- IMAGE COURTESY OF STEVE E. MILLER
- MADAME AYURVEDA : Holly Padove will lead an Intro to Ayurveda workshop starting Feb. 11. Early registration is recommended.
With disquiet, worry, and fear at an all-time high, who couldn’t use a fresh take on stress management and optimum health? Luckily for us, the Central Coast widely accepts alternative medicinal practices and instead of popping pills or twiddling your thumbs in an M.D.’s waiting room, take a moment and introduce yourself to Ayurveda, “The healing side of yoga.”
Ayurveda, pronounced ‘Eye-er-veda’, is a 5,000-year-old practice from India, literally meaning the science of life, and as a holistic form of healing, encompasses many things: Dosha instruction, meditation, yoga, massage, herbal remedies, but most of all, nutrition.
Holly Padove, a clinical Ayurvedic specialist, is part coach, teacher, and Ayurveda instructor.
Her goal is clear: “Ayurveda defines a healthy person in a blissful state of balance…when the body, and mind, and spirit function at an optimum level. There is a healthy digestive fire resulting in good digestion and absorption, healthy metabolism leading to healthy cells and a peaceful state of mind.”
“It’s a way of life.” Padove says.
Ayurveda can help the body with stress, disease, and anxiety, according to Padove, who claims, “Ayurveda deals with the root of what is going on.” Padove, who runs a public relations firm by day (most of her clients are in the health-and-wellness industry), has been practicing Ayurveda for the last four years, studying for the last eight years, and has been in love with yoga and its powers for thirty years. She is also a trained massage therapist and yoga teacher.
Ayurveda recognizes that we are comprised of earth, fire, water, air, and ether; elements that are all around us, and in us. “Some are more predominant and are expressed in our Doshas,” she says.
Doshas are three constituents found in nature—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and under those three umbrellas fall the five elements and other characteristics. A Dosha determines your tendencies: It explains you—from your mental clarity to your ideal climate.
Ayurveda comes into play when there is an imbalance within the Doshas. Padove explains, “We are all born with an unchanging Dosha, but we can have an imbalance. And that is where Ayurveda comes in: It helps us to stay balanced.”
Clients can come to Padove for multiple reasons, and many topics are discussed: sex life, digestion, exercise habits. Even one’s tongue is studied. An individualized Ayurvedic program addresses all five senses (taste, smell, sight, touch, sound) and incorporates those in the treatment, which in addition to nutrition and meditation may also include color therapy and aromatherapy.
People come to Padove with many ailments, from digestive issues to anxiety. ”We live in stressful times…and it can manifest itself in insomnia and worry. Ayurveda gives you a user’s manual for yourself. The tools one needs. Because we aren’t taught that.”
Ayurveda recognizes that everyone is an individual, so Padove creates a specialized Ayurvedic plan based on his or her determined Doshas.
Padove has a passion for health, wellness, and eating right. She loves to commune with nature. “Ayurveda is really about nature. Recognizing that we are a part of nature.” And she can relate to the spiritual component as well. “It doesn’t matter what religion you are, [anyone] can benefit from Ayurveda.”
Even after one session, one comes away with useful hints from Padove, whose personalized recommendations focus on taking clients to that next step on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
The initial visit lasts approximately one and a half hours. During that time Padove will determine a client’s Dosha and current imbalances, and discuss the principles of Ayurveda and how they apply to them.
A return visit would cover a treatment approach dealing with nutrition (lay off the coffee and frozen foods and lay on the herbal teas and grains), lifestyle modifications (go to bed by 10 p.m., get up at 6 a.m.), suggested reading, and specialized comments and advice on what is ailing a client.
Ayurveda aims to help people become joyful, productive, and walk the earth with equipoise. ∆
Christy Heron is healthy beyond a reasonable doubt. Chuck a fried Snickers bar at her at firstname.lastname@example.org.