How Ayurveda helped me and how it can help you too
Nobody likes to be in pain, however, feeling unwell has become a new norm. In the ideal world don’t we all wish that we were always healthy? Imagine what your life would actually feel like if you were completely healthy, with no physical, mental or emotional symptoms? How much energy and enthusiasm you would have to pursue your life mission and purpose? This state of wellbeing is our birthright, we were designed and meant to be like that – healthy, energetic and vibrant.
From my early childhood I suffered chronic digestive issues, stomach pains, chronic tonsillitis and colds, and whole bunch of other childhood health issues. Overtime my vision started to become impaired, I was having fainting fits, and also developed scoliosis, which lead to chronic hip, back, shoulder and neck muscle pain. To add to the list I suffered chronic anxiety and depression.
In my early adulthood I developed acne, painful moon cycles, hormonal imbalances, allergies. And later on migraines, frequent headaches, muscle cramps and pains, stiffness and chronic fatigue.
I was always mindful about leading a healthy lifestyle and had a strong desire to take care of my health, however, the information that I was consuming at the time was either a misinformation or a one-size-fits-all approach. The conventional doctors just offered me to mask the symptoms with pain-killers or synthetic drugs, not realising that it was only making matters worse, because it was still not addressing the cause of my ailments, the root of it.
I tested many different popular diets and tried different types of exercises, I traveled and lived in many countries and climates, and followed the advice of different magazines, books and influencers. No matter how hard I tried to be in a state of vibrant health, I still felt ill. Even when one condition seemed to have improved the new one would appear. It was difficult to connect the dots, however, I knew the answers were near, and I was lead by the invisible force towards my life purpose and mission. Somehow I knew that all that I was going through was not for nothing, and that there was a higher meaning to those experiences, I just needed to be patient, persevere and find the missing puzzle pieces.
By the time Ayurvedic knowledge came into my life I was in a devastated state, in pain, depressed and confused as to why I was doing everything according to the books and I still didn’t get the desired results?
While living in Melbourne, my friend and a house mate saw me everyday hiding in my room in bed, as everything became too hard for me to do, and she suggested that I looked into Ayurveda. My friend, being an Indian, had some good knowledge in this ancient science and was sharing with me it’s wisdom. I was always interested in Ayurveda, however, I never really took time to learn about it properly and to understand how exactly it worked. Having nothing to loose I decided to try.
Inspired by my friend’s knowledge about Ayurveda I straight away took my Ayurvedic health test to find out what my current imbalance was, as well as my unique constitution. I started to research more about Ayurveda and apply what I learned practically. I began with small steps I could do immediately, such as ordering some herbs to balance my Vata and giving myself Abhyanga – daily warm oil massage. I tried to implement a proper daily routine – dinacharya, and eat regularly warm freshly cooked foods. These little steps started to make me feel hopeful.
Shortly after I found out about the Ayurveda Yoga Therapy course being held in India, Kerala. It didn’t take me long to apply for the course, to sell all my possessions, to say farewell to my friends, and to embark a couple months after on a journey that changed my life.
When I found myself in a tropical paradise my Vata element straight away started to come to more balance, since the climate was suitable for my constitution. I was smiling on the inside, because I knew I was at the right place. The diet during the course was given to the students according to their dominant element, which means it was helping all of us to balance our elements. The food was given according to Vata, Pitta Kapha personal needs, so we all started to recover. We learned about the Yoga programs that were sequenced to help with balancing Vata, Pitta or Kapha elements. Testing them on myself helped me to experience what it was like to do an activity that was either helpful or detrimental depending on who was practicing it. Being a Vata dominant I felt very good when following Vata balancing program. However, when I tested Kapha program, being the opposite of Vata in terms of it’s affect on the body and mind, I felt a bit sick. It was a good lesson in understanding how differently we can feel depending on what type of yoga we choose to practice. The grounding sequences of Vata program made me feel safe, calm and secure, while the uplifting Kapha program left me feel drained and exhausted, while my Kapha dominant fellow classmates reported the complete opposite experience, they felt fantastic! So that’s how I also knew that it worked.
After a month of travel I returned to India and started to help guests at the Ayurvedic retreat in Kerala, India, by designing the individual programs for people who were arriving from Europe with various imbalances and health issues, while at the same time practicing my own Ayurveda Yoga Therapy program. It was a great experience for me to help some men, but mainly women, who were experiencing various symptoms and diseases, some similar to mine, some different, but they all had one thing in common with me – the desire to be well and balanced. Every morning for them started with their own personal Ayurveda Yoga Therapy program. At the same time my own daily program as well as correct Vata diet continued to help me relieve more of the symptoms that I was having.
After 5 months of lockdown while still in Kerala, I booked myself into Ayurvedic hospital to do a full Panchakarma, which is a deep detox that helps to eliminate excess elements from the body and increase my own body’s ability to heal, to have stronger immunity and digestive fire – Agni. According to Ayurveda the majority of diseases happen because of the weak or imbalanced digestive fire. I spent one and a half months at the hospital receiving traditional Ayurvedic treatments and practicing my Yoga therapy program.
When the treatments were completed, I traveled to the ashram in Karnataka, where I continued to teach Yoga and Ayurveda. It took a couple more months for the affects of the detox to balance out and restore. I noticed significant improvement in my sinusitis, digestion, lesser body pains, less headaches and migraines, all those nasty symptoms of imbalances started to subside. I continued with my daily practice and Ayurvedic herbal medicines that I brought with me from the hospital.
Although I am still in the process of recovery, and there is still deeper healing that can happen, I am definitely in a much better state than when I was more than a year ago. I started to understand more how food can be the only medicine, and lifestyle the only therapy needed to heal and come into harmony and balance. And how thoughts that we choose to consume have a tremendous effect on our overall health.
Ayurveda doesn’t look at the separate issue or symptom, it treats the person as a whole, so holistically. When the imbalance of the elements happens, if not corrected, it then manifests as a symptom in the body or mind.
Ayurveda looks primarily at the cause, not the effect. The cause is the incorrect lifestyle choices. The effect is mental or physical ailments. So once it has been corrected with proper food, yoga and lifestyle choices, everything else gets back into alignment. It’s not a quick fix, it requires major lifestyle changes, but it’s worth it.
It is not necessary to travel to India to learn about Ayurveda, although if you are called to do so then it is definitely an option! However, everyone can implement this ancient wisdom into their life, and live life the way nature intended. Ayurveda is about preventing the disease and also it is about helping to reverse the imbalance that already has occurred. Healing is always possible with the correct knowledge and tools, it is about knowing what you, as an individual specifically need, then following your own way of living that is in alignment with your elements.
Ayurveda is the science of life, and has been practiced for more than 6000 years. If we want to be healthy daily, we need to start remembering our true nature, our nature as a human being, but also our nature as a Soul, and unite the two. Ayurveda and Yoga go hand in hand in healing and transformation. Ayurveda works more on a physical level and Yoga more on a mental level. When we practice both we are integrating this ancient wisdom and knowledge and getting a holistic approach to health. May you be healthy! And may you be at peace…