Welcome to Living Wisdom: The Foundations of Ayurveda! At the beginning of the course you will be introduced to the core Ayurvedic concepts and principles, and as you move on through the 21 lessons you will build on these concepts until you can see clearly how they are all connected. We hope you enjoy this course!
The Living Wisdom: The Foundations of Ayurveda course has been created for those interested in exploring in greater depth the healing wisdom of Ayurveda and learning its practical tools – precious gifts for guiding us to living a healthy and balanced life. Our intent is to share the inspiration, philosophy, concepts, principles and practical applications of this extraordinary path of health.
In Living Wisdom, the essential knowledge of Ayurveda is presented as a structured course for experiential study and also as a reference guide for living a healthy lifestyle, now and throughout the rest of life. No prior knowledge of Ayurveda is required.
The course is suitable for many different groups of people; it offers in-depth study for lay people who want to learn Ayurveda to establish a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families; it offers a sound foundation for yoga practitioners and teachers, and an opportunity for health professionals including herbalists and nutritionists to integrate its principles of health and longevity into their practice.
As we begin this transformative study of Ayurveda, we have the opportunity to integrate meditation practice into our daily life. Meditation can be enormously helpful… it can gradually give us the awareness, focus and calm needed to study and absorb all the new material, and also help us open and balance our minds so that we can realise the full potential of the amazing path of Ayurveda.
The five elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth (pancha mahabhuta) represent the different qualities or densities of energy. These elements are not seen or measured by Western science, and they are not to be interpreted literally but rather as metaphors which help us to understand the universe.
According to Ayurveda, the key to health lies in the knowledge and understanding of our basic constitution, (prakruti) and how to keep it in balance through diet and lifestyle. With the knowledge and understanding of how and why we become ill, we can live a way of life that enhances our chances of health and fulfilment.
In this lesson we are going to look at the role of foods and their tastes in preventative heath as well as therapeutic care. As we know, our diet plays a vital role in a healthy lifestyle, and what we eat, digest, as well as absorb is important to maintaining health, preventing disease and treating imbalances and health problems when they arise.
In this lesson we are going to discuss the ways in which you can prepare and take herbs. There are many different ways that herbs can be given; what is important is that they are absorbed into the body so that they can exert their amazing benefits. Living as we do in the West, we can combine the use of Western and Ayurvedic herbs, and we can also combine traditional and modern ways of using herbs and formulations.
This section is a guide to for you to become familiar with some of the more common traditional Ayurvedic formulae. Their constituents can vary slightly amongst manufacturers. Some of the formulae may contain references to herbs that are not in the Materia Medica chapter of this course, and the complete list of precautions for each herb in a formula is not repeated here.
As we deepen our understanding of Ayurveda, we can begin to see that health is not merely freedom from disease, but more a state of ease and harmony in mind, body and spirit that gives us the ability to fulfil our dreams and responsibilities, our roles and potential in life known as our dharma, and ultimately to experience the happiness and bliss of liberation (moksha).