Ayurveda is medical system that has been practiced for thousands of years. The purpose of Ayurveda is to maintain a healthy body and mind and to live in balance and in tune with the elements. It teaches us the importance of specific daily self care techniques as not only a preventative medicine but also a way to more deeply connect to how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally. As this connection grows we become aware of subtle imbalances within ourselves. It is believed that these imbalances are the root of disease and left out of check can allow the disease to progress. This early detection allows us to incorporate small changes to diet and lifestyle bringing ourselves back into balance before sickness or disease can take hold.
According to author and founder of Pukka herbs, Sebastian Pole, “A healthy person is someone whose body, mind, and spirit are integrated as a unified whole.”
Ayurveda breaks down anything and everything according to its qualities and uses this information to determine whether it can be used as a medicine or if it’s contributing to the imbalance or disease. For example, if a person is suffering from acid reflux or heartburn, spicy foods and alcohol that can increase the heat in the body should be avoided and cooling foods and spices should be eaten. Also, a cooling yoga practice and calming pranayama (breathing exercises and techniques) would be beneficial. If someone is suffering from lethargy and feels unmotivated, spicy foods, invigorating pranayama and a yoga practice to warm the body would be recommended.
Ayurvedic nutritional guidelines include customizing what you eat to your dosha type, focusing on fresh, in-season foods, and eating in a peaceful manner.
Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner Kate O’Donnell says, “the human body is made up of the same elements that make up everything else around us, and we are moved by the same energies or forces that move the oceans, the winds, the stars, and the planets. This world operates in rhythm — and so do we.” And so, her recipes in The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook are arranged by season, and may help you to feel healthy and connected.
DharmaCrafts has been happy to team up with local Ayurvedic Health Counselor Sharon Cote Gordon to bring you this simple introduction to bring ayurvedic wellness into your life. Discover your dosha here.