When I had my health crisis several years ago, I found great power and healing in Ayurvedic medicine. At the time I had heard of Ayurveda, but I didn’t really know the in’s and out’s – or have any idea how much it would end up helping and healing me on so many levels. My ayurveda journey actually started 14 years ago when I went to a health resort in Ubud. Arriving there burnt out, I chose an Ayurvedic doctor to help me guide my wellness stay. It was here, while I was taking the time out to focus on myself and with the mindfulness practices of yoga, mediation and ayurveda treatments that the idea of Escape Haven actually emerged as I experienced the absolute transformation that can happen when a woman presses pause and focuses on their wellbeing
10 days later I felt rebalanced and inspired to make some big changes in my life, I was 31 at the time. Since then, every 2 years since moving to Bali 3 years after my initial retreat, I do an Ayurvedic cleanse. I met my husband Trent later on in life at 41. We didn’t know if it was possible to have children and by the time we decided to at 42 we were told our chances of having a baby naturally was 5%. Immediately after we both did an ayurveda cleanse we became pregnant naturally and had a beautiful baby girl, Indii. Again at 44, we did our cleanse, at that stage the chances of conceiving naturally had dropped to 1% after a year of trying. Again, immediately after the cleanse we fell pregnant immediately and had another beautiful baby girl, Talullah. So you can see how much of an influence Ayurveda has had on my life and why we are so passionate about its power..
Ayurveda has gained incredible popularity over the last few years, and rightly so. It is in fact one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world and offers so much rich, ancient wisdom.
After my incredible experience and trust in Ayurveda, I felt so compelled to share its healing powers with our guests as one of our packages at our Bali Yoga Retreat. Each week we receive the most incredible feedback and our highly qualified and intuitive Ayurveda healer Anantari.
For those of you who may be new to Ayurveda and feel like an Ayurveda retreat could benefit you also, here are some quick facts about this age-old healing system.
AYURVEDA – THE BASIC PRINCIPLES
- Ayurveda has been around as long as the practice of yoga, and is considered to be the ‘sister science’ to yoga. Ayurveda means “The knowledge or science of life” and has been practiced throughout India and Asia for over 5000 years.
- The practice is a holistic way of looking at the body and seeking balance through the application of selected natural herbs, roots and minerals suited to each individual.
- Practitioners of Ayurveda believe humans are built from the elements of Earth, Fire, Water, Space and Air and that flowing with one’s unique balance of elements will promote wellbeing. When mind, body and spirit are in harmony with these elements, then good health is possible.
- In Ayurveda, we can be classified into three types of people or ‘Doshas’. Each type contains a combination of the elements and influences our health, our behaviour and even our personality.
- The doshas are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha and you’ll find yourself classified into one of these groups after an in-depth analysis. Vata dosha is related to space and air; Pitta dosha is fire and water; and Kapha dosha is water and earth. Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. But one is usually stronger than the others.
- Ayurveda practitioners help you to find wholeness by treating two key areas. The first is called Agni (inner fire) and focuses on your digestion and nourishment through the elimination of toxins. The second is called Prana (life force energy) and focuses on improving your energy through types of food and daily routines.
- Food is very important in Ayurveda and is classified in the following ways- Sweet, Salty, Sour, Bitter, Pungent and Astringent. You’ll be encouraged to follow a diet that adheres to a combination of these types of food instead of the traditional balance of protein and carbohydrates that a Western nutritionist will recommend. The balance of flavours is related to your dosha type.
- Because Ayurveda is 100% natural there are no side effects. If an Ayurvedic treatment isn’t helpful to your body, it won’t have any negative side effects either. This is unlike other medicinal treatments which often cost or tax your body in some way or another. Because Ayurveda is also unique for each person, it’s also not a ‘one size fits all’ mentality.
- It sounds complex to some but actually, it’s a very easy healing technique to practice. After a consultation and learning a little about your unique make up, you can easily buy high-quality Ayurvedic products at health food stores, and also shift your diet to include foods that work best for you. Other lifestyle factors will also be assessed to find what works best for you.
- Instead of fighting a disease or illness directly – Ayurveda focuses on improving your overall health so the body can do the job for you. Equilibrium is the goal and balance is always key. The holistic nature of Ayurveda is one of the things that makes it both effective, and also a long-term (rather than quick bandaid) solution.
- The key to your treatment will be to harmonise and balance your doshas using a combination of food, supplements and routines. Certain foods and activities can aggravate or support our dosha type, and learning what supports us empowers us to make choices that create immediate positive change.
- When you visit an ayurvedic healer you will be evaluated with a combination of physical observation, touch and questions about your lifestyle. Healers have many ‘tools’ in their toolkit to assist with any health concern and treatments often incorporate both mind and body practices.
- Ayurvedic treatments are tailored to your body type, your age, your physical, physiological, psychic and behavioural habits. Not just your symptoms. Ayurveda treatments are performed with a range of unique oils and herbs (all natural) and are usually as soothing and enjoyable as they are effective!
WONDERING WHAT YOUR DOSHA OR BODY TYPE IS?
You can get an idea of your dosha with this quick quiz here
You’ll need to visit a practitioner to confirm this, but here’s a description of the three different Doshas to give you an idea as to where you may fit into the puzzle.
If you’re a vata you’re likely to be energetic and enthusiastic, you could be thin or even wiry and have angular facial features. Vata types are known to be quick, light and changeable. If balanced they will be super creative and very social. When unwell, vatas may feel anxious or erratic and have trouble digesting food regularly.
If you’re a pita in balance then you probably find it’s easy to build muscle and that you have bright and unflawed skin. People may tell you that you seem intense at times or even fiery but when you’re in balance you are actually very content. You’re usually a clear thinker but if you’re unbalanced that can make you argumentative. You may also sweat a lot and get heartburn.
If this is your dosha then you’ll be a combination of strength and softness. You may have a solid or heavy build and suffer from allergies, bloating or depression. When in balance you are also likely to be serene, generous, patient and very loyal. You’re the affectionate sort who people describe as being the homemaker and a gentle source of love.
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Generally, your healer will administer treatments in a combination of different ways. They will give you herbs or recommend formulas tailored specifically to your needs. They may advise you to do a daily or one-off detoxification routine and lastly, they will recommend a diet that balances Sweet, Salty, Sour, Bitter, Pungent and Astringent foods according to your needs.
While an Ayurevda retreat or cleanse is incredibly effective, Ayurveda offers long term solutions and recommendations to stay well and in harmony. When the body is in balance, then it is able to effectively ward of illness and dis-ease. The lessons you learn from a period of time sinking into the Ayurvedic ways of life will change your irrevocably.
At Escape Haven we offer one of the only Ayurvedic Retreats in Bali and have qualified practitioners, purpose built treatment spaces and hand crafted oils and herbs to guarantee quality and effectiveness. Read more about our
We look forward to introducing you to this age-old wisdom!
Escape Haven Bali Retreat, supporting women on year making wellness experiences.
We invite you to come and experience for yourself our award winning Bali retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and shrug off all the roles that you wear and all the balls you juggle in your busy life, we’d love to pamper you. From transformational yoga and meditation classes, to exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness in our tropical gardens to restorative healing and pampering sessions, how much or little you do is all up to you.