Tips, Tricks & Tales from the SESA Beverage Lab
Ayurveda is an Ancient Sanskrit word meaning "the complete knowledge for long life". The root word, "Ayus" means "longevity" while "Veda" means "knowledge" or "science". Ayurveda originated in India as a form of traditional medicine & has recently gained popularity in the west as a form of "alternative" medicine.
Ayurveda is based upon the Hindu belief in the Pancha Mahabhuta or the Five Great Elements -- earth, water, air, fire, and ether. It is believed every creation, including the human body, is comprised of these five essential building blocks.
While at its root a medical practice, Ayurveda is also a philosophy of life, incorporating a plant-based, holistic approach to wellness and balanced living. The goals of this philosophy include a balanced metabolism & digestion, good hygiene, exercise, yoga, & meditation.
While difficult in today's fast-paced world to live consistently by these principals, they can be incorporated into a contemporary lifestyle to increase well-being and balance in one's life.
Seeking Balance - Doshas
The Ayurvedic approach is all about understanding our individual bodies, minds, & environment to bring us back into balance. While each person is unique, there are fundamental similarities based upon the five major elemental building blocks of fire, earth, air, water, and ether.
Ayurvedic medicine incorporates the five major building blocks into a three element system called Doshas. It is believed that everyone has one predominate dosha that impacts the functionality of their mind & body.
Each of the three doshas (Kapha, Pitta, & Vata) exist and function in harmony with one another. In Ayurveda it is believed that disease arises when these three elements are out of balance, either inside the body or in the environment.
Kapha is the dosha formed by earth and water. It controls stability and structure in one's life.
Those with Kapha tendencies exhibit strong frames & athleticism, but have a tendency towards weight gain without proper exercise.
Earth & Water support stability, compassion & loyalty. When out of balance, Kaphas become unmotivated, stubborn, and can be complacent when change is necessary.
In order to maintain balance in their lives, Kaphas should seek out new experiences & environments, and maintain a balanced diet to avoid weight gain.
Pitta is the dosha controlled by fire. It controls metabolic activity, digestion, and warmth.
Those with Pitta tendencies typically exude inner strength & intensity, while also being irritable. They usually have a medium build and high endurance. Fast learners, Pittas are natural leaders, but they can become impatient and judgmental when others do not live up to their expectations.
Pitta people can maintain balance by cooling their inner fire through balanced rest, spending time in nature, and favoring cooler colors.
Vata is associated with air & ether. It controls the nervous system, movement & sensation.
Vatas tend to be very skinny, mentally and physically active people. Creative pursuits & new experiences drive Vatas. When balanced, those with Vata tendencies are imaginative, flexible, & original. When out of balance, however, they become anxious & irresponsible. The air influence on Vatas can cause major fluctuations in appetite, so eating regular, balanced meals helps vatas maintain wellness. Additionally, enhancing warmth in the environment through warm colors and heat-inducing foods, like ginger, aid balance restoration.
While most everyone exhibits one dosha predominately, each of us contain all three & will occasionally have another dosha become more prominent depending upon the situation. In Ayurveda the whole practice is about balancing each of these three aspects of the self in order to maintain wellness.
Today, many products are available on the market that originate in Ayurveda -- from tongue scrapers to shampoos, Ayurvedic ingredients can be found at most natural foods stores and even some conventional grocery stores!
One easy way of getting back in balance is by adding the practice of drinking tea into your daily routine. Whether it is a cup in the morning, afternoon, or evening, the process of steeping tea encourages a moment of reflection and choosing an Ayurvedic tea cultivates balance from the inside out!
Try one of Sesa's Ayurveda-inspired teas today to get back into harmony with yourself!