Ayurveda and Balance, a beautiful marriage! A self-described crunchy granola health nut for as long as I can remember, I’ve tried almost everything designed to promote health and balance.
Together with my crunchy granola friends, we’d try the latest super food, the latest yoga craze, the latest herbal supplement or treatment. Some things worked wonderfully, others, didn’t.
Seated visualization meditation, I found, worked wonders for me. I felt grounded, focused, and serene. Kundalini and Bikram yoga didn’t – I was angry, uncomfortable and couldn’t focus.
How was it that something that brought balance to my friends, simply aggravated me? How was it that something that soothed me frustrated some of my friends? What did it mean to find balance?
Ayurveda, which literally translates into the science of life, is a 6,000-year-old ancient system from India that holds the keys to finding balance and health in our modern world.
Ayurveda is complex, but its tenets are very simple. Within every living thing, the five elements (water, earth, air, ether, fire) are present, creating a life force. When we’re in perfect health, our five elements are balanced and harmonious. When we’re in poor health, there is an elemental disturbance or imbalance; there may be too much fire, too much earth, and too much air. Ayurveda and balance are inextricably linked.
This is where the three Ayurvedic doshas or constitutions come in. According to Ayurveda, people can be grouped according to three main constitutions or doshas depending upon their predominate elements:
Kapha- water and earth
Vata- air and ether
Ayurveda asks us to know ourselves, so we can create a lifestyle that brings harmony and health.
What foods we should eat, or what meditations and yoga asanas we should practice are all unique to our specific constitution or dosha combined with the knowledge of our imbalances.
Being a healthy human is not a monolithic experience. We are all unique. What works well for one person does not necessarily work well for another.
What I love so much about Ayurveda is that food, spices and herbs are used and prescribed as medicine depending upon a person’s specific constitution or imbalance, resulting in mind, body, spirit balance.
A Vata (air and ether) will feel grounded if they are given warm sticky and spicy foods, because those foods contain the fire, earth and water that they lack. If you give warm, sticky, spicy food to a Pitta (fire), you will likely aggravate them because they don’t need to be warmed, they’re fire, they’re already hot, they need to be cooled.
Within each individual, within each constitution, there lies a perfect blueprint for health and balance. Ayurveda gives us the wisdom and knowledge to tap into this intelligence, it teaches us to find a modern pot of gold- balance.
Ayurveda is preventative. Ayurveda is nutritive. Ayurveda is natural and so very compassionate. Ayurveda and balance may be the key to a harmonious life.