Only when we live our authenticity and heart’s desire can we truly be healthy and happy.
There is a lot to say about Ayurveda. It’s a vast knowledge that requires lifelong learning. For the Western mind, sometimes it can be really hard to grasp its ideas because it is rooted in the Vedic philosophy; and if one is not familiar with it – some things may seem a bit abstract.
However, I’ve found that for the beginner’s mind, it is best to use as less Ayurvedic concepts as possible; so in this post, I will do my best to keep it simple and most importantly, speak from my heart and my own experience, because I believe that’s the best way of sharing and learning. Actually, Ayurveda encourages us to go into the experience and to learn by ourselves, to know ourselves, our bodies, our mind, and our emotions. “Ayur” means life, and “Veda” means knowledge. Ayurvedic consultants can help us to get started on our journey of finding our balance in a natural way so that we can eat healthier and feel better, but we are the ones who need to use these Ayurvedic principles and apply them to our daily routine so that we can see how it affects our life on the long run. Only then we can truly experience what “knowledge of life” or Ayurveda really means.
Expression of nature in a human form
As a holistic medical system, Ayurveda takes into consideration a person as a whole – stating that our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects are all important and interconnected. However, Ayurveda goes even deeper when talking about human life, and states that all of these aspects of us are actually a part of Nature, a part of the Universe. Although at the core we all have/are the same essence, which is the Universe or Nature itself, each of us has an individual nature, expressing the elements of Nature, such as earth, fire, water, air, and ether element within us. All of these elements manifest in us from the physical to a more subtle level and form our body, our mental and emotional nature, our constitution. For example, we already know that some people have a more “fiery” nature, while others are calmer, grounded, and “down to earth”. That’s nature speaking through us.
Since everything in Nature is unique, and we are a part of Nature – all of us are unique – which means we all have our true nature and a unique balance that Ayurveda highly respects. Unique balance is the keyword here. When we accept our uniqueness as a whole, we are accepting a beautiful expression of Nature and we strive as human beings.
Living our true nature vs. social conditioning
Our true nature is something beyond our personality, but for the sake of this post, we can say that our true nature is the inner child we carry somewhere deep inside of us, that unique spark that has always been pushing us to look within and simply do what feels right for us, no matter what other people say. Some of us have managed to keep that inner spark no matter the social conditioning, and are living a life aligned to our true nature, doing something we love that fills our heart with joy.
But some of us, perhaps, are living our lives, having a job and a family but constantly feel that something is not right. That usually happens when we lose the connection with that inner child that we’ve forgotten due to the layers produced by the social conditioning (made by education, or adaptation to family/relationship/community/job dynamics). We all experience it at some point in our lives and that is totally normal.
However, the problem arises when we constantly feel uncomfortable and we are not doing anything about it in the long run. Then, we start getting messages from our body and nervous system. Maybe we’ve adapted to our job so much that we don’t have time to eat healthily, and we start getting weight, although we’ve always been thin. Maybe we cannot sleep due to stress, so we drink too much coffee to keep us awake. Maybe we develop some addictions that are helping us to avoid the reality of life we actually do not want to live. As the worst-case scenario, we may even develop a disease as a clear signal of our immunity system that is trying to protect us.
From the perspective of Ayurveda, that’s the point when we are disconnected from our true nature – and our body, mind, and emotions are giving us signals to get back to our unique balance. When we are not living our authentic selves, we are out of balance.
This is when Ayurveda comes into play – with its tips to first acknowledge ad become aware of our true nature, behind the personality we’ve developed as adaptation through social conditioning, and then assisting us on our journey of living our authentic selves fully. Only when we live according to our heart’s desire can we truly be healthy and happy.
What are the natural Ayurvedic methods?
Ayurveda uses natural methods to bring us back to our unique balance, and most importantly – to learn how to stay there, because that’s a big challenge for most of us in today’s world.
With natural methods of healing, such as diet, lifestyle tips, herbs, and Yoga practices, Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant constitutes an individual plan specifically for our unique physical constitution and mental nature. The key is to assist the person to attain optimal health so that each of us can strive and be happy, which depends on a person’s individual nature. That means that we shouldn’t all have the same diet, routine, and lifestyle; but something unique – that works only for us.
It starts with the simple fact of becoming aware that since we are a part of Nature, we should adapt our daily routine to the seasons and times of the day. Not only that but also with our own cycles of life – our current state and our age.
Sometimes we might start with a “healthy” routine that we’ve found on the Internet somewhere or we’ve talked with a friend who suggested it. We start that routine, for a few days it works well but then we are back on the same track. That could be because we try to adapt to something that is not aligned with our true nature. Ayurveda states that there are different times of the day that we can use according to our individual nature, to build the routine that will make sense for us in the long run. We might need something totally opposite from our friend’s “healthy” routine, that would work perfectly for us.
Maybe we want to eat a more healthy, plant-based diet, but we don’t know where to start. We see other people doing so, but somehow when we eat the same way, we feel bloated or not satisfied overall – we are always hungry. That’s because we are inherently different, have different constitutions and different capacity for digestion. Ayurveda can help us to understand our digestion better, and combine our meals in such a way that we actually get all the needed nourishment and nutrients, eat more plant-based foods without feeling bloated, have a better bowel movement, balance our hormones and have more energy overall.
Once we experience how good it feels to eat the food that suits our individual nature, have a routine that is keeping us energized and inspired according to our mental and emotional states – we learn how to accept and respect each part of us, stay in balance, and at the end of the day – love ourselves more. Once we take responsibility for our own actions, we can correct or prevent negative effects from arising. We can stop feeling like victims of external reality and consciously take control over our actions, gain self-mastery that will positively affect our well being and well being of others.
There is a lot more to say about Ayurveda, however, the most important thing is that ayurvedic principles can be applied to everyone’s life, no matter where you are coming from, or what your beliefs or habits are. Ayurveda is adaptable to everyone, and that’s the beauty of it.