Originally published in The Chalkboard Mag on July 9, 2018.
WE’VE BEEN TALKING about it a lot in bits and pieces, but what is Ayurveda?
Wellness trends come and go. And while some of us thrive on drinking blue algae lattes one week and turmeric bone broth the next, others find it…well, obnoxious.
If you don’t have a fundamental understanding of good health and nutrition, these trends seem to come out of nowhere – and can be completely overwhelming. When it comes to building your personal knowledge and lasting habits to match, we recommend getting a baseline understanding of one of the ancient natural practices – and one of our favorites is Ayurveda.
Ayurveda, which means the knowledge of life, has achieved a buzzy reputation in recent years, but it’s been on the scene for centuries. Profoundly holistic, with an emphasis on intuition and mind-body connection, this adaptive approach to wellness is built to be trend-proof. Ayurveda expert and author of The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, Sahara Rose, is breaking down three reasons why you should learn more about Ayurveda below…
What is Ayurveda: Flexible, Intuitive + All-Inclusive
You wanna eat meat? Eat the right kind. You wanna be vegan? Make sure you’re getting the right nutrients. You wanna drink wine? Balance it with sattvic (pure) foods. You want to indulge in a heavy meal? Do it at the right time.
Ayurveda is less about rules and regulations (e.g., All people must be raw vegan oreveryone should go keto) and more about cracking the codes of your body so you can make the right decisions for yourself, at this moment.
Maybe at one point in your life you were all about the smoothies, but now cooked foods sit better with your stomach. Maybe you used to salivate over a burger, but now the thought makes you feel repulsed. Maybe you used to snack on cheese like it was your part-time job, but now one bite leaves you bloated for days. Notice that. Honor that. And also don’t be attached to it because it is going to change.
What you’ll crave in your 90s is going to be very different from what you crave in your 20s because your body is at a very different stage. Similarly, what you need when you’re menstruating is going to be different from when you are ovulating because your body is also at a very different stage. We, like the seasons, are ever-changing. Ayurveda helps us make sense of all of it.
About The Mind Body Connection
It’s kind of funny that the mind-body connection is considered ‘New Age,’ when it’s actually the oldest concept ever. No seriously, ayurveda was created over 5,000 years ago. Can we just try to fathom that for a second? That’s about 3,000 years before Buddha, Julius Caesar, Jesus Christ and Cleopatra were alive. It’s on another level of ancient that’s hard to even wrap our heads around.
The word ayurveda means the ‘knowledge of life.’ In order to be healthy, you must have full knowledge of your life – mind, body and spirit. The ancient rishis who founded ayurveda in India saw the connection between bloating and anxiety; heartburn and anger; weight-gain, mucus and depression. Amazing, isn’t it?
The mind-body connection isn’t new – the disconnection between two is. Fortunately, we’re getting back to our ancient healing wisdom; I hope my book, The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, can play a major role in that.
Creating Balance In Your Lifestyle
What makes me so in love with ayurveda is that for any imbalance, there are both dietary and lifestyle suggestions. I write in my book how if you’re low in ojas, life force, it’s just as important to eat avocado, coconuts and dates as it is to take a walk outside, spend time in nature and oil your body.
If we only place the focus on food, we’re only solving half of the equation. To truly become balanced, we must look at our whole selves; what we are doing and thinking between the meals we so carefully orchestrate. No amount of organic kale in the world can fix a toxic mind. True medicine comes from how we live our everyday lives.
Learn all about your Ayurvedic mind-body type with this quick quiz.