This week’s topic is: Ayurvedic Practices For Spring (Earth Day)
I’ve been an Ayurvedic student now for several years. I’ve studied formally under my teacher, Vaidya Jay. I’m always asking him questions, and reading, and incorporating that deep wisdom into my own lifestyle, and I love to share it with you all.
I take the parts of Ayurveda that really resonate with me, and really love the self-care part of Ayurveda. I like the synergy with nature and really considering the greater collective and the energies around us, including seasonal shifts that I think is so intelligent and really can add a lot of value into our everyday practices. That’s the part of Ayurveda that I love the most is that real self-care, that individualization, which is reflected through the different body types and the different energies that Ayurveda really delves into. So I can only incorporate all of it.
I wouldn’t say that my full lifestyle and what we teach here at Solluna is fully Ayurvedic, but there’s a big part of it that is incorporated because I respect it very much and I honor it. There is tremendous wisdom in there. But, again, for me, there’s a little bit of pulling in and integration of some other science and practices and ideas from other sources as well, but Ayurveda definitely does influence my Beauty Detox/Solluna philosophy.
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Kimberly: Hey Beauties, and welcome back to our Thursday Q&A Podcast, our community show where all of our questions come right from you, Beauties, and our community. I really love this show because it is a direct reflection of how we can support you and continue this journey back towards feeling our best and emanating that out, radiating that out, which, of course, transforms our relationship with ourselves, with our connection, and, of course, our relationship with all others and all other parts of our lives, our careers, our family life, so on and so forth because everything is interconnected. Our topic today is Ayurvedic Practices for Spring.
Kimberly: So I’ve been an Ayurvedic student now for several years. I’ve studied formally under my teacher, Vaidya Jay, Sanskrit word for doctor, Dr. Jay, but he now prefers the term Vaidya Jay about four years. It’s been a couple years since that formal study, but I’m always in touch with him. I’m always asking him questions, and reading, and incorporating that deep wisdom into my own lifestyle, and I love to share it with you all. So I take the parts of Ayurveda that really resonate with me, and I really love the self-care part of Ayurveda. I like the synergy with nature and really considering the greater collective and the energies around us, including seasonal shifts that I think is so intelligent and really can add a lot of value into our everyday practices.
Kimberly: So that’s the part of Ayurveda that I love the most is that real self-care, that individualization, which is reflected through the different body types and the different energies that Ayurveda really delves into. So I can only incorporate all of it. I wouldn’t say that my full lifestyle and what we teach here at Solluna is fully Ayurvedic, but there’s a big part of it that is incorporated because I respect it very much and I honor it. I think, again, there’s tremendous wisdom in there. But, again, for me, there’s a little bit of pulling in and integration of some other science and practices and ideas from other sources as well, but Ayurveda definitely does influence my philosophy, Beauty Detox or Solluna philosophy. So I’m really excited to get into it today.
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Question #1 around the topic of: Ayurvedic Practices for Spring : Where should I begin if I want to add in Ayurvedic wisdom into my daily routine?
Kimberly: Okay, let’s dive into our questions today, which, again, come right from our community. Our first one comes from Tori in Australia. She writes, “Where should I begin if I want to add in Ayurvedic wisdom into my daily routine?” So I love this question. I love this idea of really starting with practicality. How do I even begin? Where do I even think about adding Ayurveda? So Tori, thank you so much, my love. Sending you a big virtual hug out there to Australia, a place that I spent a lot of time and I love very much.
Kimberly: I will say that, first of all, I think it’s a good idea to get some basic ideas about Ayurveda just to understand some of the basic ideas as you’re starting out and beginning to understand what the purpose of Ayurveda is, and it’s for overarching perspective. So Ayurvedic really translates to the science of life and it is the sister science to yoga. So the ancient texts of India, which are the oldest texts in the world, there’s Veda, these four Vedas, these four great texts, so to speak. The oldest one is the Rig Veda, and then the least old of the four ancient texts, which is still thousands and thousands of years old and there’s some contention about the dates, but let’s say about 5,000 years old is the Atharva Veda, and in the Atharva Veda is the knowledge of Ayurveda.
Kimberly: So it comes from these ancient, ancient texts, and sometime later, the Yoga Pradipika, the Yoga Sutras, these texts also were discovered and created. Patanjali is the one credited with putting together the sutras, and so these texts are also ancient. So, anyways, not to go too much into this part of it, but just to say that Ayurveda and yoga are sister sciences, meaning that there is a connection, and Ayurveda, similarly to our four cornerstone philosophy, which really acknowledges the wholeness of us and the wholeness that is part of wellness: food, body, emotional well-being, and spiritual growth; Ayurveda very much does incorporate the spiritual and the emotional aspects of a person.
Kimberly: So an Ayurvedic practitioner will often prescribe mantras and meditations, and talk about your lifestyle and your stress levels, and what’s going on in your relationships and in your life because that can affect your digestion, your pulse, your whole health and your wellness. So I really appreciate that very integrated approach. I think really understanding that gives it some context. I also, a couple of things that I really love about Ayurveda is, number one, the panchamahabhuta theory, which means that the five elements in nature, which are air, space, earth, water, and fire are the same basic elements that make up our body. So there’s this continuum between what we perceive as outside nature and our inner terrain, our bodies, our world, and there isn’t this so-called separation.
Kimberly: So, again, back to this idea of seasonal self-care and going with the flow of nature and seasonal foods and seasonal practices, because we are so integrated with what is happening around us and in nature is something that is really beautiful to acknowledge. We know that, in the west, a lot of our different systems, and the diets, and the different philosophies don’t always incorporate so deeply this idea of are part of nature. So I really love that about Ayurveda.
Kimberly: Then another principle that I really love, and I talk about quite a bit, is this idea of as is the micro, as is the macro. As is the micro, so is the macro. So meaning, in a similar vein, about the panchamahabhuta theory, what affects us, the micro, is affecting these concentric circles out, the larger community, the neighbors, and then the world, and the collective, and beyond. So what that really boils down to, if something is truly the way, the lens that you can evaluate a choice, let’s say your diet, if something is really the ideal choice for the micro for your body, it would then be the ideal choice for the macro. If it was truly to benefit your body, it would truly benefit the macro, which is one of the reasons when I talk about plant-based diet and there’s so much contention between the paleo people and the keto people and the carnivores diet and the vegan diet. There’s so much confusing information out there.
Kimberly: If we take it out of specific studies and specific philosophies, and we put it into the context of the collective, and we put it into the context of, again, so as the micro as is the macro, we’ll see that, with a plant-based diet, it’s a wonderful way to eat for the individual body, with digestion and fiber, and this flow of less acid through the body. But also in the collective sense, we aren’t trapping all the turtles and the dolphins being killed by the fishing nets. I just saw this very moving documentary called Seaspiracy on Netflix, which I definitely recommend for anyone out there, all of us, to really understand what we’re eating even when it comes to fish. So in the collective sense, the burning of the rainforests because of the free range cattle and the carbon emissions, and all these different aspects of environmental impact from our food choices, when we put it through that lens and we realize everything is so interconnected, we’re so interconnected to each other, that we can’t really get around the fact that our choices affect each other and they affect the larger whole.
Kimberly: So anyways, that’s the foundational part I wanted to start answering your question with, Tori. As far as incorporating wisdom, I would get a better sense of your body type, and there’s plenty of information online about that. I’m glancing at the questions. We’re going to talk about that a little bit more on the next question, but really understanding parts of your body, or energies within your body. There are three primary doshas, energies: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. When you start to understand how your body functions, the way we are born into this world with certain tendencies, we all have the elements inside of us, but most of us have a dominant two, let’s say; usually, it’s two for each person.
Kimberly: I’m very Vata, but I also have Pitta. I have Kapha. I’ve had some Ayurvedic practitioners say that I’m actually tri-doshic, although my Vata element really easily becomes imbalanced to the airiness, the sort of spaciness, the running around, the creativity very high in me. So an imbalance, that can look like constipation, dryness, insomnia, anxiety. So I would say, beyond the scope of this podcast, is really understanding some of the basics and we will link to in the show notes to Dr. Jay’s podcast. He has done so many on here, and he has a wonderful way of explaining a lot about the different wisdom and the different energies. So first thing is to unders … just some basic reading, some basic information. As always, I say to start from the morning up.
Kimberly: So in our morning practice, we definitely incorporate the fact that what goes into your body first should be warmed, so that hot water with lemon is a very important element. Now, Ayurveda will say more cooked food than raw. We start, we, of course, have our GGS although Dr. Jay definitely starts to prescribe more smoothies because it’s recognized as a really wonderful way to absorb nutrients. But emphasizing that starting with a hot, hot water with lemon, and you could even add ginger for extra warming abilities.
Kimberly: Now, how I incorporate Ayurveda into my morning routine is also tongue brushing, tongue scraping rather, with a stainless steel tongue scraper, which is part of the Ayurvedic morning routine of helping to stimulate your tongue, which is correlated with different organs and also just removing bacteria. There’s many benefits to that. You could incorporate also oil pulling as well into the morning if you’re interested in it. To be honest, I don’t do that super often, but I do the tongue scraping, which takes under a minute very often. In the evening, I also incorporate some of the scalp massage and the abhyanga, the warm oil massage, on my body. But overall, just that basic understanding helps me understand my body and basic tendencies. So for me, I do crave, if I’m going to crave something that’s salty, dry, crispy, cracker or the pretzels, it makes sense now why I incorporated or I loved pretzels, and understanding my tendencies and my body and making sure that I’m having enough healthy fats to counterbalance my Vata.
Kimberly: So general eating prescriptions within Ayurveda, but then some of these practices, again, like the tongue scraping, the scalp massage, and then I would just keep it real simple, Tori, like start with some of these basic things, and then you can start incorporating more. Otherwise, it can feel a bit overwhelming. Dr. Jay’s full morning practice takes about four hours. He does 11 different steps to the oral routine. Just a full abhyanga in the morning. Just so much stuff that I myself can’t do even a fraction of it, but I take these steps and it makes me feel connected to Ayurveda, and I know that I’m altering myself-care for my individual constitution and seasonally, and so that feels really good to me. We’re going to be talking about further questions about spring and so on and so forth, but I think I’ll leave it there, Tori. Of course, I could keep going on and on and, again, I highly recommend that you listen to some of our other podcasts with Dr. Jay for even more information. So thank you so much, sister. Sending you lots of love there in Aus and a big, big warm virtual hug.
Question #2 around the topic of: Ayurvedic Practices for Spring: I know there’s lots of information out there about doshas, but can you narrow it down for us newbies and how to find out which one I am?
Kimberly: All right, next question comes from Katie and she lives in California. She writes, I know there’s lots of information out there about doshas, but can you narrow it down for us newbies and how to find out which one I am? So, first of all, I’ll say that there is a lot of different information out there, and it can be really nice to do a self-assessment quiz where you’re just asked questions and you answer them and it gives general recommendations for your dosha. This can be nice especially if you don’t have a practitioner that you’re going to see to get your pulse read, and just to really look into your eyes and to give a full evaluation. You can get a pretty good sense from taking an online quiz. Banyan, for instance, B-A-N-Y-A-N, has a great dosha quiz online. So you can check that out.
Kimberly: I will say, and I mentioned this a little bit in Tori’s question, if you think about our five elements, they’re within the body: air, space was one category, and then fire and water and earth. So the Vata energy is the air and the space. So this energy is dominant in the colon. This is dominant in creativity. So it’s this idea that when you have a lot of Vata energy, I use myself as an example, you are very creative. You have a lot of ideas, but you need that groundedness to follow through, to pursue your ideas, to get things done. You also tend to be a little bit thinner, drier in your constitution. You can crave that sort of dry, crispy food, like I mentioned earlier, and so enough healthy fats and the oils and the fats are really important for you. Also grounding practices.
Kimberly: Abhyanga is one of the most important practices for vata types, because it helps to sooth your system and bring you into the here or now because excess vata energy, across society, is one of the reasons for anxiety. So again, these are general … I’m just giving out some general, very general, information. But pitta energy is the fire. So pittas tend to … if that’s your dominant, predominant energy inside of you, you would have pretty strong digestion, a lot of Agni, a lot of digestive fire and a lot of willpower, and that ability, that passionate ability to get things done. But in imbalance, it can manifest as the excess fiery and excess pitta is correlated with accelerated aging. In fact, Ayurveda will say that excess heating, that burning up of the tissues, is extremely aging in the body. So we want to, of course, make sure that our pitta is in check and we are not getting overly anxious, overly fiery, overly rigid, controlling about, demanding expectations. So there’s that balance as well.
Kimberly: Now, the kapha energy is very grounding, very stabilizing. It’s the energy of earth and water. The water, for instance, shapes around a boat and so there’s this pliability with kapha energy. It’s able to shape around a bowl or a container. So kapha energy is strong, and stabilizing and steady. In imbalance, kapha types can tend to be a little bit more lethargic, gain weight more easily than other body types. Just have a little bit more stagnation or prone to depression. So, as I mentioned, most all of us have a dominance in two is what I found personally. Some people it’s one, but mostly there’s two.
Kimberly: So for me, it’s vata-pitta, and that’s one of the reasons I have very earthy people on my team. John, my business partner, who’s been on here with other podcasts with me, and Katelyn who you may know who used to do this Q&A podcast with me. She’s our general manager at Solluna. Both of them are very kapha dominant as their primary dosha and they’re grounded. They help with details and execution because, as a vata type, as a creative, I am flitting around lots of different ideas, you need that groundedness, you need that balance. So it’s really nice when you start to understand these energies, and then you can even really consciously create that balance, if you have a business or a team or just to understand different communication styles that may work better for different types.
Kimberly: My husband is very fiery. John, my husband is … that’s his dominant. He’s pitta-kapha. So he has this stabilizing part of him, but communication-wise, just really making sure to not stoke, extra stoke that fire is important. It’s something that we’ve come to understand that about each other. So he knows that I’m very vata and airy too, and sometimes I … a little floaty, so I ground myself. I purposely ground myself with nuts and grounding foods and earth vegetables, and practices like literally grounding in our yard every day. I put my feet into the sand … sorry, the grass. I go in the sand when we go to the beach, which is only 10 minutes from our house. Very grateful for that. So we do a lot of grounding. Abhyanga, again, the massage is very powerful for vata types.
Kimberly: So I would recommend, Katie, taking that quiz, the Banyan one or whichever one resonates, and then just seeing some general practices, ideas for your body type or what you assess based on that information. For me, it’s, again, it goes beyond food. It’s really understanding … Oh, like if you think of it as energy, there’s a lot of air creative energy so that groundedness throughout all the practices. Like I said, body-wise, emotionally, journaling feels very grounding to me. When I meditate, I like to be hips down on the ground. I sit on the ground when I meditate mostly instead of sitting in a chair. So you start to understand what makes you feel balanced and balancing your body and these energies in our body. So, again, we have all these different doshas. We have all the energies within us, but which ones need to be balanced a little bit more, which ones more easily get out of balance and having that basic information can be really helpful to adjusting your self-care.
Kimberly: So thank you so much, Katie, and sending you lots of love. Big virtual hug. Thank you so much for being part of our community. All right, my loves. We’re going to take a short break here and when I get back, we have two more questions on this topic of Ayurvedic practices for spring.
Question #3 around the topic of: Ayurvedic Practices for Spring : What is the most important thing to make sure I do in my routine now that spring is here? What are some specific Ayurvedic practices for spring?
Kimberly: All right, so we are back from our break. Now, we have two more questions for you, guys, on this topic. The first one comes from Isa who lives in Washington. She writes, “What is the most important thing to make sure I do in my routine now that spring is here? What are some specific Ayurvedic practices for spring?” So this is a wonderful question, Isa. It is a core component of Ayurvedic medicine and philosophy to really vary the routine for the seasons, just like there’s different … the shedding of the leaves, and the regrowth, and the buds that happen in the spring. So we want to mirror some of these concepts that we’re seeing in nature because they play out in our bodies. As we mentioned, with panchamahabhuta theory, the elemental qualities so-called outside of us are inside of us.
Kimberly: So in spring, it’s really this season that’s about clearing and rebalancing kapha. So, as I mentioned in my last question, that kapha, that stabilizing quality, which is so important, associated with earth and water, tends to accumulate in winter. Winter is the time, obviously, when we’re inside more. We don’t get as much sunlight and we’re able to eat a little bit heavier, and we eat more comfort foods. We just tend to build up a lot more in our bodies. So in springtime, we want to clean that out. So springtime, a lot of the practices are geared towards really cleansing out that excess kapha energy. Otherwise, we can start to feel depressed, stagnant, heavier, dull, and the prana, the life force in our body starts to feel like it’s not circulating as much. You can see outside the sunlight’s coming. The buds are … there’s this coming, there’s this renewal energy.
Kimberly: So this is the season for incorporating more raw cleansing foods. This is the season for more salads and smoothies. If you are ever going to do a cleanse, an actual cleanse of a few days, this would be the season to do it. It could just be something simple like fruits and GGS smoothies, cutting out a lot of dense fats and, of course, processed foods for a few days. It’s just a way to just … that’s a kind of a cleanse, just to really cleanse your system. It’s the time to get back on a routine as well. So in winter, let’s say you got off a little bit and you started to feel more heavy and you were starting to reach for all different sorts of things, this is the time to dial it back in. Your sleep routine, going to bed at a certain time. Getting back on your GGS is a wonderful practice or a full morning routine. So stabilizing your whole dietary routine, your sleep routine, getting back on rhythm. Important part of spring is re-regulating.
Kimberly: Springtime is also, in Ayurveda, there’s this idea of creating more sukha or good space. So this means, again, opening up the pranic flow in your life. So this is why spring cleaning is something that people have always done very naturally, cleaning out clutter, cleaning out your closets, cleaning out your fridge and your cabinets, taking a look at your relationships and detoxing any … moving away from things that feel toxic or stagnant, cleaning up messes. Maybe there’s people you need to reach out to and clean up a mess, or a miscommunication, or an argument. Letting go of that resentment, heaviness. Letting it run through your life. Again, this isn’t just physical. It’s not about food, but the emotional component, our third cornerstone. Emotional well-being is really, really important here; and spiritually, just going back into more space, slowing down, even though it starts to feel like, “Oh, things are opening up again. There’s more to do now. We’re getting out of a pandemic,” but really still just keeping that nice, easy breath, and that easefulness and that flow so you have space for that pranic energy to move. You do have more space for spontaneity, whether it’s doing a little dance or going on a walk or run outside, not congesting your life with so much scheduling that it starts to feel stagnant.
Kimberly: Also, spring is a really great time for sweating and agni and fire. So this is a great time for sauna. I have this infrared blanket that I really love a lot, this higher dose blanket that I’ve been using that just helps to really cleanse your system. So I recommend something like that, or turning up the heat, going outside, doing a hike. Sweating is really great. Also, deep breathing practices, getting down into your lungs, into your belly and just cleansing your lungs are a powerful eliminative organ, so making sure do that as well. We have pranayamic practices that are part of our meditations, which you can check out over at our free Solluna app, if you’re called to that. Really wonderful.
Kimberly: And just eating lighter in general. This is not the season for comfort foods. This is the season for fiber, and whole foods, and fruits and salads. Again, not all raw, but incorporating some of that raw food, I think, is going to help you really maximize your energy. So try some of that, Isa, and incorporate that. I send you all my love and wishing you the best spring ever.
Question #4 around the topic of: Ayurvedic Practices for Spring
Kimberly: All right, last question comes from Lee, who lives in Utah and she writes, “How can I maximize the energy shift I feel heading into spring? I feel so much more alive and energized, but also a bit frustrated. Any tips from the perspective of Ayurveda?” So Lee, this is the perfect question to piggyback on what I was saying to Aiza. That frustration, that buildup may be from the stagnation of all this excess kapha, which accumulates in the winter. So any sort of cleansing, a few days of just very smoothie forward, dry brushing your body, sauna, anything that’s just going to help release out through your skin. Think about all the eliminative organs. So your skin, that dry brushing; your lungs, deep breathing. Your colon, take Detoxy every day for a week or two and just really start to clear out of your colon. Drinking, of course, a lot of water, a lot of herbal tea, a lot of tulsi. Then also really releasing anything emotionally and energetically. As I mentioned, journal. Clean up any drama. Take a look at your relationships. Tune in, meditate, and just sit with all of that as we head into spring. Anything that needs to be released and shifted, it’s such a great time to let it all go.
Kimberly: So all of these practices and just making that space, that time, that effort to look and let go. So allotting that time for spring cleaning, for decluttering your desk, decluttering your email, your computer. I mean, all of this letting go energy is so powerful to do right now. You do have this aliveness supporting you in the collective sense, the shedding of the old and the rebirth of the new. This is the energy that’s really represented by Shiva. So this aspect of the divine within yoga, within Hinduism. This Shiva image, you can look it up on your phone or Google it, but it’s this … I just got a Shiva recently from my desk, this Supreme self. This is what it represents; this beyond the layers and all the parts of our identity that we tend to fixate on. I’m this, I’m this.
Kimberly: Just shedding all that and getting down to the core, aligning with the light inside of you that is past all the so-called separation, the set waves. We feel separate from other people from ourselves and getting down to that truth comes from eating lighter, exercising, moving, processing feelings, letting go of oldness and connecting in meditation to that core self, to that beautiful spirit inside of you, and being okay as things start to let go. You start to realize you don’t need as much as you thought, and you start to continue to simplify your life. Simplicity is a big energy in Ayurveda, and this lifestyle and yogic lifestyle as well. Realizing we don’t need as much as we thought, maybe that we once thought we did. So that allows more space for breathing and stillness, and in stillness wisdom starts to come through and including the wisdom of how best to care for yourself and for others.
Kimberly: So I hope that you enjoyed some of this Ayurvedic talk. We will be speaking further about Ayurveda. Again, we’ve had so many completely Ayurvedic-focused conversations with Dr. Jay that I highly encourage you to go listen to those as well if you’re feeling inspired by some of this information. He, of course, is the master. He is my teacher. He is my go-to on all this information. He’s wonderful and I love to share him with you. So go check it out and thank you so much for being part of our community, for tuning into our podcast.
Thought of the Week
Kimberly: The quote of the week I want to leave you with is what I said earlier. I just really want to enforce this idea that as is the micro, so is the macro. Just remember that all the little micro things that you do affects the larger picture even within yourself. It affects your glow. It affects your energy. It affects your relationships. These small daily steps, the way that we approach self-care, daily routine, and in a larger sense, it affects your home life, your career. It affects your community life. It affects your neighbors and other people around and the collective. It affects everybody else in the planet and the world. So as is the micro, as is the macro. You are so important and your energy really affects everyone else.
Kimberly: So I send you so much love. I’m here to support you always. Please check out our other podcasts, the show notes over at mysolluna.com, and then also our free app, which is the Solluna by Kimberly Snyder app, over in the app store. It’s free to download. Then there’s also information about our Circle Membership, which is something I’m very passionate about. Our Solluna Circle is our online program with daily tips and support and meditations and little recipes and audio, and our monthly Zoom where we see each other every month. So if you feel called, please join our community. I love you so much. I’ll be back here on Monday for our next interview podcast. Until then, take care. So much love.