There are many ways in which to live a mindful life, and Ayurveda certainly helps us to do so bringing with it many other physical and mental benefits. Yoga and Meditation are common practices that people use globally to live mindfully, but the connection between them both and Ayurveda is less common. Ayurveda is sister subjects to Yoga and Meditation being the glue that links all three together. Ayurveda originates from India over 5,000 years ago and so it is one of the world’s natural health and wellbeing systems that draw on our natural surroundings to achieve a balanced mind, body and spirit.
Within Ayurveda, there are the three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These three doshas are comprised of the five elements: ether, air, earth, water, fire and state that each and every one of us has these five elements within us, but what makes each person unique is the different dominating levels. The Vata dosha is governed by the Ether and Air elements, making these individuals very creative, sociable and fun but when out of balance can be prone to anxiety and be rather disorganised and clumsy. The Pitta dosha is ruled by Fire and Water and so anyone who is dominant in this dosha is very driven, ambitious and entrepreneurial, however can typically be quite irritable, easily stressed and angry when out of balance as a consequence of that fire inside them. Lastly the Kapha dosha is made up of the Earth and Water elements. This makes them very grounded individuals who are loving, humble and relaxed. When out of balance, the ground can suck them in causing them to be quite lazy and lethargic.
Recognising signs of dosha imbalance can be crucial to making mindful choices in terms of food, exercise and sleep patterns to bring your dominant dosha back into balance and therefore thrive and enjoy good health. However, our dosha is constantly shifting from a state of balance to imbalance as there are many variables that can interfere. The weather, stress, hormones and even the change of seasons can cause your dominant dosha to be thrown off which may bring out your subdominant dosha (second most dominant). It is all about observing how you feel or how your skin looks and then reacting accordingly.
There are many ways to bring your dosha back into balance, from eating food types to counteract the elemental properties of that dosha type. For example, the Pitta dosha needs cooling foods to pacify that internal flame. Try eating yoghurts and vegetables like cucumber. In contrast, the Vata dosha, who is typically always cold, benefits from eating warm soups and spicy curries to warm them up internally. The Kapha dosha thrives them most when consuming light foods such as crunchy salads to uplift them from the possibility of them feeling too sluggish.
Yoga and Meditation are prescribed by Ayurveda to promote a balanced state of wellbeing, with Yoga being the physical form of balance, and Meditation being the mental form. Yoga comes in many different practices and Ayurveda draws on this, tapping into the benefits from different practices and aligning it to the doshas. Hatha yoga is recommended for the Vata dosha as this focuses a lot on a particular type of breathing which can help combat feelings of anxiety, of which Vata’s are prone to. Yin yoga is the best for Pitta’s, as they have a competitive nature. Yin Yoga really helps them to focus on themselves and the postures rather than those around. Finally a vigorous hot yoga or power vinyasa yoga flow is most suitable for the Kapha dosha as this helps them to get a sweat on and feel revived afterwards.
There are many different ways to live mindfully and trying out lots of different methods until you find the one that suits you most is important. Ayurveda takes into consideration everything that life brings – it is a lifestyle. It teaches us how to live mindfully and listen to our bodies and addressing any symptoms from the root cause.
To learn more about Ayurveda, the doshas and our Ayurvedic, natural, vegan and cruelty free skincare products, please do come and visit the Urban Veda stand at K5. We are also hosting a workshop on the Saturday between 2-2.30pm. First come first serve basis and the 15 attendees will all receive a miniature goody bag with some samples.
See you there!