You’ve likely heard the term…but what is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old Indian medical system and wellness discipline that emphasizes self-care and individuality. It recognizes that every person is unique in body, mind, and spirit. Ayurveda incorporates everything from healthy morning and bedtime routines, to skin care, oral hygiene, exercise regimens, and diet. It tailors wellness to the individual to support each person’s unique needs for optimal health.
According to Ayurveda, the first step to wellness is to identify your dosha. There are three doshas, or elemental energies, in the body: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata personality types are usually dry, airy, creative, and also prone to anxiety. Pittas are usually ambitious, confident, happy, and also prone to anger. Kaphas are usually calm, grounded, patient, and also prone to disinterest and inactivity. Each person has a unique combination of all three, however, one will likely be predominant. A quick online quiz will help identify your dosha.
Eat for your Dosha
Once you’ve identified your dosha, you can incorporate foods, spices, and herbs that support optimal health and energy. A quick google search will turn up food lists for each dosha. Another easy way to incorporate foods that support your dosha is to add certain spices to the food you already enjoy. Trudy Collings, Ayurveda practitioner and co-founder of Paavani Ayurveda, an organic Ayurveda product line based in Grass Valley, California, states that “all you need to do is spice your foods based on the current state of your doshas and you will begin to experience the benefits,” such as improved digestion and energy levels. Some examples of spices that support Vatas are basil, cinnamon, garlic, and fenugreek. Spices to support Pitta are black pepper, fresh ginger, mint, and turmeric. All spices, except for salt, support Kapha doshas.
Ditch the Daily Lotion for Body Oil
A super easy way to incorporate Ayurvedic wisdom into your daily habits is to trade your daily lotion for body oil. Paavani Ayurveda’s Trudy Collings points out that “oil has similar characteristics to our skin’s natural oils. This allows body oil to penetrate deeply into the skin’s layers, providing hydration and nourishment to the skin.” According to Collings, another benefit to body oiling is you are simultaneously able to “maximize on the benefits of self-massage,” another Ayurveda self-care practice, which is an “excellent way to get the lymph moving, detoxify the body, while also grounding and restoring the nervous system.” You can purchase oils specific for your dosha on the Paavani site, or you can make your own using a base-oil like almond or sunflower oil and adding your favorite essential oils to scent. Oil will leave your skin glowing far longer than lotion too!
Scrape your Tongue
Another easy way to incorporate Ayurveda into your daily routine is tongue scraping. Most dentists recommend brushing your tongue for optimal oral health, but a study published in the Journal of Periodontology reported that brushing the tongue without scraping left large amounts of bacteria and plaque that cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Try tongue scraping and you will realize how ineffective a soft toothbrush is at cleansing the tongue. Tongue scrapersare sold on Amazon or can be found at the drug store right next to the toothbrushes. They are a quick and inexpensive way to detoxify the body, maintain good breath, and good oral hygiene.
Try incorporating one or all three as a first step on your journey to wellness through ancient Ayurveda wisdom. Namaste!
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