Pronounced “EYE-yer-VAY-da”, Ayurveda in Sanskrit means “the science of life” and is considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science. This ancient knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is often called the “mother of all healing.”
Ayurveda views health and dis-ease as the end result of how we interact with the world in terms of our beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings. These ultimately determine our actions. Actions in harmony with our inner nature create health, while those disharmonious actions create dis-ease. Ayurveda and yoga are sister sciences and together teach us how to develop greater harmony with our environment through all of our senses and how to love and care for ourselves more deeply.
Five Elements of Nature
The best part about Ayurveda, is that it’s simple enough that even a 5 year-old can understand it. Ayurveda recognizes that each human being is a microcosm (a small reflection) of the macrocosm (the universe). Each of us is made up of the same elements that make up everything around us and together we move (or not) with the rhythms of nature; we rise with the sun, sleep with the moon, and take joy in the foods that each season brings us. Journeying back to optimal health with Ayurveda is living a simple life, through Sadhana, wholesome, everyday practices that allow us to awaken to our true nature as Spirit. Sadhana practices balances the five elements (air, ether, fire, water, and earth) in the body and mind through the use of food, sleep, exercise, lifestyle, yoga, herbs, color, aromas, meditation, along with other five sense therapies.
The Three Doshas
The five elements manifest in the human body as three basic energies or principals called “doshas”. The 3 doshas, vata, pitta and kapha bind the five elements into living flesh, and create at the moment of conception, a balanced, healthy state known as your prakruiti, ayurvedic constitution or body type. Just as you have a unique fingerprint, you have a unique balance of the 5 elements of nature. Your prakruti is based on long term tendencies, physical structure and an ayurvedic tongue and pulse diagnosis taken by a certified ayurvedic practitioner.
When these three principals are balanced, physical and psychological health is obtained. When they are disturbed, excessive or deficient, we experience discomfort and dis-ease. Ayurvedic practices and regimens will restore the natural harmonious balance of the doshas.
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