The principle medical system of India is known as Ayurveda and is over 5,000 years old. This “Science of Life” is considered the art of living in harmony with nature.
In Ayurvedic philosophy, people, their health, and the universe are all thought to be related. It is believed that health problems can result when these relationships are out of balance. The goal of Ayurveda is to integrate and balance the body, mind, and spirit. This is believed to help prevent illness and promote wellness.
Developed from the ancient text of The Vedas, Ayurveda views the human body as a homunculus of our cosmic Universe, regulated by the balance between threeprimordial humours, call dosha.
Your dosha is your Ayurveda mind & body type. There are three doshas in Ayurveda: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. We each have all three of the doshas in our physiology, just in different proportions, so your dosha is unique and personal; it is like your fingerprint.
– Each dosha is made up of one or two of the five basic elements: ether, air, fire, water, and earth.
– Each dosha has a particular relationship to body functions and can be upset for different reasons.
– Each dosha is associated with a certain body type, a certain personality type, and a greater chance of certain types of health problems.
– A person has their own balance of the three doshas, although one dosha usually is prominent. Doshas are constantly being formed and reformed by food, activity, and bodily processes.
An imbalance in a dosha will produce symptoms that are related to that dosha and are different from symptoms of an imbalance in another dosha. Imbalances may be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or diet, too much or too little mental and physical exertion, or not being properly protected from the weather, chemicals, or germs.
The following test will give you a good idea of the levels of your doshas. We have to remember that everyone has all three doshas, but in varying degrees and there are often two that are most dominant in combination with each other. After reading each description, mark the answer that most represents you.
Vata Dosha (Air and Ether)
- This is the dynamic “kinetic” principle necessary to mobilize anything from electron to a galaxy. Air is the representative in an abstract sense.
- Force within the body responsible for all motion.
- Light, cold, dry, mobile, subtle and rough.
- Its roots are in the Large Intestine.
- Prevalent in the pelvic cavity, pores of the bones, skin, ears, and the thighs
- Primary symptom is pain and any abnormal excess of motion (i.e. twitching, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate etc.)
- Other symptoms include emaciation, debility, tremors, coldness, constipation, distention, insomnia, disorientation, incoherent speech, dizziness, confusion, depression, hyperactivity and pain.
- Vata individuals are prone to diseases of the neurological system especially motor functions, mostly affecting the lower limbs and are also more pronounced during old age.
- Its main functions in the body is the absorption and circulation of nutrients, and the excretion of waste (the by product of metabolism).
Pitta Dosha (Predominantly Fire with a small amount of Water)
- This is the thermal, explosive force behind the ability to transform everything. Sun is the representative.
- The force within the body responsible for digestion and metabolism, heat, light, slightly oily, unstable and sharp.
- Its roots are in the lower half of the stomach and the small intestine and also the blood, eyes, skin, sweat glands, liver and spleen.
- Primary symptom is fever and any excess heat in the body.
- Other symptoms include yellow coloring, hunger, thirst, burning sensations, difficult sleep, fever, bleeding and excess discharges of sweat or urine.
- Pitta individuals are prone to diseases of the digestive and metabolic systems. The diseases mostly affect the abdomen and the areas between the breast and umbilicus. Pitta disorders are pronounced in middle age and express as intense localized burning sensation, stomatitis, acid regurgitation, jaundice, bleeding disorders, bluish discoloration of the skin.
- Its main function is regulating metabolism and the production of cellular energy.
Kapha Dosha (Water and Earth)
- This is the cohesion that holds everything together with its electro-magnetic and gravitational forces.
- Force behind the structure and stability of the body
- Heavy, cold, moist, static, smooth and soft
- Its roots is in the upper half of the stomach (mucous) and also the chest, head, plasma and in all of the liquids of the body (synovial membranes of the joints)
- Primary symptom is swelling but also weight gain, and excessive mucous production.
- Other symptoms include nausea, lethargy, heaviness of body and mind, white coloring, sallow complexion, chills, congestion, excessive sleeping.
- Kapha individuals are prone to disorders of the respiratory system especially phlegm disorders. The diseases affect the upper parts of the body such as the chest and above. These disorders are more prone during early age as seen during childhood. Disorders such as drowsiness, excessive sleep, obesity, swelling of the neck (galaganda), thick skin eruptions, congestion of the chest with phlegm, polyuira.
- Its main function is the structure of the cell, cell membranes and organelles.
Prakruti: Your Constitution
Your constitution is an energetic force that expresses itself through your own unique genetic make-up. It determines the physical and structural characteristics that define your body and your internal physiological tendencies such as level of your metabolism, strength of your digestive system.
Prakruti defines your natural state and your potential. Inherent ideal balance of the 3 doshas within your body is determined at conception and does not change throughout your lifetime.
We determine Prakruti by our most stable factors such as physical structure, nature of voice and the basic personality. One’s Prakruti does not by definition produce symptoms, only tendencies. Your constitution also affects, but is not the only factor in determining your emotional tendencies and the expression of your personality.
Vikruti: The Nature of Imbalance
Healing is the process of returning the Vikruti to the state of Prakruti. The word dosha literally means that which has a fault, a system that is quick to change. Ayurveda is the pursuit of balance. To achieve this we must know our own constitution, the nature of the disease and the nature of the remedies.
Often your dominant dosha will be the one that becomes imbalanced, but this is not always so. Vata is often affected because of our fast-paced lifestyle, changing jobs, relationships and living location. Our competitive culture also leads to Pitta imbalance. So our Vikruti is our current dosha state or our natural state of imbalance.
Every living creature has all 3 doshas within them. There is an infinite number of combinations and permutations with no two people being exactly the same. It is important to remember that no cell of the body can exist without all 3 doshas.
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