Ayurveda in Manhattan Montana, Bozeman Montana,
And The Entire Gallatin Valley Area
Ayurveda Means The Science of Life.
Ayurveda began in India over five thousand years ago, and was eventually recorded in the Vedic Texts (think really old books). Ayurveda has become increasingly popular in the west as people begin to seek better solutions than they have been offered by western medicine – especially with regard to auto-immune disorders, digestive issues, anxiety and depression, fatigue, and many other illnesses that do not respond to pills and chemical prescriptions.
Many of our clients tell us they became interested in Ayurveda because nothing else had worked, and are often surprised to find that just when they began to lose hope of finding a solution to their difficulties, Ayurveda had answers. Well documented answers that made sense to them once they were explained by an Ayurvedic Practitioner.
We have been providing Ayurveda in Manhattan Montana, Bozeman, and the entire Gallatin Valley for many years. We are conveniently located just fifteen minutes from Bozeman, and have ample parking.
A Bit More About Ayurveda
The basic premise of Ayurveda is that all humans, and indeed all phenomenon, are a made up of the same five elements:
And from these five elements arise the three Doshas:
Vata (Air & Space)
Pitta (Fire & Water)
Kapha (Water & Earth)
Every person is a composition of all three Doshas. That is to say, you are not Vata or Pitta or Kapha. Every person has a mixture of these three, though usually two are found in higher concentrations than the third (but not always).
Dosha literally means Flaw or Stain. Functionally you can think about it as:
“that which goes out of balance.”
Though it has become popular (more so in the west) to describe oneself according to your primary dosha -as in “I am so Vatta” or “That’s because I am a Pitta” - it is not actually helpful to identify yourself with the things that go out of balance in your life. In fact, when left unchecked – the Doshas LOVE to express themselves fully – and they take you along for the ride as they do.
The point of understanding the Doshas is to understand what within your individual make up needs to become harmonized, and how it goes out of balance in the first place, so you can manage it better.
This is why Ayurveda provides dietary and lifestyle suggestions, to help bring the Doshas back into balance and in so doing, return the individual to a state where being healthy can prevail.
EVEN MORE ABOUT AYURVEDA
Ayurveda means “The Science of Life.” Ayurvedic medicine originated thousands of years ago on the sub-continent of Asia, in the region which is now known today as India. Ayurveda is one of the oldest “wholistic” approaches to health in the world. Western Medicine tends to look for individual symptoms and try to relieve those symptoms. Ayurveda views “healthy” as a balanced Mind, Body, Spirit, and the interplay of the elements that impact them. Ayurveda focuses on adjusting sub-optimal lifestyle choices that CAUSE disease, rather than trying to correct disease and its symptoms after the fact. That is to say, Ayurveda focuses on the root of the problem, rather than hacking away at the leaves.
How Ayurveda Works
Ayurveda focuses on bringing balance into your life through
contemplations, food intake, lifestyle choices, and introduction of
herbs into the body.
Ayurveda places a great deal of importance on you and your constitution. Ayurveda believes that “nothing works for everyone – but something will work for everyone.” You are an individual, not a stereotype; and you are certainly not your symptoms. Because you are an individual, you must be treated individually if you wish to bring balance into your life.
What helps one person achieve balance, can completely throw another person with a different constitution out of balance. This is why Ayurveda cannot and should not be practiced by yourself. It is important to work with someone who has a great deal of education to help you identify your constitution, sort through your habits and lifestyle choices, and help you choose new patterns which will bring YOU into balance. Our Ayurvedic Doctor holds the highest degree of expertise available in Manhattan Montana, Bozeman, and The entire Gallatin Valley.
What throws people out of balance?
Life. Life throws people out of balance. Just being alive on the earth and interacting with your environment and with other humans throws you out of balance. Your food choices, weather, changes of season, physical pain, sleep patterns, environmental toxins, artificial light, magnetic fields, etc, all throw you out of balance.
Why Is Balance Important?
Because balance equals order and imbalance equals disorder.
Order equals good health. Disorder equals disease (dis-ease).
Your body and mind are always being pulled out of balance. Ayurveda helps you identify what is pulling you out of balance, and what you must do to restore it, and then try to maintain it.
What Are The Doshas ?
Ayurveda divides the elements that make up an individual person’s constitution into “Doshas.” The three Doshas, as they are commonly called, are Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. These have come to be understood in the west as “Wind (Vata), Kapha (Water), and Fire (Pitta), though this is an oversimplification, and means very little without some education.
Vata “energy” is involved with movement. Vata is always moving. Like the wind.
Kapha energy is involved with fluid dynamics (water), and structure (think bones)
Pitta is the energy used in digestion, as in your “digestive fire.”
The important thing to remember is that every person has all three “Doshas” in them, though not in equal amounts. Normally there is a primary and secondary Dosha operating with some smaller volume of the third dosha present.
It is also important to know that the “Doshas” indicate imbalances. If your entire being was in complete harmony (balance) there would be no “Doshas” to speak of. This may seem semantic, but it matters. More and more westerners have begun describing themselves according to their Doshas – i.e, “I am Vata. I am SO PITTA! My Kapha is getting the best of me.”
We do not want to identify with our Doshas. We want to work for balance and harmony.
It is also important to know that Ayurveda is not just about “the three Doshas.” Ayurveda views everything in the world that is said to “exist” to be a combination/compilation of the five main elements—Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. The “three Doshas” - are various permutations of the combination of these five elements, manifest as the endless “patterns of energy” that includes the whole of creation.
Just understanding the Doshas, or which Doshas you have operating as primary and secondary - does not bring a person into balance. Nor do they tend to stay in balance after you harmonize them.
A Little More About The Doshas
Vata (movement) – is made of Space and Air. Vata Dosha is involved in breathing, muscle movement, heart beat, and all internal movements within the body. When it is in balance (imagine trying to balance the wind), vata shows up as creativity and flexibility. When Vata is out of balance, it is experienced as fear and anxiety.
Pitta (Digestive Fire) – is comprised of Fire and Water. It is associated with digestion, metabolism, temperature, etc. When in balance, pitta is experienced as focus, drive, and intellect. Out of balance, pitta is experienced as anger, jealousy, and aggression.
Kapha (hydrodynamics and Structure) – kapha is a combination of Earth and Water. It provides fluid and fluidity to the body as well as structure and solidity. When in balance, kapha is experienced as love, equanimity, and steadiness. Out of balance, it is experienced as clingy, bitter, sluggish, stagnancy.
Ayurveda - Versus - Western Medicine
As we mentioned before, Western medicine tends to focus on symptoms and disease. Their primary tools for treating symptoms and disease are the use of drugs, and surgery, or a combination of the two in an effort to reduce symptoms, remove or repair bones/tissues, or both. We shouldn’t “knock” western medicine – countless lives have been and will continue to be saved by Western medicine.
Ayurveda on the other hand does not focus on disease or symptoms. Ayurveda focuses on keeping energy in balance, which allows your body to make maximum effective use of its own disease fighting capabilities. Ayurveda focuses on removing the CAUSES and CONDITIONS of disease, rather than waiting until you have already become diseased to take action.
Ayurveda is not a substitute for Western medicine. Drugs and surgery are absolutely necessary when symptoms or disease have become acute. Ayurveda might instead be seen as a method to be used WITH western approaches to medicine - to either help reduce the likelihood of being afflicted with disease in the first place, or to help strengthen the body after being treated with drugs or surgery.
In our western way of thinking – you wait until you “feel” sick, and then you go to the doctor and the doctor does something for you (or to you) to remove the “feelings” of being sick AT THAT TIME. Once the problem has passed, people tend to go right back to doing (or not doing) whatever it was they were doing before they became sick. Ayurveda does not follow this approach. Instead, Ayurveda addresses your lifestyle, habits, and choices that will inevitably lead to you developing illness and disease – before you get sick. Ayurveda is a lifestyle program, not a quick fix.
Why Would Someone Choose Ayurveda Over Western Medicine
Often people try Ayurveda because they realize that they keep getting sick, and are faced with two choices:
They can either continue taking pills, and then more pills to offset the side effects of all the other pills.
They can change what is causing them to get sick in the first place.
This is precisely where Ayurveda shines, and western approaches to lifestyle changes fall flat. Let’s face it, the “diet industry” is a multi-billion dollar enterprise…and we as westerners have never been more obese and more unhealthy. Apparently, our approach to health isn’t working.
Ayurveda works! But you do have to participate in the process. Ayurveda doesn’t just “give you a pill.” Often the lifestyle changes required to bring the doshas into balance can feel extreme. Especially to the undisciplined person. There are a lot of things a person needs to begin doing, and quite a few things a person will need to stop doing. But your qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner will be with you each step of the way.
To Schedule Your Initial Ayurvedic Consultation:
A Little More About Vata Dosha
In General: A person who is predominantly Vata Dosha will have a quick mind and tend to be creative. They can grasp broad concepts. They tend to be “in motion” - they walk, talk and think fast. They have a very active mind, and body. They may often say they “feel ungrounded.” Fear and anxiety plague the Vata person when out of balance.
Season: Vata tends to “accumulate” in the fall and at the change of seasons. For those who have a lot of Vata, these are important times to pay close attention to diet and lifestyle. Slow down. Consume foods that are “hot and wet” as opposed to “cold and dry.” Routine is good for vata to help ground the “movement” aspect of Vata.
Diet: Variability is a key word when describing Vata Dosha. As such, they will tend to have variable diet and digestion. The person with predominantly Vata Dosha tends (like all Doshas) to crave things that aren’t going to help balance them – i.e they crave raw veggies, cold drinks, sweet tastes, – when what would balance them would be cooked veggies, warm soupy food, warm drinks, and salty/astringent flavoring. Because of the “dry” quality of air, their feces is often hard, dry, small in size/quantity.
Disease/Health: Vata resides in the colon, and is associated with brain, ears, bones, joints, skin and thighs. Vata people are more susceptible to diseases involving air/breathing, such as emphysema, pneumonia and arthritis. Also because of air they can be very “gassy.” Dryness rules Vata, which may show up as dryness in the hair, skin, and joints. The variability of Vata can show up in the nervous system in twitches and nervous “tics.”
Aging: - Aging is basically an increase in Vata. As you age, you get dry and cold. Your body, brain, bones, hair, skins, vital organs all begin to dry out.
Food: Because of the Cold/Dry nature of Vata, inducing foods with the opposite qualities (warm/wet) is good for balancing Vata Dosha. Scheduled meal times can be helpful. Oil is good for Vata. Oil in your food, and oil on your food. Ghee (clarified butter) is good as well. Raw uncooked food should be limited, as should cold beverages – especially during fall and winter. Nightshade vegetables (i.e. - tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers) should be avoided. Fruits (in general) are best avoided unless approved specifically by your Ayurvedic Practitioner.
Pitta dosha takes on the qualities of fire. Fire is hot and sharp. Because of this, individuals with a lot of Pitta tend to be warm bodied, and sharp of intelligence. When out of balance, they can quickly become angry and irritable.
Because of their “fire” they tend to have strong metabolism and good digestion. Like all Doshas, they will tend to crave things that aren’t good for them – like spicy food and hot drinks. To be balanced, they would do better with sweet, bitter, and astringent flavors. Pitta dosha makes people perspire easily. They will have warm hands and feet (the opposite of Vata).
Mentally, pitta types tend to be good leaders and planners as they are sharp, and diligent at their work. Most leaders you think of as “natural” leader will have primarily Pitta Dosha. Unfortunately because of all that fire, they can be easily agitated and aggressive when they become imbalanced. Pitta people tend to have diseases associated with their fire – i.e. inflammation, ulcers, digestive disorders.
Summer is the pitta season. The hot time of year. Pitta Dosha might be easily irritated during the heat of summer, and “cool off” when the weather does. They do better in cooler climates. They should avoid spicy food as this increases their “fire.”
The first thing to know is that Kapha does not mean “big” or “fat.” This has become a fairly common misconception for some reason in the west. The truth is, individuals who are overweight tend to have Vata out of balance. Their bodies put on "mass" to try and hold them down.
Kapha types are strong, durable, and have good immunity. They tend to be sweet loving people who are well grounded. Their skin will be thick, and oily (as opposed to thin and dry like Vata). They can tend to have slow metabolism, and also tend to avoid strenuous exercise (although they are the one Dosha it would be good for). They sleep very soundly, and for long periods of time.
They are more likely to have diseases associated with water – i.e. congestion, mucous, phlegm.
Unfortunately, the things that are most helpful in balancing Kapha are the things a person with Kapha Dosha is least likely to want to do. They need vigorous exercise, variance in routine (to keep from getting stuck in a rut), lots of activity, and avoidance of fatty oily foods. Basically, what would help a Kapha person is to try to get them to do activities that a Vata person should stop doing.
The most important thing to remember is that everyone has each of the Doshas present in various amounts. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t have any Kapha or Vata or Pitta. A person is not “one Dosha.”
We also encourage you to avoid taking any of those online Dosha quizzes on the internet. So often these mislead people and cause them to take actions that only serve to aggravate and further imbalance their Doshas. Proper diagnosis of your Doshas should be done face to face with a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner who has the proper education.
What is a proper education? Just to give you an idea, the BASIC training for a entry level Ayurveda Practitioner is usually more than a year long. The next phase is also up to a year long. So if you are speaking to a practitioner who wasn’t in school for at least one year, you might do well to seek out more qualified help.
There are lots of “weekend” ayurveda courses around. Unfortunately, many of these people, though not properly educated, do not hesitate to give instructions to unknowing potential clients.
We have been providing Ayurveda and Ayurvedic solutions in Manhattan Montana, Bozeman, and the entire Gallatin Valley for many years.
If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with an Ayurvedic Doctor: