Many people have heard of Ayurveda as the practice of yoga stems from it… but what is it other than the philosophy that yoga teachers talk about during the relaxation or Shavasana portion of class? Ayurveda translates to ‘the science which teaches one how to live life.’ “Ayu” means the ideal and consistent union of the mind, organs, body and soul from the first to the last breath. “Veda” represents grasping knowledge. Ayurveda originated in India and is both an ancient and modern practice gaining more recognition in the US as the years pass.
There are three objectives in Ayurveda which are to conserve health, to prevent disease and, when necessary, to treat disease. These objectives are mostly obtained through adjustments in lifestyle in order to correct imbalances. The adjustments may target areas such as nutrition, sleep, pranayama (breathing techniques) and overall movement of the body ie yoga. At its core, Ayurveda is an ancient art illustrating what it is to be alive and how to heal gracefully.
According to Ayurveda everything in the physical world is made up of five elements- ether, air, fire, water, and earth. Not everything is created equally, and thus there are differing amounts of each element in everything in existence. It is the distinct distribution of these elements in each human that makes us unique.
Look for next week’s blog to learn more about how to figure out what elements are predominant in you and how they may affect your health. By Dr. Krista Imre ND