Acharya Shunya

Also By Author

Nourish Your Body With These Wintertime Foods

 

Nature: In general, Ayurveda declares winter (November 15th – March 14th) as the healthiest season. However, the body’s natural intelligence copes with the external cold by automatically increasing the agni in the belly (a physiological response), resulting in increased inner warmth. Naturally, appetite and hunger also increase in parallel. Hence, if we fast in this season or eat a lot of cold and light foods, like salads, vata dosha can go up due to increased quality of lightness and coldness (the principle of “like increases like” at work). So eating nutritious fatty food at the right time (in winter) is a precautionary measure.

Goal: We make the best use of a naturally increased agni in winter and make every meal count. We can eat nourishing foods (see “Preferred Winter Food List” that follows) to proactively build health and immunity for the entire year ahead.

Flavors: Increase intake of sweet, sour, and salty; reduce intake of sour, pungent, and bitter.

Qualities: Prefer heavy over light, and fatty over dry foods.

Specifics: Hearty meat and vegetable soups with added ghee fortify the body. A midday drink of Ayurvedic buttermilk is recommended every day. Eat 1 tablespoon raw honey daily if possible (especially in the morning).

 

Preferred Winter Food List

  • Cereals: Unfermented wheat products (bran, cereal, chapatis, cookies, cream of wheat, crepes, dumplings, pudding, tortillas), white or brown rice, rice pudding. In moderation: quinoa, millet, oats.
  • Legumes and beans: Black gram, black beans, kidney beans, mung.
  • Vegetables: Asparagus, beets, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, eggplant, fennel root (anise), garlic, green beans, green peas, leeks, okra (in early winter only), onions (cooked), parsnips, pumpkin, radish, rutabaga, spaghetti squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, turnips, winter melon, winter squash.
  • Fruits: Amalaki (a nutritious fruit supplement; available online), almonds, apples, dates, figs, grapefruit, guavas, lemon, lime, mandarins, oranges, pears, plums, pomegranate, tangerines.
  • Meat: Chicken, deer, goat, pig, rabbit, seafood soup, turkey.
  • Alcohol: Aged wine is ideal.
  • Seeds: Sesame.
  • Dried fruits and nuts: Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, raisins, walnuts.
  • Dairy: Sweet butter, Ayurvedic buttermilk (takra), sweet cream, milk (boiled), yogurt, (never frozen or with fruit, always eat with added raw honey or crushed back pepper).
  • Water: Drink boiled water reduced to warm, drinkable temperature.
  • Fat: Ghee is best; all other natural cooking oils are also fine (except mustard oil).
  • Other: Honey, chyawanprash (Ayurvedic supplement), vinegar in moderation.

 

Avoid in Winter

  • Fasting and skipping meals
  • Eating salads and raw foods
  • Consuming chilled foods like ice cream, chilled water, frozen foods

 

Looking for more great reads?

 

Excerpt from Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom by Acharya Shunya.

Acharya Shunya is the founder of Vedika Global, a spiritual foundation dedicated to elevating consciousness, building community, and serving humanity by illuminating India’s Vedic spiritual traditions of Ayurveda, yoga, and Vedanta. In association with its graduates, Vedika Global offers courses at Stanford University’s Health Improvement program. In 2015, she was recognized as a Top 100 teacher of Ayurveda and Yoga by Spirituality & Health Magazine and was invited to represent Ayurveda in the U.S. by India’s Ministry of AYUSH (Health) and Overseas Affairs. She is president of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. For more information, visit vedikaglobal.org or acharyashunya.com.

Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom

Dear Wisdom Seekers,

I am writing to tell you that anything is possible.

You have the potential to change your state of health for the better—permanently. Thanks to Ayurveda, the profound 5,000-year-old health awakening wisdom from India, I have successfully overcome a genetic challenge that wanted to restrict me to a wheelchair. Today, I walk happily, even run, and live my life to its fullest.

In my new book, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom, I share real-life journeys of transformation from people with conditions such as ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, depression, and chronic obesity. Indeed, this wisdom is ancient, but ever so relevant to our modern epidemic of lifestyle disorders.

In addition to its restorative principles, Ayurveda is preventative, eco-friendly, and cost effective. You literally construct your health in your own kitchen and backyard. Perhaps this explains its rising popularity all over the world. Countless people are laying claim to this joy-bearing health by implementing a nature-inspired, seasonal lifestyle from the art, science, and spirituality of Ayurveda that sheds a beautiful light on the three pillars of health – sleep, sex, and food!

In a sense, my book is a vehicle to document the experiential and spiritually charged instruction of my formative years. You see, I grew up in India in a tiny riverside town, resplendent with golden sunshine and the call of peacocks dancing in the monsoons. The mystic Himalayas gifted my soul with an immense river, the Sarayu, on whose serene banks I conversed, contemplated, and meditated as a young student with my teacher—a renowned yogi and healer, who was also my kind-hearted grandfather.

Every morning, I learned not only to cup my palms to reach out for the beautiful river water and splash it on my face with glee, but I also learned to recapture handfuls of hope. When we beautify each day with a scared lifestyle, we connect our mundane existence with something sublime and potent within us.

This is how I learned Ayurveda’s secrets, heart to heart, soul to soul, by journeying first within myself to explore my own infinite potential. And this is how I share them with you in Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom—step by step and from my heart.

I believe my book will awaken something invisible within—a powerful presence and an inner knowingness. Remember, a well-lived day is medicine unto itself.

PS- “Acharya” is my traditional title in Sanskrit, which means “master teacher.” Shunya is my name. And you can always go to acharyashunya.com to read more about the book and my journey.

 

Radiantly yours,

Shunya

 

 

 

Acharya Shunya: An Infinity Mindset and its Implicatio...

Acharya Shunya is a renowned expert in Ayurvedic lifestyle medicine and the founder of Vedika Global, a school of Ayurvedic study based in California. With Sounds True, she has released the new book Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom: A Complete Prescription to Optimize Your Health, Prevent Disease, and Live with Vitality and Joy. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks to Shunya about the Ayurvedic legacy she teaches and embodies—including its baseline concepts, history, and modern attitudes. Tami and Shunya also talk about Ayurveda’s repudiation of the concept of health as a commodity. Finally, Shunya discusses the universality of Vedic teachings and how an “infinity mindset” is a necessary cure for the foundational problem of hopelessness. (69 minutes)

You Might Also Enjoy

Wim Hof: The Cold as a Noble Force

Wim Hof is an athlete and extremophile daredevil nicknamed “The Iceman” for his feats of withstanding extreme weather conditions. The holder of more than 20 Guinness World Records, Wim attributes his endurance to specific meditation and breathing techniques. In this intriguing episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Wim about the Wim Hof Method of exercises, mindfulness techniques, and cold exposure, and how this regimen can shift our mental perspective as well as physical resilience. Wim describes the ways his practice dovetails with ancient Tibetan Buddhist inner fire meditation and how it alters body chemistry. Finally, Wim describes coldness as a noble force, asserting that by testing our physical limits we also gain a better understanding of the boundless capacities of the human spirit. (72 minutes)

 

For more information about the Wim Hof Method, please visit wimhofmethod.com.

Being Witnessed In Grief Is A Powerful Balm For Healin...

Dear friends,

Two days after my cat, Hedda, died in 2016, my friend Francis sent me a sketch with a note “from” Hedda that read, in part, “P.S. I love you more than tuna.” Through my tears, I thought that would be a great book title. I had a clear vision: an illustrated gift book that people would give to friends, family, colleagues, or clients after the loss of their cat. A step beyond a sympathy card, this would be the first “empathy book” for adults grieving the loss of a cat.

Thinking About You - Being Witnessed In Grief Is A Powerful Balm For Healing Blog

 

Inspired in part by Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell’s Guardians of Being and Charles M. Schultz’s Happiness is a Warm Puppy, P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna offers comfort and inspiration through New Yorker-style drawings and simple, evocative language. My goal was to make it heartfelt without being cloying.

Every year, six million Americans and Canadians must say a final goodbye to their cats—buddies who leapt into their hearts as kittens, purred away heartbreak through multiple breakups, snuggled by their side in homes large and small, and occasionally deleted folders of work by stretching out on a warm keyboard.

“Pet loss” is considered a disenfranchised form of grief; it’s not culturally sanctioned. We don’t have any universal rituals for this grief, like sitting shiva or holding a wake. This often leaves the bereaved feeling isolated and misunderstood, which compounds the grief and makes healing more difficult.

People grieving companion animals have a need to be seen, their grief validated. Being witnessed in grief is a powerful balm for healing.

Friends of those grieving companion animals are often at a loss for ways to show their support. P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna gives all of us the opportunity to make a profound impact with a simple gesture.

When Francis sent me the sketch and note, I felt seen. Francis’s gift acknowledged the bond I’d had with Hedda and my grief at her death. The present tense of the note also reminded me that Hedda was still with me, even if I couldn’t see her. That was significant in terms of helping me heal, and that’s the comfort I hope P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna will provide to other cat lovers.

Sounds True has created a lovely video preview for P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna. I hope you’ll check it out below.

Best Friends Animal - Thinking About You - Being Witnessed In Grief Is A Powerful Balm For Healing Blog

Ultimately, I hope this book will benefit the world in multiple ways: for the recipient, witnessing and healing; for the giver, a tangible action they can take to help another; for Best Friends Animal Society, to which I’m donating 10 percent of my proceeds, contributing to their work of keeping pets in the home. This includes helping low-income people connect with resources they need to feed, train, and care for their companion animals. And of course, I hope this will benefit Sounds True and their work in the world, which is quickly becoming more needed than ever.

Take care,

Sarah Chauncey

Book Cover

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  IndieBound  |  Bookshop

Diana Spalding: Let’s Nurture Moms and Birth a New C...

Diana Spalding is a certified nurse midwife and mother of three young children. She has a master’s degree in midwifery from NYU and has worked as a nursing school professor at Cedar Crest College, as well as a midwifery school advisor at Georgetown University. With Sounds True, Diana Spalding is the author of the book The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama: Redefining the Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Journey (with Jill Koziol and Liz Tenety). In this podcast, Diana speaks with Sounds True founder Tami Simon about creating a more nurturing society for mothers, redefining motherhood for today’s times, the incredible productivity of moms at home and work, and much more. 

>