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Ayurveda 101: Guide to Wellness Traditions

Feb 09, 2022

Ayurveda

One of the oldest traditional systems of medicine on the planet, Ayurveda (pronounced eye-yur-vay-dah) has a long and storied history of helping people across the globe. But what is Ayurveda, where does it come from, and how can you incorporate it into your life? Let’s discuss.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term that translates to “knowledge of life” and is a system of healing practices that can be traced back thousands of years. As a holistic approach to health, it recognizes that life is an intricately woven web with countless factors working together and affecting one another. Because of this, Ayurveda focuses on preventative ways to avoid disease or health concerns through balancing the body’s energy.

It’s important to note, however, that Ayurveda should be considered a complementary health approach to conventional and allopathic medicine, not a substitute. In some situations, the best course of treatment may be drugs or surgery, but Ayurvedic practices in combination with Western treatments can make a person stronger and less prone to disease.

Principle energies of the body

Ayurveda is based on the idea that five primary elements make up the world around us. Those five elements are akash (space/ether), jala (water), prithvi (earth), teja (fire), and vayu (air). From those elements, we get three energies that flow through and govern the body, called doshas. The three doshas are named vata, pitta, and kapha, and each person has a unique pattern and mix of these life forces. Keeping these doshas in balance is how Ayurvedic practices can maintain the wellness of not just our body, but our mind and soul as well.

History of Ayurveda

The history of Ayurvedic medicine is a long one, dating back to between 3,000 and 2,500 BCE during the Vedic period of ancient India. While the traditions saw a period of prosperity to begin, it soon became a nearly forgotten ideology as India’s political struggles and invasions from other countries drove it to the fringes of society. Nevertheless, it was kept alive by those who practiced it until India gained its independence in 1947 and has now returned as a major medical system in the country. Since the 1980s in particular, Ayurveda has seen growth in adoption in Western countries as well, increasing the popularity of other Eastern practices (such as yoga) in the process.

Prevention of imbalances

Imbalances in our doshas can lead to acne, disease, anxiety, inflammation, and more. This is why Ayurveda primarily emphasizes the prevention of these health issues. There are a number of ways that this is accomplished, including massages, certain ingredients, meditation, and more. By supporting life with balanced energy instead of just treating existing problems or symptoms, we can live happier, healthier lives.

Ayurvedic assessments

To plan the best method of treatment and prevention for you, an Ayurvedic practitioner can examine you and ask questions about your lifestyle, diet, health, and more. By checking 12 pulse points on your wrists and inspecting your tongue, skin, eyes, lips, and nails, the practitioner will determine your unique makeup of doshas. Using this information, a treatment and lifestyle plan will be recommended to balance your primary dosha (or in some cases, the two strongest doshas).

Ayurvedic ingredients & treatment

As mentioned above, your Ayurvedic plan will depend on your balance of doshas and lifestyle, but there are some generally-beneficial ingredients that you can always incorporate into your diet. Turmeric, Ashwagandha, Neem, Cucumber, Brahmi, Pomegranate, Coconut, and more all have healing benefits to balance different doshas. Many of our products use these traditional Ayurvedic ingredients, such as Turmeric and Neem in our Glow Activating Exfoliator, the Softening Hydra-Whip that uses Coconut Oil and Milk, Pomegranate in our Healing Rose Clay Mask, and the Balance Restoring Serum that draws on soothing Cucumber Extract.

Common Ayurvedic treatments include meditation, herbal oils, diets, exercise, and massages. These treat the body and spirit as a whole, while maintaining the interconnectedness of the body and doshas. The introduction of these changes into your lifestyle will bring balance to your unique equilibrium of vata, pitta, and kapha and strengthen your holistic wellness.

Ancient rituals for comprehensive wellness

Ayurvedic rituals and traditions have lasted for thousands of years because of their focus on the wellness of everything, not just an individual symptom. By using these practices to better ourselves (both inner and outer), we can achieve a more comprehensive well-being that leaves us glowing and confident. Bridge the gap between beauty and wellness today.

 

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