“ Entire misery of mind and body depends on ignorance, while entire happiness resides in pure knowledge.” – Charak (Su 30/84)
Basics of Ayurveda
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda means “Science of Life “and comprises a vast source of information about healthy living and treating disease. It covers the area of medicine that range from psychology to surgery and pediatrics to geriatrics. Originally passed on through word of mouth, Ayurvedic knowledge was eventually written down in ancient Indian language, Sanskrit. Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhata are the authors of three main classical Ayurvedic scriptures.
Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, each person has a particular pattern of energy—an individual combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics—which comprises their own constitution i.e. Prakriti. This constitution is determined at conception by a number of factors and remains the same throughout one’s life.
What causes the imbalance?
Many factors both internal & external, such as emotional state, diet & food choices, seasonal changes, physical trauma, work & family relations etc may disturb this balance. Through Ayurveda, one can take appropriate action to nullify or minimize their effects & re-establish one’s own constitution by balancing the three principle energies of the body, Tridosha.
Ayurveda identifies three basic types of energy or functional principles i.e. Vata, Pitta & Kapha that are present in everyone and everything. These principles can be related to the basic biology of the body Vata is the energy of movement; pitta is the energy of digestion or metabolism and Kapha, the energy of lubrication and structure. The cause of disease in Ayurveda is viewed as a lack of proper cellular function due to an excess or deficiency of Vata, Pitta or Kapha. The disease can also be caused by the presence of toxins.
In Ayurveda, body, mind, and consciousness work together in maintaining balance. They are simply viewed as different facets of one’s being. To learn how to balance the body, mind, and consciousness, an understanding of how Vata, Pitta, and Kapha work together is required. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, the entire cosmos is an interplay of the energies of the five great elements—Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are combinations and permutations of these five elements that manifest as patterns present in all creation.
Pitta expresses as the body’s metabolic system — made up of Fire and Water. It governs digestion, absorption, assimilation, nutrition, metabolism and body temperature. In balance, pitta promotes understanding and intelligence. When out of balance, pitta arouses anger, hatred and jealousy.
Kapha is the energy that forms the body’s structure — bones, muscles, tendons — and provides the “glue” that holds the cells together, formed from Earth and Water. Kapha supplies the water for all bodily parts and systems. It lubricates joints, moisturizes the skin, and maintains immunity. In balance, Kapha is expressed as love, calmness and forgiveness. When out of balance, it leads to attachment, greed, and envy.
Ayurvedic Tools of Assessment
Ayurveda encompasses various techniques for assessing health and evaluation and treatment of Imbalances,. The practitioner carefully evaluates key signs and symptoms of illness, especially in relation to the origin and cause of an imbalance. They also consider the patient’s suitability for various treatments. The practitioner arrives at conclusion through direct questioning, observation and a physical exam, as well as inference. Basic techniques such as feeling the pulse, observing the tongue, eyes and physical form; and listening to the tone of the voice are employed during an assessment.
Palliative and cleansing measures, when appropriate, can be used to help eliminate an imbalance along with suggestions for eliminating or managing the causes of the imbalance. Recommendations may include the implementation of lifestyle changes; starting and maintaining a suggested diet; and the use of herbs. In some cases, participating in a detox program, called Panchkarma, is suggested to help the body rid itself of accumulated toxins to gain more benefit from the various suggested measures of treatment.
In summary, Ayurveda addresses all aspects of life the body, mind, and spirit. It recognizes that each of us is unique; each responds differently to the many aspects of life, each possesses different strengths and weaknesses. Through insight, understanding, and experience Ayurveda presents a vast wealth of information on the relationships between causes and their effects, both immediate and subtle, for each unique individual
Empowering the healing power within
The soul is the source of life-“Jivatma“–the vibrational power of Nature in us that is indestructible. When the soul gets out of communication with the body, mind, or senses, it results in imbalance or disease. When the soul is connected to the mind, body, heart, and senses, it provides perfect guidance, and the result is health and well-being. Ayurveda teaches a person how one can enhance the communication between the soul and the body, heart, mind, and senses so that one can live perfectly in tune with the rhythms and laws of Nature, making no mistakes that lead to imbalances and disease.
Holistic Approach of Ayurveda
When a person goes to an Ayurvedic healer, the healer’s first job is to find out why the person has the symptoms. Two persons can exhibit the same symptoms, but the etiological factors behind the symptoms in each case may be entirely different. The Ayurvedic healer goes beyond symptoms to discover the underlying cause of the imbalance so that there can be the ultimate resolution of the imbalance, not just appeasement of symptoms.
So if you’re ready to really feel balanced, energized, and alive in a way you didn’t even think was possible, you’re in the right place!