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 Coughs, Colds and Flu...Oh My!

Last year, we were fortunate enough to have Guru Ravi Kaur, who is a very talented and intuitive Ayurvedic practitioner teach a couple of courses to us on this subject of the ancient art of natural healing called Ayurveda. 
 In that course, she told us that winter is a season when “Vata” energies are prevalent.  And I vividly remember her telling us that we should not eat or drink anything cold because that could cause imbalances.  Sure enough, I found that just having a cold salad for lunch brought on a nasty cold just a few hours after I ate it. And that happened twice—the sum total of my colds last year.  Yikes!  I thought that I had learned my lesson. But this year, after putting just one crisp and juicy leaf of iceberg lettuce on my open-face sandwich—again within 3 hours I was sneezing and carrying on.  Now since that amazing cold has stayed around for so long, and because I hear of so many of you having the very same affliction, I asked Guru Ravi Kaur to let us know how we can both remain healthy and regain our health.  She sent me an incredible care package of her gentle but potent products, and they have cleared my cold so naturally in just two days!   You can bet that I will be consulting her on a routine basis from now on!  I felt that she would be such a benefit to our Soul Answer Tribe that I asked her to write this article for us. And I am happy to say that you can take her two information-packed recorded courses on Ayurveda, Medicine of the Yogis, Part 1 at , and the Second Part to that course at .  I highly recommend them and her fine advice below!  Her website it , and her facebook page is!Ayurveda .  And she is a wonderful contributor to our Soul Answer Tribe's Facebook page at .

 Lots of Love,

Siri-Gian Kaur

Vata Regulating Routine

To decrease vata it is important to nourish yourself with warmth, routine, and serenity. Some great ways to accomplish this is to arise at the same time each day and to eat your meals at the same time each day, Prepare your meals as if you are preparing food for a very special guest (you are! That special guest is you!) Create a beautiful presentation of your meal, let it be warm and nourishing, creamy and delicious. Vata Dosha loves that! Here are a few ways to incorporate more balance into your diet and routines.

Vata-Reducing Diet:

General Guidelines:
• Food that is naturally sweet, sour and salty in taste.
• Honey, Chayavanprash, Ghee. They calm Vata and act as immune boosters and natural antibiotics.
• Warm foods, both energetically and in temperature. Whole, freshly cooked foods.
• Kicheree (mung dahl), one pot meals, creamy warm foods, oatmeal with dates and almonds, and warm cow's or almond milk spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
• Warming spices like ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cumin, but not extremely hot spices like cayenne pepper.
• Plenty of room temperature or warm drinks. Yogi Tea and Golden Milk are especially balancing and calming for Vata. Golden Milk has the added benefit of relieving joint pain or Vata popping and cracking of the joints. It is also a natural antibiotic, very important during this season
• Dairy, as long as it is not cold and in small amounts. Avoid drinking milk with your meals. It is best to have it warm and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, at least an hour before or after other food.
• A generous amount of high-quality oils or ghee in your daily diet.
• Routine times for your meals.
• Eating your meal in a peaceful environment in an un rushed manner.
The following are not desirable for Vata Season or for Vata Dosha. To keep yourself healthy and going strong through the cold season please limit or avoid the following.
• Food that is bitter, astringent and pungent.
• Food that is cooling, both energetically and in temperature.
• Dry and light foods (ex. popcorn and crackers).
• Too much raw food, especially in the mornings and evenings (ex. salads, carrot sticks, raw fruit, and vegetable juices, etc.)
• Most beans.
• Cold or carbonated drinks.
• Caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants.
• Overeating or eating very heavy meals.
• Eating fresh fruit or drinking fruit juice within 1/2 hr of any other food.
Here are a few more ideas to keep Vata in check.

Vata Pacifying Herbal Remedies

Broad spectrum vata pacifying herbs include Triphala, Ashwagandha, Guggulu, and Shankapushpi. These herbs can all be taken daily as part of a vata pacifying regimen.
Aromatic Essential Oils play a big part in bringing the Dosha's into balance. Essential oils to calm Vata are Vetiver, Rose Geranium, Sandalwood, Patchouli and Vanilla. If the imbalance has become more pronounced or is present as Kapha Season approaches (late winter-early Spring) Essential Oils such as Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Orange, Sweet Marjoram and Juniperberry are more helpful.


General Guidelines:

• Life with calm awareness and a gentle pace.
• A regular, daily routine with regular times for eating, sleeping, working, etc.
• A daily 10-20 min. self-massage with 2-3 ounces warm sesame oil or more specifically Vata Dosha Calming Abyhanga Oils.
• A gentle exercise routine that includes a calm, stretch-focused form of yoga, walking, about five times per week.
• Keeping warm, no matter what the weather.
• Sweet, soothing music, smells, scenes and company. Vata Calming Incense
• Peaceful Sleep Foot Rub and Peaceful Sleep Spray to combat Vata induced insomnia.
• Drinking herbal teas with honey are also a wonderful way to soothe lungs and throat.
As Ayurveda is a Spiritual Medicine it also addresses the Soul. The ultimate goal of Ayurveda is to help you discover the innate intelligence inside each one of you through connection to Soul. Some of what I have noticed during the past few changes in Seasons is a more pronounced Doshic Imbalance but also a quicker recovery time. I have felt it was connected to the Shift we are all experiencing and I asked Siri Gian if I should sit and listen to what may be going on Spiritually. She said yes. Here is what I heard as I tuned in to Guru Nanak this morning.
"As you become stronger in this new age changes are occurring in the body and mind as well. Viruses will be treated differently by the body and mind. As you progress through the alterations take your herbs, get rest, meditate, spend time in nature and just notice this change occurring. Be content, eat well, and rest in the intelligence of the Soul
"As I heard this I began to notice my body does feel stronger and I am thinking back on the difference between now and a few years ago in how my mind and body are relating to the Doshas, Tattvas, and Gunas. It is a glorious time to be here, isn't it?
Finally just a few more ideas on moving through this present time in vibrant health, quickly healing any imbalance or symptom with simple herbs and practices.
Flu and Viruses
Neti Pot

Traditionally used for nasal congestion, sinus or allergy problems the Neti Pot is a miracle worker for those that have incorporated it into their daily routine of preventative treatments.  Most people experience less or no colds and less upper respiratory illnesses after consistent use. It is also cooling and soothing to the mind, relieves headaches and migraines, alleviates anger, anxiety and depression, and removes drowsiness. Must be followed with an application of Nasya to prevent over drying of the sinus cavity, which sets the stage for Sinusitis.

Nasya Oil

The nose is the doorway to the brain, mind and consciousness. Prana, life force, enters our bodies through the breath. Lubrication of the nasal passages with medicated oil provides subtle moisture to the air we breathe and affects the higher cerebral faculties and sensory organs. It promotes clarity of perception, intuition and stimulates memory. Nasya enhances cerebral circulation, restoring and balancing prana in the body. Prana is the subtle energy form of Vata Dosha.By taking just five minutes a day to incorporate this simple treatment into your daily Ayurvedic regime, you can enjoy the many healing benefits of Nasya. One drop in each ear will alleviate Vata Imbalance in the head and protect against inner ear infection.
Nasya is traditionally used in Ayurveda for sinus conditions and headaches, to promote clarity and balance prana. Useful for all doshas, it provides protection from the environment, helps decongest the nasal passages and soothes and nourishes the tissues.

Lavender Spray

Lavender Spray purifies the ambient air to protect you from virus' and bacteria. Rosemary & Lavender Spray and Breathe Easy Spray include the added benefit of  keeping lungs and throat healthy.

Chest Rub

Pure and natural essential oils to clear chest congestion and make breathing easier. Anti-viral, antibacterial, and bronchial relaxing. To keep chest and lungs functioning properly and clearly apply a few drops directly to congested area. You may also cover the area with a warm cloth to hasten therapeutic effects or use in a steam inhalation. Chest Rub is a special blend of eucalyptus, sandalwood, ginger, rosemary, pine, camphor, lavender, cinnamon leaf, peppermint and more.
Stay strong and well!
Guru Ravi Kaur MS, RYT, RMT is owner of Busy Day Go! Ayurveda, and an Ayurvedic Product Formulator/Nutritionist/Practitioner