“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”
— ayurvedic proverb
What is ayurveda?
ãyur= life/ longevity
veda= deep knowledge or wisdom
Ayurveda is an ancient science focused on holistic, whole-body healing and the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between body, mind and spirit. It is the only medicinal system in the world that looks at the individual in this way. It originated in India 5,000 years ago and is known as the “sister science” to yoga. The goal of ayurveda is to maintain health and prevent disease.
Known as the “mother of all healing,” Ayurveda encourages natural healing and the use of diet, lifestyle, meditations, pranayamas, and herbs to achieve this state of balance.
“Ayurveda is a philosophy and an approach to wellness that holds self awareness as the essence and foundation to good health. Ayurveda will help you discover that you have a choice; you can become the author of your own story instead of the victim of it.
…. When we are in balance, it is when we feel at home and at ease in our bodies.” ~Katie Silcox (Happy, Healthy, Sexy)
Ayurveda recognizes each person as unique, and thus each will need different things to maintain or rebalance themselves. According to Ayurveda, all things are composed of the 5 elements: Earth, Air, Space, Fire & Water. Just as we are all born with a specific DNA, we are all born with a set combination of these 5 elements. We break the 5 elements into 3 categories or doshas. You can think of the doshas as a way to compartmentalize the 5 elements. There are 3 doshas.
Vata = air + space
Pitta = fire + water
Kapha = earth + water
We all have all 3 doshas present within us, but we have different percentages of them. This is why some people will naturally be firey and feisty by nature (pitta dosha) and others will be calm, earthy, and nourishing. Some people will favor a vigorous ashtanga practice, while others are happy to do a restorative/yin practice.
Our doshas will change as the seasons change and as our external environment changes. For example, our kapha will naturally be higher in winter with the elements of earth and water. In winter, generally we feel more apt to stay in and cozy up with a good book. However, one of the main principles of ayurveda says “like attracts like, opposite balances,” so since kapha represents heaviness and earth- we want to compliment that with the opposite by doing lots of movement, twisting, exercising and sweating.
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“The human being has enormous resources in the power to heal. And in those resources lie things that we ourselves need to clear or feel.”