A Brief Overview of Ayurveda
Searching For Truth: A Blog by Sherri Smith
Ayurveda (r – u – vay – dah) is essentially translated as the science or knowledge of life. It is a holistic or whole body healing practice whose origins are from ancient India close to 6,000 years ago. It is a system that is practiced all day, everyday. The intention is to continually move towards balance – and overwhelming as that seems in our current state of existence, one thing that helps me often is to repeat to myself ‘do the next right thing’. This system is based on the primary tendencies or elements in which we are a microcosm of – earth, air, fire, water and space. We utilize these elements to bring restoration to some level of our bodies through diet, movement, thought and emotions. Ayurveda is vast and complex, and yet simple and intimate. As we become more connected to ourselves and to the natural world, we become educated to a greater sense of the understanding of the teachings and practices. If we first perhaps study the elements themselves and their animating principles, we can then witness those same qualities within. We are comprised of all elements, but we also have our own unique blueprint with some elements more predominant than others. This is why what may work for some in an approach to wellness or healing will be ineffective or even harmful to another. Why some love winter and others abhor it, why some love spicy food and others have low tolerance to it. It may aggravate one’s condition or soothe another’s. Holding onto the qualities of each of the elements, they have then been categorized into 3 primary doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata encapsulates the intelligence of movement, Pitta of transformation and Kapha of strength and stability. These are just some of the qualities of each but a good starting point in the understanding. So to bring the elements forth under these doshas we could begin with Vata and know that it contains the element of air and space/ether. Pitta is primarily fire with some water (both transformative) and Kapha of earth and water.
Disease is defined as an imbalance or not at ease. It is safe to say that we are most often in a state of imbalance, some more extreme than others, but the object is to recognize first and then ‘do the next right thing’ in moving towards balance again. The beauty of our modern medicine and advancements in technology is that we can diagnose to the most finite detail the imbalances within the body and also bring an extreme or acute state into stability. From this point, it is would be a wonderful adaptation to utilize the principles of Ayurveda to allow the body to strengthen and restore to its natural rhythms, what an immense relief this could bring to our medical systems in the West. Awareness is key and if we put forth the effort of understanding of the Elements in a greater capacity back into our lives, and bring a greater awareness also within our minds and bodies, we can recognize the imbalance at an earlier state and ‘do the next right thing’ to bring about harmony.
Sherri Smith from A State of Bliss has trained extensively and globally with ancient modalities and traditions to combine the wisdom these teachings into her own unique therapies. We are deeply connected to the natural world and many of the ills of society today are a result of our separation from this. Sherri's commitment to her own journey keep her immersed in teachings, experiences and advancement, in turn providing rich and rare content to her offerings. There is a yearning within each of us to live a greater life. Discover your power, your gifts and your truths.