The Wisdom of Elements
Sounds a bit of a mouthful, so we’ve compiled some simple facts to explain this amazing ancient Indian healing system.
Ayurveda is said to be a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge).
According to ayurvedic theory, good health is dependent on a careful balance between body, mind and spirit. The system is based on the idea that we are made up of a combination of five elements: air, water, fire, earth, and space. These elements combine in the body to form three life forces, called doshas: vata, kapha, and pitta. Each of us usually has one predominant dosha.
The unique balance of our doshas is believed to explain our individual differences and potential for particular illness or disease. Any imbalance is said to interrupt the natural flow of energy, or prana in our bodies as well as impair our digestion and effect our overall well being.
- A combination of space and air, controlling movement.
- Responsible for basic body processes such as breathing, cell division and circulation.
- Physical areas in the body are the large intestine, pelvis, bones, skin, ears, and thighs.
- Individuals with vata as their main dosha are believed to be quick-thinking, thin, and fast, and be susceptible to anxiety, dry skin, and constipation.
- Combines the elements of water and earth.
- Believed to be responsible for strength, immunity, and growth.
- Physical areas in the body are the chest, lungs, and spinal fluid.
- Individuals with kapha as their main dosha are thought to be calm, have a solid body frame, are susceptible to diabetes, obesity, sinus congestion, and gallbladder problems.
- Combines fire and water.
- Believed to influence hormones and the digestive system.
- Physical areas in the body are the small intestines, stomach, sweat glands, skin, blood, and eyes.
- Individuals with pitta as their main dosha are thought to have a fiery personality, oily skin, and be susceptible to heart disease, stomach ulcers, inflammation, heartburn, and arthritis.
Once your predominant dosha is determined by an ayurvedic practitioner, an individualized treatment plan is created, which includes a distinct recommendation for diet, exercise, herbs, yoga, meditation, and massage.
Here are a few Ayurvedic recommendations to enhance your overall well being.
- Make sure you get a good night’s sleep
- Live in tune with the natural cycles of nature
- Always sit down to eat (not in front of the TV, the laptop, phone or while driving).
- Eat in a settled atmosphere and not when you’re upset, angry or anxious.
- Don’t eat until you feel hungry.
- Eat slowly and mindfully. Don’t gulp down your food or eat too slowly.
- Minimize raw foods, which are much harder to digest than cooked ones.
- Try to incorporate all six tastes at each meal.
- Add ginger to hot water and drink throughout the day.
- Exercise regularly.
- Self massage daily if possible.
- Meditate, meditate, meditate!!
We had the absolute pleasure of welcoming Meta B Doherty to The Sound Temple recently where she shared her immense wisdom and knowledge of Ayurveda to promote, holistic health and longevity. Meta is the author of two books and here are two beautiful quotes from her book “Ayurveda Forever Wellbeing”…
“Ayurveda encourages our practice of selfless service, unconditional love, forgiving and forgetting”
“Ayurveda takes care of ayus, embodied life: soul, mind, senses and body in intelligent communication”
On Sunday 11th November, Meta B Doherty joins us once again to bring her wealth of knowledge to us through ‘The Wisdom of Elements – Ayurveda’ with an inspiring day of yoga, breathing, meditation and some cooking focusing on three of the five elements – water, fire and air.