We sit down with Laura Plumb, international teacher of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Jyotish, for a Q & A on how to cultivate digestion.
Have you been wanting to learn more about Ayurveda and looking for a book to get you started? A book that provides an informative overview while having a practical element. Focused on the aspect of Ayurveda in which an individual can participate in their own well-being? With a vast holistic medical system like Ayurveda, finding an introductory book can be challenging. This 5,000-year-old time-tested science encompasses a wide range of knowledge. From prevention-based practices for the general public to disease management that is geared towards medical professionals. For someone new to Ayurveda, the search for a personally relevant book can feel overwhelming.
We recently chit-chatted with Jeremy Frindel, director of the 2012 documentary, One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das about his new film, The Doctor From India. A poetic documentary about the pioneering work of Ayurveda Physician and Educator, Dr. Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc. Frindel’s immersive portrait shares Dr. Lad’s journey in bringing Ayurveda, a holistic-based healthcare system, to the United States in the late 1970’s. Documenting Dr. Lad’s life from childhood to present day, the film includes interviews with Deepak Chopra and longtime friend, Ayurveda physician Dr. Robert E. Savboda. Frindel’s meditative documentary brings new light to Ayurveda and captures the accomplishments of a doctor and healer with a humanitarian spirit. In Conversation with Director, Jeremy Frindel on his second documentary, The Doctor From India Rumin Jehangir (RJ): Hi, Jeremy. I am so excited to be talking with you today. Thanks for taking the time. I thought we could just jump right into the questions. I’d love to hear how this film came about. How were you introduced to Dr. Lad, were you a student of Ayuverda? Jeremy Frindel(JF): I knew pretty much …
I love the end of the year because it provides a benchmark for the progress we’ve made during the past 12 months and reignites our motivation to set new goals for the upcoming year. One of the things that have always frustrated me once I’ve created new intentions has been the lack of discussion around how resolutions are going once January passes. Nobody talks about how they are doing with their intended goals in April or what changes they needed to make, if any, in the middle of the summer. This idea of self-improvement and the spirit of personal growth that comes with the beginning of a new year stays stuck there, at the start of the year. My best guess as to why this occurs has to do with people either setting unrealistic expectations of themselves or not properly mapping out how they will reach their goal(s), both which lead to messy approaches and disappointing outcomes. After accomplishing my one New Year’s Resolution that I had set out for myself in 2015-to meditate every …
In a couple weeks, here in the U.S., it will we will be time for the Fall Harvest Feast. A holiday that brings people together to share a meal, laugh, and reconnect with loved ones. It’s also a time to recognize and be grateful for all the gifts we have in our lives. While it can be a joyous day, it can also be one of overindulgence. A day in which we tend to please our emotions and often tune out the needs of our body. Transforming active, joyous energy to lethargy. How do we walk away from the table feeling mentally and emotionally happy while our body still feels energetic? With room to digest the nourishment it just received. One practice is connecting the mind and the emotions with the body through actively engaging the five senses. Using our senses to direct our mind and emotions towards love and appreciation. If we do this prior to taking the first bite, it can help bring us into the moment. Focusing our attention towards the gift of a meal and helping to prevent mindless eating. The practice also helps prepares …
Who isn’t talking about meditation these days? People in every corner of the globe are realizing its benefits. Naturally, when any ancient practice gains wide popularity, it becomes accessible in a vacuum. Most learn bits and pieces of sacred knowledge without proper context. The meaning and purpose behind it eventually lose significance. Sometimes, the application and method turn into something so far from its roots that a danger develops of creating adverse effects. A good example of this is Ashtanga Yoga or Patanjali’s 8-Limb Path. There is a practical and functional purpose to the progressive stages of this path-Yama (Social Code), Niyama (Personal Code), Asana (Postures), Pranayama (Breathing Exercises), Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses), Dharana (Concentration), Dhyana (Meditation), and Samadhi (Self-Realization). Meditation comes in the latter part of our internal work towards self-realization because we first have to prepare the mind with the former stages. Yet, how many people do you know who are putting in an equal effort with the Yamas and Niyamas, as they are in perfecting their Asana poses?
Imagine living with less fear, regrets, anxiety, jealousy, greed, and anger. Imagine instead living with more compassion, self-acceptance, understanding, selflessness, and peace. Does it sound like a dream? Does it sound like an impossibility that sounds great in theory, but can never become a reality? I am here to tell you that it is absolutely possible. In fact, many people now, in the past, and in the future, have lived and will live this way. All of our problems start in the mind. We cannot always control what happens to us. We know that all too well from our life experiences. Over the years we all create default settings in ourselves. So, when our ego feels attacked or we feel judged, our go-to responses are defensiveness and self-protection. You can change your default settings to something else, something more nourishing and evolving. How? Meditation.
TURMERIC. I know its good for me, but I still resist. Even with its long list of benefits. You know the ones I’m talk about—anti-cancer, inflammatory, the anti-everything spice. All the cool kids are talking about it now. Turmeric is the amazing spice we need to embrace. And we do! Ancient Vedic text dating at least 5000 years ago spoke highly of this golden spice. Turmeric is golden. Yay! No, seriously, yay yay yay!
A month ago, I took a wonderful Lebanese bread-making class with Reem Assil at the Arab Cultural Center in San Francisco to learn more about the food and spices of Lebanon.
As the weather begins to transition from winter to spring, cold to warmer, wet to wetter, maintaining a healthy balance can be challenging. The unpredictable changes in temperature are common during the Kapha season resulting in a cold, the flu or just feeling sluggish. There are many things we can do to help us during this time like increase our vitamin C intake, take shots of echinacea, oregano oil, and many more.