The Philosophy of Ayurveda


The philosophy of Ayurveda, a 3,000 year old healing and spiritual practice, addresses health through the lens of elemental balance. The term Ayurveda translates to life (ayur) knowledge (veda). The goal of this practice is to promote balance throughout the body, mind and spirit.

The physical healing perspective of Ayurveda is based off of the spiritual belief that consciousness is a combination of elemental energy.

This theory is explained as follows; before the world ‘became’ there was a unified consciousness. A silent vibration of potential sound that created the ether element. This element is the essence of space, and as it moved, it created the element air. The subtle movements of ether also created friction, and this heat energy manifested as light and then the element of fire. As the fire liquified and altered the ether, water was deducted and the solid alteration of this transition gave birth to the earth element. Thus, creation was the unification of each element.

It is important for the reader to understand this philosophy as Ayurveda teaches that all matter is comprised of these elements and so the healing of mankind is found within the balance of these elements.

The different elements within the body reign over different biological, psychological and physiological functions.To determine the balance of these elements, Ayurveda recognizes three doshas. Doshas are the dominating elemental combinations within the body. The three doshas are vata, pitta and kapha. Vata consists of air and ether, while pitta is fire and water. These two doshas are contrasted by kapha which is predominantly water and earth. These doshas have responsibility in the urges and preferences of the individual as well as the biological responses and emotional balance. They are the foundation as to the psychosomatic essence of the individual.

Vata claims the subtle energy within the metabolism and biological movement. This dosha governs breathing, movements within the muscles and tissues, pulsations of the heart, contractions and expansions. This elemental combination holds a dominant place within the large intestine, pelvic cavity, bones, skin, thighs and ears.Often imbalances can be detected in these areas. The feelings associated with the vata dosha are that of fear, nervousness,anxiety, pain , tremors and spasms, and freshness.