Ayurveda

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“Making your doshas happy will make you happy. This is the secret to balancing the whole mind-body system.”AgniSignup-Banner
– Deepak Chopra

Your mind-body type (known as your dosha in the ancient healing science of Ayurveda) plays a great role in how stress affects you. In Ayurveda, the three main doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

  • Those with predominantly Vata constitutions have the greatest tendency toward anxiety and worry. Normally creative and lively, in the face of stress, Vatas tend to blame themselves for their problems and become extremely nervous and scattered.
  • Pitta types are usually warm and loving, but if they’re out of balance, typically react to stress by finding fault with other people and becoming angry.
  • The most even-tempered dosha is Kapha. Kapha types are usually easygoing and gentle, but when faced with overwhelming conflict or stress, they may withdraw and refuse to deal with the situation.

Knowing your mind-body constitution will help you understand your own response to stress. Ayurveda offers specific recommendations for each mind-body type, including the most effective ways to cope with stress. To learn more ayurvedic tips for stress relief and mind-body healing, sign up for our free online Agni Newsletter.

Deepak hires headshot

Dharma is much more than one’s career or focus of activity in life. Dharma is the unstoppable force of evolution in the cosmos that impels everything forward
toward self-awareness. Everyone has a purpose or dharma. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t exist at all. You don’t need to search the world to find your purpose. The clues lay hidden deep in your heart. Your purpose boils down to what it is that you have to give back to the world, and for that you need to know who you really are, for that is what you have to give. The impact of your life’s gift is not dependent upon your particular personality or specific skills. Who and what you fundamentally are, constitutes your gift to others. In truth, when you find your true Self, you find your love and joy, and you will express that in every thought and action in your life.

Love,
Deepak

Learn more about dharma and the seven  spiritual laws for success  here.

Learn more timeless teachings for creating greater health, balance, and joy in your life

Subscribe to the Chopra  Center’s free online newsletter, Agni and receive new monthly columns from Deepak Chopra, M.D. and David Simon, M.D., guided meditation podcasts, ayurvedic recipes, and other tools and techniques for getting into the best mind-body shape of your life. Click here to sign up for Agni and browse our rich archive of past issues.

banana bunch

When the weather is hot, your agni or digestive fire is naturally low and you may find that you appetite is decreased.  Respect this change by not overeating. Favor cool food and drink, but not ice cold. Your body will want more liquids in hot weather, but it is important not to douse the digestive fire by drinking cold liquids after a meal.  To keep your Pitta dosha in balance, favor sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes and reduce sour, salty, and pungent ones. Read this week’s earlier post on balancing Pitta dosha to learn more.

This recipe for banana-cocoa mousse is a delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth, nurture your body, and refresh your spirit during the hot days of summer.

Banana-Cocoa Frozen Mousse

Serves 8

4 whole bananas (very ripe), cut into 1-inch pieces and frozen
12 ounces low-fat silken tofu, firm or extra firm, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons organic chocolate syrup, sweetened with natural sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch ground cloves
Toasted coconut flakes
Sliced almonds

Place the bananas in a food processor or blender and pulse until almost smooth. Add the tofu and chocolate syrup. Pulse until combined, then add the maple syrup, vanilla, and cloves. Continue to blend until the mousse is completely smooth. Pour the mousse into a freezer container and place in the freezer for one hour (until firm). Take the mousse out of the freezer 15 minutes before you plan on serving. Scoop out into small bowls and garnish with toasted coconut flakes and sliced almonds. You can store the mousse in a tightly covered container in the freezer.

Nutritional Facts per ½-cup serving
Calories 129, Total fat .9 g, Saturated fat .2 g, Carbohydrates 33.5 g, Protein 4.3 g

Interested in more ayurvedic recipes and mind-body healing tips?

Subscribe to the Chopra  Center’s free online newsletter, Agni, combining timeless wisdom with cutting-edge information that will help you get into the best mind-body shape of your life. Click here to sign up for Agni and visit our rich archive of past issues.

Palm tree at sunset medium

While the sweet spot of the universe – the Chopra Center’s home in Carlsbad, California – is just emerging from a spell of unseasonably cool, mild days, much of the U.S. and Northern Hemisphere is in the midst of a full-blown Pitta season, with sunny days and intense heat that increase Pitta dosha in the body, mind, and emotions. In Ayurveda, Pitta is the mind-body principle of fire and water.

If you accumulate too much of this fiery dosha, you are likely to experience irritability, impatience, jealousy, skin rashes, acne, heartburn, hemorrhoids, or digestive problems. All mind-body types are vulnerable to Pitta imbalances in the summer, but if Pitta is your predominant dosha, it is particularly important to follow a balancing routine to maintain your naturally sweet, joyous, and radiant nature.

To keep Pitta in balance in your physiology, make choices that are cooling, sweet, and stabilizing:

  • Follow a regular daily routine.; be careful not to create unnecessary time pressures.
  • Favor foods that contain sweet, bitter, or astringent tastes. Learn more about the six tastes of Ayurveda here.
  • Include many cooling foods in your diet, such as cucumbers, sweet fruits, and melons.
  • Favor cooler colors in your clothing and environment, such as blue, green, and silver.
  • Give yourself a daily self-massage using cooling oils such as coconut or olive. Find directions for a self-massage here.
  • Choose aromas that are cooling and sweet, such as sandlewood, rose, jasmine, fennel, mint, and lavender. Sprinkle a few drops of one of these oils in a cool bath or on your sheets before you go to sleep.

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More about the Doshas
Ayurveda teaches that our existence extends beyond the boundaries of our skin. Our personal body is constantly exchanging energy and information with the environment and everything around us. Our doshas – the mind-body principles composed of the natural elements space, air, fire, water, and earth – are always at play in this dynamic exchange, linking our physiology to the world at large. For example, when it’s cold and windy outside, the Vata dosha inside you responds because its nature is also cold, dry, and moving.  Each dosha recognizes a particular kind of weather and increases in response. If a dosha increases too much, you experience imbalances that result in feelings of discomfort and, if not addressed, ultimately lead to dis-ease.

If you would like to learn more about Ayurveda, mind-body healing, and creating balance in your daily routine, sign up for the Chopra Center’s free online newsletter Agni. Each month you will receive articles from Deepak Chopra and David Simon, as well as practical guidance on creating more happiness, well-being, and true fulfillment in your life.  Click here to sign up for Agni and visit our rich archive of past issues.


A recipe from The Chopra Center Cookbook . . .

Enjoy the season’s bounty of ripe, delicious blueberries with this easy ayurvedic recipe made with organic ingredients. An ideal dessert for graduation celebrations and Father’s Day.

In terms of the six tastes recognized by Ayurveda, the prominent tastes in this blueberry cake recipe are sweet and astringent. Learn more about the six tastes here. Both of these tastes help pacify the Pitta dosha, which when out of balance can manifest as irritability, heartburn, skin rashes, inflammation and other conditions.

As we enter the hot months of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it is particularly important to keep Pitta in balance by favoring cool drinks and food and the sweet, astringent, and bitter tastes, while reducing foods that are pungent, salty, and sour.  To learn more about Ayurveda and mind-body healing, subscribe to the Chopra Center’s free online newsletter, Agni. Click here to learn more and read past issues of Agni.


Cake Ingredients

2 pounds fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups organic unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup turbinado sugar
¼ cup nonfat milk
¼ cup ghee    Find our ghee recipe here
4 eggs

Topping
2 eggs
¼ cup ghee
1 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Note: If possible, use organic eggs, milk, vanilla, and spices.

1.)  Preheat oven to 325 (F) and spray or oil a 9 X 12-inch cake pan.

2.)  In a large bowl, toss the blueberries with the cinnamon and nutmeg; place in the cake pan. Put all the remaining cake ingredients in a bowl and beat well. Carefully pour the batter over the blueberries. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

3.)  Cream together the topping ingredients. Remove the cake from the oven, spoon the topping over it, and return the cake to the over for about 20 minutes, until the topping is browned and bubbly.

Makes 12 to 18 pieces.

In the cleansing treatment of panchakarma, Ayurvedic physicians prescribe specific herbs that help the body release toxins stored deep in the tissues. At the Chopra Center, one of the purifying herbal blends we use is triphala, which was formulated in India thousands of years ago and remains extremely popular today.

Triphala is made from the fruits of three trees that grow in India and the Middle East (the Sanskrit term triphala means ‘”three fruits”: tri = three, and phala = fruits). The fruits are dried, ground into powder, and blended in a precise manner developed by the ancient herbalists. The herbs that comprise triphala have potent healing properties:

  • Amalaki (emblica officinalis), commonly known as Indian gooseberry or amla, is considered one of the best rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda. It’s a strong natural antioxidant containing 20 times more vitamin C than orange juice. In India, amalaki is known as the “nurse herb” because it strengthens the immune system and cools the body, balancing the Pitta dosha.
  • Haritaki (terminalia chebula) has the strongest laxative powers of the three fruits contained in triphala. In Tibet, haritaki is so highly revered that in their sacred paintings, it’s often depicted in the extended palm of the medicine Buddha. The herb also has astringent properties and balances Vata.
  • Bibhitaki (terminalia belerica) is an excellent rejuvenative with both laxative and astringent properties. It eliminates excess mucous in the body, balancing the Kapha dosha. In addition, bibhitaki is a powerful treatment for a variety of lung conditions, including bronchitis and asthma.

Triphala is a valuable part of panchakarma because it gently cleanses and detoxifies the body without irritating the colon. In addition, unlike other laxatives that deplete the body, triphala actually strengthens and nourishes the bones, nervous system, and reproductive organs.

Order Triphala from the Chopra Center Store

Participants at our Perfect Health program take triphala for several days before they arrive for their panchakarma treatment. This preliminary step begins to cleanse the body and prepare it for the deeper detoxification process they receive at Perfect Health. If you’d like to learn more about this healing program, call toll-free at 888.736.6895 or ask your question here.

According to Ayurveda, good health is dependent upon our capability to fully metabolize the nutritional, emotional and sensory information that we ingest. When our digestive energies, known as Agni (fire), are robust, we create healthy tissues, eliminate waste products efficiently and produce a subtle essence called ojas. Ojas, which may be envisioned as the source of our vitality, is the basis for clarity of perception, physical strength, and immunity. On the other hand, if our agnis are weakened, digestion is incomplete. This accumulation of toxic residue is collectively known as ama. Cleansing and detoxifying the body helps build the natural fire within (agni), which naturally burns ama and aids in digestion.

To help detoxify, strengthen the immune system, and increase the production of ojas (vital energy), we suggest performing the following activities for 7 days:

1. Every morning, perform a self massage (self-Abhy) with herbalized dosha balancing oil. When stimulated through therapeutic touch or massage, the skin releases a pharmacy of healing chemicals that have health-promoting effects on the physiology. In addition to feeling good, regular massage and loving touch detoxifies the body’s tissues, increase circulation, calms the mind, and enhances immune function.

2. Follow your massage with a Neti pot and Nasya, a traditional method to purify and revitalize the breathing passages. In addition, this process can reduce allergies and decrease your chances of contracting upper respiratory infections.

3. Take Biochavan and Triphala. Biochavan has been used for thousands of years to promote health and longevity. Rich in antioxidants, it has been scientifically proven to have measurable health enhancing benefits including detoxification, improved digestive functioning, and increased immunity. Triphala, formulated by Ayurvedic physicians thousands of years ago and used by literally billions of people since, is considered the most effective colon tonic by most health care practitioners.

4. Drink 3-4 cups of dosha balancing organic tea per day to help flush the system.

5. Simplify your diet to appropriately cooked vegetables and rice to allow your digestive power to work on cleansing the body.

Would you like personal instruction during your detox? Click here to learn more about our personalized detoxification program at the Chopra Center.

I am seeking vibrant health.

The Perfect Health Panchakarma Program: Our signature six-day healing program where you will experience Panchakarma detoxification therapy, daily ayurvedic massage treatments, a mind-body medical consultation, and instruction in the healing practices of meditation, yoga and Ayurveda.

Journey Into Healing: A mind-body workshop that interweaves the most recent discoveries of modern Western medicine with with the healing arts of the East. An opportunity to learn with some of the world’s most renowned pioneers in integrative medicine.

I want to discover emotional wellbeing.

Free to Love: A three-day life transforming emotional healing workshop featuring Dr. David Simon.

Free to Heal: A six day emotional release process that also includes ayurvedic healing therapies to nourish your body and soul.

I want to connect with my spiritual nature.

SynchroDestiny: A self-empowerment workshop that teaches you how to harness the power of intention, coincidence, and attention to fulfil your greatest dreams and desires.

Seduction of Spirit: Out classic six-day meditation retreat – a celebration of Primordial Sound Meditation and Ayurveda.

A Weekend Within: A introductory workshop that teaches you the fundamentals of meditation and Ayurveda. Featuring Deepak Chopra, M.D., David Simon, M.D., and davidji.

I want to teach.

We offer teacher certification in the following three areas:

Yoga Teacher Training
Primordial Sound Meditation Teacher Training
Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle Teacher Training


Not sure which program is right for you? Talk with a program consultant at 888.736.6895 or send us your questions here.

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