Ayurveda is the science of life. This ancient health system is as relevant now, as it was thousands of years ago when it was developed.
It is a common-sense approach to maintaining health, mind, body, and intellect.
Wading through the complexity of Ayurveda can be daunting. To keep it simple, I put together a few key principles so you can begin to use Ayurveda in your everyday life. Take a gander.
You are a unique combination of the 5 elements.
Your physical structure is earth
You are approximately 70% water
Fire rules your digestion, vision, and cognition
You are constantly moving air into and out of your cells and body.
And you have space inside your cells, tissues, organs, and all around you.
To maintain a healthy life we need to stay "close" to the unique combination of elements that we are born with.
Get a little off-kilter and you begin to see shifts in your health. For example, Eating in excess can cause your earth to increase and dampen your digestive fire. The wind can significantly shift in autumn can aggravate your air element. Excessive exercise can decrease your water (unless you hit the drinking fountain often)
There are 6 stages of disease.
Stage 1 -Accumulation. The element(s) become excessive (or depleted) and imbalanced.
Stage 2 - Aggravation - The excess aggravates your innate constitution.
Stage 3 -Dissemination - The aggravation begins to circulate throughout the body.
Stage 4 - Localization- The accumulation lands in a tissue and disrupts the function of that tissue
Stage 5 - Manifestation- The disease is full-blown and obvious
Stage 6 - Chronic Disease -The body's natural repair mechanisms are not able to reverse it.
Returning to great health is easiest in the earliest stages of disease.
Feel a sniffle? Increase warmth with hot fluids and the acid (fire) of vitamin C.
Constipation? Increase water and fiber (space).
Late winter? Balance the cold damp weather with dry warm foods, clothes, climate, etc.
Like increases like.
I've alluded to this concept earlier. Maintaining balance requires that we use the opposite qualities to counter whatever is feeling excessive. There are 10 pairs of opposites:
Everything in the universe has one or more of these qualities. When you start looking at balance through this lens, it gets easier. For example, If you have strong feelings of overwhelm, instead of engaging in "gross" activities like loud concerts or crowded rooms, curl up with a book and play soft background music. Or better yet, head to a quiet place outdoors.
Vata, Pitta & Kapha are Doshas
If you haven't heard these terms yet, you soon will. More and more people are understanding their dosha or constitution. To find out what your Dosha is, take this quiz.