When we think of a healthy body, many of us think of the physical things we need to do to stay in shape, like running on the treadmill, taking a kickboxing class, or even walking our dog. Physical activity is great for our bodies, but there is one key ingredient to our health that most of us tend to overlook; nutrition. With the weather cooling down, it’s easy to want to curl up inside and eat lots of comfort food. Maybe the fall season finds you rushing around from one activity to another with not a lot of time to do anything but go through the drive-thru at meal time. What we eat can either wreck havoc on ourselves or can help us to heal and promote better health. When we start to understand how powerful the connection is between what we feed our bodies and how we feel, it’s easier to make better choices.
One holistic approach to health and nutrition is the practice of Ayurveda. This practice has been around for 5,000 years and translates as “knowledge of life”. It’s also considered a sister science to yoga, as it focuses on accepting a person just as he or she is without judgement, and uses breath work techniques. It is used to bring the body back into balance so that it can begin to heal itself. By re-balancing the body, it helps to bring mental clarity back to the mind and relieve stress. And eliminating stress is always a good thing when it comes to promoting wellness.
In Ayurveda, there is a focus transitioning your nutrition through the seasonal changes of the year and really listening to your body and it’s needs. Instead of counting calories, fat, or carbohydrates, it focuses on the changing foods being harvested throughout the year and eating those accordingly. Being aware of nature plays a huge role in the Ayurvedic practice. For example, in spring, we should eat fresh leafy greens and berries, as these are the foods that are freshly harvested. In winter, our bodies work better eating heartier meals of grains, potatoes, and other root vegetables that correspond with the season. This cycle is a more natural one for our bodies and thus promotes better balance within.
With the days being rushed and meals being squeezed in between activities, the Ayurveda practice of eating helps us learn to slow down, be present when choosing our foods, and reconnect with nature. It focuses on food being nourishment and presents a more mindful attitude when choosing and eating our meals. And when we can find balance in that aspect of our life and make it more enjoyable, we feel less stress and find it easier to stick to the path of a healthy lifestyle.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Ayurvedic approach to healthy living, the Village is hosting two workshops for you this month. The first one is The Art of Healthy Living Through Yoga and Ayurveda on Sunday, October 9th and the second is Transitioning into Fall Through Ayurveda on Saturday, October 22nd. We hope to see you there! To register, go to https://villagetherapy.org/workshops