Respect for prakriti, or nature, lies at the heart of Ayurveda. This nature is not just around us but also within us. When there is harmony between all the elements of nature, we are in good health -- physical, mental and emotional.
To think of Ayurveda as a quick, miracle fix is to reduce an entire ancient healing art, and the vast sweep of its understanding of human life, to a gimmick. Asmi believes in the essential core of Ayurveda and its sister philosophy, Yoga: this is a lifelong journey that will realign how you see your body and mind. Both these practices ask us to be mindful and respectful of every aspect of our existence from food to temperament.
Our individual nature is decided at birth, Ayurveda believes, but it changes with the passage of time and shifting environment. Fire, water, air, we carry these elements or doshas of nature within us. How they are balanced decides our bodily, emotional and spiritual state. No one is ‘flawed’ or ‘imperfect’, we are just a sum total of how these elements play out in our body, and it is up to us to restore the harmony when it is disturbed.
In modern systems of therapy, disease is seen as an external 'attack' on the body that can be treated with the same formulation anywhere in the world. But Ayurveda believes that no two human bodies are alike, everyone inhabits a different physiological, emotional and psychological universe and this means that everyone has to be treated differently in illness and good health, with compassion and long-term vision.
When you take your complaint to an Ayurvedic practitioner, or a vaidya as she/he is called in India, you are not treated as an impassive patient but as a mindful participant in your body's workings. What do you crave to eat? How does your skin respond to weather change? Are you sluggish, active, hyperactive? When do you sleep? Do you find yourself irritable often? How do you deal with failure? How consistent are you in working towards your goals? All these visible and invisible factors determine your wellbeing.
Ayurveda is as much a part of your life when you are in good health as when you are suffering, it sees you through the good days but also makes to give you the immunity deal with the bad ones. In this fast-moving, anxious world we inhabit this may seem like a tall order. But remember, entire communities in India have lived through centuries with faith in Ayurveda.
Asmi’s exploration of Ayurveda starts with two offerings that bring you a sense of calm and well-being -- oils and teas. The foundation of our formula rests on tri-doshas, or three different energy types or elements: vata, pitta and kapha. All of them are present in our bodies in different degrees and give us our distinct individuality. At different times in your life, as age, climate and experiences change your constitution, one or the other energy will dominate and the other will fade. Asmi will be there, to help you regain harmony.
Over the next many weeks and months, as you experience the gradual changes that Asmi breathes into your life, we will delve into deeper into the fascinating age-old wisdom of Ayurveda.