Archive: February 2011

From The Desk of Dr. Kotecha



The cold is still more severe in Shishir than in Hemant (early winter) and accumulation

of Kapha starts during this period.

Though it is the starting season of Adankal, still the body-strength is good and other

doshas are in balanced condition (samyavastha). The agni is still optimum, but one

should take cognizance of severe cold in the atmosphere.

Most dietary advices remain the same as that for Hemant Ritu, the only change in the

selection should be about the potency of food items. Instead of cold potency, the food

products of hot potency (heat generating) should be selected, to counteract the

excessive cold. These include stuffed brinjals (bharta), rice with moong dal and

chapatti’s stuffed with jaggery and sesame seeds. The bhakris made of bajra with large

amounts of butter or ghee are ideal at this time. Jaggery and sesame (Tila) are

unctuous (snigdha) and hot (ushna) in attributes. The non-vegetarians should enjoy and

relish with mutton, eggs and meat. In general, diet should be heavy (guru), unctuous

and hot in attributes.

Hot water bath is preferred and drinking water should also be hot. One should protect

with warm clothing, room-heaters and should practice heavy exercises.


Uttarayana already sets in with Shishir, and in Vasanta, the day becomes longer than

night. Obviously, gradually the strong sun-shine begins to liquefy the accumulated

kapha which then starts its work of vitiating the digestive power of its host. The

atmosphere becomes full of fragrance, with the blossoming of various flowers.

Heavy foods like eggs, chicken, sweetmeats and milk, bananas & dry fruits now should

be avoided. To avoid kapha, instead of rice, wheat should be consumed more. The

grains aggravate kapha and cause blockades in the channels (srotasas),

hence bitter, pungent and astringent tastes should be added, to curb the effect of

kapha. Incorporation of ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, asafoetida, chilly and

mustard in daily diet will be beneficial to stoke agni and alleviate kapha. Oils should be

preferred over ghee. Buttermilk and milk will be better than curds. Intake of honey is

advisable. Therapeutic fasting is recommended in this season. Boiled and then cooled

water should be used for drinking. Optimum amount of mild wines (Drakshasava) are

beneficial. In general, moderate amount of diet, avoiding sleep during the day and

practicing moderate exercise is recommended.

Asthma, influenza, sinusitis, cough and cold like kapha disorders are commonly sought

during this season. At the onset of Vasant ritu, prophylactic emesis (vaman), one of the

procedures of panchakarma is advocated to get rid of kapha, Nasal administration

Nasya of Vacha taila is recommended to keep the sinuses clean.

Shiatsu Workshops

Shiatsu Workshops off to Shining Start

Yesterday we had out first ever Shiatsu training here and the day was beautiful!  The sun poured in from the East as we took turns melting into relaxation on the wooden floor padded with a few blankets. This was my first experience of Shiatsu and I found it to be very similar to the Marma Therapy that I include with my Abhyangam Massages. The biggest difference being that this Shiatsu style of massage is done on the floor and the receiver is fully clothed, whereas the way I have learned Marma Therapy it is given as part of an oil massage and the client is on the massage table.

There are so may different methods and schools of manipulative therapy that are effective treatments of applied stimulation to the human body. In Japan, Shiatsu is considered a medical treatment. Like any such therapy it’s effectiveness depends on the skill of the practitioner along with the method.. We are fortunate here to have a masterful practitioner to train us and I should add that these trainings are not at this point to train professionals but are a sharing of some of the basics so that anyone can help to keep their friends and family healthy.

Our teacher Thommas Michaud, believes that incorporating regular Shiatsu treatments along with a balanced diet will keep us healthy.  It is food that nourishes life and is fundamental to good health, add Shaitsu and we help to balance the nervous system and keep the energy in the body functioning optimally.  According to the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare “Shiatsu therapy is a form of manipulation administered by the thumbs, fingers, and palms, without the use of any instrument, mechanical or otherwise, to apply pressure to the human skin, correct malfunctioning, promote and maintain health, and treat specific diseases.”

While it would take many years to become an Accupunturist or Shiatsu Therapist and work with the energy points and meridians (or pathways of energy in the body), the fundamentals of Shiatsu can be learned in a few days and used in a safe and effective manner. The next Level One day long class will be offered here on Saturday April 16 and I highly recommend the experience!

Sandra Sagarmurti Shotton


Published on February 6, 2011 at 2:37 am

Fear of Death

Subject: Daily Yoga Scripture Study

Patanjali Yoga Sutras 2.9 – Life’s Teacher

Interpretive Translation by Joseph Le Page

Fear of death, because it is part of the natural instinct to survive, is deeply rooted even in the wise

Commentary by Joseph Le Page – Life’s Teacher

Let death show you it’s never the end; only a bend in a river, already flowing before time began, a never ending story, told again and again, until life’s lessons we fully understand.

Let death teach you to be grateful; offer thanks and praise, from watercolor dawn’s wake til sleep’s soft embrace, remembering the gift of grace that lights each new Day.

Let death show you how to live like the bee; sipping the nectar of life while barely touching the flowers on which you feed, and sowing fragrant blossoms while sharing the honey of life so sweet.

Let death teach you to see the mystery; to look out on the stary sky, and see your own face reflected in those infinite shining eyes, and learn from a falling star the secrets of life, death and time.

Let death offer lessons in simpicity; learn to live lightly and enjoy the ride, for the heavy cargo you carry will only burden your stride, and at journeys end will all be set aside.

Let death teach you to forgive, for in that healing, knots are unbound and room is found in which to fully live, and in that freedom, to receive and share life’s gift.

Let death show you how to use your time; each moment we follow the call of freedom, we are fully alive, and each time we mistake limitation as our fate, in that blindness, a small part of us dies.

Let death teach you not to grieve; life is an arrow shot from the dark that enters the light for a brief moment of being, then returns to the mystery to continue its journey to freedom.

Let death teach you to accept; life is not a game of failure or success, only learning listen to the inner wisdom that knows everything is perfect just as it is.

Let death guide you to your source; all creatures are golden vessels forged by the life force, they come and go, but not the gold, the Divine source from which all unfolds, the essence of your soul.

Let death teach you how to best use your life; yes, we are programmed with the instinct to survive, but it’s not just to outrun death’s stride, but to use our precious time to awaken to the true Self inside.

And let death teach you how to die; to close your eyes and go inside, to unite with the very heart of life, the Self that was never born and never dies, and there abide in the one life of the Divine.

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