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ayurveda diet

The Sensual Art of Eating with the Hands

For thousands of years, people across South Asia and the Middle East have eaten with their hands, and not utensils. Even today, the practice has become very common – and to the casual onlooker, it may seem somewhat strange!

However, first of all, we have to understand that eating itself, as also cooking, is somewhat a sensual art, deriving from our creative powers and stimulating our digestions. We now know about the enteric nervous system of “brain/gut” axis, that systems such as Ayurveda have known about since time immemorial.

Touch (sparsha) is, in itself, a sensual and necessary comfort for humans, via love, embrace etc.  Thus also, these “street foods” apart from the Italian pasta fork!

Take for example, every brain impulse, the effects on neurotransmitters; when people ‘tuck in’ to the kebab, to the fried chicken and eat with their hands, the brain is fully stimulated to relish the full taste, unobstructed by the (cold, inorganic) aids to deliver such to the mouth. Half of the subconscious “stress” of eating is aside, due to etiquette being waved. The nerves of the fingers also may touch the lips – such stimuli humans, as sensory organisms, crave!

In India, however, it is the right-hand only used for eating; the left, used for ablutions, is considered ashuddhi or impure/unclean. This has to do also with the right-hand representing the sun, fire and pingala nadi in yoga (thus, better for improving digestion), thus higher and more subtle and masculine. The left hand is considered lunar, watery and feminine, as the ida nadi in yoga runs through it and is hence more dense and earthy – thus relates to wastes (malas), considered of these more watery and earthy elements. Touch is hence more perceptible subtly on the right and is pure (sattwika/shuddhi). The left is akin to leftovers (ucchishtha), relating to the Goddess and impure. Yet, in higher yogic circles, the path of the goddess, especially the taboo, is hence known as Vamamarga or the left-hand path.

Touch itself is related to the element of air or oxygen (vata, vayu), which is connected to the skin, in Ayurveda. Vayu/vata is itself responsible for life in the body as a biological constituent (dhatu) in the body providing movement (gati) of the blood, respiratory system etc. Without it, the heart wouldn’t beat, the brain wouldn’t think and we are but a lifeless corpse! Touch/vayu also relates to the highest form of prana or the breath of life, connected to the soul. Thus, the connection between inner peace, calm and our own soul (Ayurveda tells us we should eat in a quiet, calm place for such a purpose).

The science of eating with the hands also goes deeper. When we eat, the index finger and thumbs are connected, forming the jnana-mudra, the symbol of wisdom via subtle pressure points via nadis or subtle channels across the body, also in the hands. This stimulates our intellect, and also has a reaction on our digestive system and is said to awaken the digestive fire, assisting with metabolising our foods.

Connecting the middle-finger and ring-finger to the thumb, as we do when eating, activates a form of the apanavayu-mudra, a hand symbol where the index-finger is tucked in (similar to apana-mudra where the small and index fingers remain erect), and assists with elimination of wastes in the body (by apanavayu, which takes them out and down, from the body), provides good colonic health in such a manner, etc. When eating with the hands, food is actually being stimulated in such a manner via this.

In the ancient system of palmistry, apart from planets, the system of mudras or hand gestures tells is that the thumb is itself the principle of agni or fire, relating to metabolism at all levels – from digestive metabolism, to that of the bodily tissues. Stimulating it – as we do when eating (as the thumb is required) activates this by pressing on the thumb. It is also believed that such energies are imparted to the food via this also, giving it an “energised” aspect. Of the fingers, the little finger represents water, ring finger represents earth, whilst the middle and index fingers represent ether and air, respectively.

In this way, all of the three biological humors in the body, the doshas, are combined via these combinations. Food may also taste more delicious, since all of the five elements are imbibed it it, at the subtle level of the tanmatras or base atomic levels, viz. ether (sound), air (touch), fire (sight), water (taste) and earth (smell).

Here, we can see that combining the fingers to eat, also sends heightened messages to our brain’s neurotransmitters via the nerves and nadis, the subtle channel systems – and helps us to better appreciate food from a “warm” than a “cold” aspect as we would via utensils. In this way, we relish foods by having a better perception, a more intimate connection via the sounds it makes when we eat it, the touch and texture of it which we perceive via our fingers, as also the warmth, which provides our minds with more nourishment – as well as relishing in the sight of foods, the taste and finally, the smell.

In this manner, the five elements are perceived via eating with the hands as a kind of “meditation”. For this reason since ancient times to the present day – many Indians, of all castes and classes, regions and beliefs share a common goal of eating with the hands – an ancient sensual art, for these reasons!

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Ayurvedic Massages – Good or Bad?

Ayurveda has long considered the uses of massage, often as a daily palliative treatment, but performed with specific oils after a complete Ayurvedic examination by a trained professional to examine all facets of psychology, disorders, constitutional issues and others. Here, panaceas are often not the best, nor Ayurvedic per se!

Many forms of Ayurvedic massage today can actually be harmful as they can cause unwanted toxins in the body if performed outside of their required actions and techniques, which are specific cleansing actions or shodhana (purificatory) therapies; here, massages are often performed – again with specific oils, decoctions and substances – as preliminary methods (purvakarmas) to relocate toxins in the body and expel them, but in a clinical setting along with specific diets, formulas and lifestyle regimes as well. Such advanced and often aggressive methods are not to be performed for one and all, or outside specifically tailored detoxification programs, based on an individual’s disease category, age and other factors! This requires a full training in clinical Ayurveda from the classical point of view.

Other therapies are given as part of the Spa Ayurveda regimes today, which are just as bad, as such don’t target the true problems. Each disease requires specific treatment, internal and external, as a part of traditional Ayurveda over modernised New-Age Ayurveda often being practiced by Naturopaths and Yoga teachers.

For this reason, Indians were taught these sciences from youth and understood the spiritual and cultural contexts and rituals/implications that went along with this, which are important. The Hindu tradition and sciences are about specifics over generics

As an example, you wouldn’t go to a Chinese person to learn how to bake French pastries, nor would you turn to the Frenchman to teach you about authentic Qi Gong as the two cultures are completely different. Being immersed in such and understanding such means also the language behind it – which is imperative one understand from youth to gauge these nuances, over those who have culturally-appropriated and set up ‘Wellness’ businesses and organisations, who often tend to pasteurise these teachings, to the detriment of many.

Here, while massages and Ayurvedic therapies are useful, they have to be performed simply after a full clinical assessment by a trained and experienced Practitioner, not simply given based on a few quizzes alone. The therapies and manner in which they are conducted also change for the individual as well – so the use of generic oils and substances as is often done, isn’t true Ayurveda! It is merely money-making!

  • Always chose a trained, experienced Ayurvedic Professional with Clinical Training and Experience in all facets of Ayurveda, Yoga and related sciences
  • Look for those who have studied the entire tradition back to its roots, are fluent in the language (Sanskrit) as well as culture and heritage and connected to its ancient Vedic-Hindu system in practice and lifestyle
  • Avoid many vegan-based and modern veganesque and pan-Naturopathic formulas such as ‘Turmeric Coconut Milk’ and ‘Ashwagandha Coconut Milk’, Raw Food and other infusions; these are not Ayurvedic, but are simply based on other systems and aren’t good for one and all
  • Make sure you check whether or not they are simply starting a ‘Spa-Wellness’ business, or wish to share the deeper facets of Ayurveda with specific recommendations and guidelines If you are curious about Ayurvedic therapies and what might be best for you, book a consultation with us today at www.ayurvedicnow.com 

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Āyurveda and Weight Loss

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OECD statistics show that the top three nations suffering from obesity are the United States, Mexico and New Zealand – and many people are often unsure why they cannot lose weight, despite many dietary and exercise regimes.

Many people are unaware that certain weight-loss diets and dietary fads can actually cause us to feel hungry and thus eat more food, fuelling the problem!

Āyurveda, however considers weight gain according to various integral factors:

Food combinations

-Mental health/impressions and impacts it has on eating

-Effects of age, seasonal changes and climate

-Nutrition and Lifestyle according to a person’s unique biology

-Ones metabolism as per their biology

-Toxins we take into our bodies that we are unaware of

Specific (100% natural) supplements for weight loss, specific diet, lifestyle and nutrition, examination of metabolism and rectifying this, as well as specific and also simple yoga techniques can help – without needing to be flexible or a contortionist!

BOOK AN AYURVEDIC CONSULTATION TODAY!

Have more questions? Fill our the form below and we’ll get back to your shortly!

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Integral Well-Being Program

Integral Well-Being Program:

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Discover internal transformation and unlock your inner potentials!

Our signature Integral Well-Being Program is a complete assessment program detailing all aspects of your life and allows up to 1.5 hours to go over materials and assessments (astrological chart and remedial measures will be performed outside of this time, prior to date of consultation and will be explained by Durgadas during this time).

This helps show you what classical Ayurveda is really about and how it aims at educating people on possible measures to help improve themselves as per it’s ancient wisdom and related sciences it integrates, such as vedanta, yoga and Vedic (Hindu) astrology – and ancient psychos-spiritual system.

Here you will receive an Integral Well-Being Tool-kit, including:

-A complete Ayurvedic Health Assessment relative to biology, disease, imbalances etc. through ancient techniques as pulse, tongue etc. diagnosis

-A complete Ayurvedic Psychological Assessment of your mind and psychic typology

-A Vedic Astrology report relative to your karmic nature revealing your inner potentials, limitations and how to resolve these

It covers Ayurveda, Vedic Astrology and Psychology and various karmic, herbal, dietary, aroma and other classical Indian recommendations based on traditional Ayurveda and you will be given yoga and spiritual guidelines etc. to help balance all aspects of your life – physical, emotional and material.

Here you will learn all about YOU in all aspects, as per Ayurveda’s ancient wisdom!

Note this consultation with Durgadas is available over Skype for those outside Auckland and NZ and can hence be conducted anywhere in the world, from the comfort of your own home!

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Investment: NZ $350.00

(Initial Assessments and Recommendations)

*Payments can also be made by cash on the day or by internet banking. Please select your option when making a booking.

CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment 

Have more questions? Call us on +64 3 359 6015 or fill out the form below:

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Don’t Suffer With Prostate and Urinary Issues!

Enlarged prostate or BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia) plagues 50% of men by the age of 60 years, however, there is a drugless solution through Ayurveda that can help give you freedom from difficult urination and other issues that enlarged prostate causes*.

Whether you are someone you know has these issues, don’t deliberate about treatment methods. Explore your options.

Many ancient time-tested minerals, compound herbal formulas and herbs, in addition to dietary regimens and lifestyle plans can help with enlarged prostate and prostate care and can assist in issues as dysuria (difficult urination) – sometimes with burning and other times the urge is there, but there’s just no flow!

Don’t put up with these issues, simply as you’re scared about medications*!

Sometimes, just a simple adjustment to dietary regimes and herbs can help, as we are often unaware of the aggravating factors of such conditions.

Ayurveda can help you:

• Help promote urinary flow naturally

• Help reduce burning sensations and painful urination naturally

• Help reduce the enlarged prostate naturally

Consultations can also be requested ANYWHERE through Skype with Durgadas, Ved Kovid, ALC, AMPKT

 
CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US today to find out your options or to book an appointment  

Have more questions? Call us on +64 3 359 6015 or fill out the form below:

 

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*Always consult your licensed health-care professional and seek immediate advice on prostate issues and regarding prostate cancer and checks.

 

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