What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a holistic health system that dates back thousands of years before modern medicine. It is based on living in harmony with nature and the universe and it gives the wisdom required for people to fully understand their individual true self. Ayurveda heals, prevents disease, brings vitality and good health to us which is done through dosha specific diets, lifestyle changes, mantras and meditation, all working in harmony with the cycles of nature. Adding to this are herbal medicines, Ayurvedic bodywork therapies such as Massage, Panchakarmas and yoga plus more giving a complete healing system.
Ayurveda has two main goals: "To maintain the health of the healthy and to heal the sick physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually." Ultimately Ayurveda aims to always maintain the health and well-being of a person whilst also maintaining the happiness and balance of a person's mind and soul. Ayurveda puts a lot of emphasis not only on our physical bodies but also on our mental and spiritual self and in doing so can offer healing on all levels whilst following a path that moves with nature rather than against it.
In Ayurveda, the five elements are Space/Either (Akasha), Air (Vayu), Fire (Agni), Water (Jala) and Earth (Prithvi) which is found everywhere in the universe and manifests in each of us giving us our physical and mental qualities. The five elements are combined into three constitutions or Doshas which are "forces of life" and are like patterns of energy.
Either and Air combine to form the Vata dosha.
Fire and Water combine to form the Pitta dosha.
Water and Earth combine to form the Kapha dosha.
We each have the three doshas within us, although there is always one or two that are more dominant. This is what gives us our unique nature called prakriti or constitution. Understanding your constitution is what helps to prevent illness as well as cure disease. It gives us the ability to address specific health concerns as well as an understanding as to why we each respond differently from each other.