Listen to your body. My mom always told me that when I was younger. I never knew what she meant. I never stopped and actually thought about it. Noticed all the different ways my body felt. I mean, I did, I do, of course, you know, feel the cramps of the menstrual period, as a young person dealt with acne, battled stomach aches, etc.
Its crazy to think there could be some bigger, deeper connection– but there is. Your body is trying to tell you things. Something is off. Its called Ayurveda. What the heck is that?! I know, right. It’s also known as the “Sister Science” to Yoga– the word literally translates to “the science of life.”
Ayurveda tells us that our mind, body, and spirit should all be in balance with one another. There you have it. The “science of life” tells us how to keep our lives balanced. Who would’ve thought of something like that thousands of years ago. But they did.
When there is an imbalance, we get sick or suffer from disease. It is an age-old whole-body approach to heal our bodies from the inside out. Instead of throwing a bandaid on the symptoms— look deeper at what is causing them by creating this balance in the body and in our minds and in our spirits.
As awesome as all this sounds, it can be pretty overwhelming when you think about all the things you read you are NOT doing or how you could possibly fit NEW routines into your busy day. If Ayurveda is something that interests you, read more about it or ask a ton of questions. Its okay to take your time in figuring out this new journey. Don’t judge yourself. Allow yourself to simply be. Observe.
These are healing practices. They view our bodies and the world around us as beautiful, endless cycles. Everything has a purpose or a reason for its existence. It’s all about balance. So things get broken up into these three doshas– Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each dosha has different characteristics. Different parts of the day, a woman’s menstrual cycle, the human life cycle, the Earthly seasons, etc. correlate to a different dosha. Even our own physiological makeup. It goes pretty deep. Knowing this information can help you to plan your meal, activities, and understand what your body needs and what it is doing at different times.
As I continue to meditate and practice yoga and mindfulness, I learn more about myself and my body. I become more aware of things that I may not have been “mindful” of before. For example, it is currently springtime. Spring is a transition period. A time of renewal. We are in a transition from the cold winter months to the warm summer months. It also rains a lot to bring the renewal or birth of new life— think plants blooming, baby animals being born, etc. During this time the temperature can really fluctuate.
One day I realized I had been feeling particularly chilly. I felt it in my bones, if you know what I mean. I was cruising through one of my new Ayurveda cookbooks. It has a different blend of spices for each season. Spring correlates with the Kapha dosha because it is cold and damp, so this spice blend is meant to warm up the body internally. I’ve been adding it to my chicken, soups, oatmeal.. just about anything! Here it is, the Spring Spice Blend:
- 2 tablespoons of ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne or red pepper flakes (I used the flakes.)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
I made double the recipe and have kept it in a container in the fridge. Additionally, knowing that we are in the Kapha season it has been soup time– pea soup, veggie soup, ramen, etc. Anything to warm my little soul! Since making this addition, I have felt much warmer from the inside out. I feel as if the chill has left me. Thank you Ayurveda for curing my chills!
I mean think about it. I just told you Ayurveda is all about finding balance. My body was cold, so I added warmth through spice. If you have dry lips, what is you body trying to tell you? The opposite of dry is moist. Moisture will balance out the dryness. Your body is trying to tell you, “hydrate me!” Our bodies are constantly trying to tell us things through various messages, aches, etc.. Do you listen?
I am constantly thinking about ways I can incorporate this age-old knowledge into my daily routine. To take better care of my body and create a healthier life.
Humans are visual creatures, so we can help ourselves by creating a “visual reminder” when we want to create new habits. Here is one way I did that to encourage a daily habit I wanted to create for myself:
- I wanted to add dry brushing to my routine, so I bought a brush and hung the “dry brush” in a spot where I would see it each day before I got into the shower. If visual reminders don’t work for you, then add an alarm or reminder on your phone. It will automatically remind you, but you have to make sure you actually do it! You can read more about dry brushing here.
There are so many more ways Ayurveda can create a happier, more balanced life for you and your loved ones. Remember— start small, read from lots of different sources, take a class, ask questions!