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Q & A

Q: What is Vedic Counseling? 

A: Vedic counseling is a life-style based approach to help you better understand and balance your mind, body and spirit.  Vedic counseling can draw from any of the practices based on ancient scriptures outlined in the original Vedas.  These practices include Ayurveda (the oldest form of traditional medicine which aims to maintain or regain one's health through diet, herbs, and lifestyle decisions), Jyotish (Vedic astrology that helps one understand their place in the universe), Vastu (the ancient practice of understanding how to create structures and space to align us with nature), Yoga (postures and breath-work designed to unite and align us with the divine) or Tantra (seeing beauty in everything).  

In my own Vedic counseling practice, I draw mostly from Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) and Ayurveda, although I do also incorporate aspects of the other Vedic disciplines as needed.  I also weave into my work my vast knowledge from other areas of study such as (but not limited to) Jungian shadow-work and Gestalt techniques.  

 

For a more thorough understanding of my background, please see my personal bio section of this website, at https://www.ayamveda.com/laura-aleksandra-pravs

Q: What is Ayurveda? 

A:  Ayurveda is the oldest form of traditional medicine based on the practices outlined in the ancient Vedic scriptures.  Loosely translated, it means, "the science of life", and it recognizes that everything on this earth or in this physical universe is made up of its' own unique ratio of the five elements of earth, air, fire, water and earth, represented in three main doshic (imbalanced) states called doshas, named vata (air & ether), pitta (fire & dynamic water), and kapha (calm water & earth)

Ayurveda defines health as being in line with one's original nature, and disease, as a state of being out of line with one's unique original constitution. The very experience of being alive however means that we are not static, but constantly influenced by the elements around us, and these elements can easily overwhelm the elements within us.  Ayurveda teaches us to proactively strengthen ourselves to be able to withstand such destruction, and it thus helps us to either maintain or regain our health via personalized lifestyle decisions (diet, herbal support, etc, etc) that help us keep our mental, physical and spiritual integrity.

Photocred: Lisa Hobbs   https://unsplash.com/photos/mRaNok_Ld6sS

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I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Q: What is Jyotish Astrology and how is it different than Western Astrology? 

A: When most people hear the word, "astrology", they tend to think of "pop astrology", often in the form of a paragraph in a newspaper, magazine or website, about upcoming generalized predictions for their assumed sun sign.  While perhaps some people find these small write-ups fun to entertain, in truth, this diluted practice is a far cry from what the ancient Rishis wanted us to understand about the teachings and profound role astrology plays in our  experience here on earth.

True astrology is an in-depth mathematical study of the skies beyond our earth, and how the placements of the planets and constellations affect us; it is a system of infinitely complex fractals upon fractals, each unraveling an even deeper layer as to why you have the consciousness and life experiences that you, and ONLY YOU, do. 

photocred: Greg Rakozy:  https://unsplash.com/photos/oMpAz-DN-9I

Astrology not only looks at the month you were born, but also considers the day, the hour, the minute, and if available, even the *second* you entered this world, and with this precise information, it creates a map for your life based on how the planets and stars sat above you when you first incarnated.   This unique combination of planets and constellations then determines your personal  constitution, and it exposes your gifts and challenges, and of course, also your life purpose and reason for your exact essence taking on life in the first place.  

 

Both Jyotish and Western astrology study the planets, the zodiacs, and the houses (12 equally sectioned off areas of the universe from our vantage point on earth) to determine the nature and life a person came into existence to have, but where western astrology calculates the zodiac signs on a mathematical system based on the seasons called the tropical zodiac, Jyotish maps the location of the zodiac signs themselves via sidereal mathematics, recognizing that constellations move over time.

When western astrology first came into existence, this difference between Jyotish and it's western astrology offspring did not pose a problem, as both systems at that point actually sat in alignment with one another, but over the last several centuries, the western system has grown almost an entire zodiac sign out of alignment.  Recent news-stories over the last few years have highlighted this, and astrology has once again thus become a laughing matter to those who do not understand its' complexity or the differences in various astrological systems of measurement.  

photocred: Jordan Madrid https://unsplash.com/photos/iDzKdNI7Qgc

Due to the western model that links zodiac Sun signs with fixed birth-dates rather than their slowly moving locations in our sky, it is very possible- in fact likely- that a person whose sun sign in western astrology is "Aries" (for example), that the actual position of the sun itself at their birth may in fact have been in the zodiac sign of Pisces...  

Another major difference between the two systems is that in Vedic astrology, while the sun sign is certainly important, there is more emphasis placed on the rising sign, which, unlike the sun-sign that stays in the same zodiac sign for 30 days, actually changes on a bi-hourly basis, which allows for the obvious differences seen in appearance and temperament between people all born on the same date.   

The use of nakshatras is Vedic astrology is another marked difference, in that in addition to the 12 commonly known zodiac signs used in both systems, Vedic texts teach us about 27 other constellations that mark the transit of the moon around the earth each day, and thus their calculation within a person's birth-chart further specifies his or her unique temperament and relationship with life. These then further break down into padas, adding to even more individualization within each person's chart.  

photocred: oldskool photography: https://unsplash.com/photos/In4XVKhYaiI

While western astrologers do also include elements into their charts that Vedic astrology does not such as Neptune and Uranus as well as other cosmic bodies, for Vedic astrologers, these planets are not included because they are considered too far away to be seen with the naked eye, and thus are, according to this model, not as influential in our earthly orbits. 

While both systems can offer incredible detail and neither is necessarily "wrong", I personally have felt the ancient Vedic calculations to hold more accuracy,  and have thus immersed myself into this traditional form of understanding

our place in the universe.  Vedic scripture is so rich in wisdom and I enjoy learning,  practicing and sharing it with others.  It is said that Karma does not make mistakes, and Vedic astrology can explain to us why we have the karma that we do, and how we can overcome it.  Making sense of yourself through the lens of Vedic Astrology is, in my view, one of the most profound ways of truly seeing Self.  

Q: How are Ayurveda and Jyotish interconnected?  

A: Like all of the Vedic sciences, Ayurveda and Jyotish share their ancient roots in the Vedas, sacred texts which were likely written around 3000 years ago, but whose traditions come from long before even that, as the practices within the Vedas were orally passed down for many thousands of years prior to their written history.   The reason for this has less to do with civilization finally reaching a point in which writing was finally valued, as we often presume in the modern west, and more to do with the fact that these ancient cultures considered that the best way for each generation to really learn and remember the wisdom of the Vedic teachings was to orally hear and then learn them, and in this way, their teachings would be embodied as oppossed to simply intellectualized.   In fact, the Vedas are meant to be spoken, and not read, because the words themselves invoke the power of mantra (sacred sound vibrations), which can bring us to higher states of consciousness and meditation.  

photocred: ksenia makagonova: https://unsplash.com/photos/V-TIPBoC_2M

The ancient Rishis (enlightened masters) recognized however (via astrology) that humanity was about to descend into a darker era, known as the Kali-Yuga, in which we would easily fall prey to forgetting our connection to all of nature, and thus the Rishis began the process of writing down these oral teachings, so that WE- those living in this disconnected era- would have some sort of guidance to remember and perhaps even return to our understanding that we are part of, and thus governed by the same laws of nature as everything else.  

Using their profound understanding of planetary transits, the Rishis then wrote these scriptures down at the most astrologically auspicious times, with the hope that this would allow for these ancient wisdoms to survive the inevitable oncoming onslaught of their potential destruction during a time (now) in which humanity would grow ignorant and be likely to even ridicule and thus try to dismiss or destroy these ancient truths.  And despite many attempts to silence this wisdom, survive they have.

The Vedic principles underlying both Ayurveda and Jyotish (as well as their other sister sciences such as Yoga, etc)  are based on the concept that everything is made up of a combination of the five elements of earth, air, fire, water, and ether,  and that the honoring of each element within us and around us, is what creates health and balance via the doshic influences of vata, pitta & kapha.  Practiced alone or in conjunction, these ancient arts can bring incredible healing.  

Especially in our current culture, where we, as predicted by the 

Rishis thousands of years ago, have largely forgotten our connection to everything, we can greatly benefit from embodying the wisdom of the Vedas, which have survived the whips and scorns of time, to maintain or regain our health and reach higher states of peace, consciousness and evolution.  

 

 

If YOU have another question, please email me at ayamveda@gmail.com.  I would love to connect with you!