Have you ever heard the word ama before? It’s an important word in the Ayurvedic system to describe the toxic waste, sticky gooey sludge that builds up in the channels of the body when your digestive fire (agni) becomes weak due to overeating, improper food combining, too many cold liquids mixed with your meals, stress, or a compromised immune system. Blocked channels in the body become breeding ground for dis-ease and parasites as partially digested food matter putrefies in congested places in the GI tract or elsewhere. Our body, just like nature, needs space. The lack of space in the digestive channels eventually leads to slower movement of food down the GI tract and decreased absorption of the essential nutrients from the food we eat.
In Ayurveda we believe that protecting your digestive fire is the most important factor in maintaining your physical and mental health! Here are a few questions to help you determine if you have ama is in your body:
Upon waking you often see white or grey coating on your tongue? Do you see it throughout the day? Does your breath have a foul smell? Do you have strong body odor? Are you sluggish or feel heavy after eating? Is your mind groggy in the morning? Do you catch colds more than once a year? Are you unmotivated or depressed? Do you often have loss of appetite? Does your stool sink? Do you feel congested in your body or mind?
If you answered yes to a few of these questions, you most likely have some ama in your body (most of us do by the end of winter). Typical treatments to move ama out of the body include one or all of the following practices: elimination diet, therapeutic sweating, oil massages, enemas, and yoga asanas.
Spring is a great time to consider riding the body and mind of some ama to experience the highest and brightest energy of spring. For spring asana sequencing ideas, please refer to my seasonal vinyasa videos. Stay tuned for next month’s blog with more tips on how to keep yourself healthy and inspired during the seasonal transitions.
Melina Meza, BS Nutrition, 500-RYT, has been exploring the art and science of yoga and nutrition for over 18 years. She combines her knowledge of Hatha Yoga, Ayurveda, whole foods nutrition, and healthy lifestyle promotion into a unique style called Seasonal Vinyasa. Her devotion to yoga and eating well, to teaching and nutritional counseling, and to traveling and experiencing different cultures combine to create a colorful and enlightening perspective from which to share that which she loves about yoga in its entirety. Meza is the author of the Art of Sequencing books and Yoga for the Seasons.
To learn more about Ayurveda and spring detox register for Dr. Scott Blossom and Melina Meza’s spring Seasonal Ayurveda and Yoga Immersion starting March 28 in Berkeley. Website: http://www.melinameza.com/