Ayurveda – Attributes (Gurvadi Gunas)

The ancient philosophy of wellbeing and healing called Ayurveda has roots back to the first civilisations. As many other ancient philosophies this one sees humans as part of nature and therefore differs fundamentally from today’s allopathy in that we connect with nature and don’t battle nature. We learn to live with it in Ayurveda, not against it. It was written down for us several thousand years before petrochemical products entered our lives and bodies and needless to say nothing that lays hundreds of meters underground would have been recommended by the ancient Richis.

Ayurveda teaches us to feel and describe ourselves with a subjective interpretation of what is going on within us. The Gurvadi Gunas help us to put words to what we sense and feel. They are pairs of opposites or qualities. For example heavy-light (guru-laghu), cold-hot (shita-ushna), wet/oily-dry (snigdha-ruksha), etc. There are 10 pairs described in the ancient texts, words that offer us a language to communicate to ourselves and our practitioners how we feel in order to find remedies. Some of them make perfect sense in allopathy too, as hot for fever or cracking skin would be dry, however that’s where the modern medicine stops. The same concept can be used to find any balance in life.

These attributes can be seen as energies or forces in our environment and within us. We pick up on them and they contribute to our health and un-health and they are never separate from us. Combined with the knowledge of one’s own nature since birth (Dosha) we know very well what we need to do to heal and feel good. Just as a heavy meal can make some feel heavy a dry wind may make us feel light or dry. We can use the Gunas to correct what is wrong but we will have to individualize it as Ayurveda acknowledges that we are all different. Everything in our environment, whether we sense it or not, can be seen as a contribution or attribution to our body and mind, like food would be to taste and digestion, work, friends, family, perfume and entertainment would be too. Equally humans contribute to all and everything around us, even the cosmos, so much that Buddhism and Hinduism speak about the human consciousness as the element Ether. This is key to understand and to heal naturally in any modality.

At O° we teach how to feel the attributes, the Gunas, to trust what you feel and how to use that knowledge to be in tune with your environment and not against it. As I mentioned, Ayurveda sees us and human history not as separate but as a part of evolution and nature, hence connected on an energetic levels Western languages struggle to define. (Look up “Nature” in any dictionary).

O° live teaches how to stay healthy and heal in the 21st century. We offer retreats and events around the world and at the O°SHRAM in Thailand. You can also start with our teachings online or look us up on social media or Castbox to learn more about natural health.

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