Ayurveda is generally translated as “the Science of life” and was brought to life with the Vedas, ancient texts that originated 5000 years ago in India. It is considered by many scholars as the oldest system in the world. Most natural healing systems (homeopathy, acupuncture…) that emerged in the West have laid their foundations on the same principles as Ayurveda. So it makes sense that Ayurveda is often referred as “The Mother of all Healing ''. This makes Ayurveda an eternal source of wisdom, relevant for all ages, that can be practiced time after time. Legend has it, the father of Ayurveda, Dhanvantari, churned the milky ocean and roses from the waters to deliver the elixir of immortality amrit. Out of this elixir, the Mother of all healing was born. No wonder Ayurveda doesn’t age!
Given that Ayurveda is based on the laws of nature, this system of healing is a shashwat science, meaning, it is unchanging or timeless. The elements of fire, water, earth, air and ethers are the baseline for all the principles in Ayurveda. These elements don’t change, they evolve and adapt to the landscape they dwell in. The fundamental qualities of the elements are stabilizing and constant. Ayurveda works with Mother Earth’s grounding and nourishing umbilical cord to support healing, rejuvenation, and living in constant connection to your Eternal spirit.
Ayurveda offers a directional life force to live sustainably within the rhythm of nature without trying to control it. From within the wilderness of our heart and soul, we’re able to find the answers to heal ourselves. The ayurvedic elemental blueprint shapes the four pillars of our health: Ahara/diet, Vihar/lifestyle, Nidra/Rest, Brahmacharya/Management of energy. As you nourish yourself, these pillars grow. The roof standing on the four pillars gets a better view each minute of every day. You’re able to see more of the landscape and the environment you’re living in, the result of this expanded awareness causes life to become more smooth. The healthier you become, the more you are able to align with your highest self. This shows that true health allows you to express all the potential and desires you may have, without letting your doubts, fears, and worries get in the way. Responding to the demands of the world seems easier.
And the best part about Ayurveda is that it’s always here for you. It takes you as you are, it accepts all parts of you, even the ones that are in resistance. It compassionately listens to where you are at in your life, and then offers the guidance you can always come back to. Like a great mother!
The mother supporting the mother
For mothers and those giving birth, Ayurveda is an important ally to have. As we live in a pool of contradictory information, the unchanging wisdom of Ayurveda is a grounding figure to refer back to when in need and especially when becoming a mother.
From the Ayurvedic perspective, after birth there is an overflow of the vata (air and ethers) energy during and after birth. Change is the only constant in one’s life, and during and after pregnancy, these changes happen rapidly. The body of the mother is growing a tiny human as well as preparing for the birthing process. Birth always induces an amount of stress on the body, as the uterus expands, the organs shift during pregnancy and bones move during childbirth to let the baby out. Any surgical interventions will bring excess Vata too. Understanding that cause and effect, allows for mothers to bring the support of Ayurveda into their daily life, adding to any type of medical care they might need during that period of time.
In Ayurveda, the principle of “like attracts like and opposites create balance” indicates the next loving action to take to bring the body and mind back to balance: containing the air and ether qualities by enveloping the mother with all that motherly energy she would give to her child. It is important to eat earthy, warm, moist, easy to digest, nourishing meals, so it grounds the dry and cold qualities of Vata. Daily Abhyanga from the second trimester, to connect in an intimate and loving way with the body going through all the rapid transformations, and bringing that oily attention to the skin to soothe the nervous system, heart, and soul of the mother. Once the baby is out, Abhyanga (self oil massage) can be performed on the baby too to get the same benefits. Belly binding during the postpartum period is a wonderful way to honor that rite of passage and to gently guide the organs back into their homes, as well as wrapping that void the baby left coming out of the womb.
These practices allow for emotions to flow and to be released, so the joy, enthusiasm, and force of creation the mother and the baby are, can finally be revealed. It gently pulls back the attention of the mother to what’s essential to her: bonding with her baby.
Once a mother, Ayurveda is here to guide you, as you guide your child. The wisdom and the understanding of the elements can counsel you to assess the situation and take the right spontaneous action. For example, if a child is throwing a tantrum, you can see how Pitta (the combination of fire and water) is overheating and then find the cause. Maybe you’ve been standing in the midday sun for way too long and you need to get some shades to cool down. Ayurvedic knowledge provides discernment and solutions, rather than judgments and a fixation on the problem usually followed by frustration. The common sense we might’ve forgotten about by getting absorbed in the pool of information we read every day, comes back to us. We’re able to “come back to our senses”, to feel in our bodies what is right for us and for the baby.
Ayurveda is the mother for the mother, the best lifelong doula she could ever find!
Aurèle Roy is an Ayurvedic Health Advisor specialised in women’s health & Early Childhood Educator. With the wisdom of Ayurveda, yoga and meditation, Aurèle has experienced tremendous healing on her digestion and hormones. She is passionate about helping woman managing their energy to release stress and anxiety and embody the sacred mother they were always meant to be. Witnessing the impact of digestive and hormonal imbalances on children she cared for and
their mothers health & wellbeing when working as an early childhood educator was the true catalyst to start her business: State of Dwanda for Mamas. Her 1:1 programs are dedicated to support mothers from conception to pregnancy, post partum and beyond. Aurèle has traveled and lived overseas for about 10 years, and is currently based in Rishikesh, India. She offers her services online to reach a broader community of mamas. She’s also a dancer, dedicated yogini, playful caregiver of children, and lover of nature, different cultures and sacred rituals.
Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.