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What is Ayurveda?

4 March 2016

Some may think it’s a form of dance, some may even believe that it is a dish of some kind… However, Ayurveda is so much more important when it comes to human beings…


So, what is Ayurveda? The word literally translates into: “Life- Science” or the science of life. “Ayur” means “life” and “veda” means “knowledge,” or “science.”

Ayurveda has its roots in Vedic culture, which comes from India – you’ll find a lot of Ayurveda centers in the country. During the ages of occupation, Ayurveda was not really used as a technique to heal, but as soon as the country became independent, it started to resurge. In present times, it is used as legitimate alternative medicine.

Ayurveda Center. Photo Credit: EladeManu

Ayurveda Center. Photo Credit: EladeManu


The main concept of Ayurveda is to keep human beings healthy and active. As a result, it gives us advice on how to eat, exercise and even behave – on a daily basis. There are also rituals that one can keep seasonally (like when some people go through a detox week at the beginning of spring.) Its main lesson is that we can only be completely healthy if there’s a balance between our body, mind, environment and spirit.

According to Ayurveda, there are three important elements that control what’s inside of us and what surrounds us: Pitta (Fire), Vata (Wind) and Kapha (Earth). Each of these forces influences us in their own way – one or two of these elements is dominant in everyone. If Pitta, or Fire is dominant in our nature, we are intelligent, goal-oriented and have a strong will to live our lives. For people who are governed mostly by Vata, they tend to be thin, energetic and alterable. If the last element, Kapha governs our body, we will be nurturing and a light company, down for everything.

Now, if Pitta is functioning properly in your body, you’ll be warm and friendly towards others, a great leader and also a great speaker. However, if Pitta is out of balance, you’ll find that you have digestion problems, inflammation, and you’ll feel irritable and compulsive.

If Vata is balanced in your system, you’ll find that you are creative and energetic, you’ll feel generally well. However, if there is too much change in you level of Vata, you’ll feel anxious, irritable, your skin will dry out and you’ll have a lack of focus.

Last but not least: if Kapha is well-balanced in our body, you’ll find that you feel very stable and supportive, really nice towards others. But, in case of a disturbance, you’ll quickly gain weight and realize that you have become lazy.

Ayurveda works this way: it principally has to identify which element is strongest in a person and whether it is in balance or not. If they discover imbalance, the Ayurveda healer will suggest a number of procedures that can be massages, a new diet, herbs, aromatherapy, music or even meditation.

Wondering whether Vata, Pitta or Kapha is dominant in your body? Take this quiz to find out!

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About the Author


Vera graduated from McDaniel College Europe with a degree in Political Sciences and International Relations. She loves to write about anything that interests her and she has a mania for baking - she also has a baking channel. She is an avid organizer, recording everything in her Filofax. An active person, she runs a lot and has to go to the gym on a regular basis, otherwise she would go craaaazyy.