A Word from David Simon
Ayurveda clearly spells out what it takes to be healthy. Distinct from my conventional medical training, which taught that health was the absence of a definable illness, Ayurveda views health as the dynamic expression of free-flowing biological energy and information.
To be healthy, we must balance the forces of change, transformation, and stability in our minds and bodies. The expression in Sanskrit is sama dosha – the appropriate relationship between movement (Vata), digestion (Pitta), and protection (Kapha).
To be healthy, we must have the ability to fully metabolize the experience of our lives, extracting those elements that nourish our psychology and physiology. This is known as sama agni in Ayurveda.
To be healthy, we must have effortless elimination of toxins. Known as malas, toxins are the residue of experience that block the circulation of vital energy.
To be healthy, we must have healthy cells, tissues, organs, and physiological systems. To create and maintain these healthy dhatus¸ Ayurveda encourages us to be conscious of what we ingest through all our senses, selecting sounds, sensations, sights, tastes, and smells that are nurturing and nourishing.
But Ayurveda does not stop here. It says that to really be healthy, our mind, senses, and soul must be filled with bliss. In other words, if we’re not happy, we’re not healthy. So in addition to eating healthy, sleeping soundly, and exercising regularly, ask yourself, What can I do to be happier? As the great mythologist Joseph Campbell said, “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living." Ayurveda agrees that this is the path to happiness and health.
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