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A couple of months ago I had never heard of the world Ayurveda. ‘Dosha’s’ meant nothing to me, neither did ‘panchakarma’. Now, I’m pretty obsessed and totally mind blown by the concept of Ayurveda!
In the summer I started listening to Podcasts, Melissa Ambrosini was recommended to me on Twitter and her podcast alone has totally changed my life and opened my mind. Later in the year I found Jordan Younger or The Balanced Blonde as her podcast and blog are called and between Jordan and Melissa I started to hear more about Ayurveda.
This concept that our bodies really are all different and each person falls into a body type that affects the way they look, act, eat, everything, just resonated with me so much. I feel like this is something I have always known, for example I know that some people can eat a lot and not put on weight and others can’t. I know that some people feel the cold and others do not. But Ayurveda goes way deeper than that.
I was also hearing through podcasts how easy it is to be out of balance from our body type and this can cause so many symptoms. What really caught my attention was when I heard someone say something along the lines of – if we’re eating foods that don’t agree with us and our gut, the gut is going to be tense, that tense-ness causes anxiety, and we wonder why we’re suddenly anxious. The mind and the body are so related!
Ayurveda is the Indian ‘Science of Life’. I have such a huge connection and obsession with India although I’ve never been and there was something about this holistic, Eastern topic that drew me in and I feel like its drawn me in for a reason!
I did some research online but I knew I had to get a book. I had heard of Deepak Chopra briefly before so when I saw he had a book called ‘Perfect Health’ I got it!
I’m not going to explain exactly what Ayurveda is and what all the body types, or dosha’s as they are known in Ayurveda are. However if you want to know more I have left links at the bottom of this post to podcasts and blogs that I like, and I would recommend this website and this quiz to help understand what body type you are and what that means.
Instead I am going to do a run down on what I got out of the Perfect Health book, note some of the bits that blew my mind and made life suddenly make sense! I hope that these resonate with you too.
You may be reading this because you already know a bit about Ayurveda and are thinking of buying the book, you may be reading this and have never heard of Ayurveda before. You may even be reading this in a year or so’s time when I’m further on my Ayurveda journey and want to know how I started! (I’m thinking big!)
No one has proved that getting sick is necessary, in fact quite the opposite is true.
The people who consider themselves “too busy to get sick”, are known to have above average health. Whereas those who excessively worry about disease fall pray to it more often.
Every year, 98% of the total number of atoms in our body are replaced. Meaning we can create a new body.
Everything you eat, say, think, do, see and feel affects your overall state of balance. A group of people could all eat the same lunch and it would sit totally different to each person. One person would thrive on the salad, another not, one person would need a cooling cold drink, the other person would struggle with this.
No body is prone to every disease, yet most of us try to prevent as many as we can. We’re stabbing in the dark most of the time.
When you finally know what’s going on inside, you will no longer be bound by society’s notions of what you should be doing, saying, thinking and feeling.
Unexplained pain, anxiety, depression originate at the early stages of dosha/body type imbalance.
Ayurveda doesn’t dictate that one food is right and another wrong. Instead you discover that right and wrong by listening to your dosha/body type.
Awareness is key.
Meditation is not forcing your mind to be quiet, its finding the quiet that is already in there.
Being clear on a desired outcome can have a pronounced effect on achieving your goal.
The source of addiction is a search for satisfaction. An addict will give up a habit of addiction when offered a greater source of satisfaction.
Although everyone falls prey to the ageing process, no one has never proved that its necessary.
To continue evolving and progressing in life, you must make the right choices for yourself, day after day, minute after minute. Making the right choice is easy once you begin to listen to your deepest nature.
For every decision you make, major or mundane, your body only sees one correct choice.
It is vital that exercise gives more energy than it takes.
Exercise should leave you ready for work, not be work itself. The term ‘no pain, no gain’ is a myth.
If we are creating ourselves all the time, then its never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.
The first section of Perfect Health gives so many examples of people who have been sick and had diseases, they have been told there is no way back but they tried Ayurveda and managed to reverse it, by a change in diet, lifestyle and their thoughts. They decided they were going to get better, and they did.
There is a quote from William James who was a psychologist at the turn of the century who said – “One of the greatest discoveries of my generation, was that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” My first thought was – imagine living a life where we didn’t know that! But really, even in 2018 its still not spoken about much. Our mind is everything!
I took the test that is in the book and through this, (plus other tests, researching online & listening to podcasts) I found out that I am mainly Pitta.
I’m still working out if I have Vata in me too or Kapha. I listened to Nick Broadhurst’s podcast recently and he said a lot of people think they have Vata in them because when completing a test online their Vata is imbalanced and answers the questions in a Vata way but they’re actually not.
From this I learned that being Pitta is the reason I need to eat regularly, Pitta is fire and its the reason I can get angry so quickly (and get angry when I’m hungry!). It’s the reason I get so thirsty. It’s why I can take command of a situation and why I don’t tan that easily. It’s why I appreciate beauty like sunsets and full moons, it’s why being by water calms me.
In terms of imbalance I’m realising that chilli may be a reason why I’m having digestive issues because being Pitta aka fire, chilli is aggravating for. I also learned a lot more on imbalances but I’m trying to work these out still.
Overall though I found it so interesting to read about each type – Vata, Pitta & Kapha and I was definitely able to link these to people I know!
These dosha’s need to be balanced and that is what Ayurveda is all about. It’s common for a lot of us to talk about balance I think but do we really know how to do it? Balance for one person is different to another.
The book goes through each dosha and explains what each one looks like balanced and unbalanced and explains how to balance each one. I found this so interesting which shows as the Pitta section in my book is covered in notes of where I can relate.
The book talks a lot about meditation and yoga which I love! I have been meditating before bed for quite a few months now. I don’t do it every night but as time has gone on it has become more regular and often I actually crave it. I started doing 5 minutes and now I find that that’s too short so I often go for 10. (I use the timed meditation on the calm app). I can find 10 minutes can often be too long but I know I’ll get there. I can honestly feel a difference in my mind and my life from meditating by concentrating on my breath, saying affirmations and reading about Meditation in Perfect Health it confirmed its power to me.
There is also a good section on panchakarma which is all about eliminating toxins from the body. It’s usually done on a retreat and/or in a centre. They’re very common in India and whenever I actually go to India I am 100% going to get it done.
One of the last things that blew my mind and something that is so relatable, and made me love this book and the idea of Ayurveda even more is that Kapha, Pitta and Vata each cycle twice through our day. Kapha in the early to late morning, Pitta mid morning to early afternoon, Vata late afternoon, Kapha early evening, Pitta late evening to early morning and Vata very early morning.
This explains why if we get up early we feel more exhilarated, but if we stay in bed longer in the morning we wake up groggy and stay tired all day, it’s because we need to get up in Vata stage, not in Kapha. It also explains why we feel sleepy mid to late evening but if we push past this by not sleeping, suddenly we’re wide awake. This is because we have gone into and past Kapha (the good sleeping dosha), into Pitta (the fiery dosha). We should be falling asleep in Kapha and asleep and dreaming in Pitta!
If you’re still reading this, thank you!
I really want to share my thoughts and journey of Ayurveda on my blog. Up until now my blog has been totally travel based but I decided at the start of 2018 that I want to bring more wellness into it as wellness and spirituality has become a big part of my own life, as well as travel!
I started by creating my newsletter – Wanderings & Wellness Wednesday, and I am keen to link travel and wellness together by writing about it on this blog but right now, when I’m not travelling or writing about travel (or working), I am reading and learning about wellness like Ayurveda so I want to share this too and I hope it resonates with some of you or sparks an interest because this is such interesting stuff!
I’ll end on post this note from Perfect Health, a paragraph that once again, blew my mind:
‘The only reason we are all not perfectly healthy today is that we are constantly taking these infinite new bricks and putting them into the same old slots. Why do we do that? Ultimately it is matter of awareness of how we see ourselves. If you look closely at your own life, you will realise that you are sending signals to your body that repeat the same old beliefs, the same old fears and wishes the same old habits of yesterday and the day before. That is why you are stuck with the same old mind.’
My comment is that this also applies exactly the same to the mind and to life in general! If you believe and act as you always have, the results will always be the same!
If you want to learn more about Ayurveda I would really recommend:
This really is a beginner’s guide and a great and easy listen!
This is a slightly more intense listen but stick with it and listen to it more than once (I’ve listened to it 3 times at the time of writing this). They talk about a range of diets but it all links back to Ayurveda!
Nick is actually Melissa’s husband. He has his own podcast where he talks about a range of topics but episode 21-24 are short podcasts about Ayurveda. He gives an overview in the first and then discusses each of the 3 dosha’s in detail in the next 3. This is really helpful and they’re only 20 or minutes!
I haven’t read this but I do really want to as Sahara’s teachings are about how to use Ayurveda in the modern world. This book will be great for a total newbie and in some ways, maybe better than Perfect Health!
If you want to read a full view of Ayurveda then Jordan explains it really well. She wrote this in 2016 and is still really into it which is great!
Until I do Panchakarma for myself I’m living through Jordan’s many experiences. She does it in LA at a spa which is different to how I will do it – In India or somewhere in Asia but it’s still interesting to read and she’s very honest!
If you enjoyed this and found it helpful, I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me @wandering_quinn
To read more of my posts on Wellness look here!
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I’m Ellie Quinn!
I’m a travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010. In the Summer of 2018 I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time! Yes, I’m living that dream!
NOV-DEC: PROBABLY INDONESIA
If you want to join or read more about the details of the group tour.