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Ayurveda: The Path of Self-Healing

Healing Through Balance & Nature

Ayurveda can be translated as “science or knowledge of life”. It is an ancient healing system that originated more than 5,000 years ago alongside yoga in India. 

The goal of Ayurveda is to teach people how to attain optimal health through a deeper understanding of themselves and their own particular nature in relationship to the world around them. It is a system based on natural healing through strengthening the body, mind, and spirit and allowing the body’s own natural healing mechanisms to work to their fullest potential.

To understand Ayurveda and its teachings, we must first remember that we are part of nature and made up of it.

Nature has five elements—air, water, ether, fire, and space. The three doshas or bio-energies – vata, pitta and kapha – that govern life processes and give us our unique physical and mental constitution, are made up of these five elements. 

Ayurvedic healing aims to establish and maintain a harmonious balance between these elements and their roles in human health. Through self-awareness and observation, we gain a deeper understand of how each elements affects us, and to adjust our lifestyle and diet to match Nature’s rhythms and cycle.

A foundational idea of Ayurveda is the understanding that the microcosm and macrocosm are not static and immutable components but are dynamic forces continually interacting with each other. For example, If the climate is cold and breezy outside, it tends to increase the similar element of air inside of us, represented by vata dosha. 

As a healing system, Ayurveda provides us with a simple formula: opposites balance and like increases like. We can apply this formula as we choose the right practices that will help increase the opposite quality that we are feeling.

Knowledge of the elements and their properties empowers us to become awareness of how their imbalances occur within our mind, body, emotions and senses. Let’s take a look at each element in more detail and their effect on our mind and body. 

The Five Great Elements (Pancha Maha Bhutas)

Space (Akasha)

Space is the subtlest and most agile of the five elements. It is said to be the space that holds and contains all the other elements.

In Ayurveda, Akasha is associated with the throat chakra and is responsible for communication and self-expression. It’s also related to hearing and vocal cords. When the space element is balanced, individuals can communicate clearly and effectively. When imbalanced, individuals may struggle with communication issues such as stuttering or difficulty expressing themselves.

Practices such as meditation, eating foods that promote grounding and are warm (such as root veggies), grounding yoga postures, and brahmari pranayama all help to balance the akasha element in us. These practices can help to quiet the mind and allow individuals to connect with their inner selves.

Air (Vayu)

In Ayurveda, the element of air represents movement and communication in the body and is closely linked to the nervous system, and associated with Vata dosha. Imbalances in the air element can lead to a host of health problems, including anxiety, stress, insomnia, digestive disorders, and joint pain.

To help balance the air element in you, we can opt for warm, oily, and heavy foods instead of cold, dry, and light foods. Similarly, certain herbs, such as ginger, cinnamon, and fennel, will help to regulate vayu and promote overall health and well-being.

Fire (Agni)

In Ayurveda, the element of fire represents transformation and is associated with Pitta dosha. Agni, also known as the digestive fire in our body, is responsible for converting the food we eat into essential nutrients that fuel our body and help us stay energized throughout the day.

The concept of agni is not just limited to the physical body but is also responsible for mental and emotional digestion and transformation. When agni is balanced, it helps process emotions, thoughts, and experiences, leading to mental clarity and emotional stability. As you can see, agni is the key to our health and well-being on a mind, body and emotional level!

Practices to encourage the correct functioning of our agni are plentiful, a few of them include eating warm foods (not cold as this dampened our digestive fire!), practicing tratak candle gazing to promote clarity and concentration in the mind, kapalabhati breathing to awaken the mind, detoxify the skin and boost metabolism, yoga asana focused on the core and eating cumin, coriander and fennel seeds to promote a balanced and smooth digestion.

Water (Jal)

Our body is made up of 70% water, which is vital in transporting nutrients and blood throughout your body. Whether it’s the tears after a good cry, or profuse sweating after physical exertion, water is essential in getting rid of toxins and keeping your body balanced, healthy and refreshed.

Water has a very calming and soothing effect on the body, mind, and spirit, often used in Ayurvedic remedies to promote physical and emotional balance, relaxation, and rejuvenation. 

A few practices to get in touch with the element of water and benefit from its cleansing and healing properties include drinking warm water 30min after meals to improve digestion, submerging yourself in water to cleanse and clear away heavy energy, taking your meditation next to running water, and staying hydrated by eating foods rich in water (ie: most veggies and fruits such as cucumbers, celery, watermelon, bell peppers, pineapple), and sipping more water throughout the day.

Earth (Prithvi)

Just like the roots of a tree anchor it to the ground, the earth element in your body helps anchor you to the present moment. Just remembering this connection with mother earth can put us in a state of meditative ease.

In Ayurveda, the earth element represents solidity and groundedness and is associated with Kapha dosha. When the earth element is balanced in the body, it provides a solid physical foundation and a sense of security, stability, and nourishment. However, an imbalance can lead to physical and emotional heaviness, sluggishness, and attachment.

Foods that are considered to be earthy in nature include root vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds. These foods—believed to stabilize and ground the body—are recommended for people with a dominant kapha dosha or those who need to balance excess vata or pitta doshas.

In addition to food, Ayurveda also recognizes the importance of the earth element in our living environments. For example, a clean, organized, and clutter-free space promotes stability and grounding. Yoga poses that involve standing, such as Tadasana (Mountain Pose) promote stability and grounding. Meditation and sama-vritti pranayama (equal ratio) breathing exercises can help to calm the mind and create a sense of inner calmness. Abhyanga (self-massage) with warm and grounding oils such as sesame or almond oil can also help to nourish and balance the Earth element in the body.

Connecting with Nature

In a world that promotes speed, efficiency, productivity and achievement, it becomes more and more important to carve out time to engage with nature, especially when we are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, confused and up in our mind (which happens all too often!). 

Incorporating time everyday to be outdoors and participating in activities that promote a connection with the natural world becomes our healing medicine as we slow down our racing mind, ground our bodies, awaken our senses and deepen our breaths.

If we are to experience more joy, love and peace in our lives, we must remember that our health and wellbeing relies on creating harmony and balance with the elements. 

Nature, by its very essence, heals us, and the benefits of spending time in nature, attuning to the elements and aligning with her cycles, will become our most powerful guide and teacher as we continue on our path to reclaiming vibrant health and vitality.

Take personal responsibility for your health

Taking an Ayurvedic approach to your healing is all adjusting your lifestyle by creating simple yet profound shifts in your daily habits and routines to promote inner peace and balance. 

Through self-awareness and observation, we become empowered to take back responsibility of our health, healing and wellbeing by choosing the proper daily food and lifestyle choices that will nourish our mind, body and soul. 

You are essentially given an owner’s manual to your own body, one where you can finally understand what the symptoms you’ve been feeling really mean – whether that is seasonal allergies, migraines, bloating etc. You are essentially creating the right environment and conditions for your body to heal itself.

Start Your Journey Today

If you’re ready to embark on a journey of self-healing, book your 1:1 Ayurvedic consultation today!

Through a 90min initial consultation, you will discover your Prakruti (natural essence) and Vikruti (current state of imbalance). You will also be provided with a personalized and comprehensive wellness guide that will include diet, lifestyle and herbal remedy recommendations to prevent dis-ease and preserve your vibrant health. 

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