The term Ayurveda is comprised of two sanskrit root words Ayur (Life) and Veda (Knowledge of or Study of) so Ayurveda translates to “knowledge of life,” and the principles of this ancient wisdom tradition teaches us that all of life is intricately interwoven. Ayurveda is a blueprint for living in harmony with natures and emphasis total wellness of body, mind and spirit.
The five great elements of ether or space, air, fire, water, and earth blend together in the dance of creation around and within us. Ayurveda groups these five great elements into three basic types of energy referred to as the Doshas that are the functional principles present in everything and everybody.
The doshas are:
Vata (Air and Space) responsible for movement
Pitta (Fire and Water) responsible for digestions/transformation
Kapha (Earth and Water) responsible for growth/cohesiveness
Everything that we experience, be it a physical substance, a thought, or emotion, has certain qualities. The ancient texts of Ayurveda classify these qualities called Gunas in Sanskrit into 10 pairs of opposites for a total of 20 qualities:
The 10 pairs of opposite qualities are:
Heavy vs Light
Cold vs Hot
Oily vs Dry
Dull vs Sharp
Smooth vs Rough
Dense vs Liquid
Soft vs Hard
Stable vs Mobile
Gross vs Subtle
Cloudy vs Clear
Through the lense of Ayurveda we can observe that everything in the universe can be described in terms of these gunas, or qualities, including the doshas. So it is said that the doshas can be described by collections of specific gunas.
The foundation of Ayurvedic treatment relies upon recognizing when gunas have become excessive or deficient, as this is known to cause imbalances in the dosha which if left unattended to can lead to disease. Ayurveda applies the opposite qualities or gunas to return to balance.
Agni, the universal principle of transformation that manifests as our digestive fire, mediates between the internal and external, transforming food into bodily tissue and waste; interpreting information into experiential knowledge; and discerning between nutritious material and waste product. Ayurveda kindles the agni of the body to digest toxins which have manifested due to internal or external stresses, ensuring optimal functioning of the physical and mental being.
Through the application of Ayurvedic knowledge and principles we approach health as preventative medicine which establishes wellness to the unique constitution of every individual.
If an imbalance has not been attended to, and disease has established itself, Ayurvedic doctors develop extensive holistic treatment protocols to return balance and health.
Ayurveda offers one of the world’s most comprehensive cleansing protocols, known as panchakarma. This ancient practice uses five primary therapies to release and eliminate accumulated toxins from deep within the tissues, and return the doshas to their proper seats in the body.
Ayurveda offers renewed access to our natural intelligence, and holds the key to resolving imbalance and dis-ease. Thus, this ancient medicine offers the promise of a more harmonious future for the people and planet.