Updated: Nov 25, 2018
“What are you doing between doctor’s visits to prevent the next one?” My professor asked this question to the class in our first online lecture. I was shook. I was a child who spent a lot of time in the doctor’s office and had accepted that I was a “sick kid”. You know, the ones who were always coughing and sniffling in class and had to visit the nurse’s office after lunch to pick up whatever anti-(fill in the blank) was prescribed this time. I hated the doctor. So this made my ears perk up. Now, after my first semester of Joyful Belly School of Ayurveda, I’m excited to share what I’ve learned.
Ayurveda (Eye-er-vay-duh) originated in India and is the world’s oldest holistic health care system. It focuses on the balance between your mind, body, and spirit. It is the sister science to yoga and is about to become a mainstream hot topic in the health and fitness world because of our recent fascination with natural medicine.
Ayurveda focuses on treating your imbalances to prevent them from becoming diseases. Imbalances are the warning signs that something is “off”, like the funny noises you notice in your car before the “check engine” light comes on and it needs some serious work. You would like to avoid the mechanic shop if you could, right?
Ayurveda heals imbalances with foods, lifestyle choices, and activities of the opposite qualities. These qualities are called ‘gunas’ and there are 20 of them, the main ones being hot, cold, sweet, salty, dry, oily, heavy, light, rough and smooth. If you are hot, you probably wouldn’t enjoy a bowl of chili. If you are cold, that chili would be the perfect solution! Choices like these are the essence of Ayurveda and it teaches us to tune into our individual needs so we can make the right choice more easily. Our bodies are designed to want balance, homeostasis, and optimal health, but there is no blanket diet or one-size-fits-all to bring us there. If we learn more about our individual needs, we can make food our medicine instead of our weakness.
Start when you wake up. Are you feeling dry? Cold? Drink some hot water with lemon or tea. Are you super hungry and ready for a meal? Eat something heavy to satisfy you. Are you barely hungry? Wait until lunch or have something light, like fruit. Ayurveda is hugely focused on listening to your digestive fire to give your body proper fuel. Often times, we eat too much and extinguish that flame. So take inventory of your gunas. Hot vs. cold. Heavy vs. light. Dry vs. oily, and so on. Awareness of yourself is your best health tool. When you start to listen to what your body needs, food becomes your medicine and you become your own doctor.
Message me with any questions you might have!
Love, peace, and positivity. <3