The Holistic Health Approach of Ayurveda
The principles of the holistic health approach of Ayurveda are universal and everyone who cares for a healthy and happy life can make use of its holistic system. Ayurveda considers a human being as a spiritual soul and therefore it want to re-establish harmony between all of its parts. The Ayurvedic tools to realize this and to avoid sickness are completely natural and almost inexhaustible. The difference between Ayurveda and modern health trends is that the Ayurvedic health approach is understood as a natural and logic result of a spiritual lifestyle. Different means of purification are daily used in Ayurveda, but they serve a higher target. That higher purpose is to balance life by taking care of the optimal functioning of body, mind and environment and to develop higher states of consciousness.
The Objectives of Ayurveda
Ayurveda comes from two Sanskrit words: ayu = life and veda = knowledge. Ayurveda thus means: the knowledge of life. Knowledge in this sense has to be considered as higher wisdom rather than as information.
The two objectives of Ayurveda are:
- To promote perfect health and to prolong life (add life to years and years to life).
- To prevent disease and in case of disease to eradicate disease and any dysfunction of the body.
Ayurveda lays emphasis on prevention — that we do those things, eat those things and have that kind of lifestyle which prevents us from disease, problems and worries. When the quality of life is going down for whatever reason — it could be karma or the body falls sick — then Ayurveda is a very natural approach of curing the body without all kinds of chemical means. It is based on the principle that the body will recover itself, through the proper foods, the proper herbs, and a proper lifestyle according to one’s abilities.
Body is a holy temple
In Ayurveda the body is considered as a holy temple in which the soul is living. Healthy food is necessary to maintain the body in a good condition and to keep it purified. Nature offers everything what the body needs and for this reason in the Vedic tradition taking food is considered as an offering to the Divine. Full respect to the principles of food and nutrition, good health and mental peace can be improved day by day. On the other side, bad food habits causing not only all kinds of physical ailments, but are often also the cause of energetic disorders like inertia, depressions, concentration problems and nervousness. In Ayurveda the daily meals are considered to be the basis for maintaining good health, harmonious progress and a long life full of joy and vitality. It is said that a radiating skin, mental alertness, concentration power and sharp intelligence, physical energy and persistence are the signs of consuming sattvic food. Sattvic food means food which is energetic, pure and fresh and which produces healthy effects. Besides that pure food is responsible for a nice radiance, good taste and smell, and pleasant touch.
Balancing the Doshas
Ayurveda works with the intelligent principles in the body. Our body consists of five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. Everybody’s body consists of these five elements. In Ayurveda these five elements are combined into three qualities: vata, pitta and kapha — called the three doshas.
All activities and functions of the body and mind are dependent on the normal or abnormal state of the three doshas in the body and first attention is given to balancing the doshas. Balance of the doshas means that life maintains its holistic existence being connected with the underlying source, the field of wholeness. This is called perfect health. Based on the three doshas an experienced ayurvedic physician can tell you right away what is wrong with the body; which of the doshas are out of balance. Ayurveda has a time quality as well like the astrology, so the ayurvedic expert can look into the future through feeling the pulse. We can diagnose the subtle body-energy through reading the pulse. The vata, pitta and kapha-movements show us how the intelligence of the body is in (or out of) balance. We can learn this skill of pulse-reading for our own body, just by practising it every day.
All activities which are disturbing the doshas or removing them from their natural place is considered to be unhealthy for a person. The result is that the tissues become weak and toxic elements accumulate everywhere in the body. Our activities and food habits also depend of cultural habits, climate, environment and seasons. Hence, not only the doshas are responsible for a healthy life and attitude, but also our background, cultural tradition and lifestyle.
The ultimate goal of Ayurveda is to re-establish harmony between all aspects of life and to develop the highest levels of human functioning. To develop this and to enjoy this to the fullest is the offering of the holistic approach of Ayurveda to all human beings. In Narada Kush’s trainings, workshops and consultations we will go through the ayurvedic approaches and treatments to maintain perfect balance of the doshas.