WHAT IS AYURVEDA?
Ayurveda is more than a complete medical system.
It’s a way of life.
Ayurveda is the oldest continuously practiced health-care system in the world, and has its roots in India. Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words: ayus (meaning life) and veda (meaning science), or “science of life.” Ayurveda offers practical guidance on how to achieve optimal health. It teaches us about our unique constitution and how to live in harmony with nature.
Ayurveda treats the individual as a holistic entity, taking into consideration all of the contributing factors of disease- physical, environmental, emotional and mental, to source the root of the condition. This understanding then informs us as to what diet and lifestyle guidance, herbal medicine, seasonal cleansing, breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation, are appropriate for you. The goal of Ayurveda is to empower you on your path to wellness.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR CONSTITUTION
Your Ayurvedic constitution, known as Prakriti, provides valuable insight to your innate strengths and challenges. From this understanding, you are better equipped to make lifestyle and dietary choices that have a positive affect on your health. Living in harmony with nature means following daily and seasonal rhythms, which support your own unique constitution.
Each individual is a unique combination of five elements, space, air, fire, water and earth. These elements in turn generate three main energies, known as Doshas. The doshas Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are roughly translated to Air, Fire and Earth, respectively. Understandably, Vata (Air) governs movement, Pitta (Fire) governs transformation and Kapha (Earth) governs excess.
We all have Vata, Pitta, and Kapha within us, in varying proportions. This is what makes us unique. However, if any of the Doshas accumulate in our body beyond the desirable limit, an imbalance occurs. Thus, optimal health depends on maintaining a balance of the three Doshas.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR STATE OF HEALTH
Our current state of health, in relation to our “natural state” is referred to as Vikruti. In Sanskrit, this translates to, “changed condition of body, mind and consciousness.” The presence of relative imbalance or Vikruti is what makes us prone to illness. To maintain balance, requires living in accordance with the universal laws, or nature, such as eating foods in season (i.e. watermelon in summer) and sleeping at nighttime. The further we stray from these principles, will over time, deplete our resources. Ayurveda teaches us how to preserve our resources and live a nourishing and purposeful life.