“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
When diet is right, medicine is of no need.”
Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and originated over 5,000 years ago in India. It is the oldest continuously practiced health care system in the world. Ayurveda draws on the understanding of the natural rhythms of nature and the five elements. These five elements are in nature and are in each and every one of us. The elements are ether (space), air, fire, water, and earth.
When we as natural beings who are governed by these laws of nature learn to work with them and their divine consciousness, we can create health and well being in our bodies. If we choose to ignore these laws then imbalance and “disease” can begin to appear. These imbalances are the precursor to disharmony and disease in the mind and in the body. Ayurveda understands our deepest connections with the whole universe and the influences of the energies that make up this universe.
“We are considered a Microcosm of the Macrocosm.”
Each of the five elements has inherent energies that govern their functions. We are all made up of these energies, but each individual, each person will have slightly different proportions of the individual elements, making everyone unique, making everyone have their own constitutional makeup.
The Ayurvedic approach treats each and every one of us by taking into account unique psychological, emotional and physical conditions. Any imbalances in the body are then looked at through the system of the elements.
Ayurvedic medicine concentrates on prevention and understanding one’s own makeup and focuses on how the outer world and environment affect one’s daily life.
Ayurveda is a system based on natural healing through the strengthening of the body, mind, and spirit, thereby, allowing the body to heal itself to be swastha* (healthy). Ayurveda teaches us to attain optimal health through the deeper knowledge and understanding of ourselves and our unique relationship in and to the world we live in.
* Swastha - a healthy person is someone whose doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) are all in equilibrium, the digestive fire (agni) is in a balanced state (sama), in addition to the body’s tissues (dhatus) and wastes (malas) also being in balance. The quote also states that the mind (mana) and sensory organs (indriyas) as well as a person’s spirit/soul (atma) must be also in a pleasant state (prasanna). When a person is balanced in all of those areas, he or she is considered healthy by Ayurvedic standards.