Shifting toxicity using Yoga Sept 2023

For the next couple of weeks in yoga class we are using yoga and breathwork to cleanse and energise the body. And Ayurveda, the medical side of yoga, calls the waste by-product of our modern lives, Ama. Ama is incompletely digested metabolic substances. A bad diet, poor lifestyle practices, a low water intake and a sluggish digestive function all contribute to the build-up of ama in the body. What is interesting, from a yoga perspective, is that different body types store this toxic waste, ama, in different parts of the body. These body types according to Ayurveda are: Vata body type- slim, long limbed, nervous tummy, prone to joint issues and insomnia and a racing mind. Pitta – fiery, hot, prone to anger, hangry when not fed on time and prone to skin issues. Kapha – slow to anger, loves sleeping late and sweet foods, with a more sluggish metabolism and prone to obesity. So, according to these different body types where would they store their ama?

When we start to build up ama the body kicks into detoxification using natural reactions like vomiting, loose stools, sweat, skin eruptions, headaches or pain. If these reactions and channels of detoxification are not effective OR we use drugs to suppress this naturally occurring cleanse of your body, ama is driven deep into the cells. When we suppress the natural cycle of ama detoxification it then can cause inflammation or allergic reactions and without proper treatment this can lead to auto-immune diseases.

What are the different types of ama according to your body type?
Vata Ama: Vata ama accumulates in the lower abdominal area and pelvic cavity and affects the colon and the joints. This leads to constipation, dry skin, congestion, bloating and pain. Eventually, Vata ama can lead to more serious disorders like diverticulitis, arthritis, and sciatica. Balancing Vata Ama: Keep the colon working well, also use fresh ginger, black pepper, fennel, cinnamon, mustard, and rock salt.

Pitta Ama: Pitta ama accumulates in the central abdominal region, causing stagnation in the small intestine, liver, and gall bladder. It causes heartburn, acid indigestion, nausea, diarrhoea, feverishness skin disorders, and inflammation. Pitta ama can cause ulcerations to mucus linings, serious disorders in the liver, as well as infections of the blood. Balancing Pitta Ama: Pitta ama responds well to bitter herbs, rhubarb, and bitter greens like rocket. Also use coriander, mustard, ginger, cinnamon, lime, and tamarind.

Kapha Ama: Kapha ama accumulates in the stomach, chest, lungs, and sinuses. Kapha ama often leads to mucus, colds, coughs, sinus congestion, as well as lymphatic congestion. Balancing Kapha Ama: Kapha ama responds well to expectorants, emetics and herbs and spices that are pungent, bitter, and astringent. Also use dried ginger, black pepper, cumin, garlic, mustard and rock salt.

Ancient wisdom to help us lead more energised, toxic free lives.

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