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Springdale, Arkansas, United States
Yoga and reading are my passions - followed closely by jewelry-making and cooking plant-based meals. My husband is my guinea pig for my recipes and thankfully he's a willing subject! Be sure to visit my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheBookishYogini?ref=search_shop_redirect

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What's Your Dosha?

In reading "Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi", I've come to the chapter "Ayurveda Revisited".  According to the The University of Maryland Medical Center (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ayurveda-000348.htm) Ayurveda is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science.  Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health that is designed to help people live long, healthy, and well balanced lives. The term Ayurveda is taken from the Sanskrit words ayus, meaning life or lifespan, and veda, meaning knowledge. It has been practiced in India for at least 5,000 years and has recently become popular in Western cultures. The basic principle of Ayurveda is to prevent and treat illness by maintaining balance in the body, mind, and consciousness through proper drinking, diet, and lifestyle, as well as herbal remedies. 

According to Ayurveda a person is a blend of three different proclivities, or doshas.  The three doshas are:  vata (ether/air), pitta (fire), and kapha (water/earth).  Each person is a blend of these elements.  So I took the short questionnaire to determine what my dosha is, and it seems that I am primarily vata (ether/air) - basically prone to be scatterbrained and wishy-washy.  To balance these proclivities in a vata dosha, Ayurveda recommends that I need to keep warm, eat warm and moist foods, take it easy on beans (difficult for a vegetarian!), avoid caffeine (oh no!!), white sugar (oh dear!), and processed foods, relax, spend lots of time in nature, and keep a regular routine (and actually LOOK at your calendar and to do list).  It seems that this 5,000-year-old practice may be right on the mark with my nature.  The biggest thing for me to reduce is caffeine, as I love teas and coffee.  Also, sugar - can't stand my coffee unsweetened.  

This morning I took a Yoga class from a local studio in Greenport, NY called Stirling Yoga (http://stirlingyoga.com/).  This studio teaches Ashtanga Yoga.  I have practiced primarily Hatha Yoga. Really there was very little difference between the two styles - just a slightly different Sun Salutation series.  I loved that there were blankets to sit on during the introductory breathing focus and for Savasana (final relaxation).  Toward the end of Savasana the teacher used what I think was a Harmonium to sing/chant a bit in Sanskrit (this was wonderful!).  Then he read a short reading and finally chanted something in Sanskrit and had the class repeat it.  I have no idea what it meant, but I felt great!  Although I thoroughly enjoyed this class, at $18 per drop-in, I'll probably stick to my unlimited plan at NOFO Wellness Center  for the month of April.  


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