Monday, July 22, 2013

Yoga Teacher Training Weekend

 In our June weekend, we were all about the Shadow, and thanks much for hanging out while I spent the ensuing 6 weeks waxing poetic about mine. This month, the focus was on Ayurveda. Which, frankly, is a whole hell of a lot more uplifting. We had a local expert come in and give us a talk (ironically enough the same person who ran the cleanse I did a couple years ago). We spent the rest of the weekend relating everything back to the three Doshas.

For those who just said "the three whaaaa?": Ayurveda is a complex medical system that works to treat the body and mind to ensure total health. It is still used in India today, and is believed to be older than even traditional chinese medicine. Where western medicine treats the symptoms, Ayurveda goes beyond that to treat the underlying cause. It uses food as medicine (along with other things such as breath work, yoga postures and lifestyle changes) to boost what needs boosting and calm what needs calming.

Ayurveda uses Doshas as a categorization method. They are based on 5 element theory. Every living thing is some combination of the three doshas and one in particular that is strongest. Vata is air + ether, Pitta is fire + water, and Kapha is earth + water. The subtleties of the doshas will show up in personality, physicality, emotions, actions, etc. Those trained in Ayurveda will find out which combination you were conceived to be (for example, Pitta dominate) and then figure out how you are out of balance now (too much Kapha). They'll then use a whole combination of treatments to get you back where you need to be.

It was an interesting weekend, and fun to relate the postures back to the doshas. For a while after my cleanse I thought pretty heavily about trying to maintain a diet better suited to my Vata/Pitta nature. Then I found out all my favorite foods were on the "nada" list for them and that pretty much halted my journey. Don't you be asking me to give up my tomatoes, onions and garlic. But lately my Kapha has been way out of whack and I need to work on getting that under control. Because coming one with the couch is good every once in a while. But not all the time.

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