The word Ayurveda literally means the ‘science of life’. It is the traditional healing system of India in which its purpose is to bring about health to the diseased, and to maintain health in the healthy. Ayurveda is totally holistic, which means it views each person as a whole and treatment is tailored to the amazingly unique individual. Ayurveda also believes that not only is the body, mind and soul connected, but that we all are connected, and we are all connected to the universe. It is for this reason that an Ayurvedic lifestyle will not only focus on internal factors such as diet and fitness, but factors such as the effect of the rhythm of the seasons and the sun and the moon.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IT?
‘Ayurveda is simple, holistic and makes sense.’ I hear this sentence time and time again from friends and clients. Ayurveda seeks to give the client knowledge, knowledge which they can use to maintain total balance and perfect health. Everyone can use Ayurveda to correct little imbalances, such as poor digestion, sluggishness and anxiety, before they manifest into larger, more serious health issues. People already suffering from more serious illnesses can work with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to reduce the aggravated doshas (imbalanced elements responsible for the disease) and bring back health and balance. The ultimate beneifit from following an Ayurvedic lifestyle is not only a healthy body, but a healthy, happy mind and a fulfilled and loving soul.
WHY DO YOU THINK ARUYVEDA IS REACHING SO MANY MORE WESTERN PEOPLE THAN EVER BEFORE?
I think as a society in the West, we are starting to look outside the box. Many people are asking more questions, and taking more of a responsibility for their own health. Instead of continuing to blindly pop pills, or undergo surgery, we are seeking more options. These options are leading people to look towards alternative therapies, therapies which have been around for thousands of years, and still exist and provide results today. I believe that Ayurveda’s increased popularity in the west is due partly to yoga. Everyone knows what yoga is, practices yoga themselves or knows someone who does. It is becoming very mainstream and many yoga practitioners are themselves, studying Ayurveda. I am a yoga teacher, and studying Ayurveda seemed the next step, as now i am able to give my students not only direction on the mat, but also guide them in all aspects of their lives.
ARE THERE EXAMPLES YOU CAN SHARE WHERE THIS LIFESTYLE CHANGE HAS CURED ANYONE SUFFERING DISEASE OR AILMENTS? Ayurveda brings balance, no matter the degree of imbalance in place. The simple use of warm ginger, honey and lemon tea when feeling the symptoms of a cold or congestion coming on is traditionally an Ayurvedic remedy and i myself use this all the time with great success. I regularly come across people suffering from congestion, asthma and sinus problems, all associated with an increase in kapha (earth and water elements). By simply reducing sweet, sour and salty foods, especially dairy, and increasing warming, spicy and bitter foods, congestion and asthma symptoms usually subside. Adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle is quite simple. Ayurveda works on the rule of balance, therefore nothing is ever ‘off the menu’. Instead you simply reduce foods and activities which aggravate or imbalance you, and increase those which bring balance. I have seen stress and anxiety levels decrease, depression symptoms decrease, energy levels increase, simply by making basic lifestyle adjustments. Ayurveda also has a place where larger imbalances occur, such as cancer, arthritis and other serious illnesses. For these conditions I would recommended contacting and working closely with an accredited Ayurvedic Practitioner.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PEOPLE CONSIDERING AN ARUYVEDIC LIFESTYLE?
Go for it! You have nothing to lose and whole new lease on life to gain! There is no reason to accept that feeling achy, sleepy, irritable, or a little bit ‘off’ as normal, or simply something that happens when we all get old. Adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle may not lengthen your life, but you will be able to LIVE your life, continuing to do all the things you did, or are doing in your 20s, until your very last breath. Staying in balance will mean no room for a nursing home and no place for a debilitating illness, there will only be room for a healthy, active and joyfilled life!
HAVE YOU TRIED AYURVEDA?