What is Ayurveda?

Derived from the Sanskrit words - Ayur (life) & Veda (science), Ayurveda translates to “Knowledge of Life ”. Rather than defining what is good or bad for us in absolutes, Ayurveda states what is suitable “hita” and unsuitable “ahita” for each of us. Physicians apply this philosophy when advising people on diet & practices that reinforce well-being. Ayurveda empowers us to take responsibility for our health and seek a state of sukha with its teachings.

Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda

  1. Life is sustained on the tripod pillars of Body “sharira”, Mind “satva”, Spirit “atma”.
  2. The individual and the universe are connected entities.
  3. Health is the balance of the within (individual) and the without (universe).
  4. Everyone has a unique innate constitution “Prakriti” that defines our individual body, mind, habits, interests, and vulnerabilities.

Our way of life, the seasons, foods we consume, and our relationships influence our body and mind, creating a current altered state “Vikriti”. Ayurveda is all about bringing our living in harmony with our Prakriti.

What are Doshas ?

Ayurveda says we are the universe in human form, made of the five elements “Pancha-Mahabhutas” - Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. The Doshas - Vata, Pitta & Kapha are functional representations of the elements which constitute everything in the universe. Our bodies too are unique combinations of these elements in different proportions. Since Nature is also made of the same elements, all natural resources (plant, animal, metal, mineral) can be chosen as food and medicine in accordance with their elemental constitution.

The balance of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha is health and their imbalance is disease. Our bodies and minds in both the states have a clear impact of one or more of these doshas. A physician focuses on that dominance to advise a suitable diet and activities to maintain health, or prescribes suitable medicines and treatment to regain lost health.

What is my Dosha constitution?
Learn your Ayurvedic Prakriti

Food and Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, food determines the quality of our health and the inner digestive fire “Agni” - which is responsible for converting food into energy essential for all bodily functions. Hence our health and behavior are altered both positively and negatively by the foods we choose and the way we eat them. Positive expressions manifest as well-being, harmony, and clarity. Negative expressions show as waste, impurities, and ill health. We therefore are not only what we eat but what we digest.

Suitability of your food is influenced by 8 aspects “ashta Ahara Vishesh Ayatana'' - nature “prakriti”, processing “karana”, combination “samyoga”, quantity “rashi”, place “desha”, stage of the disease “kala”, rules for use “upayoga samstha”, and consumer “upayoktra”. Selecting a diet based on these 8 aspects is in stark contrast with conventional dietary practices which generalizes benefits based mainly or even solely on the nature and properties of food items.

Ayurveda recommends these food practices for optimal digestion & functioning of Agni:


Eat warm food - this helps stimulate the digestive process and digest food quickly.


Eat less oily food - this helps with quick digestion, provides firmness to sense organs, and increases body strength.


Eat in measured quantities - this increases life-span and does not disturb Agni.


Eat only when the previous meal has digested- Eating too soon will mix fresh food with undigested food from the prior meal impairing efficiency of the doshas.


Food should be suitable for you, in accordance with your Dosha


Food should be consumed in a nice environment with the right utensils to give you comfort and satisfaction.


Food shouldn’t be eaten too fast or too slowly. You might choke or overlook the food’s quality if you eat too quickly. Eating slowly might result in overeating or a dissatisfied meal, both causing irregular digestion.


Eat with full concentration, without talking. Your attention is important to know the taste and suitability of the food.

Prana Kitchens mindfully handcrafts our products to heal and nourish the body. We also provide recommendations on the proper use of our products to balance the doshas. Bringing alignment in our individual Prakriti further strengthens our connection to the universe.

Mindful Living

Ayurveda describes mindfulness as Sharira-chinta - active thinking about our body-mind complex, what suits us and what doesn’t. Just as a lamp needs quality oil and careful guarding of external influences to maintain a strong & steady flame, we too need nourishment from good food and protection from influences of our environment & stress to continue spreading our light.

Ayurveda recommends these mindfulness rituals

Morning introspection

Make time to think about what we need to do & how to engage; with a goal to experience constant well-being

Nightly assessment

Analyze our day. Not just superficially, but relating to our overall wellness. Pay attention to signals of the body and make corrections to our diet & lifestyle.

At every moment

Be aware of our thoughts, spoken word, and actions to assess if it is leading us to sukha. Expressing gratitude for everything that sustains us is our simplest step towards sukha.


  • Prakriti
  • Vikriti
  • Sharira-Chinta
  • Hita
  • Ahita
  • Dosha
  • Vata
  • Pitta
  • Kapha
  • Rasa
  • Agni
  • Pancha-Mahabhutas
  • Sukha
  • Karana
  • Samyoga
  • Rashi
  • Desha
  • Kala
  • Upayoga-Samstha
  • Upayoktra