Yoga has a sister science and her name is Ayurveda.
Aya-wha?! You say? Pronounced Aye-yur-vedd-a, this holistic medical system, native to India and around 5,000 years old. At it’s core, Ayurveda focuses on achieving a continued state of optimal health. Treatments ‘prescribed’ in Ayurveda include diet, herbal medicine, massage (yes, you read that right), acupuncture and yoga, meditation and mantras. Ayurveda is unlike Western medicine in that it focuses on how people live so they don’t get sick, rather than waiting for illness to develop. An Ayurvedic treatment will be based on your specific dosha type.
What is a dosha?
I’m glad you asked. Ayurveda operates on the basic principle that everyone has a unique combination of three energy types, otherwise known as doshas. These doshas have certain functions in the body and nature. They appear in us as mental and physical attributes, as well as personality traits depending on the combination. Each dosha, known as Vata, Pitta and Kalpha is also associated with a season.
What’s my Dosha?
What's interesting is that our Dosha or constitution can change throughout the seasons of a year and the seasons of our life. There are numerous tests available through Ayurveda consultations as well as online to figure out your dosha type. I really like the one available through the Chopra Foundation because it goes through a series of questions helping you assess your traditional dosha type as well what circumstances you are experiencing temporarily (like stress, sleeplessness, or increased anxiety). Don’t be surprised if after taking the test on the Chopra site, you start ‘diagnosing’ your friends and family (‘Dan is soooo Vata!’)
I know my type now; I want to learn more please.
Stay tuned to this space! It’s such a vast and comprehensive system, I could write for days on end and still not get everything in. There will be a heap of Ayurvedic-related knowledge being shared here, in classes during August and through upcoming workshops - all so you can dive in to Ayurveda even deeper! Because at the end of the day, don’t we all want to live in a state of optimal health, enjoy elevated energy levels, contentment and love?
Here's another way to Elevate your Friday - Thanks Bono
Hungry for more Ayurveda wisdom? Check out our Ayurveda Trilogy starting August 3rd with Suzi Rice.
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Julie Khan is a writer, filmmaker and avid proponent of yoga. She believes that yoga can be a benefit to any person of any colour, shape or size. She recently completed a research project and documentary on the benefits of yoga as experienced by five very different women, entitled Getting to the OM: How women experience the benefits of Hatha yoga. In her personal time, Julie enjoys being a perpetual student of yoga herself.