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What is Ayurveda?

Kapha

Ayurveda (pronounced “EYE-yer-VAY-da”) is one of the oldest health care systems in the world, derived from the ancient Sanskrit root, “ayur” for life and “veda,” for knowledge or science.

Ayurveda means “the science of life”. Originating in India 5,000 years ago, it is practiced by millions of individuals globally.  Ayurveda is rich in wisdom on ‘how to live’ and prevent disease rather than merely addressing illness and symptoms.  Ayurvedic outlook on health and well-being is based primarily on a natural remedy of the five senses (touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste).

The wholeness of an individual (body, mind, and spirit) can be obtained through the right diet, lifestyle, herbal medicines, yoga, meditation, aroma, massage, cleanses and other therapeutic regimens.

Treating symptoms while suffering various side effects can sometimes be eliminated through the consideration of the inner wisdom of the body to restore and heal itself.

In recent decades, the outlook on health and well-being has gradually shifted from simply managing diseases and masking symptoms to preventing the onset altogether.  Changes in diets, lifestyle, and herbal medicines have taken on more of a mainstream interest than ever before.  It comes as no surprise that Ayurveda and its herbal medicines have gained more popularity in the west because of it.

Based on the principle of Ayurveda, the key to longevity, disease prevention, and ultimately preventative medicine is to understand your prakriti (constitution) and vikruti (current state of doshas).

Pitta
Vata

Each living creature is governed by three main forces, commonly known as “doshas”.   Dosha literally means “faulty” or “to cause harm” and governs the functions of the body and the mind.

The three doshas – kapha, pitta and vata – reflect the three basic functions of all creatures.  Kapha governs body structures, pitta governs metabolic action, and vata governs movement and destruction.

We each exist with a certain amount of each dosha and with such an infinite number of doshic combinations there are no two people with the same doshic make up.  It is the interplay among the three doshas that rationalizes each individual body type, tendencies, and personalities.  As a result, the path toward optional health for each person is unique.

What is right for one person may not be right to another.

What is harmful for one person may bring balance to another.

To know your constitutional tendencies and current state of doshas is to be empowered by the wisdom of Ayurveda to create a well-balanced life.