By Deni Spirovski
You have probably heard the word before or may have even seen Ayurvedic products floating about. But what even is Ayurveda? What makes it so different and alluring compared to all the other holistic healing practices? More importantly, how can it help you?
Ayurveda is the sister science to Yoga and was established thousands of years ago in India (so it’s philosophy is ancient). Rather than treating conditions or symptoms as isolated or broad issues, Ayurveda treats the body, mind + spirit as a whole. The goal is to maintain an equilibrium between these 3 pillars of our being to uphold complete health + wellness.
Therefore, the idea is more about maintaining this balance to prevent disease rather than treat it. Of course, if symptoms do arise, there are steps one can take in order to regain homeostasis by evening out the balance once again. But how do we do this? And what makes this any different to other holistic practices? This is where the magic of Ayurveda really steps in..
“You are the universe condensed”
Our body, just like the universe, is made up of the 5 elements: air, water, earth, fire + space. Based on these principles, Ayurveda treats the body by categorising these elements into 3 governing energies called doshas. They are:
Vata (air + space) Pitta (fire + water) Kapha (water + earth)
These 3 doshas exist within all of us and coordinate how our systems function. However, the way they balance within our individual being is unique. This usually results in a dominance of 1 or 2 doshas. This is why the treatment of a symptom in one person (such as a headache) may be treated differently in another. It really focuses on the individual as a whole rather than treating every person the exact same way. It makes for a very specific recovery process with longer lasting benefits that don’t throw other symptoms in the mix (like putting our gut microbiome out of balance after taking certain pharmaceuticals). I think this is where modern medicine could really take a leaf out of the ancient healing books.
While there is no way that a single blog post will ever cover the depths and intricacies of this healing system, there are a few key things we can learn about to bring a little Ayurveda into our daily lives. I have complied a beautiful little guide that will give you the basic ins and outs of each dosha that you can download for free. This guide will briefly explain what each dosha governs, common symptoms of each and simple rules to follow to find balance. Given the intricacies of this healing modality, this guide is intended only as an introduction into Ayurveda and not to be taken as medical advice or as a mode of diagnosis. If you wish to explore Ayurveda further and to learn more about your unique constitution then I recommend reaching out to a practitioner near you. Enjoy this introduction, print it out and get to know yourself on a different level.
Welcome to Ayurveda and welcome to the science of life! Happy healing, folks.