23 janeiro 2012

Care of the Womb: Introduction to Uttara Vasti

Excerto retirado do livro "Women's Power to Heal: Through Inner Medicine" de Maya Tiwari, a propósito do realinhar lunar e da Lua Nova. 

What is Uttara Vasti?
Among the many forgotten gems of wisdom provided to us by Ayurveda is the practice of Uttara Vasti, a practice of cleansing and nourishing the womb. A warm and loving therapeutic treatment, its effectiveness has been proven by millions who use it successfully to heal and realign a plethora of conditions. Unlike douching, this practice is guided by your internal rhythms and specific condition, as well as time, place, age, metabolic type, mental, and emotional condition. Almost every day, I receive letters from women who are astonished at the speed and profundity of its healing repair.

In Ayurveda’s galaxy of effective therapies, Uttara Vasti is the single most essential practice for a woman. The Sanskrit word vasti refers to the stomach lining of the animal, which was used in ancient times to create the first Uttara Vasti therapy bag. Uttara means womb, cosmos, that which is filled. The wise perceive the womb as uttara—filled with contentment and fulfillment, carrier of life itself. The main reason we do Uttara Vasti is to restore balance to the womb, thereby bringing back our female cycle to the new moon from wherever in the lunar wheel it has strayed. Despite its importance, lunar-rhythm based knowledge has been long neglected or misplaced in Ayurveda’s practice. Wise Earth School of Ayurveda has restored this essential work.

Women’s Health, Redefined
Modern, sanitized society sees menstruation as an unclean, mundane and inconvenient happening that may as well be pushed back into oblivion with sanitized pads or tampons and disinfected with antiseptic douching formulas. It is important that we understand that Uttara Vasti has no relationship to "douching" as we know it. Unlike Uttara Vasti, douching has nothing to do with healing; most modern women use douching for hygienic and cosmetics reasons—more like a cleansing detergent rather a treatment for specific conditions.

The Cosmic Nature of Woman
In order to fully comprehend the importance of Uttara Vasti, we should understand the meaning of Shakti. Long before modern science learned how to control a woman’s sacred reproductive function and manipulate her intrinsic rhythms, the Vedic seers recognized that a woman’s fertility, abundance and splendor were tied to the movement of shakti-prana. This is the primordial
feminine power of the Shakti that moves within the body and psyche of every female through a specific prana that circulates within the two lower charkas, located around the perineum and sacrum. Manifested as the pro-creative energy, shakti-prana flows within the genitals, womb and belly of a woman.

Ancient Rishis (Vedic sages) noted that women naturally possess a delicate and fragile balance within the body due to their shakti-prana and its extensive powers. When this equanimity is disturbed, they recognized that it would have long-term effects on the maternal strength and prowess of the woman, negatively influencing the maternal bedrock of all aspects of life. The ancients protected what we have neglected to preserve—a woman’s creative primordial energy. Indeed, the health of the entire Earth lies in honoring the female energy and its interconnection to nature’s rhythms.

According to Ayurveda, a woman’s natural rhythms are kept and preserved by her monthly menstrual cycle that occurs with the new moon. At this time, menstruation is set in motion by the sun absorbing energies from the earth, which in turn draws the menstrual waste from the body. When the use of contraceptive pills and other birth control devices do not tamper with a woman’s monthly cycle, harmful foods and activities, and disruptive sexual activities, her cycle remains in harmony with the new moon. 

Moon Goddess Mandala

New Moon Sadhanas

1. Slow down, get plenty of rest, and minimize activities whenever possible
2. Abstain from everyday domestic duties
3. Abstain from sex
4. Eat light whole foods to unburden the body. Favor light, simple, mostly cooked vegetarian fare. Fresh or cooked fruits and vegetables. Fruit juices. Greens, salads. Light grains: basmati rice, millet, couscous, and amaranth. Reduce or avoid soy, dairy, meat, poultry, fish (favor the last two if you are new to a vegetarian diet). Avoid overly salty, sugary, oily, fried, or processed/packaged foods.
5. Sip herbal teas during the day (3-4 cups) and warm water throughout the day. Try raspberry, rose, peppermint, ginger, lemon balm, and chamomile
6. Breathing exercises (pranayama). Activate right (solar) nostril three days before you expect to begin menstruating (esp. effective for synchronizing with the new moon). Try lying on your left side while you do this. Balance right (solar) and left (lunar) nostrils with alternate nostril breathing at various times during the day (sunrise, noon, sunset).
7. Yoga. Avoid exercise or unnecessary physical exertion on your heaviest days and/or most painful. Use restorative yoga poses to relax and ease tension in the body and mind. Practice relaxing pranayama like alternate-nostril breathing (avoid kapalabhati/fire breath) and meditation.