Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga. It literally translates to Ayur-life, veda-science, and looks at everything in terms of its’ elemental core. (Earth, Fire, Water, Air & Space) We are all impacted by nature and the seasons, as I am sure you can feel, but ayurveda goes even deeper than that.
Every food, activity, color and smell is associated with particular elements AND reacts with each one of us uniquely. (based on our own elemental makeup) It is pretty cool if you are a nerd like me and love to get into the nitty gritty.
A rule of thumb to think ayurvedically is this: Like increases like, the opposite decreases the other.
Think about it, If I am hot on a summer day, have a packed schedule, eat spicy food, go to a cardio workout class and then finish with a glass of alcohol…I am probably going to experience some irritation, exhaustion, and maybe even have an upset stomach or have a break out the next morning. It is just too much fire!
The more we are able to tune into the natural world and our internal landscape, the more we can live in harmony with our environment and ourselves.
Ayurveda groups the elements into 3 categories (or doshas)
Pitta - Fire & Water
Vata - Air & Space
Kapha - Earth & Water
Most of us are a combination of 2 of these. When you know your unique constitution you can begin to pick and choose foods, activities, smells, colors and classes in ways that will bring you more into balance. You can discover your dosha by consulting with an Ayurvedic Practitioner. They go through your current physical, emotional and mental state, your medical history, your parents medical history and even what you ate as a child to asses what your dosha and imbalance are. It is like being a detective and a scientist all in one.
The amazing thing about Ayurveda, and how it is different that a doctor, is that you can begin to address those pesky aspects of your life you have learned to compromise. The achy joints in the winter, or slight bloating after eating certain foods. It helps put everything into perspective to be able to understand how and why your body reacts certain ways to certain things. It is also the most effective preventative care because you will be address minor concerns before they can ever become major ones.
All of our wellness practices come down to one thing: Self Knowledge.
The constant discovery of knowing ones’ self is being able to see ourselves in the bigger picture.
Seeing ourselves not IN nature, but AS nature.
Seeing ourselves as a part of a larger, more complex system.
Then we can really begin to live our best lives.