What is Ayurveda?


“Ayurveda, if it’s not the only, it is certainly the best, most comprehensive, easily comprehensible, non-sectarian, biologically-based system of holistic macro thinking that reveals to humanity it’s deeper existence and pranic identity and its inherent inter-connectedness with all life” - by David Crow

Ayurveda is the Sanskrit word that literally translates to the science of life.  “Ayu” means life or longevity and “Veda” means knowledge or wisdom. Ayurveda teaches us that human beings are an inseparable part of the cosmic whole. It defines true health and well-being as the proper alignment of the body, senses, mind, and soul. Its wisdom provides us with a clear understanding of our own psychological and physical make up so that we may live in harmony with our truest self otherwise known in Sanskrit (the language of Ayurveda) as Prakriti (our innate constitution).  

Why Ayurveda?

Ayurveda offers us profound insights into understanding the true nature of who we are and how to live in alignment with our constitution. Throughout our lives, we become imbalanced for various reasons which affect our doshas bringing us into disharmony and in later stages disease, if disharmony is long-standing. Symptoms and illness are our body’s signal that we need to restore balance, eliminate what is blocking us and re-establish a healthy flow of energy and information. Knowing our doshic constitution and how the elements work provides us with invaluable information that helps us get in touch with our body’s inner intelligence and live from there. Ayurveda looks at the whole person taking into consideration a person’s mind/body constitution, diet, lifestyle, activities, and belief systems providing a sort of blueprint for maintaining optimal levels of health.  

Ayurvedic treatment/healing is twofold. The first consists of specific recommendations to treat particular disease (Vikruti). The second and more fundamental consists of Ayurvedic recommendations to promote general health and wellbeing in line with our Prakruti (innate constitution). This includes diet and lifestyle factors of food, exercise, meditation, individualized health plans and the loving care of our environment.  

According to Ayurveda, disharmony happens to us because of two factors. One, is the relationship we have with our environment. Where we live, how we live, the relationships we keep and the food we eat. The second is because of the relationship we have with our thoughts and emotions. How often do we observe and really investigate these aspects in our lives?

Living a lifestyle that keeps these two factors in equilibrium with each other is at the core of Ayurveda’s healing system. We should carefully curate and consume food that’s right for us and the season, incorporate herbs and exercise often. An entire well-balanced lifestyle. For treating the mind we need the right impressions, expressions and associations a full regimen for psychological happiness, not merely analysis or counseling. As for the soul, we need the appropriate spiritual practice to connect us with the eternal and the infinite beyond our outer cares and concerns. All these considerations are integral to the vast scope of Ayurveda.

 


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