Disease Prevention with Ayurveda
Living the healthcare crisis along with everyone else, co-owners of Living Room Yoga, St. Petersburg, Barry Cooper and Stacy Renz have been without health insurance for eight years and more than two years, respectively. In her work in hospitals as an occupational therapist, Renz has observed that patients who don’t have health insurance delay going into the hospital when they have symptoms of stroke or heart attack—conditions where early intervention is crucial—because they can’t afford the bill. Even those with insurance may have only bare bones plans that don’t allow for receiving the post-hospital rehab care needed for full recovery. And yet still, many who have benefits struggle to meet high deductibles.
Living an Ayurvedic lifestyle empowers the individual to take care of their health before a serious disease process sets in. It teaches them how to eat, move and live in harmony with the world around them and correct imbalances before they become more serious. Both Renz and Cooper have conditions that need to be managed. Cooper has asthma, allergies and a family history of diabetes. Renz is in menopause and has hemochromatosis (iron overloading) with a family history of diabetes. She also has a history of bronchitis when she gets a cold. Despite not having insurance, for the past seven years they have been managing their basic health needs with the five-sense therapies of Ayurveda and massage touch therapies.
Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and involves bringing one’s individual constitution in harmony with nature, the seasons, time of day and time of life, using taste (food, herbs, spices), smell (essential oils), sound (music, toning), sight (color, the right visual stimulation), touch (massage and exercise).
For instance, someone who is experiencing a vata imbalance may find themselves cold all the time with achy joints, anxiety and fear. Worry seems to plague them and their sleep is irregular. These symptoms may be worse in cold, dry and rainy weather. The five-sense therapy for them may involve the following:
Taste: Eating cooked, warm, nourishing foods very well spiced, like mung beans with vegetables and basmati rice, warming spices like cumin, turmeric, cardamom and cinnamon, drinking warming teas, such as vata pacifying chai, and refraining from eating light, dry and cold foods and drinks.
Smell: Diffusing warming and calming aromatherapy such as eucalyptus, lemon, holy basil and lavender.
Sound: Listening to calming music that is not shocking or disturbing.
Sight: Moon gazing, watching pleasing movies without a lot of violence, wearing orange or yellow, or including gems like garnet or yellow topaz in the home or work environment.
Touch: Getting regular massage with sesame oil infused with warming essential oil and herbs.
Exercise: Going for walks or performing grounding yoga poses, breathing exercises and meditation.
The result of this approach for the person with a vata imbalance would be greater warmth in the body, better circulation, less pain and worry, more ease at getting to sleep and feeling more rested upon rising. All these practices promote health and stave off disease.
Cooper has been studying Ayurveda and living according to its principles since 2005 and for the past four years has been pursuing his Ayurvedic Health Counselor Certification through California College of Ayurveda. As a result of living an Ayurvedic and yoga lifestyle, both Cooper and Renz have been able to practice listening to the whispers of their soul. According to Ayurveda, the primordial cause of disease is when we forget our true nature as spirit; when we start to listen we can achieve optimal health.
In the process of completing his internship for certification as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Cooper is offering lifestyle consultations for $65 to his first 50 clients. This includes the initial 90-minute consultation and a follow-up visit with results.
If you feel ready to take control of your health, prevent disease and work toward a harmonious lifestyle, call 727-826-4754 or email bAyurveda@gmail.com to get started.
Stacy Renz, MOT, OTR, C-IATY, E-RYT500 and Barry Cooper, LMT, AHC Intern, E-RYT200, 500-hour certified yoga teacher are the co-owners of Living Room Yoga, LLC, 8424 4th St. N, Ste. G, St. Petersburg. Renz promotes healing through cranial sacral therapy (OT8447), yoga therapy and yoga classes and Cooper through traditional, Thai, and Ayurvedic massage (MA42548), Ayurvedic lifestyle counseling and yoga. See ad left.
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