Which Ayurveda are You into?

Which Ayurveda are You into?

Old school vs. Avant Garde. Living foods vs. cooked foods.
Which side of the fence are you on, or are you straddled?

There is an evolution gaining mometum in the Ayurvedic community. It’s called Living Foods Ayurveda. Most schools aren’t teaching it yet. Most practitioners aren’t practicing it yet. The leaders in the community are Dr. Gabriel Cousens and Shantree Kacera. It’s all living foods – enzymes intact – pranically intact, not dead food.

When I went to Ayurveda school I never heard mention of it. That’s not entirely true. I heard mention of how the raw diet would render your Vata dosha out of the cosmos. I heard tales of IBS and colon disease due to Vata prakruti peeps going a little too far with their sprouted grain based diets. That was the ’90’s.

When India came to the US it came from a culture that had adopted a cooked foods diet. The US has a cooked foods diet, though our yoga culture is changing that. And our yoga culture is informing our Ayurvedic culture. This is rad. It’s rad because it’s how Ayurveda survives to be our oldest living holistic system of knowledge. She is build to grow with us.  She always informs us from the inside out – and that is why it’s the western yoga revolution that is leading the way. That same western yogic culture which is really hot about tantra over classical yoga philosophy. Hmmm – now it all makes so much sense, those full-picture-always expanding-you’r-not-going -to-tell-me-the-rules-rebel-yogis leading the way to the Ayurvedic Living Foods over Dead Foods revolution. (I’m always fascinated by the forces that actually turn the wheel).

Each year my Ayurvedic Living Course reflects this change. I’ve added both Cousens and Kacera to our text list. Of course we’re sticking with Dr. Lad for our fundamentals, the poetic discourses that deepen our presence with each dissection, and his in-and- out-of-the-galaxy drawings.

So, here is the rundown. If you buy ’em used – you’re out about $100. What you get is a pretty full picture.

Yoga Detox for Families   Yogidetox

Cate Stillman
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8 Comments
  • Kate
    Posted at 18 September 2010

    Thanks for this list Cate- the living foods books are new to me. This is a really interesting post- I’m going to chew on this one…especially being steeped in all that “hot Tantra” right now. -Kate

  • Ashley
    Posted at 21 September 2010

    Cate – something that I’ve been wondering about with the raw foods movement is what do you do when you live somewhere like Idaho and the majority of the raw foods that grow here are veggies and the local herb selection is fairly limited?

    Does ayurveda – old or new – touch on this at all? I feel like the roots of this question are based in a very essential part of the global community. Is it better to have the foods that don’t grow in your area shipped to your community in order to follow a way of living and eating that was born in another part of the country with different foods and resources available to them? Or does ayurveda evolve not only to using Living Foods as an option, but also to using what grows in your region? It seems like we don’t eat or live the same way they do in India, therefore have different diseases and needs for healing her in the US. Or is this untrue?

    Anyway, I know there are a lot of questions, but maybe you can help answer a few.

  • Cate Stillman
    Posted at 21 September 2010

    I know – its totally a packed issue, full on controversy. What could be more fun to pick apart and look for truth?
    we’re not going to find pat answers, and it’s most likely not going to be convenient.

    Humans have soaked and sprouted seeds, nuts, grains and legumes for a good long while. The enzymes are active – the food is now living. So it’s not just about importing vegetables. We now live in habitats year round that native peoples did not live in year round. We’re not going back to a nomadic lifestyle (who’d want to miss all that great powder here in Idaho?)

    What I find is the more I engage in living foods the more energy, the less ama and the more ease I feel. We’re importing food no matter what. What food are we importing? Are what are we doing with it?

  • Alex
    Posted at 25 September 2010

    Hi Cate – I found this post to be thought-provoking as well. All of Ahsley’s questions popped into my head, along with another. As I have been seeing frost on my car each morning lately, I wonder, is a raw-foods-based diet recommended in the winter, and for those of us living in cold climates (Idaho/Colorado etc.)? I’m sure there’s no simple answer to this either, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.

  • Cate Stillman
    Posted at 25 September 2010

    The word “raw” sounds so cold, doesn’t it? In Ayurveda “raw” is generally associated with a cooling virya, or a cooling energy. “Living” foods has a different virya association with it as the “living” itself conveys that something is alive, meaning there is a transformation happening within the organism (plant, animal, etc.). So is “living” foods diet as cold as a “raw” diet? Good question. Am I suggesting you never use more than 112′ of heat when making your winter soups? Well, like you said – simple answers might not be what we’re looking for here. I am suggesting that deepening the conversation is sure to evolve our understanding of ayurvedic theory, and “living” foods ayurveda. Through the “Ayurvedic Living Course” we invite our bodies into the experiment and what deeper truths come forth.

  • Marianne
    Posted at 28 September 2010

    Hi everyone,

    Lots to ponder for sure, especially for those of us in cold climates. For those of you looking for great raw food recipes to try out, I have a friend who just published a “cook”book. The World Goes Raw by Lisa Mann. I was lucky enough to be one her “guinea pigs” testing out recipes. Yumm!! I highly recommend it. It was that experience that made me jump on Cate’s raw corn tacos recipe in a skinny minute. They are awesome too! Bon Appetite!

  • Shacone Johnson
    Posted at 27 May 2011

    I am with Cate in the fact that Living, more vibrational foods is not only healing but transformational!! Knowledge works that way! And just like fingerprints or dosha/constitutions for that matter there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The beauty of Ayurveda is that it is so individualized, because not a one of us are the same…isn’t that nice. Boring world if we were 🙂

    My thought is more toward living foods and eating seasonally. For instance bananas (LOVE THEM)…they are a winter/vata food right? But in Idaho (brrr) we can’t even begin to grow them. Or oranges (yum), the sweet, tree ripened ones I can hear calling my name from warmer climates!

    Maybe, just maybe the answer is in the journey…..

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