Ayurveda is a holistic life science of practicing wisdom and natural medicine. Ayu = life, Veda = knowledge. It has been passed down for over 5,000 generations of Indian healers to the modern world by joining the mind, actions, body, environment and spirituality to one. This lifestyle allows us to see and live by the workings of the body, mind and sprit the way natured intended to and sees them. Contrary to orthodox medicine, Ayurveda is not based on recent findings of research projects, but of permanent wise eternal principles of living.
This science and lifestyle is an understanding that energy and matter are within the same. The 5 elements (all having their own characteristics) - space, air, fire, water and earth are within the human body and our part of our inner constitution. All the elements are within us, but some may be more prominent than others. This grouping of elements is a balance inside of each of us that is called a dosha. These doshas are forces that make up the physical body but are also part of its substance and function. They are a part of every individual and have fundamental characteristics and each dosha is a combination of 2 elements.
SPACE: the field form which everything is manifested, and to which everything returns
AIR: properties of clearness, lightness, moving, dryness, erratic, dispersing
FIRE: properties of heat, lightness, moving, dryness, sharpness, flux, upward movement
WATER: properties of flux, coolness, smoothness, shapelessness, liuquidty, downward movement
EARTH: properties of stability, strength, heaviness, hardness downward moving
VATA (ether + air), PITTA (fire + water), KAPHA (earth + water)
At the time of conception, we have an equal balance of elements. This is our inner constitution at its purest, called Prakrurti. It is who we are the moment we are conceived. When the balance of the elements in our Prakruti is off its called a Vikruti. This Vikruti is when a dosha forms within us forms. A grouping of stronger elements happens and certain characteristics, behaviors, traits, tastes, and habits become a part of us. Because we are human, and humans grow, make mistakes and as with all things, our constitution changes overt time, an imbalance of our Prakruti is natural, bound to occur and happens to every individual.
In this holistic practice of medicine, a strong imbalance of a dosha is the root of physical and mental illness or disease. It is based on treating the mind, body, and spirit as a “whole” person, not a symptom. By making certain adjustments in your lifestyle through diet, herbal remedies, yoga, meditation and pranayama- a healthy, nurturing life can be achieved.
Common Ayurvedic spices used in remedies and healing
Ayurveda is used to bring back balance, before disease manifests physically, in the form of lifestyle and to also alleviate disease and imbalance and when its present. In a basic concept of western medicine- you get sick and take a pill to get better. When 99% of the time you have no idea what the pill is made of, or take responsibility for any healing to occur. You swallow a pill and wait for an illness or disease to get better, having know idea what is truly going on. Ayurveda is an entire holistic medicine and lifestyle in one. It is using natural and physical practices to heal a disease or illness. Allowing the individual to be fully participant and take responsibility in a healing process through unison of the mind, body and spirit, leading to long term benefits mentally, physically, and spiritually.