Basically I want to introduce you to something that totally fascinated me from the moment I found out about it and that is Ayurveda! I know what you’re probably thinking, Ayr-What?
Well I’m here to give you the lowdown about how you can incorporate some of the principles of Ayurveda into your daily life to help you feel healthier and happier!
What is Ayurveda?
It is essentially the science of all life and is one of the world’s oldest and most respected mind-body health connection systems.
It is different from modern medicine because the main focus is much on preventing illness, whereas Western Medicine tends to focus on treating illnesses as they happen (which is still great obviously, but wouldn’t it be better if you focused more on prevention so you can avoid treatment down the road?)
You only get one body and one life so invest in your health. You are worth it!
There are two main principles that act as the base of Ayurveda philosophy.
The first principle is that the mind and body are extremely connected and the second is that the most powerful tool you can use to heal the body is the mind.
It is a traditional Hindu system of medicine that focuses on balancing your body and bringing your mind and body into alignment.
What first sparked my interest in learning more about Ayurveda was during my yoga teacher training in high school (which I have yet to finish but I am working on it I promise). I was taught that through Ayurveda you could increase your lifespan, but also eliminate and prevent disease, as well as fix any underlying imbalances in the body.
It is based around the 5 basic elements of the earth, which is Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and Ether.
The first step in figuring out which Ayurveda principles to incorporate into your life is to try to figure out what your personal Dosha is, or what combination of Dosha’s you are, for example I am a mix of Vata and Pitta.
First, Know Your Dosha to Learn How Ayurveda Can Help You Heal!
This site gives a great breakdown of the Dosha’s and the physical and mental characteristics of each Dosha.
Physically these types of people are very tall or very short, non-muscular, with thin with bony limbs, they walk quickly with short fast steps. Their skin is generally thin, darkish and cool. The hair is fine, dark, coarse and either wavy or curly.
The face is usually long and angular, often displaying an underdeveloped chin. The neck is long and thin. Nose is small and narrow though it may also be long, crooked or asymmetrical.
Eyes tend to be small, narrow or sunken, dark brown or grey in color, and without luster. The mouth is usually small, with thin, narrow or tight lips. Teeth are irregular, protruding, or broken, and gums often recede. The voice appears to be weak, low or cracked, speech is fast with interruptions.
Vata people tend to have restless minds with weak memories. They tend to avoid confrontation, have active and sensitive natures and express themselves through sport and creative pursuits.
Vata people are likely to be artistic and creative with a good imagination, they will sometimes overindulge in pleasures. They tend to be very sexually active, they are often fearful, worry too much and become anxious. They like to question things, spend a lot of time theorizing and then tend to over analyze situation.
Vata people often become dissatisfied with friendships and are unable to sustain them. They can spend money quickly often on unimportant things. Sleep is often light and interrupted with as little as 5-7 hours per day.
People have a moderately well developed physical body with strong muscles and walk with a definite, medium type of stride. They often have loud, strong and precise voices with the power of conviction.
The skin is often fair, soft, lustrous, warm, and tends to burn easily in the sun. Pitta types often have freckles, moles, and a tendency to develop rashes. Their bodies are hot and sweaty. Pittas often are characterized by fine and soft hair, often fair or reddish/ light brown hair that tends to grey early.
The face is heart-shaped, often with a pointed chin. The neck is proportionate and of average size. A neat, pointed, and average sized nose matches the average sized eyes that are either light blue, light grey or hazel in color, with an intense luster.
The eyes tend to get red in summer or after bathing. The mouth is of a medium size, with average sized lips and medium-sized yellowish teeth.
Pittas have an intellectual and precise disposition due to a very alert, focused mind. Sharp and piercing when angry, they are irritable, jealous and aggressive by nature. Discriminating and judgmental, they are also articulate, learned and proud.
A thick, broad, well-developed frame and large, long limbs, Kaphas have a pleasant, deep and resonating voice with low, slow, rhythmic speech. The skin is usually thick, oily, pale or white and cold.
They have thick, wavy, lustrous hair which is generally brown/black hair. The face is rounded and full. The neck is solid and well formed. A large, rounded nose, eyes are large and attractive and are blue or light brown or blackish in color. The mouth is large with full lips, with large white teeth and strong gums.
Kapha people are calm, steady, considerate – stable, patient personalities. They are slow to anger as they are not easily provoked, once angry they do not calm down easily.
They are honorable, true to their word and avoid lies. Loyal, forgiving and understanding, they can be lethargic, even lazy at times if not motivated by others. Learning may be slow but the memory will be strong. They are logical thinkers and take time before reaching conclusions.
They enjoy long hours of deep sleep and have a strong enduring sex drive which comes naturally to them. While they do save money, it does get spent on food. They can sometimes display an element of dullness and this is due to the Kapha mind being too content to seek external stimulation.
This is a great test to take to see what Dosha is predominant within your body or what mix of Dosha’s you might be
Learn It, Love It, Live It
People have used Ayurvedic to help heal everything from fertility issues, weight loss, digestive problems and stress/anxiety management among many other things.
One of the major things that I love about Ayurveda is that is focuses on Bio Individuality, and a person’s entire mind-body system. Every one of us has a different genetic makeup and physical/mental differences.
This is not a one size fits all approach to health, it really takes into consideration the fact that we are all so different and need to be treated for different ailments in a very individualistic way.
How Does Ayurvedic Medicine Work?
Practitioners who specialize in Ayurvedic medicine use a well balances approach that focuses on healthy diet, lifestyle changes, stress reduction and other herbal remedies that help to heal all different types of conditions to bring the body back to homeostasis and back in balance.
They practice and prescribe remedies based on the belief that all diseases stem from an imbalance in three doshas, which are ways of categorizing the body’s three basic energy types we discussed earlier, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
There is such a huge diversity among patients that I really dislike certain Western medicine practitioners that treat people like a one size fits all approach because that just isn’t the case for most people. People needs to have treatments prescribed to them based on their unique dosha balance.
According to this site “What’s especially of interest to researchers studying traditional healing symptoms like Ayurveda is the power of the mind and its connection to the body.
Since various studies have acknowledged that beliefs surely have the ability to change someone’s health, even after controlling for placebos, new health models are beginning to focus more on including the mind and its interaction with the body as a primary lever of curing diseases.
Better controlling stress seems to be one of the primary benefits of Ayurveda, according to a western medical viewpoint.
We know that chronic stress can ruin your quality of life and that lower stress levels are correlated with better health, longevity, weight management and overall happiness.
A healthier diet, natural herbs, better sleep and improved hormonal balance also all likely play a role in healing with Ayurvedic medicine”
What I have learned from studying Ayurveda is that I have a Vata- Pitta constitution with a medium build that is usually warm and muscular. I have sensitive skin that gets flushed really easily. I am a passionate and driven person, but those are my Pitta characteristics.
My Vatta characteristics is that I have a delicate appetite which could explain why I am often miss meals because I am either ravenously hungry or not even thinking about food. So that could explain some of my temperamental stomach problems recently. I am all about doing anything and everything I can to find balance in my life.
I’ve really learned to step back from vigorous exercise because that is not what my body has been craving recently. I have returned to my yoga routine which I kind of pushed to the side a bit for a few years because I really viewed exercise as just a way to burn calories.
Instead I needed to slow it down and do what feels good for my body and that is deep stretches and long walks, nothing too strenuous or heavy. I love it thus far and I definitely feel like my stress levels have gone down a bit since practicing some more easy and slow forms of exercise.
Reasons to Consider Integrating Ayurveda into Your Life
- Lower Your Stress and Anxiety Levels
- Help Heal Your Digestion
- Can Help with Weight Loss
- Fight Inflammation in Your Body and as we know inflammation is the root of almost all illnesses
My favorite book which has helped me to learn more about incorporating Ayurvedic principles into my life is Eat, Taste, Heal: An Ayurvedic Guidebook and Cookbook for Modern Living which talks about your relationship with food and your health both physically and mentally. It has amazing recipes that focus on your Dosha and helping to support your health. I highly recommend it! You can get it here
So there you go! A little introduction to Ayurveda and why I love it so much!
I strongly recommend looking into it to deal with any issues you might be having physically as it is has seriously helped me heal so well both mentally and physically and has truly helped my life long battle with anxiety.
I hope you all have an amazing day
Lots of love and light!