"When something happens, I am not thrown off course, and when nothing happens, I do not lose my way." --Sri B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life
Ayurveda ("the knowledge of life") originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, and is a natural healthcare system that looks to the root cause of imbalance to treat the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.
The system is based on the premise that the five great elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether) are represented in human beings in three doshas, or "energies," called vata, pitta, and kapha. The balance of these three doshas, established at conception, is our own unique Ayurvedic fingerprint, called our prakriti.
The current state of our health is called vikruti and is affected by many internal and external factors, including emotional and physical stressors, daily food choices, the changing seasons and weather, physical trauma, and work-family relationships.
When the way we are living does not meet our individual needs, when vikruti is not in alignment with prakriti, we look to Ayurveda's healing wisdom to bring us back into balance.
In Ayurveda, balance is achieved in healing through opposites. For example, if one is overheated (like a red, swollen pimple), the prescribed treatments may be cooling in nature. If excessive moisture is present (think of a young child's runny nose), it may need to be dried out. If life is fast-paced (think of those people you know with a schedule packed so tight it's ready to burst), it may need to be slowed down.
Ayurveda encourages the maintenance of health using individualized holistic modalities, which affect all of the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. Balance is cultivated through food programs, herbology, massage, and other lifestyle adjustments.
In a series of blogs throughout the year, we will offer you a path of practice that will lead you back to a state of balance and show you how to live in accordance with the natural world around you using the combined wisdom of yoga and Ayurveda.
Check back on March 21 for a blog on balancing your kapha dosha through yoga.
Jeff Perlman is a clinical Ayurvedic and Pancha Karma specialist, with advanced accreditation in pulse diagnosis and Marma Therapy; a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association; a certified massage therapist; a certified Iyengar Yoga instructor; and a Cordon Bleu chef. Find him online at threeseasonsayurveda.com.
Holly Walck uses the healing practices of Ayurveda and Iyengar Yoga to secure her to the core of her being. Her Bachelor's Degree in Nursing, combined with a Certification in Iyengar Yoga, give her Yoga classes a unique flavor and the ability to approach her students from a place of wholeness. www.yogawithholly.com
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com