What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old comprehensive and scientific approach to health and wellness. The word ‘Ayurveda’ is a Sanskrit term that means ‘the science of life and longevity.’ Literally, Ayur = Life and Veda = Science of knowledge.
Focusing on prevention, Ayurveda encompasses body, mind, and spirit. It examines your constitution/body type, occupation, relationships, nutrition and exercise habits, the external environment, the season of the year, and your daily routines. As a holistic system of natural medicine, it does not focus on curing symptoms, but rather on preventing illness and disease by building a way of life that creates health and happiness.
In Ayurveda, health is described as a perfect state of balance among the bodies three fundamental energies, or doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), and an equally vital balance among body, mind, and soul.
Doshas and the 5 elements:
At the moment of conception, an individual constitution is created by the universal energies of ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth. Just like our planet, each of us contains these five elements in our body, creating a micro ecosystem that mimics the earth. The five elements combine into the three fundamental energies/doshas.
Ether and air constitute VATA, which is the energy of movement. Vata season is fall. Fire and water constitute PITTA, which is the energy of digestion and metabolism, the transformation of matter into energy. Its season is spring into summer. Water and earth make up Kapha, the energy of structure and lubrication, and its season is winter into spring.
We each have all three doshas in our makeup. Typically one is dominant, sometimes two are equally strong. Like our planet, our interior ecosyste can experience all kinds of weather – – floods, drought, volcanic eruptions, and even perfect calm.
I relate the doshas to the chakra system as well: Vata (ether + air) consists of the upper chakras of communication, intuition, and cosmic connection. Pitta (fire + water) is the middle chakras – heart and solar plexus. Kapha (earth + water) is made up of the lower sacral and root chakras.
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