"My mission is to empower people of all ages, races, and body sizes to embrace the body they have been given and learn to love themselves so they can live their dreams."
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"Working with Sarah Maria has helped me to see that I am inherently loveable, beautiful, and valuable, no matter what. She has given me tools and techniques to break free from self-hatred and put love in its place. I am incredibly grateful for her and her incredible program. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to love her body and lover her life."

-Gabrielle Forleo, age twenty-six

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Chopra Center for Wellbeing

 

"Sarah Maria's teachings are an amazing gift. It's an outstanding program that has changed my life! I highly recommend Sarah Maria's program to anyone who wants to experience living their most successful, beautiful life."

-Mary Schmidt, age forty-five

 

"Sarah Maria has shared many tools with me. But much more important to me, and what has been most meaningful, has been her quality of compassion. It is a gift and is like a gentle, deep awakening. Sarah Maria is a remarkable individual who works with the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual person. I cannot thank her in a way that seems adequate"

-Leigh Ann Jones, age fifty-four

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Body Image & You

Ayurveda and Body Image

Our culture transmits a very clear message about what type of body is beautiful: a tall, slender, fit, tone, young, body. Any deviation from this ideal is considered deficient and less desirable. This means that the vast majority of women feel deficient; they feel that they are less than beautiful. They believe that they should look like the photo-edited images of women on the covers of magazines. This causes millions of women to starve themselves, exercise compulsively, obsess about food and their weight, and undergo dangerous plastic surgery procedures.

Ayurveda, the ancient healing science of India, offers another perspective on what is beautiful. Ayurveda focuses on the fact that every person is unique. According to Ayurveda, it is when we understand our unique body and mind that we can begin to reveal our true beauty.

Ayurveda maintains that the physical world, and therefore the human body, is derived from a combination of five elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth. These five elements combine to form three doshas. Doshas are the energetic principles that govern the entire human mind/body system. Your unique psycho-physiology is determined by the interaction of these three doshas. Your body type is largely determined by which dosha or doshas are predominant.

These three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata is derived from the combination of air and ether, Pitta from water and fire, and Kapha from earth and water. People with a predominance of Vata in their constitution tend to be short or very tall, often with a thin, wiry frame. They tend to have a low appetite and sometimes have difficulty gaining or maintaining their weight. Vata people tend to have weaker constitutions and can be more susceptible to imbalance. They can be very creative but often scattered and constantly jump from one thing to the next.

People with a predominance of Pitta tend to be medium-framed. They often have good muscle tone, average body weight and height, and a rosy complexion. Pitta is the principle of fire in the body, and as such it is responsible for all digestion and metabolism. For this reason, Pitta people tend to have strong appetites and become irritable if they do not eat on time. They are often very driven people who love to learn and have sharp intellects. They can be very high achievers but can often become tense and irritable under stress.

People with mostly Kapha tend to be physically very strong and sturdy. They often have excellent muscle tone, big bones, and a strong physical structure. For this reason, they can often push themselves physically and mentally without exhaustion. Many of them find stress invigorating. In balance, they tend to be compassionate and peaceful, getting along well in many situations. However, they can also tend toward complacency. They often tend to dislike exercise and love sweets, and thus can gain weight easily.

These doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha govern your body and all of its processes. If you are naturally a Kapha person, it is going to be extremely destructive and untenable to make yourself look like a Vata person. Meanwhile, it would also be destructive for a Vata person to exercise as vigorously as a Kapha person. We all have all three doshas in our bodies; what causes our uniqueness is specific concentration and combination of each. Most people have two dominant doshas, such as Pitta Vata, Vata Pitta, Vata Kapha, etc. Some people have only one dominant dosha, while others have an equal combination of all three and are considered tri-doshic.

Ayurveda, however, can help you determine what your unique body/mind type is. Once you know this, you can begin to live in harmony with your unique psych-physiology instead of fighting against it in a vain attempt to be something that you are not. People of all different types, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are equally beautiful. They all have different strengths. The key is to know what your unique physiology is so that you can honor it and use it to make healthy lifestyle choices.

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