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  • AYURVEDA 101: WHAT IS AYURVEDA ANYWAY?

    AYURVEDA 101: WHAT IS AYURVEDA ANYWAY?

    Ayurveda is not only the science of life, but it is the science of your Self! This blog post is going to teach you everything you need to know about this powerful life science so you can have the tools you need to thrive.

    We live in a time where finding the right path towards optimal health and wellness can be challenging. Every day there is another “new secret to weight loss”  or a new thousand dollar treatment that can end your suffering and make you look younger, skinnier, and more radiant.

    It’s human nature to be intrigued by something shiny and new that promises health and “everlasting life” While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be happy and live a healthy life, the problem I notice is that we are typically looking for answers in all the wrong places. What if instead of looking ahead to the next best thing, you were to look back instead? Over 5,000 years back to be exact!

    "Knowledge of constitution is the key to holistic and integral health care, the true basis of any preventative medicine." – Dr. Vasant Lad

    Ayurveda has been around for years. It was introduced to the west in the 1980s by teachers like Dr. Vasant Lad and David Frawley. It’s said that this holistic practice was created in ancient India over 5,000 years ago. This medicinal practice goes deep into the roots of India and is used all over mainly because of how accessible it is.

    This science can tell you everything you need to know about what your body is made up of and what you need to do to keep yourself balanced and in good health. It doesn’t just focus on covering up your symptoms with a band-aide. Instead, it helps get to the root of your ailments so that you can work to prevent future discomfort.

    Looking to fight off the common cold with a holistic remedy? Ayurveda can help you with that.

    If you’ve been feeling anxious, fearful or worried and it’s been keeping you up at night, Ayurveda has a solution for that as well!

    From achy joints to sluggish digestion or just feeling down, you can turn to this ancient healing modality to find what you need.

    Still, even the word Ayurveda can be daunting, and a lot of times you might not even know how to pronounce it, let alone, how to begin to understand it. That’s why I’m giving you a  crash course on Ayurveda 101!

    This is your inside scoop on the magical science of life and self so let’s dive in!

    What Exactly is Ayurveda?

    Ayurveda (pronounced i·yer·vey·duh) originated in India, and roughly translates to mean “Science of Life” or “Science of Self.”

    It is all about getting to the root of what ails you. To do this, you have to know what you are made up of, and how these elements can go out of balance to bring you discomfort or dis-ease.

    There are five elements of Ayurvedic Medicine:

    • Ether
    • Air
    • Fire
    • Water
    • Earth

    Everything is made up of these five elements, including you. It’s easy to recognize these elements in the world around us. You see them in the earth and the space that we move through, in the animals, and in the trees. But, how do they show up inside of you?

    This is where the word Dosha comes in. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

     

    There are three main Doshas that everyone should know. Each of these Doshas represents how the different combinations of the five elements show up in your body.

    The Three Major Doshas are:

    Vata– Ether and air

    Pitta– Fire and Water

    Kapha– Water and Earth

    The doshas are what create your unique Ayurvedic blueprint, and just like snowflakes, no two people are alike. This is why there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution when it comes to improving your health.

    Knowing the doshas and how they show up in your body is just the tip of the iceberg, The real power of this life science lies in the qualities the elements lend to each one.

    Know the Elements, Know Yourself.

    When you can understand the qualities of the elements and how they show up in your body, that’s when you can truly start living Ayurveda! 

    The elements have four major qualities:

    Cold = ether

    Dry = air

    Hot = fire

    Wet = water (also found when mixed with earth to make mud) 

    You can find the root of your most common symptoms in these four qualities because they’re what you feel and experience.

    Maybe you overheat easily or have a hot temper. Or, maybe it’s the opposite. You might be the person in the room who’s always cold. You might suffer from dry mouth or constantly find yourself feeling itchy due to dry skin. These are all ways in which you feel the qualities of the elements.

    When you get to know and understand the qualities of the elements and how they make you feel, then you are ready for the next step.

    Understand the Magic of Combining Qualities!

    So what’s so magical about all of this?

    Ayurveda is rooted in alchemy, which means that you can combine the different qualities of the elements to transform your symptoms and find relief

    This is why you warm up when you sit next to a hot fire on a cold evening.
    It explains why adding oil to your skin eliminates dryness, The wet nature of the oil balances out the drying qualities.

    Hot decreases Cold

    Wet decreases Dry

    This also works in the opposite way. Adding the same quality to a quality that already exists, will just give you more of that feeling.

    Hot + Hot = Hotter

    Cold +Cold = Colder

    Wet + Wet = More wet

    Dry +Dry = More Dry

     Because of this, you might avoid eating ice cream on a cold day and opt for a warm cup of chai instead. It also explains why you wouldn’t put on more warm layers of clothing when you are already hot or put your wet shoes out in the rain to dry.

    All of this is an example of the key lesson in Ayurveda, and the only thing you need to know from here on out…

    Like increases like, and opposites create balance. 

    If you can remember that like increases like, and opposites create balance then you will be able to see how everything can be considered medicine or poison. This is why you can find Ayurvedic cures in almost anything.

    The most important thing to remember is that moderation is key. If there is a certain quality that aggravates you, it will be helpful to find ways that you can balance out or lessen this quality in your life.

    And, That is Ayurveda!

    So there you have it! You are all caught up on the most important things you need to know about Ayurveda!

    You understand the meaning of the word and how to pronounce it. You now know that you are made up of the elements and how they combine to give you your own unique ayurvedic blueprint.

    Most importantly, you know how to work the magic of Ayurveda by understanding how the qualities of the elements feel in your body and to use them to balance each other out.  At the root, the basics of Ayurveda are incredibly easy to grasp when you start to realize that it is deeply innate.

    This is just the beginning, there’s so much more! 

    So what comes next? Check out my FREE Beginner’s Guide To Ayurveda and dive deeper into the nature of your symptoms, your personal ayurvedic blueprint, and powerful remedies that you can use every day to help you start living Ayurveda and your best life!

    Did you enjoy this post? Learn something you never knew before?

    I’d love to hear about it! Also, share this article with a friend to spread the magic of Ayurveda. xo