Ayurveda is an ancient healing modality that has been used for centuries. Ayurveda translates to ‘knowledge of life’ and can be traced back to India 5000 BC in the most ancient Sanskrit texts, known as the the Vedas.
It is used for disease prevention, the curing of ailments and for increasing overall vitality and wellbeing. This powerful practice has stood the test of time and is still used today. Both as an alternative, and as a complement to modern western medicine.
What is Ayurveda?
This system of healing examines physical constitution, emotional nature, and spiritual outlook in the context of the universe. Ayurveda is the great grandmother of holistic health. The path to healing is focused on examining the root cause, rather than simply treating the symptoms. Finding balance in the body, mind and soul is the Ayurvedic approach to achieving wellness, health and vitality in all areas of life.
Central to the Ayurvedic philosophy is that everything in the universe, human beings included, possesses three energy types. These are known as ‘doshas’. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In their very simplest form, Vata represents air and ether, Pitta represents fire and water and Kapha represents earth and water.
Although all three doshas exists in all of us, they exist in varying amounts, with most people dominant in one or two of the doshas. Your dominant dosha is part of your nature, or prakriti, and is something you were born with. Yet as we age and evolve, this balance will fluctuate throughout our life. Ayurvedic practices aim to balance the three doshas in order to achieve optimal health.
Balancing the Doshas
Ayurvedic practitioners may prescribe breathing exercises, diet changes, lifestyle changes, yoga, meditation and stretching exercises as remedies. Many also use herbal tinctures, adaptogens, as well as specific essential oils as a way to balance the doshas.
Aromatherapy is very important healing modality in Ayurveda. Specific essential oils are chosen for their unique healing properties. Using the incorrect oil can actually cause the doshas to go more out of balance, proving how powerful they are!
Discover your Dosha
Discovering your dominant dosha or doshas gives you a clearer roadmap to optimal health. Whether you are Vata, Pitta, Kapha, or any combination of these such as Pitta-Vata, Kapha-pitta or Vata-Kapha, you will be able to adopt a personalised approach to healing, which can get very in-depth. We will cover each of the doshas in more detail in the blog posts to come.
In the meantime, take this quiz to discover your dosha: https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/whats-dosha
Thankfully, we can still use essential oils to find balance in the body, even of you aren’t sure of your dosha. Some essential oils are known as neutralisers in Ayurveda. This means they and will simply adapt to the needs of all bodies and all doshas, restoring balance and health.
Essential Oils to Balance the Doshas
The scent of Clary Sage is described as clarifying and sedative. It promotes calmness and improves sleep quality. Its soothing aroma boosts self-esteem and is known to reduce psycho-emotional stress. Clary sage is an amazing neutraliser to balance all doshas.
Possibly the most versatile essential oil of them all, it is no surprise that Lavender is a neutralising essential oil, according to Ayurveda. The soothing and calming properties of lavender restore harmony to all three doshas, with a beautiful scent to go along.
Chamomile is another essential oil recognised for its harmonising and relaxing properties. Ayurvedic practitioners will prescribe calming and soothing chamomile to balance the doshas and restore equilibrium to the mind, body and soul.