On my personal journey in medicine, although I loved helping people in the conventional medical environment, over time practicing in the western medical paradigm became increasingly dissatisfying and not in alignment with why I became a doctor. One day, when I realized that I was calculating how many years until I could retire, I had an ‘aha’ moment where I decided that rather than stay in a job that was unsatisfying, or count the days until I could quit, I needed to make a change.
Food is one of the primary means to keeping our bodies healthy and balanced in Ayurveda. Eating seasonally and making dietary choices based on our dosha imbalances can help us feel our best throughout the entire year. In Ayurveda, fall is Vata season, the season governed by air and space. During this season, it’s important to incorporate warming, moist, and heavy qualities to offset the cold and dry nature of this dosha. To eat your way to a nourishing and balanced Vata season, follow these simple Ayurvedic recipes.
Loving yourself is considered a key part of being happy and contented, but getting there is puzzling. Who is the self doing the loving, and how is it different from the self you are supposed to love? Aren’t they the same person? Yes, of course. But the problem lies in the divided self. The divided self is what causes inner conflict.
Meditation is a natural way for the body to surrender to a state of peace and relaxation. While you can get so much out of sitting on a cushion and meditating, there’s also something to be said about incorporating more active forms of meditation—such as painting landscapes—for healing.
In Ayurveda, as well as in all traditional healing systems, the ancient healers and seers did not see humans and nature as separate entities. The foundations of healing were rooted in the idea that we are intimately connected to nature, and that nature, including the plant world, can facilitate our healing.
Whether it’s the time spent soaking up the sun’s vitamin D or the grounding sensation you get from digging your fingers into the earth, gardening is one of the most meditative and relaxing practices. And it can provide great healing, too. This is especially true when it comes to medicinal plants and herbs, which can provide a range of benefits, including supporting the immune system, decreasing stress and anxiety, and so much more.
Receptivity — or open-mindedness — requires more cognitive effort than dogmatism. Receptivity asks you to welcome uncertainty and information you may not align with, which isn’t always easy.
We are all intrinsically connected to nature. The more we awaken to this truth, the more powerful we become. The same five elements in nature- fire, water, earth, air and space- are the same five elements found within our bodies; in Ayurveda this is known as the Panchamahabuta theory.
If you were asked to name a major crisis facing humanity right now, most people would include the environment at the top or near the top of the list. Thinking about climate change, how do you feel personally? The range of responses for most people is dominated by anxiety, a fear that Nature is approaching a disaster that seems inevitable. You might also feel depressed, helpless, and fatigued.
Because you are unique, adapting to the world is different for you than for someone else. One environment is beneficial to some people but not to others. If you want to practice self-care, this is a critical aspect. Ayurveda has been a self-care system for thousands of years, and understanding how your doshas work remains one of the best ways to practice self-care.