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Learn about this and more at Hamsa Ayurveda & Yoga Center in Chicago.
We’ve had an exciting June month at Hamsa that began our first summer open! Our ayurvedic yoga series led by Margaret Berger and Yoli Maya Yeh has been an extraordinary success, and our therapists Janice Arogones and Nathan Paulus have been busy assisting our clients through the beautiful process of panchakarma. We are excited to share an over view of the month to come, as we continue to grow and establish ourselves as an ayurvedic center in our Chicago community.
Ayurvedic Nutrition Series – July 11th, 18th & 25th
Ayurvedic nutrition can be extremely complicated and confusing to the novice on the ayurvedic path. Take the “Ayurvedic Nutrition Series” at Hamsa to learn about ayurvedic nutrition in a step-by-step manner and break away from going to others for nutritional insights that your body requires. In this three-part series Monica Yearwood will teach you the fundamentals of ayurvedic nutrition, signs your body is not digesting food well, dietary intolerances from an ayurvedic perspective, and how to create a diet for yourself and family. Learn more about the series by following this link!
Lunar Sadhana – July 15th
Our monthly lunar meditation for women continues to grow at Hamsa. Please observe that we have switched our meetings from Tuesday to Monday. Join us July 15th for a 2-hour practice that honors Duti Nitya, who is the aspect of the ‘Divine Female,’ that grants our wishes swiftly. We will experience a guided meditation, accentuated by sound, breath and movement. To learn more and register follow this link.
Practices for Pitta – July 20th
The summer season has been strange and marked by climatic swings, but we have hopes that by the time our resident ayurvedic therapist, Nathan Paulus, teaches, “Practices for Pitta,” we will be in the sweltering midst of a Chicago-true-style-summer. In this 2-hour workshop learn about pitta dosha in the body, mind, and environment. Nathan will show you how to identify pitta excess, and how to reduce it using yoga and ayurvedic lifestyle practices. To learn more and register follow this link.
Free Lecture & Yoga Practice – July 22nd & July 29th
Curious about our series? Take a complimentary yoga class from Hamsa! Our signature ayurvedic yoga series facilitates the heart of lifestyle learning, strategy, and application at Hamsa. Ayurveda and yoga have traditionally been taught together for thousands of years. For anyone who desires to grow into a more ‘ayurvedic based’ lifestyle, this yoga series provides the learning and on-going support necessary to transform. To learn more and register.
During July receive a complimentary abhyanga treatment (normally $125.00) with purchase of an initial consultation or follow-up consultation. Ayurvedic consultations are used to develop programs that integrate diet and lifestyle (meditation, herbs, eating times, etc). They can be used for weight loss, detoxification, emotional release, enhanced mind/body balance, and alternative medicine support. They also enable the Hamsa staff to fully customize your treatments through the choice of oils, herbs, and treatments chosen in our holistic spa.
At Hamsa, our initial consultation and lifestyle assessments now include a ‘Lifestyle Starter Pack’- A tongue scraper, ayurvedic oil, and a month supply of triphala or antioxidants – $75.00 value. If after a consultation you decide to pursue our post consultation coaching services, panchakarma, or multiple day program at Hamsa, you may credit your consultation fee toward your program cost. To learn more and book an appointment follow this link.
Hamsa is a detoxification and rejuvenation center rooted in ayurveda and yoga. Their specialty is creating programs individually tailored and customized for each client. Here are three ways that you can utilize their services to powerfully detoxify your body, mind, & spirit.
1. 3-Day Udvartana Program
Raw Juice Fast, Udvartana, Steam, Month-Long Program
$950.00 Value for $725.00
A short but powerfully effective program consisting of a 3-day series of udvartana, steam, and a juice fast, as well as a a month long regiment of internal herbs and ayurvedic diet. When our lymphatic system is not working properly, toxins and other wastes accumulate in the tissues, and can cause weight gain.Udvartana is a traditional ayurvedic treatment, applied by two therapists, that assists with lymphatic drainage, weight loss, and detoxification. Ayurvedic technicians use specific herbs and strokes over a period of an hour that help to rebalance the lymphatic system, and complete the treatment in a steam infused witch specific herbs. Clients are provided a fasting regiment of all raw fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices and herbal elixirs. Begin your series with a complimentary 2 hour assessment where Monica tailors a month long lifestyle program and herbal regiment (normally $225.00). Pick up 5 raw juices and fresh pressed herbal elixirs lovingly made by “Healing Earth Cafe.” 3-Day Program includes: treatments, herbs, juices, and assessment. Learn more by following this link…
2. 4-Week Detox Class, $280.00
Includes All Herbal Supplements & Oils ($78.00 Value)
A 4-Week Detox Class focused on self-development and empowerment. Participants implement lifestyle practices that form the foundation of ayurvedic lifestyle, and learn powerful detoxification practices that include: self-massage, skin brushing, steaming, enemas, fasting, etc.
Clients meet once a week for four, consecutive weeks in a small, classroom setting, and learn step-by-step how to utilize practices of self-empowerment in order to rejuvenate and detoxify the system. Included in each series: Detailed Manual and Course Handouts
Beautiful Ayurvedic Lifestyle Starter Pack (Thailam, Nasya, Triphala, Churna, Tongue Scraper, Ubtan) and 20% off additional services at Hamsa. Learn more by following this link…
Next session starts May 6th 6:30-8:30
3. Home Based Cleanse, $425.00
(Includes all Herbal Supplements Hand Crafted for You! $225.00 Value)
The home based cleanse is tailored for each client and is best for someone looking for a moderate level cleanse. Intensity varies according to several important key areas in client’s life including: current stress load, time constraints, and current health status.
The home based cleanse includes a 1-hour initial consultation and two 30-minute follow-up consultations. During an initial consultation Monica gathers the appropriate information to construct the cleanse itself. She uses this information to hand select, craft, and blend each of her client’s herbal supplements to fulfill her client’s needs. No two cleanses are ever alike.
Additional treatments can be integrated into one’s program, making an affective alternative for ‘panchakarma.’ Learn more by following this link…
Curious about Hamsa’s Detox Course? Take a peak of each week!
Shodhana & Dinacharya
The next four weeks are broken into two primary categories chosen to promote a more ayurvedic lifestyle and detoxification: dinacharya and shodhana. These are two words that you will become very familiar with over the next four weeks.
Dinacharya includes all of ayurveda’s daily lifestyle practices. We use these primarily as a way of maintaining health, and to reduce specific doshic influences.
Shodhana refers to all of ayurveda’s stronger detoxification methods (specifically panchakarma), that are not typically part of every day lifestyle, and are reserved for special times of the year when detoxification is required.
You will begin to implement dinacharya practices immediately, and through the course of the next four weeks. These are very powerful practices that form the foundation of ayurvedic lifestyle. They work to develop your self-awareness, enhance intuition, knowledge of your body, digestive strength, immunity and endurance.
The shodhana practices require more planning. They require more involvement and preparation in your process. Shodhana practices include: self-massage, skin brushing, steaming, enemas, fasting, etc. You are not required to do all of these things. Depending on your constitution and lifestyle demands some of them may even be contraindicated. Through the process at Hamsa, we will better be able to determine which of the shodhana practices are best for you at this time.
Week At A Glance
Each week we will have a different theme during the four weeks. Half of the class will be spent focusing on lifestyle, and the other half of the class will be spent discussing detoxification.
Week 1: The Corner Stones of Ayurvedic Lifestyle
Detoxify the Liver, Blood, and Small Intestine through lifestyle changes & optional deeper cleansing therapies.
Week 1 starts with introductions to the cleanse itself and ayurvedic lifestyle. Each person will need to confirm that she or he understands which excess dosha she is working with as this will determine many of the dinacharya practices she chooses.
Topics of ayurvedic theory: Constitution, dinacharya, detoxing in ayurveda, meditation practice, snehana & virechana.
Dinacharya Practices: Sattvic diet, regular eating times, regular sleeping times, tongue scraping, ghee.
Shodhana Practices: Triphala & mahasudarshan, harataki & licorice
Week 2: Learn The Fundamentals of Ayurvedic Diet
Detoxify the colon through lifestyle changes & optional deeper cleansing therapies.
Topics of ayurvedic theory: The tastes & the doshas, fasting & nourishment
Dinacharya: Including every taste in each meal.
Shodhana Practices: Fasting
*Option to begin 10-14 day shodhana procedure that implements snehana, virechana, abhyanga, swedana & fasting.
Week 3: Spices & Seasons
Detoxify the Lymph, Stomach, and Lungs through lifestyle changes & optional deeper cleansing therapies.
Topics of ayurvedic theory: Spices and benefits, seasonal influences & lifestyle augmentations.
Dinacharya: Spring ritucharya practices (skin brushing, lymph brew, emotional release)
Shodhana Practices: Enemas
Week 4: Rejuvenate the immune system through lifestyle changes & optional deeper nourishing therapies.
Topics of ayurvedic theory: Ojas, nourishing diet, self-care
Dinacharya: Systemic Rest Practice
Rejuvenating practices (pitchu, champi, essential oils)
Spices are an important of ayurveda. They can assist in the augmentation of many dishes; increase, reduce, or modulate agni; and possess many healing benefits. Spices can be made into teas, cooked into foods, or blended into seasoning that can be sprinkled onto food after it is cooked.
Black pepper: Black pepper is known as “marich” in Sanskrit, which is a name for the sun. These potent little seeds contain good amounts of solar energy and so, contain similar properties. Pungent and heating, black pepper is good for kapha and vata and works on the circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems. Black pepper increases digestive fire (agni), which helps destroy toxins and digest food. Used with honey, black pepper is effective in clearing excess mucus from the lungs and the sinuses and drying up secretions. With turmeric and honey in a tea, black pepper is also good for colds and sore throats. Piperine, the active component in black pepper, has shown clinical benefit such as increased glucose sensitivity, reduced symptoms of human metabolic syndrome, and improved liver function. [i]
Cardamom: Cardamom is a digestive stimulant and one of the strongest antioxidant spices used in cooking.[ii] Cardamom helps to increase the absorption of several additional key antioxidants (e.g., glutathione, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase) and significantly reduces skin melanomas and cancer-related tumors through the body.[iii] Cardamom stimulates the spleen and agni and removes kapha from the stomach, lungs, and adipose. It is very good for pitta dosha. In numerous clinical studies, cardamom has effectively reduced tumor size.
Cinnamon: Pungent and sweet, this aromatic bark of tree is an effective spice for strengthening and enhancing circulation. Cinnamon is heating and acts to strengthen the heart and to promote agni. Thus, it is particularly good for kapha and vata. Studies show that cinnamon is effective at reducing adipose and blood sugar.[iv] Cinnamon is widely used as a home remedy for colds and flu and aids in the absorption of other medicines.
Coriander: Coriander is a household remedy for excess pitta. Whether the leafy green, fresh cilantro or the grounding, earthy coriander seed, this is a food to always have on hand. Studies show that coriander assists in reducing anxiety and extending sleep length.[v] The cilantro leaf acts as a cooling balm to pitta or as a bitter refreshment for kapha. The seeds are humbly gracious to all doshas. Famous in ayurveda as one of the three spices (along with fennel and cumin), coriander is used to balance and reset the mind and the body. Coriander is used for digestive disorders and to help in the assimilation of other herbs.
Cumin: Considered invaluable for digestion. It also contains proteins, alkaloids (nigellicines and nigelledine), and saponins (alpha-hederin) in substantial amounts, making it a beneficial antioxidant.[vi] Cumin pacifies vata and kapha and in small quantities, is helpful to pitta for digestion. It is also a cleansing spice, and helps burn ama (digestive toxins) that is considered by ayurvedic healers to be the source of many disorders. Cumin enhances appetite and is helpful to the stomach, the liver, and the intestines. Cumin is warming and offers the pungent taste.
Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds are one of the best herbs for digestion. They strengthen agni without aggravating pitta. They can be taken roasted after meals. They combine well with cumin and coriander as three cooling spices. Fennel seeds are excellent for digestive weakness in children and in the elderly. They are calming to the nerves while stimulating digestion—unlike hot spices and peppers, which may overheat or overstimulate. Studies show fennel seeds are strong antioxidants and help reduce tumor size and prevalence.
Fenugreek: Fenugreek is a good herb for the nervous, respiratory, and reproductive systems. It promotes hair growth and can be used externally for boils, ulcers, and sores that are slow to heal. Taken with valerian, fenugreek is a good nerve tonic. Added to dishes, it promotes digestion. Fenugreek works on the plasma, blood, marrow, nerve tissues, and reproductive tissues. It is vata and kapha reducing and pitta increasing. Studies show that fenugreek is a powerful antioxidant and helps reduce oedema. [vii]
Ginger: Ginger is one of the most versatile spices to have in the home. The uses of ginger to aid digestive and respiratory diseases are well known. It is also corrective in arthritic conditions and is a tonic to the heart. Ginger works on all tissues. It reduces vata and kapha, but increases pitta. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial.
Lemon: Cooling and cleansing, lemon has been known to healers as a purifying substance for the body and particularly, the skin. Highly astringent, lemon clears stagnation and firms the skin, the tissues, and other organs. Even though it is sour in taste, its cooling aspect relieves pitta. The sour taste balances vata. As an expectorant, lemon liquefies kapha, promoting its release from the body. Lemon is known for its anti-inflammatory effect.
Mint: Refreshing and invigorating, mint brings relief and pampering to pitta skin and to excess heat in the tissues. Mint has a general cooling effect on the body. It is clearing, aids memory, and eases fatigue. In clinical studies, mint has inhibited herpes labialis, reduced lesion size, and increased the rate of healing.[viii]
Nutmeg: Nutmeg is one of the best spices for increasing nutrient absorption, particularly in the small intestine. Nutmeg works well with cardamom and ginger. It helps reduce vata in the colon and nervous system. Nutmeg is one of the best herbs to calm the mind. Taken in excess, however, it can dull the senses. It is good for the plasma, muscle, marrow, nerve tissues, and reproductive tissues. Nutmeg reduces vata and kapha, but increases pitta.
Tulsi: Known as “holy basil,” tulsi is one of India’s most sacred plants. Holy basil opens the heart and mind, bestowing the energy of love and devotion. Holy basil strengthens the immune system, increasing prana (life force) and improving memory. A nerve tonic, holy basil improves absorption of nutrients and strengthens the nerve tissue. It is also used topically for various skin conditions.
Saffron: A potent revitalizer of the blood, of circulation, and of the female reproductive system, saffron is one of the best pitta-reducing herbs and is considered a vajikarana (an aphrodisiac) primarily for women. It is shown to modulate the immune system.[ix] It catalyzes the tonic action of other herbs, and promotes tissue growth in the reproductive organs and in the entire body. Saffron’s quality is sattvic and gives energy to devotion and compassion, to bhakti yoga. It is good for all doshas and works on the circulatory, digestive, and female reproductive systems.
Turmeric: Ubiquitous in ayurvedic cooking, turmeric contains the flavonoid curcumin, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. This all-around wonder spice helps detoxify the liver, balance cholesterol levels, fight allergies, stimulate digestion, boost immunity, and enhance the complexion. It is also an antioxidant, and has received recognition as a cancer preventative. Ayurveda recognizes turmeric as a heating spice, contributing bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes.