An Introduction to Ayurveda


WHAT IS AYURVEDA?

Sometimes it sounds like each person has their own understanding of Ayurveda. That's why we'll tell you where we're coming from. We approach Ayurveda as people who grew up with it, first learning about balance as children, then slowly observing more of how our families attuned and adjusted their actions, bringing ancient principles to life in the modern world. 

Ayurveda is a literal combination of two Sanskrit words: "Ayur" (life) and "Veda" (study or knowledge).

Ayurveda is a unique practice that is traditionally considered a medical system. More than anything, it is focused on healthy living- proactive and preventative actions as an approach to treatment. The core concept is that we are unique individuals, and to thrive, we must be true to our individual needs, patterns, and ultimately, selves. When we begin to learn who we are, we gain tools to make powerful changes in how we live. When our understanding deepens, we blossom with great health, vitality, clarity, and personal growth.

Ayurveda reminds us that there is not one perfect diet for everyone, no perfect exercise program, and certainly not one universally ideal lifestyle plan. Studying life, in Ayurveda, means learning to understand our own natural constitution (prakruti), our current state (vikruti), and how we can bring our current state closer to our natural state for great health. Not everyone is designed to eat raw foods.  Not everyone is their healthiest with the most vigorous yoga or fitness program. Not everyone needs 8 hours of sleep each night. Some of us need less, some of us do better with more. Some of us would benefit from each of these practices, but not all of us. 

Have you ever tried challenging yourself with a healthier lifestyle plan that is designed specifically for you? What would you say about discovering and then practicing daily rituals + food choices + environments + physical activity specific to you and YOUR individual needs. Sounds heavenly right?

So how do we begin? To determine the right path for us, first and foremost, we have to start learning who we are. It doesn't have to happen all at once! It's more like a trail that we keep climbing, and Ayurveda gives us the trailhead: the Doshas.

The Doshas

According to Ayurvedic basic principles, we are all a unique combination of three main constitutions (doshas). The three main doshas (constitutions) are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These doshas are all based around the 5 elements of Ayurveda. The elements are Ether, Air, Fire Water, and Earth.

 

Sidenote: remember, Ayurveda was developed many thousands of years ago. They weren't describing physical elements like those on the periodic table. Instead, think of these as metaphors for what they represent in the body. 
 
The VATA DOSHA — is a combination of the elements of Air and Ether
The PITTA DOSHA — is a combination of the elements of Fire and Water
The KAPHA DOSHA — is a combination of the elements of Earth and Water

 

Our aim in practicing Ayurveda is to bring our current state (whatever's going on right now; stress, anxiety, anger, relationship struggles, hectic living, etc) closer to our natural state of balance so that we may live out our unique purpose in life. 

Once we find our natural constitution, we begin to understand where our current state is out alignment with our healthy balanced state. From there, there are many daily practices (physical movements, food guidelines, meditations, breathwork practices, and more) to help us create a harmonious balance with ourselves, physically, mentally, and spiritually. When we prioritize practicing even a few small changes for our growth and wellbeing, these can have a dramatic impact and life long effects.

We look forward to hearing how you flow with Ayurveda.

Read more about Ayurveda

HEY YOU. YES YOU. WE CARE ABOUT YOU!

Ayurveda teaches that each person’s body may have a different balance of energies and vulnerabilities. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or on medication, certain spices may not be ideal for you (and even otherwise, we all respond differently)- for example, it is recommended in India not to have as much of heat-creating spices during pregnancy. Remember, with anything we consume, if a little bit is good, a lot isn’t always better!! Moderation, especially with these powerful spices, is always wise.

We always carefully blend our spices in a balanced manner to avoid shocking your system, but please always check the ingredient list, consult your doctor for any concerns- and ALWAYS feel free to reach out to us with questions about the blends! Sending you good energy always. - The Hanuman Chai Team

Online resources are never a substitute for medical consultation or medical attention.