What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a powerful way of life that the centenarian yogis and kings in India have adopted for several generations now.
It is a timeless life science that originated in India 5000 years ago. Ayurveda demystifies the complex human body and universe and provides a complete understanding of its functions. The main goal of Ayurveda is to bring and keep the body and mind in balance, honoring each person’s bio-individuality.
Its a preventative as well as a restorative science, that identifies that not all bodies are made equal.
A lot of modern day doctors are discovering today, has already been stated precisely in the Ayurvedic texts thousands of years ago. Thus, Ayurveda is gaining tremendous popularity in the west as well as in the field of medical research.
Healing references for uses of turmeric, ghee, ghee etc. were first mentioned in Ayurvedic texts.
How are Ayurveda and Yoga connected?
Ayurveda is the sister science of Yoga and they are both incomplete without each other. Yoga asanas work on strengthening the body and sealing energy centers to preserve flow of prana internally while Ayurveda works on nourishing the body with food, herbs and lifestyle. It is really the science of living. Together, they enable you to strengthen your body, mind and soul like nothing else can.
How is Ayurveda different from other healing/lifestyle modalities?
Most healing modalities are prescriptive, while Ayurveda is descriptive. By this I mean – most of the traditional and even many non traditional healing modalities simply prescribe a certain substance for a certain ailment. For example – antacid for reflux, or miralax for constipation. These just serves as bandaids to temporarily alleviate you of the problem, taking the pathology to a new place in your body.
While an Ayurvedic practitioner will seek to investigate where the pathology started and will seek to eliminate the problem from its roots.
According to Ayurveda, any pathology begins when the balance of the five elements in our body is disturbed and bringing them back in balance can heal almost anything.
By the same token, most of Ayurveda is preventative and helps the healthy individual to stay in balance through the principles of the five elements.
Why is the knowledge of the five elements useful?
Currently, we are playing a blind game of matching what’s available to us in the universe by whats depleted within our own bodies. Is ginger good for my weak gut or is dandelion an elixir for my liver. How impractical would it be to study all the substances in the universe and try and see what body function or organ they benefit.
This is precisely the problem the five elements concept solves. It is the code of the universe. It is the common unit of measurement for whats available in the universe and what’s present in our bodies. And its fairly to understand and identify the five elements.
When a person looks at his body with Ayurvedic eyes, he can see what elements needs replenishment and find something the universe rich in that element.
Fun Food for thought?
Imagine the five elements –
Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Ether
- Can you tell that a banana has more earth than orange juice?
- And that lentils have more earth than a banana?
- And that anything solid has more earth in it than other elements?
- And that our bones and muscles are more solid than softer organs so they have more earth?
- And is this why lentils and bananas are good to build bones and muscles?