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Ayurveda and the Liver

The human body is a miraculous combination of our brain, nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system along with many other vital organs. One of the primary players is the liver which is key to our health and vitality. Continue to read more about Ayurveda and the Liver.

Ayurveda and the Liver Functions

The liver, a major organ located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. Essential duties of the liver include detoxification of our blood and other organs, synthesis of numerous biochemicals such as the making of proteins, hormones, and a wide variety of enzymes necessary for bodily and mental processes. Our metabolism is greatly influenced by liver health as it governs the regulation of glycogen storage and when needed releases glucose into the blood to maintain blood sugar levels. The production of cholesterol and triglycerides are performed by the liver. Bile is necessary to begin the digestion of fats. All and all, there are approximately 500 different bodily functions managed within these three pounds of special tissue. 

The Liver is a Pitta Organ

In Ayurveda, the liver is known as Ranjaka Pitta one of the 5 Subdoshas of Pitta Dosha. Those of us who have a bit of Pitta in our Ayurvedic Body Type will have a greater tendency to have a Ranjaka Pitta imbalance. However, anyone could develop an imbalance in the liver / Ranjaka Pitta. The liver is related to the Navel chakra and the Fire element. 

Inflammation of the Liver

The liver is adversely affected by our choices in food, lifestyle, chemicals, alcohol, prescription medicines, stress, malnutrition, air pollution, and negative thoughts / emotions. This variety of liver stressors will increase inflammation within this essential organ.

Toxins in the Liver

Food choices, food coloring, food additives, preservatives, byproducts of metabolism are among the toxins that will inflame or harm the liver. 

Ayurveda and the Liver Quality of Life

When the liver is inflamed, the numerous functions are adversely affected. This can slowly develop over the years. On day, you realize that you are not feeling well. Your reproductive hormones may be affected along with your thyroid hormones. Blood lipid levels, blood sugar levels, liver enzymes, along with respiratory, clarity of thinking, skin issues, sleep, energy levels, digestion, immunity, auto immune diseases, are just a few aspects of your mind / body that might be affected.  As everyone is an individual, we will all respond in our own way with differing symptoms. One thing is evident, the quality of life and ability to age gracefully will be decreased. 

What Can We do to Balance the Liver?

Shaktiveda Liver Group Cleanse is designed to address the effects of the variety of stressors and inflammation within your liver. 

Our group cleanse is designed for everyone to benefit. We offer several options so that it can be customized for your particular concerns and needs. We will be offering our Shaktiveda Group Cleanse 3 times per year – Winter, Spring, and Autumn. The cleanse is offered in two parts with both parts being 14 days. You may choose Part 1 or Part 2 depending on your cleansing needs or decide to join both parts. Most people will join Part 1 (liver cleanse) if they will only be doing one part.

Liver Cleanse and Liver Flush

Ranjaka Shodhana (Liver Cleansing) herbalized oil is taken for the first 5 nights to loosen and release toxins and imbalances from the liver – both physically and emotionally. We are now offering the option to add a liver flush aspect to our liver cleanse. You will need to begin taking our Liver Assist formula and Guggulu at least 10 days before the cleanse begins to soften and loosen the fatty deposits in the liver. Most cleansers do the liver flush aspect of the cleanse and you may also do a second liver flush if you also attend Part 2.

We believe that it is important to not only have a healthy liver to create balance, but also to have balance within our hormones – thyroid and reproductive. During her informative cleanse conference calls, she places an emphasis on sharing information on these and other topics to assist you in creating health and wellbeing within your life.

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Balance Pitta: Five Ayurvedic Tips

Summer time is related to Pitta Dosha. Pitta Dosha is a combination of fire and water. Fire in the environment is increased during summer time. When we bring balance to this fire element within ourselves and in our environment, then our summer is smoother and much more enjoyable. Here are some important tips to balance pitta.

Tip #1: Avoid Fiery Foods

To balance Pitta do not aggravate the fire element with your food choices. Three tastes aggravate, Pitta Dosha: pungent, sour and salt. Pungent taste is hot and spicy. Eating foods with a lot of garlic, onions, chilies or mustard will increase the fire within you. 

Excessively salty foods such as chips and popcorn will increase Pitta Dosha.

Sour taste such as vinegar, kombucha, and tomatoes sneakily aggravate the fire element.

Tip #2: Balance pitta with the Navel Chakra

Did you know that not only Pungent, Sour, and Salty Tastes aggravate Pitta but alcohol also greatly increases the fire element within us? We can actually burn alcohol, and that can give you an idea of how much fire is inherent with an alcohol. 

There are plenty of delightful drinks to have during the summer that do not include alcohol. The fire within alcohol adversely affects the liver. Your liver is governed by the Navel Chakra which is related to the Fire element. You may find doing the Navel chakra pose on the Awaken Within Yoga DVD very balancing to your Fire element. The mantra for the Navel chakra is Ram – pronounced like RUM.

Alcohol in yogic / ayurvedic terms, is very rajasic which will burn our sweet essence or Ojas. 

Tip #3 to balance pitta: Keep a regular routine 

Throughout the entire year, are Ayurveda recommends that lunch should be the main meal of the day because the sun is at its highest, and we have the greatest of digestive fire. During the summertime, this is greatly increased. be sure to eat a healthy balanced lunch with all six tastes. You want to have your main protein  source, your main fat source, and your main amount of calories during lunchtime. Of course, you do not want to over eat at lunchtime, because that will increase Kapha Dosha, and you could feel a little tired afterwards. You should  take 5 to 10 minutes after you’re done eating before you get up and that will help your whole digestive process. 

Another way to keep a great routine during summer is to go to bed by 10 PM. Pitta time of night begins at 10 PM. In order to bring balance to the fire within you it is important that you are asleep by 10 or perhaps 10:30 during the summertime. This allows your entire metabolism to work on healing your liver, your digestive system, and very importantly, theaspect of your brain that deals with emotions. 

Tip #4: Decreasing Fire with Food

Increasing sweet, bitter and astringent tastes in your diet is very balancing to the fire element and to balane pitta. Sweet taste is grains and oil and not just carbohydrates. Be sure to choose whole grains, which are needed for vitamins and minerals along with the energy they can provide. Bitter taste are green vegetables. Make sure to have a healthy amount of green vegetables each day. 

Overdoing it on salads may increase the air within you, so if that happens, put greater attention on cooked vegetables. Did you know that cruciferous vegetables need to be cooked in order to be better digested, and they also contain a substance that interferes with your absorption of iodine for your thyroid if they are eaten raw. 

balance pitta

Tip#5: Soothing Emotions

Watch your emotions during the summer time. We tend to be more active during the summer. We spend more time out in the sun and being more social. If you find yourself getting a little irritable or impatient with anyone, be sure to take a few moments to sit quiet to bring yourself back into balance. 

Have you ever noticed that you might become more emotional when you are hungry? If you are too hungry, this will increase the fire within you. This can make you more prone to having fiery emotions.

Our delicious formula Soothing Pitta Magic is truly magical to bring balance to Pitta Dosha on all levels. 

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Tips For A Deeper Sleep

Would you like to sleep deeper? Having a balancing bedtime routine is crucial to being able to fall asleep easily, and stay asleep. 

How To Unwind From Your Day

The first step is taking advantage of Kapha time. Kapha time of night is from 6 PM to 10 PM. The Kapha time of night allows you to unwind from your day. In order to reap the benefits, it is important that during the last  hour that we consciously try to relax. 

10pm Bedtime

Ayurveda recommends that we be in bed by 10 PM. If you stay up past 10 PM, you run the risk of getting overly excited by the fire in the environment. People with high Pitta may need to go to bed by 9 PM or 9:30 PM.

Increase The Release of Melatonin

If we honor the Kapha time of night by unwinding, beginning an hour before we go to bed. This allows our entire nervous system to relax and unwind. Our mind to be more at peace and it sets you up for having Melatonin released. If you stay active and busy and have the lights bright during the last hour before bed, it is very difficult for your brain to release enough melatonin to easily fall asleep. 

I recommend that you lower the night lights at 9 PM That you take some type of herbal nervine, such as our Peaceful Heart formula, Calm Within formula, or Jatamansi capsules. I also recommend that you take magnesium at this time. Magnesium is necessary in order for the nervous system to relax, and for your muscles to unwind and release any tension from the day. After you have taken your herbs, turn the lights down. I then recommend that you do some light stretching or perhaps ideally, you would do the root chakra pose on my awaken within yoga DVD. 

You need to avoid using any electronics as you are unwinding such as your cell phone, your computer, or watching television. Since your eyes are closed while you are doing the root chakra pose, this is not an issue. As you are finished with the pose be sure to turn the electronics off. Then, do some relaxing activities, such as taking a warm bath or sit and meditate for a few minutes. 

Experience The Darkness Of The Room

Once you are in bed, turn the lights off, and experience the darkness of the room. Experiencing the darkness of the room will assist you in continuing to release any sensations of stress.You may also find that, as you are lying down experiencing the darkness, that doing a slow, rhythmic breathing, will assist you in drifting off to sleep. 

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Healing viral infections with Ayurveda

by Dr. MaryJo Cravatta

Winter season can bring much joy with the holidays. Sharing time with family and friends, spending time shopping, and so many other delightful activities warm our hearts. However, we will also be more likely to come into contact with others that may be infected with the variety of  respiratory viruses that have been recently circulating. How can we best protect ourselves from becoming seriously ill?

Ayurveda and the Immune System

Our immune system will stay healthier if we have a balanced lifestyle, follow the Ayurvedic times of day, eat foods that are easy to digest (avoiding wheat and dairy), cleanse on a regular basis, and spend some quiet time each day either in yoga and / or meditation.

Most of these viruses will either enter through our nostrils or through our mouths. Since it is cold outside, many of us are heating our homes which can dry out our nostrils and sinuses. This dryness can affect the integrity of the tissues which makes them more susceptible to becoming infected. I have found that using a humidifier in the bedroom along with applying nasya oil regularly to our sinuses can be effective as a preventative.

Nasya Oil for Respiratory Health

Any of our nasya oils can be used for this. My favorite is Allergy Relief Nasya oil as it is deeply moisturizing and also anti-inflammatory. If you happen to be congested, you may want to try our Breathe Clear Nasya oil. To apply the oil, lay down on your back with you head extended so that you nose is pointed towards the ceiling. Exhale and hold the exhale. Using the dropper that comes in the bottle, put only two drops in each nostril.  Take a deep breath in several times to allow the oil to go up into your sinuses. Lay there for a moment before getting up. Wipe the dropper off if it had touched your nostrils so that you will keep your oil clean. If any oil went onto your throat you can drink some warm water.

Natural Therapies for the Sinuses

What can we do if we feel that we are coming down with something? Gargling with warm salt water and using a Neti pot to wash the sinuses are perfect to decrease the amount of virus that may be in our sinuses or throats. If you use a Neti Pot, be sure that ALL of the water is removed from your sinuses before you would apply any nasya oil. Have you ever used colloidal silver to address a sinus infection? Placing a few drops in each nostril will also assist in decreasing the infection. Use 50 ppm dose of colloidal silver that comes in a nasal applicator. Lie down on your back as you would as if you were using a nasya oil.

Digestion Affects our ability to fight infections

Be sure to eat lightly if you are not well so that your entire body can have more energy to fight the infection instead of trying to digest food. Have you ever heard that saying? If you feed a cold you will have to starve a fever. Many people are not hungry when they are sick – this decrease in appetite is your body’s way to improve your ability to fight the virus. Be sure to drink lots of warm water.

Anti-Viral Herbal Therapy

What herbs are good when you are sick? Drinking ginger tea several times per day is soothing and helps you to decrease Ama and toxins in the body. Having a ginger, turmeric, lemon, honey warm drink is helpful in many ways. If you are congested, you may benefit from our Congest Away tea or capsules. Our formula Neem Plus uses anti-viral herbs to assist your immune system in fighting infections. It is not only anti-viral but also anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-parasitic. Have you used zinc lozenges when you have some type of viral infection that has affected your throat? The zinc is anti-viral and assists in fighting the throat infection along with assisting your entire body. Zand makes a great Lemon Zinc lozenge that also contains a wonderful combination of supportive herbs.

How Emotions Affect Our Immune System

Probably most important is to get plenty of rest and to surround yourself with positive thoughts. Any negative emotions such as irritability, impatience, anger, worry or fear can adversely affect the immune response. Our bodies respond immediately to an uplifting and optimistic attitude. Filling your entire body with a sense of peace and joy allows every cell to radiate an inner state of health and well-being.

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Handling emotions with Ayurveda

We are about to enter into the holiday season with a wide variety of celebrations. These range from Thanksgiving to New Years with  many in between that we will share with family and friends. These bring about challenges about handling emotions.

During these times with those closest, have you ever noticed  having a tendency to express sides of yourself that you would never show with other people? Are the unsettled, imbalanced emotional moods conveying your true self? Why would the unpleasant behaviors come out with those that we love? This seems counter intuitive as we would want to be our most loving with the ones that mean the most to us.

As you are reading, you might be thinking that this may not only happen when you are gathered for special occasions but may be part of your daily interactions with some people in you life.

Irritation, frustration, and impatience can quickly bubble up inside without notice – without much provocation.  Fiery reactions originate from a heart that is not at peace. This may be puzzling as you may have been meditating or doing yoga for a long time. Why would this still be happening inside?

handling emotions with Ayurveda
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Those with fire and Pitta in their body type will be more prone to this type of response. But anyone can be triggered due to  inflammation and unprocessed emotions. Its time to learn about handling emotions!

Those of you who have had a consultation with me know that this is also related to your Chakra Life Lesson. Each one of us is a soul who has come into this life with a theme or a list of lessons that we will have the opportunity to work on as our life unfolds.

The key in understanding why we may have certain uncomfortable tendencies is having awareness that we have aspects of our lives that need to be acknowledged. This involves having the clarity to view ourselves with an open mind and heart. As we begin to look deeply at ourselves, it is important that we not criticize what we may find. This will impede our progress. Lovingly viewing and accepting what we may need to work on allows us to fill our being with more love and light.

Consider herbs that will help you handle emotions better.

In future newsletters, I will be writing more about this path towards finding true inner peace and inner joy within.


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Sacral Chakra & Ayurveda

The Sacral Chakra, or Swadhisthana, is the second of the body’s Energy Centers. It is located in the abdominal area between your Pubic Bone and your Navel. It is responsible for our fluidity in relation to others, our ability to relate in an intimate way, and our creative side.

This Chakra is composed of the Water Element. All of Nature is composed of a combination of the 5 Elements (Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth). Each of the first 5 Chakras are composed of one of the 5 Elements. The purpose of each Chakra is related to which Element it is composed of.

In my understanding of the Energy Centers, the Sacral Chakra is actually composed of a combination of the Root, Sacral, and Heart Centers. We all know that our interpersonal relationships can be highly complicated and complex. It is due in part of all of the Life Lessons that have the possibility of being learned as we interact with others. If we lived on a desert island by ourselves, we would have a far lesser opportunity to work on our lessons.

The Sacral chakras and the subdoshas

The Subdoshas that mostly affect the Sacral Chakra are Apana Vata and Sadhaka Pitta. Apana Vata is located in the lower abdominal area and it is a downward moving Vata. It is closely related to the Root Chakra. Sadhaka Pitta is located in the heart area and in the brain. It governs our emotional and physical heart. It is also the part of the brain that processes our experiences.

Physical concerns that are connected to the Sacral Chakra may be: menstrual problems (uterus, ovaries, cervix), prostate problems, sacroiliac joint, sexual problems, erectile dysfunction, menopause, male and female hormone problems, lower back issues, hip replacement, bladder, uterine fibroid tumors, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, vaginal concerns, urogenital concerns in general.

Emotional concerns that are connected to the Sacral Chakra may be: feeling stuck, doubting intuition, fear of abandonment, not easily satisfied, not relating to others, difficulty in opening up to others, social status, financial security, boundaries in relationships, this is the place where fantasy begins as we interact with our family and friends.

Since we are a mind / body connection, it is very important that we realize that our thoughts and emotions will have an impact upon our body. Physical problems that arise from Second Chakra issues are very common. The old, unprocessed emotions will make a “sticky” type of emotional ama (toxins) that can be difficult to remove. Once we are set in our patterns, they appear to be normal to us. Holding on to old past hurts, sadness, and disappointments with others will find their way into the Sacral Chakra. We need to first recognize that they are there, and then begin to take the steps to eliminate them.

Treating the sacral chakra

There are many wonderful ways to address the Sacral Chakra imbalances. A multi dimensional approach is usually best.

Yes, it is good to put attention on the physical manifestation of the imbalance with Ayurveda, Yoga Asanas, Massage, Western Medicine, Chiropractic, etc – but, the deeper underlying concerns must be taken into account in order to free yourself of the possibility that problems won’t come back in the future.

Mantra for the sacral chakra

The Mantra for the Sacral Chakra is Vam. Gently repeating this mantra while putting your attention on your abdominal area will assist in the healing process. Many find it helpful to fall asleep at night with their hands placed on their abdomen and silently repeating the Mantra Vam.

At Shaktiveda, we approach all concerns with first looking at what may be the subtle causes. In the pulse, there is a layer that will indicate what Chakra and Layer of the Etheric Body (Kosha) someone is working on. With this understanding, it makes it much easier to fully address the health concerns on all levels.

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being.

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Ayurvedic Oil Pulling / Cleansing Technique

Ayurvedic Oil Pulling is the most amazing cleansing technique.   This ancient therapy had been “lost” for many decades – thank goodness it has regained in popularity over the last several years.  It is easy and effective.

In the morning, on an empty stomach, before brushing your teeth – put 1 TBSP of plain sesame oil in your mouth.  Swish it for 15 – 20 minutes – it will turn white (like milk) as you complete the process.  Be sure to spit it out and then rinse your mouth before eating or drinking anything.

It pulls toxins, Ama, heavy metals, viruses, bacteria, and anything that is foreign out of the body.  Doing this on a regular basis will assist your body in healing any aspect of your body.

According to Ayurveda, the tongue represents and shows the health of the entire body and thus the oil, the oil bathes your tongue and encourages all of the different organs of your body to release toxins and doshic imbalances.

Ayurvedic oil pulling is very beneficial to the mouth, gums, and teeth.  I have many patients who have dramatic improvements in their gum tissue – a few with having regrowth of gum tissue where it had eroded from receding gums.  Just about everyone comments on the fact that their teeth have whitened.  One patient had neglected her teeth for decades and was in the process of losing two very loose teeth.  She had been told that they would have to be pulled.  She oil pulled at least 3 times per day, and within a few weeks, her teeth were firm once again.  Absolutely miraculous.

You will find that when you spit it out, there is at least 3 times as much liquid coming out as you put in.  This is due to the pulling effect on the saliva.  The saliva is made up of rasa dhatu – the liquid portion of the blood, blood plasma, and lymph system.  So, Ayurvedic oil pulling encourages the blood and the lymph system to cleanse.

Contact us to be added to our monthly Ayurvedic Newsletter – interesting articles, healthy recipes, herbal information, and more!

Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being.

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Ayurveda and Menopause / Peri-Menopause

In my practice in Northern California / Grass Valley, CA, I have had the opportunity to see many peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women. In this article, you will find information explaining an Ayurvedic understanding of the reproductive hormones and get a clearer understanding of Ayurveda and menopause.

ayurveda and menopause

Every woman will respond differently as she goes through the transition of Menopause.  We mostly  hear of the difficult problems that women may have – but there is definitely the possibility that this transition can be very smooth and hardly noticeable.  This all depends on whether her Doshas are balanced or not balanced.  Women with Pitta predominant body type will be more prone to hormone problems.  This is due to the fact that Ranjaka Pitta – the Pitta in the Liver – has a very large impact on sex hormones.  But, any body type can be affected.  It is ideal that a woman prepares for at least several years before menopause to bring balance to Ranjaka Pitta.

A Ranjaka Pitta imbalance will cause an over active Liver which will “burn” the hormones.  The first to be affected is usually Progesterone.  Many peri-menopausal women have problems due to this.  A Ranjaka Pitta imbalance may be  caused by a wide variety of things:  eating Pitta aggravating foods, drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, any drugs – OTC, prescription, etc as they need to be processed by the Liver, holding on to fiery Pitta emotions such as irritation, impatience, anger, envy, dis-satisfaction, etc,

Subdoshas and Dhatus that are involved in Ayurveda and Menopause

Vata – Subdoshas – Prana Vata and Apana Vata Dhatu – Asthi

Pitta – Subdoshas – Ranjaka Pitta and Sadhaka Pitta

Kapha – Kledhaka Kapha, Bodhaka Kapha Dhatu – Meda

In order to have a more complete understanding of the information, you may wish to read my Introduction to Ayurveda Article


Is a precursor of other sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone

Is a natural diuretic, Is a natural antidepressant,

Helps thyroid hormone action, restores sex drive, helps to normalize blood sugar levels,

Builds bone and is protective against osteoporosis, Is a precursor of cortisone (adrenal)

Progesterone has a balancing effect on Estrogen Protects against fibrocystic breasts,

Symptoms of Low Progesterone 

Headaches, low libido, anxiety, swollen breast, moodiness, fuzzy thinking, depression, food cravings, irritability, PMS symptoms

Estrogen – Estrone, Estradiol, Estriol

There are different areas of the body where estrogen is produced: ovaries, fat cells, adrenal glands, skin cells, breast tissue, etc.

Estrogen is beneficial to the vagina, cervix, and vulva. Decrease estrogen can lead to vaginal dryness and atrophy and predispose a woman to vaginitis and cystitis

Estrogen dominance can occur during peri-menopause and can be dangerous for women- Estrogen promotes cell growth

Phyto Estrogens are a safe, effective way to address low Estrogen. Many people confuse Plant or Phyto Estrogens with the adverse affects of Human, Animal, or Synthetic  Estrogen. Some women may not take the plant based Estrogens for this reason.  Human and Animal based Estrogens are composed of Cholesterol.  Plant based Estrogens DO NOT contain Cholesterol.  That do not hold the same danger as the human or animal based Estrogens may have.  They also assist in balancing cholesterol and maintaining bone density. The main Phyto Estrogen in Ayurveda is Shatavari. The main Phyto Progesterone in Ayurveda is Vidari Kanda.

And, many will also mistakenly believe that men or boys should not take Plant / Phyto Estrogens.  This is another sad mistake.  They will not adversely affect a growing boy.  And, they are very beneficial in assisting a man’s prostate in staying healthy.

Symptoms of Low Estrogen

Hot flashes, shortness of breath and palpitations, night sweats, sleep disorders, insomnia, vaginal dryness, dry hair, hair loss, anxiety, mood swings, headaches, depression, memory loss, frequent urinary tract infections

Emotional Affects of Decreased Reproductive Hormones according to Ayurveda and Menopause

Vata Emotions Mood swings, fear, anxiety, depression

Pitta Emotions – Anger, irritability, sadness, controlling, stubborn

Kapha Emotions – Lethargy, attachments, depression


Shaktiveda Ayurvedic Herbal Products have several different formulas to address hormonal concerns. There is a line of products for both the menstruating woman and the Post-Menopausal woman.

Shaktiveda Line of Ayurvedic Herbal Products – designed for Peri and Post Menopausal Women

Transitional Moon – for peri-menopausal women. Peri menopause may begin in a women’s late 30’s or early 40’s. 

Luna Rejuv Herbal Powder – for the very late stages of peri-menopause and for post menopausal women.

Luna Rejuv Nasya Oil – for both peri and post menopausal women

Luna Support Vaginal Oil – for both peri and post menopausal women

These may be ordered by ordering from our website or sending us an email or by phoning.


Shaktiveda Yoga (Workshops, Yoga Classes, Yoga DVDs)

Experience the Joy that can be experienced by the Shaktiveda Ayurveda approach to health and well being. With Dr. Cravatta’s siddhi to feel distance pulse,  you may have your consultation by either phone or zoom.

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Ayurveda and Thyroid – Key to Health

Our health is intimately connected to the functioning of the thyroid gland.  The far reaching effects of the thyroid hormone influence every cell in our body.  Metabolism, governed by this hormone, sets the pace for vitality and strength. Ayurveda and thyroid health are very important.

Improving Metabolism For Better Health

Ahh, yes, metabolism – how does it impact us?  A large part of cellular metabolism concerns how efficiently we burn calories to create energy and heat.   Thyroid hormone enters into each cell and is the catalyst to set off an entire cascade of events that allow for the proper performance of the various tissues in the body.  Without the power sparked by thyroid hormone, every individual cell could become weak and unable to effectively do its job.

Symptoms of Hypothyroid

Insufficient thyroid function may cause fatigue, foggy thinking, weight gain, decreased concentration, loss of memory, weak muscles, brittle hair, and temperature fluctuation.  This list could go on and on since every system in the body is affected by the thyroid.  We could include depression, hair loss, constipation, muscle cramps, and irregular menstrual cycles.  However, to some extent, any malfunction of the different bodily systems may be associated with the thyroid.

Ayurvedic Perspective on the Thyroid

In an Ayurvedic perspective, the thyroid could affect Vata, Pitta, or Kapha.  Whenever there is an underlying disturbance in any of the subdoshas, an inadequate level of thyroid hormone would more likely affect the cells or bodily systems governed by that subdosha.  For example, if someone has an Apana Vata imbalance in their abdominal area, a thyroid deficiency could weaken the muscles in the colon, slowing the digestive process; leading to either an incomplete bowel movement or constipation.

With a decreased thyroid, there may be a reduction in oxygen available in the blood and this can bring fatigue.  The sequence of events begins with the weakening of the heart muscle which in turn slows the heart rate. Oxygen production is diminished – making less available to be utilized during metabolism.  As the amount of energy that is created through cellular metabolism is lessened, fatigue will ensue.

Ayurveda and thyroid: How does the Thyroid become imbalanced?

Energetically, the thyroid is governed by the throat chakra. Physically, the thyroid is located within the subdosha Udana Vata which is located in the upper chest, neck, and throat area.  The 3 Doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha,  can be subcategorized five times each into the 15 Subdoshas. Both the Throat Chakra and Udana Vata are related to communication: speaking, hearing, listening, and the performance of action.

The Throat Chakra is also known as Vishudhi or Truth. If we are not able to fully express our inner truth this is disruptive to the well being of the Throat Chakra and to the Thyroid. The Throat Chakra also affects our living our truth which manifests as our thoughts behaviors, and actions. Any  unprocessed cellular memory that remains in the lower four chakras (Root, Sacral, Navel, or Heart) will have an influence on the well being of the Throat Chakra, Udana Vata, and the Thyroid Gland.

How Repressed Emotions Affect the Thyroid

Either hypo or hyperthyroid may be caused by subtle factors relating to expressing ourselves.  There may be an accumulation of repressed desires or emotions from a non supportive relationship.  Perhaps our words have not been valued or dealt with as being insignificant.  Other times, feeling powerless and not in a position to fulfill our needs or to take the steps necessary to advance dreams into reality.  Any of these can disrupt the natural flow of life force in the Throat Chakra and create a blockage. Ayurveda and thyroid is very important for general well-being.

Thyroid Blood Tests May Be Misleading

Thyroid tests may not show a clear picture of the body’s needs or utilization of thyroid hormone.  Blood test results for T3 and T4 are quite broad and may suggest within the normal limits; however, this may not be indicative of the needs of the individual.  Reproductive hormones play a significant role in the proper functioning of the thyroid.  A surprisingly high percentage of peri and post menopausal woman have transitioning sex hormones along with a decrease in  thyroid function.  For these woman, both the sex hormones and thyroid hormones must be addressed.  Usually, this can be attended to with safe and natural herbal therapy.

Peri-Menopause, Menopause, and the Thyroid

Going through this change of life does not need to be disruptive with symptoms that appear to be a mystery such as sleep problems, chronic fatigue, loss of  memory, unexplained dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands along with the host of known conditions related to fluctuating hormones.

ayurveda and thyroid

Iodine and Selenium for Thyroid Health

The lack of proper nutrients has a detrimental effect on thyroid function.  Iodine is necessary to produce thyroid hormone, but may be insufficient in the diet.  Using iodized salt and including sea vegetables such as seaweed or kelp assist in having the proper amount.  Selenium is fundamental for utilization of  thyroid hormone in cellular metabolism.  Excellent vegetarian sources for Selenium include brazil nuts, sunflower, sesame, and chia seeds.  Ayurveda thyroid Shilajit  (mineral pitch) contains both Iodine and Selenium in a highly assimilable form.  Shaktiveda Herbal offers Shilajit capsules along with Thyroid Assist formula or capsules and Thyroid Relief Nasya Oil.

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Awaken Your Spine 7 Day Intensive-Ayurveda Yoga

Awaken Your Spine 7 Day Retreat Blends the wisdom of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Chiropractic.

The Awaken Your Spine – Pelvic Pattern and Heart Centered Retreat. The information contained in this course is so beneficial, that it is offered as part of our Enhanced Knowledge Program.

Dr. Cravatta has developed an amazing style of yoga to facilitate the unwinding from cellular memory.   Traditional Yoga Asanas are taught in an expanded manner that utilizes Shaktiveda Yoga’s Divine Sevenfold Path to release and rejuvenate.  From her decades as a chiropractor, she blends this information with her understanding of Ayurveda and Yoga to truly address imbalances that affect us physically and emotionally.

All Chakras are addressed with this style of Ayurveda Yoga – and the emphasis of this course is the release of cellular memory that is held throughout the entire spine – affecting both our physical and etheric bodies. You will learn in depth knowledge of cellular memory that is held in the Pelvic area – particularly the Root and Sacral Chakras – and the Cervical / Thoracic spine – Heart and Throat Charkas — and, how all of this relates to our Navel Chakra (our Power Center). Discover what your pelvic pattern is and how it relates to the cellular memory that needs to be addressed and released.  This is intimately related to the cellular memory that is held in the Heart Chakra and may manifest in the thoracic spine, shoulders, and neck. As these old imbalances begin to unwind, one feels clearer, lighter, and has the ability to view life in a renewed perspective.

This transformational course is taught in an atmosphere which allows you to go deep within.

Dates:   April 2016.

Each day is structured similarly to our Awaken Within Retreat – beginning with group yoga, pranayama, and meditation.

Fee for Awaken Your Spine – Pelvic Pattern and Heart Centered:  $1,297  plus $224 for Ayurvedic vegetarian meals – if paid in full 3 weeks before the course begins you will receive a $30 credit towards Shaktiveda Retail products.

Ask us for suggestions of places to stay while attending the course. The course is held at Shaktiveda Ranch, Grass Valley, CA.

It is important to have a basic understanding of both Yoga and Ayurveda to be able to attend this course.