What is Ayurveda and How it Works?
2 Jan 2020 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda comes from a Sanskrit word, “ayuh,” meaning life and “Veda,” meaning knowledge. Hence, Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine that has been practiced in India for over 5000 years. The name Ayurveda translates to “The Science of Life,” and focuses on achieving optimal health through balance of mind, body and consciousness.Learn What is Ayurveda and How It Works?
The Ayurveda principles, which are based on achieving a balanced state of mind, are an important step in achieving a healthy body. The Yoga Sutras and the Vedas understood the connection between the purity of one’s mind through constant and regular practice of Yoga, thereby applying the principles Niyamas and Yamas to achieve total health of the mind, body and spirit.
● Maintain internal and external balance
● Sync with our truest nature
● Connect with the natural surroundings
Concept of Health in Ayurveda:
Ayurveda defines health as “Svastha,” a state in which mind, body, and soul are in perfect harmony with each other leading to an experience of well-being and bliss. Also, Ayurveda’s concept of connectedness extends far beyond an individual to the universe.
The human beings are born with five senses and Ayurveda group these five elements into three types of energy present in the body of every individual alive. These are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. From physical to mental to emotional, everything that you experience has certain qualities. The classical texts of Ayurveda specify these qualities as Gunas. The Gunas are classified into 10 pairs of opposites making 20 qualities in total (for example: cold vs hot, heavy vs light). The excess and deficient of these Gunas result in doshic imbalance causing diseases.
Agni (the digestive fire) is another Ayurvedic principle responsible for Svastha. Agni helps in transforming food into bodily tissues and waste; discerning between nutritious material and toxic product. Heightened Agni of the body helps digest the toxins that have manifested due to diverse stresses ensuring optimal functioning body.
How Ayurveda Works?
Ayurveda works to prevent and heal diseases by balancing the imabalanced doshas and strengthening the digestive fire, Agni. Preventive care and treatment of diseases falls under eight branches in Ayurveda:
● Kaayachikitsa – Internal Medicine
● Baalachikitsa – Pediatrics
● Bhuta Vidya – Psychiatry
● Shalakya Tantra – Ear, Nose and Throat Treatment
● Shalya Tantra – Surgery
● Vishagara Vairodh Tantra – Toxicology
● Jarachikitsa/Rasayana – Geriatrics and Rejuvenation
● Vajikarana – Aphrodisiac Therapy, Fertility, and Conception
In addition, Ayurveda encompasses the world’s most comprehensive cleansing technique, Panchakarma. This ancient Ayurveda treatment uses five therapies to eliminate deeply embedded toxins from the tissues and help doshas return to the original seats in the body.
Benefits of Ayurveda:
The integration and commitment to Ayurveda into life can be immensely beneficial for overall health and well-being. Here are the eight areas where Ayurveda can enhance wellness:
1. Prevention: The knowledge of Ayurveda aims at treating the underlying cause of the problem rather the symptoms. Therefore, Ayurveda is considered a form of preventive health care. It provides you with the means to support your immune system, minimize the stress that often leads to imbalance.
2. Daily Routine: Ayurveda encourages dedication to dincharya, daily routine to help you feel stable and grounded each day. Some of the rituals of daily routine are as follow:
● Waking up before the sunrise and going to bed before the sunset
● Cleaning the tongue and drinking a glass of hot water with lemon and honey
● Indulging in the practice of yoga and meditation
● Periodically getting oil massages
3. Healthy Diet: Ayurveda diet and food combinations help maximize the Agni. When Agni is strong, you feel healthy and good on all three levels: physical, mental, and emotional.
● Foods that are sweet, salty, and sour are Vata Pacifying. Warm spices, a balanced amount of ghee and oil are recommended.
● Pitta people can enjoy sweet, bitter and astringent foods. Add cooling herbs and spices to your dishes
● Eat foods that are pungent, bitter, or astringent in taste. Favor more freshly cooked, light, and dry dishes.
4. Ayurvedic Yoga: There are yoga asanas for your dosha. Determine your dominant dosha and cultivate a yoga routine to pacify it and for holistic welfare.
● Asanas for Vata: Uttanasana, Balasana, Sukhasana, Padmasana
● Asanas for Pitta: Ustrasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana
● Asanas for Kapha: Setu Bandhasana, Surya Namaskar
5. Herbal Medicines: Ayurveda gives you an insight into the herbal world. Herbal medicines, treatments, and herbs are important to the science of Ayurveda for curing. Ashwagandha, Neem, Turmeric, Basil are some of the widely used herbs for treatments.
6. Ayurveda for beauty, energy, and sleep: Ayurveda enhances all these by healing the body inside-out. Ayurveda has a wholesome approach for increasing one’s vitality, beauty, sleep and grace.
With Ayurveda, embrace natural intelligence, equanimity and health today and forever.