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Tools for healing and returning to wholeness.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is


A System of Medicine.

A System of Self-Help.

Ayurveda emphasizes:

Prevention and self-care.

Creative intelligence, not one standardized approach.

Constitutional or individually oriented medicine.

Ayurveda (pronounced as eye-your-vay-da)    is the oldest system of natural health care, in continuous practice, in the world.  It is the traditional healing system of India, a comprehensive, natural healing system, dealing with body, mind, and spirit.  Ayuh means life and Veda means knowledge or science – thus it is called the science of life.

 It is an individually oriented medicine that emphasizes prevention and self-care.

It recognizes the effects of diet, life-style and the mind on health and disease prevention.

It is based on discovering and maintaining the natural balance of elements composed of water, fire, and air in one’s system, and how that balance contributes to the health and function of our body and mind.

It’s major emphasis, for self-care, is based on understanding digestion and elimination, and how we can use diet, herbs, and spices to benefit our own health.

It is easily applied; prevention oriented and aimed at treating causes not just suppressing symptoms.  It is a true system of health care – not sickness care.

It includes herbal medicine, diet, body therapies, psychology, spirituality, rejuvenation, and revitalization as well as all the aspects of natural medicine.

The Ayurvedic diet is a simple system for making food choices in a way that is creative, fun, and which contributes to healing.

Ayurveda is  part of the great movement toward natural healing taking place throughout the world.

Life demands integrity,

 Self-awareness and self-discipline.

In practicing Ayurveda we aim to restore balance and natural function to the body as a complete system.  We cannot cure the body apart from the mind or the mind apart from the soul.

 We learn to put into practice Nature’s own principles of health and natural living and discover our own knowledge of how to care for our body in terms of diet, life-style, and medicine.


 There is no magic doctor

 or magic pill;

 the magic is in us.

Managing Your Life Skillfully


 Healthy Thinking

 Healthy Eating 

Healthy Living

“The more you learn about yourself and your unique characteristics, the more skillfully you can navigate the rough waters of life.”

The Background of Ayurveda

5 Element Theory:    

· Pure spirit is the source of creation.

· Spirit manifests as primal nature, cosmic intelligence,consciousness  and the root energy principles of creation,which produce the mind,  the sensory and motor organs and the basic element groups that make up all matter.

 These are:

Ether – space.

Air    – gases.

Fire   – heat of transformation.

Water– liquids.

Earth  – solids.

The Properties and Functions of the Five Element Groups           Ed Zadlo D.Ay










Heavy, Rough, Hard, Firm, Dense, Slow, Steady, Bulky


Fluid,  Heavy,  Soft, Wet, Slimy, Cold,  Dense

Hot, Dry, Sharp, Penetrating, Luminous, Active

Dry, light, clear, mobile,


Empty, light, subtle, all-pervading





Away from Center


Predominate Taste

Slightly sweet, Astringent

Slightly Sweet, Astringent, Salty, Sour



and Salty

Astringent, Slightly Bitter

No taste

Body Function

Support, Strength, Stamina,

Groundedness, Growth.

Greed, Attachment, Depression

Emotion, Contentment Love, Compassion, Nutrition. Thirst,Taste

Understanding, Attention, Comprehension, Metabolism, Ambition, Anger, Competition

Ingestion, Elimination.

Happiness, Freshness, Joy,

Excitation.  Fear, Anxiety, Insecurity

Freedom, Peace, Expansion of Consciousness.

Love and Compassion, Separation, Isolation, Insecurity, Anxiety, Fear.







Sense organ






Parts of the body

Flesh, Muscles, Nails, Bones, Skin, Teeth, Stool

Body Fluids, Blood, Fat, Sweat

Body Heat, Energy, Digestion/


All Body Movements, Inhaled Exhaled Air, Gases

Body Passages and Cavities


Rice, Wheat, Salt, Root Veggies,

Tonic Herbs

Veggies, Fruits and Juices, Milk

Hot Spices

Air, Oxygen, Gases

Light, Dried Foods



These five combine to become three governing principles in nature and the three primary life-energies in the body:

Air is called Vata.

Fire is called Pitta

Water is called Kapha.

 · V, P, & K are called

Biological Humors or Doshas.

·  They are the most important    principles in Ayurveda.

 Vata means –

 “that which moves things”.

 Pitta means –

 “that which digests things”.

 Kapha means –

 “that which holds  things together”.

 ·  Each humor is composed of two elements:

        Vata – air and ether

        Pitta – fire and water

        Kapha – water and earth

 ·  They govern creation, maintenance and destruction of bodily tissue and elimination of wastes.

 ·  They are also responsible for psychological phenomena such as emotions, understanding and love.

Qualities of the Humors:

        Vata:  dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile.

        Pitta: oily, sharp, penetrating, hot, light, unpleasant in odor, mobile,  liquid.

        Kapha: cold, wet, heavy, dull, sticky, soft, firm.

  Sites of the Humors in the Body:

 Vata:    Colon. thighs, hips, ears, bones  and organ of  touch. 

    Primary site is the Colon.

 Pitta:   Small intestine, stomach, sweat, sebaceous glands, blood, lymph,  and organ of vision.

   Primary Site is the Small Intestine.

 Kapha:    Chest, throat, head, pancreas,sides, stomach, lymph, fat, nose,    and head.

    Primary site is the stomach and lungs.

 At these sites, they accumulate


give rise to the disease process.

By treating them in these locations,

by prescribed methods,

we can cut this process off

at its root 


Actions of the humors:

 Vata:  Governs movement, energy, breath, the nervous & sensory systems.

The emotional reactions of fear,nervousness, anxiety, pain.

Vata gives mental adaptability and comprehension.

It is the basic energizing force (prana) of body; derived primarily from breath.

Pitta:Governs, digestion, heat, visual perception, complexion, understanding, intelligence, hunger, thirst. All actions of light, warmth, and all metabolic and chemical transformations in the body.

Also governs mental digestion, the capacity to perceive reality and to understand things as they are.   Governs emotions such as anger, jealousy & hate.

Kapha: Is substance and gives support  and stability  to the body.  It lubricates mucus membranes, and joints. Governs the capacity to feel and sympathize, gives emotional calm and is responsible for love and understanding, as well as greed, and attachment.

Understanding of the humors

gives us a key to understanding

the vital forces in the body

and their processes of balance

and imbalance.

A fundamental principle of healing in Ayurveda is that one may create balance in these internal forces through management of diet and living habits.

The Human Constitution:

 ·  Each of us is a unique combination and proportion of the biological humors.

·  Health of the body consists of maintaining a right balance of the creative and destructive forces of the three doshas.

·  We are not all alike physically nor do our bodies all react in the same way.

·  Every individual has a specific balance of the doshas that is naturally correct for them; as determined at birth.

This is called the psycho-physical constitution (prakriti).

·  Ayurveda divides people into constitutional types relative to the predominance of the humors in their nature.

·  Seven basic types are distinguished:

Pure         Vata



Dual        Vata-Pitta



Triple      Vata-Pitta-Kapha

·  By knowing our constitution

   we can:

     Understand disease and   emotional tendencies  we are prone to.

 Prevent imbalances, which  affect health.

 Reduce them or recover from them if they arise.

 Learn to adapt our life-style and living habits based on our constitution.

 ·  Generally all diseases that an individual is prone to can be treated by balancing the constitution.

·  This approach is the essence of Ayurveda and gives it broad powers for disease prevention, health maintenance, and enhancing longevity as well as for disease treatment.

The first step

in Ayurvedic treatment

is to determine one’s constitution. 


 ·  Each of us, in their individual makeup, has some portion of all three humors.

Kapha is our flesh, watery body secretions and mucus.

Pitta is the warmth of the body,  the capacity to transform or digest things;

blood and digestive fluids.

Vata is air, gases, energies, and activities of the body.

.  One’s natural constitution is most easily revealed by  fixed attributes of the physical body:  Frame, weight, complexion, general state of metabolism, digestion, life long habits and  proclivities, and disease tendencies.

·  One humor naturally predominates and affects our disposition and appearance.

·  Different degrees of aggravation or unbalance can then happen based on the qualities of the doshas.


Tendencies of Mind/body types:








When in balance

Alert, quickCreativeLight, slim





Sharp intellectGood digestionIntellectual





Calm, stableAffectionateStrong






When out of balance

Prone to worryEasily distractedSensitive to cold

Light, interrupted sleep

Tendency to worry

Poor endurance

Mood swings



Quick to angerCriticalOverly intense

Premature graying

Overheats easily





How to get back in Balance

Regular routinesWarmthDrink warm liquids

Decrease stress

Get ample rest

Regular nourishment

Sesame oil massage

ModerationCoolnessAttention to leisure

Exposure to natural


Balance rest and activity.

Decrease stimulants

Main meal at Noon.

StimulationWarmth, drynessWeight control

Reduce eating sweets.

Regular exercise.