AYURVEDA – THE SCIENCE OF LIFE
Ayurveda (ah-yoor-veda) is a 5,000 year old healing system stemming from India, that is now inspiring millions to embrace a proven path to wellbeing. Translating to 'the science of life', the timeless wisdom of Ayurveda advocates a proactive approach to wellbeing, placing equal value on physical, emotional and spiritual health. At the core of this system is the knowledge that leads to harmonising an individuals dosha (doe-shun).
Individual dosha and everything else in the Universe is made up of a combination of the five elemental forces. An understanding of how to live in harmony with your dosha can liberate you from mood swings, digestive problems, fatigue and general unease. In an age of instant gratification, it's easy to be swayed by quick fixes and marketing hype, but as growing numbers are now recognising, there is more to explore. Our parents generation did not label their way of life as Ayurvedic; it was simply second nature to use the healing power of plants to nourish and beautify and beyond this, to live in harmony with their dosha. It is a privilege to play our small part in your wellbeing by offering the finest sensorial blends to encourage stillness, self nurturing and letting go. Beyond this, we encourage you to honour your sacredness and it begins with understanding your dosha.
KNOW YOUR DOSHA
Each dosha is a specific combination of the five elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. From these come the three compound vital energies known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha and these in turn inform our physical and emotional responses to our environment: affecting everything from digestion to life choices, relationships, personality, appearance and speech. Most of us have a dominant dosha and an opposing sub-dosha and this varies according to age, seasonal changes and life situations.
As humans, we need all three energies to reproduce, metabolise and maintain health. Psychologically, we need the creation of new ideas (vata), the ability to articulate them (pitta) and then the resolve to realise them (kappa). An understanding of your dosha, will allow you to be mindful of imbalances, which can then be remedied through diet, herbs, improved circulation and purifying treatments, so that life may flow with greater ease.
VATA – AIR & ETHER
(pron: vah-tah). This dynamic energy governs bodily functions associated with movement, including that of fluids, cells, breath and heartbeat. Brilliant, sharp and adaptable; Vatas have the vital energy to be creative visionaries. Slender and small boned, they tend to have dry skin and hair, which is cold to touch. Vatas walk, talk and think fast, they earn and spend fast and are natural-born multi-taskers, who excel in a varied, creative environment.
An excess of the powerful Vata energy creates a scatter-gun approach, which inevitably leads to dips in energy, causing erratic behavior, frayed emotions, anxiety, fear, forgetfulness, insomnia and low self-esteem. Physically, an imbalance leads to constipation, abdominal pains, arthritis and abnormal blood pressure. Warm cooked foods that are sweet, salty and sour eaten at regular times during the day and warm water and herbal teas sipped throughout the day will help balance. Meditation, yoga, walking outdoors for daily vitamin D, detoxing salt baths and regular massage are all positive rituals to relax over-active Vatas. Once back in balance, Vata can create magic and inspire others.
KAPHA – EARTH & WATER
(pron: kuh-fuh). This steady energy governs bodily growth (fat, tissues, muscles) and a healthy immune system. Loving, compassionate, easygoing, with a calm energy, Kaphas make loyal friends, partners and co-workers. Physically they have a strong digestive system, healthy sleep patterns, slightly oily, but radiant skin and thick, lush hair. They speak slowly and thoughtfully and are good at retaining information. The most balanced of all the doshas; they enjoy routine and a relaxed pace of life.
An excess of Kapha can make one rather horizontal; literally and metaphorically. Resistant to change, they sometimes hold onto past hurts and get stuck in patterns, relationships and careers that no longer serve them. This manifests as a slow metabolism, which in turn causes weight gain, fluid retention, joint pain, sinus and respiratory issues, sleeping excessively and generally feeling fatigued and low. Weekly fasts, invigorating, detoxifying masks, herbal teas and massage oils, along with light, warm, spicy foods will help boost a sluggish system. Sweets and diary should only be eaten occasionally. Daily endurance exercise such as swimming, cycling and weight training will help get the endorphins kicking in. Once back in balance Kapha demonstrate unmatched strength and resilience.
PITTA – FIRE & WATER
(pron: pit-uh). Pitta governs chemical transformations related to digestion, metabolism and assimilation on a physical and emotional level. Pittas are focused, intelligent and intense. They are assertive, dominant and unafraid to speak their truth and can rise to any challenge. Dynamic, passionate and ambitious, they are natural born leaders. Athletic and of medium build and weight, they have radiant skin that is commonly freckled or has moles. Hair tends to be oily at the roots, coarse at the ends prematurely grey and thin. They have an excellent digestive system, a healthy appetite, strong sex drive and sleep well, in short sharp bursts.
An imbalance of Pitta can bring out cynicism, jealously, impatience, anger and a dominant nature. Physically an imbalance creates an aversion to heat, which causes sunburn, irritability and excessive perspiration. Other symptoms include rashes, peptide ulcers, heartburn, high blood pressure, stomach acid, insomnia and dry, burning, itchy skin and eyes. Pittas need to keep cool and calm by avoiding overexposure to direct sunlight and hot, spicy foods. An abundance of fresh, green salads, vegetables, sweet fruits and sipping cool water and mint infusions throughout the day will help balance. Regular yoga practice, followed by pranayama breathing will help release negativity. Meditation, massage and gardening are ideal rituals for encourage a loving, compassionate attitude for self and others. Once in balance, Pitta can clearly articulate their aims and desires for the good of all.