What is Ayurveda?
“AYURVEDA IS THE ANCIENT ART AND SCIENCE OF LIVING.
BY BRINGING MIND, BODY & SPIRIT INTO HARMONY WITH OUR UNIQUE NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT, AYURVEDA PROVIDES THE ROAD MAP TO A LONGER, HAPPIER, HEALTHIER, MORE FULFILLING LIFE. WHEN WE ARE NO LONGER INHIBITED BY DISEASE, OF MIND OR BODY, WE ARE ABLE TO DISCOVER OUR FULL POTENTIAL.
WHEN WE ARE WELL, WE CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING!"
Ayurveda - the holistic science of life
From the beginning to the end
Translating from Sanskrit as the 'science of life', Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old holistic (mind-body) healing system from India. Contrary to popular belief, Ayurveda is not just a form of 'Complementary and Alternative Medicine' (a more natural way of treating disease which used alongside or instead of Allopathic medicine). It is in fact a complete system of self-care which supports the entire being from birth to death. Ayurveda can be used to complement all other healthcare models and classical Ayurvedic texts provide guidance on every phase of life (and everything in between) including:
pregnancy and child birth
the development of growing children
health/well-being and diseases in
old age and frailty
Prevention is better than the cure
Although Ayurveda is popular for it's medicinal benefits and ability to cure and manage some of life's most common and stubborn conditions, it's primary focus (although often forgotten) is actually the prevention of disease. Thousands of years ago (when Ayurveda was first documented), Ayurvedic seers agreed that if one lives their life according to their own and their environments nature, there would never be disease.
With a myriad of complex and long term health conditions affecting a great number of our population today, disease prevention has become ever more important. So much so it was added to the 2015 NHS 5 Year Forward View as a key Agenda for our health services. Ayurveda prevents disease by maintaining your natural doshic homeostasis (balance). This is done through assessment of individual constitution, use of daily and seasonal regiment suited to the individual, regular detoxification and, most crucially, the measurement and management of disease symptoms before they progress into a fully diagnosed condition
How Ayurveda Heals The Mind and Body
A comprehensive perspective of health and healing toolkit
Unlike other forms of healing (typically a 'specific technique' applied by a trained professional) many of Ayurveda's philosophies allow you to re-conceptualise yourself and your health, so you can be in charge of your well-being. Many of its healing methods can actually be administered by yourself with support of Ayurvedic coaching. Learning Ayurveda in this way is not only uniquely empowering but increases the likelihood of continued and lasting practice resulting in a gradual improvement of well being for the rest of your life.
Similarly, unlike other healing techniques, which focus on a 'specific bodily system', Ayurveda is a complete holistic science which uses an in-exhaustive (almost unlimited) number of tools to correct imbalance in the whole mind-body system.
Tools used in Ayurveda to include:
Ahara (diet) - use of taste, quantity, quality etc
Vihara (lifestyle) - activity and sleep
Dina and Rtu Charya (daily and seasonal routine)
Sneha (oiling treatments - over 20 different kinds!)
Aushadi (herbal medicine/food medicine)
Yoga (holding postures)
Pranayama (breathing exercises)
Mantra (using healing words)
Shodana (detoxification - both as a routine and as an intensive treatment)
Sita and Usna S'amana (heating and cooling therapies)
Marma (energy points manipulation - by a therapist)
and many, many more
Which tool is needed at any given time is dependant on the individual constitutions at birth (prakriti), current constitution (vikruti) and any symptoms. As these concepts are quite complex it is important to make sure you have the support of a trained professional and a community to help you apply Ayurveda's healing tools correctly.
Ayurveda's greatest benefit is that many of its principles and self-care tools can be
learnt quite easily if you have support from an experienced professional. Learning about Ayurveda and how it can be used is fun, insightful and enlightening and eventually allows you to become an expert in your own mind and body, in how to prevent disease, in managing minor symptoms and maintaining your own well-being.
Ayurveda in the western WorLd
Ayurveda continues to grow in popularity in the western world, and in fact worldwide, due to its incredible preventative and restorative abilities. Since its spread to the UK, with the Maharishi Transcendental Meditation movement in the 1960s, companies providing Ayurvedic services number in the thousands and can be found in almost every corner of the Europe. Ayurveda is now being shared in every form imaginable from clinics and spas, to courses, retreats and conferences. In 2019, the Ayurvedic Professionals Association hosted the UK's first ever Ayurveda festival (AyurFest) and International Ayurveda Day, both of which were a huge success, a testament of the growing value of Ayurveda in the west.
Begin using Ayurveda
Sounds great...But where to start?
Exploring the huge landscape of Ayurveda can be overwhelming at first, which is why we are here! AyurLife applies ancient principles to modern living in a way that works for you, to give you the skills and knowledge you need to take charge of your own health.
Unless linked to other sites; all content is created and delivered by Qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Health Educator, Faith Warner.
Not convinced? Still confused?
Not to worry! We have plenty of information to get you started...
"Ayurveda is the science of life and it has a very basic, simple and kind approach which is that we are part of the universe, and the universe is intelligent and the human body is part of the cosmic body"