Thursday, March 22, 2018

What Is Dry-Brushing?

Ever wonder exactly what "dry-brushing" is? How it works? Why you should be doing it? In Ayurveda, Garshana, is an ancient practice that is vital for helping rid the body of toxins by stimulating the lymphatic system. In the article below originally posted on, Manas Kshirsagar breaks down this ancient practice and why you should be doing it.

Lymphatic System

Reduce Ama with Garshana Lymphatic Massage

Garshana (pronounced gar-shan), often called “dry-brushing,” is ayurvedic lymphatic massage that helps remove ama (digestive toxins). In Sanskrit, garshana means "friction by rubbing."
Garshana massage is usually recommended for people with a Kapha imbalance or predominance — that is, slower metabolism — or with symptoms of ama. (Wondering if you have ama? Take the Ama Questionnaire.) The symptoms of Kapha imbalance may include being overweight, water retention, lymphatic slowness, dullness physically or mentally, slow circulation or blockages in circulation. Lymphatic massage can be a wonderful addition to the morning routine to kick-start your day, for anyone.
In Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary’s book, The Prime, she writes “Dry-brushing is incredibly important for the lymphatic system. Lymphatics don’t have a pump. When you move them, they move. Without movement, they have no momentum. Manually massaging the skin toward the heart and in the direction of the lymph nodes gets the lymph moving more vigorously, which increases the body’s detoxification rate. Essentially, you are helping to direct the biochemical sewage through the channels and into the lymph nodes, where it can be eliminated.”
Need more reasons to practice daily garshana?

The Benefits

  • removes ama and helps enliven alertness
  • stimulates blood flow to deeper tissue cells by increasing the circulation
  • promotes healthy lymphatic circulation
  • removes blockages in the physiology
  • nourishes the mind and nervous system
  • exfoliates the skin
  • alkalizes the blood, helping to eliminate stagnant impurities
  • detoxes the liver (massage releases impurities in the skin and blood vessels)
  • gently dissolves cellulite over time by breaking down impurity deposits in the fat tissue
  • boosts skin glow

How to do Garshana Massage

Dry-brushing should be done vigorously, to stimulate the skin. It includes two types of movements:
  • circular movements over the joint areas
  • long strokes over the long bones
  1. Start before your morning shower with dry skin, free from lotion or oil.
  2. Using Silk Garshana (Lymphatic) Massage Gloves, vigorously massage your wrists and the tips of your elbows in a circular motion. Then massage from your fingers to the top of your upper arms with long strokes, directing the lymph to the lymph nodes under the arms.
  3. Massage your stomach and buttocks in circular motions.
  4. Massage your knees in a circular motion, then your thighs in long strokes up the legs, directing lymph toward the lymph nodes in the groin area.
  5. Massage the ankles and feet in a circular motion. Then go up the calves in long strokes using medium-to-firm pressure.
  6. Take your morning shower!
Please note: Garshana should not be done over the heart or on the breasts.

Different than Abhyanga

Garshana massage has a different effect than abhyanga, the traditional ayurvedic massage done with Sesame Oil. While abhyanga also helps reduce ama, it is calming, while garshana is stimulating (great for Kapha!). Abhyanga and garshana complement each other well, as garshana opens the skin pores so abhyanga oil can penetrate, soothe and deeply nourish the skin. If you wish to practice both, start with garshana and finish with abhyanga.

The Result

The result of garshana massage is that one should feel lighter, with more energy and vitality, better digestion, and enlivened metabolism. There is lightness in the body, clarity of mind, and more happiness and satisfaction in life. This is due to the removal of ama. In Maharishi Ayurveda, we hold that the perfect treatment doesn't balance one part of the body at the risk of unbalancing another part. This is the strength of the ayurvedic system. In following this principle, these detoxification methods flush out the toxins gently without disturbing the body's own natural functioning.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Power Of Sandalwood

Harvested from the Santalum tree, sandalwood originates from India and Australia. With its vibrant, fresh, and woody aroma, sandalwood has been revered and used in ceremony for thousands of years. In fact, it's one of the most popular used scents in China, India, and Japan. Sandalwood is a wonderful base note in any blend and its scent lasts much longer than most others single notes.

Here at Serenity Spa | Soul Yoga we are known for the intoxicating vanilla sandalwood scent that draws you into our temple. This scent that draws souls who are simply walking by our doors into our temple is the Chopra Centers Satwa.
This scent is heavenly, burns clean, and lingers for hours after burning. We literally cannot keep this incense on our shelves. Still not sure? Stop by and buy a box! I promise you will become a believer and consumer of this sacred scent.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Manas Kshirsagar In The Building!

Friday March 16th-Sunday March 18th Ayurvedic Practitioner, Manas Kshirsagar, will be at Serenity Spa | Soul Yoga! His knowledge and experience is vast while his gentle spirit creates a safe space that cultivates a feeling of calm during your session. He books up quickly, so call one of our Guest Coordinators to schedule your appointment now!

He is also giving a complimentary lecture, Friday March 16th, on Spring Cleaning For Well-Being. Space is limited so call to get your seat for this empowering lecture!

What The Sage?!

As we move throughout our day, we absorb energy from those around us. We may not notice or realize this but it happens. As our mood fluctuates during the day, those energy signatures can stay with us if we don't set the intention to clear ourselves. Clearing our body, mind, and energy field of stagnant energy is vital. There are many ways to do this and some may resonate with you more than others.  Although there are many herbs and incense to use in smudging, we'll begin by taking a look at the most popular-sage. The sacred ritual of Smudging or Saging dates back thousands of years. There are several varieties of sage each with it's unique divine scent. Let's take a look at the benefits (both physical and energetic) of sage!

SAGE (member of the mint family)

  • Helps reduces digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, stomach pain, and heartburn
  • Is also used for depression
  • Used for menstrual periods and symptoms of menopause including hot flashes
  • Can be applied topically to treat conditions like cold sore, sore mouth, or even gum disease
Physical Uses:
  • Sage can be made into a paste or lotion and used topically, can be used in cooking, as an essential oil, or in tea form.
Energetic/Spiritual Uses:
  • Sage is most notably known as a cleansing tool. Native American Tribes and Shamans have been using sage for thousands of years as a way to cleanse a space, a person, or even an object as well as used during ceremonies. I find it magical and notice its effects almost immediately.
  • Smudging also helps to balance our bodies energetic field, increasing our frequency and vibration. I smudge weekly and more if needed. Anytime I’m in a funk or negative mood, I smudge/sage myself and I feel the power of this herb.  You truly feel lighter!
Do you have an experience or favorite smudging technique? Share it with us in the comments below!

In Love & Gratitude,
Joy Arnold

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Doctor Is In the House

Saturday, February 24th, Dr. Suhas will be in our Folsom location hosting a free lecture based on his most recent book, Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life.
He'll also be signing books that evening, so grab your copy, enjoy the lecture, and get his autograph!


Join us Saturday February 24th
Serenity Spa | Soul Yoga
Folsom Palladio

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Power Of Sleep

We all know how important sleep is for our mental and physical health.  Dr. Suhas, BAMS, MD, discusses just this in his new book, Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life.  

His profound and empowering work was highlighted by Chopra on his website. Take a look at the article below.

Dr. Suhas

*Article below was originally published on

The following is an excerpt from the new book by Suhas G. Kshirsagar BAMS, MD—Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life.

In sleep labs all over the world, researchers study the body’s response to rest. They look at the correlation between sleep and mood, weight management, and cognitive function. Groups of people may share similar sleep characteristics. Shift workers, for example, are known to suffer from a host of metabolic disorders, and are at higher risk for heart disease and depression.  

Not Enough Sleep

And yet fewer than half of all adults get adequate sleep. Doctors write more than 40 million prescriptions for sleeping aids every year. So many people rely on these medications, no matter what the side effects. 
Despite all of this trouble with sleep, very few people understand that sleep is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. If you aren’t sleeping well, no diet will make you thin, no exercise program will make you fit, and there’s almost no way to achieve calm in the face of ordinary stress. 

The Sleep Reset

From a chronobiological perspective, sleep is the reset button for the brain and the body. The brain clears away the debris from the day’s activities, and many of the body’s systems repair and rebuild themselves while you rest. This is why a lack of sleep can cause so many health and mood problems. But sleep is also the time when the body restarts its daily circadian rhythm. Your body resets its clock during the night. When you stay up late, you set the clock to the wrong time and your body won’t crave sleep again for another 24 hours. Ideally, you should fall asleep by 10:30 p.m. If that sounds impossible, you may be failing to prepare for sleep. 
Ayurveda recognizes that not everyone is exactly alike. People have different physical characteristics, thinking styles, and ways of experiencing the world. Your sleep habits reflect this. In order to find the best solution to get the rest your body needs, consider what type of sleeper you are.  

Strong Sleepers

Strong sleepers tend to fall asleep relatively easily but wake up sluggish. You need help getting going in the morning and getting enough physical movement in your daily life to stay alert during the day. You also need to avoid calories later in the day, because you can experience insomnia when you eat too late. 

Variable Sleepers

Variable sleepers sleep well until something goes. You tend to be organized and have a regular routine that helps you stay healthy until an emotional upset or work-related stress keeps you awake. You often work at night, because you are driven; you wait for exhaustion to take over. You often exercise too much or too late in the day, and the activity keeps you up when your body wants to be sleeping. 

Light Sleepers

If you’re a light sleeper, your mind races all the time. You have a million ideas and tend to be creative but are also sensitive to anxiety. You struggle to fall asleep most nights and then wake frequently in the night. You need extra help setting a bedtime routine that relaxes your body and calms your mind. For you, it is important to eliminate all electronics in the evening (including TV). You may benefit from meditation and herbal remedies to promote sleep. 
Sleep is part of your routine, but it’s easy for you to take it for granted. Be mindful of the type of sleep you get routinely, and follow these tips to make sure you’re getting the rest you need. Sleep tight!
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

Check out the latest book by Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life: How to Harness the Power of Clock Genes to Lose Weight, Optimize Your Workout, and Finally Get a Good Night’s Sleep. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Embracing The Darkness

I recently article wrote for Sivana Spirit that seemed to resonate with a lot of people. The topic was on embracing darkness and dark times. They are there to teach us and help us evolve. I think it's a topic many of us feel a little uncomfortable talking about and experiencing. But I encourage you to embrace it. Here's the article originally written for Sivana Spirit;

Darkness can be a hard thing to accept. Whether that darkness comes in the form of a bad mood, negative emotion, or a difficult time in our life we get uncomfortable. Uneasy. Fearful. Anxious. Because of this, we ignore it, deny it, or shove it down into the deepest part of ourselves hoping it’ll just go away. This never works. The Universe makes sure of it. What you resist persists. Why does the Universe create this law? Because the Universe is looking out for us. For the evolution of our Soul and this darkness is here to teach us. Darkness is simply an absence of light. The darkness, whatever form it takes, is an opportunity for you to illuminate. Go within, to the deepest part of Soul, and tap into the force and energy of your light. These are the times our greatest lessons are learned. You can’t appreciate the light if you haven’t experienced the dark. Embrace it. Speak to it. Question it. And then, transform it. Transform the darkness into light. At this point, you may be cheering me on like ‘Yes! I get it!’ but maybe you’re a little confused on the how-to part. You’re not alone. And let me start by saying, every souls journey is just that, their journey. There are many roads to healing and transforming darkness to light. What works for one may not work for another. But I will share with you here three sure fire ways to get comfortable with darkness so you can learn your Soul lesson and then, in an alchemical way, transform darkness to light.

We have to be still. In stillness we find inspiration, intuition and guidance. Many ancient religions, belief systems, and traditions teach about being still, being with nature, and spending time in meditation and contemplation. In the Christian Bible, there’s a passage that says…’Be still and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10). This sentence is powerful even if it simply read…’Be still and know’.  We have to allow ourselves to just BE. It is only then that we hear the whispers of our soul and begin to understand the ‘why’ of certain situations and a clearer picture of our lesson begins to emerge. Give yourself time to BE with the darkness. Observe your emotions and reactions to the situation. Under that witnessing awareness there’s a message. But in order to hear it, you must be still.

As you become still and witness the situation, do so without judgement. Resist the urge to say it is good or bad. The moment you decide something is good or bad you create angst, guilt, or ego. You may not like the situation and want to change it. That’s ok! But do so without judging it. It is what is it. Acknowledge (without judgement), identify what you’d like instead, and then create change. That’s it.

Movement is medicine. Truly! And during times of self-discovery, trauma, and release we need to move more than ever. There are a lot of emotions, memories, and energy being generated during times of transformation and we must move that energy. We can’t allow it to get stagnant and remain in the physical, mental, or emotional body or it will reappear in our lives. We release it through movement. I don’t care if it’s running, dancing, Taekwondo, or Yoga…just move.

Again, there are many ways to traverse through dark times and everyone’s path is different. But I believe these three are Universally powerful whether you practice them alone or with your own tools. Remember, you are a powerful BEING OF LIGHT.

In Love & Gratitude,