The uniqueness of Ayurveda
Based upon the laws of nature, it is a holistic and natural medicine. The relationship between the human being and universe can not be separated. Ayurveda emphasizes balance and harmony with help from nature itself. The dynamic balance and harmony needs to be achieved in all aspects of a persons life, physical, biochemical, intellectual, emotional, social, behavioral, familial, spiritual environmental and universal.
Ayurveda treats the individual with all tree dimensions : body, mind and spirit, placing more emphasis on the prevention of diseases, their diagnosis with help of diet, daily routines, and seasonal routines. It also deals with diseases, their diagnosis and treatments with a unique approach toward purification and rejuvenation.
What are the basic principles of Ayurveda
Ayurveda believes that the universe is made up of 5 elements : Air, Fire, Water,Earth and Either. These are also the 5 building block the human body is made up of. From the combination of these elements , three DOSHAS or energy emerge : VATA, PITTA & KAPHA. Each person has a unique constitution that depends upon the right balance of the three doshas. According to Ayurveda , the definition of a healthy person is one who has a balanced doshas, balanced Agni, properly formed dhatsu, proper elimination of waste products , all functions of of the body are working properly and who’s soul, body , mind and the five senses are at bliss.
What are the 2 principal roles of Ayurveda
- To keep the body in a state of health and free from disease
- To show us how to use health as a basis of, or as part of, the path to enlightenment
What is health ?
The term svasta means “established in self” this term is philosophical understanding of health. There are many definitions of health. According to Ayurveda perfect health is the end result of both positive self esteem ( healthy ego ) as well as spiritual Self- awareness ( connection to the soul). Both are important for the production and maintenance of good health. Perfect health exists where there is harmony between a persons constitution ( prakruti) and the environment, this can only be achieved if a person is in tune with the 5 senses and choses to interact with the environment that supports his/her nature.
What are the 3 fundamental causes of disease
- The unwholesome conjunction of the senses with the objects of their affection - Our senses are the vehicles through which we take in the world around us, by misusing our senses as bad food, toxic smells, loud noises, violent TV shows and no affection through touch we can make ourselves sick. By taking in good fresh food, beautiful smells of nature, gentle healing sounds, look at flowers, rivers and nature and through massage or gentle affection towards ourselves and others we will achieve health and happiness
- Prajnaparadha: Intellectual blasphemy, the failure of the intellect or crimes against wisdom - Our intellect is constantly asked to make decisions that we base on what we learned to be true. When we listen within ourselves we find that we know how to act in ways that bring us health and a piece of mind. But often we follow our senses and not our soul. We may choose to drink too much alcohol and we know that will not feel good afterwards but we still do it . Such unhealthy behaviour will make us sick . By listing to our soul and not our senses we find a deeper connection to God ( and /or ourselves) . Through this connection we become fuelled with spiritual energy that will empower us to not give into our senses.
- Parinama: Transformation or decay due to time - As we age our bodies will become more frail, weak and age, however this understanding is based on 2 kid of times Linear time and Biological time. While Linear time is static, Biological time changes in response to movement. As we move faster we age faster and slower when we are moving slower. The busier we are the faster biological time moves. This is also true for our mind. When our mind is active and races biological time moves fast but when the mind is focused and present biological time slows down. The mind can be perfectly still during meditation and there is no passing of biological time. When time slows down , stress is reduced, the mind at peace and the body healthy .
What is the primordial cause of disease
The primordial cause of disease is forgetting our true nature and spirit. When we forget our true nature and spirit we get caught up in the dramas of life and our mind moves fast this causes our intellect to fail and we miss use our senses which will cause disease as the doshas are disturbed
What does “Prakruti” mean
Prakruti means “the original creation” or the original nature of a person at time of conception. The moment of creation ( conception ) is the most original a person can get and will not change .
Each person has a unique make up of the 3 doshas in our bodies and mind, this make up of Vata, Pitta & Kapaha is our constitution. Each person has a make up of all 3 doshas but the combinations of the 3 are infinity possibilities . To approach an ayurvedic journey or healing it is helpful to understand your own or patients constitution
What does “Vikruti” mean
Vikruti is the nature of disturbance in a person in the present moment. The present nature of a person is rarely the same as Prakruti as it is influenced by the environment and how we live our lives. Vikruti means “after creation” so everything from the time of conception even in the womb up to now we have exposed to by our 5 senses effect the 3 doshas and cause imbalances. Our current state defines our health challenges and what we experiencing at the moment.
According to Ayurveda, the 5 main elements, when combined give rise to teh doshas. These 3 doshas are found in our body, responsbible for all biological and physiological functions in our bodies and they are present in each one of us.
The 3 Doshas are VATA, PITTA, KAPHA. These doshas when stable will generate a healthy constitution.
With the 5 elemnts and 3 doshas, Ayurveda determines the basic nature of an individula and prescribles a distinctive treatment plan according to their unique constitution .
Both yoga and ayurveda are based upon the principles of trigunas (sattva, rajas and tamas) and the panchamahabuthas (earth, air, fire, water, space). Yoga and ayurveda also encompass an understanding of how the body works (Dosha-Dhatu-Mala/humor-tissue-waste material theory) and the effect that food and medicines have on the body (Rasa-Veerya-Vipaka/taste-energy-post digestive effect concept).
Both of these sciences have eight branches: Ashtanga yoga and Ashtanga ayurveda. The two have a common understanding of health of the body being dependent on the health and balance of the mind. They share virtually the same metaphysical anatomy and physiology, which consists of 72,000 nadis (subtle channels), seven main chakras (energy centers), five bodily sheaths and the kundalini shakti (energy).
In treatment, both yoga and ayurveda advocate for the regular practice of pranayama and meditation as well as the use of herbs, body purification procedures, food and chanting of mantras for physical and mental health. In yoga, the body purification procedures have been explained as ‘Satkriyas’ whereas in ayurveda they are known as ‘Panchakarma’.
Both recognize that keeping the body healthy is vital for fulfilling the four aims of life: dharma (duty), artha (wealth), kama (desire), and moksha (liberation).