Ayurveda and You

Ayurveda means “the science and knowledge of life” by the definition of two composing words Ayu (Life) and Veda (Knowledge). Ayurveda has a rich heritage of promoting a long and healthy life with an extensive knowledge of diet, spices, lifestyle, herbs, daily and seasonal routines, rejuvenating therapies, and timely detoxification.

The origins of Ayurveda and Yoga can be traced back 5000 years. Both of these disciplines enrich body, mind, and soul. As in Yoga, principles and practice of Ayurveda are timeless. In this system of healing the focus is on the whole person, which includes the body, mind, and consciousness. Ayurveda says that for complete wellness to occur, these must be in harmony with each other. One becomes resilient to disease and health compromising conditions.

Ayurveda believes that, by balancing the various mind-body functions, the natural healing intelligence of the body will automatically bring itself to wellness. Practitioners of Ayurveda say, “We do not treat the symptoms or disease, we treat the person!”

The holistic principles that govern Ayurveda consider that we are inseparable from the universe. Most of us are unaware of the environment that we live in, and yet our bodies are in constant communication with our surroundings. The very elements that compose our bodies are the ones borrowed from nature. Ayurveda understands this connection and uses this knowledge to create harmony, balance and well being.

Doshas - the core concept of Ayurveda

Wind, sun, and water govern our universe. Likewise, the human body is governed by doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha that bio-energeticaly represents these three outer forces. When in balance the three doshas are supportive of health and provoke diseases when not in harmony. Food, exercises, sleep, habits, seasons, state of mind, and our sensory experiences can influence these doshas.

Vata (Either & Air) governs all movement in the body and is responsible for the thoughts in the mind. Vital functions such as breathing and the movement of the gut, elimination of wastes, sensory and motor functions are possible because of vata. Pitta and Kapha also depend on Vata for their movement, consequently, Vata is considered the chief of the three doshas in the body.

Pitta (Fire & Water) governs all heat, metabolism, and transformation in the body and sharpens the mind. It controls how we digest and metabolize foods, how we transform our sensory perceptions, and how we discriminate between right and wrong. Pitta governs the important stages of digestion or the digestive fires of the body. Abnormal pitta usually manifests in the body as a sensation of heat, burning or irritation. One becomes susceptible to infections and develops a tendency for inflammation, rashes, ulcers, heartburn, and fever.

Kapha (Water & Earth) governs the structure and lubrication in the body, as well as the grounding of mind. It supports healthy growth of the bodily tissues and lubrication of the joints and vital organs, such as heart and lungs. It is also responsible for the “compactness” of body structures. When under the influence of abnormal Kapha, one experiences an imbalance in fluid retention and swelling. An imbalance in Kapha can also bring a tendency to gain weight, obesity, sinus congestion, and an excessive generation of mucous. Kapha individuals may find themselves afflicted with lethargy, excessive sleeping, and susceptibility to depression.

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