A lot of people are challenged with digestive disorders that western medicine doesn’t have answers for. Food and diet changes can then become a popular way of healing. But what about Ayurveda? Ayurveda may at first seem rules of “right and wrong”, but that is not the true essence of this healing practice.
The essence of Ayurveda teaches us that we are all part of nature, and that everything within nature (including our bodies and minds), consists of five elements: air, fire, water, earth and space. This is mirrored in our bodies. Just as the weather changes throughout the day and the seasons…so do our bodies, our minds, AND our needs! That is what Ayurveda teaches us. We will share more about the elements in step 2 of this post.
So how do you invoke this inner awareness through Ayurveda?
We are going to share 5 steps to do just that in this blog post.
The 3 Dosha’s – Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are derived from the five elements. Dosha’s are also known as mind-body types and they express unique blends of physical, emotional and mental characteristics. Health is defined as the dynamic state of balance between body, mind and environment in Ayurveda. Once you know your Dosha, finding that balance becomes much easier to achieve.
Find out more here.
Step 2: Get to know the elements and their qualities, and see how they show up in your life on a day to day basis.
As we shared earlier, the essence of Ayurveda teaches us that we are all part of nature, and that everything within nature (including our bodies and minds), consists of five elements: air, fire, water, earth and space. This is mirrored in our bodies: the bones are dense, the waterways transport blood, fire in the belly transforms food into energy, and the nervous system that stimulates movement and connects body to mind. These are called doshas (see yesterday’s post!), and are always active and playing within and around us. Just as the weather changes throughout the day and the seasons…so do our bodies, our minds, AND our needs!
Look around you and within…and notice how the elements are showing up in your life. Do you feel more open towards some elements and more resistant to others? Just notice.
Step 3: observe!
Check in with yourself daily. Observe what is present and what is needed to restore harmony.
One of the ways to do this is through yoga or meditation. The things you do and the thoughts you have change the firing patterns and chemical composition of your brain. Even actions as simple as changing your posture, relaxing the muscles on your face, or slowing your breathing, can affect the activity in your brain. Mind-body practices that reduce your body’s tress response by strengthening your relaxation response will lower stress hormones like cortisol, improving heart health and helping relieve depression and anxiety.
Even just taking 3 minutes to utilize a few rounds of deep breathing to stay balanced, centered and focused throughout your day, will help you observe your inner being better. You get to pay attention to the present moment and calm your mind, so the body can actually be listened to.
Learn more about meditation or try a 3 minute meditation here!
Step 4: it’s time to take action.
How are you feeling?
Food has the beautiful quality to nourish our dosha type, or it may not balance it out that well. For example, if you have a lot of fire (pitta), you may need to eat more cooling foods such as salads, steamed vegetables and fruits. If you are predominantly a vata type, naturally sweet foods like fruits, most grains, fresh yogurt, root vegetables and oils will balance you out.
If you would like personal advice on your dosha type, book a free consultation with us here.
Step 5: be loving.
This is a very important part of tuning into our bodies, observing and recognizing what it needs… Be loving, patient, gentle and curious with yourself. People who love themselves… have a greater life satisfaction in general. Appreciating yourself helps you appreciate your life more. You are holding yourself in high esteem, you know you are fulfilling your purpose in life…so you have more enjoyment and a more positive attitude!
We hope this short and sweet Ayurveda Series served you well. If you have any questions, ask us!
And for more Ayurveda, check here.
A big thank you to Banyan Botanicals for providing so much Ayurveda information to all!