Thank you Deepak, thank you Oprah and yes thank you Hollywood hipsters. It’s because of you that Ayureda, like yoga before it, is starting to take its place in the spotlight.
Ayurveda is a system of health and living that’s more than 5000 years old and it’s gaining popularity in the west. How has it lasted so long? Two words: Simple. Practical. That and the fact that it just works!
If you’ve heard something about it, chances are you have questions, or maybe you’re wondering whether or not it’s for you. Well guess what...?
Ayurveda is for everyone, and it’s very likely you’re already practicing some of it.
Ayurveda is like the perfect grandmother - ancient and modern at the same time. You know the one who spends her days knitting AND Facebooking and always seems to be up on the latest gossip, technology or sports scores. She’s wise and loving with your best interests at heart and is somehow amazingly relevant, unconventional, and uncannily spot on! Yep, that’s Ayurveda.
The beauty is you don’t have to know much for it to change your life. So if you’ve never heard of it before or perhaps you’re wondering what, if anything, Ayurveda has to offer you, here’s my “cut to the chase” version of why you might want to give Ayurveda a first (or second) look!
1. Ayurveda Wants You To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
You are 100% unique in every way. Ayurveda knows this and believes that your approach to living, growing and healing should reflect this too. Diets, medicines, careers that work for others may not work for you. Life choices that work for you may not work for others. Accept this.
Key message: Know yourself and love yourself...a lot!
2. Ayurveda Believes That You Are Inherently Healthy
Healthy according to Ayurveda is your natural state. It’s you and your environment in balance. Unhealthy (e.g. anxiety, obesity, constipation, depression, etc.) is you and your environment out of balance. The good news is imbalance doesn’t usually happen overnight. So if you can recognize it, you can stop it….or slow it down.
Key Message: Know that you are capable of achieving balance. Pay attention to the signs that the balance is shifting then do something about it.
3. Ayurveda Understands Why You Do What You Do And Wants You To Understand Too
Another principle of Ayurveda is that we are made of the same stuff and governed by the same laws as nature. Ayurveda recognizes five elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
How those elements behave and interact is significant. For example the fire in you looks like digestion, inflammation, ambition, anger. The earth looks like cell walls, bones, stubbornness and loyalty. All the elements are at work inside us but our body type, personality, and behaviors are usually governed by just one or two (e.g “she has an airy personality”, “he’s a hot head”, “she’s built like a rock”).
Key Message: Understanding how the elements work in you and how to make the most of your elemental strengths and weaknesses is the key to a blissful life!
4. Ayurveda Knows That Cleaning Up Your Act Is One Of The Keys To Getting What You Want
As human beings our capacity for bliss is limited only by our willingness to “empty our cup” again and again. Clearing away the old to make room for the new is an ancient idea that works! And cleansing (five ways to Sunday) is a key part of the Ayurvedic approach to extraordinary living.
Key Message: Physical, mental and emotional detox rocks! Do it regularly.
5. Ayurveda Embraces The Whole You
You are more than just a brilliant mind and a pretty face. The essence of you is what’s capable of lighting up the world AND figuring out what to have for dinner. Ayurveda recognizes your spirit as a driving force in the process of healing and keeping you in great shape. It acknowledges the connection between the mind, body and soul and uses each to balance the other.
Key Message: You are WAY more capable of healing and happiness than you’ve been lead to believe.
So there you are, a peek inside the world of Ayurveda. And if you haven’t guessed by now the point of all of this, really, is to help you understand that Ayurveda isn’t a special diet, or herbal medicine or a wacky mysterious fad from India. The very heart of Ayurveda is YOU, feeling amazing, looking radiant, choosing powerfully, connecting passionately with the world and being authentically YOU.
I’m pretty sure that’s the promise celebrities (and hipsters) see in it. And for most of us that’s pretty life changing!