The splendor of the intuitive minds of Indian sages finds its creative expression in Ayurveda – a holistic science and philosophy of life, health, and longevity. Over thousands of years, the relevance of the fundamental principles and practices of Ayurveda continue to this day.
The definition of health in Ayurveda is derived from a world view of a harmonious working of the three components of being - body, mind and soul. The beneficial and adverse influences leading respectively to health and disease and the impact of these on health, happiness and longevity is qualified in Ayurveda. Such a pragmatic definition permits integration of reductionist data and holistic approaches, keeping the individual’s health and community as a central goal.
A way of life –involving mind body harmony that is conducive to health, happiness and longevity is emphasized in Ayurveda. Such a lifestyle has to be based on an individual’s constitution, daily habits, moderation in food, exercise, sex, sleep etc. A code of conduct as per seasonal and climatic changes has been laid down.
One of the basic causes of disharmony or disease involves no use, abuse or excessive use of body-mind activities. Neither excessive restraint nor excessive indulgence are recommended in Ayurveda.
Stress is caused due to disharmony which is both external and internal. Ayurveda describes, daily or intermittent stress relieving modalities. These include special diets, Shirodhara (Head drop), Abhayanga (Ayurvedic massage), meditation etc. Such total body care leads to an increased capacity to adapt to stress. Thus, self resistance rather than self indulgence reinforces wellness. Ayurveda is a science which offers happiness, health and longevity and not a mere alternative system of medicine.