What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is the holistic healing science from India.  It is the OLDEST medical science we know of, as the texts that Ayurveda originates from is about 5,000 years old.  These texts, the Vedas, are also where yoga gets its origins from.  Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences.  Both are actually much older than their texts, as they were an oral tradition, passed from generation to generation long before they were written down.

The foundation of Ayurveda is the theory of the FIVE ELEMENTS - everything is made from the great elements of space, air, fire, water and earth.  This is true of our bodies, our minds, animals, plants, the seasons.  Everything.

Ayurveda teaches us that we can bring our body and mind into balance by understanding these elements and the combination of these elements that we were born with, which is called our "prakriti" or constitution.  This is one of the most well-known theories of Ayurveda - that of "body types."  When we experience an imbalance, such as skin rashes, heartburn, depression, fatigue or anxiety, we can trace these symptoms back to the elements and bring it back into balance by introducing its opposite quality.  For example, skin rashes and heartburn indicate an excess of the fire element, which is hot and light.  Therefore, we can bring it into balance by introducing foods and activities that are cooling and grounding in nature.  Of course, it isn't quite so cut and dry - an Ayurvedic practitioner would consider your prakriti, the season the imbalance is occurring, and your "vikriti" or where your primary imbalance lies.

Ayurveda's most valuable diagnosis methods are tongue and pulse analysis, but a practitioner will also gather a lot of information through observing a person's physical attributes, their mannerisms and by asking questions.


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