Here at Govinda Valley we follow the teachings of Ayurveda to bring ourselves and our guests into balance. In general terms we achieve this by practising yoga daily, engaging in kirtan (meditative chanting) and abstaining from unhealthy habits and substances.
Ayurveda teaches that the most powerful healing force that can act upon our bodies is our own mind, however the beauty of being human is that everyone's mind is different! So how can we account for these differences of individual minds, bodies... spirits... in the people that come to visit us?
Luckily, Ayurveda gives us the answer. Each person has their own composition of elements or doshas that act within the body. These doshas are known as vata (space and air), pitta (fire and water) and kapha (water and earth). The balance of these elements is known as a person's prakriti, which is set at birth and expresses itself through physical and mental traits.
Although there are many positive qualities associated with each dosha type, when there is an imbalance it manifests as negative symptoms. Do any of the types below fit with the physical or mental complaints that you normally experience in life?
- Physical: Cold, dry skin. Thin frame. Restless energy. Constipation. Headaches. Intolerance of cold.
- Mental: Anxiety, insomnia, inability to concentrate. Fatigue.
- Physical: Inflammatory skin conditions. Muscular frame. Excessive body heat. Diarrhoea and stomach aches.
- Mental: Hostility, irritability, excessively competitive.
- Physical: Oily skin. Heavy frame. Congested sinuses. Allergies. Slow digestion.
- Mental: Depression, apathy. Possessiveness.
If you do have an imbalance in any of these areas, don't worry! There are ways that balance can be restored. For example, somebody with an abundance of pitta can pacify that dosha by choosing foods that are cooling, watery and sweet, such as cucumber, watermelon or avocado. In order to treat an imbalance of vata, you may choose wholesome and grounding foods such as nuts and warm milk.
Doshas can also be balanced through massage and treatment with oils. For example an imbalance of kapha could be remedied with stimulating massage, warm sesame oil and energising spices such as ginger or bergamot.
At Govinda Valley we want you to restore the balance of your doshas, so that you can harness their incredible power and find harmony in your daily life. If you are interested in learning more about your composition of doshas, you can find some free tests available – or come visit us at our retreat centre!
Written by: Pauric Berret