A Journey Back Into The Foundations of Ayurveda
The Foundations of Ayurveda
The Ayurveda landscape is as vast as its rich history. Steeped in 5000-year-old traditions, this science of healing has brought remarkable results to avid practitioners and beginners alike. That said, to the uninitiated, Ayurveda can seem daunting at first. After all, there’s just so much to learn and consider when incorporating Ayurvedic principles into your lifestyle.
There are plenty of treatments, Ayurvedic diets, medicinal practices, and phrases integrated into the practice of this rich, transformational system - and it is understandable to feel slightly overwhelmed at the outset.
In this post, we have compiled a few themes and terms that everyone leaning towards Ayurveda should start to familiarize themselves with as it will make your journey that much more holistic and immersive. We’ve tried our best to make them simple to understand, so that you’re able to recall them with ease.
What Beliefs Underlie Ayurveda?
The primary belief that serves as a driving force in Ayurveda is the idea that all elements in the universe are interlinked: living beings, non-living beings -the environment included. Your health largely depends on whether your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony within itself, and the universe at large - or not.
Panchamahabhutas: The universe is made up of five basic elements that govern everything. They are space, air, fire, water, and earth. In this concept, pancha means five, maha means big, and bhuta means element.
These elements manifest themselves in the human body in the form of three energies referred to as Tridosha. Think of it as forces that determine your physical and emotional state. While everyone has these three doshas present in them in some measure, the degree of it varies from person to person. And so does the dominant dosha.
So, while Panchamahabhutas and Tridosha have to do with the elements and energies that influence us, Triguna (guna = attribute) is the notion that our personality is made up of three fundamental aspects - Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas.
As a science that looks at not just outward symptoms but also the internal state of an individual, Ayurveda places great emphasis on our mental constitution.
Sattva is associated with spiritual connection, lightness, and positivity. Rajas has to do with the active quality in a person, meaning to say that when you are passionate about something or driven by the need to succeed, it is due to the function of Rajas in your psyche.
And finally, Tamas induces inertia. It is composed of resistance and a sense of heaviness which can often manifest in the form of laziness, delusion, and feelings of apathy.
All of this put together has a significant bearing on you and how you perceive your surroundings.
Even if it takes you a while to get accustomed to using these terms, the underlying principles should be fairly simple to comprehend.
How Does Ayurveda Work?
Ayurvedic treatments and approaches work in two ways, either as preventive medicine or curative medicine. There is a great emphasis on prevention within Ayurveda - making it a true science of life (or science of living) as the sanskrit root of the word indicates.
As a preventive practice, Ayurveda ensures that there’s balance in your physical, mental, and spiritual states. Through wellness approaches like meditation, yoga, oil massage, dietary control, etc., it helps you maintain good health.
On the other hand, the curative aspect of Ayurveda enables people to obtain relief through detox, lifestyle changes and all-natural herbal remedies for ailments and injuries.
Ayurvedic medicine can be administered both internally and externally. A few common Ayurvedic practices that you are likely to have heard of are oil pulling, Panchakarma (detoxification treatment), and the use of herbal medicines.
Ayurveda can transform the quality of your life by helping you connect with yourself and pick up practices that nurture your well-being. This is only the beginning of a world full of traditional and nature-powered healing.
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