What is Ayurveda?
Thousands of years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, the sages of India developed Ayurveda, which continues to be one of the worlds most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems.
A sister science to yoga, the term Ayurveda is composed of two Sanskrit words – Ayu meaning life & Veda meaning knowledge or science. This “Science of Life” originated in India over 5000 years ago, making it one of the world’s oldest health care systems. It is not merely a health care system to treat ailments but a complete philosophy that encourages the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.
According to Ayurveda each individual is unique, a combination of physical, mental & emotional characteristics which are known as his/her constitution (Prakruti). Many factors, both internal as well as external can affect this constitution eg. One’s emotional state, diet, daily food choices, season and weather, physical trauma, job and family relationships. Once we understand that these factors can cause an imbalance in our constitution we have a choice to take appropriate action to nullify or minimise their effects.
Ayurveda is a personalized approach to health, and knowing your mind-body type allows you to make optimal choices about diet, exercise, supplements, and all other aspects of your lifestyle Ayurveda is a complete knowledge of life that teaches us how to live in tune with nature and elevate ourselves into the higher realms of happiness – the ultimate goal in life.
Ayurveda recognises three primary energies, Vata, Pitta & Kapha. Together they regulate every physiological and psychological characteristic from basic cellular processes to the most complex biological functions. When these forces are in a state of natural balance the defence mechanism of the body works at peak efficiency.
Vata – represents momentum. The element associated with Vata is Air
Pitta – represents metabolism. The element associated with Pitta is Fire
Kapha – provides substance and support. The element associated with Kapha is Water
Life challenges us with many opportunities. Although there is much over which we have little control, we do have the power to determine our diet and lifestyle. To maintain balance and health it is important to give attention to these decisions. Diet, lifestyle and the use of products containing herbs appropriate to individual constitution strengthen the body, mind and consciousness which enhances ones natural beauty.
Want to learn more about Ayurveda?
Check out The Handbook of Ayurveda.