Ayurveda has been in existence for 5,000 years (give or take) and now is seeing a huge uprise in popularity.
Ayurveda is not just in India and Sri Lanka anymore. It’s all around Europe in Portugal, Spain, Germany and Poland. It’s steadily growing in the United States, Canada and South America.
So why is this going on now? What makes Ayurveda relevant today?
Ayurveda is a highly individual approach to well being as well as a holistic treatment. Ayurveda focuses on the whole person rather than an individual area of the body (unless asked).
Ayurveda goes beyond symptoms and addresses the root cause of your complaints. Ayurveda is used for detoxification, immunity, aging, rejuvenation, stress, skin care, digestive support and organ support.
Well being with Ayurveda begins with some diet and lifestyle recommendations. These recommendations are based on your own unique constitution or dosha. Herbs, body treatments and guided cleanses may also be suggested.
3 Body Types
There are 3 body types or Doshas: Vata Dosha, Pitta Dosha and Kapha Dosha. On a normal basis each individual is connected to two or three Doshas. Your Ayurvedic professional can determine which you are.
Vata Dosha is related to the elements of air and ether (cold, dry, slim, fast).
- usually you are cold
- you are naturally slim
- you have dry skin
- you are prone to depression and digestive problems
If you are Vata type, you should avoid cold foods, and eat hearty soups, cooked root vegetables, garlic, sweet potatoes. Avoid caffeine, alcohol & smoking.
Pitta Dosha is related to the elements of fire and water (hot, light, intense, sharp)
- usually you are warm or hot
- you have strong or athletic body
- you tend to sweat
- you are prone to anger and heart diseases
If you are Pitta type, you should avoid acid foods and avoid pungent vegetables, garlic & hot spices. Sweet fruits and bitter vegetables are recommended. Avoid caffeine, alcohol & smoking.
Kapha Dosha is related to the elements of water and earth (cold, oily, heavy, dense, smooth)
- you may have problems with weight gain
- you tend to have oily skin
- you are prone to apathy and diabetes
If you are Kapha type, you should avoid oily, fat & sweet foods along with salt. Light, raw or steamed vegetables and ripe fruits are recommended with strong spices. Avoid caffeine, alcohol & smoking.
Shirodhara is an Ayurvedic treatment where oil is poured on the forehead in a continuous stream. It is probably the best-known Ayurvedic practice. It is performed with a special mixture of oil with herbs. The recipes vary. Some of them are over 2000 years old! The oil flow and head massage calm down the nervous system, reduce stress and relieve headaches.
Ayurveda heavily relies on the use of oils which are carriers of healing substances. There are particular oils assigned to every Dosha. Oils can be applied to particular body parts or to the whole body. The traditional Ayurvedic massage with use of warm oil is called Abhyanga.
Massage with hot cotton bags filled with herbals is called Pinda Sveda. This treatment is often performed with the use of two bags applied simultaneously to both sides of the body.
Sometimes it is a four-hand full body massage. The aim of this Ayurveda treatment is joint and muscle relaxation. Tension releases. Pores open. Therapeutic herbal substances are delivered through the skin. Toxins are removed through sweating.
Elements of Ayurveda
- Special Vegetarian Diet
- Oil treatments
- Massages & Purifying treatments
- Yoga & Meditation
- Ayurvedic Herbs
- Ayurvedic Cosmetics
Ayurvedic Retreats + Holidays
Ayurvedic retreats in India or Sri Lanka can be one great experience. If you want to experience the most authentic Ayurvedic holiday and exotic surroundings we highly recommend this. The only negative about an Ayurvedic retreat in India or Sri Lanka is possible jet lag. So just prepare properly! The resort, surroundings, site seeing and people are worth the trip.
Ayurvedic retreats offer an extended Ayurvedic cleanse called panchakarma. Panchakarma is an intensive detoxification process. It is not suitable for children or pregnant women. If you want a full intensive treatment with expert guidance this is most certainly for you.
If you prefer a lighter and gentler relaxation experience you can recharge yourself with Ayurvedic massage and Ayurvedic treatments. This is best undertaken in Europe, we believe.
Photos: Spa Dreams