Thousands of years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, the sages of India developed Ayurveda, which continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems.
More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge).
It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential.
The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are:
1) The mind and the body are inextricably connected
2) Nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.
Physics of Ayurveda:
Physics tells us the word exists in layers. The surface layer in nature behave like particles and are the domain of classical physics.
The deeper more subtle levels of nature behave like wave patterns in fields that are the domain of quantum physics.
Modern medicine is a healthcare system based on an analysis of health from the molecular level in classical physics, whereas ayurveda is a health care system based on an analysis of health from the deepest quantum mechanical level in nature.
What are the 3 Doshas?
The Doshas are powerful fields that create structure and function of the physical world including our bodies. They make up our constitution and are called Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
Imbalances in the doshas are imbalances in the body’s inner intelligence for proper functioning.
1. Vata Dosha
Energy that controls bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing, blinking, and your heartbeat.
- In balance: There is creativity and vitality.
- Out of balance: Can produce fear and anxiety.
2. Pitta Dosha
Energy that controls the body’s metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and your body’s temperature.
- In balance: Leads to contentment and intelligence.
- Out of balance: Can cause ulcers and anger.
3. Kapha Dosha
Energy that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system.
- In balance: Expressed as love and forgiveness.
- Out of balance: Can lead to insecurity and envy.
These three types of processes can be seen as the basis of any system in nature. We can keep them in balance in accordance with what activities we do, when we do those activities at certain times of the day and what we eat in accordance with the five elements.
What do elements have to do with health?
Ayurveda discusses the five elements as philosophical concepts. They are the basic principles of the Universe . . . and therefore represent the primary components of all living things.
The 5 Elements in Ayurveda are:
- Earth, the principle of inertia
- Water, the principle of cohesion
- Fire, the principle of radiance
- Wind, the principle of vibration
- Ether, the principle of pervasiveness
These elements can be assigned to different regions in the body and are each connected the five senses. Joined together as pairs, they can manifest in a dosha, known as a body’s constitution in Ayurveda.
The earth element, represents the solid state of matter . . . and along with water, is actually responsible for the physical constitution of the body. Bones, teeth, and tissues are all considered as earth elements. Earth connects to the nose and the sense of smell. Water and Earth form the kapha dosha.
Water represents the liquid state of matter and it indicates change or instability. Water is responsible for the fluid metabolism in the body, therefore blood, lymph and other fluids are considered as water elements. Water connects to the tongue and the sense of taste. Water is the dominant element in the kapha dosha . . . and is also present in the pitta dosha.
The fire element represents form without substance and it has the power to transfer the state of any substance. In the body it is responsible for digestion and perception and connected to the eyes and therefore sight. Fire is the dominant element in the pitta dosha.
Wind or air represents the gaseous state of matter. It indicates mobility and is dynamic. In the body, the wind element is responsible for the respiratory system and necessary for all energy transfers as air is the key element needed for fire to burn. Wind connects to the skin which perceives touch. Air is the dominant element in the vata dosha.
The element of ether represents the space in which everything takes place. It relates to all hollow or empty places in the body, such as all our channels, pores, and the ears that perceive sound. Together with the air, this element forms the vata dosha.
The company Ancient Health Care believes Ayurveda is more than a philosophy but a movement. Their motto states, “From nature to planetary movements to energetic frequencies, we can harness to gain a deeper connection to ourselves, others, and our environment. We understand symptoms and ailments are not enemies to be destroyed; they are messengers encouraging us to pay attention to our basic needs.”
In this harmony, the five elements give meaning to our delicate relationship between our bodies and nature. We easily utilize plants, herbs, minerals, and water, because these substances are the same in composition and character to our own underlying composition.
As the yogic saying goes, Namaste, we are one.
To learn more about your Ayurvedic body type and elements, take this Toxicity Quiz!