Ayurveda: The Science of LIFE (Part One)
“The Science of Life”.That’s a pretty bold claim. But in all reality, that is EXACTLY what Ayurveda is, because it LITERALLY translates to “life science”
Ayur = Life & Veda = Science or Knowledge of.
WHAT IS THE SCIENCE OF LIFE?
Well, According to the Chopra Center “Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life. It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.” In other words, Ayurveda is an extremely old and well founded practice that heals the body in it’s entirety, by helping its followers find balance in all aspects of life.
HOW DO THEY FIND BALANCED?
The answer is simple. They draw from the oldest teacher we have, The Earth. To understand this, you have to realize that all humans are a part of the earth, a part of nature. Everything is made up of the same elements and atoms put together in different arrangements. By drawing from nature Ayurveda depicts three different and fundamental energies that reside within the world and within us all.
These energies are called Doshas, and in Sanskrit they read as Vata (wind), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (earth). Each Dosha is responsible for the make up of both our mind and body, with each individual having a unique proportion of all three. With this being said, every being has one or two elements that tend to dominate and have a balanced and an imbalanced expression. These expressions of the Doshas shape our basic nature and allow for a window into finding perfect health.
If an individual is strong in Vata (wind), they tend to be light, thin, enthusiastic, creative and changeable. When in balance, they are very organized and lively. When a Vata becomes out of balance they will tend towards dryness, anxiety, difficulty focusing, insomnia and constipation. (Remember the characteristics of wind. Its drying, always moving, and changing. Too much wind will cause everything to fly away).
Individuals dominating in Pitta(fire) tend to be intense, intelligent, muscular and goal oriented people. When in balance, Pittas make strong leaders and speakers. They are warm, friendly and usually run a bit hotter then everyone else. When out of balance, watch out, a Pitta will burn the house down! They tends towards compulsiveness, irritability, indigestion and skin rashes/inflammation. (Again, think of fire. Intense, hot, burning, and fiery i.e. passionate).
Last but not least, individuals who predominate in Kapha (earth) will most likely be easygoing, compassionate, big boned and methodical. When in balance, Kaphas are the lovers and supporters of the world. They are built for endurance and strength in all aspects of life. When out of balance, they tend to be sluggish, gain weight, needy, congested, oily, and depressed. (Earth is stable, the foundation for everything. It creates a support system for life. The earth is naturally dry and and slow to change, but easy to crumble).
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Based upon your individual constitution of the elements and current state of balance, one can begin to aid themselves in finding balance between both mind AND body. This is done by taking a Dosha quiz and beginning to treat your imbalance.
The key to Ayurveda is viewing everyone as an individual and getting to the root cause of an issue. To put it in the words of the Chopra center, “An important goal of Ayurveda is to identify a person’s ideal state of balance, determine where they are out of balance, and offer interventions using diet, herbs, aromatherapy, massage treatments, music, and meditation to reestablish balance.”
A simple questionnaire can help you determine which ayurvedic element is most lively in your nature. Take the dosha quiz here. Answer the following questions as honestly as possible and see which element(s) receives the highest score.
Well that’s it for now, keep an eye out for Ayurveda part two. Be sure to follow our blog and comment below with any questions!