Ayurveda is a healing science with a focus on awareness and balance. As in – if you are imbalanced in one area of life, it carries over to all areas of your life. Aches and pains, disease, anxiety, depression, and even simply “feeling off” often signal an imbalance.
How do we use Ayurveda to heal ourselves?
Balance is the key word here. By keeping our systems in check – physically, emotionally, and mentally—we maintain equilibrium. This equilibrium protects us from ailments, discomfort, emotional disruption, mental disease, premature aging, and physical disease.
While Ayurveda reaches far and wide, the simplest way to manifest balance is by what you eat. Diet is the quickest and easiest way to cause a change for the better or worse.
Last week we talked about determining your primary dosha. Certain foods support certain doshas, while others aggravate them. Remember, like increases like. So a cold dry salad will increase cold windy vata. One salad = no biggie. One or more salads every day will probably lead to vata type imbalances, like anxiety, joint problems, and gas.
Let’s look at another one. Pitta is hot and dry. Spicy foods are not pitta friendly and regular consumption will lead to anger, jealousy, tummy troubles and inflamed skin conditions.
Now for kapha. Since this dosha is moist and cool too many cold or sticky foods will usually result in weight gain, lethargy, sinus problems, and maybe depression.
This is not to say that one day of eating the wrong foods will throw you into imbalance. But you probably have noticed that sluggish feeling or headache associated with overindulging in the wrong foods or drink. So if you go for the second piece of chocolate cake or third glass of wine on Saturday, eat clean and appropriate for your constitution on Sunday.
Meditation is to the mind what clean eating is to the body. A daily meditation practice wards off that crazy over thinking…you know what I’m talking about. It also helps to relive stress and bring about clarity.
Eating right but still feeling imbalanced? Change of seasons can bring on imbalance too. For example, now that we are heading into fall you may notice some vata type imbalances due to the dry windiness of the season. Counter this by adding a few vata pacifying foods to your diet.
So now you know your dominant dosha + the perfect foods to keep you balanced. On your way to good ayurvedic health. Come back next week when we will cover Ayurveda and skin care.
[Image by Daniel Silliman at Flickr.com, cc]