Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term that translates to ‘the science of life’ or ‘the knowledge of life’. ‘Ayus’, means life and ‘veda’ means knowledge.
The goal of Ayurveda is to achieve balance and optimum health by following the laws of nature. When we are aware of the laws of nature, we can adjust our daily routines and behaviours to align with nature. Ayurveda improves our physical health and leads us toward the ultimate goal – spiritual enlightenment.
Ayurveda is over 5000 years old. This most ancient of healing systems pre-dates many other medical systems in the world. Health practices, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), modern naturopathy and aromatherapy, have their origins in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda teaches individuals to take ownership of their health by adopting healthy diet and lifestyle practices, and following daily and seasonal routines. The aim is not just to cure disease, but rather to maintain and preserve health, and strive for the perfect balance of a clear mind and an energetic body.
Principles of Ayurveda
According to ayurvedic philosophy, the environment in which we live is made of five elements – earth, air, fire, ether and water. When the five elements in our bodies are in harmony with our outside environment, we experience perfect health. When we are not in balance with our environment, our health deteriorates, and disease can occur.
The five elements are present in our bodies as three bodily intelligences (doshas): vata, pitta and kapha.