Let me start off by saying I have very limited experience with Ayurveda. I’ve read about it briefly, learned about it during YTT (to an even more limited extent), and I’ve taken a workshop about it. With that being said, I’d love to share with you some of my experiences with a few of the Ayurvedic practices.
First, what is Ayurveda? The word Ayurveda is Sanskrit and it means, the science of life or the knowledge of life. It dates back about 5,000 years and is thought to have been passed down through oral traditions. It has been practiced throughout India for thousands of years and has recently gained popularity in the West as well.
Ayurveda is a holistic system of treating the individual. It focuses mainly on prevention and maintenance, but does give herbal remedies (amongst other suggestions) in the case of imbalance or dis-ease. Ayurveda also encourages and incorporates practices for spiritual development using meditation, pranayama, and relaxation techniques, as well as physical exercise in the form of yoga or walks in nature.
Before you begin an Ayurvedic regimen or decide to change something about your diet, sleep patterns, or exercise, you determine your Constitution or your Dosha. There are 3 Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. There are also combinations of those 3, but typically you favor one over the other. You can read more about determining your Constitution and the specific qualities and characteristics of each Dosha here: http://doshaquiz.chopra.com/ I took the quiz and it is in line with the conclusion I came to at the workshop. Pitta is my dominant Constitution, but I also have a bit of Vata. (There are some people who have a balance of all 3, this is called Tri-Doshic. Most people have 2 that they identify with, but one in particular that is the most dominant.)
I won’t go into all of the qualities and characteristics of each dosha here, as they are many. Please take the quiz to find out for yourself! It’s fun! So the point of finding out your dominant Dosha is to see what type of diet, yoga regimen, or sleep-schedule you could follow when you find yourself out of balance. The quiz will tell you what is likely to happen when you are out of balance. Here is another link you might want to check out if you are feeling that way: http://store.chopra.com/content.asp?id=22
Now I wanted to share what I’ve added into my daily routine that is suggested for everyone, regardless of Constitution.
- Warm Lemon Water
- Neti Pot
- Tongue Scraper
I will be honest and say that the last 2 days I haven’t drank the lemon water. The first missed day I didn’t mean to miss it. My husband let me sleep in and I just forgot to drink it before I had my breakfast. And today I just didn’t want it! I find this the hardest to continue incorporating. It’s not that the taste really bothers me, I just find it hard to drink warm water first thing when I wake up. There have been a couple days where I think I forced it when I didn’t want it and it made me feel nauseated.
The Neti Pot = awesome. Since Spring sprung here in the PNW about 4-6 weeks ago I’ve been waking up and sneezing repeatedly. I just assumed it was because of all the plant stuff in the air, but I’m not sure. Besides the Neti pot, we’ve gotten a new vacuum. A Kirby. If you know anything about Kirby’s you know they are monsters. In a good way! This thing gets crap out of my carpet I had no idea was in there. It’s gross really. Anyway, I mention this to say that the Neti pot and the new vacuum occurred in the same week so there’s no way for me to tell if it was one over the other that has stopped my AM sneeze-fest. However, that since I’ve been doing the Neti pot for a week I wake up with my sinuses *less* full of crap than before. This is a definite plus. I will say that there is a few seconds of the, “Crap! Water up my nose! Water up my nose!” feeling when you first get started. For me, this passes quickly. Breathe through your mouth the whole time and you’ll be fine. I do both sides, which is about 30 seconds per side with one pot full of warm salt water. I bought both my Neti pot and the salt for it from Super Supplements (LOVE that place!) This http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Neti-Pot is a pretty good explanation of how it goes. I use filtered tap water then zap it in the microwave. Play with the temp to get it right. Cooler is better than too hot!!
The tongue scraper is also awesome. The woman who ran the workshop, Jodi Boone, gave us all tongue scrapers to take home (pictured above). If you want more info on the benefits of scraping your tongue, check them out here: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12028/5-reasons-why-everyone-needs-a-tongue-scraper.html I like it because it makes my mouth feel cleaner. I was shocked to hear that brushing the tongue isn’t enough because I always brush my tongue. Food doesn’t taste the same without a clean tongue, I think. Highly recommend!
So there are many other wonderful things about Ayurveda, but I’m not well versed enough in them to really share properly. I just wanted to share my personal experiences with those things I listed above.
Please feel free to ask questions!
http://jodiboone.com/ This is Jodi’s site. She ran the Ayurveda workshop and the first 2 paragraphs at the top (about the history of Ayurveda) includes information I got at her workshop 🙂