What's Ghee? Mariah Sharp @MightyMooseArt
BBA 2.0, Let's Get Woo, takes the last 18 months of life changes/new experiences/self-care and adds a layer of, well, WOO.
I’m certain that when I told Joni to eat ghee and do yoga every morning as her first steps towards a more integrated pitta dosha, she thought that it was an odd request, to say the least. And it was. Who wakes up, takes a shot of butter oil and then goes straight to a yoga sequence?
Joni. And probably me, too.
Women who are always exhausted, overworked, carry the brunt of the familial emotional and mental labor, and never seem to be able to rest, need restorative support, need this kind of start to their morning.
Because I know Joni and have a good handle on what her daily life is like, I know she needs to add small, simple steps. (Honestly, most of us do.) Now, her pitta will want to take everything on and conquer her complaints all at once (LOL THIS IS TOO MUCH TRUTH.). That hard drive forward and need for quick and powerful progress is a hallmark of pittas. But that’s not a practice that will ultimately serve anyone, especially pittas.
Setting a pace and breaking things down into straightforward actions is the key to success.
Ghee is restorative. According to Ayurvedic tradition, it possesses agni, which stokes the digestive fire. And in case nobody ever told you this, your digestive tract is the second brain. Yes, it is that important. Your stomach breaks down food, your intestines process the food, that processed food becomes cells, and cells carry out every single function on the body on some level or another. So, having adequate digestion is pretty important, eh?
Ghee is also tridoshic. This means that every single dosha and dosha combination can benefit from it. For Joni, her pitta burns hot, which is typical. Pittas often suffer from persistent inflammation and mental/emotional/physical burnout. Consider a forest fire. It starts small and then grows astronomically, and very quickly. It devours everything in its path. But eventually, it burns itself out when there is nothing left to consume. It makes sense. Ghee is soothing and healing. And as an added bonus, it is a time-honored support for conditions like IBS, anxiety, and depression. Why? Because ghee possesses one of the most potent sources of butyrate acid, which is a short chain fatty acid. In case you don’t know what a short chain fatty acid is, it is integral to the health of your gut. It brings balance to gut flora and reduces inflammation in your digestive tract.
So ghee is awesome. I also wanted Joni to add a short, gentle series of yoga movements to her morning routine. It is essential to get the blood and lymph flowing and also to keep a steady pace.
So Carrie said, “eat ghee.”
And I’m like, “No.”
JK. I was like,”Okay. FINE. But I won’t like it.”
Some people love ghee I guess. I am not one of those people. I wish I were because that would make swallowing it a lot less painful.
The texture is not my favorite, which is probably because my mother traumatized me by making me eat foods that made me gag. But the smell of it is also just very, rich? I’m not sure what you’d call it, but it is not a smell I love.
I know the ghee is good though. Because all the good hippies say so, and also Carrie is really smart.
First, I had to make the ghee. Which is time-consuming, but not hard.
I kept texting Carrie pictures of it, even though we have an ACTUAL tutorial written BY Carrie on the site. But she answered my texts anyway, even though I was probably super annoying with my constant peppering of questions.
“Is this too brown?” No.
“Why is this grainy?” IDK, Joni. It’s chemistry. Ask Bill Nye.
“OMG AM I GOING TO GIVE MYSELF FOOD POISONING.” (Um...did you handle raw chicken and then wipe your hands in the jar you are storing your ghee in? Then yes.) GOOD GRIEF, CARRIE. NO. But I mean, let's say that DID happen. Would that be bad?
Anyway, it took a little while to make, but I did it and did not get any food poisoning.
Carrie suggested I just like eat it off a spoon but, yeah, no. We finally came up with the compromise that I would melt it in warm water. Which is still not awesome, but tolerable.
I’m making this sound so bad but really (even though I think it’s gross) it’s helping my gut. I can feel the balance in there happening.
I’m not trying to be graphic, but I have not exploded diarrhea anywhere OR pooped my pants all week.
So that’s pretty big.
The ghee is good, but the yoga? The yoga is amazing.
I’m not new to yoga. I’ve been known to practice quite frequently. Just not in the last four years.
I didn’t forget that I love yoga. I just forgot that I love yoga enough to actually prioritize it over something stupid like mopping my kitchen floor twice a day.
Carrie was adamant that I not do anything that kept me upside down for long. (Yep. You know how you get that rush of blood to your head when you do upside down things? That’s heating. And you know what you don’t need more of? Heat.)
I asked Kelsey (my kid) for some flows and landed on a simple sun salutation.
Quick Yoga Guidelines for Doshas:
Vata: Strengthening, warming, calming, grounding slow movements are your best bet. Think savasana. Hot yoga is your friend. Avoid anything that is too invigorating.
Pitta: Moderately paced movements that focus on flexibility and steady flow. Avoid upside down poses and hot yoga. Keep your space cool while you practice.
Kapha: Vigorous, fast paced movements focusing on stimulating blood flow and increasing oxygen will revolutionize your life. Quick bursts of movement, hot yoga, and lion’s breath are your friends. Avoid slow flow.
This sounds hyperbolic, but the yoga was life-changing. Such a simple practice that makes such a huge difference.
Overall, this week felt like laying groundwork. And it felt good.
Ready for your Let’s Get Woo Challenge?: Start your day with a five minute flow. Tell me how it goes!