Originating in India, Ayurveda is the oldest complete system of health in the world. It believes that the mind, body and spirit are not separate entities but vitally interconnected. That stress – whether mental, emotional or spiritual – disrupts our physical well-being. Moreover, Ayurveda maintains that we are made up of three bio-energies called doshas that must be balanced at all times for optimal health and long life. That excess or deficiency in any one dosha opens the door to disease and illness.
Ayurveda states that few of us, unfortunately, are born with these three doshas present in perfect balance. rather, we make up six lesser mind / body types that are prone to assorted weaknesses associated with our individual type. To combat this, Ayurveda prescribes knowing what your type is to prevent the onset of illness and a moral and disciplined life to avoid stress and the accumulation of bad karma. When things go wrong, Ayurveda calls upon three thousand years of codified medical knowledge to put things right. It will address the mental and spiritual aspects of the individual as well as the physical symptoms. It emphasizes restraint and moderation in all things and promotes “eternal principles of healthy living”.
Ayurveda advocates a highly structured yet relaxed daily and seasonal routine that incorporates exercise (typically yoga), meditation, a predominantly plant-based diet, and purgation, purification and rejuvenation of the body to cleanse it of toxins.
However, it considers each person unique and therefore lifestyle, diet, routine or treatment are tailored to suit the individual – the “one size fits all” approach of Western medicine is an anathema to Ayurveda thinking. In sum, Ayurveda believes those who live ethical, calm, regular, well-ordered lives with a sense of purpose, conducted in a manner suited to their particular mind / body / spirit type, who are neither anxiety prone nor too laid back, who eat regular meals of mainly vegetarian food as opposed to junk or processed food, who sleep regular hours and take regular exercise, and who do not take drugs or other artificial stimulants are most likely to enjoy a long and healthy life. Who could argue with that?
• Ayurveda is a vast, all encompassing belief system that prescribes in extraordinary detail for every conceivable aspect of a person’s life including the ideal sexual partner for life-long compatibility, the best position to sleep in at night, the best diet for your mind / body type, astrological considerations, why you should rise before sunrise and so forth . read the ensuing chapter and cherry-pick those elements that are of interest or appeal to you . While some elements are rather esoteric for Western tastes it still contains a lot of wisdom and common sense. recently Western medicine has found plenty of common ground with Ayurveda particularly on the preventative side of healthcare, including the efficacy of a calorie restricted diet, an alkaline weighted diet, regular exercise and de-stressing.
Ayurveda, a sanskrit word meaning the “complete knowledge for long life”, originated in India and is the oldest, all encompassing system of natural health in the world incorporating large elements of...