What is Ayurveda? a guide for beginners

April 1, 2020
what is ayurveda

What is Ayurveda? This super easy to read blog post will give you a starting point for your journey into Ayurveda and hopefully give you a better understanding of practising Ayurveda and starting on the journey yourself. This blog post will hopefully answer some of your initial questions around “What is Ayurveda?” and help you broaden your understanding of the topic.

What is Ayurveda?

Simply put, Ayurveda means “the science of life”. And that’s exactly what Ayurveda is all about – it’s about understanding the science of your body more, so you can live a more balanced and harmonious life. The knowledge that makes up Ayurveda has been built on a vast body of information – information that is centred around healthy living and fighting disease. When asking “What is Ayurveda?” it’s important to understand that Ayurveda is both a science, and a way of life.

Who created Ayurveda?

Ayurvedic knowledge was passed down from ancient times and has been learnt and taught through many generations. However the practises of Ayurveda were immortalised through the language of Sanskrit (if you study Buddhism or yoga, you may have come across this language before). The original Ayurveda Sanskrit scriptures were written by Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhata. If you’re wondering what is Ayurveda, then these scriptures are a fantastic places to look (we know many people will need translated versions – but that’s fine!).

“Ayurveda is the knowledge of happy and unhappy, a good and bad life, and that which contributes to those four aspects”


The body according to Ayurvedia

People who live by Ayurveda, look at their bodies a certain way – and this allows them to ensure they’re living in a healthy and personalised way (just for them). Ayurveda very much stands by the idea that every body is different, and (whilst made up of the same ingredients) has different measurements and amounts.

So according to Ayurveda, the body is made up of:

The three doshas, the seven dhatus, and the three malas.

Different people, and different bodies require different outlooks and approaches, depending on how their doshas, dhatus and malas are balanced.

When asking “what is Ayurveda?” – one of the first stages to living your life in an Ayurvedic way, will be to find out how your body falls into these Ayurvedic categories. You can do this by seeing an Ayurveda specialist or consultant, or (as many people initially choose) by doing an online quiz to find out which doshas are more prominent in your body. We’ve written about the best online quizzes for Ayurveda here (where you can do this easily without leaving the sofa!).

The beauty and reason behind living an Ayurvedic lifestyle is keeping all these aspects of the body in balance. Ayurveda is all about balance and harmony, and finding how and what gives your body the best chance to flourish and thrive.

Breaking down the meanings behind the words

We know, when you first start reading into Ayurveda, the terms and phrases can get confusing and complicated. It’s easy to mistakes one word for another, so having a guide (like the website) is handy to refer back to whenever you need to.

Five elements – Air, Ether, Earth, Water and Fire

Ayurveda for beginners what is ayurveda

Doshas (energies) – there are 3 doshas; Pitta, Vata and Kapha. Each one is present with your body or mind. Some people will have different doshas more present, as you’ll learn later on in your reading. Maintaining the balance of these doshas is really important to allowing yourself to learn more about your own body – and how to make your body work more effectively.

Ayurveda for beginners what is ayurveda

Agni (fire) – The main source of Agni in your body is from the body’s digestive fire. Healthy agni in your body allows food to be digested quickly and properly – which leads to much better health overall.

Dhatus (tissue) – The 7 Dhatus are what make up the body’s physical form.

Malas (waste) – These are the body’s waste products, like urine, sweat and stool.

A system of balance

Ayurveda is always teaching to find balance. Balance is key to living a successful life using Ayurveda principles, and the central aspect to many parts of Ayurveda is seeking and maintaining balance.

“The balance of doshas is health, and the imbalance is disease”

Swami Sivananda

We hope this has give you a good idea of what is Ayurveda, and has helped you glimpse more into the practise of Ayurveda and why it can be so beneficial. This website is full of many resources surrounding Ayurveda – so we really recommend reading these and exploring our website a little more!

Ayurveda for beginners what is ayurveda

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