Ayurveda is based on the same cosmology as Yoga, because Ayurveda and Yoga evolved side by side. "Ayur” means life and "Veda” means science or knowledge.
Both were created by the Rishis, India’s classical sages. Both were transmitted around the end of the last ice age, around 10000 years ago. They have been practiced in India for 5000 years and share a common goal: knowledge of the Self.
Therefore, Ayurveda is often considered the therapeutic side of Yoga and Yoga the spiritual side of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is one of the most remarkable holistic medical systems in the world. It embraces all aspects of health and well-being, be it physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. It has a wide variety of healing methods from diet, knowledge of plants, physical practice, and general hygiene, up to yogic practices and meditation.
Thanks to its unique conception of individual constitution, Ayurveda provides every person and every culture the knowledge for developing a lifestyle in harmony with nature and with our Superior Self.
Ayurveda provides all living things with health and an optimal development thanks to its deep understanding of natural laws. This science shows us how to understand the language of nature and life, so that we can live in harmony with the whole universe, seeking not only personal interests but by benefitting all the living things in the world.
Yoga and Ayurveda are parts of the vedic knowledge system that states that the Universe is One, and that the key to cosmic knowledge lies in our mind and in our heart. Ahimsa (non-violence or not to kill) is the most important practice in Yoga and the foundation of peace of mind. Ahimsa is also the foundation of the vedic approach of health, and the basis for any true healing. Health and well-being come from a state of mind and a lifestyle that harms no living creature. Ahimsa is the reason why Ayurveda recommends a vegetarian diet. The diet is extended to all prescriptions for ayurvedic healing. Food shouldn’t be based on cruelty. It is impossible to stop the suffering of a creature while harming another weaker creature. Suffering begets suffering. Food should have the energy of peace and love so it can nourish the body with true love.
Ayurveda is based on the concept of Dharma or natural law. It follows the Dharmic approach on health and daily life, a natural healing based on natural law and a conscious healing following the principles of consciousness. All of us are linked to a Primal Nature we call Prakriti and it includes all the forms of creation, appearing through three major forces or Gunas: Sattva, Rajas, Tamas.
Rajas is the active, stimulating or positive force initiating change and destroying the former balance of things. It has the quality of twilight, passion and unrest, that which creates a lack of stability or consistency. It gives birth to emotional shifts of attraction and repulsion, fear and desire, love and hate.
Tamas is the blocking passive force, or the negative force supporting previous activities. It has the quality of darkness, numbness, and death. An inferior or material force, it leads to ignorance or attachment, provoking inertia, a lack of interest and subtlety, emotional attachment and stagnation.
Sattva is the neutral, balanced force that watches and observes, harmonizing the positive and the negative. It has the quality of light, love and life. It is the superior force allowing us to grow in consciousness. It gives the dharmic virtues of faith, honesty, self-control, humbleness and truth. Prakriti keeps these three qualities in balance, when rajas and tamas melt with sattva.
In manifestation, these three qualities are apart: sattva gives birth to the mind, rajas to vital force and tamas to the form and substance of the body. The whole universe comes from these three original powers made of energy, light and matter. These three powers act through these three main elements. Energy and life act through the element air, which stimulates the movement of all things.