Holistic Health & Wellness

Ayurveda: Healing with Foods and Meditation

Ayurveda, or the science of life, is one of the oldest systems of natural health care. Originating in India over 5,000 years ago, Ayurveda is now considered one of the leading forms of holistic medicine available in the West.

Concept

Ayurveda treats the root cause of illnesses, not just the symptoms. With the use of special herbs, massage, specific yoga/meditation techniques and sound nutritional advice, Ayurveda enhances the physical and mental health of both distressed and healthy individuals.

Ayurveda is Safe

Ayurveda medicine and other therapies are very beneficial for patients suffering from chronic diseases. Ayurvedic preparations are safe as long as they are prescribed by a professional practitioner.

Ayurvedic Dosha ( Constitutions)

Ayurveda describes three biological humors or psycho/physiological energies called doshas. These three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and each is mainly a combination of two elements. Vata dosha is made up of space and air. Pitta dosha is a combination of fire and water. Kapha dosha is made up of water and earth. Each of these doshas are further divided into five sub-doshas. Together, the doshas orchestrate all the activities that occur within us.

For good health and well-being, the three doshas within you need to be in balance.

Balancing Vata dosha

The characteristics of Vata include dryness, coolness, roughness, lightness and constant motion; qualities that are opposite to these in diet and lifestyle help restore balance to Vata dosha.

Dietary recommendations:

The three ayurvedic tastes that help balance Vata are sweet, sour and salty, so include more of these tastes in your daily diet. Cooked foods, served hot or warm, are ideal for balancing Vata. Leafy greens, beets, sweet potatoes and summer squash such as zucchini and lauki squash are the best vegetables. Avoid or minimize raw foods and salads. Drink lots of warm water through the day. Suitable spices are turmeric, cumin, coriander, dried ginger and black pepper.

Balancing Pitta Dosha:

The characteristics of Pitta include sharpness, heat, and acidity; qualities that are opposite to these in diet and lifestyle help restore balance to Pitta dosha.

Dietary recommendations:

The three ayurvedic tastes that help balance Pitta are sweet, bitter and astringent, so include more of these tastes in your daily diet.

Cooling foods are wonderful for balancing Pitta dosha. Sweet juicy fruits, especially pears, can cool a fiery Pitta. Milk, Rice, coconut  and milkshakes made with ripe mangoes are soothing, Pitta-pacifying foods. Drink sweet lassi to help enhance digestion or drink room temperature water.

Spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and fennel offer healing wisdom.

Balancing Kapha Dosha:

The characteristics of Kapha include heaviness, softness, sweetness, cold, stability and unctuousness, qualities that are opposite to these in diet and lifestyle help restore balance to Kapha dosha.

Dietary recommendations:

The three ayurvedic tastes that help balance Kapha are pungent, bitter and astringent, so include more of these tastes in your daily diet

Light, warm foods help balance Kapha. Clear vegetable soups with beans and diced vegetables, stews made with vegetables, dhal soups and grain/vegetable are good for balancing Kapha.  Stay away from too much salt. Drink warm water through the day.

Use spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, black pepper, dried ginger, asafetida (hing), cloves and fenugreek.

 

Guru Ranjit Deora is a meditation master teacher, a holistic thinker and a life coach who enjoys helping people connect with their true selves and find happiness within. In his lessons on Mindful Meditation, the India native focuses on the mental dimensions of this ancient practice, bringing the benefits of joy as well as improved overall health.

Phone: (704) 277-6049.  Email: rdeora@charlottemeditation.com

This content was originally posted on our site in 2013.

Learn Mindful Eating through Meditation

Are your New Year’s resolutions already falling by the wayside? It’s very easy to write off your goals, continuing your old habits of 2018. Was losing weight on your list? While setting specific goals of pounds dropped is a valid approach, if you want to take care of yourself by reaching a healthy weight or living a healthier lifestyle, you may want to begin by establishing a habit of mindfulness meditation.

“Mindfulness meditation?  What does that have to do with success in weight loss when I can just (pick one) join a pre-packaged food plan/ drink those special milkshakes/ stay away from carbs/ go ‘Paleo’?”

Perhaps you have heard of “mindful eating”. Learning to distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger are the key. Physical hunger has cues such as your stomach growling and your body feeling low on energy. The hunger itself grows slowly over time and the food you eat is satisfying to you. Emotional eating involves very specific cravings which, when acted upon, cause lingering feelings of guilt and dissatisfaction. But how do you cultivate the awareness necessary to know the difference?

The answer is simple: through mindfulness meditation. “Are you kidding me?? How on earth can sitting every day in meditation, letting my thoughts come and go, help me lose weight?” It all boils down to clarity, being aware of not only what you are eating but why. Only you have those answers for yourself and, in order to retrieve them, you must be relaxed and peaceful inside.

Meditation = relaxation = clarity of thoughts = knowing the cause of your suffering = knowing what to do and what not to do with confidence and success going forward.

It’s that simple.

So perhaps your weight loss journey begins by first establishing a meditation practice instead of resolving to lose 20 pounds. Through a foundation of meditation you will connect with yourself, discover what makes you “tick,” and gain the self-understanding that is necessary to achieve any goal. Losing weight and being healthy are important, but inner peace and clarity are the essential first steps.