what is ayurveda?

learning the basics of ayurveda | this brown kitchen

I’ve started to get questions from people on Instagram and people IRL about what Ayurveda is and why I’m talking about it. So I figured now was a better time than any to have an actual informational post about it and how I’m incorporating it into my life. 

It all started this year when I decided that one of my intentions was to focus on wellness. After some different trials and errors along the way figuring out what kind of practices were applicable to my life that I could actually continue, I landed upon Ayurveda. To be clear, I’ve known about Ayurveda forever, I mean come on y’all this isn’t new to me – I’m Indian for pete’s sake. What is new to me is formulating a practice around its fundamentals. What started as an informational search of how to incorporate Ayurvedic eating into my life turned into a look of how to follow it as a full on lifestyle. So that’s how we ended up here.

Now to the actual question – what is Ayurveda? A brief and topline answer to that question is that Ayurveda is a traditional and almost sister science to yoga, that emphasizes wellness as a way to heal the body and bring balance to life, body, and mind. Ayurveda is based on the idea of achieving that balance in our bodily systems through our diet and exercise.

The thing that I’ve come to love most about this way of living is that Ayurveda is totally personalized to you and your mind-body type, and what it’s comprised of, while focusing on balancing the different aspects of your body through food and exercise. This is where the idea of the doshas come in. Doshas reflect the three main forces of nature – wind, water, and air – and each one of our bodies is made up of a certain combination of the three. So yes – this is about where I lose people in conversation because they start to think, “wow, I had no idea Ruch was such a hippie-dippie person”. FALSE. First of all, I am not a hippie now and not even close to becoming one. To go divulge into a mini tangent, the reason I want to share my experience with Ayurvedic practices is for the sole reason that I’m not learning or practicing it in the mountains of India. I’m learning about it here in America because my culture is a mix of Indian and American. I get to view a completely different experience of immersing myself in the practice because of where I live and how I grew up, and for me it’s kind of like this crazy adventure of discovering a part of my heritage but being able to share it in a way that everyone not from India can understand too. 

So the first part of incorporating Ayurveda into your lifestyle is to figure out your Dosha type – the three different types are Pitta (fire), Vata (air), and Kapha (earth-water). Each person has a unique combination of these three types and those types guide how we should eat, exercise, and live. For reference, I’m a Pitta – Kapha, leaning highly towards the Pitta side, which is why you will see more and more recipes here and on Instagram that follow the guidelines of that type. 

While this is  super top-line definition of Ayurveda and what constitutes its practices, I at least wanted to start the conversation and share a little background with y’all. I’ll be sharing more over the next few months, covering different topics within Ayurveda, and hopefully you can learn from it too. Let me know if you have any questions about what I’m doing with this practice or if you just want to say hello!

how I’m becoming a morning person (the night before!)

mornings from this brown kitchen, how I'm becoming a morning person

It’s been a resolution of mine to become a morning person for a long time. Like not even joking I’ve been telling myself for years to do it and each morning I objectively fail at the challenge. Not that it’s a bad thing, I believe some people just naturally are not morning people. That being said, I think it’s possible to turn yourself into one if you come at the challenge with some concrete steps and a routine to wake up to. This year I am pushing myself to become a happy sunny person in the waking hours of the day. I’ll be honest in that so far, it hasn’t been super successful. Some mornings I’m good at getting up around 7am, and others I’m lucky if I make it out of bed by 7:45am. 

Since I’ve been reading a lot about how to incorporate Ayurvedic principles into my life I started putting together my list of guidelines from this practice that involve morning routines. Man was I slightly perturbed to see that the recommendation is to wake up before the sun. *insert side eye here* But since I did just finish watching How I Met Your Mother, it felt kind of right to say “Challenge Accepted”. (: As it turns out, a lot of how you wake up in the morning has to do with how you sleep the night before. So my first step is to develop a good bedtime routine.

Here’s how I’m going into this ::

– Over the next few weeks I’ll be in bed before 10pm. This felt fair as I currently go to sleep around 11pm and I want to ease into my new routine.
– No screens after 930pm. This one might be the most challenging for me as I LOOOOVE scrolling through my Instagram feed right before bed.
– Drink some water before sleeping, not too much because I don’t want to get up in the middle of the night, but I’ve read a lot about how one of the reasons waking up in the morning can be hard is because your body becomes dehydrated overnight and keeping yourself as hydrated as possible while cleansing and restoring yourself.
– Stretch or go through my yoga flow.
– Use my essential oils, I’ve been really into Lavender Oil lately and it releases so much stress right before bed.
– Wake up between 630 – 7am. I know the sun is currently rising before 6, but I’m trying to ease into this y’all!

Looking at these steps objectively, I felt like these were great starting steps without going to extreme, and hopefully as the weeks go by I’ll start to notice a difference in my morning self. 

I’ll be sharing my newfound morning routine in the next week once I figure out how these mornings are going, wish me luck!