I entered a portal to the perfect-health dimension last Saturday. As my feet landed on the other side of bright orange entrance doors, I felt a ticklish current move through my waters. I knew I had been transported someplace really special. I had arrived at Satmya.
Rows of potions and lotions glimmered and shimmered from rustic, wooden shelves; teas and tonics and oils and elixirs beamed vitality; rosehip oil and calendula cream oozed soothing, uplifting scents. Books of wisdom and ancient texts of lore offered the seeds to spiritual enlightenment.
I breathed in a ‘this-is-lovely’ breath and further explored its otherworldly terrain. Once satisfied, I did what I came to do: attend an Ayurvedic winter cooking class. Boy, did I absorb some quality info.
I have already posted on the basic principle of Ayurvedic Medicine. For a brief summary, view it here: http://audreyshanahan.blogspot.com/2010/10/petals-in-air.html
Anywho, what I learned on Saturday was mostly how the six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent) influence our humours or individual constitutions. In Ayurveda there are three humours: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. All of these humours are made up in differing proportions of the five great elements. In turn, the elements are associated with specific tastes. Tastes are our biggest clue when deciding what is best for us individually. For example, a person with a dominant Pitta humour (fire and water) may want to avoid pungent tastes such as raw onions and chillies. Overdosing on such tastes could well light the fires of indignation. Not cool. Choose sweet, earthy tastes to pacify the Pitta bull.
I also learned how choosing seasonally relevant tastes can optimize health. For instance, in early winter, which is the current season, the Kapha (water and earth) principle naturally dominates. Kapha tastes are generally sweet, so individual Kapha types may want to veer away from sweet and earthy root vegetables at this time of year or risk aggravation/overload/heaviness.