve listed down some practical and easy tips you can practice at home right away to pacify Vata from Ayurveda. My aim of writing this post is to support you to go through this Vata excess period based on my direct experiences and training. Please note that all the guidances I am sharing here are merely based on my personal experiences and should not serve as your primary medical advices when treating any illness. Please consult with your medical practitioners when doubt.

Vata’s characteristics: Dry, rough, pain, cold, unfocused, worrying, fearful, fidgeting, under weight, sleep deprivation, over talking, chattering minds, fast but no action, distracted, sensitive to sounds, over-energetic but burn out fast..,etc.

  • Keep your feet warm: Vata has a tendency of cold hands and feet. If you have cold feet, please soak your feet in warm water for 5 mins so it helps your circulations.
  • Lubricate your body: Vata dries our body. If you discover your skins becoming extra dry these days, especially around your joints, moisturise them regularly. The best natural remedy is to use any vegetable oils, such as coconut or extra virgin cold pressed olive oils with a few drops of Lavandar essential oils. Leave your body with some water after shower without drying completely and apply the oils to your joints. The body absorbs the oils rather quickly and leave you refreshed.
  • Touch your body: when we are sad, we store sadness in our tissues. Sometimes the traumas are hidden in the deepest tissues for years without you knowing it. Have you felt that emotions flow after a massage? In Chinese medicine, our Lung meridian carries sadness and grief. Lung meridian starts from (LU 1) under the mid clavicle in the first intercostal space above your chest, and if you massage this pressure point, the grief can be released. I recalled someone massaging me this area after my mother passed away, I bursted out in tears. You can simply use your thumb finger to gently rub this area or press into LU 1 for few minutes. Also you can do the Yoga Pose Broken Wings (here you can follow my Yoga tutorial video) to stimulate this meridian.
Lung Meridian (LU 1) is right below the mid of our Clavicle bones on both sides.
Broken Wing Yoga pose to release traumas, grief and sadness (stimulate Lung and Heart meridians)
  • Do breathing exercise: Pranayama means control of the Prana (life forces/ vitality) is especially good for Vata. To remind yourself to come back to the present moment by deliberately inhale and exhale longer and deeper will decrease Vata in the mind. Holding breaths for a shorter period of time when you have practiced after some time will help create space to meditation.
  • Practice Silence: Vata is triggered by over-loading information. You can probably relate to that by following the news constantly and watching the conspiracy and debates over social media during COVID-19. Your mind and body will feel fed up at one point, however, let’s not wait until that burn-out happens to stop feeding ourselves with unhealthy information. Now it is the best time to practice Noble Silence, which is very helpful to calm the Vata minds. Offer yourself 2-3 times a week, turn down your screens, shut your phones for couple of hours or half day just to embrace the silence. No talking and no journaling. Practice silence during meals is the best way to enjoy your food.
  • Keep Meditation Simple: In this time, the less is more. Practice Anapana or Vipassana meditation, or any breath observing meditations will help best. Focus on “surrender” and “forgiveness of disease” will ease your impatiences and agitations.

It’s not the best time to fast during the epidemic. If you like to fast, keep it a day on juice or fruit or just skip 1 meal a day. Full fasting will release more Amas (wastes) out of the body and that can leave us more vulnerable to virus.

Again, it’s my 2cents based on what I had practiced living in a modern busy world to share with you. I hope this post benefits you in some way or another. Feel free to quote and share out to anyone who need.

Sending you love and peace.

How to use Ayurveda during COVID-19?

I have practiced Ayurveda since 2016 after my 200-hour Ayurveda Yoga Therapist training with ThaiVedic in Bali, Indonesia. I started it as my personal routine and it has worked very well for me after experimenting different healing modalities. Ayurveda is a new life style that preserves the longevity of life. It has helped me grow mentally and physically to where I want to be. I have benefited so much with my new Ayurveda life style and I noticed myself being less sick, less fatigues, more grounded and more resilient. I was working a 9-6 corporate hectic job and teaching Yoga simultaneously for 3 years and my Ayurveda habit supported me with the energy and strengths I needed to manage many tasks on my plate. And I am reaching my 40s now but never feeling so young, rejuvenated, and centered.

How to survive COVID-19 with Ayurveda? I prefer to replace the word “survive” with “thrive” and “out-grow.” Every crisis is an opportunity of personal growth. We do not grow when we stay in our comfort zones. If we observe and pay careful attentions to COVID-19, the virus itself is able to co-exist in human body peacefully without causing disturbances nor doing harms. Yes, we are seeing a lot of deaths but we are also seeing a lot of people infected without showing any symptoms. This perfectly explained that virus is part of nature and we are also part of nature. If we are all part of nature, then we can be one. Ayurveda’s core value is to bring harmony between us to Nature, Mother Earth. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,” Ayurveda teaches us to embody a life style to create true peace with the Nature. All healings come from Nature, including us. All healings come from within, from us.

In Ayurveda’s term, AHAMKARA means Mother Nature aka Immune System Governor. AHAMKARA originates from Spirits, Mind and Sense Organs, enabling us to express, to feel and to experience the worldly events. When AHAMKARA is imbalanced, damaged and collapsed, they manifest in diseases. Good spiritual health is the pre-requisite for good physical and mental health; therefore, we must cultivate spiritual health first to develop a good immune system to defend COVID-19.

Let’s take a closer look at COVID-19 itself based on Ayurveda. Virus is Pitta dominated according to its physiological symptoms such as temperatures, heat, sweat, eye sights, inflammation and mental imbalances such as agitations, aggression, resentments and impatiences towards the politics, government policies and unplanned events. Also the COVID-19 is creating a lot of Vata imbalances such as dry cough, pneumonia, respiratory sickness, fears, uncertainty about future, sleeping problems, anxiety, depressions, frustrations and loss of weight, loss of hair and body liquid, dry skins, slower bowl movement..,etc. Thus, I have created a simple and easy-to-adapt routine for modern people who are currently working from home, staying at home and under quarantine to treat mainly Vata and Pitta.

COVID-19 Ayurveda 14 Day Simple Routine to Treat Pitta & Vata Imbalances:

(The best time to wake up for Ayurveda is before sunrise at 4-5AM but if you cannot try below)

6-7 AM Wake up, gentle tongue scrap (with brass scrapper or a small tea spoon), oil purging 5 mins (best with coconut or flex seed, or any vegetable oils like olive), brush teeth and wash your face

7 AM Drink warm water with lemon or turmeric/ ginger tea (fresh or tea bags) to help warm up your digestive fires

7-8 AM Morning Exercise (Keep it moderate up to 1 hour, do not over exhaust, build sufficient energy and chi for the day but not to crush yourself!)

i) Practice simple breathing exercise (Calming Breaths: Inhale from both nostrils x 6, hold x 3 and exhale x6 for 5 rounds with eyes closed), Set 1 positive intention for the day, say a prayer to yourself and anyone

ii) Start with easy stretch and circular movements, Tai Chi, Yoga Sun Salutation

iii) Include 1-2 strengthening exercise: prank, push ups, balancing pose, inversions

iiii) End your exercise with long hold stretches, twist and supine poses to cool down

Practice a short sitting meditation up to 15 mins by closing your eyes. You can listen to Pitta meditation I created here

8:15 AM Shower and spray some natural aromatic scent to cheer yourself

8:30 AM Light breakfast – include cooked grains (muslins, granolas), soft fruit, juice and warm tea, main consumption on easy-to-digest food for morning

9AM Work, check your to-do list, prioritize your tasks

10-12PM Pitta time – a good time to go out, have meetings, sales visits and complete difficult long due tasks

12PM Biggest meal of the day, Pitta – less spices, less oils, less deep fried food, less processed food, and less overly seasoned food

2-4PM Vata time – a good time to be creative, brain storming, writing proposals, creating new things and projects, create to-do list for next day

5PM Prepare dinner

6PM (the best time to have dinner for Ayurveda is 5pm) Dinner

Keep it light and fresh, with lots of green and fruit, less raw food (Vata)

8PM Kapha time: cultivate love and family time, nurture yourself with a nice bath, slow music, aroma therapy and self massage

9PM Yoga Nidra Meditation (Deep Relaxation) or Yin Yoga, Sitting Meditation before getting ready to sleep

Before 10PM Bed time

To treat excessive Pitta: try to plan less and less far ahead, because we are now living in an extremely unpredictable world with COVID-19. We only frustrate ourselves if we cannot keep our promises to ourselves when we cannot control. To learn when to let go of control and understand it’s okay not to have a big goal right now. To develop patiences in this difficult time for Pitta people is the best asset for future.

To treat excessive Vata: to mediate more, to create a routine (new or old) and commit to the routine for 21 days to make it a habit to stay centered. To develop and deep dive into a new skill to help maintain focus and train your mind.

Take a lot of water, wash your hands, lubricate your body with oils (coconut oils) and keep your simple exercise at home. Join a virtual community if you need that friendly push! Ask your friends/ colleagues to attend online Yoga, Fitness and Meditation classes. Create a self-healing tool to strengthen your AHAMKARA aka immune system. Take your power back. Honour your body. Love yourself. Start today!

“Living equally for yourself, another and the world. Without preference based on past attachment or future desires, we choose because in that moment, it is the most balanced and ideal action to serve all 3 aspects of our true self,”Purpose of Being-Alive. And this equates to the principle of Karma Yoga, we don’t cease to work because we should work continuously without attaching to the outcomes. The each action (Karma) we choose should base on 1/3 the benefit of me, 1/3 the benefit of all living things and 1/3 the benefit of process of action itself. “Health is a direction not the destination,” by Ayurveda.

Sending you love and peace.

A-shanti, shanti, shantihi…