Is SV Ayurveda a Yoga?

The United Nations has declared June 21st “International Day of Yoga” – and out of the 193 member countries of the UN, 192 will be holding collective yoga sessions on that day. More than the gentle exercise of succeeding postures that result in overall physical and mental benefits for health, yoga is primarily the practice of union, as its Sanskrit root “yog” indicates. Union between what and what?

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the most famous sourcebook of yoga elaborates on the meaning of this “union.” The opening verse states:

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Yoga is: the cessation of the activity (vrtti) of the mind (citta). Yoga harnesses the mind for the purpose of re-establishing it in its-self, as the ensuing verse states:

 

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The idea of the observer (drastuh) turning the gaze to the “svarup” or one-self, one’s own self, is the essence of vedic teachings and can be found in all the sister vedic sciences, such as Ayurveda, and is particularly highlighted in Vaidya Mishra’s ayurvedic SVA lineage. There is not doubt about the health benefits of yoga. But nowhere is this more evident than in this favorite verse of Vaidya Mishra:

 

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This verse translates into: “Health results when the self is established in its-self.” All of SV Ayurveda is driven towards theScreenshot 2015-06-19 17.31.52 practical application of this yogic formula: re-turning the self towards the self, bringing ourselves back home to ourselves, re-uniting ourselves with ourselves. But what does this mean?

In practical SVA terms, Vaidya explains this as the union between the mind and the satwa, or the “light of the soul.” If we were to picture our souls, we would see them as self-effulgent gems reverberating with eternal light. The light aura that surrounds our souls carries powerful life-force, or prana. The mind can be in state of connectedness or disconnectedness with that light. When it is disconnected, it gets led astray by the senses and their objects. When it is connected to this light, and grounded by it, then its actions are life, health, and evolution supporting.

Vaidya Mishra’s SV Ayurveda is geared towards driving the self back to its-self through the full panoply of ayurvedic practices: herbs, diet, routine, marma therapy, transdermal applications, etc, because the disconnection of the mind from the satwa results in theScreenshot 2015-06-19 17.14.44 greatest ill-health, also known as: “pragyaparadh.” This can be roughly translated into the “greatest mistake of the intellect.”

The Charak Samhita, the sourcebook of Ayurveda, says: “dhi drithi smriti brahmsaha it pragyaparadha.” What is this “mistake” of the intellect? It is when “dhi dritti and smritti” or the “gathering, storing and recall of information” – primary tasks of the mind, are not working in harmony. When the mind is literally fighting against itself, then it is in a state of pragyaparadh, then an individual is unable to keep proper coordination between manas or thinking, vacha or speech, and karmana or action. Charak Samhita further says: “pragyaparadh tridosha prakopanam,” pragyaparadh unsettles all 3 doshas of the body, inducing certain dis-ease and illness. Disease has its root in the healthy functioning of the mind. The mind can only be healthy when it is in close harmony with itself, basking in the light of its own satwa!

When the mind is not established in its-self, or as Vaidya Mishra would say, in its own “satwa,” the light of its soul, then it gets carried away by the horses, the senses, and is in an unhealthy un-yogic state. When the mind is a-yogic, then it can be led astray into destructive activities that do not support the 3 pillars of life: a) diet or ahar; b) sleep or nidra; c) brahmacharya or life-supporting code of conduct, resulting in further pain and suffering.

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SV Ayurveda has many simple and quick yogic techniques to induce the state of yogic self-effulgent joyful peace, where the mind is connected to its own satwa and enjoys endless wave upon wave of bliss.

SVA Marma Massage, in particular the Samadhi Set, have been put together by Vaidya to give the immediate experience of this yogic experience through the science of marma touch, sound therapy, aromatherapy, as well as herbs. The Samadhi Set brings together 5 different modalities to draw the mind back in. The marma points that are selected – tala hridiya, kant, sthapani – are key points that support the mind’s re-turn upon its source, while simultaneously opening the heart lotus to allow its full light to reverberate to the mind. The wild-horses, or senses, are pacified, without having to force them violently. See the article on “Samadhi Set” on www.vaidyamishra.com/blog

Vaidya Mishra also teaches the special advanced technique of kurma pacification. The kurma is the energetic turtle that Screenshot 2015-06-19 17.29.02resides in the lower abdomen. It it the reservoir of soma. It is also the root of the lotus that blossoms in the heart.

In addition to the kurma and the heart lotus, Vaidya Mishra also talks at length about the “bramharandra” or the primary gateway of prana into our body, the thousand-holed pranic filter that is located at the top of heads, that lets in just enough cosmic pranic energy suited to each individual’s physiological needs.

The objective of all yogic practices is to induce more prana. Prana is what we all thrive on. A yogic settled state of silence bliss ushers in waves of pranic energy, grounding us in total mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

You can now let that peaceful joy unfold in your heart through Vaidya Mishra’s Samadhi Set, or one of his many other SVA modalities for enhanced yogic bliss and balance!

SVA Samadhi Marma

Ayurvedic Support for Daily Yogic Practice through the Transdermal Marma System

Experience the bliss of the Heart Lotus Blossom

What is Samadhi?
Samadhi is a Sanskrit word made up of two roots: sama + dhi. Sama means equally distribute, in equal proportions; and dhi refers to buddhi, or the intellect. Vaidya Mishra says: “ Samadhi is the balanced coordination between mano buddhi and satya/satwa buddhi, between the mind and the “ Light of the Soul”. The Vedic texts distinguish between “mano buddhi” or the logical aspect of the intellect that deals with day to day needs, and “satya buddhi” or the spiritual intellect. “Satya buddhi” is one of the six gunas or properties characterizing an individual’s “light of the soul”, or “satwa”. The Heart Lotus, is an energytic vibrational locus in the middle of the chest that houses the “satwa”.

It has 6 properties (gunas):
Buddhi (intellect)
Prayat na (effort)
Sukha (happiness)
Dukha (sorrow)
Iccha (desire)
Dwesha (aversion)

What are the primary factors that disturb samadhi?
Environmental disturbances of Prana (life-force) that affect the body’s own pranic health
Improper flow or circulation of Prana within the body in the micro and macro channels results in lack of communication between the different subtle bodies
Unresolved past grief and trauma shuts down the heart lotus resulting in lack of mind/body/heart coordination
Current mental stress distracts the mind from settling down and going inwards to experience finer levels of awareness and bliss.
The distracted nature of the “wild horses” (senses) that interfere with the mind’s communication with the “satwa” or the  “light of the soul” seated in the “ Heart Lotus”.

How does SVA support the experience of Samadhi?
The ancient sages of India who cognized the properties of herbs and spices characterized some as “divine,” because they created a balanced chemistry in the physiology attuning it for attaining more refined states of satwic consciousness. The samadhi set readies the physiology for deeper restful experiences by infusing it with calming, soothing and nurturing properties from divine ayurvedic herbs applied on marma points to enhance the flow of prana and support the experience of higher states of consciousness. When an individual experiences samadhi, or a state of ultimate restful awareness, chemical stressors cannot affect the body and cause it to degenerate. Vice versa: when the physiology is chemically balanced, the experience of higher states of consciousness is facilitated.

The Samadhi Set:
Consists of three herbalized creams that are applied on specific marma points (with the option to choose between Arjuna and Ashoka ) to support and enhance yogic experiences-coordinated functioning between mind, heart and soul.
Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna), supports the physical and emotional heart and gives strength to overcome emotional challenges;
Ashoka (Saraca Ashoka), supports the release of grief (from a-shoka- no shoka/grief).
Brahmi (Centella asiatica and/or Bacopa monnieri) : Brahmi coordinates between and strengthens dhi, dritti, and smritti, the different aspects of the intellect.
Tulsi (Ocimum or Basilicum sanctum) balances/enhance the coordination between the senses and the mano buddhi (mind).

What are Marmas?
Marma translates as “energy point”. There are a total of 107 points in one body (besides the spine). Marmas are specific points on the physiology where the physical and subtle body meet. They respond to the sense of touch. They are loci of Prana, the universal energy of Nature. Vaidya Mishra calls marma points “ switches” that turn on (or off) the flow of universal intelligence in the body, and thus support or repress life. Through the Marma System ™ we can address different stresses and imbalances in the physiology on various levels: physical, emotional, mental, vibrational. The Marma System ™ administers balancing energy on different levels simultaneously making it vary safe, powerful and effective.

How does it work?
There are five levels:

  1. Vibrational sound therapy – as we apply the cream on a marma point we silently repeat a sound cluster (mantra) that targets specific levels or organs.
  2. Transdermal delivery ( herbal delivery through the skin) – herbs are micro-molecules and upon application on the skin they cross the blood barrier and are delivered to specific locations;
  3. Marma energetics – the creams are applied on specific energetic (marma) points on the body that are connected to specific locations;
  4. Aroma therapy- the creams are formulated with specific flower and herbal scents that will help pacify the mind and soothe the emotions;
  5. Touch therapy – as an integral part of the Transdermal Marma System ™ (TMS ™), these creams are applied on specific marmas before any yogic or spiritual practice. Touching the prana in that marma point, cleansing the marma point of any vibrational clogging that might be causing an imbalance.

How to do it – three simple steps in less than 5 minutes:

Close your eyes and breathe gently and as deeply as possible during the following steps:

  • Apply a small amount of Arjuna or Ashoka cream on the center of your palms and soles of the feet if possible ( Talahridiya marma). Lightly touch the marma with your ring finger and turn clockwise 7-21 times in circles slightly larger than the size of a quarter. Now, use your left thumb to press lightly on the point for 10-15 seconds. Repeat the entire process on the opposite hand and foot. 600_Samadhi_Transparent_Arjuna_SuperSport__81392.1405388964.1280.1280
  • Apply brahmi cream just below the wrist bone on the pulse area. Lightly go back and forth with your ring finger, covering the area of two inches for 15-20 seconds or so. Then lightly hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the left wrist.
  • Apply tulsi cream on Staphani marma (point between eyebrows). Circles must be very light with no pressure. Do 7, 14, or 21 times, then hold the finger on that point gently for about 10-15 seconds. now apply tulsi on center of the throat notch at the base of the throat (Kanta Marma). Circle 7-21 times very lightly for about 10-15 seconds.
  • Rest with eyes closed for a few minutes and breathe deeply but gently in. Proceed to your yogic practice – this also constitutes a calming yogic practice and can be done on its own, morning or evening.

Holiday Health Hazards and How to Avert Them – with SVA Tips, Recipes, and much more!

 

Let’s face it – the holidays can be mentally and emotionally stressful! In addition to our ongoing daily professional or familial obligations, we may find ourselves carried away by the whirlwind of back-to-back parties; endless shopping lists; painfully crowded malls and supermarkets; under-the-gun baking, cleaning and entertaining; family obligations and traditions that may involve challenging emotional settings. So it’s very easy to lose sight of ourselves and get caught in dizzying activity, compromising our own health. By the time it’s finally time to celebrate, you’re probably already exhausted having tried to make things perfect for everybody, but your diet is off, your can’t seem to get a full night’s sleep, and you are mentally tense, emotionally fragile – in a word: you’re a wreck! True, you may not be able to change how things are going to unfold and how stressful they are going to be, but you can manage how you are going to go through and respond to the stress.

 

Do you know what happens in your body when you get stressed? Your brain and body release specific chemical toxins, such as cortisol, that create metabolic imbalances that trigger inflammatory conditions. Stress compromises your body’s acid-alkaline balance, bringing down your immunity and making you prone to ill-health, weight-gain, depression, and more. Did you know that you can correct your body’s response to stress? This involves more than a mind-over-matter trick – when stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup no matter what you tell yourself to do. However, with Ayurveda, and specifically SV Ayurveda, we learn that there are herbs and ingredients that can naturally boost our bliss, or “correct” our behavior by increasing the “happy chemicals” in our brain: serotonin; dopamine; endorphins. With Ayurveda, you can also help curb those undue holiday errings of the senses: the overeating; the hang-overs; unruly sleep, etc.

How can SV Ayurveda help us address the typical holiday hazards?

Emotionally Down?: it’s unsettling how holidays can magnify pain. They will highlight everything that may have recently changed in your lives — a divorce, a death in the family, estranged family members, etc. If you are missing someone special this holiday season, if someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, first thing is to tell yourself it’s ok to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry and express your feelings, to give yourself the space to work through your emotions instead of suppressing them. You should not force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season! But do not dwell on the sadness longer than you need to. Acknowledge it and release it. But isn’t that the tricky part?! How do you release sadness?

If you are feeling sad it means your sadhak pitta is off and needs to be balanced. You can  cool off and balance your sadhak pitta by eating seasonal sweet juicy fruits – apples and pears are great this time of year. In addition, add more protein your diet, cooked with a nice pitta pacifying masala.

Herb-wise, add Ashoka Transdermal cream or roll-on your tala-hridiya  marma points. You can also do the full Samadhi Set protocol 3-5 times a day.

Add Ashoka and Brahmi Nectar drops: 3 drops of each to a glass of water.

Drink “Bliss and Bliss tea”

Drink “Vaidya’s Cup!” Treat yourself with Chyawanprash, – it’s the best tridoshic dessert you can have and 1 tsp will be worth 10 slices of cake or 5 chocolate bars!

 

Listen to or chant the Heart Lotus Mantra.

Don’t skip or delay meals.

Use pitta masala. Use the soothing aroma essential oils of Rose, Neroli, Jasmine, and Sandalwood.

Add the non-alcoholic Celebration Nectar Drops to your celebrations! Formulated by Vaidya Mishra 3 years ago, the nectar drop “celebration drink” is a hit with SVA clients. You can add 5-10 drops to your glass of water during lunch or dinner.

Top of your meals with a cup of “Vaidya’s Cup.” You will be surprised by the shift in your mood. “Vaidya’s Cup” will boost the serotonin and the dopamine to enhance your bliss. You can have 3-5 cups a day.

Mentally stressed and Physical Drained? During the holiday season, obligations and errands run us down. Due to mental and physical over-activity prana and vyana vata go out of balance, leaving us feeling frazzled, unable to settle down, and constantly haunted by the feeling of “always more to do!”

Take a breather: literally take a few minutes to step out of a scene to sit down and breath. Do a quick alternate nostril pranayam exercise to regulate the flow of prana and keep things even in your Ida and Pingala channels. Clear your mind and restore inner calm by shifting your thoughts to the big picture.

If you are caught in the middle of frenzy, spray 4-5 squirts of Stress-Free Spray, breath, and relax. This water base formulations has been helping countless individuals since Vaidya Mishra launched it this year.

Drink Soma Nidra Tea: this rich blend will calm your mind and sooth your sadhak pitta as well.  

Apply Soma Nidra Roll-on on your wrists, cervical area, and inhale the aroma.

At night, before the big day, or after the party is over, take a bath with the SVA “Relax and Detox Bath Pouches.”

Do a self-mssage with Vata Oil with Vit D and Magnesium – alternately you can treat yourself to a massage parlor, take your oil with you and ask them to use it on you for a richer relaxing experience.

Add Mucuna capsules to your dietary regimen (For Him for men, For Her for women)

Reclaim your vibrant energy with Chyawanprash: 1 tsp morning before or after breakfast, and 1 tsp after lunch daily.

Try to do at least 10-15 minutes of yoga or a brisk walk daily.  

Could not Stop Eating? Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all by abandoning your healthy habits, knowing full well that overindulging will only add to your stress and guilt. But it’s easier said than done, right? Here’s the trick: by consuming food that contains all 6 tastes – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent, you maximize your chance of not getting carried away by temptation. Food that carries all 6 tastes helps us maintain psychological and mental balance – Ayurveda is very clear on this. But science also finds that chilies or the pungent taste, for example, release the endorphins already present in our brains; cumin, which is astringent, releases serotonin; black pepper increases oxygenation calming us down and taking away anxiety. When you eat a meal that contains all 6 possible tastes, the coordination between your stomach, brain, and heart is optimal, minimizing your craving for sweets or larger portions. This means that your pitta dosha stays cool and composed, then your emotions don’t go off. Meals that contain all 6 tastes are tridoshic. Eating all 6 tastes in each meal will help you not abandon healthy habits when you need them most.

No time to cook? Sprinkle Mum’s Masala on your meal – it’s balanced and tridoshic and delicious, giving you all possible 6 tastes.

Add chutneys to your meals – cilantro chutney and/or the Tamarind and Amla preserve, which will give you satiation by enhancing digestion and absorption of food.

In case you overeat and feel bloated, try the Pro-Pachak drops  – 5 drops in a glass of 8oz of water. Drink this after lunch and dinner to support digestion and absorption.

Make and carry a mixture of dry toasted 80% fennel seeds and 20 % ajwain seeds. Chew 1/2 tsp after each meal.

Overdosed on Sugar?: during the holidays it is inevitable not to overdose on sugar. It may be that one time of the time where we allow ourselves to go for it! And it’s great to reward ourselves from time to time… But here’s what you can do to help metabolize that sugar you ate so that after the holidays your immunity is not compromised, and in order to avoid sugar-induced fatigue and post-celebratory depression:

make a tea with 16oz water: add 2 pinches of Gymnema, 2 pinches Indian kino, 2 pinches of Jamun seeds, a tiny cinnamon stick, boil 5-10 minutes, filter and sip. This tea will enhance your sugar metabolism, by converting the sugar molecules into energy.

*Caution: don’t drink this tea if you have not eaten sugar (or consumed carbs), because it will otherwise drive your blood glucose levels low. Do not drink this tea before eating sweets, only AFTER eating sweets, otherwise you will not enjoy the sweet taste.

Can’t Sleep? When our days are overly active, prana vata goes high, and it becomes hard for the mind to unwind and settles down at the end of the day, unable to induce deep restorative sleep. What can help?

Massage with warm Vata oil with Vit D and Magnesium will help balance all of vata dosha.

Take a warm bath with the  “Relax and Detox Bath Pouches,”

Have a cup of Soma Nidra tea, or use the Soma Nidra oral spray, and Soma Nidra roll-on on the back of the neck and the shoulders.

Go to bed with “happy thoughts” – if your day was a mixed bag of events, let go of the ill-fitted episodes, as they were inevitable anyways, and linger on the brighter moments. You will be surprised to see how a conscious choice to prefer the positive over the negative will shift your mood and ease in blissful sleep.

In the end, holidays may be more stressful than fun, but the good thing is it’s predictable! You know it is going to happen, you see it coming, but also when it’s going to end, so you can do something about it. This year,you can be pro-active about it, and with SVA, you have a wide array of ayurvedic tips and stress-survival strategies, along with calming and mood-brightening formulations and recipes.

Happy Holidays!