What makes something Ayurvedic?
One of the best words to define Ayurvedic practice is the word that annoys us the most; it depends. In a lot of ways we tend to prefer guidelines that are standard and always the same. If you are looking for black and white guidelines, Ayurveda may not be for you.
Ayurveda is a practice of coming into connection with yourself through routines, food and creativity. This means that above all, Ayurvedic practice is all about gaining a greater awareness of ourselves through understanding our energetic constitution and doshas (energies) that are present depending on the season or even the time or day. These energies are always changing which challenges us to tune in and make the best choices depending on the unique circumstance of the moment.
Ayurveda is an intuitive practice and there really isn’t much (within reason of course) that isn’t Ayurvedic. For example, during the spring, when the Kapha energetic (think cool, heavy, static) is more prevalent - we tend to be pulled toward the practices that counterbalance this energy, such as more moderate exercise and light, drying foods. However, during the fall and early winter, the energetic is Vata (think subtle, mobile, light) which requires more warm, heavy, grounding foods and more restful and restorative movement to bring ourselves back into balance. Therefore, most activities and food choices, depend on the ever shifting energetics present in our bodies and environment.
One of my favorite stories from one of my Ayurveda school is instructors, Katie Silcox, was told during an Ayurvedic nutrition class. She recalled that after teaching a weekend training, she order a pizza for dinner because that’s what her body needed to be able to rebalance after all the output from leading the training. I love this story because it clearly illustrates that even a food that’s been demonized in many fad diets can be “Ayurvedic” depending on the situation and always in moderation.
If you looking to learn more about Ayurveda, check out my kapha season cheat sheet and the ayurveda section of my website: https://www.solefulbeginnings.com/ayurveda