What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a traditional, holistic healing modality, which originates in India, and can be traced all the way back to 6000 BC.
In Sanskrit (old Indo-Aryan language), Ayurveda translates to "The Science of Life".
Balance between the body, mind and soul is the foundation of ayurvedic medicine.
According to ayurvedic philosophy, human body has innate capacity to heal itself.
We are able to unlock the healing abilities of our bodies through appropriate nutrition, positive thoughts, meditation, stress-free lifestyle and medicinal herbs.
What are Doshas?
The doshas in ayurveda represent universal life force and biological energy contained in the entire human mind, and body.
The idea of 3 Doshas in ayurvedic philosophy is based on 5 elements: Air, Ether, Water, Fire and Earth.
We all have a different balance between these five elements from the moment of our birth.
As we pass through life, the proportion of each of the three doshas fluctuates continuously depending on the lifestyle choices, environment conditions and several other factors.
This is what makes all of human beings so special and unique.
- Vata is composed of Ether (Space) and Air.
- Pitta is made of Fire and Water.
Kapha consists of Earth and Water.
While most of us usually have 1 (single-dosha) or 2 (dual-dosha) dominant doshas, we all tend to have Vata, Pitta and Kapha elements, but in different amounts.
So, what is the best dosha constitution?
There is no perfect form of body and mind to be. Every dosha type has its own pros and cons, its own strengths and weaknesses.
Generally, people who are single-dosha dominant appear to have less health issues, but they tend to be more serious.
Dual-dosha and the tri-dosha types appear to have a broader spectrum of less severe health issues.
What’s the bottom line?
According to ayurvedic medicine, at the moment of our birth we all receive our personal dosha blueprint, known in Sanskrit as Prakruti (“nature” or “basic trait”).
On the other hand, the body's doshas abnormal condition or state of bad health is called Vikruti.
Your main goal should be to restore all of your doshas to their natural (praktuti) level in the body.
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The Three Doshas
An individual whose constitution is primarily Vata will have physical and mental qualities that represent the basic qualities of Ether (Space) and Air.
These 2 elements are associated with the movement and free-flowing spirit, therefore Vata types are people who are positive, creative, energetic, communicative, enthusiastic and fast paced.
Vata type often experiences feelings of anxiety, fear, indecision due to the racing mind, irregular eating schedule (they tend to overeat), changing mood and erratic sleep.
When it comes to aspects of the body, Vata types are thin and tall with cold hands, and feet, cracking joints, dry skin and frequent constipation.
Vata is sometimes referred to as the "The King of Doshas", as it controls the body's life force and sets Pitta and Kapha in motion.
Vata is linked to body functions such as breathing, circulation, muscle and tissue movement, heartbeat and nerve impulses.
Here are few ideas on how to keep Vata balanced:
- Avoid cold temperatures and wear warm clothes
- Introduce more grounding types of food and eat less raw fruits and vegetables
- Set up an eating routine that works for you and don’t skip the meals
- Avoid artificial stimulants, coffee, strong tea and alcohol
- Establish a regular sleeping and meditation routine
- Engage in calming exercises such as yoga or walking
A person whose constitution is primarily Pitta will have physical and mental qualities that represent the basic qualities of Fire and Water.
People with balanced Pitta are normally very clever, polite, brave, friendly and intelligent. They also tend to be great public speakers, managers and leaders.
Individuals with strong Pitta constitution are rapid learners with a strong desire to absorb new skills and ideas, which sometimes can make them more judgemental or frustrated with others, who are much slower than them.
Pitta type often experiences feelings of anger, impatience and annoyance under stress, aggressiveness, overexertion, and burnout.
When it comes to aspects of the body, Pitta types are medium build, muscular and strong with freckled skin that turns red quickly in the sun.
Pitta is linked to body functions such as digestion, absorption, elimination, glandular secretion, metabolism and body temperature.
Here are few ideas on how to keep Pitta balanced:
- Spend more time outside, in the nature
- Avoid artificial stimulants, coffee, alcohol and fatty foods
- Introduce more raw fruits and vegetables into your diet
- Accept and communicate your emotions in ways that can benefit you and others
- Engage in calming exercises such as yoga, tai chi, swimming, cycling or walking
- Develop a daily meditation practice
An individual whose constitution is primarily Vata will have physical and mental qualities that represent the basic qualities of Water and Earth.
People with balanced Kapha are compassionate, supportive, patient, caring, relaxed and accommodating.
Imbalance in Kapha can lead to insecurity, materialism, laziness, jealousy, lethargy and excess eating.
Kapha person thinks deeply before taking any decision, looks for comfort in food and enjoys following established routines.
When it comes to aspects of the body, Kapha types are physically strong and solid with a tendency to gain weight due to their slow metabolism.
Here are few ideas on how to keep Kapha balanced:
- Schedule plenty of daily, physical exercises
- Don’t eat until you’re full, eat until you’re 70-80% full
- Avoid processed foods, sweets and bread
- Try to do something new from time to time and break away from your routines
- Try meditation and practice non-attachment
- Avoid naps during the day and maintain regular sleeping schedule
How To Determine Your Ayurvedic Dosha?
Still unsure what is your dosha type?
Have a look at the table below with detailed characteristics of each dosha:
|Weight Gain||Problematic||Can gain but tend to lose easily||Gains easily, hard to lose|
|Skin Type||Dry, thin||Smooth, mixed||Thick, oily|
|Hair||Dry, brittle, scarce||Straight, oily, prone to hair loss||Thick, curly, wavy, oily|
|Skin texture||Cold, light||Warm, reddish with freckles||Pale|
|Nose||Uneven shape||Long, pointed||Short, rounded|
|Eyes||Small, active||Sharp, sensitive to light||Big, calm|
|Eye color||Black, brown||Bright gray, green||Blue|
|Lips||Dry, cracked||Often inflamed||Smooth, large|
|Chin||Thin, angular||Tapered||Rounded, big|
|Belly||Small, flat||Medium||Large, rounded|
|Joints||Cracking||Normal||Large, well lubricated|
|Taste pick||Sweet, sour, salty||Sweet, bitter, astringent||Bitter, pungent, astringent|
|Physical activity||Very active||Moderate||Not too active, slow|
|Mental activity||Very active||Moderate||Calm, relaxed mind|
|Personality||Talkative, social, outgoing||Ambitious, clever, friendly||Reserved, laid back|
|When stressed||Anxious, fearful||Angry, jealous||Greedy, possessive|
|Intellectual response||Fast, not detailed||Accurate, on time||Slow but exact|
|Carrer preference||Creative art, design, social interaction||Science, engineering, construction||Management, human relations, care-giving|
|Sleep||Short, with breaks||Normal||Deep|
|Speech||Fast||Articulate, precise||Monotonous, slow|
|Dreams||Multiple, fearful||Fiery with conflicts||Romantic and slow|
|Environment||Feels cold easily||Doesn't like heat||Doesn't like humidity|
|Finances||Impulse buyer||Likes luxury||Enjoys saving money|
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Attributes of Three Doshas