Ayurveda is a comprehensive, holistic healing science from India that has been practiced for over 5,000 years. The sister science of yoga, it provides practical and accessible guidance for how to live a healthier life through attention to our daily habits.
Ayurveda recognizes that each person has unique health needs determined by his/her individual genetics and biochemistry. Our well-being is impacted by everything we take in through our five senses. Therefore, what we eat, see, smell, hear and touch affects our health. Disease is the natural consequence of living out of harmony with what is right for us. When symptoms manifest, the body is trying to tell us that we need to make some changes.
Healing occurs when we’re able to properly interpret what the body is saying through our symptoms and meet our needs through supportive daily practices. Many of us have an intuitive sense of this process, but we’re bombarded with conflicting messages about what we should and shouldn’t do to live a healthier lifestyle. When you understand your unique constitutional make-up (and therefore what tastes, sights, smells, sounds and kinds of touch will lead to disease and what will promote your well-being), you can feel empowered to make choices that support your innate healing capacity.
For example, let’s say a woman has a lifelong tendency to feel cold, dry and ungrounded. If she eats mostly cold, light foods like salads, crackers, granola bars and dried fruit and she is constantly on the go, she may begin to experience more anxiety, worry, dry skin, bloating, constipation and insomnia. Although the symptoms are diverse in their expression, they share a common root cause of increased vata dosha.
Conventional medicine might treat each of her symptoms with a different remedy, all the while never quite addressing the root cause of her imbalance. This woman would actually be best served by a warm, nourishing diet of soups and stews, cooked vegetables, healthy oils, whole grains and juicy fruits that counteract her natural tendency toward coldness, dryness and lightness. She would also greatly benefit from slowing down and creating more time for rest and self-care like the warm oil massage pictured above. By restoring balance to our systems in this way, we create the conditions for the body’s natural healing capacity to flourish.
Interested in learning about your own constitution? I invite you to learn more about the services I offer here.
“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.” — Mary Oliver