What Is Ayurveda and What Can it Do For You? (How to Discover Your Dosha!)
By Jodi Lebrun
It’s Friday night and you’re busy putting together a spinach salad to go along with that scrumptious platter of veggies roasting in the oven. Distracted by the dog barking suddenly, you slice your thumb with your knife! Is the first thought that goes through your head, “Someone call 911!” or is it, “Quick, cut me a juicy piece of off the Aloe Vera plant so that I can put the gel on my cut!” ?
If you rely solely on Western medicine, you’d be calling 911. If you are someone who’d be reaching for the Aloe Vera plant, there’s a good chance that you live your life in a more holistically-inspired way. There’s even a good chance that you’re familiar with the ancient healing system of Ayurveda.
What Is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, ayu meaning ‘life’ and veda meaning ‘knowledge or science’ originated in India more than 5000 years ago – it is recognized as the oldest system of healing and it takes into account not just our physical bodies, but our minds and spirits also. As a philosophy, Ayurveda encourages and teaches us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature and it sees our health as so much more than just the absence of disease. Ayurveda understands that we are all very different and that we all need different solutions to our ailments, whether they are physical, mental or emotional.
I’ll bet you’re wondering how Ayurveda works? Ayurveda recognizes that all material forms, including our physical bodies, are made up of the five elements – earth, air, fire, water and ether – and that the key to living a long, vibrant life is maintaining balance within these 5 elements. As some point or another, we’ve all heard someone being referred to as ‘fiery’ or ‘going with the flow’ or ‘steady as a rock’. As human beings, we are inherently connected to the world around us and it goes without saying that we all possess bits and pieces of each of the elements.
Which Elements Do You Identify With?
*Earth is solid, stable and dry.
*Air is mobile, cold and rough.
*Fire is hot, sharp and subtle.
*Water is soft, liquid and in motion.
*Ether, the space in between the elements, is clear, light and vast.
Perhaps the most impressive part about Ayurveda is that it has organized the five elements into a neat and tidy system, called constitutions, for us to refer to for our own health and well-being. There are 3 constitutions, or doshas, and they show up in us all through our quirks, habits, qualities and actions.
*Vatas are creative, spontaneous and perceptive.
*Pittas are funny, perform well under pressure and natural leaders.
*Kaphas are nurturing, sensual and great listeners.
When you read the descriptions above, there’s a good chance that your primary, or main, dosha is the one that made you think “Oh, that’s totally me!” but to be sure, there are a variety of online quizzes (my favorite is Dr. Deepak Chopra’s) that you can take to here discover what your dosha actually is. Once you’ve figured out your dosha, you will be well on your way to living a more balanced, nurtured and fulfilled life
About Jodi Lebrun
She is a Certified Holistic Life Coach, Yoga Lifestyle Educator and Reiki Master who specializes in re-connecting women with themselves through Ayurveda, Yoga and Creativity Coaching. To learn more about Jodi, you can visit her website and her Facebook page. Jodi lives in London, ON with her husband, Jim, and their four kids. She loves blending her own teas, canning everything in sight and creating art underneath the Full Moon!
Tags: ayurveda, doshas, elements, how to find your dosha
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