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Cheat Sheet: The ABCs of Ayurveda


Have no idea what the heck Ayurveda is? Here are some key facts and talking points on the 5,000-year-old Indian holistic medicine practice and modern lifestyle.

Kripalu_AyurvedaAyurveda is one of those cool, hard to pronounce words (“are-yer-VAY-duh”) that the wellness cognoscenti throw around casually—as in “My Ayurvedic doctor thinks I shouldn’t eat much dairy” or “Apparently people with my Ayurvedic dosha are prone to breakouts, so I need this new cleanser” and “We do these twists in yoga because, according to Ayurveda, it stimulates digestion and wrings out toxins.”

And although Ayurveda has been around for 5,000-plus years, many Westerners still have no idea what the heck it means. We’re here to help!

Simply put, Ayurveda is a holistic medicine practice from India. Physicians, or Vedas, determine your dosha (constitution) in order to offer dietary guidance, detox and balancing treatments (from massage to colonics), along with herbal and oil remedies.

Ayurveda is still used today to prevent and treat a number of ailments—but it’s become much more than that. Click through to get the scoop… and see how the Ayurvedic lifestyle is being practiced by modern experts and urbanites. —Jamie McKillop

1. What’s your dosha? Find out your Ayurvedic constitution
We created this super-simple cheat sheet to figuring our your emotional and physical constitution, according to Ayurveda.

2. Oil pulling: New Yorkers trade Listerine for this Ayurvedic detox method
The centuries-old medicinal mouth-washing ritual has recently resurfaced, and it’s getting a lot of lip service for its health-and-beauty perks.

3. 5 Ayurvedic tips for de-stressing
Anxious about holiday pressures? Unwrap this advice from Ayurvedic experts that can help you find some (inner) peace amid the seasonal chaos.

4. The 6 best Ayurvedic spas that aren’t in India
Pilgrimage to Ayurveda’s motherland not the most practical for your stressed-out state? These top spas can also determine your dosha and help fix what ails you.

5. 9 Ayurvedic secrets to great digestion
The world’s oldest healing science holds the secrets to better digestion. And guess what? Most of us aren’t practicing them.

6. My Five Beauty Obsessions: Priya Pandya
The Doonya co-founder shares the Ayurvedic-inspired products that give her flashing eyes, radiant skin, and Bollywood beautiful looks—even through teaching sweaty cardio classes.

7. What’s your workout dosha?
From an Ayurvedic perspective, the workout you’re most drawn to may be the one your body needs the least. Find out which workout is really best for you.

8. How to prevent cellulite the Ayurvedic way
Ayurvedic medicine has used herb-infused oils, along with exfoliation and massage, for 5,000-some years to pretty solid effect.

(Photo: Kripalu)