-Dr. Vijith Sasidha
Where’s your head at
If we look at the Vedas - the Indian scriptures on spirituality and life - they describe what modern medicine is just beginning to grasp: that the mind has a very powerful influence on our overall health and well-being. According to Ayurveda, perfect health is a delicate balance between body, mind, soul, and the senses. They cannot be separated. You can brush your teeth with Triphala and be a star at oil pulling, but what about cleaning out the dusty corners of your mind? As our teacher Victoria Hyndman would say, ‘What’s going on in the living room of the mind?’ That’s why, the core concepts of Ayurveda emphasize the view of the mind, consciousness, and spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, and mantra.
Okay, but it seems impossible to integrate Ayurveda into a Western lifestyle…
In the beginning, it can feel like A LOT. Trust me, I’ve been there too. But it’s all about integrating a few principles slowly, one step at the time. Once you understand the basic principles, it’s all about making it your own. As our teacher, Kirsten Drooger explains: ‘Ayurveda is a living thing. It cannot be very rigid. Find a way how it fits into your life.’
One of the best ways to do so is looking at your Dinacharya, a suggested routine of morning and nighttime practices. One of my favourite practices is waking up by 5:30 every morning so I start the day energized and uplifted (yes, I know how strange this can sound). Tongue scraping and Abhyanga (applying warm oil to the body) have also become hugely helpful practices for me. I also recommend making lunch the biggest meal of the day, spicing up your dinner plate, and taking it easy (as a Pitta Dosha, I have the tendency to push myself a lot, but Ayurveda reminds me not to force myself to go to an Ashtanga yoga class when I’m already stressed or overworked).