What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health that is designed to help people live long, healthy, and well balanced lives. The term Ayurveda is taken from the Sanskrit words “ayu”, meaning life or lifespan, and “veda”, meaning knowledge. Hence the word “Ayurveda” means “Knowledge of life”. Ayurveda has been originated and practiced in India for more than 5,000 years and has recently become popular in Western countries.
Yoga and Ayurveda is based on India’s timeless scriptures, known collectively as Vedas. The body of Vedic knowledge was handed down from generation to generation. Yoga and Ayurveda are two interrelated branches of the same great tree of Vedic wisdom that encompasses all of human life. Yoga and Ayurveda are not merely two separate but related healing disciplines of India. Each has its unique place and function, but each overlaps into the other on various levels. Ayurveda is a healing aspect of Yoga while Yoga is a spiritual aspect of Ayurveda.
“Ayurveda” is a complete healing science which encompasses the Physical (Body), Psychological (Mind) and Spiritual (Spirit) aspect of life. Hence, Ayurveda is both systematized knowledge and practical wisdom, an art of complete and holistic healthy living. “Ayurveda” not only confines treatments for ailments but also places great emphasis on its prevention.
What is “Healing” ?
Curing Vs Healing
The terms“cure” and “healing” are distinctly different. “Cure” basically reflects the physical reality that is, the body is free from specific symptoms and one is returned to a familiar state of function. “Healing” occurs at different levels of human existence. Healing is the natural way in which all imbalances are rectified so that the symptoms of the illness can be controlled.
Healing happens from within. Cure fixes, healing corrects. Cure is reactive; healing is proactive. Healing promotes wellness whereas Cure combats sickness. Cure addresses only the disease, but not always one suffers from disease, the illness may be a result of imbalances which are best addressed by “Healing”.
Why Ayurveda for Healing ?
According to Ayurveda, body has the power to heal itself.
WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that Ayurvedic medicine treats almost 1/3rd of Worlds population. It has been recognized as a valid system of medicine by UNO (United Nations Organization) since 1982.
Ayurveda is a system based more on function than on structure. It strives to bring the system of the body into equilibrium so that the body with its inner energies functions as a ‘unit’ according to the need of its environment.
A system of health that only takes into account the structure and functioning of physical body cannot effectively address human health in its totality.
Ayurveda’s Body-Mind-Spirit approach is not only entirely holistic in its application, but also emphasizes personal empowerment. Ayurveda unfolds the harmony between the Body-Mind-Spirit through the various techniques of Diet, Lifestyle, Herbs, Panchakarma (detox) , Yoga, Pranayam (breathing exercise), Meditation and Spiritual practices.
Ayurveda guides us in determining our unique mind-body type (called “prakruti”). Ayurvedic physiology states that each one has 3 biological energies (called doshas), depending upon your unique proportion of dosha marks your Body-Mind-Type (Prakruti).
We can strive for a harmonious balance between these three doshas, or mind-body energies—Vata (air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (earth)—that make up our “Prakruti”. This mind-body network influences our physical appearance—body frame, eyes, complexion, hair—along with the way we typically think, act, move, eat, and sleep. All three energies are in us—with one generally predominant, while another often sub-dominant.
Ayurveda recognizes there is this magnificent life force energy that flows through us and around us—creating wholeness in mind, body, spirit, and environment.
Health is not only absence of disease but it is a state of balance of Body-Mind-Spirit. Ayurveda works to bring this state of balance in the individual. According to Ayurveda, health is a continual process of achieving and maintaining a dynamic balance in all aspects of life through the means of comprehensive natural therapies which are highly customized to suit the individuals’ constitution and their current doshic (energies) imbalance. The goal of this process is not only to heal the disease and to reestablish balance but more importantly to prevent disease and to promote holistic and optimal health.