The highs from a trip to India earlier this year are fading to memories and before they start to get hazy, I wanted to share my understanding of Ayurveda and how we can benefit from certain aspects.
In the present global health care scenario, Ayurvedic approaches (commonly combined with yoga) are becoming increasingly popular. The heart of Ayurveda, the science of life, is not merely aimed at curing disease. Instead, it highlights the importance of healthy living and empowering individuals to achieve and maintain their own health. It is believed that right from the moment of conception, our ‘Prakruti’, or basic constitution, is formed from three main doshas; Vata, Pitta & Kapha. An Ayurvedic approach would then recommend appropriate food and well-being activities to suit your dominant dosha; achieving balance and good health.
What can we learn:
EMPOWERMENT! When it comes to our health (and actually lots of other aspects of life too), we can so easily take a back seat and assume responsibility lies elsewhere. Sure, things like readily available processed foods, high pollution levels in cities or institutionalised stress won’t help BUT we still get to choose our behaviour. Instead of being an ostrich, burying our heads and waiting for dis-ease to catch up with us, Ayurveda reminds us to look at the bigger picture and, where we can, take back control of our health and well-being.
Putting it into practice:
There are three main areas we can think about if we want to take a more preventative approach to our long term physical and mental health:
· stress management
There is plenty of information out there on how to follow a healthy diet so I won’t delve into that here. Again, we all know taking regular exercise does wonders for our mind and body - it’s about finding something that works best for you, be it yoga, swimming, running, walking, cycling… I could go on here but you get the gist.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, it is this idea of empowerment in relation to stress management that captivates me and the very first principle of managing your own stress levels is AWARENESS.
As an anxiety sufferer, I know this isn’t always easy. I actually had to stop and listen to my own advice this morning when I woke up a racing heart and an endless to do list. Instead of speeding into the day trying to tick off as many things as possible, I put some grounding vetiver and frankincense oils in a burner and rolled out my yoga matt for a few gentle stretches. It doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time to start positively impacting stress levels.
Just slow down, take some time to get to know your body and B R E A T H E
Special thanks to JoJo from the wonderful Prakruthi Ayurveda Spa & Treatment Centre for sharing your understanding of Ayurveda and inspiring massage training. A must visit if you ever find yourself near Cherai Beach in Kerela.