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What is Ayurveda

Ayurveda (Sanskritआयुर्वेदĀyurveda, "life-knowledge"; English pronunciation /ˌ.ərˈvdə/, or Ayurveda medicine, is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent.The main classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the Gods to sages, and then to human physicians.In Sushr...

Ayurveda (Sanskritआयुर्वेदĀyurveda, "life-knowledge"; English pronunciation /ˌ.ərˈvdə/, or Ayurveda medicine, is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent.The main classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the Gods to sages, and then to human physicians.In Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta's Compendium), Sushruta wrote that Dhanvantari, Hindu god of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as a king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a group of physicians, including Sushruta.Ayurveda therapies have varied and evolved over more than two millennia.Therapies are typically based on complex herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances (perhaps under the influence of early Indian alchemy or rasa shastra). Ancient Ayurveda texts also taught surgical techniques, including rhinoplastykidney stone extractions, sutures, and the extraction of foreign objects

History

Ayurveda is the traditional healing modality of the Vedic culture from India. It is said to be 2000 to 5000 years old, meaning it has stood the test of time. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that literally translates as “the wisdom of life” or “the knowledge of longevity”. In accordance with this definition, Ayurvedic medicine views health as much more than the absence of disease. The wise seers and sages of the time, intuitively understanding the physiology and workings of the mind-body-spirit long before the advents of modern medicine, explained the basic principles of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. Although suppressed during years of foreign occupation, Ayurveda has been enjoying a major resurgence in both its native land and throughout the world. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical ayurvedic medical texts dating back several thousands of years.

Ayurvedic Body Types

In Ayurvedic medicine, one’s individual nature is mirrored in their body type, or dosha. The doshas reflect three main governing principles of nature, called vata (air), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth-water).

Each person is a unique combination of these three principles or doshas, with different proportions of each existing within us. These three basic Ayurvedic principles combine to make ten unique mind-body types.

Based on our Ayurvedic body type, what we eat, how we exercise, when we sleep, and even where we prefer to live, will have its own unique blueprint.

Once you know your body type, Ayurveda provides protocols to align your internal nature with the larger cycles of nature, such as the daily rhythms and seasonal cycles.

In Ayurveda, seasonal and daily routines include proper diet and a balanced lifestyleaccording to your type. Ayurveda then makes very specific recommendations for resetting digestion, restoring balance and function, and proper detoxification.

  • Vata is the winter principle. Generally, vata types tend to be thin, hypermetabolic, and they think and move quickly. Vata types typically have dry skin and cold hands and feet. They do not like cold weather because they already have many of these winter or vata qualities inherent in their nature.

  • Pitta is the summer principle. Much like summer, Pitta types are hot, fiery and competitive, with a medium frame. Pitta types prefer cool weather. When out of balance, they may get heartburn, skin rashes, inflammatory diseases, or just burn out.

  • Kapha is the spring principle. Kapha types are easygoing and have a slow metabolism. Kapha types will hold on to more weight and water and tend to develop allergies and congestion. Kapha types have more spring-like qualities in the same way that vata and pitta types carry more winter and summer qualities.

Once you know your body type (vata, pitta or kapha), it’s like having a roadmap that points you in the right direction of becoming your best self, so that you can fulfill your potential and experience more joy.

Ayurvedic Diet – Eat to Live

WHAT to Eat

We have made eating very complicated – there are more modern theories on eating than there are days in a month. While animals seem to balance their nutritional needs quite well without the technical knowledge of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, we incessantly count calories and measure grams of fat, only to find out about the latest study, which tells us that the rules of eating have changed once again.

In Ayurveda, the rules remain constant: as the seasons change and different foods are harvested, we change the foods we eat in accordance.

In winter, for example, squirrels eat nuts a good source of protein and fat. This is a perfect food to help combat the cold and dry weather in the winter months (vata season). Grains, which are harvested in the fall and cooked in the winter, are also a perfect winter food. Cooked grains provide a warm, heavy nutritional base that helps us adapt to the cold of winter.

In spring, after eating heavy nuts and grains during the long sedentary winter, nature again provides us with the perfect food. Light, leafy green veggies and berries are the first foods harvested in the spring (kapha season) and are the natural antidote for the allergy season.

As the days get warmer in July and August, nature provides cooling fruits and vegetables to balance the heat of summer (pitta season).

HOW to Eat

Ayurveda understands that the cycles of nature will provide what we need at any given time. These cycles also provide the guidelines for a rhythm of life that is enjoyable. Unfortunately, our society has demanded that we rush, push, and shove our way through life in order to get ahead.

The biggest social violations of natural law revolve around our meals. We frequently race through or skip meals, eating as many as one-third of our meals in the car.

Crashing through our day, racing through lunch, and coming home to eat our biggest meal of the day at 7:00 PM when the digestion is the weakest, could not be going more against the powerful grain of mother nature.

Ayurveda recommends that all meals should be eaten slowly and calmly, and that the main meal should be at midday.

  • Aim to eat three meals a day without snacks in between
  • Eat enough at breakfast to get you through to lunch, and enough at lunch to get you through to dinner. Eat a light dinner but enough to get you to breakfast without hunger pangs.
  • Drink a 12 oz glass of water 15-20 minutes before each meal
  • Sip water with meals
  • Avoid cold drinks with your meals
  • Eat until you are satisfied, usually about ¾ full
  • Eat in a relaxed manner, without distractions (TV, reading, work, computer, etc.)
  • Rest for 15-20 minutes after meals

According to Ayurveda, living in harmony with nature’s cycles is required for the body to enjoy the self-awareness needed to heal itself and then build the clarity needed to provoke deep emotional change in one’s life.

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What is Ayurveda