My induction to Ayurveda
I recently became a student at the Kerala Ayurveda Academy and world of ayurveda fascinates me so much so at this point that I spend endless hours at a time reading about the subject – something I would not do usually. Being a vata predominate person (Ayurvedic Dosha – Mind Body person), I usually like to be active, spontaneous and full of energy that is difficult to curtain, but now I stay still and focused for long hours reading. I must really love this subject!
For some of you that are completely new to ayurveda the word ‘ayur’ means ‘life’ and ‘veda’ means ‘science’. Therefore the science of living is called ‘ayurveda’. In other words, it’s a way of life that leads to perfect health without disease and fear.
It’s makes logical sense that each one of us is different and should be treated differently for the same health issues or diseases. Just look around within your family and friends and you will know what I am talking about. Some of your friends may not put on any weight, no matter how much they ate and some seems to gain weight just by looking or smelling food! Some can tolerate the cold better and others heat. Why are some people better at digesting carbohydrates than others? Hence it does not make sense when modern western medicine treats everyone the same way. Also, the other problem with modern medicine is that it only comes into the picture when a disease has already manifested. Prescription medicines also come with a lot of side effects and usually these medicine/ treatments do not deal with the root cause of the problem. Henri de Mondeville rightly said, “Anyone who believes that anything can be suited to everyone is a great fool, because medicine is practiced not on mankind in general, but on every individual in particular. ”
Ayurveda on the other hand, looks at each person differently by evaluating the person’s dosha type. The three dosha in Ayurveda are – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. A person can be either a one-dosha type or a two-dosha type or a three-dosha type, however the latter is rare to find. Usually there is one dominant dosha. Each one of us is born with a predisposed dosha at birth, which is what we should maintain to be in perfect health and harmony. This is called ‘Prakruti ‘. But over the years, by eating incorrectly, following an unhealthy lifestyle and inducing great amounts of stress in our lives, we create imbalances in our system. When such an imbalance occurs, it leads to the early germination of disease. Harvey Cushing is correct in saying that, “A physician is obligated to consider more than a diseased organ, more even than the whole man – he must view the man in his world.”
Hence, understanding your dosha gives you a great insight into who are, and what you should do and eat to restore your original dosha composition in balance. By keeping the doshas in balance, one can prevent diseases even if someone is predisposed to getting cancer, high blood pressure or high cholesterol due to hereditary.