“Ayurveda is not just the science of life it is the science of immortality. It teaches us wellness and harmony of body and mind to take us to our eternal essence as the Self of all.”
~ Dr David Frawley ~
Ayurveda – known as the sister science of yoga is a holistic and ancient system of traditional Indian medicine. It can be translated as the “science and wisdom of life and living” (in Sanskrit, “Ayur” meaning life and “Veda” – “eternal truth”), and works on the holistic principle that the mind and body are inextricably linked. According to Ayurveda an individual is a microcosm – a whole universe within him or herself, where the individual’s existence is indivisible from the total cosmic manifestation.
It works on the premise that everything works in balance and the knowledge and power to thrive and to heal ourselves from disease exists within ourselves.
Originally created by the ancient yogis to help balance and purify the physical body so that it can be in optimal condition for yogic practice and in order to attain the higher goals of yoga of reaching higher states of consciousness and bliss.
Ayurveda gives us the tools and knowledge to unlock this power within ourselves, whilst using natural plant based herbal remedies and supplements for healing, with a strong emphasis on prevention.
Our body is a temple… It is a divine vessel and instrument of our soul in this life, housing our energy body and chakra system; it should therefore be loved, nourished and nurtured accordingly – inside and out. The beautiful thing about living a yogic lifestyle combined with ayurvedic principles is that it really guides us in doing this in the most beneficial of ways. It is a holistic approach which enables us to live our lives fully, allowing us to function and enabling evolution at our fullest potential, on all levels – physical, mental and spiritual.
Understanding the Dosha’s
Dosha is a Sanskrit word which can be translated as “that which can cause problems” (literally meaning “fault” or “defect”), and which refers to three forms of energy present in the body and mind.
According to Ayurveda, we (just like the universe) are made up of the 5 basic elements (earth, air, fire, water, ether) and these manifest themselves to differing degrees within each of us, which produce the different “doshas”.
According to Ayurveda, dosha’s are the energy patterns – a form of biological energy – that exist within all of us, and which govern our thinking and behaviour. The 3 doshas – known as Vata, Pitta, Kapha govern all the physical, mental and psychological systems and everyone has an individual combination of these, although there is usually one dominant dosha in each combination.
Each dosha presents qualities reflecting the different elements:
- Elements of space and air
- Fall and early winter
- Light, cold, dry, irregular, rough
- Controls movement, blood flow, waste, elimination, breathing
- Elements of fire and water
- Late spring and summer
- Light, oily, hot, sharp, liquid, mobile, and soft
- Controls transformation (digestion and metabolism)
- Elements of Water and earth
- Later winter / early spring
- Heavy, dense, static, stable, oily, cool, wet, smooth
- Controls lubrication, (joints and lungs)
When the doshas are balanced they protect us – physically and psychologically, however when elements are imbalanced it can lead to disease.
I can carry out an Ayurvedic consultation with you to determine your dosha constitution (prakriti) and current state of imbalance (vikriti) and based on the result, recommend a diet and lifestyle to best support the balance of your specific type.
The 3 "Gunas" - Energy States -
According to Ayurveda there are 3 main energy states known as “gunas” (literally translated as “ropes” or “a string”) that bind us to the physical world. Depending on which of these 3 states predominates one’s mind it will contribute to determining the psychological constitution.
They can be described as three qualities of biological energy plaited or bound together.
These 3 energy states, are aspects of nature or modes of existence which are present in all things in the universe. All three are always present in all things, objects and beings alike, but vary in their relative amounts. They are the foundation of all existence, giving rise to the whole of creation – physical, subtle and causal. They can be described and summarised as follows:-
- State of equilibrium and balance
- Conducive to purity, truth, creativity, happiness and knowledge
- Characteristics of calmness, spirituality, quiet, intelligence and health consciousness.
- Kenetic energy, Active
- Restlessness, aggression, effort
- Ambition, drive, ego, perfectionism
• Inertia – restfulness
• Dullness, heaviness, materialistic, self-interested, depressed
• Lazy, materialistic, bad humoured
Tamas manifests from ignorance and deludes all beings from their spiritual truths. To reduce tamas, avoid tamasic foods, over sleeping, over eating, inactivity, passivity and fearful situations.
So we can see that the balance of these gunas’ is present all around us and what we choose to immerse ourselves in and consume on a daily basis will affect the balance of these energy states within us.
As humans we have the unique ability to consciously alter the levels of the gunas in our bodies and minds – we can literally encourage their increase or decrease. A guna can be increased or decreased through the interaction and influence of external objects, lifestyle practices and thoughts.
We are, literally what we eat. Our bodies are working to replace billions of cells every day — and using the foods we consume as the source of that energy. All that we eat and its nutritional content directly determines the composition of our cell membranes, bone marrow, blood, hormones, tissue, organs, skin, and hair. Studies have even shown that what we eat can determine the composition of a person’s genes and DNA.
The purification of the physical body and its health, wellness and vitality is an essential first stage of any spiritual practice and process.
I strongly promote sticking to a vegetarian, Yogic, sattvic diet as much as possible for healthy eating and living.
If you currently eat a lot of foods which fall under the “rajas” and “tamas” categories try to cut these out from your diet as much as possible by replacing with healthy alternatives. Regular Sadhana (daily spiritual practice) can greatly assist and support you in achieving this more easily.
The more you eat a sattvic diet the better you will feel on all levels – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. So try to aim to reducing your intake of these types of foods until it becomes incorporated into your lifestyle. The more you do this the better you will feel and the easier it becomes!
Be conscious of trying to keep your body “clean” – less acidic and more alkaline. Foods which increase acidity in the body, cause “dis-ease” and “dis-harmony” within the body. Such as, sugary, processed foods, caffeine, dairy products meat, fish and eggs.
Try to stick to alkaline foods and drinks as much as possible – which have a detoxifying effect and reduce acidity in body. An easy way to help to do this is by incorporating supplements such as spirulina and moringa, drinking freshly made juices instead of snacks, as well as eating more fresh seasonal vegetables, including leafy greens.
Some of the top most alkaline foods…
- Leafy greens
- Pepper (capsicum)
According to Ayurveda “You are what energy you eat” – Any plant-based food you consume in its freshest, purest form contains energy from the sun, and that energy means that it vibrates at higher frequency, is nutritionally more beneficial – benefiting both physical and spiritual health.
Similarly Ayurveda teaches us that “Your diet is not only what you eat” – Therefore, be conscious of what you expose yourself to in other areas. It is called a “news feed” for a reason! Be mindful of what you watch, what you read, the people you interact with, how much time you spend on social media. Be mindful of the things you put into your body, emotionally, spiritually and physically… They all carry a vibration – which if you allow it to will interact and have an effect on your own.
For More Detailed Guidance On Ayurvedic Principles For Healthy Living, Diet, Helpful Tips Suggestions and Recipe ideas.
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