"Ayurveda is the art of daily living in harmony with the laws of nature." - Dr. Vasant Lad

Ayurveda is India's ancient system of holistic medicine. It is also a lifestyle philosophy, a sacred science and a healing art that emphasizes prevention of disease through the choices we make everyday. Ayurveda addresses the needs of the body of course, yet it also engages with mind, spirit and consciousness making it a truly holistic approach to wellness and longevity. It considers health to be more than just the absence of disease. True health is the experience of a balanced, vibrant body, a steady, positive mind and a cheerful spirit. 

According to Ayurvedic thought, each human body has an inner ecology. Keeping this bio-terrain in balance is the goal. Balance is achieved through a moment-by-moment dance with the Five Elements in nature: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space (Ether). These elements are present in us and all things like foods, spices, herbs, aromas, behaviors and emotions.

The Five Elements coalesce into three basic energies or forces, called doshas, and govern all psychobiological processes. Every cell contains Vata, Pitta and Kapha - the three doshas (constitutional types) - that influence who we are. The doshas have an impact on what we do, what we think and feel, symptoms that arise when we are out of balance and what we are attracted to. They are our roadmap to the self.

All people have all three doshas, but there are usually one or two that are dominant. Health depends on keeping them in balance. Once you know yourself through this doshic lens - which doshas are predominant and which tend to go out of whack - it is simple to re-establish balance and regain vitality. This is where home remedies can be helpful. Foods, spices, herbs and aromas, exercises such as yoga and breathing practices can reset systems to help usher in greater health.

For more information and a guide to assess your present doshic state, known as vikruti, click here.

Alana Greenberg