I have long been intrigued by Ayurveda and ancient Indian herbalist practices. My introduction to Ayurveda is actually one of the (many) reasons I chose to develop my own skincare; I just didn’t feel Western culture used enough of these practices in our own holistic health.
The main practice of Ayurveda is the balance between mind, body, and spirit. It is the belief that if all three are in balance, you will be healthy. It suggests that total wellness is a derivative of all aspects of the whole self, meaning that the root of medical ailments is not always solely physical. Another important aspect of Ayurveda is understanding the harmony in the universe; the belief that the whole universe, alive or dead, is all interconnected.
The Three Doshas of Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, it is understood that all humans are divided into five elements of the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.
As explained by WebMD: “These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).
Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. But one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick — and the health issues you develop — are linked to the balance of your doshas.”
Imbalance occurs when we have accrued too much of one specific dosha. Too much Vata dosha, which is the control of the basic body function, can lead to anxiety, heart disease, skin problem, arthritis. Too much Pita dosha are more likely to develop metabolic and gastrointestinal issues, high blood pressure, and infections. Too much Kapha dosha is usually shown through obesity, cancer, diabetes, nausea, as it is related to the main body system.
To achieve balance, Ayurvedic practices would teach us to follow these steps for a healthy, balanced life:
- Eat foods that are mildly spiced. The best spices to use are cumin, turmeric, coriander, fennel, mint, asafetida (hing), black pepper, dried powdered ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne. These spices help aid in digestion and balanced eating.
- Do not wait until you’re full to stop eating. Eat only until you are no longer hungry.
- Drink water that is alkaline. You can use lemon or lime with deionized water (like Smart Water).
- Use skincare products rich with real sandalwood and jasmine. This is one of the reasons we make our natural probiotic deodorant, It’s the Pits, with sandalwood powder.
- Exercise moderately most days of the week. Practice yoga and deep-breathing exercises every day.
- Read, study, or create at least once per week.
- Spend time just being alone and quiet. No cell phone, no technology, no music. Try to walk through nature, like a park or beach, while practicing this mental clarity.
- Build bonded relationships with people and animals. Give hugs and love!