What is Ayurveda?
Widely regarded as the oldest form of health care in the world, Ayurveda is an intricate medical system that originated in India thousands of years ago. The fundamentals of Ayurveda can be found in Hindu scriptures called the Vedas - the ancient Indian books of wisdom. The Rig Veda, which was written over 6,000 years ago, contains a series of prescriptions that can help humans overcome various ailments.
Ayurveda can be defined as a system, which uses the inherent principles of nature, to help maintain health in a person by keeping the individuals body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature.
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term, made up of the words "ayus" and "veda." "Ayus" means life and "Veda" means knowledge or science. The term "ayurveda" thus means the knowledge of life or the science of life. According to the ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka, "ayu" comprises the mind, body, senses and the soul.
Ayurveda (pronounced eye-yer-vay-duh) is the art of healthy living that enables you to create harmony in daily life by applying self- knowledge and self-care. The word, Ayurveda, is from the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit, and literally means "Knowledge of Life". Inherent in Ayurvedic principles is the concept that you are capable of taking charge of your own life and healing.
Ayurveda may come from ancient texts, but these principles are just as applicable today in our society as they were when they were originally recorded in India. Ayurvedic living occurs when you recognize your basic nature and live according to this true self.
The Ayurvedic approach to life involves listening to and addressing the unique needs of your body, recognizing and balancing your mental and emotional states and deepening your connection with your spirit your essential self. You are the only one, who can do this, because you are the only one who will truly benefit from your actions or suffer from your abuses.
Ayurveda recognizes three main energies that combine to form all things in the universe. These are recognized as being fundamental to all life and are seen in the processes of growth, maintenance, and decay. Their actions are named anabolism, metabolism, and catabolism in the western sciences. Life, light, and love exemplify all these energies and are found in our environments at every moment on every level.
These energies combine in limitless ways to create the unique qualities of each individual. When you become aware of these qualities within yourself, you take the first steps toward creating a healthy life. Ayurveda assists you in identifying these energies in your body and shows you how to more fully experience their gifts and to gain freedom from their limitations. By working with the bodys unique nature, you are able to create true health.
Ayurveda names these basic energies Vata, Pitta, and Kapha . In the Ayurvedic approach to life and health, we recognize how these energies are at work at each moment in our bodies and minds. When we recognize this, we can begin to create balance for ourselves by countering the destructive forces with positive actions.