By Kathy Cass, re:YOGA Yoga Therapist + Ayurvedic Specialist
Several weeks ago during our unusually intense hot spell I was in my kitchen cutting up the cucumbers I had just gotten from the farmers market. I stepped outdoors and picked some mint leaves from my balcony herb garden. I was preparing my “famous” cucumber mint water. It’s a big hit at barbeques. I often get requests. Its just a big pitcher of water, a few slices of cucumber and a large handful of mint leaves. SO simple, SO tasty, SO cooling.
With sincere curiosity, my husband asked “Why that combination?”
“Those ingredients are cooling” I quickly replied. “In Yoga and Ayurveda, we treat with opposites and nature grows exactly what we need to nourish and replenish ourselves. We eat and drink with the seasons.”
With a huge grin on his face, my husband replied “That makes so much sense. Why don’t they call it Ayurved-DUH?!”
My husband began his Ayurvedic odyssey as an accidental guinea pig of sorts. He has become a believer because he applied a few simple tools with consistency and a sense of humor. He has been willing to try new foods, take herbs daily, drink teas, go to bed a little bit earlier and change his Yoga practice. Since dabbling in Ayurveda over the last few months, he is able to play softball free of pain, he has cooled and healed his severely itchy “heat rash”, and he has even learned how to eat vegetarian chili and prevent gas… (Sorry Honey!).
When I first mention Ayurveda to my Yoga students, many have ”heard of it” but are quite frankly intimidated by it. They might assume it is some kind of religion, raw vegan diet, or maybe even a bizarre painful pretzel like posture that takes years of severe discipline to master. “NOT SO!”…I tell them “It is SOOOO much simpler than that”. Just like we change our clothes with a change in the weather, in Ayurveda we make simple lifestyle changes to adjust to the changes in our environment (ie: climate, work and home).
These basic lifestyle considerations are traditionally broken down into three categories know as the “The three pillars of life”.
- Food and digestion
- Energy expenditure
When we look at these pillars and make changes according to our individual body/mind constitution, we can create a sense of balance and well-being that is meant just for us. Yes… an Ayurvedic lifestyle is a SIMPLE way to reconnect with our true nature, rebalance our health, and revitalize our spirit.