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Monday, October 29, 2018

Prevent Dehydration - The Ayurvedic Way



NOTE: This article is not about the benefits of drinking water. 
Read on to understand your body's signals, what kind of water you need to be drinking to quench the thirst of a dehydrated body and a short story about me and water. :) 


One of the key channels (srota) that regulate the water transportation in our body is called the Ambuvaha Srotas in Ayurvedic Medicine. 

"Ambuvaha (uddakavaha) srotas: its chief organs are talu (palate) and kloma (pancreas), it gets vitiated by ama, fear, excess of alcoholic drinks, dry foods, suppression of thirst etc. Severe thirst, dryness of the mouth, ringing of the ears and unconsciousness are signs of its vitiation, treatment for these is the same as that of trishna (thirst)." (1)

The channel itself doesn't correspond to a system but shares a functional integrity with the food processing channels. Dr. Vasant Lad explains it as "the mucous lining of the large intestine is the Water carrying channel, whereas the GI tract itself is the digestive process channel." So there is a connection to their functional integrity. 

The water carrying channel also corresponds to the very vital physiological function of the body: the fluid and electrolyte balance, for which the Pancreas plays a major role for its endocrine aspect that helps produce insulin from the food / water we eat/drink. 

Dehydration is known as a key disorder of this water carrying channel, which can be caused by excessive fluid loss (#hotyogis take note) or having dry mouth and feeling thirsty - pay strict attention that these are all signals of the body being dehydrated. 

A recent article in Medical News Today, shared that the top 3 general causes of dehydration seen are:
1. Diarrhea and Vomiting most common with children. 
2. Sweating especially as the hotter season approaches for adults. 
3. Patients of Diabetes 

In Western medicine the most common symptoms and progressions of dehydration are: 
Dry mouth, dry eyes, lack of sweating, yellow colored urine, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, confusion, dizziness, and eventually coma and death (in the case of diabetics or alcohol related). 

The Ayurvedic system understands it as "due to evaporation of saumya (watery) dhatus (tissues), causing trishna (thirst) leads on to dizziness, causing increased tremors all over the body, feeling of increased heat, burning sensation and delusion. General features of dehydration are dryness of the mouth, non-contentment by drinking water, aversion to food, feeble voice, roughness of the throat, lips and tongue...disorderliness of the mind." (2)

So what all this means is that feeling thirsty, should not be taken lightly. By the time the body is feeling thirsty it is already dehydrated and some unwelcome but really common and overlooked symptoms are:

1. Sluggishness
2. Feeling Foggy headed
3. Headaches and
4. Acidic feeling in the body

My personal story with dehydration has been quite a source of reflection for all the problems I faced and the transformations I have experienced in my current life. 

I spent the first 13 years of my life in South East Asia, where I grew up drinking fresh coconut water and home made digestive spiced drinks. My family always had to force water down my throat since I found it boring to drink since very young and lead a very active lifestyle with summers being very hot. As we migrated to Australia fresh coconuts or spiced drinks were no longer a regular thing but I found a liking to spiced chai and homemade Lassis but I wasn't as active as before. While I never developed a liking for take away or soft drinks, water was still not a favorite until very hot weather hit Sydney. 

Fifteen years later when I started earning and paying for my own drinks, I always opted to pay for a potent beverage, and it wouldn't feel satisfying to have paid for a pot of herbal tea or the room temperature mineral water. Especially when everyone else ordered something sparkling or alcoholic. 

Mind you, it was partly my naivety and the social me, that would try to keep up with the rest and end up feeling like crap afterwards for not knowing how to care for myself. A few more years later, frequenting pubs and restaurants became quite a regular thing and I never wanted to pay for water, or a warm tea when out (since I could have just stayed home for that!). Unfortunately I just didn't have the awareness nor the understanding of my personal behaviors in how they were contributing to signs like: Waking up regularly with a dull headache, or feeling lazy first thing in the mornings, and being really emotionally reactive in life. 

Funniest thing is I honestly thought that I was living a balanced lifestyle since I was doing a bit of everything in life - but you know, it takes these experiences to learn from and only in 2015 I had a chance to become aware of my personal health. When I reflected, I tracked that every month I had experienced water retention and slight weight gain during the pre-menstrual days but before this, all my friends and a lot of women I knew would just accept these symptoms as PMS and close the book. I also tracked that my lack of desire to drink water was because I found it difficult to retain water so I would drink only minimally since, everytime I would drink I would go immediately and I would find it annoying- so unconsciously I was avoiding drinking water. 

So as part of my healing, I got on some herbs, made changes to my diet, mindset, lifestyle and revised my personal values. Slowly the monthly symptoms of water retention and not wanting to drink water passed. 

One of the unsuspecting patterns that I had also adopted while constantly being slightly tired was that I ate a lot of foods that were high in sugar or would give me an immediate energy boost. This over time would have lead me to Diabetes, because of the jumps in my blood glucose levels. Mind you I also have family history of Diabetes and various types of Cancer to be concerned for. 

I thought I was eating "healthy" energizing foods because I was eating fruits!!! You already know about my story though on how I overcame the low iron issue on this blog.  

Along my life and Ayurveda journey I have met many women that talk of drinking liters of water and still have dry skin, feel tired and thirsty. The tiredness is coming from the lack of hydration and drinking the wrong water (yes that's right) is as good as not drinking water when things are so dire. 

You see by the time our body tells us we are thirsty, is is already dehydrated. And if we have attempted to hydrate (with the wrong water or sources of sustenance) but still feel thirsty, it can be a sign that the body needs hydrating on a cellular level. 

So Ayurveda recommends the following:

Instead of drinking normal temperature water, boil the water to make it sharper and more penetrating. 
By making it sharper and warmer, it can enter the tissues that normal or cold water cannot.

Try this Ayurvedic Cleansing Water:

Bring two cups of water to boil in a stainless steel pan (do not use aluminium), let the water boil for 2-4 minutes, then add the following:
1/2 t. whole coriander seeds,1/2 t. whole fennel and let steep two 1” slices of fresh ginger root



Let the tea sit for 10 minutes with the spices releasing their herbal properties into the water. Then strain out the spices to store inside a thermos / flask to sip throughout the day. 

This recipe is to quench thirst, aids in digestion and removes impurities from the body's micro channels that cold water cannot reach. 

For better results you can drink 1 glass every morning on an empty stomach daily to see the usual fogginess, headaches or indigestion reduce. 


I have a question for you:

What is 1 of your single biggest challenge when it comes to keeping hydrated?
Please comment below this article and share your story.



**********************************

1. KR Srikantha Murthy tr. Asthanga Sangraha Sharirasthan Ch 6 quoted from Ashtanga Hridayam Chowkhambha Krishnadas Academy Vol 1 p 403 footnote

2. KR Srikantha Murthy tr. Ashtanga Hridayam Nidanasthanam ch V v 46-49 Chowkhambha Krishnadas Academy, Varanasi


Monday, October 8, 2018

9 Easy Detox Tips for Spring

Hello Spring! 

Or is it hello hay-fever, congestion and feeling sluggish for you? 

Spring is a season of birth, new beginnings, renewal, and growth, a time for the earth to make manifest the latent potential within all things. Seeds are germinating, flowers budding, insects buzzing, leaves unfurling. And despite our growing separation from the natural world, we are deeply affected by this gentle stirring around us. Our physiology senses a natural opportunity for a fresh, clean start; our bodies are primed to lighten things up, cleanse ourselves of any accumulated imbalances, and rejuvenate our deepest tissues.

As the natural world emerges from its long winter slumber, it is common to experience a renewed sense of joy and inspiration. But for many, the spring season is also associated with:
- Colds,
- Congestion,
- Hay fever, and
- Allergies

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE THAT STRUGGLES IN SPRING?

In Ayurveda, Spring is governed by the Kapha dosha, which is one of three Ayurvedic Doshas and it has the qualities of being heavy, dense, wet and cool. As these qualities are naturally increasing during this month in nature, they are also increasing in your mind and body. When Kapha is in balance it provides strength and stamina, immunity, peace, love, generosity, and good memory; it lubricates the joints, as well as provides sufficient mucous to protect the mucous membranes of the sinuses, lungs and stomach.

When Kapha is out of balance, you might feel sleepy, mentally dull or depressed; you may have limbs that feel heavy, sluggish digestion, colds and flus or feel puffy due to fluid retention. One of the most common conditions experienced in spring is the excess production of phlegm and mucous. Sinusitis, asthma, lung conditions, hay fever and allergies are all aggravated and prominent during this month.

As spring is the natural cleansing season, it is best to utilise this energy to clear out excess Ama / toxins and accumulated Kapha to avoid the undesirable conditions mentioned above. So what can we do to support the body’s natural process of detoxification at this time of year?

Here are 9 tips on how you can gently help the body's detoxification at home:

1. Avoid heavy food since they will aggravate allergies, water retention and sluggishness. This includes all dairy, wheat, yeasted breads, meat, refined and processed food, left overs, canned food, baked goods, refined sugar and oily food.



2. Meals should be light, warm and simple – lightly cooked vegetables, grains and legumes cooked in small amounts of ghee or coconut oil.



3. Eat bitter greens such as kale, rocket, spinach, mustard greens, nettle and dandelion leaf as these stimulate the release of digestive enzymes and enhance liver function to support detoxification.



4. Include pungent, warming and drying spices such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, cumin, fennel. The qualities of these spices break up Ama and help to combat the mucous forming aspects of Kapha. 



5. Increase grains such as barley, quinoa, basmati rice and millet.

6. Avoid ice-cold food and drinks. Drink plenty of room temperature or warm water and sip on warming herbal teas such as ginger, fennel and cumin throughout the day.

7. Enjoy exercise outdoors, daily Yoga such as the Sun salutations sequence and preform exercise vigorously enough to get your heart racing and sweat beading. If possible have steams or saunas. If you can, take a hot bath with Epsom salt a few times per week. Sweating is important as it stimulates the lymphatic system and opens all the minute channels in the body so the toxins can be eliminated easier.


8. Begin each day with a cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. This will help kick start your metabolism to burn fat and start the cleansing process.

9. Avoid alcohol, coffee, cigarettes and any other toxic vices you  might be attached to right now.



Comment below if you found this article a good companion to the last one. I have been meeting a lot of people at the studio feeling heaviness and even though I would normally share this information in my Ayurveda Masterclasses, I thought to share it here. So let me know if it makes sense. Did this article explain WHY we are feeling the way we are? And that there are gentler way to aid the body to naturally detox.  

Lastly, I'm curious to know what is the 1 biggest challenge you face with your health when spring comes along? If you don't mind, comment below or send me a private email here.

Until the next one, happy springtime! 

Supriya Roy (Ayurveda Practitioner & Founder of Seva Yoga)


Monday, September 24, 2018

How to eat this season....



The hot topic every spring is DETOX and CLEANER EATING, is it not?
Why is that? Because summer is on its way! 

Even if your body is looking swimsuit ready, the ritual and system of eating according to the season is a rite for everyone. Changing eating habits around this time of year is also much easier and we are more likely to succeed and sustain great changes if we learn why and how.

In this article I wanted to share 3 small tips for you to create and sustain healthy changes to your personal eating habits. Just above them, I have also shared about my 30 year search for the secret formula to Eating Right + what helped me make the lasting change. 

Scroll down to see my 3 tips to create lasting change... 

My food journey...

Tracking back to being a 12 year old, I remember fainting because I decided not to eat for a day. Why? because someone said I was on the heavier side with a look of disapproval.

As I grew older, in trying to fit in with the "health fanatics" I tried the 10 day liquid fast, the no carbs diet, no meat diet, fruit fasts and suffered major relapses of emotional eating habits when no one was watching to cope with the anxieties of life. I recall always feeling insecure about my weight, always having a squirmy feeling in my stomach, never feeling satisfied with what I ate and always wanting to be thinner than I was. Yet, I was always eating the things that I knew were misaligned to my health goals, that made me feel guilty and unhealthy. Talk about being a self-saboteur! 

So over time I lost faith in myself because I had created enough evidence that I was never going to change and believed that I didn't have the strength it took to make positive and lasting changes. Oh I also compared my life to Bollywood celebrities, saying "if only I had the whole day to spend at the gym, then I too would be as fit as them" My values were totally out of place!

Later I found others just like me, and got to know it's quite common to go through this before deciding "IT'S ENOUGH" or in my case, I got quite sick while overseas. One day, 9 years ago, I experienced a high fever, my breath felt shallow, I could not move or eat solids for nearly 3 days and I tried to sleep through it, because I told myself I was a "yogi". I was living in Paris then. My weight was great, I was in good shape, and I was practicing yoga daily and sometimes twice a day. So how could I have something going on inside?! On the 4th day I finally made my way to the local GP and found out that my iron levels had dropped so low that if I did not take supplements I would basically become Anemic. Did I know the actual answer as to HOW it got so bad, so quickly? No. Because the doc didn't ask me any more questions. And because I got my quick supplement fix, I was able to move on for the time being.

Shortening it to 4 years ago, when I met my Ayurvedic Mentor, Teacher and Practitioner I finally found out what actually broke my camel's back and became my own research and development project to heal my iron deficiency on a mental, spiritual and physical level.

Now, we all know blood is the juice of life. With good blood flow we breathe. When our breath is great we feel vital. Need I say more about the transformation I have felt healing this way? What helped me get committed though was my realization that I wanted to have a long standing career in serving others to improve their health. I realized that I wanted to live with purpose every day of my life and my nutrition plan needed to match who I wanted to become, so that I could keep serving with vigor, joy and enthusiasm throughout my life and not burn out early in the tracks. I decided to make the changes with new values in place.

Another truth that helped me commit to Ayurvedic eating is when I noticed health is not about quick fixer uppers, or HACKS. Health is the state of the relationship I have with my body and mind.

So while all the public information I was reading lead me to shift my mindset, however to achieve the next level of success I had to personalize my nutrition plan and take responsibility to eating with awareness. 

Now I know most of you reading this article are already health oriented, not just for your body but for every area of your life. I know you value overall well being, and are probably already eating to detoxify to transition to the warmer days ahead. So to help you along your journey to sustaining those healthy changes to your diets here are my 3 Tips that I normally share with my private clients now:

1) Be aware of your digestion. Daily notice, how many times you are eating and if your body has fully digested the food you ate last. Sometimes we eat from boredom or sometimes we ignore hunger pains / sensations in the body for when we are meant to be eating. If you are in the habit of not eating for long periods of time, and then eat something to tie you over, over time this will aggravate your digestive fire for eating incorrectly. So, even if you do eat, the food will not be digested correctly to acquire the sustenance and nutrition your body needs. Or you might be the constant grazer that always eats till they fall asleep, you might also be weakening your digestion over time - it is a good thing to take note of tip no. 2 below.

2) Bring awareness to how you feel after you eat your meals. i.e. Do you feel Energized? Or Lethargic and Heavy? Or Bloated or Acidic? noticing the reaction your food is having in your body is a good sign for whether what you are eating is serving you or not. If you feel dull, heavy, bloated or lethargic after your meals, you are eating foods that are making your digestion sluggish. A sign that your digestive system is finding it difficult to break it down. In case you suffer from heart burns or acid re-flux try to drink warm fennel tea after your meals to help with this, paired with correction in your choice of foods.

3) Take note of what you are eating throughout the day and the time you are eating them. One of our biggest problem is that we don't pay much attention to what we are actually eating at the time we are eating them. Why is this important? Because eating even the right foods at the wrong time translates to poison for the body. Example: Eating curd / yogurt at night is a big No in Ayurveda. Why? because while curd is an excellent source of good bacteria and aids in digestion. At night, it will lead to mucus development and increase allergy flair ups, coughs and colds. But if you can't go without it, opt for buttermilk instead. 

The above steps are what I ask my private clients to take to help them bring awareness to how they might take responsibility, to make informed choices on what they eat, and to stay motivated to stay committed. 

What are your thoughts on this? Let me know how you found my 3 tips and feel free to comment below on any other topic you would like me to write on next.

Until the next one, happy living! 

Supriya Roy (Ayurveda Practitioner & Founder of Seva Yoga)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Time to let go - What do you think?




It's the middle of September and spring is still not here!

Well, it turns out the Australian snow season got extended from August to November so expect a slight delay. However this also means that we can take our time to transition from the cold of winter to a juicy delicious spring this year. 

How has winter been for you this year and what comes to mind when you think of transitioning to spring? What are some changes you are looking forward to experiencing? 

Also, how do you feel when you hear "It's Time to Let Go" of the old? Does it feel like a big lump in your throat? 

Courtney Carver says "Decluttering is not a one-night stand or a sprint to the finish line. It is a day-by-day, step-by-step, inch-by-inch revolution. Instead of a massive spring cleaning, or a big purge, consider the tried and true, proven method of slowly but surely."

Both Yoga and Ayurveda, view change as a part of life and prescribe the slowly but surely method when it comes to creating space on a physical, mental and spiritual level. 

The act of letting go is a yogic practice that falls under the Yama / yogic mindset of "Non-possessiveness or Detachment" also known in Sanskrit as Aparigraha. 

And under the Ayurvedic system each season has it's own cleansing and maintenance practice that support a healthy physical and spiritual life.  

Here are some baby steps to spring clean areas of life that offer a healthy non-possessive way of mind and a peaceful way of transitioning into spring:

Diet
  • Write down everything you want to change about your diet.
  • Don’t eat meat on Monday.
  • Boycott fast food.
  • Eat sitting down.
  • Drink more water and less of everything else.
Calendar
  • Cancel one thing right now.
  • Leave Friday’s open for the unexpected.
  • Do errands on Wednesday instead of the weekend.
  • Track your time.
Money
  • If there is something you buy almost everyday, don’t buy it for a week.
  • Track your spending.
  • Don’t dine out for a month.
  • Read a Money Mindset book.
Work
  • Figure out what you enjoying doing.
  • Connect with other people who do it well.
  • Help people.
  • Ask for help.
Distractions
  • Cancel your cable television.
  • Close your computer and put down your iStuff.
  • Don’t check email in the morning.
  • Turn off all alerts.
  • Remove Facebook from your phone or just be friends with your actual friends.
Stuff
  • Keep a box by the door. Drop something in it to donate every day.
  • Don’t buy anything new for 30 days
  • Maintain a tiny clutter-free zone
  • One in One out
Taking a step at a time and having a plan for each area of your life will mean you will be able to create amazing headway daily. It's not at all about just getting organised or spring cleaning but a way to live life without needing to always be busy or full. All it will take is your commitment to stick to your steps and in no time you will have a habit of keeping your life de-cluttered and ready for change always. 

In 2019 I am teaching an integrative yoga teacher training course, where you will study the sciences and implement them into your life for best health, mindset and lifestyle. It will go for 12 months with mentoring under a structured guideline that will help you integrate your knowledge and wisdom into your daily life. Here is the prospectus. Enrollments and conditions of entry do apply however this program will encourage those that are wanting to take the steps to living Yoga and Ayurveda in daily life. 

If you found the above article helpful, please share it with someone that you can also practice it with.

Until the next one, take care and have a wonderful spring clean.

Supriya (Ayurveda Practitioner, Integrative Yoga Teacher Trainer)



Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sun-gazing to Recharge the Soul






What did you think about my article 6 Highly Effective Habits for More Energy ? Did you find it helpful? How many are you already practicing? 


Now, some of you did read my previous article and told me "But Supriya, those practices are too easy- tell me more" so here it is... 

Surya aka the sun is our benevolent and very powerful friend that gives life and light to all beings on Earth. One of his functions are photosynthesis, which helps plants grow, which in turn keeps us and our animal kingdom alive. We receive vitamin D, warmth and solar energy for power in many of our electronic utilities. The sun is one of the most magnificent, abundant sources of natural energy for our life here. 

In the Vedic system there is a daily routine, called Sun Gazing that devoted students of any age can practice (with caution).  The practice of sun gazing has some truly amazing benefits, not only for the physical health, but also for mental and spiritual development. 

Some of the benefits of sun gazing include:

  1. Increased energy
  2. Boosts production of the feel good hormones serotonin and melatonin
  3. Improved eyesight
  4. Reduces hunger pains –body is completely nourished by the sun 
  5. Stimulation and growth of the Pineal gland
  6. Release of internal emotional blocks
  7. Increase personal potential

Okay while the practice again is very simple there is CAUTION
1) Practice only during the first hour of the sunrise, or the last hour before the sun sets.  
THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! IF THE PROPER TIMES ARE NOT FOLLOWED EYES CAN BE DAMAGED BY THE UV RAYS FROM THE SUN. 

The specific steps are listed further down in this article but let's get into a little bit of research and study.


The Man Who Brought Sun Gazing to the West
Hira Ratan Manek gave this practice the name and brought it to our Western world. He is more commonly known as HRM and is the founder of the Solar Healing center. He is famous for his ability to live off of solar energy and water. That is it. Sometimes he claims to have tea, coffee or buttermilk for social purposes however states in his own words that the sun can be used to heal the mind, body and spirit and claims that as a result of sun gazing we can have better physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. HRM has gone through three strict long term fasts and during those he was under the supervision and observation of various medical and scientific teams to provide statistical evidence of the benefits to this practice.
  • The first fast went for 211 days in 1995 and 1996 in India. Dr. C.K. Ramachandran, a medical expert on Ayurvedic medicine, directed the study. 
  • The second fast went for an impressive 411 days, right after the last one. That is an astounding time to go with no food at all. 
  • The same study was also directed by an international team of 21 doctors and scientists; lead by Dr. Sudhir Shah in India. 
  • The last and third observed fast went for 130 days, which took place in the United States at Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Philadelphia. 
The Studies

A scientist by the name of Vinny Pinto conducted a survey on 56 participants and outlined their experiences in what he called “The First Sungazing List Group Sungazers Survey.” His major findings from the study were:

  1. Health improvements especially among women
  2. People who practiced sun gazing for more than five years and who gazed mid-day (instead of the insisted hour after sunrise and hour before sunset) were more likely to report adverse effects.
  3. 35 out of the 51 participants reported to have “increased or greatly increased energy” while only 1 participant reported reduced energy
  4. The number of people who reported a “decreased need for solid food” was approximately equal to the number of people who reported “no significant change in the need for food.” Only 1 person in the study reported an increased need for food.
  5. People who had sun gazed for at least a year for at least 4 times per week were far more likely to report a decreased need for solid food.
  6. The most common physical/mental/spiritual experiences reported from sun gazing were bliss, joy, peace and calmness.
  7. No one from the study reported a decrease in physical health, everyone reported that his or her health was the same or had improved.
While there are many methods The HRM method is safe and popular: 

If you are going to modify this method please do your research and do not attempt to stare at the sun during the times with UV radiation present, and also do not stare at the sun for longer than the recommended times. 

You can adjust this method with how often you practice it and for your intentions behind it, but aside from that you should try to aim to stick to the general guidelines so that you don’t injure your eyesight or cause permanent retinal damage, this is very serious.

The Practice
It is an important part of the practice that you stand barefoot on bare earth. This helps to keep you grounded and enhances the benefits of sun gazing.
As you are staring at the sun visualize the energy from the sun coming into your body and filling your body and cells with rejuvenating light.


Here is the method that HRM recommends:
Day 1
Begin by spending a maximum of 10 seconds on the first day by looking directly at the sun during the safe hours.   

Continue this daily until you have reached 44 minutes. This should take between 9-10 months depending on the weather. 

DAY 2 - DAY 10+On the second day aim for 20 seconds, each day after that continue adding 10 seconds to the previous day. So at 10 days you will be looking at the sun for 100 seconds, or 1 minute and 40 seconds.
CONTINUE & DEVELOP
According to HRM this is all you need to gain the benefits described above from sun gazing.
After this you will need to walk for 45 minutes each day for the 6 days following the completion of the 9-10 months of sun gazing.
From there on out, make a conscious effort to continue to walk barefoot on the earth, preferably in the sun whenever you feel like it or get the time.
During this time it is important to stay centered and see what comes up for you. 



JOURNAL
It is also a good idea to keep a journal to track your progress and keeping note of how you are physically and mentally feeling. 


There are many resources for sun gazing on the internet for the spiritual effects of sun-gazing as well the physical benefits. You might consider watching this documentary called “Eat The Sun.” This documentary follows a man's journey through the HRM practice of sun gazing. 

The best part about the whole journey (should you choose to embark upon it) is that you are making sure you are spending time doing something energizing every day and in nature. This is a highly effective habit builder as well and can transform your health and well being in a very short amount of time! 

There you have it Yogis... and let me know how you find this practice for you.

There are many other Yogic practices you can study with me next year. If you are keen to study yoga and actually follow a methodical personalized practice, registrations are now open for 2 very specialised training programs I have written starting in January 2019. 

They both speak directly to an individual's personal well being, health and practice goals utilising Ayurveda and Yoga as the frameworks. 

One of the programs are accredited and the other is for strictly to develop and advance in health & energy. 



If you are intrigued, send me an email here.


Supriya Roy (Adv. Dip Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy, Founder of Seva Yoga)




Monday, August 13, 2018

5 Signs You're No Longer a Yoga Newbie



There are tell-tale signs that you’re ready to come off the yoga newbies bench and some of them are quite obvious but we think it’s worth noting for the wins:

Always on Time
You might still remember coming to class late and not worrying about what others thought, since no one knew you back then. Now though, you’re one of the first ones in, ready on your mat, with an ease and greet your fellow yogis as they arrive. You even have a lie down on your bolster and set yourself up in the front row so you didn’t miss a cue. Yes, these are great signs.

Stop the Clock Watch
Back up to last quarter, the 60 minute classes used to feel like an eternity, especially when in Tree pose hold, you would smile wide eyed, feet burning with your eyes wandering over your shoulder to check the clock. Oh and much to your surprise we were only 20 minutes into the start of class. But now you’ve learned to breathe slower, move your body intelligently and can hear the finer instructions that help you relax every step of the way. Eg: SMILEASANA and SIGH like you need it. But also know that they work.

You Won’t Miss Restorative / Yin
Restorative and Yin yoga have always been challenging for the Urban Yogis to take up in the beginning of their yoga journey. Do you remember how hard it was having to hear your mind yap away while you’re being told to relax and find the pleasure in being physically still? It was so hard, because you had never laid down without falling asleep before. It was like being sent to the naughty corner as a big kid. But now you can’t wait to find yourself on your mat just BEING, LAYING STILL, and following your inner bliss for an hour. It’s your weekly staple and are finding this a treat at the end of your week.

It’s about Quality Time
On your first month you were focused on getting on the mat at least 4 times a week. Life was still a little out of control and your schedule was never too planned. So you made it to the studio 4 times but at varying times of the week to realise that a regular practice is essential. Gradually you’ve been scheduling yourself to finish work on time, and be on time for yoga. You realised that the time on your mat is about quality not the number of times you got on it. Your schedule looks a lot more intentional and you’re living life more vibrantly.

The New You Is Reflecting
You’re on a new year, and you are at a cross road between the old you and a possible other you. You learned a lot about your past self in the last year/s of your practice. Truth be told, you haven’t been tracking anything specifically but you were passionately regular.  You’ve fulfilled your aim of being regular and that says a lot. It must be working for you. It’s a new year now though and you are feeling a little intrigued about what else you could learn about yourself? Could you be more self-aware? Physically Stronger and Flexible? Take deeper practices to access more energy?

How do you feel you're tracking on this list?

Supriya Roy 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The 6 Highly Effective Habits for More Energy




You’ve all heard of the old used up sentence “Humans are all creatures of habit” often connoting that we are somehow bound to our habits. It might even feel very convincing that you are bound, because for some a habit could be supporting other habits. A common example is keep showing up to work, which pays the bills, which keeps things moving and you make it through the week without stopping then you spend the entire weekend living. When moving through the motions, only some ask how can I do this differently or better?   

The Seva philosophy understands and advocates taking small steps, which create big changes. The steps when taken regularly become highly effective habits that have the capacity to move life in the direction of our personal desires.

Have you ever asked yourself, what might you eat, think, feel and act like if you were living your dream life? And what are some of your habits that stop you from aligning your actions (with ease)?

Below are 6 science based steps, prescribed by Ayurveda to make it easier for you to practice them as habits. You’re probably already aware of most of them, but just need to commit to take small and consistent steps to turn them into living habits.

Those habits will then develop you to make better choices with greater ease and you won't even have to talk yourself into it. You will feel better for doing them, than not.

Its a lot like brushing teeth - no one ever said "I'm so glad I didn't brush my teeth today!"

These 6 steps are habit building steps, which will prepare you for personalized habits that will create more effective changes in your life. They will start moving you in the right direction straight away. Think of it like this, they are small changes without it feeling like you're moving a mountain.

To give you a bit of basis for my advice here, both Yoga and Ayurveda are researched and trialed sciences that prescribe individualized lifestyle habits for best health.  The following steps will improve your capacity to adopt more personalized changes with ease and will not have any harmful side effects by practicing without guidance. 

What these sciences both advocate is that health and vitality are no longer at the mercy of external factors but an inner power that we can cultivate for ourselves. You will always know your center, how to maintain your connection to it and how you can keep topping up when life pushes you off kilter.

So are you ready to get started? WARNING: These steps are very simple but very potent. 
Don't let the simplicity and ease fool you. If you can do them for an entire season, you will be ready to take on deeper practices taught at Seva. Are you ready? You must promise to do these daily. Like brushing your teeth. Here they are:

1.     HYDRATION - Upon waking drink 2 litres of warm water. Water rehydrates your organs and gets the toxic waste moving in the right direction.

2.     TONGUE SCRAPING - Gently scraping the white coating off the tongue each morning promotes better oral hygiene. You will also enhance your taste faculty improving your choice in foods.

3.     NASAL RINSE – As a Yoga practitioner you need access to both your nostrils for best breath practice. Nasal rinsing clears the mucosal bacteria and dirt from the sinus cavity that not only helps with an improved sense of smell but your ability to manage your energy better. Your alertness, mood, appetite, speech depends greatly on the rhythm and quality of your breath. When your nasal passage is clear you feel clear minded and make better choices throughout the day. You will dream more frequently, that will aid in clearing subconscious mind clutter.

4.     EAT TIMELY - Eat your heaviest meal at 12 and an early dinner by 7pm. Besides eating high quality foods, eating at the incorrect time is a bigger cause for imbalance. Even if you feel you have a high metabolic rate (I hear this one a lot) eating at the wrong times will put digestive organs under strain. All the undigested food will sit in the digestive tract becoming toxic waste that will weaken your digestive fire. This is a cause for much of your mental lethargy, stress and long term health issues.

5.     QUALITY REST – Yoga practices help with rejuvenating the body and mind’s fatigue and prepare your body to sleep well. But to have optimum energy in waking hours, without losing focus, or needing to caffeinate, wake up before sunrise and don’t stay up past 10pm. The energy before sunrise in nature increases peace of mind, and adds freshness to the 5 senses. Getting 8 hours of sleep will provide adequate physical rest and improved mental energy.

6.     DAILY JOURNALING – Journaling your thoughts in a prescribed context like maintaining a Meditation / Yoga / Pranayama Practice can benefit in becoming better at what habits you are practicing. Journaling has science backing its benefits on the mind and body and proves to be a highly effective habit for self-awareness and making highly informed decisions. You can read my blog article on "5 benefits of keeping a yoga journal" for the benefits.

So, there you have it. The 6 science backed highly effective habit building steps for anyone wanting to generate higher levels of health and energy, for a better performing Body and Mind right away. 

Supriya Roy (Adv. Dip Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy, Founder of Seva Yoga)