By Mara Cummings
We live in a time when a wealth of information and research pertaining to our health and wellbeing is at our fingertips. In a split second we can pull the nutrient profile of pretty much any food on our Planet Earth today. We can read about proteins and carbs; fats and sugars; various herbs and what they are good for; thousands of supplements and how to take them; and a plethora of diets and the exciting promises that come with them.
Since my late teens, I have been exploring every diet that crossed my path. I started with weight loss, continued with muscle and strength building, and ended with parasite cleansing, intestinal flora rebuilding and forceful nourishment of my supposedly dehydrated and malnourished body as Modern Nutrition led me to believe. It was so exhausting! Constantly battling scary fat, ugly cellulite, punishing those weak muscles, killing those pesky parasites and forcing that healthy bacteria to reinvent my gut!
Ultimately every diet led me to ponder its legitimacy and to question its limitations and sustainability.
I often wondered and contemplated on things that just didn’t make sense to me. Hundreds of questions constantly arose and occupied my mind.
If fruits are bad for me then how come people thrived while eating them for thousands of years? And if they are good for me all the time, then how come Nature only gives them to me in one or a maximum of 2 seasons? If nature provides fruits and vegetables in their whole form, then perhaps they are not meant to be consumed in the form of juice?
If people consumed milk for thousands of years and some very old cultures even revere it as medicine, how can it be bad for us? Do these traditions know something that we don’t? If nuts ripen in fall then perhaps they are only meant for that time of year? If I drank water only when thirsty as a child and never got dehydrated, how come I am told that I am dehydrated now? If I live in a cold climate and meat is the main source of food that Nature provides, is it sustainable for me to become a vegetarian?
If people consumed grain for thousands of years and thrived on it then how come suddenly grain is unhealthy? If people in my Motherland never had allergies, how come people in my current home country suffer from so many? If my ancestors ate a certain food and ancestors of my ancestors ate that food and benefited from it, does that affect me in any way? If I have tens of thousands of different strains of bacteria in my gut, how can I possibly restore the microbiome with a probiotic that only has 5 of them? If this fruit/vegetable doesn’t grow in the area where I live, is it beneficial for me to consume it regularly? And so many more!
All the traditional food of my culture that I ate as a child suddenly became bad for me, and yet I and most people around me were quite healty consuming them. And all these new superfoods, herbs and supplements became incredibly good and healing, yet my health continued to get worse and worse while consuming them.
I felt bombarded and confused with all the messages telling me what was good and what was bad. Who do I go to to confirm if this information is true? So many popular doctors and practitioners prescribing this or that puzzled over the fact that their prescription caused adverse side effects. Science said one thing, my experience said another!
I lost all faith in allopathic doctors, practitioners and Modern Nutrition and turned to Ayurveda.
If this Healing System existed for thousands of years, I thought, and is still helping so many people around the world then it must understand something at a much deeper level. It must be worth exploring!
Ayurveda answered all of my questions and more! I no longer wander in the dark. I am no longer confused. I am no longer afraid. Ayurveda is teaching me to understand Nature, her qualities, and how to align with her rhythms. No one is able to convey what’s good for my health better than Nature herself and Ayurveda teaches how to understand and apply that!
I was at the grocery store the other day and suddenly felt this feeling of freedom washing over me.
I felt free from “having" or "needing” to go in and buy all these foods or food-like products. I knew exactly what I needed, for Mother Nature decided for me. I felt so grateful for the seasons!
Initially when embarking on a journey of an Ayurveda Lifestyle it appeared constricting and rigid, but that’s all that it was - only appearance because my mind was conditioned otherwise. I thought freedom was doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.
An Ayurveda Lifestyle blesses me with a different kind of freedom: true freedom. Freedom from counting calories and nutrients; freedom from fads and diets; freedom from various sources telling me to eat this or that; freedom from fear of gluten or carbs or sugars, etc.,; freedom from excessive variety; freedom from fear of disease and death; freedom from peer pressure and being compelled to act according to society's or culture’s habits or beliefs; freedom from ignorant Self-harming behaviors; freedom to do what’s
natural for my body; freedom from being lost and constant searching! Freedom from my own ignorance. Freedom from carrying it all on my shoulders!
I love this freedom! I feel good knowing, feeling and seeing that Mother Nature holds me. She knows what’s good for me and all I have to do is follow her gentle lead - rhythms, elements, doshas. She is everywhere, guiding me.
This is the sweetest freedom!
About Mara Cummings
"Ayurveda had enchanted me for quite some years, but I truly and deeply fell in love with this ancient science through the beautiful and deep teachings of Acharya Shunya, as I have had the privilege to study Alchemy through Ayurveda for over 2 years now. I have left the world of Finance to fully dedicate my heart and my time to study and practice this all pervading wisdom. It helped me to find who I truly am."
Acharya Shunya is a globally-recognized spiritual teacher and Vedic lineage-holder who awakens health and consciousness through the Vedic sciences of Ayurveda, Vedanta and Yoga. She is the driving force behind an online wisdom school and worldwide spiritual community, and the author of best-selling book on the Vedic art of mind + body + soul well-being and health, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom and Sovereign Self. Acharya Shunya is a keynote speaker at national and international conferences, and serves as an advisor to the Indian Government in matters pertaining to global integration and cultivation of Ayurveda and Yoga. Receive her free online teachings and browse her current eCourse offerings here or see more about her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. Study Ayurveda with Acharya Shunya in her online course, Alchemy through Ayurveda.