What is Ayurveda? And what does it have to do with weight control?
In a word, Harmony. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing
art dating back 5,000 years ago to the Indus Valley in India, known
to be one of the five cradles of early civilization. In response
to major climatic shifts and political invasions along the Indus,
the wise sages of India gathered to address the need of the peoples,
Indian and others, to defend themselves from disease.
Ayurveda, translated loosely from Sanskrit as meaning the study
of life cycles, grew out of meditations of those sages as a means
of eliminating disease. The principles developed by the sages were
based on the notion that a body in harmony with nature was a disease
free body. The essential purpose of Ayurveda is not the treatment
of disease, but to promote the body's innate intelligence to maintain
its optimal well-being.
Today, Ayurveda has come full circle into the Western world with
its influence upon yoga, meditation and astrology, and more recently,
on conventional medicine. Medical doctors are becoming trained in
the principles of Ayurveda, and medical specialty programs now exist
in the United States through Maharishi University of Management
in Fairfield, Iowa.
Massage therapists are beginning to utilize Ayurvedic principles
by applying aromatherapy techniques as well as specific aromas recommended
for one's constitutional type or dosha. There are three primary
body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Combinations of these types govern
body structure and both physiological and psychological action tendencies.
According to Ayurveda, when there is an imbalance present in the
doshas, this subsequently manifests as disease or a problem that
ultimately could lead to disease.
Weight control techniques are taught in accordance with one's dosha.
In Ayurveda it is believed that no excess weight shall exist unless
there exists an imbalance in the body. An Ayurveda specialist or
consultant is likely more concerned with when you eat than what
you eat. It is recommended that we eat our largest meal when Pitta
is the sharpest, offering the most digestive energies to completely
digest the meal. This is during the peak of sunlight around 12:00
Diet Gurus of Ayurvedic leaning will also be concerned with what
else you eat, as the balance of foods is important to support the
balance of the body. What you eat should change depending on the
time of the year as well as the time of the day. This is confusing
to dieters who are given contradictory advice about weight loss.
The balance of the body with nature means that we eat larger amounts
of heavier foods in the winter months for warmth, and smaller, lighter
meals in the summer months for coolness.
Today's culprits are not so much the chocolate cake for dessert
as the late hour at which the dessert is eaten. According to Ayurvedic
principles, the body is healthiest when sleep is begun at around
10PM when the light evening meal has been partially digested. The
price we pay for violating this law of nature is often insomnia
or acid indigestion because we are demanding that our bodies get
busy digesting when they naturally want to rest. Paying attention
to these and other simple laws of nature will permit the body to
behave according to its own intelligence and excess weight should
Hypnosis, when combined with the teachings of Ayurveda, allows
the body to recover its innate programming and can address the whys
of overeating. As a perfect complement to Ayurveda, hypnosis is
also used to install new exercise behaviors recommended specifically
for your Ayurvedic dosha type. Strenuous exercise may be contraindicated
for certain constitutional types! The time of the day one engages
in exercise is also critical to the success of a body transformational
program. When we go against the flow, disobeying the laws of nature,
our bodies grow out of harmony and develop excess weight or even
Geri Wright is a clinical hypnotherapist in Portland. She has
teamed up with Richard Haynes, of Ayurveda Plus to offer an eight-week
course beginning July 9th that includes individual consultation
and training. For information call Hypnoasis, 309-5494 or Ayurveda
Plus 503-248-4670. Classes are held at 3607 SW Corbett Ave.