Have you ever heard of Ayurvedic living? This ancient tradition uses food as medicine and moves away from the idea “one-size-fits-all”. Boost your health and overall wellness with Ayurveda and learn some tips and rituals that will make your life more meaningful.
Talking to one of my friends who work in the beauty industry she said, ‘As soon as it has Ayurveda labeled on the front of a bottle, it flies off the rack like hotcakes.’ Suddenly, this word ‘ayurvedic’ is flashed everywhere from cooking to cosmetics; but what is it and where does ayurvedic living come from?
Ayurveda literally translated means ‘science of life’ and has been around for over 5,000 years. Originating in India following Vedic culture, Ayurveda involves maintaining health through a wholesome and holistic lifestyle day in and day out. Not just through eating or physical exercise but by harmonizing our mind, body, and spirit in every aspect of our life. Everything used in Ayurvedic medicines or products is 100% natural and it has even been coined as ‘The Mother of All Healing’.
Why is Ayurvedic living trending
In short, it isn’t Ayurveda that is trending – it is health and wellness. In the West people are starving for ways to treat skin disorders, hair loss, weight issues, and general illnesses; yet Ayurveda tells us the answer is in our back gardens, parks, and in our roots. Much like many problems, the solution is really simple yet we insist on making it complicated as Confucious once stated. Ayurveda teaches us to go back to our roots, use resources that Mother Nature is supplying us with, and benefit ourselves by maintaining our health with said ingredients.
Health and wellness as a sector continue to boom as we grow weary of pill-popping, weight-loss schemes, and fads. With the pandemic in full force, more people are moving away from unhealthy living and becoming interested in maintaining their wellbeing. Naturally – this has resulted in Ayurveda being a hot-topic.
And why is this 5,000-year-old enigma more relevant than ever
1. Accessible & customisable
In Ayurveda there is no one shoe fits all. It acknowledges that everyone has a different body type and personality type so that means different solutions for different people. There are 3 main categories that people fall under; Vatta (qualities reflecting air), Pitta (qualities reflecting fire) and Kapha (qualities reflecting water). However, people can be a combination of two of the different categories or a mix of different personalities and body types.
Many medications and beauty regimes don’t take into account how active you are, your sleep cycles, your sensitivities, or physical features yet Ayurveda does. Knowing this information Ayurveda can then apply natural solutions to everyone and anyone, which is why you often see products, treatments and medicines split into these categories. If you want to find out more just Google Ayurveda Dosha Tests! You’ll be shocked at how accurate they are.
This system of understanding your own body/mind/personality helps to know which products or systems are right for you. Customization is a major trend particularly in the wellbeing sector showing that Ayurvedic living is more relevant than ever because it means it is accessible for all.
One skincare product may make you glow yet your best friend breaks out but in Ayurveda looking at the ingredients, knowing your skin, and which dosha you are would help you to make an informed decision in a world where there are a billion and one products. Who knew Indian sages could help make informed shopping decisions?
2. Eat Local & Sattvic
Read any foodie magazine and you will see the glossy pages flaunting ‘locally grown’ produce and not only because it tastes good or that it’s good for the environment but because it sells. People, I included, love the magic behind fresh food that has been grown before your eyes. It appeals to our instincts and senses on so many levels.
In Ayurveda, the recommended diets are always following the seasonality of fruits, herbs, and vegetables because 5,000 years ago that is naturally what you had to do. Following Ayurveda is following nature; we can get all we need in that season from nature. It also recommends you eat a ‘Sattvic diet’ which literally means ‘pure’ but Ayurveda recommends eating lightly, mindfully, and slowly too.
Eating local and Sattvic is more relevant than ever. Supporting local businesses boosts the local economy during a pandemic, mindfully eating can avoid weight issues that have been a massive factor in Co-Vid times plus growing our own food can benefit the environment by minimizing our CO2 footprint.
3. Zero Waste
Ayurveda doesn’t literally promote zero waste but 5,000 years ago resourcefulness was a necessity. Now, minimizing waste is ever prevalent in the 2020’s climate crisis. Ayurveda encourages using natural products that enrich the earth and don’t harm it while eating locally sourced produce and being mindful of ingredients definitely eliminates waste, proving Ayurvedic principles align with the zero waste community of today.
Check out this article talking about how we can learn to be resourceful from developing countries.
4. Home Cooking
Throughout Co-Vid times baking has been everyone’s go-to hobby. Never any flour in the supermarkets but always a new cake splashed across insta-stories. The movement back to cooking at home and enriching ourselves through new experimental recipes has been gaining momentum for years and is proven by the success of popular chefs like Jasmine Hemsley and Deliciously Ella both of which use Ayurvedic cooking styles in their recipes.
From Jasmine Hemsley shouting out, ‘It’s all about Ayurveda baby’ in her podcast to slow cooking and turmeric lattes – Ayurvedic recipes and home-style cooking are more relevant than ever. So you thought these were break-through new ideologies? They are actually thousands of years old and prominent in Vedic culture – so crack open those history books and grab a turmeric latte!
5. Routine & Rituals
Ayurvedic principles are packed with routines and rituals from daily massages like Abyanga (a traditional oil self-massage) to more common practices like meditation or intermittent fasting. We all have Ayurveda to thank for these routines. While intermittent fasting has been proven to help digestion problems and ‘gut health’, indulging in a self-massage can improve sleep quality and increases circulation. Then of course, meditation has time and time again proved mental health benefits that are needed more than ever during the quarantine era.
Having a routine or ritual during quarantine has helped so many people through being tied to makeshift work from home desks and Ayurvedic principles such as fasting, meditation and massage can all be applied during these times.
Think of another 5,000-year-old tradition that is more relevant today than ever before and you have me beat. Ayurveda is more than just a buzz word that boosts serum sales, it is a way of living that should be respected and enjoyed to help us become healthier and happier.
Ayurvedic living is accessible for everyone, it is practical during a pandemic and it can be life-changing for many illnesses that we struggle to manage. As more beauty brands and food-bloggers adopt Ayurvedic principles, let’s enjoy Mother Nature’s gifts that can help us in so many ways as the Vedic culture has been doing for so many years before us.