Ayurveda – The Science of Life
The Ayurvedic teaching aims at balancing your natural energies in order that your physical and mental well-being increase. Ayurveda is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The Science of Life” and is often called the “Mother of All Healing.” Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and stems from the ancient Vedic culture. It is based on the five key elements of nature and the three individual doshas of each person.
The basis for Ayurvedic Living is a mindful approach to yourself, your fellow human beings and nature. Balance and connectedness play the central role. Those who live Ayurvedically usually act more socially, sustainably and consciously. The fact that you feel healthier, more relaxed and energetic is a positive side effect that connects body and mind more with each other again.
Ayurveda - The basics
According to Ayurveda, five elements make up the universe; air, water, space, fire, and earth. These elements are believed to form three different doshas, which are defined as types of energy that circulate within your body. Each dosha is responsible for specific physiological functions. As you bring your dosha’s into balance, so too your mind and body, allowing for a healthy balance in yourself. To find out your Dosha, see below.
We are delighted to work with āsmi Ayurveda a Scandinavian Lifestyle brand who produce three three organic tea variations - Energise, Purify and Cleanse. You can shop the collection here.
āsmi Ayurveda Teas – the story
Murali Nair, Founder
“In India I grew up in a region called Kerala. There I lived with my family on a farm with hundreds of coconut trees and huge rice fields. Kerala is the home of Ayurveda and was therefore also a part of my everyday life. When I was sick, my mother used to collect Tulsi leaves from the garden to make me a tea. We used fresh, homemade hibiscus paste as shampoo. We were a part of nature and discovered our treasures in it and were taught to always look out for them. Just as important as the love of nature has always been the love of fellow human beings: My father, who owned the only car in the village, drove the children from the neighborhood to school, and the family doctor treated the poor for free.
The connection with nature and people is the core of Ayurveda. Unfortunately, this has not yet really arrived on the local Ayurveda market. With āsmi we would like to change that.”
This childlike inspiration of ecological and social connectedness is what āsmi Ayurveda want to achieve - a lifestyle brand with authentic products, developed with Ayurvedic experts, that is climate positive. Murali Nair started conceptualizing teas because Ayurveda has been using teas for thousands of years. They are called "Kashayam."
What is my Dosha?
Ayurveda sees every human being having an individual constitution-'Prakriti' (nature in Sanskrit), which is defined by their respective Doshas. The Doshas are the results of basic elements of the universe coming together. The elements mix together in multiple ways and proportions, creating unique forms of matter, to form three kinds of mind-body types or Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, each with its physical and psychological characteristics.
Vata is dominated by elements air and space. It has characteristics of constant motion and energy. This means that people with the Vata Dosha are creative, communicative, quick-learners and constantly on the move to the next interesting thing. They are child-hearted, can multitask and are flexible. On the other hand, they get bored quickly, are moody and are quickly overwhelmed. They are not likely to be grounded and tend to change their minds often.
Vata types have a delicate bone structure and do not carry much weight. Their skin tends to be dry and their hand and feet are constantly cold. Their sensitive immune system and a weak digestion require regular meals that are not too heavy, and are simple in their composition. Combining too many of different foods is better to be avoided. It's good for a Vata person to drink warm beverages often, however, it is highly recommended to avoid caffeine in order to not stimulate an already active nervous system too much.
A Vata imbalance that usually accelerates in cold, windy weather, would increase the restlessness and the wind can become a hurricane! Raw food can too, aggravate an already imbalanced Vata. To restore this balance, it is recommended to switch to a diet that is on the heavier side, consisting of rice, oatmeal and vegetables like potatoes, spinach etc.
Pitta is dominated by the elements fire and water. Characterised by life energy, a Pitta person is passionate in their personal and professional life. They are quick to learn and enjoy working hard. On the downside, this can lead to them being too competitive, become impatient and have low tolerance for someone who does not live by their pace.
Pitta's strength is the robust metabolism that gives them the strength they need to achieve their ambitious goals. This however, calls for respect so as not to cross their physical and mental limits. Pitta types have a good appetite, they perspire heavily and gain and lose weight quickly.
A Pitta imbalance, that usually happens summer, may result in heartburn and added irritability. This can be balanced by avoiding spicy and salty food and a cooling diet with lots of raw food, veggies and legumes.
Earth and water constitute the Kapha Dosha. Characterised by stability and patience, the Kapha person is grounded and not easily thrown out of balance. They are loving, caring and find happiness in small things. The stickiness that you get by mixing earth and water means that they tend to be tenacious and never in a tearing hurry.
Kapha personalities value inner peace and harmony. On the other downside, they can become stuck in the rut with fear of change, delving into the past that can sometimes even result in becoming possessive with their loved ones.
People with a Kapha dosha have a low metabolism, consequently they need a diet that is easy to digest. Greasy and deep fried food are to be avoided, while pungent and bitter flavours like ginger and pepper, have a stimulating effect on the digestion and help reduce the heaviness of Kapha.
It is important to know that the Doshas are not exclusive, meaning that you could have more than one Dosha. In addition, your dominant Dosha can change depending on several factors such as the season, your diet and your lifestyle.
According to Ayurveda, wellbeing is the state when all the Doshas are in balance. Stress, poor eating habits or other factors that affect us negatively, can disrupt this balance, often resulting in sickness. Ayurveda teaches us how to prevent this from happening, naturally meaning that is highly important to be conscious of your Doshas. It is equally important to be aware of what is happening with your body and mind in order to make the necessary changes to your nutrition and mental wellbeing so that you remain in balance.
The above information is meant to give an overview of the concept of Ayurveda. You can find out more online and in health & wellbeing literature.