Those of you who practice yoga know that it gives you the gift of body awareness. You’re more likely to notice when you’re slouching or that you’re tense and need to take a deep breath and relax your shoulders. Self-observation is important in Ayurveda too.
You may already be familiar with the term “dosha” if you’ve learned anything about Ayurveda, but what about “guna?” Ever heard of a guna? The five elements that describe the doshas – ether, air, fire, water and earth – are defined by 20 gunas, or qualities.
The gunas consist of 10 pairs of opposites, such as hot/cold, heavy/light, etc. An important concept in Ayurveda is that like increases like and opposite decreases like. If cold is a quality associated with your dosha and you eat ice cream, the cold quality increases, causing imbalance.
]Like eating ice cream if you're already cold by nature, any behavior that creates likeness to your present constitution can upset the balance.[/pullquote]The Sanskrit word “prajnaparada” means crimes against wisdom. Prajnaparada occurs when you know something’s wrong, but you do it anyway. Like eating ice cream if you’re already cold by nature, any behavior that creates likeness to your present constitution can upset the balance.
By learning what elements and gunas are associated with your dosha and how they manifest, you can begin to observe changes as they occur and maintain balance with proper food choices and daily living habits.
I look forward to sharing more valuable and intriguing information about Ayurveda with you at my upcoming Ayurveda workshop at The Breathing Room on May 31 from 2-4 pm. See you there!
Jane Allen is a registered yoga teacher and certified yoga therapist as well as a graduate of the Ayurveda Institute. She will be leading a workshop entitled “Ayurveda: Yoga’s Sister Science” at The Breathing Room this Saturday May 31, 2014, from 2-4 pm. Registration is $20 in advance and $25 the day of the workshop.