Ayurveda is a fantastic preventative healthcare system that is over 5000 years old, which originates from ancient India. This system is both holistic and nature-based. It recognises the subtle level of existence that quantum science refers to — the rishi’s of ancient India who gave us Ayurveda were able to perceive the world at this subtle level.
The rishis of ancient India perceived qualities and attributes that come into existence due to the basic energy of the universe expressing in specific ways. The term they used to describe this was Gunas.
When you learn about the science that underpins Ayurveda you will read about the gunas of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. We have awareness due to Sattva, change due to Rajas and physical bodies due to Tamas. Sattva brings awareness, balance, light, happiness and illumination into our experience. Rajas brings change, energy, dynamism, imbalance, activity, disturbed emotions, pain and passion into our experience. Tamas makes substance possible allowing our bodies to exist and brings the experience of dullness, inertia, resistance, confusion and decay. We need all three gunas for our body to exist: sattva for balance, rajas for movement and tamas for physical structure.
The qualities of the gunas combine to create the elements — ether, air, fire, water and earth — which form every visible thing in the manifested universe.
This is what you need to get your head around in order to understand Ayurveda. That everything in the the material universe including us, is made up of the elements — or to be more exact the qualities these elements express. These concepts are ways of understanding how energy expresses itself within us and without, as well as the interconnectedness of this.
The elements form our constitutions through the doshas — ways specific elemental qualities combine. There are three doshas, vata (ether and air elements) pitta (fire and water elements) and kapha (water and earth elements). Most people have more of one or two. This means they have more of those elemental qualities making up there constitution, and this is responsible for the different metabolisms and psychological tendencies of different people.
To apply Ayurveda for your well-being, you need to understand that if you have more of a particular element in your system, you need to consume less of that through your food and life choices to remain in balance.
The key to health is to keep the dosha balance you were born with, in balance. You are not trying to get an even balance of each dosha, you just want to prevent any of them creating an imbalance within your system.
For instance, if you have a vata constitution, you have a lot of the air and ether elements making up your constitution, and so you want to consume less of these elements and their qualities through your food and life choices.
Balance is key for the health of the planet, and for the health of our body and mind, and both are interdependent.
Ayurveda recognises the prime importance of the digestive process for creating the foundation for biological health, as well as the links between our gut microbiome and the microbiome in the soil we grow our food in, the water we drink, the air we breath – we have evolved in interdependence with the natural world around us.
And so, Ayurveda offers advice to support us to live in balance with the natural rhythms within us and around us, which in turn support our well-being. For instance, the cycles of the day, the seasons, our age.
The western term for living in balance is homeostasis – optimal living conditions for the biological being. The healthcare approach of Ayurveda is focused upon living in a way that retains or returns us to homeostasis.
Ayurveda healed my 15 years of digestive challenges in just 3 months, by teaching me what to eat to return my digestion to a healthy balanced state, and showed me how to live in balance with both my nature and the rhythms of the natural world that surrounds me.
Ayurveda has a lot to say about our digestion, and with research showing that the severity of COVID-19 symptoms are linked to the health of the gut, there has never been a more important time to re-learn the wisdom of this ancient science.