What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the world’s oldest and most comprehensive system of natural medicine, originating from the ancient Vedic tradition of India.
Ayur means life, life span, and Veda means science. So Ayurveda is the science of life, vitality and longevity. It locates the source of vitality, the foundation of your health, at the level of the doshas, which govern all the aspects of your body and mind.
In recent times the previously fragmented knowledge of Ayurveda has been restored. This fully restored Ayurveda is known as Maharishi Ayurveda. It employs a multi modality approach to enliven the source of your vitality, the link between your body and mind, the link between your body and its inner intelligence.
Because it operates at this fundamental level, Maharishi Ayurveda can truly deliver holistic, preventive and personalised health care. By enhancing awareness of your body’s needs it also empowers you to take charge of your own health, naturally.
Maharishi Ayurveda – authentic and effective
Over time the knowledge of Ayurveda became fragmented and its full effectiveness lost.
In recent times a restoration of Ayurveda was undertaken by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation program, working with leading Ayurvedic experts. This restored Ayurveda, known as Maharishi Ayurveda, is in complete accord with the ancient classical texts and has been endorsed by the All India Ayurvedic Congress for its purity and effectiveness.
Maharishi Ayurveda integrates all 40 branches of the ancient Vedic knowledge into one complete mind/body approach to health care, which has been scientifically validated.
“My Vedic Approach to Health is the approach of Natural Law, which is inscribed in every grain of the human physiology and is easily accessible to anyone within the intelligence of his own body. This has provided a direct path for the prevention, restoration, and maintenance of balance in the natural relationship between intelligence and the physiology, between the body and its own inner intelligence.” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Maharishi Ayurveda includes the full range of therapies recommended in the ancient texts, which is not universally the case in Ayurveda practised in India today. Maharishi Ayurveda has included high standards of quality control using modern technologies. Furthermore, its effectiveness has been proven in extended scientific research carried out in the United States and Europe, as well as India.
Your body’s inner intelligence expresses itself in three modes known as Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These are the doshas – the governing principles of your body and mind. When the doshas are in balance they allow the body’s inner intelligence to fully express itself and thereby maintain order in body and mind. When out of balance they disturb the expression of the body’s inner intelligence and lead to disease.
Vata is characterised by movement and change, Pitta by heat and intensity Kapha by cohesion and stability.
Vata is responsible for motivation and movement – be it the circulation of blood, respiration or transmission of nerve impulses; Pitta is responsible for digestion and metabolism, Kapha for the structure of cells and organs, fluid balance and immunity.
Everyone’s needs for food and activity are different and your needs can also vary from time to time. By knowing what doshas are imbalanced then diet, lifestyle and other recommendations can be tailored to your specific needs.
Your diet and lifestyle also need to be adapted to your appetite and digestive power, your emotional state, your specific tolerances and intolerances, your strength and fitness, your age, the time of day, the season, etc. The effect of all these influences on your health can be ascertained through assessment of your pulse.
To more accurately tailor you health prescription consult your local Maharishi Ayurveda consultant. Being personalized in this way, the recommendations will be easy for you to follow, in tune with your natural inclinations, and thereby more likely to be continued long-term.
Through pulse reading, your Maharishi Ayurveda consultant can assess the state of balance at the foundation of your health. At this level imbalance can be detected at a very early stage. Ayurveda identifies 6 stages in the development of disease, 4 of which are present long before disease presents. Early detection of imbalance, in this way, is the key to effective prevention of disease.
On this basis, dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments and other Maharishi Ayurveda approaches can be accurately tailored to your specific needs. Because these approaches are designed to restore balance at the foundation of your health, the root cause of disease is removed at the same time health and well-being are nurtured.
Personalised diet and digestion programs
In the Ayurvedic texts it states, “Without proper diet what is the use of medicine, with proper diet what is the need for medicine.” Hence a balanced diet is central to your prescription for health.
Food is assessed in terms of its tastes and qualities on this basis the right balance is determined for you. The dietary recommendations are tailored to your specific imbalance, your digestive strength, your emotional state, your specific tolerances and intolerances, your cultural background and your daily responsibilities. Ultimately the goal is for you to be directed by your natural inclinations and tastes. So there is no need for great discipline or control.
In any consideration of diet, it is important to ensure your digestion is optimal. You can be eating healthy food but if you are not digesting efficiently it is of little benefit. Hence measures to strengthen digestion and metabolism will always accompany your dietary prescription.
Daily and Seasonal Routines
Ayurveda has long recognised the importance of aligning our activities with the cycles of nature. The cyclical production of hormones in your body reflects the rhythms of nature. To constantly engage in activities that are out of synchrony with our biorhythms is a major cause of stress and imbalance.
For this reason your Maharishi Ayurveda consultant will recommend that you retire and wake, eat and exercise, work and play when your body is programmed for it. This is the first step to effective time management in today’s busy world.
Your lifestyle also needs to adapt to seasonal changes. Cultural traditions often serve to reset diet and lifestyle in accord with the needs of the coming season. Similarly the routine recommended by your Maharishi Ayurveda consultant will be adjusted to the seasonal influences on your health.
Dietary herbal supplements
Rather than isolating or synthesising the active ingredient, Maharishi Ayurveda utilises the synergistic cooperation of substances as they co-exist in their natural sources – either single herbs, or more often, mixtures of herbs whose effects are complementary.
Herbs are considered concentrated repositories of nature’s intelligence, which can enhance the expression of that intelligence in the body. By combining the herbs and processing them according to time tested traditional methods, the therapeutic effect is enhanced and any unwanted effect is mitigated. In this way the Maharishi Ayurveda herbal compounds have both a specific therapeutic effect and a holistic effect.
A special category of herbal supplements known as rasayanas are designed primarily for a holistic effect. Rasayanas do this by promoting the production of Ojas in the body. Ojas is the link between physiology and consciousness, the link between body and its inner intelligence. It is responsible for strong immunity. and resistance to disease. One of the most well known and widely researched of these rasayanas is Amrit Kalash (Amrit Ambrosia and Amrit Nectrar).
The Maharishi Ayurveda manufacturing facility in India that produces these compounds has earned international recognition for its high level of quality control. Every batch of finished product undergoes stringent testing for overall purity including heavy metals, pesticides and biological contamination. In this way each product is ensured to be safe, effective and reliable. The effectiveness of several of these preparations has been verified by published research.