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Many of my designs are about Yoga and Ayurveda. Most people know quite a bit about yoga, but I thought I'd share more about Ayurveda for those who haven't heard of it. Ayurveda means “Science of Life” and teaches us the art of balanced, healthy living. Although it’s only been practiced in the U.S. for about forty years, it is a 5000-year-old science and has been practiced throughout the world for those 5000 years. With yoga as its sister, it includes time-tested principles for health and wellbeing. Fundamental to Ayurveda is harmony in body, mind and spirit and between oneself and the natural world. Practically every holistic health modality and even many traditional practices, such as surgery and diagnostic testing, will find their roots in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a complete system of health and well-being. It's simple, practical diet and lifestyle guidelines seem almost too simple, but they are effective and provide helpful ways to create balance and well-being in any area of life. I find it's also really helpful in creating an art practice that works for the individual and in creating habits that stick. However, Ayurveda is not a one size fits all science. Ayurveda wellness plans are tailored to the individual and each person’s unique body, mind, life challenges, stresses, personal strengths, weaknesses, emotions, and mental and spiritual health. The Ayurvedic definition of health is different than the modern or western medical definition. Ayurveda calls health “swathsa”, which translates to “established in oneself.” Knowing one’s unique, original nature and what brings one back to that state of well-being in mind, body and spirit is the first step toward creating health and balance. And, it's different for everyone.
Ayurveda also says health and wellbeing are not static. There is an ebb and flow to health as there is to everything in life. And, that's normal. Creating health and well-being in one’s life, like creating an art practice, is always a balancing act. The stages of life, emotional ups and downs, and the hectic pace of life today all create distinct challenges. Ayurveda and yoga make this process conscious. Learning how to create health and wellbeing can be challenging at first, but it is also empowering and can become an enjoyable part of a fulfilling self-care routine. Next week I'll share more about what Ayurveda constitutes as "established in oneself".