The Ayurveda experience is a complete system of alternative (or traditional) medicine, and as such, it’s recognized by the World Health Organization.
Ayurveda is the oldest type of “medicine” known to humanity, even older than Chinese medicine.
In fact, ancient writings show proof that great masters lived inside Himalayan caves in a state of deep meditation in the beginning. On certain days, they would go out and teach their knowledge to the people nearby.
This is a philosophy in which natural elements are united in the body for different uses and benefits, depending on what your body needs.
Ayur: Life. / Veda: knowledge.
In simple words, it’s the traditional healing method of India, which has been practiced for thousands of years.
It’s not just about healing and curing, but it’s also a “prevention medicine” in which the body and life are encompassed as a whole.
According to Ayurveda’s principles, it is not a method but a lifestyle change. It is believed that health should be in harmony with mind, body, and spirit, which are not to be treated separately.
In Ayurveda, 5 elements form the “blocks,” which are living beings. These are space, air, fire, water, and earth.
Within the human body, each element represents a function. People are classified into three different types of personalities called Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
To better understand this concept, it’s like we’re all part of the three Doshas. However, there are different predominants, one or two more than the other.
Thus, each person is different depending on the quantity and balance of the different Doshas.
For instance, your birth is important, but other external factors such as your diet, activities, and environment can influence the Doshas’ balance.
Whenever the Doshas are “unbalanced,” according to Ayurvedic medicine, it’s when different ailments may appear.
Ideally, a person should maintain a perfect balance between these three Doshas. Vata-Pitta-Kapha.
In a certain way, each person’s predisposition to suffer (or with a tendency to suffer) from one ailment or another will depend on his own personal characteristic.
The ayurveda experience: Objective
As mentioned earlier, the harmony of all components around us is taken into account, and everything influences us.
Imbalances will provoke different ailments. To achieve proper balance, the first thing you must do is cleanse your body in every aspect: body, mind, and soul.
- The body must cleanse itself physically by eliminating toxins
- Eliminating negative thoughts and feelings, for example, through meditation
- Once purified, diseases can be removed by finding one’s balance. You may even look and feel younger
For this to happen, Ayurvedic medicine indicates that a healthy lifestyle should be followed by staying away from toxins and negative influences.
This “detox” therapy starts in the digestive system with a specific diet, in which toxins are eliminated. Likewise, local ayurvedic massages are performed on dry skin first and then with oils, always to high temperature, along with deep relaxation.
This therapy aims to eliminate all the toxins so your organism can function properly again, especially at a digestive and immunological level, which should provide you with a boost of energy.
“Doshas” in the ayurveda experience
As we said earlier, people are classified into three main groups, which are the Doshas. However, a person doesn’t belong to just one Dosha, generally to the three, with one being more dominant.
Here’s a closer look at the 3 different Doshas:
- Ruled by SPACE and AIR, it is responsible for the movement, nervous system, and elimination processes
- People with dominant Vata are energetic, active, creative, and spontaneous
- At this point, you must include foods that nourish and calm the mind
- To balance Vata, the idea is to follow regular habits; meditation and yoga can help your balance
For these people, physical strength is the main attribute as they’re very energetic and never stop. These people are normally thin and very agile.
This energy “excess” can cause light sleep and sensitivity to heavy or difficult digestions; since people with dominant Vata tend to eat faster and chew less.
Vata’s like new experiences, as they are energetic but without being overly creative. They’re very social creatures and outgoing.
- Skin type: Usually dry
To restore balance, the first thing to do is to take a break. Also, it would help if you tried to meditate and eat correctly and slowly during meals. Furthermore, establish a rest routine with a regular sleeping schedule.
Avoid being cold
- Massages with warm oils that relax you in a peaceful environment with light and relaxing music
- Sweet scents, like cinnamon, myrrh, lavender, vanilla, clove, pine
- Balance exercises, such as yoga, tai chi, walks, golf…
- Ginger Tea provides heat and activates the body
If you’re going to eat Ayurvedic, the food must be properly in tune with your Dosha. Although this is a Hindu philosophy, it can be perfectly adapted to your personal diet.
If Vata is generally “cold, dry, and light,” then the foods will be focused on stabilizing: hot, oily, and strong. In other words, the opposite.
- Flavors that calm Vata are sweet, salty, and acid
- Avoid spicy, bitter, and astringent flavors
- Eat cooked rather than raw
- Don’t overeat. The Vata will not accept it
- Eat something sweet, but not in excess
- Including olive oil and/or omega 3 in the diet prevents possible constipation that Vata could suffer from
- Skimmed milk, better warm than cold
- Rice and wheat, preferably avoiding corn, barley, millet, rye
- Sweet and more powerful fruits like banana, avocado, mango, apricot, coconut, papaya, peach…
- Avoid fruits like apples, pears, grapefruit, which are best eaten cooked
- Cooked rather than raw vegetables
- Cook with spices such as cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, mustard
- Minimize beans
- Animal proteins. Ideally, chicken, turkey, eggs, and seafood
Composed of FIRE and WATER, it is responsible for transforming the organism, nutrients, and other substances for promoting movement.
People who have a dominant Pitta are balanced and ardent with nature, intelligent, intense, and well-articulated.
When Pitta is unbalanced, people will feel more irritated and critical. A generalized inflammation may be produced.
- Skin type: sensitive
- They’re usually medium-sized people and heavier; it’s more common to have fine hair, but is not exclusive to Pitta
- They have good digestions and can eat without restrictions
- They are warmer people, with positive energy and good appetite
- An imbalance can cause skin inflammations, acid reflux, hot flushes, and indigestion
- They’re intelligent and have a great capacity for concentration and easy decision making
Because Pitta people are warm, sharp, and penetrating, the correct balance would be the opposite: cold, sweet, and stable.
- Balance rest with activity, for instance, exercise on alternate days or rest without unnecessary obligations or tension
- Do not skip meals; otherwise, you’ll feel hungry all the time
- Spend more time in contact with natural products, flowers, and natural environments.
- Massages with oils that are somewhat colder, such as natural olive oil or coconut oil
- Pitta’s colors are: blue, green, and silver
- Get in a good mood, have fun
- The best scents are: sandalwood, rose, jasmine, fennel, chamomile
Pitta is more on the warm side. So cold foods and drinks are preferable.
- Milk, butter, but not overly acidic dairy products such as yogurt, sour cream, cheese
- Sweets in moderation, except for honey
- The best oils are olive, sunflower, or coconut. Reduce almond and sesame oil
- Wheat, rice, barley, and rye; avoid corn
- Sweet fruit like grapes, melon, mango, pineapple, orange, plums; avoid the more acidic ones like grapefruit and some red fruits
- Vegetables, leafy greens, asparagus, potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli; avoid tomatoes, hot peppers, garlic, and onions
- As for spices, cold ones are better than those that bring the heat. Such as cilantro, coriander, cardamom, saffron, fennel. Avoid ginger, pepper, clove, mustard
- Animal protein, chicken, turkey; reduced amounts of eggs, seafood, and beef
Ruled by EARTH and WATER, it’s responsible for the organism’s very structure, key in forming muscle, fat, and bones.
People with dominant Kapha possess good energy, are calm, loyal, and loving. When Kapha goes unbalanced, calm can turn into tiredness, fatigue, and sleepiness.
It may even lead to depression, weight gain and fluid retention.
To balance Kapha, you’ll need stimulating foods and herbs, which activate the organism and rebalance the body and mind.
People who are Kapha dominant are generally large with an overweight tendency. These people are physically slower and quiet but methodical. They adapt well to their routine.
Their hair is thicker, and they show radiant skin, but they tend to gain weight, retain fluids, and develop allergies when unbalanced. Also, they may experience drowsiness and depression.
- Skin type: Thick and strong
The key to Kapha’s balance is stimulation. You must activate it with routine changes, different and new experiences.
- Follow an active exercise routine, ideally running, jumping, even dancing or competitive sports
- Try to be away and protected from the cold; Kapha people like warm climates better
- Dry massages that stimulate blood circulation
- Keep the spaces tidy, clean and clear
- Nice pleasant scents, colors, and warm lights
The diet here should be light and warm. It is recommended to decrease the amount of sweet, sour, and salty. Spicy and astringent foods are suitable.
- A liquid diet is recommended for proper rebalancing. You may include in your diet foods such as natural juices, soups, broths, etc…
- No whole milk. Preferably skim or low-fat
- Avoid sweets, straightforward sugars, excess honey
- Ginger tea that warms the body and helps improve digestion
- Light fruits: apples, pears, apricots; and avoid bananas, avocado, coconut, melon, dates
- Eat vegetables, except sweet potatoes and zucchini
- Spices help to calm and rebalance Kapha, especially pepper, mustard, ginger, in general, those that are somewhat spicy
- Decrease consumption of nuts and dried fruits in general, better lighter seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin
- Decrease red meat intake, fats, and oils; it’s best to cook with virgin olive oil
- Decrease rice consumption and wheat flour. Get corn instead
Kapha people usually have slow digestions. Therefore, it is not recommended to eat heavily at night.
Losing weight with the ayurveda experience
Within the Ayurveda experience, experts usually agree that most people who follow this “lifestyle” achieve proper body weight and a longer life expectancy.
Now that you know the different Doshas and the tendency of each of them to get fat or thin, people with the highest chances of being overweight are the Kapha’s.
It’s important to follow recommendations of a balanced diet regarding which foods are more appropriate and which are not.
According to the Ayurveda experience and its principles, slow digestion will cause an accumulation of toxins, provoking weight gain.
With Panchakarma, detox is achieved by eliminating toxins from the body. Usually, by taking herbs and plants, which are somewhat purgative, laxative, and diuretic. They can also act as enemas.
One of the leading herbs used in Ayurveda is the Guggul or Guggulu. It’s a sap resin obtained from the Balsamodendron Mukul tree.
It is bitter, spicy, and astringent with a great detox capacity; the products mixed with this substance are called Gugguis.
Cooking with spices
Substances such as salt, refined sugar, etc., should be avoided whenever possible. Eating salt increases hunger, and sweets provide unwanted calories.
For example, if you put a mixture of aromatic herbs, they will enhance food flavors without adding salt.
Eating spicy foods helps reduce hunger; thus, you’ll eat much less and take in fewer calories, making it easier to lose weight.
On the other hand, some spices are especially beneficial for losing weight:
- Saffron is a good example because it reduces both anxiety and hunger. Saffron also improves blood pressure and stimulates caloric expenditure
- Cinnamon is also very relaxing, and it helps to improve anxiety problems and eating disorders
- The capsaicin or pepper has a great carminative capacity. This means that it helps to eliminate gases, avoiding bloating and inflammation
- Green tea. Drinking green tea helps to drain and eliminate liquids due to its antioxidant power
A day of fasting can be done whenever possible. It does not have to be strict fasting. You can drink liquids, as long as they are not sweetened; they can be infusions of different herbs, broths, or soups.
One of the principles of the ayurveda experience is to eat little or less.
You can even fast with food, always in small quantities. There’s a fasting food known as Kitchari this food is a mixture of rice and mung beans.
Massage is the essence of the Ayurveda experience; with it, you can balance the body. Likewise, you can even eliminate toxins from your organism.
Ayurvedic massages are performed using oils in which they combine several types of essential varieties with different goals, depending on each person and Dosha.
Depending on the type of massage, both urine and feces can be eliminated, and the intestinal transit regulated. With a properly executed Ayurvedic massage, eliminating excess fat, such as cellulite, can be achieved.