You are one of a kind. Ayurveda celebrates that. Ayurveda strives to appreciate all the intricacies that make you unique.
If you’re ready for a natural and holistic approach to health that’s stood the test of time, read on.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the traditional medicine of India. It’s a sister science of yoga and believed by many to be the oldest system of healing in the world. They say that Ayurveda is as old as life itself. It’s folks medicine at its core - meant to be understood and practiced by everyday folks. The word "Ayurveda" is a Sanskrit word derived from "Ayuh" meaning life and "Veda" meaning knowledge or science. So, Ayurveda means the "science of life."
The Basics of Ayurvedic Medicine
Here’s a brief introduction to the foundational Ayurvedic principles:
Understanding the Three Doshas
Everyone has all three doshas. You have your own proportions of each. Most people have one or two that are predominant in their original body type. Take my free quiz to discover yours. Based on the way you live your life, one or more of the doshas can be in excess. Usually when that happens, you start to feel off. This the time to take action! Things are generally pretty easy to fix in the beginning. Adopt an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle to bring yourself back into balance.
Let’s look at each of the three doshas more closely...
Vata dosha is the most influential of the three doshas because it's very reactive. Vata is the dosha that most easily goes out of balance. It is also the dosha that is most easily brought back into balance. Vata governs all movement and communication in the body.
The nature of Vata dosha is:
Vata is responsible for all movement in the body. This includes:
When in balance, Vata promotes:
When Vata becomes imbalanced, it can lead to a variety of physical and mental imbalances such as:
Pitta dosha is primarily responsible for transformation, digestion, metabolism and energy production.
The nature of Pitta dosha is:
Pitta governs the following physiological functions:
When in balance, Pitta dosha promotes:
When Pitta becomes imbalanced, it can lead to a variety of physical and mental imbalances such as:
Kapha dosha is responsible for structure, stability, lubrication and nourishment in the body.
Kapha dosha is primarily composed of the earth and water elements. The nature of Kapha is:
In balance, Kapha promotes:
Imbalanced Kapha can lead to various physical and mental imbalances such as:
Remember that we all have all three doshas - just in different proportions. While your original constitution doesn't change, any given dosha can become excessive. This excess is due to things like:
Ayurvedic Diet and Nutrition
Ayurvedic healing encourages you to consider your doshas when eating. Following an Ayurvedic diet works as great preventative medicine. Different doshas have specific dietary needs to maintain balance and promote optimal health. Not everyone will fit perfectly into one dosha category. You may have a combination of two doshas. You may experience fluctuations in dosha balance based on various factors. Consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner to get a personalized Ayurveda program.
Here is a general overview of the Ayurvedic diet suggested for each dosha...
Eating for Your Dosha: Understanding Ayurvedic Nutrition
Benefits of Fasting in Ayurveda
Approach fasting with caution. It should not be undertaken by everyone. It may not be suitable for individuals with certain health conditions such as diabetes, pregnancy or eating disorders. Before considering fasting, consult an Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional. They can guide you based on your individual needs and body type.
The specific fasting practices in Ayurveda vary depending on an individual's doshas and any existing imbalances. Ayurvedic fasting practices can include short-term fasting, juice fasting, mono-diet fasting, or intermittent fasting. The duration and type of fasting is determined based on an individual's unique needs. The only dosha that can completely abstain from food on occasion is Kapha.
Ayurveda views fasting as a way to:
The Integration of Ayurveda and Modern Medicine
The integration of Ayurveda and modern medicine is gaining interest. Ayurveda, as a traditional system of medicine, has a holistic approach to health and well-being. Modern medicine is rooted in scientific research, evidence-based practices, and technological advancements.
While Ayurveda and modern medicine have different approaches, there is room for integration. Here are some possibilities: