Guide To Ayurveda

Guide To Ayurveda

What Is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is one of the oldest medical systems in the world, meaning “Science of Life”. It was born in India about 3000 years ago and has also been recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a traditional medicine system. Many natural healing systems now familiar to us in the West have their roots in Ayurveda, including homeopathy, herbal medicine, energy medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, polarity therapy, marma therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, and even Reiki and homeopathy. As a result, Ayurveda is so accepting of integrative medicine. It acknowledges the wisdom contained in various traditions. It is impossible to compare Ayurveda medicine with modern medicine since their approach to the body is so different. While allopathic medicines are designed to fight disease, Ayurvedic medicines strengthen the body’s ability to fight disease. It is a belief of Ayurvedic medicine that we must develop the right balance of body, mind, and soul in order to be physically and mentally healthy. This is why, along with Herbal medicines, special types of remedies are still used today.

In Ayurveda, prevention and health maintenance are emphasised through attention to the balance of one’s life, right thinking, diet and lifestyle, and herbal remedies. With knowledge of Ayurveda, one can create a balance of body, mind, and consciousness according to one’s own individual constitution and make lifestyle changes to accomplish this.

Each person has a certain pattern of energy – a unique combination of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics – which constitutes their own constitution, just as each person has a unique fingerprint. This constitution is determined at conception by a number of factors and remains the same throughout one’s life.

What are the basic principles of Ayurveda?
According to the principles of Ayurveda, our body is made up of both energy and matter combined. Each of us, as well as our environment, is made up of the five great elements (Maha Bhutas): (1) Space, (2) Air, (3) Fire, (4) Water, and (5) Earth. These are the building blocks of our world. They create our foundation and structure (earth); movement and circulation (air and space); transformation, light, and metabolism (fire); and cohesiveness, digestive juices, and secretions (water).

The five great elements are found in varying amounts in every person and the environment. Some people and places will have more of one element than another. Think of the desert as having more fire (heat) and air (dryness), the beach as having more water, and the mountains as having more earth. Likewise, some of us are more “earthy,” some of us are more “spacey,” and others are more “intense” or “hot.” Our unique combination of the five elements makes up our predominant body composition, or Dosha, of which there are three types: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Although one dosha is usually dominant, each of us is made up of all three. When the doshas are disturbed by a person’s lifestyle choices and/or environmental conditions, signs of imbalance manifest in both the mind and body. An imbalance can result in a disease or a general feeling of being unwell. The idea isn’t to bring all three doshas into equal balance within you. The goal is to be the best unique makeup of yourself that you can be. You can do that by keeping your doshic balance in check through the Ayurvedic practices you will learn along the way.