Our authentic therapeutic programme is unique in the UK. Our approach is taught in Sri Lanka at the Buddhist Ayurvedic (Teaching) Hospital within the Nagananda International Institute for Buddhist Studies (NIIBS). Our Ayurvedic therapies are also informed by the Neelamahara tradition; practiced for centuries within the Neelamahara Buddhist temple and surrounding village community in Sri Lanka.
Our practice recognises certain qualities and principles of mind and body which are present in each of us. When out-of-balance, these qualities impact upon our well-being, disrupting mental health.
This recognition is rooted in an understanding which spans over a thousand years. It is not religious, but is firmly rooted in philosophical and psychological principles documented in ancient Ayurvedic and Buddhist texts.
Ayurveda sees everything in the universe, including human beings, as composed of five basic principles or elements represented in space, air, fire, water and earth. These five elements combine with each other, giving rise to three bio-physical forces (Doshas) within the human body. The Doshas are Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (water and earth). Together these govern the functions of our mind and body.
Ayurveda also recognises three qualities of mind. The first is Sattva - the quality of light, perception, intelligence and harmony. Sattva is virtuous for body and mind, but imbalance is caused when the quality of energy, activity, emotion and passion (Rajas) or the principle of inertia, dullness, darkness and resistance (Tamas) become aggravated.
Our tradition also recognises the three unwholesome roots (or root-poisons) which form the basis for our suffering. These are our mental tendencies towards greed (Lobha), hatred (Dosa) and delusion (Moha).
These principles and qualities of mind and body are connected in various ways, showing how by working with the mind in specific ways we can improve physical well-being, and by working with the body in specific ways we can improve mental wellbeing.