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Ayurveda 101

Ayurveda 101Ayurveda 101

You may have heard of Ayurveda, but wonder what some ancient Indian healing practice has to do with you in the 21st century. Ayurveda is a system of healing based on the Vedic texts written 5,000 years ago from ancient India. Its aim is to heal and maintain the quality and longevity of life through nutrition, lifestyle, massage, and herbal remedies.

It offers a profound understanding of each person’s unique body, mind, and consciousness, the pillars for happiness and ultimate health. The reason it’s still being talked about and practiced, is because it has helped, and continues to help millions of people overcome health problems (both physical and mental).

Ayurveda, often translated as the “science of life” is the ancient system of heath care and healthy living still practiced in India to this day. More than just a system of natural medicine, it is a way of living that encompasses lifestyle and diet, as well as medicine, bodywork, astrology, philosophy and psychology. It touches upon every aspect of life.

Ayurveda sees the universe as being composed of five great elements essentially the same as early western cosmology, and every living organism is composed of these elements as well. When these elements get out of balance within an individual, due to environmental or internal factors, it can result in disease.

Just as everything in the visible universe is composed of five elements, so is everything in the universe governed by three forces. The five elements combine within the individual, in groups of two, to produce the three forces that govern the microcosm, thus creating every individual’s constitution, or Dosha. The very word dosha means “imbalance”, and implies that we are all naturally somewhat off balance, everyone in their own individual way.

 

Vata ~ composed of the elements air and space, it’s qualities are cold, dry, and dark.

Kapha ~ composed of earth and water, it’s qualities are wet, phlegmatic, pale and lethargic.

Pitta ~ composed of fire and water is hot, oily, and bright.

Every individual will have one or more of these doshas in excess, and that is what defines one’s constitution.   One must live in a way that does not further aggravate their constitution, for example a pitta type should not eat lots of spicy food, a vata does not do well living in a dry cold environment, a kapha should exercise more vigorously than people of other constitutions.

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