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The Yoga Blog

Discover The Essentials Of Ayurveda And 3 Ways You Can Get Started!

Now I have never been a science geek, but I am a spirituality geek and for me, what Ayurveda does is combine the two, making it easy to find your optimum place of health and well-being which is suitable for your own unique individual DNA (doshically speaking). 

This ancient science guides us on how to live in harmony with nature and its rhythms and cycles. When you live in tune with nature, you align with your unique human nature. That is where perfect health lies.

This wisdom can be practically applied to any living creature, wherever in the world they reside and whatever their life circumstances entail. 

There are no rules in Ayurveda. It is based on principles which are there for each individual to take to their own unique life and apply in a way that is relevant to them. 

Sounds easy. 

It really can be when we uncouple from the fast food, fast-paced way of pushing through life. 

Ayurveda comes from a Sanskrit word with two roots:

  • Ayur means “life”.
  • Veda means “knowledge” or “science”.

Thus, Ayurveda आयुर्वेद translates to “the science of life”.

chelsea-shapouri-kEF2XCBE4TY-unsplashAyurveda is part of the Veda – the body of that knowledge that governs the laws of nature, from which yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, Stapatyaveda (Vedic architecture), Jyotish (Vedic astrology) all come from. 

When we understand our unique combination of the elements (earth, fire, water, air and space) that create us and everything in nature, we can choose environments, food and practices which sustain our balance or bring us back to balance. 

To live in harmony with nature, Ayurveda guides you to tune in and become aware of your own unique elemental makeup. In Ayurveda, there are three elemental types known as “doshas”:

  • Vata: likened to autumn/winter - cold and dry. Your nervous system and body are dominated by air. (like a bird/butterfly) 
  • Pitta: likened to summer - hot, fiery, competitive and driven. (like a tiger) 
  • Kapha: likened to winter/spring - retaining water, easygoing, heavier set, mellow. (like an elephant) 

At birth, you were most likely in perfect health. By applying the principles of Ayurveda, we can return to a state of natural health in alignment with our own special makeup of the doshas. One of the remarkable things about this way of living and eating is that you are unique, and by applying some simple principles and getting to know your rhythms, you can become your own healer. 

Then you can live in peace with minimal to no suffering and radiate love and rich, inspiring radiance for all to enjoy. 

Here are 3 easy ways to start:

  1. Three times a week, substitute one or two of your meals for a kitcheri dish 
  2. Add a little 5-minute practice each day to your routine (a prayer before eating or maybe tongue scraping in the morning) 
  3. Stock up on some Ayurvedic basics so that you feel new recipes or routines are accessible in the moment. – See the shopping list at the end of this blog.

If this has excited you, I have a free ebook guide complete with recipes and a 5-day free winter wellness home retreat package. 

Would you like to join a 5 day digital self paced retreat ? 
  • Daily yoga and rituals 
  • Recipes 
  • Ayurvedic practices 
  • Evening meditations and sleep help

Get in touch directly or sign up here.

chinh-le-duc-vuDXJ60mJOA-unsplashAs yogis, we have a little jump on the knowledge of the gunas (attributes) - Sattva (peaceful), Rajas (roaring light) and Tamas (inertia without light), each of us have our own unique blend of these three, which work with our dosha (how much butterfly/tiger or elephant we have in us) while ideally, we want to have more sattvic qualities in us. 

Food, as well as the environment, can help us achieve this beautiful balance on the inside. You can recognise these qualities as you begin to enquire and notice your activities, food, and what you see around you. 

Chilli’s, caffeine, and alcohol are seen as Rajasic foods that can aggravate the tiger in us. Hard cheese and white bread are seen as Tamasic foods that can encourage our elephant to snooze. 

I hope this has ignited your curiosity about how you can be in optimum health using Ayurveda. I’d love to chat with you more about this, so please feel free to email or contact me via social media or on Yoga Alliance Professionals. 

I want to leave you a few Sattvic foods to get you thinking. As we all live in different areas of the world, it’s essential to consider how far your food has travelled. E.g. if you are in England, apples are probably local, while dragon fruit isn’t. Stay local if you’re in any doubt about what to buy. 

Fruits - apples, apricots, berries, dates (fresh), dragonfruit, figs, grapefruit, grapes with seeds, lychee, kiwifruit, mangoes, melons, nectarine, oranges, peaches, pears, persimmon, pineapple, plums, pomegranates, prunes, starfruit, tangerines (sweet), raisins 

Legumes - adzuki beans, anasazi beans, black beans, black eyed peas, broad beans, brown lentils, cannellini beans, edamame beans, fava beans, green lentils, lima beans, mung beans, fresh snap peas, split mung beans, split peas 

Nuts - almonds, brazil nuts, cashew nuts cooked, chestnuts, coconut, filberts, gingko, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachio, tahini, tiger nuts 

Oils - almond oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, ghee, macadamia nut oil, mustard seed oil, sesame oil, olive oil 

Other - honey, maple syrup, raw milk, raw sugar cane, watercress, fresh wasabi, rose petals, lavender flowers, fresh almond milk, fresh rice milk, fresh coconut water 

Spices - anise, basil, black pepper, brown mustard seeds, cardamom, carob, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, dill, fennel, ginger, mint, lemon grass, sesame seeds, sorrel, turmeric, vanilla bean 

Vegetables - artichokes, asparagus, bamboo shoots, beets, bitter gourd, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, burdock, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, corn, courgette (zucchini), cucumbers, daikon, fennel bulb, flowers (edible), green beans, dark leafy greens, jerusalem artichoke, kohlrabi, lotus root, okra, parsnips, snow peas, spinach, summer squash, sweet potatoes, turnips (sweet), yacon, yams 

Whole grains - amaranth, barley, rice (high quality, basmati, jasmine…), buckwheat, cornmeal, farro, kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, spelt, teff, wheat, wild rice, fresh pasta, fresh noodles 

pratiksha-mohanty-V0xp-dTS3z0-unsplashSattva is that balance and state of peace (which whole foods, grains and leafy vegetables have too) Rajas is that fire of light within that can get agitated and frustrated (tomatoes, aubergines, coffee, alcohol) 


Shopping list of my essentials to get you started:

  • Coconut oil 
  • Coriander seeds 
  • Cumin seeds 
  • Mustard seeds 
  • Ghee or butter to make ghee 
  • Rice 
  • Almonds 
  • Dates 
  • Fennel seeds 
  • Ajwan seeds 
  • Coriander powder 
  • Cardamom pods 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Fresh ginger 
  • Garlic 
  • Big sauce pan 
  • Chopping board 
  • Good knives for chopping and peeling 
  • Strainers (mini ones and big ones) 
  • Slow cooker or Rice cooker with a timer *not essential but handy if you are a busy person 
  • A grinder for nuts/seeds/rice, or there could be a function on your Nutri-bullet 
  • A blender 
  • Thermos big enough for soups or stews when you are out and about 
  • Tongue scraper 
  • Nasya Oil 
  • Neti - pot 
  • Oil to Abhyanga (coconut oil or dosha specific, which I can help you with)

Download My E-book With Recipes Here

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