This post was originally published on 04/07/2010 and updated on 23/09/2018
Ayurveda is the ancient art of healing and wellbeing that focuses on living naturally.
Today’s western approach to medicine and healing is to treat the disease but Ayurveda takes a different approach. Ayurveda does not wait for a disease to appear, it maintains the body on a day to day basis believing that “prevention is better than cure”.
It is a traditional approach to life that focuses on the whole person, not just the anatomy. Ayurveda believes that we are the by products of how we live and the body type that we were born with. These individual body types have to be kept in balance in order to remain healthy and harmonious.
Learning what is right and wrong for your individual body type (Dosha) is the key to the principles and practices of Ayurveda. So, what is good for one may not be good for another.
Related article – Ayurveda and the three Doshas
Ayurveda uses many approaches to healing and balancing the body and a lot of them we already know and practice. A lot of them our parents or grandparents knew about but unfortunately have been lost. Unfortunately, the fast and pharmaceutical approach to wellbeing has become the dominant approach.
A path that we are now realising comes at a cost.
Ayurveda gives us natural alternatives, things like herbal remedies, healthy thoughtful home cooking, connecting with nature, eating with the seasons, connecting with yourself, your family and a community. This is what Ayurveda is all about.
And we are starting to go back to these time-honoured traditions by taking a more natural approach to life. Just look at the growing organics industry and environmental awareness. Green had never been so cool!
Other Ayurvedic practice that you may be familiar with yoga.
. These are part of Ayurveda’s daily routine and should be practised every day. We’re not talking about a yoga class every morning, just a few simple stretches to wake up and connect with your body and mind.
Another daily practice is self-massage, something that I truly love. Using warm oil to gently massage the entire body before bathing. It is a truly nourishing and grounding experience! Massage has a whole range of other benefits including stress reduction, improved circulation and elimination of Ama (toxins).
Meditation is another practice that Ayurveda says we should include in our daily life. It is not easy at first and it requires some dedication and lots of practice.
It is not something that can be achieved overnight but is well worth the time and patience.
Meditation is a way of listening to your endless mind chatter in the hope of quietening it down. It’s not about not thinking, it’s about trying to give your tired, overworked mind a chance to relax.
We sit down when we are tired, we rest our body when we have had a long day but how often do we rest our mind?
TV is not resting the mind, I’m sorry but it’s just not.
So this is why it is important to meditate and train your mind to just be. Just be still and silent for it is in the stillness, in the silence that we are able to hear our Soul.
So these are Ayurveda’s basic principles in a nutshell. If you can incorporate these into your life you will notice changes as you become more aware of your body and how it reacts to how you live your life.
Live simply, in accordance to the natural rhythms of life and enjoy the benefits.