In this post, we will be starting to talk about what exactly Ayurveda is.
In brief, Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic system that seeks to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This balance is believed to lead to happiness and health, and to help prevent illness. Ayurvedic medicine also treats specific physical and mental health problems, by seeking to correct the underlying root causes that have led to the development of these problems. It emphasizes:
Connection with Nature.
Ayurvedic medicine believes that each person is connected to and should live in harmony with the rhythms of nature, e.g. seasons.
Constitution refers to the unique body type an individual is born with. The prakriti is a person’s unique combination of physical and psychological characteristics and patterns, tendencies, and weaknesses. The prakriti is believed to be unchanged over a person’s lifetime. The goal in Ayurvedic treatment is to correct imbalances and achieve a harmonized, well functioning physiology that is as close as possible to one’s prakriti.
Life forces (doshas).
Each person’s physiology is governed by the three life forces or energies called doshas. These control all the activities of the body.
- Each dosha is made up of two of five basic elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth.
- Each person is born with a unique combination of the three doshas, although one dosha is usually prominent. Doshas are constantly being formed and reformed by food, activity, and bodily processes.
- Each dosha has its own physical and psychological characteristics.
- An imbalance of a dosha will produce symptoms that are unique to that dosha. Imbalances may be caused by a person’s age, unhealthy lifestyle, or diet; too much or too little mental and physical exertion; the seasons; or inadequate protection from the weather, chemicals, or germs.
In the next post, we’ll get into a little more about the doshas, which are one of the foundations of Ayurveda.