What is Ayurveda

The name “Ayurveda” is derived from two words in Sanskrit, “ayuh” meaning “life” or “longevity” and “veda” meaning “science” or “sacred knowledge.” Ayurveda’s definition therefore roughly translates as “the science of longevity” or “the sacred knowledge of life.” At its root, Ayurveda is a holistic tradition and way of living that can help each of us to claim and celebrate our capacity for wellness. Ayurveda can help us:

        • Sync up with our truest inner nature
        • Honor and develop our strengths
        • Hone in on our challenge areas
        • Maintain balance in the face of adversity
        • Redirect detrimental tendencies

Ayurveda is an individualized system of medicine rooted in the idea that each of us is born with a personal blueprint for optimum health known as “your constitution”. The Three Doshas vata, pitta and kapha are present in everyone from the time of birth, but the ratio between them varies a great deal from one person to the next which is part of how we define a person’s constitution. No two constitutions are exactly alike, so no two humans require the same blueprint for optimal health. Everything is medicine and everything is poison; what might benefit one person could harm another

8 Health Benefits of Ayurveda

Integrating Ayurveda into your life can be immensely beneficial to your overall sense of wellness, There are eight distinct areas in which Ayurveda can improve your health. 

At Ry's Table, we focus on #3 Diet & Food 

        1. Prevention
        2. Daily Routine
        3. Ayurvedic Diet and Food Combining: Ayurveda has many diet and food combining suggestions to help maximize the agni, or digestive fire (gut health). Learning about your constitution and your personal state of balance will help you determine which dietary choices are right for you.
        4. Exercise: Ayurveda and Yoga
        5. Ayurvedic Herbal Support
        6. Ayurveda for Energy and Vitality
        7. Ayurveda for Beauty
        8. Ayurveda for Sleep
THE SIX TASTES
According to Ayurveda, it is incredibly important to taste our foods, our herbs – and our lives. Rasa, the Sanskrit word for taste, has a number of potent meanings, among them: experience, enthusiasm, juice, plasma (as in rasa dhatu), and essence. These diverse meanings only hint at the significance of taste within the Ayurvedic tradition. Rasa is, in a very real way, the essence of life and quite literally affects every aspect of our being—from structure and physiology, straight through to our overall state of mind and consciousness. Ayurveda sees rasa, or taste, as a tremendously powerful therapeutic tool that determines not only how we experience our food, but ultimately, the overall flavor of our existence. 
 
The 6 Tastes and Their Elements:

Sweet (Madhura)
Earth & Water
Sour (Amla)
Earth & Fire
Salty (Lavana)
Water & Fire
Pungent (Katu)
Fire & Air
Bitter (Tikta)
Air & Ether
Astringent (Kashaya)
Air & Earth


 

DOSHA ELEMENTS & QUALITIES
In analyzing nutrition we look at the Three Doshas vata, pitta and kapha, and how they have become dominant or imbalanced in our body. Each embodies a particular combination of elements and qualities. If the doshas become imbalanced from your born constitution it can cause havoc on your system and lead to illness.  
Discovering your current state of balance will show you the present levels of the doshas in your system. However, the current state of ones constitutional balance can and does change over time as we move through different climates, seasons, and the various stages of life.
 
Vata is primarily composed of the air + ether elements, which make vata light, cold, dry, rough, mobile, subtle, and clear. Because of these characteristics, vata is balanced by the sweet, sour and salty tastes and aggravated by the pungent, bitter and astringent tastes.
 
Pitta is primarily composed of the fire + water elements, which make pitta light, sharp, hot, oily, liquid, spreading, and subtle. Because of these characteristics, pitta is balanced by the sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes and aggravated by the sour, salty, and pungent tastes.
 
Kapha is primarily composed of the earth + water elements, which make kapha heavy, slow, cool, oily, smooth, dense, soft, stable, gross, and cloudy. Because of these characteristics, kapha is balanced by the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes and aggravated by the sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
 

DOSHA CHART

Dosha

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

Primary Elements

Air + Earth

Fire + Water

Water + Earth

Qualities

Dry, light, impulsive, rough, cold, creative, movement, transition, flow

Hot, sharp, oily, goal-setting courage, appetite, ambition

Heavy, slow, oily, dense, stable, grounding, strength



Signs of excess

Fear, anxiety, depression, physical and emotional constriction, poor circulation, dry skin, tremors, ungroundedness, constipation, cracking joints, emaciation, insomnia, restless

Anger, jealousy, acid reflux, inflammation, heartburn, loose stools, sharp hunger, migraines, rashes, bleeding disorders, overactive metabolism, gastric

Over-attachment, greed, resistance to change, overly pensive, excess body weight, excess sleep, sluggishness, depression, tumors,  mucus congestion, water retention, hardening of arteries

Pacifying diet

(favor)

Enjoy sweet, sour and salty taste. Warm freshly cooked foods, warm nut milks, warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, ginger, natural sweets, generous amounts of ghee. Take time to sit & eat routinely.

Enjoy sweet, bitter and astringent taste both fresh cooked and raw foods. Cooling foods and herbs, such as coriander, cilantro, fennel, cardamom, coconut, sunflower & beans. 

Enjoy pungent, bitter and astringent tastes. Warm cooked and heated foods such as chili, peppers, cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, honey, lots of veggies,  dahl, light and dry foods.

Aggravating foods

(avoid)

Bitter, astringent and pungent flavors. Cold, raw, dry and light foods, soy, carbonated drinks, processed foods, caffeine, fried food, dry snacking, all alcohol.

Pungent, sour and salty foods. Hot foods in temp and spice or chili, highly processed foods, fried, red meat, caffeine, spirits.

Sweet, sour and salty foods. Heavy and oily foods such as dairy, sweets, nuts, processed food, carbonated, red meat, beer, grain, fried & overeating.



Understanding Constitutions

As mentioned before, your constitution, prakriti or Ayurvedic body type, is established within you at conception and remains constant throughout your lifetime. It represents your natural state of equilibrium and your blueprint for perfect health. Ayurveda recognizes seven basic constitutional types:

Your constitution influences your physiology, your likes and dislikes, your tendencies and habits, your mental and emotional character, and your vulnerabilities toward imbalance and disease. Therefore, learning how to manage your constitution can be truly enlightening.

 
Take a Dosha Quiz - Want to Learn More? Start Here
https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/dosha-quiz/
https://shop.chopra.com/dosha-quiz

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