Hehehe. It’s been so long since I did a Blog I honestly have no idea when it was I last wrote.
This is not a good thing, but it certainly saids something about my nature and the tendencies I have. I’m into Ayurveda, an ancient health system developed 1000s of years ago in India. Not only is it alive and kicking but like Yoga, is finding its way into popular culture in the West.
So my tardy ways reflects what would be called, my Vata nature. Vata is one of the three Doshas – Vata, Pitta & Kapha – which Ayurveda is based on. Vata can show up in a person through a sense of irregularity, hence my irregular posts! Years ago I would have beaten myself up about this. “What is wrong with you Lucilla” “Why are you so useless ” etc etc etc. We all know the usual insults we derate ourselves with when we don’t live up to our own expectations. But learning Ayurveda has changed all of that for me.
Forgive Yourself and Others More Easily
Not only do I forgive myself much more easily now, as I know its just my constitution, my personal DNA if you like, but I also forgive others much more readily too. When someone is irritated, angry or bossy, I just think “Wow, their Pitta sure is aggravated” or when someone is painstakingly slow getting things together or talking, I just think “Ah, its just their Kapha nature!”.
Having an understanding of the 3 Doshas, the 3 basic energies of which Ayurveda saids all life is made up of, not just helps to understand ourselves but everyone in our life and beyond. This is seriously helpful information.
I’ve became a big fan of this health system for many reasons. It is very ancient, actually the world’s first known medical system there is. So it really knows the nature of things and how they work on us, as humans. It’s also based on nature itself. It works with the belief that everything in the universe is made up of the 5 elements (earth, water, fire, air, space) and the basic idea is to balance these elements in our body and our life.
Prevention is the Best Cure
Another reason I love it, is because its predominately a preventative system. This is a big WOW! In our Western medical system, as amazing as it is, it only works on curing once a disease or illness is formed. Ayurveda gives us the tools to perhaps prevent these diseases all together. Not only through creating a healthier body and life in general so disease is less likely, but through the system of the 6 stages of disease. In this system we have another 4 stages of the disease developing to recognise there is a problem and address it before it manifests into a more serious or chronic problem. The Allopathic approach only recognises a problem at the 5th stage of these 6. So you can see just how helpful this could be! And it’s one of my favourite reasons to practice this system.
(Learn More about the 6 stages of disease through this short video by one of my teachers at YogaHealer.com)
As it is nature based it believes that all the answers to our health, beauty, vitality and longevity can be found just there, in nature. So it is predominately a plant based system, asking us to see food and plants as medicine. It doesn’t reject meat, but see it’s on a need basis only. Why eat it if you can’t digest it well? Or if you need the nutrients that it offers you, why not take a little? (Of course, if you have ethical or moral reasons for not taking meat, that is of course fine and also good for your digestion!)
Ayurveda has a very advanced and complex pharmacy, which uses all sorts of roots, branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, vegetables, oils, etc to make very effective medication for almost very disease under the sun. Some of these medicines take days, weeks or months to make.
Ayurveda, as it is based in nature, isn’t a quick fix. Nothing about nature is quick. Including the development of illnesses. So it really is best to learn a little about Ayurveda, follow some of the suggestions and guidelines it gives for your constitution, to keep your unique brand of Self healthy and balanced.
Know Thy Self
What I love most about Ayurveda is the invitation to know yourself better. Know that you are as unique as a snowflake and that no-one else can really know what is best for you. Perhaps in the West we have got a little lazy and would prefer to pay someone to tell us something about ourselves, that may or may not, be true. We love to follow the latest trends in health and diets and follow them for a while, maybe spend a whole heap of money on it, only to find our energy levels are worse, we now have bloating or the weight we initially lost didn’t stay off. And we fall back into our old ways.
These trends and diets on the whole, may not be that good for us. They will suit just a small percentage of people, but for the rest of us it needs adapting or abandoning altogether. The thing is, we often introduce something into our diet, like fermented foods or nut milks or try the trendy diet like Atkins, Raw Foods, etc and because we read it was good for us, continue to take it based on what we have read or heard. What can be completely missed is the fact if it doesn’t make us feel good or any better than before!!
Perhaps this new food or diet is giving us indigestion, constipation, bloating, low energy, poor sleeping, irritability, skin breakouts or some other thing. But somehow we don’t notice or seem to be aware of the effect it is having on our system.
(Again, changing your diet for a moral or ethical reasons, because the way something is product doesn’t sit well with you, is a whole other conversation – not being discussed here – but is also important to consider for healthy digestion.)
Ask Yourself Some Basic Questions….
What Ayurveda asks us to do is try it and see how you feel. Notice how you feel 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, etc after eating it. Notice also the longer term effects it has on your overall health. Does your body digest it well? How do you feel on it? How are your energy levels, do you sleep better, do you wake better, are your moods improved, do you look and feel better? If so, great. If not change is required.
These question we can ask ourselves and notice each time we try something new or different. Or looking into what we are already eating and may have been eating for years, without realising, it just doesn’t make us feel that good. Being aware too that as we get older our dietary requirements also change. So sometimes what once worked for us, no longer does.
So this system asks us to know ourselves!! To Observe for ourselves what is happening in our very own bodies. Nobody else can tell you. This is very empowering. Suddenly it feels like you are in more control and you have more options.
An option that is free. To see for yourself!
Trying New Things is Important!
There is nothing wrong with trying new things, in fact it is important that we do. But noticing what is working and what isn’t working for you is also important. What works for one does not necessarily work for another. Don’t trust everyone else’s ideas about the best diets or habits you should have. Build that trust within yourself. Listen, experiment, assess and adjust. But believe nothing other than your own personal feedback and results.
It is in this way to use Ayurveda for great effect on a long, healthy, happy and balanced life.
The Key is awareness. The more you are alert to how your mind, body and emotions are reacting to changing circumstances; the more you are aware of your constitution and the moment to moment choices you can make to maintain health, the less opportunity you create for becoming sick.
Quote: By Dr Vasant Lad