In today’s post-modern COVID era, it’s important to adapt healthy lifestyle strategies now more than ever before. But how does one do that and what exactly are these practices? As one of the oldest healing sciences, Ayur-veda translates to health-knowledge. It is the information on how to best take care of our health through diet, meditation, yoga and other integrative methods. Based on a holistic state of consciousness, the practice takes into account one’s mind, body and soul. The ultimate goal of all interventions is to re-center the individual at hand.
This is unlike western medicine where there is a heavy emphasis on placating the body’s signs and symptoms. And as important as the discovery of Western evidence-based medicine has been, it has also had a detrimental effect through concepts like poly-pharmacy.
The theory is such: combinations and permutations of the elements (air, ether, fire, water & earth) result in three doshas or body types. They are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata = air + ether
Pitta = fire + water
Kapha = water + earth
Similar to how every individual has a unique fingerprint, everyone is born with particular energy based on a ratio of the doshas. It is also at this point our baseline emotional, mental and physical tendencies are established.
Essentially, while the focus of western medicine is disease management, Ayurveda aims for energy balance. This is determined by an individual’s genetic profile. Ayurveda is comprised of a range of concepts that are relatively easy to grasp upon closer inspection.
In my next article, I will discuss what constitutes each dosha in terms of functionality, diet preferences and so on!
Source: Lad, Vasant. The Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume One. The Ayurvedic Press: Albuquerque, 2002.