What is Ayurveda? The easiest way that I can define it is as, "The Care and Feeding of Humans". Go ahead and laugh, it is funny, But did YOU get a handbook at birth telling you when to sleep and what to eat? Neither did I. Why not? Ayurveda is roughly 5,000 years old and there are texts written about what to eat and when as well as when to sleep and when to wake each day. Why are we just now learning about these things?!
The Dinycarya is the clock that those practicing Ayurveda follow. It outlines when your body is ready for rest and when it is able to best transform the food you eat into energy. These times of day equate to the three body types, or constitutions, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Although we are all made up of all three constitutions, or dosas, we tend to identify more strongly with one or two of three. Learning how to recognize when our dosas are out of balance and what we need to do or eat to correct that imbalance is at the heart of Ayurveda.
As the seasons change, so do our daily habits, our diets, and even the quality of our skin. Have you noticed that during winter there seems to be a lot of heartier soup recipes floating about on Pinterest? In restaurants? In your own kitchen? Why is that? Winter is the time for Vata and the qualities of Vata include, dry, cool, and light to name a few and in Ayurveda we look to find balance. "Like increases like" so if we were to eat cool and light meals it would increase those qualities in our bodies creating an imbalance. That is why we tend to eat warm and heavier soups and foods in the winter so we can remain in balance.
Ayurveda is not a diet or anything new, rather it is a way to listen to what your body is already telling you. If your skin is dry wouldn't you want to moisturize it? If you were tired wouldn't you want to rest? Ayurveda provides the framework for us to structure our days and shows us the basic care and feeding of humans. So actually as it turns out, we did get a handbook telling us how to take care of ourselves after all!