Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Glitter and some...

I was at a gorgeous dance performance on Sunday night..My friend Nanci's daughter Gia has grown up to be a superstar(I had no doubts at all)..It was a very transforming experience for me in many ways..It took me down memory lane of my childhood and school,performances and my parents,extra-curricular activities and some lessons..
One of the songs that were used for the choreography had these beautiful lyrics and I just had to share it with all of you..
It is quite a famous song I hear..Performed by PINK.
So,here goes..

"Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Closed your eyes and trusted, just trusted?
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, "I just don't care"?

It's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg
The sun before the burn
The thunder before the lightning
The breath before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?

Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
You're whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone
Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?

It's only half past the point of oblivion
The hourglass on the table
The walk before the run
The breath before the kiss
And the fear before the flames
Have you ever felt this way?

La La La La La La La La

There you are, sitting in the garden
Clutching my coffee,
Calling me sugar
You called me sugar

Have you ever wished for an endless night?
Lassoed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight?
Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself will it ever get better than tonight?
Tonight "

and now my addition..
"Have you ever felt distance in your love ?
Have you ever felt the need for a peace dove ?

Don't you know that magic that is there will always be waiting ?
It is the sound of the glow worms in the moonlight,mating.

Did you trust in the Universe to show you what is true ?
Did you know that everything that you feel is part of a never ending brew ?

As you have always known,true love stories never have endings..
What seems like the end is just another set of beginnings..

Knowing the above,can you see the glow in your eye ??
It looks much better than tears flowing by..."

I hope you go to sleep every night.knowing that there is someone,somewhere who misses you..

Vaidya Priyanka

Monday, November 1, 2010

Narayanan Krishnan-a real life hero..

This is one of the most incredible stories of personal commitment.
This wonderful soul brought tears to my eyes while I discovered more and more about him.

Narayanan Krishnan, all of 29 years old now, does what he was professionally trained to do as a chef. Feed people. Only Krishnan does not do this in the swanky confines of a 5-star hotel. Every day, he wakes up at 4 am, cooks a simple hot meal and then, along with his team, loads it in a van and travels about 200 km feeding the homeless in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

Krishnan feeds, often with his hands, almost 400 destitute people every day. And for those who need it, he provides a free haircut too.

According to CNN, eight years ago, this award-winning chef with a five-star hotel chain was all set to go to Switzerland for a high-profile posting. On a visit to a Madurai temple, he came across a homeless, old man eating his own human waste. That stark sight changed Krishnan's life.

Much to the dismay of his parents, CNN says, Krishnan abandoned his career plans and decided to spend his life and his professional training in looking after those who could not care for themselves. He has provided more than 1.2 million hot meals through his nonprofit organisation Akshaya Trust, and now hopes to extend this to shelter for the homeless too.

Krishnan is the only Indian in a list of 10 heroes that CNN has picked worldwide to honour. One of them will be chosen CNN Hero of the Year, selected by the public through an online poll. If many Indians get together to vote for this inspiring man, he can win by a long mile.

If Krishnan wins he will get $100,000 in addition to the $25,000 that he gets for being shortlisted for the Top 10. Akshaya Trust needs all the monetary support it can get to build on Krishnan's dream. Let's help him get there.

Vote for Krishnan here. The poll continues through November 18 at 6 a.m. ET.

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/catch%20of%20the%20day/catch-he-brings-hot-meals-to-india-s-homeless-61029?cp

Voting Link: http://heroes.cnn.com/vote.aspx

We,at Aum Ayurveda have the honour of having a "Meet and Greet" event with Mr Narayanan Krishnan on Thanksgiving Day,the 25th of November,2010,Thursday at Aum Aradhana,San Jose,CA-95135.For further information:Please do email ayurvedaforlife@yahoo.com

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Invitation

Another one of my favourite piece of writings ever..Just had to share it..

The Invitation

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Excerpted with permission from THE INVITATION by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (published May 1999). Copyright © 1999 by Mountain Dreaming Productions. All rights reserved.

Our Deepest Fear...

I have always been asked what my most inspirational quote is and I thought since I get inspired everyday,reading or reciting it,loudly or in silence,I should share it with all of you.

This widely acclaimed poem is actually not a poem at all, but an excerpt from A Return To Love, a book by motivational speaker Marianne Williamson.
"Our Deepest Fear" (is often mistakenly cited as a Nelson Mandela quote).
The passage has such inspirational power that it is now a stand-alone mantra for a generation of exceptional individuals who wish to motivate themselves and others to live up to their fullest potential.

The words "deepest" is often replaced with "greatest" in reprints of the passage, although the original uses "deepest", as seen below. "Our Deepest Fear", as it is best known, is a cultural phenomenon as it is quickly becoming one of today's most well known sagacious quotes from an author who lives amongst us.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Make your dreams come true,stay inspired,remain honest to your purpose,love unconditionnally ..and celebrate each day like it is your last..
Vaidya Priyanka

From God's own country..

It has been a long time since I blogged..I write to you from the land of Ayurveda,spices,music,culture,tradition and good home style cooking..or should I say "aum" style cooking..
This afternoon was a meal extrordinaire.
Ela Sadya
A Sadya is a big feast associated with a special occasion, such as a marriage, birthday, childbirth but there was no such special occasion today except to celebrate the day,the present moment,the culinary experiments that I am more than happy to be part of..always..
The meal is traditionally a vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf and can have upto 24 dishes served as part of it.
We eat the meal sitting cross-legged on the floor.
The dishes are plain boiled rice, many curries, papadum, plain yogurt and or buttermilk, banana,cassava or plantain chips, and two or more sweet dishes. The curries are made of different vegetables and have different flavours,textures,colours. They can be made of yogurt, bitter gourd, mango, jaggery and several other local vegetables.
It is often said that we should never allow a guest to leave our homes without them enjoying at least 3 dishes.With such a wide array of gastronomic delights,guests would be very satisfied.
Coconut, being abundant in Kerala, is used in almost all dishes. Coconut milk and yoghurt are also part of the culinary fare as star ingredients.
There is a specific place for each item on the plantain leaf. For example, the pickles are served on the top left corner and banana on the bottom left corner. We can this determine what is missing on each guests' leaf just by glancing at an empty space on the leaf.
There are variations in the menu according to the place and the religion. Some communities include non-vegetarian dishes in the sadya. Although custom was to use traditional and seasonal vegetables, it has become common practice to include vegetables such as carrots, pineapples, beans in the dishes. Onion and garlic are not typically used in the sadya.
The sadya is usually served as lunch. Preparations begin the night before, and the dishes are prepared before ten o' clock in the morning on the day of the celebration.
All the dishes are served on the plantain leaf; it requires a special skill to eat the food. The whole palm and fingers of the hand have to be used in the form of a ladle to lift the food from the leaf and eat it without spilling it.
Traditionally, the people of the neighbourhood spent the night helping the cooks in preparation viz., scraping coconut and cutting vegetables.
I really wish that you were here to share this wonderful meal with me.To take in the flavours of the food,the fragrances of the little town,its very hospitable people,the therapeutic recipes and the divine ambience.
Maybe,we will make a trip back to my "aum" land together very soon..
Until then,eat well
chOrruNDO? is a combination of the words chOrr(u) "cooked rice" and uNDO? "did you eat?" and literally means "Have you eaten your rice?" In Asia, it's very common to ask whether you've eaten or bathed. Such a greeting doesn't mean anything; it's just a way of saying hi. (The reason why it asks whether you've eaten rice specifically is simply because in Kerala, rice is considered essential for any good meal)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dimple-Mania !!

All of a sudden,it seems that people without dimples are a rare occurence..Everyone and their mother seem to have dimples..(quite literally and genetically)
They are everywhere..on television,in reality..on "reality" television...
What are dimples ?
Dimples are visible indentations of the skin, caused by underlying flesh, which form on some people's cheeks, especially when they smile (may be obscured by male facial hair).
Dimples are genetically inherited and are a dominant trait..
There is something about a dimple in someone's smile that can make people of either gender swoon. Obviously you can't make yourself have a dimple if you weren't born with one. But if you've ever wished that you could, it might have occurred to you to wonder how those lucky cuties got their dimples in the first place. The answer is fairly simple: it's all in the genes.

There's just something in the genetic makeup that determines whether or not you might get dimples. The dimple gene is a dominant gene so if which means that if one of your parents has dimples then you probably got them as well. It's simply a hereditary thing that is passed down from generation to generation.

If you're thinking to yourself that you know someone who has dimples but there aren't any other dimples in the family, there could be several reasons. Some of the major reasons that a person might develop dimples when their parents don't have them include:

1.Genes are funny. Usually we can tell from our genetic makeup which traits we're going to get and which we aren't. However, there are lots of genes that skip generations so it's possible that someone back down the line had those dimples and you're just the lucky one in the bunch that was next to get the gene.

2.Your parents' dimples faded over time. The dimples in the face frequently change over time as a result of changes that occur throughout the body. Muscles are developed and loosened. Fat in the face changes the shape of your cheeks. And dimples may disappear as you grow up. Scour your parents' old baby photos to see if there was a hint of dimple in there that you didn't know about before.

3.Your dimples are a result of the unique shape of your face. In some cases, the dimple is less of a genetic thing than it is an anatomical thing. Yes, it's passed down just like the rest of your body features. But there are some cases where the way that certain facial muscles form causes dimples.

It should be noted that there are different types of dimples which may form on the face. Most commonly, people with dimples have one dimple in each cheek which is visible when they smile. In some cases, the dimples are so poignant that they are visible even when the individual is not smiling. In other instances, the person may actually have only one dimple. In addition to the one-or-two cheek dimples, there is also the possibility that you will develop a dimple in your chin. This is more rare than cheek dimples and may not be the kind of cute feature you wish you inherited but it's something that you can see on people if you start looking around.

Just like the rest of our facial features, dimples come from our parents and their parents before them. If you love the ones that you have, you can thank the genes.

My mother's baby sis has dimples and my baby brother has them..so,go figure,genes can be a funny thing indeed..

People have gone to great lengths to get these indentations..There is not a single body part that you cannot alter with plastic surgery..From your forehead to your feet.

But there is one cosmetic procedure you may not have heard of. It's called a "dimple-plasty" and it's a cheeky new trend.

It might not be such a good idea to go under the knife for this pair of indentations..I have known of a personal friend who had no sensation on her face for 3 months and to top it all,she is an actress..that really did not work..

There have also been warnings against the procedure in the last few weeks.It might be interesting for you to do some research if you are indeed considering this procedure..

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

and this is a story of "them"..

We have all heard of childhood diagnosed autism but what is adult autism ?
Here are some symptoms,however only a professional can and should diagnose the condition in adults.
•Poor communication - Even people with mild autism tend to have problems picking up on the subtle aspects of communication, making human face-to-face interaction challenging. Body language, facial expressions, intonations and other non-verbal cues, as well as irony and jokes often gets lost in processing. This disrupts overall coherence and frustrates all parties involved. It is quite possible why many people on the spectrum actually prefer written communication, such as emails and IM. While neurotypical people may find this stifling, the autistic finds clarity and precision.
•Social awkwardness - Naturally, the communication problems often lead to some degree of social awkwardness. A group of friends making tongue-in-cheek comments about a celebrity or politician may be perceived as honest opinions, for example. Many people with autism tend to be uncomfortable with eye contact, which neurotypical people may take as a sign of disinterest or even disrespect.
•Lack of intimacy - A high-functioning individual can get through life very well, making friends and doing limited socializing, but it may be difficult to let that significant other through the innermost walls. This is not for a lack of want, but simply a question of not having the tools to quite get there kind of like how a deaf person can't pick up the sound of a beautiful symphony no matter how much he wishes he could.
•Problems keeping time - People with Aspergers in particular can have problems keeping track of time once they engage in an activity they enjoy. This laser-like focus is great in controlled circumstances, such as when studying or playing chess, but they sometimes require an external force to get them OUT of that almost trance-like state. It can also be triggered by tasks like stacking and organizing things on shelves and other activities that speak to the pattern-loving part of the autistic brain; it just clicks, and the person spends an hour organizing the spice racks just perfectly without barely noticing.
•Lack of emotional control - People on the spectrum may be out of touch with their own emotions, as with those of others. That means they get surprised and almost ambushed by their own reactions to upsetting situations. A mild case of adult autism would obviously not be anywhere near the tantrums an autistic four-year old would throw, but it's enough to get a little out of hand and perhaps react a little irrational in the eyes of a bystander.

I saw an autistic dad take care of his kids on a plane today.
To love does not require a social skill,intelligence,physical strength,good looks,wealth-you only need a beautiful heart that sometimes misses a beat because of all the love it has !!
In all of those spaces between the beats is when real love happens...
It was such a joy to see them..They were such a team-all he did was to love them and they( a 9 yr old boy and a 7 yr old girl) took care of him...Hmmmm...
The world has not lost its charm..
The birds still chirp..
The rainbow has more than seven colours..
Water soothes.
Tears heal.
Love is a true celebration.
My faith in humanity will never die as long as there are silent reminders such as these truly remarkable situations; made complete with the most spectacular people !

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My world of butterflies...

Ever since,I was a little girl..I have had a huge "connection" with butterflies that is so hard to explain..they were in my dreams,my meditations and my crayon art work..
The Butterfly is a universal symbol of change, resurrection, transformation, celebration, young love and the soul,I have been told..so,is that not everything abt anything and anything about everything ?
As a symbol of transformation or metamorphosis,the butterfly represents everlasting life, stemming from it's various stages of life.
1. Birth (the caterpillar),
2. Death (the chrysalis), and finally,
3. Resurrection (the butterfly).

In some myths, the Butterfly brings sleep and dreams. In others, it is symbolic of female fertility and is thought to be the bringer of children. The butterfly also represents love and relationships.

The Butterfly is a powerful symbol in mythology,religion and in many cultures, the butterfly has been the symbol of the soul that physical death cannot destroy.

In Greek mythology, Psyche (which literally translates to mean "soul") is represented in the form of a butterfly. Befittingly, Psyche is forever linked with love as she and Eros (Cupid) (the Greek god of love) shared an endlessly passionate bond together - both hopelessly in love with the other,(hopefully !)

In Christianity, it a soulful symbol as well.It is a symbol of rebirth and immortality. The butterfly is often seen depicted on ancient tombs, and Christ has been illustrated holding a butterfly in Christian art.

In China it symbolized conjugal bliss and joy.

American Indians call upon the butterfly for guidance in change, color, and happiness and Indians like me are just fascinated by them...

Like the butterfly, we are all on a journey. On this journey we encounter endless turns, shifts, and conditions that cause us to metamorphasize. All change is good - even if it may not seem so at the time. Change is what life is made of and it is necessary to grow and learn. At our journey's end we are inevitably transformed - not at all the same as when we started on the path.

Some of my favourite "butterfly" quotes..

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough." ~ Rabindranath Tagore

"May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond."
~ Irish Blessing

"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly." ~ Richard Buckminster Fuller

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."
~ Maya Angelou

"I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man." ~ Chuang Tzu

My all time favourite quote is:"Just when the caterpillar thought that the world was over,it became a butterfly.."

Recommended Reading:

Wings of Change by Franklin Hill

Attracting Butterflies & Hummingbirds to Your Backyard: Watch Your Garden Come Alive With Beauty on the Wing (A Rodale Organic Gardening Book)by Sally Roth

Of daughters and fathers...

This is an "official" baby girl week..Let me tell you why..My handy man Juan,(who I share with a lot of my friends)..asked me whether he could stay in my garage and he sounded and looked tired(obviously,he was joking..)...I asked him why..and he said that he had been working long hours over the course of the last few weeks and he was just tired..
He than added with a smile and said that the reason that he wanted a place to rest was because,he could not show his children how tired he was,when he came home..He said how they jumped around the moment they saw him..He also remarked on how many times he had seen Cinderella..I replied,"Juan,atleast,you now know the story.." and we smiled..
I actually think that this situation could be a good thing,infact a "great" thing..can you imagine,"that kind of love" when you come back home every evening..!!
Last night,I went to visit my friends,who are anxiously expecting their first child,a daughter..(The good news is that the mommy's water broke as I write this blog)..I saw in the eyes of the expectant father-concern,love and anticipation..It is amazing how strong men on the surface are really beautiful, emotional beings on the inside..very touching..
I realised how much of my "dada" ,I really am..especially,over the last few years..From him,I inherited wealth not in the form of riches..but the kind of treasures that make this world..a wonderful place..Friendships from all over the world,love of languages,the gift of the gab,smouldering eyes,curiosity to explore places and cuisines to name a few.. We might not talk often with eachother but we glisten with pride and speak to the world of eachother..
It is my dada's birthday tomorrow..Happy Birthday..Dada..(will call you !!)
The connection between a father and a daughter has a magic that nobody can take away..It will live through lifetimes..to me..those connections are the bright stars in the night sky..those,that will be remembered forever and ever more..
Here's a beautiful wish for all the dad's out there.."Happy Father's Day"
I am looking forward to the day when I can look at the eyes of my beloved; gently glancing into the eyes of our daughter(s)...Hmmmm...
I await the journey of sacred motherhood--a Divine celebration..

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I did not spell ROMANCE wrong but wanted to combine one of my favourite poets Rumi and Romance..and coin the word "Rumance"..

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī , also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī and popularly known as Mowlānā but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi, was a 13th-century Persian poet,theologian and Sufi mystic.
Here are a few of Rumi's best for just a little sample..you will definitely want to read more..

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere,
they're in each other all along.
From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

When I am with you, we stay up all night,
When you're not here, I can't get to sleep.

Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.
From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

I have phrases and whole pages memorized,
but nothing can be told of love.
You must wait until you and I
are living together.
In the conversation we'll have
then...be patient...then.
From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

Suggested Reading :Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing by Rumi

"Rise" in love ,don't "fall" in love...Life is always more beautiful when unconditional love is part of it ..I hope all of you find the "love" of your lives..

Spiritual Journaling ...

I wanted all of you to comprehend a very important aspect of writing your "magic"..in the form of spiritual journaling..So,here goes..
In this era of technology,most of us have forgotten our handwriting,our penmanship,our identity of ink on paper..
From to do lists to prescriptions to thank-you notes,I write a lot everyday..
Maybe,someday 300 years from now,my notebooks and journals will be discovered and will serve a deeper purpose or create a spark of inspiration for some lovely person..who knows ?
For now,it is a deep relationship that I share with the Creator,the Divine Force,Goddesses,teachers,experience,people,ideas and life..
The first question that most people ask is what can they write about..it can be anything...a poem,a piece of prose or even your favorite poem by someone else,written out beautifully in your own handwriting..things you sense around you (observations),places you've been and what you draw from them (travel) ,insights you've had along the way ,dreams,wishes,prayers you've prayed,special things that others have written or said,about your capacity to surprise yourself,
things you've discovered while looking back in the journal or maybe aspects of your meditation.
In all my travels,I am always on the lookout for a beautiful journal,an exotic notebook or a cover of a book that talks to me either by its aura,my resonance with it or the joy that exudes from it..I bring them all back home and keep them in a safe haven and have over the years picked from the bundle and filled them with words.I make sure I write every night before I go to bed..
Please make sure you buy a journal that talks to you when you look at it..and then it is time to commence your "journey of the written word"
The more gratitude we have..the more the Universe gives to you..but,it is important to write it down..it also serves as a great emotional and creative outlet..a best friend..a soul sister..a charming brother..a spiritual guide and a constant companion..
I have enjoyed writing this blog more than I thought I would..it is a wonderful addition to my day/night..
My "goodnight" routine includes penning words in my journal..meditation and then sleep..perfect..
Enjoy this experience of the spirit and let me know how the light just becomes brighter..
Many Smiles...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

All about WATER

I keep saying this over and over again to all my students,friends,family,patients/clients,neighbours..well,just everybody..drink WATER..it is the one thing that you should be "addicted" to..
What do you,your funny neighbour,your hair dresser,trees and your pet dog have in common ?
Well,we all need WATER to live and thrive..

"You're not sick; you're thirsty. Don't treat thirst with medication."

Dr. F. Batmanghelidj

I recommend drinking atleast 2 and a half litres of water a day.
Please make sure that you sip althrough the day.Do not drink water right before or after a meal..allow atleast 25 minutes between your last bite and your first sip..and 20 minutes from your last sip to your first bite..
Drink warm water or room temperature water but never chilled or cold water..we are warm blooded creatures..retain the heat...Hmmm...

But why is drinking water so important?
Here are just some of the top reasons you need to drink more water.

1.We’re made out of water—Between 60 to 70% of your body is made from water. Your blood, muscles, tissues, and other parts are your body are basically water as well. Because so much of our body is made from water, it only makes sense that we need to drink a lot of water to keep our bodies running properly.

2.Other drinks can’t keep you hydrated—Caffeinated drinks—especially sodas—actually make you even thirstier after you drink them. That’s because the caffeine acts as a diuretic, leading to more urination and more dehydration. Simply put, soda and other drinks just can’t hydrate the body like water does.

3.Lack of water causes fatigue—dehydration is one of the top causes of severe fatigue. So, if you aren’t drinking enough water, you’re probably tired all day long, and you might not have the energy to exercise, causing you to stay tired and out of shape. Don’t rely on caffeine to give you an energy boost, but instead, start drinking the recommended amount of water,every day.

4.Water is necessary for good digestion and is very important for proper digestive functions as well.If you’re dehydrated, your body won’t be able to break down foods as effectively as it normally does. Poor digestion can cause a wide range of problems, from constipation to severe abdominal pain.

5.Water helps blood circulate properly.Water is a necessary ingredient for proper blood flow in the body. As you drink more water, oxygen levels in your bloodstream will increase, leading to better circulation and improved overall health. Good blood flow can help increase your energy levels and burn more fat.

6.Toxins get flushed out by water—Your kidneys act as a filter. But for them to work as they should, they need to have plenty of water intake.Drinking the recommended amount of water each day, your kidneys will do their job more effectively, and your body will also expel more harmful toxins from the digestive tract.On the other hand,please do not drink large amounts of water all at once,that will be too taxing on your kidneys.

7.Water helps you burn fat and keep your metabolism on track.First, a lack of water actually slows protein synthesis—the muscle building function in your body. So, if you want to burn fat and add muscle, your body needs to be fully hydrated. Also, staying hydrated ensures that you don’t confuse thirst for hunger, causing you to overeat and gain more weight.

8.It is fantastic for your skin and you will notice that you are using a lot less lotion.Internal hydration is the key..

9.Lack of hydration causes many serious illnesses like cancer,heart disease,diabetes,etc.,..so,it is time to drink up.

Recommended Reading
“Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” by Dr Batmanghelidj

Friday, June 11, 2010

No Smoking !! PERIOD

In New York City tonight..am so glad that people cannot "smoke" in restaurants here..I have been so spoilt living in "smoke-free" California..
Did you know that in 1990, the city of San Luis Obispo, California, became the first city in the world to ban indoor smoking at all public places, including bars and restaurants.

In America, the success of the ban enacted by the state of California in 1998 encouraged other states such as New York to implement bans. California's smoking ban included a controversial ban of smoking in bars, extending the statewide workplace smoking ban enacted in 1994. As of April 2009 there were 37 states with some form of smoking ban.Some areas in California began making entire cities smoke-free, which would include every place except residential homes. More than 20 cities in California enacted park and beach smoking bans.

Enough Californian pride..Let's get a little serious here and learn more about smoking and why it is one of the things in the world that I just can't stand..

How does smoking cause cancer?
Cigarette smoke is packed full of roughly 4000 compounds, many of which are toxic and can cause damage to our cells. Some are carcinogenic (cancer-causing).
The three main ingredients of cigarette smoke are:
2.Carbon monoxide

Nicotine is not carcinogenic. It doesn't cause cancer. But it is a highly addictive and very fast-acting drug. Once inhaled, nicotine reaches the brain in less than 15 seconds. Most smokers are addicted to nicotine and crave cigarettes to feed their addiction. This is the key ingredient that keeps people buying cigarettes and keeps the tobacco companies in business.

Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odourless poisonous gas. It is taken up by the bloodstream quickly and impairs the smoker's breathing. The gas is also emitted by car exhausts, faulty boilers and fires and is very dangerous in badly ventilated spaces. Inhaling too much carbon monoxide causes coma and death by asphyxiation.

Tar is a substance made up of various chemicals, many of which are known to cause cancer. Around 70 per cent of the tar in cigarettes is deposited in the smoker's lungs.

Other harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke include
ACETONE, more commonly used in nail polish remover
AMMONIA, used in the dry cleaning industry
ARSENIC, a deadly poison used in pest control and insecticides
BENZENE, a cancer-causing agent used in the production of fuel and chemicals
CADMIUM, a very poisonous chemical that can cause liver, kidney and brain damage, used in batteries
FORMALDEHYDE, a known carcinogen used to preserve dead bodies

One of my friends,Dr Steven Bailey,author of Juice Alive ,a book I highly recommend has very interesting juice recipes that work like magic on many health issues.
My recipe for smoking cessation is part of the book.
Juice one medium apple,one celery stalk,one and 1/2 tsp highest lignan flax oil and 1/2 tsp of turmeric.Use organic ingredients.
Consume 4 to 6 times throughout the day whenever you have a craving.This drink will make smoking repugnant and significantly reduce cravings..

This blog entry is dedicated to a 'few' of my friends who "still" smoke..D'uh !! rather than being "smoking" hot..Come on people,it is time to 'wake' up and smell the roses..rather than 'stink" of a dry-cleaned,cockroach with a cheap manicure,drunk on insecticides and looking to be preserved..

Just got off the phone with my pal,Nandu who plans on giving up smoking by next weekend..(That will be the eighth wonder !!)..anyways,let's all wish him luck..

Thursday, June 10, 2010

All about Turmeric

What can I say,this blogging is getting very interesting..Just had a wonderful "aum" cooked meal with my friends..
I thought it might be a good idea to write about TURMERIC.
Let's start with some botanical info..
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae.
I consider Turmeric an absolute natural boon to the world as a powerful healer.The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin.
Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric. The other two curcuminoids are desmethoxycurcumin and bis-desmethoxycurcumin. The curcuminoids are polyphenols and are responsible for the yellow color of turmeric.
Tumeric has been used for over 5000 years in India..

I use a lot of turmeric in AUM cooking and the medicinal properties of this spice are phenomenal.(it makes the food so bright and happy,you just cannot be depressed with turmeric in your diet)
Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer's disease.

It is important to know that turmeric can be consumed and used topically as it is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent.I mix turmeric powder with a little water and apply it to small cuts and burns,I get,while I cook.

Did you know that when combined with cauliflower,turmeric has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer !!

Turmeric has helped in the treatment and prevention of several cancers that include breast cancer,lung cancer,melanoma,multiple myeloma,pancreatic cancer and childhood leukemia.It also prevents metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
It boosts the effects of the chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.Turmeric also stops the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

It is a very good idea to drink a glass of warm water every morning (especially during Spring and Summer allergies),mix it with 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and the juice of half a lemon,first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.Turmeric is a natural liver detoxifier and helps with allergy relief.

The curcumin prevents and slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

I do not believe in chemicals being pumped into a person's body.I consider the body a temple and often let my clients/patients know that turmeric works as well as most prescription anti-inflammatory drugs but sans the side effects because of its potent natural anti-inflammatory properties.Hence,it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Many of my clients with MS and ALS have shown remarkable improvement by adding turmeric to their diet.It is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

I use it for people with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis all the time,both topically and given as a supplement.

Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.

As always,please remember that all the advice given in this blog is for information only.
If you wish to try any of the advice given,please ask your physician first.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Introduction to Ayurveda-Three Doshas

Ayurveda was born in India more than 5,000 years ago. "Ayu" means life and "Veda" means knowledge from the Vedic texts. This holistic science is the knowledge of a perfect and complete balance of the Body, Mind and Spirit, including emotions and psychology, on all levels.
The dictionary says that "It includes in its consideration, longevity, rejuvenation and self-realization therapies through herbs, diet, exercise, yoga, massage, aromas, tantras, mantras, and meditation."

I come from a 716 year old lineage of women Ayurvedic healers,from Kerala India.We use a combination of Marma therapy (which we will talk about in a future blog), diet, oil treatments, yoga, meditation, breathing techniques and daily routine in our treatments to restore well-being.

According to Ayurvedic tradition health is the balance of the 5 elements air, earth, fire, water and space, and illness is an excess or deficiency of any particular element. Ayurveda treats illness at its source, rather than at the level of symptoms, and helps an individual to take responsibility for their own health and well-being.

The sister science of Yoga, Ayurveda was recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective system of medicine. Wellness decisions, including diet, exercise, and appropriate style of Yoga, are based on one's individual body type and physiological constitution.

Let's understand what these body types are all about.The structural aspect of the body is made up of five elements as we saw above, but the functional aspect of the body is governed by three biological humors or doshas.

A combination of the element ether and air constitutes vata; fire and water, pitta; and water and earth, kapha. Vata, pitta and kapha are the three doshas that are the three biological components of a living organism. They govern psycho-biological and physio-pathological changes. Vata-pitta-kapha are present in every cell, tissue and organ. They are present in varied permutations and combinations in every living organism.

According to Ayurveda, there are seven body types:


2.Pitta, or
3.Kapha predominant

5.Pitta-Kapha, or

7.Vata, pitta and kapha in equal proportions
Every individual has a unique combination of these three doshas and they surface in each individual according to their different qualities or gunas.

This dosha is dry, light, cold, mobile, active, clear, astringent and it disperses.It is possible that all of these qualities manifest in an individual. For example, if a person has excess vata in his or her constitution, because of the dry quality, he or she will have dry hair, dry skin, dry colon and a tendency towards constipation.

Vatas normally have a light body frame, light muscles and have light fat.They are likely to be thin and underweight.They have cold hands, cold feet and poor circulation. They hate the winter and love summer. Vata people are very active. Relaxing forms of yoga, swimming and calming exercises are ideal for the vata individual.They are the most easily exhausted of all the doshas.

Vata is subtle, and this subtle quality is responsible for the emotions of fear, anxiety, insecurity and nervousness. Vata is clear, therefore vata people can be clairvoyant; they have clear understanding and are very perceptive.They have high comprehension but also have bad recollection.Vatas because of their restless nature require a regular intake of nourishment and should sit down to eat or drink at regular intervals of time.

This dosha has hot, sharp, light, liquid, sour, oily and spreading qualities.Pittas have a strong smell and a sour or bitter taste. If an individual has excess pitta in the body, these qualities will be manifested. Pittas like their food and have a healthy appetite. Their body type is average build and well proportioned. The body temperature is a little higher than the vata person.

Pittas have very sharp facial features.They also have a sharp memory and use strong vocabulary to speak their mind. Pittas have a tendency to be sensitive to the sun.They like to read before they go to bed and sometimes pittas sleep with a book on the chest. They have premature hair loss in most cases.They have a fabulous sense of humour and a very warm personality.

Pittas love knowledge and are fabulous leaders and communicators.They are often wise, brilliant people, but can have a controlling, dominating personality. Pittas love competition and challenges.They are perfectionists. Jogging and team sports are good for Pitta.They should play for enjoyment rather than to win!

The third dosha is kapha. Kaphas are generally heavy, slow, cool, oily, liquid, dense, thick, static and cloudy.They are sweet and salty and have heavy set bones, muscles and fat. They will have a tendency to put on weight. Kaphas have the capacity to put on weight with a water fast! They have slow metabolism and digestion. Kapha people are naturally athletic but are in need of motivation.

They have a strong appetite. They are sensitive, emotional and require understanding.They have a tendency to turn toward food for emotional support that usually leads to weight problems.Kapha people are inclined to be slow and steady.They are methodical and pragmatic.They have an innate organising ability.

They have thick and wavy hair, smooth skin and beautiful, big and attractive eyes. Kaphas are very loving and compassionate. They have a sweet tooth.They tend to be sleepy people.They should address their aversion to any kind of exercise and physical activity.Vigorous exercise is good for kaphas.Eg: running, aerobics, fast swimming and weight training.

Now that we have an idea of what the doshas are all about, let us understand that by identifying our Dosha type, we have a better comprehension of our body and our mind.The main aim of Ayurvedic medicine is to improve health and longevity, leaving the individual free to contemplate matters of the spirit and to follow a spiritual path.The entire Ayurvedic lifestyle change is very practical in its applications.

Ayurvedic philosophy encourages those who practise it to eat fruits and seeds of the earth, rather than take the life of another living being. I have seen that people who accept an ancient form of cleansing, treatment and well-being (Ayurveda) in their lives, respect their bodies, detoxify their minds and enjoy their spirit. Ayurveda is a holistic science that enriches and enlivens your spiritual journey.

©2010-Vaidya Priyanka

Introduction to AUM CUISINE

Dear Beautiful People,

I have never been a fan of blogging but I thought I need to be part of the e-times and hence this new experience.

Cooking has always been a very meditative journey for me..and I would like to share some of the most important aspects of AUM cuisine with all of you.

"AUM" cuisine is Authentic,Universal and Meditative,I have trademarked it and plan to do something memorable for the world very soon.

Meanwhile,I hope this blog serves as an inspiration for you to make meals,live life and learn for you and your loved ones..

Many Blessings,

Vaidya Priyanka