Each month at the Little Woods’ shop we host an herbal book club (every 3rd Thursday from noon – 1pm except holidays). We selected this book a few months back for summer knowing our lives would be full of travel and outdoor time. It’s digest format was perfect.
She starts with her own story, her path of how she came to yoga, Ayurveda, and Vedanta – mindfulness of body, mind and spirit – and the transformative effects it had on her physical, mental, and spiritual well being.
Ayurveda belongs wherever there is suffering because Ayurveda ignites a lamp in every heart, without being expensive, without depleting nature, and without making the body an arsenal of harsh chemicals. — Ananta Ripa Ajmera
There are 108 practices to introduce and inspire a more mindful and healthy lifestyle. Throughout the book, we all found value in different aspects of this longstanding tradition. The author mentions it dates back to more than 5,000 years ago and may have been a catalyst for traditional chinese medicine modalities.
Each of us were inspired by different aspects of the book and different aspects of Ayurveda. One of the book club members said she found the act of gazing at her hands in the morning a truly inspiring way to start the day.
And we all enjoyed the recipes. This month we tried something different for book club and instead of sack lunches, we all brought a recipe from or inspired by the book. It was a feast of amazing healthy foods.
Food plays a key roll in the daily practice of Ayurveda as preventative medicine. There are of course more “medicine” aspects of Ayurveda, but I have found personally, for me, the philosophies of mindfulness and eating/cooking are the most applicable to my herbalist path. In the book there is a small section about it to introduce you to it. If it’s something you would like to pursue further, you can go to Joyful Belly to take a Dosha Quiz and find recipes and food recommendations to eat based on your constitution.
We had a few reports from those who had tried it and actually did a meal plan/diet based on the recommendations. Many of the issues they had been having lessened rather quickly though their dietary changes. For myself, I can report that looking over the recommendation lists for my type (Pitta, no surprise there), several of the “avoid” things were foods I have eliminated from my diet because they tend to make me feel pretty ill.
I would recommend this book for someone interested in Ayurveda who wants to incorporate some of the daily mindfulness practices, but isn’t sure where to start. It would also make a great gift for a friend who could use a little self love.
Want to join us for book club next month? We are reading Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston and Steven Maimes. See our facebook event for all the details and to rsvp.