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Spirit Of Ananda Feb 2015

Namaskar from Ananda in the Himalayas,

This issue of Spirit of Ananda explains the concept of Ayurvedic Dosha based cuisine, how it changes by seasons and the role it plays in weight management.

To follow Ayurvedic dietary principles one has to consider individual body types, personality, response to factors like stress, weather and also factor in the time of year and lifestyle. Each individual can be categorized into distinct body types – Vata (a combination of Ether and Air elements), Pitta (a combination of fire and water elements) and Kapha (a combination of water and earth elements). This is the starting point of the initial wellness consultation at Ananda where the skill of the Ayurveda physician lies in assessing each individual’s constitution.

Ayurvedic food can be divided into six fundamental categories according to taste: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent, with each taste containing nutritional factors that the body needs for proper functioning. Therefore, when thinking about food we must take into consideration not just taste, but suitability to body type.

For example, Vata body types (air and space) naturally lean towards light and dry foods so in order to balance this, oily, moist and heavy foods, with tones of sweet, sour and salt need to be added to the diet. In contrast, Pitta body types (fire, water) need cool and heavy foods with sweet, bitter and pungent flavours to dowse the fire. Similarly, Kapha body types (water, earth) need light food, with bitter, pungent and astringent flavouring- such as thyme, rosemary and mustard.

Different types of food can also be balanced by a variation of cooking methods and addition of herbs and spices according to the constitution. Sautéing (hot, oil) suits Vata body types, Steaming is preferable for Pitta while Roasting (Light, dry, hot) is ideal for Kapha body type.

Ayurveda recognizes that seasonal changes have a profound effect on our health, and offers several recommendations on how we can adapt our diet and lifestyle to stay balanced in each season.

Shishira Ritucharya (mid-January to mid-March)
In this season, Rukshaguna or dryness increases due to lower humidity in the atmosphere. This aggravates the Vata and Kapha doshas. Ayurveda recommends eating cooked food with warming spices and drinking hot water or warm herbal teas. Dietary recommendations are Cereals like Corn, Jawar; Pulses like horse gram, Watana (pea); Oils like mustard oil (very small quantity), Spices like ginger, garlic, black pepper; Vegetables like Sweet Potato, bottle gourd, ivy gourd, and Drum Sticks

Vasanta Ritucharya (mid March to mid May)
The bright sunshine melts the Kapha Dosha, which was aggravated in the winter months. So in this season, Kapha is prone to loss of appetite and indigestion. The focus must be on a Kapha related light diet and in improving the appetite. Spiced buttermilk is also recommended. Dietary recommendations are Cereal like Barley, Oats; Pulses like Chana (chickpeas), Moog beans; Small quantities of oils like sesame oil, vegetables like Bitter gourd, Brinjal, Radish, Pumpkin and Yam. Milk must be consumer in smaller quantities.

Grishma (mid-May to mid-July)
With intense heat and dry wind the environment feels lifeless. Individually also we feel weaker, aggravation of Vata Dosha occurs, but the vitiated Kapha Dosha is pacified during this season. Agni (digestive fire) of the person will remain in mild state. Dietary recommendations are foods which are light to digest like those having Madhura (natural sweet), Snigdha (unctuous), and Sheeta (cold). Cereal like rice, quinoa; Pulses like Moog beans are recommended. Drinking plenty of water, fresh fruit juices, light meat soup, churned curd with pepper etc are to be practiced. At bedtime cow’s milk with sugar candy is also recommended. Lavana (Salty) and food with Katu (pungent) and Amla (sour) taste are to be avoided.

Varsha (mid-July to mid-September)
During this season of high humidity, the strength of the person further lessens with vitiation of Vata Dosha and aggravation of Pitta Dosha, Agni (digestive fire) also gets disturbed.
Dietary recommendations such as cereals, aged barley, rice and wheat. Clear vegetable soup should be included in the diet. Acidic, highly salted and greasy foods should be avoided. Foods which are heavy and hard to digest like meat and fermented milk products like cheese should be avoided

Sharat (mid-September to mid-November)
Body strength remains medium, vitiated Vata Dosha is pacified while the Pitta Dosha gets vitiated. Activity of Agni (digestive fire) slowly increases during this season. Dietary recommendations are foods containing Madhura (sweet), Tikta (bitter) taste, and of Laghu (light to digest) those containing cooling properties, brown rice, millet preparations, green gram, fresh green leafy vegetables, sweet potato, broccoli, fruits like apple, pomegranate, cranberries and lean meat. Hot spicy, sour, acidic foods, highly fatty foods, seafood, and fermented milk products are to be avoided.

Hemanta (mid-November to mid-January)
Cold winds commence and the atmosphere is dry. Body strength peaks and vitiated Pitta Dosha gets pacified. Activity of Agni is increased, causing naturally increased appetite. One should use unctuous, sweet, sour, and salty foods. Among cereals and pulses, rice, whole wheat preparations and green gram are recommended. Warming food like lean meats, milk and milk products, fermented preparations, sesame seeds are recommended. Vata aggravating foods, such as raw, cold, and dry foods are to be avoided. Instead of cold water, consumer ginger tea.

Dosha based diet followed at Ananda is made of locally available organic grains, lentils and vegetables and focuses on attaining weight loss with balanced Micro and Macro nutrients that complement the various stages of treatment process. First the digestive fire or Agni is balanced to boost the basal metabolic rate. This is followed by a detoxifying low calorie balanced diet. This prevents pseudo appetite and improper digestion which through accumulation of metabolic wastes is the common reason for toxin build up in the body thus leading to lack of energy and weight gain in the body.


Diet Stages for the Weight Management Program:

1. Boosting the Metabolic rate (Agni)

– Start with the body type diet to balance the base nature (Prakriti).

– Lowering the Kapha levels

– Increasing the overall metabolic rate.

2. Eliminating the toxins (Ama)

– Detoxifying juices and diet recipes

– Low caloric diet.

– Healthy soups and vegetable purées

3. Dosha Balancing diet (Kapha)

– Kapha balancing diet which helps in boosting the fat metabolism

– Mixture of healthy and complex carbohydrate and protein rich diet.

Click here to know more about Ananda’s Weight Management program

Chris James, well known health and wellbeing expert and founder of the celebrity favourite “12Days” cleanse began his journey to wellness in the foothills of the Himalaya’s, in Rishikesh, the City of Temples.

Chris James will be hosting a very special week Yoga Ayurveda Detox, incorporating the Ananda’s inherent understanding of universal harmony and peace.

The week has been designed to deeply heal, cleanse, relax and revitalise all its participants. Every day Chris James will lead bespoke Mind&Body Cleanse™ Yoga & Meditation practices, and as part of your experience you will also receive a bespoke Ayurvedic or spa treatment such as Abhyanga – “four-handed-massage.” A traditional synchronized full body massage given by two experienced Ayurveda therapists using Sesame oil, or Choornaswedana commonly known as “the bundle massage,” which increases circulation, speeds up the elimination of toxins, relieves muscle pain and stiffness, rheumatism, arthritis and sports injuries.

The program will be held between April 16 – April 23, 2015 at Ananda in the Himalayas. Please contact Chris James for registration information at or at +44 (0) 871 223 0507

We also have an impressive line-up of visiting masters in 2015 who are leaders in their specific area of wellness. Our next 3 Visiting Masters are Rosemary Goerke (Chakra Balancing/Art Therapy – Mar 1 to Mar 30), Markus Lehnert (Spiritual Hypnosis – Mar 1 to Mar 15) and Leela Isani & Frank Weckesser (Self-Healing Ritual Apr 1 to Apr 30)

Please click on the Topic Links below to read more details on each program

Period Retreat/Master Topic Visiting Master
Mar 1 to Mar 30 Visiting Master Chakra Balancing/Art Therapy Rosemary Goerke
Mar 1 to Mar 15 Visiting Master Spiritual Hypnosis Markus Lehnert
Apr 1 to Apr 30 Visiting Master Self Healing Ritual Leela and Frank
Apr 16 to Apr 23 Visiting Master Yoga Ayurveda Detox Chris James
Apr 20 to May 5 Visiting Master Ancient Meditation technique, Reiki and Reflexology Suruchi Bazaz
May 1 to May 20 Visiting Master Healing and self-empowerment Roma Singh, Preeti
Aug 4 to Sep 3 Visiting Master Reiki, Qi Gong, Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage Toby Maguire
Sep 1 to Sep 30 Visiting Master Reiki, intuitive massage Jill Banwell
Oct 1 to Oct 30 Visiting Master Spiritual Healing Richard Currall
Oct 1 to Oct 15 Visiting Master Spiritual Hypnosis Markus Lehnert
Oct 16 to Dec 15 Visiting Master Cranio Sacral Cameron Walker
Nov 1 to Nov 30 Visiting Master Chakra Balancing/Art Therapy Rosemary Goerke
Dec 1 to Dec 30 Visiting Master Reiki, Qi Gong, Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Massage Toby Maguire
Dec 15 to Dec 30 Visiting Master Ancient Meditation technique, Reiki and Reflexology Suruchi Bazaz

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