Do you often feel tired and lifeless or hyper and overstimulated? This is probably because your body is not quite in balance. Often we don’t realize this until symptoms appear. According to the philosophy of Ayurveda, you can bring your body back into balance with food, or keep it in balance.
How do you do that? There are several Ayurvedic cookbooks out there, but our favorite is East by West by Jasmine Hemsley. She explains in this Ayurveda, which type ( dosha ) you are, and how you can adjust your diet to your own needs so that you get back in balance. We can share a small introduction to Ayurveda with you from Jasmine Hemsley!
What is Ayurveda? – Eastern wisdom according to Jasmine Hemsley
Ayurveda is the mother of all health systems. It was developed thousands of years ago to teach people to live in harmony with nature and thrive in an ever-changing environment. Ayurveda originated in India and is practiced all over the world, bringing in 5,000 years of human experience.
Ayurveda can be translated as the science or knowledge of life. Ayurveda was passed down from one generation to the next as an oral tradition and was not written down until around 1000 BC. Ayurveda is said to be one of the oldest medical systems, if not the oldest and most developed. It served to help people stay healthy and live longer.
Ayurveda as a philosophy of life
The precepts of this ancient, holistic health system rest on the belief that health and well-being are related to a balance of mind, body, and spirit because disease in one area affects other areas. Ayurveda does not view health as the absence of disease but defines well-being as achieving and maintaining this unique balance. Ayurveda is based on the principle that good health is a good condition to ward off disease. And working with the principle of ‘like strengthens like’ provides an insightful approach to treating disease by unraveling the causes of ill health and addressing the imbalance. So just as disease manifests itself, it can also be reversed.
Ayurveda is an energetic system that addresses the inner imbalance that prevents us from achieving optimal health and healing. It focuses on how we eat, move, and live in our world. Because we are all individuals, Ayurveda assumes that no one diet or lifestyle works for everyone (what is nutritious for one person is poison for another, so to speak), but that food, daily habits, and how we are connected with our environment are decisive for maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state.
Eating according to Ayurvedic principles
Ayurvedic cooking is in itself part of the cure for well-being. The fundamentals of Ayurveda can therefore find a place in daily eating habits and take shape in dishes through the ingredients, preparation method, and way of eating. In Ayurvedic practice, meals should be nourishing, nurturing, healing and satisfying. In short, they are comforting, supportive, restorative, and uplifting. An immense treasure trove of knowledge about natural health care, Ayurveda encompasses all aspects of your well-being from breathing to metabolism, supporting you from cradle to grave.
A core tenet of Ayurveda is that we, like everything else in the universe, are made up of the same five key elements, the only difference being that everyone and everything has its own unique makeup. Ayurveda teaches us to work with our constitution by observing who we are, how we feel, what we love, and how we are put together. Knowing and understanding your true nature is what life is all about, and from there you can live a true life that suits you, and that flourishes your health – mind, body, and spirit. (Ayurveda is more than cooking and eating: click here for an Ayurvedic meditation on Inspiring Living. )