What is Ayurveda?
Hello, my name is Eleni and I am an Ayurvedic practitioner, Yoga Therapist and Western Herbalist. I am excited to introduce you to the Ayurvedic modality of health. Ayurveda (Eye-your-veyda) is a system of health based in nature. Its Yoga’s sister science, with an emphasis on food, herbs, oils, cleansing, lifestyle and education, all individualized to your unique constitution or body type.
I think everyone should be aware of and benefit from this healing modality. My goal is to educate and empower as many people as I can. One of my favorite things about Ayurvdea is that it has an underlying cosmology, a way of looking at the world. Though this nature-based system originates in India, it’s central principles are universal. The goal is optimal health for YOU. Ayurveda treats the whole person, the body, the breath, the mind, the emotions and the spirit. It says that every one is unique and should be treated as such and it utilizes different tools for each person.
Ayurveda focuses on health, empowerment and pro-activity. The articles on this website will address Ayurveda’s teachings on creating practices which areloving, nourishing and empowering.
Ayurveda says the entire material worldsis made up of two things, Spirit and Matter.
Spirit is formless, unchanging, always watching and the source of our confidence, wisdom and joy. It is also know as our‘souls’.
Matter, which includes nature, the body, mind and emotions has shape, form and is always changing. The three rates of change are REACTIVE, when we change in a fiery quick way, (anger, aggressiveness, you know, drama), INACTIVE, when change occurs more slowly, or there is a slowness or stuckness around change. It can manifest as (depression, inertia, excessive sleep). According to this cosmology, neither of these two rates of change are sustainable and both cause disease.
The third rate of change is PROACTIVE, changing in a way that is appropriate, sustainable and healthy. Cultivating this rate is the goal of Ayurveda.
At our core, we exist in relationship, the underlying one being between our spirit, which never changes, and our matter, which is always changing. When we establish the proper relationship between these two elements, we begin to change in manner which is more healthful, proactive and empowering.
There are three basic body types or constitutions. These are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata is related to air, movement and the nervous system. Pitta relates to fire, digestion and metabolism and Kapha relates to water, stability and cohesion. Each person has a unique combination of each these three aspects in their constitutional makeup and most of us are dominant in one or two. Our dominant constitution influences the way we look, think, react and make sense of our world.
A person who is dominant in Vata has a light body frame, (muscles, skeleton), thin skin, light sleep, light or little sweat, pee and elimination. She may also be fast speaking, fast moving, creative, energetic great at multi tasking, starting projects, taking in new information, but may be challenged when it comes to finishing projects or recall. She forgets to eat andthen is voraciously hungry, which can lead to bloating and heaviness. Dominant emotions are fear, worry, rumination.
Pitta types have more fire in their constitution and a higher body temperature. Physically they have a light body frame with good musculature fair and sensitive skin which is prone to redness or rashes. They have strong appetite, digestion and metabolism and eliminate at least three times a day. They are easily aggravated by warm, spicy foods and often suffer from hyperacidity. They become irritable when they miss a meal so its important to eat regularly. They are focused, goal oriented, intense and competitive, and are prone to heated emotions such as anger, irritability, criticism and jealousy.
Kapha types have strong well proportioned bodies, with soft, thick skin, full, lustrous hair and well-formed facial features. Digestion, metabolism and elimination are slow so they do not require much food. They speak and move slowly, and are consistent and dedicated. They often avoid physical activity, yet have steady energy and stamina. Though they are generally emotionally stable and deeply satisfied with life, they can become over-attached, lethargic and depressed.
There it is. A very brief outline of Ayurveda and the three body types. The goal is to discern your body type to help create a more sustainable, proactive rate of moving through life.
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