Over the past 7 years I’ve been immersed in the philosophy and lifestyle of Ayurveda. I was initially drawn to it for the purpose of learning more about kitchen medicine — but that was just a drop in the bucket of the breadth of wisdom that Ayurveda has to offer. What I discovered was that Ayurveda is a way of living and looking at our inner and outer world. When we use the principles and practices of Ayurveda, we strap ourselves with the tools to take our health, happiness and life into our own hands.
I grew up on the “alternative” side of the tracks. My parents were hippies and took me to yoga class with them before I was 8. My mom was extremely health conscious and only cooked wholesome foods for our family. If we ever got sick we went to see a Chinese Medicine or homeopathic doctor. Our house was littered with statues of Buddha and books on Eastern philosophy filled the bookshelves. You can say the seeds were planted at a very young age to veer towards alternative medicine.
You can’t get far in yoga without bumping into Ayurveda. Known as itssister science, Ayurveda comes from the same ancient texts as Yoga (the Vedas) making it the oldest healing system in the world (over 5,000 years old). As yoga has grown in popularity over the past decade, Ayurveda is enjoying its own resurgence (Tetley dosha tea anyone?). And for good reason — Ayurveda comes in where Modern medicine falls short.
Ayurvedic vs Modern Medicine
Let me begin this section by saying that Modern Medicine has its place. Lives are saved everyday thanks to the advances in Modern Medicine. However, I believe that taking a more preventative and holistic approach to health can save us a whole lot of suffering. While Modern Medicine treats the disease, Ayurveda treats the individual. Instead of treating symptoms, Ayurveda looks for the root cause. Ayurveda is about maintaining and cultivating thriving health and longevity, Modern Medicine is about treating sickness.
Read your body like a book
In Ayurveda we seek to understand our own unique nature through self-observation. It teaches us to attune to our own inner wisdom and intuition and cultivates a collaborative and compassionate relationship with ourselves. It then provides us with the tools to bring ourselves back into balance using simple tweaks to lifestyle and diet.
Body mind spirit connection
Ayurveda understands the intricate interconnectedness between body, mind and spirit. For example, according to Ayurveda, not living one’s dharma can wreak havoc on your health. Things manifest from subtle to gross — meaning that those persistent negative thoughts are slowly creating physical sickness. Ayurveda provides practices for tending to all the layers of our being.
One size doesn’t fit all
One of the things that makes Ayurveda so unique in treating disease and imbalance is that there’s an understanding that we are all unique. Two people might suffer from migraine headaches for 2 different reasons. Therefore, using the same treatment for both doesn’t make sense. Instead, knowing oneself provides us with insight into the cause of our problems and therefore the appropriate way to go about treating it.
You are not separate from nature
Ayurveda sees us as a microcosm of the macrocosm. As above, so below, as within, so without. What is happening in our external environment has an impact on our inner environment. Therefore, syncing up with the cycles of the sun and moon and shifting with the changing seasons creates harmony and cultivates balance within all the various systems in our bodies.
Ayurveda has powerfully transformed my life. It’s empowered me to own my unique nature and to take full ownership of my experience. It’s cultivated self-love through daily self-care rituals. It’s a simple, practical, yet deeply profound approach to health and wellness.
I’ve created a FREE mini-masterclass on 3 of the foundational habits of Ayurveda. Check it out here: FREE Yoga Habits Masterclass