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Connect the mind, body, and spirit.

Conventional medical practices aren’t for everyone — let’s face it. Fortunately, for those who would like to opt for alternative solutions, there are many holistic practices available in our budding world.

Ayurveda constitutes as an alternative medicine practice with roots in ancient India.

Considered one of the world’s oldest whole-body or holistic healing systems, this practice encourages a natural equilibrium and balance throughout the body. This, in turn, promotes a connection and cooperation between all parts including the mind, the body, and the soul.

In this article, we will explain in greater depth about Ayurveda, as well as clarify how the practice works and what its primary principles are.

 

What Is Ayurveda?

Before modern medicine, people had to find ways to keep the body in balance. Although now science tells us there is a connection between the mind and body, Ayurveda knew this thousand of years ago.

Ayurveda stands for “the knowledge or science of life”. Veda means knowledge or science, while ayur represents the concept of life in the ancient language of Sanskrit.

This alternative medicine practice essentially was founded upon two concepts: that the mind and body are undoubtedly connected, and that utilizing the mind is the most powerful way for transforming the body.

The practice of Ayurveda categorizes individuals into a mind-body type, known as a dosha. It is possible to determine your dosha through a simple quiz. This quiz asks a series of questions pertaining to mental and emotional characteristics, as well as physical.

Each dosha has an ideal lifestyle that supports its manner of being. Discovering your dosha and implementing supportive qualities into your lifestyle is said to better balance the body and produce equilibrium in a holistic manner.

 

Understanding the Three Doshas

Doshas provide an inner glimpse into the unique makeup of you. In Ayurvedic beliefs, understanding the doshas enables an individual to adjust lifestyle choices spanning from the diet, to exercise, to an ideal temperature. By doing so, the body naturally heals itself and supports the individual in return. Pretty incredible, right?

There are three main doshas and in this section, we go into detail about each of them. This section is not designed to assign any specific dosha to a person, but you may notice that one of the categories is more relatable than another. Normally, everyone possesses aspects from each of the doshas but there tends to be one that is more predominant than the others. Additionally, each dosha is granted a series of elements that best represents it.

 

The First Dosha – Vata

Represented by the elements of air and space, those with the Vata dosha tend to have qualities that also parallel these elements. Vata is said to govern the qualities of movement and communication.

Characteristics:

  • Relates to flexibility and movement
  • Governs body functions such as pulsation of the heart, the flow of the breath, and communication between the nervous system and mind
  • Light, cold, dry, rough
  • Subtle, mobile, clear

What is said to disrupt Vata dosha?

  • Staying up too late
  • Grief and fear
  • Eating more food too soon after a prior meal

An imbalance is said to produce a greater likelihood of skin problems, arthritis, heart disease, and asthma. Additionally, a potential for increased fear, isolation, anxiety, and exhaustion.

 

The Second Dosha – Pitta

The pitta dosha is represented by the elements of water and fire. Pitta is said to govern the primary functions of transformation and digestion.

Characteristics:

  • Relates to understanding and intelligence
  • Connected with the digestion of all things: thoughts, emotions, foods, experiences
  • Governs the temperature of the body, the light of understanding, and metabolism
  • Hot, sharp, light
  • Spreading, liquid, oily

What is said to disrupt pitta dosha?

  • Spending too much time in the sun
  • Consuming spicy and sour foods

An imbalance is said to produce a greater likelihood of infections, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, and high blood pressure. Additionally, a potential for increased jealousy, criticism, frustration, and anger.

 

The Third Dosha – Kapha

Kapha dosha is represented by the elements of earth and water. This dosha is said to have the primary functions of lubrication, cohesiveness, and structure.

Characteristics:

  • Relates to structure and cohesiveness amongst living things
  • Governs the hydrations of cells, the maintenance of immunity, the protection of tissues, and moisturization of the skin
  • Oily, smooth, heavy, slow, cool
  • Dense, soft, cloudy (sticky), stable

What is said to disrupt Kapha dosha?

  • Consuming too many sweet foods
  • Drinking or eating substances with too much water or salt
  • Sleeping during the day

An imbalance is said to produce a greater likelihood of breathing disorders, asthma, obesity, nausea after eating, cancer, and diabetes. Additionally, a potential for increased greed, attachment, resistance to change, lethargy, possessiveness, and stubbornness.

 

How to Best Support Your Own Unique Dosha

Once you have the information pertaining to your dosha available to you, it is time to determine how you can best support this unique makeup of your being.

Because Ayurveda is a holistic, and therefore wholesome approach to life, the way one goes about implementing its principles into daily life is also well-rounded.

 

Here are ways to support your dosha to live a more balanced life:

  1. Eat a diverse diet that is not only colorful but also inclusive of many different flavors. A well-balanced Ayurvedic diet includes the principle of the “six tastes”. The inclusion of all of these flavors is believed to provide the body with all of the nutrients and diversity it needs. These six tastes include:
  • Pungent, bitter, sour, sweet, salty, and astringent.
  1. Improve your digestive ability by implementing certain eating habits and practices that can better support balance. When eating food, try to:
  • Eat with a calm state of mind and in a peaceful environment (i.e. not while under distress.)
  • Eat at a balanced pace (i.e. not too fast, not too slow.)
  • Hydrate the body and encourage digestion by consuming a mix of hot water and ginger throughout the day.
  • Only eat when you actually feel hungry (i.e. do not force yourself to eat food.)
  • Eat while seated at a table and not focused on or distracted by other activities. Do not eat while driving, while watching TV, while working on your computer, or while utilizing your cellular device.
  • Keep raw food consumption down to a minimum for it can overwork the digestive system.
  1. Get enough sleep every single night. Try to fall asleep and wake up at similar hours each day to encourage a stable body clock and sleep cycle. A night of restful sleep is:
  • Between six to eight hours in length.
  • Not induced by alcohol or pharmaceuticals, rather it naturally occurs once the lights are turned off and the atmosphere is calm and distraction-free.
  • Supportive of healing and complete rejuvenation.
  1. Complete some form of exercise daily and really tune into your body. Throughout life, your body will send signals to your brain as to whether it feels good or bad about a specific situation. Listen to this intuitive inner knowing and proceed after taking it into consideration. If something does not feel right, honor the message that your body is sending you and move forth accordingly.

 

Our Final Words on How Ayurveda Can Help Balance Your Health

It is important to note that while there are some state-approved schools of Ayurveda in the United States, Ayurvedic products are not FDA-approved and some are even banned from country entrance due to contamination with toxins and heavy metals.

If you decide to proceed with Ayurvedic treatment and enlist in the assistance of an Ayurveda specialist, they will create a designated treatment plan that is best suited to your own individual set of symptoms and conditions.

While Ayurveda’s primary principles extend further beyond the ones we have mentioned here, this article has covered most of the major elements that make up the holistic, whole-body practice.

Understanding your body’s unique dosha or profile can assist you in making decisions related to health and lifestyle, but aside from producing these adjustments, the most important shifts are to practice healthy digestion practices, get enough sleep daily, and exercise regularly.

Have you been searching for a holistic health school in San Diego or an affordable school of holistic health? Are you interested in becoming a holistic health practitioner?

ICOHS is a non-profit vocational school offering a holistic health practitioner program to those who desire this profession as their career path. Our educators are dedicated to student success and the encouragement of pursuing passions and fulfilling goals.

Reach out today to get started and request more information.

 

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