What is Ayurveda? (And a FREE guided meditation!)

Ayurveda Art


By now you must have heard the word. The holistic healing practice people like to call the “sister science of yoga.” Probably one of your yoga teachers has talked about it. Maybe you’ve even read some things. Vata, pitta, kapha, agni, dosha, prakruti, dinacharya, mataharya (ok, that last one I made up :-P). So many new terms to learn.

But really, it’s pretty simple.

The body has a language. Its alphabet is sensations (in Ayurveda, we call them “gunas”). Its words are symptoms and feelings. The language is universal but the vocabulary is unique to you.

But first you have to listen, to touch, to see, to taste and to smell. When you connect with your experience–when you feel into your life–you touch the ineffable. You touch infinity. And then simple sensations–hot, cold, light, heavy, dry, wet–lead you back to yourself.

Can you feel light, warm and expansive behind your joy? Can you connect to heavy, wet and cold when sorrow rears its head?

Maybe you’ve learned some of Ayurveda’s wonderful self-care techniques, like massaging your body with warm oil before bathing (warm, moist and heavy). Or the tradition of cleansing in the spring (light, dry and expansive). These are the practical applications of responding to your sensations–to the gunas–as they appear day-to-day.

And t’s true that one major aspect of Ayurveda is self-care, but the heart of Ayurveda burns brightly in worship of the mystery of life itself.

What if your motivation for self-care was inspired by pure, raw desire?

Desire to touch infinity and to have it touch you back. Desire to make an offering at the altar of Nature.

For me, this is the place where Ayurveda shines most brightly. This is the ground where Ayurveda and Yoga can come together in a celebration of this human life.

Because these two ancient art forms were neither created to control us, or to make our lives more narrow, nor even, really to fix us when we are ill or uncomfortable. They were discovered, by self-scientists, by artists and by seekers who were willing to let themselves be knocked over by the wonder of it all and then slowly, patiently peel back the layers.

And the language is universal. Nature is always communicating with us–after all, we are nature.

When you first tune in, it’s just a whisper…easily drowned out by the engine of “Doing.” Will you force it to shout?

Listen. Tune into that frequency. Tune out the static and let that voice be heard. Be still so you can be moved. Learn the vocabulary of your body.


Become an expert in you.


For a FREE guided meditation on getting in touch with the gunas with Susan, click HERE! (Thanks, Susan!)

Susan FaumanSusan knows some great tricks for helping women rediscover a clear mind, an open heart and a fire in their belly. She lived and studied for almost 3 years in India and has also studied the secrets of a satisfying life in Thailand, Peru, France and all over the US. She now practices and teaches Ayurveda and Yoga in the New York Hudson Valley and travels to Marseille, France, to teach in the summer. She is a certified Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (Yoga Alliance) and Ayurvedic Health Counselor (NAMA). Discover the power of Ayurveda on her site: www.foodsleepandsex.com/7secrets/

Featured image original art by the author.

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