18 May What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is the oldest continuously practiced healthcare system in the world. It originated in India over 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda is a system of medicine which treats the individual, recognizing that each person has their own unique psychological, emotional and physical constitution.

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word translated as “the science of life”. It is based on the concept that the universe, and everything in it, is made up of five elements; Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These elements are the five states of matter, and they each have inherent energies that govern their functions. We are all made up of these elements and energies. Each person is made up of different proportions of these elements, making everyone unique in their own constitutional makeup.

At the heart of Ayurveda is the concept of the three doshas, or three different types of constitution. The doshas are different combinations of the elements. Vata, is made up of ether and air, Pitta of fire and water, and Kapha of water and earth. Each persons psycho-physical constitution can be typically described in terms of a predominant dosha or combination of these doshas.

Vata people are predominantly light framed, quick in speech and action, and become nervous easily. They dislike the cold and have an erratic appetite and elimination. They tend to have problems with constipation, arhtritis, and nervous disorders.

Pitta people are more muscular, articulate and argumentative. They become irritable easily, dislike the heat, have sharp appetites and a strong metabolism. They tend to have infectious and inflammatory dieases such as sore throats and skin rashes.

Kapha people are large framed and put on weight easily. They are slow in speech and thought, do not get upset easily, dislike the damp, have constant appetites and slow digestion. They tend to have diseases of the respiratory system.

Most people have a predominant dosha, with one that follows closely behind, and the third not very present. Some people exude all three, and are referred to as “tridoshic”.  To learn about your dosha, there are many tests online, and we have some on paper at Jasmine which you are welcome to come in and get.

Ayurveda believes that the key to health is to understand your own unique makeup, and how to balance the elements, and doshas. We do through food choices, routines, and regular self-care. Someone who is predominantly Vata, would do best to keep warm, eat warm meals, and do things to keep the skin well moisturized or oiled. A Pitta person does best to keep cool, learn how to avoid stress, and avoid foods that are acidic or fried. A Kapha person does best to stay warm, keep moving, favor foods that are light and warm.

At Jasmine, we incorporate Ayurveda into our treatments by offering aromatherapy oils which help to balance the doshic state you are in at the time of service. We also offer traditional Ayurvedic body treatments, which focus less on the muscles, and more on stimulating the lymphatic system while nourishing the nervous system, and balancing the doshas, for better health and longevity.

To learn more about Ayurveda and how it can help better your health, join our Ayurvedic Retreat, June 10, 11, 12, with Hilary Garivaltis, founder of the School of Ayurveda at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health.  We will be exploring introductory Ayurvedic practices through lecture, massage, yoga, and a cooking class.

Here are some helpful links-

To find your Dosha  –https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/prakriti-quiz/

To find out more about our Ayurvedic Retreat- http://jasminevt.com/2016/03/31/ayurvedic-rejuvenation-retreat-2016/