Updated: May 29
Since I started talking about Ayurveda, studying it and living an ayurvedic lifestyle, I have been asked the question often. What is ayurveda. I struggle to answer this question because it is everything!
It is the guide and answer to all our questions - Who am I? What do I want? How can I feel better? How can I have a more easeful relationship with life? How can I keep grounded and feel all my grief, all my vulnerability and all the moments of joy in my life?
What is ayurveda. I struggle to answer this questions because it is everything!
When I first heard the word Ayurveda I felt a frisson of recognition and a knowing. I believe now that I have been around Ayurveda before, maybe in a past live? And if you don't believe in that, then you know when you get a shiver down your spine and you feel like you have been here before or met someone before when you haven't? It's that feeling!
It is heart-centred philosophy and practical self-care for life to live consciously. To live in deeper truth and more integrity. In collaboration with the universe and universal intelligence.
So back to the question, What Is Ayurveda? It is an ancient wisdom that recognises that each of us is unique and that when we understand how our bodies work that we can enjoy a healthy life, one of joy and harmony in alignment with nature and the world around us. It knows that when we open ourselves up to this knowledge, to this beautiful and delicate balance between mind, body and soul, that we can have an easeful and fuller relationship with ourselves and life.
Ayurveda opens the door to being your own healer, to connect to your body, to listen to her and trust her so that you know what you need and want. I fell completely in love with it when I realised that all psychological knowledge actually stems from Ayurveda, the Indian texts have know for at least 3,000 years ago and possibly 5,000 years ago.
It tells us why we react as we do to situations, what our tendencies are from the day we are born, what we look like, if we are more prone to be more creative, driven or more easy going. And even better it offers us the wisdom and tools to balance out those tendencies to go in the direction we choose.
What we in the West, and to be fair most of the world, are only recognising now is that there is a direct correlation to what we feed our mind, how we speak to ourselves and the food we feed ourselves impacts how we feel. Everything we consume through our eyes, ears, mouth, nose and skin will influence how we feel.
Ayurveda is the knowledge and wisdom we need to calm the fluctuations of our mind and body so that we can live a full, aware and beautiful life.
It sounds magical. Almost too good to be true right! Read above again. I mean who doesn't want to be happy. To be calmer. To be more grounded. To feel lighter. More energised. To know what you want. To be able to prioritise yourself so that you can really make a contribution in your life and to the planet and your community. To live without so much dis-ease and disconnected from your heart.
Okey dokey, if you are like me I have an analytical mind so I need some facts and stats as well as the heart filled experiences. Allow me to make this real and explain Ayurveda with some fascinating facts;
75% of the worlds illness come from digestion. 75%! What we eat (this includes what we put on our skin, 70% of it is absorbed), when we eat, what our emotions are when we eat, They determine how we feel mentally, emotionally and physically because if our digestion is not working properly then we feel "off".
There are six stages of disease in Ayurveda. It recognises diseases waaaay ahead of Western Medicine which only recognises diseases when they are at stage 5 in Ayurveda.
Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the three main forces in our bodies. They are called the Doshas and they determine our physical constituent, our mental constitution and so much more. All of this occurs when we are conceived including for example your bone structure. Light frame, Medium and Study in that order of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Now you can be kind to yourself and stop wishing for longer legs or flat stomach, or larger or smaller breasts, you beautiful human! You were created to be who you are.
Women's menstrual bleed is determined by what your unique constitution is. If you are pitta your bleed is three days. If you are predominantly kapha it is 3-5 days and can be heavy as you are more water based and if you are predominantly vata your period may be scanty and irregular, sometimes coming for a day disappearing and coming back again.
If you breathe into your left nostril, the feminine side of your body, it activates your right brain and vice versa. Now you know how to activate your creative or logical side of your brain. You can choose consciously.
Some of us tend to be full of ideas but struggle to bring them to fruition. Others are so driven and focused they seem to make getting stuff done easy, but they don't know how to relax. And others are resistant to change and find it hard to motivate themselves, however they are the bosom of our friends and family. They are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. By knowing what the psychological tendencies of Vata, Pitta and Kapha are, you can learn how to recognise them and work with Ayurveda's tools to elevate and/or overcome them. While being kind to yourself.
You can take the Dosha test here, this is one of my teachers and who I am studying with at the moment.
The more apt question is - How does Ayurveda make me feel?
As a woman specifically, Ayurveda allows me to own my physical body. I don't want to take pills and tablets and have procedures for symptoms that could be managed by building my immune system. And that is what Ayurveda offers, self-healing rather than taking the quick pill that ultimately compromises your long term health and specifically our women's health..
I know that ayurveda brings me ease, it also brings me rhythm so that I can spend my time enjoying life rather than feeling off becuase my digestion is struggling. It is a journey. One I am so happy to be one, and I feel like I know 2.5% of it. And maybe 10% will be enough.
So how does Ayurveda make me feel. I am more assured about who I am, I can hear my body asking for what she needs and wants more. Lets be honest it doesn't make life perfect or easy. I am however living more in alignment with the life I want to lead. And slowly I am learning to stop "doing" all the time which takes me away from myself. Backing Yourself has always been about options and finding new opportunities. Ayurveda is probably the biggest opportunity after I learned to embrace my menstrual cycle. And so I am sharing this with you.
I chose consciously now. Choose consciously. It is the greatest gift you can give yourself.