A collage of images promoting an Ayurvedic lifestyle. On the top left, a bowl of spiced lentil dal garnished with fresh herbs. Below, a woman in a child's yoga pose on a textured mat, symbolizing relaxation and mindfulness. Top right, a tall glass of warm golden milk, a traditional Ayurvedic drink. In the middle, an assortment of Ayurvedic ingredients and spices like seeds, leaves, and powders in small containers, ready for preparing holistic remedies. Lastly, on the bottom right, freshly cut lemons on a wooden board, indicating the use of natural ingredients for health and wellness.

Unlocking Optimal Health with Ayurveda: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living

Discover how Ayurveda's time-tested approach to wellness can balance mind, body, and spirit, and whether it's the right path to your best health.

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Ayurvedic medicine focuses on a whole-person approach that equally addresses the patient’s mind, body, community, and spirit as the means to reach optimal health. But can Ayurveda help you reach optimal health?

Ayurvedic medicine is considered by many to be the oldest healing science, traditionally practiced in India. This form of integrative medicine focuses on a whole-person approach, equally addressing each individual’s mind, body, community, and spirit as the means to reach optimal health. It’s often connected with yogic lifestyles and will complement a yoga practice well. However, the two aren’t married together permanently. You can practice Ayurveda even if you don’t practice yoga.

My journey into the Ayurvedic lifestyle

A triptych of images showcasing Ayurvedic wellness practices. On the left, an array of Ayurvedic herbs, seeds, and oils are neatly arranged around a mortar and pestle. The center image features two mugs of golden milk, a traditional drink in Ayurvedic health, garnished with spices and rose petals. On the right, a person performs a balancing yoga pose on a mat indoors, framed by palm fronds in the foreground, symbolizing the harmonious blend of nature and urban living within the Ayurvedic lifestyle.

My journey into the Ayurvedic lifestyle began in 2015 during my time in Costa Rica, where I attended a workshop in Santa Teresa hosted by The Healing Cusine. This experience was deepened by my subsequent reading of The Yoga Body Diet by John Douillard, which further educated me about Ayurveda. Since then, my passion for integrative medicine, lifestyle, and diet has grown, propelling me to pursue professional certifications. I am now an Ayurveda specialist and a Health Coach, certified through both the Chopra Center and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).

You might have heard the term and are curious about Ayurveda but are thrown off by terms like “dosha” and “Yoga Nidra.” To gain a fuller understanding, consider the following things you should know about Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is about eating well to balance the body and mental health. It literally means the science of life.

Integrative medicine focuses on a whole-person approach equally addressing each individual’s mind, body, community, and spirit as the means to reach optimal health.

It is very different from Western medicine and does not rely on synthetic medications to treat illnesses. Rather, Ayurvedic practitioners try to heal disease by restoring balance through changes in diet, herbs, and meditation.

If you’re at all confused about it, there are several things you should know about Ayurveda before you jump to any conclusions about it.

The most important aspect you should be aware of Ayurveda is what it is! It isn’t a religion, as some people may think. Rather, Ayurveda is “the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.” In a nutshell, it’s an ancient science based on balance, specific to unique body types.

The Ayurveda Origins

Ayurveda has made its way to the Western world now, but it’s important to know where it originated from if you really want to understand it. Ayurveda was born in India about five to six thousand years ago. Ayurveda is attributed to Atharva Veda, which is the fourth Veda of the sacred Hindu texts. But this doesn’t mean Ayurveda is religious- it is simply a medical science with origins rooted in Hinduism.

The Three Doshas in Ayurveda

A key component of Ayurveda is the presence of the three doshas or the Tridosha Theory. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which are a part of all of us and are characterized by different pairings of elements (ether, fire, water, air, and earth). But, everyone has a dominating dosha, which tells you what your “body type” is and plays a huge role in determining how you’ll live your Ayurvedic lifestyle. If you want to learn what your dosha is, you can take a quick quiz here.

How Ayurveda Affects You

“How exactly will Ayurveda affect me?” is an important question to ask yourself when researching this ancient science. Ayurveda will reveal what your body type is and teach you how to eat in a way that is most beneficial to that body type (dosha).

Also, Yoga Nidra allows you to experience conscious sleep, access your innermost source of joy, and become more capable of achieving greatness.

Both bits of knowledge of your dosha and practice of Yoga Nidra will help make you a more joyful, blissful person overall, as well as help you accomplish your goals, from weight loss to a promotion at work!

Ayurveda, It’s Personal

It may seem strange that there are only three doshas for about seven billion people on the planet to share! But that’s why it’s important to remember that Ayurveda is something entirely personal.

You have different levels of each dosha inside of you and should live your life accordingly. Don’t mistake the wonderful simplicity of Ayurveda for impracticality; it’s a personal science you must investigate to gain all the desired benefits.

It Takes Dedication

Making time for yoga and meditation is only half of Ayurveda. You’ll also probably need to reduce the consumption of several foods that aggravate your dominating dosha, and you’ll need to add others to your diet that will balance, calm, and soothe it.

Of course, there’s no harm in slipping up every once in a while, but to live by Ayurveda totally and completely, you’ll need some serious dedication.

Embracing Ayurveda in Everyday Life

The practicality of Ayurveda in everyday life is often overlooked, yet it can be one of the most transformative aspects of the practice. Incorporating Ayurvedic principles doesn’t require a complete upheaval of your current lifestyle; rather, it’s about making mindful adjustments to align with your intrinsic nature. For instance, simple practices like starting the day with a warm glass of water with lemon can ignite your digestive fire, as per teachings, and choosing foods that balance your dominant dosha can lead to improved well-being.

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Establishing a routine that includes regular sleep patterns, meditation, and even the type of exercise that harmonizes with your dosha can profoundly impact your health. Ayurveda isn’t just a treatment for ailments; it’s a guide for living a balanced, fulfilling life. By integrating these age-old practices into our modern lives, we invite a holistic sense of harmony that can reduce stress, enhance vitality, and bring about a deep sense of peace within our hectic world. Whether it’s through the spices we use in our meals, the herbs that supplement our diet, or the self-care rituals we perform, each small step we take in our Ayurvedic journey brings us closer to the optimal health we seek.

Embracing the Rhythms of Nature through Ayurveda

Ayurveda extends beyond the realms of diet and exercise, inviting us to harmonize with the natural rhythms of the universe. This ancient practice teaches us to align our routines with the cyclical patterns of the sun, moon, and seasons, a concept known as ‘Ritucharya’. By understanding the subtle shifts in environmental energies, we can adjust our activities, sleep patterns, and eating habits to maintain balance within our doshas.

This synchronization with nature’s clock not only enhances our physical well-being but also promotes mental clarity and spiritual peace. The practice of ‘Dinacharya’, or daily routines, further supports this by recommending specific times for waking, eating, working, and relaxing, tailored to our individual constitution. By integrating these principles into our lives, we adopt a holistic lifestyle that supports longevity, vitality, and harmony with the world around us.

Finding Harmony Through Ayurveda: A Conclusion

Ayurveda offers a rich tapestry of holistic practices that serve to nurture not only our physical bodies but also our mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It encourages us to look beyond the superficial and to treat the underlying imbalances that lead to disease.

As we learn to live in tune with our natural constitution through the wisdom of the three doshas, we open ourselves up to a lifetime of wellness and vitality. Ayurveda is not just a medical system; it is a journey towards self-discovery and harmony with the universe.

Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or new to its concepts, the path of Ayurveda holds a promise of balance, healing, and transformation, inviting us all to lead healthier, more mindful lives. So, I encourage you to explore this ancient science and see how it can be adapted to fit into your modern lifestyle, paving the way for a healthier, more balanced you.

What did you learn about Ayurveda from reading this? Do you plan on trying it out? If you’re curious in making a change in your lifestyle into one led by Ayurveda, schedule a consultation with me.

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Hi, I’m Valerie!

I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.