Humiliatingly, I have become a parody of myself. It all began so innocently. My BFF went to see an Ayurvedic practioner a few years back. And she was so thrilled with the results (a general sense of well being, nice skin, weight loss) she gave me a consultation with her. Who would know that this would turn me into a raving zealot for Ayurvedic living
But let me backtrack a little. Now, I know what you are thinking ? she wrote a craft book, of course she is some kind of earth mother hippie type. Au contraire, mon frere. I am the anti hippie. I was raised steeped in New Age garbage, I grew up and instantly got health insurance. I was totally ready to split the mind/body connection in two because I was so sick of all the judgmental crap I had heard in yoga classes and health food stores my entire life. "You hold all your emotions in your hips, if they are stiff you aren't dealing with your issues, man," or "You have a sore throat? Maybe you need to express your anger, use your voice," which all boiled down to "It's your fault you are sick; weakling."
By the time I hit adulthood I had had enough! I went and got my flu shot and never spent another winter sick. I got my Pap smears and blood work and all that stuff. I still do and it's awesome. But about 8 years ago I started getting regular migraines. and you know in general doctors just shrug when you tell them you get these things because they are notoriously hard to treat ? see the Oliver Sacks book on the subject. So I medicated them, which worked totally fine for a while. However, after the birth of my kid they came back with a vengeance. I began to get them every 2 weeks, and they are totally debilitating and this was just not tenable with a 2-year-old around. I also had spent most of the last year sick (sinus infections, endless colds, stomach issues) and I just felt unwell. But still, nothing that could really be treatable in a Western medicine way.
At this juncture I went and saw the ayurvedic practioner Pratima Raichur. She asked me what was wrong and I thought what the heck, I'll lay it on. Then she looked at my nails and asked me what I ate. As I told her she wrote down everything I said. I thought she took very through notes. But then she handed it to me with the word AVOID on top. She gave me a new diet (filled with nothing I regularly ate) and gave me a bunch of supplements (and I hate vitamins, I don't believe in them, I think you just pee them out) and sent me on my way. She said, "If you do this you will feel better right away." "Yeah, right," I thought. Well, I figured I had nothing to lose, I couldn't feel any worse, and so I did what she said. And suddenly I felt like I did way before Cedar was born. I felt really good. Two days in and I woke up refreshed and full of energy. One month in and I hadn't had a migraine. Now I am four months in and I have had 2 full-blown migraines that whole time.
By the second month in, I became a born-again ayurvedic maniac, studying ayurvedic texts and raving to anyone who would listen. It is so embarrassing. I like systems and structures. And this system for living is really fascinating. Now I am the one cornering people in the health food store. Jabbering to whoever will listen. People humoring me. I make a terrible convert. I am doing my best to tone it down and maybe try and focus it. Maybe write an article on SuperNaturale. Or perhaps it will make it into the next book. I think I might start a ayurvedic line of balancing breakfast granolas, which is totally in line with my dosha, yo.
This is not to say that I am about to don the orange robes and get on a commune. I am really into this because it produced tenable results. I didn't change my mind, I just changed my diet. And I am totally suspicious about why basically all new world foods are often considered un-ayurvedic (tomatoes, potatoes). Plus they don't like mushrooms. It's not a "spiritual food." I like to eat fungus, give me a break. The real kicker is no garlic and no onions. Good luck going out to eat!
The conversion experience definitely gives me just a little bit more empathy for the next time I see a Jehovah's Witness or Hare Krishna. Not very much, though.
The convert recommends these links and books to learn more about this 5,000-year-old way of living.