Body,  Mind

An Introduction to Ayurveda: The Basic Principles

Ayurveda has been one of the top practises I have involved myself in ever since my diagnosis of depression and anxiety 6 years ago. I had looked into a variety of way to help me deal with my mental health – some days were better than others! But no matter whether I was having a good day or a bad day, practising Ayurveda helped me to regain some of the sanity I felt I had lost during my worst times.

Introducing this healing practise into my life when I needed it most has allowed me to feel more grounded, more at peace with myself and the world and calmer with elements inside me.  

Reading into Ayurveda allowed me to connect to the rawness of our planet earth, and subsequently be able to address some issues of mine with holistic remedies. 

Now this isn’t to say that you will take to Ayurvedic practises in the same way. Of course, medications prescribed by practitioners help a great deal and taking them might make you feel more at ease.

I turned to Ayurveda after being placed on countless different medications and treatments, until I realised that perhaps the best person who knew what was best for me, was myself. 

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What is Ayurveda?

The word ‘Ayurveda’ translates to ‘Science of Life’ in Sanskrit and is one of the oldest healing sciences. Ayurvedic knowledge and practises date back over 5,000 years and originated in India. The practise is considered a way of life and is commonly known as the ‘Mother of All Healing’. 

Ayurveda covers a range of different lifestyle elements including health, diet, herbs and spices, oils, body types, massage and general body therapies. Today, many people around the world ares choosing to move from the invasive chemical treatments to a more harmonious, natural treatment for minor ailments and body issues. 

In the current societal and environmental climate, it is more vital than ever to take care of ourselves and to put our mental and physical wellbeing before anything else. Cue Ayurveda!

Ayurveda's Holistic Approach to Health

Ayurveda focus on the prevention of disease. It encourage people to recognise and understand their own unique bodies, their weaknesses and tendencies towards certain illnesses and diseases. 

Modern medicine and treatments often address the illness or weakness in isolation, separate from the person as a whole. Ayurveda, on the other hand, differs in that it understands the isolated weakness but also recognises its potential transference to other weak areas. Through looking into peoples’ past personal and family health issues, lifestyle and diet, Ayurveda aims to improve both the isolated weakness in addition to setting up a plan for an improved overall lifestyle and future habits. 

Ayurveda is not a one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellbeing. The practise is complimentary to your individual needs and requirements to help you live your future life to the fullest. 

Finding Your Own Balance With Ayurveda

There is no denying it. Life is stressful and your sense of your ability to cope can easily fluctuate from day to day. Work, family, finances and personal struggles can all take their toll on your mental and physical wellbeing.

It is therefore important to establish and maintain a core balance, which is where the help of Ayurveda can help. 

The principle theory of Ayurveda is that all living and non-living things are composed of unique combinations of five elements: earth, fire, water, air and space.

These are the building blocks of life that unite all humans. These elements manifest themselves through ‘doshas’ or energies, and their ratios and proportions in each being is what make us totally unique. 

The Three Doshas

    • Vata: possesses qualities that Reflect the elements of space & air 
    • Kapha: possesses qualities that reflect the elements of earth & water
    • Pitta: Possesses qualities that reflect the elements of fire & water

To find out more about these elemental energies and to discover your own unique dosha click here.

The Takeaway

Ayurveda believes that true health is not defined by check ups and clinical tests, but is instead a continuous process that involves all elements of daily life including mental, physical, spiritual, social, behavioural…to name a few! 

To achieve a balance across all elements is to achieve true health. A one-size-fits-all treatment does not exist in the world of Ayurveda where each person is treated as uniquely as their own fingerprints. To be able to support and honour our true unique natures, the teachings of Ayurveda provide us with the knowledge and awareness we need. 

Have you tried Ayurveda? Let me know in the comments if you have found it helpful or not – remember, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to health!

As you learn to tap into your own complex and individual needs you will recognise the healing inner power you possess to help live your life to the fullest!

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