monica's blog

Ayurveda courses and certifications online

One of the questions we get asked a lot, is how can Ayurveda colleges offer Ayurvedic Medicine certifications online, or, via distant learning? Does this mean our Ayurvedic Studies will not be interactive?

How shall we learn under a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner online? How will we learn nadi pariksha? How do we achieve this?

If you want direct information about our courses, scroll down, or, CLICK HERE FOR COURSE INFORMATION

First of all, not all our courses are 100% online. For example, our NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) reviewed Ayurvedic Counselor Program is not 100% online. It is offered as a hybrid training delivery. Courses are offered both online, via interactive REAL TIME classes, Onsite classes, and, through interactive forum discussions, and pre recorded lectures. So, the program has the following aspects:

a) Online Webex sessions-

Live lectures that students can attend from their mobile android, or apple device. Or, through their computer. These sessions may be recorded, and, are available to watch on a computer for one week. Screenshot attached.

b) Interactive Forum Discussion-

After a lecture, teachers will usually ask the students to start a forum discussion on certain topics on our online learning system we call WORKSPACE.

Students login and post forum discussions, read discussions from other students. Forum posts follow certain rules--and are on specific topics. This is all done at an OFFLINE time at the workspace.

Screenshot of a forum discussion shown here.

c) Onsite Workshops- Every few months there are workshops in Austin Tx than can be four hours in length to four days in length. Shorter study programs, lectures may be offerred at San Diego, CA, Oakland, CA, Houston TX, Dallas, TX and Tampa, FL provided we have at least four students confirmed.

Many onsite workshops have dedicated time, where, students learn directly under Ayurvedic Practitioner. This includes Ayurvedic Cooking Demonstrations, learning how to prepare Ayurvedic Herb mixes, and, learning nadi or pulse pariksha.

Here is a video of an onsite workshop:

d) Online Workspace-

Workspace Login

A message board, workspace, learning management system, forum and discussion center-our online workspace offers all that and more. Students will be able to take their final tests online. (Computer Adaptive Method, and, Summative Method in order to prepare them from national testing for Ayurveda Counselors beginning from December 1st. Our current students will be able to start taking some online tests from September onwards)

e)Distant learning or home learning- All the student readings, student homework pertaining to research, memorizing, and, learning is considered home learning or distant learning. All the time spent on workspace downloading, going through material is also distant learning.

Our Ayurveda college curriculum has been designed by professional instructional designer with focus on all three learners:

1. Visual Learners- Visuals, DVD, Archived Youtube videos, Charts, Powerpoint Presentations online and Study Aids used for Visual Learners online, and, sent to the student while pursuing their Ayurvedic Studies.

2. Auditory Learners- Those who like to listen, you will hear, and, get a chance to ask questions at our live virtual classes. Many Pre recorded lectures available on youtube and at our workspace.

3. Hands on learners- Come to the workshop onsite and you will get plenty of Hands on experience.

Thank you!

Cooking for your own Dosha

Ayurvedic Nutrition is easy and simple, yet, quite complicated.

Unless you are well, and, quite healty, it is not possible to just read a book and start using recipes indicated for your dosha-Vata, Pitta or Kapha.

For those who are unwell, suffering from vitiated agni (digestive fire), or other dosha related imbalances, it is advised you visit an Ayurvedic Practitioner.

Ayurvedic Nutrition considers the following items:

Rasa-There are six tastes. Ones food and diet must have all the six tastes when one is well. When unwell, it is suggested to focus on the rasas, or, tastes suggested for your dosha. For example, for pitta and high heat sweet (naturally), bitter and astringent (green beans, plantain) are suggested.

Virya-Heating or Cooling Potency

Protein Source<-Animal based, Plant Based (always preferred)

Sattva, Tamas, or Rajas-Affect on the mind.

Prana- Local, organic and full of Prana

Ojas- If the food item supports ojas or bodys natural immunity.



Image: Michael Puma, Ayurvedic Counselor Student

San Diego College of Ayurveda offers online courses in Ayurvedic Nutrition, Ayurveda Counselor and Yoga Teacher Training.

Contact Us

Challenges and Best Practices of Ayurveda in USA

Stacy Gonzales

Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old science and throughout the course of time there has been little or no change in the practiced form.

While it can be said the overall principles of Ayurveda is timeless; the reality is that today’s society demands modern treatments which combine both science and technology to not only assess and understand the body, but to treat diseases as well. As scientists continue to discover and analyze diseases, modern technology allows them to determine the root cause down to the DNA level.

In turn, this allows the research and development of modern drugs to also be done at the molecular level. This allows for a very comprehensive and dynamic understanding of cause and effect of pharmaceuticals on the body as well as the disease. Unfortunately, while this may be beneficial in the treatment and cure of some diseases, from an Ayurvedic perspective, it does not take into consideration the concept of the fundamental principles.

If the fundamental principles were proactively considered as function for optimal health and maintaining the balance and harmony of the tridoshas, disease may be prevented altogether. While technology does offer some benefits, it is not without its faults.

Just as technology creates opportunity for cures, it also fabricates new disorders. A primary example would be diseases resulting from GMOs. Food that has been genetically altered at the gene level is not compatible with the body at the genetic and cellular level thus resulting in new disorders.

It can then be argued that Ayurveda, while “old-fashioned” in nature is based on clean, organic foods that the body can naturally metabolize as intended via the fundamental principles.

Without dramatic lifestyle changes, a few Ayurvedic best practices -example DAILY ROUTINE PRACTICES can help improve overall health. In fact, while at the root of Ayurvedia, many of these are well known best practices that are suggested time and time again.

These are some of the DAILY ROUTINE RULES:

 Eat your largest meal midday. This is when Agni is at its peak.
 Choose whole foods and make sure your meals have a rainbow of colors. This variety of colors will help ensure you use the six tastes in every meal and lead to overall satisfaction.
 Don’t eat while overly emotional. This can lead to poor diet choices as well as poor digestion.
 Take the time to enjoy your meal. As you chew, digestive enzymes are produced by your salivary glands that assist in breaking down your food
 Practice mindful meditation. This includes anything from breath awareness to yoga as it helps to reduce cortisol levels which relates to a reduction in stress and weight gain both which if not kept at bay results in illness. A little you time never hurt anyone.
 Get enough sleep. This is when the body repairs and heals itself and the mind and emotions become balanced.
Simple practices that yield a lifetime of benefits.

Ayurveda in United States

Allyson St Amand
Scott Ostriker

(Track B Student Submissions)

    Roots

Despite the 5000+ year roots of Ayurveda in ancient religious traditions of India, the interest in this holistic medicine did not expand in the United States until the 1970’s. Adoption of Ayurveda in the United States has been slow going due to the differences in holistic versus allopathic medicine approaches. As a result, traditional western medicine has contrasted with Ayurvedic beliefs linked to treating the being at multiple levels, not solely the physical body. In the United States, the mind and spirit are missing from approach to treating illness and disease.

    Challenges

Over the past 40 years, adoption of Ayurveda in the United States has been faced with challenges. The present challenges of Ayurveda include globalization and industrialization of drugs, and the quality assurance in the use of drugs. Traces of lead, mercury and arsenic have been found in over-the-counter medicine manufactured in South Asia (Ref: National Institute for Ayurvedic Medicine.) In addition, it is believed further research, testing and validation is needed to expand upon the Pramana Vijnan Ayurvedic principles and philosophies.

The World Health Organization has studied the uses of Ayurveda and herbal medicine in India. Due to regulatory challenges, the WHO has suggested a plan for countries to standardize national traditional medicine polies and programs.

Although Ayurveda is faced with some challenges, there is billions of American’s spending money on alternative medical treatments. The emphasis on holistic medicine is increasing as side effects and outcomes of allopathic medicine become understood. A shift away from treating the disease to preventative and pre-symptoms are now being taken into account. Spirituality, beliefs, values, diet and lifestyle are all very important components of health and well-being. Best practices of Ayurvedic medicines include sophisticated therapeutic formulations and detailed guidance about food/nutrition/diet (EPMA, 2014).

In addition, the Ayurvedic physician offers personalized medicine to maximize the therapeutic efficacy and safety of persons with their disorder, specified condition according to their constitution, and properties of materials (EPMA, 2014). Ayurveda is non-invasive and

Although the present challenges to adoption of Ayurveda has impacted the speed of adoption, I believe the growing need for Ayurveda as a healthcare approach which incorporates religious and spiritual demands, will force scientists and healthcare professionals to study and practice Ayurveda. Patients are becoming more informed about the medical approaches available to them. As a result, this will only continue to reinforce the best practices and benefits of Ayurveda.

    Best Practices

Scott Ostriker

I am choosing to discuss challenges and best practices in Ayurveda in the US. I have to admit that i am very much a student of the discipline and am not sure if best practices have been defined. I know in western medicine, the term best practice is often used rather loosely as their can be differing opinions on what "best practice" actually is. Sometimes, there are evidence based or consensus based recommendations from experts in that niche area.

This gives us something to work with but even these become outdated rapidly and will sometimes conflict with other guidelines/recommendations. I am not aware that there are any specialty groups within Ayurveda than can offer these evidence based or consensus based guidelines or "best practices" at this point. (Here is where i am fine with being corrected as we will all learn from this if there is something i don't know out here...)

I think that one of the greatest challenges is that Ayurveda it does not benefit any special interest groups or organizations. Because of this, there will always be limited funds to conduct intense scientific based research which is often needed to be recognized in this country. As we all know, there is research funded by the government and public organizations but much of the research being done is still funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

Of course, if Ayurveda can prove that integrating its use can decrease morbidity and cost insurance companies less money, there is a chance it may be recognized and paid for. These may be recognized by Accountable Care Organizations as well if Ayurveda can prove that integrating this practice into the lives of the population cared for can decrease hospitalizations and overall costs.

With a focus on true wellness, this may be a possibility but we have to recognize that many will not be open to this discipline anytime soon so we will need to focus on improving the outcomes of those who are. Until this is recognized by Medicare, Medicaid, and private payers, Ayurveda will need to focus on those willing to go outside of their insurance company.

Ayurvedic Nutrition Label

Western Nutrition label focuses on Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, number of calories etc.

Dr Monica Groover and a student who was a registered dietician thought of a fun way to actually explain Ayurvedic Ahara (nutrition) to students by asking them to illustrate what they thought an Ayurvedic Nutrition Label would look like.

Here is a great example by Surekha Koya, Block 2 counselor student.


Organic, or, local-GMo or NON GMO--Ayurvedic Perspective



By Monica B Groover

Today we will talk about organic, local foods.

Ayurveda propogates fresh, local and Organic, plus, it should be compatible with the dosha, the season, the country and terrain we live in and our age and strength. Whew!

Its a long list. How can we hope to remember this.

Lets just focus on Prana in the Food.

Prana is the vitality of the food.

One of my students asked me recently, "My question pertains to fruit that is organic, from a local farm, picked at the height of ripeness, but then frozen (but without any additives or preservatives).

In the West, I have often heard that frozen fruits and vegetables can be more nutritious than fresh, because they are picked when they are ripe, and then flash frozen which retains most of the nutrients."


Image: Wikipedia. Creative Commons by Erdbeere_Senga_Sengana

My student asked this question after our class, in which we talk about frozen food being depleted of prana.

So, I answered leading with the Ayurvedic concept of Rasa. There are shad rasa or six tastes mentioned in Ayurvedic Texts. (Naturally sweet, sour, naturally salty, bitter, astringent and pungent--a topic for later study!)

How does a fresh fresh picked organic strawberry from a field--taste? It has the following rasas--sweet, astringent, a little sour--and it is juicy and full of PRANA and vitality.

Try to taste the same organic strawberry after freezing it for one month. You will notice that all the beautiful rasas or tastes have disappeared and there is practically no prana. (You can taste it!!)

How can a frozen strawberry have the same energetics as a frozen one? (Even if organic). Answer is no--it cant. If it is not how nature intended, and, it tastes different--how can prana be intact.

Take an example of a squirrel that died in winter--and it snowed.

The squirrel's body was perfectly preserved along with nutrients, proteins in the very cold snow for the entire winter. When the snow melted--squirrel was PRESERVED--but it was a DEAD BODY!!!!

Frozen, canned, tinned---is food that has died. It is dead. It has no prana from an Ayurvedic perpsective...yes, it has nutrients-some of it.

If something organic is frozen--yes the nutrients are preserved--but PRANA is not! However, when it is sun dried

Some of the prana is preserved--because seeds retain prana when dried. (Strawberry has seeds on the outside that will be preserve prana when sundried--but when frozen may not)

There are some seeds that will retain prana when frozen--but they are few and far in between.

It is always better to eat something local--even if not organic--then organic, frozen that has travelled from a long time.

However, we are bound by time, convenience, cost and availability depending on where we live.

1. Best foods that retain prana and therepeutic and healing to body and mind are

LOCAL, ORGANIC, NON GMO

2. Second best--foods that can be stored--in winter in very cold places.

Sundried organic foods, organic seeds, organic nuts, legumes. Whole grains (not ground into a flour) can stay for a longer time and will retain maximum prana.

3. Third best.

Better to eat fresh food, plants, veggies and fruits that are not organic, but LOCAL--compared to fresh food that is frozen and organic. Or, local dried fruits and vegetables--can be used in soups--if fresh vegetables not available.

4. Best choice

Mix and match--depending on your budget and availability.

More to come on...GMO FOODS and Ayurveda.

If you have any questions feel free to post it on our Facebook Page SDCOA

https://www.facebook.com/AyurvedaYogaTraining

Yoga and Ayurveda Compared

Yoga and Ayurveda Compared

Julie Neiman

(Track B- Level 1 Student)

Ayurveda is a holistic health modality which originated in Indian and has been practiced for thousands of years. The goal of Ayurveda is to maintain an optimal healthy balance in the mind and body, according to each individual’s unique constitution, or inherent nature. The word Ayurveda is made up of two Sanskrit words: “Ayu” meaning “life” and “Veda” meaning “knowledge”.

I had my first experience with Ayurveda when I was in the middle of my 200 hour Yoga teacher training. It was October, and my studio was organizing a fall Ayurveda cleanse, which lasted for one week. It was at this time that my yoga practice changed dramatically. Yoga and Ayurveda are often referred to as “sister sciences” as their teachings go hand in hand, complementing one another. From my personal experience I will say that yoga introduced me to Ayurveda, and Ayurveda took my yoga practice to a completely new level.

Not surprisingly, there are many similarities between Ayurveda and Yoga, as the two are deeply rooted in various ancient Indian philosophies and texts, and are created from many of the same, or similar, concepts.

Yoga, like Ayurveda, is a way of life; both philosophies have the potential to become integrated into many aspects of the practitioner’s daily routine, as they focus on caring for the whole, multi-dimensional person. They both acknowledge the five sheaths of being, or the five koshas. It is understood that each of the five koshas (physical body, energetic body, mental body, intellectual body, and spiritual body) must be in balance for a person to be considered truly healthy. Caring for all sheaths of being means that instead of just focusing on the body, as we commonly do in Western culture, the mind and spirit must also be nurtured equally in order to achieve this optimal health and wellbeing.

Additionally, Ayurveda uses many concepts from the Yogic eight-limbed path (the guideline for Ashtanga Yoga, outlined in the Yoga Sutras) in order to balance the body and the mind. These concepts include: asana (physical practice), pranayama (breath work), pratyahara (sensory control), dharana (concentration), and dhyana (meditation). The Yogic yamas (external ethical disciplines) and niyamas (internal ethical observances) relate to the Ayurvedic concepts of Hit-ayu (righteous living), and karma, respectively. Furthermore, the ultimate goal of both philosophies is spiritual liberation, which is Moksa in Ayurveda, and Samadhi in Yoga.

Both Yoga and Ayurveda work to prevent disease and injury by creating an optimal, harmonious balance within the body. There are specific Yoga asanas, or poses, that help to balance the three Ayurvedic doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). Meanwhile, when the doshas are balanced, the practitioner is able to delve even deeper into their personal Yogic journey, as a body free of disease and imbalance is more receptive to a deeper spiritual experience.

The focus on achieving individual balance, rather than striving toward a specific, pre-defined outcome, means that both Yoga and Ayurveda are relevant to all people, and not just those with a certain body type or particular condition. Each practice encourages individuals to connect in with their own deeper self to identify what they truly need to heal and improve their own personal situation.

In summary, Yoga and Ayurveda are both ancient Indian philosophies of self-care, which focus on optimizing and maintaining total health on an individual level. Each philosophy is incredibly effective when practiced on its own, and even more astonishing when practiced together.

Let seasons help you detox!

Monica B Groover, Ph.D, AWP
Director- San Diego College of Ayurveda

Starting a DETOX program after New Years Day in the middle of the winter while your body is dormant, and, storing energy is a NON STARTER.

I always laugh at this--because the BEST TIME to melt that kapha and toxins is SPRING, and for Vata and Pitta is FALL.

How is the physical body going to detox or lose weight, or, let go of toxins. It is hanging on to everything and dormant--because we are the microcosm of macrocosm. (I explain it later)

Why not take the assistance of mother nature in detoxifying? If you are a Kapha, you can also begin an Ayurvedic detox in the early summer. However, I would say pittas should just restore themselves and take it easy.

Why do we want to take help of the seasons?

Ayurvedic practitioners like myself to say – we are the microcosm of the macrocosm. This is repeated in religious and spiritual texts throughout history. If we are the microcosm of the macrocosm, a small part of the bigger pictures, minute part of the bigger whole – then, it goes without saying that we have the same purpose, same aim and same journey as the nature and our universe.

Going against the nature, against the natural laws of nature and universe is harmful to us, our planet and our future. In the last fifty years we have become disconnected from our environment and with the greenhouse emissions, we are making sure that future generations suffer.

Whether its raising huge amounts of livestock so we can overeat and become obese and subject ourselves to all the health issues caused by red meat, or using ridiculous amount of resources by raising this livestock; whether, its filling our landfills with trash that cannot be recycled , or filling our space with orbiting space debris, –we, as a species are not in sync with ourselves, our nature. That, my friends – is one cause of disease right there.

In my lectures, I talk about four types of lifestyle choices. Ayurveda suggests that living ahitayu – life not in sync with nature will cause havoc, imbalance and trauma.

Lets discuss this disconnectedness more. We communicate to the world and people around us through texting, Facebook, twitter and emails. We have created a virtual persona of ourselves – our virtual Doppelganger.

You’d be surprised how many clients I get whose physical imbalances stem from spending too much time on the social media websites. Living other people’s lives instead their own. Nature –being our parent, our macrocosm—has its own way of communicating with us. Nature provides feedback in many forms to us. However, in our virtual Doppelganger form it is hard for us to get the message. our body, the changing seasons, omens, sights, smells, how we feel – how our body feels. And, the universe lets us know. How?

We get instant feedback via our near environment. To give you an example, if you clutter your refrigerator and do not clean == strange smells will emanate. Instant feedback. If the winter is about to onset, fall will create dryness in your skin, your hair and preparing your body for the winter.

This is the season providing feedback to the body to start lubricating your skin with warm organic oils, and start eating soups. Moving on, lets clarify what we mean by our environment. What surrounds us is our immediate environment – be it social environment, the weather. The Macro environment would be prakrti or mother nature, and earth or the bigger universe – the planets and being part of the greater whole.

Ayurveda suggests we bring this journey of outer environment and what’s happening in and around us in sync. We can do this by living in sync with the seasons, with the cycle of day and night, with cycle of waxing and waning of moon. (Lunar and Solar cycles). Lets discuss a small example. Water is regulated on earth through moon. Moon gives rasa or taste to the fruits and fragrance to the flowers.

It regulates the oceanic tides. Water in the outer world is signified by the vast bodies of oceans. In fact 2/3rd of earth is water. Inside our body, the moon also influences the water element which is manifest as all fluid secretions, mucosa, lymphatic system, and blood.

In our mind, the moon supports water element that is manifested as feelings of relaxation, love, romance, winding down after a hard days work. It has been proved that listening to sounds of waves or waterfall can induce a feeling of relaxation in our nerve center. Earth element is manifested as mountains, deserts, rocks, the crust and inner part and center core of our planet.

Earth in our physical body is the structure, the muscles, the bones and the organs. In our mind the earth element is manifest as a feeling of being grounded, decision making, sticking to one’s guns so to speak.

The fire element in our planet is the summer season, transformation process of how seeds grow into a plant, then tree, the volcanoes. For example, all trees are made up of wood – which has the inherent fire element in it. In our body the fire element is exhibited by the digestion of food, transformation of thoughts into ideas, The air manifests as atmosphere and the gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide, in the planet and manifests as the exchange of gases in our lungs.

In the mind it manifests itself as creativity. Space in the nature is important. Most important. All planets exist in space. Space in our body is the space in our stomach, our lungs, nerves. Without space element, our mind would be crowded by thoughts and we wont be able to function.

So, use the early summer or spring--to its full advantage. Start your detox program at this time.

What is Panchakarma?

What really is Panchakarma?

June 13, 2015

Monica B Groover, Ph.D., AWP, CMT, RPYT

There is detox. Then, there is Ayurvedic detox. As you see in this post--a regular detox may involve some fruits, smoothies or pills. And, it is generally aimed at clearing in a general way. It is not specific to an area of the body. For example, detox for kidneys. (TCM has a lot more specific detox --however, I am not talking about TCM)

Ayurvedic Detoxfication is very specific, customized to the individual, very powerful, and, must be done under a qualified professional with years of training and experience. Ayurvedic Detoxifcation may be aimed at balancing agni, doshas, tissues and eliminating Ama (food molecules decomposing and creating toxins).

Ayurvedic detoxification procedure is called Panchakarma.

So, I will specify it here for my future students, and, anyone reading this.

PANCHAKARMA IS NOT A MASSAGE.

So, what is it, if not a massage. Massage with Ayurvedic Tailams (medicated and herbal oils prepared in a traditional way) may be used for Vata or Kapha individuals before Panchakarma. Yes, Before--as part of snehana in preparatory stage. (See snehana below).

Panchakarma is a THREE STAGED bio purification program. Each stage has many steps. And, practitioner chooses the steps.

If a person is weak, post partum, menopausal and does not have the strength, we follow the palliative or the first portion of this process called Purvakarma. (Preparing the body and mind for Panchakarma). We also call this stage Shamana stage. (A lot more about shamana later!)

In Purvakarma, we prepare the body and mind by herbs, diet, meditation, agni dipana (increasing digestive fire), snehana (Oils, and fats--externally and internally) and svedana (sweat therapies).

When the person is ready, we move to stage two. This is panchakarma.

Lets break down the word panchakarma--

1. PANCHA- FIVE

2. KARMA- ACTIONS

These five actions are cleansing therapies. If I say, I am going to start Panchakarma tomorrow--it is not going to happen unless I have prepared myself --my doshas, dhatus and mental self. Plus, there is a large list of contraindications.

There is a period of preparation for the mind and body. (In the west, people just leave certain foods and habits cold turkey--which is not suggested in Ayurveda).

The preparation period is called PURVAKARMA. (yes, a lot of sanskrit words--bear with me)

Panchakarma is a deep cleanse of the mind, and, body and very specific areas of the physical body, organs, dhatus that requires bringing AMA (undigested and unmetabolized food molecules that may be lipophilic or hydrophilic) back into the the GI tract, and, then eliminating them. That can take weeks, if not more just to get to the point of starting pachakarma.

What these people are looking for is SHAMANA. That is a sanskrit word for pacification. Not a hose me down with therapies, herbs, kitchari and self enema with decoctions and sesame oil. PK is rather a SHODHANA or deep cleanse and purification of either middle area- (Liver, spleen cleanse for pitta) with Purgatives like Kalamegha, Kutki, Panchatikta ghritum (Very very bitter herbs cooked in ghee), OR, ENT, chest and stomach area (Kapha area) with Kaphatic (my friend Sudevis phrase for kapha issues) herbs like Trikatu, Triphala with raw honey (Although these herbs are pretty standard Ama busters). Kaphas tend to recieve dry massages with herbs like Triphala.

And, last, but not the least a special lubrication and oleation called SNEHANA for the Vatas.

The SNEHANA means lubricating the inside and outside of the physical, mental and spiritual body with oil baths, oil massages, drinking soups made with ghee and pouring herbal oil onto the hair, and, sneha pana--eating ghee for a few days. Finally, there is also oil bastis

So, I will write more about Shamana, Shodhana and Brihmana(Tonification), as well as Rasayana (Rejuvenation) and PK for Vata, Pitt and Kapha issues in the days to come.

The suppressible and non-suppressible urges

The suppressible and non-suppressible urges
By: Alexis A. Arredondo

Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of physics states: “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In Ayurveda, this very same law can be applied through the suppressible and non-suppressible urges.

The eight suppressible urges are greed(Lobha), grief(Soka), fear(Bhaya), anger(Krodha), vanity(Mana), shamelessness(Nirlajja), envy(Matsarya) and attachment(Raga).

As students of the Dharma and Ayurveda, we are aware that by allowing ourselves to give in to these urges, we run the risk of an “equal and opposite reaction” from them.

For example, by giving in to attachment, we open the door to the equal and opposite reaction of greed, envy or anger.

These urges not only affect our mind and body, but also effect the four goals of life which are:

i) a life of righteous living in harmony with nature (Hit-Ayu),
ii) a self-absorbed life not living in harmony with nature (A-Hit-Ayu),
iii) a life of good health/comforts with partial consideration to nature (Sukh-Ayu), and, a
iv) disturbed mental/physical state of negative karma (Dukh-Ayu).

By giving in to these urges, we quickly climb our way down to Dukh-Ayu by allowing our minds and bodies to take 0n that negative karma.

The non-suppressible urges are Urination(Mutra), Defecation(Purisa), Ejaculation(Retas), Flatus(Vata), Vomiting(Cardi), Sneezing(Ksavata), Hunger(Ksut), Thirst(Pipasa), Tears(Vaspa), Sleep(Nidra), Breath(Srama Nihvasa) and Cough(Kasa). Once again, like Newton’s law, each one of these urges will create an “equal and opposite reaction” to the suppression of that urge.

I still remember being in high school and having problems with flatus. When we are in that awkward age, we do what we can to impress others and remain socially viable. I would often hold in flatus in order to save myself embarrassment and began to develop constipation, stomach aches and pains. I know now that these were caused by the “equal and opposite reaction” of suppressing flatus.

Perhaps the most interesting discovery in my path, is that the suppressible urges often played a role in my non-suppressible urges. My attachment and vanity to be thin caused me to skip meals. Then by having that fear of violating social stigmas, I would suppress my flatus which would cause even more suppressible urges and non-suppressible urges to arise.

Finally the combination of all these imbalances would lead to Dukh-Ayu, a life of disturbed mental and physical state. Each suppressible and non-suppressible urge is related because each action reaches an “equal and opposite reaction” to each other. It is our goal in Ayurveda to keep the urges balanced in order to attain Hit-Ayu, a life of pure balance in body and mind.

Syndicate content