Ayurveda means the science of life and it originates in India thousands of years ago. Many people are under the impression that it is very strict, prescriptive and perhaps quite an unrealistic way of living; this could not be further from the truth in fact. I agree that at first, because the view and outlook on diet especially is really quite contradictory to how we are commonly taught is a healthy way to eat, it can take a little bit of getting used to and requires an open mind. However, as you find yourself getting in to the whole way of Ayurvedic living, it runs smoothly and becomes second nature. There are no rules, except to have no rules. I like the saying in Ayurveda that "Nothing is good all of the time and nothing is bad all of the time".
The effects from implementing Ayurveda in to daily life can be immediate at times, especially if there are digestive issues that need addressing. Some very simple changes can really be very powerful and often clients are amazed that after suffering perhaps for a few years, their symptoms have disappeared almost over night it seems.
The results are often more subtle however, and I am thinking at the moment about a client that is a keen athlete. He has gradually reduced his weight, without diet, by about a stone over the last year. He had mild asthma which has now gone and although he keeps inhalers to hand when training hard, they are for psychological comfort more than anything; he never actually uses them. He used to suffer from constipation or sluggish bowels and now is as regular as clockwork. He used to have rosacea which has cleared up completely. When his friends who haven't seen him for quite a while comment on how good he is looking, he feels great. One friend described him as "ageless". More importantly than that though is he actually does feel great.
To outline some of the changes that I asked him to make, here are some of them:
Less meat, he eats a mainly vegetarian diet
He practises yoga once or twice a week
He takes herbs and spices that I have recommended for his unique constitution
He ensures that a work/relaxation balance is maintained
He has less lie-ins at the weekend
Now you may look at that and think that basically he is having less fun and not enjoying nice food and drinks as much. If you were to ask him I think that he would disagree as he does still enjoy the things he did, just less often. He enjoys an almond latte but occasionally allows himself dairy, a hot spicy curry now and again, a few beers, a lie-in. The difference is that now these things are not habitual as they were. The fact that he can look back to how he was a couple of years ago and compare that to how he is now, shows him that these changes have been well worth the effort. He now doesn't even think about them, they are second nature to him. Apart from the obvious physical benefits for my client he also feels that he is in a better place emotionally. Here is what he said when we were speaking about how he has changed. "I feel that I am in a more settled and content place now and am no longer chasing big goals that dominate my life. I am just living more fully in the moment and enjoying the now".
I must add that the changes for that particular client are not changes that I would recommend to everyone necessarily. Ayurveda is about understanding our qualities as a unique individual and working to balance them accordingly. So for instance, this client had lots of internal heat which has now been removed. A different client may be a much colder person and so their changes would be different.
Ayurveda is a wonderful way of life and I recommend that if you are not already familiar with it, start doing some research and maybe even book a consultation with me.