Wednesday, February 02, 2011

why ayurveda says we're fat yet made of light

I've been reading, studying, processing, pondering, and exploring my module on ayurveda nutrition this month. I am so finding these two paragraphs totally awe inspiring:

"The ancient Rishis of India who developed the ayurvedic system of living did not know anything about specific vitamins and minerals nor did they know about proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Rather they approached nutrition from an energetic perspective. They learned that if the qualities of a human being were understood and the qualities of a food source were understood, then it could be predicted what effect would occur when they were mixed together. The goal of the ayurvedic practitioner in not to tell a person how much of a nutrient they should ingest but rather to match up the qualities inherent within food to the unique balance of qualities within the individual."

Ayurveda maintains that everything in nature (meaning every single "thing") can be described in terms of ten pairs of opposites. Those ten pairs of opposites are:
1. Cold/Hot
2. Moist/Dry
3. Heavy/Light
4. Gross/Subtle
5. Dense/Flowing
6. Static/Mobile
7. Dull/Sharp
8. Soft/Hard
9. Smooth/Rough
10. Cloudy/Clear

These qualities are also found in all food sources. Ayurveda has identified six tastes. They are:
1. Sweet
2. Sour
3. Salty
4. Pungent
5. Astringent
6. Bitter

We're all familiar with the first three tastes. Less familiar with the next three. Pungent is found in many hot spices, astringenet in present in beans (among other things), and bitter is present in greens and herbs. In looking at this list we can all probably agree that as Americans our diet consists mostly of sweet, sour, and salty.

For just an example (cause this can get a little overwhelming quiet quickly) clearly we have an obesity problem here in the US. Again, we eat mostly sweet, salty, and sour foods.

Guess what, those are the heaviest foods of the six tastes. With the sweet taste being the heaviest of all. It's major qualites (from above) include heavy, moist, cool, stable, smooth and soft. Clearly we have a sweet/sugar problem. We have McDonald's putting sugar into every item on their menu (including salads) and we have vending machine in schools where kids can get yummy delicious processed sugary foods.

Too. Much. Sugar. Equals heaviness. Of both body and mind.

On a lighter and more uplifting note. You are part of the stars, just in case you didn't know. You are the light, truly.

"There is little that people do that is more sacred than eating food. When food is consumed, a person takes into his/her body atoms and molecules that have been around since the beginning of time. These atoms and molecules have played many roles over time. They were the stars, they were the earth, they were the dinosaurs and, upon consuming them, a person is hoping that they will join with them and become them. When food is taken, people are connecting themselves to everything that ever was, everything that is and everything that will be. In doing so, past, present, and future become one."

That is pretty amazing. I love this thought.
Thoughts, agree, disagree, confusing, interesting? Love to hear from You!

Have a delicious day friends....

{Quotes by Dr. Marc Halpern of California College of Ayurveda}


Where fibers meet mud said...

Interesting because in Healing Touch we use very similar words to describe the energy field. Heavy, light, clear, cloudy or hazey, rough or smooth, hot or cold.

I can see that I will read more about ayurveda and especially in relation to the body light system... thanks for sharing.

Bethany Hurley said...

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing these yummy details about ayurvedic nutrition!

I completely agree about our over-consumption of sugar, and am often frustrated when trying to find prepared food that doesn't have sugar or corn syrup in it.

I used to only eat bitter greens when doing a cleanse or detox, but now I actually crave this type of food and have realized that it has a calming, supportive and cleansing effect on my body when I incorporate it into my daily diet. And this is helping me finally to learn a more balanced approach to food/meals. Yay for dandelion greens! :)

Rachael said...

Great post, Sharon! I'm interested in learning more about ayurveda, and if it has anything to say about how those six tastes make ones body feel. I saw an acupuncturist/masseuse who said my body was "hot and humid," which tends to cause a feeling of fatigue. I wonder if this directly related to the tastes I'm drawn to.

P.S. I'm new to Barefoot Works and I'm happy you to see you have a great blog as well!