Understanding Ayurveda

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According to Ayurveda, every living person is made up of five universal elements – space, air, fire, water and earth

This month’s spa special is the balancing Ayurvedic Hot Oil treatment, begging the question from some: What exactly is Ayurveda?

“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,” acclaimed author and physician Deepak Chopra wrote. “More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life.”

WebMD simplifies it further, stating that Ayurveda “is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit.” True balance is a noble pursuit that is often difficult to achieve – just ask tight-rope walker Philippe Petit or any mother of twins. Balance is a primary element of all martial-arts disciplines, not to mention sports, music, business and myriad aspects of daily life.

According to Ayurveda, every living person is made up of five universal elements – space, air, fire, water and earth. How these elements combine in your body dictates your dosha, of which there are three: Vata (space and air), Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (water and earth). Understanding your dosha (the Hot Oil treatment includes an Ayurvedic analysis) can help you achieve balance, especially as it relates to physical and spiritual wellbeing.

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