This year has taught us that health is one of the most precious things we can have...Ayurveda, Yoga & good Nutrition are key elements for a strong immune system.
Begin wrapping up this year at the Winter Solstice on December 21st. Eat light on this day, meditate on surrendering to the darkness. Set an intention on what you would like to germinate for the coming winter months. Give strength to the growth and the power of this year by moving forward with a vision.
Ten Ayurvedic principles underlying a wholesome diet and intake according to Caraka Samhita.
Fall is a perfect time to cleanse, reboot and revitalize body, mind and spirit. In fact, when done at the fall equinox folklore says it will keep you from getting sick the following season. Prepare for fall by releasing the heat of the summer.
The Fall Equinox this year falls on September 22nd. This easy -to-follow Fall Equinox Juice Fast is a full body tune-up in just 24 hours (see below.)
Equinoxes are moments in time when day and night are equal. They measure fullness and balance in nature. Honor this moment as a time to balance. We are beings conjoined with nature, not separate from it. Now is the time to acknowledge in ourselves what is plentiful and ready to harvest just like in our gardens.
6:30 am - 8:00 am - warm water and lemon; gentle stretching; meditation
9:00 am – 10:00 am - High C Drink
2 Large Carrots
1 Turmeric Root
10:00 – 11:00 - Drink Herbal Tea and Water, Apply Sesame or Almond Oil to Skin, Warm Water and Salt Netti Pot (add a drop of oil), Begin Decluttering Home and Car.
11:00 – 12:00 - High Sun Detox Juice
1 Medium Red Beet
1 Large Green Apple
1 Cup Kale Leaves
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm - Green Juice
2 Cups spinach
3 Leaves Yellow Beet Greens
2 Large Celery Sticks
½ Cucumber Peeled
1 Cup Green Grapes
1 Inch Fresh Ginger
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm - More Green Juice
2 Celery sticks
3 Leaves Kale
1 Cup Parsley
1 Green Apple
1 Inch Fresh Ginger
1 Peeled Lemon
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm - Drink Herbal Tea and Water
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm - Happy Hour Seasonal Shift Juice
2 Cups Butternut Squash
2 Apples or Pears
Dash of Cinnamon and Nutmeg
This juice is wonderful served warm
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm - Vegetable Stock
Use trimmings from veggies and boil in 3 cups of water for mineral broth to sip on
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm - Herbal Tea, Warm Almond Milk with Cardamom, or Water
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm - Gentle Stretching, 20 Squats, Focused Breathing. Brush Teeth, Floss and Oil Pull for 10 to 15 minutes, Shut Down ALL Electronic Devices, Journal or Read.
10:00 – 11:00 - Bedtime
GIVE THANKS FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED.
Ojas is a Sanskrit word in Ayurveda which means the state of one’s immune system. Your physical health is a product of ojas.
Ojas permeates the whole body and is infused with life force and radiance. It creates stability in the heart and the brain which allows for calm and poise in an individual. A person with strong ojas is resistant to disease. Ojas gives lustre and strength to the body. It is shiny, sweet, and slightly yellow in color.
Now more than ever we need to be responsible for maintaining our own healthy immune systems. In this article I will offer techniques to build Ojas by using its beautiful essence of yellow color in your life. Below is a list of several foods with deep yellow colors that contain phytonutrients. These are essential to keeping the plant alive by protecting from insects, fungi, and the sun.
(Clarified butter), revered as one of the most precious oils in Ayurveda, a tonic slightly golden yellow in color it is known to help build ojas with healthy fats in the form of omega-3’s or 6’s, it is lactose free and helps keep our joints lubricated, skin and hair lustrous, insulate our bodies, provide protection for our internal organs, power our brains, lower cholesterol and prevent acute and chronic disease.
Loaded with vitamin A, B6, C, folate, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium it has ample amounts of calcium, iron, and beta-carotene.
During summer when the body loses water and vital electrolytes through sweating these are an excellent way to hydrate. This sweet pepper is drenched in vitamin C.
Botanically considered a berry. Bananas are a rich source of carbs, high in fiber and starchy pectin which makes it great for cultivating gut health. Be careful not to eat too much as banana’s are high in fructose and therefore high in calories.
Give flavor to baked goods, sauces, salad dressings, marinades, drinks, and desserts with lemons. They are also a good source of Vitamin C which is essential for health. The early explorers knew this and took lemons on their long voyages to help prevent or treat scurvy, a life-threatening condition that was common among sailors.
These flowers are more than a stubborn weed that grows in your yard. This blood purifier is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The flower itself opens with the morning sun and closes in the afternoon. The dandelion flower is full of polyphenols which are micronutrients that improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases. Put a few flowers in hot water with golden honey for a healthy blood tonic.
This blend of turmeric, honey, ghee, cinnamon, and warm milk (vegans can use almond milk) strengthens the immune system by reducing inflammation, preventing cell damage, improving mood, supporting brain function, and preventing heart disease. It also reduces the risk of cancer and lowers blood sugar levels.
Another way to boost Ojas is to strengthen your 3rd chakra. Chakra means wheel in Sanskrit. This wheel can spin at a rate that is harmonious with the health (ojas) of a person or it can spin out of control wreaking havoc on the body. Strengthening can be done with yellow sapphire, gold jewelry and pastel yellow clothing or gaze upon a yellow flame for meditation. The 3rd chakra is where we draw our will-force from and is considered our power center. It also harbors the health and strength of our pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and small intestine. Our power center dictates our mood, our self-esteem our self-discipline and our instinct. It also is what gives warmth to our personality.
Lastly, I want to impress the importance of yellow Sunshine. When natural sunlight hits the skin, it triggers the body's production of vitamin D aka the “Sunshine Vitamin”. It is a crucial ingredient for overall health; protects against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps muscles, improves brain function. Sunshine reduces depression by increasing serotonin and bathing in the sun in the morning hours is best.
There is so much more to share about yellow, gold, and ojas. For now, my hope is to strike your curiosity about what it means to have a strong immune system and that every time you reach for yellow or gold your intention is strength, stability and Ojas. The point is we must seek to be aware of the strength of our immune system. You can bet that if your angry, tired, malnourished, dehydrated, feel anxious and unloved your immune system is low. On the flip side if you feel joyous and grateful, shiny, and bright with stamina, calm, radiance, and light you are blessed with health and a strong immune system.
Blessings on your yellow journey!
Karen Barbarick-Collins is a Certified Ayurvedic Technician and Wellness Coach as well as a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. She is the founder of Bending Blade Healing Arts.