AYURVEDA – THE SCIENCE OF LIFE
Ayurveda is well over 5000 years old and is known as the only complete medical system still in existence. The roots of Ayurveda stem from the Vedic culture of ancient India. Ayurveda is referred to as the knowledge or science of life and is a conjunction of two Sanskrit words- ayur “life” and veda “knowledge”. Ayurveda offers a path to optimal health and development for each individual through its profound understanding of natural laws. Living with the cycles of nature maintains health and a disconnection from those natural cycles leads to disease. Going beyond symptoms to the root cause of the disease is where true healing begins. Balancing the body, mind and spirit, allows us to understand the language of nature so that we can live harmoniously. Ayurvedic practices restore holistic health, resulting in Self-healing, vitality and longevity. The secrets of self-healing are waiting to be unlocked through the simple and practical art of Ayurveda.
AYURVEDA & THE FIVE ELEMENTS
According to Ayurveda everything in the universe, including the human body, is composed of the five elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water & Earth. Each person is a unique combination of all five elements, although some elements are more predominate. Therefore, each person must be treated individually according to their unique constitution. Ayurveda believes that by balancing the various mind-body functions, the natural intelligence of the body will respond by rebalancing itself. When we understand our one-of-a-kind, genetic make-up we can make adjustments in our daily practices and diet which will return us to our natural state of wellness. These elements come together in three dynamic biological forces known as the doshas: Vata, Pitta & Kapha.
- Is a combination primarily of Ether & Air
- Vata governs all movement
- The classic description of Vata individuals is that they tend to exhibit dry thinner skin, a light body frame, cold hands and feet, rough nails, coarse kinky hair, quick movements, talkativeness, hyperactivity or variable stamina, and often have darker skin and eyes. Keep in mind that these are only general tendencies and are expressed differently in each person.
- Functions of Vata include: movement of thoughts, ingestion, circulation, respiration, peristalsis, elimination.
- Gunas (qualities) of Vata: dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile.
- Sanskrit root of Vata: “vah” which means vehicle, to carry or to move
- Imbalanced Vata exhibits: worry, fear, anxiety, dryness, gas, bloating, constipation, muscle cramps, joint pain, and insomnia.
- Balanced Vata exhibits: creativity, enthusiasm, and flexibility.
- Click here for our list of Vata-balancing foods.
- Is a combination primarily of Fire & Water
- Pitta governs transformation
- The classic description of Pitta individuals is that they tend to exhibit higher body temperatures, strong appetites, sharp minds, light colored, light-sensitive eyes (often hazel, green, or blue), frequent thirst, oily skin and hair (usually straight and blond), are focused, organized, driven, and athletic. Keep in mind that these are only general tendencies and are expressed differently in each person.
- Functions of Pitta include: metabolism, digestion, body temperature, appetite, thirst, color.
- Gunas (qualities) of Pitta: oily, sharp, hot, light, spreading, and liquid.
- Sanskrit root of Pitta: “tapa” which means heat
- Imbalanced Pitta exhibits: anger, criticism, judgment, indigestion, heartburn, inflammation, diarrhea, and rashes.
- Balanced Pitta exhibits: understanding, intelligence, and courage.
- Click here for our list of Pitta-balancing foods.
- Is a combination primarily of Earth & Water
- Kapha governs structure
- The classic description of Kapha individuals is that they tend to exhibit roundness and softness in the body and facial features with cool, thick, smooth skin. There may also be a tendency toward fluid retention or excess mucus, slow digestion and movements, thick hair, and large gentle eyes. Keep in mind that these are only general tendencies and are expressed differently in each person.
- Functions of Kapha include: lubrication, nourishment, support, stability, growth, strength, repair, retention, and taste.
- Gunas (qualities) of Kapha: heavy, slow, cool, oily, smooth, dense, soft, and stable.
- Sanskrit roots of Kapha: “ka” which means water & “pha” to flourish
- Imbalanced Kapha exhibits: attachment, greed, possessiveness, slow digestion, colds, cough, congestion, mucous, and weight gain.
- Balanced Kapha exhibits: love, compassion, and forgiveness.
- Click here for our list of Kapha-balancing foods.