What is Ayurveda ?
Sprouted in the pristine land of India some 5000 years ago,Ayurveda, the science of life and longevity, is the oldest healthcare system in the world and it combines the profound thoughts of medicine and philosophy. Since then Ayurveda has stood for the wholesome physical mental and spiritual growth of humanity around the world.
Kerala possesses an unbroken tradition of Ayurveda that has surpassed the many invasions and intrusions both foreign and native. For hundreds of years the Ayurveda Vaidyas (traditional practitioners of Ayurveda) were almost the only access for People seeking healing from every kind of disease in Kerala.
Unlike the other Indian states, the status of Ayurveda in Kerala is not alternative but mainstream. In fact today Kerala is the only state in India which practices Ayurveda in an authentic way with absolute dedication.
The word “Ayurveda” is a Sanskrit term derived from two words “ayu”-life and “veda”-knowldege or science.Thus Ayurveda means knowledge of life or the science of life. According to ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka, Ayu comprises of the mind, body and soul.
Ayurveda can be defined as a system which uses the inherent principles of nature to maintain health in a person by keeping the individual's body, mind and soul in perfect equilibrium with nature.
The Aim of Ayurveda
- To protect health and prolong life
- To cure the diseases and maintain the balance of body functions
Universe is made up of five elements i.e air,fire,water,earth and space. These elements are represented in humans by three doshas or energies Vata,Pitta and Kapha. When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. Every individual has a distinct balance. Our health and well being depend on getting a right balance of three doshas. Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals to maintain balance between the doshas
Tripods of Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, Food ,Sleep and Healthy Sex life are regarded as the tripods of healthy living. It is important for our body to be adjusted to timely intake of good quality and proper food, regular sleeping habits and controlled indulgence in sex because as all this ensures long and healthy life.
We are what we eat. So, it is essential to know what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat and how to eat. Though there are concepts of generalized diets, which are applicable to one and all, Ayurveda says that it is the individual who knows best what suits his body and mind and he should thus, act accordingly.The popping of all the vitamin pills in the world is not going to make you healthy - for all you know your body might just reject them. Timely and moderate eating habits will serve you well.
Give your body sufficient rest and find out what a different person you are!. When you give your overheated car time to cool off, can’t you give your over used body time to recover from the stress and strain? Happiness and sorrow, growth and wasting, strength and weakness, virility and impotence, knowledge and ignorance, life and its cessation - all depends on sleep.
Ayurveda highlights that celibacy is necessary for good health, as it increases memory, intellect and will power, in addition to maintaining a healthy body. Overindulgence, suppression or overuse of our basic life energy damages the fundamental connection to live and enjoy life. Sexual promiscuity leads to various diseases. Sex, according to Ayurveda, is a divine process that is responsible for the very existence of human race on the face of earth. It is therefore very important to take care of your sexual health apart from other factors like diet and sleep.
Vatha, Pitha and Kapha are together called as three humours or thridosha. Trihumoral theory is the core of Ayurveda, there is a reason for this. In the living, there are only three fundamental mechanisms happening at all times. One mechanism known as catabolism, breakdown the food or tissue to provide energy. The other mechanism which is called anabolism utilizes this energy to facilitate growth and repair. The third mechanism is an entity which strives to maintain a balance between these two.
In Ayurveda all catabolic factors are represented by a conceptual humour called Pitha which is predominantly fire existent. Another humour called Kapha which is a combination of earth and water existents represents anabolism.The third humour called Vatha is the balancing entity in the body Vatha is blend of air and space existents. It is in control of Pitha and Kapha, prevents them from going rogue. Vatha may be compared to the neuro-hormonal mechanism of the body. Each of these humours is assigned a set of qualities.
Vata is said to be the most dominant energy which sustains all other organs in normal state. It is mainly constituted of air and space. Vatha is attributed to Neuro muscular co-ordination and Blood circulation and Lymphatic circulation. It plays an important role in all kinds of movements and mental activities. Generally people with a predominance of Vata, tend to be thin, have dry skin, intolerance towards cold, move and speak quickly. Emotionally they are unstable with greater amount of anxiety and fear.
Pitha is mainly constitutes fire and water. It invokes desires such as hunger, thirst, joy, happiness. All bio-chemical and hormonal functions taking place in over body are related to pitha. Pitta predominant individuals feel warm and sweats more. They are moderate and reasonably steady in their weight, and very expressive in emotions like anger, resentment and jealousy.
Earth and water are the main entities of Kapha. Kapha renders nourishment, stability and forbearence–the capacity to with hold emotions. It acts as a medium for absorption of nutrients. Usually Kapha dominant person tend to be stocky, have thicker, denser bones, oily skin, and thick hair. They are relaxed, more stable and slow in movements.
Ayurveda for your every day life
The system of Ayurveda is not only to enhance your overall wellbeing and good health, but also works on improving your holistic wellness. Ayurveda offers a framework within which can rework our lifestyles in order to optimise our bodily functions. This age-old healing tradition utilises natural herbs and oils, all of which have immense medicinal value. The systems created go back to over 5000 years of knowledge that has been passed down through the Vedas.
The instructions laid out in these texts speak of illnesses with a range of therapies that include massages, herbal medicines, a controlled diet and the right kind of exercise. All of these are very valid in the modern world and current lifestyles.
Ayurveda is a system of treatment that helps you age gracefully while being the epitome of good physical health.