Ayurveda literally means “the art of living wisely” or “the science of life and longevity”. It is a profound science of living that encompasses the whole of life and relates the individual to the universe and consider mind , body and spirit together. It is a holistic system of healing in the truest sense.
Ayurveda is timeless - it has existed for over 5000 years but yet it still applies to modern day life. Today it is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a natural health care system. The key to its longevity is because Ayurveda is logical. An early description given in the Charaka Samhita (the earliest Ayurvedic literature) written circa 150BCE-100CE says: “It is called Ayurveda because it tells us which substances, qualities and actions are life enhancing, and which are not.”
In general, Ayurveda teaches that if life is lived in accordance with prakruti, or basic body-mind constitution, then a natural youthfulness is maintained throughout life. According to Ayurveda, health is a perfect state of balance between the body’s three fundamental energies or doshas (vata, pitta, kapha) and an equally vital balance among body, mind and soul or consciousness. In working to create health, Ayurveda therefore takes in to consideration all these different levels of life and how they are interconnected.
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Ayurveda teaches us that we have a constitution, our own mix of the doshas, which is our individual psychobiological makeup. In modern terms we speak of this blue print as our inherited genetic code, from ancient times Ayurveda has called it prakruti, a constant factor that does not change throughout life.
From the moment of conception, this individual constitution is created by the energies of Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These five elements combine into the three fundamental energies or doshas known as VATA, PITTA, KAPHA.
Vata represents momentum. It is responsible for all the bodily activities and sensations. It controls the movement of blood through the circulatory system, breathing, and the delivery of nutrients to the cells and the removal & excretion of waste products. These body types generally have poor circulation that results in dry skin that is prone to premature wrinkles. Vata skin have tendency towards chap and crack.
Pitta represents metabolism. It governs digestion and metabolic transformation of nutrients into biologically usable forms. It also imparts the capacity to absorb ideas and impressions and bestows intelligence and an enthusiasm for life. Pitta types generally have sensitive skin that is prone to acne, redness and with tendency toward pigmentation.
Kapha provides substance and support. It gives strength and stability, both physically and psychologically. It enhances resistance to disease and promotes the healing process. In balance it promotes love, calmness & forgiveness. Out of balance it produces attachment, greed & envy. Kapha’s skin can be normal to oily with large pores and white head. The skin can easily become congested and become saggy or loose when not looked after properly.