Ayurveda is an Indian holistic medicine healing system that views health as more than the absence of diseases and understands physiology as the integrated functioning of mind-body-spirit. Ayurveda defines life as the intelligent coordination of our four parts: the soul, the mind, the senses and the body, with nature and the cosmos.
In Ayurveda, health is not just a state of the body. We interact with the seasons, the planetary changes of the earth and the moon, other planets, as well as with the daily relationships we coexist with: our loved ones and friends, co-workers, etc. In this sense, we affect and are affected by everything that surrounds us. According to Ayurveda, putting everything in balance is the key to a healthy life.
Moreover, Ayurveda believes that the five elements of nature: space, air, fire water and earth combine in the body as three components (doshas) known as Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. These doshas not only relate closely to the basic elements of nature but to specific functions of the body. In Ayurveda the balance of these doshas is thought to be required for optimal health.
THE DOSHAS: VATA, PITTA AND KAPHA
In Ayurveda things are characterized under the parameters of vata, pitta and kapha, and their combinations. Usually one or two of these predominate. Doshas take shape in endlessly interesting ways and when out of balance, illnesses occur. VATA: Vata embraces the qualities of air and space. This dosha is dry, light, cold, harsh, subtle, and clear. It regulates the principle of movement. All body movements such as breathing, swallowing, thinking, chewing, nerve impulses, etc. require a balanced vata. When vata is out of balance, any of these movements can be impaired.
PITTA: Pitta embraces the qualities of fire and water. It is flowing, penetrating, hot, light, mobile, and oily. Pitta's main characteristic is that of transformation, it transforms anything it touches and it comes to play every time the body converts or processes something. Therefore, this dosha supervises digestion, metabolism, maintenance of temperature, sensory perception and understanding. Unbalanced Pitta can lead to irritation and inflammation in these particular areas.
KAPHA: Kapha embraces the qualities of earth and water. It is fluid, smooth and soft, dense and heavy, cold, oily, static, and thick. Kapha embodies stability and structure and it forms the substance of the human body: the skeleton and the fat molecules (lipids) of various organs that support the body. An excess of kapha leads to an overabundance of density, heaviness, and weight gain.
Ayurveda benefits everyone and its principles are easy to follow and focus on basic and simple routines. Practicing Ayurveda brings only positive benefits to your health and overall lifestyle, it enhances our relationships with others and with ourselves.
The Basic Principles of Ayurveda
The main objectives of Ayurvedic nutrition is to be healthy and prevent diseases, as well as to treat them. For that, the following routines must be respected:
Daily routine of yoga and meditation
Seasonal routine to overcome climatic changes and their effects on our bodies
Ethical routine, correct behavior towards ourselves and others
Food according to our constitution
Stable sex life without excesses
Ayurveda does not prohibit any foods but it is ideal to adopt a low-animal protein diet. You can eat anything as long as it is in moderation and making sure you are balancing all the necessary nutrients.
The Ayurvedic diet helps us to restore the balance lost in our body through food, to treat both physical and mental illnesses. In addition, yoga and meditation go hand in hand with this type of diet, since they help reduce episodes of emotional stress.
How to start the Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle
You must know your body type and what imbalance you are facing, in order to clearly know how to rebalance yourself.
Every morning we must find the time to release the toxins that were processed throughout the night. This routine may consist of scraping the tongue, brushing the teeth, drinking warm water with lemon on an empty stomach, practicing yoga and meditation.
We must coordinate food with the cycles of the sun, especially the most heaviest and most important meal of the day has to be consumed between 10AM and 2PM.
Drink warm water as it helps to release toxins.
Sleep early to welcome the sun in the morning.