Known as the “Science of Life”, Ayurveda is considered to be the oldest healing science in the world. The science of this ancient healing practice originated in the Indian subcontinent over 5,000 years ago and is still considered the “Mother of All Healing”, as it aims to heal the body, mind and spirit in totality. Passed down from generation to generation through verbal teachings and practices, there is limited documented texts of the original science. However today, there are many institutions, established hospitals and universities teaching, practicing and documenting this holistic healing medicinal practices.
Basic Principles of Ayurveda
The core essence behind the Science of Ayurveda, emphasizes on prevention of illnesses on a holistic basis, as oppose to the curing an ailment in Western medicine. It encourages the maintenance of health and wellness through the balance of mind, body and spirit. This is the right thinking, a balanced lifestyle, the right diet, and so on. Knowing the Science behind Ayurveda will give you the knowledge and understanding on how to make the right choices to lead a balanced life that suits your body constituency. By creating the optimal balance for your individual mind, body and consciousness, you are able to make the right lifestyle choices towards a better quality of life.
Our body is unique. Just like our individual unique fingerprints, we all have a particular force of energy which is our combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics. These factors can change throughout our life based on our lifestyle and the choices we make.
There are many factors that affect our body and change our equilibrium. These factors can be either internal or external. Factors such as physical stress, your emotional state, choices in food and diet, seasons and weather will affect each of us differently, physical and mental trauma, work stress and family relationships. Once you identify the factors that affect your body’s balance, you can be conscious of making the right choices to mitigate the negative effects. It is the concept of Balance of nature vs imbalance of disorder and order of health vs disorder of disease. Your body is in constant interaction with order and disorder. When you understand the cause and reason for your disorder, you can consciously re-establish order within your body, mind and conscious state.
Balancing Your Three Energies – Vata, Pitta and Kapha
Ayurveda recognizes three basic energy types known as Dosha. These functional principles are present in everyone and in varied degrees. No one person will have the same balance and hence, your individual Ayurvedic Dosha will be completely unique to you. These are known through their original Sanskrit names as Vata, Pitta and Kapha and related to your basic body chemistry.
Even dating over 3000 years ago, Ayurvedic doctors identified the use of energy required for fluid movements to carry nutrients into cells, enabling the body to function; for metabolism and to maintain structure of the cell. As such, Vata was identified as the energy of movement; Pitta is the energy of digestion/metabolism and Kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure.
As such we all have Vata, Pitta and Kapha in our body structure, but the degree to what we have these elements is unique only to us and varies from person to person. These balance of energy changes as we go through life for various reasons and it is this imbalance of energies that leads to disease and ailments. As such,it is important for Ayurveda to focuse on maintaining this balance as a holistic curative manner to prevent diseases rather than addressing ailments after they have occurred.
The holistic balance of life under the Science of Ayurveda considers the body, mind and consciousness/spiritual attainment. To understand how to balance these 3 elements, one must understand the energy flows of Vata, Pitta and Kapha and how they all work together. The 5 great elements of Water, Fire, Earth, Air and Space/Ether are the foundations of what makes up the cosmos. As such Vata, Pitta and Kapha are a combination of these elements. In the physical body, Vata is the energy of movement within you, Pitta is the energy of your digestion and metabolism and Kapha is the energy that forms the body structure.
Vata is the subtle energy of movement – a combination of Air and Space/Ether, it governs the body’s regulatory systems such as breathing, blinking, muscle an tissue movement, heartbeat and all other movements in the cytoplasm and cell membranes. It is the energy of Vata that promotes creativity and flexibility in you. If Vata goes out of balance it produces fear and anxiety.
Pitta controls the body metabolic system – Made up of Fire and Water, it is the main directing force of your digestive system, which includes the absorption and assimilation of nutrients in the body, controls metabolism and regulates your body temperature. When in balance, Pitta promotes your mind’s level of understanding and intelligence. When it is out of balance, Pitta ignites your anger through frustration, hatred and jealousy
Kapha is identified as energy that form’s the body structure – It consists of bones, muscles, tendons and is the glue that holds the cells together. Made up of Earth and Water, Kapha is the energy that supplies water to all your body organs and systems. It maintains your immunity, lubricates your joints, moisturizes the skin and keeps you glowing. In balance Kapha makes you calm, forgiving and is the element of love. When out of balance it leads to attachment, greed and envy.
As much as there’s many factors in our life that we have little or no control of, we do have the power to control many aspects of diet, lifestyle that leads to maintaining the optimal balance in mind, body and spirit. The key is to first understand the elements and how it effects your unique body structure and understand what elements affect you. Determining your unique Dosha is a step in the right direction in finding out what works for you. Take our online Ayurvedic Dosha Quiz, to learn more about your unique body chemistry.
Adding Ayurvedic Teas into your daily diet might be an excellent way to maintain Dosha balance. Once you have completed the Ayurvedic Dosha Quiz, you will get a recommendation of the Ayurvedic Teas that are suited for you, based on your unique Dosha. However, as all Térapy Ceylon Teas are all natural, there’s no harm in reaching out for your favorite tea combinations.