Ayurvedic medicine is certainly not a passing trend; it originated in India and has been around for almost five thousand years – long before people learned to write and instead passed on health and wellness techniques through word of mouth from generation to generation.
It is known for being one of the world’s most ancient holistic healing systems – encompassing the balance between mind, body and soul as a whole – as an alternative to modern Western medicine which focuses on one area at a time.
With so much history behind this powerful wellness tool, we take a closer look at ways of incorporating Ayurveda techniques into modern life.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is essentially a guide to living a healthy and happy life. Originating in India, Ayurveda is a traditional Hindu medicine based on balance. Incorporating elements of diet, meditation, herbal treatments and yogic practice, Ayurveda is believed by followers to be a key to mind-body health and synergy.
In Ayurveda, there are two main principles that underpin everything. The first is that the mind and body are inextricably connected. The second is that your mind can be an incredibly powerful tool for healing. The pervading idea is that, through meditation, we can enhance our wellbeing and restore the equilibrium between body and mind.
The science is this. Whilst in a meditative state, our breathing and heart-rate slow down, which reduces the body’s levels of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
Simultaneously, the body produces calming ‘happy’ hormones, like serotonin and dopamine, which calms our minds and heals our bodies.
Put simply, meditation is key to beating the Monday morning blues and the end-of-the-week fatigue that are inevitable in our modern, busy lives.
How can you incorporate Ayurveda into modern life?
To truly make the most of Ayurveda, you’ll first need to understand doshas, which are the primary mind-body types. According to Ayurveda principles, we’re all born with a certain amount of each and it is this that can throw our lives out of balance.
This is where the Ayurvedic experts come in, identifying our predominating doshas and rebalancing them in mind and body.
• Vata – standing for movement and change, Vata is ruled by the air element and controls movement in body and mind. Those with the Vata dosha tend to be changeable in their moods and love excitement. When in balance, they are energetic, creative and flexible. When unbalanced, they are prone to stress, anxiety and insomnia.
• Pitta – ruled by fire and water, Pitta is all about digestion and energy production. Those in the Pitta dosha are highly intellectual and when in balance, are excellent decision makers, teachers and speakers. Out of balance, they suffer from skin rashes, indigestion and are often short-tempered and argumentative.
• Kapha – derived from water and air, this dosha is all about the body, controlling strength and physicality. Kapha types are naturally calm and loving and value a comfortable life. When in balance, this dosha exudes strength, loyalty and patience. When out of balance, they are resistant to change and can be stubborn.
Whatever your prevailing type may be, there are still some key principles you can start to adopt to begin to rebalance your life.
Why eating well is crucial for great health
Next to breathing, eating is the most important function according to Ayurveda. Food should always be freshly prepared and nourishing to help balance the mind. And, each bite should be taken slowly and eaten with awareness. This type of mindful eating will also help you to stick to your diet. In Ayurveda, there are six tastes to balance: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent.
Along with this, experts advise that you ‘eat a rainbow’ and fill your plate with colour – which in turn nourishes both body and soul.
Sleep is one of the body’s best ways to heal, and this principle stands true in Ayurveda. Allow your body to truly repair and regenerate by adapting your sleep routine to ensure that your rest is deep and restorative.
Return to nature
In Ayurveda, this means balancing your desires with the things that your body actually needs. Flow in harmony with your body’s natural needs by following a set sleeping pattern. Fill your senses with tastes, smells, aromas and colours and allow yourself to be both uplifted and nourished by the things you surround yourself with. If you do all this, you will notice that you feel more balanced.
If there’s one thing that Ayurveda’s not about, it’s organising and micro-managing. It might be difficult in our busy lives, but to find some balance, allow yourself to just flow and listen to your body as well as your mind. After all, flowers don’t try to blossom, they just do.
We’d love to hear your experience of Ayurveda and your tips for finding your balance – don’t forget to share them with us on social. Shop Lumity today to discover the perfect partner to your wellness routine.