What is Ayurveda?

Most of us have already heard of this form of healing, but not many of know what it consists of… Well, Ayurveda is an important element that can be put into practice even through our everyday lives. Here is how it works. 
What is Ayurveda? “Ayur” means “life” and “veda” means “knowledge,” or “science.”The word literally translates into: “Life- Science” or the science of life.

Life Science. Photo Credit: Practical Cures
Life Science. Photo Credit: Practical Cures

Ayurveda originates in Vedic culture, which comes from India – you’ll find a lot of Ayurveda centers in the country. This is a great thing for our adventurers of the Rickshaw Challenge or the India’s Cup: these complexes’ main aim is to help visitors relax and reflect – and what better way to recharge after a long journey?
The main concept of Ayurveda is to help human beings become healthy and active. As a result, it gives us tips on how to eat, exercise and even behave in our everyday lives. There are also rituals that one can keep per season (like when you’re on a spring detox…) Ayurveda’s main lesson is that we can only be completely healthy if there’s a balance between our body, mind, environment and spirit. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
According to the teachings of Ayurveda, there are three important elements that control what’s inside of us and what surrounds us: Pitta (Fire), Vata (Wind) and Kapha (Earth). Each of these forces has their effect on us – one or two of these elements is dominant in every individual. If Pitta, or Fire is dominant in our nature, we are intelligent, goal-oriented and have a strong will to live our lives. People who are governed mostly by Vata tend to be thinner, more energetic and alterable. If the Kapha element governs our body, we will be easygoing and nurturing, down for everything.
An Ayurveda Complex. Photo Credit: Senorhorst Jahnsen
An Ayurveda Complex. Photo Credit: Senorhorst Jahnsen

Let’s see what happens when each of the dominant elements in your body functions properly: in the case of  Pitta, you’ll be warm and friendly towards others, a great leader and also a great speaker. However, if Pitta is out of balance, it is possible that you’ll develop digestion problems, inflammation, and you’ll feel irritable and compulsive.
When Vata is balanced in your body, you’ll feel that you are creative and energetic and have a gener well-being. The poblem comes when there is too much change in you level of Vata: you’ll feel anxious, irritable, your skin will dry out and you’ll have a complete lack of focus.
For Kapha, the equasion is similar: when it is well-balanced in your body, you’ll find that you feel very stable and supportive, inclined to be pleasant towards others. In the case of a disturbance, however, you’ll quickly gain weight and realize that you have become lazy.
Balance is Crucial. Photo Credit: Ramnah Bhat
Balance is Crucial. Photo Credit: Ramnah Bhat

To put it simply, Ayurveda works like this: principally, you have to identify which element is strongest in a person and whether it is in balance or not. If imbalance is discovered, the Ayurveda healer will suggest a number of procedures that can include massages, a new diet, herbs, aromatherapy, music or even meditation.
Wondering whether Vata, Pitta or Kapha is dominant in your body? Take this quiz.

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