What Is Ayurveda?

Posted on January 1st, 2013 by in Ayurveda

Ayurveda originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is the oldest continuously practiced health-care system in the world. Drawn from an understanding of nature’s rhythms and laws, Ayurveda is built around the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth.

It is understood in Ayurveda that humans, as natural beings, are governed by the same rules and laws as all other natural beings. If we choose to ignore these laws, then imbalances will begin to appear. These imbalances are the precursor to disharmony and disease in the mind and body. This system of medicine understands our deepest connections with the whole universe and the influences of the energies that make up this universe. We are considered a microcosm of the macrocosm.

An Ayurvedic approach treats each individual, taking into account his/her own unique psychological, emotional, and physical conditions. Imbalances in the body are evaluated through the system of the elements. Because our world and bodies are constantly adjusting to new environments, when these environments become imbalanced we feel it in some way.

The goal of Ayurveda is to teach people how to attain optimal health through a deeper understanding of themselves and their own particular nature in relationship to the world around them. It is a system based on natural healing through strengthening the body, mind, and spirit and allowing the body’s own natural healing mechanisms to work to their fullest potential.

Ayurvedic Tips for Balanced Living

Beneficial Daily Routines

  • Rise before the sunrise.
  • Drink a full glass (8 oz.) of room temperature or warm water.
  • Clean your face, mouth and nasal passages and gargle with salt water.
  • Do some light yoga or stretching exercises.
  • Meditate for 20 minutes.
  • Take a walk or run for ½ hour, 3–4 times per week.
  • Have a nourishing breakfast according to your body type.
  • Have a relaxing or complete meal at lunchtime. 11–2 pm.
  • Meditate in late afternoon before evening meal for 20 minutes.
  • Eat dinner between 5:00 and 7:00 pm. This should not be a heavy meal.
  • Allow two hours after your dinner before going to bed.
  • Bedtime 10:00–11:00 pm.
  • Give thanks.

 

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About Hilary Garivaltis

Hilary currently serves as the Dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda and has 12 years of experience in teaching Ayurvedic daily living tools and Ayurvedic therapy techniques. She received her training at the New England Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine with advanced training in India from the Rishikesh College of Ayurveda and the Jiva Institute. She continues to train with the world’s leading teachers in the United States and in India.
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