Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of natural health care, originating in the ancient traditions of India. Now considered one of the leading forms of holistic medicine available in the West, Ayurveda addresses all factors that influence our quality of life.
The principles of Ayurveda state that nothing exists in isolation, so that everything you interact with, your diet, family, work or relationships, has an effect on your health and well being. One guiding principle of Ayurveda is that mind and body are connected and that the mind has a profound influence over our health and well-being.
While conventional Western medicine is still grounded in the paradigm of mind-body separation, Ayurveda holds that health is more than the absence of disease; it is a dynamic state of balance and integration of body, mind, and spirit.
According to Ayurveda, each of us inherits a unique mix of three mind/body principles which creates our specific mental and physical characteristics. These three principles are called doshas.
Most of us have one or two doshas which are most lively in our nature, with the remaining one(s) less significant. The three doshas are known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. An understanding of doshas is foundational to the understanding of Ayurveda.