Prana Mama’s Ayurvedic Guide

Since I will be focusing on Ayurveda this year, I thought I would start with an excellent FREE guidebook by Prana Mama, aka Katrina Svoboda Johnson. Here’s my review:

A Beginning Exploration into Ayurveda

by Katrina Svoboda Johnson (PranaMAMA)

The title of this booklet is perfect, especially if you are new to Ayurveda, a more than 5000-year Indian healing system that makes the most sense to me, and after reading PranaMAMA’s you may agree. (Because my website is focused on food and health, I will highlight these aspects of the book.)

From the first chapter, What is Ayurveda? To the last section, Putting it All Together, Johnson has done a terrific job of leading us through this ancient journey to health. Her statement on page one sums up Ayurvedic philosophy: “According to Ayurveda, we create and recreate our state of health each day based upon how we interact with the world in terms of our beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings.” As you can see, this is a health system model that captures the essence of life.

Ayurveda emphasizes our five senses (taste, touch, smell, sight and sound) and foods that are health-promoting with the use of the six tastes that are linked with the five elements of earth, ether, water, air and fire. These six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent and Ayurvedic cooking emphasizes that, ideally, all 6 tastes are ideally present in every meal.

Early in the book, PranaMAMA has a chart that compares Western medicine with Ayurveda. While she does not criticize Western medicine because it has improved and extended lives, especially because of its excellent diagnostic equipment and techniques, the author points out that Ayurveda has the additional benefits of disease prevention, individualized treatment appropriate to a patient’s dosha (body type) and in general, a wholistic approach to health.

Despite the fact that this guide has only 19 pages, Johnson has packed a great deal of information in these pages including detailed information on the five elements noted above, the three doshas (body types) of vata, pitta and kapha which help you design a personalized lifestyle/diet/exercise based on the specific qualities of each dosha from the questionnaire included in the booklet.

On the final page we learn that PranaMAMMA is very practical about the Ayurvedic approach to a full life. Her advice to do the best you can 80% of the time and not beat yourself up for the other 20% makes a great deal of loving, common sense.

Whether you are in the early stages of Ayurveda, want to begin your exploration, or need a review, this beginner’s guide is invaluable. To download your free copy, go to

Johnson notes that a more detailed, expanded eBook is to come in 2015. This will delve further into the principles of Ayurveda and will include wellness practices that can easily be incorporated into any daily routine along with recipes.


2 Responses to “Prana Mama’s Ayurvedic Guide”

  1. Mary-Lou Meyers says:

    Rather than relying on pills and potion, and surgeries and doctor’s advice for everything we do or
    don’t do, it makes a lot of sense to live your life according to your needs, and follow your “feel good’
    sensations and build a body type to resist disease and not invite it. Mind, Body, and the Spiritual
    component seem a necessary essential to living a healthy existence. Even psychology
    outlined body types and how they require different lifestyles. I personally crave vigorous exercise,
    and don’t feel well unless I indulge in it on a daily basis. I find it stifling to be indoors all the time,
    and like to have fresh air where my brain seems to function better. Also I demand to spend part
    of each day in reflection, “a line a day,” seems necessary for me to process my world.

  2. The line a day does it for me, too! ell ensue

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