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An Introduction To Ayurveda: To Help You In Your Healing Journey

beYogi was joined by Gunny Sodhi, founder of YouVeda, to discuss an introduction to Ayurveda. His ayurvedic journey began following his brother’s passing. Gunny was consumed by debilitating panic attacks and bouts of deep depression. Diagnosed with PTSD and desperate for relief, he found no comfort in traditional Western therapy. He was lost.

It was there, at his wits end, that Gunny would rediscover his roots. On the advice of his family, he began supplementing his diet with Ashwagandha and other time-tested Ayurvedic remedies. Meditation and yoga became daily practices. Within six weeks, his anxiety faded and his depression lifted. 

Watch the full Webinar or read the summary below followed by a few Questions asked by attendees. 

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old science founded in India. Many believe it to be older, but documents find it to be around this time.

  • Ayu = Life & Veda = Science/Knowledge

What is the Goal of Ayurveda?

To promote consistent balance between the mind, body and spirit, to prevent disease and to maintain optimal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health

Ayurvedic Science is based on 5 basic Elements:

  1. Ether (Space)
  2. Air
  3. Fire
  4. Water
  5. Earth

The five elements are present in nature and in the human body on many levels. At the most basic level, however, they take the form of chemicals such as Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen and Nitrogen.

The Five Elements that Come Together to Compose the Doshas:

  • Vata = Ether + Air
  • Pitta = Fire + Water
  • Kapha = Water + Earth

Five Senses & their Relationship to the Body:

Element

Sense

Organ

Ether

Sound

Ears

Air

Touch

Skin

Fire

Sight

Eyes

Water

Taste

Tongue

Earth

Smell

Nose

The Five Senses are all Connected to the:

Mind - Ego - Intellect - Unified Whole

The Ayurvedic Definition of Health:

It is an overall balance in MIND + BODY + SPIRIT. The mind has the power to heal, as the mind thinks and believes the body follows. (Deeper explanation in the questions section.)

So how can we use the power of Ayurveda to help us on our healing journey:

First off, remember the power of your breath. It is 100% free. Next, do you best eat what is available in season. Go to your local farmers market if it available. Sleep and rise according to the cycles of nature. Yes, this means earlier in the summer and later in the winter. Mimic Mother Nature. Finally, adapt to your environment - welcome change!

Doshas and how they are Related to Optimal Health:

Functions of Vata:

Creates Energy

Helps eliminate excretions

Creates dryness

Activates mind and speech mechanisms

Controls inspiration

Stimulates action

Controls endocrine gland functions

Balances the tissues

Locations of Vata:

Feet 

Bone Marrow

Skin

Nervous System

Thighs

Bladder

Colon

Lumbar

Characteristics of Vata:

  • Frequently worries
  • Quick to grasp and forget
  • Frequently changes mood and mind
  • Light sleeper, Insomnia
  • Light, thin build
  • Energy comes in spurts
  • Either short or tall
  • Spends money unwisely

Functions of Pitta:

Sight

Digestion

Heat

Contemptment

Apetite

Chilvary

Softness

Anger

Pleasantness

-

Locations of Pita:

Eyes

Heart

Blood

Spleen

Liver

Skin

Sweet Glands

Digestive Tract

Characteristics of Pitta:

  • Medium build
  • Intelligent Mind
  • Moderate strength
  • Burns and freckles easily
  • Welcomes Challenge
  • Tendency towards anger and irritability
  • Becomes jealous easily

Functions of Kapha:

Stickiniess

Forgiveness

Potency

Knowledge

Lubrication

Immunity

Heaviness

Unity

Strength

-

Locations of Kapha:

Head

Joints

Heart

Chest

Extremities

Neck

Stomach

Tongue

Characteristics of Kapha:

  • Affectionate and loving
  • Steady energy
  • Great physical endurance
  • Slow to grasp new ideas but excellent retention
  • Calm
  • Heavy Sleeper
  • Tendency to gain weight
  • Slow digestion, mild hunger


The Different Body Types:

  • Vata

  • Pitta

  • Kapha

  • Vata-Pitta/Pitta-Vata

  • Pitta-Kapha/Kapha-Pitta

  • Kapha-Vata/Vata-Kapha

  • Vata-Pitta-Kapha

Balancing the Doshas:

Vata:

  1. Breathing - breath in through the nose, fill the lungs and hold exhale through mouth, repeat 16 times (Typically have quick breathing patterns, so slowing down is important)

  2. Exercise - yoga and walking, slower exercise is best, require 30 mins per day

  3. Sleep - Require 6 hours at least.

Pitta:

  1. Breathing - create a funnel with mouth. Breath through funnel. Swallow coolness. Exhale through mouth. Repeat 16 times (Pitta’s typically need to cool down breath)

  2. Exercise - Yoga and aerobic exercise. Require 45 mins a day

  3. Sleep - Require at least 7 hours of sleep.

Kapha:

  1. Breathing - Hold both nostrils closed. Breath quickly through one side. Repeat for both nostrils. Especially beneficial in the morning. (Kapha’s need to breathe quickly)

  2. Exercise - Need cardiovascular, tendency towards inactivity. Require 1 hour a day

  3. Sleep - require 8-9 hours of sleep with a tendency to oversleep


Emotions & Doshas:

Vatta

Pita

Kapha

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Need to face fears
  • Meditation is very beneficial
  • Anger
  • Irritable 
  • Jealousy 
  • Need to calm down 
  • Cooling meditation is beneficial
  • Warm and loving personality 
  • Like to spread love and very easy going. 
  • Have hard time to get motivated

Bringing it Back Around:

Remember the power of your breath. Eat what is available in season. Sleep and rise according to the cycles of nature. Yes, this means earlier in the summer and later in the winter. Mimic Mother Nature. Adapt to your environment - welcome change!

Ayurvedic Herbs: Adaptogens

  • Ashwagandha
  • Triphala
  • Turmeric/Curcumin
  • Shilajeet
  • Amla
  • Bacopa

Questions

What are some advanced/intermediate books to build upon the basics of Ayurvedic practices?

Check out Dr. Vasant Lad's work. He has more advanced knowledge in Ayurveda. Not only does he offer different publications her offers online classes for a higher level of understanding into Ayurveda. 

Please explain the idea behind as the mind thinks and behaves the body follows.

Belief is that emotion that gets you to thinking and as soon as you have that the body begins to behave and miracles are produced. So as the mind begins to think the healing of the body will follow. As Gunny's father likes to say, your body is your greatest pharmacy and knows exactly what to do. 

If the mind is connected to healing and doshas, is a specific dosha more prone to excessive chitta vitti that impacts our inability to heal as easily?

Within the constitutions and Gunny’s experience, Vata and Pitta will be more so affected. They are prone to that inability to heal.

How can someone assess their dosha and is this something to reassess over time to see if it changes with any mind/body/spiritual work done?

A lot of people have Dosha quizzes online. If you want an accurate answer, visit a dosha/ayurvedic practitioner. An ayurvedic practitioner will check your pulse, even check your tongue (can see certain patterns in relation to digestion, imbalances in the body) , check skin color, and nails. Then 6 months to year later check back.

There is an entity called NAMA, they can help you find a practitioner. There is also a quiz by SaharaRose that is quick and can help you get started. 

If I want to consult with Gunny, are they located in Texas? Do they see patients?

Gunny Sodhi is not a Ayurvedic practitioner. He has extensive knowledge because Ayurveda has become his life passion. His expertise is in the supplementand product side of the practice.

If you are located in Texas, you can Contact YouVeda and they will get you in touch with the right practitioner as they have connections within that area only. 

Does it matter what time a day you take adaptogens?

It is different and relative to the person. Gunny takes Ashwagandha in the morning and Triphala at night. But again, he suggests trying it out for yourself and listening to your body.

Will there be a workshop or the like to help us figure out which stage we are in?

Please reach out to an ayurvedic practitioner. Gunny's father has an Ayurvedic Medical Clinic. They do over the phone consultations. His phone number is (425) 453-8022.

Also right now, Telehealth options are expanding so there are many different options.

Any Ayurveda books that you recommend for beginners?

Check out the Sahara Rose website for guides and books for beginners. Also, Cate Stillman offers great resources.  

Can you provide a free, reliable resource/test that will help us determine what our dosha is?

Check out Sahara Rose's Dosha Quiz.

About Gunny Sodhi and YouVeda:

Gunny had experienced the healing potential of Mother Nature first- hand and, in doing so, found a new purpose. Out of a desire to help change people’s lives the way his life had been changed, YouVeda was born.

Its mission is simple: produce the best Ayurvedic products on the planet. By tapping into the intelligence of Mother Nature, Gunny has found a way to honor the memory of his brother while helping others on their own journeys toward healing and happiness.

YouVeda.com