What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning the knowledge (veda) of life (ayur). Originating in India, it is over 4000 years old and is the oldest medical system still in practice today.
The practice of Ayurvedic principles brings about balance of Body, Mind and Spirit through the understanding of the basic premise that the entire universe is part of one singular absolute.
Everything that exists in the vast external universe (macrocosm) also appears in the internal universe of the human body (microcosm). It includes in its consideration, longevity, rejuvenation and self-realization therapies through herbs, diet, yoga, massage, aromas, tantras, mantras, and meditation.
According to Ayurvedic tradition everyone is governed by three life forces called doshas: Vata, Pitta, & Kapha. The proportion of doshas varies in each person, giving a unique constitution known as prakruti. The doshas are made up of the five elements: air, ether, fire, water and earth. Health is the balance of these elements. Imbalance in these elements causes disharmony in the doshas which can lead to the onset of disease.
Illness is as excess or deficiency of any particular element within the doshic body system. Ayurveda treats illness at its source, rather than at the level of symptoms, and helps an individual to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. Balance can be restored by incorporating Ayurvedic principles into daily life.