I Enrolled in Ayurveda School! ….Ayur-whaat?

What is Ayurveda? I get asked that question a lot. Some people are vaguely familiar with it – if you practice yoga you may have heard something about “doshas” or drinking tepid water with a squeeze of lemon on an empty stomach after waking in the morning. Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences. Deepak Chopra’s books on health and wellness take an ayurvedic approach and the Chopra Center in Carlsbad California offers consultations and services. If you watch Dr. Oz he occasionally recommends ayurvedic remedies. However, more often than not, people I talk to are like ayur-whaat?

Ayurveda is a holistic healthcare tradition out of India that goes back 5,000 years and is a vast well of knowledge about the human body and pathologies that present themselves in both body and mind. Western medicine, though it certainly has its merits, is notorious for treating symptoms instead of the causes of disease, whereas Ayurveda seeks to treat causes rather than symptoms. Ayurveda is all about understanding your personal mind-body constitution and the symptoms and dis-ease that come from imbalances in body, mind, and spirit. Above all, Ayurveda seeks to preserve good health – when symptoms manifest it targets the root cause and restores balance, preventing more severe health concerns. Ayurveda is big on preventative care but it can also diagnose and treat those more serious health problems. Tools and practices include an in depth knowledge of what a harmonious mind-body-soul connection is all about (through thousands of years of observation and experimentation!) also nutrition, exercise, meditation, herbs, detoxification regimens, and various forms of bodywork, e.g. massage.


First and foremost, we’re talking about self-awareness. Ultimately, you are the best person to know how you feel and what is going on with you. Having an Ayurvedic perspective of health can really help you feel your best. Provide a new way to think and talk about health. How to eat and move (and breathe!) to best nourish and heal yourself. I think that here in the West we have a way of thinking and talking about the body that is too clinical, too sterile and scientific and detached from what it means to be a human being who is trying to live their life and feel good in their own body. There sometimes seems to be an inverse relationship between information and wisdom. We are showered with information about living healthfully, but we have largely lost our sense of the body’s wisdom. I think this is why so many are turning to Eastern and more holistic traditions like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda – to recover the body’s wisdom and embrace more natural and less invasive methods for health and healing. I understand the need at times for prescription drugs and surgeries, but wouldn’t it be nice if those were what are considered extreme methods to be used only as a last resort?

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I am super excited to begin my first year of school with the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, which will equip me to be an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor. I’ve done a lot of studying on my own and even recently did my first mini panchakarma (a funny word for a detoxification program – more on that another time!) I hope to absorb the wisdom of this tradition as much as possible in my studies. My goal is to coach anyone who wants to feel better and live a healthier more embodied life. I’ve only just begun and I can’t wait to share all that I learn!

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