What is health according to Ayurveda?
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an ancient, holistic system of medicine based on timeless principles of nature and ancient spiritual wisdom. Ayurveda compliments the practices of yoga and meditation assisting us to achieve balance, happiness and wellbeing in virtually every aspect of life. From a healthier physical body to more fulfilling relationships, Ayurveda teaches us to look to nature and to look within ourselves to cultivate health and happiness.
There is an interconnectedness in Ayurvedic medicine that isn’t so much recognized in western medicine yet. Ayurveda honors the interconnection of the body and the mind as it honors the interconnection of humanity with plants, animals and all of nature. As we explore the vast teachings of Ayurveda, we are reminded of how interconnected all of life is.
How Does Health Relate to Ayurveda?
As it pertains to heath, Ayurveda also views symptoms from different body parts as interconnected. Unlike the western medical system that would have us take different medicines for different symptoms, or see a different specialist for different symptoms, in Ayurveda, one medicine can address several seemingly different symptoms with one underlying root cause.
Ayurveda is a way of life that cultivates health on a daily basis, and because of this, it is a powerful preventative medicine. Ayurveda teaches us to listen to the subtle cues from our body and to make adjustments as needed, each and every day, so that we can prevent subsequent illness from developing. Ayurveda can detect subtle imbalance long before western medicine could find an abnormal laboratory value or diagnosis. The wisdom of Ayurveda prolongs our youthfulness allowing us to live longer and age gracefully. It soothes our aches and pains, optimizes the digestion of food, helps us to process our thoughts and emotions in healthier ways, cleans out toxicity that may accumulate and provides us with vitality and passion for life.
The rewards of Ayurveda are not just physical health. On the mental and emotional levels, Ayurveda renews our purpose and passion for life and invites inspiration, creativity, joy and love into our hearts and minds. Ayurveda, along with yoga and meditation, helps us to connect to our true, creative selves encouraging us to use our precious life in a way that is most fulfilling for us.
For the spiritual seeker or yogic practitioner, Ayurveda prepares one for deeper communion with the Divine as it awakens, cleanses and heals. Implementing the principles of Ayurveda prepares the body for higher, states of consciousness, blissful experiences and the ability to hold powerful energy at higher vibrations. Ayurveda helps the yogic practitioner to realize every individual’s highest potential and birthright, that of Enlightenment.
In our next article, we will explore the foundational principles of Ayurveda including the three doshas (body types) & their corresponding elements (Space, Wind, Fire, Water & Earth). We will begin to relate the basic principles of Ayurveda to our own personal body type and examine how the elements of nature affect our bodies, our emotions and our personalities.