Types of Ayurveda: 2 Major Divisions of the Ayurveda Family

The history of Ayurveda is as old as the history of Neem trees that can be marked back to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization of India. Generally, old traditions, out-of-date cultures and old-fashioned practices turn obsolete in due course of time but think if something is spreading its divine power all around the world even after 5000 solid years, what could be the authentic reason lying behind it? The concrete single word answer for this question is just ‘TRUTH’ and truth only in its way of healing humanity wholly.

Each solitary website on Ayurveda and Ayurvedic treatment will have its own way of defining Ayurveda. Apart from its real meaning ‘the knowledge of life’, few may call it as a holistic approach, magical science of healing, best way to treat human illness, natural way of curing mankind and many more. I’d like to remember Ayurveda with the term Ssshh…….. Yes! Let’s call it as the supreme system for superior healing holistically and the silent system as well. Looks easy for you too… to remember this heavenly science, right!!!

Many confuse the types of Ayurveda with Ayurvedic body types also known as doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha but to signify unmistakably, the science of Ayurveda can be put into two major classifications namely the Traditional Ayurveda and Maharishi Ayurveda. These two types of Ayurveda work based on the individual Ayurvedic body types, which says that each individual is distinctive and have a discrete structure of energy compiling mental, physical, behavioral and environmental uniqueness.

  • Traditional Ayurveda: Ayurveda is trusted to have its root from two of the prominent religions in India namely Hinduism and Buddhism. This ancient structured method of healing has its traditional concepts listed in the sacred books known as Vedas. Few other sources say that this conventional system is received from Indian God Brahma by the blessed God of medicine known as Dhanvantari. Traditional Ayurvedic theory emphasizes on good metabolism supported by problem-free digestion and apt excretion that guides to vivacity along with meditation, yoga and other physical exercises.
  • Maharishi Ayurveda:  Maharishi Ayurveda is a contemporary resurgence of traditional Ayurveda system projected by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1980s based upon his interest in fortifying the ancient Ayurvedic science in the late 1970s. Maharishi Ayur Veda insists on Transcendental Meditation technique (TM) that presents an all-inclusive knowledge for experiencing the untainted realization of this world by slowing down the aging process through prompt treatment and prevention of diseases. This type of Ayurveda talks about the impact of optimistic feelings for balancing your life with accordance to the natural pace of your body.

Traditional as well as Maharishi Ayurveda believes that health conditions are a result of disparity of the doshas. Both these methods try to treat the whole system by enhancing the inner intelligence for striking balance between these doshas with the help of herbal medicines and Ayurvedic essential oils. To end with, the most remarkable fact is that this great medicinal science is recognized by WHO (World Health Organization) as the effectual and refined way of natural healing.

References:

  1. Ayurveda by Wikipedia
  2. Maharishi Vedic Approach To Health by eNotes
  3. Ayurveda by University of Maryland Medical Center

The Ayurvedic Routine

Health is not a one day activity instead it is a never-ending and continuous mission until your soul departs your body. To stay healthy is to stay on par with the flow of nature without interrupting the natural temperament of your system and Dean Ornish rightly said that ‘Health is not something that you need to get; it’s something you already have if you don’t disturb it’. That is what the ancient remedial science known as Ayurveda suggests mankind to simply tag along the cadence of nature. A daily systematic life that strikes perfect balance with the natural pace of Mother Nature needs no cure or meets no disastrous diseases. Such an inspiring Ayurvedic Routine is popularly termed as ‘Dinacharya’ and seasonal routine is known as Ritucharya.   

Ayurveda strongly states that there is a time for everything with a natural meaning in it. If things are done at the right time, you are striking balance with nature and your body functions perfectly and in close connection with your mind. This natural tempo controls our predominant natural urges like food, sleep and sex, also known as the three pillars of life. Today’s modern living has sickened our lives and has forced us to lead it as blindly as a lost kitten in the middle of the forest. Only when we practice certain vital things on a scheduled time, we can live in harmony without the compulsion of any other external factors misleading our lives. To remember it easily, I have listed the daily Ayurvedic routine as 11 simple points to follow as per the Ayurvedic body types. They are:

  1. Wake up early in the morning before sunrise. For Vata it is just about 6 AM, Pitta it is approximately 5:30 AM and for Kapha it is around 4:30 AM. This aids your senses to rise above and ascend along with the sunrise.
  2. Gargle your mouth and drink a cup of warm water with few drops of fresh lemon juice and one teaspoon of raw honey. This supports your body’s normal bowel movement in the morning and helps the digestive system to function properly. Regular bowel movement will aid in eliminating the toxin from your body and make you feel refreshed without carrying the toxins of the previous day’s food.
  3. Brush your teeth twice daily early in the morning and before going to bed. Scrape and rub your tongue thoroughly in the morning to clear away toxins or the poisonous particles sticking on your tongue from the remaining of the previous day’s food items known as ama in Ayurveda. You can either use a good tongue scraper or a stainless steel spoon to clean your tongue front to back. Clean your nasal passages, ears and eyes regularly.
  4. Go for a brisk walk for about 15 to 20 minutes. This helps in improving your blood circulation and aids you in enjoying the healthy rays of the sun fully filled with Vitamin D and other essential nutrients required to boost the functions of your brain and uplift your skin from within. Vitamin D deficiency might end up in skin cancer, rickets, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in elderly people, muscular weakness and much more.
  5. It’s time to caress, pamper and massage your skin with Abhyanga, the Ayurvedic massage therapy with the use of Ayurvedic essential oils all through your body and your head. Leave it at least for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, you can practice the life saving skill nothing but the great sibling of Ayurveda, popularly known as Yoga. This grants you strength, endurance, resistance and the potential to enhance the functionality of your entire system.
  7. It’s time for a revivifying bath with few drops of energizing Ayurvedic essential oils like lavender essential oil, bergamot essential oil, rose essential oil, jasmine oil, sandalwood oil, grapefruit essential oil, cinnamon essential oil, orange essential oil and few other citrus essential oils to give a right start to your day.
  8. Offer prayers to the Almighty and a calm meditation for about 5 minutes will give you all the energy that your mind needs for accomplishing your challenging tasks all through the day. A powerful meditation influences self-realization and mental strength.
  9. Eating right is very important than just filling your stomach. Taste your food, like it and chew it well as it promotes quicker digestion and absorption of essential energy required by your body. Ensure that you take up a rich and nutritious breakfast between 7:00 to 8:00 AM in the morning.
  10. Have your lunch in between 12:00 to 1:00 PM. Let the not-so-easy to digest food items find a place in your lunch rather than during any other meals of the day because there is enormous time to digest and the Agni or the digestive fire is very active during this time. If possible, go for a small walk after lunch to help easy digestion.
  11. Ensure that your dinner is taken before 8:00 PM and you floss and brush your teeth before going to bed to keep away from harmful germs. Go to bed by 10:00 PM at night making certain that you have enough rest after working throughout the entire day and for gifting a dynamic start to the day ahead. Spend 5 minutes before sleeping to recollect all that you’ve done for the day. Think whether you have accomplished all that is required or have something left behind to finish? This will keep you informed about where you are and direct you towards where you want to go. Utter a small prayer and thank the Creator for all He has given you and sleep peacefully with the hope of being in a new day at dawn.

This might appear as a huge or an impossible list to many but you’ll certainly feel its simplicity and its greater benefits on your healthy and harmonized living once you start practicing it as the celebrated adage ‘Practice makes a man perfect’ appropriately fits in this context and a regular following of these Ayurvedic routine in your life will indeed make you perfect, peaceful and proficient. Start with one and its positive impact will naturally influence you in choosing the whole lot.

Best wishes for your methodical living in the pink.

Thought for the day:

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.

-Nursery rhyme, What the River Knows, 1990, quoted by Wayne Fields

Suggested Reading:

  1. Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition by MD Deepak Chopra
  2. Yoga for your Type: An Ayurvedic Approach to Your Asana Practice by Dr. David Frawley, Sandra Summerfield Kozak
  3. Dhanwantari: A Complete Guide to the Ayurvedic Life by Harish Johari

Reference Links:

  1. Dinacharya by Ayurveda Alchemy
  2. Vitamin D Deficiency by WebMD
  3. Agni(Ayurveda) by Wikipedia

Ayurvedic Doshas: An Intense Learning For The Insight Of Your Life

It is not necessary for you to be a Doctor to know about your body’s functioning and the aspects that are responsible for your every single action. Knowing more about your body and the reasons behind specific conditions makes you life a meaningful life. Say for example, do you know the real reason for sneezing? Human nose has mucous membrane and when its nerve endings get irritated either due to dust, allergy or cold, you end up sneezing where the trouble-causing elements are emitted.  Sounds interesting right! If a human being’s single action has so many reasons behind, then think of the complexity in learning the entire system. To our surprise, the divine science of Ayurveda has classified human body types into 3 simple and easy to understand elements based on the vital parts of Mother Nature. It is also known as Doshas and the 3 essential energy elements defining the physical constitution of a human body according to Ayurveda are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Perfect balance of these bio-energies contributes to a healthy system and dosha imbalance leads to sickness or ill-health. Knowledge about these Ayurvedic body types will help you understand the functioning of your body and which particular dosha level contributes to your unique characteristics, attributes and health conditions.

1. Vata (Air): Vata is the most imperative among the three doshas and vata imbalance can end up in imbalance of the rest of the two doshas also. As a prominent energy element vata is responsible for all the kinds of eliminations, destructions and discharge of numerous substances from the human body to aid its better working. Few such body ejections are sweat, semen, urine, fetus, feces and few more. Controls metabolism and contributes to the vital activities like muscular movements, motivation, brain functioning along with the sensory nerves, nervous functions, respiration, circulation, heartbeat and many more.

People who are vata dominant have tall physique and a dark complexion but are extremely creative and farsighted. Sleeplessness, too much of exercise and profusion of sexual feelings can cause vata imbalance leading to digestive problems, anxiety etc. Old age, sultry summer and dusk are connected with vata energy.  

2. Pitta (Fire): Your body has its own fire and it is expelled when there is a need for proper running. Pitta is your body’s conversion force that burns the things that you ingest and transforms the food into the types of energy that your body demands. Vision, ability of the body to maintain appropriate temperature, reasoning capabilities, digestion, judging potential, strength of your mind and body are influenced by pitta force.     

Pitta influence reflects a fair complexion, medium structure and supple skin and has the courage and determination to face problems and resolve them efficaciously. These perfection-lovers are generally well thought-out and zealous leaders who cannot stand incomplete and fragmentary activities, which make them burning and lose their tempers. They can be affected by hot food items, high exposure to sun, alcohol and constrained feelings. Inconsistency might show the way to ulcers, skin problems, heartburn and excessive heating of the body. Autumn, noontime and maturity are associated with Pitta.

3. Kapha (Earth): Your physical beauty and your structure are solely contributed to kapha element in your body as this gives the shape to human body with its lubricating properties that connects the tissues, muscles and bones. Your strength, muscle, vigor, stamina and the ability to repair and replenish are attributed to kapha predominance. This weighty energy element checks the abrasion between the different parts of your body by moistening it while granting you the energy to a fertile reproductive system.

Kapha governing individuals will never fail in impressing and influencing others with their benevolent, dedicated and affectionate personalities. They have a heavy and well-built structure with an average complexion. Dairy products and sugary items can be trouble-making and unevenness of kapha can make them overweight, sappy, sluggish and lose excess energy with a poor digestion process. Pleasant dawn, adolescence and wintry weather are correlated with Kapha element.

Hope this helped you to have an intense learning for the real insight of your momentous life and now that you’ll know why something happens in your body, which is the greatest library in the world.

Reference links:

  1. Dosha by Wikipedia
  2. Dosha in Ayurveda by Organic India
  3. Ayurveda by SREEKRISHNA Ayurveda Panchakarma Center