Ayurveda – a very brief introduction…
Ayurveda is the traditional healing system of India and dates back some 5000 years or more. The term Ayurveda is comprised of two Sanskrit words – Ayu meaning life & Veda meaning knowledge or science.
Ayurveda proposes that every living (& non-living) being in our universe is derived from a combination of five fundamental elements - Space (Ether), Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Our bodies are also comprised of these elements (in various proportions) known as the three doshas namely Vata, Pitta and Kapha. We are all influenced to some degree by all three doshas but most of us have a leading dosha with lesser degrees of the other two e.g. mainly vata-pitta or pitta-kapha qualities etc. It is extremely rare to have a “tridoshic” constitution i.e. equally balanced proportions of vata, pitta and kapha.
Vata – made up of space and air, Vata represents momentum, movement and all the communication in the body and mind. It is responsible for our bodily activities including ingestion, assimilation, absorption, and elimination. It governs the mind, our sensory perception, respiration, circulation and heart function.
When Vata is in balance it promotes flexibility, imagination and creativity. Out of balance however, it produces fear, indecisiveness and irregular digestion. People with predominant vata qualities often fall prey to insomnia, anxiety, constipation, nervous disorders and cold hands and feet etc.
Pitta – comprised of the fire and water elements, Pitta governs bodily metabolism, digestion, and maintenance of body temperature. It regulates appetite, thirst and taste, and also conveys the capacity for intelligence, comprehension and knowledge.
When Pitta is in balance it promotes understanding, courage, and enthusiasm for life. People with strong pitta qualities are often very ambitious, competitive and intelligent. Imbalanced pitta however, creates chaos in the body resulting in burn out, aggression, hate, jealousy, diarrhoea and inflammation.
Kapha – comprised of water and earth elements, Kapha is responsible for lubrication, nourishment, stability and growth. It bestows strength and stamina, and promotes the healing process through repair and regeneration.
When Kapha is in balance it promotes love, forgiveness, contentment and compassion. Out of balance however, it produces attachment, greed, envy and dullness. People with predominant kapha qualities may be prone to weight gain, lethargy, immune dysfunction and constipation.
Ayurveda suggests we are spiritual beings and that our bodies are a vehicle for our soul’s growth and perception. Our diet, food, lifestyle, emotional and relationship tendencies, together with karmic influences all combine to be the person you are today. Armed with an awareness of your constitutional type (Prakruti), you can make gentle and subtle changes to your diet and lifestyle that can dramatically influence your state of health and balance.
Keep an eye on our blog where we will post more information on Ayurveda.
Further information on Ayurveda can be found at: