Ayurveda is the science of life. It teaches us to become aware of ourselves in relation to our environment and the world around us. It teaches us to be aware of our energetic constitution and be in harmony with what we eat, hear, feel, smells and more. It is a science that is not just focused on extending the live live it fully and in harmony with cosmos.
Ayurveda is based on reading the body by the elements of nature and understanding which elements (space, air fire, water, and earth) have predominance in an individual’s energetic constitution. Dis-ease according to Ayurveda is an imbalance of one’s energetic constitution. Ayurvedik assessment gives us understanding of which elements are out of balance which then helps to create a plan to bring the harmony back into living being. Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and maintenance of health through close attention of balance in one’s life, right life-style, herbs, bodywork therapies. The two very effective bodywork therapies are Abhyanga and Marma.
Marma are places in our body where currents of life-energies (qi, prana) cross over. They are serving as gates between body’s physical and energetic levels. They are widely used is healing bodywork to eliminate toxins from the body, allowing healing and restoration of the tissues, channels, digestion and mental functions.
Yogi Yajnavalkya (1800 BC) was one the first ancient yogi to talk about the 108 Marmas and their use in healing and for enhancing the consciousness. Sushruta (6th BC) described in (Sushruta Samhita) the detail of all the 108 Marmas and their usage in surgery and healing.
I have been fortunate to learn the art of Marma healing in it’s traditional form from a Nath yogi (linage of Yogi Gorakhnath), in my birth state of Gujarat, and also from Dr. Vasant Lad (preeminent Ayurvedik Physician and Professor of Ayurveda, in Albuquerque, NM) in the tradition of Sushruta.
“The round shape of our head emulates heaven. The square shape of our feet emulates earth. Heaven has the four seasons, the five movements, the nine divisions, and the 366 days. Human beings have four limbs, five organ (zhang) systems, nine orifices, and 366 joints. Heaven has wind, rain, cold, and (summer) heat, while human temperament has ‘taking’, ‘giving’, joy, and anger. Our gallbladder functions like clouds, the lung like mist, the liver like wind, the kidney like rain, and the spleen like thunder. All of these are the union of Heaven and Earth made manifest within the human being.” ~ The Huainan Masters (Huainanzi): JingShen Xun, 120 B.C.E.