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What Is Ayurveda?

1st March 2021

I talk about it a lot and it’s a big part of my life, but what is it?

If we break the word Ayurveda down, Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge or science. Put those two words back together again and we have “the science of life”.

It’s an integrated system that originated in India over 5,000 years ago, that includes all components of life, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

I like to look at it as my holistic toolkit for everything in my life.

Ayurveda looks at each person as a unique individual. What I love about it, is there’s not a one size fits all/ quick fix. It is a holistic lifestyle that deeply nourishes the mind, body and soul.

The 5 Elements:

According to Ayurveda everything in the universe, living or nonliving, consists of 5 elements:
Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Everything consists of these 5 elements, us as humans, the chair you’re sitting on, plants, animals, the food we eat and even every single cell and atom in your body.

Ether
Ether is space. In the human body you find spaces or empty areas and outside of us wherever there is space, that is ether.

Air
Air is the element that causes all movement. It’s ether in movement. Every muscle movement, heart pulsation, lung movement, bowel movements and every movement of the nervous system – is possible because of the air element. Also, when looking at the mind, every thought is a movement. And every time an object moves in space outside of us is also the air element.

Fire
Fire is responsible for heat and all transformation in the body. It’s the digestive fire, transforming food into body cells, but it’s also your intellectual capacity, transforming information into knowledge and wisdom. It’s responsible for your body temperature, your eyesight and all metabolic processes in your body. You can find the fire element in the sunshine, gas, fire, lava.

Water
The water element manifests as all bodily secretions, juices, saliva, mucus and plasma. The water element makes sure that the functioning of all bodily tissues, systems and organs go smoothly. You can also find water outside of us in streams rivers the ocean rain and dew.

Earth
The earth element gives the body structure and stability. Without it we would collapse. It’s our bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, skin, hair and nails. Think outside and around us, earth is our stable foundation without it we cannot build homes or walk steadily.

Within our own unique mind body soul make-up we each have a combination of dominant elements.

Some of us have really strong bones and muscles, while others have a much smaller bodily structure. Some of us have a really strong digestive fire and can eat a lot without gaining any weight, while others have a much slower metabolism.
This is the reason why we are all different and we all have different needs to stay healthy and feel happy with our lives. The composition of these 5 elements not only determine how our body looks and works, but also how our mind works, what our dreams are and what our emotional tendencies are.

Doshas

According to Ayurveda these 5 elements form three basic body-mind types otherwise known as doshas:

Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

These dosha’s also consist of all the 5 elements, but are predominant in 2
elements.
Vata = ether + air [movement and communication in the body and mind]
Pitta = fire + water [transformations in the body and mind]
Kapha = water + earth [structure and stability in the body and mind]

Ayurveda is such an in-depth system that works.

My 1-1 teaching is based on the foundations of Ayurveda and sees you deeply as you are, meeting you where you are at.

If you are keen to know more, book in a 1-1 session to get to know “you” better.

Get in touch here: contactus@yogawithelizabeth.yoga