When travelling on my quest to explore eastern philosophies and methods of self-care, alternative healing and relaxation, I spent many months in an Ayurvedic center in India, to learn different types of massage and methods of purification, to give the body and mind a re-boot.
Through Ayurveda I discovered multiple solutions for my daily life, to balance my physical and mental health.
Ayurveda offers a unique and in-depth approach to get to know yourself better and how to adjust your lifestyle through simple means.
I will try to break down this approach into a few principles, so you get an idea what it is all about.
Ayurveda is an alternative medicine system with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. The oldest written texts date back to about 400 years b.c.
Ayurveda gives its main importance on maintaining your health, through focussing attention on ways to balance your life.
In Ayurveda, body, mind and consciousness work together and they are simply viewed as different aspects of who you are.
Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, Ayurveda considers each person to have an individual pattern of physical, mental and emotional characteristics.
Ayurveda starts by determining your individual “energetic fingerprint” (Prakruti).
So, by learning who you are, you are then able to maintain (mental/physical/emotional) health.
Ayurveda teaches us that when we understand our natural healthy self, we can then balance our physical and mental wellbeing, so illness does not occur.
If you know your individual energetic fingerprint (Prakruti), you can better adjust your lifestyle and maintain better health, wellness and happiness.
Living in alignment with who you are, will lead to physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. All of the three are necessary to experience good health and happiness.
I love how the teaching takes into consideration mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s just as important as physical health and all three aspects together create a happy, healthy self, who can live to
So now let’s go through some of the basics.
In the Ayurvedic teaching the body and all matter consists of the elements
These five elements are present in everything that exists, in some form and combination.
For living beings these five elements have an individual and unique combination that you are born with, just like your fingerprint is unique.
Through a questionnaire, your individual combination and percentage of the elements can be determined and depending on what elements are most present, you will be able to understand better how your body, mind AND emotions work.
To give you an example:
Have you noticed…?
Some people naturally love animals. They have a character that feels at ease in contact with nature. These people might love to have a job that doesn’t put pressure on them and where they can go at their own rhythm.
Some people have a slow digestion. This type of person needs more time between meals to process food better and not to overcharge their organism.
Some people are naturally very quick moving and they lose weight very fast, because they burn calories quickly, but also they forget to eat because they have a difficult time to keeping to routine.
Ayurveda considers that you are born with a certain energetic fingerprint. Yes, the way you are brought up influences your body, mind and emotions but it doesn’t change the code you are born with. You can be born for example with a scientific approach to life. If you are born into a family that wants you become a farmer, then you will be likely to investigate your tasks with a scientific approach. If you are not understood or supported with this way of analysing things, you might be unhappy and frustrated.
If you know who you are, in your natural, healthy, happy, ideal self, then you will better understand how to adjust your life around your needs.
Let me give a you a short summary about the main character types in Ayurveda.
1: Kapha (Earth + Water)
A person with a high percentage of Kapha in his/her unique constitution will often tend to be heavy and sturdy. They have strong muscles and bones and gain weight easily and lose it slowly.
They will be happier in a profession, where they can follow their own rhythm without having pressure put on them. They love animals and nature. Their digestion is slow and for this they should pay attention to leave more time between meals. Cardio exercise is good for them,anything that keeps them moving and helps them to avoid laziness and oversleeping.
2: Pitta (Fire)
These people have a scientific approach to life. They love going straight to the point and verifying the facts. They have a rather aggressive digestion which is why they get “hangry” very easily.
They need their food, at precise times of the day. Sunlight and heat aggravates their character.
They tend to have sharp (harsh) speech and they might tend to fall into a fanatic defence of their statements if their element gets out of balance. For these people it is better to engage in balancing, steady yoga practice or go swimming. It will bring calmness into their overthinking mind.
3: Vatha (Wind + Space)
Vatha prominent characters have a hard time to stick to a routine of any kind. They tend to forget to eat and they don’t sleep regularly. They naturally have a tendency to focus on an universal kind of truth and justice and they refer to a philosophical view of life and interaction that is referring to higher values. They have a very fast but poor digestion and they lose weight if they do not make an effort to maintain an adapted diet.
These are just some basic examples for each of the main characters.
Once you know which group you belong to, there is a lot of information on how to balance your character and there are suggestions how different kinds of food and flavours can have a positive/negative influence on your well-being.
If you would like to know your body type, please book an Ayurvedic counselling.
To honour the complexity of this ancient and vast system, I would like to refer you to Shrehari P BAMS, who has many years’ experience in the field.
Shrehari P completed five and a half years of BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurveda,Medicine and Surgery) at Rajiiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore.
He has 16 years of experience and currently practises Ayurvedic treatments in various retreat centres in Kerala, India.
Over the last few years he has travelled to treat patients in France, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Malta, Italy and all over India.
Thanks to his many years of experience, he will be able to give you clarity regarding your body type and what you can do to naturally balance your needs to maintain physical, mental and emotional health.
A consultation is 35€ (3000 INR) to be paid via PayPal directly to him.
About the information you receive from an Ayurvedic counsellor:
Come with an open mind, try to understand the philosophy. This 2000 year old tradition has unique roots and trying to anchor or compare with what you have learned in science class will not be helpful. Modern science and Ayuveda do not contradict each other, but are actually two completely different views of the same thing.
When you are advised to eat more or less of certain foods, keep in mind that the nutritional information in a scientific sense will not be considered. If you feel that you have a lack of certain nutrients or if you suffer from a specific condition that requires attention, then seek your usual medical advice. Use the information given in an Ayurvedic consultation to complement but NEVER REPLACE medical advice.
If you are unsure or if you have any health condition that requires attention, please consult your general practitioner and follow her/his instructions. Ayurveda proposes solutions that are used in addition to your medical requirements.
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