Everything you need to know about Ayurvedic living…
Beauty. The latest trends zero in on us from every direction. For far too long, advertisers have defined and shaped what beauty apparently means within a culture. But we, as a society, are gradually waking up to a deeper, truer, more lasting sense of beauty — one that arises from within.
With its origins rooted in India, Ayurveda is an ancient (thousands of years old, in fact) science integrated into a way of life, discovered at a time when society honored balance, wholesomeness, wisdom, insight, virtue and purity.
The ancient science of Ayurveda does not see inner and outer beauty as separate entities; rather, it allows for the subtler levels of our existence (such as thoughts and emotions) to communicate with and even translate to the quality of our body and breath. In other words, clarity and purity of the subtle is a precursor to the gross. But the end result is not necessarily what we are accustomed to seeing — a tall, slender woman or chiseled, broad-shouldered man. It’s the beauty that lies in certain people’s eyes. The glow, strong but subtle, and arising from a content mind, a clean body and exalted spirit.
Ayurveda’s embrace of inner and outer beauty is at the heart of this innovative yet classic approach to healthy living. It does not reject outer beauty nor does it ignore inner beauty. Instead, it recognizes both, and weaves them together into one golden way of life. Although Ayurveda is a vast and intricate science, there are a few simple steps which you can implement in order to bring radical change.
Every one of us is born with a unique thumbprint, so to speak, of these three energies. Our unique balance is what determines our innate constitution (or prakriti). Environmental “challenges” can cause the energies to shift balance. This imbalance at any moment or time is called our vikriti. Too much pitta, for instance, can result in too much heat, creating acidity or an angry temper and being overly competitive. Or too much cold and dry from vata can result in dry skin or forgetfulness and spaciness. Similarly, too much heavy and dull from kapha can create sluggishness, drowsiness or depression. What is your prakriti and vikriti? Take these quizzes to learn more!
The goal, then, is to maintain our balance by keeping the doshas as close to our innate constitution as possible — by treating with opposite qualities (for example, treat heat with cold and treat dry with oil). You may mitigate a sunburn by drinking cucumber water or treat dry skin with an oil massage or adding ghee (clarified butter) to the diet.
When these doshas remain imbalanced for longer periods of time, our beings begin to manifest the imbalance. It begins in the digestive tract, where our core digestive fire loses its strength and balance. When that digestive fire is not burning optimally, the transformation of anything entering our body (whether it be food or thought) does not occur properly. The result is what we call ama, or natural toxins, which can lead to a cascade of events that eventually lead to what we call disease in modern-day medicine.
Keeping a balance of vata, pitta and kapha, stoking a strong digestive fire, and reducing the amount of toxins in the body can help to minimize stresses on the body and mind. To aid in this process, Ayurveda promotes cornerstones to healthy living. Follow these 4 simple steps to support an Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Radiance that shines from within does not develop overnight; however, with dedication to self-care, by following steps listed above, an Ayurvedic lifestyle can begin to take root. If you are curious about the benefits that committing to one or more of these tips can bring forth, consider gifting yourself a month of daily routine and building from there.