The changing of the seasons is the perfect time to embrace the ancient art and science of Ayurveda. Regardless of your individual dosha or constitution (Vata, Pita or Kapha; get an idea of yours here), the cooler months are Vata in nature, encouraging Vata-pacifying practices for everyone, regardless of your own dosha. In Ayurveda, for every imbalance, one can focus on encouraging the opposite qualities to restore equilibrium. In winter this includes grounding and warming remedies to calm the nervous system, heal the body and counteract cold, windy and damp conditions. Baths, oil massage, eating cooked soups, porridges and stews, root vegetables, ginger and spices and avoiding dry, cold and raw foods and beverages are the Ayurvedic doctor’s orders. Try sipping Vata tea, and engaging in more gentle and relaxing exercise such as Yin yoga.
As Ayurveda continues to be embraced by the west, so too do Ayurvedic spas, holistic doctors, cafés and skincare brands that offer nourishment for body and mind. Here are a few of our favourite spots in Sydney.
4 Ayurvedic spots you should know about
Hidden away in a beautiful house in Mosman, this spa and treatment centre is an authentic Ayurvedic gem. Dr. Shivani Verma is on hand for comprehensive consultations, using traditional diagnostic tools such as pulse and tongue reading and dosha analysis, allowing her to prescribe an individual lifestyle and treatment plan. We tried the Ayurvedic massage, one of Anahata’s most popular treatments, which begins with a 15-minute consultation with Dr. Shivani to address health concerns and evaluate body type, resulting in a deeply healing bespoke treatment using a specially chosen oil from the brilliant Australian Ayurvedic line OmVeda, and rounded-off with a spot of relaxation in Anahata’s courtyard with a cup of homemade chai. Website:www.anahatatherapies.com
It’s a pleasant surprise to find a family-run Ayurvedic café in the middle of the Bondi Junction shopping strip, and it’s the perfect antidote to the city grind. Focusing on homemade, plant-based probiotic dishes and drinks, Nalini’s serves up comfort food in the truest sense. Signatures include traditional dosa wraps, a turmeric smoothie and moreish falafel, all served with a side of warm and welcoming vibes.
Fostering ancient knowledge and practices for what they call “modern high grade living”, Jacqui Lewis and Arran Russell at The Broad Place are big fans of Ayurveda. The primary aspect of Vedic philosophy employed here is Vedic meditation, which you can learn more about at the regular free introductory talks at their Paddington studio. Or purchase their beautifully designed Ayurvedic products (including copper tongue scrapers, ghee, and dosha-specific teas and body oils) online.
Simple Ayurveda in the Kitchen by Wholesome Loving Goodness
OK, this one’s not a place, but one of the best things about Ayurveda is that you can affordably and easily incorporate it into your daily routine at home. A good starting point is this brilliant new E-book by Byron Bay-based Ayurvedic cook and yogini Lorien Waldron, which features simple vegetarian recipes and lifestyle tips to give you all the tools you need to bring Ayurvedic wisdom and nourishment into your life.