Ayurveda: The Science of You

Known as yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda is the 5,000-year-old practice of medicine – making it the oldest recorded! Long before Western medicine realized the mind-body connection, sages in India developed this sophisticated system designed to not only treat illness and ailments, but to prevent them through knowledge and care of self. That means we have to know and understand ourselves before we can begin to heal.

Ayurveda believes all living things are comprised of the pancha mahabhutas, or 5 great elements. They are:

– Akash (space/ether)
– Vayu (air)
– Agni (fire)
– Jala (water)
– Prithvi (earth)

In the same way each human has their own unique DNA code, elemental expression differs from person to person. They are arranged in doshas.

The three doshas are:
– Vata (ether/space + air)
– Pitta (fire + water)
– Kapha (water + earth)

We are ALL comprised of the tridoshas. The proportion is what differs from person to person.  Ayurveda is the science of you, and your human experience.

Finding the best diet, supplements, exercise regimes (yeah, it extends beyond yoga), and lifestyle choices depends on understanding your own personal doshic blueprint. We call this our Prakriti. Once you understand your Prakriti, you’ll begin to identify your imbalances, or vikrities, so that you can adjust your lifestyle choices to regain balance. Following an Ayurvedic lifestyle specifically tailored to meet your needs not only helps to heal, but to prevent symptoms and illness through maintaining optimal health.

Pretty cool stuff, huh?

It gets way more intricate and intense, because there are so many different experiences and circumstances that can upset the balance in our mind and body – ranging from certain foods, to seasons, and even the time of day! I’m beginning to understand that like yoga, it is a practice designed to find balance, but once you’re there it requires a constant practice to maintain it. That often means remaining closely in tune with your body because what works for you one day won’t necessarily benefit you the next.

That’s a lot to process.

Have I sparked your interest yet? I suggest you start by taking this quiz. The first section asks questions about you overall make-up (Prakriti), and the second focus on your recent state to identify your imbalances (Vikrities).

There’s a lot of learning on the horizon as I begin my adventure towards becoming a Certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor. It’s super overwhelming, a ton of information, and I can’t learn to heal others through Ayurveda until I have to learned to heal myself. That means there will be a lot of self-experimentation. Wish me luck! I’ll share more as the journey unfolds.



France: Paris (vol 1)

We arrived in Paris by train at noon and took a taxi to Hôtel de Ville. We stayed at Hotel Duo, a contemporary boutique hotel located off of one of the main streets and a short walk to Île de la Cité where Notre Dame, La Saint-Chappelle can be found. Sydney had a meeting shortly after our arrival, so I took that time to roam around and familiarize myself with the neighborhood. The square held a gorgeous carousel which was bright enough to light up the surrounding buildings, a man blowing giant bubbles, puppies, people, and just Paris itself. So magical! We had dinner in the Latin Quarter. We started with a cheese-filled pastery, kiwi, and side salad followed by one of the best duck dishes I’ve ever put in my mouth. It was cooked perfectly, sliced and drizzled with a honey soy sauce and served with a beautifully stacked potato au grain. Dinner was followed by a glass of Champagne. 





The next day was filled with shopping, exploring, and a whole lot of nothing. I find that sometimes, this is the best way to spend a vacation. No agenda. Walking down a street because it looks interesting. Stopping for lunch because you’re famished and fear you will not make it another block without restoring your blood sugar. After almost a full day of this, I checked into the apartment B found on Airbnb, rehydrated, loaded a map and set out to meet some of B’s American pals who also live in Germany.


Apple Maps is the worst.

After following the map about 3 blocks past the actual location, asking a local vendor for directions in my broken French (he was as baffled as myself by the map), I stopped into a pub to use their internet and email for help. While waiting on B’s friends I learned the bartender was from London, had lived in Paris for two years, and his girlfriend is from Dallas (Denton, but close enough). We had a beer and a great chat about all things Texas since he’d gone for his first visit over the holidays. As we said our goodbyes, I couldn’t help but think how small the world is. That we’re all connected.


France: Grand-Bornand & Lyon

As I sat down to write this, I became acutely aware of how very charmed my life is.

13354387023_6e2cbd217e_bWe were met at the Lyon airport early Saturday morning by my dear friend, Sydney, and her French husband Mikael. From there we headed straight to Le Grand-Bornand for the holiday weekend. I’m still not entirely sure why it was a holiday weekend in this particular region of France, but that morning everyone was headed to the mountains. Mik’s family has a charming little flat complete with amazing view of the village. We had lunch on top of the mountain under clear, sunny skies in 50 degree weather. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect day! We were surrounded by adorably baby skiers giggling and shrieking in tiny French voices as they sailed by as rainbow-colored hang gliders floated above. There are charming local farms you can walk to with fresh cow and goat’s milk, cheese to much on, and baby animals to pet. Alas, we only had 24 hours on our side and were forced to make our way back to Lyon on Sunday afternoon.

13355183904_0125cd5d03_bLyon is an elegant city with beautifully detailed old buildings. The Rhône runs through the center of town, and on nice afternoons people have cocktails or coffee at the cafes which are generally boats that have been docked. Our second night there, we were fortunate enough to arrive as the sun was setting and the water reflected the yellows and oranges of the evening sky. We spent the rest of the evening wandering the streets frequently stopping to photograph alleyways, ornate buildings, and beautifully flowered trees. They just don’t build’em this way in the States!

My third night in Lyon, I met up with three young Frenchmen that I’d been introduced to via Facebook through a friend. They decided it was imperative that I try traditional Lyonnais food. Thus, we made reservations at Abel which has been around for almost 100 years! We began the meal with a traditional wine that was very dark purple in color, very sweet, and served in a glass shaped very much like a Champagne flute. For starters there was a delectable salade de boef, a recommendation from the waiter, which was thinly shaved beef (similar to gyros) in a tangy vinaigrette served with sliced white onions, parsley, and green peas. The boys ordered sausage with lentils which was also quite tasty. For dinner there was quenelle, which is a sort of savory soufflé made from fish. It was served in the shape of a loaf and the when they brought it to the table, the waiter spooned a light cream sauce with mushrooms. We had an excellent burgundy to wash it all down, and finished the meal with espressos and chocolate cakes. There was a grappa-like after dinner drink that smelled of rubbing alcohol and burned the entire way down. After dinner we walked along the river in a part of Lyon I hadn’t yet explored. There was a quick drink before parting ways. The French restaurants and bars don’t stay open particularly late (especially on weeknights) so we were forced to say our goodbyes far too early. I get the feeling they may turn up in Dallas at some point.

My last afternoon was spent with Sydney, who I grew up dancing with. She had been dancing in the Cabaret in Lyon when she met her husband and is now working on her MBA. We strolled around the neighborhood before stopping to have a beer on one of the boats that doubles as a cafe. The day was absolutely perfect as we sat on the deck of the boat sans coats soaking up the vitamin D. After catching up, we went to a posh indoor market housing tons of different vendors where we bought bread, veggies, small steaks and wine for dinner. She makes this lovely dressing that consists of balsamic vinegar, mustard a splash of olive oil and yogurt. It’s so simple, but divine. I want to put it on everything! The salad was perfect, the steaks were perfect, everything was perfect! Once we finished our wine we headed to Blogg for salsa dancing. After an hour in the sweaty, smelly, steamy salsa club we headed home to pack. There was an early train to Paris for us to catch.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.