Sacred Self Care and Ayurveda
Series 4: The Three Treasures

As we find ourselves in uncertain times we remember to rest in our hearts. It is more important now to practice sacred self-care.

I mentioned in Series 2 and 3, that we are in the collective Vata imbalance during this pandemic that is effecting our heart health and activating anxiety and fear.

Chinese Medicine holds that the Heart is the residence of the Mind (Shen). Shen is used to indicate that the whole sphere of emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of a human being are at play. The mental activity and consciousness reside in the Heart. This means that the state of the Heart will affect the mental thought process including the emotional state of fear and anxiety.

This is far from what we are taught in our modern world. We are conditioned to believe that the mind has the intelligence when in fact it is the Shen from the Heart where infinite intelligence resides.

We need to trust our Heart. To be still and listen to the wisdom it offers.

Essence (Heart) and Qi form the physical basis of the Mind. If the Essence is flourishing and Qi is vital, then the Mind will be happy and peaceful. If it is weak the mind will suffer. For this reason, the glitter of the eyes shows both the state of Essence and the Mind. Essence, Qi and the Mind are called the “Three Treasures”. Here we find our most virtuous attributes of compassion, tenderness, love, mercy, kindness, gentleness, and benevolence. Just what the world needs now.

Practice good Heart health by:

Resting in Stillness
Eating good nourishing foods
Allowing love in
Loving others
Be tender to oneself
Take a ritual bath with candles
Take a walk
Be in sunlight
Practice Yoga
Honor the virtues of the Three Treasures

– Toni Leigh, Western and Ayurvedic Herbalist
Chief Formulator of Desert Blends

Sacred Self Care and Ayurveda
Series 5: It’s Time for Pitta

The summer months are approaching otherwise known as a Pitta climate. The Pitta dosha derives from the elements of Fire and Water and translates as “that which cooks”.

Pitta rules over small intestine, stomach, liver and spleen, pancreas, blood, eyes, and sweat. Pitta provides the body with heat and energy through the breakdown of complex food molecules. It governs all processes related to conversion and transformation throughout the mind and body. Psychologically, Pitta governs joy, courage, willpower, anger, jealousy and mental perception. It also provides radiant light of the intellect.

When Pitta is in an imbalanced state, the water and fire elements can turn to smoldering coal and ash of anger, rage and ego. Pitta imbalances commonly manifest in the body with a heat condition, such as infection, inflammation, rashes, ulcers, heartburn and fever.

The Vedic Sanskrit knowledge tells us to pacify Pitta with cooling, calming and moderation. While that is all true, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say we need to ignite the “FIRE IN THE BELLY” by fanning the embers to cleanse the anger and bitterness and mental constructs.

By igniting the “fire in the belly” we are awakening our passion, courage, our creativity and transforming the mind from bitterness to clear thinking with a new perspective on hope, compassion and joy. In contrast, Vata is ethereal and is the inventor, the dreamer while Pitta is the dosha to implement into action. The third dosha, Kapha, is one who sustains; the strengths are going the long haul and seeing it through. We will go into Kapha dosha in the coming months as its elements are in the Fall season. Watch for more to come on that.

In these Pitta times, we are too quick to anger and hold on to resentment. We have strong opinions and we lock in the need to be right. It is a consequence of feeling powerless during the pandemic. I am encouraging transformation by looking within instead of looking outside of the situation and trying to control what we cannot. We will be better able to cope and handle our affairs and challenges as they come up with a calm steady mind with eagerness and courage. Our “opinions” only suffocate the fire and our wellbeing. Let each of us take responsibility for our thoughts and actions. I invite us all to step back and see what is working and how we can better the situation. Use that sharp wit and mind to be creative and take appropriate action. Never mind what is causing frustration and anger. Let go. Neutrality is the key to life’s balance.

Here are a few ideas to be in neutrality:

Fan the Flames by taking sacred care of your body, mind and spirit.

1. Eat cooling foods such as salads, raw foods, eating veg/fruits in season vs cooked, spicy foods. Follow a Pitta-balancing diet.
2. Make sure you eat in a peaceful environment. Take space to really give thanks for the food you’re about to eat.
3. Spend time in nature. This may be #1. Nature has a way to balance us by calming our thoughts and fostering inspiration.
4. Meditate. That’s right. Sit, be calm. Be in stillness.
5. Do calming exercise, such as yoga, swimming, tai chi or walking.

– Toni Leigh, Western and Ayurvedic Herbalist
Chief Formulator of Desert Blends