What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda, Yog Temple, Yogaschool and Healingcentre in Goa India and Austria

The Western World mainly knows Ayurveda for Ayurvedic diet, but there is much more to discover. Ayurveda is the oldest health system (read here about the oldest healing system – shamanism). It has its origins in the Vedic culture of the Old India. Originally, the knowledge was passed on orally. The first written records were made 5000 years ago in Sanskrit. In contrast to western medicine, it is not about the treatment of symptoms, but the maintenance of health, vitality and zest for life. Ayurveda is the oldest holistic health system of humanity.

‘Ayus’ means life and ‘Veda’ means knowledge. Therefore one can translate Ayurveda as the ‘science of life’. In addition to imparting theoretical knowledge, this health system also provides practical everyday rules to bring body, mind and soul into a unity.

  Ayurveda, Yog Temple, Yogaschool and Healingcentre in Goa India and Austria, Become Yoga Teacher, Shamanism course

 

Methods of Ayurveda

On the one hand, Ayurveda uses preventative methods to maintain good health. On the other hand, it uses healing (curative) methods for health care. The emphasis is on nutrition, cleansing methods, yoga, massages, meditation and plant medicine. By now scientiest proved the effectiveness of ayurvedic methods by Western standards as well.

 

Diet

Our food is an elemental value for our physical and mental well-being. The Ayurvedic diet provides guidelines for each type of constitution (Tridosha) to meet individual needs. Furthermore, the food is adapted to the climate, the season and the culture. So there is not THE ayurvedic diet, but many different ayurvedic diets that are tailored to the user. To choose the right ayurvedic diet for you, you need to know which constitutional type (dosha) you belong to. You can find out more about this in our retreats and courses.

 

Yoga

Yoga is not a part of Ayurveda. It is an independent way of life. Ayurveda uses yoga to promote and maintain health. Read more about yoga and its roots here.

 

Massages

Ayurvedic massages help to release toxins and improve the energy flow in the body. There are a variety of different massages. The best known is Abhyanga. This is a full body massage with warm oil. Other forms of Ayurvedic massage are:

  • Mukabhyanga (facial massage with oil)
  • Padabhyanga (foot massage with oil)
  • Shiroabhyanga (head massage with oil)
  • Udarabhyanga (belly massage with oil)
  • Shirodhara (pouring warm oil over the forehead)
  • Upahanasveda (back massage with oil + sweating with the help of herbal paste)
  • Marma massage (similar to acupressure)
  • Udvartana (full-body massage with oil and powder)
  • Garshan (full-body massage with raw silk gloves)
  • Marma Chikitsa (Treating of Marma points with oils + breathing exercises)
  • Pinda Sweda (therapy with hot rice or herbal stamps)
  • Swaraabhyanga (self-massage with oil)

Done on a regular basis, the individual treatment rejuvenate and revitalize.

 

Meditation

Meditation is the spiritual practice par excellence. With the help of meditation we bring our mind to rest and integrate our whole being. Read more about meditation and different forms of meditation here.

 

Panchakarma (cleansing therapy)

‘Panch’ is Sanskrit and means five. ‘Karma’ means actions. People used these five cleaning methods for thousands of years with great results. It is especially recommendable for chronic, persistent and psychosomatic health problems a Panchkarma retreat (3-12 weeks). The five procedures are: medical vomiting (Vamana), drainage (Virecana), enemas (Basti), nasal and frontal sinus treatment (Nasya) and bloodletting (Rakta Moksa).

 

Dravyaguna (medical science)

Ayurveda has one of the most sophisticated theories for using medication. It describes the substances (Dravya), their properties (Guna) and their effects (Karma). It covers all areas of the herbal and mineral medicines: identification, use, processing and dosage. The European Union approves Ayurvedic remedies only as dietary supplements.

Ayurveda, Yog Temple, Yogaschool and Healingcentre in Goa India and Austria, Become Yoga Teacher
Ayurveda as a process of consciousness

Ayurveda is not about the cure of illness, but also about the promotion of health. This requires a close examination of the client. Thus, the Ayurvedic doctor or consultant has to consider the physical, mental and spiritual constitutions as well as the family and social and economic contexts. In order to achieve and maintain health, an awareness process must be completed.

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