This is a very simplified explanation of the underlying principles of Ayurveda, but perhaps it will inspire you to dig a bit deeper.Remember, this system was first explained to the rishis in ancient India 4000-5000 years ago.
Ayurveda is based on the theory that all of nature is created of five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Further, there are attributes – qualities – that define each element. For example, Earth is heavy, cold, dry. Water is heavy, cold, moist. Fire is light, hot, dry. Air is light, cold, dry. Ether (the space that all the other elements are contained within) is light, cold, dry. The elements are in a unique balance in everything in nature, including each individual. From our first moment of life, everything – and the qualities of those things including the food we eat, the climate where we live, the people we surround ourselves with, the time of the year, the age of our life – will either bring harmony to our life and keep us in balance, or create an imbalance. Eventually, too great an imbalance leads to symptoms and then, disease.
By understanding an individual’s “inherent balance” (called their constitution) and their lifestyle choices, we can determine where imbalances are occurring very early on, and then apply the principles of Ayurveda to journey back to optimal health. We do this by bringing the elements back into balance through proper diet, proper lifestyle, Yoga, meditation, and body, sound, color, and aroma therapies.
Next time, I’ll dive a bit deeper into constitutions.