If you’re seeking out a holistic way to reboot your health, Ayurveda might be for you. Ayurveda translates to the “science of life” and promotes a constitution of how one should live their life. Originating in India over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda emphasizes the need for balance in one’s life through mindfulness, healthy diet, massage, and yoga. Balance is the natural order and sickness is caused by imbalance. Here’s a brief introduction to Ayurveda, and how you can begin to incorporate it into your life.
Balance in Ayurveda is achieved through small lifestyle changes in each aspect of your life. One must live their life according to the constitution of their respective dosha: Vata, Pitta, or Kapha. A dosha is one of the three substances that are in a person’s body. Everyone has qualities of each dosha, but one is usually more prominent above the others.
Which dosha are you? Take a quiz to find out! This company, euroved, has a free quiz to determine your dosha and provides recommendations for each type. Vata is the energy of movement; Pitta is the energy of digestion and metabolism; Kapha is the energy of the structure.
Ayurveda is a way of life that is incorporated into your daily routine. Each aspect of the Ayurvedic lifestyle revolves around your respective dosha. Here are some techniques each dosha must follow, and what to include in your new Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Healthy eating habits:
Regardless of your dosha, Ayurveda encourages nourishing eating habits. There is an emphasis on wholesome, unprocessed foods to ensure you’re only eating clean ingredients. In addition, none of the doshas can consume red meat or artificial sweeteners.
The most important part of Ayurvedic eating habits is mindful eating. Mindful eating is the process of being present during meals by focusing on the taste, texture, and smell of your food. This might seem strange but, mindful eating helps to promote gratitude and a sense of fullness. When you’re more focused and appreciative while eating, you are more intuitive about listening to your body to know when you’re full.
If you’re interested in learning specific dietary restrictions for each dosha, read here.
In Ayurveda, abhyanga is “massage with oil” and is recommended daily. The act of self-massage creates heat and love towards your body, melting away tension. Other benefits of massage include proper circulation, lymphatic drainage, improved sleep patterns and over time, it can become a self-love ritual you look forward to everyday.
Oil is a key ingredient to Ayurvedic self-massage and different blends are recommended depending on your dosha. For dry skin, use sesame, avocado, or almond oil. If you have oily skin, try flaxseed, safflower, or canola oil. Olive, sunflower, or coconut oil is recommended for sensitive skin types.
Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand and are often referred to as “sister practices.” Similar to the other aspects of Ayurveda, yoga practices are customizable to your dosha. For specific poses for each dosha, check out this article by the Yoga Journal. Vatas need fast movements whereas Kaphas value slow poses. In practicing yoga daily not only do you benefit from exercise, but you’ll become more intuitive and in touch with your body. Taking the time to check in with yourself each day reinforces the balance that Ayurveda relies on.
Ayurveda can be a little confusing at first while determining your dosha, and the guidelines may seem restrictive. However, this holistic health system can promote weight loss and protect against chronic disease with its implementation of wholesome habits in all aspects of your life. It’s clear that the long-lasting benefits of Ayurveda are a result of the gradual practices you can include in your routine. Living intuitively and listening to your body is the key to a long, happy life.