By Kristen Manieri

The Science of You (Ayurveda)

When I think about the last 20 years of my life, from the moment that I started to even have a glimmer of understanding what it means to live consciously and intentionally to now, when living this way is now the focal part of my life, I see what a journey this has been. My own personal evolution happens mostly in baby steps and sometimes in quantum leaps. And those movements forward or more deeply within have often been assisted by a teacher, coach or mentor.

Today I’m excited to share with you one of my teachers, Caryn O’Hara, whom I’ve worked with off and on for about two years.

Caryn is an Ayurvedic Health Consultant, wellness coach, yoga instructor and colon cancer thriver.

She is a force, someone who is such a stand for others’ wellbeing and authenticity.

I was excited to have her on the 60 Mindful Minutes podcast this week because she has a lot of knowledge about Ayurveda, which is an ancient science that helps us to live not only more healthfully but more in balance inside and out. We talked not only about what Ayurvedic philosophy is, but also how to use it to discover who we are, and how we can orient ourselves towards making wellbeing and feeling good a priority.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably really curious about your dosha. Doing a dosha quiz is such a fun way to dip your toe into the Ayurvedic waters. The two places Caryn suggests to do the quiz are:


  1. Ayurveda has been described as the science of life, the science of longevity, but I think my favorite description is that it is the science of you. It’s the place to begin to discover where we are strong, what we can lean into easily and what we are adverse to. It’s an individualistic approach to understanding what makes us each tick but also what makes us thrive.
  2. Doshas give us an understanding of how we are wired, including what we’re drawn to but also what throws us out of balance. Ayurveda is all about finding the balance, almost on a moment to moment basis. It’s about discovering where we shine in the world but also where we might be limited. As we learn more, we can start to see the ways in which we can stretch ourselves but also honor ourselves.
  3. Ayurveda is about living more authentically, really understanding who we are and living in alignment. As Caryn says, it’s a journey to connect to our own inner wisdom, versus constantly taking the advice and prescription of others or our culture. When we start to tune into our inner wisdom, we can start to see what feels good, what works and what doesn’t
  4. Well being is not just about what you’re eating or how much you are exercising or sleeping. No matter how pristinely we take care of our body, if we’re riddled with stress, anxiety, fear, regret, resentment and anger, we’re going to sense an imbalance. It’s going to impact the how the body functions. In our journey to feel at our best, it’s crucial to see that our emotions, beliefs and thoughts play a huge part in creating our inner world.
  5. I loved this thought from Caryn: our well being is not simply impacted by what we eat, but how we eat. Are we eating while working or driving? Do we eat quickly or perhaps have a negative relationship with cooking or eating? All of this impacts how we use and digest what we eat.
  6. Consider a cleanse not just as a detox but as a way to bring a lot of mindfulness to what you’re eating, how it tastes, where it came from and how it makes you feel. Taking the time to be really intentional about food for a few days can impact not only how you feel during that time but it also has the potential to revolutionize your relationship with food in the future.
  7. Finally, Caryn suggests to adopt the approach of “I am who I am and I am amazing.” What this means to me is that we begin to really honor who we are and how we’re made, because it is amazing. It’s a miracle. And the more we can celebrate who we are, instead of apologize, the more we can cultivate our gifts and honor our limits, the more we can shine… which is what we’re supposed to be doing.

A big thanks to Caryn O’Hara for being my guest this week. Go find her at www.carynohara.com.


Until next time,


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