Science and medicine have made great advancements over the past decades but that has not necessarily translated into health and well being. Alternative medicines have been trying to fill this gap and have become increasingly popular in the US since the 90s. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian tradition of healing, is as old as yoga and has roots in the same yogic lore. Ayurveda is not a set of prescriptive medicines or diets but it’s a whole science of changing your life to live with more vitality. Like yoga, it balances your body, mind and the soul and empowers your system by bringing it into harmony.

Our lifestyles and environment are constantly in flux. Work can be stressful, our diets are poor, and even the seasons are constantly changing but yet what is the key to health according to Ayurveda?

Ayurveda says illness is caused when a person’s body is out of balance for a prolonged period of time. Treatments in Ayurveda are surprisingly different and a visit to an experienced practitioner is often a new experience for many people. They are, most of the time, able to diagnose an illness by feeling the pulse, examining the various sense organs (tongue, eyes, skin etc.) and sensing the aura of the person. New diets, lifestyles and yoga practices are often suggested.

Sadhguru has often mentioned the importance of being in sync with ourselves and the nature around us. Sadhguru designed Isha Rejuvenation to allow an individual to experience inner peace and the joy of a healthy body. Its programs involve powerful processes aimed at bringing vibrancy and proper balance to the life energies. This is crucial for uprooting or preventing chronic ailments.

Sadhguru speaks on Ayurveda:

So what is so different about the medicines of an indigenous kind, which largely get labeled as Ayurveda? Ayurveda comes from a different dimension and understanding of life. A fundamental part of the Ayurvedic system is about an understanding that our bodies are an accumulation of what we gathered from the planet. The nature of the planet and of the Pancha Bhutas or the five elements that make the planet are very much manifest in this physical body. If you want to handle this body in the most effective and productive way, it is very important that everything you do about this body has a relationship with the planet.

Ayurveda is more disease-oriented, whereas Siddha is more health-oriented.

Ayurveda says that every root, every leaf, every tree bark found on this planet has medicinal value. We have learned how to use only a few. The rest of them, we are yet to learn how to use. What this statement is trying to convey is, health is not something that falls upon you from the sky. Health is something that has to grow from within you, because the body is something that grows from within you. The input comes from the earth but it grows from within you. So, if you have a repair job to do, the best place to go is to the manufacturer, not to the local mechanic. This is the essence of Ayurveda.

In Ayurveda, we understand that if we go deep enough into the body, this body is not an integrated thing, it is a continuous process which involves the earth upon which you walk. If this relationship does not come through, these subtle systems of medicine which work from within, will fail to work. Without taking care of the whole system, just trying to do one aspect of it may not be very fruitful.

A holistic system does not mean just treating the body as a whole. A holistic system means treating life as a whole, which includes the planet, what we eat, what we breathe, what we drink – all of that. Without attending to all those things, the true benefit of Ayurveda will not be seen. If Ayurveda becomes a living reality in our lives and our societies, people can live like gods.

Photo: IshaFoundation.org