Celebrate World Ayurveda Day on 13 November

Ayurveda by Delight Academy

The Indian Government has announced that they will celebrate World Ayurveda Day on the 13th of November, and the Delight Academy is honoured to be part of this very special occasion. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Ayurveda in 2030’, and we will be shining a light on this ancient “Science of Life”, calling attention to its multitude of benefits for mind, body, and spirit.

Yoga & Ayurveda: Learn which yoga practices benefit your dosha

Ayurveda by Eva Dusch

Do you ever wonder why some yoga poses make you feel super calm and centred, while others leave you agitated, shattered, and exhausted? And why your neighbour is always so flawless in Astanga classes, while you seem to have two wobbly legs and lack any balance? Because we’re not the same. According to Ayurveda, different people require very different yoga practices (yes, I had to change my whole yoga schedule *pitta sigh*) If you’re not yet familiar with Ayurveda and its view on the five elements, it might be worthwhile to tap into some of that beautiful wisdom. It will help you understand your practice on a much deeper and personal level. Although we are all made up out of the exact same five elements, we each contain different amounts of each element that make up our dosha, making each one of us a unique expression of nature. That makes we all need different foods, herbs, healing remedies, lifestyles - and yoga practices. Ayurvedic yoga, or ‘Ayur-yoga, is a practice built on the principles of Ayurveda. It’s not merely looking at the asanas itself but also at the effects it has on the three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Ayurvedic yoga gives you the tools with which you can adapt your practice to your personal needs. Instead of following classes based on habit or what the mind tells you to do, it’s more about checking in with yourself and asking: how do I feel today? It’s about intuitively knowing and feeling into what it is that you need. A more uplifting Vinyasa or grounding Yin class? For example: A Vata needs slow movement en grounding, while Kaphas need stimulation and high energy. And Pittas might get challenged to laugh while holding asanas that they don’t like. Whether you’re practising at home or joining a class in our studios, here are some basic guidelines for every dosha to keep in mind. YOGA FOR VATA - CALM, SLOW, STEADY Vatas are enthusiastic, creative and mobile. They often rush into class and need to calm down their busy and often scattered minds. A slow pace and grounding postures in particular are very beneficial. These yoga poses help you let go of worries and fears, reduce anxiety, and are also good if you suffer from typical Vata ailments such as constipation, lower back pain, and joint pain. Focus on strengthening rather than stretching, as excess Vata tends to overstretch and go past its limits. Mentally: - Variation is the key to motivation - Make sure you’re dressed warmly enough -  Visualize like you’re moving through honey, warm water, warm oil and beautiful places like the ocean - Respect your limits to stay in your safe zone - Wrap a warm blanket around your lower belly/back and hips where the seat of Vata is, to help calm the mind. Physically - Focus on holding strength and energy rather than expansion - Slow movement with awareness - Protect the joints, so not always jumping through - Keep arms and gaze down, to send energy downwards - Keep it short (3 to 4 asanas) and juicy and stick to the routine for at least 3 months Asanas - Uttanasana (forward bend) - Balasana (child’s pose) - Savasana (corpse pose) - Mountain pose (Tāḍāsana) - Tree pose (Vrikshasana) YOGA FOR PITTA - COOLING, RELAXING, SURRENDERING Pitta types are active, determined and goal-oriented. Their biggest challenge is to not see yoga class as one big competition because it will drive their inner fire crazy. Instead, the practice should be calming, cooling, fresh and - okay- a bit challenging. But in a FUN way. The key to pacifying pitta dosha is to practice with 75-percent effort, in an effortless, non-goal oriented way. Think calming asanas in which the body does not heat up too much, especially the head. Is your head turning red and your eyes are almost popping out? Time to back off. Mentally - Forget the illusion of perfection. - Kindness and compassion towards the Self - See the difference between discipline (that which is not nourishing your soul) and seriousness (checking off your to-do list and only feeling happy from the mind, not the heart) - Always ask yourself: am I still in a Sattvic space? Am I pushing myself or being soft? - Visualize pouring water over yourself or absorbing it: what feels better?   Physically - Strength and softness can go together. Strong in our body and soft in our mind. - Soften the eyes and keep them at eye level - Relaxed effort - Can you let go of doing yoga perfectly or controlling the breath? - Take away the over-seriousness and smile while holding an asana Asanas - Marichyasana (sitting twist) - Dhanurasana (bow pose) - Paripurna Navasana (boat pose) - Chandra Namaskar (moon salutations) - Salamba sarvangasana (shoulderstand) YOGA FOR KAPHA - STIMULATING, MOVING, WARMING Kapha types might be latecomers when it comes down to workouts, but once they get the hang of it, IT’S ON. They are known for a strong body and well-developed stamina for good reason. Although they’re earthy and calm in nature, they benefit most from stimulating and energizing yoga postures that heat up the temperature (sweat out that excess fluids) in the body and give them energy. Avoid repetition and too much of a routine. Instead, keep it fresh and challenging. Mentally - Think of the sunrise (it’s energizing and uplifting) - Notice when you become irritated, then back off or take a break - Turn up the light, it will wake them up and KEEP them awake - Uplifting music that’s motivating - Dare to explore and go through uncomfortable feelings and postures  Physically - Bringing in change and new movement  is the big saviour - Asanas that ask for a lot of strength, like standing postures - Keep eyes above horizontal level, open up the gaze - Vary the practice/sequences on a daily/weekly basis to keep it varied, fresh and new - Focus on the chest and lung area, opening the heart Asanas - Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) - Ustrasana (camel) - Setu Bandhasana (bridge) - Utkatasana (chair pose) - Virabhadrasana I (warrior I) Are you eager to learn more about this? Join our Yoga & Ayurveda program (50 hrs) with our teacher Victoria Raven Hyndman. This training is designed for experienced yoga practitioners and/or yoga teachers who wish to incorporate the foundations of Ayurveda into their yoga practice and teaching. ** Sources: Ayurveda & Yoga by David Frawley

5 Ayurvedic Tips for your Autumnal Daily Routine

Ayurveda by Irene Draisma

As the sun's rays touch the northern hemisphere from a smaller angle, the season starts to shift from summer to autumn. The weather is getting colder and windier. As a result, Vata dosha starts to increase outside in nature, as well as inside of us. It is the end of a cycle and it's important to experience this transition in a conscious and smooth way. This article will offer you more insight into Vata season and give you tips to stay connected and nourished.  In Ayurveda, “Ritucharya” is the practice of staying healthy and balanced according to the season. In Sanskrit, “Ritu” means season and “Charya” means regimen. The seasons play an important role in the dominance of the doshas. Simply put, late winter and early spring are Kapha dominant periods, while late summer is the peak of Pitta dosha. Autumn is therefore Vata's climax.  By incorporating the daily routine of Ayurveda's Ritucharya, you can prevent the doshas from going out of control. With the weather outside changing quickly, it is now the perfect time to take action and start managing Vata dosha! What does this seasonal change mean for us?   Each change of season has an effect on the doshas that operate within us. Because Vata dosha governs the principle of change and movement, Vata will accumulate at every change of season. As described in the previous article about Vata, this dosha is related to the elements of Ether (Space) and Air (Wind) and has the following qualities: mobile, dry, cold, light, subtle, rough and is responsible for change, enthusiasm, creativity. Vata dosha brings lightness, and it is a great moment to meditate and create a connection with the universal consciousness, the more subtle realms. However, if Vata accumulates too quickly, this can result in all kinds of complaints such as dryness of skin, insomnia, weight loss, constipation, tremors, anxiety, loneliness, feeling lost, and eventually physical or mental disease. To prevent this we use Vata’s opposite qualities. Ayurvedic Tips to Keep You Balanced This Vata Season Ahara (Food) Start your day with about 750ml of warm (boiled) water. This will cleanse the GI tract, replenish the bodily tissues, and help you to stay warm.  Eat seasonal, warm, and cooked foods like pumpkin, beets, carrots, grains, rice, heavier proteins, soups, casseroles, and use plenty of oil or ghee.  Spices Use spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove, cumin, coriander, fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, nutmeg, dill, bay leaves, chilli, cardamom, turmeric, liquorice, black pepper, saffron, and rose.  Because Vata and its elements are related to the bitter and astringent tastes, it has a depleting effect. So, it is important to nourish yourself with sweet, salty, and sour tastes that are building the body.  Vihara (Lifestyle) With the cooler weather outside, it is important to stay warm, so make sure to wear thicker clothes and blankets. Be sweet to yourself and others, for example by giving some extra love and sharing things. Also, you could watch a romantic movie and listen to soft, slow music. Since the nights are getting longer, it is also good to sleep a little longer. A very typical Ayurvedic tip is Abhyanga, daily application of warm oil to the body. Use sesame oil because of its warming and heavy qualities that pacify Vata.  Protect yourself from the wind, too much screen time, loud sounds, and stress. And because of the increase of the Ether element, we are prone to feelings of anxiety, loneliness or feeling lost. Anchor yourself with a daily routine, find a purpose to hold on to, and connect to people who you care about. Your Yoga Practice When practising yoga, it is better to go for slower styles, like Yin. But if you want to keep doing your Astanga, or more intensive practice, try to do it slower, focus on grounding, soft, regular and fluid movement. And take an extra-long Savasana. Asanas that are balancing are Balasana, forward folds and balancing postures.  Take a Moment of Reflection Last but not least, Vata is the end of the cycle of the three doshas - the perfect time for self-reflection. Ask yourself: what practices are beneficial to me, and what would I like to leave behind?  In Ayurveda, it is very important to experiment with what feels good to you, as every person is different. Hopefully, these tips will help you deal with the challenges of autumn, and keep you warm, connected and Juicy! --- This blog was written by a student in our Ayurveda Practitioner Studies degree programme. If you are interested in becoming an Ayurveda Practitioner or want to deepen your professional knowledge, skills, and experience in the field of Ayurveda - see our website here.  

Tulsi, The Sacred Basil

Ayurveda by Anne-Sophie Eckert

“Wherever Tulsi grows there is no misery. She is the holiest of the holy. Wherever the breeze blows her fragrance there is purity” - Padma Purana 24.2.

An Introduction to Kapha Dosha

Ayurveda by Eva Dusch

Is your temperament mainly expressed in love and compassion? Are you a team player who gets along with everyone? It’s very possible you are of the Kapha type, one of the three primary constitutions (or body types) in the Ayurvedic system. (We all want you as our best friend. But seriously).

Yoga Playlist: Grounding Vata

Ayurveda by Victoria (Tory) Raven Hyndman

It’s the beautiful auspicious season of Autumn, it’s time for us to turn inward, to take in all that the summer has given us, the outward flow of energy turning around to go in. This is a magical time of the year, I love it so very much. I was born in this season, on the autumn equinox, so therefore perhaps it feels extra important for me to take time to reflect on what this year around the sun has taught me. But even if you are not born in this season, it is a time to become quieter again.

An Introduction to Vata Dosha

Ayurveda by Anne-Sophie Eckert

Are you a creative person who struggles to find stability? Or a restless type who loves to talk? If so, then you might have Vata Dosha dominating your Ayurvedic constitution. Vata Dosha is the king of the Doshas; it brings movement, rhythm, and impulse, or in other words, it brings life.

Ayurveda in the Western world: An interview with Pukka co-founder Sebastian Pole

Ayurveda by Eva Dusch

We feel very lucky we got the chance to sit down and have a chat with Sebastian Pole, Pukka Herb’s co-founder and Master Herbsmith - a man who knows from experience what it means to bring Ayurveda into the Western world.

An Introduction to Pitta Dosha

Ayurveda by Eva Dusch

Are you an overachiever with a penchant for success? Or a perfectionist who likes to be in control always? Chances are high you are of the Pitta type, one of the three primary constitutions (or body types) in the Ayurvedic system. Pitta types have a fire burning within that brings passion and a strong appetite - not just for food but for life.

Introduction to Ayurveda: The Three Doshas

Ayurveda by Anne-Sophie Eckert

Have you ever come across the terms ‘Vata’, ‘Pitta’, and ‘Kapha’ and been confused by what they mean? These are the three Doshas, concepts unique to Ayurveda but easy to relate to. This blog post is a short introduction to the Doshas; it explores their relationship to the body, to health and well-being, and to the cycles of life.

What is an Ayurveda Practitioner? A conversation with Liese van Dam

Ayurveda by Francesca Ferraroni

At Delight Academy, Liese van Dam teaches advanced principles in the second year of the Ayurveda Practitioner Training as well as the upcoming 10-day nutrition course in October 2020. Next to teaching, Liese also works as an Ayurveda Practitioner and currently gives online consultations.

The Power of Ginger

Ayurveda by Anne-Sophie Eckert

Before my Ayurvedic Practitioner Training at Delight, I had little knowledge of how powerful herbs can be. During our herbology module, I was given an assignment on ginger that led me to beautiful discoveries.

Yoga Playlist: Cooling Down Pitta

Ayurveda by Victoria (Tory) Raven Hyndman

This is the season where we all come out to play. Everyone is in a space of wanting to be outside, playing, in the park - especially after the lockdown we've had. It's a time to enjoy the warm weather, the lovely play of the fire element. This fire element gives us passion and a strong appetite - not just for food but for life. In Pitta Season you want to taste all the flavours of life, which is why we all like to travel during this time.

Pitta Season: How to stay cool and balanced this summer

Ayurveda by Anne-Sophie Eckert

‘In summer time one should enjoy forests, gardens, flowers, and cool water. During the night one should sleep on the open airy roof of the house, which is cooled by the rays of the moon’. – Charaka Samhita As spring slowly turns into summer, we are beginning the transition into what Ayurveda refers to as “Pitta season”.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda by Eva Dusch

Ayurveda may be the oldest health system in the world, but in 2020 it’s more popular than ever. However, drinking one ‘Golden Milk’ a day doesn’t make an Ayurvedic lifestyle, unfortunately. So then, what does? And how can you integrate it into a Western lifestyle?

8 Ayurvedic Tips to Release Stress

Ayurveda by Anne-Sophie Eckert

According to Ayurveda, the body has three managers - one of which is Vata Dosha, responsible for the principle of movement. Made of the elements of Ether and Air, Vata Dosha allows changes to happen. The Air element in particular creates creativity in the mind and dryness in the body. In changing or insecure times, like the ones we are facing now, Vata Dosha increases - and when this dosha is in excess, stress and anxiety can occur.

7 Ayurvedic Eating Habits to Stay Healthy during Covid-19

Ayurveda by Eva Dusch

With no colleagues or stressed managers peeking over your shoulder during this lockdown, many of us are (secretly) turning to the snack cupboard. Perhaps, a few times too often. Here's how to make your COVID-19 diet Kapha proof.

How to use Ayurveda to protect your eyes from endless screen time

Ayurveda by Eva Dusch

Ayurveda is big on protecting the eyes - we can all learn how to counterbalance our heavy screen time from this multidimensional healing system. Avoiding our virtual worlds might not be an option, but good eye care is.  

10 Ayurveda tips to boost your immunity for Coronavirus Prevention

Ayurveda by Martine van Beusekom

For our students and all interested, we would like to share some ayurvedic insights with you on how to support yourself in the best way in the situation that we are facing now regarding the coronavirus. These ayurvedic tips are meant to be preventive measures you can take to keep yourself healthy and support your immune system. However, if you have complaints that resemble the coronavirus, contact your doctor immediately 

Kapha Season: How to feel light and bright this spring

Ayurveda by Delight Yoga

There is a magic about spring. After months of winter, nature’s long period of reflection, we are reminded of the beauty of change. Flowers begin to bloom, the sun peeks out from behind the clouds, and people themselves begin to brighten and reenergize. 

Yoga Playlist: Waking up Kapha

Ayurveda by Victoria (Tory) Raven Hyndman

This playlist is intended to bring some inspiration to move the body, which can become more stagnant in the late winter and early spring. During Kapha season, we can feel physically and mentally heavy, so getting the body moving can take extra effort. Music can be used as a wonderful medicine to get things flowing.

Kapha Season: How to stay warm and vibrant this winter

Ayurveda by Delight Yoga

As we enter January, the winter deepens. The days become shorter and darker, we prefer staying in, and naturally turn inward like bears going into hibernation. If there is snow outside, it creates a layer of insulation that quietens the outside world. The cold and quiet winter season is characterized by Kapha, one of the three doshas (energies) in Ayurveda. 

Vata Season: How to stay grounded and balanced in Autumn?

Ayurveda by Delight Yoga

Summer is over and the heat of summer has now started to dry things out as we enter the next season, autumn. The leaves on the trees start to dry out, turn brown (Vata’s colour) and fall to the ground. The temperature starts to drop, becoming colder and windier. All these are Vata qualities and these same Vata qualities can show up in our body and mind, regardless of our constitution. So even if you are mostly pitta Prakruti (constitution),

Shad Darshan: The Six Philosophies of Ayurveda

Ayurveda by Delight Yoga

Ayurvedic Philosophy As every healing system has a basic foundation of philosophy, Āyurvedic philosophy is based on Shad Darshan, the six philosophies of life, which developed from the ancient sages and scriptures of India.

An Introduction to Ayurveda

Ayurveda by Delight Yoga

What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is the sacred and fantastic ancient system of medicine and healing from India, yet throughout regions of the East, there are variations of it such as Tibetan Ayurveda. It is the first-ever recorded system of healing of the physical, mental and energetic body.