I first started learning and studying Ayurveda about 4-5 years ago and I have just finished my Ayurvedic Health Counselor course. Note that I am by no means an expert in this and when it comes to Ayurveda, you're not ever really done learning. The information is so deep and intricate...it takes a minimum of 6 years to become an Ayurvedic doctor! BUT I have learnt a fair amount along this journey and so I'm trying to share little bits with you!
There are so many different schools of thought when it comes to Ayurveda but I'll try to be as accurate as possible with the information give out to you all!
In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The Science of Life.” Ayurvedic knowledge originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is often called the “Mother of All Healing.”
When comparing Ayurveda with Western medicine, the diagnostic methods used to identify imbalances are so detailed, it can identify a condition or disease sometimes 4 stages before western medicine does. It is said that Ayurveda is a preventative science, whereas western medicine is curative. I genuinely believe combining both is the best solution :)
Ayurveda's definition of health is not just for the physical body; it is the harmony of mind body and soul. Ayurveda teaches us how to tune into our bodies and how to adapt our life in order to create an environment, internal and external that is most supportive in optimizing our own health.
On a gross level when we look around every day, we see that every single body is unique and so it doesn't make much sense to have medicines, treatments, dietary recommendations as a 'one fits all'. Ayurveda sees each individual as an INDIVIDUAL and so the way my body may react to a specific vegetable may be completely different to the way my husband or friend might.
We all have genes, but our genetic make up differs. In the same way, Ayurveda sees the elements as the fundamental building blocks of humans and nature. Our physical bodies are all made up of the 5 elements, but the proportions of each elements in our bodies differ. In Ayurveda this specific elemental combination is referred to as our DOSHA. Dosha means CONSTITUTION.
Oh but wait! It gets a little more detailed! We are born with an ORIGINAL dosha, our optimal elemental balance (prakruti, in Sanskrit). In parallel, we have our current dosha (vikruti, in Sanskrit). Our current dosha refers to the imbalances we are facing caused by whatever we are experiencing through our senses (eg. changes in environment, the climate, the food we eat, the things we listen to, the things we see every day, the scents we smell, etc.)
So once we are aware of both the goal is to adjust our lifestyle, dietary habits in order to balance back to our original..our optimal health state and keep it there!
A misconception I had at the beginning of my studies was that only certain things are considered are 'ayurvedic' like kitchari or specific vegetables. But as I dove deeper, I realized that actually everything is Ayurvedic. It's just about understanding what your body is feeling and then reacting and nourishing it accordingly. Ayurvedic cooking is where the current physical, mental, and psychological state is considered before preparing a meal. Consequently, the food choices, the spices used, and the way it is prepared is unique to the person and their current circumstance.
There are 3 main DOSHAS - | KAPHA - water & earth| PITTA - fire & water | VATA - air & ether|.
I will break down these DOSHAS FOR YOU AS SIMPLY AS I CAN in my future posts! As Einstein once said, "If you cant explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." SO WISH ME LUCK!!! This is really putting my studying to use!
Sending you so much love
xx Radhi ♡