There is a beautiful doctor in India who I've had the pleasure of meeting; he sparkles with the joy of living. Many westerners visit his clinics and he imparts to them pearls of wisdom.
He says, because of our way of life in the West, almost everybody he sees suffer from a 'vata' imbalance. A person with a Vata imbalance will have physical and mental qualities that reflect the elemental qualities of Space and Air - flighty, living up in their head, ungrounded. Our way life in itself is very flighty, we are always running from one frantic part of our lives to another, multi-tasking at every opportunity with little thought to living in the present moment.
If you live this type of life, then you should be focusing your health efforts in reducing your almost certain Vata imbalance.
He says this:
- Good digestion is the key to good health
- Only eat when you feel settled and happy and never when you are angry - your food will never be digested if you eat with a negative frame of mind.
- Undigested food forms ama in the body which is really the build-up of toxins that lead to many of our chronic western illnesses.
To digest our food better ayurveda would suggest:
- Only eat when you feel good
- Only eat and don't do anything else at the same time - no TV, no newspapers, no technology only gentle conversation if you are dining with others. I think we'd call it mindful eating.
- Never eat canned foods or re-heated foods - they are dead foods and offer no nutritional value
- Cold raw food is inferior to cooked, warm, oily food for most people
- If you want to eat something ofpoor nutritional value - e.g. alcohol or sweets - then have it in the spirit of celebration rather than as a reward or a pick-me-up when you're feeling bad.
We believe that ayurvedic eating in mindful eating, and the health benefits we've seen in our own lives have been beyond immense!