An introduction to healing with Ayurveda and a wonderful place to begin if you're wondering, "What is Ayurveda?"
Ayur means life. Veda means knowledge. Ayurveda shares with us a wisdom for living and the concept of creating health based on how we are living in relation to our inner and outer worlds.
The concepts of doshas (bodily constitution), dhatus (tissue layers of the body) and agni (digestion) are fundamental as an introduction to healing with Ayurveda. Understanding our constitution enables us to also understand the foods and activities that either support or imbalance our physical and mental characteristics and emotional balance. This understanding together with guidance for nourishing the body’s tissues and caring for our digestion are the starting points for an Ayurvedic consultation, enabling us to make choices most supporting and sustaining of our health.
We are realising now that health is more than merely absence of disease. Rather than looking at disease in relative isolation, Ayurveda holds the perspective of supporting our whole constitution and guiding us back to look inside ourselves to the place where healing arises – within our own body.
Ayurveda becomes our inner medicine. We realise the potency in our every day to sustain our ongoing health. Rather than constantly looking outside of ourselves for a magic pill or potion to ‘fix’ us, we begin to remember that health is within our reach. In practical ways, Ayurveda reminds us health happens in our home. We can restore the body with foods, teas, herbs and self-care. Combining Ayurveda together with the sister science of Yoga, we can replenish our energy with mantra (healing sounds), mudra (hand gestures), dhyana (meditation) and yoga asana (posture) and pranayama (breath) practices.
And in this way, Ayurveda is also an approach that invites our shift in focus from treating our sickness to promoting our wellness. Maya Tiwari quite delightfully considers the possibility that “We are wellness…Disease is simply a matter of forgetfulness.” Ayurvedic approaches to healing revitalise, regenerate and reset our body’s innate intelligence and cellular memory by cultivating our wisdom for living.
(For more from Maya Tiwari, her book 'Women's Power to Heal Through Inner Medicine' expands on this perspective with insights gleaned from her work teaching women to reconnect and reclaim their innate power for optimal health.)