The goal of ayurvedic medicine is summed up in the Sanskrit word, “swastya.” Swastya means health. A healthy person is in a state of balance – physically balanced, mentally balanced, emotionally balanced. This holistic perspective is one of Ayurveda’s basic principles.
The Meaning of Swastya
On a concrete level, the expression of health is dynamic living. For centuries, if not millennia, India‘s traditional system of health care has helped us live with more energy. Their approach to preventive medicine stops the onset of ill health before it comes, enhances immunity, and nurtures us back to good health when we do fall sick. People worldwide use this health system to manage their health, whether it’s dealing with balding, back pain or bad sleep.
Swastya also means being established in one’s self. Generally, we talk about mental health and physical health, but one of Ayurveda’s basic principles emphasizes from the beginning that we should be established in our self.
What is Wellness?
For physical health, all human beings want a liver that functions well, senses that perceive correctly, low cholesterol levels, blood-sugar levels that are normal and so on. In the same way, one of the aims of Ayurveda is that we should be spiritually healthy. What does this mean? It can mean a mind that is calm and collected, that does not get thrown off balance easily; or a mind that is free of fear, anger, and guilt.
Ayurveda together with its sister science, yoga, which includes the practice of meditation, helps you to stay physically fit and spiritually on point at all times in order to lead a holistically healthy life.
Ayurveda views physical health as balance. Wellness is living the dynamic expression of your own nature and body type to its full potential.
Health is not the mere absence of disease. It is the dynamic expression of life.
—Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of Art of Living Retreat Center
Wellness for the Doshas
For a vata person, living your full potential can mean getting along with others and feeling happy, joyful, loving and caring with an added interest in the arts.
For a pitta person, balance can reflect in an active lifestyle, leadership qualities, efficiency, dynamism and intelligence, qualities which can help you be a better leader.
A kapha person might experience their full potential as living happily and joyfully while taking care of others.
So depending on your body type, ayurvedic texts show us how to improve your wellbeing, lift your mood and maximize your potential.
Om Swasti Rastu
In Bali, which has a rich heritage influenced by classical India and Indian healing systems, people actually greet saying, “Om Swasti Rastu,” which means, “May you be in the best of health: spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally.”
We’re wishing you, “Om Swasti rastu!”