what is it?
Let's break it down. ayurveda is a sanskrit word, the first bit AYU in its essence means LIFE , the whole of life that includes our physical bodies, our minds, senses, emotions and the reincarnating soul.
Ayurveda is a holistic medicinal, or rather healing system, to maintain balance and well-being in all aspects of LIFE (body, mind, senses and soul) through the use of diet, herbs, lifestyle, movement and meditation.
Where did it come from?
The second part of the word VEDA is a reference to the source of this ancient wisdom. Like yoga, ayurveda was first written about in the Vedas, a 5000+ year old text out of the Indus Valley (now, India) Although, it's safe to say the wisdom of ayurveda was passed on as an oral tradition for generations before the Vedas recorded. Because of this, ayurveda is the only system to have over 5000 years of unbroken development.
Ayurveda is a precious gem with many facets, whose light illuminates every aspect of our life with great meaning
- Dr. David Frawley
Whats it got to do with yoga?
Yoga and Ayurveda come from the same source, the Vedas, and both are interested in prana (our vital life-force, or living energy) the practises and principles of ayurveda are showing us how to restore our energy levels, and optimise the flow of prana.
Its understood that when the prana is flowing well and in good supplywe then have a solid foundation of health and vitality This foundation is required for our evolution toward self realisation, which is the ultimate teaching of the Vedas.
What is "self realisation"?
Ayurveda is all about restoring balance in body and mind as well as living in harmony with nature, the seasons, cycles and environment. By teaching us how to read the language of nature, we also learn to recognise our own true nature. To realise the truth of who we are is the gift of both ayurveda and yoga, in other words, to realise of true selves - Self Realisation.