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Ayurvedic Dough Dam Basti Course

As we approach summer, I look forward to seeing all of you at one or all of our upcoming special summer intensive courses.   Many of you know that I teach the Ayurvedic Massage and Body Therapies Certification course. This course teaches you everything you need to begin offering Abhyanga, Shirodhara, and Svedana.  This combination of therapies is often referred to a “Bliss” Therapy. Students from past workshops have been amazed at how quickly they were able to absorb the material taught and how comfortable they felt offering these body therapies. 

I also teach another course; The Ayurvedic Dough Dam Basti Course. You may be asking “What is a dough dam basti?!”  Well, to begin with, Basti means bladder or container that holds something – typically fluid, like the bladder in your body.  The name “Dough Dam Basti”, however, is simply describing the fact that the dough material (traditionally made of urad dhal – black gram flour) is typically made into round and other various shapes to hold medicated herbal oil combinations.  We use black gram flour, as it has been used throughout time for this therapy.  Creating shapes with the dough alone is a therapeutic and creative process for the practitioner!  

There are lots of possibilities when working with placing dough dams on the body.  The main purpose is to place medicated oil on a particular part of the body in a very specific way.  This creates a very powerful therapy.  In the workshop, we will focus on the main chakra bastis, as well as the low back basti (Katti Basti), the adrenal basti, the urinary bladder basti, and the eye basti (Netra Basti).  Each of these bastis are potent therapies.

One of the most unique qualities of receiving dough basti therapies is the wide range of experiences that may be observed.  Often the types of experiences are similar to what people share when receiving a Shirodhara.  The main difference is that the oil is not streaming over one spot, but typically stationary, and yet the actual experience of receiving may feel very dynamic.  Having vivid visions, lucid dream state, deep relaxation, and what could be called “out of body” experiences are all normal things that people often share.  I have been working with the dough dam therapies for the last 11 years in my practice and, in short, they are special gifts to offer your clients.  You really must experience them to understand the depths of these therapies.

This year, in addition to learning the main dough dam basti locations and placement, we will also include a bija (seed) mantra for the ones located over main chakra locations and color visualizations.  We will incorporate some movement and energy “tuning” work before each bodywork session as well.  For all of you who have taken this course previously, you may want to come again to brush up on your dough dam making skills and to incorporate some of the new qualities we are adding to the therapy offering!  Your clients will love it!!!

Some qualities people share as a result of receiving these therapies are: peace of mind, new inspiration, warm “yummy” feelings in their heart, and simply a more abundant feeling within themselves – a sense of wholeness.  The ancients shared that these traditional ayurvedic therapies were also in the category referred to as Rasayanas and added to the longevity of a person’s life.  Over stimulation of the mind is one of the primary factors that vitiate the vata dosha.  Many of the classic Ayurvedic oil therapies address calming and centering the mind by utilizing warm organic, nourishing, heavy qualities of rich natural oils.  Ayurvedic body therapies accomplish this by applying rich oils like sesame and sunflower externally.  Simply put, when the mind is less distracted and not overburdened with unwanted input, you feel more centered and relaxed to perform and be present with what’s important to you in your life. And, you are available to offer your dharma – your service – to all those who are a part of your family, your community.

CCA offers a wonderful line up of summer intensives in addition to those mentioned above. CCA offers classes in marma therapy (taught by Dr. Halpern) and the administrations of Ayurvedic facials and a fascinating massage technique called “Pinda Swedana” taught by Ashlee Sakaishi-Griffiths. Over the years, students from past workshops shared how much these summer intensives assisted them in meeting their training requirements and expanded the overall offerings that they are able to share with their clients. Continuing to expand your education with direct hands- on therapeutic experience is simply one of the best ways to grow your practice.  We feel blessed to share these teachings with you.  Please join us this summer; we look forward to seeing you at our home campus here in Nevada City! 


Ragaia Belovarac

Director of Body Therapies  

Dough Dam Basti Class

I can't wait! This was a completely new concept that I had never heard of prior to taking your body therapy class last summer. It sounds wonderful and I am particularly pleased that you will be incorporating bija mantras and some energy tune-ups into this year's offering.

Thank you for all that you and your team do. You are living examples of how to be present and hold space for clients.