Despite being the world’s oldest holistic healing system—predating even Chinese medicine—Ayurveda is only now gaining traction on this side of the globe. Hailing from India, where some 70 percent of the population ascribes to its philosophy, Ayurveda emphasizes daily rituals, nutrition, and lifestyle. The word itself translates loosely as “the knowledge or science of life."'
According to the tradition, there are three main types (called doshas)—Pitta, Vata, and Kapha—and each of us is some combination of those three, with different ones dominating the others. Figure out which one you are (handy quiz here), and then follow the advice to keep yourself in balance—from getting enough sleep and sleeping better, to better skin, digestion, and performing better at the gym and at work. Simple as that!
There are no silver bullets with Ayurveda, precisely because it is based in the principle of whole body balance between the physical, the mental and the surrounding environment. Some Ayurvedic medicine has caused controversy, but we advocate focusing on lifestyle and nutrition as the best medicine—some of which is garnering scientific support for its effectiveness.
Are you open to Ayurveda? Click through the slideshow for its best tips.
This is a series inspired by No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics, a book by GOOD's features editor Siobhan O'Connor and her co-author Alexandra Spunt.
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Illustrations by Brianna Harden