Celebrating Ugadi – Ayurveda & Wellness

Wishing all my visitors, readers and friends a Happy Ugadi and Gudi Padwa.

In Andhra, we celebrate and usher in the Telugu New Year by savoring our traditional Ugadi Pachadi, a unique combination of fresh ingredients – neem flowers, raw mango pieces, new jaggery, red chilli powder, tamarind juice and salt, symbolizing ‘shadaruchulu’ or ‘six tastes. Tasting this unique flavored pacchadi signifies that we need to prepare for a life that is both bitter (sorrow) and sweet (joy) and we should experience ups and downs with equanimity.

Ugadi Subhakankshalu!

One of the joys of food blogging is meeting some wonderful bloggers (living very far away from my country) and building relationships. I feel blessed to know them and learn from them. In early 2006, I met blogger and friend, Claudia Davila, who shared the same passion as me – Ayurveda and Food. Although we’ve never met in person, through our correspondence and as I’m sure you can read below, she is a warm, incredibly talented and fascinating person. Claudia lives in Toronto, Canada with her artist/illustrator husband. She is an artist, freelance illustrator for children’s books and comics, book designer and art director and is passionate about good food, natural health, the environment, and living sustainably in our homes and communities.

Claudia has a food blog, Fran’s House of Ayurveda, where she blogs about the principles of Ayurveda, how to eat the Ayurvedic way, Ayurvedic cooking, Vegan and Ayurvedic recipes. She is self-taught and has a vast knowledge of our Ancient Indian Medicine. I am inspired by her knowledge of Ayurveda (from a Western’s perspective) and how she has incorporated ayurvedic traditions in her lifestyle. I invited Claudia to do a guest article series on Ayurveda, her interest in learning about it, how it is helping her and how we can apply these principles in our lives and she has been kind to share her insight into Ayurveda & Wellness. I am pleased to introduce Claudia, our guest blogger, and I thank Claudia for writing a wonderful article for us.
~ Sailaja

GUEST BLOGGER – Claudia Davila

Ayurveda – An Ancient Indian Healing System for Wellness
~by Claudia Dávila

Hello and welcome to my first guest article about Ayurveda! This ancient healing system has been around for many centuries and is even believed to be older than Traditional Chinese Medicine. Ayurveda is an intricate and complex method of diagnosing, treating and preventing illnesses, but although it requires years of study to master this form of natural medicine, there are simple guidelines that anyone can follow to feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. I’m self-taught and try to implement simple ayurvedic principles in my cooking and life-style.

Ayurveda is based on the natural elements that make up all of life in the universe: Space, Air, Water, Earth and Fire. These elements exist in food as well as the human body. As certain elements become unbalanced, we exhibit certain symptoms, and can regain balance by addressing the elements in question. For example, if we lack fire — manifested in the form of weak digestion or lethargy — we can increase it by eating foods with fire qualities, including ginger, spices and pungent foods.

Because it can be tricky finding out which elements need balancing in our bodies, it helps to determine our mind-body constitution, called “dosha” in Ayurvedic terms. Our doshas inform us of our specific balance of elements, and therefore what our tendency might be. The three main doshas are Vata (predominantly air and space elements), Pitta (predominantly fire and water elements) and Kapha (predominantly earth and water elements). A person can be one of these, or a combination — I myself am Pitta-Kapha, so the predominant elements in my system are fire and water plus earth. This means I generally need to balance myself by eating foods with air (Vata) qualities, such as dried fruits, mild spices, puffed grains, dry and astringent foods. Eating too much food with Pitta or Kapha qualities (spicy, deep-fried, stewy, juicy or oily) will aggravate” my dosha.

I first became interested in Ayurveda when I was searching for a health-balancing philosophy that recognized my mind and body as a part of Nature, as opposed to separate from it. Learning through Ayurveda that I am composed of the same elements that make the mountains, oceans, forests and stars was a thrilling and enlightening discovery. Now I can look at myself and understand when my elements are unbalanced, what might have caused it, and how to calm it, all the while feeling connected to all of life around me.

If you’d like to find out your dosha, visit an Ayurvedic practitioner to find out, or you can try some online tests:

What’s Your Dosha, Baby?
Deepak Chopra’s Dosha Quiz
Yoga Journal

This is the first article of my series on ‘Ayurveda & Wellness’ and you can look forward to more articles in further posts where I will elaborate on how we can introduce Ayurvedic principles in our lives. I will also share some delicious international recipes with dosha-friendly recommendations for good health!

  • http://www.spicyandhra.org Padmaja

    Happy Ugadi greeting to you and family!!
    Have a great time!!

  • bee

    thanks for this series, and happy ugadi, sailu and claudia.

  • http://potpourri-saswati.blogspot.com saswati

    Sailu a happy ugadi to you and your family and thanx for the useful article:)

  • Neelima

    Hi Sailu,

    Wish you a happy and prosperous Ugadi, thanks for ur wonderful recipes, keep sending us new recipes.

    I wish you all the best for your future.


  • Roshni

    Hi Sailu,
    Wishing you & yours a very happy & prosperous Ugadi. Thanks for the regular updates….I think your website is fantastic and the photography is excellent…love your recipes..simply delish!!

  • http://spice-club.blogspot.com Cham

    Hi Sailu,
    Wish u a Happy Ugadi. Nice article about the Ayurveda.

  • http://teluguruchi.blogspot.com/ Uma

    Ugadi Subhakanshalu to you and your family, Sailu! Have a wonderful year ahead.

  • Sapna

    Ugadi Subhakaanshalu to you and your family.

  • madhumalika

    hi sailu

    Wish u nd ur family a very happy ugadi… may u hav happy nd prosperous new years ahead… ur doing a great job by posting delicious andhra curries….i just love ur non-veg curries.

  • http://www.samaithupaarkalaam.blogspot.com Kalai

    Happy Ugadi to you and your family, Sailu!

  • http://www.nalapaka.blogspot.com vanamala

    Wish You & Your Family a Very Happy Ugadi 🙂

  • rama

    wishing u & all the bloggers a very warm ugadi.glad u will continue such valuable series.sure many of us would benefit from it.also thanks for giving us so many recipes especially when most of those we forget once away from our country.

  • http://www.alaivani.com Jennifer

    Sailu, Ugadi Subhakaanshalu, year of Sarvadhārin. Wish you and your family a happy and prosperous year! I have visiting your blog for almost a year and am happy to see Ayurveda incorporated. I have also been consulting with an Ayurvedic doctor since 2002 and have found great success in this endeavor healthwise and spiritually.

  • http://rpunitha63@gmail.com R.Punitha

    Hai Sailu , Wishing you and your family HAPPY UGADI !!!!! May GOD bless you with a long life and with all your wishes……
    Thank you for the article, Claudia.

  • revati

    Hi Sailu,
    Wish u a happy ugadi to you and your family…:)
    Hi Claudia, thanks for your article….:)

  • http://wwwcookspot.blogspot.com sushma

    Hi Sailu Happy Ugadi to u and ur family

  • http://redchillies.us RedChillies

    Happy Ugadi to you and yours!

  • meenakshi

    It is very nice of u Sailu to start a new series on ayurveda and recipes. Congrats to u and Claudia. Good luck.

  • http://franlife.blogspot.com Claudia

    Hello all and thank you for your lovely comments and good wishes, such wonderful energy and goodwill — Happy Ugadi to everyone!

  • Pingback: Indian food, Andhra recipes and Global cuisine inspired cooking » All Recipes Ayurvedic cooking Dairy & Milk » Ghee - An Ayurvedic Healing Food()

  • anitha

    Welcome Claudia! Many thanks for the wonderful article Claudia and Sailu. I went to the links provided , to know my dosha, unfortunately each one returns a different result 😉