Ayurveda for beginners

by Tracy Kelly

Trying to explain Ayurveda in a short blog is almost impossible, but I’ll give it my best shot. We go into more detail on our upcoming retreat in South Africa next month.
Ayurveda Adventure Retreat
You may have heard of traditional Chinese medicine, things like acupuncture and chi. This tradition has made its way into Western culture more than Ayurveda, which is essentially the Indian system. Ayurveda is also referred to as a sister science to yoga as they come from the same tradition.
It all affects the elements, because everything is made up of the elements.
The elements being:
Earth: stable, dense, heavy, grounded – KAPHA
Water: cool, smooth, fluid – (can work to mediate KAPHA or PITTA)
Fire: hot, light, intense, fiery – PITTA
Air/Space: dry, cold, light, mobile, erratic – VATA
The main idea here is that if your doshas are balanced, you’ll have good health. On the other hand, if you’ve got an imbalance, you’ll fall sick. Ayurveda teaches that if a dosha (our unique individual make up of elements) increases too much, it creates an environment where disease can take place. So, keeping our eyes turned toward balance remains an important focus.
Each one us has all the 3 doshas but usually one of these is dominant in your body.

Treating what causes disease unlike Western medicine (which is a few hundred years old as compared to Ayurveda), true healing happens when you focus on removing the cause of an illness instead of treating its symptoms.

Ayurveda also believes prevention is better than cure.

Once the cause of the disease is taken care of, Ayurveda believes in using fundamentally opposite energies to restore any leftover imbalance.
For instance, if excess heat is causing irritation on your skin, you can use a cooling Ayurvedic herb like neem to calm it down.
Stimulating and supporting the digestive fire Agni (which means fire in Sanskrit) is the digestive fire or energy which supports digestion and metabolism inside our bodies. Ayurveda says that a lot of physical issues begin the digestive tract. So, eating foods and doing yoga poses to strengthen the agni is crucial for good health.
For instance, if Kapha has increased due to excess stagnation in your life, more activity can be your medicine. If earth/water have increased due to excess coolness, you can use heat as a medicine.
One of the practical aspects of Ayurveda is that anything can be used as a medicine because everything that exists is made up of the element. This includes but is not limited to: herbs, foods, drinks, environments, colours, smells and lifestyles.
Ayurveda infiltrates nearly every aspect of life!
We go into a lot more detail while on our upcoming retreat with Kerry-Lee Jesson as our wonderful teacher at the
Ayurveda Workshop

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