Ayurveda in the Modern World
Ayurveda is known as one of the most ancient healing sciences. It directly translates from Sanskrit as “The Science of Life.” Ayurveda consists of practices and remedies which help one maintain a balance and healthy lifestyle. From diet, to mindset, an understanding of herbs, and lifestyle changes, Ayurvedic practices have proven to help people live happier lives.
What Are the Ayurveda Doshas?
One of the first places to begin understanding Ayurveda is learning about the doshas, which are constitutions according to one’s body and mind. Dosha’s are fundamental principles or identities and are believed to govern various physiological and psychological functions in the body and mind. Everyone has a unique combination of these doshas, which is often referred to as their “Prakriti” or constitution.
Ayurvedic practitioners use the concept of doshas to assess an individual’s constitution and imbalances and provide personalized recommendations for diet, lifestyle, and herbal remedies to restore harmony and promote health. These recommendations may include dietary adjustments, herbal remedies, yoga, meditation, and other lifestyle practices.
Vata is associated with the elements of air and ether (space). It is characterized by qualities such as dryness, coldness, lightness, mobility, and irregularity. When in balance, Vata individuals tend to be creative, energetic, and adaptable. When out of balance, they may experience anxiety, restlessness, and digestive issues.
A vata-dominant should maintain a warm body temperature by avoiding cold weather, decompress through calming practices, and not consume a lot of warm foods and drinks.
Pitta is associated with the elements of fire and water. It is characterized by qualities such as heat, sharpness, intensity, and transformation. Balanced Pitta individuals are typically intelligent, focused, and assertive. Imbalance can lead to issues like anger, inflammation, and digestive problems.
Pitta’s should avoid extreme heat, spicy food, and focus on keeping a balanced work and life schedule
Kapha is associated with the elements of water and earth. It is characterized by qualities like heaviness, coldness, stability, and moisture. Balanced Kapha individuals are often strong, calm, and nurturing. Imbalance can result in weight gain, lethargy, and respiratory issues.
Kapha should maintain a regular workout schedule as well as a sleeping routine. They should eat healthy overall and keep up a warm body temperature by eating warm foods and spending time in the sun.
You can learn your doshas by taking an online quiz or working with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to assess your individual constitution and imbalances and develop a personalized plan for achieving and maintaining balance in your life. Then you can begin living in accordance with the needs your doshas consist of.
Common Ayurvedic Practices
Food is medicine
Ayurveda places great importance on mindful eating practices, such as eating in a calm environment, savoring each bite, and paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
What may seem like a “healthy” diet to one individual does not mean it works for everyone. That’s why learning your doshas can be a great guide to a diet that works for your body!
Self-Care rituals are vital
Ayurveda is filled with many practices that prioritize your wellness through expressions of self-love.
A few include:
Tongue scraping- This practice helps remove bacteria, and dead cells as well as helping your gut health overall.
Drinking lemon water- Doing this throughout the day keeps you hydrated, alkalizes the body, and detoxifies it.
Self-abhyanga- This is the practice of massaging the body with dosha specific oil is a great ritual which cultivates self-love
Even finding your daily rituals, like baths, reading, writing, going on walks are great ways to show yourself some love and can help you find balance and a calm state of mind.
Create balance in your life
Ayurveda’s ultimate goal is to help you live the most balanced and healthy life you can!
Ayurveda promotes a balanced daily routine that aligns with natural rhythms and cycles.
Start by acknowledging the sacred and undeniable connection between the mind and the body. Techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and pranayama (breathing exercises) are used to manage emotions and reduce stress. Living in harmony with one’s environment is also crucial in Ayurveda. This includes considering factors like the season, climate, and geographical location when making lifestyle and dietary choices. For example, adjusting your diet and routine to suit the changing seasons can help maintain balance.
Ayurveda recognizes that each person is unique, and what constitutes balance for one individual may not be the same for another. Therefore, Ayurvedic recommendations are highly personalized and consider an individual’s constitution, imbalances, and specific health needs.
Balancing the various aspects of life in accordance with Ayurvedic principles is believed to promote longevity, vitality, and overall well-being. It’s essential to work with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to assess your individual constitution and imbalances and develop a personalized plan for achieving and maintaining balance in your life.