Don’t give up your chocolate for Ayurveda

Recently I met with a woman to discuss why she was reluctant to delve deeper into Ayurveda. She told me that an Ayurvedic doctor was once looking at her dosha types to figure out her balances, in regards to vata, pitta and kapha. And then she was handed a leaflet that sounded like it only provided the very basic “textbook” examples of eating Ayurvedically to support her Prakruti, describing what she can and can’t eat. Apparently this truly freaked her out, as she was already anticipating giving up the foods that she loved, including chocolate and alcohol. And so this woman decided that Ayurveda was not for her.

Trend or lifestyle?

Although Ayurveda has become a new and popular trend over the last few decades, this is exactly why people still haven’t been able to grasp the lifestyle completely. Unfortunately, people can’t deal with what is required of them in an Ayurvedic lifestyle and when they don’t see immediate changes, they can’t associate with this method as bringing results. People want a ‘go to’ recipe or a magical herbal formula.

My magical formula

What I do in my Ayurvedic consulting is bring results for my clients, by being very clear beyond food on what Ayurveda can do for you. Food trends and fad diets have helped us so far, but now we have reached a completely different onset of challenges, where we need to also change our actions. Ayurveda is a healing method that considers many other elements of your lifestyle, not just diet.

My Ayurvedic analysis begins with looking at a wide range of lifestyle choices – so you can consider how you are living your life, what kind of activities you do, how you move your body according to your Prakruti or when you set your sleep times. 

As an example, I discuss not only traditional healing areas with my clients, such as the tongue, digestion, pulse and sheen of the skin. But rather your natural rhythm and cycles of the sleeping, eating, pausing or being in action. How the climate is influencing you, or how your work is affecting you. These are all things that make us aware of where we put our balance, which then allows us to see where we need to counterbalance.

Stop punishing yourself!

So I guess what I’m saying is that Ayurveda works in many approaches, but if you just go down the road of food, you often overlook that there are other principles you need to incorporate. It’s not about trying to punish or harm yourself, so if giving up something like chocolate or alcohol feels like an enormous feat, then that’s not how it’s supposed to work. In order to regain balance and stabilise your immune system in a non therapeutic setting, as opposed to a lifestyle choice, the priority is to not go down the road of self torture, but rather to establish balance. When you go into a therapeutic setting you are also emotionally supported, rather than when you start experimenting on your own. It’s about looking at what works for you. Some of us just need some more time and reflection of ourselves.

Like with a yoga posture, let’s say the Warrior III Pose, you don’t just launch into it or else you’ll plunge right over. You need to gradually learn the posture and slightly shift your weight and senses until you get there, one step at a time.

 

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