Empowering Women With Ayurveda - Manjiri Nadkarni Blog
Empowering Women With Ayurveda
By Manjiri Nadkarni. March 27, 2017
In one part of the world, a woman silently cries every night, why isn't she as skinny as her sister? Why does she feel flabby all the time??? Why does she gain pounds when she is on a diet or just by drinking water or even breathing air?
Whereas somewhere else, a skinny girl confidently walks to a party..........and then her confidence fizzles out. 'I hate how skinny I am' she says in her mind, ' I look terrible, my clothes just hang on me. I would do anything to get Beyonce's curves'.
Somewhere in India, a young beautiful woman looks in the mirror each morning while adjusting her hair before she leaves for work. Being beautiful hasn't ever crossed her mind. She is busy stressing about something else. 'Is it even working. I don't even feel one shade lighter???'. She has learnt the next step in her routine since she was sixteen, well it has almost been 16 years since she was sixteen but she knows she has to do it anyways. She knows her skin colour is stressing her parents out especially when she is looking forward to getting married and she would give anything to just be a bit fair.
Whereas in the North American subcontinent, a 35 year old sits awaiting her diagnosis at the doctors. She knows whats coming, but is dreading hearing the words. The doctor says its melanoma, a form of skin cancer caused by using tanning beds. She has been tanning ever since she was 16. She had always hated how pale, white and ghastly she looked sans a tan.
The self loathing, the fear of not being perfect, the constant awareness of ones physical imperfections, the self blaming, blaming your genetics and blaming everyone....is there an end to this chagrin that we women go through.
As a woman I have been through the same mental emotional turmoil of weight gain, being darker (than my siblings), feeling less than perfect as compared to a Model on a magazine cover. But then I found something lie changing, and now practice and teach the same life changing science so you don't have to go through the body shaming or body hatred I once went through.
AYURVEDA, THE OLDEST MEDICAL SYSTEM ON THE PLANET, IS IN FACT, A TOOL FOR NOT JUST LIVING, BUT THRIVING IN TODAY'S WORLD.
IT IS A TOOL FOR UNDERSTANDING ONESELF AND UNDERSTANDING OTHERS, APPRECIATING ONESELF AND APPRECIATING OTHERS.
IT IS THE TOOL I USE TO EMPOWER MYSELF AND EMPOWER MANY OTHERS!
Ayurveda utilizes the magic of 5 elements or Panchamahabhutas present in our bodies and all around in the universe. This magic is expressed as 'doshas' which are the three energies formed by intermingling of the 5 elements. Space and Air constitute the Vata dosha, Fire with water constitutes the Pitta and Earth and Water the Kapha. Each dosha gives us our physical, emotional, behavioural traits and also dictates our actions as well as reactions.
The key to self love and self acceptance lies hidden in understanding and embracing our unique Prakriti also known as doshas type.
Prakriti or Dosha type is the dominant dosha expression thats normal to you. Prakriti means 'existence', or 'normalcy'. This is your norm, this is how you are to your very core....this is you. This is what defines you, this is why you are sightly darker or fairer, why you have freckles and moles or a pale clear skin. This is why I am well rounded and you might be skinny. This is 'YOUR NORMAL' your unique identity.
It is interesting to note that the same Vata dosha that makes you skinny or dark also gives you your creativity. The same Pitta dosha that gives you your freckles, provides you with the passion and undying spirit that you have to fight for your cause. The same Kapha dosha that makes you a size 6 or 4 even at your skinniest best, gives you the undying strength, the resilience....the power to keep going on in spite of everything.
I discovered my dosha type as an Ayurvedic student in my 20's. I then understood why I will always be a couple of extra pounds as compared to the height weight chart due to my Kapha dominance, but also that it provides me with a great stamina and high endurance levels. I now knew that the Pitta in my dosha type made me a fiery child, not just smart, but sharp and was someone who was ready to fight for her beliefs against everything and everyone. I could finally understand being a rebel as a kid came from my Pitta dosha and the undying optimism from my Kapha dosha. Suddenly my whole life made sense and I no longer aspired to be anyone but me.
Here are some dosha characteristics for you to understand yourself better.
Gypsies or wandering souls, swift as the wind, women who are always on the go, creative artists, intuitives and psychics. Generally multi-taskers but often lose interest easily, do not boast of a good attention span. Physically they are the skinny ladies you know who can hardly put on any weight no matter what they eat, having a darker or dusky complexion, long oval face, dry frizzy curly hair, long oversized nose often deviated nasal septum, quirks show up in the form of asymmetry- an eyebrow higher or a ear lower set. These Vata types are prone to dry eyes, dry skin, cracking joints, malnutrition, anxiety, digestive issues mainly related to the large intestine or colon, arthritis and neurological issues.
Fiery leaders, women on a mission, passionate torchbearers who lay the foundation for others, lady bosses who are born to rule, activists and reformists, women who believe in transforming the world and women you should never want to mess with. Physical characteristics freckles and moles, yellowish or reddish tinge to skin, skin flushes easily, sharp and piercing light coloured eyes, often red heads or blondes, sharp striking features, angular jaw, sharp pointy nose. These Pitta types are prone to redness of eyes, vision problems, rashes, fever, migraines, ulcers, liver imbalance, heart burn, burn out, adrenal fatigue, digestive issues mainly related to the small intestine and high blood pressure.
Nurturing women with a motherly touch, the women you confide in, the ones who love to cook and feed you, the ones who are your rock and your support, the friends that stand by you unconditionally, socialists who believe in giving even more than receiving. Physical characteristics are round face, nose rounded at the tip, clear skin, big dark deep and calm eyes, thick lustrous hair, broad shoulders and chest, wide hips. Generally weigh heavier than others with the same height and size due to their sturdy and dense bone structure. These Kapha types are prone to sluggishness, poor and sluggish digestion, digestive issues mainly related to the stomach, weight gain and metabolic issues like insulin insensitivity, diabetes, PCOS etc.
For more depth take the dosha test
This years women's day theme is #beboldforchange. The first step to changing the world begins with changing your vision of your self. Instead of seeing your bodies or personality traits with tainted vision, Ayurveda can help you see this as unique gifts and not abnormalities. You can learn to embrace your self, be bold, be the change you wish to see by truly understanding yourself to the core and and embracing who you are!
Once you recognize your dosha type there will be no more wallowing in self pity or body shaming. Self hatred, self sabotage and self harming behaviour can all change with this one easy yet powerful tool. With dosha typing you can discover your gifts and work with your shortcomings. You will learn to love, appreciate and mainly respect yourself. No more will little girls cry to have a fairer skin, no more will women starve to fit into skinny jeans. No more will women be subjected to the external craziness. In fact, when taught in schools this can be the best self empowerment gift we could give the future generations. So this is my gift to you all.
Be Bold. Be The Change You Wish To See. Be You!
The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Manjiri Nadkarni (Manjiri Nadkarni Consulting) and is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical/ psychological advice . Please note that Manjiri Nadkarni is not a dietitian, physician, pharmacist or other licensed healthcare professional in Canada. She is a Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine - MD (Ayurveda) (licensed and registered in India) and Registered Holistic Nutritionist. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases. The information on this website is NOT intended as medical or psychological nor is it intended to replace the care of a qualified health care professional. Always consult with your primary care physician or licensed healthcare provider for all diagnosis and treatment of any diseases or conditions, for medications or medical advice as well as before changing your health care regiment.