Ayurveda 101: Unleash Your Healthy, Happy, Sexy Self
If you are a radiance-seeking, spirit-minded, slightly-frazzled, time-constrained modern woman – this book may be an answer to your prayers. You see, I wrote much of this book while living in the hustle and bustle of the San Francisco Bay area. I found that city-living left me feeling kind of crummy a lot of the time. There was one thing that really helped, and it was called Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is old folk wisdom. Through studying it, I discovered that women had not always been so disconnected from their innate healing capacities. There were ancient tools and techniques of self-care and nourishment that made life in the labrynth of being a woman in the hectic, often feeling-less Western world just a little easier. By using Ayurvedic wise-woman tools, I found that my own energy increased, my emotions felt more manageable, and it was easier to get in touch with the living core of my being.
This book is a distillation of what I learned with many great teachers, as well as ancient and modern Ayurvedic resources. I whole-heartedly believe that the wisdom of Ayurveda can help us become better listeners. It can help us hear our soul’s voice, and can be the support we need for fulfilling the highest destiny, both personally and collectively.
So what is Ayurveda?
Don’t worry. The first time I tried to say the word Ayurveda, I too had to twist and contort my tongue into quite a mess. The ancient Indian seers who came up with the concept were pretty to-the-point- the word Ayurveda comes from the combination of the root-word Ayur, meaning life, and Veda, meaning science. So, Ayurveda means “the science of living,” and its ancient brilliance offers lucid insights so simple and so profound that you may have a hard time believing in the power of its simplicity.
Ayurveda claims to offer not only a philosophy, but a time-tested (we are talking thousands of years!) method for living the most joyful, healthy life possible. How do we align ourselves with this juicy joyfulness and cosmic sweetness, according to Ayurveda? By learning how to live in accordance with the never-ending ebb and flow of the Big Mama herself: Mother Nature.
Ayurvedic life philosophy not only aligns us with the macrocosm. Using Ayurveda helps us learn to dive deep inside the mini-Universe of ourselves through self-observation and love. True self-seeing requires a willingness to look into our own life challenges and our own areas of confusion. It asks us to ponder the difficult questions like, “Where is my own life lacking sweetness and nurturing, so much so that I find myself reaching for bonbons late at night, snuggling up to the wine bottle, or calling up ex-boyfriends that don’t really serve me?” In this way, the more we understand the dark corners of our mind and emotions, the more our body and mind will naturally begin to align with the purity that is our true nature.
This path is not easy. It requires radical self-honesty, compassionate contemplation and regular meditation. Yes, I said the “m” word. But, don’t worry, this book will make it easy for you to start meditating, starting with only a few minutes, or a few deep breaths, every day. This path also requires a shift in perspective. Ayurveda teaches us that we must accept ownership of our life circumstances. That means we have to own our late-night emotional eating, insomnia, undigested father-issues, financial woes, and any other “you fill-in-the-blank” bones of contention. Through owning our present life circumstances, we take a massive step toward empowerment. We have a choice. We can become the author of our own story.
Using Ayurvedic principles of health and lifestyle will provide us with the tools for writing the most blissful, shiny story possible. We go from being victims of germs, and parents that didn’t know how to love us, and healthcare systems that do not care for us, to co-creators in a movement towards freedom from disease and mental struggle. And if we are being honest, what most of us really want is a fabulously healthy body, a calm mind and a big ole’ heart. Ayurveda (and her mother-system of Tantra) give us the unlimited potential to get all three.
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Just a correction, Ayurveda is/was a complete medical system in ancient times. On some level it has folk connotations, but it is not folk medicine by any means. Modern day has shifted some things since surgery etc. was surpassed by western allopathy. The new barrage of North American institutions such as CCA have brought on this type of new age Ayurveda thinking that gives us a light understanding of the richness of this tradition not to mention training people who know very little about how to actually practice medicine. It’s like all these so called “yogis” in the world and “tantric” practitioners who don’t evenknow how to pronounce sanskrit, figure out a muhurta, or have a bonafide guru. It doesn’t really work that way.