Prevention and Restoration
In our last article, swastya, or health, is described as the aim of Ayurveda.
Given that health is our goal, Ayurveda has two main purposes:
The first is to assist healthy people to stay well for a long time.
The second use is getting people healthy.
The first supports preventive health and the second is part of an integrative approach to health and wellness.
1. How to Stay Well: Prakruti
Align with Your Nature
Prakruti means your original nature. Each person is born with a distinct natural constitution.
By understanding our nature, we have the foundations to build a healthy lifestyle. An optimum lifestyle supports our specific nature through diet, activity and self-care.
Specific food choices may be positive for one person while irritating for another. This is because the salutary effect of a particular food depends on our nature – so it’s vitally important to understand our nature first.
2. How to Get Well: Vikruti
Due to the influence of climate, stress, lifestyle or nutrition, the body falls ill from time to time.
Ayurveda plays a key role as part of a complete, integrative, approach to health. It can help complement standard medical techniques in reducing complications, invigorating health and restoring balance. “Vikruti” means falling out of line with our nature. It is a state where balance has been lost. Returning to balance is the second goal of Ayurveda.
An Ayurveda consultation starts with the question: what is your nature, your prakruti? Simply by feeling your pulse, a skilled Ayurveda health practitioner (AHP) can tell your nature. Based on this, recommendations can be given for the food, lifestyle habits and supplements that will best support your health.
In the second part of the consultation, an Ayurveda health practitioner assesses where alignment has been lost with your nature.
Stunningly, what has come out of alignment can be described in accurate detail. Often done without any discussion, by merely reading the pulse. Suggestions can then be made for the practices, foods and supplements that should be used as part of a complementary health approach to align you with your nature again.
Being well and getting well, prakruti and vikruti, are the two key concepts for understanding Ayurveda’s amazing, integrative approach to living with vibrant health.
If you’d like to learn how to energize your lifestyle through Ayurveda, check out our free guide, “Ayurveda 101: Vibrant Health through the Science of Life”.
Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.