Perhaps one of my favorite subjects, Ayurveda encompasses yoga, meditation, breathwork, life style, daily routines, diet, and more! Ayurveda literally translates to “the study of life.” It is just so amazing! Unlike the other topics I covered this week, Ayurveda is not one of the steps on Hatha Yoga’s eight limbed path. But, Ayurveda originated from the Vedas, which is same source as yoga. Ayurveda is the oldest medical system of India. It is a holistic system that is all about connecting ourselves with nature - our own true nature and the Nature within which we live.
Ayurveda says that, as individuals, we are simply a microcosm of the macrocosm that is the Universe. Ayurveda goes on to describe that all things in the Universe are comprised of five basic elements – ether, air, fire, water, and earth. Since we are simply a microcosm of the Universe, we are also comprised of these same five elements. The different proportions of these elements within each of us determines our individual body-mind constitution. Once we understand what our specific body-mind constitution is, then we are able to gain greater understanding into our nature. Ayurveda explains why we are drawn to certain interests, hobbies, and foods; it explains why we prefer a certain climate or season; it describes why it is easier for us to work or exercise during certain times of the day.
You see, the elements govern all things, including the weather, season, food, and time of day. As an example, one of the primary aspects of my constitution is “Vata,” which is characterized by the elements air and ether. Autumn is the season governed by air and ether. The combination of Vata in my constitution and Vata in the Autumn season has often led me to feel qualities of air and ether – dry skin, restless mind, feeling ungrounded. I have always noticed that I feel a bit unsettled and ungrounded as I transitioned into the Fall season, but I never knew why until I discovered Ayurveda! Now that I understand this dynamic of excess air/ether in the climate exacerbating those same qualities within myself, I have specific tools from Ayurveda that I can implement every Fall to help ease my transition into the season. These tools include self-care practices of massage, diet, yoga practices, and daily routines.
This is a huge topic, and one that I am very passionate about! I wanted to offer you a brief introduction today. If you would like to dive deeper into this topic through a live webinar or personal consultation, then let me know by liking this video, leaving a comment, or sending me a message!