Mental Health: An Ayurvedic Perspective

Ideas about alternative medicine are deeply embedded in Western culture today – whether in the form of yoga, massage, herbal remedies or discussions about mindfulness and wellness. The aim of this talk is to shed light on the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, from which many of these ideas originate. â€˜Ayur’ means life, and â€˜veda’ means science. Ayurveda or ‘The science of life’ is considered one of the oldest healing sciences that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. Ayurvedic medicine rests on the principle that healing begins by tuning into the body in an attempt to reach inner peace and alignment with the self. 

Ayurveda recommends traditional dietary and lifestyle habits along with yogic exercises and herbal treatment. It has proved to be an alternative form of treatment, which not only includes treating the disorder – physical and psychological – but also bringing in a change in the lifestyle of the person to prevent future illnesses. Ayurveda stands by its definition of health, in which a healthy mind plays an important role. Being a holistic science, Ayurveda explores the symbiotic relationship among the mind, body, soul, the senses and their workings.

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Aditi Kumar is an Art historian, Curator and Cultural practitioner. Presently, she is teaching as an Assistant Professor at the Thapar School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She has completed her PhD from the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. Her scholarship interrogates the role of art and culture in the formation of postcolonial nation-states and national or regional identities of the Global South. Her research focuses on the visual histories and identity politics of marginalised communities. Recently, she has been working with the Jammu & Kashmir diaspora communities settled in the UK. Apart from this, she is an ardent believer in sustainable living and practices a plant-based lifestyle.

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