Well, 7 hours of yoga later, I am back.
Actually it wasn’t 7 hours—but my noon workshop class went waaaay overboard and lasted a solid 3 hours! Never have I done yoga for such a long period of time. It was great though! The class was focused on balancing vata, and it was one of those classes where you hold crescent moon and warrior one for, like, 10 minutes. The class was very slow but sometimes the slow classes are the ones that work you the hardest!
I had a veryyy early lunch at 10:30 of this:
With a half cup of cottage cheese (gotta keep eating soft foods!):
Yummy and it did a good job of holding me through such a long practice!
I didn’t get home until 3:15 and had to be back at the studio for a lecture at 4, so needless to say there was no time for blogging, let alone a shower! I did manage to throw together a quick smoothie though—
This is a combo of a 2% fage, a whole mango (minus the pit of course) and a big squirt of agave. After all that asana, I needed a major boost!
Smoothie in hand, I rushed back to the studio for Kishan’s three hour lecture. Now, he is actually a philosophy and Indian studies teacher at UCLA (as well as in training to be an Ayurvedic physician) so listening to him was actually just like being in college again! He spoke for almost 4 hours on Ayurveda and he had me the entire time.
Here are some notes I took during the lecture. Now please keep in mind that you can agree or disagree with what he says. Its definitely very “out of the box” for us westerners to hear and its good to be open to what different people have to say. I’ve been interested in Ayurveda for awhile actually and after hearing him talk, I think I’m going to see an Ayurvedic doctor for my migraines since clearly traditional medicine doesn’t work for me!
Ayurveda is the science of life, way of being, looking into the body, mind and spirit—a holistic system of living and medicine
- Primary goal is to keep the healthy “healthy”—- Food IS medicine
- You are what you eat.
- Keeps the healthy healthy by helping us maintain balance with diet and lifestyle
- Like increases like. We need to balance everything.
- Some people aren’t meant to be vegetarians. We are meant to eat to our body type and keep it in balance. In Ayurveda, meat is sometimes even used as medicine. Depends on our activity level and our metabolic rate. ANYTHING can be medicine. Depends on your body.
- Shift your diet and lifestyle toward your imbalance
- Prakrati and Vikruti—–our states of health
- Prakrati is our current state of health. Vikruti is where we want to be!
- Prakrati often depends on our parents and their imbalances when we were born. Looks at internal state of the mother’s womb even as well as seasonal factors, food we’ve been eating, ect. Ideal setting would be for both parents to get really balanced and then conceive so that the child is born Vikruti instead of in a Prakrati state.
- The Universe is made up of 5 elements—-space, air, fire, water, earth. If there is a decrease in one, we need to pull another one to balance it off.
- From these 5 elements, the doshas (intelligence in the body) hails. When they are in a place of balance, they are invisible. When there is a weakened tissue in the body, they have the ability to manifest in the body in some sort of form
Your pulse is really the only way to tell what dosha type you are. Quizzes are sort of bogus. Only a certified Ayurvedic doctor can tell what you truly are.
- Ayurveda says allergies do not exist. Something is imbalanced. We need to look at the root of the problem. Western medicine covers up the problem yet does not heal it from the inside out. Stop bandaiding your symptoms. Find the root cause.
- all disease processes come from low digestive fire (agni)
- NO COLD DRINKS —-causes the stomach to contract and shiver
- ice water shocks the stomach and creates toxicity in it. Food cannot digest properly when the system gets shocked by cold. All drinks should be room temperature to hot.
- Ice cream at night is “the worst thing ever”.
- Also only warm foods at breakfast and no fruit because fruit is heavy and more difficult to digest in the morning. Cold milk and banana is NOT the right way to start your day in balance!
He went on to further elaborate on the different doshas and creating balance so we have zero health problems. I always thought of myself as a Vata but after talking to him and the Ayurvedic physician there, I think I have more of a Pitta imbalance. Very interesting. It lasted almost 4 hours! Afterwards he led us through some seated meditation and chanting.
I was STARVING by the end of the lecture (it didn’t end until about 7:30). Ryan was still in St.Pete and all this yoga made me really crave Indian food so I stopped at this tiny hole in the wall place only about a mile away from the studio that one of the girls in the workshop told me about. Turns out I wasn’t the only one with the same craving—I ran into Stacey, a girl I met in yoga, there!
I ordered channa masala with naan:
Ahhhhhhhhh it was amazing!!!!!!!! I was so hungry and even though I’m not supposed to eat bread for a week because of my mouth (bleh), I demolished the entire thing in about five minutes flat (well except for the veggie salad thingy…..no crunchy things right now!). Don’t worry. I was careful and chewed the bread slowly on the opposite side of my mouth. It was freakin’ amazing. The best naan I have ever had. Hot and buttery and chewy.……….so good. The channa masala was great too. I asked for a little bit spicier (you can get it mild, slightly spicy or HOT) and it was perfect. I’m so glad I found this little place and will definitely be back in the very near future!
Ryan just got home and we are relaxing on the couch. I actually cannot even move after so much yoga but tomorrow is the final day of the workshop and class goes from 11-1:30. Phew! I wish yall could be here and do this with me—its so interesting!
Have a wonderful evening and I’ll see you for breakfast! =)
fitforfreeJanuary 10, 2009 at 8:33 pm
So cool! Why do you think you have a pitta imbalance? I thought I had a pitta imbalance (at least according to the “surveys,” which apparently you can’t trust!) but after reading more I’m not so sure…
I definitely think it’s worth considering different theories of medicine — I work for a psych editor and we are publishing a lot of books on alternative medicine these days.
jennaJanuary 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm
Migraines are a classic pitta unbalance sign, according to the Ayurvedic physcian there that I talked to on a break. There’s too much “fire inside” and that leads to migraines, acne, acid reflux, ect…..that goes to show why you can’t trust those online surveys!
MegJanuary 10, 2009 at 8:38 pm
Very intriguing info. Thanks for sharing!
I have always wondered about that Amy’s meal. I think I will try it now. It looks yummy and filling!
KimberlyJanuary 10, 2009 at 8:43 pm
Very interesting facts!! There is a great Indian restaurant here in NYC, called the Ayurveda Cafe, that tailors its menu to those principles and body types. I think non-Western medicine is a goldmine that needs to be tapped by this pharmaceutical-addicted country. By the way, have you ever tried acupuncture for your migraines? My co-worker (who is pregnant and can’t take migraine medicine) swears by it.
Sarah (Tales of Expansion)January 10, 2009 at 8:44 pm
Jenna, I am so impressed by all your yoga-ing! I haven’t been able face yoga since I took it during a high school gym class 10 years ago, haha. I still have nightmares about warrior pose! Maybe it is time to give it another go?
Sarah (Tales of Expansion)January 10, 2009 at 8:48 pm
P.S. Kimberly, thanks for the restaurant tip. I might have to go check it out — I just looked at the menu online. The food sounds delicious, and the prices are so reasonable!
fitforfreeJanuary 10, 2009 at 8:50 pm
Kimberly: i live in nyc and LOVE ayurveda cafe!
RebeccaJanuary 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm
Wow, three hours of yoga! Great Job!
ttfn300January 10, 2009 at 8:58 pm
hmm, that’s very interesting, thanks so much for sharing!!
KathJanuary 10, 2009 at 9:04 pm
I’m all for no cold drinks! Brrrrrr!!!!
And starting breakfast with a warm bowl – that’s something I can live with too 🙂 (But I can’t give up my banana)
JennaJanuary 10, 2009 at 9:11 pm
oh my gosh Jenna, thank THANK YOU so much for sharing all of this!! its so interesting! I wish we were all there as well!!! 🙁
I hope you have a great last day of your yoga workshop!
ShelbyJanuary 10, 2009 at 9:13 pm
Great info and 3 hours of yoga sounds so amazing right now.
Love the eats too!
DanielleJanuary 10, 2009 at 9:18 pm
Wow sounds llike you had a very interesting day! I can’t believe how long you did yoga for! Well have a nice time relaxing tonight!
VictoriaJanuary 10, 2009 at 9:22 pm
Thanks for sharing your notes. It’s a really interesting viewpoint.
Oh She GlowsJanuary 10, 2009 at 9:24 pm
I have always hated cold drinks…lol…I just hate swallowing it and I don’t know why. I drink herbal tea for 90% of my liquids.
jenna, after intense yoga sessions, do you tend to get stiff or sore? I am just wondering if it feels different the next day as compared to a run or lifting weights?
EmilyJanuary 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm
Thank you for sharing Jenna!
I like the ideas he put across – the whole lecture must have been really interesting. I do have fruit salad for breakfast every morning though, so I will have to look into that one a bit more : )
MarissaJanuary 10, 2009 at 9:53 pm
That lecure sounds so interesting!!
meganJanuary 10, 2009 at 10:02 pm
Your yoga weekend sounds fabulous. I am a bit surprised to read about the no banana thing for breakfast! I love nanners at breakfast!
I had that same Amy’s meal for dinner with cottage cheese. That’s so weird! haha.
Have a good night!
AliJanuary 10, 2009 at 10:56 pm
Thank you for all the info! I am very interested in alternative medicine and am starting to consider it as part of my career. This information you provided is really good for everyone to take a look at. I am curious, what do you think about the food choices that benefit and detract from a Pitta? Im interested only because most of the foods listed to avoid you tend to favor….Let me know what you think? I am only wondering and I know you have only just started….Keep up the great work!
emilyJanuary 10, 2009 at 11:49 pm
that’s great that it was such a learning experience for you, sounds like a wonderful time!
Sarah (lovINmytummy)January 11, 2009 at 12:32 am
Fascinating stuff. It makes sense though…especially the no ice water/no ice cream before bed (ya think?)/warm food in the am. I can do it!
Glad you struck gold w/the Indian place too…it looks fantastic!
JennJanuary 11, 2009 at 1:31 am
I agree with the cold drinks they make me sooo cold! And thats weird that fruit is heavy I always considered it light. Also why is ice cream at night so bad? Because dairy is hard to digest? What if its coconut milk ice cream! hehe
JenaJanuary 11, 2009 at 6:10 am
Thanks so much for sharing, it sounds like this weekend was really amazing. I’m so happy you got to experience it! I was just wondering if any ayurveda books were recommended. There are no practitioners in my area and I would really love to try and figure out my dosha and imbalances.
GarJanuary 11, 2009 at 6:37 am
No cold milk and banana? But that’s the American breakfast cereal ritual. Guess we’ve been doing it all wrong? What’s your take on this concept?
jennaJanuary 11, 2009 at 7:37 am
Well I really can’t form too much of an opinion on it until I do more research but Kishan said that his little niece for YEARS had been suffering from excess mucus (hacking, coughing, blowing nose) and other upper respiratory ailments. Kishan’s father is a western doctor and they tried putting her on all sorts of different antibiotics for years to control her symptoms but each time she had an attack, it would get worse. Then, her parents tried the Ayurvedic approach with her and had her stop eating/drinking cold liquids and heavy foods (like fruit) in the morning. It was different for her because she always started her morning with cereal, milk and a banana. Within two weeks all symptoms were gone and she never had an attack again. Of course you could choose to believe it or disregard it, but either way its pretty darn interesting……….Americans are one of the few people in the world that actually put ice in their drinks. Europeans never do and neither do Indians. Americans also (obviously) have the highest rate of obesity and disease. So….clearly we are doing something wrong.
SammieJanuary 11, 2009 at 6:52 am
Thanks for all the great info. I always drink warm water when my IBS flares up – now I know why it helps so much. I guess I need to evaluate my AM meals – I am all for positive change. I wish I could be there, it sounds like a very educational weekend. Have fun today.
pollyJanuary 11, 2009 at 6:57 am
one of my best friends gets migraines and seems to have a pitta impbalance too! (love her!) Thank you so much for sharing this infor, sweetie. I all for warming up my mug in the AM! Even it it’s just water!
Do you think (this is a huge request) that you could maybe give a brief list of imbalance signs for each dosha? You are so giving and just open and honest and man, we just LOVE YOU! Never forget what an impact you have on others, shining light = Jenna girl!
XOXO Happy Sunday.
VeggieGirlJanuary 11, 2009 at 8:04 am
I LOOOOVE the Ayurvedic principles – I’M A VATA!! 🙂
KJanuary 11, 2009 at 8:07 am
Wow – that’s a long class! Glad to hear it was well worth it though 🙂 Thanks for posting all the info!
MaraJanuary 11, 2009 at 9:04 am
Very interesting stuff, I’m glad you enjoyed it!
kimJanuary 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm
Thanks for your reply Jenna. Since having a banana in the morning has become such a ritual for me, I think it’d be really hard for me to give that up. 🙁 Did Kishan say anything about putting lemon with the tea? I got into ayuveda a few years ago, but never truly practice it. I think I break all its rules as a Vata, :P.
jennaJanuary 11, 2009 at 1:30 pm
A lemon in your water or tea I’m sure is fine. But he stressed to make sure its hot. He says that every day he fills up his thermos at home with boiling water and sips it all day long.
I’m sure you would be fine to jump right in at a class offered. Yoga relies on a ton of strength but you will gain more (especially core strength) as you practice. And yes, you actually sweat a ton. I sweat more in my yoga classes than I EVER did at spinning class. But that’s just me.
I like the order of your questions. Haha 🙂
1.) YES I was totally sore…especially my quads, hips and shoulders.
2.) Kishan says the best time to eat fruit is midday when the sun is high. I know it is very confusing to go against every thing you have been told is healthy from when you were small but try to look at it this way—–no matter how many diets, how much new health ‘advice”, how many whole foods sprout up, america is and always has been the nation leading in obesity, diabetes and disease. You can’t refute those facts. We have more fat people in america than anywhere else in the world. Obviously we are doing something wrong despite all the new diet books that come out every few months, no? This system has been working in India for 5 THOUSAND YEARS. It does sound confusing to us (even me!) but I’m willing to make a change for my health and try something that is different. If you are interested, I highly suggest reading up on the subject online or buying a book. or, looking up an Ayurvedic physician in your area to give you a diagnosis.
Oh, and the oil you use depends on you dosha type. A good website is http://www.banyanbotanicals.com . However, kishan said a general rule of thumb is to use raw organic sesame seed oil in the winter and raw coconut oil in the spring and summer.
kimJanuary 11, 2009 at 3:07 pm
Thanks. At least I’m doing one thing right then. 🙂
And is there a restriction as to when to stop eating? Some people say to stop eating by 7pm.
jennaJanuary 11, 2009 at 3:11 pm
Not that I know of although I think its different for what you are trying to balance.
LoraJanuary 11, 2009 at 4:00 pm
Fascinating! I’ve recently gotten back into my yoga practice and have been looking around at different Ayurvedic information. Kishan might be on to something with the cold milk. I’ve been full vegetarian for a week and finally feeling fantastic (after 8 months of digestive misery). Had a bowl of cereal with cold milk Friday morning and have been back in misery until today. Your blog has definitely been an inspiration as I find myself back in the journey a little more fully. Thanks!
runjessJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:23 am
Of course you ate the bread. Channa masala without naan!?
YvanJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:07 pm
Thanks for sharing
I have had headaches for as long as I remember.
Since my first visit to an Ayurvedic practitioner, no more headache, it is history, gone.
With the health issues in the US, Ayurveda is certainly one (I should say “the”) healthy way to prevent any sort of imbalances and diseases.
Spread the good word for the benefit of all.
Best to all