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Ayurveda 101

Years ago, while walking through the narrow alleys of Udaipur, India,  I kept seeing signs in windows advertising Ayurvedic massage.

I remember the repeated image of a woman lying face up, eyes closed, with a stream of oil pouring right onto the center of her forehead.

“Hmm. must be some kind of oil massage,” I thought to myself, but continued on, without giving much more thought to it.

In hindsight, I wish I’d found out more about Ayurveda then, because as it turns out, the practice and theory has much more to offer than my initial simple thoughts of an “oil massage.”

By: Elizabeth Toy

Today, I want to share with you what I’ve learned about Ayurveda since then.

Ayurveda is a holistic healing system more than 5,000 years old that originated in India. The Sanskrit word for Ayurveda translates to “wisdom of life.”

Ayurvedic theory believes that your wellness depends balancing your mind, body, and spirit. When these things are out of balance, you’ll feel unwell. Ayurveda believes you should be proactive with your health, rather than reacting to sickness.

Ground yourself and the foundation of your body by balancing your Root Chakra.

So, it emphasizes cultivating good health in a preventative manner, rather than fighting illness after you’re already sick.

With more than 3,000 years of wisdom to share, we’re just scratching the surface of Ayurveda in a single article. That said, here are some of the main concepts of Ayurveda:

1. Everything in the universe is connected, and you can attain good health when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe.

There are many things that can throw you off balance, like your emotions, changes in the season and weather, injuries, or even your age, which can affect the make up of your body, or prakriti.

2. Everyone is made up the 5 elements found in the universe:

  1. Space
  2. Air – represents the gaseous state of matter. Air connects to the respiratory system
  3. Fire – represents form without substance.  Fire connects to digestion, perception, and any kind of transformation in your body, which is why it’s dominant in the Pitta Dosha (read on to find out more about the three doshas!)
  4. Water –  represents the liquid state of matter. It blood, and other liquids.  Water connects to your tongue and sense of taste.
  5. Earth – represents the solid state of matter.  Earth connects to the nose and your sense of smell.

 

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3. These elements combine to make up 3 doshas, which are life energies that make up every individual.

Vata (space and air) – this dosha regulates any of your body’s movements, including breathing, chewing, moving any muscles, urinating.
Pitta (fire and water) – this dosha is at work any time you need to transform something. For example, when you digest and metabolize food, breathe, or see something and interpret and understand it.
Kapha (water and earth) – this dosha makes up the human body, establishing structure and stability.
Each of these control a different function in your body.




When you know what dosha type is strongest or more powerful in you, you can better help treat your ailments.  You can find out which of the three doshas are predominant in you here.

4. Every person has his or her own prakriti, or unique composition.

So it makes sense that there is no one-size-fits-all remedy or routine that can work for everyone in Ayurveda. Your prakriti considers a number of things, including: you as an individual, your diet, your geographical location, the season, etc. If you don’t maintain the balance of your makeup, you can develop illnesses or have that “something’s not right” feeling.

Want to clear negative energy? Try this saltwater treatment.

5. To cure an ailment, Ayurvedic remedies that are more likely to be used include:

In addition to changing your diet and lifestyle habits, the ayurvedic approach relies on the mind, above all, to heal your body.

So if you meditate to expand the awareness of your mind and balance your mind with your body, you are already applying several Ayurvedic practices to nurture balance and good health from the inside out.

Learn To Meditate in 5 Easy Steps

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