Ayurvedic medicine or Ayurveda is a traditional healing practice first developed in India close to 5,000 years ago. Derived from the Sanskrit term ayur (life) and veda (knowledge), the method is considered to be a form of alternative holistic healing and has been a fundamental practice of the Indian people since then. Today, as more individuals look towards preventative methods of healing, Ayurveda has become a point of interest for many. To shed light on this ancient practice and what it means for modern life, entrepreneur, investor, and thinker, Sanjeev Mansotra discusses some of its many benefits.
Why Does Ayurveda Matter Today?
Ayurveda is important, now more than ever. As a holistic healing system that encompasses the mind, body, and spirit, it also helps bring balance to an individual’s life. With many people unsure of how to cope with the imbalances in their life, Ayurveda can play a significant role in addressing these issues. The practice can also lead to the following health benefits:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved flexibility
- Enhanced strength and stamina
- Increased focus and concentration
- Decreased inflammation
- Improved overall health
Is Ayurveda Related to Yoga and Meditation?
According to Sanjeev Mansotra, Ayurveda closely resembles yoga, and although they differ from one another, they both seek to bring balance to the individual. Ayurveda is a healing system, used mostly to bring health and wellbeing to the body. Whereas, yoga is primarily concerned with psychological, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Most practitioners use yoga together with Ayurveda to help bring restoration and balance to the whole being.
The Various Aspects of Dosha
Ayurvedic principles dictate that every individual has a specific constitution or prakruti that helps determine their physical and physiological characteristics.
Doshas are the basis of the entire Ayurvedic system and every living thing is made up of the five elements of the universe – space, air, fire, water, and earth. In humans, these elements combine to form doshas or life energies. Out of these combinations exists Pitta dosha (fire and water), Vata dosha (space and air), and Kapha dosha (water and earth). Sanjeev Mansotra claims that doshas form essential characteristics of one’s prakruti which impact bodily functions.
Doshas have been instrumental in how people in India organize their lives, diets, and habits. For example, if your dosha says you should not eat certain foods, you will find many people in India following this recommendation. Although most individuals have some features of each, most people will have one or two dominant energies.
Some of the ways this ancient healing system restores balance between the doshas is through:
- Food and diet
- Herbal treatments
- Yoga and meditation
Practitioners look closely in order to identify an individual’s primary dosha, with the primary goal of restoring strength and balance to the body.
Modern Medicine vs. Ayurveda
Both modern medicine and Ayurveda serve a different purpose. Modern medicine is chiefly concerned with treating conditions and managing symptoms, while Ayurveda is more concerned with the restoration of balance and promoting the body’s self-healing properties. In that sense, those with an illness can seek medical treatment but at the same time, engage in Ayurvedic healing for more long-term healing. It is not recommended that anyone use Ayurveda to treat severe infectious diseases.
Today, there are hundreds of accredited practitioners and facilities across the United States and Europe, many of which received their training in India. Although Ayurveda is a pure science that does no harm, it takes a practitioner years to master it. As such, anyone interested in its practice should seek out practitioners with significant experience and a great track record.
Balancing the Mind, Body, and Spirit
Ayurveda emphasizes good health and the prevention of illness through various lifestyle changes. Sanjeev Mansotra suggests that those wanting to gain a clear understanding of what Ayurveda is should take the time to research its many benefits.