Ayurveda – Tastes (Rasa) is Important

In previous blog I elaborated on the Gurvadi Gunas, the attributes or properties everything around us has and offers to us in various forms and ways. Some of them might be overwhelming and some will be subtle. In all cases it is good to be aware of these attributes and how they contribute to our life and health.

All the living communicate and are affected by their surroundings. Us humans where born with the senses to pick up the information and then figure out if the attribution is beneficial or not. The mind reports what the body is processing.

The five senses acknowledged by mainstream medicine are taste, smell, touch, hearing and seeing. Holistic schools sometimes argue that we have more senses, of which some would be called metaphysical in English, such as intuition or psychic abilities, literally a six sense. The Gunas is the language we use to describe these attributes in Ayurveda. They are opposites as in  heavy or light, big or small, and they are two extremes of the same energy. The same system can be used to find balance in anything we do or experience.

Let me give you an example with taste. Astringent is a taste in Ayurveda and often perceived as a consistency rather than as a taste by westerners. In any case it means something that is dry, as opposed to moist or wet. A cookie, a hazelnut, a leafy vegetable or a chickpea all have different degrees of astringency. When a person comes to me with phlegm and a runny nose I would recommend astringent food. If someone has constipation I would highly oppose such food and recommend well cooked, moist and oily food. This is of utter importance for me as an Ayurvedic practitioner to support mental and physical healing. Anyone who understands the Gurvadi Gunas and the senses opens up a total new and natural way of healing.

In the same way I always ask how my clients feel and apply the same system of thought to anything in life. If they say lethargic I would recommend one type of habit, yoga, food and remedies, and if they feel stressed another type which I pair with their constitution and deviation from their original Doshas, or nature (Prakruti-Vikruti).

Food nurture through smell, colour and form too.

To practice the use of the senses we teach our guests to feel them and be aware of the surroundings to protect or open ourselves and understand when we are out of balance. Basically it is the same practice you have probably done without thinking of it and has been recommended to you many times as being mindful.

When we are aware and know the basic principles of the Gurvadi Gunas and Rasa it is much easier to correct an imbalance before it tips over into disease or disorder, and bring ourselves to ease and order. However the flow back and forth never stops, life changes with the seasons, the cosmic energies, the time of the day and the age, to name a few of all the input that affect us. We are never separate from our surroundings cosmic energy and doings in life. But the energy that affects us the most is probably people or nature, which is another good reason to be kind to them.

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