Ayurveda evolved over 5000 years ago. This means it is a time-tested science. For example, my friend is an obstetrician/gynecologist who was urged by his peers and the public organizations to give pregnant women estrogen hormones. 5 years later, it was discovered that those hormones were actually harmful to patients. While it is wonderful that Western science is testing and evolving, I personally don’t want to be the testing guinea pig when there is an ancient science already available.
The term “Ayurveda” comes from the Sanskrit “ayur” which means “life” and “veda” which means “knowledge”. So we often translate ayurveda as the Science of Life. Traditionally, yogis practiced ayurveda to achieve physical, emotional and spiritual balance and to achieve enlightenment. Many householders (people who have families and jobs) use ayurvedic tools to maintain health and cure disease in the body, mind and spirit.
One of the things I love about Ayurveda is its holistic philosophy to be in harmony with Nature. Ayurveda has been recommending whole foods (not processed foods) using herbs as medicine and has appreciated psychological factors in health for a long time.
There are lifetimes of information about Ayurveda so for this post, I’d like to offer the elements associated with the seasons to help you better understand and align with yourself during different cycles in the year.
Fall is a Vata time of year (September-November) and what this means is it is a dry, cool, clear, moving time of year. This is a good time to slow down, do restorative yoga, eat warm soups and eat the food of the season i.e. pumpkins, squash, whatever you find in your local market.
Winter is a Kapha time of year (December-February) and what this means is it is heavy, cold, wet, slow, dense, cloudy, and static. People often call this the flu season. We have to work a little harder to keep our digestion and immunity strong during this time. This is a good time to eat dry, warm, light foods, sip hot water during the day, get out in the sun as much as possible and make time for a daily exercise routine.
Spring is a Kapha-Pitta time of year (March-May) and it is characterized by cool, wet, mobile, softness and lightness. Not surprisingly, this is the time to cleanse! This is the time to have a physical and safe detoxification, de-clutter your closet or home and use a dry brush to take off old skin. It’s what most people like to do naturally.
Summer is Pitta season (June-August) and is characterized by hot, dry, penetrating, mobile, clear attributes. We need to cool down during this season and chill out psychologically. Eat cooling foods such as leafy greens, cucumber and watermelon. Stay hydrated.
This is just a modest sampling of Ayurvedic recommendations. Already you can see how this science is attuned to Nature. Often what feels good is what is recommended because your emotional and spiritual health is taken into consideration.
As for my obstetrician/gynecologist friend, he began studying ayurveda and eventually helped his colleague to get pregnant using natural ayurvedic science. What you see about Ayurveda on Google is just a small sampling of this incredible science. Most consultants I know feel it can be studied for a lifetime.
For more information & courses, click here.