What I Learned From Ayurveda

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Many years ago I discovered Ayurveda. This is a holistic system that offers guidance on how we can care for our bodies in a comprehensive way. It is a science for life and for living it well. When I discovered it, I was still practicing yoga and this was an excellent way for me to explore and try to understand body types. The doshas, while their descriptions were phrased in ancient language, still made enough sense for me to understand some key aspects of my own body.

The dosha that best describes my body is Pitta. It is considered a fiery dosha and is often easily inflamed. This means that I get rashes easily, suffer with inflammatory problems like sinusitis, bronchitis, tonsillitis and ear infections. These are conditions that I have experienced for most of my life. The big one I have now is food intolerance. There are a number of foods which cause my sinuses to become inflamed whenever I consume them and so I have had to eliminate them from my diet over the years.

Only recently I was reminded that what I call being easily irritated, actually translated to me being angry and annoyed on a regular basis. This translates into me being highly stressed most of the time. What’s interesting about this is, that usually no one can tell that about me.

Over the years, I have trained myself to speak in a calm manner, especially when I am upset. I am convinced that this is the only way that anyone will be able to hear me. Therefore while I am appearing to be calm and unbothered by things, my body is being irritated by the stress that is running through my mind, the problems that I am trying to solve and the ideas that I am trying to develop.  According to ayurveda, my mental energy is Vata, which is always restless, quick and finding it difficult to settle down.

To deal with these stressors in my life and to find a way to calm my mind, I have learned to eliminate some of the factors that ‘set me off’ and I have learned to incorporate deliberately calming practices for those that cannot be removed. I have also started to just respond differently to some situations. Ranting and raving at other drivers on the street who seem to be endangering my life and their own, does not help the situation. So I strive to be grateful for avoiding the collision and keep moving on. I also always have music playing in my car. Unfortunately I cannot be calm and listen to the news at the same time.

So as I move forward this year, I intend to explore more of the practices of ayurveda with a view to incorporating them into my life. I always remembered that I should not eat very spicy foods because they irritate agni for me. Which was good because I never liked the burn that hot peppers provide. However, I have often violated the rules of not consuming hot and cold things together. I have never been able to calm my mind enough to get still and quiet in meditation. My best bet has been to create a peaceful environment with no distractions and calming sounds.

So during this period of change, there will be much to learn, to explore and to try to implement. Including Ayurvedic hair and skin care. I look forward to the journey.


Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance.  She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  For more of her writing visit https://marjoriewharton.live

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