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What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is Sanskrit for 'Science' or 'Knowledge' of 'Life'.
It is a 5000 year-old traditional system of holistic healing based on balance. As a Sister-Science to Yoga, it originated in Indian Sub-Continent and is one of the oldest medical practices in the world.
It and has been meticulously documented in the ancient texts of ArthavaVeda, Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya, dating as far back as 1700 BCE.
According to Ayurveda, we are all made up of elements that create health when well-balanced, and illness when imbalanced. This can be on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. It takes into account all of the unique aspects and qualities of each person and helps to relieve symptoms, prevent diseases and treat illnesses.
These elements are the five gross elements of existence (The Pancha Mahabhutas):
Air (Vayu), Ether (Akasha), Fire (Agni), Water (Apas) and Earth (Prithvi) exist in everything in the Universe. They uniquely manifest in all life, as well as each of us - to give us our physical and mental qualities. Each person has their own unique combination of these 5 elements that contain 20 different qualities.
These elements then go on to further combine and form three distinct physical and energetic DOSHAS: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each Dosha behaves very differently and responds to different treatments.
As the name suggests, Ayurveda encompasses all aspects of our being to address underlying disease to help relieve symptoms, prevent or eradicate disease and achieve optimal health in our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual planes.. According to Ayurveda, the five elements (space, air, fire, water, and earth) manifest in each of us in a unique way to give us our physical and mental qualities. These elements then combine into three constitutions, or doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Upon assessing a persons individual dosha (constitution), specific guidelines may be followed to achieve optimum health. Ayurveda’s goal is to help us understand how to help ourselves to re-balance and restore health.
1. Teaches a proactive approach to avoiding illness: fresh food, exercise, relaxation/stress reduction and regular cleansing.
2. Is used to counter balance the qualities of illnesses that are already in the first stages of manifestation in the body.
3. Will treat conditions with diet, lifestyle, exercise, herbal remedies, energy flow and stress reduction techniques. Ayurveda takes many things into account: First your Dosha...then gender, age, location, seasons, climate, energy flow, etc. The unique combination of the three doshas in each individual has a specific influence on our physical, mental, and emotional tendencies. Determining which dosha(s) are dominant can help you to make the right diet and lifestyle choices that will maintain balance and promote health and well-being on all levels. Everyone can benefit from this practice.
Learn more about how Ayurveda & Balancing Doshas can help you:
- Understand your unique design / unique ways of caring for yourself
- Decrease stress and return to clarity of mind
- Return to your body’s natural rhythm
- Detoxify and get on a healthy track
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Address specific ailments or symptoms
- Experience rest, rejuvenation and energy
- Find balance in the Physical, Mental, Emotional, & Spiritual Space
- Build increased immunity and Vitality
For more information, see Doshas Explained