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Home sjmtoc Ayurvedic Ayurveda in Depth

I Benefits of Ayurveda

Ayurveda, is the traditional nature healing system of India, is quickly gaining popularity in the Western world. Interest in the subject has spread rapidly throughout North and South America, Europe, and Australia in recent years. There is a new proliferation of Ayurvedic classes schools, and treatment centers in most major metropolitan areas. The number of people who are using this ancient health system in their daily lives is becoming considerable. Many people of all walks of life are gaining great personal and spiritual benefit from Ayurveda’s wisdom of healing.

The number of books on Ayurveda has also increased, with a steady stream of interesting titles expanding our awareness of this new and profound field of medicine. The Ayurvedic system, like Traditional Chinese Medicine before it, is gradually entering into mainstream health care, being adopted by medical doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors herbalists and nutritionists. This movement must continue to develop extensively in the coming decades, and can help us deal with the new pressures on our health caused by our modern industrial and high teach life-styles. Ayurveda is not going to merely a passing health fad, but is an enduring part of the new global paradigm of healing emerging today. We can Ayurveda has arrived and is now making its home in the west.

There are many reasons for this new interest in Ayurveda. First, all over the world today we looking for a natural system of healing that is comprehensive and complete, that is not merely some curious from of folk healing but a real and rational system of medicine that is sensitive to both nature and the Earth. This is exactly what Ayurveda has to offer, for it has a many thousand year-old clinical tradition and the a comprehensive natural method of treatment ranging from diet, herbs, and massage, to life-stye counseling and meditation. Ayurveda is not merely East Indian folk medicine but a perennial naturopathic system of the health care that has survived through the onslaught of modern medicine and preserved the wisdom of the ages and the wisdom of the Earth.

Second, there is a new search for a mind-body medicine today that is spiritual in nature and addresses the role of consciousness in healing. Meditation and prayer are now recognize for their ability to heal not only the mind the body. Such a spiritual orientation is everywhere in Ayurveda with its connection to Yogic practices and karmic us roots of our human problems. Ayurveda always encourages us to more spiritual life-style and the pursuit of Self-realization, and says that this is essential to our real health and well-being, whatever may be our main pursuit in life.

Third, there are now many people who have studied Yoga and allied spiritual traditional from India and would like to know more about the medical side of that tradition, which is Ayurveda. For this reason most of the Yoga centers and ashrams in the West are introducing Ayurvedic classes and programs into their activities. Hatha Yoga, the asana side of the Yogic classes offered in nearly every significant community in the United States. Whoever finds this system of exercise helpful will similarly gravitate toward its sister system of Ayuveda. Aurveda shows how Yogic practices and used on a therapeutic level for treatment of disease and for health maintenance.

Atreye is well aware of all these trends in his new book on Ayurveda, Practical Ayurveda: Secrets for Physical Sexual, and Spiritual Health, which expands the field of Ayurveda yet further. His writing takes Ayurveda to a deeper level as well as develops it for a larger audience. Atreya is a notable Western student of Ayurveda, who has researched the science in depth in India and has developed much intuitive insight into this ancient system of right living. He has taken a profound interest not only in the healing side of the Vedic tradition but in its spiritual side as well. Most notably, he has deeply examined the non-dual traditional self-realization at the summit of the Indic meditational traditional, the system of Advaita Vedanta, and brings this transcendental view into his work.

Atreya approaches Ayurveda not merely looking at its physical aspects, but unfolds, with clarity and precision, its energetic formulations and spiritual principles. This provides a much broader and more flexible perspective on this ancient healing system than usually given, and one that cannot be gained merely by studying the system out wardly. The book has a special emphasis on prana or the “Vital force” and is not simply an ordinary presentation of Ayurveda emphasizing physical factors. His approach to Ayurveda is not mechanical or academic but living and experiential, going back to the life-force that is the basis of the Aurvedic view of life. He examines the entire science of prana, how our life-energy works on all levels of mind and body, a subject he dealt with more specifically in his previous book Prana: The Secret of Yogic Healing.

The gross physical body is a manifestation of the subtle energy field of prana, without which we could not even move. Physical imbalances are merely the reflection of earlier imbalances in the pranic field. If we can correct these pranic problem before they manifest in the physical body, we can prevent disease and guard our health. Atreya shows how special pranic methods and ways of using the breath can balance the doshas or biological humors of Ayurveda and reduce the necessity for more complicated or more physical therapies.

Practical Ayuveda is an excellent introduction to the system of Ayrveda and one that is concise, direct, and easy to understand. It covers all the main concepts, practices, and treatments of Ayurveda in a way that is both interesting and informative, both in harmony with the tradition and modern in its understanding. From diet and herbs to daily life-style practices, the book provides Ayurvedic secrets of health and well-being for every major type of person.
Atreya’s presentation of Ayurveda is remarkably fresh and filled with his own personal insights, so that other Westerners can follow his lead and way of entry into his own personal insights, so that other Westerners can follow his lead and way of entry into his often arcane system. Being a Westerner Atreya is able to translate unfamiliar concepts of Ayurveda to the Western mind with lucidity and simplicity. He relates how he uses Ayurveda in his own life and how it has transformed how he lives on all levels. Atreya is an original thinker and adds his own insights about Ayurvesa to his book. These can add much in making Ayurveda more practical or accessible to people today for dealing with the changing conditions of our complex modern life.

Without such natural wisdom as Ayurveda, we may find ourselves not only unhealthy, but unhappy and spiritually confused. With Ayurveda we can learn the right diet for our individual type, how to improve our immune system, the keys to right use of sexual energy and rejuvenation, and a conscious way of life that can lift us to a new level of awareness in all our endeavors. May the reader embrace this book as a tool of reintegration with the great healing and transformational energy of prana.

David Frawley
Author, Ayurveda and the Mind,
Ayurvedic Healing, and The Yoga of Herbs
Santa Fe, NM

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