What is Ayurveda?

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

 Ayurveda is the Sanskrit word that literally translates to the science of life. “Ayur” means life or longevity and “Veda” means knowledge or wisdom. Ayurveda views health as much more than the absence of disease. Recognizing that human beings are an inseparable part of the cosmic whole, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our inner and outer environment of body, mind and spirit. It’s wisdom provides us with a clear understanding of own psycho-physical make-up so that we may live in harmony with our “unique” constitution, otherwise known in Sanskrit (the language of Ayurveda) as prakriti.

Ayurveda teaches that there are 5 master elements that make up everything in existence: space, air, fire, water and earth.  Space has to be there for anything to exist, air has the qualities of movement and change, fire is hot, direct and transformational, water is cohesive and protective and earth is solid, grounded and stable. This is the elemental theory outside the body, showing us the macro-cosmic understanding of how these elements play and what their roles are. 

From the 5 elements we come to 3 primary patterns or biological forces that exist within us known as doshas. Vata (space + air), Pitta (fire+water) and Kapha (earth+water). Each and every one of us has every element within us in varying proportions. Understanding how these elements manifest within our bodies gives us a clear picture to our own “unique” physical and psychological constitution or blueprint that according to Ayurveda, is determined at the time of conception. This is the micro-cosmic understanding of how these elements exist within us. 

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.