The practice of Ayurveda as a medicine is believed to date back to over five thousand years, during the Vedic period of ancient India. The earliest-known references to Ayurveda and its sister science, Yoga, appeared in scholarly texts from the time called “the Vedas.”
Ayurveda experienced a period of prosperity as the Vedic texts were taught and shared, but this was followed by an almost thousand-year struggle to remain relevant in the wake of India’s political struggles with various invading countries. Despite this, those who practiced Ayurveda on the fringes of society kept the tradition alive until India gained independence in 1947. Ayurveda then resurfaced as a major system of healthcare that endures in India to this day.
During the New Age movement of the 20th Century, Ayurveda started to make its way westward, helped along by the expanding popularity of yoga and Eastern spiritualism. Thanks in no small part to the teachings of respected physicians and herbalists, Ayurveda has gained notoriety among a growing population of health-conscious individuals around the world.
Before you learn how Ayurveda can help you, you must first learn how to see yourself from an Ayurvedic perspective. The first step is to understand some key Ayurvedic principles, lenses through which Ayurveda views the universe.
These Ayurveda basics are foundational tools for:
- Interpreting the laws of nature
- Identifying various states of health or imbalance
- Charting a course toward improved well-being
Examining these core principles will also help illustrate what makes Ayurveda such a timeless art and science.