Below are definitions of selected terms, followed by free download-able handouts. Have a specific question? Please feel free to email me; I'm always happy to do a little research on something I don't know :)
See also the Resources page for further study. ---- Ayurveda: [ayur = longevity, life /+/ veda = science, knowledge] "the science of longevity". Ayurveda, also known as the "science of life", was developed by the same sages who gave us yoga as a way to systematically understand, nourish and maintain the physical body, thereby supporting a body's ability to carry the mind and spirit on its path toward wholeness and enlightenment. My main interest in, and exploration of Ayurveda is its "whole-person" approach to balanced living according to one's dosha, or constitution. ---- Dosha: constitution; "flaw"; that which can decay or be thrown off-balance. Dosha refers to the "main three psycho-physiological functional principles of the body" (Dr Vasant Lad, Secrets of the Pulse) - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. An individual's tendencies and patterns are shaped by their unique order or ratio of these three primary universal principles, each of which reflects two of the Five Great Elements.
Tridosha: the Three Principles that govern an organism's health. The tridosha contribute to setting the body's ability to respond to its surroundings; when a dosha is either excess or deficient, dis-ease can occur in the body, mind, or emotions. It is the concept of the tridosha that shapes Ayurveda's individualized approach to healing; indeed, the goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to maintain the proper balance of the elements according to the individual's natural constitution.
Thus, an important step on the path to holistic wellness is to understand the essential qualities of one's diet and surroundings, and of one's own dosha. Your dosha, or mind-body constitution, is the unique ratio of the Five Great Elements that exist within you and make you who you are. There are three basic doshas (the "tridosha"):
Vata (consisting of Air & Space ~ cold, light, dry, mobile),
Pitta (comprised of Fire & Water ~ hot, oily, dynamic, fluid), and
Kapha (made up of Water & Earth ~ cool, heavy, solid, damp).
Becoming familiar with the attributes of all 3 doshic archetypes (e.g., cold/hot, dry/damp, static/dynamic) ~ and how each manifests within yourself and your surroundings ~ will help you identify what supports your well-being, and what may lead to dis-ease in the body, mind, or emotions. An Ayurvedic consultant can help determine your unique constitution through various diagnostic tools, but you can assess yourself on your own, too! This questionnaire will help you begin to understand the unique attributes or qualities of the three doshas and which is predominant within you; note that many people find that two doshas seem fairly equal - you may also notice that one dosha seems to dominate your physical qualities, and another your mental or emotional/spiritual. (You will find many other versions of this "Prakriti/Dosha self-test" in books and online; start by finding the most common patterns across these quizzes, and keep in mind that your responses may vary by season, stage of life, and even time of day. The important thing is to begin recognizing the attributes of your natural strengths and tendencies, and then notice how different foods, climates, personalities and activities affect you, thereby helping you understand what attributes or doshas/elements support your best self.)
Once you've completed the chart, contact KRATU Wellness - I'll help you understand what these qualities mean for your diet and lifestyle choices so you can get started on your path to self-awareness and self-empowerment today! ---- Health: the state of being free from illness or injury ~ Oxford Dictionary. ~ a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity ~ World Health Organization. ---- Kratu: plan; volition; strength; wisdom. Like many Sanskrit words, the term kratu has many interpretations. In Hindi beliefs, Kratu is said to be the name of one of the seven divine rishis, or sages, who are powerful deities charged with the responsibility of bringing the proper Intelligence and Energies down to the earth so as to strengthen the necessary processes of Transition. From that story we get the concept of "kratu" as a "divine plan," as well as the knowledge and will-power needed to evolve into our best selves and live our fullest life.
Dr. David Frawley defines kratu as intelligence in action. (Ayurvedic Healing, p61) He states that by first having "the right will and the true resolve to live in harmony", we can take control of our daily actions so as to become the person we are meant to be. ---- Wellness: "the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal" (Merriam-Webster). A state of being in which all our systems are well-balanced and well-nourished; a state of wholeness in which our minds, bodies and spirits are in sync on an individual level (the microcosm), and also in sync with the external universe (the macrocosm). In Ayurveda, wellness is understood as the ability to properly digest, absorb, and transform what we take into ourselves on all levels of existence, including, for example, our digestive system as well as our mental and emotional processes. --- Yoga: yoke, union. The word Yoga has come to be associated with the popular form of exercise, but in fact the asana practice learned in these classes is just one aspect of the yogic journey, which ultimately leads us to samadhi, or the "superconscious state" of awareness known as enlightenment. The "yoke" or "union" implies that we are each striving to be in union with the Universe, to be yoked to the Divine Consciousness - to join our individual selves with the greater Self (some call it God or our god-self; I think of it as that underlying cellular energy which is contained in every thing and connects all things together, as in a giant web). ----
Here are some of the many people & places that can help you learn more about Ayurveda, Meditation, &/or Yoga:
Divya Alter (Divya's Kitchen in the LES + new cookbook!) - www.divyaskitchen.com + bvtlife.com
Ananda Ashram (Monroe, NY & San Francisco) - www.anandaashram.org
The Ayurvedic Institute (panchakarma & training center in ABQ,nm; tons of free & purchasable resources on the website including recipes, meal plans, books, and other great stuff) - www.ayurveda.com
Ayurveda's World (classes & certifications in Ayurveda nutrition and holistic skin care; also individual consultations & treatments in Downtown Manhattan) - www.ayurvedasworld.com
Bhagavat Life (cooking classes & so much more!) - www.bvtlife.org
(list to be continued soon... you can also look up the teachers I list on the About page, and see when the next class is on the Events page.) ----
Below are some handouts from past workshops to serve as further guides in your journey. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I am glad to share other resources as well -- please just ask! :) ----
with Love & Balance,
Katherine D. Rosenthal Holistic Wellness Guide & Prana Practitioner