Ayur…what?!

Hi and welcome to my blog!  I’m Joanne, and I am very blessed to own The Ayurvedic Way, which is based in beautiful Ransom Wood in North Nottinghamshire. The first thing people ask me when I tell them what I do is, “Ayur…what?!” so for this first post, I wanted to de-mystify Ayurveda (pronounced Ah-yur-vayda).

Ayurveda is a complete medical system that originated in India around 5,000 years ago. It treats the whole person and looks into our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The main premise is that if our digestion is working correctly, we will enjoy good health – Western medicine is just catching up about how important gut health is.

In addition and unique to Ayurveda, is that our individual constitutions are taken into account. We are made up of the five elements – Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth and each of our bodies have varying degrees of each element. This translates to seven constitutions; Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, Kapha-Vata and Vata-Pitta-Kapha.

Vata, Pitta and Kapha are Sanskrit words, which have no direct translation into English, so just to explain…

  • Vata is made up of Ether and Air – this is our body’s movements, including breathing, blinking, circulation, giving birth etc. When out of balance, it can cause conditions including – constipation, eczema, asthma and emotional states such as anxiety.
  • Pitta is made up of Fire and Water – this is our digestion and assimilation of foods, our colouring, function of the eyes and our temperature. Out of balance Pitta can cause, amongst other things, inflammation, dermatitis, indigestion, acidity and emotional states such as anger.
  • Kapha is made up of Water and Earth – this is our physical make up, our solidity, bones, muscle and fat tissues. Out of balance Kapha can, amongst other things, cause congestion, weight issues, psoriasis, tumours and emotional states such as depression.

The great news is that although Ayurveda can seem complicated, it’s actually very down-to-earth and takes a very common sense approach to health. When we’re in balance, we’re healthy. Various things can throw this balance out – incorrect foods (for our constitutions), the seasons, and our lifestyle and especially in this age of numerous stresses and high pressure living!

Ayurveda can help bring you back into your balance. The prescription is the right food and lifestyle choices according to your constitution. To support this, the beautiful Abhyanga massage and Shirodhara are both wonderful ways of de-toxing and helping relax our minds. It’s a life-long journey, but a gentle and completely natural one.

And why am I so passionate about Ayurveda? Around six years ago, I developed rheumatoid arthritis. I put it down to my age and something I needed to manage with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication. The mobility in one of my thumbs and a couple of fingers were compromised, but I wrote it off as ‘one of those things’. Having always been fascinated by how food can either harm or heal people, I started looking into diet and someone (I forget who, but thank you, whoever you are!) mentioned Ayurveda. I found a practitioner and after a thorough examination, was given dietary suggestions. After just three months, the arthritis was completely gone and I lost over two stones in weight, which was a wonderful bonus! I’ve not looked back since and it’s fair to say that Ayurveda has changed my life.

My mission now is to share my passion and support you on your journey to better health.