Everyone is exploring the new normal for being healthy with a holistic approach focussed on Ayurveda & its perspective. But how many of us exactly know what actually this ancient science of Ayurveda is all about!
Ayurveda is all about self-care practices, staying close to nature and understanding our own body. So, this blog is mainly focussed on having the choice to honour the body’s health by following Ayurveda as a whole i.e. balancing the health not just with the food we eat but also the lifestyle & the things we ‘ingest’ through our senses.
The genesis of Ayurveda well recognised as “Mother of all Healing” is the 5,000-year-old approach to health, basically explored in India, the oldest healthcare tradition, for curing ailments, preventing ill-health and maintaining the well-being with a balance of body, mind and soul. Behind Ayurveda lies rich foundations & thousands of years of research that was simply inherited down to living intuitively & naturally, being in tune with the body and nature.
Ayurveda is our very nature. Ayurveda simply reminds us of what we already know, it points us towards all of the ways one can live more in accordance with the natural rhythms of life.
But, Ayurveda is not just limited to its etymology, nor its 5000+ year-old history. Then what is Ayurveda??
‘Ayurveda’ is a Sanskrit word that literally means “science of life” viz, the ideal lifestyle that maximises the chance to be happy, content and grow old healthily. Symbolising the ancient lifestyle-based system of health and good living, Ayurveda is simply the science of understanding one’s own unique-self.
Ayurveda verses us to nurture our innate-nature i.e. ‘to love and honour who we are’. No! No!, do not think it is complicated, in fact, it is as simple as saturating ourselves with life. You know how? Just sit under the trees, lean against their trunks, lie on the soft hold of the grass, gaze into the vastness of the sky- feel the aliveness of the heart, the miracle of being alive. Take a pause to acknowledge the preciousness of each day, take time to be still, whisper thank you to existence. Cherish Ayurveda!!
Ayurveda combines nutrition, yoga, herbal remedies, meditation and certain therapies to heal the body and soul in all aspects i.e physical, emotional, mental & social levels. It is the science of five elements, and how they compose and combine in the body to constitute doshas (Vata-Pitta-Kapha), the life force of a person’s Prakriti or constitution. It’s a simplistic yet also a sapient concept that is rooted in nature and the observation of nature. Ayurveda looks at the human body as an integral part of the universe made of five elements i.e. Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth, the basic principle of science. Ayurveda is nature & everything in the body and in nature is made up of the five elements, in varying proportions, and so by understanding these elements, we can assess the composition of the body, how it works, how it goes out of balance, and how to use nature to maintain health and harmony.
Ayurveda entails, “We are unique! – What is healthy for one, may not necessarily be healthy for the other”
Modern lifestyle is full of things that cause an imbalance in the body, ranging from stress & misnutrition, ending with bad mood & sleep problems. This preventive science is a holistic system, that looks at the body and mind as one & is centred around the capability of the body for self-healing. So, not to get surprised but, in Ayurveda, every person is seen as an individual. Any commendations this system can give for leading a healthy lifestyle is purely based on the individual constitution or Prakriti i.e. Each individual is characterized by certain features, temperament and life energy that affects human behaviour & also eating habits.
Ayurveda looks at life holistically by promoting happiness, health and creative growth. By the proper equilibrium of all physical & cosmic energies in the body, the processes of physical retrograding can be impressively foreshortened.
शरीरेन्द्रिय सत्वात्मा संयोगो। – चरक संहिता १।४२
śarīrendriya satvātmā saṃyogo।1.42
Ayurveda signifies the knowledge of the union of Shareera (body), Indriya (sense organs), Satva (mind) and Atma (soul) as an integral part to assess the health state i.e. an explicit combination of the art of healthy living based on the belief that health & wellness depends on a delicate balance between the mind, body and soul.
It is a common belief that Ayurveda is just another alternative of healing with herbal supplements. But the vast horizon of Ayurveda, in a nutshell, is to maintain the health of the healthy person and manage the ill-health of mind, body or both that is manifested in a person. Ayurveda aims to prevent not just the indicators but also heal its root cause. It is altogether a discrete road of looking at health.
स्वस्थस्य स्वास्थ्य रक्षणं, आतुरस्य विकार प्रशमनं। (चरक संहित सूत्र ३०।२६)
svasthasya svāsthya rakṣaṇaṃ, āturasya vikāra praśamanaṃ। (Caraka Saṃhita Sūtra 30।26)
Does it seem logical that a healthy lifestyle results in good health? Of course. But do we live by it? That’s a lot harder… Ayurveda can give clear directions to improve the lifestyle, based on a personal routine and food schedule. Even simple changes can make a big difference in healthy well-being.
In today’s contemporary time, the health signals that our body is trying to convey are often ignored. A well-quoted line of David Frawley, “ As long as we are not living in harmony with nature and our constitution, we cannot expect ourselves to be really healed. Ayurveda gives us the means.” Ayurvedic, in general, helps to connect with our true selves, which is the key to living the most authentic life one possibly can.
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