Ayurveda is the science of daily living, a system of knowledge and wisdom that evolved from the rishis, or seers of truth. The rishis' practical, philosophical and religious illumination, rooted in their understanding of the creation and pure existence, culminated in ayurvedic literature that is based on Samkhya philosophy of creation. (The roots of the term Samkhya are two Sanskrit words: sat, meaning "truth" and khya, meaning "to know.") In India, Ayurveda is used as a holistic system of medicine as health and disease are viewed with deep consideration of the relationship of the individual to consciousness, energy and matter. Therefore, balanced health is the foundation of human potential and harmony is our natural state while disease is brought about by wrong actions.
Ayurveda encourages all to follow a self-care regimen to build up our Ojas which is a term used in Ayurveda for “heartiness”. If a person has healthy skin and flesh, is resilient to disease and injury, then Ayurveda says they have good ojas. Ojas is associated with mental stability and the strength to endure. A person with ojas has a nurturing presence that is calming and grounding. Ojas brings quality and peace of mind. It satisfies the flesh, bringing with it the confidence needed to protect the body, mind, and spirit from negative tendencies. According to Ayurveda, ojas is the substance that maintains life, promotes joy and longevity, and supports emotional as well as physical well-being.
According to Ayurveda, ojas is the substance that maintains life, promotes joy and longevity, and supports emotional as well as physical well-being. It is the physical expression of consciousness in the body, and when it becomes deficient, we begin to see a host of symptoms that manifest in the body, starting with fear and physical and mental stress. The body’s tissues begin to get dehydrated and suffer from dryness and lack of lubrication. This makes joints and muscles ache. It is what is often referred to as “getting old.” The biggest challenge with maintaining a healthy level of ojas in the body is the fact that it can be upset by any number of “wrong actions”: malnutrition, hunger, grief, anger, joyless stress, physical over- work (no pain, no gain), and chronic trauma held in the body and mind, past or present.
So to approach health from a stand point of "getting rid" of disease without any consideration for the individual's lifestyle, emotional pain, spiritual emptiness, is only a temporary fix. To truly live in health and harmony, the philosophy of Ayurveda, teaches us the holistic approach of self-care on the emotional, physical, and spiritual level to ensure that as we age gracefully we have the energy to live life the way we desire.
My intention is to remind my students and anyone who is reading these pages to learn to treat themselves well on all levels. In the end, by implementing some of these Ayurvedic principles into our lives, we are opening ourselves up to the wisdom of the ancients in a profound and respectful way.