Ayurveda is the traditional Indian natural medicine which takes into account an individual’s unique mind/body characteristics when giving advice most effective for individuals to find balanced health. Sessions begin with a 75 minute interview and assessment to determine your particular constitution and to find what life habits and patterns might be contributing to dis-ease.
Ayurveda is the India traditional natural medicine which takes into account each person’s individual characteristics when giving advice on diet, exercise and habits that are best for anyone to follow to come out of a diseased state and to find balanced health. When you learn more about Ayurveda, then it can make your Yoga practice more effective and holistic.
See the video below to understand more about the Three Body Types in Ayurveda and how this effects your Asana/Hatha Yoga Practice.
Here is an article written by Ram Bhakt and published in Payam Ashena Magazine on: 09/06/2009
Ayurveda is the system of medicine that was revealed to the minds of the ancient yogis of India some 10,000 years ago. With its philosophy that true healing requires the participation of the patient, it is considered by many to be the oldest recorded healing science and has withstood the test of time while gaining recent popularity in the West.
As a holistic form of medicine, Ayurveda addresses all of the issues that may lead to disease in the body and mind including viral causes, aspects of diet, seasonal patterns, patterns of thinking, natural constitution (body-type) and lifestyle.
Simply reconnecting to the nature that surrounds us is one of the best ways to treat the body and mind. The intelligence of the body to heal itself only requires that we become aware of how we might be getting in the way of its natural rhythms. This is why it is important to eat when we are hungry and sleep when we are tired. Information about the day and food enter through our senses and mouths. These visions, ideas, and materials are metabolized by the nervous and digestive systems and any undigested thoughts and food matter block the free flow of energy in our minds and bodies, hence leading to the progression of disease.
It is believed in Ayurveda that the body contains within it the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space (or ether). Each of us comes into the world with some combination of these elements. Recognizing this energetic/genetic blueprint helps us better understand our bodies and physiology. On a subtle level, these elements affect even psychological tendencies.
Ayurveda groups the elements into three basic types of principles or energies that exist within everybody and everything. Vata is the name of the group that includes air and space. It represents the energy of movement. Pitta is the mixture of fire and water creating the force of transformation, digestion, and metabolism. Kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure composed of water and earth. Knowing these concepts helps us to begin thinking about whether imbalances in these forces are contributing to the progression of “dis-ease”.
Persons with a mostly vata (air) constitution tend to have thin bodies, disturbed sleep and fast moving minds. They are more inclined towards nervousness and have variable digestion and appetite. Their bodies and minds are like the wind – unpredictable and constantly moving. It is suggested for them not to skip meals, to eat more grounding and heavy foods, and to stay away from light foods like salads.
The pitta (fire) person has a more medium body shape and a tendency toward hair-loss, strong appetite, and critical mind. These people are very intelligent but also tend to have the emotions of hate, anger, and jealousy. Since their bodies and minds are more fiery and hot, they do not like sunlight too much, and it is better for them to stay away from spicy foods. Persons with an imbalance in pitta can benefit from cooling drinks and calm walks at night.
Those with more kapha (earth) have larger body frames and tend to be overweight. They commonly have slow digestion and low energy. Preferring to sleep in, they don’t have active lifestyles but tend to be loving and compassionate like “Mother Earth”. Sometimes they have issues with congestion in the lungs or sinuses. These people can benefit from more physical activity and using hot spices in their food to increase their digestive fire and remove congestion from the body. Kapha people are generally peaceful but are also likely to exhibit attachment, envy, and greed.
Foods, thoughts, breath, and lifestyle also affect the mind which in Ayurveda is thought to have three states: sattva, rajas, and tamas.
Sattva is the state of lightness, clarity and love. It is acquired though a healthy use of the senses and intelligence. Light and easy-to-digest foods make the mind sattvic. People of sattvic temperament tend to have healthy bodies and believe in the existence of God.
Rajas is the principle of action and excitability which is necessary for movement and creativity but can sometimes be an unhealthy form of over-activity. Those who are rajasic are more interested in power, prestige and politics. Spicy and exciting foods make the mind rajasic.
Tamas represents the inert state of non-motion and stability of form; it brings about sleep. The tamasic mind state is lazy, selfish and egotistical. Tamas is the feeling we get from eating heavy and difficult to digest foods.
Of course the mind goes through all these states throughout the course of a day. In deep meditation or through yoga practice, one can transcend all of the effects of the body and go beyond the three mental states. The yogis who tune into the subtle motions of internal energy can maintain their balance and realize the universal forces of nature within.
Beyond these basic issues, Ayurveda also offers insight into specific herbs, diseases, daily practices, and even astrology. The mind and body are connected in a very real and scientific way. We cannot find long-term health when we choose quick solutions based on symptoms alone. It is important to observe our daily patterns and understand our body types or energetic imbalances. The science of Ayurveda equips people with knowledge about practices that contribute to prevention and wellness in a natural way for self-care, self-healing, and longevity.