South African labor under attack from Pres. Jacob Zuma

by Charlene Smith

rbosch_254President Jacob Zuma’s assiduous building of the A.N.C. especially in rural areas, and among those who seek a path to wealth through government tenders, has been fascinating.

In the past the A.N.C. needed the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to survive, but that need is diminishing. Cosatu reported to its 2012 Congress, “A.N.C.’s membership has grown over 300 percent … with membership rising from 416,846 members in 2002 to 1,270,053 in January 2012. …The 2012 Cosatu workers survey reveals that over a quarter of Cosatu members surveyed ‘are active in their ANC branch’. This suggests that around half of ANC members are also Cosatu members.”

But Cosatu’s challenge, and indeed that of all unions, is to whom do A.N.C. and union members owe their allegiance? At a time when one in five of those employed work for the state, and where political loyalty is rewarded with tenders and cushy jobs, it is unlikely that the unions hold more power than Zuma, who was the A.N.C.’s wily head of its intelligence services while in exile.

Richard Spoor, an independent labor lawyer who represents miners claims that the “real divide is between rural people and workers, and the middle class. I can’t think of a credible black intellectual that still supports the A.N.C.” But whether intellectuals exert much influence in today’s South Africa is moot. Rural people, traditional in outlook and suspicious of fancy city folk, loud unions, and the educated are the real voting power in South Africa, and Zuma has been wooing them for at least a decade. He is the one they trust, especially in populous KwaZulu Natal.

Cosatu and some of the smaller unions are now focusing their energies on small towns but it is probably too little too late. Cosatu has a union leadership today that likes smart offices, fancy cars, and fine dining in the cities, few will travel the rutted roads to rural areas and sit in mud huts and drink sorghum beer and listen to the long story-telling narratives of rural folk.

Zuma has also tightened the security establishment and brought it directly under his control. One of President Zuma’s bodyguards as just one example, was put in charge of the operational spying structures of the South African Police Service. Brigadier K.B. “Bhoyi” Ngcobo, a senior member of the presidential protection unit, was appointed acting head of crime intelligence. The Mail and Guardian reported that: “Ngcobo’s selection appears to consolidate the stranglehold over police intelligence structures of individuals [with] powerful personal loyalties to Zuma… Zuma named Ngcobo as one of the “echo group” of his protectors, who resisted pressure from “plotters” to inform on him during his time in the political wilderness.”

Zuma also appointed Michael Hulley , his lawyer in corruption cases and the 2006 rape trail in which he was acquitted, as his part-time legal adviser in the presidency. Hulley’s appointment came as the North Gauteng High Court liquidated Aurora Empowerment Systems’ Pamodzi Gold Orkney and Grootvlei mines run by Khulubuse Zuma , the president’s nephew, and Zondwa Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela. They were joint directors with Hulley in Aurora. The parliamentary portfolio committee recommended criminal charges against the three for not paying 5,300 mineworkers for a year and leaving them to starve while forcing them, often at gunpoint, to work. Zuma giving the directors work in the presidency offers them indemnity as long as he retains power.

Spoor says, “The big frustration for Cosatu is that their backing of Zuma has been a disaster. They show this bizarre, sycophantic politicking, then say we’ll protest toll roads, we’ll march against government – you’re either in government or against it, to play it both ways is not working for Cosatu. I don’t see how Cosatu will recover vigor and credibility.”

SAT-000-1131GThe union federation’s credibility has not been helped by it endorsing President Zuma for a second term with careful qualifiers, yet for them not to have endorsed him could have created more trouble than Cosatu presently has the strength to deal with. At present the bulls are pawing the ground and circling, but no one will charge, any attack from either side will be by stealth.

At its March 15, 2013 meeting the labor federation acknowledged: “This Conference is taking place at a time when the labor movement is facing some very serious challenges – both internal and external. Some are self-inflicted, and some are being pursued by our class enemies, to fatally weaken us…In the recent period we have come under sustained attack focused on weakening our affiliates, with the biggest Cosatu affiliate being the primary target…The reason why our enemies found it easy to launch these attacks is because we allowed a situation where our base is organizationally, politically and ideologically weakened.”

Neil Coleman, Cosatu’s Strategies Coordinator who works at the union federation’s Cape Town Parliamentary Office is frank, “We are at a crossroads in a number of respects: our relationship to the ruling party and the state, to society more broadly, in relation to our own membership and our own people. There is an emerging all round crisis.

“The Cosatu general secretary [Zwelinzima Vavi] has said that we are facing serious challenges and the labor movement has to position itself. His favorite example is the Trade Union Council of SA [a white-only, apartheid-supporting union federation. At the time black unions were illegal]. By the time of the 1973 Durban strikes it was very co-opted, unrepresentative of its membership, and being swamped by an emerging militant grass roots movement.” His point is that Cosatu may be facing a similar scenario.

Coleman insists, and Vavi concurs, “Events in 2012 have shaken us to the core. There are debates and tactical differences within the labor movement and its alliance with the A.N.C. about how to move forward. Some of the challenges are a product of our success. N.U.M. is a massive union that has made important gains especially in health and safety, but it has lost the plot in other areas. The fact that Cosatu is able to continue growing is a measure of the quality of the organization, but there are some very serious warning signs. There is a danger of the leadership becoming distant from members in the way they live, where their children go to school, the hospitals they use….”

The benefits of hindsight

So what went wrong with what John Hopkins University sociologist Benjamin Scully says was one of the world’s most influential labor movements? There are three smaller trade union federations than the 1,8 million member Cosatu, there is the Federation of Unions of South Africa with 560,000 members, the National Council of Trade Unions (397,000) and the Confederation of South African Workers’ Unions with 297,000 members. None have the impact of Cosatu, but let’s look back to understand how the future may evolve.

After apartheid there was rapid movement to improve racial and gender ownership and management in businesses. In just five years from 1993 to 1998, seven major labor laws were promulgated, they ranged from two laws about health and safety in 1993, to the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 and the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998.

The intent was to create a model economy, one where social justice partnered with bright, economically-skilled and productive workers, but instead disillusionment and resentment is rife. The labor laws, including the constitutional right to strike, have created work for an ever-growing, well-paid and mostly incompetent bureaucracy, conflict in the workplace is common, the four month annual strike season from May to September has broken its banks and labor disputes spill into every month, often violent, always bitter. The economy, once the most powerful on the African continent is lagging.

South Africa needs annual growth of seven percent to combat unemployment but growth is averaging just over two percent, at a time when overall growth across the continent is averaging eight percent. The World Competitiveness Yearbook, published by Switzerland’s Institute of Management Development ranked South African competitiveness at 50 of 59 countries in 2012 . The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2011 cited weak public education, restrictive labor laws, and a poor work ethic as challenges to business in South Africa.

(This is the second in a series examining South Africa and labor)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chasms widen as trade unions falter in South Africa

By Charlene Smith

• Exchange rate of R11 to $1 used

JOhannesburg IDP Photographs for BIG MediaIn his first speech as president on May 5, 1994, Nelson Mandela said: “The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come… We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination. ” But today South Africa is a nation more unequal than during apartheid. Millions live in shacks and struggle to survive on $2 a day.

At least one in four South Africans are jobless depending on which statistic you accept, although most agree that forty percent unemployed is closer to reality. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), which shares power with the ruling African National Congress and the South African Communist Party reports , “In 2011, half of South African workers earned less than R3,033 ($275.72) a month. African workers earn 23 percent of what white workers earn and women earn 77 percent of what men earn.” They point to a 2010 report by auditors’ Price Waterhouse Cooper on executive pay, which Cosatu claims over-estimated “the wages paid to low paid workers in the South African economy. The Executive Pay Report found the pay gap to be in the order of 250-300 times the lowest paid worker. If we correct the wage of the lowest paid workers, we find that the median executive pay gap ranges from 1,535—1,842 times the wage earned by the lowest paid worker.”

Inequity deepened despite the fact that in the late 1990s and early part of this century South Africa enjoyed the greatest prosperity in more than sixty years. Shielded by rainbow nation hype the rich held the pot of gold close to their chests and did little to improve opportunity or close wage gaps.

South Africa today is a nation of robber barons. Zwelakhe Mankazana, CEO of Aquarius Platinum Investments, and a veteran of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the former military wing of the A.N.C. says: “We devalued the dignity of a noble struggle to develop a smash and grab mentality that has bred violence and intimidation.” South Africa is now one of the most dangerous countries in the world with rampant criminal violence and corruption. Two national police commissioners in a row are in jail, and President Jacob Zuma could face 783 charges of racketeering, fraud, and corruption once he leaves the immunity afforded by the presidency. Undaunted, $28 million of public funds was recently spent on a luxurious home for him and his four wives and 22 children born in wedlock . All of this impacts on how South Africans view the world, their expectations of fair treatment, what they believe is owing to them, and the means to attain it.

And so when in August 2012 police shot dead 38 striking miners and injured 78 at Marikana platinum mine a warning flare shot high across South Africa. Privileged citizens looked up from their evening drinks at pavement cafes or their relentless trawling of Twitter and Facebook, and then looked away. It was a warning that exposed the bitter divisions within unions and the shocking conditions miners live and work under. It also held potentially sinister undertones that lawyers alluded to at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry. Jonny Steinberg, a South African lecturer in African studies at Oxford University, told a London audience “This paramilitary outfit arrived and turned on protesters. That was a policy decision that happened because Zuma allowed it and wanted it to happen.” Steinberg’s view is not unusual, you hear it from sober newspaper editors, wealthy businesspeople, academics, and trade unionists – all of whom form part of the new black elite and who now, or in the past, supped at the same table as Zuma.
Why would Zuma encourage police to use deadly force on miners? The first clue comes from the number of criminal charges Zuma would face at the end of his second term in office – all that the constitution presently allows – if he succeeds, as he probably will, in his presidential bid in 2014. The second comes in the active critiques of Zuma and the government he leads from unions and especially Cosatu leader, Zwelinzima Vavi . The third comes from the fact that unions control millions of workers, if you defuse unions, you limit the ability of groups to organize any significant dissent whether against employers or politicians. And dissent is growing, in their book Who Rules South Africa , Paul Holden and Martin Plaut claim that two million South Africans are involved in some sort of protest each year. Indeed, 2012 had the highest number of protests per month since apartheid.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Communications 101: Why Should I Care?

by Charlene Smith (c)  

For many people the opportunity to give a speech, or write an article, sees common sense flee and pomposity enter.

 

Instead of writing in a manner that encourages story-telling or that engages, they become stilted, they use big words, their ego inflates and blocks imagination.  Here is some of the advice I have given executives and authors over the years.

 

  • If you’re at a noisy dinner party, with say ten people, you wouldn’t enter the conversation by saying, “In 1966 my company invented blah and so it was then decided that we would blah…” You’d say something like, “did you know that female hyenas have false penisses?” Conversation would stop, and you would continue, “yep, it gives them certain advantages, and it sounds strange but we considered this fascinating example from the wild when putting together our new business strategy…” Everyone is listening, intrigued, what on earth will you say next?
  • What we’ve learnt from the first example is the importance of story-telling, people are children, no matter how old they are, they love stories. Incorporate one or two into your presentation, they’ll remember it better and they’’ll hang on to every word.
  • Keep it brief. You don’t want a story so long that you, and they, forget the punchline.
  • Use simple language. Part of what made Albert Einstein great was not just his abilities as a mathematician, but his capacity to come up with memorable phrases. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We understand what he’s saying, we get it, and we remember it. Way better than corporate speak: ‘In order to achieve optimal results, we realized that we had to discard the methodology of previous experiments’ (and so the corporate nebbish drones on and on…) Please eliminate the phrase ‘in order’ it’s useless and it guarantees poor language construction.
  • Why should we care? Think about your audience when you are writing your speech, article, blog or presentation.ImageWhy should they care? They have limited hours, what you are writing is important to you, but why should they bother to give you the time of day? Think about your audience carefully. If necessary look through a magazine for a photograph of the typical person in your audience, pin that picture on your noticeboard and write the presentation for him or her, use language they’ll relate too, and consider his, her, or their, most pressing needs – are you able to present solutions?
  • Watch TED talks. What makes them effective? Their informality. The story-telling. Humor. Simple language. Sincerity. Clever new ideas. Transformative thinking. Can you introduce those elements into your presentation? Go through what you’ve written and tick off where you have each of the points I’ve just mentioned.
  • First draft written. Now put it away.  Come back to it a day or two later, read it out loud, ideally in front of a mirror, watch your facial and body language, and check the written language, does it sound engaging?  Now edit, ruthlessly, and rewrite again. Hone it until you get the look and feel that will honor your audience, and you.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Workplace bullies crush innovation & cripple growth

By Charlene Smith

In her song Respect, Aretha Franklin sings: 

I’m about to give you all of my money

And all I’m askin’ in return, honey

Is to give me my profits

The primary stakeholders in your business are your clients and staff, and the return on investment they want is

                            R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Such a small investment with such high returns.

Image

New Yorker, 2013

But in too many companies there is a culture of bullying, ego, not listening, arrogance, and rudeness.  The biggest know-it-all’s are often those who know the least, these managers and executives disguise the fact that they are in jobs that they are poorly prepared for by being bullies and hiring subordinates who lack the appropriate skills levels. And so they have poorly-performing departments of people who have been appointed above their capabilities. Everyone is frustrated, unhappy, poorly directed, confused, demotivated, and angry.

Over time the air in some departments is so toxic that if they were nuclear reactors they’d explode or be shut down.

These are common themes I have encountered in companies I have consulted to. It is worth quietly considering how many are present in your company or department and how you can help transform. Take only one issue at a time and address it – either as a staff member or manager:

Blame and resentment. Staff claim issues of power, control, and manipulation limit their capacity to work effectively.  

Integrity.  What does it mean and how should each staff member display it.  This needs to be an ongoing conversation with examples highlighted. 

Job security.  Staff that fear job security underperform, even where productivity ratings appear high, quality will probably be uneven. Ensure that those staff who have safe jobs know it. 

Good benefits attract the best staff. What more can I say, if you want the best staff then provide a happy, secure work environment with great benefits. If quality is not important to your business success then don’t concern yourself with benefits.

Confidence inspires. Part of confidence is communication. Keep staff in the loop by providing accurate, timely information. Act on the values your organization espouses.

Honesty is a virtue that is in short supply. Be honest to, and with, staff, customers, and the media.  The better your track record of honesty, the higher your returns on staff and customer loyalty.

Listen. Or you listen but fail to act = disrespect, you cannot be trusted. Listening but failing to act indicates that you are either weak, insincere, or incompetent. If you cannot act on a given suggestion good management means you need to respond to the suggestion/grievance with exImageamples of why it is not suitable to be acted upon.

Bullying. This is disastrous for any workplace because staff will at some stage rebel – that rebellion will take the form of official complaints, poor productivity, shoddy work, etc.  Two issues define bullies – they bully because they are confident that they will get away with it, which points to challenges with executive and/or human resources oversight of senior staff. Secondly, bullies are scared, and in the workplace they are most often people who have been appointed to senior positions and lack the training, competency, or skills to fill those posts.  Stop a bullying culture through training, mentorship, and penalties.

Shared values.

  • Consulted staff in the compilation of the values statement. 
  • The Human Resources department needs to take a long hard look at how it operates, and management needs to support them in this. If they are seen as merely a tool of management and not responsive to employees, malaise among staff will develop, and organizational prosperity, and success will flounder.  

Rigid bureaucracy.  Adherence to rules and regulations is key, and the environment is not tolerant of creativity and mistakes. Creativity is critical to progress, and any innovation creates the potential for error. An environment that stifles creativity is stagnant: it cannot and will not grow and the most talented staff will leave.  

Hypocrisy. Values are not lived by staff; they look to leadership to model values but there is a gap between what is being said and what happens.  This encourages cynicism and disrespect toward management.

Unfairness. Employees experience management condoning behaviors that are not in line with the values.

Issues that hinder success 

  • Lack of recognition = disenchanted, unproductive workers.  Bosses who give no feedback, who neglect to say thank you, who never ask after staff families, who lack the courage to acknowledge when they are wrong and to apologize. Why is it hard for executives and managers to be respectful and kind, to greet the most humble first, to be thoughtful, to acknowledge personal error, to get up out of their seats and occasionally walk among staff and praise those doing well, or to spend a little time with those who are struggling and to guide them?

*    Nepotism.  There is a perception that promotions are based on nepotism or favoritism.

*   Reliability.  If you start something, give feedback, consult, set goals, and let those involved know outcomes, including decisions to disband projects.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Management does not imply leadership; that has to be earned

By Charlene Smith

Value is a word that has specific meaning at banks. It refers to financial transactions, audits, statements of account, currency, foreign exchange, but the highest value of all is found in people and how we lead, motivate and inspire them.

On the homepage of its website Harvard Business School declares: “We believe that leadership and values are inseparable. The teaching of ethics here is explicit, not implicit, and our Community Values of mutual respect, honesty and integrity, and personal accountability support the HBS learning environment and are at the heart of a School-wide aspiration: to make HBS a model of the highest standards essential to responsible leadership in the modern business world. Our values are a set of guiding principles for all that we do wherever we are and with everyone we meet.”

But if one looks at the day to day conduct of many of the graduates of that school, many of whom help populate Wall Street, how many can we number that live up to those values? Is value an empty five-letter word, use for PR but not HR?

International broadcaster, South Africa’s Tumi Makgoba once reflected: “Whenever I wonder about the lack of good leadership in our country and on our continent, I ask myself what I would want to see a ‘good leader’ do. My answer:

*  Understand that you’re accountable to the people,

*  Make tough decisions for the right reasons,

*  Have the ability to recognize when your ego is getting in the way,

*   Surround yourself with people who know more/are smarter than you,

*  Be as willing to take responsibility as you are to take office,

*  Know when to call it quits.”

You may have read the Forbes article by Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, clinical professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management who wrote From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership.

He says that becoming the best kind of leader isn’t about emulating a role model or a historic figure. “Rather, your leadership must be rooted in who you are and what matters most to you. When you truly know yourself and what you stand for, it is much easier to know what to do in any situation. It always comes down to doing the right thing and doing the best you can.”

The four principles of values-based leadership he lists are:

Self-reflection: Identify and reflect on what you stand for, what your values are, and what matters most to you. To be a values-based leader, you must be willing to look within yourself through regular self-reflection and strive for greater self-awareness. If you can’t lead yourself, how can you lead others?

Balance means that you consider all sides and opinions with an open mind.

True self-confidence: recognize your strengths and your weaknesses and strive for continuous improvement. With true self-confidence you know that there will always be people who are more gifted, accomplished, successful and so on than you, but you’re OK with who you are.

Genuine humility. Never forget who you are or where you came from. Genuine humility keeps life in perspective, particularly as you experience success in your career. In addition, it helps you value each person you encounter and treat everyone respectfully.

Leaders

Let’s think of some of the greatest leaders the world has known: Mahatma Gandhi, the man Time magazine called the greatest of the 20th century; Nelson Mandela; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Martin Luther King; Mother Theresa, and Pope Francis looks as though he may become an inspirational leader.

 What are their common qualities? Humility, they kept striving for personal improvement, they were open to consider the views of their enemies and to transform, they all spent extensive time alone in self reflection. They were men and women of their word. They were kind, they could be trusted, they were respectful to those around them. They led by example.

There’s not a banker among them!

Let’s look at some inspirational business leaders. Richard Branson of Virgin struggled with dyslexia but that didn’t stop him from building a huge global empire, he dresses simply usually in a black linen shirt and loose black linen pants, has been married to the same woman for years, and takes a keen personal interest in his staff. He is humble almost to the point of shyness.

The richest man in the world, billionaire, Warren Buffet lives in the same home he and his wife built in the 1950s, it is a simple home in a humble neighborhood. He could buy Gucci and Ferrari and Hermes but you’ll never see him in those clothes or in a fancy car. He is humble and thoughtful.

Anyone can be a manager, an executive, a chairperson, but not everyone has the qualities of leadership.

Position does not give you leadership, nor does title or salary, it is the way you conduct yourself every day, and in every way.

http://www.charlenesmithwriter.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love is a dying tradition: work is eliminating families

Image, By Charlene Smith ©

Love is a dying tradition as marriages and family life disappear according to a rush of new studies.

Globally divorce rates have gone up about six fold since 1960. 

The Brookings Institute in the United States reported this year that, “Fewer Americans are married today than at any point in at least 50 years.” This correlates with data in the same report that says while half of women didn’t work 40 years ago, it is rare for women not to work now and they’re waiting longer to have children, if at all. Today in the United States a third of first time mothers are older than forty and around 10 percent of men and women are declining to marry.

These are the most job-focused generations ever. We work longer hours – up to 500 hours more a year according to stats – and because we have become so consumed with accumulating degrees, status, and wealth, the other significant need for successful humans – good relationships fall by the wayside. Yet, if you’re very rich, you’re more likely to seek marriage and to stay married. Stats show that half of the wealthiest one percent of Americans (and they earn 40 percent of U.S. wealth) are in stable, happy, long-term marriages. 

Research by the Organisation of Economic CoOperation and Development suggests that marriage is a dying trend. “Since the 1960s the family has undergone significant transformation. In many countries, the extended family has all but disappeared, and the traditional two-parent family has become much less widespread as divorce rates, re-marriages, cohabitation, single parenthood and same-sex partnerships have all increased.

 

“Families have seen more mothers take up work in the labor market, their adolescents spend longer and longer in education and training, and elderly members of the family live longer and, increasingly, alone.”

 

OECD figures show that family breakups are economically costly. “In Britain that figure is now £42bn per year and rising, according to the Relationships Foundation. Family breakdowns cost more than the entire defense budget in that country. Today in Britain there are two million single parent families: there were one million in 1980. Across the world children are most likely to be raised by their mothers only. In most developed nations up to 15 percent of babies are born without a resident biological father. 

 

Recent demographic projections performed by OECD countries suggest that the next 20 years are likely to see a continuation and even acceleration of changes in household and family structures. In particular, the number of single-adult and single-parent households are expected to increase significantly, as is the number of couples without children.

 

In Britain today, 40 percent of all children can expect to see their parents split up before their 16th birthday.  At least half of family breakdown takes place within the first three years of childhood.  (However, the latest study from the Center for Social Justice and the Bristol Community Family Trust estimates that, of children born today, 48% will see their parents split by their 16th birthday.  

OECD research has shown that, of all countries (not just the 30 member countries), the UK has the fifth highest lone parent rate, after Latvia, Estonia, the Czech republic and the US.

We talk a lot about love, but today we say those words and forget it’s ancillary: commitment, and that, in turn, implies responsibility. We are good about our responsibilities in the workplace, but have forgotten responsibility for our personal happiness and for those closest to us. Maybe now is the time for a values check.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A strong mind needs a healthy body

By Charlene Smith

 Now here’s something to think about; 90 percent of serotonin, the primary ingredient of anti-depressants, is naturally created in your gut.

 Serotonin is then transformed by your liver into happiness cells that are carried on a parade of joy through your body. But your gut is only happy when you’re feeding it the right food.

 Because most of us don’t think before we put food in our mouth we’ve created a roaring industry for drug makers. It is estimated that every American spends around $500 a year on laxatives and fiber supplements.

 And that’s before we add the billions spent on mood stabilizing meds.  Many of our stomach problems start with us taking too many prescription tablets in the first place; constipation is a well-known side effect.

 To create a daily parade of joy throughout your body, while losing or maintaining weight, and to improve your skin, energy and concentration try Ayurveda. It is a 5,000 year-old Indian way of life practiced by modern sages like Deepak Chopra.  Ayurveda eating the wrong food creates toxins in our gut (which is usually when you reach for a laxative or anti-acid.)

 According to Ayurveda we have three doshas or personality types. If we eat according to our dosha we lose weight, get energy, and become happier. Vata personalities are energetic, have a small build, dry skin, and are light sleepers. Pitta have sharp minds and sometimes a temper. Kapha people tend to be heavier in build, have soft, oily skin and thick hair; this is the dosha happiest in front of the television.

 If your dosha is unbalanced then a Kapha will gain weight, feel slow, and congested. A Vata imbalance sees indigestion, bloating and wind, while Pitta has heartburn, gastritis and diarrhea.

  To practice Ayurveda you need to eat the right foods  for your personality type, for example, Vata should mostly eat hot foods, while fiery Pitta’s should eat cooling foods. Spices are good for gentle Kapha.

 And you need sufficient sleep; lights out by 10pm and awake by 6am. Enough sleep is essential for weight loss.

 Ayurveda also suggests that before you clean your teeth, you should scrape your tongue with a special metal scraper, and rinse your nostrils with salt water from a Neti pot. The tongue scraper helps reduce addictions, and cleaning your nostrils helps reduce infections, it is particularly good for asthmatics.

 After a shower and before bed oil your body (sesame is best). 

  The first drink of the day should be hot water with lemon to wake up fat-burning enzymes. If your face is puffy boil a handful of pearl barley in a quart of water until soft. Drain – keeping the water – to which you add honey and lemon before drinking. The barley can be added to your meals. 

  Ayurveda stresses regular meals with small portions. Also sip hot water with your meal and never cold drinks as this hampers digestion.

 Make lunch your biggest meal of the day.  Dinner should be small, light and vegetarian and never eaten after 8pm. Cut back on dairy products and red meat because these slow weight loss. Ayurveda encourages you to use healing spices like cinnamon, which improves blood clotting, helps control blood sugar and stops yeast infections. Turmeric, as another example, helps prevent the buildup of plaque in the heart that can cause strokes, according to the University of Maryland. It also helps reduce inflammation, and is being studied because of reported beneficial properties in those with cancer.

 Image

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment