Sunday, June 28, 2009
Ayurveda: Science of Life
Ayurveda is the fascinating and practical science that studies the world and how we can best come into harmony with this world. It is the sister-science of yoga. One of my teachers told me that to truly understand yoga, you must also have a working relationship with Ayurveda.
Ayurveda studies three basic qualities, called Doshas, which in their combination describe everything in the universe. To simplify, these qualities are: Vata, wind quality; pitta, fire quality; and kapha, earth quality. Just like everything in the universe, each person has a unique expression of these qualities called a prakruti.
Understanding your prakruti empowers you to negotiate the elements in your life in order to guide yourself toward radiant wellness for body, mind, and spirit. Have you ever wondered why you don't feel fantastic even though it seems like you are doing all the right things that should make you healthy and feeling great? Have you ever followed a popular diet or exercise regimen only to feel worse? Sometimes even the kind of yoga we practice makes us leave feeling off. Understanding your prakruti helps you to guide yourself toward specific types of life-practices that optimize your unique chemistry.
Excessive amounts of any dosha causes us imbalance. Understanding this and correcting imbalances, often by simple and practical means, puts us back on the path to balance. Ayurveda acknowledges that what may be health promoting for one person may be diminishing for another. I appreciate the idea that each person is different and therefore has a different avenue to wellness. Regarding anything that affects our health, be that medicine or food or yoga, Ayurveda always asks, "For whom, how much, when, and why."
Sometimes it takes an Ayurvedic practitioner, a trained guide, to help you figure out your prakruti and place yourself on a regimen that will guide you toward optimal wellness. With even a little understanding of Ayurveda and your prakruti, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to keep yourself feeling wonderful. With this understanding you will find the best food choices, sleeping, yoga and exercising patterns, and even scheduling, that will keep you feeling amazing.
This week, perhaps you can choose which yoga classes you attend based on what you feel like would balance you out the best. Feeling Kapha, (earth): sluggish, slow, or weighed down, or unclear? Try coming to a power class (classes listed on the left column of this email). Feeling Vata (wind): ungrounded, flighty, agitated, nervous? Try coming to one of the Restore classes. Feeling Pitta (fire): overheated by a project or feeling of expectation or perfection? Try balancing with a gentle class or Yoga For Stiffer Bodies, an active but balancing class. Use Auyrveda to direct your yoga choices.
Also, please consider learning more about this fascinating science by attending our workshop hosted by me and Sunny Rose on July 10, 11, and 12. Sunny will also be around to conduce private consultations for specific information about you.