Ayurveda is the oldest codified system of medicine in the world. It originated in India over 5,000 years ago and has.been practiced continuously ever since. Its wisdom and teachings are recorded in the Sanskrit language. Many of its Sanskrit terms continue to be used in the absence of adequate English language equivalents.
AYUR means life and VEDA means knowledge. Ayurveda is the science of the individual life expressing as and within the life of the Universe which is composed of Ether (Space), Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. The five elements combine to form 3 operating principles called DOSHAS.
Ether and Air combine as VATA DOSHA and governs movement, circulation, breathing
Fire and Water combine as PITTA DOSHA and governs digestion and metabolism
Water and Earth combine as KAPHA DOSHA and governs structure, bones, joint lubrication
(Going forward, the doshas will be represented by their initials, V, P, K)
Every plant, animal, and human has a unique combination and proportion of V,P,K called PRAKRUTI, which signifies constitution or body type. An individual’s Prakruti is established at the moment of conception and is determined by the parents’ genetic code, diet, lifestyle, and emotional makeup. Prakruti doesn’t change during one’s life except in rare cases. It is also rare to have V,P,K in perfect balance and proportion. Such people are blessed with good health, good digestion, and equilibrium. Most people have one or two predominant doshas, but with the right diet and lifestyle they can bring about balance and achieve optimum health. Knowing your dosha is the first step to applying Ayurveda effectively.
Ayurveda provides an exceptional understanding Nature and the uniqueness of the individual living within an integrated Universe. By understanding, respecting, and living in accordance with Nature’s laws we can learn how to live in harmony with ourselves, each other, and our environment and reach our true potential.