A MODERN GUIDE TO AYURVEDA
I am totally a multi-passionate person. There are so many things that excite me and get me all lit up. For those of you that have been following this blog for a while (thank you!) you would’ve heard about Ayurveda and how much I dig it.
However, there are a HEAP of new friends following The Wellness Project (totally humbled) and I’d like to introduce Ayurveda to you.
Ayurveda, is Life Science or Life Knowledge. It’s very much about working harmoniously with the seasons, mother nature, your own personal nature and the elements.
To help us navigate through Ayurveda, I’m stupidly excited to introduce to you the amazing Monica Bloom – an expert in Ayurveda to help explain this amazing system of health and healing.
Monica is an Ayurvedic Practitioner (she also calls herself an Ayurvedic Promoter) who hails from San Francisco in California. I’ve been following Monica’s amazing website, HeyMonicaB for a very, very long time and I’ve learnt SO much from her. She is also INCREDIBLY generous with her knowledge and resources (you’ll see what I mean in a minute).
So, instead of me sharing the limited knowledge of Ayurveda I’ve asked for Monica’s help. She is open, passionate, clearly knowledgeable, but the best bit – she takes this complex topic and makes it SO EASY to understand… enjoy!
Ayurveda according to Monica B …
What IS Ayurveda?
In a nutshell, Ayurveda is living according to who you are as an individual! No two of people are exactly alike and that is the foundation of Ayurveda. You see, we each have an innate balance of the five great elements; space, air, fire, water, earth – that’s all that exists in the great Universe, all the way down to our tiniest cells! While everyone has all of the elements, we have them in different combinations, making each one of us unique. Ayurveda seeks to find out what this combination is, and through diet, lifestyle, therapies (massage, cleanses, aromatherapy), and herbal remedies it helps us maintain that balance throughout life. According to Ayurveda, maintaining our individual, natural balance is optimum health.
Now, over time the balance can change due to wrong diet, wrong thinking, emotional or physical traumas, stress and a slew of other things that can happen during our lifetime. I mean, life happens! Using Ayurveda can help correct and shed those problems, allowing us to move closer to our true selves, our innate natural combination.
How is Ayurveda relevant in our day-to-day lives?
Ayurveda IS our every day lives! It is food, sleep, exercise, thoughts, relationships, skincare, digestion, home remedies, pooping, laughing, loving, praying. Pause and take a deep, slow breath through the nose, let your lower belly fill with air. Now exhale through the nose letting the lower belly sink toward the spine. That is prana (life breath), that is life, that is Ayurveda. Simple as a breath…and there you go, Ayurveda
Share with us your belief in Ayurveda – any success stories?
I don’t BELIEVE Ayurveda, I KNOW it. I rely on it. I require it. It’s in the pulse of everything I do and everything I teach the people around me. Success stories…so many!! One success story I can think of is a gal who had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for 12 years. She’d been to several western doctors and specialists and taken countless medications. After a short dive into her daily habits, she told me she was having fake sugars in her coffee. I told her to stop that…and within 1 week her IBS was gone. [Having come out the otherside of IBS using Ayurveda I can attest to this – Claire]
The reason? Fake sugars are not natural and our bodies are! If we give our bodies stuff that isn’t from nature, it doesn’t know what to do with it and our bodies (and/or minds!) go a little wackadoo to try and get rid of the stuff. So simple and it changed her life. Ayurveda is astonishingly simple and so logical. It’s almost as if it’s too logical…could the secret to life really be this easy? You betcha, baby!!
What is the BEST bit about Ayurveda?
It honors our authenticity as individuals! It see me, it sees you. Also, it is cheap, logical, and extremely effective in a short amount of time. The only downside is that not everyone on the planet knows about it…yet. But, that’s my job
Ok, so for someone TOTALLY new to Ayurveda how do they explore it further?
Ah, the most important thing first is to get a sense of who you are. You can take my dosha test here: http://heymonicab.com/dosha-test/
Take the test according to who you are naturally, not necessarily who you are today. Remember, we can change over time so finding your natural balance is necessary so that you can make changes and get back to that. I also wrote a post specifically addressing this question because so many people don’t know where to start.
Monica, we are in Autumn write now in Australia. What are some top tips for staying in balance during the season?
That means that it’s vata season! You should read my vata seasonal bloom, which is a little booklet with goodie diet, exercise and lifestyle management tips for autumn! [This is AMAZING! – Claire]
Ayurveda is quite complex, so do we have to take on the WHOLE system or can we cherry-pick from it?
Honestly taking on a WHOLE method would be overwhelming. I always recommend choosing 2-3 things to work on for a month, do them well and then add more. For example, I might tell a client to change their breakfast, go to bed earlier (by 10pm) and do 5-10 minutes of pranayama a day. Practice this for a month and when these become habits, we can add 2-3 more things. This sets people up for success because they can actually incorporate them! Ayurveda is totally doable. So, rather than cherry-pick, I see it more as building blocks. Choose a couple things, stick with them, and then add a couple more. Ayurveda can be very fast therapy-wise for healing, but Ayurvedic life changes that are long-lasting can only be built slowly. Ayurveda says, “Slowly we make the changes.” [This is the same approach I utilise with my coaching clients – drip feed changes SLOWLY! – Claire]
Any final words of advice?
Ayurveda is so simple, totally logical. So here are my ideas, crazy as they sound.
- Eat good food
- Exercise daily
- Poop daily
- Surround yourself with and make time for people who bring love and laughter.
- Go to bed by 10 pm
- Enjoy your work
- Take time for 20 deep slow breaths, daily
[Aaah, a woman after my own heart! – Claire]
Ninety percent of all health problems can be cured by diet and lifestyle changes. The best news?! It’s all in your control – you drive it. In Ayurveda, YOU create your life and health. Woo!
How awesome is Monica? I hope you learned something about Ayurveda. If you are eager to delve into it a little further PLEASE visit HeyMonicaB – there’s a ton of information on there. It is by far the most modern-living guide to Ayurveda out there. Honest.
Monica’s parting words: If you want to work with an Ayurvedic Practitioner ask at your local yoga studio. Although Ayurveda DOES include magical remedies like drizzling oil on your head READ my personal experience with this remedy in India) there is so much more healing power to it.
A good Ayurvedic practitioner will talk to you a lot about your daily habits, routine, diet, lifestyle, emotions, and stress levels. Their consultations should be long (mine are 2 hours for the first visit!) enough to discover the root cause of your problems. Ayurveda is not about curing a disease, it’s about addressing the root cause and curing the person.
I hope you enjoyed this insight into Ayurveda from an expert.
Now, I want to hear from YOU!
What do you think about Ayurveda? Have you had experience with it? Or are you intrigue to explore it further now?
Share with me below in the comments.
love + light,
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