Emily Dickinson once said, “If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.” Self-care has become of utmost priority in recent times. We’re adopting a more mindful approach to our daily lives - be it changing our shopping habits by swapping for sustainable alternatives, or boosting our immunity through natural remedies whipped up at home.
Vasu Gandhi, Founder of Sova
Vasu Gandhi, founder of Sova, an ayurveda inspired hair and skincare brand, gives us the lowdown on everything Ayurveda. “Ayu means life, Veda means science - so Ayurveda literally means the science of life. It’s the science of maintaining health by keeping our 5 elements: earth, fire, water, air, and ether; or the three Doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kappa in balance,” explains the expert.
How does one strike such a balance? Practicing Dinacharya, which is a daily regime. Routine helps in establishing balance in one’s constitution, which is what Ayurveda is all about. With benefits such as good health, longevity, spiritual growth, Gandhi is of the opinion that Ayurveda is meant to be understood and followed by all, not just the practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine. “Ayurveda is a lifestyle. It teaches one how to live,” as she puts it.
While the Shastras talk about the ingestion and application of herbs, it also talks strongly about beauty from within. “It is important to be a compassionate and spiritual person, that shows outwards as well. Most importantly if one’s health is in balance and there is ojas or a high life state, then beauty follows,” says Gandhi.
Strengthen Your Ayurveda Vocabulary:
The five elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth
The three forces of the body, which bring health when in balance, and produce diseases when out of balance. The doshas ensure that all mahabhutas are held together and exert their functions in synergism for the optimum function of the human body.
● Vata is the force that holds together Akasha and Vayu mahabhuta.
● Pitta is the force that holds together Agni and Jala mahabhuta.
● Kapha is the force that holds together Prithvi and Jala mahabhuta
Prakriti and Vikriti
We are all born with a certain Prakriti, which is our inherent nature. Vikriti are the changes that happen to our body due to external changes, such as the weather, the food we eat, the work we do, the time that we sleep, and many many more.
Bhasmas are all bad
We’ve learnt bhasmas are poisonous, but they can actually be life saving and life altering if used the right way.
Ayurveda is slow
Another misconception. Ayurvedic treatments can provide fast results, depending on the treatment. I had a complete turn around in my health in less than 15 days, using the panchkarma treatment.
It’s not standardised and has no research
Ayurveda considers each individual’s prakriti when prescribing holistic treatments. It takes into account a number of factors and is a science. High quality manufacturers such as Millennium Herbal Care are now using scientifically validated formulas using standardized extracts. Clinical studies of these medicines are done on a regular basis. There will be more companies to follow.
Vedic Beauty 101:
Massaging self with oil given by a practitioner or oil used according to one's dosha that helps with blood circulation, making the skin supple and bright.
Massage done with dry powder, usually after applying oil. The practice is effective in removal of dry skin, and melting cellulite.
The Ayurvedic equivalent of the quartz roller - kansa is an alloy of two metals. The metal helps detoxify the skin and gives it a glow.
Face packs made with masoor dal, besan, rosewater. These are dry powders made from Besan, pulses etc and mixed with honey, yogurt, milk, turmeric - making it the easiest mask to make straight from one’s pantry.
Watch this space for more All Things Ayurveda.