The ancient Ayurveda text, Charaka says: ‘Man is the epitome of the universe. Within man, there is as much diversity as in the world outside. Similarly, the outside world is as diverse as human beings themselves.’
The basic premise of Ayurveda is that the entire universe is part of one singular absolute. According to the theory, everything that exists in the universe also appears within the human body.
Ayurveda emphasises prevention of disease, rejuvenation of our body systems, and extension of life span.
The profound premise and promise of Ayurveda is that through certain practices, not only can we prevent heart disease and make our headaches go away, but we can also understand ourselves and the world around us better, live a long healthy life in balance and harmony, achieve our fullest potential, and express our true inner nature on a daily basis.
Ayurveda provides an integrated approach to preventing and treating illness through lifestyle interventions, natural therapies and medications. It is based on the view that the elements, forces, and principles that make up all of nature – which holds it together and makes it function – are also apparent in human beings. In Ayurveda, the mind (or consciousness) and the body (or physical mass) not only influence each other – they are each other. Together they form the mind-body. The universal consciousness is an intelligent, aware ocean of energy that gives rise to the physical world through our five senses. Ayurvedic philosophy and practices link us to every aspect of ourselves and remind us that we are in union with every aspect of nature, each other, and the entire universe.
There can be no mental health without physical health, and vice versa. In Ayurveda, symptoms and diseases that could be categorised as mental thoughts or feelings are just as important as symptoms and diseases of the physical body. Both are due to imbalances within a person, and both are treated by restoring the natural balance – mentally and physically. In Ayurveda your whole life and lifestyle must be in harmony before you can enjoy true well being. Lifestyle interventions are a major part of Ayurveda’s preventative and therapeutic approach.