Ayurveda is an ancient system of healing that has been practiced in India for over 5000 years. It is a holistic approach to health that was designed to help people live long and well-balanced lives. The word Ayurveda derives from Sanskrit terminology, with “ayus” meaning life and “veda” meaning knowledge.
The basic principle of Ayurveda is to maintain balance in the body for optimal health and for disease prevention. Balance can be obtained in the body, mind and conscious through a healthy lifestyle of eating and drinking and herbal remedies. Additionally, Ayurveda can be very beneficial when combined with other traditional practices such as yoga.
The 3 Doshas
According to Ayurvedic principles, every person has a specific pattern of mental, physical and emotional energy, also known as the 3 doshas. Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the 3 types of energies believed to be present, with 1 or 2 being dominant in different people.
Vata is energy that controls motion, including blood circulation, respiration and heartbeat. When Vata is in balance, creativity and vitality thrive. When Vata is out of balance, fear and anxiety increase.
Pitta is energy that controls metabolism, digestion, absorption, nutrition and temperature. When Pitta is balanced, a person’s intelligence and contentment is enhanced. Irritability and anger arise when Pitta is not balanced.
Kapha is energy that maintains the immune system, keeps the body hydrated, and keeps the skin moisturized. Love and forgiveness are common emotions when Kapha is in balance. When Kapha is out of balance, envy and insecurity become apparent.
When outside factors, such as stress, weather or unhealthy diet, disturb the balance of energy, disease occurs. Yoga, healthy eating, and healing Ayurvedic oils all help bring the doshas back into balance.