Khichadi: the gentle detox meal for all seasons

Khitchadi (also referred to as kichari) is a traditional Indian dish for which there are as many variations as families, though the foundational ingredients remain the same: rice, split moong beans (or dal) and spices. The combination is a fully balanced detoxifying one-pot meal that is easy to digest, which is why it is a staple food during periods of fasting or cleansing.

Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Servings: 6-10
 

Ingredients

2 cups basmati rice
1 cup split moong beans (dal)
2 tsp ghee leafy greens – optional to your taste
6 ½ cups water additional water if needed
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/4 to 1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp coriander seed
1″ grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom seed
1/2 fennel seed
1-2 tsp salt
 

Directions

  1. Measure ingredients, grind any whole seeds (mustard, fennel, cumin, coriander, cardamom)
  2. Wash and chop green beans and greens if adding
  3. Rinse rice and moong beans in warm water and drain
  4. Warm the ghee in a large pot, then add turmeric, mustard seed, fennel seed, cumin seed, coriander cardamom
  5. Stir and saute on medium-low for 2 minutes to release the properties of the spices
  6. Warm slowly – adjust heat so spices don’t burn
  7. Add the Basmati Rice and Moong Beans, saute for 3-4 minutes
  8. Add ginger, green beans and leafy greens (if adding). Stir together to blend, then add 6 ½ cups of water and salt
  9. Bring to boil, add salt, cover, lower heat to low and simmer 30 minutes
  10. Check consistency after 30 minutes. It should be somewhat soupy, so add more water as needed
  11. Simmer for another 10 minutes
  12. Add cardamom and cilantro to garnish, stir. Enjoy!

 

Healing Properties

  • Turmeric is anti-inflammatory
  • Fennel seeds aid digestion
  • Cumin seed aids digestion and immunity
  • Mustard seed is an antioxidant
  • Coriander aids digestion
  • Ginger aids digestion and is an anti-inflammatory
  • Cilantro-source of fiber and minerals
  • Moong and green beans provide protein, minerals, fiber
  • Leafy greens provide vitamins and minerals

Eight DIY Ayurvedic rituals to jump start your day

Dinacharya in Ayurveda plays an important role – dina means ‘day’ and charya means ‘to follow a routine.’ It is a discipline to balance the body, mind and spirit. According to Ayurveda, certain rituals performed in the morning make for a positive start to the day. They help us maintain high energy levels and keep the mind and body cleansed, improving the appearance of our health.
Performing Dinacharya each morning clears out the accumulated Ama, or toxins from the night, nurtures the body, stimulates the energetic systems and helps us kick start the day. The result: improved health and appearance of hair, skin and nails to radiate our natural beauty from within.
 

1. A golden rule: wake before sunrise, the time when positive energy is at its peak.

If you have slept well, you will wake feeling peaceful, rested and ready to jump into the day. Waking early is generally easier for a Vata person than for a Kapha person, but practice makes perfect for all Doshas. At first, the idea of some extra zzz’s may be appealing, but after adhering to the discipline of early rising, the body will adjust as it attunes to the benefits – your mind & body will feel inspired stick with it!
 

2. Cleanse your bladder and digestive system to eliminate the nightly built-up toxins.

It is true: not all of us can achieve a healthy bowel movement immediately in the morning. Try having a warm glass of water with some honey and a squeeze of lime. This normally triggers the urge to eliminate.
 

3. Do not drink or eat without brushing your teeth and cleansing your tongue.

During sleep, bacteria and other toxins accumulate to be ingested – this generates the “bad taste” or “morning breath” we may feel or observe in others. A thorough brushing of the teeth needs to be rounded off with a cleansing of the tongue with a tongue scraper. Use a copper one if you can, though any metal will suffice. Tongue scraping removes all the Ama from the tongue and awakens the Agni, or fire to help digestion. This step towards elimination is easy to neglect, but don’t let it’s simplicity fool you.
 

4. A good morning exercise regimen is essential

A gentle pranayama session, a good, long walk and some yoga asana sets you right for the day to come. Ideally throughout the exercise time, focus on your breathing. If possible, spend additional quiet time meditating. The exercises will invigorate you, while the focus on breath and meditation will simultaneously calm your mind and energize it. You may wish to do your exercise after the following steps – do what suits your needs and schedule (just don’t eat prior to exercising).
 

5. Exfoliate and invigorate with dry brushing

Using a hard, dry brush, begin with your toes and, in circular motions, sweep the body – feet, legs, abdomen, back (where you can reach), chest and neck. Dry brushing eliminates dead skin cells, encouraging new cell growth and improving the texture and appearance of the skin. Consistent dry brushing can also assist with ingrown hairs and cellulite. Its benefits are not limited to the skin surface: it also stimulates blood circulation and cleansing of the lymphatic system, which makes it a perfect ritual for morning invigoration.
 

6. Self-massage or abhyanga with oils suited to your dosha

This does not have to be a time consuming process. A regular practice of self-abhyanga, or oil massage, in conjunction with at least one monthly synchronized abhyanga therapy by qualified Panchakarma Technicians is recommended. At home, you can perform self-abhyanga each morning after your skin is prepped by your dry brush and ready to receive the oil’s hydrating nourishment.
Warm your oil and gently, but firmly, massage your body, paying extra attention to the soles of your feet. The soles contain all the nerve endings and important marma points, or conjunctions of life force energy. Abhyanga nourishes the body, firms the muscles, calms the nerves, improves circulation and assists in the elimination of toxins. Try it – you are sure to love the effects!
 
 

7. Follow up with a warm shower using with a mild, natural soap

Be mindful of letting go of any linger toxic thoughts, feelings or other hindrances that would otherwise set you back. Visualize them flowing down the drain, leaving you clear and uplifted. This should set you up for your day!
 

8. Eat a light, healthy breakfast

According to Ayurveda, no single meal is the most important of the day – all meals consumed at the right times are crucial for balancing Agni. A light and healthy breakfast between 6-8am will awaken your Agni and help you step into your day confidently, fit and happy!
 

Top spices to ground, nurture and balance in cold weather

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates, “the father of Western medicine”

The magical things spice does for our bodies

Spices play an important role in a dish. Spices enhance the flavor of a dish, though they have the capacity to do much more than taste good. Indian cuisine has a variety of the healthiest traditional spices. Some spices are used year-round, though may or not be particularly beneficial during a particular season. During the colder months, red pepper, black pepper, cumin and garlic make a seasonal spice medley to boost health and stay balanced.
 

 

Red pepper for digestion and weight management

If you want to add more flavor to your food plus health benefits like weight loss and pain relief, try adding crushed red pepper to your meals. Both in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, red peppers have been used to treat digestive problems, circulatory problems, infections and arthritis.
 
How it works? Polyphenols are antioxidants found in crushed red pepper that give them a strong disease-preventing property. The antioxidants in red pepper strengthened the immune system’s ability to reduce oxidative stress and prevent from diseases such as cancer, swelling, heart disease and increased immune function. In addition, capsaicin in hot peppers promotes circulation, which may prevent hardening of arteries and reduce risk of heart attack and stroke.
 
Red pepper flakes are great alternative to salt. If you’re watching your salt intake, red pepper flakes can be an excellent alternative. They’ll add the much-needed flavor without packing on the sodium.
 

Mineral-rich black pepper for digestion, immunity and metabolism

Black Pepper is one of the most common spices used in cuisines around the world. Millions of people who consume black pepper every day might not be aware of the fact that it is classified as a medicinal spice and is very rich in mineral content. Black pepper is a hot, pungent spice. It has an active component called piperine that gives black pepper its characteristic taste. In fact, it is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine. It also contains iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, chromium, including vitamins A and C.
 
An essential volatile oil. Black pepper usually is added to dishes when they are done cooking, otherwise its volatile oils tend to evaporate and diminish its flavor. Freshly ground black pepper has the most flavor. It is main ingredients to prepare various sauces. Black pepper aids digestion and also helps in relieving cough and common cold. It also has an antibiotic property. Apart from these uses, black pepper contains helpful chemicals that support the body in managing gastrointestinal disease, bacterial infection, cold and cough, flu and congestion, free radical suspension, metabolism, skin treatment, dental health, antidepressant, carminative, anti arthritic, diuretics and regulate blood pressure.
 

Cumin for weight management, digestion and acne

Cumin, a tiny seed coming from a plant of the Apiaceae family, is native to the Mediterranean. Many people are often confused between cumin seeds and caraway seeds because they look the same in appearance: long and brownish in color. Cumin seeds can be discerned by their lighter color, hotter taste and larger size.
 
Trying to lose weight? Jeera, or cumin seed is an essential Indian spice for most cooking. Originally, we added this spice to our dish not only for its wonderful flavor and aroma, but also for the number of health benefits it has. It may surprise you, but a pinch of cumin powder or seeds can lead to a major improvements in weight loss. New research shows that cumin powder can help jumpstart weight loss, decrease body fat, and improve unhealthy cholesterol levels naturally.
 
Why cumin seeds in diet are so important? The presence of thymol and other essential oils in cumin seeds stimulate the salivary glands, thereby helping in the digestion of food. Apart from this, they strengthen a sluggish digestive system. Cumin seed also manages and prevents acne. When toxic substances accumulated in your body, your skin will become more vulnerable to breakouts. One of the recommended Ayurvedic preventions for acnes is including cumin in your food. The possible reason may be that cumin contains active components such as Thymol, Cuminaldehyde, and phosphorous, which have detoxifying properties; hence, eating cumin regularly will help to remove the toxins from your body.
 

 

The myriad benefits of garlic

While garlic is a common ingredient in every kitchen, in ancient times, it was highly valued for its numerous health benefiting properties, which are still followed in many cultures today. Our ancestors have used it as a bug-repellant, Medieval Europe against the plague and the Egyptians would even bury it along with their dead!
 
Traditionally called stinking rose or rocambole, garlic is more than just a spicy, pungent addition to food. It was used as long ago as ancient Egyptian times as a traditional remedy to maintain health and treat disease. Other uses include treatment of fever, coughs, headache, stomach ache, sinus congestion, gout, joint pain, hemorrhoids, asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath, low blood sugar, snakebites, diarrhea and bloody diarrhea, tuberculosis, bloody urine, a serious nose and throat infection called diphtheria, whooping cough, tooth sensitivity, stomach inflammation (gastritis), scalp ringworm, and a sexually transmitted disease called vaginal trichomoniasis. It is also used for fighting stress and fatigue.
 
How does it work? Garlic produces a chemical called allicin, a sulfur compound similar to that found in onions which is cited as the active agent for many health conditions. Allicin also produces the well-known garlic odor. Some products are made “odorless” by aging the garlic, but this process can also make the garlic less effective. It’s a good idea to look for supplements that are coated (enteric coating) so they will dissolve in the intestine and not in the stomach. The allicin in garlic can help with hair loss and its anti-inflammatory property can help with psoriasis. Our red blood cells can take some types of sulfur-containing molecules in garlic and use them to produce H2S. This H2S in turn can help our blood vessels expand and keep our blood pressure in check. Interestingly, some processed garlic extracts cannot be used by our red blood cells in the same way and do not seem to provide the same level of cardio protection that is provided by garlic in food form.

Subtle shifts for living life abundantly

According to some traditions, the key to abundance lies in the mind, which may give the impression that it is simply a matter of how one thinks. This can be a bit misleading if we aren’t clear about what exactly mind is.
An Ayurvedic approach recognizes that the mind, body and emotions are integrally connected. Manifesting our goals and actualizing our true potential is thus a function of shifting not just how we think, but how we move and act, and these functions do not operate independently; they work together. How you think and feels affects how you act, and how you act affects how you think and feel.
Learning to live abundantly doesn’t have to be a homework assignment in daily mantras. Daily training in thought patterning can and does work for some, but may feel too forced for others. We can also gently reorient our existing patterns by ushering in slight shifts in perspective that have a powerful impact on our energy levels, such as the following:
 

 

1. Cherish your body

We all have areas for improvement, but realistic goals for physical health should never inhibit our love and respect for the flesh, blood and bone that houses our spirit. Sometimes loving our body is as simple as giving thanks when it serves us. Try it! Practice gratitude for your body by consciously thanking it each day. Thank your legs for taking you places, your arms for lifting and making moves, your heart for pumping and oxygenating your blood. Our bodies contain our consciousness, so sending love to its various parts feels intrinsically good to our mind and allows us to become fully embodied – a popular concept that refers to the state in which our consciousness fully inhabits the body. Being embodied means we are physically, mentally and emotionally stronger, thus most capable of acting, creating and manifesting.
 

 

2. Walk it off, out and in

Our entire mind-body unit is composed of thousands of energetic channels known as Nadis. Nadi Shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing, balances two of the primary Nadis: the Ida and Pingala, through controlled breathwork. Walking also balances the Nadis, bringing the right and left sides of the brain and body into alignment. When we are confronted with a challenges, sometimes we rely more heavily on one side of the brain, either right or left, and are unable to reach a resolution as a result. Daily walks are our opportunities to sort and process whatever life is bringing to us, reinvigorating our senses so we are open to new possibilities.
 

 

3. Treat yourself… today

Waiting for the day when you can let loose and savor life cultivates an energy of stagnation and lack. If your idea of treating yourself is a grand to-do, come down to earth and recognize that life constantly offers sweet and savory moments – we just need to slow down, get off the #futuregoals bus and acknowledge them. Whatever inspires and impassions you is your key to self indulgence, and focusing on what you love cultivates progress and abundance.
 

4. Create daily rituals….

We are more productive when we have reasonable schedules that support what our minds and bodies need each day for basic functioning. When we take the bulk of guesswork out of tasks like eating, sleeping and carving out time for friends and family by sticking to a daily schedule and planning meals in advance, we free up more energy to enjoy these experiences and pursue higher aspirations. This is easier said than done for some people, so accommodate yourself. Rely on a calendar with reminders and notifications to keep you on track if you need, and involve other people in the tasks if you benefit from group energy. Maintaining a schedule is actually quite easy, it’s starting that is most challenging – just do it!
 

 

5. …so you can easily try something new everyday

In Ayurveda we emphasize routine for aligning one’s system with Nature’s cycles. Yet human consciousness thrives on new stimulation. Consciously try something new everyday. It can be as easy as jogging down a new road, taking your lunch at a new cafe or popping into an art gallery on your commute that you haven’t visited. Perhaps you already try new things all the time and don’t realize; tune into these experiences, becoming your own Observer. Acknowledge the new energy they usher into your life and allow your life course to be enriched by them.

Four steps to releasing obstacles and embracing change


Change brings uncertainty, and that can be daunting. When something new happens, our brain is hardwired to react nervously when out of the comfort zone of having prior knowledge and experience. You may tense up in such situations, go into fight or flight mode, or experience a more subtle level of anxiety such as tightness in the stomach or chest. Unfortunately in this state, you may block yourself from your highest potential in situations.
 
Although this reaction is normal in the human brain, it is possible to change it when you catch it happening, as well as prevent it from occurring in the future. Ayurveda and its sister science Yoga teach simple methods and philosophies to help us see change for what it truly is: an opportunity for Joyfulness. These timeless tools can help you embrace newness as an opportunity for exploration and excitement rather than apprehension and anxiety.
 

If you are facing change with apprehension and worry, what can you do?

 

1. Release the tension

 

  • Breathe deeply 4 or 5 times and stretch high with fingers intertwined at full arm stretch above your head or with palms together. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then relax. Hold your interlaced fingers behind your neck and lean back. Feel tension drain away.
  • Draw a warm bath, adding Ayurvedic essential oils according to your dosha and soak, breathing the aroma deeply. Stay in the moment consciously relaxing, breathing gently and rhythmically.
  • Improve sleep by rubbing the soles of your feet before bed for a few minutes with warm coconut or sesame oil. Use your fingertips with soothing strokes. Press points on the toes and heels with gentle firmness. According to Ayurveda, sleeping well is half the battle won for wellness. (Protect your sheets with cotton socks.)

 

2. Expand and uplift through movement

 

  • Exercise to increase your heart rate, so that feel-good endorphins are released. Choose whatever method suits you, such as biking, dancing, jogging, an aerobics class or even some simple jumping jacks.
  • Connect with Nature: If at all possible, spend time where Nature surrounds you. The sound of flowing water, the sough of leaves in the breeze, the beauty of flowers and chirping of birds, will elevate your mood. If you don’t have access to this environment, try creating it someplace in your home or at your work space by adding plants and playing a natural soundtrack.
  • Take a non-threatening break from routine: maybe a massage, a swim, or just a game with your pets. Let yourself be spontaneous and play even for just a short time – feel your mind lighten and brighten!

 

3. Calm your mind consciously

 

  • Cut back on stimulants: coffee, alcohol, smoking, carbonated beverages, sodas and processed sugar.
  • Try the meditation of silence: close your eyes and loosely connect the fingers of both hands. Sit as you want. Once comfortable stay physically still. Let your mind roam completely free. In the beginning like a wild horse, it will rage in every direction. Then slowly thoughts will slow and the Mind will still. In this stillness of the utter silence within you will find calm.
  • Alternate nostril breathing: a powerful calming Pranayama technique is the Nadi Shodhana. Sit comfortably with eyes closed. Focus only on your breath. Close the right nostril with the right thumb, and breathe in deeply with the left nostril. Close the left nostril with the last 2 fingers, release your thumb and Breathe out completely. Keeping the left nostril closed, repeat the sequence. This completes one round of this calming practice. Do this for at least 5 minutes everyday. End each practice with deep breaths through both nostrils.
  • Take a Savasana, or Corpse Pose: this Yogic posture always concludes an asana practice though you can use it anytime. Lying on your back, spread your arms and legs at around 45 degrees. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Relax completely and concentrate on your breath. Look for tension spots and consciously release them until your whole being is relaxed. Stay in this for about 20 minutes.

 

4. Now you are ready to take action!

 

  • Write down your thoughts and feeling: journal about what is making the change so threatening. What is the worst that can happen? Will that really end your world? Often putting situations in this perspective allows the mind to prioritize what is worth feeling anxious and what may be an overreaction.
  • Enlighten yourself – knowledge is power: familiarity breeds comfort. It is natural to react to a new strange situation with anxiety. Work to make it less strange through research and talking to other people about it.
  • Find the silver lining: Could moving to a new city be a chance to explore new and exciting sights, sounds, people? Look into the past: has change always been bad in your life? Probably not. Ask yourself why this shouldn’t be a change for the better. Think “excitement” rather than “apprehension.”
  • Try scripting your possible first encounter with the new situation or person: figure out what could happen, how it will begin and how you would like the first encounter to end.

 

Kadha: an Ayurvedic immune-boosting drink

Kadha is an Ayurvedic drink including herbs and spices which are typically boiled in water for a length of time, allowing all of the medicinal benefits to be extracted. Kadha is especially helpful during the Vata, or cold and dry season when allergies can arise.
 
Once boiled, you can sip the kadha multiple times during the day. You can even store it and then reheat just before consuming.
 
If you often fall ill, it means your body’s immunity is low. You can strengthen it with the help of this herbal kadha which has a mix of several Ayurvedic herbs. These pacify the Vata and Kapha, stimulate digestion, increase immunity and also detox our body. Cardamom and black pepper are helpful in flu and different allergic problems. Cinnamon and ginger also aid digestion, which directly impacts our immunity, as our first line of defense is in the gut.
 

Recipe

Recipe yields 1 serving
 

Ingredients

1 tbsp cardamom
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp dried ginger
1 tbsp black pepper
3 cups water
Honey – optional to taste
 

Instructions

In a pot, add cardamom, cinnamon, dried ginger and black pepper in water. Boil the content until about 1 cup of solution is left. If you choose to add honey, add before consuming when liquid is warm but not too hot to drink.
 

15 ways Ayurveda can change your life

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year-old system and still thriving today. Why? It works!
If you’re already a student of Ayurveda, you know first-hand how this profound health science improves your life. But for those of us just starting to crack its surface and contemplating diving deeper into study, the ancient wisdom might seem vast & intimidating.
You may be wondering – what does it accomplish? What makes it special? Here are some of the reasons:
 

1. A health system born from Nature

With an Ayurvedic approach, there’s no guessing games when it comes to ethos and philosophy – you know your approach to health is rooted in Nature’s elements and principles, and your solutions will help you to better align with Nature. Ayurveda translates to “the science” (or wisdom, knowledge) of “life” – and this applies to all the life, as we know it, in our Universe.
 

2. Finally – a broad roadmap to sustainable living

When we align ourselves with Nature, we develop an innate sense of what is sustainable. “Sustainable” is a buzzword we’ve all heard by now, but what does it really mean? According to Ayurveda, anything that taxes the system – that counters the support of life – is unsustainable. We don’t strive for perfection in Ayurveda (for that can cause more stress!), but we do learn to evolve our daily lifestyles and orient ourselves towards the choices which best support all aspects of our lives – physical, mental, emotional health. The result is lasting solutions instead of short term, quick fixes.
 

3. Self-empowered health building – own it, live it, love it

Ayurveda provides the tools we need to understand what is health and what can we do to support it. We learn what we can do every day and what decisions we are constantly making which impact our health. Ayurveda calls each and every one of us to take back our power and claim our ability to manifest a healthy life. This doesn’t mean we don’t seek guidance or expert advice – quite the opposite! Ayurveda acknowledges that this is a learning path, and we must honestly admit when we face limitations and take the self-loving steps needed to find support. With the tools of Ayurveda, we can truly take charge of our health.
 

4. Recognition of individual power

Ayurveda helps us learn that what is unsustainable for our minds is also unsustainable in our bodies, which is likely to be unsustainable for our community, for our city, for the planet, and so on. Ayurveda calls each and every one of us to action as empowered proponents of our own individual health, and recognizes that taking care of the self is not selfish – it is also taking care of the whole!
 

5. Total personalization in health

In Ayurveda, there is no one-size-fits-all model. We’re not saying you’re unique to make you feel good – we’re saying it because you actually are! Ayurveda recognizes that humans all have a unique mind-body constitution, and outlines the three basic types of these constitutions which exist: the Triodshas, or Vata-Pitta-Kapha. Ayurvedic study teaches us the nature of these qualities and how to recognize them, so we can uncover how they are manifested in ourselves and define our unique needs.
 

 

6. Self love for your unique mind and body

With Ayurveda’s personalized health system, we learn constitutional qualities or not good are bad – they simply are. We are relieved of self-judgment due to comparing ourselves to others who are different. For example: do you have trouble keeping weight off and have a high amountof Kapha in your constitution? Your inability to lose weight can be partially due to your constitution, not simply an imbalance or flaw. On the slip side: have you always been tremendously thin and could never put weight on? Vata-dominant constitutions are naturally slender and do not absorb weight easily. You can’t change your constitution, but Ayurveda can help you understand what it is, why it’s occurring and how you can manage it best.
 

7. Increased understanding of others and improved relationships

Ayurveda recognizes that humans express not only their physical body, but also their personality in direct relationship to their Doshas. For this reason we call it a “mind-body” constitution. Recognizing what is a constitutional trait of our friends, family and coworkers can be the key to finding peace in your relationships. For example: does it bug you every time your friend forgets to call you back or mixes up the dates of your plans? You may begin to take this personally if it’s a recurring pattern; but, upon discovering your friend has a Vata-predominant constitution, you may realize it’s not personal – it’s a constitutional trait that your friend probably has a lot of trouble controlling. Instead of becoming resentful, you’ll find that giving that particular friend extra reminders and double confirming plans helps to keep your relationship functioning smoothly. If your friend learns your constitutional nature, then you both can exchange this type of loving consideration and look out for each other’s needs.
 

8. Better collaboration and work performance

 
Work relationships are influenced by our constitutional balances just as much as our personal relationships. That Vata friend who is forgetful but you now have learned to forgive – does that also sound like a coworker who’s missing appointments or deadlines, or not staying focused during conversations? What about that Pitta-dominant coworker who is always on top of things and can become impatient with the Vata-dominant coworker? Ayurveda opens us up to understanding the key constitutional differences and how we can modify our expectations and behavior to collaborate optimally.
 

9. A simple definition of disease

Understanding constitution is one of the first steps we take when we study Ayurveda. Perhaps after identifying your Pitta-dominant coworker, you’re still scratching your head and wondering if their passive aggressive emails are also “just their constitution”? In Ayurveda there is constitution, and then there is imbalance, or disease. “Dosha” is defined as “that which can go out of balance,” so Ayurveda recognizes within its own terminology that imbalance is a constant part of living – and also provides us the framework for understanding what can be done to restore balance. Our unique mind-body constitution makes us prone to particular imbalances more than others, but a skilled Ayurvedic practitioner will be able to clearly discern between the two.
 
 

10. The roadmap to living seasonally

We know to dress for the weather and what’s in season when we visit the farmer’s market, but for some people, their relationship with “seasonal” health ends there. Ayurveda explains the what and how of seasons – what elements constitute each unique season, how they manifest and when to detect seasonal shifts, plus how seasonal qualities affect the Doshas in our minds and bodies. You begin to understand why you prefer certain seasons and what you can do to balance your system when seasonal changes begin to throw you off balance. While you may not have access to a perfectly local and seasonal source of food, Ayurveda can support you in choosing foods based on their elemental qualities, so you can still eat seasonally on an energetic level. Seasonal is not limited to just nutrition, and Ayurveda provides a host of tools for seasonal balancing through exercise, relaxation, bodywork and lifestyle routines.
 

12. Approach health preventatively

The golden beauty of Ayurveda is perhaps in its ability to actually prevent disease. The Ayurvedic system looks at disease as a progression, with several stages of imbalance that occur prior to a disease manifests that is detectable by conventional testing. For example, diabetes has a total of 20 stages of development according to Ayurveda – yes, 20! Living an Ayurvedic lifestyle helps to prevent disease from ever manifesting, and health care by a trained Ayurvedic practitioner allows health seekers an opportunity to detect budding illness in the earliest stages.
 

13. Find solutions to some those seemingly mysterious, chronic health issues

A holistic, preventive approach to health means imbalance is targeted at the root issue rather than treating symptoms and providing band aids for deeper problems. Through thorough assessment of an individual’s unique constitution, family and medical history, an all-encompassing approach is taken that takes into account mental, physical and emotional aspects to imbalances. Assessment techniques also scan for subtle disease levels using tools such as pulse diagnosis, which can detect imbalances that conventional tests may miss.
 
 

14. Light the path of your new professional destiny

Studying Ayurveda is a healing journey that impacts our individual health, relationships and career, even leading to an exciting new career development. Health professionals from all backgrounds are discovering the power of Ayurveda and enhancing their practice with its wisdom – medical practitioners, nutritionists, Yoga instructors, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, acupuncturists, massage therapists, estheticians, beauty product therapists, counselors, life coaches and more. Even more professionals from diverse backgrounds are feeling called to a career change and diving into the study of holistic health. (Ready to make a change? Check out our 9 ways to build a career with Ayurveda for some inspiration).
 

15. Discover an inspiring life philosophy

Ayurveda is not a religion or a spiritual system, though its elegant, all-encompassing philosophy can inspire a deep sense of grounding and connectivity. Furthermore, Ayurveda – just like other ancient, holistic health systems – is more relevant now than ever in supporting the healing of individuals as well as our planet. It feels good to be a part of the solution!