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What is Ayurveda ?

Ayurveda, (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge) is one of the oldest systems of natural health care, originating in the ancient Vedic tradition of India around 5,000 years ago. Now considered one of the leading forms of holistic medicine available in the West, Ayurveda comprehensively addresses the factors that influence our quality of life. The principles of Ayurveda state that nothing exists in isolation, so that everything you interact with, your diet, family, work or relationships, has an effect on your health and wellbeing.

Ayurveda Principles

One guiding principle of Ayurveda is that mind and body are connected and that the mind has a profound influence over our health and wellbeing. Ayurveda holds that health is more than the absence of disease; it is a dynamic state of balance and integration of body, mind, and spirit. True health is a state of consistent wellbeing, not a condition of temporary tranquillity or respite from affliction. Wellbeing is that situation in which one feels inner peace, calm and stillness; states that resist our becoming agitated or unbalanced even when circumstances may trouble or torment us.

Our mind-body constitution

Recognizing that human beings are part of nature, Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments: movement, transformation, and structure. Known in Sanskrit as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth), these primary forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body.

Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature. If Vata is dominant in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate.

For each element, there is a balanced and imbalance expression. When Vata is balanced, a person is lively and creative, but when there is too much movement in the system, a person tends to experience anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and difficulty focusing. When Pitta is functioning in a balanced manner, a person is warm, friendly, disciplined, a good leader, and a good speaker. When Pitta is out of balance, a person tends to be compulsive and irritable and may suffer from indigestion or an inflammatory condition. When Kapha is balanced, a person is sweet, supportive, and stable but when Kapha is out of balance, a person may experience sluggishness, weight gain, and sinus congestion.

An important goal of Ayurveda is to identify a person’s ideal state of balance, determine where they are out of balance, and offer interventions using diet, herbs, aromatherapy, massage treatments, music, and meditation to re-establish balance.

According to Ayurveda, each of us inherits a unique mix of three mind/body principles which in turn creates our specific mental and physical characteristics. These three principles are called doshas. Most of us have one or two doshas which are most lively in our nature, with the remaining one(s) less significant.

The three doshas : Vata, Pitta, & Kapha

If we are predominantly Vata, we tend to be thin, light and quick in our thoughts and actions. Change is a constant part of our lives. When Vata is balanced, we are creative, enthusiastic and lively. But if Vata becomes excessive, we may develop anxiety, insomnia or irregular digestion.

If the Pitta dosha is most lively in our nature, we tend to be muscular, smart and determined. If balanced, we are warm, intelligent and a good leader. If out of balance, Pitta can make us critical, irritable and aggressive.

If we have mostly Kapha in our nature, we tend to have a heavier frame, think and move more leisurely and are stable. When balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness and loyalty. When excessive, Kapha can cause weight gain, congestion and resistance to healthy change.

Using the principles of Ayurveda, we can identify our mind/body nature and use this understanding to make the most nourishing choices in our lives. It is common for people to have a blend of characteristics and usually one will tend to be dominant.

 César Gamio - Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist - CesarGamio.com
 César Gamio - Executive Life Coach - EMCC-EIA - CesarGamio.com
 César Gamio - Chopra Center Certified Instructor - CesarGamio.com
César Gamio - Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist - CesarGamio.com César Gamio - Executive Life Coach - EMCC-EIA - CesarGamio.com
César Gamio - Chopra Center Certified Instructor - CesarGamio.com