What is Ayurveda?

AYURVEDA: [ah-yer-vey-duh]

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Guys (and gals)!

This is something that I am so excited to talk about!

I have been putting off talking about it because I felt like I needed to know more and that I needed to be an expert in it before I shared what I know.

Well forget it! I can’t wait any longer.

Part of this journey I have been on for years now has been mostly about health and wellness. Struggling with anxiety and depression and not trusting western medicine to help, or even care, had me searching anywhere and everywhere for the answers.

It wasn’t until I developed a breathing disorder that had me starving for air on a daily basis that I really dove deep into myself. Honestly it took me a whole year of suffering to really find the answers I was looking for.

Enough about me. Let’s talk about the reason you decided to read this post.

Ayurveda: Pronounced [ah-yer-vey-duh] is a living science that has been around for more than 5,000 years and originated in India and is still practiced there today!

From my studies I have learn that Ayurveda acts as more of a preventative medicine whereas western medicine only treats you once you have problems. Western medicine treats the symptoms while Ayurveda treats the individual person.

“Wait! You mean I can learn a health system that is specifically tailored to my own individual body?”

Of course you can my dear reader! I’ll explain further.

Ayurveda teaches you how to read and understand your own body type. No two bodies are alike, so it would stand to reason that there is no “one size fits all” to our health and wellness.

“Well, what is my body type?”

Ah, impatient aren’t we reader? Don’t worry, we’ll get to that. Patience young grasshopper.

Now I’m really just giving you the short version in this particular post, but I promise I will go more in depth in other posts I have planned to share.

OK, so more about what Ayurveda is about.

Spiritually Ayurveda is about balance. Balancing the mind, body, and spirit. This part makes SO much sense to me and let me tell you why. If you are suffering from poor digestive issues or other physical discomforts (which I do constantly; real talk) then the ailments that follow can affect your mood and vice versa. If you are really stressed from work or other life issues it can carry over to physical pains in the body such as: headaches, anxiety, depression, bloating, etc. The mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected and when one is out of alignment the rest are sure to follow.

“This is great and all, but how can this help me?”

Wow, got to say, love your enthusiasm, reader.

Now that you have learned a little on what Ayurveda is, let’s take a look at the practice of Ayurveda. By the way let me stress that I am not an expert on the subject (yet).

*Side note: YET is my favorite word to use with my kids. Any time I catch them saying I can’t do something I love to interject with yet. It is never a matter of if, but when.*

PRACTICING AYURVEDA

As I mentioned before Ayurveda is all about balancing your mind, body, and spirit. To do this Ayurveda offers up guidelines and practices to incorporating into your daily life to achieve this balance. They even go into the types of foods and exercises that works best for your particular body type. This seems simple enough, but there is a lot more to it. However, over time you can work these practices into your daily routine and eventually you will be practicing Ayurveda without even thinking about it!

“Yeah, but how do I know what my body type is!”

Close, oh so close my dear reader. Stay with me.

Did you know that you could be practicing Ayurveda already and not even know it?

A lot of current health trends actually promote ayurvedic practices even if they don’t know it. For example, oil pulling. Now I came across oil pulling and its benefits quite often on Pinterest over the years. Maybe you have to. I can give you a more popular example. Yoga, depending on how you practice, is an ayurvedic practice. If your main reasoning behind practicing yoga is to improve your health and balance then you are practicing Ayurveda. There are so many more examples I could give you, but this my shorthand account.

Depending on your body type (or Dosha in Ayurveda) can even determine the best yoga poses for you as well!

“There you go again about our body type. What is my body type!”

Breathe. Relax. Get comfy cause we are finally going to talk about our body types.

According to Ayurveda there are 3 different body types and they refer to them as your Dosha. The three Doshas are Vata, Pitta, Kapha and though we may be predominantly one Dosha, we possess all doshic qualities so it’s all about finding the balance of the three. Don’t you just love balance?

The three doshas are as follow:

Vata

Vatas are the air and ether.  They tend to be thin in frame, often have cracking joints, and are have the most sensitive digestive issues.

They are your creative types and love to be on the move. They can be scatterbrained at times and like their ever changing moods, their appetites can be the same. Sometimes ravenous and other time non existent.

Vatas are cold and dry in nature.

When a Vata is out of balance they can suffer from anxiety, bloating, gas, fatigue, etc.

Vatas can be very intuitive people and are usually great at seeing the bigger picture, but can oftentimes have anxiety because of constantly focusing on the future.

If this sounds like you then you may be a Vata. I myself am a Vata!

PITTA

Pittas are the fire. They tend to be athletic build and are the go getters of society. They are very goal oriented and competitive in nature.

They tend to have the strongest digestive fires and can usually eat anything they want. Pittas usually have hot body temperatures and hate being hot.

In fact becoming overly hot can cause Pitta imbalances.

When a Pitta is imbalanced they can have skin irritation and/or ance. Pittas can become aggressive and irritable and have a bad temper at times.

Pittas make great leaders and love taking charge.

If this sounds like you then you could be a Pitta.

Though I am mostly Vata, I do have a good dose of Pitta as well.

Kapha

Now onto the final Dosha. The Kaphas. Oh sweet and loving Kaphas.

Kaphas at their best are sweet, kind, and caring people.

They are your laid back friends that usually want everyone to have a good time.

They are usually big boned in frame and are your more curvy types.

Kaphas can sometimes get too caught up in the past and this can lead to some imbalances.

When out of balance Kaphas can be depressed, lazy, and sedentary. They are quick to gain weight when out of balanced because they could be your emotional eaters.

Like Vatas, Kaphas are also cold in nature.

If any of this sounds like you then you may be a Kapha.

So there is a little snapshot of the Doshas. There is way more to it than that, but this is my beginner’s learning.

“Ok. So what is the point of all this?”

That’s what I like about you my dear reader, you keep me on my toes.

The point of all of this is to take ayurvedic practices and implement them into your daily life so you can achieve a balance of the mind, body, and spirit. In doing this you will be at your absolute best, your highest self if you will, and you can then go on to do what you where put on this earth to do. You will have a clear mind to be able to figure out what is it that you were put on this Earth to do. Ayurveda likes to call this you Dharma (life’s purpose).

Really we do all these things and we practice self care, not so we can be about ourselves, but so that we can be of service to others.

If you liked this post feel free to comment about what you like and if there is any questions you have or want to know more just leave it for me in the comments below.

“Wait. You tell me all this, but how do I achieve balance?”

I LOVE that you want to learn more! Ayurveda is a health system that has been around for more than 5,000 years and I simply cannot cover it all in one blog post, but I will follow up with more.

If you can’t wait for my next post may I suggest the book Ayurveda (Idiot’s Guides)

This book has really helped me learn so much and my health has improved dramatically since I began studying Ayurveda.

Still not sure what you Dosha is?
This Dosha Quiz might help!

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