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Who we are

Ayurveda is the science of the mind-body connection at its most sophisticated. Within its esoteric principles lie universal truths to which we are all subject. The science transcends theoretical study to become an art when practised with compassion and in the service of others.

Dr Deepika Rodrigo B.A.M.S. is notably the only teacher of Ayurveda with such a long history of continuous clinical practice in the West and whose teachings are offered in the service of humanity in the hope that her long-gained wisdom, passed down to her students may allow them to continue to serve and heal.

The Ayurveda Institute recognises that Ayurveda requires loving and devoted attention to continue to thrive and offer its benefits to all. Our mission is to raise awareness of Ayurveda for the benefit of the whole human community.

What is Ayurveda

Ayurveda is the ancient and timeless, science of life. It has been experientially proven over many centuries to help us achieve an optimum state of health and well being and is thus one of the most enduring, sophisticated and powerful systems of healing.

Fundamentally, everyone can benefit from the health and well-being that Ayurveda promotes. Ultimately, the wisdom of Ayurveda is a vehicle towards greater awareness and the elevation of our consciousness.

The origin of Ayurveda

More than a system for the treatment of illness, Ayurveda is the science or knowledge of life (the word derives from two Sanskrit roots “Ayu” which means life and “Veda” which means knowledge or science). It is a holistic system of medicine which originated in India thousands of years ago.

Long before modern medicine began to recognize the mind-body-spirit connection, Ayurveda was the transmission of this cosmic understanding to ancient sages in India. It was eventually committed to writing around 5,000 years ago, in the form of Sanskrit verse or sloka in what are now known as the classical texts of Ayurveda. The oldest written codification of Ayurvedic principles begins with the Rig Veda followed by the major treatises including the texts of Charaka, Sushruta and Vaghbhat. There are numerous other works which include disciplines such as general medicine, pediatrics, surgery, toxicology, fertility and rejuvenation. Through the disciplines and through time, the universal principles of Ayurveda endure.

The fundamental principles

The principles of Ayurveda are universally applicable. According to the fundamentals of Ayurveda, people are a combination of the three doshas. The three doshas are made up of the five elements – earth, fire, water, air and ether – of which all matter is composite. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha has specific qualities and it is a combination of these three qualities of vata, pitta and kapha and the proportion of each, which determine the unique characteristics of each individual. As unique as our genetic code or DNA.

When the three dosha are in their natural proportions there is balance. To heal is to restore something to its natural state of balance. Ayurveda recognizes the competing and complementary nature of the elements in all things. It is the science of identifying an imbalance and using the appropriate opposite elements to counteract and restore balance to the body, mind and soul. Plants, animals and minerals are made up of the five elements and have their own dosha and are thus used to correct the imbalance. The environment, climate and all external stimuli can either contribute to, or restore imbalance.

The Tridosha Concept

Whilst the dosha’s are composed of all five mahabhutas (elements), one or the other of the mahabhutas is predominant.


Akasa (Ether) + Vayu (Air)


Tejas (Fire) + Jala (Water)


Prithvi (Earth) + Jala (Water)

The bodily air principle called Vata dosha is manifested from the elements of Ether and Air. The bodily principle called Pitta dosha is manifested from the elements of Fire and Water. The bodily water humour called Kapha dosha is manifested from the elements of Earth and Water.

These three elements; vata-pitta-kapha govern all the biological, psychological and physio-pathological functions of the body, mind and consciousness. They act as basic constituents and protective barriers for the body and when out of balance they contribute to the disease processes.

The tridosha are responsible for the arising of natural urges and for individual preferences in foods: their flavours, temperatures and so on. They govern the creation, maintenance and destruction of bodily tissue, and the elimination of waste products from the body.

The tridosha are also responsible for psychological phenomena, including such emotions as fear, anger and greed: and for the highest order of human emotions such as understanding, compassion and love. Thus, the tridosha are the foundation of psychosomatic existence of man.

The Ayurveda Institute recognises that Ayurveda requires loving and devoted attention to continue to thrive and offer its benefits to all. Our mission is to raise awareness of Ayurveda for the benefit of the whole human community.

The basic constitution

The basic constitution of each individual is determined at conception. At the moment of this union, the permutations and combinations of bodily air, fire and water that manifests in the parent’s bodies determine the constitution of the individual.

In general, there are seven types of constitutions:

  • Vata
  • Pitta
  • Kapha
  • Vata-Pitta
  • Pitta-Kapha
  • Vata-Kapha
  • Vata-Pitta-Kapha

Among these seven general types, there are innumerable subtle variations that depend upon the percentage of vata-pitta-kapha elements in the constitution.
The basic constitution of an individual remains unaltered during the lifetime, as it is genetically determined. However, the combination of elements that governs the continuous psycho-pathological changes in the body alters in response to changes in the environment.

Throughout life, there is a ceaseless interaction between the internal and external environment. A basic principle of healing in Ayurveda holds that one may create balance in the internal forces working in the individual. By altering diet and living habits we can counteract changes in the external environment.

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