Ayurveda, Dosha, Vata, Pitta, Kapha…
You may feel like you’re counting to five in a foreign language but bear with us. Ayurveda is an amazing ancient healing system that you can benefit from enormously!
What does Ayurveda mean?
Ayurveda – which comes from the Sanskrit “ayur,” meaning life, and “veda,” meaning science – is literally the science of life. Sounds pretty important, doesn’t it? Ayurveda is sometimes overlooked or even unknown in modern-day yoga, but it is an important sister science to yoga and can vastly benefit your life and well-being. Ayurveda goes beyond the treatment of symptoms, to truly address and prevent illness and imbalance. After all, prevention is better than cure, right?
Where did Ayurveda come from?
This ancient mind-body health system was born in India over 5,000 years ago, but it’s just as relevant and powerful today. Ayurveda teaches us that 1) the mind and body are vastly interconnected and 2) the mind has the power to heal the body. Even though it may sound like an abstract and complicated thing to get your head around, it’s actually quite easy to incorporate Ayurvedic healing into your life and reap powerful benefits.
How does Ayurveda work?
Are you ready to learn some Sanskrit? Ayurveda works with the energies, or Doshas of the body. Every body has its own unique composition (or prakriti) of the three doshas:
1) Vata (air)
2) Pitta (fire)
3) Kapha (water)
Ayurveda helps you tailor your diet, exercise and lifestyle to meet your unique needs and nourish the strengths of your natural prakriti. For example, most Vata people have busy minds and when they are out of balance, they tend to feel anxious. For them, more meditative exercises such as yoga, Tai chi or swimming are incredibly helpful. Pitta people are active and energetic and it is best to keep calm and cool by avoiding too much direct sunlight, as well as hot and spicy foods. Kaphas are easy-going but prone to sluggishness; being active on a daily basis and seeking out new experiences help keep Kaphas balanced and happy.
Who can benefit from Ayurveda?
Everyone! Ayurveda is broad and in-depth and can be personalized to treat everyone and anyone. It’s one of the most personal and unique-to-you systems out there as it looks at your own body which is different from everyone else.
More Ayurvedic tips and tricks and why you should start using them today.
There are so many Ayurvedic treatments, practices, and techniques available. Treat yourself to an Ayurvedic massage, cleanse your sinuses and balance your energy channels by using a neti pot in the morning, or add some forward folds to your day to calm and help with stress. Most importantly, adjust your diet to suit your Dosha; one food can affect each of the different Doshas in different ways and while tomatoes or cheese may be good for some people, for others they’ll cause irritation and body issues.
Take these two quick quizzes (Dosha Quiz and Agni Quiz) to help you learn all about your unique Agni. Your Agni type will make it even clearer what specific changes you can make to your diet, exercise and lifestyle to really optimise your health.