Ayurveda originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is the oldest continuously practiced health-care system in the world. Ayurveda is the science of nature, largely preventative medicine, enhancing self-awareness to help us make choices that support well-being. This system encourages us to catch imbalance before it begins to create disease.
Self-awareness, to know ourselves and be true to ourselves is the aim of Ayurveda. We are all aspects of nature and remain happy and healthy if we are true to nature, in our own unique ways. Ayurveda views each individual as a unique combination of the 5 elements: ether, air, fire, water, earth. This individual constitution, or Prakriti, is a specific alchemy of the five elements that is YOU. Each of us in this human form is a microcosm of the manifest universe, we are all made up of the same stuff: ether, air, fire, water, and earth.
The science of Ayurveda links an ancient understanding of the qualities of our world, to how we are each affected by foods, lifestyle, and environment. At times it becomes difficult to see the light of self, and to act in accordance with our personal nature, and the nature of being. When we try to live outside of the laws of our universe (example: sleeping in the daytime, eating foods out of season), we end up swimming against the current of nature, which drains our vital energies and results in low immunity, and eventually disease.
The Ayurvedic system of medicine prescribes changes, often simple ones, in diet, lifestyle, and environment to bring individuals into balance with the elements of their constitution,climate, and daily life. The 5 elements join into compounds called doshas, binding the elements into flesh. These are the foundational energies of the body, and govern circulation, digestion, assimilation, metabolism, immunity, and more. An excess or depletion of dosha(s) in the body is responsible for illness.
Ayurveda uses food, spices, herbs, bodywork therapies, daily and seasonal rhythms, and gentle seasonal cleansing to nourish the tissues and to remove stagnation and toxicity.