Principles of Ayurveda

Jul 31, 2022 | Ayurveda

Introduction

Ayurveda is considered one of the oldest healing sciences based on healthy lifestyle principles. Ayurveda means ‘the science of life’ and with a history that spans over 5000 years it is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Mother of all healing’. Principles of Ayurveda are the core of this natural healing system which focusses on the inner and mental wellbeing of the body.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda despite being the oldest healing science in the world has transcended time with teachings that are adaptable to today’s lifestyles. The origin of these teachings date back to ancient Indian scriptures taught by vedics.

It has become relevant in today’s world because Ayurveda places emphasis on prevention and the maintenance of health with attention to balance between body and mind. Ayurveda encourages you to think right, eat to suit your body type and adopt easy and beneficial lifestyle habits for a positive change.

By practicing the teachings of Ayurveda you will understand how to create balance within your own body, mind and spirit, based on your individual constitution. You will learn to do what is right for your body based on a thorough understanding of yourself, rather than just following the latest fads and trends. Each person’s energy pattern is unique and can be best understood by that person themselves, once guided by Ayurvedic practices.

The 5 elements

According to Ayurveda the entire universe is comprised of five basic elements of space, air, fire, water and earth.

Space (Akasha) – Space is from which all ese arises – thought, form and perceptions – providing a potential for energy from which all things begin.

Air (Vayu) – Once things are activated within space it becomes air, while subtle and unseen, it nevertheless is the force behind movement and activity. Air helps the mind with thoughts and the body with circulation.

Fire (Agni/Tejas) – It is through fire that the created energy is liberated. It governs the digestion of ideas as well as the actual digestion of food. This digestion of both ideas and food creates even more energy within us.

Water (Jala) – Water provides protection from heating, compression and drying while also providing nourishment. It provides the mind with love and compassion and the body with the liquid substance it requires.

Earth (Prithivi) – It provides the solid stability that we need in our lives and provides surety to the mind, the steady force we can depend on.

The six stages of disease

Ayurveda is about identifying imbalances before they actually turn into a disease and taking early action to maintain healthy, rather than medicating once sick. By reversing these imbalances early, the body can counter the effects and prevent the emergence of the disease. According to Ayurveda there are six identifying stages before the disease manifests.

  • Accumulation
  • Aggravation
  • Dissemination
  • Localization
  • Manifestation
  • Disruption

How nature helps us heal

When you start to feel that something is not right, it usually is an indication that an imbalance has occurred within our body. Using the stage identification provided by ayurveda you should be able to correct the imbalance before it becomes too serious.

Ayurveda recommends time spent in nature each day to allow our senses to come alive and appreciate our surroundings and absorb the healing qualities that nature has to offer. It allows us to shift our attention beyond our egos and stresses and feel even for a small while our connection to the universe. It also promotes finding natural remedies such as nuts and seeds to counter issues such the burning sensation of acid reflux as these provide fibre and nutrients that help absorb stomach acid. Peanuts, almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds and pomegranate are also healthy options to include into your daily diet.

Conclusion

The great elements that form the principles of ayurveda have been fine tuned to help the human body find balance in the vata, pitta and kapha that form the body. When this balance within the body, mind and spirit is achieved you will experience a complete sense of wellbeing.