What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that means, “the science of life and longevity” and originated in India as the traditional healing system over 5,000 years ago. It is one of the oldest forms of medicine and an ancient science that encompasses diet and nutrition, lifestyle, rest and relaxation, exercise, breathing exercises, meditation and medical herbs along with cleansing and rejuvenation schedules for healing body, mind and spirit. It works as both prevention (maintenance of good health) and to heal disease for every individual in every walk of life.
“Ayurveda is the art of daily living in harmony with the laws of nature”
~ Dr. Vasant Lad, The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies
What is a Dosha?
There are 3 constitutions (body compositions) in Ayurveda: vata dosha, pitta dosha, and kapha dosha. “Ether and air constitute vata, which is the energy of movement; fire and water constitute pitta, the principal of digestion or metabolism, the transformation of matter into energy; and water and earth make up kapha, the energy of structure and lubrication.”
Doshas may be in or out of balance based on many factors. The time of day, the current season, your stage of life, the daily lifestyle choices that you make, all are constantly affecting the doshas. To maintain health and balance we must maintain moment-to-moment awareness and conscious decision making to refine our relationship with ourselves and the world around us.
Ayurveda looks at each person as an individual with a unique expression of the elements. It sees negative tendencies, symptoms, or disease as an indicator of a person moving away from their natural balance or “prakruti.”
Prakruti is an inherited genetic code, the blueprint of you as an individual at the moment of conception. All of us come into this life with specific characteristics or tendencies that define us and remain relatively constant throughout our lifetime.
* A common misconception is that when we attempt to bring ourselves back into alignment, we are trying to equalize vata, pitta & kapha in our mind, body experience. Yet, this is not the goal. Balance means that vata, pitta & kapha are restored to your unique prakruti state of being. – Pavanni Ayurveda