Ayurveda is a system of health and wellness that originated in ancient India over 5,000 years ago. It uses primarily diet and lifestyle regulation to balance the body-mind connection and promote healthy living.
Ayurveda is basically a holistic approach to health as it looks at the whole person and studies their makeup in determining what each person needs for good health and balance.
It is a Sanskrit word that means “Knowledge of life” and this wise old practice is a powerful healing tool that can benefit you in many ways and promote a better whole person.
How It Works
Ayurveda is one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems and is one of the world’s oldest systems of natural healing.
It offers ways to help people stay vibrant and healthy while also managing to realize their full potential.
The body and mind are inextricably linked and balancing the body’s health is positive for the mind as well. This is what we mean when we say that Ayurveda looks at the whole man.
The mind controls the body and there are many thoughts that participate in this process. As the body’s control plays out there are three main agents for interpretation called the doshas.
The 3 Doshas
These doshas facilitate the transmission of thoughts from the mind to the body and manage the balance of the body’s health and wellbeing.
Ayurveda states that an imbalance in the doshas can effect the body’s health and bring about poor health, depression and even disease.
The three doshas are called vata, pitta and kapha. Each person has a constitutional type or blueprint that is created at conception and it is made up of a variety of shapes, behaviors, emotions, and appearances. These doshas each contain two of the five essential elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether, and it is this combination of elements that makes up each dosha and which contributes to each person being unique.
In each persons constitution is a blend of the three doshas and in everyone one of the doshas is dominant.
The role of the doshas is important in Ayurveda and each one changes according to factors like weather, moods, environment, thoughts and ideas. Your body type effects your physical constitution, psychology and way of thinking.
What Is an Ayurvedic Practitioner?
An Ayurvedic Practitioner is a professional who is skilled in the ways of Ayurveda. He usually talks with the patient to assess their entire makeup and makes a plan to design their well-being.
Through observation techniques that focus on the relationship between body, mind, and spirit, practitioners use holistic methods to help you realize a healthy diet and lifestyle, balance the body physically and spiritually, eliminate toxins and fight disease. The practitioner can determine which dosha type you are and they regard physical existence, mental existence, and personality as a unit, with each element being able to influence the others.
The Benefits of Ayurveda
One of the best aspects of Ayurveda is its incredible devotion to the individual. Since it is a holistic approach, and aspects of the Ayurvedic lifestyle are overall good for everyone, Ayurveda knows that each of us is unique. In its approach it knows that what might be good for one person could indeed not work for another. And being that we are all unique Ayurveda looks at the whole person when assessing health, rather than at the parts alone.
Ayurveda uses gunas (qualities) to classify your foods and help you eat an optimal diet. This helps to strengthen your whole body, balance your metabolic levels, improve your quality of life and avoid disease. It leads to a heightened awareness of how your diet and health choices improve your functioning overall and provide for a stronger body and mind.
Ayurveda is so good because it teaches us many things like how to maintain good digestion and excretion and how to properly view disease.
The cause of disease in Ayurveda is shown to be a lack of proper cellular functioning and this is due to an excess or deficiency of the three doshas – vata, pitta or kapha. It shows us how the three doshas work together to balance the body, mind and consciousness and that disease can also be caused by the presence of toxins.
You Can Do it at Home
Ayurveda gives you training in health and wellness which can help you avoid a need for a doctor. It doesn’t replace the doctor, but it gives you the tools to manage your health between visits to the doctor.
You can use these tools at home to assess your own body’s health showing the relationship between habits and health, diet and disease and learn to live in balance. And these can be lifestyle and dietary habits that you choose and that are uniquely matched to your body so they will fit your own health system.
Ayurveda’s tools can help you design a detailed, individualized model that works in harmony with your activities and lifestyle. It is different than standard medicine because it is holistic and so you view your symptoms as interrelated to each other and not just focusing on only one disorder. You can create balance and attain a life fullness for yourself as you view things in perspective.
You can use it at home to optimize your health on a continual basis and it shows you how to interpret signs to better manage digestion and aging, reproductive health, skin care and a better overall quality of life.
Ayurveda and Yoga
Ayurveda and yoga go hand in hand together. They both stem from the original Veda scriptures in India, they both practice the Maha gunas (sattva, rajas and tamas) and both are concerned about the food we put into the body and its effects on health and consciousness.
They both believe in the regular practice of pranayama and meditation for centering and for physical and mental health and purification. Both Ayurveda and yoga believe in balance and harmony in the body-mind relationship and the wholesome effect it has on the entire system including the spiritual.
Yoga is aligned with Ayurveda which aims for maintaining good health and prevention and treatment of disease, and again we see them as one in their goal to balance our health and our lives.
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Ayurveda and Meditation
Besides yoga Ayurveda also focuses on exercise and meditation. With both yoga and Ayurveda the body is naturally balanced through the practice of meditation.
Ayurveda maintains that all life must be supported by energy in balance.
Meditation is one of the most powerful tools the ancient Ayurvedic physicians prescribed for balancing the mind and body.
When there is minimal stress and the flow of energy within a person is balanced, then light and joy can come into the life of the yogi and this is best achieved through meditation.
In meditation we relax, relax, we let go, let go, of all the worries and burdens that often fill our lives and we touch into the space of freedom and fullness as we strive to find peace.
Both yoga and Ayurveda prescribe this meditation for peace and balanced health and encourage us in our efforts to find the road to Forever!
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