Embracing your Dharma: The key to wellness in Ayurveda

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Embracing your dharma with ayurveda

Have you ever stopped amidst your busy life to question:

“What is my purpose? What am I meant to do?”

These existential inquiries have their roots in a profound concept called Dharma.

Today, we’ll explore this intricate, magnificent idea of embracing your dharma and its significance in the ancient practice of Ayurveda.

Each moment is a stepping stone, leading you towards a life of purpose and fulfillment.

Understanding Dharma: The Cosmic Law

Originating from the Sanskrit word ‘Dhr,’ which means ‘to hold or sustain,’ Dharma is often translated as ‘duty,’ ‘righteousness,’ or ‘moral law.’ However, its essence stretches far beyond these simple terms. Dharma is the universal law that upholds, supports, and maintains the cosmic order. It’s a compass guiding us towards our true purpose in life.

Dharma is embedded in every aspect of the universe, from the rotation of planets to the blooming of a flower. It’s the unseen force that maintains harmony and balance in the world.

Dharma in Different Cultures

While Dharma is a central concept in Indian philosophy and spiritual teachings, the idea has parallels in other cultures and belief systems. In ancient Greek philosophy, for instance, the concept is mirrored in the notion of ‘Eudaimonia,’ referring to a state of flourishing or ‘good spirit’ arising from living in harmony with one’s true nature and purpose.

Buddhism, which emerged from the Indian subcontinent, also holds the concept of Dharma at its core. However, in Buddhism, Dharma (or Dhamma in Pali) primarily signifies the teachings of Buddha and the path to enlightenment.

In Christianity, the idea of ‘Vocation’ shares a close resemblance with Dharma. It suggests that every individual has a unique calling or mission in life, leading them to serve God and humanity in their own distinct way.

The echoes of Dharma in these cultural and spiritual contexts reflect its universal relevance. Despite the variations in interpretation, the common thread is the pursuit of a purposeful life aligned with higher principles and cosmic harmony.

The Trifold Concept of Dharma

Dharma is broadly divided into three categories — universal (Rita Dharma), social (Ashrama Dharma), and personal (Svadharma). Each plays a unique role in our lives, guiding us towards physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Universal Dharma (Rita Dharma) is the divine law maintaining cosmic order. It corresponds to natural phenomena like gravity, seasons, and the lifecycle of beings. Aligning with Rita Dharma involves living in alignment with nature’s rhythms.

Social Dharma (Ashrama Dharma) relates to our roles and responsibilities within society. It encourages us to fulfill our duties as a child, parent, friend, or professional, contributing to societal balance.

Personal Dharma (Svadharma) is the most intimate form, connecting us with our unique purpose in life. It’s about understanding and honoring our individual talents, passions, and calling in the world.

Dharma and Ayurveda: A Symbiotic Relationship

Living with a sense of purpose is not only spiritually fulfilling but can also have profound physical benefits. Recent research studies have begun to shed light on the connection between having a clear purpose in life and improved health outcomes.

Waking up each day with a purpose in mind helps create a positive mental state, influencing our physical health at a cellular level. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that individuals who reported a strong purpose in life had lower levels of inflammation, a key marker of many diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

The mind-body connection, a fundamental tenet of Ayurveda, also supports the idea that our thoughts and emotions can have a direct impact on our physical wellbeing. A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that individuals who reported a higher sense of purpose had healthier outcomes, including reduced risk of sleep problems, and reduced risk of depression.

In essence, embracing your dharma and living a meaningful life, not only brings a deep sense of satisfaction but also helps create an inner environment that promotes health and longevity. It’s clear that Dharma and health are inextricably linked, reinforcing the wisdom of Ayurvedic philosophy.

The Five Elements, Doshas, and Prakriti: A Dance with Dharma

According to Ayurveda, everything in the universe, including humans, is made up of five elements — space, air, fire, water, and earth. These elements combine to form three doshas — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, which govern our physical and mental processes.

Our unique combination of these doshas, known as Prakriti, defines our constitution at birth. Understanding our Prakriti can help us uncover our Svadharma and live in alignment with it.

Living out of sync with our Dharma and Prakriti can lead to imbalances, resulting in physical and mental health issues. On the contrary, embracing our Dharma can bring harmony, enhancing our overall health and wellness.

When we don’t embrace our Dharma, our inherent purpose or duty, we may experience several physical and emotional consequences.

  1. Stress and Anxiety: Not living in alignment with our true purpose can cause feelings of dissatisfaction and restlessness, often leading to stress and anxiety.
  2. Depression: A lack of purpose can result in a pervading sense of emptiness or a lack of direction, which can manifest as depression.
  3. Physical Discomfort: According to Ayurveda, not following our Dharma could lead to physical discomfort and ailments as our body reflects our mental and emotional incongruence.
  4. Insomnia: The mental agitation caused by not pursuing our Dharma may result in sleep disorders like insomnia.
  5. Chronic stress, a potential outcome of not fulfilling our Dharma, decreases immunity and makes us more susceptible to various health issues.
  6. Reduced Life Satisfaction: Without a clear purpose, our overall satisfaction with life may decrease, impacting our emotional and physical well-being.

Ultimately, not following our Dharma can lead to an imbalance between our mind, body, and spirit, disrupting our overall well-being.

Your Dosha: Embracing your life’s purpose

Vata, among the three Doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) in Ayurveda, is considered the most ungrounded.

It is characterized by movement, speed, and flexibility, which, when in excess, can lead to a scattered mind and lifestyle. Individuals with a dominant Vata Dosha may find it challenging to focus and live in alignment with their Dharma.

This unsteady lifestyle, characterized by constant change and lack of routine, can exacerbate Vata imbalance, leading to mental and physical discomfort.

Conversely, Pitta and Kapha Doshas manifest differently.

Pitta individuals, who are governed by the fire element, drive themselves with purpose. However, if they misalign their intense focus and drive with their true Dharma, it can result in burnout and stress-related ailments.

Kapha people, defined by earth and water elements, are typically grounded and stable. They are most likely to uphold their Dharma dutifully, but a misalignment may lead to stagnation and a lack of motivation.

In essence, maintaining our Dharma involves maintaining a balance in our Doshas to ensure holistic well-being.

Uncovering Your Dharma: The Journey Within

Embracing your Dharma is a journey of self-discovery and introspection. It involves understanding your passions, talents, and natural inclinations. Here are some strategies to help you uncover your Dharma:

  1. Self-reflection: Spend time alone, reflecting on your strengths, passions, and values. What activities make you lose track of time? When do you feel most fulfilled?
  2. Meditation and mindfulness: Regular meditation can help you connect with your inner self and uncover your true calling.
  3. Astrological insights: Vedic astrology can provide valuable insights about your life’s purpose and guide you towards your Dharma.
  4. Guidance from a mentor: Seek guidance from a spiritual mentor or an Ayurvedic practitioner. They can help you understand your Prakriti and align with your Dharma.

Additional guidance on Dharma

Balancing the crown chakra: The crown chakra, known as Sahasrara, associates with spiritual connection and enlightenment, creating a balance. Balancing this energy center can bring clarity on your Dharma, as it opens up a pathway to higher consciousness. Various methods can be used to balance the crown chakra, such as meditation, yoga, and the use of healing crystals. For more detailed strategies on balancing your crown chakra, you can check out our article: Ways to Balance Your Crown Chakra.

Paying attention to your dreams: Dreams can often give us insight into our deepest desires and aspirations. They are a reflection of our subconscious mind and can serve as a useful tool in uncovering our Dharma. Pay close attention to recurring themes or symbols in your dreams. They might hold the key to understanding your life’s purpose. For a more profound understanding of dream interpretation and its connection to Dharma, watch my Ayurveda and Dreams video.

Aligning diet and exercise with your constitution is key in Ayurveda. It emphasizes the role of diet and physical activity in maintaining balance and harmony within the body. Consuming foods and engaging in exercises that align with your constitution, or Prakriti, can significantly assist in embracing your Dharma. Prana app for iOS or Prana app for Android offer personalized meal and workout plans based on your specific Prakriti. By eating and moving in ways that balance your constitution, you can cultivate a state of health and well-being. This state of well-being supports the pursuit of your life’s purpose.

Embracing Your Dharma for Holistic Health and Wellness

Embracing your Dharma is not about reaching a specific destination but about embarking on a journey towards self-realization and wellness. It’s about living in sync with your true nature and the universe, fostering balance in every aspect of your life.

Are you ready to discover your Dharma and embark on this transformative journey towards holistic health and wellness?

Remember, the journey to Dharma is a personal one, and it’s never too late to start.

Trust your intuition, follow your heart, and let the cosmic law guide your path.

In the words of the Bhagavad Gita:

It is better to live your own Dharma imperfectly, than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.

Let this wisdom guide you as you embark on your journey to discover and embrace your Dharma.

Monica xx

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Hi! I'm Monica

My life purpose is to help women achieve physical, mental, and emotional alignment, improve their digestion, balance their hormones, and feel more confident in their own skin.

Join me on PRANA APP for a journey of self discovery, balance, and bliss. All you need and more to restore your health and thrive is waiting for you on Prana app.

See you there! xx

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