The Ancient Art of Super Health

Ayurveda is a holistic healing system, which means it focuses on health on the physical level, but also considers mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, too.

When a person comes to an Ayurvedic counselor with a complaint, we consider what they eat (their nutrition), their exercise type and level, their home and work environments, their stress levels, their daily routines, the current season and how all of this lines up with their unique constitution type.

It is a living, breathing system, because the conditions that determine health or disease are constantly changing.

The unique theories that sets Ayurveda apart from other holistic healing methods are two-fold:

1. The five element theory which teaches that everything is made up of the same stuff and we can promote health or disease based on our awareness and understanding of how to balance the elements in us with the elements around us.

2. The theory that we have 3 basic parts: the physical body, the mind and emotions and pure consciousness (also referred to as nature's intelligence, atman or the soul).  Balance must be achieved at all levels in order to attain true health. 

I talk a lot about the five element theory, such as understanding your constitution type and what foods to eat or avoid to maintain balance.  However, this second theory is even more significant because it adds to the first. It includes the physical body, but dives deeper to include our more subtle parts.

The "Basic Parts" theory explains how someone who eats a super-clean diet can still have high anxiety or suffer from a heart attack, while a person who smokes and drinks and stays up late lives a long, satisfying life.  Ayurveda teaches us that if we don't have health on the most subtle level - the level of our pure consciousness or our soul - then we can do everything "perfect" and still suffer from poor health.

So you know what to do (mostly) to maintain good health at the physical level, and it is likely that you are aware that good sleep, positive relationships and daily quiet contemplation support mental and emotional health.
 
But how do you cultivate balance at the level of pure consciousness?

Different people find this in different ways, but from the Ayurvedic perspective, this comes from understanding the True Nature of things  and connecting deeply with the Divine. (God, The Creator, Spirit.)  The Ayurvedic theory is, of course, that everything is all one.  This is a common teaching from many other spiritual traditions, too.  We are all made up of the same stuff.  This is where the five element theory merges with the "Basic Parts" theory.  Until we truly know that our nature is the nature of everything, we are operating out of our ego.  But that's another blog post for another time.  (:

The good news is that even by understanding this theory intellectually, you are one step closer to achieving balance on the level of pure consciousness. 

To dig deeper into these theories, please join me on Saturday, March 5 at 10:30am at Spirals in Chelan for a 1.5 hour workshop on the topic of The Ancient Art of Super Health. 

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