What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian practice of treating illness through the study of the mind-body system. Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge and together the word describes the practice of keeping the mind and body in harmony.
The main principle of Ayurveda is to promote good health rather than cure disease. According to Ayurvedic scriptures, each person’s individual constitution and process of keeping in balance is called one’s “Prakriti.”
In every aspect of creation, exist three types of energy- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These energies are also called “doshas,” the Vata dosha involves space and air, Pitta is affiliated with fire and water, and Kapha encompasses water and earth. Within the human body, the interaction of these three doshas forms one’s Prakriti and each person is born with a unique combination of the three. A person’s dominant dosha is linked to the type of imbalances that the body will tend to have- leading to specific diseases. In order to stay healthy, one must maintain harmony within the body and correct these imbalances.
Types of Doshas:
Vata: manages respiration, circulation, elimination, locomotion, movement, speech, and the whole nervous system.
Pitta: responsible for digestion, metabolism, vision, complexion, and body temperature
Kapha: rules anabolic processes such as muscle growth, body strength, immune system functioning
Each of these doshas can be put out of balance through specific human actions and each imbalance can result in bodily symptoms depending on one’s Prakriti.
Find out what your primary dosha is by taking our quiz! (HYPERLINK)
Imbalances in the mind-body harmony result in disorders based on one’s dominant dosha:
Vata: Anxiety, constipation, heart disease, nervous system disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, skin disorders
Pitta: problems with digestion, metabolism, hormonal disorders, high blood pressure, inflammations, ulcers
Kapha: asthma, cancer, diabetes, nausea, obesity
In order to treat or prevent imbalances and disorders, ayurvedic medicine focuses on bringing the body back into balance based on a person’s unique prakriti. The treatments involve a combination of aromatherapy, breathing/meditation, diet modifications, herbs, vitamins, plant based oils, lifestyle changes and yoga.
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