What is Ayurveda?
The Science of Life
“Ayurveda” translates to “the knowledge and wisdom of life.” Ayurveda is the traditional holistic healing system of India. Often called the mother of all healing, it originated over 2,000 years ago in the indian sub-continent and is the longest continually-practiced form of medicine on the planet.
The roots of ayurveda stem from the ancient vedic culture. The word, Ayurveda, is a conjunction of two sanskrit words: ayur “life” and veda “knowledge.” This can be understood as the science of how to live a long and healthy life—ie: adding life to your years as well as years to your life.
Ayurveda carries out its work through a profound understanding of natural patterns and cycles. Living with the rhythms of nature maintains and promotes health, while a disconnection from those natural cycles leads to disease.
Going beyond symptoms to the root cause of the disease is where true healing begins. Understanding the language of nature allows us to balance the body, mind, and spirit so that we can live harmoniously. Ayurvedic practices restore holistic health, resulting in self-healing, vitality, and longevity. The secrets of self-healing are waiting to be unlocked through the simple and practical art of ayurveda.
Your most basic self is called your constitution. This unique balance of “you” was determined at the moment of conception and is with you the rest of your life; in fact, it IS you. Your constitution is expressed through your DNA. It determines your innate strengths and challenges.
Knowing your constitution is a road map and is essential to developing—and maintaining—optimal health.
To get an idea of your constitution, take our dosha quiz or schedule a consultation.
A Road Map
Knowing your ayurvedic constitution is like having a road map to guide you along your life. With this road map you can make choices that will best support you in health and wellness—and that will help you come back to health and wellness when you have strayed. In fact, knowing your constitution means that you can even avoid imbalance and illness.
An ayurvedic practitioner can determine your constitution by doing an in-depth intake. Personalized recommendations can then be made to support and guide your wellness. This is coaching for life-long sustainable health and wellness!
The Five Elements & The Three Doshas
According to ayurveda everything in the universe, including the human body, is composed of five elements. They are: space, air, fire, water, & earth. Each person has a unique proportion of all five elements; some elements are more predominate than others. These elements come together in three dynamic biological forces known as the doshas: Vata, Pitta, & Kapha.
We all have all three doshas present within us. However, the proportion of these three doshas in each individual is different; thus, each individual is unique and distinct. (And if this seems too simplistic, remember that there are only four protein molecules that make up our DNA…)
Many people have a single dosha that predominates in their make-up; some people have two doshas that predominate in their make-up; and still other people have all three doshas in roughly equal amounts. These different combinations all give various attributes and help to contribute to genetic diversity.
The doshas have significant areas of influence on all of our lives: everything from meal digestion, daily biorhythms, yearly seasonal cycles, lifetime stages, and even localized climate patterns.
Vata is a combination of the space & air elements. It governs all movement.
Vata individuals have dry skin, a light body frame, cold hands and feet, brittle nails, coarse kinky hair, quick movements, talkativeness, hyperactivity or variable stamina, and darker skin and eyes. They usually are creative, enthusiastic, energetic, inspiring, and flexible. Vatas can also tend towards: worry, fear, anxiety, confusion, gas, constipation, muscle cramps, joint pain, and insomnia.
Pitta is a combination of fire & water elements. It governs transformation, metabolism and digestion.
Pitta folks have higher body temperatures, strong appetites, sharp minds, light colored hair, light-sensitive eyes (often hazel or green), oily skin and hair, sharp minds, strong organizational skills, competitive natures, and athletic builds. They are usually courageous, intelligent, and focused in their work. Pittas can also tend towards: anger, criticism, judgment, indigestion, heartburn, inflammation, diarrhea, and itchy skin rashes.
Kapha is a combination of earth & water. It governs structure and lubrication.
Kapha individuals have curvy bodies and facial features with smooth skin. They have large eyes and good hair. Kaphas move slowly and are generally happy right where they are. They are loving, nurturing, compassionate, and nostalgic. Kaphas can also tend towards: attachment, congestion, weight gain, edema, and sluggishness.
- You can take our dosha quiz to get an idea of your constitution.
- Then you can take a look at our resources (tip sheets, food lists, etc.) for more information.
- Are you interested in going deeper? This page will help you better understand what we do and why you might be interested in working with us.