When I talk to people and what I do comes up, a lot of people are very interested in the growing niche that is Ayurveda.
So to give them a quick introductory lesson, I simply translate this word that has been popping up all over western culture, especially the “new age alternative health scene”…
“Ayurveda” is a sanskrit word derived from the two roots:
ayur meaning life,
and veda meaning knowledge or science.
Thus, Ayurveda is “the science of life.” – a pretty holistic and broad science by the sounds of it.
Ayurveda encompasses our entire world – nature, the body, mind and spirit. It has an answer to everything.
Ayurveda is how to live your life in harmony with nature, with the cycles of nature.
Leaves turn red, then fall off trees, tides go up and down with the moon, whales migrate, everything in nature is tied to these cycles – and so are we!
Ayurveda is the science of how to live in tune with nature, with your own specific human nature!
This is certainly present within each and every being, but the extent to how tapped in we are, to how enlivened this true self is, how active our true self is, varies in different people.
Ayurveda is all about letting this “Truth” of you out.
This system of medicine does not only make you feel good, but more importantly, it is designed to relieve the stress, the density of the physical, so we have more clarity to see what this crazy mind is doing. Then we can free our mind, reside in more contentment, and evolutionarily and calmingly go down stream in life rather then paddling upstream.
Where is this true self?
“What is microcosm is macrocosm” – quite simply, the Truth is that the universe is one, whole, complete thing.
We are born with this knowledge! When we are born we can breathe straight away, when fish are born – they know how to swim.
People are not in their original memory of true self (“smriti” in sanskrit) because they are diverted.
“Uncooked food is great, sprouts are rich in protein” – You are being diverted. (Uncooked foods means the body’s digestion has to work harder to cook it, and raw sprouts are dangerous to consume, because while sprouting they release toxins to protect themselves from insects).(1). Food fads are unsustainable and mostly incompatible with your body. Living in tune with nature is the safest and healthiest diet.
You need to transcend these diversions and ‘trends’ and just Be. Be in that which is perfect balance and harmony with nature.
So you may be wondering, in what ways can you match up and live in harmony with nature? You must tune in and get to know your self. We each have a unique constitution that matches up with different aspects of nature.
- Some of us are like winter, we are cold and dry – that translates as vata. – your nervous system and body is dominated by air.
- Some of us are like summer, we are hot, fiery, competitive and driven – this is pitta.
- Some of us are like spring, holding on to more water, they are more easy going, heavier set, more mellow in constitution – this is kapha.
5 Element Theory (Pancha Mahabhutas)
These qualities of nature exist inside of us. It is the 5 elements (Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth) that compose everything in the universe, including the human body.
Based on the ‘levels’ of the 5 elements within a given situation, whether it be human, plant or animal, Ayurveda will accordingly adjust diet & lifestyle factors to not only profoundly prevent disease but also teach one how to live in tune with nature and its cycles – for maximal health, longevity, and to elevate ourselves into the higher realms of happiness – the ultimate goal in life.
Ayurveda is that system that includes:
- detoxification: how to detox yourself appropriately in the appropriate season, according to your personal unique constitution.
- how to eat the right foods in the right times in the right way. What is compatible to you specifically.
- Sleeping not long after the sun sets, waking up with the sun.
But don’t get to rigid about this “body type” thing.
If you have been diverted, take some simple steps back to align more with mother nature. Go to sleep and wake with the sun, eat natural foods, share natural relationships and not stressful ridicule. Physical activity should be natural (we are not designed to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day as our ancient ancestors were walking the land hunting and gathering from many hours a day for millennia), replace screens with live scenes of forests or ocean or a fellow human being.
Western Medicine & Ayurveda
A significant difference between Ayurveda and western medicine is that the focus of Ayurvedic medicine is to identify and treat the root cause of disease, rather then just treating its symptoms.
Although many health systems are beginning to look deeper into peoples problems, it is still common for a doctor to prescribe you pills for your headache, or your muscle pain, or your depression, rather than questioning, what are you eating? could that be effecting you?…what are your lifestyle conditions? what other things are going on in your life… etc.
Prevention – A key component of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda has 6 stages of disease. The first stage is where toxins start to accumulate due to hampered bodily function or intelligence. Through certain ayurvedic diagnostic methods, such as pulse diagnosis, this can be recognised early. Some Ayurvedic doctors can even detect hereditary factors by feeling the pulse, and from here implement diet, lifestyle and herbal measures to prevent this weak spot in the body from becoming vulnerable to disease.
If we look at western medicine, it usually will not step in until manifestation has happened. This is the 5th stage of disease according to Ayurveda, and has happened after 1. the toxins (Ama) has accumulated – 2. aggravated – 3. overflown and became more severe – 4. relocated within the body – 5. then it has has reacted and manifested.
What more is that western scans and other testing methods, cannot measure Vata (air element) at all. Air cannot be seen by scans. Brain strokes and paralysis when scanned looks normal. This is because Vata cannot be seen in. Only after a few days they see a clot when it manifests. This is a notable quality of Ayurvedic diagnosis methods, to detect early what is going on deep in the body.
Whether you are only beginning to hear your body call out for better health and more harmony and want to act towards it, or have been on a path like this for a while, there is no need to get to rigid and fussy about what you should eat, how you should live etc. just become more natural, and perhaps steer away from some of today’s norms and fads.
Don’t abide to all these measures because they are a solution to your health. Do them because they make you feel good.
Begin to live your life struggle free.
How many of you feel your life is like a struggle?
How many of you at the end of the day feel exhausted, tired and depleted.
How many of you throughout the day crave sugar, candy, coke, coffee, cake, super organic treats, organic, raw, non-organic chocolate – things to give you an injection of energy to get you through the day.
These are stimulants that are used because our body doesn’t have the energy to make it through the day.
Live your life in harmony with the natural cycles, and at the end of the day feel the exact same energy as when you started and have zero cravings throughout the day. Couple this with feeling internal peace with minimal – no suffering, and radiating love. That is the goal of Ayurvedic medicine.