I have lived and practiced Ayurveda since the mid-80s. Ayurveda opened a door for me that my medical education ignored. I have benefited greatly from applying Ayurveda to my own life and would like to share that with you. It’s a huge body of knowledge, as vast as Life itself, and yet it is readily grasped because it is grounded in a deep understanding of who we really are as cosmic beings. In the coming months, we’ll tackle it step-by-step with a focus on the practical. My aim here is to capture your interest in the journey.
Preoccupied with Food and Health
I was blessed with a mother who mastered the art of the kitchen. Spoiled and inspired by her, I learned to cook in my teens and never stopped. My father steered me towards Medicine from a young age. As a result, good food and health became major preoccupations.
At medical school in Denver in the early 1970s, we learned all about disease, yet our teachers had little to say about health or how to promote it. So I looked for other sources of knowledge. I read studies of the physiological effects of meditation and joined many classmates and teachers in learning Transcendental Meditation. In the process I connected with Jock Cobb, a professor of Preventive Medicine. Together we developed and taught an elective seminar on the Concept of Health, which eventually became a required course in the School of Health Administration, even if not for the medical school.
About the same time, Diet for a Small Planet caught my attention and I tried out vegetarianism. I learned many new recipes, but decided to back off a few years later because I was passing so much gas. It wasn’t until I got deep into Ayurveda that I discovered that the gas was not only avoidable, it was a sign I was had been doing something harmful to myself. Once I appreciated the value of vegetarianism and learned how to select and cook the right foods for me, it was easy and comfortable to make the change permanent. In the process, I felt lighter, calmer and more resilient.
First Encounters with Ayurveda
I first worked with a visiting Ayurvedic Physician (a Vaidya) doing private consultations in 1984. As a bonus, he gave me a few tips that quickly improved my health. For years, I’d been eating a hearty breakfast with homemade granola and yogurt topped with tahini and a banana. He warned me that the combination of yogurt (or milk) and banana is not healthful. Sure enough, within a few days of eliminating the banana my chronic nasal congestion disappeared. He also encouraged me to start drinking milk again. I had stopped milk after suffering symptoms that led me to believe I had lactose intolerance. As if by magic, once I started following Ayurvedic precautions for milk (https://qatoqi.com/ayurveda/milk.htm), I had no problem at all.
The more I studied, the more I realized that Ayurveda answers the really important questions that my Family Medicine patients used to ask about what to eat and how to stay healthy. Moreover, it’s peerless in treating common problems like digestive disturbances, myalgias and fatigue for which western medicine still offers only Band-Aids that don’t address the root cause.
I hope my blog and my website will inspire you to learn enough about Ayurveda to enjoy the benefits in your own life.