THE SCIENCE OF LIFE
Ayurveda grew its roots in India more than 5,000 years ago and is considered to be the oldest healing science in the world. Many of the natural healing systems now popular in the West, like Homeopathy and Polarity Therapy, were born out of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda acknowledges each person as a unique being who requires personalized tools and practices. At the same time, Ayurveda believes that each person is an integral part of the whole, and that we are each intimately connected to each other, nature, and the embedded rhythm and laws of the universe.
Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of disease prevention (versus disease management and treatment in western medicine) and encourages the maintenance of one's health by maintaining balance between the primary energies, referred to as doshas, of the body. Ayurvedic philosophy teaches that the body encompasses three primary doshas that symbolize the energies of Earth's elements: Vata (air + space), Pitta (water + fire), and Kapha (earth + water). Vata is the energy of movement, pitta is the energy of digestion or metabolism, and kapha is the energy of lubrication and structure.
Each person's constitution is dominated by one or two of these energies in particular, and therefore awareness of one's constitution, tendencies, and behaviors empowers one to incorporate qualities and habits into their lives that balance their dominant energies (hence the "unique being with personalized tools and practices").
"Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, each person has a particular pattern of energy—an individual combination of physical, mental and emotional characteristics—which comprises their own constitution." - ayurveda.com
When one has optimal health, their doshas are in balance. On the other hand, when balance is disrupted, especially for long periods of time, the body becomes vulnerable to many different diseases and can experience a number of symptoms including anxiety, constipation, joint pain, trouble sleeping, exhaustion, indigestion, a weakened immune system, and more.
"Balance is the natural order; imbalance is disorder. Health is order; disease is disorder. When one understands the nature and structure of disorder, one can re-establish order."
Many factors, both internal and external, act upon us everyday and either bring us closer to balance or further away from it. These factors manifest as physical and emotional stresses and include one's emotional state, diet and food choices, seasons and weather, personal trauma, daily schedule, work and family relationships, and others. Once a person understands these factors and how they personally influence their well-being, they are empowered with the knowledge needed to take appropriate steps to eliminate or diminish the causes of imbalance and re-establish balance in one's constitution.