About Ayurveda

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest known medical science, which originated in India over 5,000 years ago. The main source of this ancient knowledge is the Vedas or the divine books of knowledge propounded by spiritual rishis in India.: Ayurveda is not simply a healthcare system, but a form of lifestyle adopted to maintain perfect balance and harmony within the human existence. According to Ayurveda, life represents a combination of the Atma (soul), Mana (mind), Indriyan (senses) and Sharira (body). It revolves around the five elements (Panchamahabhutas) that constitute an individual's nature or Prakriti. This nature is determined by the vital balance of the three physical energies - Vata, Pitta and Kapha -

Ayurvedic Body Types
There are two distinct, yet inter-related, classifications of a person in Ayurveda. The first relates to the body, and the second to the mind. Your nature is determined by this combination of body and mind types, and is known as your prakriti. Prakriti means “nature”.
Knowing your dosha and guna provides you with an understanding of your basic physical and psychological nature, and helps you tailor a personal diet and lifestyle that maintains maximum health and peace of mind. Each person has a unique dosha with unique nutritional needs. Establishing your dosha enables you determine suitable diets, exercise and lifestyles to maintain balance. This is the key to maintaining health.Dosha only refers to the three biological energies of vata, pitta and kapha. As an imbalance of these elemental combinations is the direct cause of physical disease, they are the prime disease causing factors . Secondary factors in the disease process, like body tissues (dhatus), toxins (ama) and waste materials (malas) are actually the product of, or dependent upon, an imbalance in the doshas.

Vata Type

People with a predominant vata dosha display physical and emotional characteristics linked to the elemental qualities of space/akasha and air/vayu. They are very active - mobile, restless and energetic. They have fast metabolisms, so are often thin with little muscle development and protruding joints that may make cracking noises. Their skin is dry, rough and thin with visible veins.
Sleeping, eating and personal habits are irregular and erratic, with appetite and sexual desire varying between extremes. They sleep lightly, are easily disturbed and prone to insomnia. Their speech and movement is usually fast, and they are talkative and enjoy all forms of communication. Their pulse is fast, weak and irregular. They dislike cold, windy or dry environments and feel chilled quickly or shiver easily. Extremities (hands and feet) are often cold, or become cold easily. Mentally and emotionally they are rapid. They gather information or display emotions quickly.While they learn quickly and are usually intellectual, their retention is poor. Money is spent quickly and impulsively. They demonstrate high creativity, innovation and sensitivity.

Pita Type

People with a pitta dosha display an inherent fire/agni elemental character. They are of medium build, with greater muscular development than that displayed by vata. Their skin is soft and warm, and they have a lot of body heat and often perspire excessively. Their hair is thin and often reddish or blond, and they may experience premature graying, baldness or excessive hair loss. . Their skin develops acne, rashes, bruises or sunburn easily.
Their desires (appetite, sex) are strong in nature. Sleep is moderate and not easily disturbed. The pulse is strong and stable. Individuals with pitta dosha predominant speak loudly and passionately, and often dominate the conversation. They have an aversion to hot weather, sunlight and heat, and their eyes are sensitive. In temperament, they are extroverted and love to be the focus of attention. Although they can usually control their emotions, they may become irritable, angry and judgmental under stress. Money is prudently managed. They are decisive, aggressive, ambitious and determined, often aspiring to positions of leadership.

Kapha Type

People with a predominant kapha dosha tend to have a heavy and solid, or large build. They are often overweight, gain weight easily and have high muscle development (plump and round). Their skin is thick, smooth and moist with few wrinkles. Their complexion is usually clear, fair or pale, and hair is oily, thick and wavy. Their teeth are strong, white and well formed.
People of the kapha type have a moderate or low appetite and slow digestion. They enjoy eating gourmet or luxury foods (that appeal to taste and smell) or buying and preparing food. In movement and activity, they tend to be slow and methodical, with a lot of endurance. However, they are sluggish and lethargic or difficult to motivate. They are prone to sleep heavily and excessively. Their pulse is slow, steady and regular. They have a pleasant appearance and voice.
According to Ayurveda, living in harmony with nature and according to natural principles ensures complete physical health and peace of mind. However, modern life often violates the principles of natural living. We work long hours in offices with artificial light and air conditioning systems. We don’t have time to prepare breakfast, eat a fast food lunch at our desk and a pre-prepared dinner in front of the television. We rush from one mundane task to the next while being bombarded with advertising and constant noise, and absorbing pollution through the air and water. No wonder we are inviting disease rather than confronting it. Living naturally according to some simple principles can prevent the need for expensive medical treatment or needless suffering from debilitating conditions. Learn to listen to your body and read the signals of distress to maintain health, Ayurveda thus offers a unique blend of science and philosophy that balances the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components necessary for holistic health.

Ayurveda is a complete or holistic system that integrates the mind, body and spirit. For a few centuries, the tradition of Ayurveda was dimmed due to the natural and human calamities and also by the invasion of foreign cultures into India. The sacred texts were either destroyed or stolen. However there were many ‘Vaidyas’ or doctors in India who managed to preserve some of the knowledge available in these Holy Scriptures. Divine plants that sustain long life and good health are now being rediscovered. Many renowned families of Vaidyas, who are specialized in certain branches of Ayurveda, have started functioning again in India. Today there is a revival of the ancient culture and traditions inherent to Ayurveda, which is a true gift of the ancient civilization to the modern world.

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