Daily Ayurvedic Practices

Recently we had our Ayurvedic Specialist, Carla Levy, speak at the Ranch regarding the best daily ayruvedic practices to help us stay healthy and prevent disease.  It was a very interesting discussion and brought up some really useful tips that are very easy to do on a daily basis.

The first thing we talked about was: What we do first thing in the morning?  Carla talked about how most of us wake up in a panic or overwhelmed, thinking of all the things that we need to get done for the day.  I’m totally guilty of this.  That is literally the first thing that crosses my mind.  What do I have to do today?  Or many mornings the first thing I do is check my email on my phone.  No good!  Recently, I’ve made an effort to not check my phone first thing in the morning and the thing is, not only do I feel less stressed, but also my eyes feel less strained as well, which is a relief.

Carla explained that the way we start our day greatly effects how the rest of our day goes.  She suggests doing a little chanting in the morning to stay calm and relaxed.  In Ayurveda, chanting is used as medicine.  We did a little bit in class and it was amazing how much more relaxed I felt after chanting for a couple minutes.  Another way to start your day calmly is saying a little prayer giving thanks.  Or instead of worrying about getting things done, say something like,” I wonder what today will bring,”  which someone suggested in class.  I like that one!  Keep it positive.

The second thing you should do in the morning is scrape your tongue.  Some you might be scratching your heads wondering what the heck I’m talking about.  Well, even though this practice is thousands of years old, many people don’t know about it.  It has been making a comeback at dentist office.  Have any of you been told by your dentist that you should also brush your tongue?  Well, Carla actually advises not to do that.  The reason is that overnight a lot of bacteria gets built up on our tongues overnight and when we brush it, the bacteria gets spread around.  Carla says we should be using a metal tongue scraper when we first get up and before we drink anything.

The third tip is drink a cup of hot water and lemon juice after you scrape your tongue and before you eat anything.  The reason for this?  Okay, not to get too personal or anything, but according to Carla (and many other nutritionists and wellness practitioners that come to the Ranch) you want to try to empty your bowels every morning and guess what helps you do that?  Yes, a big glass of hot water (or warm if you’re not a fan of hot drinks, but not cold.)  Apparently the hot water is like a mini-cleanse, flushing out any waste.

These are three tips that anyone can apply right away.  For more information on Ayurveda and Carla’s new Spring Cleanse, you can contact Carla at ayurveda@carlalevy.org and don’t forget to check out her site at carlalevy.org.

Taking the Ranch Home with Release and Mobilize

Who knew that two tennis balls could cause so much pain and pleasure at the same time.  Welcome to Release and Mobilize.  You know all those aches and pains in your joints and muscles that seem to accumulate over time?  This is the class that teaches you how to get rid of them!  The best part about it?  You don’t need anything fancy…just two tennis balls.  How cool is that?

So what exactly happens in this class, I’m sure you’re wondering.  Basically, you are using the two tennis balls to release tension in your muscles.  In essence, giving yourself a massage.  We started out using one of the balls underneath our right foot, rolling our foot over it.  Starting at the toes for a good couple of minutes, then moving down to the ball of the foot and finally the heel.  While it felt good, the really remarkable realization was when we walked around afterwards.  I really noticed a difference in my right foot compared to my left.  My left foot suddenly felt very tense while my right was completely comfortable to walk on.  Who knew, right?

We went on to massage other tense muscles including backs, shoulders, and the most sore in my case, my back thighs.  Killer!  I have to say that if you’re looking to take the Ranch home, this is the perfect class to teach you how to do that.  These massages are something you can easily do at home on a nightly basis or I’m sure even a couple times a week will help tremendously.

An Afternoon with Tibetan Sound Healing

My very favorite room at the Ranch is the Oaktree.  I just get the best vibes from it when I’m there and I always feel warm and fuzzy inside.  It may be because they have all the pillows and blankets so I can jet super comfy when I’m there.  Maybe it’s the beautiful wood ceiling and the huge glass windows that let the sun shine in.  Or it may be that every time I’m in there I’m listening to wonderful speakers or experiencing some beautiful music or sound.

Whatever it is, I’m always excited when a class is located in the Oaktree.  This particular afternoon I was feeling particularly good.  You see, I had already done a workout class for the day, had lunch and did my hair by the time this class rolled around just before dinner so I just ready to relax and learn!

We sat in a circle in those comfy chairs that sit on the floor and the afternoon sun was streaming through the windows, it was very relaxing!  Diane, our teacher discussed the different aspects of the sounds from the bowls that are used for healing in her practice and how the sound has been used to cure energy blockage and even cancer.

The thing I like most about the class was when she actually created sounds with the bowls.  We were all sitting in a half circle with our eyes closed when she came around to us and played one of the bowls right next to our heads.  Let me tell you, it was intense!  The most powerful vibrations echoed through my head.  I don’t know what the purpose was, but it felt strange and good at the same time.

I found the class very intriguing especially learning about how Tibetan Buddhism is connected with the sound healing.  Our teacher Diane Mandle has a private practice in San Diego where she produces sound healing and also performs concerts as well.