"Ayur" from the Sanskrit means Life, and "Veda" means Science. It is the oldest and most complete integral health-care system that provides tools to obtain optimal physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual well being. Ayurveda has a very close relation with Yoga, considering their common root in the Vedic tradition of India, they were both developed together and have always been used together for their great benefits on all levels.
Ayurveda teaches us about living in an harmonious way with nature, considering the inner and outer cycles and rhythms, age, season, period of life, relations and routine; and considering each one as a microcosm, part of the macrocosm, which is the universe.
Ayurveda understands that the main determinant of good health is digestion - and it is about digestion of everything: food, experiences, impressions, exchanges, energy. All senses are receivers of nutrition, so that everything that interacts with the environment is assimilated or not by the organism.
The responsible for this digestion is the digestive fire, Agni in Sanskrit - strengthening Agni plays a central goal in the ayurvedic treatments and there are many ways to do it:
This ancient knowledge has the conception of human´s holistic health as a reflect of the balance of the five elements of nature (air, ether, fire, water and earth) inside the individual system, manifested in the form of energies called Vata, Pitta and Kapha and their essential forms Prana, Tejas and Ojas. When these energies are balanced one experiences integral well being and so it is possible to dedicate on the yogic path, based on the dharmic guidance on right living, right action, right relationship and right awareness.
Therefore, Ayurveda understands that Health goes way beyond the absence of disease, emphasizing prevention over cure. Health is harmony within all aspects of self, and the dis-ease is a "wake up call" to look to a hidden aspect to be healed.