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What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda – the Mother of all medicines, the science of life and longevity, promotes positive health, natural beauty and long life. It made up of two words-Ayuh and Veda. Ayuh means life and Veda means knowledge or science in Sanskrit. It incorporates all aspects of life - physical, psychological, spiritual and social. Ayurveda is based on universal principles and is a living, growing body of knowledge - as useful today as it was in centuries past. Ayurveda fits well into modern models of holistic healing, concerned with a broad view of the total health of individual: physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is the oldest scientific medical systems in the world, over 5000 years old, with a long record of successful clinical experience. Ayurveda is the way of life that teaches us how to maintain and protect health. It is a truly holistic and integral medical system. Many of Ayurveda's healing regiments have been adopted and refined by peoples all over the world. That is why it is considered the "mother of all medicines".

Why is it so popular, and why should I choose Ayurveda over other systems of medicine?

Ayurvedic remedies and treatments are gentle, subtle and powerful. It works with your body's own healing powers to bring health and wellbeing. Other healing medicinal systems treat only a part of the patient, the part which is considered as being ill. Ayurveda treats the whole person (physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually), believing that one cannot safely split a person into parts. For example, believing that thoughts manifest themselves in the biochemistry of the body, Ayurvedic practitioner may inquire into the way the person thinks. Ayurveda is becoming more and more popular because it complements western medicine and it understands how and why we become ill.  Also, Ayurveda is a natural therapy, and has no or fewer side effects.

How many & which are the specialization branches in Ayurveda?

THE EIGHT BRANCHES OF AYURVEDA - Kaya Chikitsa (General medicine) - Shalya Tantra (Surgery) - Shalakya Tantra (Diseases of Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat) -  Kaumarbhritya (Children diseases, obstetrics and Gynecology) - Agada Tantra (Toxicology) - Bhuta Vidya (Psychiatry) - Rasayana (Rejuvenation), and - Vajikarana (Aphrodisiac/sexology).

Do I have to be a vegetarian to use Ayurveda as my healing medicinal system?

Not at all. Ayurveda recommends foods that are ideal for your body/mind type with adjustment to its present state and current dis-balances. The classical texts of Ayurveda praise healthy seasonal vegetarian diet, yet prescribe meats of some animals, fishes and birds for the treatment of certain conditions. What one should eat depends on the choice of food that serves his or her health and energy needs best.  During the initial consultation Ayurvedic practitioner will guide you with detail in this area, and you will get a printed report, which includes your optimal food choices.

Do I have to follow a certain religion to make Ayurvedic principles part of my daily life and to be healed with Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is not a religious Hindu text and does not advocate a particular religion or a deity. There is absolutely no need to become religious in order to adopt the principles of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a rational, yet spiritual (when addressing concepts of mind and spirit) science, its principles are universal, and anybody can incorporate them into his or her daily life.

How is Ayurveda related to Yoga?

Ayurveda and Yoga are sister Vedic sciences and work harmoniously together to balance individuals body, pure mind and spirit. In Indian subcontinent, there is a long standing tradition of practicing both Yoga and Ayurveda together, for maximum benefits and positive results.

What are the benefits of yoga?
Yoga strengthens and tones muscle, improves balance and flexibility and increases blood flow and vitality. It's also a great way to reduce stress. Modern research shows that yoga lowers chemicals associated with anxiety in the blood stream and triggers physiological relaxation responses, such as reducing muscle tension and lowering heart rate.

How often do I need to practice yoga?
Practicing two to three times a week for an hour is good goal to work towards balanced body, mind, and spirit. The more you practice, the more benefit you feel.

What is Prakriti?

Prakriti means nature or constitution of an individual, which includes the body, mind and soul. It is natural state of balance. The prakriti is determined during the conception of the individual and it doesn’t change throughout the life. Prakriti is a unique combination of fundamental balance between three basic energies called doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha.  One or two doshas becomes predominant in the body and it forms constitution. This predominance of a particular dosha does not produce any abnormality, as it is inherently present in the body.

How many types of Prakriti or body types?
There are seven possible Prakriti (constitution) types – 1) Vata Prakriti 2) Pitta Prakriti 3) Kapha Prakriti 4) Vata – Pitta Prakriti 5) Vata – Kapha Prakriti 6) Pitta – Kapha Prakriti 7) Tridosha Prakriti.

What is Vikriti?

Vikriti is the current state of imbalance.
Unbalancing influences such as diet, lifestyle, stress, emotional and physical trauma, and many other factors can cause individual to become out of balance. Prakriti describes the balance of the doshas at the moment of conception, or the natural state of balance. Vikriti describes their current state of imbalance. Healing is the process of returning vikriti to prakriti.
Understanding  one's vikriti and prakriti helps individual to consciously make health-promoting choices regarding foods, exercise programs, lifestyle, etc. based on his her own uniqueness.

Can Ayurveda help me to lose weight?

Yes, and very successfully. In most of the cases obesity is caused due to an aggravation of the Kapha dosha. Ayurvedic practitioner will create and present to the client individual weight loss/Kapha balancing plan, which includes diet/food recommendations, herbal remedies,  specialized Kapha reducing exercises, essential oils, self-massages, and gentle detoxification techniques. Once recommendations are followed, reaching your own personal weight loss goals can be achieved with great success.