What is Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an ancient and timeless science of life. In Ayurvedic terms, everything in the universe is connected. Good health and wellbeing are rooted in this connection through your mind, body and spirit. When this harmony is disrupted an imbalance takes place and illness prevails. Although treatments may be aimed at specific health problems, Ayurveda is based on maintaining the delicate balance of the relationship between the human being, the environment and the universe. Thus, all sickness is psychosomatic and cannot be isolated as either an entirely physical or mental problem.

Typically, the practice of Ayurveda takes into consideration that every person is made of five basic elements found in the universe – fire, water, earth, air and space. These five elements form the three basic energies of life called doshas and determine how the body functions. Neither the combination of these three doshas nor the predominant dosha are the same for everyone. The tendency for specific ailments in a person is determined, therefore, by the dosha that is dominant and when its relationship with the other two doshas are disturbed due to a variety of reasons ranging from genetics and diet to lifestyle and emotions.

Fundamentally, everyone can benefit from the optimum states of health and well-being that Ayurveda promotes as many have for centuries.

The origin of Ayurveda

Fundamental to all ages, Ayurveda is an eternal science that first existed in the universal consciousness before it was passed down from the creator to ancient mystics through meditation thousands of years ago. Steeped in antiquity, Ayurveda has been characterised by a profound philosophical basis ever since.

Long before modern medicine began to recognise the mind-body-spirit connection, Ayurveda was the transmission of this cosmic understanding. It was eventually committed to writing around 5,000 years ago, in the form of Sanskrit verse or sloka in what are now known as the classical texts of Ayurveda. The oldest written codification of Ayurvedic principles begins with the Rig Veda followed by the major treatises including the texts of Charaka, Sushruta and Vaghbhata. There are numerous other works which include disciplines such as general medicine, paediatrics, surgery, toxicology, fertility and rejuvenation. Through the disciplines and through time, the universal principles of Ayurveda endure.

Composed between 500 and 1000 BCE in an ancient form of Sanskrit, the Vedas celebrate the elements of life, especially fire, wind, and water, as well as Mother Earth and the plants and animals who dwell upon her.

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