ĀYURVEDA

The Science of Life

WHAT IS ĀYURVEDA?

Many thousands of years before modern medicine, Indian sages developed Āyurveda, which has been passed down through generations into the modern day. More than a system for treating illnesses, Āyurveda is a 'science of life'. A science that develops from the philosophy and cosmology of Yoga, using its principles and philosophy extended to the body. It is rooted in the Samkhya Darshana (way of perceiving reality), one of the six classical schools of Indian philosophy. 

 

The word Āyurveda is a combination of two words: Ayusha - means life - as the harmony between the higher Self (Atman), mind (Manas), Prana (life force), senses and body, and Veda - means science or knowledge. Hence, Āyurveda means the

"Science of Life".  

 

Āyurveda is rooted in the principles of nature, which reflect the principles of the Universe. Its aim is bringing human beings in harmony with life as a whole.

Āyurveda is a complete yogic system of medicine in terms of its understanding of anatomy, physiology and psychology, its understanding of the disease process and diagnosis, its treatment methods, its life-style recommendations, its philosophy and implementation of Yoga practices for healing purposes. Yoga and Āyurveda naturally complement each other and were always practiced together. These sciences are built on the concept of the three Gunas: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. These represent the qualities that are present in food, nature and actions, as well as in our body and mind.

"Ayurveda is a medical science and its purpose is to heal and to maintain the quality and longevity of life. It is an art of daily living that has evolved from practical, philosophical and spiritual illumination, rooted in the understanding of Creation."

Dr. Vasant Lad

THE SCIENCE OF THE DOSHAS

 

The Doshas arise as diversifications of prana through the 5 states of matter - they are the primary forces and subtle substances behind all physiological and psychological functions. They produce the body and are also the causative factors in the disease process. Vata, Pitta and Kapha correspond primarily to the elements of air (Vayu-wind), fire and water. Vata has air and ether, Pitta has fire and water, and Kapha has earth and water.

 

The Doshas are the three functions that constitute life: building (Kapha), transforming (Pitta), movement and decline (Vata). We all carry the three Doshas, which is where the five states of matter unite. They are all present in different amounts in our bodies.

Āyurveda uses the Doshas to understand the structures (anatomy) and functions of the body (physiology), the cause of disease (pathology), the manifesting of symptoms (symptomatology), diagnosis as well as the manifestation (pathogenesis) and the classification of disease.  

HEALING THROUGH ĀYURVEDA

Āyurveda provides a logical approach for determining a diet and a healthy nutrition based upon an individual’s constitution, imbalances, and Agni or the biological fire. Agni is a catalytic agent in digestion and metabolism. It consists of: ingestion (building - kapha), digestion (transformation - Pitta), and elimination (movement and decline - Vata).

In order to understand how the Doshas affect you, it is necessary to distinguish between Prakruti, the balance of Doshas at the moment of conception, and Vikruti, the imbalance present in your current situation.

 

In Āyurveda, the mind is regarded as a powerful healer. Whenever something happens in the mind, something corresponding happens in the body. Thoughts of love, peace, kindness and compassion, produce a corresponding state in the body. The same applies for negative thoughts as well. An imbalance in the mind-body flow connection is often the underlying factor of disorder and disease. 

In my Ayurvedic Consultations, I help you achieve body and mind balance by integrating Ayurvedic principles into your daily life. Bringing balance to your own nature is aligning yourself with the cycles of nature, which we are all a part of.

References: Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Vasant Lad, Vaidya Atreya Smith, Nidhi Pandya