The Science and Spirit of Ayurveda

The Science of Ayurveda

The Science Of Ayurveda: The word Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term meaning “science of life.” It not only encompasses science but philosophy as well. Dr. Deepak Chopra teaches this in Perfect Health, the mind body connection. The guiding principle of Ayurveda is that the mind exerts the deepest influence on the body, and freedom from sickness depends upon contacting our own awareness, bringing it into balance, then extending that balance to the body. The link between our thoughts and health are not only relevant to our condition, but they actually determine the condition over time.

In Ayuveda, everything in our universe is perceived as being composed of five elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth, manifestations of the Divine. These five elements form the basis for all things, from our body types to the tastes of food. Balancing body, mind and spirit is the key to maintaining health and successfully healing illness.

The Ayurvedic preparation of recipes is most exquisite in its exotic tastes, aroma. textures, and colors. When people rasied on a traditional meat-oriented diet shfit to a vegetarian style of eating as practiced in the West, they mostly experience positive changes in their health. But when they try Ayurvedic recipes, they discover more than that, they discover a deep sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Their whole system responds to the nourishment that comes from the subtle tastes and aromas of the special blend of spices. These subtle spices and aromas play a vital role in bringing us to a deeper level of health and well-being.

The Spirit Of Ayurvedic Cooking- Ayurveda Style

Preparing food Consciously is all about energy and being present. It is all about the thoughts you are having while you prepare the food. If you are thinking that you are preparing the food for God, or the higher powers that be, then then the food you prepare will have a higher vibration and a healthier affect on your body.

Combining color, flavours, and textures in various dishes develops the skill of a true artist. Even if you have never enjoyed cooking, the Ayurvedic style of cooking will rekindle your desire to prepare healthy and beautiful dishes and have fun doing it.

It can be a sacred ceremony and time you take for yourself to not only learn to develop a new skill, but your body mind and soul will thank you as it is a nourishing event in all respects. The wonderful healing smells of the spices will permeate your sense of smell, your ears will hear the popping of the medicinal spices as they open up to nourish your body, the beautiful colors and textures will stimulate your vision, and the balance of spicy and bland foods pleases the tongue. It is certainly an all consuming sensory experience.

Vedic cooking is practical because it means making the best dishes in the shortest amount of time. Use time to your best advantage by being organized. For example, plan the sequence in which you’ll cook the dishes. You can start the meal the night before. If you decide to make your own yogurt and curd or homemade cheese, you can do all that the night before. If you soak your beans or decide to have an Indian sweet, you can do the night before. Also, on the day the meal is served, you can make and chill the beverage several hours ahead.

If you are new at Indian cooking, it may be useful to arrange all the ingredients before you start, since the cooking will call for your uninterrupted attention. Start with the dishes that need to cook the longest, such as your dal (soup) and cooked chutney. If you are making rice, put a pot of water over heat. Now start with the vegetables, savories, and side dishes. If one dish you have chosen reequies a great deal of preparation, see that the others are quick and easy.

You will keep your mind clear and reduce the cleaning at the end if you clean while you cook. Take the time to clean off the counters and wash pots as you go along.Once you realize that half the pleasure of the cooking is the cleaning, you will always leave the kitchen cleaner than it was when you began.

The same care that goes into preparing the meal should go into the presentation of it. In India, where there is no table settings like in the West, food is generally served in katoris, little bowls of silver, brass or stainless steel, placed on a thali, a round rimmed try of the same metal. This is considered the cleanest way to serve food, as bacteria can creep into china or any other porous surfaces. All the courses are served together, even the dessert and can be eaten in whatever order one chooses.

If you must drink something during the meal, it is better to serve a little water or hot tea, or a special drink that goes with the meal. In Ayurveda, one does not drink much with a meal, can sip warm water with the meal, but the best is to chew on a little anise seed and crushed cardamom to refresh the mouth and please the stomach.

If you want to try eating Indian-style, make a seat on the floor with a carpet, mat or cushion, and put your thali or tray on a low table before you. You can play chanting music or a higher vibration type of music that soothes you, to help you relax and enjoy each bite.

A well prepared meal served hot and in abundance is an even greater pleasure when the person serving it is eager to please his guest. If it is only for you, then please yourself. The person eating the meal may choose to eat moderately, but the person serving the meal should simply be concerned with feeding his guest to their hearts content.Whether you eat alone or serve others, you will find your Indian meal is a true feast for the senses, the mind, and the soul.