Ayurveda, The Science of Life

Ayurveda is the oldest and most well-preserved healing system in the world, and has been enjoying increased awareness and acknowledgment in the last few years.

Ayurveda’s central beliefs regard the core of a human being as the soul. Accessing and  aligning with soul wisdom is believed to be the goal of human life, as well as the reason behind many variations of yoga and other spiritual endeavors. In contrast, separation from the soul is the causative factor behind misguided thoughts and actions, which can eventually disharmonize bodily function and create a state of unrest.

A sister science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is well on its way to mainstream acceptance. TCM’s holistic system is based on harmonizing the energy, or Qi, flowing through the system. Allopathic medicine recognizes there are subtle channels that the eye cannot see, which maintain the healthy function of the organs. This is where Qi comes into play, as Ayurveda and TCM both believe in energy’s effects on the body. Energy expresses itself as various densities and functions of matter. In fact, both practices conclude that nature is composed of 5 functions, or expressions of energy. The five functions are Earth (stability), Water (flow, rejuvenation, life), Fire (transformation, heat, digestion), Air/Metal (movement), and Space/Wood (the underlying fabric holding the others).

As Ayurveda is based on harmonizing energy, it teaches a few methods for which this harmony can be approached. There are adjustments that can be made to your diet and lifestyle, as well as exercises including Yoga and Qi Gong. Additionally, some treatments like aromatherapy, acupuncture, massages, and marma therapy align energy in the body.

Energy is understood by Ayurveda as more than a life-giving current, but rather a loving, creative intelligence which can be accessed within us. Thus, a deeper aspect of Ayurvedic treatment involves understanding one’s unique soul expression. This can be done though spiritual counseling and supporting soul alignment. Much emphasis is given to developing a relationship with a higher power which exists in the core of our being. In addition, Ayurveda has a refined system for determining individual constitution and applying all treatments to support a healthy balance.

Neva Ingalls is a certified Ayurvedic and Yogic Lifestyle Counseling with APPNA. Her training was with the esteemed Vedic scholar, Dr. David Frawley (Pundit Vamadeva Shastri), director of the American Vedic Institute. In Neva’s classes, you can expect the challenge to be as much about letting go as about applying effort. Neva’s sequences are spontaneous and creative and incorporate other movement healing systems such as Feldenkrais and Qi Gong.

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