Ayurveda is a traditional medical approach to healing practiced in India for many thousands of years. This ancient system of health combines gentle healing with the prevention of illness and a path to natural longevity. Ayurveda - from the ancient Sanskrit meaning 'science of life' - understands that complete health is only achieved when harmonious balance exists between body, mind, spirit and environment.
Ayurveda is based upon the concept of the 'Tri-doshas', the three bio-energies which themselves are composed of the five basic elements of life. Illness develops when any one of these three doshas becomes out of equilibrium. The philosophy of Ayurveda explains the natural laws which cause illness and disease. If we have lost our faith - one of the main causes of illness - Ayurveda seeks to re-connect and enhance our relationship as humans with the Divine.
Ayurveda is an all-embracing system of health, integrating herbal treatments, correct nutrition, and body-work, with the development of healthy and appropriate life-styles. In its essence, Ayurveda is concerned with the repair and long-term establishment of internal equilibrium which leads to physical and mental well-being. Ayurveda seeks to develop perception, awareness and sensitivity in order to master everyday life with greater energy, and to develop the capacity to take responsibility for one's own well-being.
The root meaning of the word yoga is 'to unite', and like Ayurveda, yoga is part of the ancient Vedic system of knowledge. In essence, yoga is a process of purification, a returning back to one's own integration. Yoga aims to recognise and remove the restrictions which express themselves as illness, pain, and lack of well-being and which obstruct clear perception. When these restrictions are removed, clarity of mind is achieved.
Hatha Yoga represents the physical aspects of yoga training consisting of Asanas or postures and Vinyasas or harmonized flowing movements. Emphasis is given to the spinal column along with the associated Chakras or energy centres, and to special breathing exercises called Pranayama. Prana or life energy flows through fine canals called Nadis and is responsible for the functioning of all systems in the body, including those within the mind. Yoga therapy is the art and science of healing through yoga. Yoga is something that we can all begin to practice, and through integration into our daily life, it will support us on the path to holistic health and inner growth.
Meditation is the path to limitless perception, to clarity and final reality. Ayurveda and yoga support us in our meditation, the true goal of which is here and now connection with the Infinite One.