While Ayurveda may be a relative newcomer to western culture, it has been practiced in India for thousands of years. As part of the ancient Vedic culture, it spanned multiple millennia adapting to new ways of healing as time went on, while still being rooted in the principles of its ancient origin. Ayurveda comes from two Sanskrit words – ayu (life) and veda (knowledge) – and roughly translates to mean “The Science of Life.” It has even been called the “Mother of All Healing.”
At its center, Ayurveda aims to be proactive in its approach. If you can maintain a sense of balance in your physical, mental, and spiritual healths, you can avoid many of the maladies we often find ourselves facing in modern times. Things like high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, digestion problems, weight gain, bloating, inflammation, and pain are just a few of the issues Ayurveda can help to combat. If you find yourself already in the throes of the health problems mentioned above, Ayurveda can also help reset your body to its intended balance through natural healing therapies.
Ayurveda is based on the principle of energy. Our bodies and minds require energy to function and metabolize. Ayurveda identifies three primary energy types – vata, pitta, and kapha. These three energies correspond to the five major elements of the universe – Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. Vata, pitta, and kapha work together to keep your body balanced and healthy. When even one of them becomes imbalanced, it can wreak major havoc throughout your system.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, each person has all three energies, although one is generally the primary energy, while the other two are secondary and tertiary. Vata is considered the energy of movement and is associated with the elements of Space and Air, pitta is the energy of digestion and corresponds to the elements of Fire, and kapha is the energy responsible for the body’s structure and relates to the elements of Earth and Water.
Optimum health is the primary goal of Ayurveda, and as such, has a name of its own – svasthya, which means “to be established in one’s self or own natural state.” To determine the state of one’s health, ten factors – dasa vidha pariksa – are used:
- Dusya – body tissues
- Desa – residing location
- Bala – physical strength
- Kala – seasons or time
- Agni/Anala – digestive/metabolic processes
- Prakriti – genetic composition
- Vaya – age
- Sattva – mental strength or temperament
- Satmya – habits
- Ahara – food
Once these elements have been accounted for, your practitioner will be able to better understand what the root of your problems is and how best to help you achieve a balance between your mind, body, and spirit. In Ayurveda, ultimately, balance is what is most important, and, as such, we strive to avoid creating an imbalance somewhere else in the body while trying to correct another.
If you have questions about how Ayurveda can help you lead a more healthful and balanced life, please call us today at (562) 646-7476