The following article is being reproduced with permission of its author, Kate Towell. Kate is a holistic wellness counselor who supports individuals to create the balanced, vibrant life they imagine.
I found Ayurveda nearly fifteen years ago at a time in my life when I should have been thriving but instead I was experiencing massive digestive issues, chronic inflammation, and I was unhappy more often than I liked.
My healing experience with Ayurveda was so powerful that I went back to school to study this incredible science. I quit my longtime career as a research biologist to create Infinite You Wellness because I believe everyone could benefit from having a little more Ayurveda in their life.
Fifteen years ago, Ayurveda was barely a thing in the United States. I love that it is becoming more common today and growing in acceptance. However, as Ayurveda’s popularity has grown, I have noticed a number of common myths and misconceptions floating around too. So, today I wanted to address some of the most common misconceptions I hear because ultimately, they make people shy away from Ayurveda’s life-changing benefits.
You have to be a yogi.
It’s true, yoga and Ayurveda are considered to be “sister sciences.” The teachings overlap and definitely support one another but you do not have to practice yoga to experience the benefits of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a complete stand-alone science that like yoga, is holistic and addresses all aspects of health- mind, body, and spirit.
You have to be a vegetarian or vegan.
One of the questions I get asked most about an Ayurvedic diet is: “Do I have to become a vegetarian or vegan?” The answer is it depends. Ayurveda is not a strictly vegetarian diet. A general recommendation is that not more than 20% of your diet should consist of animal sources. Another way to look at it is that 80% of your diet should be plant-based. But again that depends on a number of factors including the strength of your digestion, your current state of imbalance, the season and climate where you live….among other things.
Ayurveda is not a research-based science.
Because of my background in research biology, one of the things that drew me to Ayurveda was that it’s a time-tested science. After I left my job I was at a function with former coworkers. One of them said to me, “Don’t you miss the science.” My reply was no, because I’m still doing science. When I was in school studying Ayurveda, we would often discuss current scientific literature conducting studies on some aspect of Ayurved, and the body of literature supporting the effectiveness of Ayurveda is only growing. I totally geek out on the science so message me if you have a specific area of interest.
An Ayurvedic diet only consists of Indian food.
This is the one most ridiculous myths I have ever come across. All the time people are telling me they don’t like Indian food or spices so they can’t adapt an Ayurvedic lifestyle. I think the confusion may be that many of the early Ayurvedic cookbooks tended to reflect a more traditional Indian diet. Whatever the reason it’s not true. An Ayurvedic diet is based on food qualities, taste, freshness, season and most of all personalized to you.
Ayurveda is only and herbal remedy-based science.
Often when I tell people I’m an Ayurveda Counselor they respond with something like, I love Ayurveda, I take Ashwaganda. Ashwaganda may or may not be right for you but either way Ayurveda is much more than herbal therapy. It is an entire system of medicine with a diverse number of preventative and healing protocols that may include herbs along with diet and lifestyle recommendations.
Hope this helped clear up any confusion you may have about Ayurveda. If you still have questions just message me and I’m happy to answer them.
Wishing you Vibrant Wellness.