“Life (Ayu) is the combination (samyoga) of body, senses, mind and reincarnating soul.
Ayurveda is the most sacred science of life, beneficial to humans both in this world and the world beyond.”
Charaka Samhita, Sutrasthana, 1.42 – 34
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda (Sanskrit for “knowledge of life” or “knowledge of longevity”) is one of the most ancient and complete systems of traditional and natural health care that emphasises the relationship between body, mind, and spirit. It is considered to be the traditional system of medicine of India and since 1967 Ayurveda has been fully recognised by the World Health Organisation.
As well as providing invaluable advice to help you stay healthy, Ayurveda has been successfully used in helping many common disorders including
- Anxiety & Depression, Allergies, Arthritis, Asthma, Bronchitis
- Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Illness, Colitis, Constipation, Cystitis
- Diabetes, Eczema, Fibromyalgia, Fungal infections, Infertility Problems
- Headaches, Heartburn, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Insomnia
- Indigestion, Low Energy, Panic Attacks, Sinusitis, Tinnitus
- Ulcers, Vertigo, Weight problems, High/Low Blood pressure
An Ayurvedic Health Consultation offers you the chance to learn more about the nature of your mind/body and how to promote good health and prevent disease. Consultations include recommendations for diet, digestion, herbal food supplements, exercise, daily and seasonal routines and general guidelines for good health based on your individual physiology.
One Hour Initial Consultation – €90
Ayurvedic Treatments available include Abhyanga (full body massage using warm herbalised sesame oil; Abhyanga / Shirodhara (as Abhyanga with a stream of warm oil poured continuously over the forehead for some time); Netra Tarpana (treatment that nourishes vision & eyes); Kati Basti (for lower back pain); Nasya (used to remove toxins and mucus from the sinuses and lungs); Udavartana (a deeply penetrating herbal paste full body massage) and Ayurvedic Face-Care Massage – a rejuvenating and deeply relaxing treatment helps you regain a more youthful facial appearance and increases your feelings of well-being.
In Ayurveda food is seen as an essential part in maintaining and creating health. Ayurvedic cooking involves the knowledge and use of herbs, spices, vegetables and legumes to maintain physical and mental health. Eating foods that suit your nature and support your natural constitution is seen as very important. The use of herbs and spices can help detoxify the body and help in the treatment of many common complaints. This cookery course will give you an understanding of the basic principles of Ayurveda and show you how to prepare delicious healthy meals.
The Wisdom of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a qualitative, holistic science of health and longevity, a philosophy and system of healing the whole person based on each persons individual unique makeup. Historians have not pinpointed the exact time Ayurveda came into being. Most agree that Ayurvedic classical texts were written in India between 3,500 and 6000 years ago. It is certainly the worlds most ancient system of natural health care.
Over time much of the knowledge of this system became fragmented but, more recently, leading Ayurvedic experts pooled their knowledge into a comprehensive body of knowledge called Maharishi Ayurveda – A prevention oriented, time tested and holistic natural health system. Through Ayurvedic Consultations, Ayurvedic Therapies & Treatments & Ayurvedic Cooking Courses each of us can learn how to manage our own health & wellbeing.
Ayurveda helps you take control of your life by:
- Giving you understanding of your particular physical and psychological needs.
- Explaining the effects of foods, environment and experiences on your mind and body.
- Providing better understanding to give you the motivation to make the changes needed for better health.
- Knowing where you are going wrong, how it affects you, and how you can restore health.
- Offering many strategies for health such as food and lifestyle changes appropriate to you: Transcendental Meditation, yoga, cleansing treatments, specific herbal and mineral preparations, aromatherapy, music therapy, etc.- to suit your needs.
- Helping you co-operate with your own innate natural healing mechanisms
Ayurveda & Yoga - The Sciences of Self - Realisation and Self Healing - Two Sides of the Same Coin
The wisdom of Ayurveda determines that each of us are very unique in our constitution and makeup and therefore we all have specific and different needs in the management of our overall health and well being.
Thanks to Swami Vivekananda, yoga came to the West in 1893 and was welcomed by a very receptive audience. While people embraced yoga, its counterpart Ayurveda, was left behind in India. Yoga and Ayurveda are two very similar paths sharing a close relationship, so closely related that they are often described as two sides of the same coin. Both these sciences, which have their origin in the Vedic texts, address health and health practices. If Ayurveda is the healing aspect, yoga is the spiritual/practical side of the Vedic teachings. Together they emphasise a complete approach to the well being of the body, the mind, and the spirit. In fact, their close relationship has even led to some scholars arguing that Patanjali, considered by many to be the father of yoga, and Charaka, often considered as the father of Ayurveda, may have in fact been one and the same person known in Vedic India by different names during his travels to spread the teachings of these ancient sciences.
Both sciences have common underlying principles: the well being of an individual at the level of body and mind and the aim of helping an individual re-connect to their true nature through direct and personal experience (pratyeksha in Sanskrit). While yoga prepares the body and mind of the individual for eventual liberation and enlightenment, Ayurveda describes the various ways to keep the body and mind healthy both in preparation for the path of Yoga and as a support through out. Both sciences emphasize our close relationship with the environment and how to alter our environment in such a way that it is harmonious with our deepest nature.
In today’s world, yoga is often thought of as “asanas only,” something like a stretching tool to keep the body limber and agile. People are drawn to yoga as a way to keep fit even though the idea behind the physical practice of yoga is to help the mind to become clear or pure and develop deeper mind-body awareness. A clear mind is not affected by stress and a clear mind produces a healthy body thus creating a greater connection with one’s own pure, essential nature.
Similarly, Ayurveda brings with it the knowledge of how to keep the physical body healthy and how this relates to one’s spiritual journey. It addresses our entire lifestyle, including exercise and yoga. However, Ayurveda is highly individualistic and sees each individual as unique and an individual’s path toward perfect health as a unique path. Hence, what is right for each individual is unique to that individual alone. This could be described as person’s unique genetic background or constitution or dosha in Sanskrit. An individual’s constitution describes who the person is at the most fundamental level.
The above concept is remarkable because as a result of this understanding, Ayurveda prescribes a unique, “tailor-made” program to each individual based upon his/her constitution and the nature of the imbalance, and avoids the “one size-fits all” concept that is followed in many systems of healing.
Thus, Ayurveda is based upon understanding individualised needs and what is right only for the individual – not the masses – and fulfilling those needs to bring complete harmony.
As with diet, herbs, colors, aromas, etc, Ayurveda sheds light on which specific yoga asanas are best for each individual based on his/her constitution. With the knowledge of Ayurveda, a practitioner of hatha yoga can refine his/her practice so that it is in harmony with their internal balance of energy. Some yoga postures are best for one person while others can cause greater imbalance. By knowing one’s constitutional balance, an individual can use constitution-specific asanas to reverse their imbalances and improve their health and well being. Indeed, if we can understand our constitution, we can control our choices and choose only those that will lead us toward optimal health.
An Ayurvedic lifestyle both prepares us as part of Kriya Yoga (preparatory yoga) and supports us as we practice Hatha Yoga (Yoga of action). With a healthy & strong body and peaceful mind we are then prepared for the practice of Raja Yoga (Yoga of the Mind/ Yoga of Enlightenment).
Ayurveda and Yoga go hand in hand – there can not be one without the other.
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