I loved learning about Ayurveda when I did my very first yoga teacher training. In fact, it was one of the highlights of the course. But, after that first training, I didn't feel like I had enough knowledge to incorporate Ayurveda into my classes or help students manage their wellbeing.
So I decided to do a deep dive into the world of Ayurveda. I spent the next 25 years studying Ayurveda and yoga therapy, including immersive programs with masters in India, Over that time, seen first hand how Ayurveda can restore balance and heal, especially when it comes to mental and emotional wellbeing.
A holistic approach to mental wellbeing
Ayurveda (meaning “Science of Life” in Sanskrit) is India’s traditional system of medicine. Ayurveda traces its roots back over 4,000 years and, as a sister science to yoga, embraces an holistic approach to health.
According to Ayurveda everybody is composed of three types of energy, or doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It is the interplay of these three energies that creates your personal constitution and determines your patterns of mental and emotional health. The doshas are affected by the day to day business of moving through the world. Everything from the weather to what you have for lunch can influence the doshas, bringing them into harmony or pushing them into a state of imbalance.
When your diet, lifestyle and yoga practice support your individual dosha, you'll experience positive mental health and emotional balance. However, the doshas can quickly become unbalanced due to changes in the season, lifestyle and environment.
The mental and emotional signs of dosha imbalance
Each dosha has a very distinct set of mental and emotional properties. The symptoms you experience- from anger to despair, from lethargy to anxiety - can clearly indicate which of the doshas are imbalanced.
Learning to spot the symptoms of dosha imbalance, and taking steps to restore balance, can have a dramatic impact on your mental and emotional health. By choosing the right yoga and Ayurvedic interventions, you can return each dosha to a state of equiliburium and, thereby, improve health.
This mini guide will give you insights in to the Ayurvedic approach to managing mental health by balancing individual constitutions.
Ayurveda for mental and emotional wellbeing guide
I've distilled some of what I've learned during my 20 year study of yoga therapy and Ayurveda to develop a mini-guide. It is designed to help yoga teachers spot the mental and emotional signs of dosha imbalance in their students and choose the right practices to help to restore wellbeing. To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, this guide is absolutely free to yoga teachers. I hope you and your students enjoy it!
Nikola Ellis is the founder of Adore Yoga, yoga therapist, counsellor and teacher trainer. She conducts regular trainings that help people of all ages, shapes and abilities enjoy the benefits of yoga and meditation, including Meditation Facilitator Certificate Trainings; Level 1 200hr Teacher Training and Post Graduate Yoga Teacher Training in Mental Health, Adaptive Asana and the Foundations of Yoga Therapy and a highly regarded professional 650hr Graduate Certificate of Yoga Therapy.