Vishwa is a Sanskrit word for Universal and Ayurveda is the indigenous healing system of India, based upon the Five Great Elements (Panch Maha Bhuta). However, working with 5 Elements is not unique to India, but what many refer to as Medicine Wheels that can be found around the world. In fact, some Native American depictions of a Medicine Wheel are identical to depictions given in Africa. Vishwa Ayurveda started out as a yoga teacher training manual for students of Vishwa Yoga, but as teachers began to spread its teachings many of their students and clients became thirsty for more. Hence this book. Its universal 5 element approach is naturally appealing to people coming from traditions from around the planet. But besides extolling upon the many ways one can balance the elements in themselves for holistic health / yoga, it also appeals to humanity to create lasting bonds of harmony with the earth; by learning to extol the virtues of the elements. For example, the virtues of balance, connection and accountability (among others) are with the water element. Just as your accountant must balance your books properly in order to keep you in connection with them as a client, we can also see this playing out among the elements in the physical world. For example, if several people are in a boat and one decides to rock it, he is being unaccountable for what might happen to everyone, including himself, by upsetting the balance. Whether he falls out of the boat or the others, their connection will be upset. In this regard, we can say that this trouble maker is lacking the water element’s qualities of thoughtfulness, empathy, accountability, connection, balance etc. However, there are yogic techniques of bringing out these qualities -if we know how to use the techniques elementally. But, though it wouldn’t be wrong to put this into a category like "chakra balancing" most often such techniques do not address a persons character, habits and behaviors. Thus, all the crystals, colors, vibrations, foods, herbs, essential oils, massage (etc) in the world will ultimately fail, and fail again; unless one is also consciously aware of what it is about their character, habits and behaviors that they must upgrade to become the most balanced person they can be; which is to say the most holistically healthy and virtuous they can be. For if ones character does not follow some level of healing one has experienced then that healing can be expected to be short lived. Similarly one may balance a chakra with a crystal, just as you can make an alcoholic sober with coffee; but it will only last for a day unless they drink that with a coffee while also forming an intention and a strategy to stay sober going forward. This is not to knock coffee nor crystals nor endless other balancing methods, but unless we can use these methods with a deeper understanding of what we are trying to achieve, both for our self and the planet, then we are only placing band-aids on cancer sores. The Five Great Elements help us to understand on very deep and thorough levels what it actually means to achieve balance in our lives and with the planet; and how to do it; which includes, but goes far beyond, asana and other practices on a typical yoga practice menu. As the great Indian yogi/sage, Sri Aurobindo, put it "All of life is yoga" ~or at least it can be if we know what we are doing.