Is Ayurveda relevant in modern times?
As I'm deep in writing my second book which is all about Ayurveda. I'm trying to use one of the three ancient texts that Ayurveda was derived from. There are 3 known major Ayurvedic texts and 3 minor Ayurvedic texts that Ayurveda originated from over 5000 years ago. There are numerous translations over the years as it was an oral tradition 5000 year ago. Ayurveda did lose some steam when the British Empire overtook India in 1858 and Ayurveda went underground as western medicine was pushed into the country. That's a mini Ayurvedic history lesson for you, in case you weren't familiar with the origins.
Currently as I'm writing my book, I'm working with one text in particular the Astanga Hrdayam. I have two translations one from Dr. Sanjay Pisharodi translation and the Deepak Yadav Premchand. I would honestly only recommend those texts to other Ayurvedic Practitioners, that's why I didn't link them. They are meaty 500+ page books that you need to do a lot of sifting through to understand what the texts mean. They were recommended to me by one of my teachers Nidhi Pandya as the best translations for those who can't translate Sanskrit.
My goal with the upcoming book is to honor the ancient Ayurvedic roots but make the practices fit into modern living. As I've been re-reading through the ancient texts it's also been a learning experience on a few topics, one that I shared last week about Ayurvedic cleanses are actually recommended to be panchakarma in the original texts.
The other nugget I learned this week is some of the seasons that we work with and the dosha associated with them isn't what traditional Ayurveda has stated about the season. For example summer there is no mention of the pitta dosha (though you are practicing pitta pacifying practices for the most part). Instead they emphasis decreasing vata as it builds in the summer and peaks in the Fall and kapha is reducing at this season. No mention of pacifying pitta or that pitta is even rising at this season.
A little more background on Ayurveda Dr.Vasant Lad is a well known Ayurvedic doctor here in the west. He has written 3 Ayurvedic textbooks that were the staple of my own education to become an Ayurvedic Practitioner. He took the ancient texts and made them easier to understand for your modern western non-Sanskrit reading human. I also would only recommend those if you want to study Ayurveda as you really need a teacher to help guide you through them or you will end up with more questions than answers, I'm afraid.
My own training came from the feminine form of Ayurveda with Shakti School and a more traditional training with Cate Stillman. It blended all of the ancient texts who were written by men, into the more feminine essence. Having met many women who originated from India over the years and when they discover I know Ayurveda we love to chat about the practices. Often they want to know more about Ayurveda, but what I've found is, it's just what they innately do and grew up with. There parents didn't call it Ayurveda (again India didn't become an independent country again until 1976) so Ayurveda went underground, but was still practiced in daily routines.
Ayurveda is your grandmother's wisdom, some of the practices my own 96 year old grandmother (who is Norwegian) practiced in her lifetime. She ate when the sun was up, lunch used to be the biggest meal of the day for farmers so they could sustain their day, dinner (which is called supper on the farm) was a supplemental meal, meaning something light to get you through until your heartier breakfast. She lives with seasons, most farmers still do as they are looking to mother nature's lead as to when is the right time to plant fields, and harvest. You have the winter time to rest and prepare for the upcoming spring season again. That's why I personally love Ayurveda is you can see it just makes sense if we take the lead from the seasonal shifts we experience. Knowing me living in Minnesota, will have different Autumn practices vs you who might live in a warmer climate like Florida for example. You get to make Ayurveda your own based on what is going on for you outside your living room window.
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I wanted to create this program to help women become more confident in listening to our intuition by using tools that have been at our disposal for centuries. In recent years we’ve forgotten our connection to the powers that lie deep in our bones and I want to help you awaken to your powers once again.