The Ayurveda Glow Podcast podcast

002: What Is Ayurveda? (& how can it help you optimize your health?)

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Welcome to The Ayurveda Glow Podcast. I’m so happy you’re here! I’m your host, Katrina, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor and former web developer turned full-time holistic wellness & plant-based nutrition advocate based in Santa Monica, California. This podcast is focused on how we can optimize our health and our lives holistically, glow from the inside out, and experience our full potential.

I’ll be sharing with you what I’m learning in the areas of plant-based nutrition, meditation, exercise, sleep, emotions, and holistic mind-body approaches to optimal health. I aim to explore each of these areas through the lens of Ayurveda.

If you are new to Ayurveda and wondering what it’s all about, this episode is for you.

Let’s dive in!

Okay, so what is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is one of the oldest holistic medical systems in the world, originating in India over 5000 years ago. For thousands of years, Ayurveda has acted as a preventive medicine, offering a body of wisdom designed to help us stay healthy so that they we may realize our full human potential. The word Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words "Ayur" which means "life" and "Veda" which means "science" or "knowledge". Ayurveda, therefore, is a science of life.

A fun fact to know is that Ayurveda is also known as the “sister science of yoga”. Yes, Both yoga and Ayurveda share the same foundation, both having come from the Vedas, the oldest books in the world.

In the West, we often think of yoga as a practice designed to support the body and physical wellbeing but as I learned years ago during my yoga teacher training, the purpose and aim of yoga – which means “union” in Sanskrit – is oneness. Yoga was created to help us access our Higher Self and cultivate higher consciousness.

Meanwhile, the science of Ayurveda was developed for healing purposes with the aim to keep the physical body healthy so that we can pursue our dreams and experience our full potential. After all, we know that when we’re sick, lacking energy, or feeling unwell, it’s challenging to focus on anything else other than simply getting better.

A question that often comes up is, “How is Ayurveda different from modern Western medicine?”

This is a great question.

The main difference is that the Western medicine approach is to focus on treating the disease instead of the whole person and treats the symptoms of a condition instead of the root cause. Western medicine is focused on alleviating the symptoms so that we feel better as soon as possible.

Ayurveda, on the other hand, considers the whole person - mind, body and spirit - and aims to address the root cause of the disease or imbalance.

In addition, Ayurveda recognizes that:

  1. Mind-Body Connection: The mind and body are connected. And – one of the most powerful ways to transform the body is through the power of the conscious mind.
  2. We are each unique: Every individual is unique and there is no diet or lifestyle routine that works for everyone.
  3. Prevention is key: Prevent the disease (don’t just treat the symptoms). Fix the root of the condition.
  4. We are connected to nature: We thrive when we align with the rhythms of Nature.

This understanding that we are each unique – in body, personality, lifestyle, environment and other factors – is one of the things I appreciate most about Ayurveda. There’s no one-size-fits-all diet or one healing treatment in Ayurveda. Instead, Ayurveda promotes personalized treatment, based on the unique constitution of each individual and the unique nature of the illness.

Treatment plans in Ayurveda are tailored to each person so that balance can be restored.

When it comes to treatment, another difference between modern, western medicine and Ayurveda is that Western medicine often relies on surgery or prescription medication.

Treatments in Ayurveda, on the other hand, focus on restoring balance by engaging all five senses. An Ayurvedic treatment approach may include diet and herbalism, aromatherapy, color therapy, sound therapy, and touch therapy.

Among the most powerful tools used to restore mind-body balance in Ayurveda are:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Nutrition
  • Movement & daily exercise
  • Abundant, restful sleep
  • Herbal medicine
  • Color therapy
  • Oils for internal and external use (essential oils, massage, healthy cooking oils, etc.)

So how do you know when to embrace western, modern medicine and when to embrace Ayurveda? The good news is that we can tap into both western medicine and Ayurveda, depending on each situation.

There’s a place for both and for this, I’m so grateful.

Western medicine is ideal when there’s an emergency or life-threatening crisis. In these cases, modern medicine can save your life.

Ayurveda is best practiced as daily preventative medicine. With Ayurveda, we’re empowered to take wellness into our own hands through choices we can control like diet, lifestyle, exercise and thoughts.

I'm excited to share more in future episodes. For now, I'll sign off with these inspiring words from humanitarian and Ayurvedic pioneer, Maya Tiwari, who wrote,

“Ayurveda is not just about nutrition or herbology, it has a unique tool for diagnosis, diagnosis of understanding the human constitution is different from person to person. Each one has a unique metabolic system.”

Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed this episode.

To get the latest episodes, please subscribe and if you find this podcast helpful, please share with anyone you think may benefit from it. Also, if you’d like to support this podcast, please rate and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Your rating and review will help more people to find this podcast. Thank you so much for your support. Together, we can  spread the message of holistic healing and co-create a healthier, happier world. 

I’d love to connect with you on Instagram and you can find me there @katrinaheppler. If you have any topics you’d like me to cover on a future episode, please use the hashtag #theayurvedaglow.

If you’d like to learn more about my programs and upcoming workshops, please visit my website at I’ll drop links in the show notes below. 

Thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you so much. Wishing you a beautiful day.

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