An Introduction to Ayurveda

 

We’re encouraged through most media streams to Get Up, Get Out and Get Fit! These days, celebrities and health Gurus alike are sharing their ‘secrets’ to lasting success via various social media streams. Even if it is usually an orchestrated selfie with a large glass jar (the trendy go-to for Insta bloggers of all status) full of a sinister green, ‘superfood’ smoothie.
Ehem, I digress!

A wholesome diet and active lifestyle are proven healthful habits that contribute towards a happy life. Do we all agree? Good. So I guess my question is – should we be eating the same food and employing the same exercise routines year-round?

A couple of years ago I stumbled across Ayurveda a 5,000-year-old system (est.) of natural healing, originating in India. Sometimes termed a ‘science of life’, it recognises that human beings are part of nature.
Ayurveda provides guidelines for daily and seasonal routines, diet, behaviour and the proper use of our senses. It reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.

Principles of Ayurveda

Ayurveda bases itself on three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environment, movement, transformation and structure. Known in Sanskrit as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth), these primary forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body. Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature.

If Vata is dominant in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate.

For each element, there is a balanced and imbalanced expression. When Vata is balanced, a person is lively and creative, but when there is too much movement in the system, a person tends to experience anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation and difficulty focusing. On the other hand, when Pitta is functioning in a balanced manner, a person is warm, friendly, disciplined, a good leader and a good speaker. When Pitta is out of balance, a person tends to be compulsive and irritable and may suffer from indigestion or an inflammatory condition. Finally, when Kapha is balanced, a person is sweet, supportive and stable but when Kapha is out of balance, a person may experience sluggishness, weight gain, and sinus congestion.

Ayurvedic Therapy

An important goal of Ayurveda is to identify a person’s ideal state of balance, determine where they are out of balance and offer interventions using diet, herbs, aromatherapy, massage treatments, music, and meditation to reestablish balance.
Additionally, yoga is prescribed as a means of restoring body-mind balance both through it’s popular postures or asanas, and breathing/ meditative practices.

Discover your Dosha!

So, next time you fancy taking one of those ‘Is He Really In To You’ quizzes on your tea break, why not substitute with the Dosha Quiz and learn how to care for your mind, body and spirit? Perhaps you can discover the You in you instead?

 

Wishing you health and happiness. Namaste x

Resources:

With thanks to the following research sources: www.deepakchopra.com, Prakriti by Robert E. Svoboda – Amazon