Monday, 21 May 2012


At Christchurch, Clarendon Park, for the second session in the course, "Introduction to Ayurveda", offered by Christians Aware as part of their Faith Awareness programme.

This evening, course leader Neena Joshi is joined by Dr Dave (photo above), who presents most of the session. Dr Dave worked within the NHS as a gynaecologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary for ten years, then as a GP with a practice off the Narborough Road. Now retired, he's following in the footsteps of his father, who was an Ayurvedic practitioner. Dr Dave's lengthy professional experience and deep knowledge allow him to make meaningful comparisons between allopathic and Ayurvedic medicine.

The goal of Ayurveda is to establish and maintain internal equilibrium. There are three ways in which this desired equilibrium may be disturbed: of external physical origin; of internal physical origin; and of mental origin. In Ayurveda, the mind is the root, seat and origin of all conditions, good and bad. Therefore, control of the mind is the first and most effective step in controlling the body. The mind cannot be controlled by the mind itself, but it can be influenced by control of the breath. At the end of the session, Neena leads us through a short exercise of alternate nostril breathing to demonstrate this effect on the mind. She also gives us homework: a sheet listing characteristics, internal and external, which would help each of us determine our own dosha - our mind-body type. We should all have a go at this before we meet up again for the next session.

As we're breaking up, I make an appeal for volunteers to take part in our Faith Communities Health Champions project with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. I'd like to have a few people who have a lively personal interest in non-conventional medical treatment. It seems like I might have a few willing participants from this evening's group.

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