It seems as if health is contained in a few one-liners these days. Eat two ounces of vegetables every day, two pieces of fruit, exercise for half an hour every day, and start every day with breakfast. Eat three meals a day, eat a varied diet and avoid sweets. The impression is created that if you just stick to it, you will be healthy and fit. Still, it happens that you stick to all the ‘regulations’ and you still don’t feel fit or do not lose excess weight. This can have a demotivating effect and raise many questions.
Why, if oranges are so good for you, do they give me heartburn? Why am I not losing weight, while still drinking a lot of water? Or why does a bowl of cold yogurt on an empty stomach feel to me as if all energy in me has been shut down? Why am I hungry again at 10 o’clock in the morning and my colleague can spend a whole morning on a bowl of cottage cheese? How come my husband and I eat the same thing and I barely gain weight and he does?
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian health theory and is based on a holistic view of health. Ayurveda teaches us that not all food is healthy for every type of person and that not everyone benefits from a lot of exercises. Food and a lifestyle that suits your constitution are the best medicine for a healthy body and a healthy mind.
Ayurveda distinguishes three types of constitutions: vata , pitta and kapha . Each of these types has its specific characteristics. It is very enlightening to find out which constitution you have. It gives a completely different view on ‘healthy eating’‘. Because what works for one person, has the opposite effect on another. From this perspective, there is no hard and fast standard for healthy eating and living. Your life must be in balance with your constitution. That promotes health.
Seven years ago I became acquainted with Ayurveda and since then I have started living that way more and more. I experience it as an enormous enrichment to feed myself with products that are good for me, and that make my digestion work. Now I take a breakfast that suits me so that I no longer suffer from the hunger pang in the middle of the morning. Vague complaints such as leg cramps at night, eczema, hay fever, and colds disappeared.
The three doshas (constitutions) in brief
Loves excitement and change, infectiously happy, enthusiastic, and energetic. A Vata out of balance becomes overstimulated, overtired, and near exhaustion.
Intense, ambitious, and loving. A Pitta out of balance becomes demanding and a perfectionist.
Relaxed, cordial, tolerant, and forgiving. An off-balance Kapha becomes stubborn, sluggish, sleepy, and lazy.
Feeding yourself with what you need, what is specifically good for you, is an enrichment. If you do that with food, you will gradually see connections with everything else you feed on; nurturing relationships, friendships, work, and pursuits. You will become a healthier person with everything you consume. That is health according to Ayurveda.