from guest teacher Svar Chaitanya
Ayur means life and Veda is a body of knowledge, thus Ayurveda is the body of knowledge of life.
Ayurveda is an ingenious ancient health system for living healthily and in balanced harmony with nature. Ayurveda considers people as an inextricable part of the whole universe and not as isolated individuals. It is a comprehensive holistic health system that recognizes life as an exchange of energy between individuals and their extended environment. If an environment is thriving, the individual thrives; if the environment is toxic, the individual becomes sick. If the environment is thriving, and the individual leads an unhealthy life-style, the individual becomes sick.
Ayurveda teaches harmonious and balanced ways to dynamically integrate our body, mind, and spirit in a given environment, climate and age. Ayurveda advocates regimens that are designed to help humans stay vital and healthy throughout their life-time. It offers practical tools, insights, guidelines for daily and seasonal diet, routines and behavior that encourage vitality and healthy living and a holistic treatment of all diseases with no known side-effects. Ayurveda addresses the whole person and seeks to eliminate illness by treating the source of the illness, rather than simply treating individual symptoms.
This ingenious system works on the premise that, ‘the human body has the innate intelligence to divinely heal itself by manufacturing the appropriate medicinal needs to restore and maintain a healthy body.’ Due to prolonged unhealthy life-style in an unhealthy environment, the natural mechanism for the body to naturally heal itself and to maintain good health is crippled, leading to illness. When the human body falls sick, a well-trained Ayurvedic physician knows how to ‘jump-start’ the body to trigger the divine healer in a person so that it can begin to heal itself.
This science of life has its origins in the ancient tradition of the Veda which can be traced even beyond 6,000 years. In Sanskrit, Ayur means life; and Veda is an authoritative body of divine knowledge that was revealed to the ancient seers in India. The union of the two words yields the meaning AYUR + VEDA = body of knowledge of life.
For more on Ayurveda, visit Yoga International’s website. This article is a great starting point- Ayurveda’s Guide to Health in Every Season