Known as yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda is the 5,000-year-old practice of medicine – making it the oldest recorded! Long before Western medicine realized the mind-body connection, sages in India developed this sophisticated system designed to not only treat illness and ailments, but to prevent them through knowledge and care of self. That means we have to know and understand ourselves before we can begin to heal.
Ayurveda believes all living things are comprised of the pancha mahabhutas, or 5 great elements. They are:
– Akash (space/ether)
– Vayu (air)
– Agni (fire)
– Jala (water)
– Prithvi (earth)
In the same way each human has their own unique DNA code, elemental expression differs from person to person. They are arranged in doshas.
The three doshas are:
– Vata (ether/space + air)
– Pitta (fire + water)
– Kapha (water + earth)
We are ALL comprised of the tridoshas. The proportion is what differs from person to person. Ayurveda is the science of you, and your human experience.
Finding the best diet, supplements, exercise regimes (yeah, it extends beyond yoga), and lifestyle choices depends on understanding your own personal doshic blueprint. We call this our Prakriti. Once you understand your Prakriti, you’ll begin to identify your imbalances, or vikrities, so that you can adjust your lifestyle choices to regain balance. Following an Ayurvedic lifestyle specifically tailored to meet your needs not only helps to heal, but to prevent symptoms and illness through maintaining optimal health.
Pretty cool stuff, huh?
It gets way more intricate and intense, because there are so many different experiences and circumstances that can upset the balance in our mind and body – ranging from certain foods, to seasons, and even the time of day! I’m beginning to understand that like yoga, it is a practice designed to find balance, but once you’re there it requires a constant practice to maintain it. That often means remaining closely in tune with your body because what works for you one day won’t necessarily benefit you the next.
That’s a lot to process.
Have I sparked your interest yet? I suggest you start by taking this quiz. The first section asks questions about you overall make-up (Prakriti), and the second focus on your recent state to identify your imbalances (Vikrities).
There’s a lot of learning on the horizon as I begin my adventure towards becoming a Certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor. It’s super overwhelming, a ton of information, and I can’t learn to heal others through Ayurveda until I have to learned to heal myself. That means there will be a lot of self-experimentation. Wish me luck! I’ll share more as the journey unfolds.