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What is Ayurveda

What is Ayurveda- a Brief Introduction

What is Ayurveda?


Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning “knowledge of life.” Ayur means life, and veda means knowledge. Ayurveda is written about in the vedas, the oldest texts known to humankind. The vedas were written in India thousands of years ago. As the “knowledge of life”, Ayurveda is based on the understanding that we humans are made up of elements. Ether, air, fire, water, and earth. We are all composed at conception of a combination of these elements. Once we learn our constitutions we can get to know ourselves better. We use the doshas of vata (air and ether), pitta (fire and water), and kapha (water and earth) to learn about our energetic makeup, otherwise known as the Ayurvedic constitution. Pulse reading is the most used tool to find the birth constitution, and can also read the condition of all of our organs, tissues, chakras, and current energy, waste, and fluids. The pulse can tell us if we are in balance, or out of balance. Ayurveda can help us understand what we need to do to come back into balance. 


In Ayurveda we understand that disease is imbalance, health is balance. Other tools used to measure health or imbalance are tongue assessment, face assessment, and bodywork. 


In Ayurvedic Counseling sessions with me, I check your pulse for current health state, and we talk about your current diet and lifestyle. You can ask any questions, and I may ask you more questions to understand what is going on for you. Then we make a self-care plan, I advise you on food, herbs, lifestyle changes or habits that can help you come back into balance. 


Ayurveda is part of the ancient vedas, as well as yoga and astrology, among other topics.  I incorporate astrology reading into my Ayurvedic coaching and mentorship programs. The main focus of Ayurveda is knowing about yourself. Knowing yourself. So you can have “knowledge of life”. So we use counseling, deep reflection, astrology, yoga, bodywork, and self-care to come to a space of balance within and without. 


Vata (ether and air)


Empty space, thought, 

Vata organs: Colon, brain, ears, bones, joints, skin, thighs

Gunas: dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, clear

Balance – genius ideas, understanding, thoughtfulness, empathy

Imbalance – fear or anxiety


Pitta (fire and water)


Fire energy, heat, action

Pitta organs: eyes, muscles, small intestine, liver, duodenum

Gunas: oily, sharp, hot, light, spreading, liquid, penetrating

Balance – leadership, action-oriented, discernment

Imbalance – anger, jealousy, inflammation


Kapha (Earth and water)


Earthy, grounded, muddy

Kapha organs: chest, throat, head, joints, small intestine, tongue, nose

Gunas: heavy, slow, cold, oily, smooth, dense, soft, sticky

Balance – nurturing, goes at own pace, slow and steady wins the race

Imbalance – stuck in past, depression, envy


Opposite Action

A main tool in Ayurveda is called “opposite action”. When we notice we are having some hot, cold, wet, or dry qualities, we do the opposite to balance ourselves out. For example, if I feel cold because of the snow outside, I can make a warm tea with cinnamon and ginger to warm up my body. I skip the symptoms of being cold in this way. Ayurveda lays out spices and nutrition in ways that are super accessible so that we can learn to make smart choices based on our own constitutions. Recognizing symptoms early, studying oneself is key to Ayurveda. If we can notice we are experiencing anxiety, identify that with vata, then choose a warm food or a warm activity we can calm down our anxiety. We begin to become our own mothers and fathers giving ourselves what we need to come back into balance. 


Birth Pulse and Current Pulse

In Ayurveda we have a prakruti (birth pulse) that we had upon conception and birth. This is our natural balanced state. Throughout life many things come into play that can throw us out of balance including foods we have eaten, living situations, relationships with family and friends, traumas, and habits of mind. So often our vikruti (current pulse) shows the ways we are imbalanced from our nature. We can always work to come back into balance and that is the Ayurvedic Counseling work we do together. We find the ways we came out of balance, then correct them using Ayurveda and self-care, until we come back into our natural balance. In the process of Ayurvedic Counseling we get to know ourselves so completely and become empowered in making choices, holding boundaries, doing self-inner-work, following through, learning opposite action, self-soothing, and finding our heart’s desires. 


My teacher DeAnna says: “Action is the antidote to despair”


This quote took me from a disease state, dry, anxious ungrounded, and gasping for truth and air – to empowered, healing, self-studying, and happy. It is so true, we often find ourselves in a tough situation, it is our job to do something about it. Action really is the solution to so many of our issues in life. Ayurveda helps us to identify the actions that will successfully remedy our issues. And sometimes the best thing we can do is start somewhere and we will be lead to the appropriate actions, whether those are changing relationships, changing something about ourselves, learning a discipline, moving locations, changing jobs, changing daily routines, changing diet… so many options. Ayurveda is a tool-kit for coming back into balance and maintaining our balance throughout our lives. 


I’m honored to begin this journey in Ayurveda with you. In love and beauty, Sarah

If you are looking for Ayurveda in Sebastopol California or Sonoma County California, please Contact Sarah Today. 


  • Certificate as an Ayurvedic Counselor from the Dhyana Center School of Clinical Ayurveda

  • Certificate in Western Herbalism from California School of Herbal Studies

  • Certified Massage Therapist from National Holistic Institute

  • Reiki Levels 1 and 2 Healing Heart Reiki Santa Rosa CA

  • BA Spanish Literature from CU Boulder

  • Minor in the Study and Practice of Leadership from CU Boulder

  • Certificate in Permaculture Design from CU Boulder

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