Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word made up of “Ayus” which means life and “Veda” which means science, so Ayurveda is translated as “science of life”.
This ancient health system from India shares the Vedic philosophy that consciousness is the ground state of existence. Consciousness gives rise to awareness. Awareness helps one to choose thoughts, feelings, actions and experiences that promotes a healthy balance. As a result, one is able to achieve a state of well-being.
Ayurveda is a holistic system which views life as multi-dimensional and emphasizes that the three layers of life: mind, body and spirit are intrinsically connected. Health is not merely the absence of disease. One has to fully integrate and maintain a healthy balance of all three layers—physical, psychological and spiritual, in order to achieve true well-being.
There’s a saying in the Upanishads:
As is the human body, so is the cosmic body
As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm
As is the atom, so is the universe
This expression embodies the understanding that we are a unique expression of the universe and human intelligence is not separate from nature’s intelligence.
According to Ayurveda, the universe is made up of five elements or “mahabhutas”. These five elements or fundamental building blocks are space, air, fire, water and earth.
These elements organize themselves into three fundamental mind-body principles or constitutions known as doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and are responsible for our mind-body functions.