Ayurveda is a traditional system of healing rooted in India thousands of years ago. The sages of India developed it with two main guiding principles:
- The mind and the body are inextricably connected.
- Nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.
More than just a system for healing, Ayurveda is a science of life, literally: Ayur = life, Veda = science/knowledge. It believes that freedom from illness begins with expanding our awareness, bringing it into balance and extending that balance to the body. The process may sound complicated but can be as simple as creating a state of restful awareness through meditation. In that state of inner quiet, your body decreases the production of "stress" hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin, and increases the production of neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins.
Along with meditation, the ancient Ayurvedic physicians prescribed many other practices to help balance the mind and body and achieve optimal health, these included:
- Eat a diet of food full of colour and flavour
- Get plenty of good quality sleep
- Live with nature, not against it
- Exercise and listen to your body
- Strengthen your digestive energy
An important thing to know about the Ayurvedic approach is that in its essence it is about aligning with the infinite organising power of nature, rather than trying to force things to go your way. Remember that nature functions with effortless ease and is holistic, intuitive and nourishing, held together by the energy of love.