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ayurvedic wellness spring & summer | interview with marissa mele

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Episode 25 features repeat guest Marissa Mele of Five Prana Ayurveda.  I’m thrilled to have Marissa back on the podcast to dive a little deeper into the subject of Ayurveda and the Pancha Mahabhutas or Five Great Elements.  Marissa identifies and explains the five elements, why it’s important to have a basic understanding of the elements, how they correlate to the Doshas in the physical body, and the Seasons of the year.  With that, we discuss Ayurvedic tips to stay balanced in the Spring and Summer months here in Cleveland and for those living in the Northern Hemisphere. Marissa also shares about her recent experience on a Spirit Quest.  She drove across the country by herself for a month with mindful intention to practice yoga at every stop, to connect with nature, to connect with small town America, to release some lingering fear she’s been holding onto, and all with the mindset of a positive mental attitude.  Everything that she shares about her journey is quite profound.  I’m positive you will enjoy this enlightening conversation.  This is the last episode of Season 2!  Join me back here in the Fall of 2017 for Season 3. Thank you and enjoy!

Show notes:

  • Intro & Outro music apple music loop creations by Zen Jenn and Cosmic Flow by Maneesh De Moor

  • Click here to view Marissa’s Bio & website Five Prana Ayurveda

  • We start with a simplified definition of Ayurveda, which Marissa describes as the Indian version of Chinese Medicine which dates back and has been practiced for 6000 years.  It’s based on the idea that the 5 elements of Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth are responsible for creating and permeate everything in the entire universe, including the human body.

  • Click here to listen to our first episode together which is a nice introduction to Ayurveda

  • Ayurveda and Yoga are related as two sides of the same coins as sister sciences.  Yoga is more about the spiritual body and Ayurveda is more about the Physical body and medicine side.  They are entwined and many of the prescriptions in Ayurveda are Yogic practices.

  • The Pancha Mahabhutas are as follows:

    • Space or Ether (Vata) where there is space in our body and the space outside and around us

    • Air (Vata) is all about the winds in our body and around us

    • Fire (Pitta) is all about the digestion in our body and mind.  Each of the five elements also has it’s own Agnis

    • Water (Kapha) is about the water in our body and around us

    • Earth (Kapha) is about dense tissue in our body which maintains the structure of our body

  • The five elements relate to the Doshas as follows:

    • Main tenant is like increases like and opposites balance each other

    • Vata (Space & Air)

    • Pitta (Fire & Water)

    • Kapha (Water & Earth)

  • Pitta as Fire & Water come together to create a dampness in the body like steam.  They are slightly oily in the skin and have loose joints.

  • The five elements breaks down seasonally in the Ayurvedic clock

    • Spring – Earth and Water is associated with Kapha (early Spring) and Pitta (late Spring).  This Spring has been more Pitta like in Cleveland as it’s been warmer than usual.

    • Summer – Fire and is associated with Pitta

    • Fall – Air and is associated with Vata

    • Winter – Earth is associated with Kapha

    • Marissa goes on to explain how Ayurveda recommends individuals with specific Doshas stay balanced in each season.

  • With the Ayurvedic diet we eat based on our Dosha and the seasons.  It all breaks down to the 6 tastes of

    • We need to be mindful if we are in the time of year which is our predominate Dosha

    • Kapha – Earth & Water – Winter & early Spring – It is wet and damp and there is a lot of mucus in the body with allergies and we need to do things to mitigate these things.  Kapha individuals and most of us in the Spring should eat food that are pungent, bitter and astringent, which are all detoxifying.  Pungent are more spicy which will clear the sinuses out.

  • It’s important to understand the elements because it’s how everything is determined and broken down in Ayurveda.  It helps us to understand what will bring us out of balance and then what we can do to lead us back into balance, what we gravitate to because of our Dosha, what we should avoid and what we should do more of to maintain overall balance each season and during seasonal transitions.

  • We go on to discuss lifestyle tips for Kapha – Earth & Water – Spring.

    • Marissa suggests being extra mindful of congestion and allergies

    • Use a Neti pot and Nasya oil to keep the sinuses clear and open

    • Stay away from milk and dairy products and sweet foods

    • Maintain a routine and do not nap this time of year

    • 6 to 10 am & pm is Kapha time on the Ayurvedic clock.  If you wake up later in the morning you may notice excess mucus in the mouth and nose.  Try to rise before the sunrise.

    • Gravitate towards pungent, bitter and astringent aromas for aromatherapy like Tulsi, Pine, Cinnamon, Clove, Rosemary and are best used in a diffuser

  • Then we move on to tips for Pitta – Fire – Summer

    • Be mindful of things that create imbalances in Pitta.  Most of us have excess Pitta in the body.

    • We want to avoid overheating

    • Stay away from sour, pungent, spicy tastes

    • Eat watery  and sweet fruits and vegetables like cucumbers and melons

    • Our digestion (Agni) is at it’s strongest in the Summer.  We can eat Raw foods in the summer.

    • Cool down the anger in the body.  Cool down with Shitali breath and Left nostril breath.  Alternate nostril breath works great too.

    • Eat locally and seasonally harvested food in the Summer

    • Rose, Sandelwood, Fennel, Mint are the best cooling scents for aromatherapy.  Be careful with citrus oils because of Pitta’s sensitive skin.  Bergamont is the best citrus oil for Pitta.

    • I like to use Rosewater Spray in the Summer.  Marissa suggest making eye pads with Rosewater for a cooling practice in the Summer

  • Marissa recommends that we all do occasional cleanses for the body including Panchakarma.  There are many different levels of cleanses we can perform with Panchakarma being the most thorough.  Panchakarma should be done with the assistance of an Ayurvedic professional.  An easy Spring cleanse of eating a mono diet of Kitchari for a few days while drinking a detox tea can be done by anyone.  Marissa recommends starting with one day and see how you feel.  Increase the number of days based on what we can handle.

  • Some individuals experience constipation with a Kitchari mono diet.  Marissa and her teacher recommend  taking Triphala during the cleanse.

  • Marissa went on a cross country road trip she called her #moospiritquest for 5 weeks by herself.  She tells us about her journey.  She created an intention list before she left.  She wanted to do Yoga on every stop, she wanted to be outside in nature, she wanted to release and face some fears, she wanted to be in small towns and away from the city.  She purposely did very little planning to learn to be more spontaneous.  She met some amazing people in places she had never been before, where there are wonderful and kind people.  She learned that the divide we see from politics is just not there with humanity.  She felt more of the connection and oneness than any divide.  She learned that we tend to project our own issues on everyone else instead seeing them in ourselves.  She loved the Yoga classes she took which helped her connect to each individual community she visited.  She found every town she visited has a yoga studio and she tended to be the youngest person in the class!

  • Marissa’s current offerings are Ayurveda & Yoga for Anxiety workshop on May 18th at 7pm and Ayurveda and Yoga for Headaches and Migraines on May 8th at 7pm.  She just hosted an Ayurveda workshop for Aromatherapy.  Marissa will continue to host Ayurvedic workshops to help those with common and everyday ailments.

  • Check out FivePrana.com for information about Marissa’s offerings including Workshops, Ayurvedic Consultations and Treatments.

  • Marissa left us with the idea of PMA (positive mental attitude).  Marissa realized on her road trip that all the negative thinking in her past was such a waste of time.  Focus on all the good things that are happening in your life and that could happen in the future based on what you are planning.  We all spend too much time being negative and talking ourselves out of so many great things we could be doing with our lives.

Thank you all for stopping by and listening.  I hope you enjoyed the second episode on Ayurveda.  Stay tuned for Season 3 coming back September 2017!

Om shanti shanti shanti

~Zen Jenn