Ayurveda: The Basics


WHAT IS AYURVEDA?

Ayurveda (“Ayur” = life, “Veda” ‐ science/study) is an ancient, rich, organic science of healing and well‐being. It is the oldest system of medicine and as such proved itself as no other system of medicine has. Developed side‐by‐side with Yoga, it is the ultimate Self‐Healing and Self‐Realization partnership.

The Ayurvedic approach to wellness takes into account the whole person; body, mind, and soul. It is believed that only when we address the whole person can real, lasting healing take place. Ayurveda is an energetic, holistic and comprehensive health and wellness system that uses natural, everyday remedies. Through Ayurveda, we create a lifestyle for ourselves that supports us holistically and for our entire lifetime.

HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK?

At the core of Ayurveda is the understanding that everything in the Universe from the expansiveness of space to the deepest ocean floor is made up from various combinations of the Five Great Elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Ether. Our own bodies and minds are also made from these same five elements in various, unique combinations. These various combinations make up our personal constitution, called Dosha, and is the basis from which we make all of our health and lifestyle choices.

Ayurveda tells us that it is through maintaining our original, at‐birth Dosha that our greatest health and wellbeing potential is realized. But lifestyle choices and situations such as what climate we live in, the season and time of day, what we do for a living, what we choose for exercise and relaxation, what we eat and drink, all contribute to either maintain our Dosha or moving us out of balance and toward disease. Ayurveda restores health by first determining our Dosha and then using like or opposite qualities in food, sensory input, herbs and nature to bring us back to balance and ultimately then, our greatest health.

No matter where you are on your health spectrum, an understanding of basic Ayurvedic principles provides many benefits, such as:

• Strengthening and supporting our immune system for greater resistance to disease and faster healing from disease.

• Strengthening and regulating the digestive system, giving us a clean, healthy body.

• Strengthening and nourishing the nervous system, giving us clarity in the mind.

• Clearing and detoxifying the body of toxins on all levels – mental, physical, and emotional.

• Increasing functioning of the body’s processes for greater strength and stamina.

• Increasing vitality and enjoyment of life.

AYURVEDA’S KEY POINTS

• Ayurveda recognizes the Spirit or Soul as the ultimate wellspring of healing, joy and peace and guides us back to it.

• Ayurveda works with Body, Mind and Spirit, seeing the three as completely inseparable, for a full person, comprehensive health program.

• Ayurveda is a joyful, lifelong way to live in harmony with our bodies and our world.

• Ayurveda is a person‐by‐person system of healing, not one‐size‐fits‐all.

• Ayurveda is not a quick fix or short‐term solution but a  way of life.

• Ayurveda is a qualitative system, meaning that it does not require counting calories, points, or anything else. Just follow the qualities, the rest will come!

• Ayurveda does not wait until disease sets in, but works in a pro‐active, preventative way

YOGA AND AYURVEDA

The two sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda were designed to support each other for the ultimate in self‐healing (Ayurveda) and self‐realization (Yoga). When the two are brought together the deepest, most profound effects can be experienced. As Ayurveda brings us into greater health, our desire and ability to awaken spiritually to our true, Divine nature increases. As our spiritual awakening occurs, we naturally connect back to the Ultimate Source of healing and health, creating a cycle and partnership that is unstoppable.

Want to learn more? Click here–Ayurveda: Beyond the Basics.

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