What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is literally translated to mean the science of life. This knowledge of life is more than 5,000 years old and describes ways to stay well emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Practices such as yoga, meditation, herbs, nutrition, and aromatherapy are all incorporated into a persons customized recommendation for health. Yoga is considered to be a sister science of Ayurveda. Knowing your dosha can help determine what practices are good for you.
What is your dosha, you ask?
Your dosha is an assessment of all of the different elements that you are currently experiencing. In Ayurveda, the elements are ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. Simple things like, diet, exercise, sleep, caffeine, work and home environments can greatly impact your dosha. Want an example? Peppermint has a cooling affect and decreases fire, while cayenne has a warming affect and increases fire. Because these elements seem to present themselves in groups, these elements have been labeled as doshas. Vata = Ether + Air what moves (creativity, change) Pitta = Fire + Water what burns (transformation, achievement, metabolism)
Kapha = Water + Earth what sticks (groundedness, stability, growth)
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Did you know that your “constitution” is not the same as your “dosha”?!
Although you may have overheard many conversations where these two terms are used interchangeably, they are very different. As we previously discussed, your dosha is what you are currently experiencing due to lifestyle, sleep, work, diet, and home environments. Your constitution (AKA prakruti) is what your natural tendencies are, or you innate makeup. For example if your constitution, or natural tenancy is to be very calm and relaxed, but you drink 8 cups of coffee every single day you may not be experiencing that a feeling of calmness or relaxation. Your constitution is something that takes a skilled practitioner to discover and analyze, as you can imagine, since it is not quite so apparent, and only needs to be done once, since it doesn’t change. Your dosha on the other hand should be evaluated on a regular basis, and is a bit easier to determine.
Tips for balancing your Dosha…
– get plenty of rest and sleep (bed at 10 and up at 6)
– eat warm foods (not raw) and warming spices like ginger and cayenne
– practice ways to stay calm, and not rushed, like breathing deeply
– wear plenty of layers to stay warm
Jatamansi essential oil is derived from the root of a flowering plant called nard ( nardin, muskroot ) which is of the valerianacea family. It balances the nervous system, and is very grounding for Vata. Some people like to put a drop on their pillow at night to help them sleep. Jatamansi Oil has a tremendous ability to calm and sooth frayed nerves.
– eat cooling foods like mint and lime (not spicy)
– limit intake of salt, and oil
– make sure rigorous activities are done during cooler hours of the day
– avoid heat and steam
– stay active and exercise
– avoid ice, and cold food or drinks
– avoid cat naps
– eat light
– eat dried foods
– avoid heavy, fatty, oily, dairy foods
– vary your routine
– practice flexibility