Exploring Ayurveda

Yoga is a Yummy, Organic, Great, Adventure!

Yummy

For the love of food, I wanted to learn more about why I am attracted to certain foods, how do I feel when I eat them, what gives me cravings, and what does not appeal at all… This ‘yummy’ initiative is what led me to understand ayurveda more. As you may well know, ayurveda embraces the concept ‘ahar’ referring to food. Sri Sri Ayurvedic doctor, Abhishek Kumar, shares that the type of food that we take and the foods one should avoid is determined by your prakriti (inherent body constitution). These choices, alongwith the lifestyle we lead, takes first priority over which ayurvedic medicines are prescribed.

Yoga generally promotes a diet that is sattvic (light and pure) in nature; ayurveda goes into great detail in looking at which foods balance one’s constitution (according to ‘dosha’) and categorizes food according to six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent).

Organic

Yoga is believed to be a natural way of healing. The basic principle of ayurveda is based on the shloka: “Yat Pinde Tat Brahmande” (from the Puranas) which means that the microcosm is equal to the macrocosm. In other words, whatever is within us, in our cells, is equivalent to that which is in the universe. This understanding sparked an overwhelming sense of gratitude in me, knowing that every aspect of nature has the answers to good health.

Dr. Farhad Dastur, a social scientist and evolutionary psychologist, eloquently describes this understanding stating that “the love given by the soil, the rain, the air, the sun…is boundless giving that went into creating the plants that we consume.”

Great

Great for me, implies abundance… in practicing yoga, there is an inevitable expansion of feeling, being and acting more positively towards the self, society and the environment. Ayurveda supports this notion of greatness, delving into the intricacies of knowledge on how

one can practice their daily routine (dinacharya) and immeasurable remedies for maintaining good health and prevention and treatment of disease. What amazes me, is that, often, nature gives us clues as to what it is good for. For example, the herb that is used to treat bones and joints actually resembles bones and joints of the body and there are several similar examples.

Adventure

The path of yoga is an adventure into the unknown. For me, this definitely relates to my experiences in cleansing processes. In my training, jal nethi (an ancient method used for sinus irrigation), shankarprakshalan (a thorough cleansing technique) were an absolute adventure in getting to know the limitations I had in allowing my body to detox. Venturing into the world of body cleansing, I came to know and understand the ayurvedic body purifying procedures called Panchakarma.

Experiencing these treatments was a phenomenal ride.

I hope that you, too, will tap into the vastness of mother Vedas and discover this beautiful sister relationship of yoga and ayurveda.

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