Ayurveda : Basic principles
The basic principle of Ayurvedic medicine is to prevent and treat illness—rather than respond to indicators of disease—by maintaining balance in and harmony between your body, mind and environment.
According to Ayurveda each individual is unique, a combination of physical, mental & emotional characteristics which are known as his/her Prakruti (constitution) Many factors both internal as well as external can affect this constitution. For example, one’s emotional state, diet, daily food choices, season and weather, physical trauma, job and family relationships. Once we understand that these factors can cause an imbalance in our constitution we have a choice to take appropriate action to nullify or minimize their effects to eliminate the cause.
Within the body there is constant interaction between order and disorder. Once we understand the nature and structure of disorder one can establish order. It is a relationship between humankind and environment.
Ayurveda recognises three primary energies, Vata, Pitta & Kapha. Together they regulate every physiological and psychological characteristic from basic cellular processes to the most complex biological functions. When these forces are in a state of natural balance the defense mechanism of the body works at peak efficiency.
Life challenges us with many opportunities. Although there is much over which we have little control, we do have the power to determine our diet and lifestyle. To maintain balance and health it is important to give attention to these decisions. Diet, lifestyle and herbs appropriate to individual constitution strengthen the body, mind and consciousness. When the body’s balance gets disturbed, toxins start building up in our body and they result in the form of one of the other disease.
In such circumstances the body’s own intelligence or immune strength is not capable to flush out these toxins hence a personally tailored combination of healthy Ayurveda die, nutrition, Ayurveda therapies, Ayurveda herbal preparations, yoga, breathing and meditation helps the toxins to be flushed out and to bring balance back.
Ayurveda supports the revitalizing and empowering idea that we have the ability to heal ourselves. Once you realize your own potential imbalances, you can take control of your own health and start incorporating Ayurvedic therapies to feel healthier, improve your fitness and become happier and rejuvenated.
You can integrate Ayurveda into your wellness routine by seeing an Ayurveda doctor who practices its techniques or by visiting a spa that offers such services.
Ayurvedic treatment is tailored to each person’s unique constitution (prakriti) and life forces (dosha), so your experience may not be the same as that of a friend.
Determining your dosha is a complex process that explores your personal imbalances and takes many things into consideration to help you achieve optimum health. The mission of the practice over a lifetime is to balance all three:
Ayurveda has recently become more popular in Western culture.
According to Ayurveda each individual is unique and all made up of elements that create health when well-balanced, and illness when imbalanced. This can be on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. It takes into account all of the unique aspects and qualities of each person and helps to relieve symptoms, prevent diseases and treat illnesses.
These elements are the five gross elements of existence (The Pancha Mahabhutas): space, air, fire, water, and earth manifest in each of us in a unique way to give us our physical and mental qualities. These elements then combine into three constitutions, or doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Air (Vayu), Ether (Akasha), Fire (Agni/Tej), Water (Apas) and Earth (Prithvi) exist in everything in the Universe. They uniquely manifest in all life, as well as each of us - to give us our physical and mental qualities. Each person has their own unique combination of these 5 elements that contain 20 different qualities.
These elements then go on to further combine and form three distinct physical and energetic DOSHAS: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each Dosha behaves very differently and responds to different treatments.
Cold, Dry, Rough, Light, Sharp, Subtle, Flowing, Mobile, Hard, Clear.
Colon, thighs, hips, ears, bones and organs of hearing and touch.
Vata governs movement of all things. It gives life to all things. It is responsible for breathing, movement, flexibility and biological processes, bodily activities and sensations. It controls the movement of blood through the circulatory system, delivery of nutrients to the cells and the removal & excretion of waste products.
It governs the nervous system and sensory functions.
Thin, Small Frame, Small Muscle Tone, Thin & Dry Hair.
Tranquility, Stability, Calmness, Creativity, Energy, Enthusiasm, Light-heartedness, Easy digestion, Restful sleep, Adequate hydration, Grounded and Focused.
Anxiety, Fear, Anorexia, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Dehydration, Dry skin & hair, Brittle nails, Light & painful menses, Sensitivity to cold, Constipation, Overwhelm, Indecisiveness, Addictions, low mood, Fatigue, Insomnia, Aches & Pains in the body, Depletion, Low immunity, migraines, tinnitus and Sensitivity to Cold/Wind.
Vata aggravate in Winter or cold climates.
Hot, Rough, Clear, Moist, Light, Oily, Subtle, Flowing, Mobile, Sharp, Hard.
Small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, lymph & eyes.
Pitta governs all heat in the body. represents metabolism. It governs digestion and metabolic transformation of nutrients into biologically usable forms. It also imparts the capacity to absorb ideas and impressions and bestows intelligence and an enthusiasm for life.
Responsible for digestion, metabolism, chemical transformations and the production of cellular energy. Also governs digestion of information.
Pitta-types are very sharp thinkers, philosophers, analysts, consultants, managers, advisors, mathematicians and engineers.
Medium Frame, Medium muscle tone, Sharp & Radiant with slight redness to skin. Early Grey Hair.
Strong appetite with cool digestion& assimilation of nutrients, low level of toxins, focused, intellectual thought, soft leadership, balanced work/rest & healthy ambition.
Excessive body heat, Acid reflux, Feelings of Anger, Jealousy or Resentment, Auto-Immune Disorders, Vision problems, Hot skin rashes, Excess acidic sweat or urine, Psoriasis, Anemia, Diarrhea, Liver or Gallbladder issues. Being Critical or Judgmental, Extreme competitiveness, Excessive Work or Production, Unable to rest, Burnout, Fever, Toxic blood, Inflammation of bodily tissues, bones, joints, Sensitivity to heat or sun.
Pitta aggravate in Summer or hot climates.
Cold, Moist, Soft, Smooth, Cloudy, Heavy, Gross, Dense, Dull, Static or Stable.
Chest, throat, head, pancreas, stomach, fat, nose and tongue.
Kapha governs the structure and stability of the body. It gives strength both physically and psychologically. It enhances resistance to disease and promotes the healing process.Supplies nutrition and hydration to bodily tissues. Binds and solidifies our existence. Creates bodily tissues and holds bones and muscles together.
Short, Dense Frame, big round eyes, full lips, luminous skin, thick & wavy hair, Husky voice.
Good digestion, Flexible joints, Adequate Energy & Movement, Gentle nature, Caring, Loving, Happy, forgiveness, laid back, Loyal, Ambitious and Can adapt to Change.
Depression, Lethargy, Weight Gain, Swelling, Edema, Nausea, Diabetes, Sluggish digestion, High Cholesterol, Toxic Accumulation. Possessiveness, greed, envy, Cluttered, Unmotivated, Excess Mucous Production, Frequent Congestion, Sensitivity to dampness.
Kapha aggravate in the Spring or damp climates.