Ayurveda – Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living

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Often called the ‘Science of Life’ Ayurveda brings its ancient wisdom to modern day life for the benefit of all people!

Over 5000 years old, this living tradition of health, healing and well-being from India is still so incredibly relevant today. True health is a state of being that encompasses all parts of us, body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda provides a framework of how to navigate modern living so we can thrive and harness our potential.

In Sanskrit the word Ayurveda translates to:

Ayus = life          Veda = knowledge 

Ayurveda is a comprehensive science which covers anatomy, physiology, pathology, diagnostic systems and treatment strategies, as well as philosophy and an understanding of our spiritual nature.

The aim of Ayurveda is not to treat disease but to learn how to live well to maintain health.  But when imbalance and disease does occur, Ayurveda provides an empowering way to bring the health of each individual back to their natural state of health.

In Ayurveda this is called your Prakriti, or your natal constitution. 

Through diagnostic techniques, the Ayurvedic Practitioner determines a person’s Prakriti. They identify possible imbalances and disease tendencies, find the ‘root cause’ of the dis-ease, and plan a pathway back to health.  

The ancient Ayurvedic sages created a vast body of knowledge based on their understanding of the universe, the energies that are at work in it, and how these energies manifest into matter, the matter around us and within. 

Ayurveda 101

Here’s an outline of Ayurvedic philosophy and how it relates to being human.

The ancient sages of Ayurevda studies Nature. They discovered that everything in our world is made from the Pancha Mahabhutas, the 5 Great Elements.  

These are Akasha, Vayu, Tejas, Jala and Prithvi, or EtherAirFireWater and Earth

Ether is spacious, the space in which everything exists
Air is the force of movement
Fire is the power of conversion
Water provides fluidity and cohesion 
Earth is stability and solidity

five elements

Ayurveda reminds us that we too are a part of nature.

To describe how the 5 elements work within our body, mind, spirit complex the ancient sages categorised the 5 elements into 3 categories. These are called Doshas: they are the forces that govern all the functions of your body.

These Doshas, or bio- energies, are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each Dosha has a predominance of two of the five elements which imbues it with certain qualities.  

The word Dosha means ‘that which can go out of balance’, but in correct balance the Doshas sustain life and health for the individual.

Let’s explore each of the Dosha’s.

Vata = Space + Air

Vata is composed of the Air and Ether elements. It brings cold, light, dry, mobile, erratic, rough and subtle qualities to your body and mind.  This bio-energy governs all movement in the body:  breathing, talking, natural urges sneezing, blinking, all excretory functions, peristalsis and menstruation. Psychologically, Vata governs creativity and spontaneity and the tendency to juggle many things at once.  

Vata is primarily housed in your colon, pelvic cavity, bones, thighs and nervous system. 

When Vata increases more than is natural for an individual, the dry, light and mobile wind-like qualities in the body and mind also increase creating dry skin and hair, bloating and constipation, insomnia, low body weight, stiffness and pain especially in the lower back and hips, sensitivity to noise, feeling scattered and ungrounded, and the cold feelings of anxiety and fear. 

Due to its mobile nature Vata is more prone to going out of balance than the other two doshas.  

Pitta = Fire + Water

Pitta is Fire and Water which creates warmth, moisture, oily, sharp, liquid and spreading qualities in your being.  This bio-energy governs all transformation, metabolism and digestion within the body, for example, the formation of enzymes and hormones, assimilation of foods, body temperature, perception and comprehension both visually and mentally and thirst.

Psychologically, Pitta creates courage and drive, warmth and friendliness when in balance.  

Pitta’s primary seats in the body are the small intestine, liver, blood and the eyes.  It is in these areas where we first see an excess of the Pitta in the body.  

When Pitta increases more than is natural, it creates hot conditions such as hyperacidity or other burning sensations, skin rashes or acne, which reflect the state of the blood, red sore eyes and light sensitivity, loose stools or diarrhoea, liver disorders, anaemia, burning sensations, inflammatory conditions and the hot emotions of irritability, jealousy , frustration, anger and judgmental tendencies. 

Kapha = Water + Earth

Kapha comes from the Water and Earth elements.  Kapha’s characteristics are cool, moist, heavy, oily, smooth, dull and dense.  It creates stability and lubrication in your body and is responsible for strength of tissues and joints, moisture and lustre of the skin and maintains immunity and good memory. Psychologically Kapha creates calmness, patience and love.  

Kapha is primarily found in your stomach, lungs, mucous membranes, lymphatic system and joints. 

Too much Kapha, or elementally the earth and water qualities in the body, creates heaviness and lethargy, a dampened appetite, excess of mucous and congestion, a dull mind, difficulty getting going in the morning and an increase in tissue growth.  Emotionally, one experiences more attachment and apathy.  

How to balance your doshas

Each Dosha has three possible states of being: A state of equilibrium, a state of depletion and a state of accumulation or aggravation.

When the Doshas accumulate more than is natural for an individual they create imbalance in the tissues and their related sites in the body and mind. 

A primary principle of Ayurveda is that like increases like and therefore that opposites will bring about balance once again.

As an Ayurvedic practitioner I will help you to recognise your body’s signs of increase in a dhoash or elements that creates unease. Once you see how an element can increasein your body and what it looks like you can address it before disease fully manifests.

I guide my clients back to health through the use of diet and lifestyle choices, breathing techniques and meditations, herbs, massage and self care practices.  

Anything can be used as a medicine when given to the right person at the right time in the right season.  

This may seem overly simple, however, when you begin to look at the world around you and your own body and choices through the Ayurvedic lens of the elements and the doshas you will begin to see the profound nature of this theory and the power it has to change your life for the better!

Would you like to learn how to trust the changing needs of you body and live in alignment with your body’s natural blueprint and embodied wisdom? I love to share this empowering wisdom with you so that you can make healthy choices that are right for your unique self!

jacq in nature

Harness the power of Ayurveda to discover how the choices you make each day, the foods you eat and the habits you choose to cultivate, can either enhance and strengthen your health or, over time, erode it.

What do you choose for your future health?

Book a free 20 minute clarity call! to explore how I maybe of service!

x Jacq

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