What on Earth is Ayurveda: 5 Ayurvedic practices to balance body and mind

Anyone in the spiritual community has likely heard the term “Ayurveda” thrown around. You might even know it has something to do with food. But how many of us actually know why it’s so beneficial and how it works?

One of the (many) benefits of signing up for a Costa Rica yoga retreat is getting the chance to detox and with holistic food that nourishes and heals the body. Well… Ayurvedic principles take this a step farther.

Ayurveda was developed in India thousands of years ago and exists to reinforce a healthy mind-body connection. This is how Deepak Chopra explains this healing practice in his article “What is Ayurveda?”:

The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and 2) nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body.

So, the question remains: how does Ayurveda work and what can you do to implement these healing practices?

1. Discover your prakruti and dosha.

“The prakruti, established at conception, is viewed as a unique combination of physical and psychological characteristics that affect the way each person functions.”[1] Your unique prakruti is comprised of different balances of the three doshas: pitta, vata, kapha. These doshas have a specific impact on the body. Pitta represents the fire element, vatta is space and air, and kapha is comprised of water and earth elements. You can take this quiz to get an idea of what your dominant doshas may be; however, only a trained Ayurvedic practitioner, like Serena Arora at Peace Retreat, can accurately determine your prakruti and dosha profile.

(Credit: /www.peaceretreatcostarica.com/ayurveda)

2. Eat mindfully.

Eat colorful foods that are seasonal and appropriately prepared. Ayurveda practices encourage us to eat the six tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent) with each meal and to slow down the eating process, which aids in digestion.