Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom Book Review

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the publisher of a new book, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom,* and asked if I was interested in reviewing the book. I have been practicing yoga on and off for many years and have attended a few Ayurvedic workshops so naturally I was interested in the book. I was sent a prerelease copy of the book, which is being released on February 1, 2017.

AyurvedaLifestyleWisdomCover

The author of the book is Acharya Shunya, who studied Ayurveda with her grandfather as her teacher and guru. She is the founder of a spiritual foundation, Vedika Global, and the president of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine.

On of the key points of Ayurveda is the belief that our body can heal itself. In the book, Shunya outlines the principles of an Ayurvedic lifestyle and gives many examples of people who have been able to heal themselves. She covers daily self care rituals, self massage, skin care, food, food and lifestyle routines by time of day and the seasons, and more. I think the book is a great read for someone who is completely new to Ayurveda as it provides an engaging and comprehensive discussion of the subject. And it’s also a great book for those who want to delve deeper as it is filled with a plethora of detailed information.

Personally, I also like that readers are able to pick out a few simple lifestyles changes that can bring about positive changes in their lives if they don’t feel like embarking on making all the changes. For example, right at the beginning of the book, there is a simple list of 5 things everyone can do that can bring a positive change (from p. 2 of the prerelease copy):
  1. Wake up early each morning at a set time. 
  2. Have an altar in your room and put fresh flowers on it every day. 
  3. Every morning meditate to your healing for fifteen minutes. 
  4. Stop eating (or minimize your consumption of) harmful foods - which foods are harmful, and which foods are best eaten at certain times of the day and the year are discussed throughout the book 
  5. Eat beneficial foods - there is a big section toward the end of the book that discusses food and includes recipes. 

One interesting topic that is discussed is oral hygiene. Ayurveda has a complex oral hygiene system. Tongue scraping and oil pulling are part of it. My dad has been an avid believer in oil pulling for more than twenty years, but I could never bring myself to consistently do it, but after reading the book, I’ll give it another try. The oral hygiene steps that are recommended (each is described in great detail on pp. 115 - 125 of the prerelease copy) are as follows:
  1. Toothbrushing (with botanicals)
  2. Tongue scraping (with specialized scrapers)
  3. Gargling (with rejuvenating and protective substances) in one of two ways: (a) oil pulling: swishing a small amount of liquid in the oral cavity; or (b) oil pooling: holding to full capacity a large amount of fluid in the oral cavity. 
The book also covers self massage and beauty regimens. Shunya offers detailed descriptions of self massage and its benefits. This is an area I want to get more consistent about. There is a detailed discussion of what effect different massage oils have. Since I’m very interested in putting fewer chemicals on my skin, I’m going to try many of the natural beauty treatments in the book. The list of face and body packs and scrubs is quite extensive.

Food is a topic that is discussed throughout the book. In Ayurveda, food choices are based on the seasons. For example, while in late winter heavy foods can safely be included in one’s diet, in spring it is advisable to eat lightly. Toward the end of the book there are lists of foods that are best consumed in each season.

According to Ayurveda, the taste of a food indicates which effect it will have on your body. For example, sweet tastes promote growth and bitter tastes improve digestion. The author describes the six flavors - sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent - in detail, including their benefits and possible problems that may arise. She also points out very useful information such as which foods are sleep inducing (for example warmed cow’s milk) and which could disrupt sleep (for example chips and salsa). Again, I love the plethora of information in the book and that one can pick up countless helpful pieces of information that can have an effect on one’s life. I know I won’t be eating chips and salsa close to bedtime again!

I really enjoyed the Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom.* The stories make it interesting and really illustrate the author’s points. Plus, the stories about her grandfather, teacher and guru transport you back into a different world and a different time.

Questions: What do you know about Ayurveda? Are you interested in the Ayurvedic lifestyle? If so, do you practice any or all of it? Are you interested in learning more about the Ayurvedic lifestyle? 

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,
Andrea

*Disclosure: I was provided a free prerelease copy of the book. All opinions are my own. Links in this post are affiliate links, and www.andreaswellnessnotes.com will benefit from actions taken on the links.

16 comments:

  1. I think our health is the most important thing, and this book sounds like something I'd really enjoy!
    I have to laugh at the warm milk for sleep. My mom has said that for ages!!
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great book with so many pieces of useful information. And, yes, I had heard about the warm milk, too, when I was little...

      Delete
  2. Sounds like an interesting book. I've always been curious about oil pulling.

    Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is a great book. And oil pulling has so many benefits...

      Delete
  3. This is all very interesting to me! I have always heard meditating is so valuable, my husband used to do this... I also have heard a lot about oil pulling and its benefits!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, meditating is very valuable. I used to regularly meditate and have to get back to it. Oil pulling has lots of benefits, and I really want to get consistent doing it.

      Delete
  4. It sounds pretty interresting. I had a conversation with a Chinese Herb ,,doctor,,last week. I used herbs that hè mixed for a few years. His view on food is a traditionaly Asian one. Also his view on life is and it was really interresting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, lifestyle choices can make such a difference in how we feel... And many things, often very minor, I would never think about, can have a big impact...

      Delete
  5. This sounds like a very interesting book, and one I would enjoy. Although I don't really know anything about Ayurveda, I love reading about health and natural ways we can improve it.
    Rachael
    www.threadsforthomasblog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great book with so much interesting information. I'm sure you would enjoy it, Rachael!

      Delete
  6. While I am not familiar with that word, I guess I was familiar with some of the practices encompassed in a Ayurvedic lifestyle. Just getting on board with regular flossing! Ha! I think I need to up my game. Very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm sure you've heard of quite a few practices that are outlined in the book. It's definitely very interesting.

      Delete
  7. This looks like such a great book Andrea. My brother is Ayurvedic doctor who studied in India a long time ago and since he came back I have been absolutely fascinated by the practices and deep belief system that underpins all of their thoughts. I can't wait to get my hands on this book, there's so much more I want to learn and understand. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How great that your brother is an Ayurvedic doctor. And, yes, it's a very fascinating system.

      Delete
  8. Andrea I have never heard of this before but certainly anything that is natural and helpful to our lifestyle is certainly positive. I am a firm believer in mind over matter. Of course sometimes it is hard to get there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. We can do so much to positively affect our lives...

      Delete