Introduction to Ayurveda
Introduction to Ayurveda
Ayurveda, ancient yet timeless, gives you the means of attaining and maintaining your own optimal health and wellbeing. The benefits of Ayurvedic medicine have been proven over centuries of use, and its methodologies are as applicable today in the West as they were thousands of years ago in India.
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that literally translates as “the wisdom of life” or “the knowledge of longevity”. In accordance with this definition, Ayurvedic medicine views health as much more than the absence of disease. The wise seers and sages of the time, intuitively understanding the physiology and workings of the mind-body-spirit long before the advents of modern medicine, explained the basic principles of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda defines wellness not as “the absence of defined disease” but when all bodily tissues, organs, systems and functions are acting together in a healthy way and are able to maintain health and wellness in spite of potential illness causing influences. Ayurveda believes that by balancing the various mind-body functions the natural intelligence of the body will automatically bring itself to wellness.
Ayurveda recognizes that each person has a unique mind-body constitution. Ayurveda then identifies the various components of that individual’s constitution, determines where imbalances and disturbances exist, and provides education, guidance and a plan for helping the individual bring about their own improvements in health and wellness.
Vata, Pitta, and Kapha:
Composed of air and space, vata is dry, light, cold, rough, subtle/pervasive, mobile, and clear. As such, vata regulates the principle of movement. Any bodily motion—chewing, swallowing, nerve impulses, breathing, muscle movements, thinking, peristalsis, bowel movements, urination, menstruation—requires balanced vata. When vata is out of balance, any number of these movements may be deleteriously affected.
Compossed of fire and water, Pitta is sharp, penetrating, hot, light, liquid, mobile, and oily. Pitta’s domain is the principal of transformation. Just as fire transforms anything it touches, pitta is in play any time the body converts or processes something. So pitta oversees digestion, metabolism, temperature maintenance, sensory perception, and comprehension. Imbalanced pitta can lead to sharpness and inflammation in these areas in particular.
Composed of earth and water,Kapha is heavy, cold, dull, oily, smooth, dense, soft, static, liquid, cloudy, hard, and thick. As kapha governs stability and structure, it forms the substance of the human body, from the skeleton to various organs to the fatty molecules (lipids) that support the body. An excess of kapha leads to an overabundance of density, heaviness, and excess in the body.
Your Unique Constitution
The key to Ayurvedic wellness and healing is the knowledge that health is not a “one size fits all” proposition. One must understand the unique nature of each person and situation, taking into account the individual, the season, the geography, and so on.
Each person has an Ayurvedic constitution that is specific to him or her, and movement away from that constitution creates health imbalances; if such imbalances are not addressed, Ayurveda says that illness may develop. So, the early signs of imbalance serve as a wakeup call to make gentle and natural shifts in behavior to return to balance—such as adjusting diet, modifying daily activities and taking herbal remedies for a time.
“Reestablish your natural balance of vata, pitta, and kapha with LIFEINBALANCE”