Emotionally Distressed? A is for Ashoka for the Heart; Cooking with Divya; Spring DIY Detox News – your SV Ayurveda Newsletter May 14, 2020 – #18, Vol 10

Whatever you may want to call it, the “new normal” or the “new UN-normal,” bottomline: we are witnessing unprecedented times where we are called upon to make difficult decisions not only to safeguard what we own, who we are, what we stand for, but to survive in a world where all humanitarian minimal established norms and guidelines no longer hold sway. Wedding and celebratory events have been cancelled; the dead are left unburied or tossed into communal pits; death lurks at every corner with every breath we take; the future has never looked so dark and uncertain… How do you maintain mental and emotional clarity when everything you had known to be true and tested no longer holds true?! How are we to muster emotional strength to cope?
We know that chronic emotional dis-stress causes inflammation, and inflammation is at the source of any/all disease… But let’s digress for a moment shall we? Before trying to figure that one out! Here’s a beautiful story Vaidya once told us. It’s the story of a special tree. And a very evil man. Long long ago, once upon a time…..

Ashoka : the Story of a Bliss-Giving Tree 
 …There was a hard-hearted man who made his living by inflicting grief upon others and his environment: he robbed and killed for a living. His name was “sashoka” – “with grief” or “full of grief.” 
One day, he set out on his daily path, and came to a rishi’s hut. He walked straight in thinking to go about his usual criminal business. The rishi was in deep meditation and did not come out of his meditative trance. It was the very first time Sashoka was witnessing the sight of deep meditative trance. The rishi did not heed him at all and stood still glowing in his silent bliss. Sashoka stood there, intrigued, drawn by the peace surrounding the rishi.
When the rishi finally opened his eyes, Sashoka was a changed man. He said to the rishi: “I want to be at peace like you. Give me that peace that can liberate me from my mental torment, the memory of my sins, as well as my sins.”

 The rishi taught him how to meditate but cautioned him: “I do not have the power to get rid of your sins. However, keep meditating. In your next life, you will be reborn as a tree. You will be the tree under which Raavan will come to keep Sita hostage. Sita will be in deep grief, away from her beloved Ram. You will shelter Sita and help relieve her pain. When the monkey God Hanuman finally finds her and comes to give her the news of her imminent release from Raavan’s abduction, he will climb your branches, and through the contact of his body you will gain liberation from your sins. And then, you will be known as the tree “a-shoka:” the one without grief and that removes grief.”
This is the time-old story of the origin of the ashoka tree as told in the Bhavishya Puran.
But there are other beautiful stories about this powerful plant. In the vedic tradition, the ashoka tree is known as a powerful grief-reliever and bliss-giver. The shastras say that one of the arrows of kamdeva, the god of love, was made from ashoka flowers! Buddhists hold that the birth of the buddha happened under the ashoka tree in Lumbini. There is also a ritual in West Bengal that occurs in the Spring, when young girls and women dance around the tree to propitiate a fortunate love-life. 

The Ashoka tree is a divine bliss-giving tree. But did you know that science has found it to have proven properties, such as: analgesic; anti-bacterial; anti-diabetic; anti-cancer; anti-inflammatory; anti-menorrhagic; antioxidant; anti-ulcer; cardioprotective; antipyretic  - and so many more…. Furthermoe, recent scientific research has established a link between inflammatory conditions and depression, and it just so happens (!) that all the key ingredients that Ayurveda recommends for depression also happen to be great anti-inflammatory agents, and carry anti-inflammatory properties…
Vaidya Mishra taught us that the way to address emotional
imbalances is by working on inflammatory conditions arising out of pitta and pitta subdosha aggravations. For example, the bark of the Ashoka tree. As its name indicates, a-shoka, as in “no-grief ” or “un-grief ”- we know the potency of this plant in helping one handle emotional challenges, as the Sanskrit sutras teach us. But if you go in-depth, and look at the properties of Ashoka, you will find that it is highly astringent, that is: it alkalizes the cellular system, and has a deep anti-inflammatory action in the body.

Vaidya Mishra was very well versed in using Ashoka in so many different ways and through different delivery systems. However, he also always added rose petals with it, to create a synergistic vehicle to further support and magnify the healing and balancing properties of Ashoka. The aromatic principle of
rose petals, along with their similar cooling and soothing chemical properties further help support sadhak pitta and soothe the heart and body, calming the mind. Rose and Ashoka together help for a faster and deeper relief from grief and emotional upset. But he also added more. He used DGL, which is deglycerized licorice. Ample research lists the anti-inflammatory properties of licorice and its health benefits. But in SVA, we only use it as a deep pitta-pacifying ingredient for the heart, stomach, liver, and cellular system. One thing is crucial for your to keep in mind, and that is: the epicenter of
pitta is the stomach, and then the liver. So the health of the stomach and the liver support the health of sadhak pitta. This, in a nutshell, gives you the key to the food-mood secret. If you are eating high pH alkaline anti-inflammatory foods that are keeping your stomach and your liver balanced and cool and happy, then you will be able to overcome any/all emotional
challenges. We learn with Ayurveda not only the importance, but also what it means to have a holistic approach to a health issue, and how and why it needs to be addressed that way. Now in practical terms, here are some things you can do if you are experiencing some emotional ups and downs. Feeling blue? Here’s what you can do! Make sure you are eating good SVA food – preferably prepared with SVA Pitta Masala and pitta pacifying ingredients such as summer squashes, coconut, good healthy protein. Adding takra, or fresh buttermilk to your lunch specially as the weather warms up is a must. Do not skip or delay your meals to keep all pitta doshas in check. If your liver is hot, apply DGL on your liver every night before bed. But more than anything else, make sure to add Ashoka to your daily life and routine, because now you know all about the wonderful properties of this ancient plant as confirmed in the Sanskrit sutra-s. Stay safe, but most of all – be happy, no matter what comes your way…. You can do this!

Join Divya Alter & guests for a wonderful session

In our second session, we covered the basic type of toxins we have to deal with on a daily basis: ama. Dr Teitelbaum joined us for the call and we got to ask her so many burning questions. We had a wonderful time learning knowledge, sharing feedback, and embarking on our Spring Detox. We can do this! TOGETHER! Happy detoxing to all!

4 herbs for Mental Stress Relief
Ashwagandha: settles the mind and nervous system so we don’t overreact to high stress
Mandook Parni (Gotu Kola): nourishes and grounds the mind by regulating the activites of “dhi, dritti, smritti”
Aindi (Bacopa Monnieri): nurtures and supports the mind by cooling things down and grounding mental activity;
Jatamansi (Nardostachys): reputed antidote for mental stress.
3 squirts for transmucosal instant delivery. Silence the anxious mental chatter by supporting your nervous system with these 4 time-tested ingredients. These herbs also support more alertness and sharpness of mind. As Vaidya Mishra always said: learn how to surf the big waves, don’t dread them.

We had our final session on April 30, we covered specific formulations for SVA Marma Therapy and delved into additional related topics. It was a fabulous final live session, and we were all sad to conclude this portion of the course. We all look forward to when we will be able to get together for our practicum weekend and practice our newly acquired skills. Until then, we will be staying in touch via our virtual classroom and communicating via messenger.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at: info@prana-center.com, or call us: 1.818.709.1005

Calendar of Upcoming Events
looking for a live SVA event in your area or online?

Check out our Calendar page for upcoming courses and community events & for full contact and registration details:
Upcoming SVA events across the US & Canada :
  • April 17-19: SVA Marma Training & Certification at the Prana Center, Chatsworth – CA
  • April 24-26: SVA Marma at NAMA & Chandika.com booth – Boone, North Carolina
This event is being held on-line. There will be a SVA Marma presentation by Purnima Chaudhari.
  • May 7-June 4: SVA Spring Home-Detox – ONLINE – from the comfort of your own home!
a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips – thousands of articles and questions answered by Vaidya Mishra and his team of experts; and so much more…
home to Vaidya Mishra’s unique pranic exquisite formulations – with weekly specials and give-aways. Learn Ayurveda as you shop!