Ayurveda is a 5000 year-old natural, holistic health system whose origins are found in the Vedic culture of India. Although it had lost some of its popularity during the years of British colonisation, Ayurveda has once again become very widespread in its country of origin as well as throughout the world. Tibetan medicine and traditional Chinese medicine both have roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also borrowed many notions that were originally described in the classic Ayurvedic medical texts.
More than just
a simple system to cure illnesses, Ayurveda is a life science: Ayur
= life and Veda = science or knowledge. It offers a body of wisdom that
allows us to conserve our vitality while fully developing our human potential.
Ayurveda presents a number of recommendations for daily life in terms of diet
and daily practices; these are adapted to the seasons and individual
specificities. Ayurveda reminds us that
health is a dynamic balance between environment, body, mind and soul.
that people are an integral part of Nature, Ayurveda describes the three
fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer universes: movement,
transformation and structure. These primary forces, known by their Sanskrit
names Vata (wind), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth), are responsible for certain
characteristics of our mind and body. We all have a unique balance of these
three energies, which forms our profound nature.
• If Vata is dominant, we tend to be slender,
light, enthusiastic, energetic and flexible.
• If Pitta predominates, we tend to be passionate,
intelligent, and purposeful, with a strong appetite for life.
• When Kapha rules, we tend to be easy to get
along with, methodical and protective.
While each of
us has all three of these energies, one or two predominate in most people.
can express itself in a balanced or unbalanced manner.
• When Vata is balanced, its expression is
dynamic and creative. But when there is too much movement, this can translate
as anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and difficulties concentrating.
• When Pitta expresses itself in a balanced
manner, a person will be warm, friendly, organised and potentially a good boss,
leader or speaker. But when Pitta is unbalanced, he or she may be compulsive
and irritable, and suffer from digestive concerns or eczema.
• When Kapha is balanced, a person will be
gentle, empathetic and patient. But when Kapha is unbalanced, this can
translate as excessive slowness, a tendency to put on too much weight, and
sinus congestion, among others.
One of Ayurveda’s goals is to give each of us the means of reaching a
state of perfect balance through knowledge of our imbalances, and to find
appropriate remedies through good diet, the use of appropriate Ayurvedic
plants, massage, music and meditation. Regular use of aromatherapy and Ayurvedic
beauty products in everyday life is a simple, effective way to readjust
and rebalance our energies.