There are many paths to healing, some of which predate Western medicine by several thousand years. One of these is Ayurveda, the primary healing art of India, which has been used for millennia. Here is a what you need to know about modern Ayurveda and how it can enhance your well-being.
The three “textbooks” of Ayurvedic medicine date back over 2,000 years. The word “Ayurveda” comes from two Sanskrit words — “ayur” which means “life” and “veda” which means “science”. While the core principles are contained in the three books much of Ayurveda was passed down by word of mouth over the centuries. However, it has stayed remarkably consistent through the years.
The fundamental principle of Ayurveda is that the mind and body are inextricably connected, and that humans are connected to everything else in the world. Unlike Western medicine which focuses on physical illnesses in isolation, Ayurveda teaches that health and wellness come from unity of the whole being.
According to Ayurveda the universal energy expresses itself in three doshas or types of energy. These are called vata, pitta and kapha, and individuals tend to show a lot of one or two of these doshas. Each dosha has its own physical and mental traits.
Vata dominant people tend to be thin, active and energetic. They are creative and enjoy new experiences and challenges. The negative side of this dosha is that they can be anxious and unstable, or seek comfort in food or substances to ground their energy.
Pitta types tend to be physically strong and stocky. They are intense, competitive, and usually think they are right! They are quick to learn and have good leadership skills, though their fiery nature can make them irritable and impatient.
Kapha are grounded and stable personalities, with calm, loyal natures. They tend to have athletic bodies and can gain weight more easily than the other doshas. They prefer routine and working in an organised fashion.
Keeping a balance
In Ayurveda, the key to health is keeping everything in balance. Food, rest, exercise and meditation are essential tools in this practice. Each dosha or combination of dosha types has its ideal mix, but the basic principles are the same for everyone. The Ayurvedic diet has six tastes: salty, sweet, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent. Eating a combination of these foods helps ensure balance. Exercise, as we all know, is vital to stay healthy. Ayurveda understood this long before Western medicine did! Sleep is another important piece of the health puzzle. It restores the body and mind, supports the immune system, and smooths out any imbalances.
AyurVida in Ibiza Town is a centre dedicated to Ayurvedic medicine. It offers treatments, courses, events and more. You can visit the website here.
You can also take online quizzes to find out which dosha or combination of doshas you are, and get recommendations for food, exercise and lifestyle choices.