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Translating into Sanskrit as “the science of life”, Ayurveda is a medicine system which originated in India, and has been adopted as a holistic approach to health across the globe. As reportedly the world’s oldest healing system , the science of Ayurveda is extensive, so we’ve highlighted a couple of simple pointers on how to learn more about Ayurveda and incorporate it into our lives.
Centred around five pillars of health – rest, relationship, exercise, nutrition and work  – Ayurvedic medicine takes a holistic approach to wellness, with all of the elements of life considered to contribute to mental and physical wellbeing. Ayurveda isn’t just a diet, so if we’re interested in incorporating it into our lives, it’s worth reading up about the history behind and philosophy of the practice, so we can live it authentically rather than blindly adopting one or two techniques. Ayurveda, The Science of Self Healing and A Pukka Life (written by the mind behind Pukka) both give comprehensive and easy-to-follow insights into Ayurvedic principles and philosophy, which give explain how Ayurveda is an integrative lifestyle approach, not a fad or quick cure.
As explained in both of these books, and as one of the distinguishing features of the approach, Ayurveda encourages us to tune in to our bodies and live in line with our personal constitution. Using three main “doshas” to distinguish between different mind-body types, Ayurvedic medicine recommends a certain lifestyle, diet and daily routine depending on our personal physiology. The first step towards incorporating Ayurveda into our life is through understanding our personal dosha type. Dosha type quizzes are available online through Ayurvedic experts such as Jasmine Hemsely and The Chopra Centre. Once we understand our dosha (and generally a person is a combination of two dosha types, with one being prominent) we can experiment with certain lifestyle approaches, habits, diets and exercises to determine which combination works best for us.
The appeal of Ayurveda for many is it’s intuitive approach: so many of the healing methods, habits and techniques align with how we feel we should live, but are ignored in fast-paced western society. And unlike some approaches to health, Ayurveda isn’t restrictive or punishing. The science of Ayurveda is about understanding and listening to our body and mind, and fundamentally about living with compassion and consciousness for ourselves and the global, natural system of which we are a part.
We’ve compiled a list of a few accessible but insightful resources which dive deeper into the science behind and philosophy of Ayurveda: