Below are definitions of selected terms, followed by free download-able handouts. See also the Resources page for further study. ---
Ayurveda: [ayur = longevity, life /+/ veda = science, knowledge] "the science of longevity"
Ayurveda, also known as the "science of life", was developed by the same sages who gave us yoga as a way to systematically understand, nourish and maintain the physical body, thereby supporting a body's ability to carry the mind and spirit on its path toward wholeness and enlightenment. My main interest in, and exploration of Ayurveda is its "whole-person" approach to balanced living according to one's dosha, or constitution. ---
Dosha: constitution; "flaw"; that which can decay or be thrown off-balance Tridosha: the Three Principles that govern an organism's health
Dosha refers to the "main three psycho-physiological functional principles of the body" (Dr Vasant Lad, Secrets of the Pulse) - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. An individual's tendencies are determined by their unique combination of these three primary universal principles, each of which reflects a different order or ratio of the five basic elements: kapha is defined by Water & Earth, pitta by Fire & Water, and vata by Air & Space.
When in balance, the tridosha governs a body's ability to respond to its surroundings; but when a dosha is either excessive or deficient, dis-ease can occur in the body, mind, or emotions. Ayurveda's goal is to maintain the balance of the individual's constitution. ----
Health: ~ the state of being free from illness or injury ~ Oxford Dictionary. ~ a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity ~ World Health Organization.
Any way you slice it, sounds good to me! ----
Kratu: plan; volition; strength; wisdom
Like many Sanskrit words, the term kratu has many interpretations. In Hindi beliefs, Kratu is said to be the name of one of the seven divine rishis, or sages, who are powerful deities charged with the responsibility of bringing the proper Intelligence and Energies down to the earth so as to strengthen the necessary processes of Transition. From that story we get the concept of "kratu" as a "divine plan," as well as the knowledge and will-power needed to evolve into our best selves and live our fullest life.
Dr. David Frawley defines kratu as intelligence in action. (Ayurvedic Healing, p61) He states that by first having "the right will and the true resolve to live in harmony", we can take control of our daily actions so as to become the person we are meant to be. ---
Wellness: "the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal" (Merriam-Webster)
A state of being in which all our systems are well-balanced and well-nourished; a state of wholeness in which our minds, bodies and spirits are in sync on an individual level (the microcosm), and also in sync with the external universe (the macrocosm). In Ayurveda, wellness is understood as the ability to properly digest, absorb, and transform what we take into ourselves on all levels of existence, including, for example, our digestive system as well as our mental and emotional processes. ---
Yoga: yoke, union
The word Yoga has come to be associated with the popular form of exercise, but in fact the asana practice learned in these classes is just one aspect of the yogic journey, which ultimately leads us to samadhi, or the "superconscious state" of awareness known as enlightenment. The "yoke" or "union" implies that we are each striving to be in union with the Universe, to be yoked to the Divine Consciousness - to join our individual selves with the greater Self (some call it God or our god-self; I think of it as that underlying cellular energy which is contained in every thing and connects all things together, as in a giant web). ----
Here are some of the many places & authors that can help you learn more about Ayurveda, Meditation, &/or Yoga:
Divya Alter (Divya's Kitchen in the LES + new cookbook!) - www.divyaskitchen.com + bvtlife.com
Ananda Ashram (Monroe, NY & San Francisco) - www.anandaashram.org
The Ayurvedic Institute (panchakarma & training center in ABQ,nm; tons of free & purchasable resources on the website including recipes, meal plans, books, and other great stuff) - www.ayurveda.com
Ayurveda's World (classes & certifications in Ayurveda nutrition and holistic skin care; also individual consultations & treatments in Downtown Manhattan) - www.ayurvedasworld.com
Bhagavat Life (cooking classes & so much more!) - www.bvtlife.org
(list to be continued soon... you can also look up the teachers I list on the About page, and see when the next class is on the Events page.) ----
Below are some handouts from past workshops to serve as further guides in your journey. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I am glad to share other resources as well -- please just ask! :) ----
with Love & Balance,
Katherine D. Rosenthal Holistic Wellness Guide & Prana Practitioner
Some free resources to help you find balance through Ayurvedic wisdom: