By Yogi Ashwini

Navratras come twice a year and mark transition in seasons, winter-summer and summer-winter. According to ayurveda, during this time, one should consume nourishing foods and in minimal quantities to rid the body of the toxins collected during the rains. The nine nights and ten days of navratras hold within them the energy of ten forms of shakti– shailaputri, brahmcharini, chandrakanta, kushmanda, skandmata, katyayani, kaalratri, mahagauri, siddhidatri and aparajitha thus each navratra has a specific purpose. In the navratras weather changes, ie, various energies of this creation move from imbalance towards a new normalcy, including our body. In these nine days the prana shakti inside our body undergoes a process of re-alignment, ie from imbalance to new balance for new season.

For this re- aligning the body has to be kept light. Therefore our ancients prescribed fasting or upvaas in these nine days.Upavaas has a much greater connotation than what it is generally misunderstood as - mere holding back from eating certain foods. At Dhyan Ashram, sadhaks observe Upavaas in its aunthentic sense, that is, giving up pleasure to observe austerities during sadhna. This is done by celibating, eating food for energy, not sensual pleasure, following a niyam of the sadhna your Guru has given you - a mantra, dhyan or a tantric practice where senses are kept under strict control and the focus is your ishta deva and all your thoughts and actions during those days are devoted to the ishta-deva. Charity and service are an intrinsic part of such sadhnas. During navratras these fasts are observed for purification as well, both etheric as well as physical.

Apart from fasting, there are certain mantras also which are chanted on these days for a complete body detox. For the beginner, these nine days may be divided into 3 parts of 3 days each for the three parts of body-  the region below the navel, between navel and shoulders and the upper head region, corresponding to the energies of goddess sarawati, goddess lakshmi and goddess durga respectively. The 9 devis originate from these 3 devis which in turn have their origin in Adi shakti. These 3 parts are further divided into 3 parts each, thus the body is divided into 9 parts in all.

In the first 3 days the sadhak stops having spicy food and performs a havan at the morning and evening sandhya with the chants invoking ma durga. Offering of kala til along with ghrit is made and desi cows upla and palash samedha is used. In the next three days, sadhak stops intake of anna and only light foods are ingested in order to keep the body light. Havan for Ma Lakshmi is done at the two sandhyas by making offering of a sweet along with ghrit . In the last three days, the sadhak only consumes water and juice (not even milk as it is considered an animal product) and havan for Ma Saraswati is performed at the two sandhyas by making offerings of ghrit and guggal. On the 10th day, complete fast is kept and once more Ma Durga or Ma Kali is invoked as on this day Ravan had invoked Ma Kali and Ram had invoked Ma Durga. This process brings about the required re-alignment. After this, the sadhak performs his sadhna and chants specific mantra as prescribed by his/her Guru. With yog sadhna, all the energies that are invoked come to the sadhak. Navratras are days to prepare your body in order to accept the new energies of the coming season. For 9 days you re-align you body and after that on the 10th day accept new energies

Most people lighten their bodies by fasting for 9 days, only to make it heavy on the 10th day by crowding to restaurants and liquor shops. It is something like you clean your room and after that you bring all the garbage back to the room.  Fasting or any such technique will bear fruits only if carried out with a sense of detachment, for the purpose of evolution. The Guru knows the capacity of a shishya and prescribes a fast depending upon his/her requirements. Therefore it is of utmost importance to observe fasts in tandem with yogic practices such as the Sanatan Kriya under the sanidhya of a Guru to reap maximum benefits.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to or mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more.

By Yogi Ashwini

If you recall the episode from Ramayana, you will find that Ravan appeared to be invincible despite repeated attacks by Rama, and was killed only when Rama pierced his navel with an arrow. The navel corresponds to the seat of power in the body.

Our digestive system, governed by the Manipoorak Chakra, is the storehouse of power for the body. One of the three doshas in Ayurveda, responsible for digestion or metabolism in the body, is the Pitta Dosha.

Pit Dosha


Active & sharp-minded, short-tempered and quarrelsome

Greys prematurely, with thinness of hair

Tender & Clear body with a radiant complexion, freckles, black moles

Has a strong power of digestion and proper metabolism, therefore a good appetite

Sweats a lot, high libido

Is seen to be fond of sweets, cold foods and cold things

Dreams of fire or light and more of red colours

Pitta primarily aids sight, digestion, appetite, thirst and proper metabolism, maintaining radiance and unctuousness in the body.


By nature, pitta is sharp; the imbalances caused by pitta are, therefore, sharp and intense in nature.  It is said to cause 40 kinds of diseases in the body, but many more when it combines with the other two doshas. Burning sensation, heat, suppuration, perspiration, sloughing, itching and other skin ailments, discharge, redness, dryness, improper digestion are some of the symptoms of paittik type of diseases. People of the pitta type encounter stomach ulcers, hyperacidity, colitis, gastritis, etc.


A person of pitta prakriti should avoid hot, pungent, spicy, sour food. Excessive intake of tea, coffee, and hot drinks are also to be avoided.

Individuals of Paittik constitution should eat light meals at small intervals, and resort to diets which are cool, sweet, bitter and astringent in nature as it alleviates Pitta.

One can take shatavari or licorice with milk, ghee and honey (honey double the quantity of ghee), juices, soaked almonds, soaked figs with the water they are soaked in, chyawanprash, again increasing gradually.

Excess of sour substances aggravates pitta and may cause acidity and ulcers. Citrus fruits, curd, buttermilk, dosa, idli, dhokla, breads are a rich source of sour taste.

The most essential nutrient in a healthy diet is butter/ghee. It is a tonic for brain, skin, and bones. It kindles digestive fire without disturbing the pitta.

#Health Remedy: Here I give you a remedy for Diarrhea or frequent bowel movement, caused due to disturbed pitta

. Mix banana, salt and black pepper in curd and eat in frequent intervals.

Write to me your experience.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more.

By Yogi Ashwini

Ayurveda defines the physical body as ‘Dosha dhatu mala mool hi shariram’, i.e., the body is composed of doshas, dhatus and malas. These three factors direct and manipulate the physical manifestation of the body.

The Vedic seers interestingly saw the physical body as dosha, an impurity, the very reason for a body’s existence. If these impurities are removed, the body ceases to exist.

Let me share an interesting incident from the life of the great Yogi Ramakrishna Paramhansa with you, to help understand what a dosha means. He was fond of eating varieties of food and would very frequently send demands of many different dishes to be prepared by his wife. One day she asked him, “you teach people about sattvik diet and following a healthy regimen and here you feast on so many different dishes every couple of hours. How come you don’t follow what you preach?” He replied, “my body has become so subtle and light that if I do not indulge and add heavy or gross prana to it, the soul will not be able to sustain itself in the body and will leave the body. I have yet to discharge my responsibilities, the time for me to leave has not yet come. Therefore, I eat to keep the body dooshit (contaminated). Three days from when I will stop eating, I will leave the body”. And when he did, his wife immediately knew what was going to happen...and it did happen.

So for the soul to exist, impurity is required. It is this impurity which gives rise to desires that further give rise to experiences in the normal life.

Ayurveda, is based on these three doshas. Most individuals are made up of a combination of two doshas with one being more dominant than the other, thus defining the character of the person.

There are several traits ranging from the eyes, hair, hands, digestion to dreams that tells you the dosha that makes you. 

In the next few issues I will take you through individual doshas, their traits, associated diseases and ayurvedic remedies. Until then, you can take this test and find out which dosha are you. /ask-vaid.php

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more.

Last week, we discussed the three doshas – also called the three pillars of life in Ayurveda, that play an integral role in keeping the body alive and in balance. The Science of Ayurveda is based on these three pillars and either Vata (air), Pitta (fire) or Kapha (water) or a combination of two doshas dominates an individual.

Vat, Dosha. Va ta or vayu as the name indicates is by nature dry, cold, light, subtle, mobile, expansive and coarse.

Characteristics of Vat Prakriti

· Is Hyperactive & Talkative

· Irritable in nature

· Quick in afflictions with fear, likes and dislikes

· Has a thin & long frame

· Has dryness and roughness of hair, head, skin, nails and teeth

· Cracking of joints and limbs, and instability

· In the habit of keeping awake till late night

· Has intolerance for cold things and catch cold frequently

Individuals of such a prakriti also possess wealth, span of life, strength, procreation and accessories in lesser quantities. Their bodies tremble and they often dream about flying.

Vat: is the most prominent of the three doshas, it is the prime substance constituting a being, and is responsible for all activities of the body – internal & external.

Said to cause the maximum number of diseases in the body, Vat is the carrier of imbalance and diseases because of its mobile nature. The other two doshas, pitt and kaph are unable to move from their position without the aid of vat.

Diseases: Major diseases –small or big in the body is caused by an aggravated vat. Bloatedness, acidity & flatulence, constipation, urinary problems, colds & flus, joint pains, even feelings of anxiety, stress or nervousness are all because of an aggravated vat.

Food:  Individuals with Vat prakriti can take milk, ghee (both from a desi cow and chemical-free) and honey ensuring ghee is double the quantity of honey, chyawanprash (homemade & not a cheap copy from the market, which has all the prescribed ingredients) dates, shilajit or ashwagandha in milk with honey. A handful of munakka (currants) and bananas can be added gradually

It is aggravated vat that leads to nervousness and anxiety before an important event or exam, sickness at high altitudes or in closed spaces. Here, is a simple remedy to balance out vat. Whenever you feel nauseous, nervous or anxious, join your little and ring fingers with the tip of your thumb and place the index finger at the base of your thumb. Do this with both your hands simultaneously for some time.

Write to me your experience.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more.

By Yogi Ashwini

The pleasures and the miseries of life are the experiences of the soul - through the body. Ayurveda defines body as something that is constantly going through the process of decay – ‘shiryate iti shariram’. Here, decay indicates the gradual ageing of the body. This process is intensified by the onslaught of diseases, and a disease can enter the body only if there is an imbalance (vikriti).

Diseases may be categorised as Mental and Physical.

Factors that affect the mind are rajas and tamas, which are of psychological importance. These are the pathogenic factors of the mind and can only be reconciled by the practices of Yog and Sanatan Kriya under the guidance of a Guru. These have been explained in detail in my book, ‘ Sanatan Kriya Ageless Dimension’.

In the physical, as per Ayurveda, an imbalance relates to the imbalance of the three doshas of Vat (vayu), Pitta (agni), Kapha (s leshma). These three are the pillars of the body. The maximum number of diseases, about eighty, is caused by an imbalanced vat owing to the mobile nature of vat. Pitta is the second most potent factor, and is said to cause about forty diseases. Kapha, the least potent of all, causes about twenty different kinds of diseases. In their various permutations and combinations diseases can take innumerable forms, thereby causing diseases that may even become incurable after a stage.

A disease manifests in a body when any of the doshas increases or decreases from its state of balance. The state of balance is different in every individual depending on the prakriti of that person. The mool prakriti of a person never changes as it is decided at the time of conception in the mother’s womb. The dominating doshas of the parents at the time of conception determines the mool prakriti of that individual.

For example, ginger is poison for people with high pitta but a digestive tonic for others. The aim is to keep the body in a state of balance to maintain youth, health and glow.

Ayurveda does not speak of cures or treatments, but prescribes health and balance. The regimens, precautions, diets, habits prescribed in Ayurveda are aimed at achieving a state where without using medicines one learns to keep the mind and body healthy and also slows down the ageing process.

Ayurveda strives to maintain a disease-free state, which is the state of equilibrium (samyavastha). Equilibrium gets disturbed mainly because of three reasons: wrong utilization, non-utilization, and excessive utilization of time, mental faculties and objects of the senses. 

I detail here a simple remedy to balance out the vitiated vata owing to dampness of monsoon, making one susceptible to disease and infection.

# Mix tulsi leaves with equal amount of water and grind to paste. Squeeze juice through a muslin cloth. Add raw organic honey in 1:2 (tulsi juice) ratio. This mixture when prepared using certain mantras and taken daily, detoxifies the system and keeps disease at bay.

It is advised that before taking any ayurvedic treatment you get yourself evaluated by an expert. To know your constitution, you may contact the vaid at Dhyan Ashram. 

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more