When people outside of India find out I am a certified Ayurvedic expert, their first question is often...
What is Ayurveda?
I am always glad to answer this question! Ayurveda is a whole-body healing system developed in present-day India that is over 3,000 years old. It is a term made up of two Sanskrit words: ayur (life) and veda (knowledge). So Ayurveda is the science of life.
Ayurvedic wellness involves natural remedies and wellness practices, a mindful diet, and daily yogic exercise and breathing. These holistic practices have only become common in Western wellness in the past few decades. But for people from India, like me, they are what our family members nag us to do since our earliest childhood!
As I describe in the story of my health crisis, many years ago, Ayurveda quite literally saved my life. I come from a lineage of renowned Ayurvedic healers, but I didn’t claim this part of my heritage until I desperately needed to. Today, I am proud to share my passion for Ayurveda with all who wish to learn.
What are the core principles of Ayurveda?
Overall, Ayurveda teaches that the best way to maintain good health is to maintain balance in mind, body, and spirit. This balance is different for each person, as we all have different experiences, lifestyles, and makeups.
According to Ayurveda, the whole universe is made up of five great elements: ākāśa, space; vāyu, air; tejas, fire; jala, water; pṛthvī, earth. These are condensed into three doshas, or life forces. Each person is primarily comprised of one of these:
Vata - Ether and air. Vatas tend to be enthusiastic but perhaps overly frenzied. They have thin frames.
Pitta - Fire and water. Pittas have an outgoing personality but may be too bossy. They have average frames.
Kapha - Water and earth. Kaphas are pleasant and easy-going but might be passive. They have stocky frames.
We all contain elements of all three doshas, each of which determines a different element of not only our personality but our body’s physical systems. Achieving balance means matching your diet and lifestyle to complement your dosha.
How Do I Practice Ayurveda?
- Go to sleep early and wake up with the sun. This allows your body to be more in sync with nature, detoxifying during the night.
- Drink plenty of water. Ideally, from the time you first wake up.
- Practice natural oral hygiene. Before brushing your teeth, scrape your tongue to remove bad bacteria. Then, instead of mouthwash, swish pulling oil around your mouth for at least 2 minutes. Try to work up to 10 minutes if you can. That’s how long I do! It not only cleans my teeth but freshens my breath and helps me get naturally whiter teeth.
- Enjoy the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy. Whether you want to help lift your mood during the day, sleep restfully at night, or breathe easier, safely diffusing 100% pure and natural essential oils in your home or office will help you stay grounded and balanced.
- Practice yoga daily. Yoga is a key part of my Ayurvedic practice. Check out my free videos on easy yogic techniques here. And if you want more tips on yoga you can do even in your office, I wrote an entire book about it! Sign up here to read Wall Street Yoga for free!
I am honored to be a part of your journey as you become the guru of your wellness.