Ayurveda In India

Ayurveda or the ‘science longevity’ is the system of nature cure. It is known to promote positive health, natural beauty and long life. Although rooted in antiquity, Ayurveda is based on universal principles and is a living, growing body of knowledge – as useful today as it was in earlier centuries.

Ayurveda the traditional form of Indian medicine was developed by ancient sages whose astute observations led to the development of constitutional medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine too has similar origins. Over the past 5000 years the Ayurvedic and chinese traditions have developed sophisticated systems of medicines. The ancients visualized the universe as a constant play of energies, an imbalance of which created discomfort and disease in the body. It was the duty of the vaidyar/ (physician) to harmonize this imbalance of the body – mind environment.

ayurveda_tourAyurveda [ayur + veda] is considered to be a sub-veda or the branch of knowledge that is concerned with the physical health and happiness on earth which therefore assumes great significance to human life. Vedic culture was based on the Vedas [ four books of knowledge] the origin of which dates back to 40000 years. This is an indication to the age old roots of Ayurveda. Ancient physicians segmented the universe into different types of manifested energy and attributed the very same energy to food and herbs.

In India Kerala has been a prime centre for the development of Ayurveda for long. The verdant forests and hills abundant in herbs and other flora are extremely valuable for the preparation of Ayurvedic concoctions. Keralites or Malayalis adhere to a ayurvedic lifestyle in their cuisine, religious rituals, oil baths, periodic purification etc. Even the martial art forms and dances have drawn from Ayurvedic therapy of health, exercise and healing. This tradition has been kept alive in this exotic land of Kerala at the south western tip of india by Vaidyars (physicians). These physicians classify a patients’ state of health according to the imbalances of the three doshas namely Vata, Pitha and Kapha. Kapha is the entire physical volume in a living organisms, pitha, the entire biochemical process operating in a body and Vata is that which constitutes bodily movement and activity. A disturbance in any of these three doshas leads to a particular disease and the treatment is administered to restore the equilibrium.

The treatment is prescribed by a physician based on the patients’ state of health gauging by the status of the doshas – can be in stages, sometimes of longer duration. Depending upon the nature and itensity of the disease the treatment involves either medicines or oil baths and massages or a combination of both. Another theory of Ayurveda is that certain passages or minutest channels of the human body has to be cleansed regularly through processes like emesis [ vamana ] , purgation [ virechana ], oil- predominent enema [ snehavasti ] , decoction- predominant enema [ niruhavasti ] and nasal medication [ nasya]. Panchakarma is the Ayurvedic terminology for this five fold purificatory process which involves repested application of oil and heat therapy in tandem with certain internal medication. Panchakarma rejuvenates the body and mind to its potential.

Yoga In India

Ayurveda, Yoga and Tantra are all parts of the ancient life-disciplines that have been practiced in India for centuries. They find mention in the scriptures of the Vedas and Upnishads. Yoga is the the science of the Union with the divine, with Truth; Tantra is the most direct method of controlling the energy that creates the ultimate union with truth; and Ayurveda is the science of life. The purpose of each practice is to help the individual achieve longevity, rejuvenation and self-realisation. The object of the practice of Yoga and Tantra is liberation, although only certain disciplined individuals are able to achieve the ultimate goals through these practices. If Ayurveda is the science of the body, Yoga is the science of the body, Yoga is the science of spirit. They are sister sciences. The practice of Yoga is an important , natural, preventive measure to ensure good health. The practice of an ayurvedic regimen is a precursor to Yoga because it is only when the body is fit that the individual is ready to study the spiritual science of Yoga. for more info on Yoga click here.