What exactly is Ayurveda? This is a question I hear a lot! I guess the short answer is Ayurveda is the world oldest, most holistic medical system. But that doesn’t really give you much insight into what Ayurveda actually is or does. Ayurveda coming from the Sanskrit words Ayur meaning Life and Veda meaning science or knowledge is an Indian healing system which dates back some 3,000 years or more.
Ayurveda is based on the premise that everything in our world is made up of 5 elements, air, earth, fire, water and ether. These elements are present in varying degrees not only in us but in everything in the world around us. To make it a little more manageable or easier to comprehend the elements are grouped together into 3 doshas or constitutions as follows; Air and Space together form the Vata Dosha, fire and water make up the Pitta Dosha and water and earth the Kapha Dosha. Each dosha has its own unique qualities and characteristics, for example Vata is light and mobile, Pitta sharp and hot while Kapha is heavy and stable.
With this in mind from an Ayurvedic perspective we look at everyone and everything in terms of Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Each and every person has their own unique constitution or body/mind type. Most commonly people will have a dominant combination of 2 dosha for example Pitta/ Vata or Pitta/Kapha etc, however some people may be mono doshic being dominant in just one dosha or tri doshic having equal measures of all three doshas.
This dosha type or constitution is determined at the time of conception and is known as a Prakruit. During the course of our lives our natural dosha balance can become out of balance through unfavourable lifestyle, diet or exercise choices. When this happens, we begin to notice symptoms of dosha imbalance, such as poor digestion, anxiety, sleeplessness etc this is known as Dosha Vikruti over a period of time this imbalance can lead to illness and disease in the body or/and mind.
In Ayurveda we look at addressing the root of the problem rather than just tackling the symptoms. Prevention is always better that the cure. An ayurvedic consultation will help you to determine your Prakruti (natural dosha makeup) and your Vikruti (imbalances). Your Ayurvedic therapist will then be able to give your advice for diet, exercise, herbal remedies and habits and routines to help you correct the imbalance in order to restore natural balance to your life.
Does this all still sound a bit complicated? Technically that’s what Ayurveda is, but for me Ayurveda is the continuous yet simple practice of finding balance in body, mind and spirit in tune with my environment and the seasons through my daily habits, routines, food, yoga and exercise, meditation and rest.
If you are curious about how Ayurveda can help you to find balance, I’d be delighted to help you.
You can contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or through our website www.yoganessireland.ie