F.A.Q. about Ayurveda Answered
Back in 2013 when I first began my journey with Ayurveda I didn’t know another soul who had even heard of it (other than my Mother-in-law who gave me the Deepak Chopra book that started it all for me). Fast forward to 2015 when I began my yoga teacher training I was just one of a few who had heard of Ayurveda and the only one actively practicing and working with the modality in my class. It has been incredibly exciting to see the new ‘boom’ Ayurveda enthusiasts who have been popping up in increasing numbers in the last few years as more books and resources are available and Yoga Schools are including Ayurveda back into Yoga Curriculum (where it has always belonged!) But even still I get asked a lot of questions about Ayurveda and wanted to compile a handful of them to perhaps help you understand this practice too! If you still have questions after reading through these, please feel welcome to leave them in the comments and I will add them to the post.
Q: How do you pronounce Ayurveda?
A: Eye-YUR-vay-duh. Ayurveda comes from the root words Ayus, meaning life, and Veda, meaning knowledge or wisdom. So Ayurveda translates to The Knowledge (or Wisdom) of Life.
Q: Is Ayurveda affiliated with a religion?
A: Ayurveda is not affiliated with any religion. Though it was born and grew in India with a large Hindu population the teachings of Ayurveda can be applied to anyone’s life regardless of their faith, beliefs, or chosen religion.
Q: What exactly is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a healing modality that originated in India 5,000 years ago. Known as the ‘Mother of Modern Medicine’, Ayurveda is the first recorded medical system and has influenced all other medical modalities from Traditional Chinese Medicine to Western Allopathic practices. In India, Ayurveda is a bona fide medical practice though in the US and many other parts of the world they do not yet recognize Ayurvedic Doctors as Physicians. Ayurveda in the west is getting more organized and structured governing bodies are being cultivated to help protect and educate Ayurvedic practitioners and clients while building a positive culture around the practices.
Q: Why do you call Ayurveda a ‘Practice’?
A: I personally call Ayurveda a practice because to me, it is a daily commitment to practicing the teachings. Just like you study and practice yoga you can do the same with Ayurveda- and this is how it was always intended to be. Many folks impression of Ayurveda is going to a practitioner, having an assessment done, and following the recommended protocol until they feel better then they move on. As an Ayurveda Lifestyle Educator & Coach though I am all about the daily self care and lifestyle choices that help prevent future imbalances and dis-ease in the body.
Q: How can Ayurveda help me when Western Medicine hasn’t?
A: Ayurveda is all about the holistic approach to treating the root of your illness where as a lot of western med is focused on symptoms. Ayurveda understands that our dis-ease is caused by an elemental imbalance in the body (excesses of earth, water, fire, air, and ether) and that only by bringing them back into balance can you truly heal. Where east & west can meet and complement one another is that western medicine is incredible for dealing with trauma (broken bones, hemorrhaging etc) and bridging the gap (ex. treating depression symptoms until you can get to the root cause and live life with more ease in the process).
Q: Can I keep working with my Western Doctor while also using Ayurvedic Practices
A: YES! Please keep up with your Physicians protocol and communicate with them what you are doing to complement your healing journey. Many doctors are happy to find their patients are seeking holistic practices in tandem with their current allopathic treatments.
Q: What does working with Ayurveda involve?
A: Your personalized plan may include: eating guidelines and recommendations to your unique body type, herbal support, daily routine guidelines (such as ideal times to wake up, eat, workout, and a go to bed), exercise recommendations on your unique body type, rest and relaxation practices.
Q: How long does it take to see results with my protocol?
A: That all depends. It varies from person to person, how long and how severe your imbalances have become, and how dedicated to your protocol you are. I have had clients feel noticeable improvement in as little as 3 days with simple lifestyle adjustments yet others take weeks to months to find complete harmony again.
Q: What do you mean by my unique mind or body type?
Ayurveda teaches us that we are made of a combination of the 5 natural elements of earth, water, fire, air, and ether. We vary however, by the amount of these elements within us. Where one person may be more Earthy, another may be more Air or Fire. Each of us contains all 5, but our alchemy and how these elements are expressed through us are truly unique to the individual. Ayurveda honors this uniqueness and is why some practices and teachings apply to the general population but many need adjustments to meet the need of the person being treated.
Q: How can I know my unique Mind/Body type?
A: Your unique mind/body type is called your Constitution or Prakruti. You can identify this through a simple quiz or get straight to the heart of it with an Ayurvedic Pulse Assessment that ‘reads’ your constitution straight from the body.