What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda - The Ancient Science of Life

Ayurveda is the ancient Indian holistic medical system, based on achieving physical and mental harmony with nature, which has been practised for more than 5000 years. Ayurveda means "science of life" ("Ayu" meaning life and "Veda" meaning science), and was first recorded in the Vedas the world's oldest surviving literature.

All early Ayurvedic writing is based on the Samkhya or Sankhya philosophy of creation ("Sat" meaning truth and "Kha" meaning to know). Ayurveda was created during a time of great enlightenment, when the sages of ancient India discovered truth by means of religious practices and disciplines, including Yoga and meditation, techniques that are being increasingly appreciated in the West today. They believed in a close relationship between man and the universe and the flow of cosmic energy in different forms between all living and nonliving things.

According to Ayurvedic teachings everybody has four physical and spiritual instincts: religious, financial, procreative and the instinct for freedom. Combined these create happiness, well being and creative and physical growth. Balance and good health are the prerequisites for these instincts to be fulfilled and must be maintained for them to be enjoyed. To help achieve this important foundation upon which rest of life is based, Ayurveda aims to promote good health in healthy people and restore health to those who are exhibiting ailments.

Even today Ayurveda is a recognised branch of medicine existing in India alongside what we consider conventional medicine and is growing in popularity in spas and health centres around the world.

Ayurveda and Yoga are complementary to each other; some Ayurvedic remedies consist of special Yoga exercises.