Health is not just the absence of disease; it is also about strength in the body, pleasant emotions, comfortable digestion, efficient elimination, and living a productive life.
The ancient science of healing, Ayurveda, can be an effective answer to the most pressing health problems in the world today. It guides us on how to listen to our bodies and read the signals of distress to maintain good health and make our lives more productive and contented. Through Ayurveda, the valuable experience of true health becomes more and more possible for citizens of the modern age.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the oldest surviving complete medical system in the world. The term ‘Ayurveda’ is derived from its ancient Sanskrit roots - ‘ayus' (life) and ‘ved' (knowledge). Obtaining and maintaining balance within the body and mind, and with the external environment, is one of the goals of this medicine system.
History of Ayurveda
Ayurveda originated about 5000 years ago, when it was expounded and practiced by the same spiritual rishis (sages), who laid the foundations of the Vedic civilization in India, by organizing the fundamentals of life into proper systems. The main source of Ayurvedic knowledge lies in the Vedas, the divine books of knowledge propounded by the sages.
Ayurveda is grounded in a metaphysics of the "five great elements" (Prithvi - Earth, Jal - Water, Tej - Fire, Vayu – Air, and Akash - Ether) — all of which compose the Universe, including the human body.
Ayurveda stresses a balance of three elemental energies or humors: Vata (Air), Pitta (Fire) and Kapha (Water). According to Ayurveda, these three regulatory principles, known as Doshas, are important for health, because when they are in balanced state, the body is healthy, and when imbalanced, the body has diseases.
Ayurvedic Body Types
According to Ayurveda, each human possesses a unique combination of doshas. Establishing your dosha enables you to determine suitable diets, exercise and lifestyles to maintain balance. This is the key to maintaining health.
Vata people are very active - mobile, restless and energetic. They have fast metabolisms, so are often thin with little muscle development and protruding joints. Their skin is dry, rough and thin with visible veins. Vata people have restless minds and weak memories. They avoid confrontation. They are likely to be artistic and creative with a good imagination. They have light, interrupted sleep of 5-7 hours a day.
Factors that increase Vata
Exposure to cold, no routine in life, eating too much dry, frozen or leftover food, or food with bitter, pungent or astringents taste, fasting, too much traveling, too much or inappropriate exercise, suppressing natural urges, abdominal surgery, not oiling the skin.
Pitta people have a moderately well-developed physique with muscular limbs and a purposeful, stable gait of medium speed. They have a loud, strong voice and precise, convincing speech. The skin is fair, soft, lustrous, warm, and tends to burn easily in the sun – has freckles, many moles, and a tendency to rashes. Pittas have an intellectual and precise disposition due to a very alert, focused mind. Sharp and knife-like in anger, they are irritable, jealous and aggressive by nature. With a developed sense of responsibility, they can take decisions and organize affairs well. Argumentative, but with a sense of humor, their selectively excellent memory makes them fast learners.
Factors that increase Pitta
Exposure to heat, eating too much red meat, salt, spicy or sour foods, indigestion and irregularity of meals, exercising at midday, drugs especially antibiotics, too much intellectual work/thinking, alcohol, fatigue, anger, hate, fear, and emotion.
A thick, broad, well-developed frame and large, long limbs go well with a pleasant, deep and resonant voice with low, slow, rhythmic speech. The skin is usually thick, oily, pale or white and cold. Kapha predominated people are calm, steady, and considerate. They have patient personalities and are slow to anger. Not easily provoked, once angry, they do not calm down easily. Loyal, forgiving and understanding, they can be lethargic, even lazy, if not driven by others. Excellent in logical analysis, they take time before reaching conclusions. Long hours of deep sleep and a strong, enduring sex drive come naturally. And there can at times be an element of dullness, given that a Kapha mind is usually too content to seek fresh mental stimulation.
Factors that increase Kapha
Exposure to cold, eating too much sweet, meat, fats, cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt, fried food, excessive use of salt, excessive intake of water, taking naps after meals, sedatives and tranquilizers, feelings of doubt, greed, and possessiveness, lack of compassion.
According to Ayurveda, cosmic matter is made up of three gunas – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Everything on Earth also has a predominant guna, as well as the more specific qualities obtained from their elemental makeup. Just as our bodies contain all of the elements, our minds have each of the gunas.
People of a sattvic nature are naturally intelligent with a good memory. They are instinctively clean and ordered, take good care of themselves and are health-conscious. They are content, calm, gentle and considerate of others - polite and helpful to all, with good manners. They seek to improve themselves, even though they are already knowledgeable. They are focused on work, self-improvement, and intellectual or spiritual pursuits.
People who are rajasic in temperament are dynamic and seek to control and dominate others. They are medium in intelligence and have a variable memory. Those with rajasic guna value prestige and authority and so seek power, status, fame, wealth and recognition. Rajasic people are never satisfied with their position or possessions – they always seek to accumulate more and enjoy flaunting what they have. In addition, they seek continual gratification of desires (sex, food), stimulation of the senses (music, color, fragrance) and entertainment (parties, functions, festivals). However, they are often distracted or quickly bored.
Those demonstrating a tamasic guna are ignorant, lazy and fearful with poor memories. They are usually apathetic and insensitive in nature. They show little consideration or regard for others, and are coarse, brash, immoral or violent. They may be stubborn or obstinate, and inattentive to those around them. Tamasic people show little or no desire to improve physically or mentally, or lack the will power and discipline to do so.
Jiva Ayurveda runs an Ayurvedic Clinic and TeleMedicine Center in Faridabad, offering online, telephonic and personal consultations besides medicines and Panchakarma therapies. They have treated over 5 lakh patients from around the world, providing consultations to more than one million people. To get a free consultation from a Jiva doctor, call 0129-4088152 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.