Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that consists of two different words- Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge. Ayurveda (“science of life”) is one of the oldest systems of self-care in the world. It focuses on an individual’s relationship with their own body, mind, and spirit, and with the natural world. Ayurveda blends well with other integrative health fields and modern medicine, both philosophically and practically, owing to its inclusivity of multiple perspectives.

Who created Ayurveda?
Ayurveda knowledge was passed down from ancient times and has been learnt and taught through many generations. However the practices of Ayurveda were immortalized through the language of Sanskrit (if you study Buddhism or yoga, you may have come across this language before). The original Ayurveda Sanskrit scriptures were written by Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhata. If you’re wondering what is Ayurveda, then these scriptures are a fantastic places to look (we know many people will need translated versions – but that’s fine!).

The body according to Ayurveda
People who live by Ayurveda, look at their bodies a certain way – and this allows them to ensure they’re living in a healthy and personalized way (just for them). Ayurveda very much stands by the idea that every body is different, and (whilst made up of the same ingredients) has different measurements and amounts.
So according to Ayurveda, the body is made up of:

The three doshas, the seven dhatus, and the five elements.
Different people, and different bodies require different outlooks and approaches, depending on how their doshas, dhatus and elements are balanced.

When asking “what is Ayurveda?” – one of the first stages to living your life in an Ayurveda way, will be to find out how your body falls into these Ayurveda categories. You can do this by seeing an Ayurveda specialist or consultant, or (as many people initially choose) by doing an online quiz to find out which doshas are more prominent in your body.  The beauty and reason behind living an Ayurveda lifestyle is keeping all these aspects of the body in balance. Ayurveda is all about balance and harmony, and finding how and what gives your body the best chance to flourish and thrive.

Breaking down the meanings behind the words. We know, when you first start reading into Ayurveda, the terms and phrases can get confusing and complicated. It’s easy to mistakes one word for another, so having a guide (like the website) is handy to refer back to whenever you need to.

Five elements – Air, Ether, Earth, Water and Fire

Doshas (energies) – there are 3 doshas; Pitta, Vata and Kapha. Each one is present with your body and mind, which don't have to be the same.  Maintaining the balance of these doshas is really important to allowing yourself to learn more about your own body – and how to make your body work more effectively.

Agni (fire) – The main source of Agni in your body is from the body’s digestive fire. Healthy agni in your body allows food to be digested quickly and properly – which leads to much better health overall.

Dhatus (tissue) – The 7 Dhatus are what make up the body’s physical form.

Malas (waste) – These are the body’s waste products, like urine, sweat and stool.

A system of balance.
Ayurveda is always teaching to find balance. Balance is key to living a successful life using Ayurveda principles, and the central aspect to many parts of Ayurveda is seeking and maintaining balance.

Hoping this has given you a good idea of what is Ayurveda, and has helped you glimpse more into the practice of Ayurveda and why it can be so beneficial.