This ancient and timeless means of attaining and maintaining our own optimal, vibrant health, well-being, and overall balance for our physical, emotional and mental bodies, comes to us from India and is called Ayurveda. It is said to be about 5,000 years old, which truly and simply tells us that Ayurveda has withstood the test of time.
The word ‘ayurveda’ is a Sanskrit word that literally translates as ‘the science of life/longevity’ or ‘the wisdom of life’. Doctors and practitioners of this holistic medicine see health as much more than the absence of dis-ease. It is amazing to me that 5,000 years ago, the rishis (sages) intuitively understood the connection between the mind-body-spirit/soul and were able to present to the world a holistic medical practice whereby one could address all one’s health needs, be they physiological, psychological or physical. This connection has now been scientifically proven.
“…The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are that the mind and the body are inextricably connected and that nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.”
— Dr. Deepak Chopra
The beauty of Ayurveda, as with Yoga, is that freedom from any dis-ease or illness depends on the expansion of our own awareness. WE ARE the healers. WE ARE able to bring our own bodies back into balance and harmony. We are able to stay there! However, that said, we do not make this journey alone. It is important to find an ayurvedic vaidya (doctor/practitioner) in your area that you like, respect, and wish to work with. The vaidya is essential to your journey – s/he will give you a full consultation and determine your state of health and then prescribe the necessary Ayurvedic therapies. As with any holistic healing modality, Ayurveda is a commitment and we need someone we trust to be with us on this journey.
However, there are many things we can do on our own. There are many books that are available for you to read to begin to understand Ayurveda more in depth. Authors such as Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Robert Svaboda, Dr. Claudia Welsh, to mention a few. There is also the Ayurveda Journal of Health, an excellent peer-reviewed journal for the Ayurveda community that you can subscribe to. There is a wonderful organization called NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) that one can join. Their website would be invaluable in researching the best ayurvedic doctor/vaiyda/practitioner for you in your area. In addition, each month, I will introduce one concept for us to contemplate together. In January I will introduce The Five Elements and suggest changes that we can make as we dig into Winter.
Allow me to finish by saying that I am an Ayurveda Health Educator and have embraced this remarkable science in my life for the past 20+ years. I discovered Ayurveda (some say it discovered me!) at a time when I became quite ill – my body/mind/spirit were completely out of harmony and I was very depleted. In Ayurveda, we call this “crimes against wisdom” – I had forgotten my true nature and had allowed myself to become governed by my Senses. I am now a healthy woman, even though my body hosts a chronic dis-ease. This dis-ease continues to live inside me, but does not affect me in any way – all my organs are as healthy and happy as they could be. Thank you, Ayurveda, and thank you to the most wonderful group of amazing teachers and doctors that encourage me with their hearts and wisdom on a consistent basis.
Here in Las Vegas, NV, we are coming to the last quarter of a very hot summer. Summer is the season where our Pitta Dosha is most likely to become imbalanced – the Pitta Dosha is comprised of the elements of fire and water. We wish to keep the fire element down in our bodies – favoring sweet, bitter, and astringent foods. From your Farmer’s Market, find good bread, raw milk, organic ghee. Rice is sweet. Fruits should be sweet and juicy. Vegetables to favor would be cucumbers, squashes, broccoli, asparagus, to name a few. Cook with cooling spices such as fennel, mint, coriander. Stay away from heating foods which would include tomatoes, radishes, peppers, garlic, spinach. In addition to the obvious spicy foods, also stay away from or minimize your intake of yogurt, sour cream, citrus fruits.
Fall will soon be here. I shall post about the Vata Dosha – comprised of the elements of air and ether/space. Fall time is the time when the Vata Dosha is most likely to rear its lovely head and create havoc in our lives!!
Until my next post in the Fall, be well. Enjoy the last of the summer weeks. Remember to always, every day, give yourself the gift of silence. Sit in silence every day and just feel. Become aware of all that is outside you and all that is inside you. Allow the journey into the world of Ayurveda to begin this way – through beginning to cultivate your awareness of Self.
August 17, 2016