I discovered Ayurveda over 10 years ago on my first trip to Rishikesh, India. I didn’t know anything about it, but I immediately knew I liked it.
It just so happened, at one of our first stops on our way to Rishikesh from Delhi, we stopped at a gas station to go to the restroom and as I was wandering around, I found my first Ayurvedic book, Yoga and Ayurveda: Self Realization and Self Healing by Dr. David Frawley. Years later, this book is the one I still use to teach the foundations of Ayurveda and is a great guide to begin to understand this ancient tradition.
Ayurveda silently became a part of my day. Each day of our stay in India, everything we did from morning until night was influenced by Ayurvedic practices─the time we woke up, the time we went to sleep, the food we ate, therapeutic treatments, and more. By the time I returned home I felt the best I ever had in years. My mind was clearer, my body felt lighter, and my spirit was open and grounded.
Ayurveda is the amazing sister science to Yoga. Its very name in Sanskrit translates to “Life Science” (“ayur” meaning life, “veda” meaning science or knowledge). The system has been in place for centuries, before 5000 BCE, and we westerner’s just have to catch up! It works hand in hand with your yoga practice to ensure optimal health for any level of practitioner, but as I’ve discovered many yogis are not aware of what it is or how powerful it is in the balance of a Yogic life.
From the time we are conceived and born, our Ayurvedic paths are chosen based upon the union of our parents and we are given a structure to follow which is simple but yet complex. Dinacharya, our daily practices, are what can keep us consistently moving toward a healthier existence by just following simple guidelines. Ayurveda is all about our daily regimen: whole foods, herbs and spices, cleansing practices, daily care practices, certain yoga postures based upon your dosha (body constitution) to ensure optimal health, when to rise in the morning and rest at the night, and it goes on and on! It provides such valuable and tried and true guidance and information that is needed and desired in our lives. Ayurveda teaches us how to best manage our minds and bodies, because in both there is agni (fire) and ama (toxins). Our overall health comes from how we build our immune system and eliminate the bad stuff on a daily basis. Through practicing Ayurveda, we are better able to ensure that we are in control of our wellness path and able to make decisions about our care.
Let’s think prevention, not fixing. Let’s think knowing what will make your body and mind feel its best, not hoping the next fad will make the difference. Ayurveda can bring this and more to your life and asana practice. Remember your body is your temple and we only get one—why not take care of it the best way we can!
How do I begin to explain the applications of Ayurveda? Well, it is true wellness prevention. Come join me for one of my workshops (Understanding Ayurveda, Applying Ayurveda, etc.) to learn more! I also offer one-on-one Ayurvedic lifestyle coaching. See our offerings page to find the next scheduled workshop or for details on coaching sessions.