What Is Ayurveda? • The Basics
Ayurveda is the worlds oldest holistic health system, based on acheiving mental and physical harmony with our internal and external environments- that being our health and nature around us. The main principle of Ayurveda is to restore balance between the mind, body and spirit. The Sanskrit word is composed of two words, Ayur meaning life, and Veda meaning science, knowledge or wisdom. Translating to the science or knowledge of life, as in order to achieve true health we must have full knowledge on how to live our lives.
Ayurveda has been practiced for over 5,000 years and originated from ancient India, it is the sister science of Yoga and both systems were designed to be practiced in harmony together to achieve the ultimate mind-body balance. Ayurveda is the healing science of the body and Yoga is the healing science of the mind. It is said to be the worlds oldest and most developed medical system there is, with the foundations of practices such as functional medicine, TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western medicine, Macrobiotics and Tibetan medicine all originating from the science of Ayurveda.
The wellbeing system recognises that we are all unique, there is no one-size fits all approach, but awareness that our bio-individuality requires lifestyle and nutritional practices that are tailored to our unique needs. Ayurveda guides us to understand that we are all divinely unique, and our individuality has a distinct pattern of energy that governs a unique combination of mental, emotional and physical characteristics. These unique qualities govern our dosha, constitution or mind-body type. The objective is not only to restore balance in a person dealing with imbalance, but to maintain optimal health within a normal healthy person according to their dosha.
VATA | PITTA | KAPHA
To acheive equilibrium between ones mind, body, emotions and spirit, it first begins with understanding your unique mind-body type, and how this relates to the three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In Ayurveda everything that exists is compromised of the five basic elements; Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These elements come together to give rise to the three energetic forces Vata (Ether + Air), or this can be known as the Air dosha. Pitta (Fire + Water) or the Fire dosha, and Kapha (Water + Earth) or the Water dosha. These energies exists within us, our environments and the foods we consume. Everything can be related to the doshas, they can are dynamic and constantly changing in response to our lifestyles, diet, emotions and stress.
Ayurveda guides you on how to restore balance and wellness through lifestyle practices, nutritional suggestions, daily routines, self-care rituals and more tailored to your dosha or unique mind-body type. With just a few simple changes it is possible to live the Ayurvedic way, not only to improve your health but your behaviour and state of mind. It is a simple and holistic approach to self-care, that gently guides you back to a mindful and organic way of being. To follow Ayurveda is not to make drastic changes to ones lifestyle, but about slowly and compassionately integrating simply daily practices that restore wellbeing and clarity. By steadily integrating Ayurvedic habits into your daily routine, these habits will eventually evolve and form into a sustainable, nourishing and wholesome way of living to last an entire lifetime.