Module 1, Lesson 1
In Progress



A five-thousand-year-old system of healing with origins in the Vedic culture of ancient India. The Sanskrit word Ayurveda is derived from the root words ayuh, meaning “life” or “longevity,” and Veda, meaning “science” or “sacred knowledge.” Ayurveda, therefore, translates as, “the sacred knowledge of life.”


Of or pertaining to the Vedic tradition of Ayurveda;


The third of five elements is recognised in Ayurveda: the fire element; the principle of transformation; the digestive fire, which is responsible for digestion, absorption and assimilation; that which transforms food into tissues, energy, and consciousness.


Raw, undigested; a toxic, disease- causing substance that can accumulate in the body when foods, herbs, emotions or experiences are not fully processed, digested, or assimilated.


A daily routine; an important part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle that helps align our bodies with the daily rhythms of nature; the traditional dinacharya includes a wide variety of daily self- care practices including a rich personal hygiene routine, exercise, spiritual practice, meals, and sleep.


Physical or energetic pathways that carry substances or energies from one place to another in the body. “Channel” is a somewhat inadequate translation for the Sanskrit term srotas (singular; srotamsi is the plural form); the grossest, most physical Ayurvedic srotamsi largely correspond with the systems of Western medicine: the circulatory system, the urinary system, the digestive system, etc.; see also Srotas.


Constitution; the unique ratio of vata, pitta and kapha established at conception and resulting in a personally unique set of physical, emotional, and mental tendencies, strengths, and vulnerabilities.


An individual’s current state of health; the specific ratio of vata, pitta, and kapha that currently exists within one’s body—as opposed to the natural ratio of the three doshas represented by one’s prakriti (constitution).


One of three functional energies in nature: vata, pitta, and kapha. In the body, it is the unique ratio of these three humors that determines an individual’s prakriti (constitution). When the doshas are present in appropriate quantities, they support the health and integrity of the body; when they are out of balance, they can cause illness and disease.


One of the three doshas (functional energies in nature); kapha is predominated by the earth and water elements and governs structure and cohesiveness; it is heavy, slow, cool, oily, smooth, dense, soft, stable, gross, and cloudy.


One of the three doshas (functional energies in nature); vata is predominated by the ether and air elements and governs movement and communication; it is light, cold, dry, rough, mobile, subtle, and clear.


One of the three doshas (functional energies in nature); pitta is predominated by the fire and water elements, and it governs transformation; it is light, sharp (or penetrating), hot, oily, liquid, and spreading.


Pacifying or balancing for all three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha.


A weak or defective space in the body is typically caused by past injury, illness, trauma, or familial genetic patterns; khavaigunyas are especially vulnerable to frequent or chronic imbalance because they tend to attract ama and excesses in the doshas.


Clarified butter (made by gently heating unsalted butter until the milk solids can be removed); a highly revered substance in Ayurveda that is used in cooking and for therapeutic purposes; also considered an important anupan, capable of carrying herbs deeper into specific tissues.


A Sanskrit word with many meanings, including “river,” “channel,” and “passageway;” Ayurveda acknowledges thousands of nadis—both gross and subtle—that carry various substances and energies from one place to another throughout the body and the energetic field. Nadi also refers to the pulse, one of the most important tools for clinical assessment in Ayurveda. It refers to pulse reading.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

A yogic breathing practice is also known as “alternate nostril breathing,” but that literally means “channel cleansing;” this practice consists of inhaling and exhaling in a particular pattern, through alternate nostrils. Nadi shodhana pranayama is balancing to the
left and right hemispheres of the brain, deeply calming to the nervous system, and revitalizing to the mind.


The positive subtle essence of kapha, which gives the body strength, vigor, vitality, and immunity; the end product of perfect digestion. Ojas shares a subtle functional integrity with tejas and prana.


The positive subtle essence of kapha, which gives the body strength, vigor, vitality, and immunity; the end product of perfect digestion. Ojas shares a subtle functional integrity with tejas and prana.


One of the five subtypes of kapha; that aspect of kapha that resides primarily in the white matter of the brain, is present in the cerebrospinal fluid, and lubricates the sinuses and nasal cavity with a protective layer; functionally it records every psychological, factual, or biological memory or experience and works at both the conscious and sub conscious levels, nourishing and fostering contentment in the nerve cells.