Ayurveda is the oldest healthcare system in the world originating more than 5000 years ago. It is a Sanskrit word made up of two parts "Ayu" - life and "Veda" - science/knowledge and so literally translates as the science of life. From an Ayurvedic perspective everything is made of the 5 elements - ether/space, air, fire, water and earth. These five elements are represented within each of us in a unique combination. This combination, formed at the moment of conception, can be likened to our DNA. The perfectly unique balance at the spark of our creation represents a state of optimal health, known as Prakruti.
Ayurveda speaks of the 3 doshas of the body: Vata (ether + air), Pitta (fire + water) and Kapha (water + earth). Considering the elements in this doshic framework we can see how they impact our daily function and wellbeing. Vata is the dosha which represents the nervous system and our movement. Pitta is related to transformation and so encapsulates the action of enzymes, metabolic processes in the body and heat regulation. Kapha is the dosha responsible for stability, structure and lubrication.
As we move through life we are subject to seasonal, environmental, dietary and lifestyle factors which impact our elemental makeup. As a result, we experience natural fluctuations in how the doshas are represented in our body and how we feel at these times. A small variation is easily corrected by acknowledging the cues provided (if we know how to read them) and allow our body time to recalibrate. Any fluctuation away from our natural baseline/prakruti will present as a dis-ease of the body or mind. By understanding this doshic theory and the attributes that excite or pacify them we can learn to provide the right environment, exercise or nutrition, at the right time for our present needs thereby remaining in a state of conscious wellbeing.
With this knowledge, which an Ayurvedic Practitioner will be keen to impart, each person is empowered to be their own healer, reconnecting with their inner doctor and living in a state of balance with themselves, those around them and the world in which they inhabit.
Ayurveda is a personalised medicine which offers a great awakening of self and an opportunity for this modern society to recall and benefit from the wisdom of their ancestors.