-The Knowledge of Life-
Ayurveda is widely recognized as the oldest healthcare system in the world, dating back over 5,000 years. Predating Chinese medicine, it is a companion science to and the medicinal branch of yoga. Quite often, Ayurveda is called the sister science of yoga.
The primary purpose and/or goal of Ayurveda is to create and maintain one’s optimal state of health and well-being, and to live a long, healthy life. It considers that every person is unique and is seen and advised according to his or her individual history and constitution. Ayurveda is a complete system, or science, or healing that focuses on an individual as a whole.
According to Ayurveda, the entire universe is comprised of The Five Great Elements (Panchamaha Bhutas): Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. These five elements are found in all matter, in all of nature, in the foods we eat, and in each individual in different proportions. Ayurveda groups these five elements into three basic principles or energies known as “doshas”: Vata (Ether and Air), Pitta (Fire and Water), and Kapha (Water and Earth). Therefore, Ayurveda is the science of the doshas.
Everyone has their own specific combination of the three doshas, and that specific combination lays the ground work for a balanced state for each individual. For most people, one or two doshas will generally be predominate, but in some, all three doshas may be equally expressed.
Over the course of time, external factors call pull an individual out of their normal state of health and well-being causing imbalances to occur. Ayurveda offers numerous methods of restoring one’s original balance of the doshas and supporting their personal balance and well-being.
Amy Martin RYT200,
Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist
My first encounter with Ayurveda was during my yoga teacher training. It was advertised to my class as learning about the “health and wellness” side of yoga. Because I was so into health and fitness, I was excited to learn about it. I have to say, it was NOT what I expected. In fact, I was surprised to discover that the things I was doing in the name of health and fitness were the exact opposite of what I truly needed to maintain a balanced life-style, and to live in my personal optimal state of health and well-being.
I sat in that room amazed at the information I was learning, and it didn’t take long for me to decide that I wanted to learn more. After I graduated from yoga teacher training, I completed a 6 month immersion in Ayurveda at the Yoga Center of Columbia, led by Kelly Fisher and Debby Martin. During those 6 months, I decided that I wanted to specialize in this amazing science. That same year I enrolled at the Himalayan Institute in Pittsburgh to become certified as an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist.
Ayurveda has taught me to be aware of things that can throw me out of balance, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually. By adding or taking away certain practices in my daily routine or by eating certain foods, just to name a few, I can work on restoring and maintaining my optimal state of health and well-being.
Can adding certain Ayurvedic methods into your daily routine help you become more balanced? Of course it can. One of the many beautiful things about Ayurveda is that it recognizes that everyone is different…what works for one person might not work for another person. We are all individuals, so why not treat ourselves as such and celebrate that?
If you’re interested in learning more, please schedule a consultation with me, and keep an eye out for workshops that will be offered in the near future at Therapeutic Kneads. I look forward to meeting and working with you! With gratitude, Namaste!
-Benefits of Ayurveda-
Sees people as individuals.
It’s empowering. It puts a person’s health into his or her own hands.
Contains physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits.
It’s the science of self-healing.
It leads a journey toward health and vibrancy from the inside out.