Saturday, August 10, 2013
Ayurveda: An Introduction
In a nutshell, Ayurveda is 5,000 year old healing system which originated in India. It includes yoga, philosophy, herbology, and lifestyle choices. In Sanskirt, Ayus means "life" (so, existence, reality!), and Vedas, which means "knowledge" or "wisdom." So typically it is translated as "Life Knowledge" or sometimes "Science of Life." These wisdoms are based on the Earth -- its natural patterns and rhythms, as well as the elements on Earth. I like to describe it as sort of a general manual for dealing with life as a human on this big blue marble!
First of all, there are three basic principles. They're like...three truths, three things we need to understand about life in general:
1. Duality: This is the concept of dark and light, pain and pleasure, giving & receiving, etc. The idea is that we must accept or acknowledge that there are always opposing forces in life.
2. Unity: This truth is that we are all one. Everyone and everything on Earth is mysteriously and fantastically connected. There is the same "something" inside us all.
3. Balance: This is the Ayurvedic definition of health. To be balanced is to have a steady joy and state of well-being. To be balanced is to take care of yourself. It is to live with awareness of your decisions and to be in touch with how you feel.
So how do you work on balancing, you say? Well, there are a few methods, but let's just start with the first one - my favorite! According to Ayurveda, each person is uniquely mixed of three basic principles. These principles are based on Earth's elements and are called Doshas. These can be translated as "mind-body personalities."
I'll be explaining the Doshas in depth in an upcoming post, but for now why don't you take a little test and think about which one(s) you might relate to?