What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old system of natural healing with roots in the Vedic Culture of India. The word Ayurveda originates from two Sanskrit words; Ayur meaning "life" & Veda meaning "knowledge" or "science." This “Life Science”, or “Life Knowledge” is often described as Yoga’s sister science. It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.
Ayurveda believes that everyone’s natural state is health and happiness; it focuses heavily on disease prevention and practices that develop self-awareness while empowering patients with techniques for personal health maintenance & wellness.
Ayurvedic Views on Health & Disease
Ayurveda believes that you must treat the person,
not just the condition or signs/symptoms.
Ayurveda says that 95% of diseases and ailments start first in the mind; they then affect our digestion (which is how we assimilate nutrients- if our digestion is poor, our body accumulates toxins and so the disease process begins!). Our hectic lives, high stress and anxiety levels, emotional turmoil, excess worry or mental turbulence, anger, and unresolved past issues most likely will, with time, become physical problems. Our best medicine is prevention. Ayurveda utilizes physical and mental healing through utilizing 5 sense therapies.
Five Sense Therapies
Humans have 5 senses; we can see, smell, hear, taste and touch. We take in information and impressions through our senses all of the time. Ayurveda uses our 5 senses as a means to bring complete health, or svastha, back to the body. This is most commonly done through diet and herbal supplements, but can also include healing through sound, colors, aromatherapy, massage and yoga/meditation.
Life According to the Five Elements of Nature:
What’s a Dosha?
Ayurveda sees perfection in nature. Nature consists of 5 elements: earth, air, fire, water, and ether (space). Humans also consist of 5 elements- you see earth in our structure, air in our ability to move, fire in our metabolism, water as fluid in our bodies and ether (being the most subtle element) in our minds. Everyone has a unique elemental profile; while we consist of all 5 elements, some elements are more prevalent in us than others. Ayurveda uses the term Dosha to describe our elemental profiles.
There are three doshas, each consisting of two elements.
Vata Dosha: air and ether (responsible for motion)
Pitta Dosha: fire and water (responsible for digestion & metabolism)
Kapha Dosha: earth and water (responsible for structure & stability)
Just as we consist of all 5 elements, we too are all 3 doshas. Ayurveda calls the inherent ideal balance off these in a person’s body their Prakruti, or individual constitution. This constitution determines the physical and structural characteristics that define our bodies as well as our physiological tendencies. The doshas also affect our emotional tendencies and the expression of our personalities.
If Vata is the dominant dosha in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and spontaneous. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, athletic, goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, loyal, grounded and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate. The dosha most prevalent is the one that is most likely to become out of balance.
Each dosha has a balanced and imbalanced expression. When Vata is balanced, a person is lively and creative, but when there is too much movement in the system, a person tends to experience anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, digestive pain or discomfort, constipation, and difficulty focusing. When Pitta is functioning in a balanced manner, a person is warm, friendly, disciplined, a good leader/teacher, and a good speaker. When Pitta is out of balance, a person tends to be compulsive, irritable, jealous, resentful, angry or may suffer from burning indigestion, loose stools or an inflammatory condition. When Kapha is balanced, a person is sweet, supportive, and stable but when Kapha is out of balance, a person may experience depression, sluggishness, lethargy, weight gain, heaviness when eating or sinus congestion.
When one or more doshas are out of balance we experience first discomfort, then eventually disease. We often times ignore, make excuses for, or simply learn to live with these discomforts. In the mind, this can be many things including: nervousness, fear, anxiety, anger, jealousy, frustration, sadness, depression, confusion, trouble focusing, insomnia, etc. In the body this might be physical pain: digestion problems, food sensitivities, allergies, low energy, skin irritations, sinus issues, etc.
Why live with these things when your natural state is health and happiness?
Ayurveda listens to our bodies warnings and whispers, viewing them as “red flags” and indicators of things we need to work on to improve our health. With Ayurveda we begin to balance the 5 elements in our bodies holistically through our 5 senses.
What’s an Ayurvedic Consultation and who can benefit?
An Ayurvedic Consultation can help you figure out your individual constitution (Prakruti) and what dosha(s) are your most dominant. The initial consultation is 2 hours; this is where we examine your physical characteristics and dive deeper into your physical, mental and emotional tendencies. The counselor works to educate the patient about Ayurveda and begin implementing lifestyle changes that support their doshas and correct mental and digestive imbalances.
About a week after the initial consultation you receive a 1-hour report of findings where we discuss your Prakruti and continue treatment recommendations. After the report of findings, we continue with follow up visits where Jule continues education on Ayurvedic lifestyle choices that support patient doshas/imbalances. Anyone can benefit from learning and incorporating Ayurveda into their lives. It is suitable for all ages, backgrounds, and levels of well-being.
No experience is necessary, just a willingness to learn about how to be your best self.
Ayurveda can help:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Constipation / Diarrhea
Lethargy / Chronic Fatigue
Focus & Memory