What is Ayurveda?

this article is being republished from my blog from 2007. . . .Sagarmurti. . . .Happy New Year!

. . .  well let me say a few things and we will talk more about this later . . . .

Basically iit is a natural system of health care based on Vedic Science.

Alll  Ayurvedic knowledge is based on the philosophy of Samkhya .  The sanskrit word

samkhya means sat: truth and khya: to know.  To know the truth about creation.   Ayurveda

is also a sanskrit word and its meaning is Ayu: life or daily living and Veda: knowing,

meaning , the knowing about daily living or more commonly called the Science of Life.


Today this information is more relevant and accessible than ever as our western

science proves what the rishis or seers of yoga saw clearly thousands of years ago

through intensive meditation practices. This understanding of creation applies to our

daily living and as such is not just a system of knowledge like an intellectual pursuit but

rather a very practical presentation and understanding of manʼs relationship to nature

and the cosmos. A veritable ʻhow toʼ manual on living in harmony with the natural world

and with each other.


These rishis realized how cosmic energy was the source of all

manifestation. This healing system has been practiced in India for over 5000 years. It

teaches us that we are a universe within a universe, that man is a microcosm of the

universe around him, indivisible from the whole.    Ayurveda has described in detail the

capacity for each indivdual to heal themselves.


Five Elements?

The concept of five elements is at the heart of the Ayurvedic understanding. The rishis

or seers perceived that the cosmic energy manifested in everything through these five

elements; space, air, fire, water and earth.    The story goes something like this, first was

this unmanifested state of consciousness that produced the sound Om, the vibrations

from this sound created the most ethereal element,  space,  and as it began to move it

became air,  which is either in action.   This movement created friction which generated

heat and it was from this heat that intense light was formed which became fire.   From

here certain elements dissolved and liquified becoming water,  then solidified to become

earth.  That’s the short version of the story.  So in this order Ether manifested into the

other four elements.  It is these five elements that exist in all of matter and are the basis

for the theories in Ayurveda.


So how is this relevant to me?

This vast yet simple resource of self care guidelines and remedies can help anyone stay

healthy and feel good by understanding the needs of his or her own body and mind.

Ayurvedic treatments include skin care, diet recommendations, herbal remedies,

massage and yoga, meditation and lifestyle guidlines (routines) that are customized to

suit each persons unique needs.

Typically Ayurveda is part of everyday life in many Indian households and they may not

even know it, for example, many people drink water that is stored in copper vessels

because Ayurveda recognizes that copper detoxifies the body, assists digestion and

boosts the immune system.  Also in the kitchen, herbal remedies form a natural part of

the Indian diet using common items like tumeric and ginger both to cook with, for beauty

treatments and to heal minor ailments.  It is very simple to incorporate these healing

herbs and routines into ones daily life.


How does it work ?

Ayurveda teaches us that our health is the result of a powerful energy within us, often

called prana , chi or in Ayurveda, called ʼ Ojasʼ. The more Ojas we have, the better we

look and feel.   Ojas means “that which invigorates” and it is this force that makes us feel

happy and alive.   Signs of Ojas are shining eyes, a glowing complexion, a clear mind

and feelings of bliss and happiness.

Ojas is present in every aspect of life, connecting people to each other and to all living

things. When this force is low we feel tired and worn out becoming susceptible to

illness both emotionally and physically.

Maximizing Ojas is the main goal of Ayurveda and living in balance is the key to

achieving that goal. To attain balance, Ayurveda teaches us that we are each unique

in the foods and activities we like, how we react to stress and in every other way.

Therefore, for each of us balance will be different.    Determining your preferences and

general makeup is the start and then learning what to do or not to do to achieve balance

based on that knowledge is the next step.


Where did this information originate from?

This holistic medical system was a vision of the Vedic Rishis, the oldest physicians,

theologians and physicists of all time.  These Rishis understood the spiritual anatomy of

the universe and how it related to the human anatomy.   This knowledge is called the

Vedas and dates back over 5000 years making it the oldest known holistic healthcare

system and medical model. Its principles are rooted in our living in harmony with nature

to fully integrate mind, body and spirit.  By staying aware of the rhythms of the natural

world and living in harmony with the cyclical, daily, seasonal, lunar and solar changes

we connect to the potential for self-healing and blissful peace. When we fully realize

that we are one with this whole then we reach our optimal potential of health.


Where do I start?

Using food, massage, herbs, sound vibrations, yoga practices and breath awareness,

we connect with the healing power within us and become empowered through positive

changes in our lives.

In our modern times this process is often guided by an Ayurvedic Practitioner or if we

are fortunate to know one an Ayurvedic Medical Doctor called a Vaidya. These people

are trained to assess your constitution and provide seasonally appropriate dietary and

wellness guidelines which are uniquely suited to your constitution and lifestyle. Herbal

formulas are often prescribed as well as massage and other purifications practices.


Island Yoga Vista is fortunate to have a Vaidya visiting from India who is available

for you to begin this journey. Dr. Rajesh Kotecha has a thriving clinic in Jaipur and also

finds time to travel internationally speaking and offering individual consultations.


Sandra Shotton has studied with Dr. Kotecha both in India and in Canada and is

Certified to support your journey to wellness.


Together we are a team inspired to support you in your wellness and healing.

Call today for an appointment  250- 754-0939