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How can I live in alignment with your nature? The Ayurveda way



What is Ayurveda?


Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of healing on the planet. It is widely considered to be the mother of all of the world’s healing traditions, including naturopathy, acupuncture, traditional chinese medicine, chiropractic medicine and aromatherapy.

The word ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit words ayur- meaning “life”; and –vedas meaning “wisdom”. In essence, ayurveda teaches us how to live in alignment with the natural world and our own true nature. 


Ayurveda originated in ancient India over 5,000 years ago, and is still broadly practiced worldwide today. In modern times, interest in ayurveda is experiencing a kind of renaissance (together with hatha yoga, it’s sister science), as more people seek to understand how to live in ways which promote harmony, wisdom, longevity and balance with the Earth.





The Principle of Balance


Ayurveda teaches us that true health comes from within you -- from the natural state of balance between body, mind and spirit. This means that your body possesses an innate natural intelligence that’s able to guide you toward your own natural state of balance, which is also a place for your optimal health, wisdom, fulfillment and joy.


When we do not respect our body’s natural intelligence (or when we are thrown out of balance by external factors), you begin to experience symptoms to indicate that you are off balance (e.g. fatigue, mood swings, pain, etc). If left untreated, these signals of imbalance may later become disease. In this sense, Ayurveda teaches us that disease is simply dis-ease, or “a lack of ease” between body, mind and spirit.


If you feel sick, out-of-balance or out of touch with your body’s natural intelligence today, don’t be discouraged. You may simply need to spend some extra time getting reacquainted with your body’s natural intelligence, and to commit to a few simple and sustainable lifestyle changes.


Ayurveda’s primary healing methods use a combination of herbalism, dietary recommendations and lifestyle practices to bring you back to your healthy, joyful, resilient natural state. 


The healing methods of Ayurveda include using food as medicine, breathing exercises, meditation, hatha yoga, sensory therapies, aromatherapy, or therapeutic measures.





Ayurveda in Nature: The 5 Elements


Let’s start by recognizing that all aspects of the natural world are created by a combination of the 5 elements, and that each element has its own qualities:


  • Earth is considered solid, stable and heavy (e.g. soil, potatoes);

  • Water is liquid, heavy and soft (e.g. oceans, lakes);

  • Fire is hot, bright and mobile (e.g. the sun, chilies) ;

  • Air is moving, light, dry and subtle (e.g. a strong wind, rice crackers);

  • Ether (space) is empty, limitless, all-containing (e.g. the sky, an empty room, black holes).


Everything that you can see, smell, touch, hear or taste on Earth is made up of some combination of these five elements.


Your body-mind is also made of these 5 elements. Depending on our individual make-up, we may each express a different combination of these 5 elements. 


For example:


  • your sister may have a “fiery” personality: ambitious, competitive, charismatic, intelligent and sometimes impatient. 

  • your brother may be more “down-to-earth”: calm, easy going and patient, but slow to get started and naturally less driven. 

  • your best friend may be more “etheric” : spiritual, intuitive and attuned to the unspoken, but less materially inclined, forgetful or unreliable.


The play of the elements is what makes us unique individuals with distinct characteristics. 


Diversity is what makes life richer. 





The 3 Doshas


To understand our body on a deeper level, Ayurveda uses a system of the 3 doshas. The word dosha means “energy” or “disturbance” in Sanskrit. This is the energy that will most typically become disturbed for you, and that you need to take special care of.


The 3 doshas are:

  • Vata, composed of air and ether

  • Pitta, composed of fire and water; and,

  • Kapha, composed of earth and water


We'll explore these teachings further in our upcoming series on Ayurveda for Vibrant Living -- learn more here



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