Ayurveda refers to “the science of life” (“ayur” means life, and “veda” science or knowledge). Ayurvedas aim is not only to treat ailments symptomatically but to prevent illness and sustain life. Its essential belief is that the entire universe is made up of five elements: earth, water, fire, ether, and air – collectively termed panchamahabhutas. Ayurvedic medicine claims we can achieve perfect health by balancing three Doshas within ourselves (all bodies are made of combinations of three “Doshas” – specific “mind body” types – Vata (you tend to be mentally creative, have great energy and react to negative emotions with anxiety and fear), Pitta (good leaders, hard-working and react to negative emotions with anger) and Kapha (good long-term memory, easygoing and react to negativity with insecurities and jealousy).
EATING FROM NATURE
According to Ayurveda, we are nature. Hence we should be supported by nature. By eating food that is close to the source of nature, you will be close to nature as well. You feel more vibrant and more like yourself as you are part of nature. So, head to the farmers market and try to eat local products, be grateful and respect your food. It will help you to become clear in your mind and in your digestion.
One of the best known ayurvedic self-massages is Abhyanga. According to wellness guru Jasmine Hemsley, this type of self-massage “brings you back in balance, whatever you’re experiencing. It increases circulation, stimulates organ function, helps your body detox and improves sleep”. It is actually quite easy to do: take some extra oil (sesame, coconut, almond”), put the oil bottle in hot water, put a small amount in your hands and start massing your scalp -essential if you are suffering from stress. Then, make circular movements on your face, repeat the gesture on your whole body without forgetting to massage your feet and your hands. The experience can give you a deep feeling of stability, warmth and comfort.
Although yoga is a science in itself, yoga and Ayurveda are “sister sciences”: they complement each other perfectly. There are plenty of ways to practise yoga, but once you know your dominant dosha, you will be able to customise your practice. If you are experiencing Vata imbalance, try to do low and grounding postures. For Pitta, it is recommended to practise cooling and relaxing postures. And for those with Kapha imbalance, Sun Salutation and breathing exercises can help. Practised together, yoga and Ayurveda can help to provide a fulfilling way of living.
For a healthy mouth, you can practice ayurvedic oral medicine, more specifically oil pulling. The oil (extra virgin organic coconut oil or raw organic sesame oil) will help to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of dental problems such as receding gums, tooth sensitivity or cracked teeth. And also whitens teeth! Oil pulling is -again – very easy to do: after brushing your teeth, put one tablespoon of oil in your mouth. Swish the oil all around your mouth from five to 20 minutes, before spitting it out. It might also give you a soft feeling.
Ayurvedic medicine uses breathing exercises to maintain and balance mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Especially the pranayama technique -in Sanskrit, pran means life and ayama means extending or stretching. It can help you to regulate your system, enhance your mood energy and ensure longevity. It is achieved through conscious inhalation, exhalation and retention of breath. Block your right nostril with your right thumb and begin deep breathing through the left nostril for three minutes. Then inhale and hold your breath for 10 seconds. Repeat exercise with your left thumb and your left nostril. As a result, it will help you making space in your mind and life.
Written by - Cora Delacroix