What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, the “science of life and longevity” has its roots in dating back more than 5,000 years. Ayurveda encompasses both ancient wisdom and practical science to create the world’s oldest and most comprehensive system of health care. The objective is not to treat disease, but to address the individual person, bringing him or her back to their unique state of balance. Thus Ayurveda goes to the source of dis-ease to create health, which is defined in Ayurveda not only as optimal functioning of body and mind, but also as the presence of a joyful spirit within.
Ayurveda uses a theory of the five great elements; ether, air, fire, water and earth, to describe principles of how nature functions and therefore to understand our own true nature. Ayurveda maintains that we are an intimate reflection of everything in the universe; we are all composed of these five elements. In the human being, these five elemental energies refine into three essential governing principles known as “doshas.” The doshas represent three sets of physical traits and mental tendencies that combine at conception to form the foundation of our unique nature. Through this understanding, one can successfully maintain a state of health and restore vitality when it has been lost.
The three doshas are called vata, pitta and kapha. Vata Dosha, composed of the elements of air and ether, governs movement and communication. Pitta Dosha, composed of the elements of fire and water, governs digestion and metabolism. Kapha Dosha, composed of the elements of earth and water, governs the principles of structure and lubrication. We are comprised of all three doshas. However, they get expressed in each individual in different proportions which determines our unique constitution. The concept of constitution provides us with a psycho-physiological blueprint of our strengths and challenges. This guides us in choosing appropriate lifestyle choices to attain a state of harmony. Ayurveda provides us with many tools and practices specific to our constitution. These include nutrition, daily routine, herbs, meditation, yoga, massage and seasonal cleansing & rejuvenation programs.
The ultimate aim of Ayurveda is to establish the ability to live every aspect of life to its fullest, in complete conscious connection to nature’s infinite intelligence. It is a simple, practical science of self-healing that works to bring individuals into a state of harmony within themselves, their environment and the planet.