After having a glimpse into the world of Ayurveda at Temple of the Lotus last week, I’ve decided that this is something that I’d really like to incorporate into my life. I have a few physical ailments that I’ve been trying to resolve for quite some time, and in recent years I’ve acquired a thirst to become more connected with myself and my surroundings, and to learn how to be truly present. I have a strong feeling that Ayurveda is exactly what I’ve been needing all this time. I’m vowing right now to make this practice a part of my life, and I want you all to come along for the journey. I’ll be sharing weekly learnings and discoveries on the blog, and I invite all of you to share your own experiences, as well.
Last week, after meeting Lilavati and attending one of her night classes, I returned to Temple of the Lotus for a workshop led by Niika Quistgard, another woman filled to the brim with gorgeous energy and ayurvedic knowledge. Niika gave us a beautiful introduction to Ayurveda, with a focus on exploring the senses in the layers of life.
Above: Exploring the Senses in the Layers of Life // Niika Quistgard
One thing I loved about her workshop was that Niika stressed that it would be better for us to just absorb the information as she presented it, rather than actively taking notes. As a blogger, it’s second nature for me to already think about how I’ll package certain information, right at the time it’s being presented to me. Although it wasn’t the easiest thing for me to forget about all of that, this was a great relief to be able to just sit, absorb, and be.
Niika also mentioned several times that Ayurveda is really just built around common sense. It’s all information that we already know – and once it’s presented to us, we’re able to realize it. She explained that each of the tri-doshas of Ayurveda – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha — are made up of 2 of the 5 great elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth. When you think about the qualities that each of these elements possesses, it becomes easy to understand the characteristics of each dosha.
Once you have an understanding of the doshas, you might start to realize which is most predominant within yourself – and how to make sure it doesn’t get out of control. For example, if your primary dosha is Pitta – firey, hot, and sharp as it is – it may be best to ease up on other things with a similar nature. Instead of wearing bright red lipstick, eating spicy foods, and listening to crazy music, balance your doshas by doing the opposite. Wear cooler, softer colors; eat a sweet fruit; listen to soothing music; light a floral-scented candle.
During the workshop, we were invited to taste a few different types of leafy greens (that Niika had grown herself!), as well as a few different types of citrus fruits. We paid attention to each one as we tried it, and described the taste out loud. It was at this time that we were to realize that it’s more beneficial to take note of the characteristics in each particular food (or song, or scent, etc.) than to keep them in groups in our minds.
Some citrus fruits are sweet, some are sour, some are bitter. Some leafy greens are pungent, some are astringent, some are mild. Noting the qualities in each one allows us to discover how to give our bodies and minds what we need; how to balance ourselves.
Pay attention to every sense – sound, touch, sight, taste, smell – and take into account which will help you to feel more balanced in any particular situation. Niika even spoke of a woman who addressed her body’s need for something sweet by feeding sweet music to her ears. With Ayurveda, you have the ability to be savvy like that, and it’s an incredible thing.
Check back next week for my second Ayurveda journal, and please share your Ayurveda experiences in the comments!
Visit Niika Quistgard’s site AyurMama.
Follow FP Brigette on Twitter.