Have you ever wondered about Ayurveda, the ancient science of life that has been practiced for thousands of years? Here’s a brief introduction to this transformative practice, its principles, foundational practices, the importance of routine and digestion, detoxification techniques, and the Ayurvedic approach to disease prevention.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the practice of self-healing using techniques that focuses on moving with the cycles of nature to promote balance. It is a holistic approach that considers the entire person — body, mind, and spirit — and seeks to maintain harmony among these elements.
Principles that govern Ayurvedic medicine
The philosophy of Ayurveda is based on several key principles. These include the notion that stagnant Prana (life force) is the cause of all disease, the concept that structure informs function, and the beliefs that like increases like and opposites balance. This means that whatever we consume or do in excess, will increase in our bodies, while introducing the opposite will restore balance.
The 5 Elements and The Three Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha
According to Ayurveda, everyone is born with a unique combination of doshas which are pairs of the 5 base elements: earth, air, fire, water, and ether. The doshas are Vata (air & space), Pitta (fire & water), and Kapha (earth & water), and they determine our physical, mental and emotional characteristics.
Foundational Practices of Ayurveda
One of the pillars of Ayurveda is establishing a daily routine. This involves going to sleep by 10–10:30 pm, avoiding electronics one hour before bed, not eating 3 hours before bed, eating 2–3 meals at the same time each day, exercising for at least 20 minutes a day (preferably yoga), and hydrating with mineral water. Additionally, Ayurveda recommends daily detox practices, which we will cover later.
Digestion in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, one’s age is determined not by the number of years they’ve lived, but by the health of their digestion. The quality of digestion is evaluated based on two concepts: Agni (digestive fire) and Ama (undigested food or substances that turn toxic). Tips for better digestion include eating slowly and mindfully…