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Power of WE Podcast Episode 8: The Mindful Practice of Ayurveda and the Benefits of Knowing Your Dosha and Living Aligned with Nature

Women stretching while overlooking the ocean

I have known Amy Younkman, my guest for this week's podcast, for at least seventeen years. If you've listened to the Power of WE Episode 7 with Austen Brower, you'll recognize Amy as the person who gifted me his book, Gratitude: A Work in Progress. Amy is a bright light who radiates her passion for exercise, yoga, fitness, Pilates, nature and living an Ayurveda Lifestyle. We got to talking about what this lifestyle means and I was fascinated by the idea of living more mindfully not just with the seasons, but also with the seasons of our lives.

Amy shares that she first became interested in Ayurveda - which translates to Knowledge of Life - after reading Autobiography of a Yogi, the firsthand account of Paramhansa Yogananda, who in the 1920s became the first yoga master from India to permanently live and teach in the West. The 1920s! I had no idea yoga had been introduced to the states a hundred years ago!

Through our conversation, Amy explains that Ayurveda is about finding balance in thinking, diet and lifestyle and living in tune with the seasons. In Ayurveda, balance is the natural order; imbalance is disorder. Health is order; disease is disorder. Our job is to find that balance between the two and when we do, we just feel better.

I'm always interested in learning new things and can absolutely geek out over ideas that feel right and harmonious, and the simple things that Amy and I talked about really resonated with me. I hope you enjoy listening to this packed podcast on Spotify HERE or YouTube below, and take away some tips to help you find more balance as you move through your year.

"We're meant to be in rhythm with Mother Nature, it's how we're designed."

Vata, Pitta and Kapha - The Three Principle Energies of the Body

As Amy explains, energy has a unique blueprint or dosha - an individual combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics - and our pattern is as distinct as our fingerprints. So in the same way that understanding your core values helps to better understand yourself, knowing your dosha is another way to give us knowledge about ourselves.

  1. Vata - The Energy of Movement

  2. Pitta - The Energy of Digestion and Metabolism

  3. Kapha - The Energy of the Bodies Structures

"Awareness is the first step toward change." 

bowl of vegetable soup

Amy's Top 3 Recommendations for Beginning an Ayurveda Lifestyle and Living Aligned with Nature

Many of the principals of an Ayurveda lifestyle and living aligned with the nature are known to us, they're almost common sense. But as we're award, knowing something and DOING something are two completely different concepts. These three are a good place to start:

picture of colorful vegetables at a farmer's market
  1. Shop at a Farmer's Market and eat what's in season.

  2. Take a quiz to learn your Dosha - she recommends this one from the Chopra Center.

  3. Take notice of your sleep, digestion, circulation and elimination.

“In the end, these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?”  Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book

Amy's #1 Tip to Balance and Ground Yourself

two women with hands on the head, breathing

If you find yourself feeling stressed, foggy, or just out of sorts, Amy always recommends returning to the breath and becoming aware of the air coming in and the air moving out. Her absolute favorite is alternate nostril breathing in Sanskrit, known as nadi shodhana pranayama. Here's how it's done:

  1. Find a quiet spot.

  2. Bring your right hand up to your nose and place your forefinger and middle finger between your eyes just above the bridge of your nose. Take one slow inhale and exhale.

  3. Place your thumb on your right nostril - with this nostril covered, close your eyes and inhale fully and slowly through your left nostril.

  4. Once you’ve inhaled completely, put your ring finger on the left nostril and release your right nostril.

  5. Exhale completely on the right side and then breathe in deeply and slowly making sure your breath is smooth and continuous.

  6. Once you’ve inhaled completely, place your thumb on your right nostril and release your ring finger, exhale completely on the left side and then breath in deeply.

  7. Repeat the full process five or more times.

“There's a big difference between exercising and mindfulness.”

Amy's Favorite Daily Yoga Pose

woman smiling while stretching

For staying agile, mobile and grounded, there's no better daily pose than the Yogi Squat!

This pose is a great hip opener that stretches the groin and glutes and builds strength and flexibility in the feet and ankles.

Amy shows us how, but to meet her there:

woman smiling and stretching
  1. Heel-toe your feet to the edges of your mat

  2. Bend your knees and come down into a squat*

  3. Bring your upper body in between your thighs, press palms to sternum & lift chest

  4. Inhale & lengthen your spine

  5. Exhale & root down through your tailbone

  6. Press your elbows against your knees to open up your hips

  7. Close you eyes, focus on inhale expanding, exhale rooting down

  8. Hold for 30 seconds or 10

*If your calves or achilles are tight, you can put a blanket or towel under your heels as Amy is in the bottom photo.

BONUS: What Amy's Reading

Like me, Amy usually has a few books going at the same time, here are two she's loving right now.

woman looking off into the distance

I've Been Thinking...Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life

by Maria Shriver

Get it HERE

book with yellow and red words

Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself

by William W Li

Get it HERE

ADDITIONAL BONUS: 6-Week Ayurveda Class

  • Are you ready to take a deep dive into some serious self-inquiry and exploration and learn practices to foster better health and healing in your own body?

tan image with butterfly
  • Are you ready to learn Ayurvedic techniques and discover your unique constitution, when you are out of balance, and how to get back into balance?

  • Are you in the Austin area? If so, join Amy for this wonderful 6-week series that began on Friday, January 26, but join Amy anytime!

  • Sign up for our Austin Two week Trial HERE.

Women exercising and smiling with invitation to join them!


  • Ayurveda is an ancient holistic system of medicine that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. It focuses on promoting health and wellness by balancing the mind, body, and spirit through various techniques, including herbal remedies, dietary changes, yoga, meditation, and lifestyle adjustments.

  • Ayurveda can be used to treat a wide range of health conditions, including digestive disorders, skin problems, respiratory issues, hormonal imbalances, arthritis, stress-related disorders, and more. It emphasizes personalized treatment plans tailored to an individual's unique constitution and needs.

  • Ayurveda is based on the principles of the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether), and the concept of maintaining balance among these elements to achieve optimal health. The doshas represent different combinations of the elements within the body, and imbalances among them can lead to illness.

Podcasts We Think You'll Enjoy in the New Year

From starting a gratitude practice, learning your core values, to becoming more knowledgeable about women's heart health, we have a variety of podcasts from our Power of WE community that we think you're gonna love!

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