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What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that means "the science of life and longevity."
As a science of self-healing, Ayurveda encompasses diet and nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, rest and relaxation, meditation, breathing exercises, and medicinal herbs, along with cleansing and rejuvenation programs for healing body, mind and spirit.
The tradition of Ayurveda as a healthcare practice extends back over more than 5000 years, originating in India. It is not a recently developed system of "alternative healing" but an enduring science of life that has never lost its integrity and essential nature.
You can imagine how much practical knowledge it has accumulated over a span of five millennia!
In a profound sense, Ayurveda is the mother of all healing systems.
How does it work?
Ayurveda is the art of daily living in harmony with the laws of nature.
Its aims and objectives are to maintain the health of a healthy person and to heal the disease of an unhealthy person.
Man, a creation of Cosmic Consciousness, is considered to be a microcosm of the macrocosm that is the Universe. Whatever is present in the cosmos, the same is present in human beings.
Man is a miniature of nature.
The concept of the five elements is one of the most fundamental in Ayurvedic science.
The five elements are:
Space (ether), Air, Fire, Water and Earth
They exist in all matter, both organic and inorganic. As man is a microcosm of nature, the five elements also exist within every individual.
These five elements combine into three fundamental energies, or doshas:
Ether and Air constitute Vata, the energy of movement.
Fire and Water constitute Pitta, the principle of digestion or metabolism
Water and Earth make up Kapha, the energy of structure and lubrication.
We all have our own unique combination of elements and a particular constellation of qualities. This is our blueprint - our prakruti - our individual constitution, our own unique pattern of energy, our combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics and predispositions.
Our prakruti becomes unbalanced when we are not aware of it, and as unhealthy diets, excess stress, insufficient rest and exercise and repressed emotions all disturb our doshic balance.
The science of Ayurveda is not a passive form of therapy but instead asks each individual to take responsibility for his or own daily living, taking simple actions for prevention, self-healing, wholeness and growth towards fulfillment.
Health depends on keeping your unique proportion of elements in balance. Balance is the natural order of things; imbalance provokes and reflects disorder. Within our bodies there is a constant interplay of order and disorder which determines our state of health.
Health is order; disease is disorder.
Ayurveda helps you restore a state of balance and health. Its treatments consist to a great extent in identifying a persons disorder and setting right any imbalances.
The knowledge of the causes of disease, and the understanding that "like increases like" and "opposites balance" give us the information we need to maintain or restore our health, through conscious attention, moment-to-moment awareness of our behaviour.
An Ayurvedic Lifestyle as Preventive medicine, involves:
establishing a daily routine in harmony with natures rhythms
regular sleep patterns & habits
a diet in line with your dosha
pranayama (breathwork) exercises
yoga or other forms of exercise depending on your prakruti
body massage - to improve circulation & calm the mind
Ayurvedic first-aid treatments to heal imbalances and sickness include:
herbal medications. The pharmacopoeia of Ayurveda is vast, including thousands of medicines, many of them herbal preparations.
herbal teas, tonics & mixtures
internal cleansing programs to remove ama (toxins) from the body. The most widely known in the West is panchakarma.
Book an Ayurvedic Healing Retreat
Would you like to understand your dosha? Heal a specific condition or complaint? Or receive some lifestyle advice? Maybe you just want to give your body and mind the opportunity to start afresh....
Our 10 day Healing with Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka provides an opportunity to experience the wonder of Ayurveda by immersing you into every aspect of this healing science. During your stay you will benefit from a compete internal cleanse, panchakarma, removing all toxins from the body - it really is like hitting the re-set button! But done in a gentle, personalised & professional manner, monitored closely by highly trained doctors and therapists. Hit the button below to get in touch and find out more.
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