What is Ayurveda and Where Does it Come From? Guest Post From Ayurvedic Practitioner Shab Kamal

Note from Sheeva: I am very pleased to have a guest post today from Ayurvedic practitioner, Shab Kamal. I began working with Shab and Ayurvedic medicine about 3 years ago and am continually amazed at the power of this ancient healing practice. Shab is deeply intuitive and very knowledgable when it comes to Ayurvedic healing and I am thrilled that she offered to give us an insider’s introduction to the practice. Be sure to check out her website for more information. 

Ayurveda, meaning “knowledge of life” (Ayur=life, Veda=knowledge), is a comprehensive medical system. This science of life that focuses on subtle energies of all of the functions in our body and mind, lives in organic and non-organic spaces in the Universe. The goal of this healing science is to bring all functions into a balance and harmony to that particular body and mind.

Ayurveda has been practiced for at least 5,000 years in India and some parts of Middle-East. This ancient healing secret was passed on generation after generation by “seers,” who would receive the principles of Ayurvedic remedies in deep meditations. By passing these messages on, they revealed the natural and divine potencies of plants in the forest and gardens. They would observe the benefits of yogic and healthy lifestyles to bring balance in the body and mind.

Soon these messages came up to the surface and their true secrets were put down in a written form on clothes or long prescription rolls for Ayurvedic practitioners to follow. Once they became books and syllabi, they traveled to the West, though Ayurvedic body work is still a very popular practice in India. Westerners will travels miles to go to the Ayurvedic spas for several reasons. These body works contain benefits for detoxification, relaxation and deep emotional elimination.

In order to understand the Ayurveda point of view of how the body functions and what it needs to be in balance, we need to familiarize ourselves with the three energies that govern the body and mind.

The main language used in Ayurveda is an ancient one called “Sanskrit.” Most Ayurvedic terminology is still used in Sanskrit and will continue to be used as such to not lose the true meaning of the word in translation.

The term “dosha” which could be translated into “fault,” “impurity” or “mistake” is really the way to describe a constitution in the body and mind. The three main constitutions that govern the body are: Vata, Pitta, Kapha.

Each constitution or dosha comes with two elements of the five main elements in the Universe. Vata comes with Ether and Air, Pitta comes with Fire and Water, and Kapha comes with Earth and Water.

Each element comes with its own unique qualities or “gunas.” These gunas will make up our bodies and mind, determining our body type and personalities.

Let’s examine each dosha and see what they bring to our body and mind:

Vata comes with the Air and Ether elements. Some of the qualities are: cold, subtle, light, mobile and dry. Vata is largely in charge of the body’s nervous system. Dryness might bring on anxiety. Light might bring low body weight. Mobile can bring on hyperactivity and subtle might be the sublteness of vata, which moves around the body and relocates diseases.

Pitta comes with Fire and Water elements. Some of the qualities are: hot, sharp, mobile and liquid. These qualities often translate into heartburn issues, having a sharp tongue and anger. Water retention in the body and weight gain are also characteristic of Pitta. Pitta is in charge of transforming the foods we eat into nutrients in our body.

Kapha comes with Water and Earth elements. Some of the qualities are: dull, heavy, stable and sticky. These can translate into lethargy, kindness and compassion, sticky and toxic stool. Kapha can also be associated with a heavy body with weight issues.

These are just some qualities of the doshas. Our body and mind contain all of these doshas, but their levels are different. Their qualities make up who we are today and who we were at the time of our birth. In order to heal ourselves with Ayurveda, we need to observe which dosha and qualities are high or low in the present day to bring balance to the body and mind.

Ayurvedic medicine could be very complex, and yet is simple and practical. Simply spend some time observing the symptoms of the body and mind. Learn who we are, in the true sense of the word. For example, if anger and jealousy are an issue for you,, pitta is likely your dominant dosha. If hyperactivity of the mind and body is present, Vata might be high. If lethargy and depression are present, Kapha might be dominant at the present time.


Three steps to assess your doshic state of mind and body:

  • Take an Ayurvedic constitution test online (Dr. Deepak Chopra’s Quiz)
  • Read and learn about the dosha that dominates you at the present time and how to reduce it with diet and lifestyle
  • Contact an Ayurvedic practitioner to book a one-on-one consultation or phone consultation. This is very effective, because you allow an outside individual to evaluate your body and mind with no bias.

Ayurveda can be used to heal and prevent diseases without the side effects of many traditional, Western medications. Ayurvedic herbs use the plant’s divine intelligence to heal what needs healing. This type of medicine is safe and toxic-free to the body and mind. Ayurveda believes the body and mind need to function like nature- pure and natural.


Shab’s Bio: Shab began on a path of wellness as a healthcare professional and one who wanted to find answers to her own chronic illness. Her Bachelor of Health Science and her Western and Eastern medical background helps her to be the healer that she is today. Her calling for holistic medicine drove her to Ayurvedic Science from India, Reiki from Japan and Yoga philosophy from Vedic knowledge. She uses a unique way that combines all her studies in one session to guide her clients, with a customized regimen to bring harmony and balance to their physical and emotional states.

Contact Shab:
website: www.balance-holistic.com
email: shab@balance-holistic.com
phone: +1 408 772 3737


Photo Credit: PracticalCures.com

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