Welcome to the World of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is finding its way into mainstream culture! I’ve heard Gwyneth Paltrow, Wendy Williams and one of Lena Dunham’s friends’ mentioning Ayurveda and its herbs all within the last two months! (I’m sure it’s a matter of time until someone claims that Ayurveda started in the U.S. (smile) But, that’s not the case!
Manaltheeram Ayurveda Clinic & Spa, Kerala, India
Ayurveda is an ancient science, which started in India thousands of years ago in the Himalayan Mountains. Over time, Ayurveda started to spread to the rest of India, particularly Kerala, a city in southern India that is home to many Ayurveda spas and clinics. I spent some time in Kerala, India with Shiva Rea, my teacher and had an opportunity to experience Ayurveda treatments from some of the oldest and wisest Ayurveda practitioners in the world.
I’ve been studying and practicing Ayurveda for several years now and it’s the perfect compliment to my yoga practice. It is through Ayurveda that I have been able to maintain my weight, eliminate seasonal allergies, improve my digestion, deal with stress and anxiety, improve my sleep and have more balance and peace in my life.
Let me breakdown Ayurveda and some of the basic things you need to know.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is called the “science of life” or “science of yoga.” It is an ancient healing practice that promotes the art of living in synch with the elements of nature. It is a holistic system of healing that facilitates the balancing of the mind, body and soul. Ayurveda helps people achieve harmony, vitality, and longevity in their lives through diet, lifestyle and yoga. Nature, the elements of nature (earth, water, fire, air and space) are extremely important in Ayurveda. It’s believed that everything in life is made up of nature’s elements, including people, our food, our drinks, the seasons, the animals, etc.
In Ayurveda, we look at the seasons we’re in and we live our best lives according to the energy and make-up of the season. We also look at the person to see which elemental forces dominate that person’s unique constitution (Prakriti). It’s through applying Ayurveda concepts that we can create more longevity and vitality in our lives and increase the quality of our lives. Once a person starts becoming more aware of the body-mind-spirit connection and learns how to work with nature to live in harmony with nature’s various cycles, everyday becomes a richer, fuller and miraculous experience.
What is Prakriti? What are Doshas? Why is my dosha important?
Prakriti is considered a person’s unique constitutions. Doshas are the elemental forces which helps us determine how much of each element is part of a person’s make-up. Do you know a person who you consider “fiery” or a person who seems like a “space cadet” always zoning out, well there is more to that than you may know. The fiery person may in fact have more of the fire element in their body. They may be quick to lose their temper; they may be attracted to hot and spicy foods and be competitive in nature. While the space cadet personality may have more air or space in their make-up. They may be more light-hearted and constantly on the go, moving for a reason. Of course, I’m generalizing, but that was an example to help make the connection as to how the doshas work in the body, mind and soul.
When a person starts to understand their dosha, it will provide valuable information and reveal just how connected we are to nature’s elements! Once a person pays attention to these things, they can know how to interact with nature’s cycles to bring more harmony into their lives through their food choices, how they practice yoga and their lifestyle choices.
What are the three Doshas?
Vata, Pitta and Kapha
Each dosha affects our physical, mental, emotional and energetic/subtle bodies.
Vata is the dosha made up of AIR + SPACE elements.
Pitta is the dosha made up of FIRE + WATER elements.
Kapha is the dosha made up of EARTH + WATER elements.
Ayurveda has three main doshas called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. A person can have one predominant dosha, or have a combination of two predominant doshas. It is rare someone has an even distribution of all three doshas. Usually, people have a primary one and secondary one, although, everyone still has all three as part of their make-up. But, how much of each dosha a person has depends on their unique constitution.
For instance, a person can be Vata. Or, they can have a combination of Vata-Kapha.
(I know, it can be a little confusing until you start exploring yourself and putting some of these things into practice, so I’ll stop here for now).
I feel the best way for you to understand everything is to start figuring out what’s your dosha?
You can get started now in finding your dosha by taking Banyan Botanicals’ – What is my Dosha Quiz? I suggest taking the quiz with someone who knows you well, so if you get stuck on a question, they can shed some light to help you choose the best answer. Consider taking the test 1-2 times and see if your results come up the same or if one dosha seems to always come up.
Join our growing community at The Yoga House Atlanta or online!
But, the best way to discover your dosha is to work with an Ayurveda Guide like me! It is through observing, questioning, analyzing your tongue and taking your pulse that we can best find out your dosha and determine your prakriti.
There are several ways we can work together:
1.) Enter to win one of my FREE Ayurveda Mini-Consultation. I randomly choose people every month and introduce them to Ayurveda through a brief conversation via Skype or phone. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, we can connect online. ENTER TO WIN HERE!
3.) Book an Ayurveda consultation with me!
Feel free to take the Banyan Botanicals’ Prakriti Quiz to Find Your Dosha then drop a comment below and share your results! Welcome to the world of Ayurveda! For invites to special events, healthy living tips, class schedules and online programs, make sure to sign up for my emails so you can stay in the loop!
Lastly, if you’d like to share your Prakriti results with me, feel free to leave your results in the comments section!