Principles of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian medical science, the origin of which can be traced back to more than 5000 years. The source of Ayurveda are the Vedas, the oldest available classics. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word, derived from two roots: Ayur, which means life and Veda, which means knowledge. Ayurveda is the science of life. A gift of the Gods, it was codified by the sage-physician Charaka and the sage-surgeon Shushruta. This ancient science is health, not disease, specific and takes into account the patient's entire personality - body, mind and spirit.
According to Ayurveda, every individual is made up of five elements i.e. Prithvi or earth, Jala or water, agni or fire, Vayu or air and Akash or space. All living and non-living things both are composed of these five basic elements known as Panch Mahabhoot. In Ayurvedic philosophy the five elements combine in pairs to form three dynamic forces or interactions called doshas. The doshas are constantly moving in dynamic balance, one with the others. The three active doshas are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha..
Vata is a force made up of air and space. Vata dosha are kinetic energy. Vata doshas is the basis of all communication process in the body. Vata dosha is the basis of all communication process in the body. The primary location of the vata in the body is the colon. It also resides in the hips, thighs, ears, bones, large intestine, pelvic cavity, and skin. .All motions, transportation and electromagnetic activities are controlled by Vata. There are five types of vata doshas. Prana Vayu: Prana vayu represents the force that draws sensory experience to us. Prana vayu resides in the head and heart (chest) where desire dwells, choices are made, and sensory experience is processed. Samana Vayu: Whereas prana vayu represents the force of attraction, samana vayu represents the force of absorption, pulling the impressions we are drawn to toward the center of our being. the role of vyana vayu, which is the force that circulates the response, moving it from the center toward the periphery. Udana vayu is responsible for action and expression, Apana Vayu: Cellular activity produces both work and waste. While udana is responsible for the work, apana vayu is responsible for cleaning up the waste. A balanced person with Vata Dosha can be expected to be very creative, and able to take on and complete a variety of projects at once. Vata Imbalance include: fear, anxiety, light sleeping or inability to sleep through the night, inability to concentrate, and inability to stay on task.
Pitta is a force created by the dynamic interplay of water and fire. Pitta dosha is responsible for all types of transformations in the body. It is mainly associated with the chemical reaction and changes taking place in the body. The small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood, fat, eyes, and skin are the seats of Pitta. Pitta governs digestion, absorption, metabolism, body temperature, intelligence, and understanding. There are five types of Pitta dosha. There are five types of pitta, each responsible for a specific area of activity. These types are pachack, ranjak, sadhak, alochak and bhrajak pitta. Pachack is responsible for digestion and metabolism and is found in the duodenum and the intestines. This pitta governs the formation of all other types of pitta in the body. Ranjak pitta is formed in the liver and relates to the color and odor of blood, urine, fecal matter and other substances. Sadhak pitta is present in the heart area and is responsible for most mental and physical activities. Alochak pitta is present at the site of vision--the eyes--and at the point between the eyebrows--the spiritual "third" eye. Bhrajak pitta is present in the skin tissue, giving it color, luster and aura. It maintains body temperature by throwing off excess heat through sweating. Pitta imbalance results in excessive body heat, digestive problems, a tendency to be hostile or angry, vision difficulties.
Kapha is a conceptual equilibrium of water and earth. Kapha dosha is the cohesive energy in the body. It smoothes out problems, lubricates and provides support when needed. Kapha lubricates the joints; provides moisture to the skin; helps to heal wounds; fills the spaces in the body; gives biological strength, vigor and stability; The chest is the seat of kapha. Kapha is also present in the throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach, joints, cytoplasm, plasma, and in the liquid secretions of the body. Kapha is classified according to the site of its function; the types are known as kledak, bodhak, tarpak, avalambak and shleshak kapha. Kledak kapha functions in the chest and gastric area. It lubricates ingested food, forming it into soft, moisturized balls for ease of passage through the esophagus, stomach and lower digestive tracts. Bodhak kapha is found in the region of the tongue, palate and throat and keeps the oral cavity lubricated. Avalambak kapha is found in the chest, where respiration and circulation take place. Because these activities are constant, the tissues in this region undergo considerable friction, wear and tear, and catabolic destruction. Thus, avalambak kapha strengthens and lubricates the heart and lung tissues to combat these effects. Tarpak kapha is present in the area of the head and the spinal cord. Tarpak kapha lubricates nerve tissue and enables it to carry impulses from the brain organs. It supplies nutrition to the brain, prevents wear and tear and drying of brain tissue, and acts as a shock absorber in head trauma. Shleshak kapha is found in all joints, providing lubrication to soften friction caused by movement. If it diminishes, the bones become brittle, and movements will be difficult and painful. Kapha abnormalities lead to respiratory disease., feeble mindedness, weakness and lethargy.
A harmonius state of the three doshas creates balance and health . Vata-pitta-kapha are present in every cell, tissue and organ. The sperm and the ovum also contains these three doshas. The sperm gets influenced by the father’s lifestyle, diet and emotions and the ovum by the mother’s. at the time of fertilization, when a single sperm enters a single ovum, individual constitution is determined. In every person they differ in permutations and combinations. According to Ayurveda, there are seven body types: mono-types (vata, pitta or kapha predominant), dual types (vata-pitta,pitta-kapha or, kapha-vata), and equal types, (vata, pitta and kapha in equal proportions). Every individual has a unique combination of these three doshas. To understand individuality is the foundation of healing according to Ayurveda.