The Mother of All Healing Sciences
Ayurveda: The Wisdom of Life & Longevity
A 5,000-year-old natural healing science from India, Ayurveda focuses on the whole person and seeks to correct the imbalances and the root cause of disease. It does this by first determining the unique constitution of each individual, and then subscribing a plan that includes a combination of healthy foods, medicinal herbs, yoga, meditation, breath work, and other rejuvenating and healing therapies. All in an effort to restore the mind and body to a state of balance, radiance, joy, and vitality.
The human body is seen as a microcosm of the macrocosm that is the Universe. The 5 elements are Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth, and each one of them possesses certain unique qualities. Ether is present as space in our physical bodies (empty spaces and cavities) and as consciousness on a subtle level, Air governs movement (nervous system, circulation, thoughts), Fire governs digestion & metabolism (of food and thoughts), Water is responsible for lubrication (mucus, synovial and cerebrospinal fluids) and contentment on an emotional level, and Earth gives us stability and structure on a physical level(muscles, bones, teeth), as well as in the mind. The 5 elements combine in pairs to form the constitutional makeup of our bodies, known as doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha).
We are all conceived with a certain combination of these doshas that is our unique blueprint or constitution – Ayurveda views this is our perfect state of balance. However, as we move through life, we move away from this state of balance due to many reasons – our dietary choices, lifestyle factors, familial dysfunction, environmental factors, and stress. Imbalance means excess of a Dosha. Ayurveda helps return our body, mind and spirit to its original and optimal state of balance.
Qualities: Light, Cold, Dry, Mobile, and Changeable.
Vata is responsible for breathing, the blinking of our eyes, the beating of our hearts, the activities of the nervous system, and the process of elimination. In the mind, Vata governs the movement of thought.
Vata Personality – Creative, artistic, free-spirited
Imbalance Symptoms: One can experience gas and bloating, constipation, weight loss, pain, arthritis, weakness, fatigue, tremors and restlessness. Emotionally some of the symptoms of excess Vata are worry, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, spacey and distracted. Vata is considered the king of doshas as it causes most of the diseases (imbalances), so managing Vata dosha is critical to maintaining health and immunity.
Qualities: Hot, Light, Sharp, and Oily
Pitta is responsible for digestion, metabolism, and energy production. It is all about transformation. Pitta not only helps digest our food, but also helps ‘digest’ impressions in our minds. In our minds, the fire of Pitta gives us focus and discernment – our ability to tell fact from fiction.
Pitta personality – Ambitious, Fearless, Leader
Imbalance Symptoms: One may become prone to ‘heated’ imbalances such as heartburn, hyperacidity, burning indigestion, heartburn, skin rashes, fever, liver disorders such as hepatitis or jaundice, and inflammation. Emotionally, some of the imbalances of Pitta are anger, being overly-judgmental, critical or aggressive.
Qualities: Heavy, Cold, Moist, and Dense
Kapha gives the body structure and stability – our skin, muscles, bones nails and teeth. Kapha is also our lubrication around the joints, in the brain, the lining of mucus protecting our delicate internal organs, our reproductive fluids, and is responsible for building most of our tissues. It is closely associated with our lymphatic and immune system.
Kapha Personality – Devoted, Loyal, Loving
Imbalance Symptoms: Sluggish digestion and metabolism, weight gain, diabetes, increased cholesterol, water retention (edema), swelling, increased mucus production. Emotionally, one can become stubborn, greedy, possessive, complacent, lethargic and depressed.