a dosha’s balance.

you are what you eat

Photo taken with my Canon SLR: vegetable market in Malaysia, September 2011

Recently, my husband and I went through Panchakarma, an Ayurvedic therapy of eliminating toxins where after a strict diet and 5 different treatments (panch=five in Sanskrit), we were “cleansed”. While we did a shorter version, (the diet for 3 weeks and therapies for 1 week), I can feel the shift within my body. My treatments included abhyanga massage, shirodhara, navarikhizi, (all heavenly), and 2 types of oil enemas, basti, (not so heavenly).  I will say there were moments we got bored with the same spices or same vegetables, (it’s very strict). But it definitely felt good to my gut.

I was always pretty in tune with my body and ate healthy since youth, (my sister recalls how I never wanted soda with my pizza as a little kid, opting for tall glasses of water  instead and my husband jokes about how when he ordered a Jamaican beef patty at my college dining hall, I was ordering a large salad with extra kidney beans and broccoli on top). We have both of course evolved from our college days, but I attribute my most recent heightened awareness of flavors and energy lifting foods to this body purifying process we just underwent and also having a deeper understanding of my dosha, (vata). The dosha refers to the energies or life forces that combine the 5 basic elements each of us is born with, (space, air, fire, water, earth). There is Vata-space and air, Pitta-water and fire, and Kapha-water and earth. We all have all three, but your body type will always have one dominant one which controls how your body works.

What I loved about this specific cleanse was that Ayurveda is so in tune with the external environment. It’s about creating harmony between naure and delicate internal structure of our cells. Ayurveda believes that everything in the universe is connected, and good health is when your mind, body and spirit are in tune with the universe. I learned that it isn’t about just meditating, doing yoga, being raw more that not, juicing all the time, taking random superfood supplements every day or cutting out gluten and dairy. All those things are great to do, but I am learning to modify some of my old “healthy” patterns to fit in my new Ayurvedic lifestyle.

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