Ayurveda, a system of medicine developed in India more than 5000 years ago, can have an enormous impact on your overall health and sense of well-being. Here we look at 3 ways Ayurvedic principles can transform your life for the better.
Discover a sense of true balance
In Ayurveda there is an emphasis on balancing the three interdependent mechanisms known as doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. When there is imbalance disease can prevail. In our busy lives it is easy to lose our connection to what our bodies are really craving and opt for foods and lifestyle choices that throw our bodies and minds even further out of balance. Working with an Ayurveda practitioner is the best way to determine where an imbalance lies and how to bring harmony back, but we can also help ourselves by bringing consciousness to what we are feeling in any given moment. Instead of reaching for that candy bar for an energy boost or checking Facebook on your phone, stop, breathe, and hear what your body is truly craving – trust that you will know and then act on what you need, be it a warming vegetable soup, a vibrant green salad, or simply 15 minutes of total rest.
Trust your experiences & gain control of your own healing
In Ayurveda the practitioner and patient work together in an active partnership to understand the root causes of symptoms, with the practitioner fully respecting the patient’s individual experiences. This can be a welcome change to the predominately one-size-fits-all approach taken in much Western medicine. Even if you’re not lucky enough to currently be working with an Ayurveda practitioner, you can borrow this principle and start fully trusting your own experiences. Do you always experience a headache after eating certain foods or being in certain social situations? Do you often feel angry or irritable in cold weather but your partner seems energized by it? Your experience is unique to you and the steps you need to take to create balance in your body will be different to everyone else’s. That OTC painkiller might market itself as good for everyone, but to achieve optimum health for you, you need a more tailored approach, which starts with listening to and trusting your own experiences.
Honour the work of your body & mind
The Newari people of Nepal practice a 45-day post-partum regimen to restore a woman’s vital energy after the work of giving birth and during Panchakarma programs at the Vaidyagrama Ayurveda Healing Village in India patients are asked to take a break from treatment during menstruation in favour of full rest. In North American, it can be hard for women to take the time they need to fully recover from childbirth or take adequate rest during other times when their bodies are working extra hard such as menstruation or peri-menopause. Cultural expectations often contradict what a woman’s body is telling her, which can result in a loss of vital energy and distressing symptoms. Even if you are not be able to take all the time your body needs, you can still choose to honour the work your mind and body are doing during these key moments by resting as fully as you can. You have the power, for instance, to turn down social engagements and skip your regular gym workout for 2-3 days during your period while you rest and eat nourishing foods.
By listening to and trusting your own body and unique experiences you are already moving closer to a healthier state. When you provide your whole self with what it really needs you will experience an increased sense of well-being and a decrease in physical, emotional, and mental suffering. The very best way to understand sources of imbalance and develop an enduring respect for nature’s rhythms and cycles is to work with an Ayurveda practitioner.
In 2016-2017 we have two transformative Ayurveda retreats on offer led by experienced and gifted Ayurveda practitioners. The Ayurveda Health & Healing Retreat in India focuses on Panchakarma (PK) Healing Programs for Your Optimum Physical & Spiritual Health. On this retreat you will travel with Jaisri M. Lambert to the Vaidyagrama Healing Village for personalized programs with a team of Ayurveda specialists. Or you can travel to Nepal with Todd Caldecott and special guest Vaidya Madhu for an Ayurveda Immersion Program in the richly biodiverse Kathmandu Valley. Visit our website or contact us to find out which program is right for you!
For more information about Ayurveda you can read our feature-length interview with Todd Caldecott, or bring your own questions to ask him in person in Nepal!
~ Sacred Earth Journeys