Ayurveda is an ancient health system inspired by the idea that health and well-being depend on a balance between body, mind and spirit. A totally unknown imbalance can cause discomfort, whether physical or emotional.
According to Ayurveda, which means “Science of life”, it addresses all aspects of our lives, from our diet, to the way we look at ourselves in the mirror and the respect and attention we give to the signals our body sends.
Therefore, Ayurveda suggests a more balanced personal, social and spiritual life as a human being. However, the outside world is not always easy and as much as we try to eat healthily and meet all of our body's needs - let's be honest - it's not always easy!
That's where Ayurveda comes in. Silvia Duarte and David Coelho, Villa Prana’s managers, explained the three main imbalances that people tend to have and that these imbalances will determine the type of diet that you should follow.
According to the managers, there are three doshas in Ayurveda: vata, pitta and kapha. So, many people have an imbalance that causes them to have more of one element circulating in the body, causing an imbalance.
In the Ayurveda consultation in Villa Prana, through several tests such as pulse, tongue and eye tests, the therapist identifies if do you have an imbalance and where – it could be in vata, pitta or kapha.
According to Silvia and David: “We all have the three doshas in our bodies, in different proportions: Vata is dominated by air and ether, Pitta by fire and water, and Kapha by earth and water. Normally, when we don't feel well, it's likely that we're facing a natural imbalance caused by our lifestyle, which can lead, sooner or later, to medical illnesses”.
According to the managers: “For example, if a person has an imbalance in Vata (which has air as a main element) it means that they could be facing instability. So, if I’m instable like the wind, what do I need? I need to put my feet on the ground? If the imbalance is in Kapha, which is heavy, what do I need? It will need dynamism. In short, we always go against what is dominant, if I have a lot of air, I need land. If I have an earth imbalance, I need lightness and dynamism, so I'll prescribe treatments and a diet according to these specific needs”.
Silvia and David explained that after finding out the imbalance, it could be treated with "supplementation, nutrition and Ayurvedic treatments (such as shirodhara, abhyanga, Ayurvedic massage, among others) prescribed according to the specific case”, said Silvia.
After an interesting chat with Silvia and David, I decided to try an Ayurvedic massage. This Ayurvedic treatment “helps to detoxify the body, opening space for emotional balance, because it works on an emotional level, removing toxins from the body”, they said.
When I lay down on the massage table, the therapist, Eunice Reis, started by putting a warm towel on my feet and I soon began to relax. After that, it was an hour of pure relaxation - an Ayurvedic massage allows us to relax deeply into our being. During one session, the entire body was worked, from head to feet, guided by the hands of the therapist, who from the beginning made me feel comfortable.
The next day I felt happier and at peace, inspired to start a new day. Also, I felt my posture was much better since I had the massage. I can sit straight without much effort, without crossing my legs, in a natural way.
All in all, Ayurveda is a lifestyle, so although getting a massage is a step forward, it is important to combine it with a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet according to your main dosha, but also to do physical activity such as yoga, meditation, breathwork and herbal treatments that allow the body to calm and detoxify.
In April 2022, Villa Prana will organise a group trip to Nepal. During these 15 days, travellers will have the chance to experience the cultural aspect having an in-depth contact with Ayurveda.
For further information or to book a lovely massage, please have a look at the website: https://www.villaprana.pt/