WHAT IS AYURVEDA

The term ‘Ayurveda’ itself is derived from two Sanskrit root words:
‘Ayu’ = ‘life’ + ‘Veda’ = ‘knowledge’
or
‘science’ = Science of Life 

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. It originated over 5000 years ago, and is even more relevant today than ever before.

Unlike Western medicine, Ayurveda is a holistic science and looks at wellness as a whole: perfect health is defined as a state of balance between mind, body, spirit, and social well-being.

Rather than treating only the symptoms, Ayurveda focuses on finding and treating the root cause of disease.

Any type of disease (whether that is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual) is caused by an imbalance (more about imbalances later).Thousands of years of Ayurvedic knowledge and wisdom have been documented in ancient scriptures, the most revered one being the Caraka Samhita.

Being a holistic science, Ayurveda can help you balance and improve several aspects of your life, including (but not
limited to):

Digestion I Sleep I Massage I Food & Nutrition I Skincare I Mental Health I Sexual Health

At its root, the Ayurvedic philosophy helps you to:

  • Naturally synchronise with your truest self
  • Nurture and nourish your mind, body and spirit equally
  • Improve your sense of well-being
  • Enhance health at a cellular level
  • Harmonize your energy with your environment

Ultimately, what Ayurveda focuses on is to promote a healthy and satisfying lived experience that is free of negative emotions and aspects by finding a natural balance. 

WHAT IS MEANT BY ‘BALANCE’ IN AYURVEDA?

The concept of ‘being in balance’ is an integral and core principle in Ayurveda which guides every other facet and even determines your relationship with this science. Perfect health, according to Ayurveda, is a balance between body, mind, soul, and social wellbeing. Every thought and practice in this system, therefore, mirrors the dual principles of balance and connection. In fact, Ayurveda is best characterized as the science of living in tune with nature's laws. Ayurvedic philosophy of natural and holistic medicine encourages people to live a balanced existence by making healthy and natural lifestyle adjustments. Ayurveda's age-old knowledge is just as applicable or maybe even more relevant today as it was in the ancient times.

THE 5 ELEMENTS

As such, all Ayurvedic principles and practices are based on the concept of 5 fundamental elements that are the building blocks of nature – namely:

Earth | Fire| Air | Water | Space

Ayurveda recognizes these foundational elements as a key lens through which the entire scope of its philosophy can be viewed as these in turn, come together to form the 3 doshas

What are Doshas

According to Ayurvedic philosophy, everyone is born with a unique constitution known as prakruti. The prakruti is a unique combination of physical and psychological traits that determine how each individual works. It is established from conception.

Each person’s unique prakruti, or constitution, is made up of three qualities known as Doshas. Ayurvedic ideology holds that the 5 natural elements of nature come together to form the 3 doshas, each of which has a distinct influence on body processes -

Vata Dosha - Space +Air
Pitta Dosha - Fire + Water, and
Kapha Dosha- Water + Earth

The unique constituent with which you’re born is your natural state of body and mind. An individual's fundamental prakruti remains constant throughout their lives. However, internal, external, and environmental variables like day and night, seasonal changes, nutrition, lifestyle choices, and more have an impact on one's prakruti that results in ailments, diseases and other visible symptoms.

The doshas are biological energy that may be found throughout the human body and mind. They regulate bodily and mental functions and give each living creature with a unique blueprint for health, happiness and fulfilment. Ayurveda, therefore, emphasises sickness prevention and advocates sustaining health by adhering to daily and seasonal routines that help you regain the balanced constituent with which you were born. Therefore, like all holistic health systems, Ayurveda emphasizes the unshakable connections between the body, mind, and spirit. However, as you can see, Ayurveda's connectedness extends far beyond the individual, reaching into the universal. 

  • Vatta is represented by the elements of air and space. Vatta is in charge of controlling muscle and joint movement, as well as respiration and pulse. Vatta also regulates anxiety, fear, pain, and other nervous system processes.
  • Pitta is represented by fire and water, and it is considered to be in charge of digestion, metabolism, intellect, and skin colour. Anger, hatred, and jealousy are all Pitta emotions.
  • Kapha is represented by the earth and water. Kapha governs the physical structure of the body as well as the immunological system. Calmness, forgiving, love, and greed are all believed to be Kapha-controlled emotional reactions.

AYURVEDIC BODY TYPES : THE THREE DOSHAS

Ayurvedic practitioners believe that dosha imbalance causes symptoms that are specific to that dosha and distinct from symptoms caused by other doshas. For example, if the aggressive and "hot" pitta-prominent individual aggravates pitta, he or she may acquire a prickly rash or have an acidic stomach.

A bad diet, too much or too little physical or mental exertion, and other things can all contribute to imbalance.

The whole cosmos, according to Ayurvedic philosophy, is an interaction of the five great elements' energies that form the 3 doshas:

Vata is represented by the elements of air and space. Vatta is in charge of controlling muscle and joint movement, as well as respiration and pulse. Vatta also regulates anxiety, fear, pain, and other nervous system processes.

Pitta is represented by fire and water, and it is considered to be in charge of digestion, metabolism, intellect, and skin colour. Anger, hatred, and jealousy are all Pitta emotions.

Kapha is represented by the earth and water. Kapha governs the physical structure of the body as well as the immunological system. Calmness, forgiving, love, and greed are all believed to be Kapha-controlled emotional reactions. 

The 20 Qualities

THE 20 QUALITIES The 20 ‘gunas’ or qualities and traits, are what Ayurveda describes all matter to possess. From substances to experiences to imbalances in dosha, these gunas give you a framework to understand and verbalize them and thereby also helps you cater to your needs more clearly. The gunas are organized into the following 10 pairs of opposites as: 

Heavy Light 
Cold Hot 
Unctuous Dry 
Dull Sharp 
Stable Mobile 
Soft Hard 
Non-slimy Slimy 
Smooth Coarse 
Minute Gross 
Viscous Liquid 

Ayurveda ensures that this essential list will help you be equipped to sufficiently take care of yourself.

For example, if you have naturally dry skin, you’re likely to experience intense dryness in the winters which will be an imbalance of the Vata dosha, that combines the space and air elements.

Now, the solution?

According to this list, you’ve got to provide enough unctuousness. And Ayurveda recommends that this doesn’t just stop at oiling or moisturizing your skin, but it also extends to consuming food that is rich in healthy oils and fats and even indulging in hearty and warm experiences to fulfil your body and mind equally to pacify the excess of Vata dosha

SO, HOW DOES AYURVEDA DEFINE HEALTH?

The Sanskrit word for health, ‘svastha’, is a state in which the mind, body, and soul interact harmoniously to experience a feeling of self, wellness, and even bliss. This state of the body and mind happens only when the 3 doshas are in balance or in your original constituent state. Consequently, all Ayurveda strives to do is to help you get to this state of svastha by making use of elegant, insightful and effective tools and techniques, easily and effortlessly. 

THE 3 PILLARS OF AYURVEDA 

Beyond the doshas and their manifestations, Ayurveda also prescribes 3 basic foundations on which you can base everything in your life. These initiate better and more effective functioning and even help adapt your lifestyle to your surroundings to live in a more grounded manner.

According to Ayurveda, to enjoy optimal health and a calm state of mind, the body must be supplied with:

‘Aharaa’ or proper food
‘Nidraa’ or proper sleep
‘Bhramacharya’ or proper management of energy.

Together, these 3 pillars create a structured daily routine that lends your life a perfect balance.

Ahaara – Pillar of food Eating a good, wholesome meal allows your body to rightly absorb all nutrients and eliminate all toxins. Eating right is also important as it also contributes to ‘prana’ or the life force that sustains life.
In Ayurveda, this pillar also extends to:
Proper digestion and mindful consumption of food
Eating food at the right time and in the right combinations, and
Choosing food that suits your individual constituent type.

Thus, Ayurveda teaches us that paying attention to what we eat and how eat can have a significant effect on both our body and mind to attain the ultimate level of balance and harmony.

Nidraa – Pillar of Sleep Sleep is body’s natural way to heal, repair and restore energy. Ayurveda also throws light on how sleep is also the body’s innate mechanism to cope and manage the chemicals and pollutants, and the stress and anxiety your mind undergoes while being awake.

As with food, just getting sleep is not enough. Having a sleep routine or sleep cycle that complements your daily life and your living environment based on your specific dosha type is what helps you lead a focused and active life.

Bhramacharya – Pillar of Energy Ayurveda maintains that the circle of life isn’t complete unless this particular pillar is covered too.

Although ‘Bhramacharya’ literally translates to celibacy, what Ayurvedic ideology implies here is that one should have a centred approach towards life by being aware of one’s thoughts and actions.

Ayurveda believes that this is necessary to prevent us from overindulging or limiting ourselves from life’s most essential activities. It also helps us conserve our energies to completing tasks that add value to our lives.

Thus, it’s nothing but mastering the technique of focusing where and to what you let your energy dive into. 

AYURVEDIC SKINCARE

Ayurvedic skincare and natural beauty have been a part of Ayurvedic study and practise ever since it developed 5000 years ago. The use of this part of Ayurvedic knowledge was aimed not just at improving one's exterior beauty, but also at obtaining ‘aayush and aarogyam’ or longevity and good health.

Much more than that, there is also evidence of advanced self-beautification notions and a wide range of cosmetics used by both men and women in antiquity in ancient India. The ancient Indians' conception of cosmetics and their application was based entirely on natural resources.

Ayurvedic skin care methods, therefore, include a variety of formulas utilising herbs and other natural-occurring substances that make up the daily regimen for effective skincare.

Herbal extracts, fruit extracts, and essential oils are increasingly being employed efficiently in medications, dietary supplements, and personal care products based on Ayurveda's extensive and well-established expertise.

The depth and range of Ayurvedic cosmeceuticals offered also extend to 

aging skin

tonifying

smoothing out flaws

boosting moisture levels, 

restoring a vibrant, healthy appearance. 

Such Ayurvedic preparations are also extremely effective and all natural, thus helping the body stay in tune all along. The Ayurveda Experience offers countless benefits of this ancient skin-care science in our 100% authentic Ayurvedic preparations of face, hair and body oils made in consultation with our team of expert Ayurvedic doctors and visionaries in the field, after careful study, research and testing phases.

7 HEALTH BENEFITS OF AYURVEDA

1. Be Proactive

 As you must have already guessed, the entire healing system of Ayurveda is built on the philosophy that prevention is better than cure. It’s also the reason why Ayurveda stresses so much on maintaining balance and harmony as it primarily keeps diseases and ailments to a minimum.

Ayurveda also tackles problems at its root cause rather than just superficially or temporarily tend to the symptoms which in turn, helps build the body’s immunity response and prevents further complications.

2. Build a routine

Ayurveda recommends building a ‘dinacharya’ or daily routine catering to your specific dosha type and other preferences essential to continue maintaining health.

From morning to night, having a routine helps the body and mind stay grounded, stable and therefore, function at its best.

3. Practice healthy nutrition

Ayurveda prescribes a vast list of diets and the manner in which food ought to combined, taken and chosen for each dosha type.

These suggestions are compiled keeping in view that the ‘jataragni’ or digestive fire can be maintained at optimum levels for proper digestion. 

4. Exercise mindfully

Ayurveda endorses following Yoga and other meditative practises to ground the mind. In fact, Yoga is even considered on the same levels as food for your body.

Yoga poses combined with breathing techniques can itself be a deeply healing and reflective technique to quieten the mind and bring clarity and focus to daily activities.

If practised in the right way, it brings optimal wellness on all levels.

5. Choose natural wellness

The Ayurvedic perspective on beauty and wellness is an intricate subject with much focus on optimizing outer beauty to reflect the inner beauty of prime health. As such, Ayurveda recommends using natural herbs, fruit extracts and other naturally occurring elements in nature to achieve luscious hair or smooth, glowing skin.

But it’s more than just skin-deep. Ayurvedic beauty is a holistic approach to help you look and feel beautiful from the inside.

6. Cleanse your body and mind

Many simple Ayurvedic practises and techniques help makes sure that your body and mind are cleared off all toxins and negative energy. These cater towards streamlining your body’s systems, so they work efficiently, much like how an engine gives better output when it’s subjected to regular upkeep and maintenance.

7. Enjoy liveliness

With a multifaceted approach towards balanced life and harmony, Ayurveda helps make sure that you simply enjoy every given moment by being your best self – in your body, mind and soul.

HOW CAN I EASILY INCORPORATE AN AYURVEDIC LIFESTYLE?

In today's fast-paced world, Ayurveda and its principles may be easily adopted to maintain and enjoy a healthy, stress-free, and balanced existence because its primary objective is to promote good health rather than to combat sickness.

Here are 5 simple and easy steps you can incorporate easily and effortlessly to move towards an Ayurveda-centric life:

1. Follow an Ayurvedic diet

Although it might sound daunting, Ayurvedic diet is nothing but eating mindfully according to your dosha type and keeping in mind the external environment you’re in. The whole process can be encapsulated under cooking your own meals at home, including natural and seasonal produce and avoiding processed and/ or junk food. It’s also about knowing what types of food you can combine and how to eat healthy. Including a wholesome diet into your routine is one of the simplest but most effective steps towards building an Ayurvedic lifestyle.

2. Practise ‘abhyanga’ or self-massage

Abhyanga is the practise of massaging oneself thoughtfully and in a precise manner not just to help relax and calm the body, but also to promote blood circulation, benefit the lymphatic system and maintain proper health, in general. Abhyanga can also be performed with respect to your specific dosha type to increase efficiency and benefit you in the best way possible.

3. Switch to natural products instead of chemicals

When it comes to beauty and self-care, Ayurveda is all about going back to nature. So, make use of simple tips and tricks, go natural, choose herbal products that are not just good for your skin, but also your whole body, and largely, the earth, as well.

4. Keep yourself active

The fact that regular exercise and good health are directly proportional is a widely known fact. However, Ayurveda helps you take it to the next level by making sure that it also benefits your mind. Ayurvedic lifestyle recommends including Yoga and other meditative practises for optimal mental clarity along with physical health.

5. Spend time in nature

The science of Ayurveda itself is highly inspired from the natural state of life in nature. So, it shouldn’t come across as a surprise that Ayurvedic lifestyle gives a lot of priority to being outdoors, engaging with the external ecosystem and recharging your mind and body. Besides, it’ll also give you the perfect excuse to lower your screen-time. As you can see, incorporating Ayurveda into your daily routine does not necessitate a huge lifestyle shift. Small changes, such as those mentioned above itself can make a big difference.

AYURVEDA AS A COMPLEMENTARY HEALING SYSTEM

It's crucial to grasp the fundamental differences between Ayurveda and Western allopathic medicine. Western allopathic medicine focuses on symptomatology and illness, with medicines and surgery being used largely to rid the body of infections or damaged tissue. This strategy has saved a lot of lives.

But, Ayurveda, in reality, encompasses surgery. Drugs and chemicals, however, often weaken the body due to their toxicity.

The focus of Ayurveda is not on sickness. Rather, Ayurveda believes that all life must be maintained by a healthy balance of energy. The body's natural defence mechanisms are robust and can more readily protect against disease when there is less stress and the flow of energy within a person is balanced.

This again reinstates why Ayurveda focuses so much on maintaining a balanced state of living. But it is important to note here that Ayurveda is not a replacement for Western allopathic medicine. In many cases, medicines or surgery are the best way to treat the illness process and acute symptoms.

Ayurveda may be used in conjunction with Western medicine to strengthen a person's immune system and make them less susceptible to disease, as well as to help the body heal after being treated with medicines or surgery, thus, as a complimentary healing technique.

META DESCRIPTION: The ancient, holistic science of Ayurveda has helped people worldwide lead a healthier, more fulfilling life by staying in tune with Nature. Discover your unique Dosha(s) to make simple yet effective lifestyle changes tailored exclusively according to your Ayurvedic body type. 

META TITLE: WHAT IS AYURVEDA : SCIENCE OF/ABOUT AYURVEDA & AYURVEDIC BODY TYPES