What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is one of the oldest forms of traditional, natural healing medical systems in the world. It originated from India five to six thousand years ago. The term Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit word, Ayu = Life, and Veda = Science, thus meaning the Science of Life. The Vedas say, “Yahta Pinde thata Bramhande,” meaning as is the macrocosm, so is the microcosm, which according to Ayurveda means every human being is composed of the same elements of the universe, which makes the relationship between universe and human being intrinsic and can’t be separated. Ayurveda’s fundamental approach to well-being is that you must reach Your unique state of balance: physical, biochemical, intellectual, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, familial, social, environmental, and universal. Hence, Ayurveda treats the individual’s body, mind and soul, and emphasizes on prevention of disease which may be through the help of diet, exercise, daily routines, seasonal routines, or other treatments depending on the patient’s unique constitution. So the key to Ayurvedic wellness and healing is that health isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. Every individual is unique. Each person has a constitution/dosha that is specific to them, and movement away from that constitution creates health imbalances.
Ayurveda believes that the universe, and every individual (every cell in the body) is made up of 5 elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. These elements combine in various ways to form three constitutional principles/energies known as Doshas. Each individual has a unique constitution, that depends on the correct balance of the tridoshas. These doshas are:
• Vata = comprised of air and space.
• Pitta = comprised of fire and water.
• Kapha = comprised of earth and water.
With the 5 elements and tridoshas, Ayurveda determines the basic nature of an individual and prescribes a unique treatment plan.
The Aim of Ayurveda is "Swasthyas swasthya rakshanam" to protect health and prolong life & "Aturasya vikaraprashamanamcha" to eliminate diseases and dysfunctions of the body.